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Newcastle: Not normal
For all those wondering in total amazement why Newcastle haven’t sacked McClaren yet, the simple answer is because they are not ran as I normal traditional football club.
99% of people see a football club ran as the following: Hire a manager, manager does very badly, manager is sacked – almost purely based on ability of manager and team results.
Newcastle isn’t ran like this. The powers that be don’t want someone who asks questions or challenges them. They want a Yes Man. That’s the main criteria anyone is ever hired at NUFC whether it be in the board room or dugout.
Why do you think Alan Pardew remained in charge after dreadful seasons, dreadful results, dreadful PR situations?? Because he did what was told and NEVER moaned about it in public. He never demanded transfer money or players to be replaced. Exactly what Ashley, and whoever his ‘Yes Man’ chairman at the time happens to be, want. Pards headbutted a player for crying out loud!
Why do you think John Carver was put in charge last season and lasted for as long as he did despite losing every single game (practically)?? Because he wouldn’t demand anything. Not from his employers anyway.
Why do you think Joe Kinnear was brought in from the total footballing wilderness…TWICE?! Was he qualified for either role. No, of course not. But Ashley knew him, knew he wouldn’t moan at the unbelievable job he had been given, so in he came to total bemusement from everyone.
Looking at it from another way:
Why do you think Joey Barton has his contract ripped up a few years back? Because he question the club.
Why do you think the unreal talent of Ben Arfa had his contract ripped up? Because he questioned the manager.
Why was Jonas Gutierrez released after saving them from relegation and overcoming cancer? Because his cancer caused ‘an issue’ they would much rather not deal with.
Which sums up the way Newcastle Utd football club is ran. The owner and board members don’t want to have to make decisions. They don’t want the responsibility. The last thing they want or need is to actually have to deal with something.
This is why Mac is still in a job. This is why they put him on the board to begin with. Why is the manager on the board? Do they want him to do everything? The one thing he cant do is manage the football team which causes them a major issue. How the hell can we find someone else who will be able to manage the team but yet not ask us any questions or make any demands….??
This is the mindboggling conundrum the CEO and Ashley find themselves in. The last thing in the world they want to do now is bring in an actual good qualified manager. An outsider. A rogue to their ‘Yes Man’ party.
Benitez, Moyes, Rodgers = unknown, untrustworthy.
NUFC literally don’t have clue what to do right so will probably just do nothing and wait to see if McClaren can get a result at Leicester.
Jose Mourinho himself could drive up to St James Park, do an interview with Sky Sports News out of his window declaring he is here to save the day and Lee Charnley will pretend he isn’t in and refuse to open his office door.
Charnley: Brenda….! No more calls. I’m at lunch!
NUFC – Not a football club as we know it. The whole footballing world needs to wake up to this fact.
Martinez in…for now
I can understand fellow Evertonians’ desperation to want to get rid of Roberto Martinez, I just don’t share that view…yes his substitution last week taking off Lennon and swapping him for Niasse ended up us losing the game but I’d rather blame Mirallas for the second time this season getting a red card needlessly which puts the team under pressure. The reason I think we have alot to thank Roberto for is I genuinely don’t think this takeover would have happened if Moyes was in charge playing his 4-4-2 football week in week out playing Leon Osman and other ‘reliable’ players.
Roberto has brought Lukaku, Deulofeu, McCarthy, Lennon and Funes Mori into the club as well as developed Barkley (who Moyes didn’t rate at all) and Stones and played some very exciting football which has attracted alot of people to watch our games, yes we can’t defend a lead to save our lives and it is frustrating but to see the team when it is in its full flow counter attacking is a joy to see and would hate him to go to get someone like Van Gaal in and watch the flair leave the team…we aren’t the only club in the Premier League whose fans want to get rid of their manager this year (Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool at one point, Newcastle, Villa etc)..give the guy one more season with this cash injection from the new owner and if he doesn’t learn from his mistakes then only he can be to blame and I will happily drive him out of Goodison.
Why we like this Leicester business
Well Andy Race, you really sound like a curmudgeon, just saying. The reason so many people love what’s happening with Leicester is that the majority of football fans support a team who could never win the Premiership. Like Leicester. We like the romance of the FA Cup because anything can happen, but we rarely see this in the league, especially the top league. A team put together for the price of a single player by some of the richer clubs, driving everything before them, playing with verve and panache. It’s the opposite side of the coin to your miserabilism that as long as it’s not a club I hate I don’t care.
Oh and as for liking another club despite having a main club you support? Sorry but what’s wrong with this? I’m a devoted West Ham fan but for a number of years I was based in Exeter without any money to get to London let alone for a football ticket, so I also supported Exeter for those years and saw some hilarious games and still support the Grecians so that if they play nearby I often go and see them still. If they ever got to the Premiership I’d have to think the end of the world was nigh but I’d still support them, just not over West Ham, who I can afford to go and see nowadays.
So tl:dr, the reason we like the Leicester story is for positive and happy reasons. Sorry about that.
Arsenal fans complaining about Arsene, Man Utd fans complaining about LvG, Newcastle fans complaining about Schteve…
Chelsea fans hoping we just hold on to a manager long enough to even be able to start disliking them.
Aston Taylor (CFC)
One fan is better than another, actually…
Sorry, can’t let this idea that no fan is better than another go.
Blackburn were Premier League champions two decades ago. What proportion of the fans that still go to Ewood Park today are fans from all over the place that joined their ranks after they became champions and what percentage are fans local to the area?
You see when all’s said and done – a club’s lifeblood is its local fans. They’re treated like crap because clubs take them for granted and want to grow their customer base.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
When it’s okay to call somebody a plastic…
This whole resurrected thing of glory hunters and plastics has gotten me thinking about what the rules are, or should be, or whether it’s okay at all to mock such people.
See for me it’s not about not being local or not, as club allegiance can be passed down through families and even friends, and also some people just get mad love for random players, like Ginola, which transcends geographical limitations. And you can be just as dedicated a fan from afar, especially if you’re in amongst the enemy.
No, surely the key guide is about what motivates a person to follow the club. It’s fair to call someone out for being a plastic when:
– they’re just buying in to recent success and want the reflected glory
– have jumped ship to another better club
– are giving it large to ‘real’ fans when they don’t know pilchard and have only just started following their chosen team.
Then there’s the issue of how it changes a club’s DNA. Cases in point are City and Chelsea, the latter of which has changed almost beyond recognition while City mostly seem the same but gladder (and more sickening).
Does it matter how they got their money? No, not per se (though it feels like it’s a computer game cheat rather than earned) but sudden changes in success attract plastic and fair weather fans, who are most likely to draw embarrassment to their fellow fans.
As far as when it’s OK to wear club kits away from the ground, the answer is simple; never.
Wenger guilty of gross negligence
We all know the laws of football are governed by the gods, but at what point is Arsene Wenger deemed as negligent?
I am a Chelsea fan, but I love some of the football Arsenal have played over the years. One-touch passing, possession-based football and they have had some truly wonderful players. They are a business that makes a profit, they do not splash ridiculous money all over the place on average players, they use young players, their manager has a sense of humour and he loves the club.
However, I have been reading this site for the last six years and every football fan can identify where Arsenal have needed to reinforce. This season is the perfect example. They need a striker, they need a holding midfielder and they probably need a centre-back. BUT why has no one at the club outlined this and acted. I do not know who they could have bought (any suggestions would be welcome), but they needed good replacements and this issue wasn’t addressed. They have injury-prone players, but this wasn’t addressed. They are a squad with world-class players mixed with average/adequate players, why wasn’t this addressed? If Stoke can spend £18 million on a midfielder, why can Arsenal not?
He was fantastic and Arsenal fans should be proud with a lot of the work he has done, but his actions have been careless, he has been arrogant, he has insulted the fan base and he has not grasped this golden opportunity to win the league. This is gross negligence and it doesn’t pain me to say this but Arsenal have become specialists in failure.
If you win the league, congratulations, but it will only be because everyone else has been so poor and it will only paper over the cracks.
M4RCU5X15, CFC (I find it quite amusing that Arsenal spend the least, but charge the most for tickets)
Why aren’t fans allowed to be unhappy?
I sent a mail in about United fans a few weeks ago that did not get published, but that seems somewhat applicable to Arsenal fans following this morning’s mailbox. Below is an excerpt:
‘You can’t sit there, laughing at us losing to Bournemouth and Midtylland, telling us how unacceptable it is for a team with so much money to be playing so poorly and then call us spoilt when we agree with you!’
Sure, Arsenal aren’t in as bad a state as United are, but it still seems a bit ridiculous to laugh at Arsenal for faltering again but expect their fans to just put a brave face on. I don’t think sacking Wenger would be a good idea, but you have to accept that some fans would rather gamble at possibly winning trophies than continue in this cycle.
As for City, I thought Spurs and Leicester this year might have put an end to the ‘how else could we have broken the top 4?’ argument!
…I was reading the mailbox at lunch in response to ‘bannergate’ and the predictable backlash to it and the neutral’s berating us Gooners as ‘worst fans in the league’.
As an Arsenal fan I don’t think displaying the banner at the ‘business end’ of the season was particularly clever but I can see why they did it and their reasoning which I’ll go into very quickly –
1) I appreciate neutrals say ’14 years consecutively in the Champs League’ – Well yes that’s great but we still haven’t won the thing and look less like we will now than at any other time in Wenger’s reign.
2) The frustrations being voiced at the moment are not just about this season (which has been a complete cock-up) but over the last eight years of choking the league (We all know what happened in 08/09/14/ etc.).
3) We’ve lost 8-2, 6-3, 6-0, 5-1, 5-0 in the last four years, you can forgive one of those scores but not all of them.
4) Despite having a very vocal presence in the world of social media, Arsenal fans have no say in the running of the club and the apparent disinterest of Stan Kronke to do anything but build up our cash reserves.
5) Continued negligence in the transfer window, in particular last year when we didn’t buy a defender until January which cost a run at the league. This year the mystical DM and striker which we badly needed were not purchased which leaves us eight points behind Leicester…..LEICESTER! if we had purchased what we needed we would be walking this league and be at least nine points clear ourselves. If Arsene can’t beat Leicester or Spurs to the league when will he win another one?
6) Injuries Injuries Injuries Injuries Injuries Injuries Injuries Injuries Injuries Injuries
I understand that these might be ‘elite’ problems for our club and we are not in the position of a Leeds or Blackpool, but the above points are very frustrating, especially with the resources we have and when you’ve seen it all before year after year.
Unfortunately, due to Arsenal’s structure from top to bottom, booing or unveiling banners are the only way we can send a direct message to the board.
…To James Gooner, George Griffiths and every other ‘fan’ who is happy with stagnation, prawn sandwiches, comfy seats and can’t see the evident inadequacies in our club – whether you agree with the view or not, there’s an ever-growing consensus that Wenger needs to leave. That doesn’t change with a by the book 4-0 win over lower-league opposition. If anything, bouncing backwards and forwards after a win or loss is the epitome of stupidity and a spoilt nature. This is not ‘how we celebrate a big win’ by the way. It is maintaining a stance – win, lose or draw. It is a perfect time to unfurl a banner. It shows that the underlying resentment is still there and is not masked by a ‘big win’.
To The Flan – I don’t know which is worse (nor do I care) but how could you even measure unfurling a banner vs a plane towing a banner? But as for your ‘better the devil you know’ argument – you picked Man Utd as your case in point precisely because that suits your cause. Who said to remove Wenger and appoint an underwhelming and incapable replacement? (Clue: no-one). Why don’t you try again and use Leicester and Claudio as your example? Or Bilic and West Ham? Or Barcelona when they appointed Rijkaard? Or more recently with Enrique? Or Porto when they appointed Mourinho? Or perhaps even consider Forest when they kept Cloughie. Oops – look how that worked out. Presumably we should still have Seaman in goal as it’s ‘better the devil you know’? Or was it ok to replace him once he was no longer up to the task? Say – kind of like our manager now then! I could go on, but my point is that “better the devil you know” is a meaningless idiom that I can counter with “a rolling stone gathers no moss” and then raise you with a “the greatest risk is no risk at all”.
Football is not about money in the bank, fourth-place finishes and being knocked out of the last 16 in the Champions League year after year after year. If it was then why not just hand us over the fabled fourth-place trophy at the start of the season? Football is about winning, beating your rivals and coming in first. Wenger has proved he is incapable of doing that and so he should go. No-one is bigger than the club.
If anyone is the stupid one, it’s not those with the banner.
…Was going to write a long e-mail backing up those Arsenal supporters who want more for their club than Arsene is seemingly either willing or able to provide but as a Liverpool supporter I thought I would leave it to them.
Suffice to say that the argument that they should be happy with their lot because they are ‘always in the Champions League/top four’ is not good enough.
Would you be happy if for the last 19 years your parents guaranteed to take you to Disneyland every year but only allowed you to go on ‘It’s a Smallworld’ rather than just once going on Space Mountain.
Martin, LFC (thought Bilic, Ranieri, Pochettino etc had done away with the ‘better the devil you know’ argument)
What’s good for the goose…
I just read a mailbox full of people lambasting Arsenal fans for unveiling a banner asking Wenger to leave. Lots of snide remarks.
When Liverpool or Newcastle fans protest in the street and give babbling, incomprehensible interviews outside the ground to Sky or the BBC, they are hailed (or rather hail themselves) as being the last outpost of true fandom in the Premier League. Back-slaps all round. Their grumbling starts after a few bad performances and after a few months this has grown into a full-blown revolution.
Arsenal fans, on the other hand, have had ten years of the same misgivings. TEN YEARS. After ten years, many passionate fans at other clubs would have ransacked the stadium, crucified the players, and raised their owner’s homes to the ground.
Maybe there is a degree of being spoilt, part of which is to Wenger’s credit for having repositioned the club’s and fans’ ambitions towards success. That said, Wenger has failed his own high standards for ten years and therefore the fans are entitled for voicing their opinions. (And all this set against sky-rocketing ticket prices and operating profit at the club)
Alexander Tovey, Gooner
No other club is like Arsenal…
I wanted to talk about the banner at the Arsenal match before the subject gets too boring (too late?).
First of all, I personally don’t like it. But, I 100% understand why it’s there. I see other fans calling Arsenal supporters spoilt brats. In some cases they’re right. Social media shows Arsenal supporters in a really bad light. Certainly not the support I’ve got to know over the last two decades going to matches regularly.
But what other fans need to understand is Arsenal’s situation is unique. In the recent era, only Man Utd have had such a long-term manager in the top league so there is a lot of people who only know Wenger Arsenal and don’t know any different.
I have given him the benefit of the doubt many times. I do believe he was severely hamstrung trying put and keep a squad together in the years after moving into the Emirates. I also believe that players were destabilised by other clubs who could offer a lot more money. In the 07/08 season, we looked amazing and should have won the league but for a number of reasons we didn’t even finish second. Yet that team instantly lost key players. Hleb retired at Barcelona, Flamini took the Bosman to Milan, Adebayor only ended up staying after flirting with Real Madrid and Milan, Fabregas was talking with Barcelona (which would happen every window until he left). So in those situations I do give him the benefit of the doubt.
However, what can’t be excused are the pathetic displays against the worst Chelsea and Man Utd teams in recent times, the inability to add to a squad sufficiently which hadn’t even challenged the league previously. While I understand Man Utd and new rich teams taking over us in the league while we pay off the stadium debt, why did that mean we couldn’t win a cup? It took nine years to win the FA Cup! In that time, Wigan, Portsmouth, Swansea, Birmingham (sigh), and Tottenham all won one of the cups. If we knew we were aiming for 4th we should have put a lot of effort into winning a cup. And some of the teams we were knocked out by…
He deserves criticism, there’s no doubt. I don’t trust the board to replace him with anyone decent as it happens and while he’s manager I will stand by him but I fear he’s losing his touch. His comments recently sound like a man who’s fed up. I hope he turns it around. But if he can’t win the league in the same year as Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea all have bad seasons, I think he needs to go. That’s no disrespect to Leicester or Spurs (weird saying that) but there’s no way this team shouldn’t be walking the league with the rest so poor. But we are still in with a chance of winning the double. So the banner needs to stay hidden until we are no longer in with a chance.
Dave (Arsenal) Herts
Roma may have lost last night (undeservedly, somebody is going to absolutely hammer that Madrid team in the CL. Zidane has revived the imbalance and defensive frailties of the Galacticos in gloriously nostalgic fashion), but the ovation given to Totti when he came on was wonderful.
He may well have played on a year too long, and was probably never quite as good as his fans would maintain. But we’re currently witnessing the denouement to the career of the last truly great player from the late-90s and early to mid-‘00s. There are perishingly few elite players born between the early ‘70s and late ‘70s still playing at a reasonable level (apart from Wes Brown, obviously), and it may just be that they were the generation whose peak coincided with my teenage years, but the passing of the Zidane, Totti, Nesta, Giggs, Scholes, Raul, Xavi, Zanetti et al. generation is a cause for deep mourning.
There have been more prolific strikers than Totti, and strikers who have won more, but few strikers have scored more beautiful goals than Totti, and none have embodied the kind of loyalty to a club that fans show in the same way.
More Villa player chat
Must say, I agree with fellow AVFC self-flagellator pretty much word for word on which Villa players should stay and who has actually made at least a fleck of contribution in this John Carpenter-inspired season. For Gana and Veretout to emerge from the barely beating heart of that Villa team makes you almost intrigued to see what they would like in a functioning Villa side in the Championship. I do, however, see Gana popping off on loan for a season, along with Ayew who James also mentioned and who I, not long ago, was bigging up as Villa’s best player this season. That red card against West Ham really did put paid to any sort of form since, unfortunately. Seems to have an eye on the nearest claret and blue exit now.
A couple more players that would probably do a job at Championship level are Mark Bunn and Leandro Bacuna, although I think the latter might also exit stage left, also, once the season is over. Other than that, Ciaran Clark could probably do with a few games on a Championship bench to realise that perhaps he has knot lived up to early potential and that he should try and bring forward his inevitable move to either Bolton or Sheffield United where you will see him from time to time on the FA Cup highlits show and go, ‘Jesus. Him.’. Jolean Lescott can f**k as far off as he can. Seeing him wearing the captains armband the past few weeks has been a low point of what’s been one constant low point since August. He’s no more a Villa fan than Piers Morgan is an Arsenal fan.
Last word on the playing personnel to the two other local lads, Gabby and Young Jack Grealish. I genuinely believe Agbonlahor has something still to offer. You see the state of some Championship pitches oncre the harx , wet winter kicks in and you can’t help but think Gabby is the ideal man to give the groundsman a hand when the pitch at Villa Park which has been immaculate for the past 20 years inexplicably turns into a potato patch come late October. And Jack? Ahhh, Jack… You f**ked up, kid. A disaster of a season that you could have at least established yourself as an international player for Ireland and finished off with a first major international tournament will just go down as a disaster of a season and nothing else. One whose poor form is only matched by poor off field behaviour and even poorer form. Massive season ahead next year for Jack. Just in the absolutely opposite way that he would have thought. As long as the agent is happy with ‘maximum potential earnings’, though. Eh, Jack?
Kevin Walsh, Luimneach
Mailbox: In response to…
– Man City and in particular, their fans, are still liked by other supporters because they have yet to reach the point of success saturation that Chelsea, Manchester United and to a lesser extent, Liverpool and Arsenal have. Taken as a snapshot since the money started rolling in, they are still prone to lapses in concentration, making them a little more unpredictable than the rest of the big teams (e.g. FA Cup Final v Wigan or their inability to get out the group stages of the Champions League, current season excluded). That’s something we lesser beings can wholeheartedly empathise with.
– Re: Andy Race (this mail is in no way a reaction to United’s trophy room having more cobwebs than trophies…again): Leicester’s likeability stems simply from the fact they are not Chelsea, Man United, City, Arsenal or Liverpool; variety being the spice of life and all that. I’d bet that most fans of clubs outside the BPL still watch BPL football regularly alongside their own club. The Monday morning talking points won’t generally be Football League-related (obviously depending on who you converse with). Leicester (and indeed Spurs) are giving everyone something new to talk about besides the usual suspects and as it has been said elsewhere, made the league infinitely more exciting than any previous season. You, as a vested observer may want the same old every season. But sometimes I would rather have a Chicken Sandwich over a Cheeseburger.
– Re: Jamie (See you on Sunday, Spurs, for the next leg of the farewell tour) AVFC asked ‘Who should Villa Keep?’ I think the question will more likely be ‘Will anyone buy from Villa?’ Usually a relegated club will have one or two players that stand out beyond the dross and make sure their potential is exhibited often enough to attract a newly promoted club or better. With Villa it has been a wall to wall omnishambles from the Chairman down this season. So expect a lot of the players who took you down, to be the ones tasked with bringing you back up.
Honestly, good luck.
James F, BCFC KRO.
Real Madrid fans worse than Arsenal’s
After all the talk in the mailbox about the different types of fans and – as a result of the ill-thought-out idea to unveil a negative banner in a thumping 4-0 win – the entitlement of Arsenal fans, it’s worth remembering that they’re nowhere near as bad as Real Madrid fans.
I saw the second leg against Roma on Tuesday, and granted, Real were pretty lacklustre and largely sleepwalked to a routine 2-0 win. That man Ronaldo scored one and assisted the other, and yet still received boos and jeers from his own fans. Why? Well, he missed some chances.
So in the worst of these fans, it doesn’t matter how many you score or assist. If you miss any chances at all, prepare for their vitriol. It’s not unexpected from fans of a club who sack their manager every year (and who sacked Del Bosque after he had won the Champions League), but they made the idiots with the Arsenal banner look positively reasonable.
Are there any fans in world football more entitled an unreasonable than those at the Bernebeu?
Casemiro the key to Real Madrid’s success
Just an observation on Madrid’s current team and where Perez is stifling the team. Madrid are known as the Galacticos for reasons obvious to every football-watching human being on the planet. The club invest in star players and it adds to their commercial appeal. However, is this the best model for building a team of individuals, who the club desire to work as a team and conquer the world? Perhaps it is *pointing to their Champions League winning effort not too long ago* but, can this model for building a team really bring consistent success considering the fact that Madrid are in for the big name players almost every transfer window? This is debatable, and to me, their obsession with playing their big-name midfield players ahead of an arguably better suited player is the issue. A player such as Casemiro is Real Madrid’s only defensive midfielder at the moment and would allow players like Kroos, Modric and Kovacic to venture further forward and create scoring chances, not to mention the Brazilian CDM really is that good!
In spite of this whenever the Clasico (or any big game) comes round you can be sure that Kroos and Modric will be partnered by either Isco or James because Perez needs his star purchases paraded on the pitch, most times to the detriment of the outcome of the game. Kroos and Modric are class players but asking either of them to play a defensive midfield role is wasting their obvious talent with the ball at their feet, not to mention adding to the imbalance of the squad.
To his credit Benitez is the one who recalled Casemiro from his loan spell at Porto and he did give him a good run of games at the beginning of the season when Kroos was injured, games in which Casemiro excelled. Following those performances I even heard Real fans exclaim that “75% of the earth’s surface is covered by water, the other 25% is covered by Casemiro!”. But alas, due to pressure from Perez, Casemiro got the boot as soon as Kroos returned and he has warmed the bench ever since,
A comfortable defensive midfielder behind them may be all Kroos and Modric need to make good on their immense potential as a midfield partnership (depending on the formation). Lets hope Zidane has the balls to defy Perez’s desires of a clearly imbalanced Galactico midfield and play the Brazilian international in the centre as the rule and not just the exception.
Buchule Fulanisi (Very bored at work) East London, RSA
Overheard on the train…
A few weeks ago I got the same train to work as Mrs N. I usually travel solo and have my earphones in so I can block out the noise and conversations that happen on the tube. However, travelling with her means I’m not allowed to have my earphones in (it’s rude, apparently) so no music for me that morning.
As a result, I overheard two lads discussing whether or not Mourinho should be given the Manchester United job. One said to the other that Mourinho should be offered the job because, and I paraphrase here, “United need to start bringing the youth players through and Jose did a great job of developing and using the youth players at Chelsea.” His mate thoroughly agreed with him. I sighed and went back to listening to Mrs N talk about flowers, perfume, make-up, or whatever it was.
I didn’t step in to correct them though. Some people are beyond help.
Nik, Kent Gooner