Newcastle United are in crisis, and the fallout from Saturdays defeat, the club’s eighth on the trot, continues after defender Mike Williamson strenuously denied manager John Carver's accusation he deliberately got himself sent off during the 3-0 defeat against Leicester.
Since Alan Pardew left at the start of the year Newcastle have gone from mid-table mediocrity to being on the verge of relegation, and it’s hard to see where the next point is going to come from with the team looking so abject and without any significant direction or leadership on, or off, the pitch.
I wrote in my previous article about the club’s status within the game, that they were not the big club that pundits and fans alike talk about. I can’t help wondering if the supporters, who should take some proportion of the blame in this, regret their incessant, troubling and vindictive campaign against former boss, Alan Pardew. The statement, be careful what you wish for, has never sounded louder.
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While I understand their suspicions regarding the owner, Mike Ashley, the fans almost xenophobic dislike of the so called ‘Cockney Mafia’ blinded them to the relative successes of a manager managing a club with two hands tied behind his back, constantly having to sell his star performer, Johan Cabaye the most recent example, and yet still somehow keeping Newcastle’s head above the water, and steering them away from danger.
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There can be no doubt that the Magpies’ current caretaker boss, John Carver, is hewn from the same black and white cloth that the forty odd thousand or so fanatics that turn up to St. James’ every other week bleed from their veins. He is passionate, and a good coach. These two qualities, however, don’t always guarantee cohesion. And at the moment it is harder to think of a worse example of disorganised chaos within football, from the board down to the players.
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Unrealistic expectation is the real problem gripping the club. You can care too much. While well supported, the club does not have the global reach and huge commercial pull of a Manchester United, or even Liverpool, for that matter. The fact that they register a profit is probably the one redeeming letter in Mike Ashley’s owner’s CV.
A good manager was hounded out of a mediocre club, who with greater backing from his ‘friend,’ Ashley, might have achieved something. For now, the Newcastle fans must be left to ponder what they have lost and what might await them in the future. The Championship, not the Champions League, awaits if results do not improve sharply.
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