Gibson Defends The Loyal Geordies!

Last updated : 16 January 2008 By Footy Mad - Editor
JOHN GIBSON - Evening Chronicle

 EXCUSE me, I'm not a village idiot, arrogant or impatient, suffer from illusions of grandeur, or harbour demands above my
humble station.
I thought I had better mention that because I'm a Geordie and we stand roundly accused across the country.
Those born within our boundaries have become soccer's punchbag, and it has me seething.
All the troubles that are Newcastle United are down to us.
The people, the crowd, the liffle upstarts who want to take over the world.
United are unique because they have
50,000 loyal fans who turn up every home
Premier League game, despite not having
won the championship for 81 years, the FA
Cup for 53 years, the League Cup ever, and
Europe (Fairs Cup) for 39 years.
That isn't impatient, it isn't a demand for instant success, and it doesn't heap pressure on the poor manager. -
Instant success? We should be so lucky!
No, that's loyalty and - all right, if you wish to criticise — stupidity for filling the St James' Park coffers when getting nothing tangible m return.
What would the majority of clubs give to have such supporters behind their team? And support the Geordies do. Of ten blindly, always passionately.
Ninety nine times out of a hundred the faithful, bedecked in their colours, remain firmly in support of players who don't deserve it until the final whistle before, another humiliating defeat experienced, letting their feelings be heard.
The United away fans are usually even more blind, travelling in their thousands despite the dross served up in their name.
Despite timid surrender, humiliation from Derby to Manchester United.
The chants at Wigan on Boxing Day, the faithful having just witnessed a home debacle against Derby and the usual 1-0 defeat at the
JiB, were a cry for help from those repeatedly let down by those they wish to make heroes.
Let us, while we're on, kill stone dead another myth. The supporters didn't sack Sam Allardyce. He sacked himself with a string of shocking results, abysmal, negative performances, and consistently shoddy buying in the transfer market.
If he was helped through the door it was by his own players who didn't perform for him, didn't like his tactics, and whose dressing- room unrest was privately leaked to chairman Chris Mort.
Allardyce took one point out of 15 from the 2-1 home defeat by Reading on October 27 to the 3-1 loss at Blackburn dated December 1, and then on December 23 embarked on another starvation run of one point from 12 with a 2-2 draw home to Derby through till Allardyce's last Premier League match, a 2-0 defeat at St James' Park by Manchester City on January 2.
So all that was down to the fans was it?
Those who consider themselves of n
superior intellect residing in ivory towers in the south see fit to sneer at their country cousins up north and heap all the blame at Geordie doors.
It's our own fault, they gleefully declare.
What the hell do they know? The explayers, Fleet Street hacks, and those with their six pennyworth of funeral oration.
Do they ever cross the 'Ine Bridge these days to witness at first hand what is happening in the name of the best football supporters in this country?
Because that's what Geordies are. We're not the prawn sandwich brigade Roy ICeane talked about at Man U, nor those pampered by delicious football and trophies at Arsenal where it is easy to support sustained success created so beautifully.
Neither, I might add, are the Ibon Army like those who have suddenly discovered their Chelsea blood since Roman Abramovich started buying silverware.
Only the Scousers might rival the, Geordies for local and fervent passion in great numbers hut the expectancy Merseyside is far greater than on Tynesida
As Alan Hansen pointed out, if Allardyce had taken United to third place and a European Cup final as Rafa Benitez did at Liverpool last season he would be Lord Mayor of Newcastle.
Liverpool expect to win the championship. Newcastle don't.
We don't demand instant success. We're content with respectability and hope, unlike the red Scousers brought up on so much more and perhaps thats our problem.
We revere the memory of the Kevin
Keegan days and when Sir Bobby Robson had
Newcastle third, ahead of Chelsea and
Liverpool and in the Champions League.
And those two managers didn't actually win a thing in our name.
It was only five years ago that Robson had the Mags at heady heights, so it is the right of Geordies to ask what on earth has gone so dreadfully wrong since.
They pay for the right to query.
Far from being a poisoned chalice, the Newcastle job is a wonderful opportunity for
the brave and the confident.
Instead of following a manager who has won the lot, like Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger, there is no imposing yardstick against whom to be judged.
The only way is up and even winning the Carling Cup would bring immortality.
If Newcastle United are a joke, sacking managers willy-nilly, winning nowt, getting humiliated at Old 1lafford and across the land, that's not down to those who follow their heart
Magpies are for life, from cradle to the grave, and they tolerate all those outsiders who are merely passing through because they wear the appropriate colours.
From owner and chairman to monager and players they are put on a pedestal and should they deliver, well, they are made for life.
Ask SuperMac and Bob Moncui lbny Green and Los Ferdinand. All non-Geordies revered in these parts.
Ashley wants his own manager which, after spending £220m, is understandable.
Whoever he is — and opinion is definitely
spilt on who is wanted most — they can rest assured that the much maligned and misunderstood fans will come together and welcome him like a conquering hero.
They will stand firm behind him come match days regardless of any private misgivings because that's what Geordies do.
They did it on day one with Graeme Souness and Allardyce, both of whom we knew from the start were not managers to build a dynasty on the principle of good football
And they did it with Glenn Roeder, who always looked a short-term fix — a nice man with his heart in the right place.
Supporters didn't appoint
them nor will they this lime.
The image of Andy Capp with a whippet by his side and a pint in his hand is out-dated — and as wrong — as that of a snarling Geordie spitting blood and hounding some poor soccer manager over the Tyne Bridge on his way to pickup a £6m rake off for being a failure.