Newcastle United: The enemy within

Only a fool would deny that Newcastle United have some of the most passionate and knowledgable supporters in the country. Only the same fools would deny the fact that Newcastle United are serial underachievers who have failed to make any real impact on the Premier League, or any other competition, since the days when Keegan brought an era of excitement and attacking football to the fervent crowds at St James' Park. The reality is however, and some Newcastle fans may not like reading this, that the problems at Newcastle United are actually exacerbated and amplified by the behaviour of the enemy within. We have seen this enemy for many years, the rogue element of 'supporters' who are quick to hold aloft their banners and posters calling for their manager to be sacked. The same 'supporters' who hurl abuse at their manager, who organise marches and protests. They were there in Keegan's era, again when Graeme Souness departed, Glenn Roeder faced the same calls, Chris Hughton too. In fact it has become as predictable an occurrence at Newcastle as the annual failure of the club to to win anything of substance. A solitary win in the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2006, a win that most fans will not even know about or care about, is all that this illustrious club has to show for its efforts in the modern era. A league title that has failed to materialise since the 1926/27 season, and the last of six FA Cup wins in 1955 has left the city with very little to cheer about for too long. So what exactly have the protests and the banners achieved over the barren years? Have they brought any sucess to this football mad city? The answer is a resounding no. Time and time again we have seen the destructive elements force change, but it changes nothing. A club of the stature of Newcastle United needs stability and support through tough times. All clubs face their rough patches but opting for the simple, knee jerk reaction to sack the manager is rarely the answer. Quite frankly, people are fed up of the circus at Newcastle United, these so called fans are serving only to make a laughing stock of their club. It is likely that Pardew will soon be on his way, but the list of likely replacements is small. Moyes? Shearer? are these really any better? There are deeper rooted problems at Newcastle...not at the managerial level. Pardew is a perfectly capable manager. Change for the sake of change is not what the Magpies need if they are to fly again. A change of mentality amongst the small, but vocal, element of destructive fans is, however, a must. (BM)

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