Cautiously optimistic?

Hope springs eternal? I borrowed, with permission of course, this article which I seen on a message board as I thought it posed an interesting question. Have a read and see if you agree, or disagree.

On the 24th May, 2009, it seemed like there was no way back for Newcastle United. However, we were proved wrong. In fact, there is an argument for suggesting that relegation was a blessing in disguise.

Since that day, the club has progressed significantly. Relegation allowed us to shift on the finished ‘stars’, the Owen’s and Viduka’s of this world, and allowed us to build a team of hard working players, who play for the shirt and for the fans, not just for the cash.

It has also allowed the players to right some wrongs, not just with the fans of our club, but to the journalists and pundits who had constantly written them off. Look at Joey Barton, Fabricio Coloccini and Kevin Nolan as prime examples. Barton, and rightly so, has be constantly criticised for his wrong-doings off the field. He constantly told us he would deliver but never did. This season, he has been one of our best players, and to be honest I can’t think of a better English midfielder than him on current form.

Fabricio Coloccini came in to a sinking ship in his first season. He was a scapegoat for the media because of his price tag, when in reality I can remember Steven Taylor making just as many clangers, but that doesnt get mentioned because he’s local, much like Henderson at Sunderland. Coloccini is now probably our most important player, certainly our best defender. Just look at last season, the games we lost were when he was absent, he really is an ice cool defender who is starting to look like he was worth every penny.

And Kevin Nolan, 10 goals from midfield half way through the season. If this was Gerrard, Sky Sports would have a tug-a-thon. Nolan gets criticised for his lack of mobility by some, but when doesn’t play we don’t half miss him. He pops up with crucial goals, leads the lads on and off the pitch and has a good relationship with the fans, being honest in interviews and constantly communicating. He’s a proper captain, unlike that money grabbing midget who couldn’t wait to get gone.

We’ve built a good squad, with a young team that we can hopefully be proud of in the future. The clubs intent is clear to see, with 5 year deals being handed to everyone who they want to be a part of the future. We have the likes of Krul, Gosling, Vuckic, Ferguson, Ranger, Kadar, Simpson who are all going to improve as the years go on. Every game provides more and more experience, and I can honestly believe that we can be excited for the future.

Another player who benefited from the relegation was Andy Carroll. If we had stayed up that day, he would have never got a chance. He was 5th in the pecking order, behind Owen, Martins, Viduka and Ameobi, but now Carroll is probably the most promising talent that this region has produced since Alan Shearer. He has almost been symbolic, a real figurehead in our revival. If he can keep on the back pages instead of the front, we’re probably going to have another England number 9 on our hands. Let’s just hope he’s not motivated by the bright lights of London and Manchester, and does what Shearer did before him and lives the dream.

Mike Ashley, although many fans will fail to see, has put this club on a sound, finiancial footing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the bloke, I’ve chanted about the ‘fat cockney barsteward’ as well, but I’d much rather take this approach, keep wages and fees to a minimum, buy youth and develop them, than splash out millions on ageing stars. Yes, they fix the short term, but the long term future is what we really need to focus on, especially in an age where footballers are becoming multi-millionaires.

Obviously, the sacking of Chris Hughton was abysmal. He steadied the ship, kept a real dignified approach when the country was laughing at us, and I for one will be forever grateful for what he done for our club. But he is now, like it or not, history, and his chapter in our history will be fondly rememberd by every fan of this club. Thank you Chris, you truly are a Geordie.

Now I’m 28, I’ve been going to the games since I was 4 and I’ve seen plenty of false dawns, and I understand that this could be one of them. But I can’t help feel genuinely excited for the future. In our first season back in the Premier League, we’re exceeding expectations by sitting in the top half. We’re getting better by the weekend and I think the fans understand that we don’t have to play one touch football every weekend (although I have been impressed by the level of football under Pardew, surprisingly), despite common media misconceptions.

We have two of the top four scorers in the Premier League, we have a midfield enforcer in Tiote that we have lacked for literally years, we have a defence that we do not need to worry about, unlike the past, and we have one of France’s brightest talents on a permanent deal, waiting to come back from injury. I can’t help but think that had Ben Arfa played in the games at home when teams sat back, like Stoke, Fulham, Blackburn etc, he could have won us that type of game. But ah well, that’s all to come.

But with this owner, you never know whats round the corner. Carroll could leave tommorow and Barton next week and we’d be back to square one. It’s just waiting really, but surely even he see’s and understands now?

So is it really a new start, a refreshing sense of dignified optimisim? Or is it yet another false dawn?

63 thoughts on “Cautiously optimistic?

  1. But the does everyone not make mistakes? And has he learned from them?

    I mean if people keep harping on about what has happened in the PAST, I would more than likely not be able to do anything career-wise as I would be called an alocohlic druggie still.

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  2. Poor old Routledge the lads only 26 and he’s moving again! He hoped he would finally settle and make Newcastle his home!

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  3. said it before but I reckon we’re a couple of good signings away from an European place, and part of the credit has to go to Ashley.

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  4. Great artice, I agree very exciting future ahead. We will stay up, and that is all we could of hoped for at the start of the season. The fact we are here now talking so positivly about the future is down the MR Ashley. He has put us on a sound financial footing, we could have so easily gone bust under Fat Freds regime, thank god (Shearer) Mike did not conduct due diligence.

    Not long ago, I honestly used to enjoy the transfer windows more than the actual football. With crazy transfers like Owen, Viduka, Duff etc and overseas talent? like Β£10.6m on Luque (who I put straigt in my fantasy football team by the way) they were crazy times.

    However the commitment and passion expressed by our current team excities me more than any time since Bellers scored that injury time winner against Inter to take us into the Second stage of the Champs league.

    Thank you Mr Ashley. More importantly, Mr Nolan, Harper, Smith & Barton for instilled pride and belif into our beloved team.

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  5. just looking at the league, 9 points off bottom, 9 points off a champions league place haha nuts this season like

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  6. Carroll, Enrique, Tiote, Ben Arfa, Coloccini, Nolan, Barton. I would regard these as our best players and have a average age of 25 but Coloccini will be at the top of his game for a fair few years yet. It all bodes well πŸ˜‰

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  7. We’ve been linked with camoranasi. Aparently stutgart don’t want him and they’ll let him go on a free. Never liked him myself and at 34 would be just a stop gap.

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  8. DAVE happy chappy m8.batty has two asda bags packed ready tee-shirts,shorts to sell when richie gans in march,mans got to make a quid πŸ˜€

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  9. Great article, I’m also cautiously optimistic about our future, but would still like to see some reinforcements to the squad and a few more points in the bag. Then next season we can really kick on…

    Surely MA has learnt and isn’t gonna do anything daft any time soon ! Looking forward to the end of the transfer window so we can concentrate on the job at hand…

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  10. “And Kevin Nolan, 10 goals from midfield half way through the season. If this was Gerrard, Sky Sports would have a tug-a-thon”
    πŸ˜†
    5*

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  11. toonsy i think you will find benarfa did play against stoke m8 , but agree with alot what your saying apart from you wanting too suck ashley off πŸ˜†

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  12. Batty I was thinking that too πŸ˜† I didn’t realize before that Toonsy seemed to have a thing for the fat [email protected], or maybe he just wants to play with his knob πŸ˜†
    Richie it wont be long going in mate πŸ˜‰
    El Toro > If this was Gerrard, Sky Sports would have a tug-a-thon”
    Or Lampard πŸ˜‰

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  13. πŸ˜† dog thought i was alone ,dont know if you read before dog iam starting too like how pardew has us playing m8

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  14. If Nolan ends up with close to 20 goals, do you lads think he’ll be on the epl squad of the year?

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  15. I must admit, I am optimistic aswell. Rightly or wrongly I didn’t think Hughton could take us much further, ok im sure he will survive; he’s a big boy and I hope he gets a good club somewhere.

    Carver coming back today, some have sniffed and said it’s only till the end of the season. Well to me that typifies how the club is being more sensibly run these days and I’m sure it will be extended. Carr seems a great chief scout and Im happy with Pardew, I think he’s gonna get us challenging the top 10 next season. Hopefully players like Tiote, Benny and Carroll will be firing on all cylinders and some more astute signings in the summer.

    What has also pleased me is watching how we outplayed Sunderland for large parts of the game, it wasn’t obivious at all that they were the stable club that had spent the dosh.

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  16. @batty we do seem better managed, even though the first II is about the same. I can’t put my finger on it but it feels a bit more organized than when st hoots was calling the shots.

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  17. I’m too old for this exercising malarkey like…..and ya get much more in a Wilkinsons garden rubble bag πŸ˜‰

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  18. howay dog ive got a chance of collecting on me bet now hughton isnt here too fck it up πŸ˜‰ no tiote no carrol and prince padew has us playing like this 😎

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  19. i wasent but i think he has us playing better footy ,7 points should of been 9 without carrol 😯 who would of thought it 6 games 10 points is decent

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  20. Batty I do think we look as if the players are giving a bit more than before. I did say a while back that CH should make it clear to players that some of the performances wern’t good enough and that he wouldn’t accept it anymore but we did get a few more.
    I dont expect all our players to be top notch but the least I expect is for them to put a full shift in, do that and I will support them πŸ˜‰

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  21. I don’t know what’s worse, Dropping two points in the last minute against the Mackems, or this Big Fat Gypsie Wedding show ??? 😯

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  22. I for one have been feeling very good about the team, even after the CH sacking. That threw me for a loop and disappointed me tremendously, but feel like Pardew has taken the reigns of the club and kept them on a path to progress. Watching Carroll this season has been fun…i mean when it comes down to it, watching a lot of the games has been just plain fun. And while last year felt good…no one can deny it didn’t. It feels even better this year.
    I was confident going into the season we’d do better than 17th…but now I can really see a stay in the top 10.
    I am bummed to see Routledge go…I like him as a player, but I get it. And I wish him the best.
    I am excited to see if Gosling is worth all the summer transfer hype and bother. Can’t wait to see HBA play again, and am just overall enjoying watching these guys do so well for the club. I really feel a continued sense of optimism coming out of January and carrying through to May.

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