Now that Joey Barton has departed I think it’s fair to say that any shred of player power has now been removed from the equation at St James’ Park.
Whether or not this was a deliberate tactic is something that will probably never be known, but I have sneaking suspicion it may have been on the cards for a while.
Players come and players go, although at the moment it seems as though we are seeming more players going out than coming in. These aren’t just any players either. They are first-team players who could still be doing a job for us today.
Once again we are left to pick up the pieces after another blow to the fanbase. We’re getting pretty good at it in truth, mainly because we have to be.
It’s worth remembering that whilst we have lost a core of a team that served us well it was thought that a lot of the players were not good enough just 12 months ago. What a difference a year makes.
I remember last season there was a lot of fans who held the opinion that a lot of the players who have now left wouldn’t be good enough to cut it in the Premier League. Andy Carroll had his doubters, As did Kevin Nolan, Jose Enrique and Joey Barton. Most of the squad did in fact, but they got the job done in the end.
This isn’t an article pointing out that people were wrong. I’m not trying to catch anyone out. What I am trying to say is that those doubts last season were dispelled, so what is to say that it won’t happen again?
None of us know what goes on behind closed doors. Nobody knows what relations are like behind the scenes, but going by the mass team celebrations at Scunthorpe the other night I would tend to believe that they aren’t bad. Who is to say that a new team spirit won’t be formed? One where all are equals and is not run by a clique of senior team members? A one where they don’t hold meetings behind the managers back?
It will be interesting to see how the game on Sunday pans out. It’s games like the one we’ll play against Fulham where we let ourselves down repeatedly last season, and that was with the “drive” and “passion” and “grit” of Kevin Nolan, Jose Enrique and Joey Barton in the side. Hopefully it will give us some answers.
We’re unbeaten thus far this season although some have been quick to point out that we’ve not been at our flowing, attacking best. Quite true, but I’d rather win playing poorly than lose playing nicely at this moment in time thank you. Ask Blackpool fans what they would have preferred last season.
Remember when we were in disarray at the start of the Championship season? Remember how this remarkable team spirit was formed in the first place? By scraping through games and getting results, much like we have done at the start of this season.
Maybe this is the start of something new?