No matter how hard you try…..

An unhappy clown.... Just like me.

An unhappy clown.... Just like me.
Hi there. My name is Simon although I generally use the name Toonsy when I adopt my internet persona.

There is nothing to it and it’s merely a cross between my name (only my Mother calls me Simon when she is cross) and one of the nicknames of my beloved team. Toon for Newcastle United and Sy for, well, Simon.

Maybe it’s the Jaegerbombs that have prompted this, or maybe it’s an underlying feeling that I’ve had for a while. Who knows? What I do know is that there are a few facts that I’d like to get off my chest.

I’ll be honest, this article was partly prompted by a guy who regularly posts on here under the name of AndrewT. He provided a link to another website which looked at the tactical setup for the Wolves game.

Now I must really stress at this point that I have nothing against anyone posting links to other sites. Those who are regulars will know that in fact I actively encourage such things. This is, after all, a community where we exchange views, ideas and opinions, which is contrary to what some bitter people who I’ve had conflicts with in the past will have you believe…

Anyway, getting back on point. AndrewT’s link struck a chord with me. It made me wonder whether or not we offered enough as a site. I asked the question and he responded with a resounding “yes” which is fair enough. However I was left feeling disheartened despite the vote of confidence.

I was disheartened because this place was set up with the goal of being something original, something different, something that offered original thoughts to the general goings on at NUFC. To the best of my knowledge we’ve always offered that and it’s something that I’ve always drummed into anyone that has shown a willingness to write for the site. Ask them and they will confirm this.

Maybe I was wrong? Maybe bespoke NUFC articles featuring real thoughts from fans who attend games is the wrong way to go? Perhaps every bit of news repackaged would prove to be more popular with folk?

This is not me saying that the site is dead. Never. A great way to gauge that is by the amount of comments we receive and, quite frankly, we are up there as one of the busiest in that particular area. What I really want to know is what people really want. Do we at persist with our original aim, or do we get lazy and just rehash news every now and again?

Please help me because I’m becoming really disillusioned with having a team of writers spend their time thinking up original topics and different angles only to see rehashed news stories with little thought for readers dominate the headlines.

This place has always been about you guys, the readers, as it is you who makes the site. I may be dyslexic and I may not write the most lyrically spellbinding stuff, but everything I, and my team of match going writers publish, is straight from the heart.

I’ll probably take some flack for this, but if I don’t ask the question boldly and honesty, how will I ever know the answer to what makes your particular boat float?

Then again, I could have just covered an article in the paper instead of pouring my heart out….

66 thoughts on “No matter how hard you try…..

  1. Hi Toonsy, or Simon, or Sy, or whatever. Long time reader but first time poster.

    I just want to say that I think this place is head and shoulders above any of the other blogs out there. I used to read the one you used to write for (.org was it?) but never really commented. A bit like now really I guess haha

    Anyway I just wanted to say that you should keep going. I don’t really know if you’ve thought about jacking it in but I do know that you have a baby on the way and maybe priorities change but it would be a shame for this place to lose its identity. Some people may not like it but so what? As long as there are people who do like it then it’s worthwhile in my book.

    Chin up Simon. Oops I mean Toonsy 😀


  2. Allan you just caught me before I head off to be lol.

    Cheers for the words mate. Really appreciated. Just feels like I’m pissing against the wind sometimes and that perhaps I could follow an easier route. Never been my way though but I do like a grumble now and again!

    Hopefully we’ll see you comment more from now on maybe? Have a goodun 🙂


  3. This site is fine as it is 😉
    The articles over here are original and insightful. Perhaps you could incorporate more stats in articles.


  4. Oh and it’d be awesome if you guys could interview Haris Vuckic for the site! Try contacting him through facebook


  5. Hi Toonsy, you may be pissing in the wind but those of us way out in the nether regions who share your love and passion for the Toon sure love this blog and reading just about everything you and the others post. However, I can understand that there’s only so much to write about when we’re sitting fairly pretty at 4th spot in the Premiership and when not too much else is happening and, for a very welcome change, with very little to grumble about. Anyway, please keep it up!


  6. Toonsy: by far the best nufc blog and you and your team are doing amazing work. I look forward to most articles posted and value your point of view. What I do like the best though is the general positive attitude of the writers and those who comment. Negativity does no good for anyone and I like the fact that you and the readers are generally positive.

    Keep your style and positive outlook on life. We all need it.


  7. Toonsy, please know that I hold this blog in the absolute highest regard!

    I only linked to the other site for a bit of extra tactic talk, or insight into how wolves play right now.

    As a Toon fan in America, this site has been huge in gauging the opinions and insight of local fans and those around the world. I’m able to get a broader understanding of Toon related topics and just keep up the best with the goings on of our Newcastle United.

    Can’t wait for the pre match threads tomorrow!


  8. it’s funny you’ve come up with this article. for the last week are so i’ve been wondering how you come up with so many great topics and articles. it most be hard work thinking them up when there’s very litte to write about, but i most say, this is best writing blog i’ve been on. i think when a blog writes every bit of news every day, they will get more followers because us fans want to know all the news. but the article get very much repeated and gets a bit boring, where this blog brings a lot of different topics and is a better read.


  9. I assume you are talking about Ed’s site when you say rehashing the headlines? That site is not bad, but people seem to put a bit more thought into how they repond on here (of course people will always get a bit wacky now and then, but that is OK too).

    I live in Chicago and appreciate what you do to keep me informed of what is happening at home. It is funny to see the mood swings when Newcastle win and when they lose.

    The blog you were referring to about having the tactics etc. have a good article on Wolves. I don’t follow their team so it was useful to see where the threats and weaknesses might be. However, just because someone else writes something good, doesn’t mean it is not good on here.

    If you have the time, I would keep it up. You have been through the pain of some recent bad NUFC years and you never know we might get rewarded with some good football.

    P.S. The drink is notorious for putting us all in a sad clown state now and again.


  10. toonsy,

    im 19, originally from durham, but have lived in new zealand since i was two.
    ive supported newcastle all me life and am a constant reader of your blogs.

    point is your site keeps me update halfway across the world keep doing what your doing



  11. Toonsy, whilst this is the first time that I have commented on any blog, it feels like I have been visiting your particular blog for an eternity. When I visit your blog, I am always confident in my belief that you will provide a series of informed and insightful comments, concerning the boys in black and white. Indeed, whilst other website may place a greater emphasis on quotations, from other reputable sources, I believe that you provide a greater insight into life at Newcastle United, by placing a greater emphasis on your own nous and knowledge of the club. As a teacher in the Middle East, your efforts are very much appreciated, as you enable be to keep my finger on the Gallowgate pulse. Therefore, in short, thank you for your blog and keep up the good work.


  12. I have said this before and I will say it again …I beleive you are the best blogmaster among all Toon blogs mate. And your positive, down to earth reports are always enjoyed by me. It was a pleasure writing whatever small articles I could for you and I dont think any other blog would give the readers a chance to write stuff. Keep your chin up mate cause you are doing a fantastic job. 😀


  13. Toonsy, this is the only blog I read regularly, and even scramble to keep up with. Best by miles, don’t change a thing! All the writers do a great job and I’m sure will pitch in when the baby comes… although I have the feeling nothing will stop you still banging out articles too… which is great because I enjoy your articles, which are generally very thoughtful and balanced. 😀

    Must admit I do look at the leazes terrace one sometimes too…. I think it is more of a specialist tactical blog, which does a good job and has its own niche…. there’s room for both, and you can’t be all things to all people all of the time. But this place is definitely the default go-to spot for all things Toon, so thank you for all the work you’ve put in!!!


  14. Personally Sy, I don’t see why you’d want to be like all the other blogs out there, just rehashing information that someone else has previously rehashed, it’s boring & a complete waste of time reading, at least this blog has new, unread opinions & information from different posters & that in itself is a big plus in my book…

    As I always say ‘Don’t be a sheep, be a Sheppard, don’t follow the pack, let them follow you!!!’…..

    We have so many blogs already that just rehash other stories, keep it as it is fella, I may not post on here or the forum that often but I do read them all 😉 I’m a bit like you I suppose, I got a little fed-up reading the same negative posts & decided instead of arguing it out all the time, I’d just leave the negative posters to their own devices… now it seems more & more fans are starting to see the positive side of our summer transfers & more & more are starting to post positive comments, starting to enjoy watching the team again & the longer we have this positive feeliing, the better it will be for us all…

    All the best with the new addition, I’m lucky, my 2 are in their late teens now, so believe me, it does get easier.. 😆 😆


  15. Hi Mate, keep going I love this site. I also like the variety that comes from skimming through other sites, each has it’s own identity. Whether that is the tactical analysis, regurgitated news, all the ticketing stuff etc. However this is the only site with good debate. The articles are good, but for me they provide a platform for debate. Please don’t try to become all things to all men, and keep the lion-tamers hat on. Keep rejecting my articles, and you won’t go far wrong. All the best and good luck with the family.


  16. Howay man Toonsy – I think most of us check oot the other NUFC sites out there… but it doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate what u do too. For example, leazesterrace is canny for pre and post game tactical analysis (tho they do seem to rate Gosling too highly, haha)

    As fas as rehashes go, the fewer the better. I think the strength of your site is in the threads and the debates provoked within

    Generally the standard of articles on this site is ok, in fact your own content is probably the best of all your writers IMO. Personally, I’m a big fan of statistical stuff and I know from previous reading that this is an area u have some expertise in so…. more stat based articles would be cool!

    Keep up the good work!


  17. Hi Toonsy, I’m a 41 year old Scotsman with Geordie parents and live in Wales, totally messed up I know! I always look forward to reading your blogs, very entertaining and informative keep up the good work.


  18. Hey Toonsy, this site is the best man! Sorry to go off point here a bit, but in South Africa that rehashed old blab is REALLY all you get…even on current political etc goings on, you can go to ten sites and read ten newspapers and only the wording will differ. This site offers great views on the club and everything that newsworthy that falls under its banner.

    LONG MAY IT CONTINUE! (along with NUFC’s recent form and spirit)


  19. Toonsy, I’ve been a regular reader of your site since it started and I have to say it is excellent! It is the first site I log on to everyday to get the latest news and gossip on NUFC. You are doing a great job and I appreciate the time and effort you put into this site. Keep up the good work!


  20. if i want a rehash of news i’d just goto eds blog, i prefer this blog for the fact its not just a rehash of newsnow
    enjoyed andrewt’s link tho, surely you dont want to be a one stop shop


  21. Morning all. Just to clarify, I never meant that nobody should go on any other site ever. What I meant was like kind of what parts could I incorporate from other sites. Like so far more stats has mentioned, that kind of thing 🙂


  22. Stevep – Not so much a one stop shop, but if there is an area I’m missing out on where we could improve on then why not?


  23. Toonsy, if I knew you I’d give you a cuddle!

    I only signed up to the blog a few weeks ago and it’s everything anyone could expect from a blog.

    Not to ‘slag off’ any othe blogs but they seem rather cheap in comparison to

    I used to work for a little known company called ‘Apple’ and I had a lot of input into web page design (although this is not what I’m trained in) and this blog comes across as slick (although down to earth) and modern (although nostalgic) and there isn’t as many charvers on here as other places.

    As Newcastle fans we need a bit of nostalgia as we’ve won sweet FA in recent… and not-so-recent years. 😕

    With regard to re-hashing old news – I don’t particularly find it re-hashing it’s just that different writers have different view points and that’s a good thing. Let’s face it you (plural )have to be an opinionated bastard to write a blog anyway and that makes for good reading at least with a blog as opposed to a newspaper you can’t just make stuff up.

    I get my link to this sight from ‘newsnow’ as i guess a lot of people do and occasionally I have a look at what other premiership clubs are doing. Answer? Nothing! Or very close to it! Even when they have a blog they only have a few comments that readers have made where as this and other toon blogs usually creep towards 100! What does that tell you? Well it shows me the passion that us fans have for the club. I’m at work right now at my desk, people think I’m typing away, working. But no I’m titting around on a blog. Because I like to voice my opinion with all the other bloggers.

    Our passion.

    That’s just one reason to keep cracking on with the good work.


  24. Also Pardew has come out licking a bit of Tevez bumhole, maybe a good idea for a page would be if we’d have him (not that we could afford him) but if we could….


  25. Toonsy…comment numbers on the mobile view would be a good bloody start! 😉

    In all seriousness by far the best nufc blog around. The main reasons are…you, the writers & the contributors. Good articles all round, broad range, differing perspectives….it’s all good!

    You can’t be all things to all people. Stick to your vision for this blog….its working!


  26. I’d take Tevez the player, no problem. Tevez the man though is a different kettle of fish. Souness actually nailed it when he called him a bad apple. I don’t think we are good enough to carry players like him. Not at the moment anyway.


  27. Toonsy man. This site is legen-wait for it-dary!! Love to read the articles and the discussion that follows. If people like news or wants to talk in lenght about that or something else you’ve already set up a good forum, do maybe you need to advertise a bit for the forum??

    Anyway this site is the best around and there is almost activity on here every hour of the day. Touren doing hell of a job!!!


  28. Toonsy – I believe Tevez is better suited to
    Being the main man at a smaller less ridiculous club. I always think of what Maradona did for Napoli compared to his time at Barca. City have become a shallow pool of plss.


  29. Toonsy,

    We could have a football wag of the week, remember Ed’s… ha ha ha.

    Said before, by far the best blog out their, so don’t ever get disheartened, you are clearly a perfectionist. But its great to always look to improve. I’ll get on thinking about ideas.


  30. That leads me to Souness, it’s a shame he didn’t do better at Newcastle because I really rate him as a manager. He just didn’t suit us.

    Totally agree with his bad apple comments and his ‘man on the street’ comments. Money has ruined a lot of the game.

    By the way Toonsy … jaegerbombs in the early hours, write an article and then up witht the larks to read and make comments… You are an animal!

    School night as well.


  31. @toonsy

    Negatives –
    the nighty night social club 😆 😳
    You can be very moody, one extreme to the other depending on the time of day 😯
    Too many threats to push the ban button 😯

    Very busy site and always someone kicking about 😆
    Interesting articles 😉
    Best site by far 😉
    Small touches like emoticons 😛

    Keep it up. Doing a fantastic job. 😉


  32. Toonsy the good thing about this site is the way you and others won’t take bullying of commenter’s by others. Often when reading the ronnygill comments anyone who doesn’t follow the herd mentality is reviled and whilst it is only cyberspace and your not really under threat of physical abuse it makes sensible debate a bit pointless if all you get is knuckle draggers throwing vile abuse back simply because you have the audacity to go against their ingrained blinkered views on toon shenanigans ….keep up the good work


  33. The thing is, Toonsy, you provide the opportunity to write articles. Meaning the scope of discussion could be literally anything.


  34. Toonsy… Man up and dont go all soft or naffed off with your blog. It’s great. I hear you though and will think on what you have daid about diversifying and if I can think of anything at all I will throw my input in.


  35. Toonsy personally i think this site is great and gets me through long nightshifts when am working months away from home so thanks for that :).

    Toon news is good but we can read that in a paper (which is normally bullshit half the time tbh) its the original articles and fellow supporters thoughts and opinions that set this site head and shoulders above the rest. Keep up the good work.


  36. Deepak

    “I beleive you are the best blogmaster among all Toon blogs mate”

    Surely a typo and you meant bogmaster? 😆



  37. Toonsy stick to what you’s are doing now mate, if it ain’t broke you dont fix it.
    Troy it only really seems to be you that Toonsy gets moody with, so maybe that says more about you than him, as for the ‘ nighty night club ‘ I often think that that its a good think that bloggers feel as if they can talk to other about anything. It cant be about footie 24-7 without getting on to something else, as there is times when there isn’t much footie talk left as what little there was has been done to death, so what do you do then ?


  38. Toonsy, mate ..

    I posted a suggestion for an article about players from the Championship we might have a closer look at to you during the summer. Much to my surprise you posted it as an article almost instantly, which in all honesty sent me over the moon.
    I think the fact, that anyone who really has the passion to contribute something about our club in writing, actually gets the opportunity on your blog, attracts exactly the kind of people you were looking for in the first place.
    I think you shouldn’t change a thing about the way you and your writers do things on here. If you are interrested in having more tactics talk or statistics, why not put word out there, that you would welcome guest-writers to contribute with that kind of articles? Some of us may have understood so much, but maybe some people aren’t aware, that they can actually get a shot at writing their own article on this blog. Judging from the discussions on here, there are plenty of people, who have a good hold of putting their oppinions into proper writing.
    If you are looking for more contributions to let’s say share the burden, put out an article with an invitation ..

    To round things up – I enjoy this blog very much, and it is honestly the first website I go on, everytime I turn on the laptop ..

    Cheers, buddy


  39. Hey toonsy, mentioned before when you talked about packing it in how much i appreciate the site, it really is the standard bearer for blogs now 😉

    As for the direction, i agree that a few more stats etc would be interesting but i think you can have too much of that as well and it starts to lose meaning so keep the same formula thats working so well. Love the interviews in particluar (Marktoon and Jobey is it?) get questions and answers specifically for the fans from youth players and fans of other teams that you don’t get anywhere else and are really relevant and current. 😛


  40. Hi Simon, Sy Toonsy, we do have the best name going dont we!! Anyway, just wanted to say without doubt this is the best blog of the lot. I started of on Ed’s a few years back, but when it went down I moved onto .org, but started getting sick, only good articles were written by you. As soon as I came across this one via Ed’s (sure it was Batty posting under some other name on there) never been away.
    Only problem I have and it will be down to me is, my iPhone (sorry to say it as I know you hate the A word) will only pick it up if its linked into wifi. Be down to me I know and will check it out. Anyway, no reason for me to use any other blog, this one is number 1 of all Newcastle blogs. Thanks for it and keep it up


  41. I remember Batty doing that. I did ask him not to and he stopped when I asked him to 😆

    I remember somebody replying by threatening that he would take this place out of action. We’re still here is all I’ll say on that one 😆


  42. Toonsy – I use a number of football blogs (only this one for Newcastle) and they sometimes use articles from other blogs with full credit to the original writer/blog and obviously with their permission. Building a relationship with other like minded blogs/sites would be a great next step. Not just with the fellas at LeazesTerrace but what about blogs from opposition teams etc


  43. If you download another browser (safari is limited) you can access all features of all websites but flash items. I had to do thus on my iPhone


  44. Just read this article Toonsy and as someome who, to be honest, doesnt post that much but reads every article up here, Id like to agree with the positive comments you have had.

    This is a bit different, its honest as you seem to aim to be, which is key, and although it is full of banter, it feels genuine and not full of hollier (that how you spell it?!) than thow wankers shouting that we are playing 4-2-3-1 not 4-3-2-1 and then putting links to Johnathon Wilson and clips from Holland circa 1974. Plenty of places do that, this is for fans and is the first place I check now for Toon news. Shamefully enough it used to be ICNewcastle! I also read a few other sites but rest assured you dont need to don the make up and cry! Its sunny! Lets all go for a beer at 5!

    Keep it up



  45. The bit you say about re-hashed news, Of course the news is going to be re-hashed in some way as that’s what’s current and everyone wants to speak about what’s happening now. The beauty of this site is that we can send in our own articles and most of your writers have different view points. Like when i had my articles saying didn’t need barton it got a mixed response which is what you want. It’s just like going down the pub with your mates you can’t agree on everything but there is always an oppinion. I don’t know many other sites like this, only one i can think of is one called it’s round and it’s white and has asimilar idea just league wide. Might be worth a look to poach some ideas.


  46. This is the only blog I read these days. If I want a post about every time someone farts at NUFC, with sensational headlines designed to make people visit the site I’ll visit another popular blog. Which I don’t these days 😉

    I like the articles we have here, it’s always good to see well presented and thought out articles that make you think about your own views. Thats not just from you, but the other writers too.

    I vote for no change, and keep up the good work you and the other writers!


  47. You do seem to be a bit bi-polar mind toonsy, wouldn’t worry about your site. Do you know my lass? Haha


  48. Toonsy…this blog is where it’s at. Yourself and the rest of the regular article writers do a great job ! Keep the format exactly as it is, you can see by the interest and number of hits that you have the right format. 😉 😉

    p.s. good to have the Smileys back ! 😆 😆


  49. Toonsy — I’m an expat living in Oz. The things I miss most living out here are the the pubs the football and the crack (the talk not the powder) can’t do much about the first two but your blog goes a long way with the latter – I can get potted news from other sites but it is good to hear the views of people on the ground who actually care about the club getting glory instead of turning a profit keep going you do a great job.


  50. Toonsy, you’re worrying about nowt mate. This site is top notch. A nice steady flow of articles, always honest and to the point, never just regurgitated copy and paste crap from the Chronicle etc.

    You seem to have plenty of willing writers, and not all views come from the same side of the fence. Good, balanced views, and best of all, you allow posters to ramble on about unrelated nonsense, and swear every now and again 😀 ….why not, expletives are real words. As long as they’re not used to bash other posters with.

    I’m clutching at straws here, but if you could get the odd ‘exclusive’ interview with someone at the club that would stand you out even further. Site content wise, I don’t think you need any more. Like you say, the posters make it what it is by just leaving comments. It’s a blog. If I want any other information or stats I’ll drift off to another site, easy. Tiny criticism, I’d make your paragraph return spaces double what they are, but that’s just me being a picky bastard.

    Keep up the fine work mate anyway. Cheers!


  51. Hi Toonsy,

    I read you blog everyday and I I have become disillusioned now that you have reavealed that your name is Simon. Apart from that been loving the interviews with players from both sides of the fence from the Toon kids to women’s football. Lastweeks links to watch the Blackburn game inspired! Watched the match 3 times already which leaves me inspired by the fact we can actually have a great team in the making.

    Neverthless, this is more than a blog it’s a community of which I feel very proud to be apart of where ever I am in the word. Fan’s and players inspire,so keep your eyes peeled and your ear to the ground..Keep blogging!



  52. Hi Toonsy, Toon fan from Malaysia since 1995. Just like any other toon fan, I became the subject of ridicule (why Newcastle???), shared the same heart break and often getting ignored when the ‘top four’ supporter (plastic) discuss about their team chance to win the PL or cup.
    I went to study in the UK twice and the moment that I cherished most is when I got the chance to visit the stadium.

    Just want to tell you that I enjoyed the articles and the comments made me feel part of the toon family, heck I even have certain affinity to Troy. In a city on 2 million people where I live, this blog and the open nature of the contributor makes me feel I am part of the toon community, talking about the team I love.


  53. With the greatest of respect Toonsy, is this some sort of wobble in an attempt to justify posting crap from now on, as it is easier to churn out and maybe attract easy to please readers?

    As everybody has said, there is nothing wrong with the way this site is set out and the mantra instilled throughout the structure of the articles.

    If you take the approach you speak of, you become ‘just another blog’. Nothing new, nothing original, nothing interesting, no interest in visiting the site anymore as it has sold out its soul.

    I’m talking from purely a writing,creativity point of view here. There is nthing wrong with you claiming back your costs via advertising and making yourself a bit of money out of it if possible (you put in the time at the detriment to your personal life in order to provide a service to those that share a passion with you), but don’t start churning out crap and don’t encourage it in your co-writers either. This site will continue to grow in popularity as word spreads about its uniques selling point – thoughtful, well written, original angles on our club. 😉


  54. eeeee worra big girls blouse. 😳 😳
    Giv owa man, divn’t be so bloody soft.
    Ya kna this is the best blog gannin due to its originality.
    We all appreciate the time and effort put in by all the writers, and your good self for setting it up and running it.
    Now then, I hope you feel better having had your ego stroked, lol
    Just carry on doing the excellent work you are doing.
    Cheers bonny lad.


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