Let me first start by saying that this article was inspired by one of our readers, AndrewT.
In truth when it was first suggested it didn’t really “grab” me, but the more I thought about it the more intrigued I became.
In a nutshell he pondered whether or not the club was, to quote a song, “kicking of it’s boots, going back to it’s roots, yeah” with the way things are going at the moment.
After much pondering, there is a case for suggesting that it could well be.
The Cockney Mafia have become famous for all of the wrong reasons at St James’ Park. It’s something I’m not overly keen on, solely because it’s wrong and they aren’t Cockneys, but it was brought about by the bumbling acts of our owner and his propensity to bring in his Southern friends to do various jobs at the club.
How times change though, and while there is a decidedly Gallic flair to Newcastle United these days on the playing front, I do believe that now we are starting to see a new, and I cringe whenever I see these words, but a new “Geordie Nation” take on an even more important role at the club.
John Carver has returned, Peter Beardsley and Steven Stone are coaching at the club they supported as boys. We even have adopted Geordie, Nobby Solano, coming in and coaching the kids when he isn’t playing for the monkey hangers.
These are all people who know about football from their careers, plus they know the area, the club, the fans from being around the place. In short, they know what the score is when it comes to Newcastle.
A look at the first team will only yield Steven Taylor and Shola Ameobi as Geordies, but if you scratch a bit deeper you will see that there is yet more local talent in the reserves, like Michael Richardson and Sammy Ameobi whilst a delve into the youth setup will bring you people like Remi Street and Adam Campbell.
There is a nucleus of local talent at the club, right from top to bottom. They all know what the club is about as they are all fans, even the ones who went and played football elsewhere. I just can’t help but think that it’s a good thing to have a round the place. It gives the players that local connection even if they are French, Argentinian, Italian or whatever.
Not only that but there is a greater sense of pride to see one of your own do well. Now being from the area myself they are all “one of my own”, but even for honorary Geordies dotted throughout the globe it can give a greater sense of pride to see them succeed.
It’s a far cry from a Cockney Mafia these days and instead what we are seeing is a shift in emphasis at the club. There is a balance occurring, at all levels, between getting the right people in to do the jobs on the football side but also getting people in who know the club and can relate to the area, which is nice to see.
Are we heading from the “Cockney Mafia” to the “Geordie Nation” via France?