Much has been made of the tests that have or haven’t come Newcastle’s way this term. In fact many have gone so far as to say after every game the next one is our first real test.
Here’s the score. Newcastle are 3rd in the league, flying high with the best defence in the land and showing some of the best team spirit that the Premier League has ever seen.
But, as say all the critics seem to be saying, it can’t be Newcastle that are doing well. It’s because they haven’t played the so called “big three” – Manchester United, Manchester City, and Chelsea. Admittedly these are not easy games in the slightest and they can and will be a test of all our spirit, ability and our rock solid defence.
So many times that term “real test” has been used and to be quite honest it started to get on my nerves. I would say every game in the Premier League is a test but hey, I’m old fashioned. If it each game isn’t a real test then is the Premier League really the most competitive in the world?
Anyway for the first time the critics, both printed media and TV, finally stood up and noticed that Newcastle’s latest big “test” against Stoke was overcome with such professionalism they all became afraid.
What would they do with the backdated articles filled with negative press for the Toon under the customary headings ‘Manager walks out/resigns/given the boot’ or ‘Owner makes a belly of it again’ or ‘Toon humiliated/left in anguish/resigned to failure’. It’s all so easy isn’t it, so predictable and means that the journalists need to use very very little means to produce an article. Now, though, its all changing.
Gone are the days of pages of negative press culminating in pretty much every Toon fan forgoing the sport section for fear of reading our latest disaster on the back page. To be honest this season didn’t start well with the pre-season a bit of a state but since then who can complain? Journalists are writing favourable articles about us, even going as far as to say that we are, and I quote honestly, “a breath of fresh air” at the moment. It has quite simply been refreshing, I am not going to deny that.
It may not last long but the aim of this thread is to simply say lets enjoy it, we deserve it and we’ve waited long enough for it. Our real real tests are still to come but arguably they are not as hard as you may think. In seasons gone by we have fared well against the big four. We’ve fought hard, always been up for it and even though we haven’t got a result we could hold our heads with pride. This season I am sure will be the same.
Here’s the difference – we are actually going to worry them this time! Manchester United are definitely not the team they were; lets not be foolish they are quality but why cant we go to the Theatre Of Dreams, burst their bubble, and get a hard earned draw? It’s been done before…
Why can’t we go to the Etihad Stadium and get beat, which is likely, but why not give it a go? For the record Manchester City are a better away team than home team in my book, but either way they are quality. And then finally Chelsea at home, 52,000 Geordies screaming at our boys urging them on against the porous defence they currently have? Why can’t we take anything from that game?
This is very glass half full but why not? We have upset the odds so far this season. The real tests as many put are not in these three big games but against the likes of Swansea and Norwich teams last year which we dropped points and slipped up.
The real test is keeping everyone fit, making sure all the foreign players survive the winter period and keeping our best players in the January transfer window. Yes we have Everton to contend with first, and yes it will be a tough game, but the three games afterwards aren’t the “real tests” many keep harping on about.
Any Toon fan will tell you to expect the unexpected and at the moment that is exactly what is happening, and for once the unexpected is so positive we can only sit back and thoroughly enjoy it.