Is chasing the Champion’s League what it’s all about these days?

More nights like this? Or a trophy?
Newcastle bowed out of the Capital One cup at the first hurdle the other night after a determined performance against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

United fielded a weakened side against the 2010 winners ahead of a busy programme which sees the Magpies face Reading and Manchester United in the Premier League within the space of eight days, with a visit from Ligue 1 outfit Bordeaux sandwiched in between.

Old Trafford is never the easiest place to visit despite the youthful nature of the home side, while Newcastle’s XI consisted mostly of fringe players interspersed with experience in key areas. While there is no doubt that a number of positives can be drawn from the performance – not least the return to goal scoring form of Papiss Cisse – many Newcastle fans are left with a sense of frustration as the window of opportunity for this particular piece of silverware (a competition we have NEVER won) closes for another season.

Prior to the game, Alan Pardew expressed the need to prioritise in a season where Newcastle would compete in four competitions. The manager made it quite clear that the League Cup ranked lowest in the pecking order, with the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League deemed more important – in that order. Interestingly, Pardew also claimed that Champions League qualification would be ‘like winning a trophy’ for Newcastle this season, spelling out where the clubs priorities lie.

During the last 20 years, Newcastle have endured something of a rollercoaster journey, from the highs of title challenges, Champions League campaigns and FA Cup finals to the lows of relegation, turmoil and missing out on the ultimate goal in football – silverware.

Looking back through the history of the Premier League era, Newcastle fans remember the great goals, the great games, the near misses in the league, the disappointment of the cup finals, the big nights in Europe, the derbies, the comebacks. All are memorable and most are spoken of fondly amongst Newcastle fans. There is however one experience that most fans yearn for, and that is winning something. What does it feel like to win a piece of major silverware? Any fan below the age of 43 would be unable to answer this question.

With hindsight, progression to the 4th round of the League Cup may well have been in vain, with a trip to Stamford Bridge in the offing. Despite the undoubted efforts and will to win of the XI who took the field on Wednesday night however, one cannot shake the feeling that failure to progress is nothing if not an opportunity missed to compete for a major prize.

The arguments of team selection stand true, the arguments of fixture congestion stand true, but to claim that competing for silverware over six rounds of competition is less important than collecting points against Reading at the weekend can be questioned, and should be questioned by Newcastle supporters. Besides entertainment and satisfaction of competing, winning silverware is what this game is all about, not money. Money gained by qualifying for the Champion’s League can transform a club, but it’s not guaranteed to transform a club.

Entertainment in football is provided by good performances on the pitch, and the game against Manchester United was no exception. History and prestige in football is measured by silverware.

By Martin Gibson

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20 thoughts on “Is chasing the Champion’s League what it’s all about these days?

  1. Was disappointing to get knocked out last Wednesday, especially when we fought back in the way we did. I didn’t expect us to get past man u though, even a weakened man u. We can say that we’ll go for the FA cup and the Europa league but we won’t, the focus is, as it has always been, the league. A top 4 finish is the aim and maybe after we secured a consistent spot at the top 4 we’ll go after a trophy properly, not before though.


  2. Winning a trophy would be Marvellous and should be the major target when we have got all the foundations in place.

    Being good enough to make the top 4 and the champions league will lead to being one of the favourites to win a cup so being good enough is the key. However whilst the progress we have made recently is wonderful its just a warm feeling and winning trophies is the habit I want to experience


  3. Good read Martin and a few good points you make. 😉 I really can’t see us making champs lge unless we properly invest in the team, imo this season after last seasons super 5th place finish was the best chance we’ll have for a long time, but we failed to build onto what we had.


  4. Come on Dave, let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water mate 🙂 it’s a bit early to call this season a failure 🙂 you have obviously been hanging out with Richie, who is as negative as they come 🙂 🙂

    Good read tho Martin, CL footy is getting harder to achieve against the Mega spenders but we are heading in the right direction..


  5. AMF come on now mate no picking on dave its against the rules even if hes a needle stabbing swine 😆 😆 :lol:,i agree with him over owlheed and jabba the cookie monster they will spend nowt,they have heaped all the crap onto pardew,like all bloody owners they back-heel everything


  6. Aussie can you please explain where I called this season a failure or even where I said failure ? That comment has made me wonder if Richie was right when he said you were a stupid galah and not a wombat 😀


  7. Ice Aussie believes what he is spoon fed by Jabba,Lambastad and their pr guru lee ryder. His last interview was that there aim is to get european footie yr on yr so to me that is what I have been saying, but when asked what was the aim for this season he says top 8 😯 ❓ so is lambastad that stupid that he thinks that gets you into europe ??


  8. Morning Dave – just a quick one fella. What was the fall out with Tissue and Clint Flick about?

    Bobbed in to see how many are still posting there and found this little beaut from Tissue himself

    ‘”Toonsy’s view on “NUFC MAD!!!”
    ‘Lewki’ wrote at 16:01 on 27 Sep:
    Surely there cannot be many fans unhappy with this. I haven’t even considered a managerial change.
    Toonsy: I’m sure those on are getting suicidal about it right now. They really don’t like him on there B)
    re: Pardew signs new contract
    Toonsy: And as if by magic XD XD XD
    Apparently there signs of him not being up to the job, it’s not a real contract, and a list of successors is being drawn up by the natty idiots XD
    I wonder why the two faced little prick is so obsessed with this site, he just can’t help himself. I think he needs to get out more.”


  9. Stardy im not really sure what happened I can remember that tissue was running Clint down because he wasn’t doing enough to help the blog, (with articles), and I knew he got a bit of stick for his moderate views on the Toon including that Pards was doing a decent job.
    It was round the time that tissue came out with his usual cry for help that the blog would maybe be closing down because he didn’t have enough time to do everything himsel etc etc and wasn’t getting any help from clint.


  10. 3xpoints today and we`re off and running, beat Bordeaux on Thurs, sets us up nicely for Manure.

    Bench: Elliot, Perch,Bigi, Vukic, Amalf,Shola, Sammy.

    Should be enough ❓


  11. Cheers fella – Clint was the only good thing left. Tissue appears to be permanently on the edge of a meltdown. At least we can say we were the first 🙂


  12. Complete and utter pipe dream! The squad just isn’t good enough so why we’re targeting this over winning a trophy is complete tosh!!!


  13. Big Dave, just because I believe in the team we have doesn’t mean I support or believe everything I hear or read from Ashley and Co.. I still don’t get the “failed” bit.. signing extra players doesn’t guarantee anything.. An experienced player from another league could as easily be a flop as a star..


  14. I love how people are talking like if we’d have played a stronger team we would have won the League Cup. I do agree that we have not been good enough in the cups in recent years, but this year I think we were just genuinely unlucky to have drawn Man U away in the third round. Mind you, teams in the past could have draw Crawley at home and still been beaten but I think this team would have been different and if we had got to, say the quarter final, I think Pardew would play a stronger team. It just isn’t worth it at this stage of the season when we have premier league games and at least another 5 Europa League games. We can have a shot at the Capital One Cup every season. We might not get back into Europe for years. I think we should have a real go in Europe.


  15. I notice Danny Guthrie saying he’d love to see us in the CL but he just cannot see it happening with the way the club run the finances. He seems a nice guy with no axe to grind either. He’s about right I suppose too.

    We have such a good first team too which is the dissapointing thing I suppose but I have stopped being bothered about it now to be honest .


  16. Aussie 😆 you really are a hungry hound
    The failed bit is quite straight forward me old bean we failed to strengthened the team 😉 Having sold and lost more players ( in an allready under strength squad, with more games to play )than what we brought in so what bit do you not get ??
    yeah we all know there is no guarantees that players will cut it but I think with the players that Carr had scouted they must have been decent players and im sure he done his homework and was pretty confident they wouldn’t have failed 😉 so going by that there would have been a great chance that they would have added to the team and not been a flop,and gave us a better chance.
    As not strengthening is no guarantee to getting better is it 😀


  17. When we’re healthy I think we are one of the top 6 in the league. Anything can happen as long as you stay in the upper third of the table. A bit of a hot streak and someone else struggles and you can be in the CL hunt like last year


  18. MDS I agree that with our 1st 11 we are a top 6 team but no team gets through a season with their best 11 😉 are we in the top 3rd yet ? 😀 oh and you never said if that “8m for debuchy is a joke” was 8mil euros or pounds ❓


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