Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has branded Newcastle fans as ‘boring’ following their away-day performance at Anfield last weekend – criticising the Toon Army for singing inappropriate anti-Liverpool songs that mocked poverty on Merseyside.
Writing in his weekly column for the Liverpool Echo column, Alridge admits that he expected better from NUFC’s travelling support, making reference to some of the ‘sign on’ chants which were sung by Newcastle fans throughout the game, ironically mocking some of the poverty on Merseyside that still exists here in Tyneside.
Here’s what Aldridge has had to say:
“I always listen out for the away fans at Anfield and what songs they sing,”
“And I thought Newcastle supporters were really boring at the weekend. They just kept on with anti-Liverpool songs as a city, the likes of which Anfield has heard many, many, many times before. So boring.
“They were also wondering ‘Where’s your famous atmosphere?’
“Well, the atmosphere is famous because Liverpool are a famous club, with famous players and a famous atmosphere, like it or not. Instead of responding with inevitable chants of “going down”, Liverpool fans instead applauded when Newcastle began singing about their own club and what’s happening with their chairman.
“Reds fans understand that – events at Newcastle aren’t far removed from when we had those two cowboys in charge at Anfield.”
The NUFC fans who travel the country week in week out, singing their hearts out at grounds around England are generally credit to the club, however it seems there was a select few that let us down a little on Saturday – and most fans on social media have tended to agree:
The poor thing, for me, about #nufc fans singing about unemployment in Liverpool is the disregard for Rafa, who holds that city very close.
— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) March 5, 2018
You can’t sing about ‘searching in dustbins for something to eat’ when we’re organising food banks for our own fans. Surely everyone can see what’s wrong with that?
— Phil Hudson (@lovetheturret) March 6, 2018
Proud of the nufc food bank.
Proud of the manager that supports them (and Liverpool's JFT96) so well.
Proud of initiatives like the TF journalists forum that contribute £thousands.
Ashamed of fans singing Tory songs like In Your Slums and Sign On.
— Chris Holt (@bigchrisholt) March 4, 2018
Aldridge then had a pop at Benitez’s approach to the game, suggesting we should’ve had more of a go at them opposed to sitting back and looking for either ‘a point or a narrow defeat’:
“Regardless of what Rafael Benitez said about changing Newcastle’s approach after the break, I’m not on his wavelength,”
“Newcastle did what many others have done coming to Anfield this season by looking to stay deep, defend and walk away with either a point or a narrow defeat.
“That’s the way football has gone, teams are often just too scared to come out and have a go. Look at Chelsea at Manchester City at the weekend, or Manchester United at Anfield earlier this season.
“Football is losing its way in that regard. You have to have a go.”
I agree with Aldridge about the chanting – it’s a bit short sighted to sing about the poverty in Liverpool (a city close to Rafa’s heart) when there’s an NUFC Foodbank ran outside our stadium – however, his comments about our approach to the game are questionable.
So many pundits, ‘experts’ and ex-pros are asking teams to ‘have a go’ and ‘make a game of it’ like there’s nothing to lose, yet they totally lose sight of the fact we’d play right into Liverpool’s hands if we did so.