During Newcastle United’s recent defeat at Watford the fans gave an awful lot of stick to the players. My question is; was it justified and what do the fans hope to achieve?
From what I understand, the Toon Army began the game in good voice and showed support to to the Magpies. But as soon as we went a goal down the atmosphere changed. Steve McClaren suffered chants of; ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ and ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’. The fans generally chanted; ‘we want our money back’ and; ‘we’re sh*t and we’re sick of it’. Florian Thauvin fell over and promptly received chants of; ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’. He was boo’d after several touches of the ball.
Now I am also sick of the regime and the sub standard signings, non signings and complete lack of ambition. The chants alluding to fans being ‘sick of it’ are fair enough.
Only 4% of fans wanted Steve McClaren when we ran our own pole and results were similar elsewhere. Since he signed we have been pretty much been rooted to the bottom three, have crashed out of both cups when we really should have progressed (Watford and Sheffield Wednesday both played below strength sides) and we have now failed to score in 4 games in a row. Not looking good for McClaren. BUT…. We all knew he was not good enough before he came here. So whats the point in directing abuse at him? Is it going to make him perform any better? He is allegedly on the board so we need to be careful we don’t make him spiteful. He is Charnley’s main pick so he will be as close to bullet proof as a manager can get.
Maybe the chants at him will encourage him to resign sooner, but if he walks away he won’t get a top job again – so there is no chance he will walk. He is an optimist and will cling onto the belief that he can turn this around. If we keep directing anger at him, its possible we will unsettle the dressing room even further and make the pressure too great for the team to achieve results.
Thauvin has been a major flop so far. An expensive one that can’t even show enough to get a run in the starting line up. But again, what is booing him and telling him he’s rubbish going to achieve? Is it going to make him step up his game? Not a chance. Look at him. He is all about the fashion and adulation! He clearly needs a cuddle and support to realise his potential. Giving him constant stick will make him crumble. We have to accept that modern footballers (especially ones like him with his tuxedos and perfect hair styles) get their confidence from support. Old school bollockings rarely work any more.
There is a transfer window open and we need to attract good players to the club if we want to avoid relegation. What kind of message do you think the fans at Watford were sending to prospective signings? if I were them, I’d be thinking twice about signings if that the kind of reception I can expect. We have a tough enough job to recruit quality players as it is given our position in the league.
Finally, we pride ourselves on being the best fans in the Country. Fanatical support home and away etc. We always say we don’t necessarily expect the side to win, but we expect effort. Well maybe i’m blind but the last few games our team has shown intent, kept possession well, put in plenty of crosses and has tried to score goals. The defending has improved a lot too. The team is clearly trying, but lacks quality. Thats the board’s fault for years of sub standard signings. We should not be snagging off a team that tries. It makes us look really, really bad and I have seen lots of comments from Watford fans that say we are a disgrace for doing so! It also contradicts the message we usually put across about forgiving anything but lack of effort.
If we want to get a message across, then direct it at those responsible for this mess we find ourselves in – the board, Mike Ashley and Sports Direct. Leave the manager and players alone and sing in unison against the way the club is run. Get your placards out around the stadium against Ashley, Charnley and SD and boycott games.
Make it clear it’s the way the club is run that’s got the fans angry. Don’t take the easy route and blame the cannon fodder that is the cheap players and manager.