Everyone is desperate to comment on Newcastle United and our supporters at the moment, aren’t they?
Gabriel Agbonlahor desperately tried to point out that players would rather move to Brentford because they don’t want to live in Newcastle. He has seen Aston, right?
Everton and Southampton supporters had a fit when our two matches with them were postponed. Even though they’d both had fixtures postponed before we ever did. Because only Newcastle could have an ulterior motive behind postponement, of course.
In October, we were vilified when Steve Bruce finally got the sack. Because the man who guided us to the second-worst 2021 form of all 91 Football League clubs deserved the job, surely.
Prior to that, we were attacked for having expectations that were too high. Because, as we all know, 52,000 fans turning up to watch some of the worst football we’d ever seen under an owner who starved the club for 13 years only cared about being in the Champions League.
We’ve had to deal with misconceptions of us as a fanbase for the entirety of our existence. The vitriol seems to have really ramped up since we were taken over. It’s not necessarily unexpected, but it can be tiring.
That’s why, when someone backs us up, it’s so refreshing.
Isaac Hayden, a huge favourite of mine, came out on a recent podcast and said that we were nowhere near fit enough at the start of the season.
Callum Wilson had already confirmed this and vindicated us, but this feels different. Hayden has always spoken highly of Bruce. He enjoyed their time together at Hull, and he felt so close to him that Bruce was a factor in his decision to stay on Tyneside when it looked like he was about to leave.
Watching that West Ham game, we all saw how paggered the team were in the second half. We knew it was likely that they’d switch off in the second half. We watched our players’ fitness levels decline over the two years Bruce was in charge. We saw the defence regress in a way I’ve never seen before – it was like they’d been replaced by lookalikes. We raised all of this, and we were initially laughed at.
It’s almost like we know what we’re talking about.
The attacks are coming from all sides at the minute. They’re increasing in intensity and in volume. We’re a confident supporter base, and we know what’s right. But may there be many more like Hayden, Wilson, Humphrey and Carragher to really get the message out there.