An Open Message to Newcastle Players

This is a personal message to the Newcastle United players.


Newcastle United Fans – easily the most loyal in the land if not the planet

This is not addressed to every single Newcastle player. Those of you it is addressed to know who you are, and there’s no need to identify the players here.

You are on the brink of letting not only the Newcastle side down, but the Newcastle United Football Club itself.

This is a famous club with a great history. If you don’t know that, we suggest you talk to Bobby Robson, Alan Shearer or Bob Moncur, or any of the thousands of fans close by, and in 15 minutes they’ll tell you with pride and passion what this club is all about.

The fans that support Newcastle United are the most loyal in the land. There’s no doubt about that. Which other club would get a 50,000 home gate after the team have not won in 12 league games and suffered defeat 9 times in the process. That’s not even to mention we haven’t won anything in almost 40 years. Certainly not Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea fans – they’re too used to winning.

You have performed far too many times this season, and especially in the last three months, without the fire and pride we require of all players who play for this club. If it’s one thing fans will not stand for is anything less than 100% commitment. There are two things that make up a performance on the field – skill and commitment. Your skill has been at best around 50% of what you can produce, but your commitment has sometimes been even lower than that.

Skill is the hardest thing to produce in a game, but the Chairman pays you huge wages for the football skill you have. Otherwise the Newcastle wage bill wouldn’t be one of the highest in the Premier League. We are also by the way, the 14th richest club in the world based on revenues (turnover) each season. Of course we are the richest club in the world based on fan support.

However, this season it’s been players’ commitment that has been sadly lacking. That should be 100% every game. If we got any Newcastle fan out of the stands to wear the world famous black and white stripes, their commitment on the field would be 100%. That’s a fact.

Their skill may be 5% or less, but our point is that it’s not hard to produce 100% passion in every single game, if you are really committed. That should be a given for any professional footballer, but that hasn’t been happening in the last 3 months.

You’ve got to give your all against Birmingham City next Monday night, and in every single one of the 8 remaining games after that. That’s an absolute necessity, there are no ifs and buts.

If you can raise your skill level that would be good, and then we may be the team that can register some 4-1, 5-1 and 6-0 victories. Just like the results we’ve given up recently.

If you do manage take our club down, then so be it, but you’ll go down in Newcastle’s long history as the weakest squad of players ever to represent this proud club. Not in terms of skill but in terms of heart, pride guts and spirit.

Of that we can assure you.

So please give 100% effort from now on, and if you do that, the loyal fans of Newcastle United will support you whatever happens, and we surely can survive the season in the Premier League. Then the thousands of Newcastle United fans all over the world can let out a huge sigh of relief.

Then the fans can talk about how we’re going to finish top 6 next season.

Hope springs eternal.

47 comments so far

  • obamagic

    Mar 12, 2008 at 7:12 AM

    Comment #1

    COME ON TOON!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will never lose faith!!!

  • Gun "Indonesian Geordie"

    Mar 12, 2008 at 7:30 AM

    Comment #2

    So true Ed. Hope Keegan still has some smell on training ground to pick the right players. Put just one youngster in the squad, their commitment might affect others positively.

  • Gun "Indonesian Geordie"

    Mar 12, 2008 at 7:37 AM

    Comment #3

    And why the hell should we still look for keepers when we have already got krul, foster, and sodeberg? too young??? huuuhhh. Trust the oldies and we’ll become the next AC MILAN, full of old crabs

  • Crazydave

    Mar 12, 2008 at 7:44 AM

    Comment #4

    Before Keegan picks his team he should go round the players with a Razor blade, and make a small cut , if they dont bleed Black n White – they dont play

  • UTD111

    Mar 12, 2008 at 8:02 AM

    Comment #5

    You’ve put into words what a lot of fans are feeling Ed – well done. We also need the fans to krank it up another few notches at the vital home games coming up

  • AdamCF

    Mar 12, 2008 at 8:05 AM

    Comment #6

    I’d have to say.. yes to the best fans in the world.. and maybe yes to the most fickle.

  • Lucretius

    Mar 12, 2008 at 8:10 AM

    Comment #7

    Well said Ed, this is crunch time. C’mon Lads, dig deep!

  • wsq

    Mar 12, 2008 at 8:17 AM

    Comment #8

    Too many players in this club at the moment that don’t give a damn what happens to it. If players from lesser teams can give their all to beat giants like man united and chelsea, why can’t these crop of players do so. I see a lack of commitment, not confidence. I can’t help but be sceptical of players like MO who know their futures are more or less secure no matter what happens to the club. Could he be bothered to inspire other players to pick up the slack? when there is so much need of so. Players that can seem to perform well are players like Butt and Smith but are they effective?? So many times I’ve seen Butt in the wrong position when he could’ve done his job as a DM breaking up or stopping opponents making BEAUTIFUL but avoidable passes. It’s a regular occurrence opponents making BEAUTIFUL defence splitting passes and that should be enough to tell you something’s wrong there, too many gaps in midfield being exploited. Case in an example the most recent game against liverpool. Can’t help but think Parker could’ve closed them down pretty easily if he was still in Newcastle. We sold our best player. We’ve got one Right winger, that’s it just one! I don’t want to point out whose fault is that again.

    The only reason we could cope last year and the year before was because we always had pace as a hope from the likes of Dyer. Now who have we got to do just that? Whose fault is that again? That bleedin Fat Manager.


    Mar 12, 2008 at 8:39 AM

    Comment #9

    put a stamp on it, sign it with my signature (ELFER, hehe) and then sent this letter over to st. james’ park to let em know what we think!

  • Daz

    Mar 12, 2008 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #10

    Dear oh dear.

    What a load of tosh. You forgot to mention that the players should sing the Bladon Races every night before bed.

    The problem is the players are employees of the club, NOT fans of the club with the exception of Taylor, Shearer etc.

    The bottom line is if you were approached by a rival NUFC fan site and offered a 300% pay rise you’d show as much loyalty as Owen shows NUFC.

    We need to survive until the summer and get rid of Allardyce’s mercenaries (many of whome probably couldn’t have pointed Newcastle out on a map of the UK before they signed for the club), then let Keegan rebuild so hopefully in a few years we have a team of Shearers, Taylors, Beardsleys, Waddles, Carricks etc etc

    Your wasting your breath and your bandwith on the current lot!

  • Callum

    Mar 12, 2008 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #11

    Ed, I’d like to propose a change to that, just a small one, in the following text:

    ‘You’ve got to give your all against Birmingham City next Monday night, and in every single one of the 8 remaining games after that. That’s an absolute necessity, there are no ifs and buts.’

    should be changed to:

    ‘You’ve got to give your all against Birmingham City next Monday night, and in every single one of the 8 remaining games after that. That’s an absolute necessity, there should also be no SMif and butT.’


  • kieran martin

    Mar 12, 2008 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #12

    come on the toon army, lets get behind our fans every single game right til the end. lets make our players feel guilty when they lose and raise them up when there winning………… or on second thoughts……..can we sign shearer from the BBC.

  • Davies

    Mar 12, 2008 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #13

    Thanks Ed. We’re all feeling the pinch. If you posted that to St James’ I’d happily put my signature on it, and A few others beside.

    Wonder if anyone would pay attention….

  • Gun "Indonesian Geordie"

    Mar 12, 2008 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #14

    Seems Keegan is still using his old ways. He never trusts the youth to go on field, that’s why he keeps using the same bollocks every game. Simple message to “the Messiah” (I hope he’ll not ruin that nickname), ALL THOSE BOLLOCKS ALSO CAME FROM YOUTH SYSTEM. SINCE WE HAVE THE GREATEST YOUTH SYSTEM IN A DECADE, WHY NOT TRUST OURS? Fergie trusted his and always does, thats why he’s never out of stocks and he has such great players. Time to change the way you think boss.

  • Mar.k

    Mar 12, 2008 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #15

    Im sure Chris G is Alan Oliver in disguise cos he talks so much sh!te. Its my right to slag the fans as he slags the players. he is a proper prick.

  • Scott

    Mar 12, 2008 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #16

    Play someone like Andy Carroll up front. He is hungry for first team football! Kazenga Lua Lua showed great skill against Stoke and no doubt, he would show great commitment and pride! Bring in the youngsters!

  • Leo

    Mar 12, 2008 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #17

    hear hear, i think this is what they deserved to hear as they have lacked this passion and commitment that they should have every game.

    it costs nothing to try hard

  • valle

    Mar 12, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #18

    I understand the distant hope that makes you write such a message, but i really doubt the players will be reading it… If you want the players to hear all that, go to the club on match days and toss out flyers, or perhaps at training.

  • valle

    Mar 12, 2008 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #19

    Leo… Yes it does, it cost sweat and perhaps even blood… Thats the whole problem with many of our players.

  • steve k

    Mar 12, 2008 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #20

    I have to say Ed, this is extremely tired and clichéd in the extreme. Whenever I hear “blame the players” I switch off. It’s the mantra of the person who doesn’t think.

    Every single football club in the world is responsible for management and recruitment. If you end up with a bunch of players who are not motivated it is always, absolutely always, the fault of one of those two factors.

    Look at Spurs? If you were a Spurs fan you would be making this message out to Berbatov when Jol was in charge. But look at how Ramos has come in and managed him perfectly, returning him to his best form? That’s what good management, recruitment and motivation does.

    When you start this “the players aren’t trying hard enough” you are essentially ignoring the actual problems at the club in place of some quasi-loyal nostalgic emotion. Good management and good organisation and good recruitment is what’s needed at our club. If you want to bury your head in the sand and ignore the disaster that is Mike Ashley and his managerial dealings that’s your prerogative. Those of us who actually want to see the club improve will be sitting firmly on the logic train.

  • Leo

    Mar 12, 2008 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #21

    valle thats a valid opinion, i just think he needed time to adjust to the premiership. he admitted when he signed that he needs to beef up a bit, if we had given him time to do that and become more strong, he would be much better in a tackle, but we got rid…

    Mar.k where is this chris G’s comments? i cant see any by him?

  • Brian

    Mar 12, 2008 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #22

    Steve K

    What a load of TOSH don’t blame the players, are you a tree hugging looney lefty one of the PC brigade don’t blame the rapists and drug dealers they had a poor upbringing… it’s the parents fault.. don’t blame the Players the poor little darling,s only get paid more in a week than I and many of us make in 2 bloody years.

    And you tell me that they are incapable of motivating them selfs, lets make one thing clear, most of this team have performed poorly under many managers, the ones Ed is talking about should hung drawn and quaterd and flung off the Tyne Bridge

  • stjames

    Mar 12, 2008 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #23

    I’m with you ED.

    Skill and commitment is what we need. And a bit of enthusiasm too. Let’s bring on the youngsters. 🙂

  • Gordon

    Mar 12, 2008 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #24

    poor article Ed. Feels like it was written by a whiny teenager.

    The part where you try to manage player and fan skill percentages was ridiculous. Whole thing reads like a stream of consciousness, not a planned argument.

  • Stami

    Mar 12, 2008 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #25

    Steve k

    ABSOLUTE rubbish mate…MA and Co. is the best thing that has happened to this club in a long time! someone who finally put some structure in place and you think this is a bad thing!!!

    As for blaming managment for the players not performing! a manager can only do so much, he cant exactly run out onto the pitch and clip Butt round the ear everytime he stuffs up a pass or stops chasing a ball…that comes from within, by playing with pride and heart, one thing our squad is most definately lacking. the only one that can help now are the players themselves…

    UP THE TOON!!!!!!!


  • steve k

    Mar 12, 2008 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #26

    Stami/Brian: Players like Nicky Butt are indicative of the way Newcastle have been run over recent years. Why is he even at the club? That’s the fault of recruitment. If you blame someone like Alan Smith personally, how do you actually learn something that can be changed and therefore improve Newcastle in the future?

    It’s easy to throw the toys out of the pram and blame the most obvious target. It takes a bit more to try and understand where we’ve gone wrong, and blaming the players is pointless, because it’s Newcastle United and their policies that have assembled them and put them playing.

    Don’t get me wrong, some of the players out there could be trying harder and certainly deserve blame (although my tree-hugging lefty looney side that Brian so brightly pointed out prevents me from saying nasty words such as “TOSH”) but they’re lack of motivation or skill is not really what’s at question. More important is Keegan’s lack of tactical nous, or the disastrous buys from Sam Allardyce and those who sanctioned them. Or the poorly-timed (though completely deserved) sacking of a manager that led us into a relegation dogfight.

    Sure some of the players are pratts but David Bentley was a pratt before Mark Hughes got the best out of him, Craig Bellamy was a pratt before Bobby Robson got the best out of him (and after), Shola Ameobi was useless under anyone except Bobby, Thierry Henry was an average winger before Wenger got his hands on him. Are you seeing a pattern here guys?

  • Brian

    Mar 12, 2008 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #27

    Steve K

    Well Nicky Butt has been one of our better players although in our team thats not saying much.

    There are a couple of great Southern Media myths

    1. Keegan has no tactical Nous, Someone who has been in the game for as long as he has and worked under some of the greatest managers (Shankly) has probably picked up a little bit, after all he is literate has a good brain, so he must have learned something. After all he led us to the top of the league, playing brilliant football. The fact that we finished up second didn’t have anything to do with tactics.

    2. His teams cannot defend. again not true we actually had a pretty good defense and our record under Keegan was probably above average, just check out the stats for that period.

    Are you saying Keegan cannot get the best out of this shower? probably not you are probably correct. That does not make him a poor manager , it just emphasis’s the fact that our players are rubbish and don’t care about the club.

    Strolla is not a footballer he is just a big lad with some potential and a big gob. Similar to a few others we have had…Full of potential how many times have you heard that relating to a NUFC player.. better still how many have gone on to fulfill that potential. ( CLUE None)

  • steve k

    Mar 12, 2008 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #28

    As for Mike Ashley & Co’s. new structures, the jury is out on them and I for one am extremely skeptical given their managerial dealings.

    They took poor timing to a whole new level, none of Freddy’s put us in this real danger of being relegated. And I know I’m in the minority here but despite my affection for Keegan I can only express in the strongest terms how poor an appointment I believe he was (though people have plenty of reason for disagreeing with this). Chris Mort and Mike Ashley are also responsible for the lack of playing talent brought in during the January window. So far they have screwed up big time. There are some signs they may deliver but I for one am skeptical in the extreme.

  • Bosck

    Mar 12, 2008 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #29

    steve k yeah i do see a pattern, mark hughes took a couple of seasons to get the best out of bentley, as did wenger with henry, and to some extent bobby with bellamy.

    and the common factor is that they all signed those players. keegan signed none of the current players aside from the new bloke, and has only had a couple of months working with the squad.

    and this rubbish about keegans tactical nouse is stupid, keegan had the tactics exactly right for 43 minutes against liverpool and simillarly right against united, it was some of the players that bottled it after the first goal each time, the tactics didnt change.

    allardyce was supposed to be the master tactician and he lost 1 and drew one with derby. you think going on those results that allardyce would have produced any better results for us than keegan has so far? under allardyce we gave the bottom table team 4 of the 10 points they’ve achieved all season!!!!!!!!

    where were wengers amazing tactics when man utd and tottenham hammered arsenal in the cups.

    once the players are on that field 99.9% of the responsibility falls to them the manager can tell them what tactics to play, but they have to stick to it.

  • big pea ov the weab

    Mar 12, 2008 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #30

    i also have strong feelings about kevin keegan being brought back i for 1 think any involvment by keegan should of been upstairs not manager keegan has been out for to long the modern game is toataly different to the 1 he was used to back in the day
    dont get me wrong i am eternaly greatfull to kevin for wot he done at this club many years ago but i think his appointment was a wrong move

  • Michael

    Mar 12, 2008 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #31

    While our abitions for this season have washed away, while we lurke precariously above the relegation zone, while hostile lampoons agianst Newcatle united players, fellow toon and managers are a common sight on many a blog, I issue this war cry that I pray, may rouse us all, in our war against relegation.

    That we may hold our heads high; that we will not just procrastinate our descent but halt it, and begin an ascent into the higher echolons of the premier league. That we may fight in unity, fight in support, in spirit and in numbers. That when our beloved Newcastle united walkout onto the pitch in their remaining games this season and see how numerous we are in the stands, they might feel like the gladiators in the Colosseum. We as one, shall ululate a battle cry so worthy of dread and admiration and suppress our opposition into submission.

    Fellow Toon I urge you to not use your verbal arms against one another, but for each other. We are in one of our gravest hours and while divisions manifest, we must be but one.

  • Bosck

    Mar 12, 2008 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #32

    none of freddy’s appointments put us in danger of relegation?!?!? what about gullit, it was only because robson came in and saved the season that we wouldnt have been heading in to worrying territory.

  • Andreas

    Mar 12, 2008 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #33

    steve k:
    “As for Mike Ashley & Co’s. new structures, the jury is out on them and I for one am extremely skeptical given their managerial dealings.

    They took poor timing to a whole new level, none of Freddy’s put us in this real danger of being relegated.”

    Maybe not, Freddy put us in danger of liquidation (ohh, that would have meant relegation too, didn’t think of that…)

    I really hope that we manage to stay up but if we, God forbid, go down we will survive since we’re debt free and hence no risk of us doing a Leeds 2. Moreover, MA would have to stay in order to protect his investment (and for the record, he wouldn’t lose a penny investment wise by us going down, it’s when he decide to sell it’s determined if he make a profit or loss. Note, this is not the same thing as saying it wouldn’t be costly to go down, it sure is, but that is on a operation level – not investment wise).

    If we had gone down under Freddy it would have ment financial melt down. The same for a dramatic change in TV-revenues during the Freddy era.

    Also note that I do not condone everything MA/CM has done, but wiping our debt and starting to build a solid foundation is stuff that would never ever have happend with Freddy at the helm. Aye, bad timing regarding the SA sacking and not great that we didn’t strengthen in January. Still, they (and we) are in a different and better universe compared with the Freddy era (albeit not on the playing field atm – but we’ll see about that when the season is over).

  • big pea ov the weab

    Mar 12, 2008 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #34

    have swallowed a dictonary

  • stk

    Mar 12, 2008 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #35

    its not nice waking up every morning to realise the closest thing you have to a lover is letting you down big time.
    whilst some of ashleys actions have been questioned, the bloke wiped our debt, for that he is a geordie legend by itself.
    chris mort speaks more sense than freddy ever did and i think the boardroom appointments are a sensible and much needed move.
    then we come to the players, they are obvioiusly low on confidence and commitment, but now is the time to pull your finger out, regardless if you are here or not next season, shouldnt even enter into your minds, you should honour than ridiculously fat contract you’re on and play your hearts out.
    and we as fans need to make so much noise for the nxt few games that any team will cruble undr the pressure. regardless of allegiances, opinions etc, we are in as deep a pile of poo as i can ever remember (in the prem anyway) so we should all get behind the lads, grudgingly in some cases, but we all need to pull together

    if the players dont know what it means to commit yourself to nufc, lets show them and be their 12th man!

  • steve k

    Mar 12, 2008 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #36

    re: Andreas. Sure you’re right in what you say about the debt, but I struggle to find why that is relevant. I simply said that they had worse timing than Freddie – so not sure where you got the rest of it from – or presume that I meant they were worse than him. Steady on. Too many presumptions for one day.

  • lee

    Mar 12, 2008 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #37

    r we realy the loylast fans if so how come managers have been sacked bcos of us n r u really tryin 2 tellus were more loyal dan livvapool wen was the last time you heard them boo thier team of the pitch n wot about mike ashley gettin attacked for doing nothing wrong fans saying he is to cheap even though he spent at least 20 mil in the summer n if hed had time would have spent more in january

  • Punk Skunk

    Mar 12, 2008 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #38

    I’m with Michael on this one…



  • Andreas

    Mar 12, 2008 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #39

    Well Steve, you said that Freddys decisions (and the timing of them) never put us in danger of relegation and compared it with the timing of MA/CM – and I interpreted this as you would have prefered Freddy. Moreover, I think you are/were wrong regarding the danger with Freddy since we were in severe danger of liquidation with him at the helm.

    The rest of my comments was to back up my argument that MA/CM is a million times better than Freddy for NUFC in the long run.

  • steve k

    Mar 12, 2008 at 5:35 PM

    Comment #40

    Andreas: Agreed on that. He is better than Freddy. I am just deeply skeptical about some of their judgement, with crime number 1 being the emotional appointment of Keegan.


You must log in to post a comment.