Our biggest worry when Mike Ashley dropped his latest bomb on Tyneside a week last Monday when he sacked Chris Hughton, was that the club would fall into disarray as it did two years ago.
Kevin Nolan – a terrific captain and leader on Tyneside
The last disputed departure from Newcastle happened in early September of 2008, when Kevin Keegan left the club, and that wasn’t the end of the drama that season.
Newcastle collected just 2 points in our next 6 league games, Joe Kinnear came in and then had to leave with heart problems in mid February, when Chris Hughton took over for a second time as caretaker manager.
And then on April Fools day of 2009, apt timing by Ashley – Alan Shearer was appointed manager for the rest of the season, to the delight of Newcastle fans.
And after all of that – Newcastle were relegated – and it was mainly because of the team performances in the second half of the season in 2009.
After 17 games in our relegation season we had 19 points, just three less than we have right now after 17 games, but the rot started with the Christmas period defeats away at Wigan 2-1, and that Liverpool 5-1 battering on December 28th, which we’ll never forget.
After the Liverpool defeat that was also the time when goalkeeper Shay Given decided he wanted out of Newcastle.
But the amazing game last Saturday afternoon, when Newcastle got another big scalp by defeating what was an in-form Liverpool side, showed just how much better a squad Newcastle have this season than two years ago.
Not perhaps in skill and big name players, but certainly in pride for the club, and in being willing to fight it out for the points, which you could hardly accuse the relegation side of ever showing too much of. After all far too many of them were busy counting their money on Tyneside.
Newcastle are certainly not out of the woods yet, to be sure, but the way the lads have fought in many games this season, suggests we have a more than decent chance of staying up.
And after the experiences of two years ago, the 50,000 crowd that turned up on Saturday, suggests the fans will keep supporting the players – and try not think too much about the current owner of the club – who seems to have been a fans’ nightmare since he arrived 42 months ago.
If we all support the lads on the pitch, and also support the new manager Alan Pardew, who’s made a good start to his his new job, then we’ll not go too far wrong this season.
We salute the players for the way in which they have handled this latest ridiculous situation created by the owner, and the way in which they have helped new manager Alan Pardew come on board since last Thursday
The revered Chris Hughton may have left the club, but the fantastic team spirit he helped to create with the players, is still very much alive on Tyneside.
Howay The Lads!!