Today is almost the two year anniversary of Newcastle’s relegation, when they lost 1-0 at Aston Villa.
Steven Taylor – his career low point was the relegation
During that game the Aston Villa fans were not too sympathetic to the Magpies, and seemed to delight that a club like Newcastle, were on their way down.
Well, the shoe’s on the other foot now, but we’ll not stoop as low as they did on that day, and we would hope a club with a history like Aston Villa’s will stay in the Premier League.
And that’s one definition of compassion – don’t criticize others too much when they are down – because the shoe may be on the other foot in the future.
What goes around comes around, or what you sow you will reap – are a couple of other ways of saying the exact same thing – that’s how life seems to work.
Newcastle fans will now know exactly what Villa fans will be going through at the moment, where relegation is a possibility, if not a probability.
And of course if Newcastle can do the double over Aston Villa today, they will stay just 2 points above the drop zone, with 6 games still to play.
If Aston Villa do go down they will have to unload a load of their top players in the summer, to reduce the wage bill, and it will be a fire sale, and the Aston Villa club will not get the market value of their good players.
Such is the tragedy of relegation from the Premier League.
May 24, 2009 was a sad sad day for the Newcastle club, and even as I write this those terrible memories are flooding back.
Steven Taylor talked about the pain and humiliation that relegation brought to the Toon, and to at least some of our players when it happened:
“Going down was 100 per cent a career low point for me.” “For any player who played that day, I’d say it was probably the same.” “For anyone who was part of the club, it was one of the worst days in Newcastle’s history.”
“I had the last kick in the Premier League. Those last four minutes of the game, I remember looking over at the clock in the corner of the stand and I couldn’t believe we were going to be a Championship side.”
“It was the most emotional I’ve ever been. It kicks in as soon as the final whistle goes – you see the fans in tears. It was a horrible feeling.” “A few people stood up afterwards in the dressing room and said to some others, ‘You don’t know what it means’.”
“But the main thing is, you look at the lads who stuck with it. Look where it has got us now.” “In a way, relegation was the best thing to happen to the club.”
“A few years before then things hadn’t been too good – we’d flirted with relegation for a couple of years.” “But things have now changed. Tthe team spirit was there under Chris Hughton in the Championship as it is now under Alan Pardew. We won’t let it happen again.’’
“On the morning of the game I had a walk around the hotel grounds and Villa supporters were singing, ‘You’re going down’. That wasn’t a particularly nice touch.” “The main thing was we’d had 37 games before that to get ourselves out of the relegation battle and we couldn’t do it.”
“But what the Villa fans said mattered massively to us. Our fans were behind us from the start – even in the warm-up.” “It was a tense day for them. We could hear the fans celebrating because Hull were getting beaten by Man United.”
“You didn’t want to be the one that gave a goal away. It was unfortunate for Damien Duff because Gareth Barry’s shot came off his heel and went in.” “Villa that day? You’d have thought they were the ones fighting relegation! They were chasing us down the wings, creating a lot of chances and we didn’t create any.”
“I think we had one shot on target all day.’’
And that was the disgrace of the Newcastle players that day, that in such a crucial game for the Newcastle club, most of them looked like they couldn’t care less.
And that’s one huge reason if players want to leave the club for pastures anew in the summer – let them go.
Just make sure we get a huge fee for them, and then we can bring in players who will be proud to wear the famous black and white stripes of Newcastle, and really want to be on Tyneside.
And to think I managed to do this piece without even mentioning the poster boy of our relegation – Michael Owen.