Newcastle United are nowhere near as prominent as we were when Kevin Keegan was managing the club in the 1990s – the Entertainers – and when Sir Bobby Robson managed the club from 1999 through 2004.
Siem de Jong – thinks Newcastle are still a draw
In those years we were challenging for top four and often were part of the Champions League competition.
But we have never been in the Champions League since the 2003-2004 season – which ended up as the last season Bobby was in charge because we finished 5th that year – and that wasn’t good enough
Since 2004 we have been nowhere and the truth is that has been ever more true since Mike Ashley bought the club in 20007.
Mike will have been in charge for eight seasons come May, and we have been in the top nine only once in that time – and for Newcastle United that;s a terrible record.
We were 5th in 2012 under Alan Pardew – and that’s the best we’ve done since 2004, when 5th wasn’t good enough for Newcastle.
Siem de Jong however still thinks Newcastle are a big club.
“I think players will want to come to Newcastle – it’s a big club and I think everybody in football knows that it’s a big club.”
“The last few years are a little bit up and down. They’ve had some good finishes – I think a couple of seasons ago they were 5th – and they’ve had some down times as well. ” “Last season would be a strange one because they were fifth or sixth at the halfway mark and finished 10th.”
“Those are things that we should improve on but it’s also about players leaving and getting injured. It’s difficult. I had it at my old club as well, we were champions four years in a row but we lost the three best players every year so we needed to build and start again.”
“A lot of times at the start of the season things were really difficult but by the middle or the end of the season we were playing much better.” “It happened here as well – you lose a couple of players to bigger clubs and it’s difficult.”
“Hopefully we can get a group together here that stays together for a couple of years, gets used to each other and really improves.”
Those are good words from Siem, and we’ve been impressed with his interviews since he joined the club last summer – maybe Siem’s a future captain of Newcastle?
But the main thing is to get the 26 year-old Dutch International fit and ready for next season.
Newcastle are a big club only because of the fans and also because of our great stadium – St James Park – which always look fantastic when we are on the TV being broadcast world-wide – well apart from all the Sports Direct adverts.
We are not a big club because of the team we’ve had since Bobby Robson was fired, or because we are successful winning trophies, but the less said about that the better.
The state of the pitch at St. James Park is also one of the very best in the Premier League, and we noticed Anfield a month or so ago had many bare patches, and didn’t look good at all.
Of course it all depends on what people mean by a big club – and if making money is important then we are a big club – maybe that’s Mike Ashley’s definition?
But whatever your definition of that is – please vote below.
Note: Mark Hammell is an avid reader of the blog and he has signed up for 7 endurance events totaling over 600 miles, after he has just recovered from a serious ACL injury.
Mark is doing this to raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. Here is Mark’s Justgiving page – see if you can help him out and help Bobby’s Foundation.
You can follow us on our three social media sites.