Newcastle United v England

Posted: 25.11.07 in Blogging

This would be a very interesting match. Over the past week, I have witnessed (endured, despaired, …) England’s dismal performance followed by Newcastle’s dismal performance. To be honest, there wasn’t much different between the performances.

My opinion of the Football Association was greatly improved this week. It’s not the fact that they sacked Steve McClaren, but more the fact that they apologised for their team’s performance, which was absolutely the right thing to do. I noticed how none of the players from the England squad have apologised for their part in the dreadful display that night. Steve Gerrard simply said "life goes on", and his utterly abject contribution — as captain — during the game was made somewhat worse by his decidedly miraculous recovery for Liverpool against Newcastle.

The difference between Newcastle’s players and England’s players over the two games is that we noticed that Alan Smith — who played terribly and somehow managed to pick up the Man of the Match award — and James Milner made a point of staying behind after the match to applaud the fans for their contribution to the atmosphere.

The Gallowgate could only applaud some of Liverpool’s play. The third goal in particular was greeted by applause across the stadium; and the banter between the rival fans was surprisingly heartening, despite how smug they might have been, and how bitter we might have been.

It’s peculiar being a Newcastle United supporter; you only enjoy it when you are three goals down. When we’re winning, we’re nervous we’ll lose our lead; when we’re drawing, we’re nervous we lose; and when we’re losing, we’re anxious of trying to get back into the game. At 3-0 down, we were beaten and no real good reason to be enthusiastic, but our tongue-in-cheek, almost sarcastic chanting and singing is really quite enjoyable. We started Oléing the few passes we managed to string together by the end…

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