On My Radio
By Brad Dixon
Thursday 10 Mar 2011 15:58:00
Browse all Brad Dixon articles

I was interested to hear a certain local journalist on a certain national radio station last week, getting his usual dig in when it comes to all things Newcastle United.  That he has been commentating on our games for as long as I can remember seems to be irrelevant, with his constant negative remarks for whatever reason he never seems to have a good word to say about us.  When asked for his thoughts on the Championship this season, he was falling over himself to praise the quality of the teams in the top half chasing promotion.  Twisting the knife in he added that unlike last season it wasn’t that Newcastle were any good when winning the league it was just that they weren’t as bad as everyone else?  What the hell is that meant to mean? 102 points, a canter to the finish line and a team with a large number of players way better than Championship standard, we walked it.  We were so much better than most of the teams that some weekends our games even became boring; there was no pressure or adrenalin pumping on match day.  Another home game and another win.  I sometimes thought is this what it’s like to be a Man U fan?  Just turn up every week expecting to win?  To me we were a Premiership team, with Premiership players playing in a lower league, we had the players we just needed the belief and a manager to sort out the mess after relegation.  That in itself was a tall order but we got it and we bounded to the top. 

Anyway all this bollocks talk on the radio brought me back roughly 12 months previous when our roving reporter was back on the same radio station summarising our chances of survival if we managed the inevitable feat of promotion, at a time when we were a shoe in.  How many players did he think would be good enough to play in the Premiership after promotion? One.  One?  Yes only Steve Harper was good enough apparently!  10 outfield players were not deemed fit enough for our return to the big league.  They all took us down remember?  I think the most pessimistic Toon fan would have struggled to agree with that one.  Harper in and bin the rest?  No one could have predicted the form of Enrique, Colo, Barton, Nolan and Carroll to name a few in the league this season but certainly we all felt they were ready and more to the point good enough to give us a fighting chance of staying up.  Same team that went down did not come back up again! 

So with 9 games to go and 36 points on the board, is his argument holding any weight?  Did we need to make 10 changes in order to survive?  It would take an almighty collapse in form from us and a combination of 9 teams below us to hit Champions League form that would result in our relegation and his point proved that the team weren’t good enough to stay up.  Perhaps he was missing the point.  If we do go down it won’t be the 10 outfield players that have failed, it will be the quality of the rest of the squad that has been clearly lacking all season that will ultimately decide whether we stay up or not?

Please god, let us stay up or I’m switching off the radio permanently!  

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