In which I divide to conquer…

The State of the (NUFC) Union

There’s been a great deal of musing about the fate of this man lately:

Alan Pardew

go on Alan, smile creepier, you can do it…

As ever, it started with the ‘highly connected club sources’ on Twitter, who dole out wisdom on the ‘inside line’ at SJP in toxic, hard-to-swallow portions; 140 characters at a time. Of course, these so-called club sources don’t tweet themselves, no, they talk to the prophets of the modern age, the taxi driver. Dave, 48 from Cramlington has been driving taxis for 20 years and once picked up the club tealady and I’m sure that tells you all you need to know about his qualifications to reach the upper echelons of football, and toon, knowledge.

And yet. And yet there are those who listen to Dave, our taxi-driving false prophet. Those who proclaim ‘the season hasn’t been good enough, Pardew out, Rafa in!’, or more worryingly ‘Pardew out! Somebody in!’ — like the man who steps out into traffic without looking this most pernicious of sentiments has the potential to cause great harm to Newcastle with very, very little upside.

Do you forget your history??

Remember where we were not four years ago, in the direst of straits being relegated from the Premiership and cast aside from the top table of football — destination: certain doom. In the years since then, we’ve won the Championship at a canter with the highest ever (I think..) points total and made a magnificent charge to Europe. Those, however, that forget the past are doomed to repeat it. Let us not forget that we haven’t won a real cup since 1969, and that last year we ran better than every other team in the Premiership and that this year, whilst we most certainly ran bad, we’re closer to our natural position in the league than we were a year ago, that much I know.

Newcastle fans have a reputation and a history of expecting the world, of thinking we’re a bigger club than we are, and so on. I think that’s true of any club, I think any supporter thinks ‘with x, y and z we could push for Europe’, but the micro-focus which being such a storied club in a one-club town brings does rather amplify this affect. Note also that the willingness of Dave and apostles like him to appear on Sky Sports News holding court about the trials and tribulations of being a Newcastle supporter is another magnifier. At the risk of sounding pompous, I do think it matters more here, too.

Football is everything and has an intensity that you simply do not get outside of the North East and Glasgow; regardless of your position on which team you support, it does matter more here and I can’t help but think that the fact that both regions are massively working class is reflected in their respective passions on the terraces. For that alone, I’m proud to be a Geordie and follow the Toon — whatever happens to the Club, there can be no more hypnotic and engaging way to watch and enjoy football. Many of you may recognise also that there is also no more destructive or painful way to watch football either, but one has to take the highs with the lows.

Who Next?

I’m pretty certain it won’t be this guy:

Rafa, pondering his next choice of ‘project’

I don’t think he’d fit into Ashley’s plans to keep the club on a financial even keel, although he’s the only manager I’d swap Pardew for right now — pointless swapping one average manager for another, I think. In any event, the speculation is, in the end, mildly soporific — the only person who knows Mike Ashley’s mind is him, and I’m not convinced he knows what to do. I’d stick with Pardew, but what do I know?

I’m reminded of the great novelist and screenwriter, Willam Goldman, who once turned his acerbic wit to the business of show in Hollywood as a whole and had the wherewithal to say what many had suspected for a long time:

 Nobody knows anything.

I think that’s true of most things, especially football.

In which I start…

Right then.

Here we go. Again. For fuck’s sake.

In the last 18 months, I must have bought, broken and replaced 20 pairs of headphones, and started, updated once or twice and then slowly killed a similar number of blogs. Commitment , whether to auditory equipment which makes the working day easier, or to pouring my soul on to a page on the internet; doesn’t seem to be my strong point.  It seems appropriate that I’ve decided to blog again on the same day I have to go and purchase new earphones. There’s something of a modern yin and yang about it. I have new earphones and a new blog, all is well, balance has been reached. Until, inevitably, the balance is destroyed, either by a pulled earphone or a slowly arid blog.


hardly deep philosophy, but I needed a photo somewhere.


This time it’ll be different, though. I know it will. For a start, Simmy is blogging now – at least for 30 days – and anything I can do to be more like my idol is good, I think. Cunningly, I even managed to start this blog whilst breaking earphones and listening to Paul Simon. If I’m seen in a chemist attempting to buy something to make my hair ginger, you have my uttermost guarantee that I won’t be offended if you shoot me. If you see me buying *those* pants, and dancing, I absolutely insist that you shoot me.

Plus there’s the fact that this isn’t, strictly, my site. It’s Scotty’s, just happens to be about me. There’s a certain contentedness in knowing that, even if I let the blog die, people will still come round once in a while, if only to indulge their habit for playing ‘pleased with ourselves, are we?‘. In fact, SamJ has made an entire industry of it, admitting recently, ‘lads, I can watch football anywhere, but there’s only one place I can really troll Huzz’. Well. Indeed. Like a moth to that particular flame, he’s aware that the soundboard is available for all occasions. Especially if Newcastle are losing and Fulham are winning. HamJ and Herchie are (as you’d expect) absolutely merciless when it comes to football rub downs.

But it will be different this time. There are important things to discuss (soon) and I think I’m just about self-important enough to think that what’s important for me should also be both important and interesting for you, dear Reader. Talking about myself delivers exactly the dose of élan required to make it different this time. I’m sure of it. Quite how that helps my penchant for wearing earphones in bed and thus destroying the left ear has momentarily escaped me, but I’m sure I’ll get to it.

So what goes here?

I can promise that it will be verbose, sesquipedalian and prolix at (almost) all times.  I can’t really promise what I’ll blog about — just things that are interesting to me, so maybe some football, some politics, games, music and I can hear the screams already, poker. Maybe. Really though, there has to be somewhere to record ‘the things wot happen in my life’ — not a diary per se, but our house is constantly hilarious  and there really should be some place to record all of that. Even if, as I suspect, in the end it’s simply for our own amusement.

And with that, dear Reader, I leave you with a quotation from Einstein:


Einstein, roughly the same person as me.

Until next time, when hopefully we have something interesting to say.