Thursday, 29 November 2007

Mike Ashley - Media genius

I've been kicking this thought around for a few weeks now.... I think that Mike Ashley is playing a very clever PR game. It occurred to me at the mackem game and I've been mulling it over ever since. When he first arrived he was supposed to be this recluse (see Britain's answer to the late Howard Hughes. ) that would hardly be seen at the matches and wanted to stay out of the limelight. Well, he's not done that has he?

Firstly there was the wearing of the Toon top (with Alan Smith's name and number on - no pressure there then, Alan), followed up by stories about him going out on the lash and buying the whole of the pub a drink, and then the ultimate 'man of the people' move, joining the 'ordinary' Toon fans in the away end at the Stadium of Plight. I was so moved by this that I ventured that I'd happily marry him and bear his children after this (not likely for reasons far to numerous to mention...) And then I started thinking....

He's certainly a breath of fresh air after the attention seeking, self aggrandizing bucket of lard that was our previous chairman. He's endeared himself to the Toon army in the past few months in a way that Fat Fred and his sycophants never would have dreamed of - he's shown an understanding and tapped into the psyche of the Newcastle fan base beyond the comprehension of any of the previous owners of the club. So that's how... perhaps the most important question is why?

The cynic in me says its helps shift shirts... Shirts that are for sale in his sports shops up and down the country. After all we are the 3rd best supported club in England - and us barcodes like to buy a lot of shirts. However, I think its more than just that. Could it be that Mr Ashley is doing his market research? What better way to hear about your punters views than by listening to what is said in the pubs and on the terraces (well almost)?? Its a great way to do market research. Interesting when you think about it and also startlingly obvious.

But the thing that makes it work so well - is the lack of contact that he gives the media... What does he sound like? I've no idea, might be David Beckham or maybe Sean Connery. I'm happy not knowing. It all helps preserve his mystique - and long may it continue

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Depressed - but I'd never boo

Toon 0 - Liverpool 3

Hopeless, hapless, clueless - that pretty much sums up the debacle today. BUT - thats not what I object to (well, I do, but thats for another day) what is really boiling my blood is the booing of players.

Firstly, I'd never boo a player when he pulls on a black and white shirt - (not unless he'd done something - like Nicky Butt's complete non appearance at the FA Cup semi V Manure). He might be really poor, he might lack ability, he might show complete disinterest (e.g. Patrick Kluivert, Albert Luque etc) but its my job to cheer on the team - the team I support. The clue is in the name...

Secondly, don't boo the opposition players. If they are any good it will only encourage them. I recall Shearer saying that the booing/taunting of the Manure fans used to spur him on. Today booing Steven Gerrard just made him play better. The only time I can remember it working was in the FA Cup against Spurs, when Ginola was given the dogs abuse throughout the first half. The effect of 40,000+ people shouting at him was such that he just sat down in the centre circle and had a hissy fit. BUT we had a right to give Ginola abuse - he'd jilted us for the bright lights of the Smoke... However, Gerrard has only played poorly for an international team. It doesn't make sense... So stoppit.

My preference would be to show the opposition complete disinterest... They all have inflated ego's anyway - so lets not pander to them. Also, it gives the bloody London based sports press another chance to have a pop at the stupid Northerners... So lets not give them the ammunition. But, the chants of "Big Sam for England" from 3/4 of the ground did make me smile.

Got my ticket for next Saturday's game v Blackburn - oh, I can barely wait...... Sarcasm, another of my unattractive traits.

PS - Just been cheered up by the mackem v Everton score... Thank you toffees :-)

Sunday, 18 November 2007

England's Michael Owen

So - the baby faced goal scoring machine isn't going to be turning out in the black & white stripes for another 4-6 weeks. Deep joy. Why is this? Another injury picked up playing in a meaningless friendly for his country... As the wonderful Biffa said "if this wasn't so tragic it would be comical"

He was made captain for the game against the mackems and looked completely ineffective. You could argue that he was being played out of position, but then again for £100k + a week I'd expect him to play in goal if asked.

So, I've carped on a bit about him not playing for us - yet again... But I must admit that part of me is a little bit pleased. Oba and the Big Aussie to put Owen's ex-employers to the sword next Saturday anyone???

Off for a lie down in a dark room now, time for my medication

Saturday, 17 November 2007


Welcome to the musings of a 40+ female Newcastle United fan, who wishes that I didn't have to suffer this affliction.... Never blogged before, never thought that anyone would be even vaguely interested... But lets see...

A little about me - I'm a Toon exile. Born and bred in Newcastle (its still 'home') but now living in the shadow of Old Trafford. I went to my first game at the age of 7, stood in the Gallowate end and saw Supermac and John Tudor taken on the then mighty Leeds United. Apparently the score was 3-3... however my abiding memory was being really confused when Supermac was taken off with an injury. I wanted him to stay on the pitch and help us win. Needless to say I was hooked.

Now I get to go to away games only (much more fun anyway) and managed not to see us win for about 2 years. I had the misfortune to be at Coventry when we lost 4-0, Man U (lost 5-1, and the 1 was an o.g.) Wigan ( lost 1-0 against their 2nd team in the Coca Cola Cup) Derby (lost 1-0
to quite possibly the worst team in the Premiership ever) However, I was also at the win at Blackburn (3-0), Bolton (3-1), saw Shearer's 150th goal (against Bradford, I think) and his 200th (against Man U).... Anyway you get the idea.

The aim of this pointless wittering is :-

a) to help my ailing memory
b) to allow me to vent my frustration at being almost, but not quite, good enough as a football team
c) to encourage me to write

Feel free to read, comment and contradict - its just good to know that someone has taken the time to read (unless you are a mackem of course)