Football Article

Disappointment Mixes With Realism for Newcastle United

Disappointment Mixes With Realism for Newcastle United Photo: TT
Newcastle United Joelinton. Photo credit: Owen Humphreys/NMC Pool

Life, death and Newcastle United getting knocked out the cup.

These are the three things you can rely on in life.

Not Easy

It almost wasn’t going to be this way, but nothing is ever easy in the north-east of England. Living on Tyneside is simple, in many ways. Cheap pints, a beautiful river, friendly people. But then we get to the football.

Before lockdown, this was going to be a bubbling cauldron of hostility that Manchester City simply couldn’t stand. But after lockdown, St. James’ Park is quieter than a 9am Monday morning lecture in one of the city’s two universities.

Could They?

Before lockdown, there was a gloriously mischievous whiff of optimism about the place. Could Steve Bruce’s lovably limited side take on Pep Guardiola’s multi-functional juggernaut and come out on top? It had happened before.

After lockdown, it seemed like the XI sent on the field were devoid of hope. If they weren’t before the game, they definitely were after Dwight Gayle missed from just outside the six-yard area.

Shortly after, Raheem Sterling scored City’s second and killed the game off.

They Couldn’t

Everyone thought that City would win, but that disappointment has been tempered with realism because nobody really thought Newcastle United were going to beat the Mancs and get through to the FA Cup semi-final.

If you add that to the frustration and pain caused by the delay of the proposed Saudi-led takeover of the club, it hasn’t been a good time to be an optimistic Geordie. By restarting the Premier League with a 3-0 win over Sheffield United, the team dolled out fake hope in its droves.

But as always, it’s the hope that kills you. There’s been a generous of Toon fans brought up to be hopeless, and for one bastard moment a generation let a tiny glimmer of hope in.

As they say around those parts, that’ll learn them.

Russell hughes
Sports Pundit staff writer @rusty_hughes
I’m a cricket, rugby union and football writer based in Wellington but with one foot in South Africa and England

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