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State of the Geordie Nation Part 87:

Point of no return


Ignoring Tuesday's Carling Cup sideshow, attention now switches to the away fixture at Manchester City next Saturday - the second time in ten months that we've gone there in turmoil off the field and in disarray on it.


Our recent results mean that Pearce & Co.'s current inconsistencies are of little relevance - a situation also mirroring last season when a poor City side wiped the floor with the rabble Souness presided over for the final time. 


Whether an injection of attacking pace from Dyer and/or Martins can be added to our squad remains to be seen, but it's plain to see that the roots of our malaise lie far deeper.


Quite frankly we've hit the buffers - and the problems that have been evident for years can no longer be ignored. Local heroes and club goalscoring records can no longer mask the decline in this club over a decade. 


For every person who boos or chants outside SJP there are many more mute onlookers and increasing numbers voting with their feet - unable to criticise their club but unwilling to witness this feckless tripe at first hand.


It's bad enough paying for it, but for some season ticket holders at present it's too much of an ask to bother going, something that hardly bodes well for renewals.   


And as for away trips, forget it. A jaunt to the Arsenal ground and two nights on the slash in Germany. Going to Blackburn, Bolton or Everton holds about as much allure as brass-rubbing.


The casual punters are drifting away week on week and there is a growing level of negativity and gloom from people who remember the dark days of 77/78 and 88/89 - and see unpleasant echoes of it in the current season.


That negativity translates itself into a lack of support for the team. But to talk of a fear factor or a lack of confidence in the players as a consequence of that is just nonsense.


Over-paid, lazy, disinterested so-called professionals aren't going to get away with the sub-standard performances of late that easily.


There's a degree of sympathy for Roeder, who seems like a decent enough bloke fighting to do a job under intolerable circumstances - hence the lack of personal abuse directed at him.


We can find nothing but contempt though from the rank and file towards the Halls and Shepherds, their offshore money pits, agent friends and car dealer hangers-on.


Any talk from them about bad luck with injuries etc. has to overshadowed by the continual questionable transfer dealings and the feel-bad factor that now follows us around.


While some fans publish calculations debunking  the notion that the current administration have ever invested a penny of their own money into the club, more have grown bored of the bullish boardroom broadcasts and hackneyed platitudes trotted out by friendly hacks.     


But just as the Portsmouth or Palermo victories provided nothing more than temporary relief, so the Sheffield United game didn't herald the beginnings of a new dark age.


Instead it merely confirmed the worst fears of many Toon watchers: that our post-Shearer recruitment programme was fundamentally flawed, leaving us ill-equipped to cope with the demands of this season.


This isn't a knee-jerk reaction to plunging into the bottom two of the Premiership, rather a considered conclusion based on the mess we've made of a fixture list that included several eminently winnable games.


Factoring in the coming games taking us into 2007 shows that it's a damn sight more difficult in terms of points collection.


Conclusion - we're f*cked.


A short-term approach would be to blame the losses on Roeder and point to tactical shortcomings, questionable selections and substitution and an inability to inspire certain players as reasons to pay him off.


The appointment of a replacement (Curbishley or anyone of similar status, ie with nowt better to do) would then see that traditional new manager/ ten game boost take effect.


That would give us enough renewed impetus to collect the points rise to the dizzy heights of mid-table.


Throw in a dispiriting exit in the latter stages of a cup and the only thing that's changed is the price of the sorrow-drowning beers from the last time we went round the carousel.   


And from where we stand, people seem less and less prepared to stay on for the ride once again.


In short, the club is dying on its feet; dying from neglect and dying of indifference.   


Look around - look at the mackems, look at Leeds. Remember mocking Murray, rubbishing Ridsdale and chortling at charver kids being pushed away from the Stadium of plight gates by stewards. Then look at us, look at the future.


The last two relegations were accompanied by diversionary daftness - Dickie Dinnis and player power, then the original sack the board.


And we nearly made it a hat-trick in 1992 before the McKeag era was finally banished, albeit sewing the seeds of our current malaise.     


Fans are desperate for a fresh approach, fresh ideas and fresh faces - anything to lift the mood of despondency that has set in since those scarves were twirled last May and Owen lay on a German football field just days later.


The problem with not thinking short-term though is that a long-term view requires vision, planning and strategy. The current incumbents are yet to prove they have any of those qualities.


To sum up, take your money and please just go away. Sack yourself.   


Relegation would be a complete and utter disaster - but if we have to go down in order to make the share price drop enough to see a buyout, then so be it.


Let's at least try and restore some dignity, decency and unity to the club while there's still something worth fighting to preserve.




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Good to see them let it all out.  bluewink.gif :thup:


I hope that this bit - Relegation would be a complete and utter disaster - but if we have to go down in order to make the share price drop enough to see a buyout, then so be it. - is tongue in cheek though. We are all beating ourselves up here, but not even my most sadistic side believes that the phrase 'it might do us good in the long run to go down' is anything but balls.


If relegated, with our debts and outgoings the club would be hammered, we would get stuck in the mire, and the only vultures to remain circling could well be just the Michael Knighton's of this world.


Nothing is worth that...



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:thup: agree with almost everything they said.


What I do worry about though is, like some people have said, who do we replace him with? (it's even unlikely that 'we' will have any say in it as well) We really need a whole new board. Not only Shepherd has to go but Douglas Hall as well. We need directors who aren't fans, we need directors who a) can manage the finances and b) have a long-term strategy in place to develop the club from top to bottom (this should include new ideas such as a share issue (if possible), extension of st. james' (not that we need any, but still should be considered) etc.). We need someone radical to take us in a new direction. The owners such as Shepherd belong in another generation where football was simply football and nothing else. Times have changed. He hasn't.

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I can see that being a possibility, although it could mean a short stay in the Championship, or a longer one, maybe more than 5 years.  If the club were to survive such a time, it would surely bring about a new chairman and board, as I doubt Shepard and his associates would be willing to stay at the club without the status, exposure, and money that being in the Premiership brings. 


The thing I think it could have the most positive impact on is the fans.  It seems to me that a good number of the fans are living in the glory days of Keegan and Robson, showing up each week expecting the same kind of results, which isn't going to happen.  I doubt most people will ever realize the kind of damage this club suffered during the final years of Bobby's time here, during the time of Souness, and the amount of damage this club is suffering currently.  People say we have a top 6 squad, but all I can really see is a lot of players either boosted up by unfullfilled potential or praise for form that has long since gone, never to return.  That's just the squad. 


Anyway, these fans are showing up expecting top 6 performances, and don't really know how to react when they aren't seen.  I just get the impression that if the club were relegated, it would really provide the opportunity for the club to be able to get away from the relentless pressure of the fans.  Obviously, during a time like this, the pressure from the fans is good, but if the manager was sacked and a new one appointed, it would be best for the club to be able to breathe a bit, with the manager focusing on a long term plan.  I think if the club was relegated, it would be able to do this, and a long term plan for success in the Premiership could be concocted, which would include promotion from the second division.


Obviously all of this could spectacularly backfire, and could mean disaster for the club, going into administration, or Shepard could stay on, but if I had to choose between this club staying in the hands of Shepard and his family for the next 20 or 30 years at least, with the yo-yo form yet neverending rot underneath, or relegation with the prospect of a new board and a fresh look, I think I'd choose the latter.


Of course I really wouldn't want the club to be relegated, but I can certainly see many positives out of it.  Lord knows what will happen though is that the club will pass through the current storm, minus one Glenn Roeder, and a new manager will get us to the "dizzying heights of midtable", and then we can start the cycle again.  Do people think we'll be going through this again next fall?  Or perhaps 2 years from now.  Surely this club can't go more than 3 years without major upheaval.....  :roll:

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If we're relegated then Shepherd goes, how would you feel about the situation?

I think a takeover even with relegation to the Championship would be better than with the current regime in there for the long term.  It's quite possible they'll manager a relegation in 15 years as much as it is now.  Obviously the most preferred option would be a new board and chairman whilst we keep our premiership status.

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Guest Knightrider

I've got an e-mail sitting in my inbox from a disgruntled Mag of many years hoping the club goes down if that is what it will take for the Halls and Shepherd's to leave.



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I've got an e-mail sitting in my inbox from a disgruntled Mag of many years hoping the club goes down if that is what it will take for the Halls and Shepherd's to leave.




This mentality is rubbish tbh. I can understand the frustration but, why relegation? Leeds would have thought the same thing getting rid of Ridsdale...it's got a whole lot worse because they dropped down a league.

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Guest Gemmill

I've got an e-mail sitting in my inbox from a disgruntled Mag of many years hoping the club goes down if that is what it will take for the Halls and Shepherd's to leave.




Just as we're not too good to go down, nor are we too big to stay down.  Anyone wishing for relegation is a moron.

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Knowing our luck we'll be relegated and the horrible fat tosser will stay on.




There's the thing though. It might get rid of Shepherd, but doesn't guarantee it. Even if it does though, look at Sunderland and Murray. They haven't exactly pulled up many trees since Quinn took over.

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Guest Gemmill

We won't go down Gemma, you and I know that. :cool:


Not me, Parky.  I think we're in serious trouble this time.  We can't score goals and I don't see where they're gonna come from.  I can't even think of a realistic signing for January who could come in and hit the ground running.  Look at the teams we're losing to at home, then remember that there are a lot better teams still to come to SJP and I think there's cause for serious concern.  We can forget picking up enough points on our travels to survive.

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Guest elbee909

As soon as I'm certain it will be on this board. For now I can say that one of them is German. blueyes.gif


Will Emerton be signing?

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