It was with surprise that we took note of your comments about the impact the boycott and our protests had on your team’s performance last Sunday vs Tottenham Hotspur. In case you don’t remember, this is what you had to say on the matter this afternoon:
“I’ve got to say we talked after the game last week about, and I’ll talk about the protest and I genuinely thought at the time that the protest wouldn’t make any difference and it shouldn’t and I didn’t want to use it as an excuse for players but I think it did affect people, it does affect you, it affected me slightly and it certainly affected some of the players and I know there is another one coming this week, but at least people are coming in the stadium and if it’s a protest for one minute and that it only lasts for one minute then we’ve got 89 minutes to get on with the game.
“Again, I’ll say it, I don’t have a problem with protests, you know, people are entitled to do it but at least people are coming in the stadium this time, cause it certainly did – and it wasn’t an excuse – it certainly did affect the performance.”
This contradicts directly what you said in the post match press conference of the Spurs game:
“People are entitled to do what they want and they have their opinion. I don’t think that has affected what has gone on on the pitch today. We’re all professional and as soon as they crossed that line, no matter what is going on around them it shouldn’t bother them. Yeah it can help them when the crowd are behind the team but a situation like it was shouldn’t affect them. We lost the game because we weren’t good enough.”
Source: The Chronicle
Now, this campaign is aimed at Mike Ashley and not at you because quite frankly, you are merely another symptom of the disease that is slowly killing our beloved club, but we would like to point out a few things if that is ok with you.
Firstly, it appears to happen rather a lot these past few weeks that what you claim should or should not happen on a pitch does not translate to what actually happens during the match. Despite your assurances that no Newcastle team would ever go down without a fight in the derby that is exactly what happened, and now you want us to believe that missing a “few thousand” fans (you might remember the club announced the official and actual attendance as 47,427 and they are not known to regularly distort the truth so that must have been correct) affected the players and the performance?
Secondly, we would also like to point out that the team was on a five game losing streak prior to this particular match, on 9 points from 14 games and a -13 goal difference since you became the “interim” manager, so it would seem frivolous to suggest that the boycott and protests had any demonstrable effect on the players. We believe it would be far more productive for you to question whether your selections and tactics might be having an adverse effect on performances, rather than the actions of those not present at the stadium that day.
Thirdly and lastly, we would like to ask you what, apart from being on Mike Ashley’s payroll, has brought about the change in your opinion of Mike Ashley between these two quotes attributed to you, the first at the time of Chris Hughton’s sacking and the second in today’s press conference?
December 2010 – “Unfortunately the guy at the top makes the decisions and we’re all suffering because of it”
Source: BBC (radio interview, well worth a listen John if you don’t remember what your thoughts were at the time)
Today – “The majority of people will agree he (Ashley) has done a good job. We’re now in a good position to go forward”
You plead for Newcastle United fans to give you and your squad of players the support you require to avoid getting sucked in another relegation battle, but as far as we are concerned our club has our full support. We are not protesting because we have lost interest or because we wish to see our club do badly in case you are wondering, we are protesting because we want to save our club before it is too late and there is nothing left to save. As a Geordie, we shouldn’t really have to tell you that though John, should we?