Easter egg-stravagnza? Bank holiday promotion awaits!

Posted on March 31st, 2010 | 67 Comments |

Will there be scenes like this at the weekend?
Will there be scenes like this at the weekend?
It’s funny how things turn out in the end, especially with regards to football. Who would have thought that after last season, and the mess of pre-season at the beginning of this one, that we would be on the verge of promotion back to the Premier League at easter?

In fact it could well all be over by the time we roll back into work on Tuesday, bleary-eyed, hungover but feeling a happiness inside that as fans we haven’t felt for so long now. Two games is all it could take to bring that happiness back, happiness formed on proving so called ‘experts’ wrong, winning games and seeing the team pull together despite the odds that were monumentally stacked against us at the start of the season. I have loved life in the Championship and in a way it has reignited my love affair with football. It was never dying out, don’t get me wrong, but perhaps over the years I had become fed up with the false dawns, the constant turmoil, the seeing us performing as eleven individuals and not a team, the mediocrity of what we had become in the Premier League. This season has given us all a goal, all a reason to ultimately pull in same direction, something we have all done.

So what awats us? Ultimately promotion at Peterborough on Saturday afternoon could be a very real possibility. We are top of the league and look nailed on for promotion whereas the Posh are bottom of the table and look nailed on for relegation. I’d like to think we can take all 3 points at London Road and leave the ball firmly in the court of Nottingham Forest, the only team that can realistically catch us. They play at Bristol City at the same time as us and need to avoid defeat to prolong the inevitable until bank holiday Monday. Selfishly I hope they lose and we win. Promotion secured at the earliest possible opportunity with me in town to see it, and if that should happen then Peterborough wont know what has hit it as I, along with many other Geordies, will more than likely head into town for a few celebratory sherbets.

On the other hand, if results don’t go our way then it could roll over to Monday. If Forest can pick up a point at Ashton Gate then we will need to win against Sheffield United in the bank holiday Monday evening kick-off to ensure the job is done. That would surely be the most fitting tribute to the fans. Securing promotion in front of live TV cameras at what should be a packed St James’ Park which has been a fortress for us this season.

Ultimately, promotion is still not secured and there is still a job to do. That minimum job is to match Nottingham Forest’s results over the next 2 games, that’s all we have to do. I can’t see them picking up 3 points at a rejuvinated Bristol City, certainly not the Bristol City that we played so recently. I also can’t see us losing at Peterborough, a draw maybe, but I have every confidence that this set of players will see us get the job done.

The Championship has been a wonderful experience but I’ll be glad to get out of it. Every fan should want to see their team in the top league, and I’m no different in that respect. Regardless of that though, relegation has been a humbling event. Mixing with the majority of fans of other teams in the Championship has been a pleasure, they are real football fans who support their teams regardless of success,a lot like us, and I personally wish them all the best.

Well, apart from Cardiff and my own personal gripe with Nottigham Forest, they can get stuffed!

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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67 Responses

  1. Toonsy I think relegation has done us the world of good and I will miss the CCC from a winning and footballing side IMO the CCC is what football is about no divers and no prima-donas, and where even Smith gets away with most of his tackles :) But it will be good to get back to the top table with a real United team spirit and the club going in the right direction.
    Howay the Lads

  2. Big Dave says:
    March 31, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    “Toonsy I think relegation has done us the world of good”

    A cleansing of the Augean stables, so to speak.

  3. Worky I think this season will stand us in good stead for yrs to come, and hopfully we as fans will now realise that the Prem, top 4, champs Lge, top players, etc are not a god given right to us. I just hope we continue to built slow and not try to get there to early as I dont want to go through the heartbreak of relagation again.

  4. Like the ‘experts’ view you threw in their toonsy.
    Shows what ‘pundits’ & ‘experts’ know.

  5. To be fair, CLiNT, a lot of our fans were concerned about much the same thing as the ‘experts’

    It’s only after a few weeks of the season that it became apparent that we could get promotion.

  6. Relegation, as painful as it was at the time, was a blessing in disguise- so long as it was only for the one year.

  7. It’s been just long enough for us to reboot both the club & the fans.
    The financials are streamlined, the deadwood & wasters have gone, we’ve got a ‘team’ again & even most of the fans have had a reality check & re-alined their expectations.
    All a good thing imv.
    It’s just a crying shame that this had to happen to sort this club out.

  8. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    March 31, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    “It’s been just long enough for us to reboot both the club & the fans. The financials are streamlined”

    Statler was right, Newcastle United fans are starting to sound like accountants.

  9. Well obviously being relegated was pleasant in retrospect.

    We are past the stage of accepting the humiliation, and are now basking in the glow of a return to the top flight (hopefully with the CCC champions trophy).

    I enjoyed our time in the second flight, but I would not go through the end of last season again to experience it

  10. Toonsy, don’t know much about him other than what’s been posted on other threads but a young player on a free transfer seems to suit the busniess model well.

  11. Worky,
    you know as well as i that that will be essential in the coming years. Cos the trip we were on was gonna put us out of biz.
    Could be the making of this club, if we proceed correctly from here on in.
    Whey hey!

  12. Worky,
    i wouldn’t call meself an accontant like,
    maybe a ‘banker’ though?

  13. Love the picture and great article Toonsy.

    I have to agree with everything you have said. I was distraught when we were relegated, but I have thoroughly enjoyed our season in the Coca-Cola. I love the down-to-earth honesty of the other teams and their fans and have witnessed first hand just how poor the coverage of the lower leagues are in the media / news. I know we have been the exception, but my sympathy goes out to the other fans who get little or no coverage from Sky and the like.

    After our win on Monday night, I would love it if we can seal our return to the premiership next Monday against Sheffield Utd. What a night that will be.

  14. Is it just me or Barcelona playing a different sport?

    One that has evolved from the game we like to call football..

    Their just awesome!

  15. toonsy says:
    March 31, 2010 at 7:29 pm
    Signing number 1?

    I hope he doesn’t cost as much as our last ‘free transfer’ from Spain…

  16. evenin all, leavin my 1st comment on this blog tonight, coz the articles seem to be improving nd this 1 i thought was very good, so cheers toonsy lol. nd the comments have been canny n all, no nutters or total wum,s. have been lucky enough to go to the last 2 games, scunny nd forest, also saw derby game at xmas,so the match reports have been grt, really capturin the atmosphere, n the fans vibe
    nd i agree with most comments, relegation tho really bad, could also turn out to be a blessin in disguise. gettin our house in order, economically, buyin youth, wage cap, all good stuff. imo
    was goin to leave a link toonsy about the albin report, just looked him up on utube looks good, adding yet another s american international looks good 2 me. heres a compilation tape of juan angel albin.

  17. Stuart79 says:
    March 31, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    “Is it just me or Barcelona playing a different sport?

    One that has evolved from the game we like to call football..

    Their just awesome!”

    Yes. Guardiola plays the game the way that Cruyff taught him, the best and most beautiful way.

  18. Worky,

    I never even seen Cruyff’s Barca play football like this!

    It’s outrageous.

    Their doing to Arsenal what Arsenal do to most PL clubs – Embarrassing them!

  19. Stuart79 says:
    March 31, 2010 at 9:10 pm (Edit)

    “I never even seen Cruyff’s Barca play football like this!”

    Cruyff’s European Cup winning Barcelona “Dream Team” of the early ‘nineties, of which Guardiola was a member, was the best and most innovative Barcelona team I have seen, and Cruyff, the current manager of Catalunya is still Guardiola’s mentor in management.

    You may have a point though Stuart, this lot are really bloody good too!

  20. I think this lot are nailed on for the Champions League again.

    They do say their missing thier most influential player too.

    I cannot believe Arsenal could get away with a draw or even a win here – Barca should have been 5-0 up at half time.

    If you don’t take ya chances you don’t deserve to win I suppose.

  21. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    March 31, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    “Cruyffs barca were better than this mate.

    Clint, If you ask most Newcastle United fans how they would want The Magpies to be in their dreams, that 92 Barca 3-4-3 team would probably be it, if they’d ever seen it that is!

  22. Sorry to be naive, but is a Bosman Transfer a “Free” Transfer? Sounds like it, but I am confused as to why they don’t just say that. Is it because it’s still mid-season and they’re making the offer while he is technically still under contract with another club?

    FFS, I’ve been following football for 8 years now and still haven’t picked up the language of the sport…dang it.

  23. Although they did only ever win won Euro Cup didn’t they under Cruyff?

    They also got a real good thrashing by one of the all time great Euro teams – AC Milan.

  24. Aye worky,
    Cruyffs team would kill this barca team stone deed.

    poohole does look like Colo. :)

    a ‘Bosman’ is a free but only cos the guy’s contract has run down. It’s a particular kind of free. The was called that cos a guy called ‘Bosman’ forced it through the courts & they had to change the rules cos of it.
    Does that help mate?

  25. Stuart79 says:
    March 31, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    “Although they did only ever win won Euro Cup didn’t they under Cruyff?”

    They won four La Ligas in a row and other things, until Cruyff got bored again.

  26. toons – nice sentiments.

    Considering I though this season would be a world of pain after worky jinxed us and we got butchered off Leyton Orient, I’m just happy with all the winning.

  27. Cheers, Clint. That makes sense.

    I am thinking too that while everyone says we are trying to implement an Arsenal model for the future, could it also be a “hybrid” approach? We’ve now got 3 Spanish speaking players, all of whom played in Spain previously, correct? Coule we be taking an Arsenal approach with a Liverpool twist? This would make 4, and I seem to remember seeing other links to other Spanish speaking/playing targets as well.

    Just a thoguht.

  28. bowburnmag says:
    March 31, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    “after worky jinxed us and we got butchered off Leyton Orient”

    I know this sounds strange, Bowburn, but they were so bad, that it actually encouraged me. I could tell that something was going to happen after that, that they were sitting under a volcano and something quite radical was going to happen and for the better. I don’t know why.

  29. Aye worky,
    that was a turning point.
    Let’s face it, it couldn’t have got any worse like.
    Probably just what they needed at the time.
    & it got rid of the stragglers on the way out the back door.

  30. Worky @1, are you certain that the cleansing of the Augean stables was the fifth labour of Herakles?

    Was it not Testacles’?

  31. Toonsy.

    If Albin does sign, does this mean that we’ve learned from previous years?

    Is there a possiblity that we’ll have a repeat of January when signings announced out of the blue?

    Are we doing things professionally and out of reach of the media? Yes I know that Sky’s speculating but we’re not telling the whole world and its mother who we’re interested in!

    Interesting times ahead methinks and history will no doubt make Dr Stardust a very contented [easter] bunny??

    Fingers crossed for a happy easter!

  32. Morning Leshmeister.

    The fact we are there already suggests we have our act sorted and are in gear to crack on.

    Whether we will be a big enough draw or be held to ransom on wages is another point. As long as we cast our net over enough fishes we will catch a few. Shame we need footballers not fish. (unless we snag a Billy)

  33. Ah, guten Morgen herr Stadust, wie gehts Ihr und Iher gute Dame un Tochter? Alles gut?

    Now an attempt at English……. like you, I do feel that the club’s getting its act together – who’s pulling the strings in the PR dept I wonder?

    It’ll be a while before we’re regarded as a magnet for players but it’s possible, nay likely that we’ll be seen as a career development move for younger foreign player who’ll want to display their wares in the prem. That though has its drawbacks (citing Nzogbia and Bassong as examples) in that there’s teh risk of losing them early a before seeing them peaking.

    The days of paying silly fees and wages have thankfully gone and if the club can just get the balance of paying sensible wages for the Prem against imposing a low ceiling. A sensible basic plus attractive bonuses might be the answer.

    Anyway, it’s hypothetical at them moment and being based in the deep south now, I’ll miss the buzz and euphoria that promotion and going up as champs would bring. Assuming you’re in the midst of it,

    I’m sure you and may thousands of others have derived overall pleasure (and frustrations) for this season and hopefully the street partioes and on-street dancing that’ll occur in the closing stages of it.

    Enjoy, I trust.

  34. Sorry – can’t even remember the article. Still trying to get my head around Worky using a metaphor from Greek literature on a footie blog!

    Worky – ever thought of going on QI, mate?

  35. ….. if the club can just get the balance of paying sensible wages for the Prem against imposing a low ceiling [we’ll be ok]

  36. Lesh – come to the QPR game (home tickets only; so have to remain subdued!) and join in a bit of celebratory sherberts daaahhhn saaahhth. It could even be the match that gets us the cup, eh.

  37. Oh, and dead on with the wages thing. I know we’ve been subbed to the teeth by Ashley this season, but by my fag-packet calculation if he can stay on the same theme for recruitment this summer the club should make a profit next season.

    I think we’ve basically got a year’s head-start on other clubs as they all scramble to get solvent. The bubble has well and truly burst now and we’re about to see as big a change in the game as when the Abramomafia arrived.

    Players had better be ready to see their wages and values plummet, and it’ll be a joy to see.

    As for promotion, I am really going to miss the ‘back to the football’ nature of the CCC. I’d not realised just how pathetic the Prem was until this season, and in some ways I’m really not happy about a return. On the other hand, how interesting is it going to be trying our shiny new club out against the big names again?

  38. Lesh – Nous somme tres bien merci – je regret mon German est terrible, malgré mon germanic ancêtres

    Whumpie “I think we’ve basically got a year’s head-start on other clubs as they all scramble to get solvent.”

    Totally with you there Whumps – a harsh but true fact is we still have a few 60k a week merchants who (are not value for money) each would pay for 5 youngesters. As we cast of these players the future gets better and better.

  39. Whumpie… The QPR games a big temptarion and I’ll have to start sweetening things up so’s I can an 18hr pass-out!