So if you haven’t already heard the news, ex-Newcastle player Craig Bellamy spoke about his time at St James Park during a broadcast of beIN Sports. Controversially, he claimed that the fans had “unrealistic expectations.”
Taken from the interview, he said: “They should be a Champions League club, they honestly believe that up there.” Now, I understand football is all about opinions, much like this article. But his statement is simply an opinion, not fact. Not once have I heard any of our fans speak about challenging for the top four in person. Not ever. Even when we finished fifth under Alan Pardew, did we sit there and say “Yeah, this is where we should be”? No.
Social media can be an unfortunate concept and it’s “pundits” (I use that term lightly) like Bellamy and David Prutton who speak controversially, in my eyes, in order to gain more screen time. It’s the idea of negative press that will get people talking. I mean, it’s working as I’ve already written an article on it.
It gets me riled up, not because of his comments, but the false view it gives others about my club and the fans. I currently live with two other football fans, one supporting Manchester United, the other Liverpool and know that I will be heckled for being called “unrealistic.” But because it has come from an ex-professional, they will deem it to be true. The reality is that it couldn’t be further from the truth.
The purpose of this short piece is to give an insight to anyone outside of Newcastle into what the REAL expectations are at our club. Simply put, we demand a club that TRIES. Not a club that WINS. But just a team that gives 110% each game, so that we can travel home in the hope that we can get better and build upon that for our next game.
Jamie Carragher gave the best verdict in my opinion about what we want. This video is taken two seasons ago. Skip to 1.42 to hear his view.
That is the reality. My previous piece talked about how we should look to Burnley as a blueprint for where we should look to next season, NOT TOP FOUR. Some fans responded that we should let Rafa make his own blueprint and that Burnley are a mediocre team. All true comments, but I wrote this at the time before they hammered Big Sam’s in form Palace side 2-0 at Selhurst park in a convincing way. They are now certain to stay for next season after the 2-2 draw with West Brom.
Newcastle may replicate Burnley and do have the potential to be better, but we can’t expect to simply roll over teams like them as they have solid players and strong depth. I predict we will finish 13th next season, but it is hard to predict given that the window hasn’t approached yet.
On the off chance Craig Bellamy is reading this, I hope you understand that nobody supporting black and white has huge expectations or expects Champions League football in the near future. Now please, do yourself a favour and stop pretending to know the ins and outs of Newcastle United. You never have and you never will.