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Toon army love taste of chopped Souey

By Matthew Norman

(Filed: 05/02/2006)


A few weeks ago, contemplating the imminent union of Graeme Souness and a redundancy cheque, I mentioned briefly meeting him and asking if he saw himself as the man to resuscitate Spurs. "Son," he said, "the club I couldn'ae turn round has yet to be built."


The question that occurs today is not why this winsome self-belief proved misplaced, but whether anyone alive could do for Newcastle United what he could not. Is it possible that the club are beyond redemption, and if so why?


Newcastle United, their supporters love to remind us, are a "sleeping giant", and as such begin to make Rip Van Winkle look a chronic insomniac. Yet after 37 trophy-free seasons, many spent outside the top division, Newcastle's colossal fan base sustains a state of heightened expectation. For them, as for other weird religious cults, salvation is always imminent.


So preposterous is this faith that you wonder whether secretly these fans share with compulsive gamblers a craving not for success, but defeat. We know them to be exhibitionist sadomasochists from all their bare-chested posing for the midwinter cameras, and they seem to relish perpetual disappointment as much as hypothermia.


To hear foot soldiers in the Toon army interviewed the day Souey departed was to hear the authentic voice of rapturous self-pity. They loved it, to borrow from their least unsuccessful manager in memory, really loved it, knowing full well that spectacular failure is the only realistic method by which a habitual mediocrity can excite interest.


Provoking continual gossip about managerial sackings with exaggerated intolerance is the way to attract national attention, and so warm the shirtless on icy nights.


No wonder, then, that they drive a manager out most seasons. They need a permanent state of melodramatic crisis to create the facade of relevance, much as the Tories did in the barren years between Major and Cameron.


Souness was hired only because no one whom the board wanted would touch the position, and now Glenn Roeder and Alan Shearer cannot wait to rule themselves out.


These are ambitious people, yet they knock each other over to escape supposedly one of the great jobs in domestic football because their instincts tell them that Newcastle cannot be turned around, and that whoever takes the job will fall into the chasm between the fanciful expectations of the supporters and the prosaic reality of life as a medium-ranking Premiership non-entity.


Only an idiot or a madman, or a combination of the two, would want to follow Messrs Souness, Robson, Gullit, Dalglish, Keegan and the other lustrous names who have failed at St James' Park. My tenner's on Roy Keane.

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Talking of shit newspapers - the Sunday Sun are claiming that O'Neill is "cool" on the England job because he doesn't fancy it with being an Ulsterman. "Sources close to O'Neill" say he would be willing to talk to us. They also claim that we're NOT after Eriksson.

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That bloke must have taken a fucking hiding off a Geordie in his youth or something. :doubleact:  Which rag published that shit?






"much as the Tories did in the barren years between Major and Cameron."


That bit gave it away for me :o

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"Son," he [souness] said, "the club I couldn'ae turn round has yet to be built."




If you're reading Craig, THAT is the most ironic thing that has ever been said on the internet!


As for the rest of "the article" - :suicide:

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