>Newcastle United right now

>Well the issue of club ownership/management at Newcastle has never been understood in the modern Premier League era. Geordies love heroes and Geordies want to be heroes to other Geordies. We saw it with Freddie Shepherd, a local lad who wanted to be loved and thought buying into NUFC would do it. The present chairman Mike Ashley thought the same. But it leads to poor management by modern standards. The heart is still influential when making decisions. Similarly players are lionised in Newcastle and too much sympathy is extended for those wearing the black and white shirts. It also explains why the new chairman wore the shirt rather than a suit. He wanted to be loved; to be part of the mythology.

Other issues surround the fact that Newcastle pays top wages for players. It often has to due to the geography and perceived lack of sophistication to foreign players (read: being away from London). But it pays a lot too often. Once signed players will play for a decent manager and club. The crowd at Newcastle is a drug few choose to give up. No city in England is so devoted to one club.

Right now though the troubles are multiple. Keegan seems in some parallel universe, with a troubled mind. Possibly linked to financial concerns with the football circus venture. Maybe he has faith in the players he has and can only see us getting out of the struggles. Such confidence would be a bonus but I just don’t feel that. The fans need reassuring. A win would be the greatest relief. Failing that, some goals or just some honest, focused words from Keegan, focused on the real issues at hand.

The first choice team is good, certainly mid-table’s worth. There are a lot of poor teams in the Premier League in terms of manpower but they are improving. There seems a lack of leadership throughout the centre of the team; from Given through to Owen and Viduka. Few give out positive vibes. They seem to be running into a gentle headwind; everything being difficult and dysfunctional. Passes are going astray; one-twos are being misread; and the infrequent shots blazing wide. I don’t know where we are going. But it’s clearly not up.

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