Blog Wars – Response to Ron’s Attack

I’ve just got home from work, a bit worn out, bit upset that Gardner might be coming back [thats for another time], still upset about Rowett’s sacking [naturally] and I walked into VivaBrownie towers to receive some tweets asking if i’d read Ron’s blog attacking me?

I hadn’t until about half an hour ago. But I have now, well I better have or else none of this will make any sense.

It’s a good Ron blog. I’ll give the Muse of Moseley that. Well written, with a pace that keeps ticking along, a good bit of nostalgia and it manages to pull a few verbal punches while giving off that ‘i don’t really care‘ vibe, which was always the hallmark of a solid Ron blog.

It reminded me of all those great Ron blogs I used to read growing up, and his match reports, especially the infamous one about Burnley. That one went down in Small Heath Alliance history as a classic and even triggered a response from Burnley council.

I have nothing against Ron, and all those expecting [and hoping] for a bit of a personal slanging match are going to be disappointed. I genuinely like Ron, or the internet entity that is Ron, and I enjoy his output.

Sure I disagree with his thoughts on Rowett. I disagreed when he posted a tweet celebrating Rowett’s sacking with an applause smiley and suggested Rowett was going stale [can you go stale after having just one full season at a club?].

I disagreed when he sent personal abuse to Legdzins after the Burton error and I thought his tweet about not speaking to any ‘rational’ Blues fan who was disappointed Rowett was sacked said more about the echo chamber he resides in than anything else.

But I quite like diversity of opinion.

I like reading things that challenge the way I think, and make me question my stance.

It’s why my Twitter is awash with Blues fans, Villa fans, Alt Right accounts, Liberal accounts. I love that Twitter is a marketplace of opinions and debate.

Ron implied that he doesn’t like to see opinions on issues like Trump or Syria. I do, I love reading the informed and the ill-informed on these subjects. Not such a fan of the dreary and endless comments about food, and what cereal is the best. But I appreciate different people are into different things.

Twitter exists as a platform for the layman to have a chat and air their views. If you don’t like to read people’s opinions, it’s probably not the best platform for you, or you should perhaps be a bit more discerning in deciding who to follow.

But it’s not up to me to decide how people use Twitter. That’s the beauty of it, everybody will use it in their own way.

Before I quickly comment on the stuff Ron brought up, I will just say the following.

I am a little bit, a little bit disappointed that Ron has so massively bitten to my Baby Boomer blog, and has reacted in the manner he has.

It’s difficult to tell on the internet and Ron will no doubt say that his article lambasting me is also tongue in cheek, but it seems like my blog has annoyed him enough to set up a WordPress site and sift through 11,000 of my tweets in order to pull out a few ‘aha!’ comments I made about games a good while ago.

I mean, God, the amount of shit he’s had to scroll through to get to my observations during Wolves at home – when was that? August?

I can only apologise for all the crap he’s had to endure over the last few hours.

I thought that the tone of my Baby Boomer blog the other night was quite clear in its intentions, and was quite clearly meant to be read as being tongue-in-cheek and a bit of light ribbing and fun, at a time when there’s been a lot of negativity around the club.

Comments about asbestos roofing, the amicable and placid Holdsworth being an ‘attack dog’, Ron being a spiritual leader, people 40 years old being ‘Baby Boomers’ – I thought it was obvious that it wasn’t meant to be read seriously.

But hey ho.

Back to Ron’s blog. It seems to be evenly weighted between two concepts:

  1. Ron doesn’t use the internet anymore, doesn’t comment anymore, and has ‘grown out of it’.
  2. Because I criticised Rowett’s decision making in the odd game here and there, that means I lose all right to be disappointed he’s been sacked.

If we quickly deal with the first point.

It’s a nice sentiment to be ‘above’ giving opinions, but when you have SIXTY FOUR THOUSAND tweets [six times what I have]. I think it’s a difficult argument to make.

And i’d say to Ron. Who cares if you enjoy posting on the internet? It’s not the dirty word it once was. Loads of people post on here. In all kinds of forums and mediums. Embrace it.

You’re too good a commentator to shy away [not that you are, with 64,000 tweets] but I say be proud of it, and comment more.

So I won’t accept that Ron is some noble, old timey, quiet type that has had to come forward after years of silence to make a point. He’s bloody everywhere, and I think it’s great.

The 2nd point is that, yes I criticised Rowett. I praised Rowett too. I’ll criticise Zola, and i’ll praise Zola.

Isn’t that a healthy way to think? Not be so pro or anti one or the other?

Just because I thought Rowett was a fool to substitute Che Adams at 1-1 at home to Wolves, doesn’t mean I want him sacked on the spot, a week before Christmas, have his whole backroom staff wiped out, piss the players off, rile the fans and plunge us into utter chaos.

It is possible to critique, but have a sense of the overall picture.

The great H-Bomb once said ‘Just because me and the wife argue, doesn’t mean I want to divorce her’.

I’ll finish because i’ve waffled enough and as you’ve found out to your great horror this week, I don’t like to post too seriously for too long.

All I would say is that I like you as a football fan, I like your Twitter feed, I don’t care that you post a lot, I want more, more Ron more, and I believe football supporters do have the right to moan about team selections without having to blow the whole thing up, rip up the script and demand wholesale changes.

That’s all.

(Thank you for your time *TheSpecialRon)

Blog Wars – Response to Ron’s Attack

The Wrath of the Boomers

hoddle-and-waddle-still-e1419892876960

What’s that famous quote?

If an infinite number of Baby Boomers, had an infinite number of twitter accounts and were typing for an infinite amount of time – could they post a tweet that wasn’t laced with a misguided sense of superiority, underpinned by a subtle threat of violence?

‘No’, if you were wondering what the answer is.

There’s a weird split among the Blues fans at the moment, and it’s weirder than the Zola-Rowett divide, or the controversy over the Chris Holland question, it’s weird because it seems, oddly, related to…age.

What do I mean?

Well, there seems to be quite a few Blues fans online, aged roughly from about 40 to 55, the Baby Boomers, who are ranting and raving about the ‘young fans’ – and the ‘young’ label is being hurled at everyone who missed out on watching Blues in the 80s.

The Boomers’ arguments seem, loosely, to relate to the following:

–          Anybody upset that Blues have sacked a former player in Rowett [who was well-liked and over-achieving] smack bang in the middle of the season [therefore  throwing the players into disarray, riling the majority of the fans, derailing the club and undoing two years of progress] is somehow a ‘Villa fan’ that needs to ‘go to Villa Park’.

–     Those fans upset a promising young British manager has been given the boot, in order for the club to become a sort of ‘QPR’ circus, with a celebrity manager flooding the club with mercenary loans and disinterested foreign stars is, again, some kind of ‘nouveau fan’, a ‘Premier League fan’, not a real Blues fan, and should once again, traverse to Witton.

–     Most of the fans upset Rowett has been sacked are ‘younger fans’ who didn’t watch us in the 80s, and have therefore never experienced any hardship as supporters and therefore do not have the right to hold any hopes or desires for the club, they can’t complain ever, they cannot criticise board members. Essentially they just have to just ‘belt up’ because they didn’t see the horror of the 80s.

The first thing to say about these vile Boomer slurs is that point two is utterly and ridiculously flawed.

This argument that somehow younger fans AGAINST the need for big celebrity names, sexy football, foreign mercenaries, instant success and promotion means they’re a new breed of ‘Premier League type fans’.

Huh?

How does that work?

Surely if you supported Rowett, and invested emotionally in the project, and were quite happy to see a slow progression; to see Blues stable, and signing players with the right attitude, and watching our team of misfits unite together to beat teams with much larger budgets and wage bills, using hard work, graft, discipline and tactics –  surely THAT is more in-line with what you’d believe a humble, ‘80s’ Blues mentality represents?

Not demanding Barcelona football on a shoe string budget.

That to me, strikes me as a very nouveau fan attitude to take. Yet, many of the online Boomers are making this very argument.

An argument that doesn’t make a lick of sense.

As for the 80s? Well, let’s deal with the Boomers’ outrageous lies, shall we!

The Boomers depict the 80s as some kind of Orwellian hell. Some rancid post-apocalyptic world for Blues which saw the club hit such intense lows that every fan who emerged from the era in one piece, subsequently went on to obtain ‘super-fan’ powers and consequently can never be questioned, or debated with.

It was like Vietnam, but worse.

And you weren’t there, man.

You weren’t there.

Well Boomers, how bad was it?

1980-81 – Top Flight

1981-82 – Top Flight

1982-83 – Top Flight

1983-84 – Top Flight

1984-85 – Championship

1985-86 – Top Flight

1986-87 – Championship

1987-88 – Championship

1988-89 – Championship

1989-90 – League One

….ONE season worse than what we’re dealing with at the moment.

One.

And half the decade in the top flight.

Whoah.

A couple more years in the Championship under Panos and TTA, and the post-McLeish Blues will have comfortably endured a worse time of it than anything experienced in the 80s.

Three seasons of Lee Clark is a close contender in itself.

So hark! Hark! Fellow MTV generationers, we’ve been sold lies and propaganda by the Boomers. They’re not super fans, they’re just people who had to endure an uncomfortable year at the end of the decade, and now they’re claiming status as 80s martyrs to posture and portray themselves as superior.

Well the Boomers aren’t wise oracles that must have total silence in the room when they impart their wisdom on the world.

They’re mentals. Their minds have been fried to mush by Tiswas and asbestos roofing.

You have to be a fruit loop to think sacking Rowett was justifiable, or to believe we should be blitzing everybody out of the water with the third worst budget in the division.

Just last week, a SHA forummer was delighting in Blues’ three defeats out of four, by praising ‘the angles of the passes‘.

We Rowett Youth members looked at one another agog and aghast. How can anybody think the ‘angles of the passing‘ is something worth celebrating, let alone suggesting it’s as important as all 3 pts?

Other messages on SHA were posted that because Barry Fry punched a steward in 1996, nobody is allowed to criticise Panos.

The other Boomers were delighted.

‘Great post’ , ‘What a star’, ‘Sums it up’. The Boomers chirped.

I felt like I was taking crazy pills. Total Boomer insanity.

These people should be seen and not heard, and preferably not seen if they’re still wearing their usual Parker jacket and bucket hat combo.

They’re crazed. Utterly obsessed with Nigel Gleghorn and Synthesizers. Refusing to enter the modern day realm.

Well, you’re not a superior fan because your parents had sex in the 60s. You just happened to be born at a time which allowed you to watch Blues in the 80s, which actually wasn’t all that bad in the end as we discussed earlier. If myself, or other members of the Rowett Youth were around in the 80s, we’d have gone down the Blues too. So there.

It’s time to close the book of memories. Put down the glass of freshly squeezed nostalgia. Stop demanding that Blues stay shit forever and that nobody is allowed to hold Panos and co to scrutiny, and start living in the present.

Just because Blues have ownership problems, there’s plummeting attendances, a TV star is president of the United States and Star Wars is smashing the box office, doesn’t mean the 80s are coming back….

…oh, ignore that last paragraph.

 

 

The Wrath of the Boomers

Brighton

gianfranco-zola-manager-of-birmingham-city

I imagine this is how the Germans of the 1940s felt when Hitler died. Or middle class housewives of the 1990s when Princess Diana passed away.

Rowett’s sacking still hurts.

I wasn’t going to go yesterday. My enthusiasm for the club is sapped at the moment – and I’m hoping it is for the moment. The damage done by TTA and their snake-like sinister salesman Panossss, feels permanent, but hopefully I can snap out of this.

I forced myself to go, because I sit with one of my mates in the Kop [while the others sit in the Tilton] and it wouldn’t be fair to leave the guy by himself.

I was thinking of going but taking a blindfold so I could have my own individual protest, purify my soul, not legitimise what has happened by looking at it on the pitch – but I turned off this idea as I imagine sitting for 45 minutes blind would be pretty uncomfortable and could damage my eye sight.

I then thought about potentially taking a book to read while the game was unfolding. But I probably couldn’t concentrate on the reading while the fans are shouting, so I decided on a final plan: go to the game, watch the action impassively, boo and jeer any sight of snake-like Panosss and refuse to acknowledge the former star of the TV show ‘Renford Rejects’, Gianfranco Zola, should he be introduced to the fans.

As I walked into the stadium, I was immediately hit by the sign on the big screen.

‘Discriminatory chanting will not be tolerated’.

Still emotionally wrecked by the events of the past few days, I assumed this was meant to try to dissuade us from singing anti-Italian and Chinese songs. ‘Fat chance of that’, I thought to myself. I got my camera out to take a picture of the sign when all of a sudden,  I felt a hand on my shoulder.

‘That’s our new manager there, move a little to the left, you’ll get a better picture of him’.

I turned sharply to see who had put their hand on my shoulder, only to see a smiling, warm, humble, working class face staring at me, full of hope and simple happiness.

It was a steward. A thin little man, with a bright orange coat two sizes too large for him, sporting an impoverished brown moustache and looking at me through wonky spectacles that were being held together by sellotape.

The steward was the kind of guy that bleeds Blues. He’s so Blues that he even got a job helping out at the ground on match days.

I had a ‘fuck Zola’ retort lined up. But as I looked into his hopeful beady little brown eyes behind his wonky sellotaped spectacles, I couldn’t do it.

I just couldn’t do it.

‘Oh right, yeh that’s good, see ya mate’

I couldn’t hurt this guy’s feelings. I walked towards my seat, the game was about to start at any minute. I slumped into my seat and folded my arms.

I’d forgotten my glasses in my haste to make the train, so all the players were slightly blurred, but in truth I wasn’t too bothered. Today wasn’t about the football, it was about protesting what had happened over the past few days.

And even though sitting impassively and jeering Panos would achieve the square root of diddly-squat – it’d make me feel better, so it was worth it.

The Tilton started chanting the name of Gianfranco Zola, the man who had once appeared in Bonnie Tyler’s video ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’.

I couldn’t believe it.

I looked at them in sheer disgust.

This spectacle reminded of an excellent television show i’d been watching of late, Westworld.

A show where a town of robot-like humans live at a Wild West-themed tourist resort, and the humans go along to kill, rape, abuse and torment the robots for their own pleasure. Every night the robots are taken back into the factory and have their minds wiped clean so they forget about the trauma.

Here the Blues fans had been taken into the TTA factory and their minds had been wiped clean.

The past 24 months had been totally erased from their consciousness.

‘What’s a Rowett?’

I heard a rotund woman in a fake fur coat titter as she laughed and sipped an alcoholic drink.

Oh my God.

Oh my God, the whole ground has had their minds wiped, and im the only one who hasn’t.

Shit.

Jesus Christ.

Am I the only one here who remembers???

I can’t be, surely.

I turned to look at my mate who was smiling and clapping along to the pro-Zola ditties like a lobotomized lemming.

I suddenly felt sick and dizzy, my view was going black and white and the pitch looked pixelated, I was about to pass out, my head was spinning.

I quickly fired up Twitter, anything for some clarity on the world. What was happening?

And then I saw Bob Latchford’s twitter output, and H-Bomb and a few others, who had typed pro-Rowett comments and in an instant the colour came back to my face, and serenity rushed over me – not every Blues fan had their minds wiped. Thank God.

Blues started the game quite well. There was a high tempo, high pressing and we hit the post. The players were playing for their Blues careers under the watchful eye of the new manager, the guy who once scored a back-flick against Norwich, Gianfranco Zola.

We took the lead. I didn’t celebrate. Not today, I was on protest.

It felt horrible.

It took every fibre of my being not to jump up and cheer. But I knew I couldn’t do it, that’s what Panossss wants. To just assassinate good people at the club and for us fans to just carry on as normal. I had to sit on my hands and remain rooted.

I never want to be forced into that situation again.

Blues were ticking along nicely, and we approached the 80th minute.

Most of the self-declared intellectual clique of Blues fans who celebrated Rowett’s unfair and unjust dismissal informed the rest of us that Rowett’s football was ‘boring‘ and that famous Zola would give us the ‘unknown‘ and the ‘entertaining‘.

Around the 80th minute, Blues were winning 1-0 and were looking like seeing the game out.

This was unacceptable.

And so the celebrity manager, Gianfranco Zola, decided to shake things up a bit and whip out the ‘unknown’ card to proceedings, by throwing an extra right back onto the field, an injured midfielder and a 5 foot 5, thirty-eight year old Robbo.

Brighton promptly responded with two quick-fire goals to claim all three points.

We’d lost, but the last ten minutes were anything but boring I guess you could say.

As i boarded the train on the way home, the TTA sinister snake-like salesman Panossss, finally remembered the passwords to his social media accounts and re-emerged onto the public arena to celebrate the defeat and stress that we all ‘stick together‘.

Try telling Rowett that.

Snake-like Panosss was quick to lean over the side of the VIP area and have instagram selfies with Blues housewives when the times were good. He was at every wine reception and players awards night going. But he was nowhere to be seen when the shit hit the fan and the fans wanted answers over the past few days.

That should tell you everything.

Thankfully we haven’t got a home game for a couple of weeks now. It should give me enough time to go to the factory and get my mind wiped over Christmas, and then too, I will find Lee Clarkian substitutions of the new era to be the height of entertainment.

Merry Christmas and have a happy new year to all the readers of Make Blues Great Again.

One day we will! One day, I’m sure.

 

 

Brighton

The Implosion of Blues: Day 2

It’s day two of the implosion.

After Rowett and his backroom staff were unceremoniously sacked on the spot yesterday, the situation deteriorated further into the evening and into this morning.

Yesterday tea-time, members of the Blues first team took to Twitter to post crying faces, confused and upset smileys in reaction to the devastating news. Other than Maghoma’s skilfully non-committal ‘wow’, no actual words were posted – but none needed to be; everybody understood the players’ united statement of anger, disbelief and despair.

Messages of shock and disgust poured in from football fans around the UK.

Well-wishers consoled broken Blues fans on Twitter, while key journalists and former pros slammed into TTA for their recklessness and improper behaviour.

As Rowett was clearing his desk, the failed manager and football celebrity Gianfranco Zola was announced as the new Blues coach, in what was increasingly looking like a sinister and pre-planned coup that had been formulated weeks ago when Blues were riding high in the top four..

At first, many fans, myself included, thought this was a reaction to a couple of bad defeats against Newcastle and Barnsley as well as being a statement that the vacuous new owners wanted a celebrity name in charge.

However, the ‘in the know types’ started suggesting Rowett had been sacked partly for under-using the weak and sickly Diego Fabbrini in his first team, but mainly because Rowett had been approached by QPR and Fulham over the past 12 months and had the temerity to listen to what they were offering, before opting to stay with Blues.

Apparently the package Fulham offered would have trebled Rowett’s wages.

The in-the-know types said that as a result of QPR and Fulham’s interest, Rowett was subsequently offered increased terms. He was yet to rubber stamp the new deal, but Rowett’s desire to be paid an equal rate to those managers at mid-table Fulham and QPR had enraged TTA sufficiently for them to give him the chop before he had chance to put pen to paper.

A small band of London-based, self-declared intellectual Blues fans that have always disliked Rowett were quick to praise the unaccountable TTA’s haste in sacking the highly rated young manager who took Blues from the bottom of the league to the edge of the automatic places.

They said his meeting with QPR and Fulham and the way it was used to increase his wages justified Blues taking this deeply damaging decision.

I would like those who associate with this wretched clique to think of this question: do you think it is right and proper that Rowett is paid three times less than his mid-table, Fulham counterpart?

If you believe Rowett should be perpetually stuck on the rate we paid him when he came from the lower leagues, you simply have no idea about performance related pay, and how to retain your better members of staff.

If you agree that Rowett has earned the right to be paid the market rate, then how can you praise TTA for sacking him?

Your position is illogical.

The other argument typically trotted out by this debauched troupe is that by speaking to Fulham and QPR and ultimately rejecting their advances, Rowett was obviously ‘looking to leave’.

Let’s face facts. If Rowett was looking to leave, he’d have done so, and QPR would have hired him over Ian Holloway in an instant. No argument.

Again, your position makes no sense.

And so the football celebrity, Gianfranco Zola became manager. A man with a poorer win ratio than Lee Clark. A man who was chased out of Qatar for being inept. A man who was given the boot by Cagliari for winning just two games out of ten.

The small band of self-appointed intellectuals hailed the decision as ‘progress’.

Meanwhile the famous Gianfranco Zola informed members of the press at his unveiling to the media that he would seek to ring Rowett in the week and ask him what to do.

A club that was moving in the right direction and getting scalps against teams with greater budgets and resources had been decimated in just 24 hours.

There was a momentum about Blues, we were selling out away allocations for every fixture for the first time in my life; younger fans were coming down and coalescing around DavoBirmingham and his media output; supporting Rowett’s Blues was cool, we were going places; there was a bond between the players and the fans, the likes of David Davis, Shotton, Juke, Kieftenbeld would leave nothing on the pitch at the full time whistle and the fans appreciated them for it.

With the promise of funds in January, things were looking bright and Rowett had earnt a transfer window with a proper budget to show us what he can do.

But all this, alas, is now dead.

We are now back to the Lee Clark days.

The well-known Gianfranco Zola told the press that he was to ‘implement the wishes of TTA on the football pitch’.

Team selections would now be handled by Hong Kong.

At the time of writing this, the Blues Trust were planning to put together a tasteful tribute to Gary Rowett to thank him for all his achievements over the past 24 months. At the time of writing this, they were currently being bombarded with hate mail and abuse by the small band of London-based self-appointed intellectuals on Twitter.

In-fighting and implosion abound.

Those days of promise in the top four of the division seem a long, long, time ago.

The Implosion of Blues: Day 2

Justice for Rowett

Gary Rowett has been sacked as Blues manager and I am one seething individual.

I never thought I’d see this day. I always thought when Rowett leaves it’ll be after endless attempts by the Blues to keep hold of him but he’d ultimately be poached by a Premier League club who fancied taking a gamble on an up-and-coming young coach.

If Rowett was to be sacked I would have thought it would have been as a result of Blues floating around the bottom of the league and under serious threat of relegation.

Not when we’re 3pts off 3rd place in the league.

How the hell are you going to sack a guy who’s steered the club to being 3pts off 3rd place despite not having a pot to piss in? 

We’re out-performing Norwich, Villa, Derby, clubs who have spent multi-millions of pounds.

Not only is he over-achieving with the resources available at the club, but the guy has built a tight-knit team down at St Andrews in which the manager is a fundamental part. You’ve ripped out a guy who managed to win that rare prize of holding both the respect and the friendship of the dressing room.

The guy’s idolised by the fans, he’s a former player with local links to the club and you’ve sacked him a week before Christmas.

You vile vile c***s.

And there’s absolutely no justification for this. It is immoral and senseless.

Even if there’s a super-star manager lined up, even if my personal favourite Big Sam is lined up, this is still ethically wrong, on every level. It’s outright disgusting.

What this stinks of, unfortunately, is yet again another once-proud English club has been flogged on the free market to a bunch of clueless, top four obsessed Sky Sports app watching Chinese who want to massage their own egos and impress their friends by buying a football club and bringing in some clueless, cretinous, pigeon English-speaking ‘celebrity manager’ that couldn’t find their arse with both hands. Zola, Di Matteo, Solskjaer, all to give the Chinese a power-trip.

I thought we were past all this.

Just when your enthusiasm for Blues starts to grow and it looks like we’re building something,, you get zapped like this and the club is once again thrown into the wild.

I mean look at the bookies list of possible replacements: Billy Davies, Keith Curle, Zola, Kenny Jackett etc. They’re all shit. Massively massively shit. Bloody hell, It’d be a nightmare situation if we found ourselves thrust into their arms by chance, let alone actively putting ourselves into this situation through choice.

I can’t rationalise this. It’s not only immoral and unethical, it’s downright damaging and f***ing senseless too.

I don’t particularly want to go to St Andrews to prop these slime ball owners up. Not to associate myself with these low lives. This has put me right off.

And what is the FA doing? Nothing. Of course nothing.

Coventry, Portsmouth, and Blues, all proud, storied football clubs, all passed around the backrooms of Chinese nightclubs like prostitutes and sold from criminal to criminal.

Thousands of people in our working class towns and cities messed around as they watch something they have spent years emotionally investing in being ripped to shreds by asset strippers and Beijing Del Boys wanting 5 minutes of fame.

Will the FA step in and revolutionise club ownership in England?

Naah. It’s only two Midlands side and Pompey. I can’t see them being interested until it hits West Ham or one of the traditional top four.

We’re playing Brighton on Saturday and the game is no longer about the football. How can it be?

It’s now about sending a message to Super Trophies Asia, or Wicked Cool Cups Shanghai [or whatever the name of the fake companies these shysters are operating under] that the sooner they get out of our club the better.

Blues fans have a weird pride in that we don’t do what the Blackburn fans did when they gave Steve Kean shit every day of his life for being inept; and neither do we get the bedsheets out like Villa do whenever they have a downturn in form.

But I’m done with that. I’ll boo these f***ers and hurl cocktail sausages on the pitch until the cows come home.

Might not achieve anything, but it’ll make me feel good, and that’s an improvement on the seethe I’m harbouring at the moment.​

Justice for Rowett

Afternoon up the Toon – Entourage Day Out Special


The Mail opted not to publish the blog I produced in which I criticised Lee Ryder for his anti-Blues article.

I think if you are going to come out and slam a club and its fans in the public domain you then have to expect some sort of counter-argument. I’d say my article was balanced [*conceals smile*]. I quoted the guy verbatim from his Newcastle Chronicle piece, explained why these assertions were ill informed and outright wrong and finished by adding a few comedy metaphors about punching horses.

Perfectly reasonable I hear you cry! Yes, yes exactly.

In fairness to the Mail [who have given me free rein hitherto] they probably don’t want to trigger a public spat between a high ranking employee at a sister paper and themselves, no matter how funny and potentially lucrative [I reckon it’d generate a fair few clicks and shares] it might be. Ah well, water under the Tyne Bridge now.

Incidentally, as it came to pass, the Mail would ultimately spare my blushes, as all my pre-match bravado would be undone within just 30 minutes of the kick off.

There were 12 of us in total heading up to Newcastle from the Royal Duchy of Solihull and we’d arranged to stop in Newcastle on Saturday night and head home on the Sunday morning.

I was heading up with Chris, who was driving me, Paul and Martin up to the bleak North in his spacious Insignia.

This was going to be a long ass journey. I didn’t want to rinse all of my iPhone battery away and I thought conversation would probably run dry by Sheffield so I decided to bring a book with me, my Trump book: ‘Great Again – How to Save Our Crippled America’.

Trump was standing imposingly on the front cover in front of an American flag. The kind of strong alpha posture he might exhibit when he tells the Chinese that they can’t flood their steel onto the world market any longer, or that Amy Schumer is to be sent to the gulag forthwith.

I flicked through the book and looked at the contents page, the chapters were strong: ‘Healthcare is Making Us Sick; Immigration: Good Walls Make Good Neighbo[u]rs; Climate Change: A Lot of Hot Air’. I let out a short but punchy laugh and imagined just how angry these headings would make the Guardian’s Owen Jones. Good stuff.

We made a pit-stop at a service station north of Wetherby – full of Blues.

Isn’t it weird how you seem to drive past services every 10 minutes or so on the motorway, but no matter which one you decide to enter on a good #bcfcawayday, it’ll always be full of Blues fans who have set up camp and have seemingly been there hours.

Some youths in Blues Adidas sportswear were doing keep-ups with a miniature football in the car park. Fat types were standing next to the official coaches, sipping tea in steaming plastic ups and talking to the even fatter driver with a fag in his gob. Other Blues fans were whizzing about to and fro around the entrance looking for booze and Burger King.

When we went to Cardiff last year, one of the lads brought along his Uncle Terry who was introduced as a retired high ranking member of the Zulus and knew all the pubs we were to avoid if we didn’t want any trouble.

He was like some sort of Red Indian chieftain who knew the lay of the land, but instead of knowing what type of cactus to drink the water from on the red plains of Arizona; Uncle Terry knew the pubs to avoid if you didn’t want a glass bottle wrapped around your bonce in the post-industrial inner city suburbs of the Welsh capital – both, you’d imagine, are useful bits of knowledge in the right setting.

Uncle Terry had given us a dressing down within minutes of our meeting at Cardiff. We’d arrived late [at 10am] and our lateness had eaten into the drinking time apparently – he and our mate had been there since 8am.

As we queued up in Costa at the service station north of Wetherby and waited for three Venti Hazlenut Lattés with sprinkles and cream on top, we could only imagine Uncle Terry’s seething anger if he ever became aware of it.

Back on the motorway and after going under the Tyne and paying to get through a toll, in a really shitty Geordie version of the Channel Tunnel, we arrived at our pub/hotel, had a couple of quick drinks, dropped the bags off and ordered a taxi to St James’ Park.

The taxi driver collected us and was a Newcastle fan as you’d expect. Most of the journey was spent listening to him rant and rave about their fancy-dan players in the current squad and in the teams of years gone by.

‘Ah picked up Andy Cole once yer naa?’

‘Oh really?’ we enquired.

‘£19.80 the fare came ta. Gave me a 20 din’e? An tha’ c**t only asked for his 20p! Aye, he did!

‘Michael Owen like, ee’s anova mercenary. Total mercenary, a’said it at tha’time. Nae bother tho lads. One a’me maytes worked in his house on a building job for a while an ‘ad a wank in his bed! So we got the last laff!’

‘7 poun 80 please lads. An, on yer way home tonight, don’t let the robbin black cabs charge you more than 9 quid. I know what they’re like.

Into St James’ Park and the climb began.

Ok, this is the most niche [and therefore pointless] analogy ever, but there’s an episode of the 90s Nickelodeon TV show ‘Kenan and Kel’ where the whole episode revolves around them climbing up the tallest skyscraper in Chicago – well, that seemed like a spot of light exercise compared to this insane undertaking.

When we got to our seats and the teams came out, we were above the birds. You could see planes taking off in the distance. Looking down it was like watching that screen you used to get on the Championship Manager PC games where your players are dots moving about on the pitch.

From what we could see, the 11 blue dots were camped in their own half, and were being bombarded by the 11 black dots relentlessly.

What can I say about the game that hasn’t been said already and won’t bore you back to tears?

If you’re going to park the bus and hope to frustrate Newcastle, why wouldn’t you play a defensive midfielder? Surely Kieftenbeld has to play? An unfit Tesche and a feeble and irrelevant Gleeson won’t offer a shield for the back four.

If you wanted to nick a draw and keep it tight, why would you play a front four of Donaldson, Adams, Stewart and Cotterill? All of which will only track back and defend in-part. That’s a front four you’d expect to see if we’re at home to Rotherham and getting loads of the ball, not here where it should be all hands on deck.

Blues were set out in a bizarre way. We didn’t have a single midfielder who could tackle or track back, yet the mind-set was to sit back. So we essentially played ‘park the bus’ with a bunch of non-defensive players.

We tried to play on the counter but fielded no wingers capable of running with the ball. The Cotterill on the left and Stewart on the right experiment was disastrous again.

It was bizarre line-up, and Newcastle cut through the Blues like a blunt knife through melted butter. I’ve never seen a Blues team sit so deep and STILL let the opposition players get yards of space in behind them.

It was a shocking performance. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever been amongst Blues fans at a game when we’ve ironically cheered our first shot on goal [about the 80th minute by the way].

We took 3200 fans four hours up the road to Newcastle and what we saw was probably the worst away performance in decades.

The Newcastle fans on social media praised our support as the best they’ve had all season, but it was sub-par by our standards in reality. After the 2nd goal all the enthusiasm was sucked out of the away end and you saw everybody visibly deflate.

It wasn’t just the fact the game was killed after about 30 minutes, but the manner of how we were losing. We couldn’t even string three meaningful passes together. I think the Toon fans were impressed with our backing because of the numbers we took and we were admittedly loud while the game was 0-0 and 0-1.

By the time the third went in, I looked around the Blues end and it looked like the waiting room at a Dignitas clinic. All the build-up, excitement, planning, travelling, drinking, and singing had been nullified and erased by the most lifeless and gutless of displays.

The fourth went in and half our group left to go back to the pub.

We caught up with the others and spent the evening drowning our sorrows; refusing to take praise from the Geordies because of how shit we were and discussing our mutual hatred of Villa on a bar crawl around the toon.

Our Villa mate who now lives in Leeds drove up to see us for the night time festivities. He’d stuck 50 quid on Newcastle 3-0 – suddenly the 4-0 defeat wasn’t looking so bad.

His misery was compounded when an old skool transvestite [and im talking Pete Burns (RIP) / Lily Savage, not the new fangled ones they have these days like theres Something About Mirriam] who was sporting a big blonde beehive wig, scary clown-like make up and had tattoos all over her arms, was standing outside a pub entrance and found out our mate was a Villa fan.

‘I’ll spunk on ya face and clear your spots ya Villa bastard’ was hurled in his direction.

‘Eh Proclaimer, wheres ya brother?‘ (The Villa fan is ginger and wears glasses) the tranny heckled .

All genders of Geordies seemingly hate the Vile as much as we do.

As we traveled back to the Midlands the next day Martin got a text off his Blues-mad Mom.

Brownie had the right idea taking a book to read by the sounds of it‘.

She was half right. Newcastle was great, its just a shame our players didnt get the memo and offer some kind of input in making the whole day one to remember.

On to Ipswich.

Afternoon up the Toon – Entourage Day Out Special

Smashing The Geordie Establishment

lee-ryder

2016 is the year the establishment around the world has been smashed.

In America, the God Emperor Trump was elected President, and here in Britain, Brexit won out in the EU referendum, against the odds, and against the desire of the elites.

In both the Trump and Brexit movements it was remarkable being witness to the war of words between the mass body of working class people, and the establishment journalists and media types who apparently knew better.

Blues fans reading this will be nodding their heads and recognising this phenomenon. For we have already suffered these smears and attacks.

It wasn’t Brexit, and it wasn’t Trump, but our anti-establishment event occurred two years prior when we dared to desire a change from the Lee Clark era, when we had the audacity to dream of something better, of something more.

The Geordie establishment were not happy and boy did they let us know about it.

Fast forward just two short seasons and when Blues take to the field on Saturday at St James’ Park, we will do so as a top six side and as a serious contender for a play-off finish.

Should we beat the Magpies when the final whistle sounds – we’ll find ourselves just six points behind them.

Presumably, over in the press box, Lee Ryder of the Newcastle Chronicle will be choking on his greasy mystery-meat parmo in disbelief.

Back in October 2014 Ryder used his platform to spit fire at Blues, and tear the club to shreds for daring to sack Lee Clark, the article read like an embittered Geordie love letter of loss.

Ryder declared that Clark had ‘worked miracles with Blues’ steering us to a lofty 21st position, as we survived on goal difference thanks to a dodgy penalty in the Leicester/Doncaster game.

Our sacking of Lee Clark, apparently, underlined Blues as ‘one of English football’s comedy clubs’.

I had to sit down for a moment.

I mean, can Newcastle hurl that smear at us? Really?

A club with a fan base famous for jeering their own team; picking fights with horses; engaging in mass walkouts in the 60th minute of games they’re losing; whistling in high pitched accents; and getting individuals with gynecomastia to show off their beer belly tattoos to the Sky Sports cameras during winter fixtures?

If Blues are one of England’s comedy clubs, Newcastle are world class.

Back into the article and Clark was depicted by Ryder as a ‘Geordie hero’ with ‘fresh ideas’. Blues fans who saw us 4-0 down to Blackburn after 40 minutes when Clark decided to play Caddis in the middle of midfield, Packwood at right back and Callum Reilly at centre half certainly found the ideas…fresh, to say the very least.

Apparently, Clark could wield an ‘incredible book of contacts’. Unfortunately for Blues most of these contacts appeared to be relatives of the 1995 Newcastle side, and not the good ones either. Olly Lee. OLLY LEE. Released by Barnet for being surplus to requirements, but then somehow he made his way up two or three divisions and into a Championship XI.

Freddy Shepherd’s agent grandson was allowed to represent young Blues prospect Demarai Gray, and later played a pivotal role in negotiating Gray’s disgustingly low release clause, which ultimately paved the way for Gray to leave the club for a good £10m below the market rate.

Sweet revenge for sacking Clark.

Like the bite of a dying snake, the poison of the Geordie establishment was still being felt well after they’d gone.

Ryder ended his tirade by suggesting Blues fans who harboured ambitions of seeing the blue machine up the other end of the table were living in ‘cloud cuckoo land’.

Well, it looks like the cuckoos have come home to roost Mr Ryder.

Prior to the blip against Barnsley, Rowett [with the same level of resources Clark had at his disposal] had adroitly marshalled a Blues team of free transfers, loans and youth team players into the top 4 of the division and hot on the heels of Newcastle – the most expensively assembled squad in Championship history, with a pissin’ European Cup winning manager at the helm.

And on Saturday, you have to say that whatever the result, Blues’ decision to move on from Clark and on to the professionalism of Rowett has been vindicated and then some.

The Geordie Establishment scoffed and mocked Blues, they suggested we lived in cloud cuckoo land and were a comedy club – but over the course of the subsequent two years Blues have been quietly building a unified, hard-working, dark horse [put your fists away Geordies] side that now has more than a shot at making the play offs, while Newcastle continued to disgrace themselves on the national stage, culminating in another comedy relegation.

As the saying goes, those East End of Newcastle types supposedly never walk away from anything, but ignorantly commenting on the affairs of a club you know nothing about and hurling around insults is probably one undertaking they should have made an exception for.

 

 

Smashing The Geordie Establishment