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.