This week on TalkSport, Ian Abrahams, otherwise known as Moose, decided he wasn’t really content with just siding with Ashley when it came to Newcastle, he decided to attack the city this time. While on Jim Whites show, Abrahams along with Danny Murphy decided to give their input on Newcastle.
Moose would out right claim that the only reason Newcastle get sell-outs every time at St James’ is because there is nothing else to do on a Saturday. Stating that just because we sell out doesn’t constitute a ‘Big Club’. The big club argument was backed up by Murphy, who agreed with the fact we sell out doesn’t make us a big club, but success does. The surprising thing about the whole thing was the fact that Jim White actually disagreed with both Abrahams and Murphy.
The views of Moose were rightly met with a backlash, even to the point that fellow TalkSport presenter Adrian Durham distancing himself from Abrahams claims. Asking that Newcastle fans and Journalist’s do not associate his views with the station, as they aren’t on the same page in that respect.
The backlash Abrahams received over the past 24 hours from people all over the North East, has forced the outspoken ‘journalist’ to take to twitter today to try and defend himself. Arguing that attracting a big crowd doesn’t make you a big club, but after reading the ‘constructive criticism’ has apologised about what he said about the region/city.
So to give a more impassioned perspective on his views, two of our columnists Carl and Will give their opinions, and invite everyone to do the same.
I think Moose’s opinions on TalkSport show nothing else apart from ignorance. Ignorance of a club he clearly knows nothing about, and a region and city he more than likely has only seen through a train window. Everyone has their own opinion on what defines a ‘Big Club’, with some thinking it’s all about trophies won over the past 20 years or so, or overall performance in the Premier League years. For me personally a big club goes on history and tradition, and in that context I would always consider the Toon a big club, but I’m biased, and most fans will always class their club as big. If you look at the clubs history we have won multiple FA Cups, League titles (albeit during the really early days) the fairs cup in 1969, which I’m sure was after colour television was invented! If you look at the past 20 years of so, under Keegan and Sir Bobby we were constantly at the top end of the table pushing the likes of Man U and Arsenal, add into that the two FA cup finals under Dalglish and Gullit, and the continuous European nights in all three competitions! Standing toe-to-toe with Europe’s elite and beating them. We have had some of the most exciting players in the prem play in the famous black and white! That admittedly has changed over the past 10 years (wonder what changed?!). On top of that St James’, along with the likes of Old Trafford and Anfield are iconic stadiums, known across the world, if nothing else for the atmosphere from the world renowned Toon Army.
Now that’s the football side, its not an argument many haven’t made before! But to say that we only turn up because there is nothing else to do! How wrong, on a such a public forum can you be. I am going to try and avoid turning this into a Trip Advisor advert, but if you don’t fancy going to the match, you can take a trek out to the Northumberland wilds, or visit the AWARD WINNING beaches we have. Don’t forget the history we have, with Hadrian’s wall, and enough Castles to keep anyone happy. What he has done is not only attack our club, and lets face it from some members of the media have made a living this summer attacking the club. But what he has done, before his ‘apology’ has attacked our home! It just screams ignorance from someone who clearly hasn’t got a clue about the region as a whole!.
There’s no denying our stature in the game has dwindled over the past decades. Long gone are the top 4 finishes and champions league nights at St James’ Park. Mike Ashley’s penny pinching has seen us ‘yo-yo’ between the top two divisions or, at very least, fighting relegation. Constant jibes over the past 10 years at Newcastle fans have become expected. We’re often referred to as deluded for airing our concerns that the squads we put out cannot compete, the transfers we make (or don’t) aren't sufficient and the concerning ambiguity regarding the money the club has to spend. We can all accept we don’t win silverware any more and haven’t in my lifetime, but 52000 Geordies turning up week in, week out - DOES make us a big club.
Regarding the aforementioned bile that unfortunately left the mouth of TalkSport clown, The Moose, I disagree entirely with him– especially the points made about our area. I was born and raised in Alnwick, Northumberland and anyone from the Toon will know Newcastle’s lure casts as far as the border. I've been a die-hard fan since I can remember anything, blessed with growing up through the Keegan/Shearer era. For Abrahams to suggest Newcastle is devoid of things to do either side of kick-off is obscenely inaccurate. Echoing Carl's sentiments, from culture to cuisine, beaches to beer – We have it all! Vibrant, diverse city nightlife contrasting the tranquil, picturesque landscape of 'Castle County' Northumberland – perhaps the Moose had his eyes closed?! Finally, One club cities are special. This is something Mr Abrahams will never understand with living and supporting a team in London. Newcastle United is a vital organ of the city, the heart, if you will. It's nothing like being a fragment of a city with multiple football identities.