St. James Park

The English Premier League is off to a promising finish.

We are in the process of moving away from the insignificant.

The players and the media have been providing us with few-off-the-field moments, which excited us for a while, all throughout the season.

For instance, Carlos Tevez’s three-month long absence, Balotelli and his consistent meltdowns and the London clubs (Chelsea and Arsenal) constant media scrutiny, due to their poor run, which somehow seems to be waning away as of late. And many more…

And while we were preoccupied with these, we have ignored the strong performances by the club from Newcastle upon Tyne.

To a point where it makes me want to grab every Manchester United, Manchester City including myself, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool supporter by the shoulder and say, “Focus!”, anyone notice Newcastle United?

Currently, 4th in the table and with four more league games remaining, their place in Europe appears to be secure.

All good for a club with very strong history, and that as of recently, was promoted back to the Premier League a few seasons ago.

The club had gone through some rough times in the past decade apart from being relegated in 08-09.

Since the time the great Sir Bobby Robson was sacked as manager in 2004, Newcastle United has gone through eight different coaches in 7 or so years.

Moreover, the situation with the owner was not bright either. Mike Ashley was lambasted in basically every home game during the 08-09 season. The NUFC faithful were against him operating the club they love. Most recently, he had fallen out of grace after renaming St. James Park to Sports Direct Arena but had eventually redeemed himself with shrewd decisions on bringing in players that have contributed to the club’s recent fortunes.

Selling Andy Carroll for £35 million to Liverpool and adding players like Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Santon and Tiote for £5 million and under. Along with that, the impactful Senegalese strike force of Demba Ba (who was bought in for free) and Papiss Cisse for £9 million has made all the difference. The two have managed to rack up 27 goals among themselves.

Surely, credit goes to Mike Ashley (as money hungry as he is) and manager Alan Pardew on bringing on this positive vibe to the club.

Alan Pardew - Newcastle United

Neither of them had been perfect on every point, but they are not equal. Mike Ashley and Alan Pardew, have differing views on taking the club forward. One is progressive; the other is well, where the money lies. I say this as talks for Demba Ba moving to PSG emerges with Ashley supporting it.

I have no personal grievance with him. I don’t believe he is an evil man as many might assume. I just think he is dangerous. Unprincipled desire always is.

Nonetheless, despite of all the ups and downs, as it emerges currently, Newcastle United is on its way back to its glory days. And if this progress is nurtured positively, we could see them competing toe-to-toe with the likes of the big 5 in the coming seasons.

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