Date:Thursday April 26 2012
You can't call this season anything but a success.
Success comes in so many shapes or forms and varies from club to club but here at St James' Park has seen maybe the greatest of all or could be if we achieve an unthinkable Champions League slot.
At the majority of clubs, success is judged on a trophy filling a cabinet whilst at a bare minimum it could be staying in a division. Here it is the story of overcoming the odds, the inner demons, the boy against the man, however you want to tart it up, it's been a story of turnaround so dramatic that the Hollywood scriptwriters would again be shaking their heads in disbelief.
The phrase 'rollercoaster' is used too often in football and by clubs that may have the odd blip once in a while but speaking as a fan, they don't know they're born or to put it bluntly. They've never rode the Toon rolleroaster because it carries a health warning of which only the strong survive. We're not at the end of it by any shot but we've just came through the biggest drop only to find the climb was supposedly too high. Everyone wrote us off saying it couldn't be done as we'd slip back down. Well, we've reached the summit with the promise of some surprises on this last bend of the current ride.
Not only has the team been assembled on a budget but it has been assembled with a hunger, desire and passion to compete at the highest level. Gone are the mega money stars and in are the team workers, players that have gelled together like a jigsaw. They may have cost a pittance in comparison to some teams star signings but the blend is invaluable. You can't put a price on trying 100%, which is what they do and what every fan in the world must dream for in any team they support. Im just so proud it's at mine.
Success has also been achieved amongst the fans whether they have forgiven Mike Ashley, Derek Llambias,whoever or not, the crowd numbers are back to normality (sell outs). The off field stuff is put to one side. Forgiven or forgotten? Im not so sure that'll ever happen but there's a bit of respect through gritted teeth there. We know the owner has made mistakes although it looks like he is learning by them but as ever, only time will tell.
The belief is back, the expectation level has been lowered and controlled, the business model is accepted now, the amount of players that want to play here and really die for the cause is rising. It's a positive time to be a Toon fan and one that is a million miles away from our last few years. The club has the opportunity now to really crack on as European football has been achieved, it's time to rip up that '5 year plan', let bygones be bygones and work on getting us up that final few rungs of the ladder. The potential is there and by that i really mean massive potential. The ground will need an extension to maximise the income stream because when we all sing off the same hymn sheet, the choir all want to join in.
Credit where credit's due. Now lets crack on and conquer the world.
Date:Thursday April 26 2012
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