4 By Ian  |   The Ball  |   September 13, 2008  |     10

There are few things in football that are more pleasurable to hear than a damn good booing, but you don’t hear enough of it these days. Too many football supporters are far too supine these days – they put up with whatever they’re given. There’s none of that going on at Newcastle United at the moment. They’re angry. There is an extent to which the whole situation there has spiralled out of control. Kevin Keegan’s record there wasn’t terribly good, so quite why Newcastle United supporters have decided to get quite so worked up about this is anybody’s guess.

Keegan was born in Scunthorpe rather than Newcastle, and didn’t sign for them until 1984 during the twilight of his playing career. The sum total of his “messiah” status upon Tyneside as a player was winning the Second Division in 1984. It’s easy to forget this, such is the hubris that surrounds Keegan’s relationship with Newcastle. You’d think that he was born on the centre circle at St James Park, but the truth of the matter was that until the Keegan PR machine got involved, he was more closely associated with Liverpool or even Southampton than he was with Newcastle United. You can’t help but think that the people of Scunthorope have been short changed.

Meanwhile, Mike Ashley continues to look for an exit strategy. He has been linked with Anil Ambani, an Indian telecommunications (you can probably guess the next word) billionaire. The asking price is said to be £250m, which would seem to indicate that Ashley thinks that Ambani should pay for all the transfer mistakes that have been made of the last couple of years, which is a novel way of approaching takeover talks. Ambani is said to be keen to return Keegan to the manager’s position, which would surely be the single worst managerial appointment of the season were it to come to pass. The likelihood remains high, however, that Gus Poyet, Dennis Wise’s former right hand man at Leeds United, will be installed as manager.

There are many things that football supporters could or should be protesting about at the moment, so it almost seems a shame that when an organised protest takes pace, it’s over something that is, in the overall scheme of things, comparatively trivial. The likely beneficiaries of all thi nonsense are likely to be Hull City, who are visiting St James Park to play a team whose morale is at absolute rock bottom. Still, at least they’re complaining about something, which is a start.



Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

  • September 13, 2008 at 2:26 pm


    The real question is, if Gus Poyet goes to Newcastle, will Juande Ramos finally give his own interviews on Match of the Day? And possibly reveal why he’s not done it before. I can’t believe it’s due to a lack of English after nearly a year in charge, so my money is on Pasquale-voice.

  • September 13, 2008 at 10:13 pm


    There was some damn good booing going on after the match I was at today.

    Check this out:,,10312~1391801,00.html

    Notable quote from Stan Ternent:

    “It’s not my fault, it’s the players’ fault”

  • September 14, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Michael Wood

    I personally think that booing in football is like swearing in 14 year olds. Overused to such an extent that it is not worth bothering with at the moment. Almost every team that is losing at home gets booed off at half or full time with pretty much scant regard they or the opposition have played.

    The Bradford City team that went top today were booed off at half for being one down in a game that they would win four-one. The second half performance was not massively better – it just had four goals in it.

    This is the problem with the booing at football. It is not reserved for the worst situations. Perhaps the people at Newcastle should be booing their hearts out but I know for sure that being one down at half time and having your legendary manager sacked should not be treated in the same way.

    Speaking of that manager. Kevin Keegan was born in nearer Doncaster not Scunthorpe and when Newcastle played at Keepmoat at the start of this season much was made about him coming home. It is a bit harsh to criticise him for being more connected with Liverpool than Newcastle before he had played for Newcastle but it seems true to say that manager and supporters had found a perfect match with both trading in optimism more than most (to their credit)

    Seeing the Newcastle fans today was upsetting. Like some kind of oft dumped lover one day they will grow as cynical as everyone else and they will become another bunch of spoilt brat football fans expecting to be better than everyone else without doing the work. We have Man City fans for that.

  • September 14, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Allan Moore

    After Eddie Smith and all that on the first day of the season at Parkhead, any official who makes a horlicks of things IS guaranteed to be booo’d and given the “SFA W**k W**k W**k” song at Love Street

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