A behind-the-scenes look at an exciting new era for Newcastle United has offered real hope as a new chapter begins with disappointment against Tottenham
A sold-out crowd flocked to St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon for an occasion that went far beyond football.
Newcastle United may have stumbled upon a 3-2 loss to Tottenham Hotspur, but the reality is that whatever pain has accompanied the loss, it has been a day of celebration around Tyneside.
The international break is seen by many as an inconvenience but for the Magpies it was transformative with their £ 305million takeover to see PIF, Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers take seats at the front table.
Newcastle’s struggle over the past few years has to be put into perspective when you look at those at the bottom of the football pyramid, but there is no doubt that the supporters have struggled under Mike Ashley as the underinvestment, the lack of ambition and the lack of communication left conditioned fans to believe that avoiding relegation was a great achievement.
The clash with Tottenham marked the start of an exciting new era for the club and their fans.
Questions continue to be asked about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record in the Premier League club’s takeover, which should certainly be encouraged on a human level.
A group of fans voiced their concerns off the ground with a protest over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and while it is essential that this topic not be swept under the rug, it was a day in which the fans could celebrate the return of their club.
In football, it’s hard to blame supporters who just want to see their team play with pride and compete with ambition.
Hours after the takeover tickets for the Tottenham clash were sold out and so it was clear that it would be a memorable afternoon on and off the pitch.
A big surprise in the build-up was the news that Steve Bruce would be in the dugout.
The Newcastle boss was heavily tipped to be sacked ahead of the Spurs clash, but revealed at his press conference on Friday afternoon that no discussion had taken place over his future, saying: “There was had no discussion about me.
“There are some discussions that need to be private, but it was all about the team, the injuries, how are we doing for the weekend, blah, blah, blah. It was very informal.
“I have to say they were very good people and it was good to see them. It’s good to see them around the training ground.
“Let’s not forget here, it’s a great thing that has happened for the club and the city and if that takes this great club forward then so much the better.”
It was Bruce’s 1000e match as a manager, but the experienced coach insisted the afternoon was not for him as he spoke of the “ridiculous atmosphere” that awaited him and his team, on this historic occasion.
He wasn’t wrong.
Fans gathered around St James’s Park more than four hours before kick-off as they looked to savor every drop of the positive sentiment in the city.
When the gates opened around 90 minutes before kick-off, it didn’t take long for fans to filter through and make it clear how thrilled they were to be back in St James’ Park on a new regime. .
As well as providing fans with flags which were waved by everyone at the end of Gallowgate, supporters unfurled a banner that read: “Because this is a mighty city built on solid ground and all that it is. they tried so hard to kill, we will rebuild ‘- a clear reference to Mike Ashley’s ill-fated reign as club owner.
St James’ Park was a who’s who of Newcastle legends with Shay Given, David Ginola and even And and Dec attending the game, but it was the new owners of the club that fans desperately wanted to catch a glimpse of.
PIF’s Amanda Staveley, Jamie Reuben and Yassir Al-Rumayyan were all introduced to the crowds ahead of kick-off to a heartbreaking noise from supporters chanting their names and pulling out their phones to snap a photo of the wealthiest owners of the sport world.
As Al-Rumayyan smiled and enjoyed the reception, Staveley hit the air as she lapped the adoration of passionate Newcastle fans – who can blame her?
As if the pre-game atmosphere weren’t enough, a goal within two minutes of Callum Wilson nearly blew St James’s roof off as supporters reveled in what they hoped was a goal to crown The beginning of a new era.
But while the long-term future looks incredibly bright, the rest of the game showed how important it is to walk before you run.
Despite a fiery opening, Newcastle ran out of steam and found themselves on the back foot for most of the game as the quality of Nuno Espirito Santo’s side shone.
Fans dream of league titles and cup wins, but based on this performance against an out of the ordinary Tottenham side, it seems there is a long way to go before that becomes a reality.
Starting fast and ending slow has become a hallmark under Steve Bruce and fans are sharing their feelings with the manager.
While being swept away by the feel-good atmosphere of the occasion, supporters began chanting “we want Brucey out” as the match entered the 71st minute and it became evident that any chance of saving a victory was dwindling.
It only got worse when Jonjo Shelvey was kicked out and those chants from the little corners of the stadium turned into widespread demand from all corners of St James’, leading Bruce to stress the need for “clarity” on the situation after the game.
While Newcastle United’s future looks incredibly bright after the £ 305million takeover deal, it’s clear that Bruce’s future and the run-up to the January transfer window must be a priority as , according to current evidence, the club is one-way. to a relegation battle at the end of the season.