We Newcastle United fans can be a sensitive bunch when people talk about our beloved club and quite often we take things the wrong way.
That's really a statement that is true of every fanbase, but as we tend to ignore what goes on in others, we really see it in our own, and Jamie Carragher has today riled up the Toon Army with his column in The Telegraph for daring to suggest Newcastle are not as good as last season made us out to be.
Surely, even the most ardent Newcastle fan can see that last season was a monumental overachievement which was helped massively by the poor fortunes of Liverpool and Chelsea. Was it fun? Yes. Was it amazing to witness and be a part of? Absolutely. Should we expect the same again this year? Of course not.
Jamie Carragher is absolutely right in saying that Newcastle took a giant leap last year and this season things are more realistic. We are where we should be. There is a case to be made that if we'd not had the horrendous injury record we've suffered and if Sandro Tonali could have kept off his betting app we'd be doing a bit better, but it is what it is.
So as I sat reading the article by Carragher I was thinking to myself "here we go again, our lot getting overly sensitive and hammering Carragher for having a different opinion". Then half way down the piece things started to change.
It wasn't so much what Carragher was saying was factually inaccurate, it was just the way he was saying things. Obviously, it's hard to read tone, but there was a smug sense of superiority when he started comparing Newcastle to Liverpool that really got my back up.
"Too often over the past year I have found myself pleased for Newcastle that a turbulent era is over and the good times are heading back, but wincing when some of the euphoria was getting out of hand with premature predictions of title bids, Champions League success and superstar signings.
"The same applies during a difficult period; it is important for everyone connected to Newcastle not to get too down after recent results.
"Newcastle’s trip to Anfield on Monday is a reminder of how tough it is to sustain a position near the top of the Premier League. Liverpool’s surprisingly horrendous 2022-23 season is a key reason why Newcastle finished in the top four. There was always the likelihood Liverpool would recover with a few good signings.
"The idea that Newcastle could immediately catapult themselves to the level of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and a fearsome new rivalry would develop was extremely optimistic and a little naive."
Alright mate, climb down off your high horse a second. It wasn't naive, we were just enjoying ourselves. The talk of winning titles and the Champions League was coming mostly from the media, not the fans. We know better than to get carried away when this club is concerned, but that's not to say we won't have a bit of banter and let ourselves get carried away when things are going so well.
Also, Liverpool's crap season was a factor in Newcastle finishing fourth, sure, but a key reason? Nah mate, our quality performances, amazing team spirit, and that spell when Miguel Almiron channeled Lionel Messi were key factors.
As I said before, it's difficult to pick up on tone when reading something, so, for clarification, those last two paragraphs were very shouty.
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