Sun 26 Nov 2023, 11:12 by Ash Harrison

Newcastle co-owners praise their side before firing thinly veiled dig towards SJP atmosphere

Newcastle co-owners praise their side before firing thinly veiled dig towards SJP atmosphere
Oli Scarff via Getty Images
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Newcastle United battered Chelsea 4-1 at St James' Park yesterday with a superb team performance.

Eddie Howe's men were so comfortable that he was able to hand Premier League debuts to three youngsters in Alex Murphy, Michael Ndiweni and Amadou Diallo.

It was a sensational performance from everyone on the pitch. A few lads made mistakes, sure, but they more than made up for those errors, unlike the Chelsea team who let their mistakes define their game.

The St James' Park atmosphere isn't what it used to be

While the team performed exceptionally, there are question marks over the St James' Park atmosphere this season, so much so that now our owners are starting to notice.

Mehrdad Ghououssi says "we need to be louder" and moments later Jamie Reuben replied, adding "yes we need to match the intensity of the players with our support". Amanda Staveley then posted on Instagram saying that the atmosphere was great and thanked the "twelfth man" before editing the post and taking that part out.

The blame goes both ways for the flat atmosphere

However, as fans, we need to turn those judgmental fingers back in the owners' direction. The farcical changes made to the ticketing system make it impossible for people to sit where they want, or to pass on their tickets to like-minded fans when they can't attend a game, leaving pockets of empty seats around the ground.

We've seen how good the crowd can be, and it undeniably helps our team and unsettles the opposition, but everything needs to be perfect for it to be absolutely rocking. We have captured lightning in a bottle but it all seems dependent on many factors: Kick-off time, the opponent, what's at stake and what is happening on the pitch all have probably too much of an impact. We need to be better, every game needs to be treated like an occasion.

Wor Flags do a great job pre-game but we shouldn't be solely relying on them to create an atmosphere, their efforts should be there to set the tone, an accompaniment to a rousing signature dish. Other fans could do more during the game, but it is unlikely to happen organically. The club needs to step in, implement more safe standing, and attempt to get more like-minded fans together. We've seen first-hand the impact of the Ultras at Milan, and the Yellow Wall at Dortmund and even closer to home, Arsenal's atmosphere has improved immeasurably at the Emirates after the club intervened and helped create a dedicated singing section the "atmosphere area". Cringe name but the right idea.

At the end of the day, there's no one right answer here and hopefully, the newly formed Fan Advisory Board will help the club to iron out the kinks and get the atmosphere to match the stunning performances our lads are creating on the hallowed turf.

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