truefaithnewsletter@gmail.com

View this email in your browser

Welcome to today’s pre-match issue of The Special from your friends at true faith.  On behalf of everyone at true faith I hope you enjoy today’s read but I’ll also take this opportunity to point out that Alex Hurst has given us another one of his powerful match previews and you shouldn’t miss that – it’s available here.  

We are now fairly advanced at working on the next issue of the fanzine (TF123) and once again I’m excited at some of the top notch material we have in there for you. It’s a privilege that so many Newcastle United supporters see true faith as the place to come to express their opinions on the club but also to share their wider football experiences too.  As I hope you all know we have switched to a model for the fanzine which allows us to provide it to you absolutely and completely FREE of charge. This first FREE issue of true faith has been by some considerable distance the most widely read issue we have ever had since 1999 and that is extremely satisfying for us. Having been knocking out a fanzine since 1999 it’s not an empty boast for us to claim true faith is the most widely read fanzine in the UK. Thanks to all of you for indulging with us with your time in reading our fanzine.

Before we get the next issue available to you however you can still get stuck into TF122 and here it is for your reading pleasure. 

Keep On, Keepin' On ... 
Share
Tweet
Forward

Liverpool (h)

SWOT analysis - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

The appointment of Jurgen ‘Klippity” Klopp has galvanised Liverpool. He has shaken up the place and reinforced Liverpool’s primary purpose - to win trophies. Even McClaren has said in the run up to the game that he can already see Klopp shaping the Reds like Borussia Dortmund. Comparing it to the shambles on Barrack Road, where the primary purpose is profit through player trading, is enough to make you weep. Where is McClaren taking us - to be ‘the best we can be pound for pound’? It hardly stirs the emotions does it?

Klopp has abandoned Brendan Rogers’ ‘possession for possession’s sake’ football, very reminiscent of what we are seeing under McClaren, and replaced it with ‘gegenpressing’ - pressing high up the pitch to get possession in areas of the field which hurt the opposition. It is most effective against teams which try to play possession football as they are most likely to be caught on the ball in dangerous areas. If McClaren persists with his theory that by keeping the ball for six passes his team are controlling the game this could get messy. 

Like McClaren, Klopp favours 4-2-3-1 but with the high pressing game it becomes a much more aggressive system than the one we play where our two defensive midfield players pick the ball off the toes of the central defenders and either pass it back to them or sideways to the full-backs. Klopp’s team do this twenty or thirty yards higher up the pitch and try to move the ball forward much more quickly. Width is provided by the full-backs who bomb on. The five midfielders attempt to overload and obtain possession with a view to a rapid transition into danger areas for the opposition. Gegenpressing is usually triggered by an opposition player receiving the ball when he has limited options available. This makes it easier to close those options down. A good example is a player receiving the ball in his own half with his back to the opposition goal so that he can’t see what is happening behind him. He can only pass the ball backwards or sideways which makes it easier to shut down those options. It is a system which requires players to be disciplined and super-fit to press effectively as well as highly technically skilled, working the ball in tight areas. De Boer does something similar with Ajax and Pochettino with Spurs. Don’t expect to see it at SJP any time soon.

One way of combatting the gegenpress is to go long, bypassing the midfield area and getting straight at the exposed defence, particularly down the channels, into the space vacated by the full-backs. Ideally we would need height, pace, fitness and power up front to make this strategy work. Hmm.

The team Klopp sent out last Sunday in their 1-0 win against Swansea (another team whose game is based on possession) was:

Player for player they are better than us just about everywhere across the park. Klopp also has the luxury of bringing on subs such as Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson should he so wish. Both came off the bench against Swansea. Sturridge also started and scored twice in the Reds’ 6-1 thrashing of Southampton on Wednesday in the League Cup despite Klopp making six changes to his team. In some ways it was reminiscent of Liverpool’s embarrassing 6-0 win (without Suarez) at SJP in April 2013 where we were witness to the embarrassment of a Pardew team keeping the ball in their own half to try to keep the score down. But of course we made a big mistake chasing him out - the London media are better at rewriting history than Stalin. 

Jordan Ibe scored one and Divock Origi scored a hat-trick but the latter might not even be in the squad as Klopp might keep him back for the Europa League next week. Someone who might come back in, however, is Philipe Coutinho who has been missing with a hamstring strain for the last two weeks. The fact that he has trained this week but wasn’t risked against Southampton could mean he isn’t fit enough (which is what Klopp said at his presser on Friday) or he was being held back for the Premiership. Let’s hope it’s the former as the Brazilian is a class act and could come in to replace Lallana if Klopp decides to risk him although, let’s face it, their side is more than strong enough anyway to give us a good towsing should the mood take them.

Liverpool currently sit in 6th position with 23 points from 14 games. Their away record is good - 3 wins (Stoke, Chelsea and Man City), 3 draws (Spurs, Everton and Arsenal) and only 1 defeat (Man U) this season, scoring 10 and only conceding 6 in their 7 away games to date. They won their last away game 4-1 at the Emirates. Compare that to our home record of one win, three draws and three defeats. Liverpool have won 7, drawn 3 and lost 1 of their11 fixtures since Klop’s appointment. More worryingly, they’ve won 7 of their last 8 as Klopp has imposed his systems on the team. 

Prediction: I think Klopp will stick pretty closely to the team that beat Swansea. Given the difference in form between the teams, their away record and our home record it is difficult to see beyond another humiliation in front of the cameras this afternoon. However, clutching at straws, we have performed better against the bigger teams at home so hopefully it won’t be as bad as many of us fear. Newcastle United 0 Liverpool 4 

Share
Tweet
Forward

The enemy within

But aside from all of the success we are having as a fanzine,  today’s game takes place against a background of encircling gloom at the prospects for relegation with a club that is wholly dysfunctional and is failing year on year with an operating model that has turned United into a bike with a buckled wheel. It just doesn’t work and if the people Ashley has appointed to operate his model haven’t told him it isn’t working and it won’t work then they are failing in their wider responsibility to Newcastle United Football Club and the many of us who love, support and cherish an extremely valuable institution. If by lacking the conviction to inform Ashley that his model is utterly flawed in order to protect their own personal positions then their behaviour is shameful. Their selfish motivation will not be quickly forgotten and their names will be written into the history of our club as charlatans who have worked against the greater interests of Newcastle United FC. 

For all of that however, the only man who has the authority to intervene and attempt to prevent a relegation that could set the club back for many years is obviously the man who is responsible for the continuing freak show on Barrack Road and that is of course Mike Ashley. He has to act and he has to act quickly and before it’s too late.  It is in his own interests to do so and it is in ours as people who care about the club very deeply that he does so. Should he fail to do so then I believe we will be relegated and the way back will be extremely difficult. 

Mike Ashley should not treat Newcastle United as if it is a roll on a roulette table. He needs to act and now. 

Share
Tweet
Forward

The blame game

I read an interview with Alan Pardew via Henry Winter in The Times yesterday. In it Pardew bemoans the vitriol he faces from Mags. Whilst I think that hostility is overplayed given in the interview he talks about the emotions around the city, the old chestnut of “expectation” and all the rest of it, his lack of self-awareness is truly astonishing. The world and his wife understands perfectly well that Ashley is the biggest problem at the club and nothing else. For Pardew to continue to avoid referencing that and look to distract from the truth underlines why a large number of us have little time for him when he fails to address the truth of the problems at the club. His record at United was generally mediocre but clearly he is enjoying greater success at Palace than he did for his last 2 or 3 years at United. He has benefitted from the move and the change in working environment. None of that has anything to do with our support or expectations or emotion or anything else – it’s down to the circumstances that ensured his failure and that of those who will follow. If he stated the bloody obvious and avoided sounding like a gobshite Talksport presenter then we’d have a lot more respect for him. 

Share
Tweet
Forward

Scouse in the house

We like the Liverpool fanzine The Anfield Wrap and we think you might like this interview they had in the run up to this game with Terry McDermott. Listen here.

Share
Tweet
Forward
NORTHERN THREADS - SEE OUR RANGE HERE

Liverpool quiz

There are no prizes, it’s just for fun … answers at the foot of the page.

  1. Name the two players who played for Newcastle United in the 1974 FAC Final v Liverpool that won European Cup medals WITH Liverpool in 1977? 
  2. Name the two players in the Liverpool European Cup winning team of 1977 who played in the Newcastle United promotion team of 1983/84 
  3. In which County Durham town is there a statue to former Liverpool manager Bob Paisley? 
  4. Which album cover did former Newcastle United centre-forward Albert Stubbins appear on? 
  5. Former Newcastle United left-back Alan Kennedy scored the winning goal in a European Cup for Liverpool Final against which club?  
 
Share
Tweet
Forward
Newcastle v Liverpool, 21st November 1993, Premier League

As It Was When It Was

Liverpool, Home, 21st November 1993

Having beaten Wimbledon (4-0) and Oldham (3-1) in their last 2 games, Newcastle United were aiming for 3 wins in a row in England’s top flight for the first time since taking 9 points from the last 3 games of the 1987-88 season.

The recent International Break saw England fail to qualify for the following years World Cup and The Mag’s, recently named ‘The Entertainers’ when previously live on SKY, would be chosen for the 5th time in their first 15 games to stimulate TV's growing number of armchair viewers.

Sitting in 9th place, United were one point and one place behind visitors Liverpool who were unbeaten in 5 league games arriving at a freezing St James Park.

For The Record:

United had 6 North East born players in the starting XI.  With a back 4 of Barry Vension, Kevin Scott, Robbie Elliott and Steve Watson, Lee Clark and Peter Beardsley were the other 2.

Following a famous 2-1 win at Anfield and a 2-2 draw at home during the relegation season of 1988-89, this result ensured United were 3 games unbeaten against Liverpool. They would make it 5 before losing away in March 1995.

Andy Cole’s hat-trick was the 2nd by a United player in 3 games following Beardsley’s treble in the aforementioned match v Wimbledon.  

The previous 2 top flight hat-tricks were separated by a lengthy 39 months.  Michael O’Neill’s treble against Luton (4-0) in April 1988 was United’s first since Beardsley notched 3 v the mackems on 01/01/85 (3-1).

In the top 4 by Christmas Day, Cole and Beardsley had scored 10 goals each in a run of 9 games that returned 6 wins and only 1 defeat.

Cole would notch another hat-trick v Coventry the following February (4-0).  This was his 6th for the club in all competitions in less than a year.  He would grab a 7th and final one in September.

Once 3 up,  Newcastle’s support mocked the Liverpool manager by suggesting “We’ve got Greame Souness on the dole.”  This would come to fruition at the end of January when, despite only losing 1 in the following 11 league games, Cup exits to Wimbledon and then lowly Bristol City saw the future Newcastle manager lose the Anfield support and resign.

Despite getting better as the season progressed, SKY would pick United only three more times that season.  Away league games at QPR (2-1) and Leeds (1-1) sandwiched the FA Cup exit at Luton (0-2).

Meat Loaf were Top of the Pops with ‘I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That).

Meat Loaf - I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)
Share
Tweet
Forward

Club and county - We are the Mags. 

Get into these absolutely top notch true faith t-shirts which celebrate the identity of Mags from England's two finest counties, Northumberland and Durham. 

Only £17 plus P+P - get a move on to get them before Christmas. 

Durham Mags t-shirt - get them here
Northumberland Mags t-shirt - get them here

They're in the Money

The owners of Man City sold 13% of their club to a group of Chinese investors this week for an astonishing £265m. My maths tells me that means their club is valued at around £2bn. That is an awful lot for a small slice of even a club that wins a fair bit of prize money. Investors must be able to see that not only is the potential there in quite a few clubs to match them, not least ourselves, but that it might be a better investment to pay peanuts in comparison and get a club which still receives a share of the TV money. It's worth wondering how much they foresee themselves taking out of football if they're prepared to pay this much as a route in. Still, there are people around prepared to pay serious money for Premier League clubs. There is no reason why our misery under Mike Ashley shouldn't come to an end very soon. Our wishful thinking may never come to pass but at least it's not in the realm of fantasy any more.

Share
Tweet
Forward

Jobs for the Boys

The announcement of Gary Neville as manager of Valencia came from nowhere. He talks a good game on the telly of course, but that doesn't really qualify him to take over at a club currently in the group stages of the Champions League. We've watched Mike Ashley give jobs to his cronies time and time again here at Newcastle over the years of course and it seems this one can be explained away similarly. Valencia's owner Peter Lim also bought into Salford City as a part-owner with Neville and some of his ex-Man Utd buddies, as documented in the current BBC series "Class of 92 - Out of their League". Lim evidently knows, respects and trusts Neville to the point that he'd give him a role like this despite the lack of experience that even Neville admits he himself has. Good luck to him, maybe he'll succeed. You can understand why owners do this kind of thing, but I suppose the difference between us and them is the quality of the crony the respective owners happen to know. The reaction in Valencia may have been more extreme if the unveiling had been of JFK or Dennis Wise.

Share
Tweet
Forward

Number Crunching

We were thrashed at the weekend  5-1 by Palace, who had Alan Pardew at the helm with his usual methods meaning they'd been struggling at home and were on a run almost as bad as ours. This weekend we play Liverpool, who inspired by new broom Jurgen Klopp slaughtered a very good Southampton team 6-1 midweek at St Mary's. Klopp's style is to press high up the pitch so we won't get a moment's respite and there will be nowhere to hide for our malingering malcontents. The score could be anything but not in a good way. It's coming to something when us getting a point from the game could be the season's biggest giant-killing act. I really hope I'm wrong but it feels like things are building to a crescendo at SJP. Could this be the weekend when we really implode, once and for all?

Share
Tweet
Forward

Minister backs Twenty's Plenty

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch praises efforts to reduce ticket prices

Jo Stevens, MP for Cardiff Central and treasurer of the FSF-backed All-Party Parliamentary Group of Football Supporters, asked the Sports Minister what discussions the Government had had with football authorities about the cost of following football.

Share
Tweet
Forward

Original NUFC shirts from 80's to the present - no replicas

Get your favourite shirt here

What the papers say

With each passing week, NUFC fans are subjected to the same old regurgitated performances which are very hard to swallow. This week's dollop of footballing gruel was served up by none other than ex-boss Alan Pardew, and with Liverpool cooking up some fantastic performances under Jurgen Klopp as of late, I have a feeling that bitter taste will still be there come Sunday evening... Here is what the papers have been saying over the last seven days. 

Lets start with last week's disaster in South London. Newcastle found themselves in a shock early lead but in true United style, it didn't last. The onslaught began and the result was inevitable. Pardew got his win but wasn't smug about it, which I respect him for. He could have easily turned around and rubbed in the fact fans mistreated him for a long time and now they're in the mire but he chose not to and remained professional. One player inside the Newcastle camp wasn't so reserved, however. 'Ginger Pirlo', Jack Colback, slammed his teammates this week, labelling them 'embarrassing'. Colback also claims the players had a game plan going into Saturday's game, but I find that very hard to believe.

With that being said, McClaren claims he and his game plan are good enough to turn Newcastle around. But with Christmas fast approaching and NUFC sitting in 19th, I'm not sure anyone truly believes that to be the case. McClaren's days are numbered if we don't start performing and there are a number of experienced managers available if he does gets the bullet. Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup are two men linked with the vacant position but this week it is David Moyes who has spoken out. Without actually mentioning Newcastle, Moyes hinted that he is looking for a way back into the game if it is the 'right opportunity'. Surely if offered the post, he couldn't turn down a Premier League job? 

As I started to write this next segment, it looked like I would be writing about Mike Williamson's miraculous return to the NUFC frame. The defender has been recalled from his loan spell at Wolves and was set to go straight into the first team on Sunday. 

Now, look carefully at this part, your eyes are not deceiving you. A Chronicle poll this week asked fans if Williamson should start on Sunday and a whopping 67% of fans said yes! Can you imagine if someone told you a few months ago that we were relying on Mike Williamson to solve our problems? Madness. The fairytale looks set to be scrapped though, as Iron Mike appears to have picked up a hamstring injury as I write this.

Finally, in usual circumstances I would simply put a transcript of McClaren's pre-match press conference up and make my point. However today I found this cracking video of McClaren on Facebook. I'm very confident you'll be able to guess what his buzzword for the day was... John Carver mark II springs to mind.

Share
Tweet
Forward

The Damned United - what is wrong with our club?

Rather than go through another abject, patheitc 'performance' from the team we've talked about the various reasons behind's the club's hurtle towards the lower leagues.

Listen to podcast here

listen LIVE 7:00pm Friday nights on Radio NorthumberlandFollow us on twitter @TFweeklypod

LISTEN ON SOUNDCLOUD
SUBSCRIBE ON iTUNES
Share
Tweet
Forward

What would you rather?

If you want to make yourself thoroughly unhappy – pose yourself this question.
Which of these scenarios would Lee Charnley view as a “successful season”?
16th in the league, early cup exists but a healthy £20 million profit.
8th in the League, two long cups runs but a £10 million loss.
I know what I reckon he’d prefer.

Share
Tweet
Forward
Canvases, Prints, Mobile Covers, Chopping Boards, Passport Covers, iPad Covers, Mugs and more.
Use the code "TFTP" for a 10% discount here
Share
Tweet
Forward

Skint

So Gary Neville is no more, in terms of MNF. It will be up to Everton and Palace to give his replacement something to talk about this week. 

Both have shown signs of promise in the first half of this season and, doubtless the two managers will want to strengthen their squads in January. But something will have to give. 

Palace Chairman, Steve Parish, has told Pardew not to expect much money this window and Everton are always likely to cut their cloth. Both may have to work with what they've got, making the second half of the season a real test of both managers' ability.  

Share
Tweet
Forward

Damned if you do, damned if you don't 

Another manager keen to get his hands on some money is Ronald Koeman. This week he has bemoaned Southampton's policy of selling their star players and has dropped a pretty heavy hint he wants that money to spend.

Whether he will or not remains to be seen. But if Southampton do strengthen, will they just get back into the same Europa League that they crashed out of and that damaged their league form early this season? Success could be a double-edged sword but Koeman may well fall on his if he doesn't get what he wants.  

Share
Tweet
Forward

Liverpool quiz answers: 1. Alan Kennedy & Terry McDermott. 2. Kevin Keegan & Terry McDermott. 3. Hetton-le-Hole. 4. The Beatles, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club. 5. Real Madrid.       

tfeditor1892
tfeditor1892
truefaith1892
truefaith1892
tf group
tf group
tf website
tf website
editor email
editor email
Copyright © 2015 true faith, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp