Welcome, a very merry TFFmas from all of us here at the blog. As we head into the holiday season, there is plenty to look forward to both on the pitch and off it and we are looking forward to the month ahead. This December we will be running the 25 Days of TFFmas, every day up until the big day we will be we are publishing Christmas wishlists from members of our team for what they would like their club to get for Christmas.
On day 9, we spoke to Manager of TFF Newcastle, Jack Pattison. He told us what the club needs this Christmas, to be honest, I’ll be surprised if he’s listed anything.
Newcastle are a club on the way back. Last season they suffered the pain of relegation, paying the ultimate price for years of stagnation. The club were unable to prevent their gradual decline and to make things worse, their relegation was confirmed by their arch-rivals Sunderland beating Everton. There is little doubt in the footballing community that if Rafa Benitez was appointed earlier they would have survived. However, it was not to be and Rafa’s renaissance was too late. Newcastle then set to work rebuilding their squad, Wijnaldum, Sissoko and Cisse plus other big money flops were shipped out and fresh faces including proven Championship quality players were brought in such as Matt Ritchie, Mo Diame and Dwight Gayle, incredibly, their net spend was +£29m. After an early blip, two defeats in the first two matches, Newcastle hit their stride and haven’t looked back since. They put together a nine-game unbeaten run in the league and sit at the top of the Championship destined to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking. They also had a good run in the EFL Cup, although they will be disappointed to go out 3-1 on penalties to Hull in the quarter-finals after pushing them so hard throughout the 120 minutes. While in the FA Cup they begin this year’s adventure with a tricky away tie against Birmingham.
Wish 1- Too see Newcastle end years of hurt by winning a major trophy
It’s been 61 years since the last time Newcastle won a major trophy, the 1955 FA Cup, meaning that the majority of the current fanbase have not seen the club win a trophy in their lifetime. The majority of the time, its has been more down than up, with the most agonising moment coming in the 1995/96 season, when Newcastle blew a 12 point lead to hand Manchester United the title. A season that will forever be remembered for Kevin Keegan’s “I’d love it if we beat them” speech. ” The club over the years has been in complete disarray. The fans deserve so much better and I wish for nothing more than to see us lift a trophy.”
Wish 2- For Rafa to stick with us for many years
Newcastle stunned the world in March when they appointed Rafa Benitez, who surely became the first person to manage Real Madrid and a second division club in the same calendar year. However, you have to hand it to Rafa, it was a brave move and he brought his undeniable genius to the club to put smiles back on faces at St James Park. “If Rafa stays with us I believe we will achieve my first wish. I also believe he will instil some belief and happiness back into the club and maybe even return us to the Champions League.”
Wish 3- Seeing Newcastle in Europe once again
Courtesy of their 5th place finish the previous season, Newcastle played in the Europa League in the 2012/13 season. This campaign provided some memorable nights for the Geordie faithful and they were rewarded for their support by their team reaching the quarter-finals. One such memorable night in that run was the 2nd leg of the last 16 tie with Anzhi Makhachkala, with the tie seemingly heading into extra-time after two 0-0 draws, Papiss Cisse popped up in the 94th minute to head home and send St James Park into delirium. “Newcastle in Europe back in 2012/13 was quite an experience and to be back under the lights at St James’ on a European night would be perfect.”