Behind closed doors
Republic of Ireland and NUFC soccer star, John Anderson, will be reporting on Newcastle United’s start to the Premier league run in in our COMMUNITY IRISH NEWS. Ando is also back on Radio Newcastle’s Total Sport from 5.00pm weekdays from Monday 15th June. Give him a ring and mention the North East Irish Network. Thanks Ando and great to have you on board.
17th JULY 2020
The word ‘legend’is used far too readily to describe certain individuals but Jack Charlton was one on both sides of the Irish Sea. On the 30th July 1966 he became part of English football folklore when he helped England win the World Cup. 20 years later he became Irish manager.He had work to do to convince certain people he was the right man for the job and he did that in some style. We had never qualified for a major championship finals. In his 10 years in charge we made it to a European Championship in 88,two world cups 90/94. In those years there was no more popular a man than Jack Charlton
in the Emerald Isle. If he had run for president he would’ve won by a landslide. What you saw was what you got with Jack...he was down to earth and never forgot his North East roots. Whether he was in the company of Royalty, Presidents or the man in the street, each and every one of them were of the same importance to Jack.
May he rest in peace and a huge thanks from me for the smiles he put on so many faces...I doubt we will ever see the likes of him again.
30th JUNE 2020
Four points from our first two games after lockdown, but the big talking point is no supporters allowed in stadiums, it is like have strawberries without cream. Fans make the game what it is,the anticipation, anxiety and nervous tension before kickoff,half time banter over a Bovril,who is playing well,what we need to change in the second half etc.
At full time you then have the post mortem over a couple of jars in the pub,who was rubbish,who played well and what the manager should have changed then home for tea and get ready for the next game so we can do it all again next week. Yes football is the people’s game and until we have them back in stadiums only then will football have truly returned.
12th JUNE 2020
This is a really strange time for us all - and it will be no different for Premier League footballers.
Who'd have thought we'd be playing top-flight matches in June and July? It's unheard of but we're all having to adapt in this coronavirus-affected world.
There's no doubt it'll be a weird experience for the Newcastle United squad, playing in empty stadiums instead of a full St James' Park, but some players may enjoy it more. There'll be less pressure, with nobody to give them stick if they make a mistake, and instead they can relax and express themselves.
Home advantage won't be the same as it usually is and teams down the bottom could struggle without their support to cheer them on, but I think we'll be OK. We'll have enough with five games at St James'.
Although, with this prospective takeover, you do wonder if that uncertainty could prove to be a distraction for players and management alike. But, as professionals, they've got to knuckle down, focus and ensure we're playing Premier League football next season.
As for the FA Cup, we can only dream - but wouldn't it be peak Newcastle United to get to Wembley without fans present?