Excluding the embarrassingly pointless Intertoto Cup victory in 2006, you’d have to flip back through the history books to Newcastle’s Inter-City Fairs Cup win in 1969 to see a Geordie skipper lift a trophy, and even further if you’re looking for domestic success.
For a club as big as Newcastle—and with a fan base as loyal as the Toon Army—that just isn’t acceptable.
We’ve seen many a legend walk out of St. James’ Park with nothing to show for their years of hardship—none more famously than the Premier League’s all-time top scorer Alan Shearer, who for his own sake must be glad to have won the Premier League with Blackburn beforehand.
But it’s not like they haven’t come close.
Back-to-back second place finishes in 1996 and 1997 and FA Cup Final losses in 1998 and 1999 will tell you that much. They just haven’t been able to seal the deal.
In recent years, things have been a little more dire. Yes, they won the Championship in 2009-10, but they haven’t seriously contended for the major tournaments: the FA Cup, League Cup or UEFA Cup/Europa League.
But with a fifth-placed finish behind them in 2011-12, this current Newcastle team looks like one that genuinely has the ability to do the unthinkable and bring home a trophy next season.
With the way money controls modern football, the Premier League trophy is out of reach, but with some good performances and a little bit of magic, Newcastle will certainly be in the running for the domestic cups.
Club captain Fabricio Coloccini has expressed his determination to get the job done, and that’s the sort of attitude that will bring an end to this painful drought.
And if he can get the support of his talented teammates, then maybe, just maybe, their fans will have a real trophy to celebrate come next year.