As humans, we go through a five-step psychological process when we get unwanted/unexpected news.
- Resentment or rejection.
- Acceptance – of current situation
- Help – or willingness to help others and self
SHOCK: The sale of Andy Carroll came as a shock. Not because it was a surprise. It was the amount, £35M, and last minute timing that shocked most people. The second coming of JFK was a shock. These types of bad-news/good-news shocks don’t have much of a half life. They turn quickly into anger. These are only first degree shocks. (Second degree shocks last must longer; they numb the senses and can last for years e.g. the death of a loved one.)
ANGER: If we Geordies are the most passionate, it’s a wee bit tortuous to say we love our team the most and when we feel let down, we get upset the most. The sale of Cabaye was a bit of shock but when the club (who allegedly knew well in advance of his departure) did nothing to replace him – it was the aftershock that quickly transformed into vitriol, aimed at Messrs Ashley, JFK and Pardew. And when we feel relatively powerless to do anything more than spew vitriol, the rejection/resentment kicks in quickly.
RESENTMENT (is poisoning yourself whilst you wait for someone to die, and you learn nothing whilst you remain here): Most supporters still seem to want to stay (or remain stuck) in this phase. They’ll go to a match and if the team doesn’t perform, boos of disapproval will start to fly at anything to do professionally with the running of the club. And if the team continues to feel the fans’ resentment and ultimate rejection, it will only hasten the departure of key players this summer.
The team will be going through the same SARAH process, albeit from a more informed perspective. Newcastle’s best players will feel the most disappointment because the club has once again failed in their aspirations to play in a successful team. It wouldn’t surprise me if there’s a lot of concealed anger and resentment wearing black and white shirts. We had one clue to this when Marveaux (perhaps our best Cabaye stand in) was instructed to train with the juniors. You can imagine the ignominy he might feel. And all that he can do now is move on to ACCEPT his situation.
ACCEPTANCE: is a phase in which we are numb but we come to terms with the powerlessness of our resentment/rejection.
In a democracy the angered can do something about their plight. In a dictatorship, unless there is a coup, the downtrodden can do very little. And, like some fans and papers, get banned [sometimes locked up for punching a horse (sic)] for running on to the pitch or voicing their disapproval in the media respectively.
Both fans and players need to move on through and accept that very little can be done (yes/no? Please discuss) between now and the end of the season. I wrote in my last blog that ‘FCB’ chants at Ashley are like water off a duck’s arse. Shouting for Pardew’s head makes no sense.
The team is in a healthy league position (partly down to AP) and if anyone were to take AP’s place, who could do better, how could anyone do better – under the existing regime? Any half decent manager wouldn’t want to come anywhere near the poisoned chalice being held out – not unless it was filled with readies and it would have to be more the capacity of a bucket than a chalice.
Having a go at the team, AP and MA (I suggest), in the same way as we’ve always done, won’t work. I’m not talking about right and wrong here nor justice. I’m talking about what will help to achieve what we want in our hearts to achieve – to finish as high in the league as possible in the short term and change for a better regime by the summer.
There are two options to change things. The first is (NOT what I’m advocating) is to create a shock that is even more shocking than the first shock. Revolutionaries can force change when they are willing to die for their cause – as they did in the Arab Spring and are doing so in Ukraine right now. The second option is to accept the current situation and do something creative that will HELP. (Revolutionaries have to come to the table for talks to settle differences and HELP create eventually.)
HELP(ED): the team rallied and took three (safety from relegation now guaranteed) points from Aston Villa. So what will HELP the most now, to change the regime at NUFC?
I expect the likes of Debuchy, Sissoko, Tiote, Santon, Colocinni, Mbiwa, Cisse and Ben Arfa (along with Ameobi, Gosling and Obertan, Remy & De Jong) to all be gone by August. The revolution will come. It probably won’t be caused by the fans, methinks, but maybe by the players. This summer, the Toon will require several major organ transplants. Now that, I suggest, may shake Mr Ashley into selling the club – if the Toon’s eight best players all put in transfer requests. Even MA at some stage will ask, “What’s the point?” (Unless he has a vicious streak; enough to bankrupt the club.)
Ashley will eventually abdicate. He knows how to make money but he hasn’t a clue how to lead. To garner loyalty, commitment and passion for the club, NUFC needs a capable and trustworthy leader, rather than a wealthy spiv.
MA will spend his profits on a new money-making toy. One day, when he’s older and greyer, he’ll look at his bank account and ask, “What’s my legacy to this world – love or hatred?”
What fettle barrow-man?
Howay the Lads
Paul C Burr Follow @doctapaul
Non-Newcastle stuff: Follow @paulburr
Facebook: Beowulf (>16,500 followers)