Newcastle United have registered their disappointment in The Sun for running the ZOMG HBA 4 PSG!!11one!one1! story that we addressed briefly in Coming Home Podcastle Episode 4. You may recall that The Sun (never a publication to run from a sensationalized story, mind you) asserted that the fact that Hatem Ben Arfa showed up to the gym for a workout wearing a shirt emblazoned with the PSG crest which of couRSE MEANS HE"S GOING TO PARIS ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG!!!!
While there is a possibility that Hatem Ben Arfa will return to Paris (and perhaps sooner than later - something I discussed briefly here among other pieces on this very blog) let us be honest about one thing: wearing a shirt does not mean anything. The following is a list of jerseys/club logos that I have worn (I'll rule out hats to keep the list down a little bit):
- Kansas City Wizards
- Kansas City Chiefs
- St. Louis Blues
- Newcastle United FC
- Heart of Midlothian FC
None of these squads have made a move to sign me. Now that I've had my little go at that, let me get to the real point here:
This is the second time in two days that the club have jumped at baseless (or at the very least unsourced) reports in the media. If you've followed the club for any amount of time at all, you know that these kind of reports are no strangers to the club. Again as we said in the podcast - Newcastle are an easy target for these kinds of stories because the support base will a) click to read the story (generating £) and b) discuss it. Loudly. Repeatedly. The frequency of these baseless or significant reach-type stories and the club's consistent ignoring of them makes you wonder... why now? Why these stories? What are they trying to draw our attention from? Is there fire along with this smoke? Regardless, I don't want my club playing games with the media. There's a rift in the dressing room or there isn't. HBA is going to PSG or he isn't. What is important to me is that the club stop dicking around with the media and put 100% of the available hands on the rope and tug together to pull this season back from the brink of disaster. You may have read the reports today regarding the lack of "relegation clauses" specifically with regard to our January signings. Not only will relegation be financial disaster, it's going to lead to a mass exodus of quality players from the club - an exodus and setback which we cannot afford to see our club suffer. My message to Newcastle United Football Club:
Cut the crap. Stop reacting to stories that don't need to be reacted to. Start doing what you have to do to ensure a quality effort/product is given against West Ham United. The success and vitality of this club will be measured in points yielded from on-field results, not column inches.