There two movies that hold a special place in my all-time favorite sports movies that show a lot of parallel to Newcastle United under Mike Ashley's ownership. Some have probably seen them long before I have, but it's very apparent we're watching the Cleveland Indians in Major League and Major League II.
One of my friends made the connection when he landed in Chicago. He made the trip to the Liberty Stadium to witness our 2-0 loss to Swansea. His first message to me when he got on the ground was this video:
After the last two seasons under Alan Pardew and Working Class John Carver™, many fans would share that same sentiment after the conceding 4 goals in 2 games.
After Newcastle kept a clean sheet against Manchester United, Jack Colback spoke out to the fans and critics, accusing them of too quickly judging the defense for their shaky start. It was a perfect game to give this message, and I tended to agree with him before the clash at Old Trafford.
In reality, I bought into giving this squad time before the season started. Before the Man United match Steve McClaren spoke to the press, urging to judge him after 12 games and not the previous 2. This seemed more than fair to me, as he is dealing with a new squad and implementing a new style of play. Successful regime changes like this one require time: coaches and players need to get acclimated, and the coaches have to implement their tactics over time.
Personally, I think the fans will buy into this team and McClaren well before the 12 games are up. Their intention to succeed is blatantly displayed in the signings made over the summer. The team's attitude and hunger for success have improved. The overall team shape on defense against Manchester United was nothing short of impressive, and their bold play forward was exciting to watch. It also nearly paid off with a win!
All it will take is a good string of results. Stealing a point at Old Trafford is a start. There are three major matches between now and the end of October--Arsenal on Saturday, Man City on 10/3, and the Wear-Tyne Derby on 10/25--and points in 2 of those 3 will be a major boost for this squad and the Newcastle fans who are desperate to see quality football played by their lads.
Just like in the Major League movies, the early season pessimism will give way to confidence and excitement for this team. You just watch.