There is a domestic cup competition which some fans would like to see removed from the calendar as it no longer has enough prestige to justify additional games. The other is a gateway to European glory and wealth, bringing a seat at the top table. So do most Newcastle United supporters believe that the League Cup semi-final against Southampton is far more important to their season than the chase for Champions League qualification?
brought silverware: a trophy and wild, city-wide festivities; A Geordie Mardi Gras. The second club only brings silver coins. One that will bring the city to a standstill and that captures hearts and minds on Tyneside rather than status on the global stage.
“The money a top-four finish will bring in will make it more attractive to new signings to the club,” explains Newcastle’s True Faith podcaster Charlotte Robson. “Some would argue that it is more important for the club to progress so that trophies can then follow, but it is now the League Cup that we really want.
“It will be a reward for the fans who have stuck with this club, which has not only gone through 14 years of misery under Mike Ashley, but long before that.
“It will be a reward for my father’s generation, who haven’t seen their football club win a trophy since the 1960s.
“I think it matters more than finishing in the top four. Look at Spurs, they’re in the Champions League this season, they’ve been in it before, but what have they really got to show for it?
He has been the greatest of all underachievers for more than half a century. without a domestic trophy since 1955, the last of three FA Cup successes that decade, and without a major trophy of any kind since their solitary European victory in the Fairs Cup in 1969, the most infamous trophy drought It has also proved to be a burden to eliminate. So much for the talented teams at first.
“It’s about getting the monkey off your back,” says Stephen Farrell, a lifelong Newcastle supporter. “There’s always the same thing thrown at us: ‘You’re not a big club, you haven’t won anything’.
“Newcastle have not won a trophy in my lifetime and it will be the same for almost every fan inside the stadium for the semi-final. This would be perfect for most Newcastle fans in the city. That’s why it matters so much.
“We’ve come close a couple of times under Kevin Keegan and Bobby Robson, but you have to say, if Eddie Howe can win the League Cup, he’ll be way above the legends of that kind of club. That’s how important it is.
“Look at the list of clubs that have won something since our last trophy: Wimbledon, Coventry City, Wigan, Norwich, Ipswich Town and Blackburn… Sunderland have won a trophy more recently than us.
“We don’t think we’re special but we want to win something, we want to celebrate together. I think the whole town is going to have a big party and as a Geordie, it’s going to be something wonderful.
No one expected Newcastle to be third in the table in mid-January, above Manchester United, Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea. When the club was taken over by a Saudi Arabian-led consortium in October 2021, big-name signings, rapid growth and future success were being bought by the fossil-fuel-burning asset.
But Newcastle are only the ninth highest spender in the Premier League this season and to claim that their success is down to money, the wealth and recognition of their owners is ignorant and disrespectful to Howe.
“I want to win the League Cup because it will give this group of players and this manager their place in the club’s history,” says Robson. “I would love it for them. Whatever comes in the future, whatever success we do or don’t have, they deserve that position.
“These are players who saved us from relegation for two or three years before the acquisition. These are players like Kieran Trippier who came here at the beginning of something and completely changed how we felt about the team. Huh.
“I want Eddie Howe to lift the club’s first trophy for 54 years because it will be a symbol of the incredible work he has done.
“It would be great to get into the Champions League, and maybe we can do both, but it’s the trophy that really matters to people. That’s the piece of history we’ll build together. We want this team For, for this group, because they deserve it. This will be our moment to cherish together. You don’t get that fourth finishing.
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