Gabby Agbonlahor – Why didn’t anyone ask her this huge obvious question?
Gabby Agbonlahor is back.
His specialist subject, trying to use Newcastle United to get attention
No matter how weak, pathetic and repetitive he is, he knows Newcastle fans will be biting.
No barrel too deep to scrape for even the slightest of Talksport’s pundits, which is a feat in itself, considering the competition it has out there on hand-cranked merchant radio.
Newcastle United are on the rise, tickets like the proverbial gold dust, investment in the team, in the top six, long-term plans in place on how to build the club after more than 14 years of lost willful negligence, even the exterior of St James’ Park has been well washed!
So what could the hilarious Gabby Agbonlahor do to try and create a feel-good climate for toon fans?
Well, after a 4-1 away win at Fulham with a 5-1 hammering from Brentford, Newcastle United were once again the subject of talk at Talksport.
Jamie O’Hara speaks of Newcastle United’s ‘huge’ club and in response, Gabby Agbonhalor stating “When you say huge football club, in what way?…I wouldn’t call them a huge club.”
Here we go again, the old debate of the “big clubs”.
Since her comments over the weekend, I have to ask, why hasn’t anyone asked Gabby Agbonlahor this huge obvious question?
How would he know exactly what is and isn’t a ‘big club’ based on his football experience?
Gabby Agbonlahor has played most of her career at Aston Villa, playing in both the Premier League and the Championship.
He only played for two other clubs, briefly on loan, Watford in the Championship and Sheffield Wednesday also in the second division.
To no one’s surprise, Gabby Agbonlahor didn’t become a manager or coach, so no ‘big club’ experience there.
So again I ask the question, how exactly is this pathetic expert qualified to talk about what is a ‘big club’ and what is not?
As well as brief league stints with the other two clubs, Gabby Agbonlahor played for Aston Villa between 2005 and 2018. In that time Villa never won a trophy, never finished in the top five of the Premier League, never played. in the Champions League.
I guess when people have ‘big club’ debates these days, you’re surely talking about the Premier League era as relevant years, the last three decades.
So if we’re talking about Gabby Agbonlahor and Aston Villa, and us as Newcastle United fans, how do they compare in the ‘big’ debate?
Well, I don’t think a neutral seriously questions which of the two clubs has the bigger fan base.
Likewise when it comes to the profile of the two clubs, I don’t think many people think much, if anything, of Aston Villa, when everyone has an opinion, good or bad, of Newcastle United. Indeed my personal is that when I talk about the profile of clubs in terms of neutral fans talking about it, I honestly think only Man Utd and Liverpool are ranked higher than Newcastle United. We’re talking here about the two clubs who dominated English football between them on the pitch for around half a century, until really Man City took over from their city rivals over the last decade.
So speaking of ground, in the Premier League era, aside from the very first season (1992/93) when they finished runners-up, Villa have only finished in the top four on one occasion (1995 -96).
In contrast, Newcastle United have secured five top-four finishes in the Premier League era, including twice as runners-up.
As for the Champions League, the other big “big” deciding club these days apparently, we are talking about 24 CL games played by NUFC compared to zero for Aston Villa.
Of course, what makes this all the more remarkable is that these highlights of Newcastle United in the Premier League era all happened in the 14 PL seasons before Mike Ashley’s dark cloud hit. go down. Indeed, of the 13 pre-Ashley PL seasons, nine of them saw Newcastle play in Europe (not counting Intertoto).
As for the wider picture of what exactly/who is a ‘big’ club in modern football, well, that’s a moving treat, isn’t it…
Money and luck often change the game. As in, if you’re lucky and get wealthy owners, your club can become “big” in the eyes of most people very quickly, apparently.
Perhaps one of the most extreme is Monaco, a minimal fan base, but because they have a lot of money behind them, people see them as a “big” club.
Blackburn were bankrolled by fan Jack Walker to break transfer records and win the Premier League.
Man City of course go from nothing in modern times to now all dominating, with only the Champions League as the final prize to conquer.
Tottenham have only won the League Cup throughout the Premier League era, but consistent top-four finishes have seemingly earned them ‘big’ club status in most people’s eyes.
A similar story with Arsenal in terms of finishing in the league’s top four equates to ‘big’ club status, as it’s been almost 20 years since their last title win.
As for Chelsea… in their entire history they had only won four trophies until 1997. Only league title until Roman Abramovich came along and bought them trophy after trophy.
Looking further ahead, you might be surprised that PSG were only a club AFTER Newcastle United had won their last trophy. Yes, PSG was formed in 1970, a group of businessmen came together because they saw an opportunity to create the first major Parisian football club. So it’s only fitting that this type of artificial approach has continued with their modern owners.
Just go back to the decade or so before Mike Ashley took over and Newcastle bought PSG’s top players, like David Ginola and Laurent Robert.
These days I think there’s always been a fear among others, that if Newcastle United were ever properly run and with the money behind them, then combined with our massive, crazy fanbase, it could create an absolute monster. Just look at the usual suspects doing everything they can lately to try and sabotage NUFC’s hopes before and after the takeover.
Man City have always had a decent sized fanbase, but not on the scale of Newcastle United. Although the best players are placed before them and trophy after trophy, Man City are constantly struggling to fill their stadium.
For hundreds of thousands of Newcastle fans these days, the biggest challenge is how to get into St James’ Park.
Newcastle United have always been a ‘big’ football club… in fact ‘massive’.
It’s not the fault of the fans that their football club rarely, if ever, had the right ownership/management in the second half of its existence. Just look at the trophies won from 1892 to 1957, compared to 1957-2022.
If you sincerely doubt Newcastle United are any different, just consider that the NUFC set a record league average in 1947/1948 of 56,299… for the second tier!
Then in 2016/17, recording a second tier average of 51,106 at St James’ Park even with Mike Ashley as owner! All it took was a little hope, when Rafa Benitez decided to stay after relegation.
Honestly, no other club, past or present, would get these crowds in the lower tier of English football.
Yes, be scared, be very scared, the ‘big’ club Newcastle United are coming to get you now and building year after year, we are now well on our way to getting there, to competing at the top season after season and who knows…maybe -be even win something.