It’s fun supporting a losing team!

At the start of every season, fans have hopes and aspirations that their side can push for some sort of honours.

But then as the season progresses, that hope dwindles as poor performances, player issues and – for some – VAR controversies leave fans crumpling up their supporter tops and throwing it in the bottom of their cupboards – well, except those that recently changed teams to support the like of Manchester City and Liverpool (you know, those that only support winning teams!)

Myself and two mates, Warryn and Glenn, have a very unique group as we all support different teams. Warryn (Woody – to be explained sometime in the future) supports Newcastle United and Glenn (ChippyBoy – a cycling accident) supports Manchester United while myself, supports Arsenal.

So we are always having a go at each other, teasing poking and prodding when our teams lose. We even have a little agreement in that when our teams win against each other, the loser has to hand over six beers (also if you draw at home). Woody still owes me six!

Newcastle have only tasted top-flight success on four occasions – 1904-05, 1906-07, 1908-09 and 1926-27 – and have never won the Premier League since its inception back in the early 1990’s.

Manchester United have won a combined tally of 20 top-flight titles (7 First Division and 13 Premier League) while Arsenal have a total of 13 titles (10 First Division and 3 Premier League).

Manchester United and Arsenal are the two most successful Premier League clubs, sitting in positions 1 and 2 respectively on the all-time Premier League table. United are also the only team to have scored more than 2000 goals in the Premier League.

Newcastle lay eighth on the all-time table, having finished second twice and third twice, although they have been relegated twice to The Championship!

All three teams have gone through some troubles lately, Newcastle more so than the others and it is this season that we have teased each other the most.

Newcastle have become known as Fakeover United because of the repeated attempted financial takeovers of the club – only for it to fall flat. But this year, they were bought out by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which is worth more than £300 billion, making them the richest club in world football, yet they sit in the relegation zone this season, having won just twice.

They have started to splash some cash and Woody is waiting with baited breath for the second half of the season to see whether his beloved Magpies will add a third relegation or not.

Glenn and I on the other hand have gone through our own trials and tribulations of late. Manchester United had a good start to the season, losing just once in the opening rounds and it seemed that Ole Gunnar Solksjaer was really putting things in place.

But during October they lost twice more, and two more in November, which prompted the United board to sack Solksjaer on 21 November 2021 after an embarrassing 4-1 defeat at Watford.

The United faithful were hoping for glory when glory-boy Christiano Ronaldo returned to the club but even he is thinking of jumping ship.

United currently sit fourth in the table but could drop out of the Champions League position if Arsenal, who are sixth with a game in hand over United, win their game in hand.

However, Arsenal – the perennial fourth-placed finishers under Arsene Wenger – have struglled over the last few years. First Unai Emery lasted just 18 months before being sacked, then the inexperienced Mikel Arteta was appointed.

Arteta, an assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, took Arsenal to FA Cup success in his first few games in charge, beating City and Chelsea while also toppling then-Premier League Champions Liverpool.

Arteta began this season with victory over Liverpool in the Charity Shield and we were hoping for things to brighten up – well, we always live in hope, like hoping for some good signings, hoping Xhaka doesn’t get sent off….you catch my drift.

As Newcastle are known amongst us as Fakeover United, I am starting to think that Arsenal should be known as Hopeful FC.

Like with United dumping the promising Donny van der Beek on loan to Everton, Anthony Martial loaned to Sevilla and Andreas Perreira loaned to Flamengo, Arsenal have also been sucked dry.

Arsenal have loaned out seven possible first team players while also letting go four players on a free transfer, including that of former captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang!

And guess what – Arteta failed to bring anyone in during the December window of any note.

So the second half for Arsenal is going to be dire. Arsenal could yet again end up mid-table while Newcastle fight relegation and CR7 continues to complain that his hair gets messed up when he tries to header a ball and cries when he misses the goal.

Let the in-fighting continue when the Premier League resumes….

Author: Brendon

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