They played Hit The North at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night, in memory of Mark E Smith of The Fall who died last week. The club tweeted its condolences on the day, too. Proper club, City. Proper people there. Anyway, enough of that. This column is going to feature no ribald anecdotes, quotes from the same five interviews, details of personal relationships or any of the other nonsense that has been flying around since last Wednesday.
The best observation on Smith’s death came from Patrick Brill, the artist better known as Bob & Roberta Smith. He wrote: ‘All these bits of writing about by music journalists on Mark E Smith get him wrong. They think he was a maverick pop musician who drank too much. What he is more like is Eric Satie, Rousseau, Francis Bacon or Jarry. If you had met Turner, he was like Smith.’
Mark Smith had a unique voice, with a microphone and on the page, and a unique mind that powered a band that sounded like nothing else. There never was anything like him, and it’s hard to imagine there ever will be. No other music is getting a look in this week. Five points up next, after a song about a draconian Home Secretary, an injured hip and possibly the greatest bass line ever written.
Point one: when it a trophy not a trophy?
I thought David Moyes won the Community Shield with Manchester United. Martin, could you please clarify for me and my friends if the Community Shield is a friendly or not? Olumide A, Lagos.
Well, that depends. I’d say it is a generational thing, Olumide. Pre-Mourinho or post-Mourinho. The Charity/Community Shield was always regarded as a friendly, despite some distinctly unfriendly encounters such as the one between Kevin Keegan and Billy Bremner in 1974. Yet Jose Mourinho began listing it among his trophies won when he came to Chelsea, affording it the same status as the Super Cup finals common on the continent, and this appears to have given it a kudos it did not have before. So, right now, it is in flux. Some mock Mourinho for claiming a friendly as a trophy, others now see the Community Shield as the first winnable competition of the season. Being something of a traditionalist, I still class it as a friendly – but I do accept its status is changing. Sorry I can’t be of more assistance – but I’m not actually the arbiter of these things.
Point two: they’re a bit, er, special.
How come everyone from sadly departed Watford manager Graham Taylor, who travelled all the way from Watford to watch Newcastle in midweek games because of the atmosphere, to Kevin Keegan, David Ginola, Les Ferdinand, Malcolm Macdonald, Rafa Benitez and a thousand more who all come from many miles away, think Newcastle is special? I see the stature of this very important club, with great fervour, a passionate city and a stadium like no other. I see a rare link between the fans and the club that is fundamental to building something lasting. I like the atmosphere that reigns in Newcastle. It is like Liverpool, where the fans know how to invest in you and the work you do. These are places where people live for their club, where the fans want their players to give everything on the field because they give everything for their club. Toonbarmy, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Well, of course the list of names you mention speak of Newcastle as special. These are club legends, most of them, so are hardly going to be disrespectful. And of course, the fervour for Newcastle in Newcastle is admirable, and I acknowledged that. My point is that a mad keen Portsmouth fan will feel just the same about his club, will have the same pride, display the same intensity. Manchester City supporters will talk of 30,000 gates in tier three, West Ham picked up 20,000 extra bodies with a click of the fingers on moving to the new stadium. I’ve been to grounds on the continent that are rocking two hours before kick-off, where St James’ Park is still largely empty because fans prefer to have a drink in the local area with their mates. Good luck to them, so would I. So this is not a dig at Newcastle. I’m just making the point that all devoted fans will recognise the passion at Newcastle – they just don’t all have the same numbers, often for purely historical reasons to do with success of location. I once stood in the away end at Barnet when Rochdale visited. There weren’t many of them but, given the state of their team that season, I can’t say I’ve ever seen a group of fans with such commitment. They were special, too.
What an absolute load of rubbish. I’ve travelled the country up and down watching Newcastle and I can assure you not every club is the same or has the passion of the Geordies. We don't claim to be the best fans in the country, Manchester United fans bring the biggest and loudest following and you have Anfield, Selhurst Park and Elland Road with brilliant fans and atmosphere. You just can’t say the same about the likes of Swansea, Wigan and Bristol. Utter garbage article. LeeEst85B, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Yes, Lee, you are the only person that has gone away, and the only person who has ever experienced the atmosphere at other grounds. Funnily enough, I get around a bit in my job, too. Manchester City twice, Arsenal twice, Liverpool twice, Chelsea, Yeovil, Cardiff, Tottenham – and that was just January. And in my experience football grounds are quite similar: good days and bad days. So I’ve been at your place when you could have heard a pin drop, and at Wigan when it’s been a riot – and vice versa. As for the other clubs you mentioned, the atmosphere has always been great on the occasions I’ve been to Swansea, while Ashton Gate sounded plenty loud enough the night they knocked Manchester United out of the cup. I don’t quite know how you define this passion anyway. If it’s really caring about your football club, I’d say a lot of fans do that.
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5339009/Man-City-got-piggyback-theyre-own.html?ITO=14901180