Newcastle owners given stark reminder of task ahead after loss to Tottenham

Newcastle fans celebrated the club’s new era before kick-off.
Newcastle United fans have not had much to cheer in recent times so it's no surprise that many were taken aback by Sunday's optimism surrounding the club’s new Saudi Arabian-backed era.

Then, the football began.

The city was buzzing with excitement before kick-off against Tottenham. Black and white-clad fans flooded the streets surrounding St James' Park. Many wore headdresses, draped Saudi flags and wore headdresses to pay tribute to their new owners. They have promised a better future after years of stagnation. They have given hope to a club that has been floundering.

Students from Saudi Arabia who had traveled from Birmingham were asked to take pictures. Kuwaiti students, based in Newcastle, had arrived to try the "vibes". A drummer inspired his supporters to dance across the street from Sir Bobby Robson's statue.

These exuberant scenes were stark contrast to the protests nearby. The stadium was surrounded by a van bearing a photo of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist who was murdered. Western intelligence agencies have confirmed that Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia (or Mohammed bin Salman) ordered Khashoggi's assassination in 2018. He denies this.

Newcastle's supporters were determined to celebrate inside the stadium. Wor Flags, a group from Newcastle, were taking their seats for only the second time in 897 days. The group Wor Flags had been disillusioned by Mike Ashley's 14-year tenure, and had now returned to show their vision for the future before the new owners.

Their flag was displayed across the Gallowgate End and featured lyrics from Big River by Jimmy Nail in 1995.

It said, "This is a powerful town built upon solid ground." "And all they tried to kill, will we rebuild."

The crowd roared with joy when the reveal took place. Fans were moved to tears by the news that a day was finally coming.

Amanda Staveley, part-owner, must have had everything she hoped for when she was joined by Yasir Al Rumayyan, a new non-executive chair and governor of Saudi state's Public Investment Fund. Yasir has contributed 80% to the capital for the takeover of 305m.

It was palpable. Callum Wilson made the home crowd believe once more by putting in a header just two minutes later.

Television presenters and lifelong Newcastle fans Ant, Dec, were among the supporters

Staveley hugged Al-Rumayyan and her husband. Al-Rumayyan broke out in a wide grin. This was the perfect demonstration for the 51-year old that the Saudis are right to invest.

Perhaps the demand for an upgrade of players was exaggerated with Allan Saint-Maximin bouncing around the pitch and Wilson sniffing another goal.

As Newcastle took an early lead, Yasir Al Rumayyan, a new non-executive chair, and Amanda Staveley, part-owner, were both in good spirits

The symptoms of the Ashley era became apparent and made it clear to the new owners just how difficult this task is.

Joelinton, the club's record 40m forward, failed to score a pass. Spurs' midfield did not offer any protection to Newcastle, which allowed Spurs to break through and score Harry Kane's first league goal.

After a long first-half interruption while a fan was being treated for a medical emergency it was the visitors that re-emerged sharper. Jonjo Shelvey, who was brought in to try and turn the game around, was also exposed. He was sent off for two clumsy challenges that Alan Shearer called "stupid".

Newcastle only managed 35% possession and just one shot on target

The joy seen in the directors box was gone. Stoney watched.

They may have focused their gaze on Steve Bruce as he was about to complete his 1,000th managerial game.

The 60-year old, long-criticized by fans, would have been an easy method to signal the intent of the new owners. There were even reports that he would be fired last week.

The club put the manager in a difficult position by confirming that he would be taking charge against Spurs only 45 minutes before his pre-match press conference. This leaves the new owners with more questions.

As they approach the new era with a thoughtful approach, they have asked for patience from their fans. It was evident that supporters listened to them throughout the match. They wanted to make this a positive experience.

After 74 minutes, the Newcastle boss did not respond to the chant "we want Brucey Out" which echoed around the Gallowgate End until it grew slowly around the stadium.

As the game progressed, the volume rose and Eric Dier's goal gave hope. However, the Tottenham fans were singing along to Eric Dier's goal.

It was like nothing had happened.

Bruce claims he will "crack up until I hear other", but it could be that Bruce's performance sharpens some minds, as the new hierarchy tries to avoid the club being involved in a relegation battle.

It was a stark reminder that owners are heroes and have a huge task ahead of them.