Those champion-standard NUFC blogs True Faith and NUFC.COM have been staunch in their efforts to marshal and exhort the fans into active protest against the latest risible stunt from that walking gastric hazard Mike Ashley, and that travelling band of monkeys to whom he's given big jobs at SJP.
So, we'll see what transpires in the ground on Saturday as Toon entertain Posh at what might yet (per the impassioned blog of the Chronicle's Lee Ryder) come to be known as Coors Light Park. (Ashley's chief baboon Derek Llambias insists 'that' sort of renaming won't happen: an assertion which, in light of the recent FA tribunal verdict in the Case of Monkeys vs Keegan, is worse than meaningless - or, if you like, just as meaningful as Llambias's infamous overheard remark that he wanted to 'slap' Kevin Keegan - the sort of thing Ashley and his apes like to tell each while supping their lagers and scratching themselves, since talk is cheap, as are they.)
That said, True Faith in particular are now throwing down the gauntlet to fans whom they suspect of big-mouthing it in pubs while hoping that braver cohorts of protesters will get the job of ousting the Monkeys done. Well, come the final whistle on Saturday I'll still be in North London, on my backside, writing a book. So my opinion on this matter carries no weight whatsoever. Still, for what it's worth: Monkeys, Monkeys, Monkeys - Out, Out, Out.
As to the game of football itself, the excellent George Caulkin ran a highly interesting interview with wor skipper Alan Smith in the Times last week, wherein Smith did a convincing impression of a man committed to the team, indeed the club, and to getting us out of Division 2, which he endearingly described as a 'muck and nettles' league ('It's Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday.') Remarkably Smith claims to have 'enjoyed this season as much as any in my career.' Well, I'll go to the top of our stairs. And he even sounded genuinely geed up about wanting 'to lift that Championship trophy.'
In other intriguing news, Caulkin’s piece usefully confirms that ‘a cabal of senior [NUFC] players have fulfilled a powerful role under Chris Hughton’s management.’ To wit, Smith described the dumbfounding events after the team returned from their 6-1 pre-season tonking at Orient:
'It was clear that five or six of the players wanted to leave which was fair enough. We had a meeting when we came back from the game - just us players. We said, ‘Whoever wants to leave, they can leave, and we'll help them to go. Whoever want(s) to stay, then commit yourself to stay’. That was a massive turning point… It was one of the strangest things ever. We were managing ourselves… Chris knew that we were having that meeting and he stood back and let us sort things out.'
Strange, indeed. It must have felt like a good stiff wielding of the broom, though, once the fraudulent badge-kissers like Beye and Duff had cleared their pegs. Smith and Kevin Nolan in particular seem to have brought a much-needed edge of honesty to what has emanated from NUFC this season, in the lamented absence of Shay Given, and in spite of the cloud of lies stirred up by the Monkeys. Nonetheless, this clearly pleasant but suspiciously passive Chris Hughton chap is the one to whom Monkey Mike has just given a full-time manager's contract. So I hope Chris and the Cabal don't have a big falling-out before end of season.