If Newcastle United were Lord of the Rings, then Mike Ashley would be Sauron, the lidless ‘Eye of Ash’ (Ash nazg durbatuluk, ash nazg gimbatul etc) coming in fair form and bringing trinkets to tempt the once-powerful.
The relegation and promotion of 2009-10 is Isildur (Chris Hughton) cutting the ring off Sauron’s hand but not destroying it – defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. Hughton perishes several seasons later, his back a pin-cushion for orc arrows.
Pardew must be Saruman, and therefore Carver is Frodo. (Although he has elements of Gollum…)
Jack Colback is definitely Sam Gamgee. Ayoze and Armstrong are Merry and Pippin, inspired by a powerful slumbering creature from the past, Treebeardsley.
Mike Williamson is Gandalf, perishing at the hands of the Balrog waving a red card. His last words: “You shall not pass, tackle, create or score,” become hugely prophetic. He may yet return to display skills we didn’t know he had…
Daryl Janmaat is currently Boromir, although Moussa Sissoko is fighting him hard for that role.
Anyone French is an Elf (Cabella, Gouffran, Riviere), and Joe Kinnear is Wormtongue, obviously.
Tom Bombadil is Johan Cabaye. Mathieu Debuchy is his wife, Goldberry.
Derek Llambias is the Lord of the Nazgul, sent north by Sauron to bring down the Rangers.
The question is, what does this allow us to know about the future? Well:
This Saturday, March 9, against West Brom, is the Battle of Helm’s Deep. The weak and smitten forces take shelter in an ancient fortress and manage to hold out against all odds (0-0, but no shots on target).
Next is QPR, in which part of the Fellowship is found walking the Paths of the Dead, near an ancient White City. It’s the return of the King, Aragorn (Siem de Jong), who comes back from seemingly certain death with various zombies (Jonas and Ryan Taylor) and manages to fight the forces of the South, while finally releasing the soul of the dead king (Harry Redknapp) from its torment. (3-3 draw coming back from 0-3 down.)
Finally, on the edge of the Cracks of Doom, with the background sound of Hammers breaking down the gates, it comes to a conclusion: Frodo suffers temptation, frustration, and dread of the dark world to come. Finally, Andy Carroll bites off Kevin Nolan’s finger and falls backwards into the net holding the ball, giving a winning goal AND a penalty to Newcastle, while screaming “My precious!”
Carver is carried back home, half-dead, by the Eagles (Crystal Palace) to become Saruman’s assistant, and the elves, Cabella, Gouffran and Riviere – weary of this world – depart across the sea.
And I haven’t even got to the role to be played by Sting.
WARNING: Lord of the Rings is a fantasy; Newcastle United is not.
Next week: If England’s Cricket Team were Watership Down…