SO is your black and white glass half full or half empty?
For Mike Ashley, who revived a pre-match tradition which had laid dormant for five years of supping with Newcastle supporters in a local pub, it seems to be the former.
In spite of a fresh bout of White Hart pain for Newcastle version 2.0 there was enough here for Ashley and the away fans with whom he mingled in the Antwerp Arms to suggest brighter times lie ahead.
The immediate priority is to secure Premier League survival, of course, but the longer-term picture seems a great deal rosier – right down to the latest stage of Ashley’s quite remarkable public rehabilitation.
You can read too much into little things, but the Newcastle’s owner’s appearance in a local hostelry with managing-director Derek Llambias before this game seemed significant.
There was a time when Ashley would regularly mingle with United fans before the match, but those days seemed to be gone for good when his stewardship began to unravel in the wake of the Kevin Keegan debacle in 2008.
With a surer touch and a blueprint constructed on common-sense economics, Ashley seems to have built up credit in the interim, but you’d have had long odds on him popping up in the pub with his Tyneside public when things were nose-diving in mid-winter.
Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate. The club’s impressive January recruitment drive emboldened Llambias enough to give an impressively far-reaching interview with The Journal and sister title the Evening Chronicle last week, and Ashley seems to be following suit.
He has always preferred the bars to the boardrooms.
The fact he’s no longer drinking in the Last Chance Saloon has to be representative of the more optimistic state of the Geordie nation.
The team he helped finance lost to the team he used to support on Saturday, but the damage to Newcastle’s renaissance did not appear terminal.
Just as Yoan Gouffran’s worrying shin injury turned out to be nothing too serious in the end, United’s Gareth Bale-inspired bruises should heal soon.