Saturday, 28 April 2012

Were We Just Forgetful Today?


Did we forget we're supposed to be a Champions League chasing team?


Did we forget that we were THE form team with 6 wins out of 6?


Did Pardew forget he is supposed to be Manager Of The Year?


Did Willo forget he had looked like a decent centre back for the past few weeks?


Did Papiss Cisse forget the offside rule? (How many times?)


Did Papiss forget how to score? (header should have gone in)


Has Demba Ba forgotten how to play football? (what is up with him?!)


Did Captain Colo forget how to lead? (Had a shocker)


Did Tim Krul forget he is a quality keeper?


Did Jonas forget how to play in CM?


Did the referee forget the f*cking rules? (He does understand a 2 footed challenge doesn't he?)


All of this talk of Champions League has done something to our mentality. It must have. If we have added pressure on ourselves by simply talking about it than that is ridiculous. What's the point in that? We're supposed to have nothing to lose in this race and are the unlikely outsiders! I'm sure that mentality is suddenly back with a bang.


Alan Pardew was intent on taking his name away from the England manager talk. He set up in the 4-3-3 then obviously wasn't comfortable because he changed it to wing backs at 2-0 down, which seemed to happen seamlessly. He must have worked on this during the week given how quick he was to change, so if he wanted to play this way, than why not just do it from the start? However, at half-time he changed it back. So I don't know what he was doing to be quite honest. Answers on a postcard. 
As regards for taking off our only shadow of hope in Ben Arfa after some inspired class is just laughable. What the f*ck? If he is resting him for Chelsea than fair enough. But f*ck me. Give us a chance Pard's will you. Bad day at the office.


Speaking of Mike Williamson, its now settled. He IS awful. He just cant be trusted. At home against a direct team he does alright, but away from home against quick, tricky strikers he is a shambles. That first goal was a joke. How does Victor Moses beat him in the air? How? The second goal was not Colo's finest moment, just clear it. For the third goal Willo again LEAPT out of defence to close down the striker, totally leaving a massive gap at the back. Why? You're in no man's land dickhead (also see Fulham and Spurs performance). The 4th goal was just a fluke. He won't do that again for a while. Summed up our day.


Second half was a lot better lads like Cisse, Benny and Cabaye worked hard, but lets be honest Wigan stopped playing. We were never gonna score in a month of Sundays. We hit the post more times than Liverpool. It was definitely not our day.


This season has been immense and I haven't forgotten that, but this is just another debacle to add to the Fulham and Spurs games. Onlt Newcastle Utd can talk about Champions League and then ship 4 by half time at Wigan. Got to laugh really.


Champions League is over. We needed to win to keep it realistic. Just accept it won't happen, but hope for the best.


Great season. Sickeningly predictable awful performance.


Europe awaits though no matter what.  Howay!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Sir Bobby Doesn't Deserve A Statue. He's Not First In Line

NUFC are going to unveil a 9ft statue of the late, great Sir Bobby Robson before the Man City game on 6th May. However, does he deserve it? In my honest opinion, no.

Not because he wasn't a great man, not because he wasn't a great manager, not because he didn't do a great job on his time on Tyneside...but because their is a queue I am afraid, and Sir Bob isn't first in line.

I'm all for the club celebrating Sir Bob and I thought they had done that adequately with the bronze bust of him that he unveiled himself a few years ago before he died. This was great and did the job perfectly.

So why now a statue? When you consider certain NUFC legends who don't have any kind of commemorative gesture's to speak of, it's all a bit strange.

Joe Harvey must surely be first in line for any talk of a statue being erected next to the great Jackie Milburn, which in itself has been dragged from the pointless position it has stood for ages back into the front of St James' Park. This man not only played and captained NUFC to two FA Cup Final victories but also managed the club when we won our infamous Fairs Cup win in 1969. I mean, what more does a man need to do to get himself a statue? Build the stadium with his bear hands?

Seeing as there is nothing coming from the club itself regarding this great NUFC legend, or ever has, the fans themselves are putting together a fund to pay for a statue to sit where it belongs. Which in itself is somewhat disappointing considering our illustrious leaders seem to be on a statue erecting frenzy all of a sudden.

As regards to Alan Shearer I think he will have to make do with a bar named after him for a while, especially when the club's current MD says things like, 'Who is Alan Shearer?'. Nice touch Derek.

Which of course leads me onto this man, who also has no chance of being respected by the current regime, but that is definetely ahead in the queue, Mr Kevin Keegan. Did he win anything? No. Did he walk out on the club for reasons that don't exactly wash? Yes. Did he walk out again in 2008, suing the club and Mike Ashley? Yes. But to be perfectly honest, I couldn't give a toss when you consider what he actually achieved for this football club we all love.

I'm not looking to give a history lesson, but basically when KK took over the club in his first ever managerial role back in 1992, the club was a shambles. It was nose diving straight into the old Division 3, until this ex-NUFC player yanked on the handbrake. Not only did we survive relegation that season but the following year KK's Entertainers steam rolled the league an won it with a record amount of points and burst into the newly formed Premier League in style. But he didn't stop there. We didn't just quietly go about our business back in the top flight, we smashed it up. Beating all comers in a style that had the whole of Tyneside foaming at the mouth and the rest of country watching in amazement. 42 games later with 40-odd goals from a certain 22 year old Andy Cole, NUFC finished 3rd in their first season in the Premiership. Unbelievable. Oh, and he wasn't a bad player either helping us get back into Division One in his time. Something that Bobby Robson the player never did, but I am not trying to make this into a contest. These are just facts.

To then actually challenge for the Premier League in the fashion we did, never finishing outside the top 6 was the stuff of make believe. In his 5 years at the club he totally transformed it from a potentially division 3 outcast, to an elite force in the English game. Simply without Kevin Keegan there would be no 50,000 seater stadium, no title aspirations, no Champions League memories, no European nights, no Shearer, no Beardsley, no Howay 5-0, no top flight football at all potentially and a hell of a lot less of entertainment, joy and resounding pride in our football club.

Now I am not bashing Sir Bobby Robson in anyway whatsoever and I am sure the statue will be a beauty, but if our current decision makers want to do such things as celebrate our heroes...than do it right.

Friday, 13 April 2012

NUFC's Premier League Legacy Is - Resilience


You can almost relegate us to the third tier of football...we'll get promoted to the Premiership the next season.
You can sell our best player to Man Utd...we'll replace him with a better player and challenge for the league.
You can take away our manager half way through a season...we'll still qualify for the Champions League.
You can sell all of our top player and replace them with Dad's Army...we'll still beat Barcelona.
You can beat us in the FA Cup Final...we'll come back again next year.
You can leave us in the relegation zone after losing to Sun'lund...we'll stay up and get back to Wembley.
You can give us a season of mid-table medocrity...we'll qualify for the Champions League the season after.
You can beat us in the first 3 games of a Champions League group...we'll win the next 3 to qualify, making history.
You can beat us in a Champions League qualifier...we'll get to a European Semi instead.
You can take away a great manager and replace him with a useless c*nt...we'll still get to the Millenium Stadium Semi Final and a European Qtr's.
You can cripple the club financially and bring it to it knees...we'll find a man with more money than sense to take it on without knowing what he was buying.
You can relegate us to the Championship and make us a national laughing stock...we'll bounce straight back with a 100 point tally and have the laugh straight back at you.
You can write us off and say we are going straight back down...we'll stay up easily as well as hit the mackem's for 5.
You can go 4-0 up...we'll score 4 back, making history.
You can sell our key players...we'll replace them with better ones.
You can collectively all come together and say we are going to be relegated again...we'll qualify for the Champions League....


...won't we?


You can deny us a trophy for 40 years...we'll keep on coming, we'll keep on trying. 


Say what you want about trophies this or spending lots of money on that....you can kick us in the balls with everything you've got. We can take it and come straight back...stronger.


I love my football club. Resilience is our legacy.



Tuesday, 10 April 2012

NUFC Are Back!


So technically we're 5th, but I like to think of it as very much joint 4th. NUFC are back, believe it!


Just staring at the league table at 2 o clock in the morning on teletext is a remarkable thing to see. Much more remarkable than the northern lights or babestation extreme. I mean just look at it:


Spuds Played 33 Won 17 Drew 8 Lost 8
Toon Played 33 Won 17 Drew 8 Lost 8


We have the same record as a team that were in the title race for most of the season, were labelled the best team to watch in the league and could adfford to turn down £40million for one of their players.


We were in the f*cking Championship 2 years ago...THE CHAMPIONSHIP. The only thing we had to watch on a saturday night was listening to Steve Claridge tell us we could implode at any stage, after MOTD had already been and gone with Hull City apart of its line up.


We even got rid of the players that did so well for us last season. We all love to hate Carroll, Enrique, Nolan and Barton now, but these lads were key to our team last year when we hammered the mackems, beat Arsenal on their own patch and won 6-0, 5-0 & the 4-4 epic!


We also, technically, didn't go a penny out of pocket on transfer fees as we used the money we sold Nolan, Jose and Routledge to bring in new faces. We didn't even bother touching the Andy Carroll money!


We even havent played that well this season. You can count on one hand the games where we have all been left nursing a semi by how good we were. Man U 3-0, Stoke 3-1, WBA 3-1, Liverpool 2-0 is about it if we are being honest. The rest of our wins were mainly uncomfortable, uneasy and at times, pure hoof ball dogsh*t, laboured victories.


We didn't even have Ben Arfa in the team for the first half of the season. We all had to put up with Obertan for four f*cking months. If it wasn't him then it was the unready Sammy Ameobi. Or Raylor. Or even Shola at one stage. We also didn't have the unbelievable Papiss Cisse who was over in Germany, scoring a shed load of goals in a sh*t team in the relegation zone. We even had no Steven Taylor for half a season and have had either Willo or Perch take his place. Who in their own right were utter horsesh*t for a while, up until the greatest turn around in form since...well, ever probably.


Its amazing, incredible, astonishing, minor-miracle stuff, or which ever adjective you like the most.


If we finish 4th this year than the manager nobody wanted, and the owner nobody liked, with players nobody had any real certain idea what to expect, in a team that nobody had down for achieving anything season...would pull off one of the greatest achievements in Premier League history.


Being a Toon fan is nothing but a shit scary rollercoaster...and I love it! 


HTL!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Pardew - Not Manager Of The Year?! What?!

If you think Alan Pardew is a shoe-in for LMA Manager Of The Year seeing as he has taken a much maligned NUFC team 'tipped' for relegation troubles, to within touching distance of the Champions League places...apparently you'd be wrong! According to the bookies and pundits anyway.


As it stands Brendan Rodgers of Swansea is the favourite to take the award after a brilliant first season in the Prem, playing quality football to go along with it.


Now I admire Swansea's style as much as the next man, but how can anyone say that a mid table finish for them is a bigger achievement than what Pardew has done with NUFC? In fact, if you look at it, what Swansea are doing in finishing mid-table in their first season back in the big time, is exactly what NUFC and West Brom did last season...so where is the award for Hughton/Pardew or Di Matteo/Hodgson then? Not even a mention. The only thing RDM and Hughton got was the sack!


If Brendan Rodgers walks away with the award ahead of Pard's then it must be down to his character as well as his style of playing the game. Pardew does seem a bit smug and has his run in with fellow managers, whereas Rodgers seems a all round likeable bloke. But this shouldn't matter.


What Pardew has done for NUFC this season in breaking up and cementing a top 6 place in the league by April, with a team that cost ZERO in Net spend at the start of the season (less than Swansea), is nothing short of a footballing miracle. Especially when you consider NUFC were in the Championship (like Swansea) 2 seasons ago.


The odds are 6/4 favourite Rodgers with Pardew second favourite at 7/2...I for one am going to find myself a free bet from a game bookmaker and stick it on Pard's in the hope the LMA Managers Association do the right thing that nobody could argue with.


Sunday, 1 April 2012

You Idiot Perch!...

...haha, just joking. Although James Perch 'helping' Pepe Reina get sent off for scousers when the game was already over, may cost Liverpool the FA Cup Semi against Everton and ultimately NUFC Europe if we finish 6th, the lad was absolutely immense today and was in my opinion MOTM in our sweetest victory of the season.


This day was perfect. If someone had told me that we would beat Liverpool convincingly 2-0 and open up a 11 point gap on them in the league table, with James Perch and Willo tree fighting over the motm award, with Andy Carroll being dragged off the pitch in a huff after being booked for diving no less, with Bellamy offering nothing in the game and Jose Enrique would end up in goal as a make shift keeper...I would have laughed and cried APRIL FOOLS!


But no, it happened, believe it baby! I want this game on DVD to watch over and over again! Get in!!


Our newly formed 4-3-3 worked an absolute treat, again. Ben Arfa is a constant threat from the right, Cisse works his socks off and can finish with the best of 'em and Demba sacrifices his own goal tally to provide strength and power from the left. The 3 central midfielders, whoever they are, control the game admirably and give our defence much needed cover as well as create counter attacks at will. Throw into the fact we have no Coloccini and Saylor, yet Willo and Perch perform like that....we are laughing, all the way to Europe, hopefully.


If we end up finishing 6th this season and don't end up with European football to look forward to next season will be a crying shame. We deserve it. Everton are the only realistic team that can snatch it from us and they sure as hell dont deserve it. The Premier League and the F.A need to change this rule of the FA Cup runner-up getting the Euro place ahead of a team that has finished in the top 6 in the Premier League. Hopefully it won't matter this season.


So what have we learned from this match today?


NUFC are nailed on for a top 6 finish. Absolutely astonishing achievement.
Every player in our squad can hold their head high with their contribution this season. Perch and Willo have arrived............where's Obertan....? Join the party lad.
Alan Pardew is the manager of the season. No question.
Hatem Ben Arfa is a genius and at last a first team regular, finally.
Cisse is a goal machine. End of.
Liverpool are a joke spending over a £100mil and lie in 8th, 11 points behind us.
Andy Carroll has officially had a shocker in this transfer move and may be out the door of Anfield come next season.
Jose Enrique will be embarrassed by his 'NUFC will never finish in the top 6 again.
Kenny Dalglish is a miserable, out of touch, has been who is finally doing some good for NUFC...only took him 15 years. Thanks for the £40mil Ken.


What a day, what a season, long may it continue....................Champions League.....?


HTL!