August 27, 2010
Chris Hughton took the brave decision to drop all 11 players from the 6 v 0 Villa win to field a very young side in the League Cup 2nd round on Wednesday night. Not only did the gamble pay off, but it also showed the fans that we do have strength in depth, albeit through a very talented crop of teenagers.
The starting XI contained no fewer than six players aged 19 or under and only one player over 30 (Lovenkrands â€“ though promising youngster Shola will hit the big 3 0 soon) and the average age of the side was 21. If Andy Carroll had started instead of Lovenkrands the average age would have been down to 20.
August 23, 2010
The game was amazing. Talking with the lads before kick off, opinions on what the outcome would be were mixed - a draw being the most common prediction. I went for a 2 v 1 win and, believe it or not, no one predicted a 6 v 0 slaughter!
Villa started reasonably brightly setting up with a very attacking formation. Early on their tactic of the long ball over the top aiming to capitalise on Ashley Young's pace looked like it might reap some rewards. We looked threatening as we broke too, but when Steve Harper (who looked unsettled throughout the first half) gave away the penalty for a rash challenge on Young (who made the most of it, though it was a penalty to be fair), it looked like we would be chasing the game. Carew stepped up and lashed the ball over the bar â€“ the miss sent the Gallowgate end delirious and all of a sudden our players looked even more energetic.
August 17, 2010
If Newcastle fans were honest with themselves (as most are) then this result was fairly predictable. When the fixtures were revealed a couple of months ago I was dismayed that we didnâ€™t have a home tie vs a bottom half team to maintain last seasons momentum, but all in all at least this fixture (arguably the toughest of the season) is out of the way and we managed not to ship 6 like our automatic promotion rivals did at Chelsea.
August 9, 2010
13 days before we entertain Aston Villa in our opening home game, Martin O'Neill has 'done a Keegan' and walked out.
Is this over the potential sale of James Milner? If so it is a remarkable parallel to the circumstances that saw Keegan walk out in his last stint as manager. Surely the sale of Shorey has nothing to do with it?
Listening to a phone-in on the subject, the Villa fans generally seem quite pleased!
How much can we read into pre season games? Do the results matter? If the answers to these questions are that we should read a lot in to them and that of course the results matter, this pre season has been a cause for concern. On the other hand most of us feared the worst when we shipped 6 at Orient a year ago and last season did not turn out too badly at all.
17th July Carlisle (A) 3 v 0 win Best, Ranger, Vuckic
24th July Norwich (A) 1 v 2 loss Shola
31st July PSV (H) 2 v 2 draw R.Taylor, Best
3rd August Deportivo (A) 0 v 0 draw (Won 5 v 4 on pens)
7th August Rangers (A) 1 v 2 loss Lovenkrands
Joey Barton's moustache
August 7, 2010
Definitely an area of strength.
Harper is obviously Hughtons number 1 and he has been OK.
Behind him we have Tim Krul and Fraser Forster â€“ both first team footballers of the future. I just hope that we donâ€™t stick with Harps through good form or bad on the grounds that he is one of the dressing room leaders â€“ this would hinder the development of whichever keeper is not out on loan.
August 3, 2010
â€śCome writers and critics who prophesize with your penâ€ť (Hard to beat a bit of Dylan)
Saturday marked one year to the day of the sad passing of football Legend Sir Bobby Robson. On the 30th August it will be six years since he was sacked by Freddy Shepherd shortly after a 4 v 2 defeat to Aston Villa. Little did we know then how much would change at the club within a relatively short period of time.
Here are some of the stories involving potential comings and goings from NUFC today: