March 31, 2011
My first game at St James' Park came back in 1983/84 as a boy of five or six and I have been to the vast majority of the home games since then. In that time we have watched some exciting and amazing players as well as many more complete donkeys!
Most of the time in the early years we (my dad, brother and pals) watched the game from the Leazes Family Enclosure - great memories of stone barriers to sit on and absolutely rank toilets. Being the age I was back then I can hardly remember a thing - my first memories come from 1988 and onwards.
I had some time to kill when travelling recently and I got thinking about what my Newcastle United dream team would be - not an all time dream team with Milburn and Supermac, but a team made up of players that I watched.
Here is that team and the reason, by player, that I included them. It is unlikely that anyone out there will agree with the selection from 1-11, there are some glaring omissions, but I stand by my selection!
March 28, 2011
Alan Pardew participated in a 90 minute phone in on Radio Newcastle tonight, and below are some of the random notes that I took from various points that he tried to make.
I am sure there will be a link to the interview on the Radio Newcastle website at some time soon, so you can go on and have a listen for yourself.
On having the Andy Carroll money to spend:
"If we get over the line (and avoid relegation) we will get the chance t spend that money"
What happens if we don't?
"We don't want to make the mistakes of previous regimes in terms of signings."
A valid point. Even more terrifying that the mistakes of previous regimes have been the mistakes of this regime - Jimenez Wise, Xisco etc.
"I am not a sound bite for Mike and Derek"
I am not sure I believe him on this one!
Ten games to go and somehow we have managed to find ourselves drifting towards the wrong end of the table. If the performance and tactical decisions at home to Everton were worrying, the setup and capitulation at Stoke was terrifying.
On Saturday we play Wolves at home - they are third from bottom but only four points behind us. A win is a must.
At time of writing we are 11th in the table with a league record of:
P30 W9 D9 L12 F44 A45 PTS36
Our current form (last five games) reads:
Stoke (A) 0 v 4 L
Everton (H) 1 v 2 L
Bolton (H) 1 v 1 D
Birmingham (A) 2 v 0 W
Blackburn (A) 0 v 0 D
People often refer to the 'magic 42 point mark', but I wonder if 42 points will be enough this season? Will we survive?
I am boldly predicting the outcomes of the last 10 games and, amazingly, I am doing this with my optimistic hat on:
March 15, 2011
This past weekend saw rumours re-emerge of a bid for Newcastle United by Indian billionaire businessman Anil Ambani. Ambani has been linked with the club before and has also been associated with rumours of a bid for Everton in the recent past. For what it is worth, I don't believe a word of this weekendâ€™s story - there isn't a month goes by without rumours of one bid or another and despite what he says, I don't think Mike Ashley would sell. His alleged actions the last couple of times he 'put the club up for sale' indicate that.
I know everyone reading this is familiar with Ashley and his actions to date - but here is a reminder of what has happened at our football club since his arrival.
Ashley would have us believe that he did not undertake due diligence when he purchased the club. That is incredibly hard to believe from a man who had made over Â£1billion in business - but it has to be true. Some would have us believe that if a buyer had not been found, Newcastle would have 'done a Leeds' if not worse following the handling of the club from the Shepherd's and Hall's.
From poor managerial appointments and player signings to dubious business deals, Newcastle United still made the Hall's and Shepherd's money with no little scandal on the way - who can remember the rented warehouse story?
Freddy Shepherd's brother allegedly bought a warehouse for Â£175,000 and then the club leased it on a long term deal that saw the owners make their money back several times over: