October 2006 Archives
Bob Moncur today revealed how times have changed when it comes to big European away nights.
Moncur, of course, is the last captain to lift a trophy for Newcastle when he hoisted the Fairs Cup back in 1969.
And as we stepped on to the GNER train from Central Station to London for the first leg of the long journey to Palermo today Moncur admitted that Euro nights have changed dramatically.
In the first of Moncur's exclusive Italian Diary entries on Blog of the Tyne, the former Scotland captain told me on the journey to London to catch our flight: "I have to admit there aren't too many household names in the Palermo side, but that doesn't mean we don't know much about them.
It was meant to be a night that Albert Luque forced his way back into the first team picture with a couple of goals at Kingston Park.
But instead it turned out to be a memorable night for Academy goal machine Andrew Carroll who notched the only goal of the night.
The young Geordie had already sprinted in for a challenge by the time Albert Luque had slammed the tunnel door shut and headed for the showers in tonight's reserve team game against Blackburn Rovers.
Not that the Spaniard would have needed one.
It wasn't the sort of fixture he had in mind when he left the joys of La Liga behind.
But Albert Luque will run out tonight at Kingston Park against Blackburn in the ressies to try once more to force his way into the mind of Glenn Roeder.
Luque couldn't have enjoyed his stint on Tyneside to date and has swapped the life of a hero with Deportivo in Spain for a life of a bench player in the Premiership.
Who do you think deserved the boos against Charlton?
I know that people have got their view about some kind of magic dynasty that will take Newcastle back or beyond the highs of the Keegan or Robson eras.
And I know that Glenn Roeder wasn't everybody's choice as manager at St James' Park when Graeme Souness was shown the door earlier this year.
But the current puzzle at the manager and chairman's hands at the minute can't be easy.
Especially when the XI chosen to beat Charlton fails miserably.
It could only happen to Kieron Dyer and it has again.
Just two days after making a successful comeback from injury Dyer is hurt once more.
Dyer will not play against Charlton tomorrow night after sustaining a freak eye injury in training.
Most Toon fans will fear the worst.
But this time it is expected Dyer will not sit out for six months.
We can't lose to Charlton.
It's as simple as that.
Or at least that's what the feeling will be for those trooping up to St James' Park at teatime tomorrow.
Defeat is more unthinkable then impossible but a repeat of the defensive shambles in previous home Premiership clashes can only spell defeat against the team propping up the rest of the League.
The Toon fans who were at St James' Park last night will still be drying out now but they won't be complaining too much after witnessing a superb 3-0 win over Portsmouth in the Carling Cup.
There can't be any moans other than the drenching the loyal sections of the Toon Army endured but by the same token nobody will be getting carried away.
But wasn't it good to see Kieron Dyer running at defences?
In the aftermath of Newcastle United's game at Middlesbrough and recent home games - it has to be said the current crop of players require a good old fashioned kick up the backside.
Well the good news is they are about to get one.
Step forward big Nigel Pearson.
Losing in football has never been any fun.
Losing to Middlesbrough isn't exactly the most enjoyable way to spend your afternoon either.
And losing to a side that never really looked liked they were going to win until the dying stages -with United handing the game to them on a plate - is just down right painful.
But once again for Newcastle United it was a story of what if?
Well would you credit it?
The man that Man City didn't want and left most fans flabbergasted on transfer deadline night, turns out to be a UEFA Cup hero against a decent Fenerbahce outfit at St James' Park.
The signing of Sibierski was a no frills capture by United and this was a no frills victory.
Stuart Pearce - the man who shipped Sibierski out of Man City - was in the crowd but had already left the arena for his moment of glory.
But with confidence low after the loss against Bolton and the season in danger of falling a little flat, United silenced the mass travelling support from Istanbul and London, with a deserved win against the Turks, and mainly thanks to Sibierski's winner.