November 2006 Archives

With Lee Ryder in Frankfurt

United fans proudly clapped of their side at the Commerzbank tonight knowing their final tally of 10 points was enough to see them into the last 32 as Group H winners.

It's a far cry from the miserable looking Premiership table at the minute but this competition could yet save a depressing domestic campaign - that's if it hasn't already after another great experience in Europe.

OK, there were no goals and the injury hit Magpies were perhaps fortunate to grab a point at the end of a frantic contest but who cares?

With Lee Ryder in Frankfurt

European football for Newcastle United this season has been a most welcome break.

But if they can win here in Frankfurt tonight the UEFA Cup is still a competition capable of transforming their season into the most successful campaign since 1969.

Critics lurking will always say that the giant piece of silverware is a waste of time but looking back at Seville's night of glory against Middlesbrough last term, the scenes after the final whistle indicated the Spaniards were having the time of their lives parading the trophy and many of them are still going to dinner on that night still now.

With Lee Ryder in Frankfurt

Steve Cram may not have appreciated it but Newcastle United fans arrived in their droves in Frankfurt today determined to see their injury ravaged side finish UEFA Cup Group H on a high.

Cram was on the connecting flight to Amsterdam this morning with United fans heading for Germany and several Toon supporters exchanged banter with the Wearside-born athletics legend who is a self confessed Sunderland nut!

Whether the Geordies are still in high spirits on the way back remains to be seen.

But it was a youthful looking squad that set off for Frankfurt today.

Thanks again Sibi!

By Lee Ryder on Nov 27, 06 09:00 AM

Antoine SibierskiWhen Alan Shearer hobbled off at the Stadium of Light with his side 2-1 up, courtesy of his final ever and 206th Newcastle United goal, it started to sink in for the Geordie public that they may never see the like again in a black and white shirt.

But the fact is, Shearer's departure from the United first team scene and inevitable retirement had only just started to sink in.

We had an emotional night at Gallowgate in which a patched up Shearer limped back on to the field to fire home a farewell penalty against Celtic.

At that point it still hadn't sunk in.

But as the summer moved on and Michael Owen saw his knee shattered, the questions began to intensify.

Just who on earth was going to score the goals for Newcastle in the 2006/07 season?

How many people thought it would eventually be a shaven headed Frenchman that couldn't get a game for Manchester City?

Al get my coat

By Lee Ryder on Nov 25, 06 09:05 PM

Albert LuqueFor Albert Luque it certainly now seems that some of the crowd are on the pitch.

He thinks it all over and although it isn't right now, it looks like his return ticket to Spain is in the post.

His inevitable departure is likely to come as soon as the transfer window re-opens on the first day of the first month of 2007 with Villarreal thought to be heading the chase tonight.

Tayls from the unexpected

By Lee Ryder on Nov 24, 06 08:15 AM

Steven TaylorSo then, what a European run we are having.

Not only a 100% record but also a headed winner from Steven Taylor to see Newcastle into the last 32, yes Steven Taylor of all people!

No victories in the Premiership since September but when it comes to the UEFA Cup, Glenn Roeder's side cannot stop winning.

It is so typically Newcastle United but when the draw for Group H was made many Toon fans feared the Euro dream wouldn't last beyond the group stages.

Who would have thought United would have wins against sides from Serie A and La Liga in the bag as well as a hard fought triumph over the rugged Turks of Fenerbahce?

Happy Birthday Rammy

By Lee Ryder on Nov 22, 06 11:14 AM

It's not everyday that a player gets a special mention in the Press for his birthday.

But in this case we here at Blog on the Tyne feel it is a worthy one.

For today is the 23rd birthday of Peter Ramage.

You wouldn't think that for one so young he had played in just 50 games.

Yet at the minute he is playing like a man above his years.

Bouncing back

By Lee Ryder on Nov 21, 06 04:24 PM

Kieron Dyer may have took most of the plaudits after the morale boosting 1-1 draw with the mighty Arsenal but he wasn't the only Tractor Boy who left the Emirates Stadium with something to shout about.

He's had a nightmare this season and gets more stick than anybody else when he makes a mistake, but what about the contribution of Titus Bramble against the Gunners?

Shay GivenNewcastle United weren’t the first team to pick up a point at the gleaming Emirates Stadium this season.

But it’s fair to say they were probably the most grateful come the end of Arsenal’s fourth draw at their new home.

And although United rode their luck at times they deserved their reward after a positive afternoon in North London that sees them move out of the relegation zone.

There wasn’t just a great scoreline to smile about for the 6,000 travelling Geordies.

Despite the doom and gloom surrounding St James' Park this season sometimes it's worth taking stock of what Newcastle United do have when it comes to the playing department.

United legends Bob Moncur and John Anderson have already underlined United's big defensive assets in Steven Taylor and Peter Ramage.

The big ambition for both players would be to form a defensive partnership that will serve United for years to come and it's certainly one the majority of fans would approve of.

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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