February 2007 Archives

Light at the end of a long tunnel

By Lee Ryder on Feb 28, 07 10:42 AM

It seems like decades ago since Michael Owen's words could be lip read at White Hart Lane on the final day of 2005 in a dire 2-0 defeat against Spurs.

"I think I've broke my foot" uttered Owen, after colliding with Paul Robinson.

He was right and he played just 29 more minutes for Newcastle las term before the World Cup horror show.

A shattered knee and the £17million man was out of it, possibly for the whole season.

But what's this?

A tiny bit of light at the end of a tunnel of darkness?

There might have been 5,000 sick Geordies after the no show at the JJB Stadium yesterday but the glum faces that filed out of Dave Whelan's place on Sunday weren't the only ones.

Penalty villain Nobby Solano's face was tripping him on the way out of the JJB but at least he had the bottle to come out and face the media to explain to the Toon Army what went wrong.

And although some people were getting a little bit excited because this home grown hack said on Friday that Nobby takes a cracking penalty - the simple fact of the matter was he changed his mind at the last minute.

John Filan, who had guessed the wrong way by going to his right, ended up going the right way and keeping out the kick as Solano switched sides during his run up.

Trumpet playing Solano is still capable of taking a decent penalty and as proved against Liverpool and West Ham he knows where the net is from the spot.

Wigan Pathetic for United (again)

By Lee Ryder on Feb 26, 07 09:05 AM

The last entry on Blog on the Tyne called for Newcastle United to make it up to their fans after two dismal performances at the JJB Stadium.

Well you can now make that three dismal performances and three dismal results.

It's no fun knocking Newcastle United for some people and I'm certainly one of them.

And although this was the best of the three showings at the JJB Stadium by some way, it still fell way short of the expectations of the 5,000 Geordies who made the journey to the land of rugby league, pies and a recently found Premiership football team.

Time to wipe out those memories

By Lee Ryder on Feb 23, 07 02:40 PM

Newcastle United certainly owe their public one when they make the trip to the JJB Stadium on Sunday make no mistake about that.

Last time out 8,000 Geordies turned up for a midweek televised Carling Cup tie and were let down against Wigan reserves in a game that was the beginning of the end for a certain Mr Souness.

This time surely it can't be worse!

We may well be victims of our own European success but just what type of crowd will you be anticipating for the second leg of the UEFA Cup round of 32 against Zulte Waregem?

At 3-1 you could say it's game over with all eyes on the last 16 against AZ Alkmaar or Fenerbahce.

But on the other hand isn't this what being in Europe is all about?

Playing an obscure team from a little village in Belgium is pretty unique isn't it?

And surely United's fine tradition of cups with six FA Cups and one Fairs Cup on the honours list, albeit decades ago, mean we should have a bit more romance when it comes to knockouts.

Firstly United have a great chance of a win against the Belgians, the fans get the chance to see a team from the continent come to Toon and with a number of fringe players bound to get their chance, there is the chance to see the stars of the future.

Belgian bliss for Toon Army

By Lee Ryder on Feb 16, 07 05:58 PM

They didn't come in their droves to Belgium because they only got 650 tickets but they still made one hell of a racket.

It was never going to be easy drowning out a brass band in Ghent, but the Toon Army did it in style.

Tops off if you love the Toon was the order of the night for many with many Zulte Waregem fans also chipping in to make it a wonderful atmosphere.

You're supposed to be at home!

By Lee Ryder on Feb 15, 07 03:07 PM

Finding a Zulte Waregem fan in Ghent isn't easy.

That's probably because the team aren't from here and historically aren't a big club.

In fact locals in Ghent have been branding them a "little team from the countryside" during our stay in Belgium and in the land of cliche that basically means that their tie with Newcastle United is therefore their "cup final".

So exactly who is turning up tonight?

Same again please lads

By Lee Ryder on Feb 14, 07 01:19 PM

Newcastle arrived at their hotel base this afternoon in Ghent hoping to emulate their previous two visits to Belgium.

An Intertoto Cup rout of Lokeren in 2001 sent Geordie fans back the England in good fettle last time out but perhaps many fans remember the first game back in Europe for two decades under Kevin Keegan when the Entertainers tore Royal Antwerp to pieces in 1994 in a 5-0 hammering here in Belgium.

Since then of course the European adventure has continued for United and the travelling Toon Army with their Premiership history packed with glorious memories of some of the best stadiums in the world.

Barcelona, Kiev, Rotterdam, Milan, Marseille to name but a few.

Taking the Michael again are you?

By Lee Ryder on Feb 11, 07 12:42 PM

So the franchise now known as Liverpool Football Club are now sniffing around Newcastle United's injured striker Michael Owen.

Apparently Texas squillionaire Tom Hicks wants to spend some of his Kop kitty on our man Owen, who we have seen play just 11 times in a black and white shirt and bag seven goals.

Worse still Glenn Roeder has only been able to rely on his services for just 29 minutes in more than a year in charge.

And now the Yanks, who have only just got their feet under the table at Anfield, are on about bringing Owen home!

Well let's been honest they could have done with him on Saturday!

Ok, ok, i'm gloating but after getting Stanley blinking Collymore or 4-3 or match of the 1990s rammed down our throats everytime Sky even utter the words Liverpool v Newcastle - we are entitled to it, right?

No need to go Oba the top

By Lee Ryder on Feb 7, 07 02:33 PM

Oba Martins' no show in the Nigeria v Ghana game at Brentford's Griffin Park last night was explained today after uncertainty surrounded exactly where the player was.

Reports coming from Nigeria suggested that Martins had been back in Lagos to bring his sick mother back to Tyneside and this morning Glenn Roeder confirmed this to the Chronicle to clear the matter up.

The Nigerian FA were thought to be far from happy from the player's absence but they appear to be for good reasons.

After all it was only a friendly at a League One ground!

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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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