March 2007 Archives
We've had two weeks to stew about it but now it's back to work.
The defeats against AZ Alkmaar and Charlton have lingered longer in the memory than most because of the international break but now Newcastle United at least have a great chance of putting things right in the game with Manchester City,
Talk from the players is that a place in Europe can still be achieved.
However, it would me a massive ask from a squad that have never really put together a convincing run of form all season.
Perhaps the expectations of fans have even gone down a little.
But surely we can beat Man City!
We're more than aware that Newcastle United's current position is less than acceptable and should they finish the season in the same place, the demand for heads to roll will be heard from Byker to Basingstoke.
Newcastle shouldn't have went out of Europe in Alkmaar, they didn't perform and they threw in the towel.
And even though many people thought it wasn't possible to do it again at Charlton - a team sinking like a stone - they did exactly that, well it was probably worse.
There's no excuses Newcastle haven't done the business this season.
You can't even use the worst injury crisis in the club's history as an excuse without being shot at.
Nor can you point to where Newcastle might be with Michael Owen, you know him?
The ÃÂ£17million man who scores goals without even thinking about it!
Even during international fortnight we're still getting picked on!
An in depth look at what the Toon Ultras are doing to re-generate the electricity at St James' Park
The good name of Newcastle United has always been backed heavily by the best supporters in the country, and in many eyes the entire planet.
Now after 38 years without a trophy not many fans around the rest of the world could blame them if season tickets were thrown on to the pitch at the end of the season and many walked away.
However, we don't do it like that in Newcastle - as the Toon Ultras are proving with their 'Bring Back The Noise' campaign.
Certain substandard performances have muted the St James' Park crowd in recent years but attendances have remained some of the best in the UK.
Indeed, how many teams would attract 50,000 plus crowds for mid-table football?
True, Glenn Roeder has been dealing with the worst injury crisis in the club's history.
But for many the performances of individuals have not mirrored the efforts of the Toon fans.
Against Manchester City, the Toon Ultras are looking to pump up the volume.
One minute an injury hit squad can still win a European trophy and can still finish in a UEFA Cup place, the next minute talk of summer clearouts is rife.
The Euro exit to Alkmaar was awful and the 2-0 defeat at Charlton was equally as awful.
Now the ability of this squad is being questioned left, right and centre.
Cut and thrust at the top though isn't it?
Newcastle United go into their final eight games of the season in desperate need of clawing back some pride after the Charlton debacle.
Where do you start after the shambles that unfolded at the Valley just days after another confidence sapping sorry show in Holland.
It's not like United haven't got the ability - don't forget they raced into a 4-1 lead against Alkmaar just 10 days ago at St James' Park.
We just aren't turning up when we need to most.
The season is in danger of turning into a farce and at the moment even David Blaine, the A-Team and Anneka Rice put together would struggle to get Newcastle out of this one.
Lee Ryder reports from the Valley
Charlton 2 Newcastle 0
Newcastle United tumbled to another defeat at the hands of relegation candidates Chartlton today at the Valley.
United looked toothless as they failed to even push their hosts as the Addicks increased their hopes of staying up.
Newcastle could did not have a shot on target until stoppage time on a day their loyal fans will want to forget.
We've been here plenty of times before but Newcastle United head to the Valley owing their fans a big performance.
The Toon Army have acted angrily and furiously to the no-show in Holland against Alkmaar that leaves the season in tatters and with plenty of work to do if they are to taste those European trips again next term.
It didn't help that United were 4-1 up at one point against a team - who aren't the best in their country - from a League that is rated only the seventh best in the Europe in the eyes of UEFA.
And it didn't help that United wasted a 14 game run in Europe that didn't even see them make the last eight.
But now United have got a chance to at least claw back some pride at Charlton.
Lee Ryder reports from Alkmaar
Actually this was worse than Sporting Lisbon.
We attacked in Portugal two years ago.
This time we just stood their like tins of milk and let AZ Alkmaar attack at will.
And although Scott Parker's 'goal' should have sent us through we were left wanting because we attacked when we were 2-0 down on a night we went into in control.
Yes - those away goals knocked us out of Europe.
Lee Ryder reports from Alkmaar
As the main square began fillling up this afternoon in Alkmaar it was clear that many could scent danger between their nostrils ahead of the second leg clash with AZ here in Holland.
The red AZ scarves many had tied around their neck as momentos from their trip could still become a sad reminder of a game that promised so much.
Don't forget we started this tie like a house on fire, three up before the half hour mark and 4-1 before the break.
Lee Ryder reports from Alkmaar - the cheese capital of Holland!
Glenn Roeder today revealed that Newcastle United don't need to score to cash in at the DSB Bank Stadium tomorrow night in the UEFA Cup.
The Toon boss looked confident as he overlooked a training session at the 17,000 seater Dutch stadium and faced the English and Dutch media.
Watching from the stands was England cricketer and Toon fanatic Steve Harmison who has made the trip to Alkmaar for the crucial clash.
Yet Roeder knows he won't need a cricket score to get through.