July 2007 Archives

At one point there was talk of us playing in the Amsterdam Tournament but instead we are all heading down to Hull!

Clearly Newcastle United have gone out of fashion in Europe and after last season's 13th place finish, it's no surprise.

The current climate - which can change very quickly round here - is in doom and gloom mode at the moment.

Big Sam is not getting any money to spend right now despite hope and talk from those around Mike Ashley - before he took full control of the club - that the manager would be backed, we are still waiting for the "big one" to come out of the bag.

The manager is still heading into the new season with his defence looking extremely light and lacking depth.

But Ashley and his new chairman Chris Mort seem to be cool on the situation.

The questions though have quickly moved to just when are they going to get the cheque book out?

If Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley didn't know that the need to strengthen his squad has reached emergency status, he does now.

Michael Owen and Kieron Dyer - who appears to have reached the end - watched on from the stands in the 4-1 win over Celtic.

But the fact that Newcastle ended the night with just EIGHT regular outfield players on the field underlined just how weak the squad is going into the season.

Steve Harper ended the night in attack and Tim Krul could well have joined him as Newcastle finished with 10 players following Steven Taylor's injury.

And considering youngsters like James Troisi, Andy Carroll, Matty Pattison and David Edgar were in that number, Ashley's need for new blood has never been greater.

Goodnight said Fred

By Lee Ryder on Jul 24, 07 07:34 PM

It's the news that thousands of fans have been dreaming about for almost nine years.

Freddy Shepherd is history at St James’ Park.

The role of chairman was always going to be a difficult one to follow MetroCentre tycoon Sir John Hall and there have been plenty of ups and downs since the Geordie chief stepped down.

Unfortunately for Newcastle United’s incredible support there have been more downs that ups.

So just two games in and we are currently without Michael Owen (again) and Joey Barton with a damaged foot.

Oh, and just for good measure James Milner got injured in the warm-up at Carlisle and Shay Given and Shola Ameobi also have niggles already.

Thankfully - Barton aside - most of United's players are being left out as a precaution but that won't stop Toon fans saying: "Here we go again" as we head into the new season with fresh injury grief.

Nobby spares blushes

By Lee Ryder on Jul 21, 07 06:33 PM

Carlisle United 1, Newcastle United 1

Nobby Solano rescued Newcastle United today with an injury-time equaliser against League One outfit Carlisle United.

Sam Allardyce was thankful for his South American star after the Cumbrians came close to inflicting a pre-season defeat in the Newcastle manager’s second game in charge.

Joey Barton captained Newcastle today at Brunton Park with Shay Given and Shola Ameobi rested and Michael Owen out with a thigh injury.

Now or never for Dyer

By Lee Ryder on Jul 20, 07 08:47 AM

Kieron Dyer

Confusion surrounds the future of Kieron Dyer after the player was spotted being consoled at Victoria Park by Toon coach Nigel Pearson.

Make no doubts, Dyer was one of the top men against Pools and his cool running and dribbling through the middle and out wide defied opinions Sam Allardyce will adopt a long ball/long pass system at Newcastle United.

Yet no sooner had the game finished a clearly distressed Dyer was walked on to the pitch and away from the watching media for a one on one with Pearson, sparking panic that no sooner is Dyer back up on his feet, there's another problem.

And no sooner is there a problem, West Ham start sniffing.

Easy pickings

By Lee Ryder on Jul 18, 07 02:13 PM

Not one of the Toon Army who ventured down the A19 last night is getting carried away but most people connected with the black and whites, enjoyed the trip to Victoria Park last night.

Even going a goal down to James Brown's opener - a player United looked at last season - could not dampen the atmosphere in the Rink End.

Joey Barton looked lively, Kieron Dyer ran them ragged, Zoggy looked interested (a big thing), Shola grabbed his goals and Michael Owen not only pulled on a black and white shirt, he also slotted in his first Toon goal since the hat-trick at West Ham.

Good luck to the Hartlepool United players and Town End fans but quite rightly this was an easy win for the Toon.

Turn on, Toon in, Cops Out!!

By Lee Ryder on Jul 17, 07 08:54 AM

It seems like five minutes ago since we were walking away from Watford on the back of controversy.

Glenn Roeder had resigned days earlier and Charles N' Zogbia and Oba Martins had fell out with Nigel Pearson before the final game of the season.

So, with United's first friendly about to kick off, is it a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire?

Going into United's next game at Hartlepool, new manager Sam Allardyce guides his new team out on the back of yesterday's police raid at St James' Park with Newcastle seemingly at the centre of a corruption investigation, although the club clearly stated "The Club itself is not the subject of the investigation."

But for many the sound of the referee's whistle at Victoria Park will be music to their ears because finally, it's all about the game we love again, for now.

Chopping and changing

By Lee Ryder on Jul 12, 07 01:16 PM

Micheal Chopra

So Sunderland's first big strike in the transfer market is a player who could hardly hit a barn door in the Premiership in the eyes of thousands of Geordie fans.

OK, he didn't get a run in the team like some players have but given Michael Chopra's reputation as a predator, the chances he did get - he didn't take.

Chops did brilliantly for Cardiff last season but what evidence or erroneous information has been provided for Sunderland to splash out a big chunk of their kitty to make the Geordie a Black Cat and expect him to repeat it in the Premiership?

Would I be erroneous or ridiculous to report that Sunderland have wasted their money on signing a player that couldn't cut the cloth in the Premiership?

Don't get me wrong, every Geordie wanted Chops to get it right at Newcastle, but now what will Toon fans want?

Good luck to Chopra and a huge pat on the back to him for being so brave.

Not only to go out and attempt to prove the world wrong but also to win over the Sunderland fans who are still reeling from THAT goal in the 4-1 demolition job in the derby last time around!

I mean if 206 goal Shearer is c*** according to those on the Wear, where exactly does that leave Chops?

We really are top of the flops!

By Lee Ryder on Jul 11, 07 10:47 AM

Well Sam Allardyce can't really do much worse can he?

Or at least that's what the rest of the country thinks about our transfer market history and most Toon fans simply have to agree with them when it comes to the Times' recent poll on the 20 worst ever players to play in the Premiership.

This lot somehow slipped through the net for the original worst ever top 50 but United figure prominently in the latest fix of rubbish players.

Newcastle have always been a very easy target for critics to throw the knives at.

Whether it's 38 trophy-less years, shocking managers, player behaviour, schoolboy defending, our own players fighting with each other on the pitch, our own fans being slated for buying shirts at their own club, we always get it with both barrels!

But as much as you try to defend your corner when it comes to Toon players you will find it difficult to disagree with this lot.

Here we go.

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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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