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August 2007 Archives

Make mine another Carling!

By Lee Ryder on Aug 30, 07 02:11 PM

You have to be happy with last night's 2-0 win over Barnsley, even though United made hard work of it.

A place in the third round, a confidence boosting goal for Michael Owen and another goal for Oba Martin to keep the crowd ticking over for the clash with Wigan.

Mike Ashley was back - complete with Alan Smith shirt - and the question is: Will he make it a hat-trick by wearing it again against Wigan?

NUFC Fans

WITH THE TOON ULTRAS TAKING OVER THE STRAWBERRY CORNER - A LITTLE TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE AHEAD OF THE BIG CLASH WITH BARNSLEY WHEN THE TOON ULTRAS PLAN TO PUMP UP THE VOLUME

Years ago, I enjoyed nothing better than heading for St James' Park to stand in the old Gallowgate corner and get behind Newcastle United in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Back then Newcastle had just been relegated from the old First Division but despite groups of fans opting to stay away the atmosphere did not suffer too much as Mick Quinn and Mark McGhee attempted to drag the Magpies back to the top flight.

Sadly they failed to do that, attendances dippped but plenty of people still headed for The Corner - if anything for a laugh - and to try to see Newcastle drag their behinds out of danger.

That never happened, Jim Smith was replaced by Ossie Ardiles and the team slumped even lower with a bunch of YTS kids making up the heart of the team.

Each and everyone of them were terrace heroes in their own right and Lee Clark, Steve Watson and Robbie Elliott all enjoyed acknowledgement from the old corner as local lads.

To be honest it was only the progress of the Geordie boys and the likes of Steve Howey, Pav, Andy Hunt and emerging figures like Gavin Peacock and David Kelly that kept the Toon fans going during these hard times in the old Second Division - but keep going is what the Geordies do and this was no different.

TOON OWNER SHOWS HIS TRUE COLOURS IN TYNE-TEES DERBY

I wonder what Mike Ashley made of it all?

The man who doesn't like the public eye, was in his seat at the Riverside wearing a black and white shirt with Smith on the back.

Would you credit it?

Just like the Toon's tycoon had taken the world of football surprise by buying a share in the club and then eventually taking over, the billionaire did it again by finally making his United debut of sorts at the third time of asking.

Reports that Newcastle are interesting Chinese and Icelandic takeover groups had to be put on the backburner as Ashley voted with his feet and gave the Geordie public a taste of what they wanted to see.

And that was the Ashley punching the air after both Toon goals, goals that should have won the bragging rights in the North East derby.

BLOG ON THE TYNE WEMBLEY SPECIAL

Lee Ryder reports from Wembley

It's no fun getting beat off Germany but for many Newcastle fans they got the result they wanted here at Wembley tonight.

And that was Michael Owen, Alan Smith and Steven Taylor all getting through it without getting hurt.

OK, Taylor didn't even get on but hey that means nothing does it?

After all his shoulder did pop out while on international duty back in 2005 with the Under 21s when in training - but they all sailed through a nervous week.

The rock and Cole years revisited

By Lee Ryder on Aug 21, 07 09:49 AM

WITH 10 DAYS LEFT OF THE TRANSFER WINDOW ARE NEWCASTLE ABOUT TO BE HIT WITH A HAMMER BLOW?

So Manchester United want to take advantage of Oba Martins' £13million release clause and make him a Red.

Well it wouldn't be the first time we've lost our number 9 to the Red Devils of Manchester would it?

Back in 1995, Kevin Keegan actually had the bottle to go down to the Milburn Stand steps and explain why Andy Cole was on his way - but it did little to stop the feeling of anger on Tyneside and it took months for people to calm down when Les Ferdinand arrived later in the summer to replace him.

But would Martins' exit cause a similar response from the Geordie nation this time around?

Too right it would!

OK, Martins is nowhere near as popular as Cole, who was in his pomp and was actually the bullets that came out of Keegan's attacking machine gun and shot Newcastle into Europe in their first season in the Premier League.

Just two games into the new season and I hate to say it but a little bit of uncertainty has already crept in for Newcastle United.

Let's not get too down in the dumps.

But United could not build on their superb start at Bolton and had it not been for Steve Harper, they could easily have lost to an average looking Aston Villa side.

Do you remember the last time?

By Lee Ryder on Aug 17, 07 07:07 AM

CAN TOON END WOEFUL RUN AGAINST VILLA?

Remember the day that Russian president Vladimir Putin criticised the United States for its "almost uncontained" use of force around the world during his speech at the 43rd annual Munich Conference on Security Policy?

Ah come on! You must do!

On that day I bet you had a big smile on your face and if you drink you probably over indulged.

OK, I'll put you out of your misery - it was the last time we won at home in the Premiership more than six months ago - February 10, 2007 - the day we beat Liverpool 2-1, the day before the wheels started to fall off for Glenn Roeder.

SHOCK: NEWCASTLE UNITED HAVE A SELECTION HEADACHE

Michael Owen

It would have caused a public outcry on the streets of Tyneside had he chosen to activate the much maligned release clause in his contract but in the end Michael Owen decided to stay - now he might find himself on the bench against Aston Villa.

Owen body swerved everything that Newcastle Blue Star threw at him and then took part in a bit of suburban swerving to avoid the colourful cast of the national media circus at Kingston Park after playing an hour against the Unibond League side.

Owen wanted to avoid talk of England - with Wayne Rooney's foot injury thrusting him into the limelight again - and concentrate on Newcastle United.

But surely that has to be heartwarming news for the Geordie public who endured plenty of nervous energy during a summer of speculation surronding Owen's future.

Monday morning update: We are still top, make the most of it.

What goes round comes round then eh?

Newcastle United finally get one over Bolton and it really couldn't have been any sweeter.

The Toon were easy winners against Bolton and they even finished Saturday night at the top of the table.

Yes, perhaps Bolton should have been called Big Sam Wanderers during his eight year stint at the Reebok because they couldn't cut the mustard wthout him.

However, let's not get too cocky, it's only one game and surely the giant that is Newcastle United should not have had to wait six years to beat Wanderers on their own patch.

Bolton

Trips to the Reebok Stadium aren't usually kind to Newcastle United.

Reeling off the list of defeats at Bolton in the past few years is too depressing to kick the new season off, so instead, picture this.

Newcastle United winning at Bolton and beating them at their own game in their own backyard.

Judging by Newcastle's promising pre-season programme, it doesn't look like Allardyce intends giving it the big boot.

But he has also said since coming as boss that he will play horses for courses and if the need arises, try to beat the opposition at their own game.

Yes, we'd all love to see pretty football but surely pussyfooting about with the ball and not winning isn't the way forward.

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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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