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September 2007 Archives

Toon just aren't at the races

By Lee Ryder on Sep 30, 07 11:58 AM

Oba Martins and Mark Viduka

Great North Run weekend it may well be but Newcastle United just weren't at the races at the City of Manchester Stadium.

OK, they did take a deserved lead against City but after Oba Martins had lifted the ball over Joe Hart they soon came off the track.

And just in case you've had enough of the same old cliches on the weekend of the North East's famous half marathon I'll get one more in before we can dissect the latest sorry defeat of the Magpies because let's be honest, they well and truly hit the wall against Sven Goran Eriksson's side!

Toon gunned down at Eastlands

By Lee Ryder on Sep 29, 07 02:24 PM

NEWCASTLE UNITED tumbled to a 3-1 defeat at Eastlands today despite taking a first half lead through Oba Martins on a painful day for Big Sam.

Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce started the day by delivering a hammer blow to Toon keeper Steve Harper who lost his place between the posts after the manager favoured Republic of Ireland international Shay Given.

Groin victim Cacapa missed out with David Rozehnal joined by Steven Taylor in the heart of defence while Charles N'Zogbia egded out Jose Enrique at left-back.

But Mark Viduka was fit to start the game after shaking off a foot injury with the Aussie paired upfront with Oba Martins.

Newcastle United head to another ground they haven't won at yet in Manchester City's City of Manchester Stadium with the same problems hanging over them as usual.

Dogged by injuries, scarred by another early League Cup exit and another possible trophy to win ticked off a long list which started in 1969 when plenty of us weren't even born.

No wins in two visits to the Arsenal and no wins and just one goal in our FOUR visits to Eastlands!

And although Newcastle don't go there in doom and gloom mode, there are plenty of Toon fans disappointed that another trophy opportunity went out of the window against Arsenal reserves.

Especially as plenty of other lesser names made it through to the last 16 and Coventry, Leicester and Blackpool are all rubbing their hands with excitement over who's next in the Carling Cup.

Anyway enough of that, what lies in wait at Manchester City?

And so another chance of winning a trophy is gone after Arsenal reserves dump Newcastle United out of the Carling Cup.

Yes, out of the cup and Michael Owen out of the running for the next couple of games at least with Germany calling for the Toon striker as he is finally sent for that hernia op which has been haunting us all for the last 10 days.

OK, being beaten by Arsenal reserves is a bit different to losing to Wigan reserves two years ago in the same cup but let's be honest United didn't look as if they were up to the job last night despite their plucky efforts.

Another one bites the dust

By Lee Ryder on Sep 25, 07 09:55 PM

There was more pain in cup competitions in London tonight as Arsenal's shadow squad dumped Newcastle United out of the Carling Cup with the Magpies' interest in a competition many believed was their best chance of silverware ended before September is over.

United battled hard but sadly the Gunners kids were just too good for Big Sam's side who went down to two late goals.

Hopes of winning anything this season now lie with the FA Cup but at the moment a kind draw all the way to Wembley will be needed if that is to happen!

At the moment Wembley seems miles away though.

United couldn't convert the decent chances they had and rode their luck throughout until it finally ran out right at the end.

United made the trip to Arsenal's impressive Emirates Stadium with Sam Allardyce making several changes to the team that started against West Ham.

With no Michael Owen - who will fly to Germany on Friday for a hernia operation - United fielded a three man attack including Shola Ameobi, Alan Smith and Oba Martins.

Shay Given started between the posts while Abdoulaye Faye started for the first time in midfield.

Meanwhile it was England international Smith who donned the captain's armband with Geremi starting the game on the bench alongside the fit again Turkish ace Emre.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger named a young side but United knew the young Gunners had made it all the way to the final last term before going down to Chelsea.

So then a week really is a long time in football isn't it?

Seven days on from that excuse for a football match at Pride Park, Newcastle show us they can do the business when they want to.

Sorry to keep banging on about Monday but we really were poor and this just makes it more baffling.

There was plenty of stick flying about after Derby but perhaps that has been justified.

We already know about Derby getting battered from pillar to post against Liverpool and Spurs, but now Arsenal join the list with a crisp 5-0 job - where as Newcastle stumble to a 1-0 defeat!

That meant that Newcastle really did have to get all three points against West Ham but they did it, and they did it professionally.

Charles N'Zogbia inspired Newcastle United to all three points at St James' Park today.

The Frenchman knows he has competition on the left hand side these days with Spanish ace Jose Enrique now up and running - meaning he will have to fight for his place in Sam Allardyce's side.

But he responded in the best possible fashion with a superb performance against the Hammers.

United made two changes to the side that had lost so poorly against Derby County on Monday night with Senegal international Habib Beye replacing Steven Taylor and Shola Ameobi dropped all together with Mark Viduka taking his place.

And after a week of talk about which former Magpies would be taking the field to face their old club only ex-Toon bad boy Lee Bowyer appeared in the match at St James' Park.

craigbellamy.jpg

He left with his tail between his legs last time but he's back this time with another point to prove.

Bellamy grabbed the opener last time out against Liverpool but Newcastle won 2-1.

The only problem being was United didn't win again at home in the Premiership that season and were soon dumped out of Europe.

That of course, is an entirely different tale.

Now Bellamy - who is expected to shake off a tight groin - to play at St James' Park is ready to return and silence Gallowgate.

Snap back to reality

By Lee Ryder on Sep 18, 07 01:21 PM

Perhaps we should have known better or maybe you did know better and fully expected Newcastle to fall flat on their faces in terrible fashion last night at Pride Park.

Either way, you won't be a happy bunny today.

The Toon are brilliant at leading their fans into a false sense of security and then whack!

They go and serve up a performance so bad they lost to a team that the bookies have already paid out for to those who placed a wager on the Rams being relegated long before the middle of May.

Worse still the 1-0 scoreline doesn't tell the entire story, no, no, it could indeed have been even worse.

Let's be honest had Steve Howard been in better form it could have been six!

But let's at least have a serious look at the real damage caused.

Sorry stuff at Pride Park

By Lee Ryder on Sep 17, 07 09:57 PM

NEWCASTLE UNITED crashed to a sorry defeat at the hands of struggling Derby County tonight.

The Magpies had their wings clipped in front of a full house at Pride Park and Sam Allardyce knows the defeat could have been even worse had Derby not squandered several chances late on to finish his side off.

Debut boy Kenny Miller won it for the Rams with a great strike before the break but Newcastle's unbeaten run is now at an end.

United defender Steven Taylor kept his place in the starting XI after clear the air talks with Sam Allardyce with the manager making just one change to the team that beat Wigan a fortnight ago.

That meant that Senegal international Habib Beye had to be content with a place on the bench where he took his place alongside fellow summer signing Abdoulaye Faye.

But Jose Enrique failed a late fitness test.

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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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