Does The Theatre of Nightmares lie in wait for the Mags?

By Lee Ryder on Dec 28, 07 12:53 PM

United usually don't do well at Stamford BridgeAnybody who went to Wigan will know that Newcastle United surely can't do any worse than they did at the JJB Stadium when they head to Stamford Bridge.

Or can they?

I don't want to be negative but you have to fear the worst.

For starters United couldn't win at Chelsea when they had a good team, Keegan and Robson included.

In truth we have been terrible at the Bridge and it doesn't look like it will get better does it?

Toon fans - as Big Sam has already said aren't "daft" - they are actually some of the most knowledgeable supporters in the game and deserve at the very least a bit of passion from their team.

They didn't see a drop of that at Wigan and it was more like watching a team that have been handed a game plan that nobody quite understood.

What else explains just one shot on target?

At Chelsea there could be a slight improvement but for that we'll need a bit of bottle and passion.

That will be there in bucket loads in the away section.

But will it be on the field of play?


Paul Patterson said:

One pundit said in the aftermath of the Wigan debacle, that on Saturday, Chelsea can score as many as they want (Against Newcastle) and I can’t even begin to disagree with that statement.

If Chelsea have a good day, then I’d be looking in the statistic books for record defeats, as at this present moment in time, the thought of scoring at Chelsea doesn’t even enter my head and the thought of keeping a clean sheet against them is impossible.

Allardyce will do his usual stuff, players out of position, pack the midfield, one man up front, try to nick a draw, and if you do that against the quality of Chelsea, then expect horror.

It’s not about what we do against Chelsea, it’s what we do against the likes of Wigan, Derby, Reading, Man City etc, but we all know how we fair against them lot.

Predictions then-

‘Chelsea can score as many as they want’


Brian Whitfield said:

Observations from Across the Pond.

Most ex-pats (at least in Canada) are pretty jovial about supporting their home teams. Whether you support Man U., Liverpool, Sunderland,Celtic, name it, there is a cameraderie that is uniquely British. Everyone has an expert opinion on how each other's team happens to be doing at any paricular time. Everything is usually good natured. Now? no one mentions Newcastle,they are too embarassed. Guy's just shake their heads in disbelief and I'm not talking about the Newcastle supporters, these are people who support other teams.
I can imagine how the average Geordie must feel. From what I can gather, the price of a ticket to see a game is quite high. Typically though, the Toon army are packing the place out every game day. Why??
A friend commented that if his clientele were paying good money, and he were serving up the same product that Newcastle are serving their supporters. Then he wouldn't be in business very long.
When Mike Ashley took over the reins at St. James, we thought Ahh! the winds of change. More of the same old tripe though.
Mike does not serve shoddy stuff in his sports stores, off course not, because would he still be in business? I don't think so, nor does he. Why then do the poor Newcastle supporters get served the same garbage game after game after nauseum?
The only one with the real power to fix what ails the Magpies is Mike Ashley. It's time to step up to the plate Mike, be the businessman,get the hatchet out because the honeymoon is over. I do know(and so do you Mike) that this team do not belong in the Premier league. The Newcastle supporters don't deserve this. You Sir, are they only one who can change that.

Ryder's reply: A lot of people I hadn't bumped into before Christmas just twisted their face when Newcastle United were mentioned and that was before Wigan Brian.
But for some reason I think the majority of fans will stick by the team.
After the Toon fans had made their points to Big Sam at the JJB, they quickly burst into "Oh Newcastle we love you."
Sitting in the Press box it almost choked me.

David Forster said:


I am watching the Gunner's V liverpool in the 1971 FA cup final (FSW Canada) - (I was 11 years old then). I remember watching this game back home in Greenside, dreaming about Newcastle being there. As a kid a date at wembley was only a few years away.

Now a good performance seems a few years away.

I agree with my fellow Canadian - people over here do shake their heads when the Toon is mentioned, but i think the whole situation is getting out of hand. People dont understand the passion in and around Newcastle and make judgement too easily - I guess thats what makes a geordie so different.

Stop the in fighting and get behind the team - I can say this as I never missed a game for 20 plus years and we never hit the highs then, getting wet by rain and other ways in the early days - mid table team then or worse.

The game I am watching has passsion, skill and is entertaining - even kicking a stone for a ball around.

The same teams are at the top today as they were in 71, we have a long way to go.

hopefully we can get back to the Keegan days of passion - maybe not - a blip to get us all wound up of what we could achieve for a period. We need to build.

Stability first, even if we dont get up there in the next three or so years. just play decent football with SOME passion.

I am not shouting to get rid of Sam, as I think this would be a difficult time to attacted a "better man". Big Al, not the time for him - unless he is crazy. Wait unil the end of the season then assess ( Steve Heighway has just scored - same old).

I know many fans wont agree, however with players thinking they are movie stars and not sportsmen - the manager is dead before he starts.

Lee I know your job is to write your thoughts to sell newspapers - use your media to help calm the storm - or we will end up like Leeds United.

Hey whats another decade or so without a trophy.
(G Graham just scored - 1-1)
By the way I do go back each year and see a couple of matches and see every game here on TV - it is hard to watch at the minute.

Trying to be positive - Happy New Year

Charles said:

Going to the bridge and trying to win something out of it is almost similar to ask an old man to run a marathon and end up as champion.

Of course there are such luck that says the old man is running his own marathon and so therefore we could win or at lease suffocate near the finish line and to lose is piratically impossible. However, in newcastle's case, it is still possible to get a result from the bridge.

God is fair, just because Sam to put players out of position, set horrible tactics and horrible starters and play but still the only thing i see unfit is the supporters...

I have supported Newcastle for a long time and to admit the truth i have been criticizing Sam's tactics for a long time and the players he choose cross a knife in my heart but still i choose to keep it in my head during the live game. I wouldn't scream Sam to be sacked ,unless we got relegated, during a game as it distrupts the manager's thoughts. Now he is more pressured because of our disapproval to his tactics than being pressured by players not performing.

To say the manager is completely wrong is preposterous. The players is partly to blame for the failures we endured. Martins, as much as i like him, doesnt know how to score from close range so i advice him to do more training and possibly learn from strikers that regularly scores. To all our centrebacks, please organise yourself, the game againts derby shows clearly of lack of communication and organisation. To our midfielders, please tackle as much as you did earlier this season, you seem to be slacking off more time than the other, if you use the tackling skills more often, we might get more possesion despite horrible passes. And a special word to the manager, the players may not be performing but it is YOUR JOB to set the formation right for once.

I am not the manager so i have no right to ask Sam to think about the amount of tackling we do nowadays but i think Newcastle's specialty if tackling not passing...Correct me Lee, if i'm wrong

I hope the managers read this blog, they might learn the crazy fans that are not doing much supporting but rather critise every area in the game. I know there are some like this...they critises newcastle regardless of manager or performance.

alvan said:

I know that result are not going our way.But things are not really that bad.Allardyce needs time.I think the players didn't perform esp. at away game.This has been going on for a few season as if there is a disease or something.Did we deteriorated drastically under Sam?Or we have alot of work to do before we are good enought to challenge the top 5?

Siomi said:

I couldn’t bear to watch the Wigan game on the telly. I think this is the first time I have ever ever decided not to watch a Newcastle game! I read through the 30 odd entries to your blog following the game, as well as Biffa’s comments on the NUFC website match report. I can’t remember such a feeling of negativity and (now) anger, even in the depths of the Roeder or Sourness depressions.

I actually think we have a great squad of players (thugs Barton and Smith aside) who could achieve great things with a different management team. Blaming players, fans, injuries and the wrong kind of grass doesn’t wash I am afraid. Allardyce said after the game “I am a top man in my field�. Does he really believe he is such a great manager and shouldn’t take responsibility for the most shocking string of performances? Somehow, he argues, the players should take responsibility.

And then he has the cheek to tell us that he is “not happy to have my future in their hands�. Is he claiming it is a deliberate attempt by the players to get him sacked? Is he telling us that he has ‘lost the dressing room’? In which case he should go now. Or is he saying that their poor performance and lack of commitment, not the training and tactics, will be responsible for him getting the sack? How arrogant is that?

And I thought Pearson’s comments were equally smug and arrogant. Let us not forget that we saw his complete lack of management capabilities as caretaker after Roeder left. He very nearly lost two of our very best players (Obafemi and Zogi) at the end of the season through his cr** crew cut management style. PLEASE hand him his P45 as well.

Chelsea won 1-0 in the corresponding fixture last season. It seems like a lifetime ago! There cannot be a better time to play Chelsea with all their injuries and suspensions and following the trauma of their last 4-4 game only three days ago. This should be the year we look forward to beating them finally in London, but most of us would probably take last year’s Roeder game if it was offered again. How sad is that!


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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