We don't do quiet days in Newcastle do we?

By Lee Ryder on Jan 28, 08 06:07 PM

Just another quiet day then?

Confirmation that Jonathan Woodgate snubbed Newcastle, a new director of football and the fact that bail conditions now allow Joey Barton to sit on the bench at the Emirates Stadium.

I know the phrase "never a dull moment" is used in Newcastle a lot but this takes the biscuit!

And it all comes ahead of the trip to North London for a second time in four days for the by now knackered and probably skint Toon Army.

But that still won't stop them backing their side to the hilt at the fortress that is the Emirates Stadium.

Despite the defeat the Toon players kept their heads up in the mixed zone area of Arsenal's super home and for most fans just a repeat of the first half over the full 90 minutes will probably make for an acceptable performance with perhaps a goal or two chucked in.

Anything more than defeat would be most welcome indeed.

But thoughts of victory are beyond most people's wildest dreams.

KK, however, is a wild dream specialist and he'll be demanding the same if not more from his side.

Rumours that Keegan's team talk consisted of "just go out and pass the ball better than they do" was doing the rounds after Arsenal was rife.

But what's so bad with that?

In my humble opinion players under Big Sam looked dizzy with what can only be described as an information overload.

If it wasn't Pro-Zone, it was walkie-talkies in the dug-out to put the fear of God up some players and if it wasn't eating your pre-match meal two hours before one team-mate and 45 minutes after another it was making sure you had your ice bath on time straight after the game.

Now at least United's players are thinking once again about pulling on the black and white jersey and performing for the fans.

That surely will help lead to three points.

As for Woodgate? Well what can you say?

He's been here before and had injury problems and a team that are streets ahead of us at the moment are dangling the chance of European football in front of him.

Spurs are in the Carling Cup final at Wembley, he can play, so it isn't a big surprise.

To us playing for Newcastle United is a major, major thing to a Teesside guy who has been playing for Boro it's not such a big thing.

I'm sure most of the Toon Army have nothing much to get over on this one.

But for now the main focus is on Arsenal again and perhaps a chance for Newcastle to make another small step to getting back to what we know.



micepie said:

The Denis Wise appointment is very...well, odd! I'm happy for him to work at the club but don't particularly want him to ever be too much in the forefront.
Who knows!

If it had been possible, I think that Deschamps as Director Of Football would have been a cracking choice though.

Paul Patterson said:

It was always going to be huge re-build and even a learning curve for Kevin Keegan this time round, but from what I’ve seen, it looks like progress has been made already.

We actually looked like scoring at the Emerates which is a considerable improvement on the last time we were there early season in the Carling Cup. No word from the manager of ‘I know the secret formula to beat Arsene’s team’ just the pure and simple, ‘Pass the ball better than them’ Hey that’s genius!!

It’s going to take a lot longer than ten days to implement the tactics and passing ability that Keegan’s well known for, as players are probably still thinking ‘If I drop enough balls into the opposition penalty area, from way back in our own penalty area, not only will the manager be happy, we might get some joy’ Yeah Right!

I’m not even sure were to begin on the Dennis Wise situation, I’m just hoping, as reported, Keegan has approved it, because I’d hate to see the board and management doing a tug-of-war, which was all the hallmarks of the previous board.

If we really must have a Director of Football, then I would have thought Sir Bobby would have been the ideal candidate rather than ‘The Evil Wise’ but if it works, who am I to complain?

The more I think about the Woodgate situation, the more I think we’ve got away with something, as Spur’s will probably find out, when ‘Woody’ is nested up in the treatment room for weeks on end (After all he IS injured currently)

Van Buyten would be a great signing, coming with a history with Keegan, plus Champions League experience at a great club like Bayern Munich, a no nonsense defender- I heard £5m maximum, good deal compared to Woodgate.

Dean Ashton, Jermaine Defoe, both having being sounded out by me years ago, along with Robbie Keane, Stuart Downing, etc, that should and could have been snapped up when we were in a far better position five years ago in the Champions League.

Still The faith is with Keegan, we may have to bite the bullet and accept a horrible end to the season, then allow Keegan another season of transition, as players will be reluctant to join now- Remember Sir Bobby attracted Bellamy and Robert whilst only in Intertoto Cup football, so the players are available.

It can happen again.


jac mills said:

It will be interesting to see how the large egos of KK and DW gell. Or will they clash? Probably a bit of both. But I certainly hope they don't spit the dummies together.

As for Joey Barton, if KK had any sense he would send him to the only bench he should be associated with -- the one in court.

Another thought: I wonder which player Newcastle could have bought for the money they paid Leeds for DW.

For goodness sake, bring back Joe Harvey and Jackie Milburn, and be done with it.

Dave B said:

Mr Ryder - I think I’ve been conditioned by the media to immediately search the negatives of the Denis Wise appointment – I just can’t help it and I hate myself for it. What is his role?, Did KK want him?, will he be Manager in a year? Why are his eyes so close together?

Anyway I’m using your board as it’s cheaper than therapy and I’m hoping it will help me view the positive. Apparently he has excellent contacts in the game to include international scouting networks and let’s be honest if ever a club needed this it’s NUFC. We’ve a history of buying at inflated prices and selling at the sort of loss a French trader wouldn’t dare hide. So here’s to a brave new era.

It’s also good to know that should a mascot fall victim to the measles we’ll have a ready made in-house replacement to help Shay warm up before the game.

James 09 said:

Forget quiet days - we just don't do many good days do we.

Peter Dawson said:

Well it has certainly been an interesting few weeks. The Newcastle board have taken us on a rollercoaster ride again. Depression during a lacklustre SA reign. Optimism when they sacked him. Euphoria when they hired Kevin. Hope with a good performance against arsenal. But now i must say im back to being pessimistic.

At his press conference there was rumours of 30M to spend. The sites i read were full of players we would sign..Ashton...wright phillips..woodgate..crouch...arne riise to name but a few. Time is running out and we are no closer to signing anyone.

Reading between the lines now, i dont think we will sign anyone. Keegan saying more recently we have a good squad and will only add if its a real quality player. Which sounds like hes is just giving us the clubs official propganda line.

Chris Mort bringing in 3 executives above keegan. In a statement made he mentions that all of them will be involved in "player recruitment". How Many people does it take to sign someone?? it just smacks of bureaucracy and red tape. Mort and Ashley trying to distance themselves from blame. Since day one ashley and his propaganda makers have had stories of millions to spend. How many times do you here deco is coming and other big stars.

Instead they insist on making staff changes and restructuring. Why cant they do both. I dont get excited about coaches.Dennis Wise in, John vetere, and some other bloke, so what!?! One of them was celestine Babayaros agent! Its time for Mike Ashley and Mort to put up or shut up. Hes not running a sports retail outlet anymore. I will reserve final judgement for the pre season.

So far im not amused, impresed or optimistic about the way the club is being run. Its time for the farce to end.


I just find the appointment of "dennis the menace" as unbelievable. It has never quite worked thus far in other clubs and whats to say it would under Kevin Keegan? and in particular at Newcastle FC? I dont normally read much into what David Pleat has to say, but this time i have to agree with him, "its a role for someone with a lot more experience than dennis has".
Its all a recipe for disaster if you ask me,too many cooks spoil the broth springs to mind. Any way as a fan i sincerely hope i am wrong, also i dont think King Kev was best informed about this and nor did he look happy about it.

I have been looking forward to some possible signings,where are they ~? it looks very grim on that front i'd love to know Ashleys intentions of how much he is going to spend, but i know its a policy not to tell, or it pushes up possible deals. I know this year is more or less wrote off and we will see his intentions in the summer. Lets hope 2008 brings us some luck and joy.

Tom said:

Maybe their is some logic in the new appointments. Maybe we starting at the top will strengthen the structure of the club.Previouse managers had to bow down to the chairman etc.The New Chairman admits he does not know much about football. Kevin will have less pressure know we need more players this time maybe not worth it. When te African come back it will be like playing in a new club

Peter Dawson said:

Is it me or is Charles n'Zogbia playing leftback? and rozenhal in midfield? is this some kind of joke?? or just a recurring nightmare?


Hi Lee-The mind boggles-How many boardroom additions do we need-I have to say in my business experience when a company is taking over-there is usually an exodus of senior personnel-and a more effective streamlined approach taken by the new owners-seems to be the reverse here-not only do we have Sams army of backroom staff still in post-we are installing a new hy-brid tier of appontments-yes -yes very good Chairman-but how many of the new collection play football ? Surely any one -even a chairman -who does not seem to understand how to play football -can see ITS PLAYERS WE NEED. I have heard much talk since Kevins appointment of there being funds available to sign new players-Kev -as we all know did not sign rubbish the last time he was here-and most of them bargain buys Cole,Beardsley,Lee,Ferdinand,Ginolla etc.Ok Shearer cost a mint -but we all knew he was worth it. High time THE NEW BOARD gave some attention to the playing staff-after all that is what we come to watch-another drubbing at the Emirates tonight is just increasing the pain.We have heard enough about the new structure -can we now address the matters of the plaing staff and signings -or as it seems lack of signings.

Bill Burchell said:

Am I alone in having a little bit of hope? It is well known that Messrs Ashley & Mort are not football people a such so they need someone on the board who is. Although Dennis Wise is a surprise choice he has experience and wants to move on and up. Many people "on the shop floor" in ordinary jobs rise to management positions without actual prior experience but have the initiative and ability to carry out their duties. Mike Ashley is a close friend on Mr. Kemsley who in turn is an ex Director of Spurs and has been advising him. Why is there an uproar when Newcastle make this appointment but none when Spurs made a similar appointment with Gus Poyet? When Mike Ashley took over Newcastle most, if not all, of the board went taking with them the football knowledge which had to be replaced. But, typically, any appointment made is looked upon as sinister by people without any real knowledge of the people concerned! Newcastle is in need of a complete overhaul and Ashley is beginning that process so why don't we give him our support and see what happens? The carping of the southern press is mainly because of the celebrations of the supporters when Keegan was appointed and to be fair many expected instant results but it's going to take time and we have to give them all that. Remember, Keegan came half way through the January transfer window and although he had a list of names everyone knows that it's difficult to get the top players during this time. Usually, as Sam Allardyce said, you end up with second best which is not what we want. Our season is over and that is not Keegan's or Ashley's fault. We will probably end up lower than we'd like but next season will be Keegan's and he will have to stand or fall by his decisions.

olly egg said:

come on lads, give them a chance. what is the point in signing players at this stage, when the only players available are the ones people dont want, and at over inflated prices, when everyone else will leave their clubs in the summer. why not just set up some kind of structure, and then start searching for players over the next 5 months. i didnt expect results to turn straight away, especially when our games were v arsenal away, and a typical gary megson (11 men behind the ball at all times). lets just get behind the lads and see what happens.

mark Blades said:

Olly Egg im with you mate, Howay the lads!!

John Best said:

Any streetwise club, would have brought in 2 or 3 experienced players to see us through till the end of the season, a couple of loan signings, is KK so devoid of contacts."WE only want players who will strengthen the side" you wish !!!Our club is a laughing stock, throughout the Prem.I can see KK doing a runner again, when the heat comes on.Mike Ashley, thought that he was on a good thing; Buy the club and fatten it up; then make a quick buck.


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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