How long will the agony continue in Toon?

By Lee Ryder on Feb 28, 08 06:03 PM

Remember the last time Blackburn came to Toon?

Glenn Roeder certainly will because it was the straw that broke the camel's back as far as his Newcastle United career was concerned.

That day was a luke warm performance from Newcastle which eventually ended in a 2-0 defeat.

This time around United go into it desperate for victory with Kevin Keegan searching for his first win.

And it's clear that despite the difficult start, that the Toon Army will still be right behind the team.

Nobody turned on the Toon troops against Man United - even though they were hammered 5-1 -and the knowledgeable Geordie public appreciated it's going to take time.

Beating Blackburn would probably be the launchpad to a positive end to the season, but saying is one thing and doing is another.

In a week where Newcastle have been battered by the national Press once again, could it end on a high by seeing off Mark Hughes and Co?

Don't forget, anything can happen on Tyneside.

But surely Newcastle can't underperform for the rest of the campaign.

Can they?



STEVE said:

TOO RIGHT,nufc can underperform for the rest of the campaign.Blackburn are a far better unit than us particularly in midfield,i shudder to think what pedersen and bentley might do,not to mention santa cruz and mccarthy.....and vs Manu i said i wanted a performance,now i dont care, i just want the points and that should be the order of the day from here on in this term.BUT,i think martins and emre are back,a bit of pace and imagination along with turks trying to outdo each other(we aint seen the best of emre,in turkey hes a god,maybe kk is the man to get him playing full tilt)and this will bode well.....they CAN balls it all up but i think KEV will have us fired up for this one,and if we get an early goal who gonna go for a narrow first win for KK,2-1....UP THE MAGS.....

medan said:

Not with the same line up that has been playing since KK took over. Butt and Barton on the bench. Faye and Emre in midfield with Duff and Milner(Bring Zoggy in for Duff in second half). Taylor, Beye, Capacca and Enrique in defense. I guess owne has to play he is the captian(is still have no clue why) with Viduka upfront(bring Martins and Caroll for the scond half). I say we win it in the second half goals from Martins and Caroll.

Carl said:

As long as Smith and Barton are nowhere near the starting line up this weekend we are surely in with a chance. Im hoping to see emre and oba back with a bit of luck, the addition of flair and pace from these two wouldnt go a miss. This match will decide wether we will be in a relegation fight or not i think, win and we reach the 31 point mark, surely safe with home games against the woeful reading fulham and sunderland to come, lose then yep were right in the c***. If we draw then were neither here nor there. Really this is the biggest game of the season when you look at it.
Oh and just a quick question Lee, are you aware of any clause in Alan smiths contract that says he must play every game if fit??, i just heard a rumour thats all. I simply cant think of another explanation as to why hes in the team every week.

Anyways COME ON THE TOON!!!!

James 09 said:

"But surely Newcastle can't underperform for the rest of the campaign." Ummmm... Newcastle United have been "underperforming" for a fair while now. Finishing 6 out of the last 10 seasons in the bottom half !!! Not to mention the other errrr well...decades.

You said it yourself Lee - anything can happen with this football club and that certainly includes being relegated with a useless bunch of indifferent players.

Ryder's reply: Yes anything can happen, we finished 7th after flirting with relegation in 2006 and while that won't happen this season, Newcastle will win a portion of the last 11 games. Anybody who is at the game at St James's Park on Saturday won't be walking up to the ground moping, it isn't the Geordie way on a Saturday afternoon.
There may be tears afterwards but most people on Tyneside this week have been behind the lads.

Charles said:

Newcastle can really perform well, that is with the right players we got in this blasted team we got now.

If KK wants a win, he'll start rebuilding the midfield and then we can see some progress. The problem always lie in midfield this season despite the poor defense Newcastle always get from time to time. I guess Big Sam did accomplish something, he got us worrying the midfield more than the defense.

It is time to offload the poor players like Smith, Barton and Butt. Butt has dramatically died off in Big Sam's hands, I think he was bribed to do so. Smith, despite the hardship he's given, never seems to fit in nor did he earn his place from the very start. Barton, you can improve, seriously really...but if you do want to improve, you'd start off by watching Donald duck for anger management advice and train from day till night.

In the match against blackburn? I'd say we get a win by two goals if KK removes the shit in the team. If not, then Lee, you best be preparing another blog of Toon's defeat by 3 goals to one...

James 09 said:

"A portion" aye Lee - what's that 2,3,4,5 or one?

I can assure you that a significant number of Geordies are fast running out of patience to back some of these so-called "lads." Incompetent or indifferent or both.

Ryder's reply: You might have a point, but a lot of Geordies are patient (they've been patient since 1969) and they will get behind KK. If I could predict how many games a football team was going to win, I'd be a millionaire James.
You can mope around and think we'll lose every game if you like though.

John Best said:

Yes 3-1 sounds about right and if BLACKBURN really try, it could be 5-1.This team is dead in the water with many of the players packing their well filled bags as we speek.Everybodies agreed that DERBY & FULHAM are dead but will we be the third ???We simply have,nt got the amunition to recover the situation.Out of the entire squad you cant see a midfield ressurection, there lies our main problem.MILNER,EMRE,N,ZOGBIA & DUFF; is probably our best option, with OWEN & VIDUKA up front; our options at the back are so frightening, I could,nt begin to put the 4 together...THE TRUTH REALLY HURTS !!

Jimmy said:

I totally agree with charles i think its the midfield that are struggling big time. i think we have got the wings well covered and i may be a bit bold and maybe daft to say this but i feel reletavly happy with the back four (if you remember to last season the likes of titus, babayaro, carr) not great. Also big oba one kanoba is back which will be great and with vid raring to go i think this is gonna be the big turn around wkend. Blackburn are by no means unbeatable and this is our first realistic oppourtunity (baring in mind we have played the past 4 games against top 4 teams) But if our central midfield dont perform then we are in the s***. But i still think we are performing better each game and its only around the corner our first victory. And about the press i think to be honest we should ignore them and stick together as fans and as a football team. they stir they talk c*** and they are a waste of space. Lets stand together and unite as the black and white army again and uproot the negative attitude and the scum of the earth national press. they are a discrace to our country. Come on the toon!!!!

Ben said:

Postitve article Lee, and thats what we all need to do!!. Its a huge game 2morrow!! We all need to get behind the players because the 1 thing that could get us relegated is a total lack of confidence and thats something the fans can help instill in the players, and that includes backing the likes off Barton and Smith, especially the latter who cannot be faulted for his effort. I hope KK plays Enrique tomorrow at LB, we need Charlie in an attacking role, and as a full back he has the tendancy to switch of as he doesnt no the role.

Any reason Lee that you no off why Enrique hasnt started recently? I think his performances havnt been to bad when he has played,and on a totally different issue do you think there is any credit in the stories about Ashley`s lack of commitment to the club?

Ryder's reply: As far as we are aware the player is not injured and simply not being selected. As far as the owner is concerned the last time I was in St James's Park there was a Sports Direct sign being engraved into the Gallowgate End and the directors suites were also getting refurbished on his say so, from my own personal observations I think Mike Ashley is getting comfortable at the club.
Like anything it will take time to get your own team in place, your own manager and then your own players.

Duncan Baines said:

I left after the 4th goal on Saturday and there were thousands of people who also did - surely everyone who left 'turned on the troops'?

keir said:

i never thought id say this but i think the only thing keeping us up is the fact that reading are dying on their backsides.
here is a topic for you lee for blog on the tyne "The players id keep if i was keegan" be honest,ive got the following...
given, harper, taylor, enrique (surely he needs a fair chance), faye, beye, milner, n'zogbia, butt, martins cos its desperate!.
not a lot left after that

teessider (Dennis) said:

Refering to the Headline Mr Motivator, please it took me ten minutes to stop laughing, next you will be taking mark lawrenson back to be your defensive coach again, and your Mr Motivator will be resigning all your old retired players from the nineties!! and then retiring himself!!

By the way the best up and coming central defender David Wheater has just signed a new 3 and a half year deal for us at the Boro, just to make you all even more jealous, up the BORO tata

Ryder's reply: I don't know what you are laughing at - you are only one point ahead of Newcastle and they've been terrible.

Jonathan said:

This may be a bit pessimistic, but I will not rest easy during tomorrows game until we establish a 2 goal lead. We have lost too many points lately because of lost chances or leaky defences. Ahead against Boro 1-0 and we only took a point. 1-0 against the villa, and.. well... look what happened.

Tomorrow's game is vital. A win will potentially boost our confidence but we still have to go out and get it first.


supporter sth tyneside said:

how long lee ? it can go all the way. this kind of downward spiral usually ends up in relegation. i really hope i am wrong i have supported nufc through thick and thin (usually thin) since the joe harvey days. the team sheet tomorrow will give us an indication of the result. barton smith, and butt have had their chance.

bottlodog said:

well said Lee, I tried to point out exactly the same to a smoggie the other day and he just could grasp what I was saying!!Why are they so bosessed with us - I couldn't give a monkeys about them.
Duncan - you may have left after the 4th goal(and I can't blame you for that) but I was so numb, I was still sat there 5 mins after the final whistle - it's a funny old place when it's empty
Anyway I'd threatened to stay in the Bridge if I saw Butt, Smith or Barton on the team sheet tomorrow - anyone care to join me??
Sort the bliddy midfeild out - that's where we are losing games!!!!

ben phill said:

Our best team, should play tomo
harper beye faye taylor enrique nzgobia butt barton milner owen viduka! no smith or duff awful.

gordon said:

If alan smith plays tomorrow there must be serious questions against keegan and his bottle.

Yinka said:

If I was KING KEEGAN, ....I'll certainly keep the fllowing players who I thought would definately by up to the Job.






SUBS...Harper, Caroll, Owen, Enrique.


interestingly the bookmakers seem to think our next victory will be either at home to fulham or reading. they think we will get NOTHING in our next 3 league games, and lets be honest if it were played on team sheets and form we are getting NOTHING. worryingly In recent years, when we've been down next to the basment, we've always had that something in the team to pull us out of the mire, This time around i am very much doubting. Here are my predictions.

blackburn - we get 0 points
liverpool - 0 points
brummies - 0 point or draw
fulham - draw
tottenham - 0 points
reading - 3 points
portsmouth - 0 points
sunderland - 3 points
west ham -
chelsea - maybe 1 point out them 3
everton -

hopefully that will be enough.


Anonymous said:

Hi Lee - We will win tomorrow simply because the players know its soon going to be King kevs decision time -and the way we have played so far does not suggest that Kev can retain many of the present team next year. Some of these players might not mind moving on -however they need to realise that moving on from Newcastle now is going to be moving down-Yes the national press can make their jokes about us and have their laughs-but for a footballer leaving Newcastle is never going to be an easy option-especially if they are lucky enough even to get to another Premiership club- I mean it wont be Arsenal,Man U, Chelsea,or Liverpool they go to will it ? So a move to rest of them is not as promising as it looks . Newcastle has a lot to commend- like 52,000 fans,a great stadium and the ability with the right manager and boardroom backing to be as good as any body-we nearly got there last time under Kev. Gary speed always said that when he would eventually have to leave it would always be a step down- I think that is why so many of our ex players still live here years after they leave the game and so many will always say it was the best part of their footballing lives -Sir Les David Ginola Asprilla-never need any convincing when Newcastle are mentioned-so those who do give up this season may lose more than they think.

James 09 said:

Lee - please excuse my moping but yea I do mope around rather alot when Newcastle United are in a situation such as the present.

I know alot of Geordies are patient (which is simply never recognised in the wider press) but that doesn't lessen what a mess Newcastle United have been in for years - decades.

My point is that my, along with many other Geordies', patience levels are starting to wear extremely thin with a significant number of these mugs masquerading as Newcastle United players.

Less of the moping if we beat Blackburn aye.

Gary Howell said:

How long will the agony continue in Toon? you ask.
Well as long as Keegan keeps playing a team devoid of pace for a start. NZogbia and Martins starting on the bench is a joke.
Newcastle players will plod their way to another shambolic home defeat. Bet on it!

PeterDawson said:

Well Two late goals have made this a miserable weekend for us all... Blackburn Scored late to win a game they didnt deserve and Reading scored late to beat Boro...which considering birmingham thumped tottenham does not help out our relegation scrap one bit..
Its going to be a long two months

Campbell Waddell said:

Hi Lee, having read the piece in the chronicle on the finances at nufc, it seems to me that only Leeds united have been run worse than nufc.

The state of the club before Ashley took over well it defies belief, the money squandered by the previous administration is an absolute outrage, we need to get the club on a sound and proper footing ridding ourselves of all the deadwood.

If we at nufc cannot attract the best players in the world who want to win all competitions that we enter, then we should go down the road of developing our own younsters and recruiting the best youngsters from around the country, we have wasted hundreds of millions of pounds on managers who can't manage and foreign and british players who can't play it's time for a rethink to get the long term future of our club secured for our future fans, so that they never have to suffer the pain that we and those before us have suffered.

KK has got to get it right, we cannot expect solve all our problems by chucking money at them, we have proved that in our case it does'nt work, we cannot continue down that road, we need a sensible approach and it will take years to get it right there is no quick fix, I would like us to take route that Arsene Wenger took with Arsenal, quality youngsters at reasonable money.

Let's make sure that NUFC do not do a Leeds.


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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