April 2008 Archives
Joey Barton knows better than anybody that his reputation usually walks into the room a few seconds before him.
And he knows that he'll probably never shake off the bad boy tag that large sections of the media have attempted to hit him with ever since he first pulled on a black-and-white shirt.
True, at times he can't help saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong people.
But although, there are plenty of tales of controversy in his past, perhaps Kevin Keegan is beginning to iron out a midfielder who was once tipped for big things with England.
Only Newcastle United could grab a point like they did at the Boleyn Ground.
On a day of thrills and spills in the sunshine in the capital a crazy game earned the Toon a decent point and stretched the unbeaten run to seven games.
But this game probably left the West Ham fans with a sour taste in their mouth after chucking away a 2-0 lead!
NEWCASTLE UNITED came back from the dead in the East End of London tonight after a dramatic fightback against West Ham.
United found themselves 2-0 down heading into the break after Mark Noble and Dean Ashton strikes put the home side in full control.
However, two goals in the last three minutes of the first half from Oba Martins and Geremi hauled Newcastle back into the game.
Kevin Keegan is that determined to finish the campaign on a high that he's kept pre-season plans a total secret from his players.
It's all quite amazing considering at one point the season had been written off completely with relegation a real possibility.
But the fact that KK is focused on nine more points from the last three games is superb indication that things are going the right way too.
No goals conceded in April so far and the chance to overtake the likes of Spurs and Saturday's opponents the Hammers is still very much up for grabs.
On the 22nd anniversary of our 8-1 hiding at Upton Park (the one when Peter Beardsley ended up in goal!) it's fair to say that Newcastle United are building up to the big one in the East End in fine spirits after seeing off the Mackems on Sunday in a superb 2-0 win.
The emotionally charged day for Kevin Keegan's boys will live long in the memory with the Geordie Nation enjoying a day when you were proud to be a Geordie and proud to be from Tyneside.
Now all of that will be transferred to West Ham and a side that have been walloped by injuries.
It was far from a classic performance by Newcastle in the end but for many it didn't half hit the spot.
Basic things that had become impossible in the dark days of Sam Allardyce are now becoming second nature again for Kevin Keegan and his side with a 2-0 win over Sunderland making it five wins out of five for Special K in derby encounters.
Not only did Newcastle look so comfortable on the ball but their hunger to get black and white noses in front showed with Michael Owen's goal after four minutes.
And is there a better way to slap out the spirit of the opposition than netting a second right on the stroke of half time?
NEWCASTLE UNITED won the local bragging rights in todayÃ¢ÂÂs Tyne-Wear derby after a solid 2-0 win over Sunderland.
Michael OwenÃ¢ÂÂs double did the job for Kevin KeeganÃ¢ÂÂs side on a great day for the Magpies at St JamesÃ¢ÂÂs Park.
United went in against Sunderland on the back of a five game unbeaten run with Toon players bidding to end the campaign on a real high.
Folklore has been one of the key words of the week on Tyneside with plenty former Toon legends urging the current crop of stars to write themselves into it alongside them.
You know who I'm talking about people like Liam O'Brien, Andy O'Brien, Scott Sellars, David Kelly and Nikos Dabizas.
All of them are permanent fixtures in the black and white history books which shows that Newcastle have dominated the fixture in modern times.
It's a long way from Kingston Park and even further from Seghill Social Club but Adam Sadler is taking lessons from one the world's managerial greats in Louis Van Gaal as part of his UEFA pro licence.
And while Tyne-Wear derby fever grips Newcastle, Sadler is taking a watching brief as AZ Alkmaar prepare to take on Sparta Rotterdam.
Sadler, who has done a great job with the reserves this season, is currently on leave from Newcastle United's training HQ in Benton to work alongside Van Gaal at AZ Alkmaar.
The Dutchman of course dumped out the Magpies from the UEFA Cup last term against Glenn Roeder's side and Sadler was part of the coaching staff more than 12 months ago in the sleepy Dutch town of Alkmaar.
Back then Van Gaal refused to speak to the Tyneside media in English leaving many of us reaching for the Dutch phrase books but Sadler has encountered no similar problems so far!
Should Newcastle United lose to Sunderland on Sunday it would spark a public holiday on Wearside as well condemning Toon fans to months of misery that no amount of alcohol will make go away.
However, to do that, Roy Keane's team must come to St James's Park with fire in their bellies, overcome a team playing with confidence, silence a home crowd who will be hellbent on creating a cauldron of noise and somehow stop Oba Martins, Michael Owen and Mark Viduka from continuing their recent run of eight goals in the last four games between the goalscoring trio.
Oh, and Joey Barton's due a goal as well after a string of classy displays alongside the reborn figure of Geremi and the man possessed that is Nicky Butt.
And I forget to mention the watertight defence that Blog on the Tyne understands have been arguing over who gets to mark Kenwyne Jones.