Forget Eastenders get yourself to West Ham v Newcastle if you want real drama!

By Lee Ryder on Apr 22, 08 08:56 AM

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.

The not so happy Hammers will be without former Toon trio Kieron Dyer, Craig Bellamy and Lee Bowyer so no painful celebrations if West Ham score are likely but with Scott Parker and Nobby Solano still lurking, the mandatory goal from an old boy is still a possibility.

Upton Park of course can be a cauldron of hate and even a 2-1 win over Derby forced boos in their last game.

It was only last season but the contrast between Newcastle United today and last term is nothing short of incredible.

From the players involved in the 2-0 win in September 2006, only goalscorers Oba Martins and Damien Duff were in action in our last game against the red and whites at the weekend.

And if that isn't staggering enough the fact that we've also had three managers in that period shows that stability is vital on Tyneside for the next few years.

The scenes were akin to that of TV series Casualty last time out as Shay Given punctured his bowel following Marlon Harewood's heavy challenge.

What followed behind the scenes was awful to look at and probably the most serious situation this author has encountered in football.

Given of course collapsed in the dressing room after the game and was rushed down the tunnel and past the media on a stretcher much to the distress of his watching team-mates Duff and Stevie Harper.

It certainly took the gloss of the 2-0 win on a day when Glenn Roeder had been taunted by sick West Ham fans over health fears during his time at the club.

We could all do without the same kind of drama this season but with confidence high a repeat result is certainly up for grabs against injury ravaged West Ham.



Johnny Vintis said:

I, like many others, would be delighted with a top 10 finish. I had fears that we were going to have our worst final standings in the league this year, although i was confident we wouldn't go down. This is the pefect time to play West Ham, not only are they having a poor run and revaged by injuries but also we really are flying at the moment. Our recent run may come to an end if we get complacent but i think the staff are really enjoying themselves and gel well together, its a shame the season didn't start a few weeks ago. Our players are playing with passion, and a desire to win for Newcastle United. I can see us getting something from Chelsea too, although i think our stumbling block might be Everton. Nevertheless i'm pretty sure Newcastle will put 100% into the last 3 games, and you can't ask for anymore than that.

Ronnie Lambert said:

Please Lee, can I carry your shorthand notepad and pencil, and your flask and sarnies to Upton Park. I won't rabbit or sing or anything, srites. I'm still a little hoarse after Sunday, neigh, I said a little HOARSE.

Mike Smith said:

Its a pity that we are now on fire, it just shows what a change of manager can do.

Three points are up for grabs.

Maybe a MO hatrick would be smashing

steve said:

Still on a massive high following the defeat of the mackems,and although west ham have some half decent players AND our nobby i was feeling like we could go down there and score maybe 3 and get a fairly comfortable win......that was until 10mins ago when i discovered who the ref is gonna be.....BLOODY URIAH RENNIE!.....the scourge of tyneside,the man who sent big al off for nowt,the man who gives us nowt except a hard time......he should never be allowed to ref,ive never seen a worse one.That said i am gonna go for a 2-1 win as we will take advantage of their horrendous injury situation(know how it feels)with their strike being a dubious RENNIE penalty decision.......HOWAY THE TOON.

Big Barda said:

I fully expect to win this one and if Milner or Emre are fit, I'd love to see them on the bench ahead of the hapless Duff and Smith.

Ray Wilson said:

Hi lee-Lets not get carried away before we visit the Hammers the 2-0 derby win was welcome but in all honesty against a very poor Sunderland side. The trip to the hammers will be no walk over-Upton park is never an easy venue and the players at West ham have really come under the cosh from their own supporters. We should be wary of the wounded tiger. I note articles in todays national press that Benitez wants Harper -well I dont think Kev should let him go and if he does it should be for a fee which reflects Harpers ability -the same Benitez will be asking for millions should Kev want to sign John Arno Rise so why should Newcastle give players away. Benitez buys Crouch for 7million and hardly plays him but then wants 12 million for him from any summer bidders. Why do we always let our players go on the cheap?I think this has to stop considering the millions we lost on Boumsong and Luque-perhaps Mr.Wise can earn his keep here and ensure these things do not happen in the future.Anyway Jose Enrique looks to be the one we can depend upon for the future and I would much rather consider keeping Peter Ramage who can fill in and not spend on Rise -he is way past his best.Other positions may need more support and we should concentrate on that.

Malcolm said:

The comment regarding interest from liverpool for Harper is interesting. Personally I think Kev has a big decision to make in the close season on the goalkeeping situation. We have two brilliant young keeepers (Krull and Foster) and they need to be allowed to develop a bit nearer the first team on a regular basis - which means perhaps either Given or Harper should be allowed to leave. I think Harper will take some shifting now he's had a run and played so well - if he does become the number one then the england squad isn't beyond him.

Charles said:

Yes, I suppose West Ham looks like easy meat right now but wait...look at Derby county, the only team to have reaped 4 points off an in-form (apparent) Newcastle United team and what's their form before they hit us, nil-nil-nil-and even more nil. They hardly scored a goal at all and they got something from behind our back. Had we played better then, we've would have got in front of Spurs and only a few more behind old West.H there.

Regardless of their form, Kk will know well not to underestimate the West Ham team. The only former Newcastle united man that will not be booed of by our own is Nobby Solano who obviously is the only one West Ham got right with our former players.

And a personal comment on Mr. Ray Wilson's comment, I'd rather see Risse here than Ramage. With all due respect, Ramage is a centre back, right footed and certainly the one to blame for most goal floods like the gift he gave to Rooney two seasons back. Risse maybe old and past his best but he is still one of the few defenders who can score a long range shot and provide cover for left wing as well.

And of course lets have a good game performance and lots of goals to count. Howay to the lads!

GeordieNZ said:

He's only a poor little Hammer!!!!!!
Good times baby. Cant wait for the weekend, bring it on

gav said:

nothing is ever certain in football so to say we are going to hammer the hammers might be a bit hopefull however it should be a result for us down there . the sunderland game was a poor game all around but we got the result , only coz the mackems were far worse than us , but we know we can play well it happened at spurs and at home to reading so if we play to our top ability then a result should surely be coming our way ...... doesnt anybody else find it somewhat slightly amusing that west ham have purchased a few of our players now and they are suffering an injury crisis similar to when we had them i wonder if there taking bets for fighting on the pitch

Johnny Vintis said:

Riise is only 27. Hardly old and past it. He is out of the Liverpool team because Benitez prefers to opt for spaniards. I have a few mates who are liverpool fans (I currently live in York, so say no more)and they are baffled as to why Riise doesn't play. He is equally as good on the left wing, which is good as Charlie looks like he's off and Duff needs a kick up the backside. If Riise played every week then he'd be playing well. Although he did score an own (away) goal last night to give Chelsea the edge in the Champs League......

murvar said:

I was at that 8 - 1 defeat all those years ago. We used 3 goalkeepers and they were all pants on the night (Thomas started injured and soon wennt off; Chris Hedworth, a young centre-half, then went in, and when he got crocked Pedro donned the green jersey. All 5 foot 7 of him. It was awful. If I remember right, Billy Whitehurst got our goal, what an awful player he was. My main memory is of the W Ham supporters staying behind after the players had left the pitch to applaud the Toon fans, who had got noisier and noisier and funnier and funnier as the disaster had unfolded.


Hi all -- I see I stirred the pot over my comments re; John Arno Riise-well have to tell you lads the reason he aint in the Liverpool team is simple --he aint good enough-talk of Benitez preferring Spaniards is tosh --Sammy Hypia is no Spaniard but Benitez always plays him. I live on merseyside so I do get to know whats going on----Save your money Kev Risse is not worth it and I still think Jose Enrique is coming on a ton so if Kev wants to sign another left back for cover --fine by me --I trust Kevin -but hope he goes for up and coming rather than some one who is past their best,

zulu said:

West Ham will be a tough nut to break, and I`ll for one be happy with another clean sheet. What King Kev has shown with three strikers, must be balanced against four clean sheets. Question: how much credit must be given to Stevie Harper for organising the defence. I reckon he should be given the No 1 jersey next year, and Given will take his toys and play somewhere else, as we do have two good young keepers in the wings. Food for thought!!. I reckon we`ll scrape a 0-1 win against the Hammers.

Dad Longworth said:

Harper's distribution and command of his box on corners are to be commended. Great shot stopper as Given is (and God knows he's saved us on many an occasion), the distribution is sometimes woeful, particularly latterly. Having Harper is almost like having another outfield player. I hope we don't sell him and when Given comes back, let's hope the two are rotated, even if that won't be popular with someone's agent!


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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