May 2008 Archives

He was supposed to be the magician that many Toon fans had been waiting for ever since the day that Peter Beardsley hung up his boots.

But despite some major highs and some lows that were lower than a snake's backside, one of Newcastle's main flair players leaves Tyneside without having fulfilled his massive potential.

Emre's departure may not go down well with sections of Newcastle fans and that's hardly a surprise given that if anybody could unlock the majestic skills inside the diminutive Turk - it was surely Kevin Keegan.

The loss of Emre leaves Newcastle shorthanded in midfield, with Joey Barton out of action for the foreseeable future, and a man down when it comes to some creation.

Summer transfers will always be a huge topic for Newcastle United fans and with the last game of the season against Everton just three weeks away already anxiety is building on the streets of Tyneside.

United's small squad needs additions but the holiday season for managers probably means there won't be much action in the next fortnight.

Yet while new fresh faces are needed badly at St James's Park, the players who go out of the exit door could be just as important as those who come in.

Wayne Hennessey was the latest target to be linked with Newcastle United today but surely this is simply another case of plucking names out of thin air.

Hennessey if you didn't know (and let's be honest he's hardly a household name) is a promising young keeper with the mighty Wolves.

But don't go running out to get his name printed on the back of your top just yet.

Hindsight, is a wonderful thing in football but in a week when former Newcastle United coach John Carver admitted he predicted the slippery slope endured by Toon fans in the four years since Sir Bobby Robson left the club, there can be no greater time for the current regime at St James's Park to learn from mistakes made in the past.

During his time at Barcelona, Sir Bobby had been told he wouldn't be the manager of the Nou Camp club for the 1997/98 season.

Back then Louis van Gaal moved into the dugout and Sir Bobby moved upstairs (a role he later described as the best paid scout in Europe) but sacking the former England manager never crossed anybody's mind at Barca.

Why on the earth did Newcastle not do something similar?

When it comes to enduring stick Newcastle United fans are usually first in the queue when it comes to getting walloped off the national media.

But after the sacking of Avram Grant it's clearly evident that there is more than just one soap opera going on in the Premier League at the moment.

Yes look no further than Chelsea.

OK, we know they have spent squillions to get where they are and that they should probably do better.

But imagine any Newcastle United manager leading his side to two cup finals and second place in the table?

We all sing together

By Lee Ryder on May 23, 08 12:30 PM

For years Newcastle United fans craved some kind of section where they could let off steam in an area of the ground where everybody wanted to do the same thing.

And now largely due to Chris Mort, they've got one.

Since St James's Park was rebuilt from the crumbling concrete mess - before Kevin Keegan took United into the promised land of the Premier League - it's no secret that we've still had some of the best atmospheres of all in both the top flight and in Europe.

The list of crackling atmospheres that have scared the opposition to death is still long when it comes to the black and white army whipping their team into a frenzy.

It doesn't happen very often in football.

But sometimes you have to give credit where credit is due.

And in the case of Chris Mort it would be more than warranted.

The Toon chairman will not leave St James's Park straight away with some other unfinished business still to come.

Joey Barton's six month stint in jail for a "violent and cowardly act" outside McDonalds does nothing but put Newcastle United in a bad light.

It's bad enough when players don't do the business on the field but when they don't do the business on the field and then act like nutcases off it - it has to leave Toon fans, many of whom are currently scraping together money for their season tickets, wondering why they should bother.

Of course there are plenty of reasons why they should and will but this must be the end to players finding themselves struggling in the deep end.

We'll meet again...

By Lee Ryder on May 12, 08 09:06 AM

Newcastle may have spluttered their way over the finish line at Goodison Park but even though the home side were celebrating a well deserved place in Europe, the main talking points after the game were still surrounding United and just who will be at St James's Park next season.

If you are a Newcastle United fan, it's impossible to ignore the Michael Owen situation.

His final tally of 13 goals indicates an injury free campaign next time around in Kevin Keegan's side will hopefully see that continue.

But with Manchester United's interest in the player said to be genuine the quicker that Owen's Toon contract (which has one year to go) is sorted the better.

NEWCASTLE UNITED ended their troubled campaign with a 3-1 defeat at Everton today as the Toffees secured their place in the UEFA Cup.

On a tough afternoon for Kevin Keegan’s side only the brilliance of Steve Harper prevented the scoreline getting out of hand on Merseyside.

United boss Kevin Keegan handed Andy Carroll his full Toon debut as the Geordie striker replaced Achilles victim Mark Viduka in a 4-4-2 formation.

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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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