July 2008 Archives

Believe it or not in the corridors of Real Mallorca's ONO Stadium hangs a massive picture of Toon flop Marcelino celebrating a goal when he was flavour of the month back in the day.

Now the player who proved to be a walking disaster for United despite his great reputation in La Liga works as a TV pundit in Spain and he'll be giving fans his views on the Mallorca Summer Cup.

The £6million Ruud Gullit paid for the big man, who once donned a sling for a broken finger, is long gone now of course but his popularity remains on this island.

Newcastle United stars trained in the red hot weather here in Majorca today at the venue in which they will take on Hertha Berlin tomorrow night.

In fact, it was so hot at the ONO Stadium that Kevin Keegan didn't want his players to spend too much time out of the shade.

And a short delay ahead of their 10.30am slot, which eventually took place at 11am, resulted in some players sitting beneath the main stand as Real Mallorca practiced ahead of their opener at the Mallorca Summer Cup against Hannover 96 tomorrow night.

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Newcastle United boss Kevin Keegan will roll back the years here in Majorca by holding an open training session.

And just like the good old days, KK and his squad will have many fans taking in their training at the ONO Stadium tomorrow morning at 10.30am.

United will land at Palma Airport at 6.15pm and they will be greeted by the masses of Toon fans who are here to see the Mallorca Summer Cup.

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Newcastle United will jet off from Tyneside tomorrow afternoon to escape yet another media storm in the UK following Joey Barton's release from prison.

Many Toon fans were starting to make their way across to Majorca for the Mallorca Summer Cup this week and the sight of United supporters wearing the new purple kit at Palma Airport was there for all to see here on the sun kissed Balearic Island, with many of them greeted by a temperature of 31°C when they stepped off the flight from Newcastle at 11am local time this morning.

Barton won't be joining his team-mates though and with the club's Academy side also in Germany at the moment, the Toon's training HQ will be a lonely place for the Newcastle midfielder, whose solitude is set to continue, albeit in a different sense.

It may have only been a friendly but Newcastle United sucked at Doncaster on Saturday.

In the aftermath of the defeat Kevin Keegan announced Joey Barton will be handed a last chance at Newcastle - and on this evidence - love him or hate him - Newcastle probably need him.

You can't get carried away with friendly results either way in football and Newcastle are down to the bare bones when it comes to players, but when a Toon Army chant directed at one of the stewards, namely Jesus Christ's lookalike at the Keepmoat, you know it's been a long day.

That boy Bassong also caused much amusement in the away end at Donny too with none of the Toon fans having a clue who he was due after Keegan surprised everybody by giving him his chance.

Keegan beaten on return to Donny

By Lee Ryder on Jul 26, 08 03:32 PM

KEVIN KEEGAN endured a deeply disappointing afternoon today on his return to his hometown as his side went down to a late goal against Doncaster Rovers.

Northern Ireland international Stuart Elliott won the game for United after a defensive disaster late on paved the way for a famous victory which underlined the frailties of KK's paper thin squad.

But the scoreline could have been heavier had it not been for young Dutch keeper Tim Krul who came off the bench to pull off some fine saves.

Not the Sho we were expecting

By Lee Ryder on Jul 25, 08 02:22 PM

It wasn't the way he probably planned it and it certainly wasn't the way Newcastle United planned it either.

But nevertheless Shola Ameobi will head to Doncaster Rovers as United's main striker at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Not only does Shola's emergence as the main man highlight that there have been no takers for one of the Toon's longest serving players, but it also underlines the frailties of Kevin Keegan's squad.

And although losing pre-season friendlies means very little at this stage of the year, defeat at Donny could deliver an almighty reality check with the new season now less than a month away.

Toon new boy Jonas Gutierrez has yet to kick a ball for Newcastle United but his words today will no doubt go down well with the Geordie nation.

For Gutierrez is hoping he can emulate Nobby Solano as he looks to make tracks on a successful career on Tyneside.

And as most United fans will know if Gutierrez can be half as popular as Nobby, he can leave St James's Park with his head held high.

KEVIN KEEGAN was in the stands at Gateshead International Stadium tonight as Newcastle United reserves were held to a 1-1 draw by Conference North outfit Gateshead.

The Toon boss used three of his second string for Saturday's 1-1 draw with Hartlepool with Callum Morris, Ben Tozer and Fraser Forster all involved again tonight.

Keegan, who has a paper thin squad at the moment, is likely to turn to some of his young guns again at Doncaster on Saturday but watched as they went a goal down to Gateshead on eight minutes.

Kevin Keegan's side were expected to win comfortably at Victoria Park but in the way that only Newcastle United can manage, they still made hard work of their friendly win over Pools.

The League One side ran rings around Newcastle in the opening 40 minutes and but for some hard graft from James Milner in the middle and some dogged defending by Steven Taylor at the back, they could have been further behind than 1-0 after Matty Robson opened the scores.

Untypically for a pre-season friendly, the rain lashed down at the Vic and a pre-game storm raised doubts whether the game was actually in danger of being called off

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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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