Carling Cup woe leaves sour taste in the mouth

By Lee Ryder on Sep 24, 08 11:53 PM

The last time Tyneside staged a Carling Cup tie, Mike Ashley partied in the Bigg Market until the wee hours and almost had the freedom of the city.

That game against Barnsley seems like a lifetime ago now but the defeat against Spurs left a sour taste in the mouths of the Geordie nation.

This time around, Ashley's seat was empty and Newcastle United were dumped out of the only competition they had any real shout of winning this season in front of one of the lowest crowds of the decade.

Most of the 20,000 plus crowd had long gone by the time Michael Owen netted his late strike and many of them will be wondering just what the short-term future holds for their side.

With no manager and a team crying out for leadership, Newcastle's players look like they are lacking in belief and looking like a team that don't know where their next win is coming from.

Talk of a saviour intensified tonight with Terry Venables the latest name to be bandied about for dugout duties while Nigerian takeover talk also gathered pace.

Yet just like the loss at West Ham did, the latest defeat merely pointed out that this is all pointing to a long hard winter.


Paul White said:

Lee, I'm finished. Done, spent. Mentally exhausted. This has utterly drained me emotionally. Initially I wanted to give Ashley the benefit of doubt, even right up till he issued that god-awful press release last week. The way he has dealt with the situation since transfer deadline day has been nothing but disrespectful to us the fans, but I couldn't bring myself to admit that we have been used.
I've been supporting my team since my first Bobby Shinton season when he finished with as many goals as I was years old. 7.
I've witnessed the highs of KK as a player, Beardsleys chip over Jo Corrigan, Gazza eating marbars at the corner, the lazy Waddle step-over, Kenny Wharton sitting on the ball, Mirandina karate-kicking Dave Beasant, Shearers volley against villa, but all these are fading into almost insignificance after the last few weeks. Now, I'm empty. I have nothing left to give.

I think it speaks volumes that we are praying that an unknown consortium for Nigeria will buy us. I hope Mr Ashley sleeps well.

Graham Southern Toon said:

Another tough night and another poor result, against a poor Spurs team with about as much confidence as us!

I have to agree with you Lee, it is looking like a very tough winter ahead, the only signs of hope our this mornings news of El Tel and the Nigerian group. What a state we must be in to see this news as hope!!!

I must admit that I dont mind Venables and think he is a good quality coach, but not sure if might be past his best. He did well for Barcelona and England but some of his more recent work, McClaren's right hand man for example, leave a little to be desired!

But, if he is brought in on a full or part time basis then I for one will be fully behind him, and I hope that the rest of the fans and local press do the same?! This is not the time to complain about the new man coming in, we need someone at the helm in charge of the players to try and get some confidence back and hopefully some results too. There is far too many people shooting themselves in the foot right now, so what we dont need is any complaints if Venables is on the News later holding a Black and White shirt with Number 1 on the back!!!

As for the possible Nigerian takeover, well until something is confirmed then no point commenting, except to say I hope this lot have the interests of the club and fans at heart?!

James 09 said:

"....a long hard winter"???? I think you mean the Championship and beyond (or should that be below?).

If we don't have some at least interim regime by Blackburn we are almost certainly heading for ruin.

David K said:

The number of empty seats where paying customers should have been last night spoke volumes. Let's hope that, very soon, that fact has a detremental effect on Dennis Wise's CV when it's landing on desks outside of NUFC. I can forgive Mike Ashley for ill considered business decisions, I can even forgive him for looking after his gambling buddies. What I can never forgive him for is bringing the sleaze merchants into the club I've supported all my life and all but condemning it to a slow and agonising demise. The current hierarchy have no real interest in the club over and above what it puts into their pockets and it shows. The squad have no real purpose other than collecting their wages, and who can blame them. If you were doing the same job as somebody in another company who was appreciated and paid more by their boss would you perform to your maximum capabilities? I don't think so. We have a shopkeeper in charge. If a shop has no customers and it's products are either sub-standard or past their sell by dates it goes to the wall, irrespective of who's managing it. I suppose that all we've got to hope for is that the product hasn't already been too shop-soiled to be fit for purpose, otherwise we'll be facing a clearance in the January sales and the shutters coming down not long after. You often see signs outside pubs saying "Under New Ownership" or "Under New Management". It's still the same old pub until it's re-furbished. Do we think a new owner that's scraped together all of his available cash to buy the pub can or will afford to complete that refurbishment, or will they just rely on the regulars to still use their local because it's the only pub in town? Your guess is as good as mine.

Tardonicus said:

The point sure was made today in that battle between the two bottom dwellers of the Premiership and us, losing at home... what a fragile state we are in. What if it had been the Premiership, not the league cup? We'd be flat bottom. Chills should be going down Ashley's spine, telling him to "sell, sell" (quote the magpie) before the club loses any more value...

I'm intrigued by the concept of a Nigerian consortium. If they give us a leg up on recruiting up and coming African players, that could make an interesting twist. I hope they come to the table with a full wallet. There is no sense in diving into the Premiership and expect to win without a dramatic investment in the club.

Brian J said:

I echo much of the sentiment above. I truly long for some long term board/managerial stability at NUFC. I long for those days when we beat the Reds 5-1 (and deserved the victory) and I long to see my team in the top third and challenging for that top 4/5th place. Bring back KK under Nigerian direction and if we are obliged to keep DW et al (I do hope not !) then have the last say on player outs/ins be with KK.

El Tel would be a good interim and I will give him the benefit of the doubt and support until we get KK back at the helm.

Wilsonmagpie said:

Keep on movin' lads.

Let's get behind the team against Blackburn on Saturday.

Yes, last night was a poor result.

However, it's important for us to look in the direction we intend to head - up.

In Martins, Owen, Duff, Given, N'Zogbia, Geremi, Butt, and others, we have real class.

Cheer them on, don't run them down this Saturday.

Hearing the boos at St James's Park last night was awful.

ronnie lambert said:

The only difference between the first comment and mine is that I was there from 1960 and tasted European glory in the Fairs cup, the other highlights of Paul White's toon life and his present emotional condition and mine are exactly spot on. In fact I'm coming down with shingles, brought on no doubt by my recent emotional trauma. Final point ...Steven Taylor is not premiership quality. He alone, like Bramble has cost us more goals and games than any other individual in the team. Total bull's knacker.

Paul Patterson said:

Wilsonmagpie- are you for real?

In Geremi and Butt, we have the two most pedestrian midfielders in the league, with no creativity. Geremi’s corners never beat the first man and Nicky Butts legs are really catching up with him. They both play like 50 year olds.

Duff hasn’t had a good game since he left Chelsea, refuses to cross, can’t beat a man and can’t take a corner either.

N’Zogbia is quite good, but is often played at left back and as a consequence is useless.

Martins and Owen are good for a goal or two, but need supply, Given must have been a murderer in a previous life to deserve what he see’s in front of him.


M. Sebastian T. said:

People ask why the London press talk about Toon as clowns. Why is obvious when people on Tyneside seriously view Terry Venables and a bunch of Nigerians as potential saviours. If they take over it will give more than a little amusement to many down south and elsewhere.

If Man City are worth 200 million, then NUFC can only be worth about what Ashley paid in the first place. What is needed is a local buyer at a realistic price and a young manager (like Shearer perhaps).

If Blackburn come to Toon and win on the weekend it will be the signal for far more troubled times than just one long winter.

Jonnie said:

Well in some stupid way I enjoyed this game more than the one I saw against Hull. In the first half we sat back and defended solidly, the game was drab and dull, the second half we put more of an effort in had some actual chances and on another day we could have ended up winners on the night.

The one thing that lets us down the most is not effort, we put enough of that in every week but basic passing skills and our defensive self destruct button. 3 times in 3 games we've personally contributed goals to the opposition, its cost us premier league points and now an entire cup competition.

We made our lowest attendance for 16 years last night. Our attendance was 20,000. 20 thousand people and what a noise we made at times. It might have been our lowest but it was still an incredible support.

We mustn't give up. We mustn't desert our club. Keep the faith, keep your season tickets and don't rip up your match tickets. Show your pride in being a Newcastle fan, even if our club is in a mess at the moment. I'm not sorry that I'm a Newcastle Fan and look forward to the Blackburn game even if this time I'm not putting my expectations high.

Come on Newcastle!!!!!!

John P said:

Another fine mess you've left us in ASHLEY,i'm sure Stan&Ollie would'nt make such a big mess as you've left us in.

Tad Caster said:

Dreadful. Midfield bereft of creativity. Two willing forwards bereft of the ball. And as for the defence... why on earth did we sell Faye? Tayls is prone to some dreadful errors and last night was a prime example. Butt, Geremi and Duff don't have it in them any more; the ease with which the latter is shrugged off the ball is embarrassing.

As KK said, we're just not good enough. We need more players - players of genuine quality. No matter how bad Spurs have been recently, look who they could bring off the bench; whereas we had a bunch of also rans.

And for those 'fans' who continue to kick KK when he's down, what do you think of the lack of communication between Hughton and his 'superiors'? That should give you a good idea of how things are being run.

shrek said:

think of it this way... on current form, how many of our current players would get in Wigans team.

If we don't go down this season I'll eat my hat.

Stop playing the same dross... Butt Geremi,Cacapa, Taylor Zog, Duff, put the kids in they can't possibly be worse. between all the afoementioned none can put a cross in.. even from a dead ball!

wilsonmagpie is confused, yes get behind the team but open your eye's man

Andrew Davis said:

Hi Lee,

After reading from all the fans i must say that we are all desperate for some good news and i don't think the Nigerians are a good idea either for the toon.

I think we will have either venners or hoddle soon in the dug out, and if the nigerians are serious players why is venners being linked if they are close to the takeover and remember that they said they would look to bring back KK.

Makes no sense to me this farce.

Relegation could be something that could happen and i thought we were close last this year and we will lose Michael Owen and maybe more players and not many will come in if we are not sold.


I need cheering up more and i am unemployed for gods sake.


Stewart Douglass said:

I can't understand anyone thinking Venables will help us. He is just a football management mercenary, and besides he is another COCKNEY and we have enough of them already. If we are just looking for a temporary appointment until the club is sold, why not persuade our favourite son Shearer to give it a try. It would certainly boost the fans and players, and hopefully this would be reflected in the team's performance and produce a few much needed wins. If it didn't work out, I am sure no one would blame Alan. Definitely worth a gamble

Forbsey said:

After weds disastor against spurs (wonder if ASHLEY was cheering??? him being a spurs fan)we have to make sure we get behind the lads on saturday against Blackburn, i no they get top whack money but you can see the confidence has gone with some of them, otherwise we are going to get dragged into serious trouble with a relegation battle if we are not already there!!.

Lee, Alan Oliver and John Gibson if you are reading this i think we should start highlighting this more in the local press to get behind the team, we no Ash has got the message and he was just a cockney con man from the start but at the end of the day the black and white shirt is the most important thing and we have to get the confidence back in the majority of players that are pulling it on and start with saturday and let any prospective buyers of the club see why we are the best FANS!!! in the country.

As i am doing this it say venables has knocked us back,(not that i wanted him but to steady the ship so to speak might have been not bad) they are clutching straws trying to get someone what a bunch of CLOWNS!!!! ROLE ON NEW OWNERS!!!!!!!

Mikey said:

I honestly thought that last night our luck would change and continue on our never ending search for silverware but obviously i was wrong again and now must look to the FA Cup for our next chance to win something.
Despite everything that has happened off the pitch the team we have are more than good enough to see off teams like Spurs (definetly Hull City), there all professionals and get paid more than enough for what they do, i honestly dont' know where we go from here(even the mackems are higher!!) but defeat to Rovers on saturday could put us in real trouble.


Hi Lee-I must confess I watched the game on telly-well why would I drive 375 miles to see what we saw last night. I have supported Newcastle all my life -it has cost me money,tears,anguish and sorrow-with some good times of sheer joy-What Ashley has done has made me totally sick-I cant stand the thought of him and Wise with their other cronies ever coming near our club again. Some points from last nights game-Taylor and Collochini looked as though they were making it under KK -they seem to have gone to bits since he left-Duff-absolutely useless -I have seen nothing to convince me he is still premiership material-Martins who I like still needs to pass the ball. The midfield -no craft -no skill and consequently-the forwards are starved . KK could see this and how right he was. Somebody please save us.


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.

Latest Premier League video


Email alerts

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

In association with


Follow my RSS feed


Follow me on

Lee Ryder's Twitter


Sponsored Links