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Fight Club

By Lee Ryder on Jan 21, 09 10:45 PM

Another quiet day in Toonland only resulted in a brawl on the training field between Charles N'Zogbia and Andy Carroll as the pair traded blows before reportedly going at it again in the dressing room and the car park.

The incident is being played down by Newcastle United and most people who have played football or any sport for that matter will understand that in the heat of the moment sparks do fly.

But if you did the same in your place of work, surely you wouldn't expect to get away with it or any fighting to be brushed under the carpet.

The debate could rage on all day really and in other sports like ice hockey and rugby, the incident will probably be deemed upon as laughable.

We've seen it beforein football and there are countless examples of footy stars fighting.

Yet just like it did when Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer fought on the hallowed turf at St James's Park it suggests that all is not right at United.

With the dressing room in pieces and Shay Given, Michael Owen and one of yesterday's offenders Charles N'Zogbia all seemingly wanting out - and Zog giving himself a great chance of getting out by fighting with Carroll - United fans have every right to feel down in the dumps.

Especially with the club sinking in the Premier League and now just two points above the dropzone.

With most fans stewing over the 3-0 defeat at Blackburn, the lack of transfer activity and the overall situation a fight between two players who are actually fit, amdist a treatment room crisis, battering each other is yet another bitter pill to swallow.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

41 Comments

HenryA said:

I have been a fan of this club for over 40 years, attended most home games in that time and endured many bad and sad periods.
Even the horrible late 70's post Gordon Lee were nothing compared to the dross we are being asked to absorb today.
I have always maintained that you don't choose your football club, they choose you but I'm afraid that its now time for Newcastle United to choose someone else!
I've had it. There is no apparent end to the downward drift that will surely see us relegated and lost to first class football for the rst of my lifetime.
Depression is not a word to be used lightly but I feel it and see it in my fellow supporters at each home game.
The players at our club do not have any idea what this current situation means to us despite their platitudes. That includes the so called loyal players who now want to bale out because the going is tough.
I will now begin to distance myself from the club and make sure that the gap left will be filled with constructive and positive activity. God bless the fans and stuff the owners, managers and directors.

Ian Castleman said:

Beats punching out girls in the Bigg Market.

Edmond said:

Is it too much to ask for N'Zogbia to show a bit of fight out on the pitch?

Stephen Buchan said:

So we're a laughing stock again, it should come as no surprise really should it. Lets face it we've got a Spurs supporting owner who wants out, who refuses to listen to anyone and who doesnt seem to want to invest in players of proven quality which might just be the difference between staying up or playing in the championship next season. A manager who week after week is sent to the stands or fined by the FA and who seeks to blame previous managers (not the owner or himself) for results and the current plight. A threadbare injury prone squad, half of whom want out and some of whom now seem to want to scrap with each other on and off the pitch. I'm no Gordon Ramsay but this looks like the perfect recipe for relegation!!

Stephen Buchan said:

So we're a laughing stock again, it should come as no surprise really should it. Lets face it we've got a Spurs supporting owner who wants out, who refuses to listen to anyone and who doesnt seem to want to invest in players of proven quality which might just be the difference between staying up or playing in the championship next season. A manager who week after week is sent to the stands or fined by the FA and who seeks to blame previous managers (not the owner or himself) for results and the current plight. A threadbare injury prone squad, half of whom want out and some of whom now seem to want to scrap with each other on and off the pitch. I'm no Gordon Ramsay but this looks like the perfect recipe for relegation!!

Jack said:

It would be easy to laugh this off as just another chapter in Britain's most hilarious club. And for many people it will be nothing more than a laughing matter. Sadly, for those of us who actualy support the club there is nothing funny about seeing Newcastle Utd implode while only 2 points off the relegation places. Dicipline surley comes from the top and Mike Ashley has just handed a contract extention to a man who can not even control himself let alone his players. This is the second time in less than a week that NUFC players have been seen fighting each other and to top it off the bloody manager has been hit with yet another FA ban. There are some massive games coming up. If they go in to them showing this kind of 'passion' they WILL GET HAMMERED. This is spiraling out of control, f**king sort it out.

john said:

Lee, do me a favour go & slap LLAMBIAS,the arrogant son of a bitch needs to be woking up to face the REALITIES.Everything is turning SOUR.

Big Si said:

What a joke this club is. I can't wait for this season to be over so I don't have to go back to SJP anymore until this odious regime is gone!

dean said:

The club is a JOKE. Ashley and Wise are a disgrace and need to have the bottle to show up at a home match so we can let them know what we all think. We Will get beaten at Man City and I have a real fear we will also lose against the mackums. It hurts me to say that. If we do and all we have signed are club rejects that had to have trials then it will 'kick off' BIG style after the sunderland match. We are in a shocking position in the league and it will go down to the wire.
I didn't expect many signings but after all of the crap JK talked about needing players and meeting wise and ashley I expected someone decent. Yet with a week to go we have no one, Joke!!!!!! Ashley deserves to lose every penny he has and I hope he does.
There will be thousands of empty seats next season, especially if JK gets a contract ( no surprise after shola got one..... maybe i should ask for one)
Im starting to hate everything about the club and I for one dont feel the same way I used to about nufc.
All we have is hope until end of season.

Dave Robson said:

dean, EVEN IF THE UNTHINKABLE HAPPENS AND WE BEAT THE MACKEMS, IT SHOULD ALL STILL BE KICKING OFF, WE HAVE BEEN TREATED WITH CONTEMPT FOR FAR TOO LONG NOW, TOO MANY EMPTY PROMISES FOR FAR TOO LONG, LIED TOO FOR FAR TOO LONG, THEY HAVE HAD ONE CHANCE TOO MANY HAVE ASHLEY AND HIS BAND OF THIEVES.
EVERY HOME GAME FROM NOW SHOULD BE MASS DEMONSTRATION UNTIL HE HAS SOLD UP AND GONE AND NOT UNTIL, TOTAL AND I MEAN TOTAL BOYCOTT OF ANY MEANS WERE ASHLEY WILL PROFIT FROM US.
THIS SHOULD NOT STOP, EVEN WHEN HE PUTS OUT A LAME STATEMENT OUT.
HOW LONG DO YOU THE NEWCASTLE UNITED SUPPORTER WANT TO LINE THIS FRAUDSTERS POCKETS FOR.

Restless Native said:

A local lad who came through our academy fighting with a moaning, want-away, prima donna. Doesn't take a genius to work out what the cause of that fight was does it? My guess is that young Andy C is probably as angry as the rest of us (who genuinely care about the club) about what's happening at the moment.


I can relate to HenryA's feelings of depression - it's not too strong a word. I have followed the club for 25+ years or so, and I can't remember ever feeling as down as I do now. I have a vivid memory of us being beaten at home by WBA in the old 2nd division when Ossie was in charge, and thinking at the time how painful it was because we seemed so very rubbish and there was no light at the end of the tunnel. But it was a NOTHING compared to the current feeling of hopelessness.


The big difference for me is that I honestly feel like Ashley, Wise, Llambias and increasingly Kinnear have ripped the very soul out of the club. We've been rubbish on the pitch plenty times in my 25 years, but I've never felt like my very identity as a Geordie was unbder attack.


That might sound daft, but I am so proud to be a Geordie because of what we're associated with as people - honest, straightforward, full of integrity, no nonsense, loyal, eternal optimists despite being long-suffering, etc.


I despise Ashley and his cohorts with every fibre of my being because they are the complete opposite of what we're about. They're arrogant, liars, cheats, deceivers and charlatans. They have abused our trust. They have cynically and systematically manipulated us. They have betrayed us in the most despicable, almost incomprehensible way.


The club has always stood proudly in the heart of the city as a symbol of everything it meant to be a Geordie. Everything that made me proud to pull on my black and white shirt and scream at the 11 lads on the pitch. Ashley has stolen the soul of our club. And he's gradually stealing the soul of our tribe in the process.


We've got to fight back. Protests before and after every game and a total financial boycott, until he's gone, are our only option. We'll figure the rest out later.

Graham Southern Toon said:

I agree that protests and boycotts sounds like a good idea, but it will almost certainly lead to our relegation!
The club is in free fall as it is and if all we as fans do between now and the end of the season is protest then it will just make the club fall part faster.
Ashley will not be able to sell the club, he tried that already and either no one wants it or no one has the money at the moment, so we are stuck with him.
Ashley cant get rid of Llambias and Wise because it will look like he has lost his balls and given in to our demands, so we are also stuck with them!
And there is no point in sacking JK because who in Gods name is going to come and save us?! Even if you can come up with a list of names it is unlikely anyone decent would take the job, so I would say we are also stuck with JK too!
So with all that in mind I think the only answer is to try our hardest to concentrate on one thing and that is the football! (Ok, so maybe you cant call it football at the moment!)
What I am trying to say is if we all turn on the club then the players will suffer even more and this in turn will probably mean we will be lucky to win another match this season. So we have to try and ignore the w**kers trying to bring the club down and get behind the 11 lads that are the only ones who can keep us in the top flight.

Restless Native said:

Graham Southern Toon ... totally get where you're coming from, but in my view:


1. Ashley is banking on our blind loyalty - it's exactly that which has let him get away with what he's done so far


2. Was he serious about selling the club? Or was it all a smokescreen - yet another cynical PR exercise from his machine of deceit? Calmed the storm ... business as usual. And that business is asset stripping.


3. Hard as it is to say this, relegation is a proce worth paying to get rid of him. Premiership status without our pride and integrity means nothing to me.

4. If he truly had the welfare of the club at heart, Wise, Llambias and even Kinnear would have been long gone. In fact, Keegan wouldn't have had to walk in the first place.

5. We have got to think beyond this season and next. It'll take us 5 years at least to recover from this shambles. Limping into another Premiership season with these idiots at the helm is what's really unthinkable.

Tad caster said:

"Ashley is banking on our blind loyalty"

No. He's banking on the fact that the local media have, until recently, been more or less complacent and the fans are either a) fickle and stupid (just look at the recent witless comments that still have a go at KK or b) desperate for some Toon football. Most of us fit into one category or the other.

Gregor said:

If Mike Ashley won’t put anything or very little more into the club either financial or otherwise (I can’t see DW or Llambias justifying their undoubtedly vast salaries) why should they expect the supporters to do so?
As a supporter of 50 years I’ve now lost it with MY beloved club. This is without doubt the lowest ebb of many many low ebb’s! Even if we don’t get relegated, what is the future of the club? MA has not given us his ambitions for the Club to my knowledge anyway. And I can’t re-collect reading anything whatsoever emanating from D. Wise the “Director of Football” or Mr. Llambias, The Managing Director. How on earth do they get away with it? The local press need to take a much more active role in pressing for some kind of statement regarding the proposed direction of the club. Tell your mates to get their fingers out Lee.
I think salvation is impossible under Ashleys stewardship, I also think many of the players seem to realise he is not the way forward consequently they want away.
I have come to the conclusion, as harsh as it may sound, that the fans must try and influence the finances of the Club. Together with the sponsors (I don’t think we’ll find another sponsor after the Northern Rock deal is finished) the fans ARE the club. Without them and the money they put into the coffers of the club week in week out NUFC would not exist in its current form.
I can see MA quickly selling the club if fans and sponsors withdrew their financial support and stopped purchasing anything and everything which would possibly benefit NUFC, leaving MA to pay the players out of his own pocket. He would probably sell very quickly and at a substantial loss if he was losing money week after week after week. Imagine NUFC without sponsors, having sold very few season tickets, without any income from corporate boxes, no income from beer, pies, programmes catering and any other associated income! I think Mr Mike Ashley would very quickly back heel NUFC to the highest bidder. Only then will we be able to call our club OURS again and hopefully move forward at a pace with decent owners, management and players.
Or am I dreaming?

stevie said:

Why does Kinnears story change almost daily?
Why are we not being informed about funds available for players?
The silence to me can only mean bad news or there is something to hide.
Ashley does not have the courage or decency to inform us of his intentions for the club.
The fans now count for nothing.

john said:

Lee,take a long hard look at what people are saying in your Blog.You&all the other local SCRIBES should make a direct effort to get the FACTS from SJP.

John said:

Hello all, this is my 1st time adding a comment to this site. I read it on a regular basis. However the recent events at our club have got me to a point now, where I am looking for something to fill the void on a Saturday afternoon at 3pm.
I live in Belfast, and have supported the toon because that where my family are from. I attend a lot of home games every season, and pay a great deal of money to come and watch the club that I love. But it kills me when I do this because look at what we come and watch?
I have been a toon fan now for 17 years, and have always taken great pride in pulling on my colours where ever I go. But now can any of us say that the current regime have our best interests at heart? When there is the following:
a. Fighting on and off the pitch, including our manager.
b. No transfers
c. Our best players wanting out
d. Dropping in attendance at home games.
I have always held hope that things will get better, but at this point how? I feel at this stage a drop down a division would take us a great deal of time to recover from. That’s if we go down. If we stay up, what will happen ? will there be a lot of action in the summer time to re shape the club, or will we all be sitting on skysports or whatever site you all view, watching yet another transfer window shutting down with nothing to show for it !
Time will no doubt tell, but until then I shall support the club and the players that turn out on a match day.

ronnie lambert said:

GREEDY, SELFISH, SMALL-MINDED, BEER-SWILLING, PIE-EATING MORONS!!!!!!!...No not the board but the fans who can't control their big fat guts for 2 hours. I'm no saint but I have not, can not, will not give in to my early season vow to put nothing in Ashley's pockets until he's gone. I haven't bought a single program, something I loved, to fill my time leading up to a game and as a historical record that I WAS THERE THAT DAY!. I've sacrificed all of the pleasures associated with matchday to MAKE A DIFFERENCE!. I've watched how at first a handful of belly-loving morons stood defiantly at the bar as some supporters murmered insults at them, tantamount to 'SCABS'. Now you can't get to the toilets for queues at the bars, supporters are screaming blue murder at each other for jumping a place. GEORDIES WAKE UP! START AGAIN! All fanzines call for a total embargo on Ashley's merchandise. Take your own crisps, pasties, pies and pop for the bairns or take them for a big mac 'afterwards'....it'll be cheaper anyway than his prices. Have volunteers chant around the bar areas that this is contributing to our club's death. 'DON'T DRINK ASHLEY'S BEER, DON'T DRINK ASHLEY'S BEER! Wear T-shirts with the slogan on front, and 'DON'T BUY ASHLEY'S PIES' on the back. This will work if we have the real desire to save our club.

Dave Robson said:

ronnie lambert absolutely spot on, as i said in my piece, if were gonna do what we did at the hull game after kk went it has got to happen at every home game until the cockney parasites have departed st james for good.
people say it will effect the teams peformance, absolute rubbish, they have been dire, with our backing for too long to remember, i keep hearing are players are good enough to get us out of this mess, again absolute rubbish if they had been good enough we would not be staring down at relegation right now.
look at the support the TEAM gets away from home, what do some of the players give back, NOTHING.
our club needs some serious cleansing, starting at the so called top.

Graham Southern Toon said:

Almost everyone on here is right in there own way, Ronnie Lambert, yes you are right in saying dont buy the programme that you love but you will not stop everyone from joining the dont buy programmes, pies, or drinks campaign because not everyone believes that is the answer.
Dave Robson, you say protest at every home game until they are gone but they aint even at the games now so do you think Ashley sits down to match of the day on Saturday night and says 'Wow those Geordies really dont like me still?!' No, he is out spending his money partying and buying everyone he can a beer!
To say the away support is great but some of the team give nothing back, look at the team that is going out there at the moment. There are so many injuries that it is unlikely our very thin squad will get results. Most of the top teams dont have our injury list and even if they did they have great players in reserve, we have a youth team and Ameobi! We need more players, but not just anyone, but we can buy many players with 10m! Who expected Kinnear to be given 50m to spend? I didnt, and how many clubs have spend millions so far in the window, other than Man City?
I just think that we are all moaning on about what should be done but I for one dont believe much can be. Ashley is stubborn and will not run away from thousands of fans that chant his name or dont buy his goods. You can say boycott the games but you will still get 25,000+ fans in there and he wont care about that either. It will be the end of the season before we know where we are and we will all go on holiday and any protests will fade away and it will all start again next season until he has gone. So we are stuck with Ashley, Wise, Kinnear the lot of them, so try and make the best of a bad situation and get behind the team and keep them up.
It can only be a matter of time before Shearer comes to our rescue!

Uncas said:

How do Wigan Athletic and Hull City have greater spending power than Newcastle United?

ronnie lambert said:

Shearer won't come until the scumbags are gone.

bob harvey said:

I know what you are saying Uncas, but part of the reason is that Hull and Wigan etc. etc. don't keep blowing multi-millions on duds and paying monopoly money wages. I can see people's concerns about not spending in the window, but let's not chuck onther £10 million+ down the drain.
The transfer windows are nonsense anyway.

pedi said:

Hull have had their £5mil offer for bullard accepted. Why aren't in for him??? No we are TRYING to Mclovenkrands. Its insane. The cash jk wanted to pay for the unknown cameroon fella, give it to fulham and lets get an experienced prem lge midfielder that won't need time to settle in, can cross a ball, does score and gets back to defend. Every other team are getting players in, we're struggling to get an out of contract dane to sign....what a joke!

Restless Native said:

We desperately need a solid central midfielder.


We don't have mountains of cash from Ash to splash, so we're apparently looking at players in the circa £5m bracket.


JFK has made it clear we need proven Premiership experience if we're going to get out of our self-dug hole.


We can't possibly hope to compete for players with teams in the top half of the league, because of the state we're in. But we should still be able to see off most of the teams in the bottom half.


Jimmy Bullard, central midfielder, England international and consistent Premiership performer for YEARS is on the market. At approximately £5m. And only Hull seem to be in for him.


WHAT THE F ARE WE WAITING FOR???!!

bob harvey said:

Every time a player has a good game against the Toon the fans want to buy him. Aye, Jimmy Bullard has fitted nicely into an organised Fulham side. The truth is though that he is no better than either Barton or Guthrie + he is nigh on 30.
Joey Barton is definitely a better player than Jimmy Bullard. I wish that Keegan was managing Barton.

Restless Native said:

"And he is nigh on 30" ... oh well, in that case. Nonsense. He's at his absolute peak and would be a great signing for 5+ years.


And saying Bullard is no better than Guthrie ... I don't know which games you're recalling but from what I've seen of both, Guthrie's got a very long way to go reach Bullard's level of consistency.


As far Barton, a talented player he may be. But how much of it have we seen?


Anyway, my main point was about our record of buying expensive foreign flops -vs- investing in proven premiership players. £10m for Mbia (sp?) is a big gamble.


And O'Neill is about to land Heskey for £3.5m ... he's dead old and I suppose you think he's no better than Shola?!


I'll stick to my view thanks. I'd swap Villa's transfer strategy for ours (have we got one?) any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

dave said:

Its also a shame when the cowards at thomson house are scared to ask the useless irish muppet any questions regarding other transfers,now the manager is a total bullshitting conman.

Dave Robson said:

bob harvey your wrong about jimmy bullard, the bloke is a fantastic professional, the only time he missed games, was when he sustained that serious knee injury, you go on about his age, but the lad leads the right life, what pace he lacks in his legs he makes up in his head, not great but a fantastic consistent player.(fabio also thought so) mind u kinnears better than him apparently???????
guthrie got along way to go to reach this fellas standards, and he would have been good for the dressing room.
barton could be better, but only if he ever led his life like jimmy does, not gonna happen now i fear.

the players who have been sold or likely to be over the last few days, heskey, bullard, shorey, steve hunt, leighton baines, hangeland, all players we might have had a slight chance of bringing had kk still been, but not a cat in hells chance of getting whilst this regime has control of things, we will have to make to with loans signings who might have one good game then disappear in the midst of a relegation fight.

its not been negative but i have like terry said our remaining games i cannot see us getting 11 points from, never mind the another 20 points, if what they think 43 points being the safety target this season, just being realistic considering the woeful peformances we have been subjected to.
it tells you something when the likes of hull, wigan, are a better attraction than us.

bob harvey said:

My reply re Jimmy Bullard was lost, so just a quick reply to Dave and Restless Native etc.
I definitely wasn't having a go at JB who I agree is great pro. I wasn't making a big thing of his age either, just pointing out another factor and that 5m of MA's tight-arsed budget [however much we shout that isn't going to change] could be spent better on younger play and that Barton is a better player anyway.

Dave Robson said:

bob harvey, i just think that the perilous postion we find areselves in 5 million for jimmy who hasplenty of premiership experience and skysports have just shown the stats of all the premier clubs he has played for and they are very good considering the clubs he has played for, they had all won more games with him in the squad than on the few occasions he didnt when they got beat, had we been riding high then maybe i agree, fetch a younger player in, but we need players not only with premier experience, but who do peform consistently week in week out (like jimmy). not some untested young player, in the postion we are in bob.

Dave Robson said:

bob harvey, i just think that the perilous postion we find areselves in 5 million for jimmy who hasplenty of premiership experience and skysports have just shown the stats of all the premier clubs he has played for and they are very good considering the clubs he has played for, they had all won more games with him in the squad than on the few occasions he didnt when they got beat, had we been riding high then maybe i agree, fetch a younger player in, but we need players not only with premier experience, but who do peform consistently week in week out (like jimmy). not some untested young player, in the postion we are in bob.

Restless Native said:

... and £10m on Mbia, if he isn't a massive success, will be a shocking decision on JFK / Wise's part. Blowing our entire transfer budget on 1 player unproven in the Prem is a gamble we shouldn't be taking given our position. Bullard woould have been safe as houses.


Stephen Buchan said:

Lads there was no chance of us ever signing Bullard..at almost 30 he has no sell on value. Never mind the fact that £5m spent on a 30 year old with no sell on value could save the club £40 million if we stay up!!

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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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