March 2009 Archives

Alan Shearer tonight sensationally accepted the post to take on Newcastle United and attempt to save their place in the Premier League.

The legendary number 9 and club's record scorer will be paraded to the media in due course and will spark scenes of excitement.

It is Mike Ashley's response to the intense pressure heaped upon him after making a real mess of affairs at St James's Park this season.

Once upon time reserve team football used to prove a valuable tool when it came to bringing back injured stars to the first team - but then football went big time and these days you've got more chance of seeing Mark Viduka taking part in a synchronised swimming competition than on the field in the not so flashy FA Premier Reserve League.

Tonight though some of that changed as Chris Hughton handed starts to Danny Guthrie, Xisco and Cacapa in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Manchester United.

All three put in good shifts with Xisco netting from the spot and Guthrie smashing home what he thought was the winner either side of Mark Doninger's 10th goal of the season.

Remember that, winning?

By Lee Ryder on Mar 30, 09 01:22 PM

Where were you when Newcastle United last won a match at St James's Park?

I can just about remember it actually. Damien Duff netted the winner in the closing stages, it was against Tottenham Hotspur and on the back of it Mike Ashley urged fans to stick a bet on us getting into Europe!!!

Some of you might have been finishing/starting your Christmas shopping or had just started your festive holiday!

Well as we crawl into April, we're still to see a victory at St James's Park since December 21 and you don't need reminding that as it stands the great club that is Newcastle United is tumbling into the abyss or the Championship if you like.

What price bravery?

By Lee Ryder on Mar 27, 09 07:01 PM

It will never happen in a billion years but what if Dennis Wise, Kevin Keegan and Mike Ashley lifted the lid on just why Newcastle United are hanging on the edge of the Premier League cliff?

Brian Clough and Don Revie had the bottle to go head to head on TV to talk about their differences in 1974 with the famous spat highlighted in Cloughie's movie which is currently dominating big screens around the country.

These days the prospect of such a frank exchange of views on live TV seem impossible.

As it stands Newcastle are dangling dangerously above the drop with many fans having already thrown in the towel and fully expecting to drop into the Championship.

The chips are down

By Lee Ryder on Mar 23, 09 11:00 AM

When it's not going for you - it's just not going for you and for Newcastle United the chips are well and truly down with eight games to go.

There were positives that came out of the Arsenal game but positives at the moment are no longer any good - unless they come in the shape of points.

The injuries to Steven Taylor and Sebastien Bassong could not be at a worse time for Newcastle, given the two players have been carrying the Mags in recent games.

Blog on the Tyne at the match

By Lee Ryder on Mar 21, 09 01:00 PM

NEWCASTLE United take on the French flair of Arsenal this weekend, and I'll be bringing you all the action from St James's Park.

THE Magpies only have nine games left to stop themselves slipping into the Championship, and with the Toon only out of the bottom three on goal difference, it's going to be a nervy run-in.

Blog on the Tyne will have regular updates from the match, plus all the colour from inside the stadium.

We also want your views on the game, your thoughts on relegation, and a bit of banter mixed in as well.

Just come back at 5pm on Saturday to get involved, or click below to set a reminder.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear - we really are starting to feel sorry for ourselves now aren't we, injury ravaged Michael Owen is concerned that people think he's injury prone, Peter Beardsley thinks that fans are being too harsh on Shola Ameobi, envious glances are being cast over to Liverpool where Rafa Benitez has signed a deal to give them long-term stability, Saturday's opponents Arsenal are rubbing their hands at the Champions League draw - and we're starting to seriously think about going to Scunthorpe and Blackpool next season.

A quick glance at the Premier League table will only make you feel worse because unless there is a major shock at St James's Park on Saturday night it only tells you that a fortnight stewing in the bottom three is all that awaits.

Next up after that is another easy one against Chelsea and then it's the tough trips to Stoke and Spurs.

Danger Danger Nile Ranger

By Lee Ryder on Mar 16, 09 09:51 PM

Building up youngsters at Newcastle United has always been a dangerous game on Tyneside but every now and again a player comes along who seems to give you that little bit of belief and that voice in your head that says "the boy's a bit special", watch Nile Ranger for 90 minutes and I bet you feel the same.

Ranger took his tally for the season to 21 in reserve and Academy games with a well taken left footed effort that left Everton goalie Iain Turner with no chance.

He'd also put himself about all night and earned his keep upfront by helping Newcastle's second string fight back from 1-0 down on a mild night at Whitley Park.

Time for the spirit of 2008

By Lee Ryder on Mar 16, 09 11:11 AM

Just 12 months ago Newcastle United were fire fighting once again at the wrong end of the Premier League when a 1-1 draw at Birmingham City proved to be the launchpad for survival - this year though it may not be as straight forward.

The point picked up at Birmingham was Newcastle's 29th point of the campaign and with nine games left leaves Newcastle in a similar situation to last season.

And while the performance at Hull failed to inspire it was at least akin to the Birmingham game at this stage.

Unfortunately unlike last year it isn't struggling Fulham who are next in Toon - it's in-form Arsenal who arrive at St James's Park with Andrey Arshavin, Robin Van Persie and Co all in form.

IN between biting my nails, I'll be bringing you regular updates from the KC Stadium as the Toon take on Hull City in a game that could ultimately decide whether we stay in the Premier League.

Blog on the Tyne will give you all the colour and drama from inside the ground at a game United cannot afford to lose.

Only Andy Carroll's new contract and Michael Owen's involvement in the match have lifted the nervousness of the fans this week.

And Blackburn's win against Fulham in mid-week has only increased the pressure on the players with only 10 games left.

My blog below will tell you all the action, but we also need you to take part and have your say on the game.

Click below to set a reminder or come back at 2.45pm.

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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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