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.

Taylor has been sweating blood for the cause while Bassong has been head and shoulders above most of his team-mates.

One consolation is that Habib Beye is back and Newcastle will need all of his experience in coming weeks.

It's a mess and the chances of staying up are in the balance, amazingly a season that was once sold as Keegan taking the Mags back to Europe could now end up in the Championship under Joe Kinnear.

Dropping points is one thing but now the pressure is increasing to get THREE wins from Pompey, Fulham and Boro at a time when we don't know where the next win is coming from.

Even those trio of victories won't be enough and something is needed on the road.

With games at Stoke, Spurs, Liverpool and Aston Villa, it's hard to see where and when.



Anupam said:

It's GAME OVER for us...
Such a good performance in 1st half and we didn't score tells the story of aur season.
I can not see us getting more than 35 points and they surely wont be enough to keep us up. We are going down thats a fact, whether we like it or not.
With Taylor and Bassong out i cant imagine our leaky defence will not crumble any more.

People's favourite Ryan Taylor (so called) qualites were there for all to see.Clichy was playing with him like a toy, he never once went passed him, always gave the ball away.Just because a player has always scored against us dosent make him good, and he is no more than a championship level player and thats's why he was bought beacuse, Ashley and co. knew that they will not put money in 1st team and we will go down.

Giving likes of Shola, Carroll new contacts and buy Taylor and Nolan does not seem like actions of a side who want to play in Europe, these clearly are the actions of a club that know they are going down.

There is going be a mass exodus of players Owen,Martins, Colo,Bassong,Jonas,Duff,Smith,Enrique,Beye all will leave and we will be languishing in the champoinship.

When Kev left there was a chance for Ashey to get rid of that slimy rat(Wise)and bring Shearer and set things right, but he doesn't give a damn about our club so he didnt and stuck on with those slimy weasels.

There is no one in the team except Steven Taylor , Bassong who are willing to fight for the club, no leadership no desire to win, rest all are mercenaries and will jump the ship.

Cant see us beating stoke and will get beaten by Spurs,Chelsea,Villa and can only see us winning only one against(pompey,Boro,Fulham) total points= 35, 40 points will be needed for survival and we are not getting them.

The begining of the end has started....
As much as i would love to see us play in premier league next season, i cant no longer fool myself. We all know but we don't want to believe it, but what has to happen will happen.
Farewell Premier League , Thanks Ashley and Wise its all beacause of you guys, may you rot in hell for your actions.

mark said:

I thought that if toon got relegated then we would get rid of the london lot. Now we may have the nightmare of these cockneys taking the club down to the level of leeds.They do not appear to realize that they are not welcome any more or that they do not have the necessary ability to run a large football club.

Tad Caster said:

Taylor has been sweating blood for the cause; he hasn't, however, always played well. Apart from the elbow, he was excellent in this game.

His namesake, however, had all his faults exposed. He shouldn't have even been in the starting lineup.

andy said:

We should have sold Owen when we could have got some money for him. Why can't we play him for a full game if he's so good. Let's see if really can score.

nufc337 said:

if we can get a performance out of this players like the man u game,then we should fine, but dont kno why when we play the lower sides we play s***!. think we need to take risk's now until the end of the season and sitting owen on the bench was not the best idea!. cmon lads the toon can get out of this!!!!!!

John said:

Blackpool here we come, and no its not my holidays, its the fixture for next season, most of the points have been made, all true, Ashley is a complete idiot, he has gambled our club away on people, who just have achieved nothing. useless staff, who are not good enough, wise, cockney thug, being paid for what?, houghton and caulderwood, as much good as a dead rat, kinnear, overwhelmed and not up to the job, and us waiting for him to rescue us is laughable, we should of said goodbye joe, when he he went down, i said when we appointed him, this guy will be stretched out with a heart attack, not so wrong was i.

I agree, we are looking maybe at around the 35-38 point mark, will that be enough, maybe the boro and west brom, will have less, but will the others?, i doubt it, its a north east double, maybe we should start singing going down with the boro now

brian from durham said:

In football, as in business you make your own luck by making the right decisions.Since Ashley took over he has got every major decision WRONG,and now we are suffering the result of those wrong decisions.

Harrogate Chris said:

If the money used to pay off the debts had been invested in the first team there would be plenty of time and opportunity in the future to earn the revenue to pay off the debts. Instead Ashley's investment will be next to worthless as we are relegated to the Championship and all our best playing assets leave.

pedi said:

I was watching the celebrity apprentice last night when our much loathed owner's name popped up. Jamie redknapps mrs was ringing her contacts to sell some tickets to, anyway, who was first on her list??? Only Mike ashley 'who owns Newcastle United' the voice over man said. Straight away he paid 100k for 3 tickets and she was all, ooohh he's lovely fella, very kind and generous! Aye pet maybe to you but he's been scrooges tight uncle to us. You did hear his voice as it was on speaker phone so that shatters any conspiracy he is a mute!
I no longer expect us to win or put in any performance, we always push the panic button and the team collapses. My optimism has been smothered by the useless clowns that 'run' our club.
To have 2 incompetent nobodies incharge of the 1st team when our PL status hangs by a thread is ridiculous. To make matters worse we are holding out until our death bed manager is rushed back early to be our saviour!!!
The players are just not good enough either and im sure most will be off come may. Duff...why does he continue to do dieing swan falls in the box??
You reap what you sew ashley, by not backing any manager with decent money and bringing in below standard players we are where we are. If we'd had brought in better players the players around them would've lifted their game like Ireland did at city when robinho rolled up.
We are in deep trouble and the current lot in charge seem reluctant to act to get us out of it.

AndyT said:

Why oh why did he not even sub in Jonas?! I don't care if he didn't have his best game against Hull, he's loads better on the ball than Ryan Taylor!! The guy is a starting winger for the Argentinian national team for all things holy! How can you have the gajones to say he shouldn't play at all for a team that is deep in the relegation mire?!! Chris, wake up!

GH said:

The toon are down more like. We've won 6 in 30 all season. Even getting to 38 points means we need to win 3 in 8. And the truth is, we're not good enough to stay up: poor players, poor management, poor coaching, poor fitness regime, weak leadership. From the matches I've seen this season, we deserve the drop.

Sy said:

Sadly I'm in agreement with most on here in saying that I'll now be genuinely surprised if we manage to stay up. I'm not a pessimist by nature like many, usually quite the contrary when it comes to Newcastle United, but I just can't see where our next win is coming from.

As for team selection, completely unbelievable why an attacking Argentina international didn't start the game. Playing Duff ahead of Jonas was bad enough, but playing both Duff AND Taylor ahead of him was simply a joke - a joke made even bigger by the fact that he didn't even come on as a sub. An absolute joke.

Al Jardine said:

"Why oh why did he not even sub in Jonas?! I don't care if he didn't have his best game against Hull, he's loads better on the ball than Ryan Taylor!! The guy is a starting winger for the Argentinian national team for all things holy! How can you have the gajones to say he shouldn't play at all for a team that is deep in the relegation mire?!! Chris, wake up!"

Made all the more apparent by Taylor's abysmal and naive performance. Most of his dead ball deliveries were poor too.

Mick F said:

I have a theory that Ashley wants us to go down and that's why he's left Hughton & Calderwood in charge coz he knows that they are not capable of motivating a spring hare. He has paid off all the debts so the only loss that is being made is directly due to players' wages. If we go down, as Mark says, all the rats will jump ship which leaves his & Squitty Wise's beloved academy, all of whom were recommended by Keagan (Bassong's comment). I have heard that the reserves are quite good and you add Shola (always a championship player) Butt (the father figure with one season left) Taylor and possibly Harper and we have a side able to compete in the championship and possibly even get back up again. All for nowt because he owns the stadium and has got rid of the high earners. Problem for him is: Neither JFK nor Hughton or Calderwood are capable are able to get us back up.........any takers? Remember that Llambias is a betting man so maybe he has worked out the odds and the cost, or lack of, in the championship for one season.

PK said:

When things are meant to be wrong you really cant do anything it seems.. We play super for a large part, even Damien Duff seems excellent..and then we lose 3-1..!

Hughton and Calderwood will finally go where they deserve, sadly it seems Newcastle will accompany them to the Championship.. They are the most pathetic managers I have ever seen.. Gareth southgate is a more reliable man than them..

I think its all over now.. Whoever can save us from this mess will be a true "Messiah".. Else we have interesting battles with Derby, Watford, Coventry and Crystal Palace coming up next season.. Wowww!!! Im soo sooo excited..

Rob said:

hughton and calderwood make southgate seem like sir alex, mcclaren seem like another "special one"...

Ande Walsh said:

Is it not excruciating enough to be put through characterless performances and being openly lied to by those hijackers pulling the rudder off our ship, those at Thomson House the appointed mouthpiece of the captors, throwing out this type of guff?

Is it me? But I’m sick of the tawdry stories fumbled out by the NUFC press office with all the dexterity of a 13 year old with a bra. The vomit inducing stories are symptomatic of the feel good collateral that is left around the SJP.

Ryder is fast becoming Oliver incarnate. And if they had become critical of the management even at the point when Kinnear had gone under the knife, we would not be going down.

How did the 4th best financially supported team in the country be reduced to some rich idiots monopoly game? Is it his idea of revenge? How can he hope to recoup, even if we stay up? Staying up may not purge us of this moron. Because if handing contracts to the current first team management is his idea of positive action and a way forward, then he has not learned anything from his ‘mistakes’. Not that we know what his ‘mistakes’ are of course.

Typical of the double speak Llambias was guilty of was the duplicity of culpability. I’ve just heard Gazza on a 5 live phone in doing just the same. He became angry when questioned about his wife beating antics and preferred to deflect blame through ‘it being in the past’ and ‘did you see it happen’ gambits. Anyone who knows an alcoholic will recognise the pathological behaviour. Truth is you don’t know what you’re doing Derek. Not that your new chums at Thompson House would ask you to clarify your mistakes.

My response is. Good luck Mr. Llambias selling tickets for next season. Good luck selling any news story about the luckless Toon as they tumble through the championship, Mr Ryder.

Last one out switch off the lights.

Ande Walsh

Aldo Rey said:

"Kevin Nolan confident NUFC can avoid the drop" - from Chronicle Live.

Nolan? Kevin Nolan? Kevin - his legs are gone - Nolan?

londontoon said:

1 x Champions League: 1994-95 (with Ajax)
1 x Intercontinental Cup: 1995-96 (with Ajax)
1 x UEFA Cup: 1991-92 (with Ajax)
2 x UEFA Super Cup: 1995-96 (with Ajax), 1997-98 (with Barcelona)
3 x Dutch Eredivisie: 1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96, (with Ajax) plus in 2003-04 (as Technical Director)
1 x KNVB Cup: 1992-93 (with Ajax)
3 x Johan Cruijff Shield: 1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96 (with Ajax)
2 x Spanish League: 1997-98, 1998-99 (with Barcelona)
1 x Copa del Rey: 1997-98 (with Barcelona)
1 x Rinus Michels Award (2007)

nobody is doubting CH as a coach or JFK's commitment but put sentiment to one side we need a manager the players need a manager and MA needs a manager...

brian from durham said:

I have asked the same question several times on this site, why would any manager come to this club and work for Ashley????Would you??? Most players leaving in summer, and no money to spend on replacements.It is suicide to any career.

stevie said:

One thing most are agreed on is that Ashley's decisions defy common sense from a footballing perspective. No one in their right mind would entrust a club in a relegation battle to Hughton and Calderwood.
No one would watch his club lose game after game and draw nearer and nearer to relegation, without doing something. So Ashley must have an agenda, and no doubt it has to do with money. I'm afraid that's about as far as I can get.

Graham Southern Toon said:

There is only one more chance for us to survive relegation and possibly the end! In that I mean once we go down I dont think we will bounce straight back and may if suffer more before things improve.
So it is time for Ashley to make a big positive choice, thank Joe for his efforts but tell him his health is an issue, get Terry Venables in if he will accept and let him manage the team with CH and CC as the main coaches.
We might just get that bit of luck and make it, get him in now and he will have a bit of time with the squad before Chelsea come visiting!
I know some will say Terry aint the answer, but is it any worse than the current situation we are in????

londontoon said:

I dont disagree with bringing TV in but why would he not come before? did MA tell him like KK his plan was to let us drop down a division for a yr or two. get the big names and big wages off the books then bring the young players through and hope they bring us up?? massive gamble if he has decided to do that.. although if he still thinks he'd get 40k+ in the seats he might take the risk!? its the only way he'd make a quick proffit. although does he really need the money..? hmmm a lot of questions are being thrown up now. its hard to work out what the hell MA is doing..!?

if what i have suggested is about 10miles off then i still think this is a good club for someone to come in and sort out.. we're in a similar position when KK took over although with a few more games to help beat the drop.. lets shake JFK's hand and say cheers mate but we have to save this club right now not in a months time!!

kieran said:

Here is a list of recent Newcastle midfielders: (apologies if i`v missed anyone of note out)
Speed, Robert, Solano, Dyer, Jenas, Viana, Parker, Sibierski, Emre, Milner, N`zogbia, Butt, Duff, Luque, Gutierrez, Geremi, Nolan, Lovenkrands, Barton, Guthrie, Gonzalez.
What I want to know is how we ended up selling all the ones in that list you would want to keep and now not only is our midfield crap, they are also complete strangers to each other! Butt was deemed surplus to requirements a few years ago when he wasn`t as past it as he is now. Signing Barton was, and continues to be a complete disaster - what slim chance we had of signing decent players is made even less so by his being here. Besides drag our clubs name through the mud he has done nothing. Geremi is too slow, Duff is too injury prone. To make matters worse these players get 60k a week(!), and they spend half the season (if not more) injured or just on the bench because they are not good enough to get into our poor team. I really hope Nolan and Guthrie prove to be more durable than the above mentioned even if they do not have as much skill. They might yet prove to be very good signings, but i wont hold my breath. Barton is the most annoying because he is half-decent; but he has played very few games not because he`s injured but because he is an idiot.
Next season, whether we stay up or not we cannot afford to leave our midfield problems unaddressed. Whoever is in charge of transfers would do well to get rid of the passengers and spend a bit of money on hungry players that will be involved.

Tad Caster said:

You've missed out Alan Oliver's Mr Versatility, Alan Smith. Or is he a striker. Nope. Not one of those either...

alex said:

get off smithys back tad hes giving it his all hes been a great signing and is newcastle through and through

lambic peach said:

can I be the next manager? At least I enjoy beer and pies. And I know that there is absolutely no reason to leave guys like jonas on the bench, when we are dying week in week out on the pitch. Oh yeah, and I would also be at least partly interested in staying in the top division!!!!!

Tad Caster said:

"get off smithys back tad hes giving it his all hes been a great signing and is newcastle through and through"

I appreciate the irony.

martin said:

If we go down this season it will be a result of Mike Ashley gambling with the fortunes on the club. He gambled on Keegan not being in ful control. He gambled by not stregthening in January. He gambled by not bringing in cover for Joe Kinnear. Now he's got only eight games left to gamble on the future of his club. Doesnt he realise relegation wil cost him (yes his own pocket) millions! Mike Ashley is another billionaire who wanted to buy a football club. He wanted a new toy. Well now he's broken his toy and we have to pick up the peices.

brian from durham said:

National and local media have all day been carrying the Whelan attack on Ashley for trashing our club, yet I couldn't find a mention of it in my Chron. Perhaps I missed it,or it was in later edition,there again maybe the decision was taken to surpress.

John said:

i think alan oliver knew what was coming, like the rest of us, and decided enough was enough, we all knew once keegan officially left, we would be fighting a relegation battle, which is looking doomed.

I like the rest of the posters, just cannot get it straight in my head, here we have a man who has put in 250million into a club, but is willing to sit back and watch it, get relegated, even smile and laugh at the end of the arsenal game, what the f**k is going on?

Come on these to muppets couldn't fight there way out of a paper bag, and joe kinnear, come on, the guy is one step away from dropping dead, if he thinks he has experienced pressure, it's nothing to what its going to be like from now.

What is laughable is they go on about building like Arsenal did, erm right, but they had a good first team, when they did it, and an experienced guy in charge, who hadn't a triple bypass.

Also is Lee on holiday? its your blog man, you post no comments, or get to involved, why didn't the chronicle push for answers, and find out, what the hell ashley is doing?

gordon said:

Newcastle must appoint a new manager to lift the players for the remaining eight games. Hopefully, the honeymoon period will do the trick with three or four wins. I propose that Mike Ashley drafts in Roberto DiMateo, he has done a brilliant job at MK Dons and was a class italian player who knows how to play good football. Being an italian he also knows how defences are organised.

mark said:

Could i suggest a song before and after the match--'ONE WHEEL ON OUR WAGON AND WE STILL KEEP ROLLING ALONG.' We can use the same wagon to take these cockneys to the Tyne and through them in.

John said:

Roberto DiMateo? is that a joke, just another paul ince, just because he has got mk dons up near the top of league 1, doesn't make him a candidate to manage Newcastle, and a friend of wise, no thank you, rather get roy keane


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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