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Newcastle United - the future

By Lee Ryder on Apr 28, 09 09:27 AM

In the end Newcastle United's "must win" turned out to be a 0-0 stalemate with Pompey that left the Magpies in a precarious but recoverable position - even though the odds are stacked against the black and whites to avoid playing Championship football.

It looks bleak at the moment, make no bones about that, but the key now has to lie with Hull City.

Yes, Newcastle are relying on others and their future is well and truly out of their hands.

But if the Tigers continue to sink like a stone, it will throw Newcastle a lifeline.

Middlesbrough too look doomed and their run-in is tougher than most.

Assuming Boro lose to Man United on Saturday, they are more or less condemned to the Championship in my eyes.

Many will write Newcastle off all together at Liverpool on Sunday but even then, Toon fans will be hoping that Aston Villa are the latest team to do United yet another favour.

Defeats for Hull, Boro and Newcastle would mean no change in the current placings - even if rock bottom West Brom pulled off a shock win at Spurs.

The worst case scenario would then see next weekend's round of fixtures result in a home game on the Saturday for Hull against Stoke, their best chance of points in the remaining matches.

Failure by the Tigers to pick something up in that game could really swing the advantage back in Newcastle's favour because then the Mags take on Boro at St James's Park.

Victory, remember that word, would take Newcastle out if the mire and put things back into our hands with two games to go in Fulham at home and Villa away.

I don't doubt that people are queuing up to say why Newcastle will be relegated.

It is fully understandable and after Newcastle fans put everything into the atmosphere last night yet again, you have to wonder do they have anything left to give?

Certainly some faces that resembled smacked backsides this morning told their own sorry story.

But while Newcastle are still in with a shout of staying up and Shearer is in the hotseat, all Toon fans can do is do what they have always done and always will - get behind their team.

And I don't expect anything less at Anfield when thousands of loyal Toon fans will turn up on Merseyside and get behind the lads.

At the moment, the pressure on Mike Ashley is on hold, whatever people do with their season ticket next year means nothing in the next four games.

There could be darker moments to come.

But for now there is a chink of light at the end of the tunnel and the right man is in charge of the team.

A split camp has emerged.

Those who believe it's all over despite games to play and those who feel there are more twists and turns in this farce of a season.

Where do you stand?

52 Comments

DavidK said:

I put my feelings on the line in a previous blog Lee, and remain convinced now that if the current squad had anything to offer in the way of ensuring top flight survival they would surely have pulled it out of the bag by now. It is now, in my opinion, too late to try the youngsters who will be playing with so much on their shoulders that their inexperience at the sharp end will work against them. Viduka can't keep up with the pace, Martins can't keep the ball down, and wherever Owen's head was last night, it didn't appear to be at St James' Park.
The midfield appeared to have all the guile and pace of a 3 toed sloth, and the defence can't stand the pressure of effectively playing alone for 90 minutes. No creativity, no holding play, no covering in the Toon half, and no effective attack. It was like watching an extended game of rush goalie for portions of last nights game. The Premier League are really going to miss Newcastle. On the evidence of last night nobody's going to lose much sleep over missing our current squad.
If somebody was paying me 60 grand a week to do my job, they'd rightly expect me to do it properly. Perhaps you can ask our first team players how they get away with it Lee?
I'd love to know.

Stevie said:

Lets get 1 thing straight, we deserve to go down. The years of chronic mismanagement from the top have come home to roost.
Ashley thought that Wise knew better than his manager and now his investment is in pieces. If Ashley had given Keegan his backing, then we would certainly not be in the relegation zone, and we'd still have Milner and Given, we'd also have more than 1 (injury prone)left back in the squad.
Appointing Kinnear was utter farce, and the writing was on the wall from there.
We're left with a mixture of overpaid, underachievers and has-been players from different managers: Geremi, Coloccini, Butt, Duff, Smith, Nolan, Viduka, Ameobi and Owen, the biggest culprits. big wages (estimate 500k/week between them) but little or no return this season.
I can't see us taking more than 4 points from the rest of the season.
Shearer can talk as much as he wants but if the players don't do it, there's nothing he can do. How he must wish he could field Beresford, Lee and himself instead of this shower.
It's a long way back from here, as the only decent players will want to be out of here rather than play in the championship... Sad times

John said:

we are looking doomed, there just seems to be nothing there to inspire a recovery. I think at the moment along with the bottom three, hull and sunderland are still the only one's in danger. Its great to say, we can hope for Hull to loose, and the boro, and the rest, but its not much good, if we cannot get a win ourselves, if we could of won any game out of the last few, at the very least, it may have lifted the team, and confidence, but the longer it has gone, the worse it has got, and yes Hull may only get maybe 3 more points this season, but we have to get then 6 or 7, Its a case of the heart says we will, and the head saying, no we won't.
The problem is, they just don't look like a team, that believe they can, and that could be the final screw that comes loose, to open the trap door

crana said:

You just know if it comes to the last game of the season that Milner will score against us and condemn us to the championship.

crana said:

You just know if it comes to the last game of the season that Milner will score against us and condemn us to the championship.

Big Si said:

Ashley needs to go, just about every decision he has made has been poor. What was the point of bringing KK back only to stab him in the back ? He's brought Shearer in which is correct but he should have done that months ago, Big Al doesn't deserve this and niether do we.

Relton said:

ChampionShip football will be hard. A lot of these guys would struggle more in the CL than in the Premiership. Thats my major worry now, we have to get a team that can bounce back - immediately, and I dont think we have that at the moment.
Clearly - the fitness and medical team have a huge culpability. I only heard the game on the Radio - but even the last 20 Pompey were running us around and it sounded like we were blowing, for first class athletes - thats a disgrace. Can anoyone at teh game confirm that.
Lastly - there has been a lot written about KK. The only mistake KK made - was not to perform due dilligence well enough. Did he know about DW, did he understand the structure witin which he would be working? Did he even bother asking?

Faustino said:

I think we need 7 points from our remaining games to stay up - my heart says we can do it, but my head says we cant.
There is still hope but it's fading fast.
Watching the game last night the thing that struck me was how much better football (a very poor) Portsmouth played than us. When they had the ball they were calm, made simple passes and moved off the ball for each other. In patches of the first half and the majority of the second our lads were chasing shadows trying to get the ball back. When we did have it our defenders passed it between themselves then gave it the midfield who counted to ten before hoofing difficult balls up to our 3 plainly unfit strikers, who were mark by two enourmous, capable defenders.

This was what has worried me the most over the past few weeks, our inability to live with any team that can pass the ball.

keir waugh said:

i have to give you credit lee, your faith in the team is unshakable and as much as i want to believe well stay up i cant...here is why...
1. The players arent good enough.
2. how do people expect us to get 7points from 4 games when we havent dont that all season...its like saying a team can score two goals in added time when they couldnt in the previous 90!
3. you do not win matches when your three stikers on what £250k a week in total miss glaring chances and one on ones from 5 yards out.

if im wrong ill eat my hat...but i just cant see it...

alan smith said:

The midfield is screaming out for some creativity , as Faustino said we passed about well then ended up smashing high balls at Owen and Martins . Guthrie thinks he is Steven Gerrard and isnt , Butt and Smith are grafters but used to being in better teams where they would do their bit and pass it on to the flair players to create chances.If we had 4 fully fit strikers playing it wouldnt make any difference if we dont have the class to set them up.
Not given up yet but more worried than before the match last night

Stephen Buchan said:

I just wish we could fast forward a month...no a couple of years & be done with it all!! This team is simply not good enough for the Premiership. I keep hearing we'll be OK we've got the players & we have the easier run in? Have we? We've only won 4 homes games this season! This team is full of overpaid overated has-beens! Stay up or go down either way can anyone put the hand on their heart and say things will be better next season?! A lot of players have to leave and then be replaced and our promising youngsters have to be blooded. Its going to take time and I think it could get worse before it gets better!

Relton said:

Guys - I am as pessimistic as anyone - but lets look at Anfield. . . . . .
We drew at Olt trafford (KK)
We drew at Chelsea (JFK)
Lets park that big bastaad bus in front of the Kop - and hope that the scousers dont nick it.
0:0 - our speciality - you saw it here first.

AndyT said:

That was a terrible excuse of football last night. I admire your hope, Lee, but after last night, i just don't see it. The team is a complete shambles. We have the least talented center midfield in the whole league. All just holding midfielders that are scrappy battlers. Pathetic! Michael Owen--our highest wage earner, the captain of Newcastle United, the best (supposedly) English finisher of the day--got himself in position for just one shot all game long and flubbed it up! That's absolutely pathetic. This is not a team, just a collection of has-beens mostly. Viduka was one of our best performers and still looked grossly unfit to compete. What does that tell you? Seriously, for the Boro game, Shearer will NEED to come onto the pitch himself for the last 20 minutes to ensure a goal and a win for us. I just don't see any real comittment from any of the other strikers, aside from Carroll, but he can only do so much.
I still have hope because, mathematically, there's still a chance. However, I'm going to prepare myself for the Championship now. Maybe then it won't be such a blow.

colin w said:

hi lee
i think last night we seemed to lack idea,s we were to narrow throu the middle, we needed width thats why when enrique went off duff should have went to left back and shearer should have brought loovenkrands on,they might just stay up because hull have a terrible run in, now that will really be lucky

colin w said:

hi lee
i think last night we seemed to lack idea,s we were to narrow throu the middle, we needed width thats why when enrique went off duff should have went to left back and shearer should have brought loovenkrands on,they might just stay up because hull have a terrible run in, now that will really be lucky

colin w said:

hi lee
i think last night we seemed to lack idea,s we were to narrow throu the middle, we needed width thats why when enrique went off duff should have went to left back and shearer should have brought loovenkrands on,they might just stay up because hull have a terrible run in, now that will really be lucky

Brian Whitfield said:

I remember when Newcastle arrived back in the Premier leaque with a bang. Now,despite a litany of silent prayers to the contrary, it appears they may leave with a whimper.

ronnie lambert said:

After this season, and particularly last night, I can't see us winning another game, even Boro. I can't see us scoring a goal either. After Dalglish's second season I stopped buying season tickets though still getting to most home games. I renewed this season ONLY because of Kevin Keegan and it's been all down hill ever since. I suffer from chronic ill-health, compounded by the misery I've had to endure this term and I can solemnly swear that under this regime, I will not set foot in St. James's Park again. I might not even go for the last two homers, the weather will make my mind up.....what a statement from a 50 year long supporter!!! The excellent comments from all of these lads above are too succinct for my post-match opinion. And you Lee? ... well, you've got to be optimistic, I can't muster up a single ounce mate. Oh, and a canny few lads were chanting, 'Blackpool here we come', on the way out.

Michael said:

What was with that Top Chanter, er, thing?

It was beyond cringeworthy. If we're gonna get relegated, can't we just go with a modicum of self-respect.

Trotting out fat fellas with flags is just so small time its untrue.

you liked it though eh Lee? Nice one.

Mexicola said:

The key point here is that the players don't believe anymore. Last night was the worst yet, but it's been evident for some time. When KK left and the management vacuum wasn't filled (and let's be honest, it still hasn't - more below) the players lost any heart they found at the back end of last season.

Last night was embarrassing to watch. From the frankly pathetic attempts to whip the crowd up, to Nicky Butt pinging "passes" to each and every ballboy, corner flag and advertising board in the ground, to Owen showing that he's either a) not fit, b) shot of confidence or c)joining the Damien Duff club of "I was good once me, honest".

And let's get one thing straight - Shearer was a fantastic player. He's no manager. Not on the evidence I've seen so far anyway. I'll admit, you can't polish a poo. The players he has to work with are awful. But there is no spark, no tactical savvy, nothing that I've seen that is going to suddenly turn these wasters into a Premier League side again.

My mates sister posted up "Bring Uncle Bobby back!" on her Facebook site last night. Uncle Bobby?!? Bobby Ewing couldn't save us at the minute. And he came back from the dead...

Stewart Douglass said:

Another dismal performance last night. Personally I think Shearer must take responsibility for the way the team has performed since he took over. His team selection is beyond understanding. He thinks we can be saved by Owen and Viduka, neither of whom should ever don a black and white shirt again. Owen's heart is obviously not with Newcastle; and Viduka is far from being fit, he is gasping for breath after being on the field for only two minutes. Andy Carroll must play full 90 minutes for the remaining games. If we are to play with 3 attackers, then use Carroll, Martins and Smith. Carroll has the strength and aerial ability, Martins has pace, and Smith has experience playing as an attacker and he is fit and can put himself about a bit. Have Duff and Lovenkrands play out wide and we may get some decent service to our front three. Unfortunately this will not happen as Shearer will not drop Owen or Viduka.
Shearer definitely is not the answer to our problems, his inexperience is blatantly obvious. He was a great player but a manager he is not.

Tardonicus said:

Hull may only take 2 points from the rest of the season. Sunderland may take as few as 1.

We HAVE to believe that we can turn this around. We have winnable games.

I continue to believe.

shepherd08 said:

On the introduction of Kinnear I wrote that we had a second rate manager and third rate owner who would get us relegated, unfortunately the third rate owner has just about done his worst. Among the many questions that I would like to ask this misguided individual is why does a billionaire buy a football club and think he knows best? Employs a legend in the North East (KK) and doesn't back him? Why employ man who has not worked in football for several years and who was obviously not physically fit nor have the ability to manage a high profile club? This Billionaire?? has disaster written all over him and our great club now needs a miracle to stay in the Premiership. Let’s hope the players relax and show some form in the next four games. What happens next? More instability (Kinnear back, rumors of administration, no funds for transfers) or will Ashley decide to sell? Stability and common sense are the key-unfortunately we have neither.

Telitub said:

Stewart, very harsh on Alan Shearer, give him a chance. It took Kevin Keegan at least eight games to get this shower going when he returned.

TheToonRock said:

Hi Lee, TheToonRock here! I would just like to confirm my huge disappointment with the rest of the fans regarding the result and performance of the players last night. Yet, although it seems that all hope is gone, I would like to share a few words with my fellow fans. Lads... I know we did not observe a victory of three points last night, but instead what we all witnessed is the start of the final chapter in our club’s destiny. Whether be it remaining in the Premiership by mere goal difference on the final day of the season or in the Championship with a highly depleted senior squad and in complete dire straits will be answered not only in our remaining 4 matches, but in the remaining 16-20 matches of clubs such as West Brom, Boro, Hull and Sunderland... This destiny I refer to will either symbolize an end to our fall or the start of our rise to safety! It will be a destiny that signifies renewed hope or abolishes all faith! My fellow Geordie fans, let every football fan know, whether it wishes us well or ill... that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support every questionable player, back Shearer and oppose any foe to assure the survival of Newcastle United Football Club!!! In the long history of our club, only a priceless few generations have been granted the role of defending our survival in its hour of maximum danger! I know that I, as well as YOU, will not shrink from this responsibility - WE WILL WELCOME IT! Despite the agonizing blows we have been dealt with the last few seasons, more so this season, there is not 1 single proud Newcastle United Supporter that can lay claim to wanting to witness this club fall, not only from the Premiership, but from the heritage and rich history that we the fans are apart of. The passion, energy, faith and devotion which we all bring to this challenge will have the final word in the success or failure of our battle for survival because in the match against Portsmouth, it was clearly evident that it was 12 vs 11. The 12th man is what saved us from possible defeat and that 12th man is YOU! As farfetched as it may seem, the reality is that our players are incapable of keeping the club afloat on their own, and thus, we, the black n white fans, will have to accept that must play a key role in scraping every possible point that we can generate. As long as the dream of survival is still alive, our ultimate efforts of support is for what we must strive! I have posted my version of events that led to our club being where it is now and I call it TOONGATE... I posted it on another forum but will post it on here as well. Would really want to know what the rest of the guys feel about it. Rough Up and Toon Up my Geordies...The end is still 360 long minutes away and as football as proven in the past, anything can happen. If we do go down, at least we can claim that we went out with all guns blazing! Keep the Faith in our hour of need for the sake of each other and the 1 thing that seems to freely roam within our bloodstream...Newcastle United Football Club!

Stephen said:

Michael - you are so right. I don't want that silly guy parading around the pitch baiting opposition fans before kick-off. It was embarrassing against the mackems and it was even more so against pompey. The reason why the atmosphere was muted for Shearer's first match and again last night is because the supporters don't believe in the team any more. When we were promoted last time, I thought we had left behind the second tier of English football forever...

Dave Robson said:

Stewart Douglass and others how, you can say Shearer must take responsibility for the teams peformances since he came in is totally beyond me.
wenger, fergie, morinho, would not have been able to do anything more, due to the fact these gold digging under achieving so called professional players, have badly let down themselves, and more importantly us the fans, i personally think Habib Beye is the only player who can hold his head high as this lad does give his all, if only the others had followed his lead.
we will be relegated and we have to hope this will finally bring an end to the circus that has been running newcastle united into the ground for years.
i said in a blog right at the start of the shift we would be relegated, and KK would thru no fault of his own would be gone before the end of september.
Ashley will not be here come next season guaranteed, and hopefully 90% of the current playing squad will be long gone with him, BUT TO BLAME SHEARER AND KK FOR THIS MESS IS BANG OUT OF ORDER, BLAME THE REAL CULPRITS FOR THIS SHAMBLES,
ASHLEY & ALL HIS CHRONIES, AND TO SEE PEOPLE ASKING FOR HIS AUTOGRAPH MAKES ME WANT TO THROW UP.
KINNEAR,THE MANS A BLITHERING IDIOT.
90% OF THE PLAYING SQUAD, PARASITES.

LETS HOPE WE GO WITH THE YOUNGSTERS WITH HOPEFULLY BEYE, BASSONG AND SOME EXPERIENCE BROUGHT IN TO HELP THEM ON THEIR WAY, IF NOT LED BY SHEARER THEN WE HAVE TO GET STEVE BRUCE IN.

Tad Caster said:

"LETS HOPE WE GO WITH THE YOUNGSTERS".

Are they good enough? Carroll was out of his depth last night. One decent header though he potjumped the Pompey defenders time amd time again. Guthrie's a youngster. A few decent corners and one shot, but he wanted too much time on the ball and his passing was often as bad as Butt's. Ryan Taylor, another youngster. Good long throw-ins, but has cost us goals with poor defending and, with the exception of the odd killer ball, passing and ability to go past defenders are lacking. Steven taylor? Sometimes rock solid, but fouils too often and has cost us goals - as many as Colociini, if I'm being honest. Lua Lua? Can he cut it at a lower level at the moment? Enrique? Sometimes brilliant; still gives the ball away too often; Basson? Sometimes brilliant, but can be careless and, like Taylor, has a tendency to be 'hands on'.

The romantic idea that we can rely on the youngsters is as misguided as the one that has seen us rely on seasoned pros that are past it (Butt, Smith, Owen, Viduka (who, admittedly, was pretty good last night when he got the ball) Geremi, Nolan, Duff at his worst - which he wasn't last night. In fact, the acquisition of Nolan baffles me. He's slow and awkward and gets caught on the ball like Geremi, but he doesn't have the latter's ability to put in the occasional killer pass.

God help us. This is a situation that has been waiting to happen since SBR's last year when we used to win games while playing badly; since then, it's been exacerbated by too much dross acquired under too many managers and a dreadful owner replacing a flat-out greedy one who, I suspect, had lomg since stopped worrying.

Stewart Douglass said:

Telitub and Dave Robson answer me this question; how many Newcastle fans think Michael Owen deserves a place in the team? I guarantee you that the majority agree with me when I say that he should never play for the Toon again. That is why I blame Shearer, he has stuck with Owen and says he will do so until the seasons end. A good manager would put aside personal friendship and do what is best for the team. In the press he constantly boosts up our young players and says he would not hesitate putting them in the first team. But does he do it. No he sticks with the over the hill mob. How can you say a manager like that is blameless

Dave Robson said:

Stewart Douglass who else can he replace him with, cos i for one cannot think, AS has no other choice to go with what he has it,s not rocket science, owen had one chance the other night, thats about the 1st chance he's had in about a month, we create nothing at all, it's to easy to just blame Owen, i,m far from his biggest fan never have been, but he cant be made the scapegoat and has to play as we have nothing else.

djc said:

So here we are staring Relegation in the face , and quite frankly Mike Ashley is going to get everything he deserves . Without any shadow of a doubt had KK still been in charge we would not be in this position . Oh how much does the Fat man now wish he'd backed his manager rather than the boss eyed thug . I CAN say that, don't forget he has a conviction for beating up a taxi driver , which the fat man seemed to forget when he was adamant about getting rid of Barton for such behaviour. It saddens me to see our club in such disarray but in all honesty we are where we deserve to be . Michael Owen isn't interested, you certainly don't see him putting his foot in . Who on earth would want to come to SJP next season certainly not players of the calibre we need to get back to the Premiership. Who would we get rid of in the Summer . Let's see , Owen , Viduka, Smith , Duff , Geremi , Cacapa , Ameobi, Butt and Nolan spring to mind without much difficulty . How much is that going to be off the wage bill . probably about 1/2 million per week . Lets bring in some fresh hungry players wanting to prove themselves, not the shower we have at the moment . Of the current squad, I would keep Harps , Beye, Bassong (although I think he'll go to Arsenal)Steve Taylor, Enrique ?, Guthrie, Barton , Jonas , Martins , if he doesn't leave, Carroll, Lovenkrands , Nile Ranger. When you look at those players they are good enough to get us back up . With the addition of half a dozen more not on over inflated wages. As for a manager , it can't be JFK , Steve Bruce would be my choice , but would he want to come to this debacle . I appreciate that this message is very negative , but I think it's time for some reality, there is every likelihood we're going down and we need to start preparing for next season. It's no good waiting till the summer . Plans should be in place now. Even if we stay up , most of the dross I've listed to go , should be got rid of anyway.

ronnie lambert said:

In my anger I forgot to mention the most distasteful episode of Monday night i.e. the buffoon Graham Danby. For starters, this pro-singer started Blaydon Races in a key that was obviously going to cause him problems, which had him changing down an octave as he tortured his most treasured possession....his vocal chords. He did it again with " Shearer Wonderland ", talk about scraping nails down a blackboard. Then his screaming, " Geordies! " and insulting the Pompeys was not only cringeingly embarrassing but I bet he's got to cancel any gigs he might have for at least two weeks. At least his nearest and dearest will enjoy his silence during that time. Still, he's not as bad as Alan Robson.

gordon said:

the right man in charge lee just shows how much you look at whats going on alan is not only out of his depth he hasnt got the guts to drop his useless mate in owen,and no ashley out articles,your a disgrace to what alan oliver believed in.

Lee Ryder Author Profile Pagesaid:

Surprise, surprise, Gordon moaning about a Blog entry!

Edmond Dante said:

I'll like to echo the comments about Danby, an absolute embarrassment. Asking the Portsmouth fans to travel up here on a Monday with 3 weeks notice was disgusting, fair play to all that made it. Taking the mick out of them was completely out of order, not to mention tempting fate. Seems we have two fat boorish louts dragging the club down, I though it was just one.

londontoon said:

I think more than any other reason we are down here is because of injuries. there are other clubs that have problems similar to ours.. directors not interested, managers changing with the wind but its newcastle who believe nothing can go right for them!???? how many times have we changed the team in the last 12 matches? MO has never been a leader and prob shouldn't be captian. he also does not have the character of rooney. however he can score. yes he missed one chance but it was his only chance. yes Pomey had chances but they didnt score.! they were very well organized too. I know draws are not enough but if we come away from liverpool with one we'll be over the moon! Lets have guthrie back in he has great drive and lets get nolan on even for half an hour pushing forward instead of holding..!? lets make it simple a tall and short strike partnership and 2 winger getting the crosses in. Pomey's aged defence and dodgy keeper were not tested enough!!!

Stewart Douglass said:

Dave Robson

Owen should be replaced by Carroll, who is bigger, stronger, is good in the air and HE HAS DESIRE. Play him alongside Martins who has the pace, and we should see some results. If we are to play with 3 up front then use Smith as the other attacker; he appears to be fit now, has experience in that position, and we all know he is not afraid to get involved which is something Owen certainly is.

Stewart Douglass said:

I am presenly watching the Reserves at Liverpool and the Toon is 3-0 down after 25 minutes. Hope this is not an omen for the weekend.

Restless Native said:

Dear me. Some of the comments on here are unbelievable.


Shearer is to blame. Really?! After 4 games ...when we've been going backwards since Bobby Robson left? I don't think so.


Mark Viduka shouldn't wear a black & white shirt ever again. Really?! What game were you watching? All I kept thinking was what a different season we would have had if he'd been fit and on the pitch for more of it. He was a class apart from what we've got used to watching. And it was no coincidence we were a poorer team when he went off.


The overall negativity on here is pathetic. We're not dead and buried yet. We could still get out of this. You moan the players aren't fit to wear the badge, yet I saw them giving everything for Shearer on Monday while you've all given up. Call yourself fans?


The team is not up to scratch. Ashley, Llambias and Wise have made some monumental mistakes. But now is not the time for recriminations. Shearer's in and we can still stay up. One focus. Stop bleating. End of.

JRLowe said:

MONEY is the easy part for premier league players they employ silver tongued agents who BLAG them the best possible contracts(long term,big money) how can shola ameobi be given a a new 3 year contract what if can someone tell me he has done in the last 3 years excluding charity work please! I have never had a problem with players earning top money at football clubs providing they do the business.we never ask players to do things their unable to do like pass to a man in the same shirt as them, their earning the same amount or in some cases a lot more than players playing in the champions league! HUMAN AFTER ALL!

ande said:

How does it feel to be an apologist for the current regime now Lee, huh?

Lee Ryder Author Profile Pagesaid:

I wouldn't know son.

Ben McKinney said:

What a post by restless native. Made me proud to be a geordie again.

Get behind the lads.

ronnie lambert said:

Alan Dunderhead.........geordie legend my @rse. He's only just emerged this season, how long if ever has he attended matches? What songs/song can you name that he's done that associated himself to geordieland, is he getting paid for that pile of embarrassing sh!te? He's hopefully run his course at St. James's for at least this season, and like the last huge twonker Alan 'give us some noyiz' Robson, he won't come back.

Restless Native said:

Good riddance Ian. The club doesn't need 'fans'like you. Spout your self-pitying rubbish somewhere else.


Anyone who has read any of my many posts on here over the past season should be in no doubt about 2 things.


1 - I am a self-declared 100% Keeganite.


2 - I think Ashley's regime is a disgrace.


Neither of those things make me want to see the club I have followed since I was a little lad fall apart. And I'm damned if I'm giving up on the team when it's still possible we could salvage our Premiership status.


Mindless optimism? Not really. I know the odds are stacked against us. But isn't keeping the faith, and keeping on keeping on until the last kick of the last game, what being a FAN and a SUPPORTER is all about?


Say what you like after Villa. Chuck your season ticket on the pitch after Fulham if we're down by then, if you want to. But for God's sake, show some backbone and fight while we've still got a chance to get out of this.


That is our only job as fans at the moment. The rest can wait.

mark said:

TO RESTLESS NATIVE Well said lad. --the end of the season is the time to sort out the cockneys.

Ben McKinney said:

I wonder if Ian has stormed off the sky forum yet because not everyone writes things he likes. What a knob

john said:

Wimps all of you, we will beat the boro and go on and rise up the prem under Big Al,so stop wimping and keep supporting the best team in the north east by far.go down dont be silly.

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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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