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May 2009 Archives

Running football clubs for dummies

By Lee Ryder on May 31, 09 12:52 PM

If ever you needed even more evidence that Mike Ashley hasn't got a clue how it all works up here on Tyneside - what many hope will be the beginning of the end of the Toon tycoon's ill-fated period in charge via the form of a statement in the Sunday press has rubber stamped it all.

Ashley's admission that he's not an "expert" when it comes to football is at least honest but it's too little, and far, far, far too late.

For crying out loud, we're in the Championship now and every single second tier club already has a one month advantage on us.

And the fact that Ashley and Co have wasted a week of messing around and not appointing Alan Shearer is also likely to count against us.

Newcastle United's crumbling end to the season may have been hard to take for the Geordie nation but only now with the survivors starting to emerge from the derbis - it's already clear that the ones who have the black and white cause at heart have let their feelings known.

If there is such a thing as a bright side when it comes to relegation, it's that the Toon's young guns get the chance to prove themselves.

The gap between success and failure can be so near, yet so far for some and there are plenty of examples of youngsters who have gone on to make their name elsewhere in football - not least the man in charge of the last eight games.

It's worth recording that spending several hours not only in Newcastle city centre but around a few other areas of North Tyneside today and driving around generally, just how many people were still wearing black and white shirts.

Most of them it seems stiffened the sinews and took the latest insult firmly on the chin rather than seeking attention from the cameras.

The rest of the country, who have enjoyed Newcastle's relegation throughout the weekend, instead saw three or four images of some Toon fans who were blubbering moments after the drop was confirmed.

They didn't see how it really was and that nobody was throwing the towel in.

What price a full house for the first game of the Championship and a new generation of young Geordies seeing a winning team albeit at second tier level?

The final insult

By Lee Ryder on May 24, 09 08:42 PM

A pitiful and shameful season ended in fitting style for a bunch of players who have at times disgraced themselves in a black and white shirt.

If you can pick more than five players you'd build a team around and that want to play in the Championship, you are doing better than me.

Even Man United done us a favour and while the Mackems were poor, the Toon were even beyond that.

NEWCASTLE United dropped out of the Premier League with a whimper after going down 1-0 at Aston Villa.

The Toon needed at least a draw with Hull losing by the same scoreline to Manchester United, but failed to create many chances.

Gareth Barry's shot was deflected by Damien Duff and rolled agonisingly past Steve Harper in goal, and that was the end of United in the top-flight for this season.

Replay my live match report by clicking the link below.

The defining moment approaches

By Lee Ryder on May 23, 09 05:17 AM

In the build-up to Newcastle United's conclusion to a season that has so far been the ultimate nightmare for Toon fans everywhere, some observers have suggested a nail biting day awaits on Sunday at Villa for anybody connected to a club steeped in tradition but haunted by spectacular failure.

Well, sorry, but for some there are no nails left the majority of Toon fans moved on to toe nails weeks ago before starting to climb the walls with anxiety.

Sunday can't really come quick enough and by 6pm we will see exactly how much lasting damage some catastrophic decision making throughout a season of trauma will make.

We'll miss Ronnie doon this end

By Lee Ryder on May 21, 09 09:28 AM

Just six days ago the man who produced the song Home Newcastle posted his last blog on this very site and just days before Sunday's relegation scrap with Aston Villa, the great Ronnie Lambert won't be around to see it.

Sadly Busker passed away in his sleep.

When this little website first started back in 2006, I could never have imagined the response it would get and that three years on I would still be lucky enough to be doing it let alone, a man who produced such an inspired piece of music also contributing just because he cared for the black and whites.

Ronnie, 58, was also one the first contributors and while he often didn't agree with some points I made, he shared the same view as myself that Newcastle is simply the best place to live in the world and that is deserves a successful football team that the Toon can be proud of.

And Ronnie fought the Toon's corner more times than I can remember.

From the Ritz to the rubble

By Lee Ryder on May 18, 09 09:14 AM

The party is almost over for Newcastle United unless a team that appears to lack fight and appetite to remain a top flight team can pull something big out of the bag at Villa Park.

We've partied in football's biggest nightclub since 1993 but like a mortal chav who's had too much the bouncers are starting to make their way over to eject Newcastle.

And in the words of the Artic Monkeys, getting kicked out of the big league will come with a humiliating high price, indeed Newcastle will have "to walk back past 10,000 eyes in the line" as they tumble back into the Championship.

Man United, a team we were once 12 points clear of, will smirk the most.

Sunderland could end up having a field day with Newcastle's loss of five points in the Tyne-Wear tussles this term, a major factor in the current situation.

Newcastle United 0 Fulham 1

By Lee Ryder on May 16, 09 09:00 AM

NEWCASTLE United have lost 1-0 to Fulham on a miserable afternoon for the Toon Army.

The Cottagers took all three points from the game at St James's Park, and that coupled with Hull's draw at Bolton means the Toon go into the final match at Villa with their future out of their hands.

I reported live on the game, and you can click below to see my coverage and the fans' reaction to the defeat.

It's been an incredible few days on Tyneside for football fans in a proud city that could be excused for having their fill of watching the beautiful game.

In the last seven days alone we've watched Newcastle United climb out of the bottom three and stunned a fleet of southern journalists who'd travelled to Tyneside to dance on our grave, watched Gateshead proudly regain their place in the Conference, watched Newcastle and Sunderland fans in unison see Whitley Bay win the FA Vase at Wembley and witnessed Ashington fans descend on St James's Park and sing their hearts out all for the love of football in the Northumberland Senior Cup.

Sadly, that isn't the take on North-East football from our friends in the south.

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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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