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.

Sky got the shots they wanted of Geordies crying into their beer outside Shearer's bar and it probably made good television.

The rest of the country will laugh out loud at Newcastle and the ones who don't deserve the ridicule will take the brunt of it while most of the ones who let us down are getting ready for lucrative holidays abroad.

Some we won't see again, the rest we'll see in a different division next season.

Looking at the players sent out to war this season.

You can't say Newcastle United don't deserve it.

Those in charge must put their hands up and make a decision.

Either give up and sell up or back somebody who knows about football and let them get on with the job.



Stephen said:

If relegation means that we get rid of the blubbering fake supporters who can't wait to see themselves on Sky Sports, then at least something good will have come out of this sorry mess. Shearer is right in one respect - our club needs re-building from top to bottom...

Stephen said:

If relegation ensures that we get rid of the fake blubbering supporters who can't wait to see themselves on Sky Sports, then at least something good will have come out of this sorry mess. Shearer is right in one respect - the club needs re-building from top to bottom...

pat said:

a disgraceful match tonight watched it in tel aviv no fight at all heart broken like all toon fans thought milner would sink us but duff got honour instead keep heads up mismanagment written over great club


we will have michael owen thankyou very got what you deserved newcastle have and never will be a big club big clubs dont get relegated .THE WHOLE COUNTRY HATES YOU.HA HA HA HA.


ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha


ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Gutted said:

So NUFC is being taunted by Sunderland fans who can't claim a victory today and Everton fans who actually want Michael Owen for his six-game seasons? That's silly. Wish some of the lads on the club cared as much about their demise as other clubs' fans do. First player to stand up and give back today's salary gets my sympathy. The others robbed a proud club.

Eldorado Argentina said:

I write from Patagonia Argentina, where I have been convinced for some time that the national team with a history of many great indivudual players may have a similar but not so serious problem as Newcastle, particularly when compared to Brazil.

Is all about vision or lack of it and only Alan Shearer has the power to rid Newcastle of its poisoned chalice.

To do so however he must insist when drawing up his contract that he is the Commander in Chief and that he has the final word, not only as to who comes in, but also in the design of the strip and of the expected behaviour of players both on and off the pitch.

If convinced himself, traditions are so strong that only Alan would be able to convince supporters and the marketing people that wearing black and white stripes is a handicap for any team playing in todays fast moving football.

Black and white televison is a thing of the past. So is the strip. Fast flowing football which we all enjoy demands good vision.

Would we want the Toon to always play away or play against the sun, play uphill, or against the wind for 90 minutes?

No we change venues and ends. Changing strips at halftime would be a step too far, but choosing the right strip before you start so that you can see your own players clearly and quickly, would certainly be advantageous.

How advantageous is difficlt to measure. But even if very small it could just be sufficient to provide that extra vital goal.

Newcastle did not just need to score one goal against Villa. Over the season they drew 13 games and lost 11 by only one goal. How different the final table might have been with just a small difference in performance.

Why then were black and white stripes OK in those cup winning days of Cowell, Milburn Mitchell, that I remember so well?

Not only the speed of the game but the whole pitch environment has changed. The air is cleaner, the light is brighter, the contrasts are greater and the shadows sharper. Many matches are played under strong artificial light.

The terraces are now seated with vertical lines running through them, far reaching stadium roofs cast strong shadows across the pitch, shadows that are different at different times of the year and between the beginning and the end of the match.

Fans are more festive and where black and white stripes and there are distracting advertising signs all around.

Today, good vision, adaptation and cognition are as important as physical fitness and skills.

Eyes must be looked after, they must not be confused. Neither must they be abused by strong flashing discotec lights or peering too much through binoculars.

The eye quality of incoming players must be an important consideration.

Has the unexpected poor performance of some incoming players ( a not uncommon occurrence in recent years) been due to them not being able to see clearly, or quickly, fellow players in hitherto unfamiliar black and white stripes?

The Newcastle strip has not always been such. In the very early years the strip was red.

The British Army once wore red in the days of hand to hand fighting when it was important to be recognised so as not to be killed by your comrades. Once long range weapons came in it was more important not to be seen by the enemy and the familiar camouflaged kits were introduced.

On most occasions in todays football, with its fast moving and swerving balls it is more important to know exactly where fellow players are, than to be camouflaged from opponents. The goal keeper is perhaps an exception.

If the British Army could change to meet changing circumstances so can the Toon.

Lets keep the black and white its our heritage. But only as our flag.

Let the uniform of the troops, the strip, return to the red of old, with only a flash of black and white in the crest to remember those glorious far off days.

In recent years those happy days in the fifties when players relaxed by quietly leaning over the green baize playing billiards and snooker upstairs in the YMCA opposite Fenwicks have seemed so far way.

Here's hoping Alan will be convinved. But even if he isn't now it would not be amiss for him to take the possibility into consideration when drawing up his contract.

Hasta la próxima. Here’s to a good Cup run so matches will be live on cable here again

PS Buen suerte Fabricio y Jonás.

A cutting from the national paper La Nación follows. It appeared very soon after the Villa match ended

Inglaterra: descendieron Coloccini y Jonás Gutiérrez
Newcastle perdió 1 a 0 con Aston Villa y jugará la próxima temporada en la segunda división; Manchester United cerró su campaña con una victoria
Noticias de Deportiva: anterior | siguiente
Domingo 24 de mayo de 2009 | 15:08 (actualizado a las 15:39)
, (ANSA) - Newcastle, fundado en 1892 y con cuatro títulos de Liga, y Middlesbrough se sumaron hoy a West Brom en el descenso de la Premier League, cuyo campeón, Manchester United, cerró hoy su campaña ganando 1-0 en campo de Hull.
Ni siquiera la desesperada contratación como DT del mítico goleador del equipo, Alan Shearer logró salvar del descenso a Newcastle, que tuvo hoy como titular al argentino Fabricio Coloccini y, desde los 66ÂŜ, a Michael Owen.
Aston Villa le ganó de local 1-0 con gol del irlandés Damien Duff a los 38ÂŜ y asestó uno de los golpes más duros al equipo de St James Park, cuyos cuatro títulos de Liga fueron ganados antes de la Segunda Guerra Mundial y que también logró 6 veces la FA Cup.
Newcastle, que también cuenta en su plantel con el internacional argentino Jonás Gutiérrez, y que a comienzos de temporada despidió al DT Kevin Keegan, otro mítico jugador del club, descenderá a la Championship luego de 16 años en la Premier League.

Haroon (Singapore) said:

Here's how Mike Ashley can redeem himself.

1)Release players who don't want to stay. Get rid of the deadwood, likes of Smith, Geremi, Butt, Owen etc...

2)Absorb some of the losses, we're talking 20-30million. Hold on to the good young players.

3)Invest another 20 million in young talents. British in particular. Groom them in Championship. Yes, its ruthless. Its dog eat dog but its the best way.

4) Keep Shearer. Make him the C-in-C, buck stop with him. Simple.

4)Do a Juventus and get promoted the following season. Then you can sell off the club.

Lets face it, no one is going to pay crazy money for "big club" in the championship.

Steve said:

No passion .. no pride.. no panache - pathetic!
Keep faith Toon fans - the only ones with real heart.
And i had to get up in the middle of the night to watch this rubbish.

Steve - Sydney

Tad Caster said:

Dreadful game. The amount of abuse directed at Colocinni after his initial errors hides the fact that our defence were once again let down by a slow midfield incapable of passing, incapable of supporting either attack of defence, incapable of bringing the ball forward. Butt, Nolan (who makes Geremi look brilliant), Guthrie and Louvenkrands (and Ryan Taylor, Geremi, Barton and Smith, while we're at it) should be the first players out the door in the rebuilding of this club. After Michael Owen, who was a mere passenger yet again. I'm not Guttierez' biggest fan, but we needed someone to run at Villa yesterday and he could have done that. Even Shola was better than Owen. Everton (who couldn't beat us when we were down to ten men this season) are welcome to him, though I suspect Moyes - a genuinely good bloke - is too smart to buy him.

This has been coming for the last few seasons. We got we deserved and we ought to admit it and we ought to have been more critical of those players and the owner and his gang who are responsible.

Percy Gonad said:

I've read every comment and I can't see any wind ups on here. All from the heart I would say.

The guy from Argentina suggesting the strip's to blame was absolutely hilarious though! Can he write some more?

Dale said:

Whilst having to sit through 90 mins of the "team" trying to put up a "fight" and stay in the PL, the one thing that I find shocking is the behaviour of Mike Ashley. Whilst having the pleasure of player lounge passes courtesy of a related Villa player. One thing I saw was in a 16 seater mini bus was Mike Ashley and his pals sharing a joke and playing cards. That moment summed up my clubs recent history. He had gambled with this club form the moment he took over to moment we was relegated, desevedly to the Championship.

I just pray we can bounce straight back and Ashley gives whoever is in charge, hopefully Shearer, and gives him the £30 million pound parachute payment to allow us to get back at the first time of asking.

We must try 110% to keep Harper, Taylor, Bassong, Nolan and hopefully tempt Viduka to delay his retirement for another season. These 5 players will create the spine of the team asnd bring through some of our brilliant youngsters who I keep reading so much about.

Keep the faith.

M. Sebastian T. said:

NUFC fans like the players need to be realistic now. It is far from a given that there will be promotion at the end of next season. My expectation is that rebuilding will take 3 to 5 years rather than less than one. Boro and WBA are much better placed to bounce back. Shearer is unlikely to stick around and Owen and the other rubbish should be cleared out as soon as possible.

And spare a thought about Lee who now has to write about things like "will we beat Scunthorpe?".

leo said:

Why do you think your a big club? Is it because have not won anything for 35 years or that you go down once every15 years

Fraser said:

The day after, it still really hurts but you cant say we dont deserve it. The whole season, 4 different managers and the same group of players fail to impress. Managers can only take so much blame, for once the players are solely to blame for this mess we are in. The players AND Fat Mike Ashley. I hope he sells and looses everything. Including his waistline, if for anything, health reasons. Why do Skysports insist on picking the biggest mutants that are cirling St James Park at the time. Some obese chap and his equally fat son tucking into some burgers at Shearer's. who can only muster the words "nail biting stuff". What worries me is that Shearer, as much as he is adored isn't really the answer. We haven't improved in the slightest since he came in and it worries me that we might not get up again with him at the helm. That said, if anyone knows how to clean this club ut and get it run like it used to be again, its probably him. I said about 5 games ago, that relegation might not necessarily be a bad thing for this club in the long run, I hope I am right and we bounce straight back up.
We can build a decent side based around Harper, Beye, Taylor, Enrique, Butt, Carroll. We could get another season out of Butt because of the class drop but we need two new wingers in. I would love Bassong and Martins to stay, but you just cant see it can you?

Jonnie said:

I've been thinking for a little while about where it all went wrong. You might say things started going balls up with Ruud Gullit who famously left Shearer out of the starting line up when we needed him most against Sunderland. We lost 2-1 in that downpour. We were headed down that time too. Thankfully though it wasn't to be. Gullit resigned and Sir Bobby Robson was put in.... Happy days!!!

Then... for whatever reason.... Sir Bobby Robson was sacked for the simple crime of finishing 5th place in the league. I mean 5th place. Was UEFA cup football not good enough? And if it wasn't... Why didn't he go at the end of the season? Not in September. It was just an absolute travesty that has ultimately, slowly but surely, cost the club dear.

How many managers have we had in the following 5 years? Graeme Souness, Glenn Roeder, Nigel Pearson (twice) Sam Allardyce, Kevin Keegan, Chris Hughton (again...twice) Joe Kinnear and of course Alan Shearer. I make that 10 managerial changes and 8 separate managers.

Frankly that isn't good enough. It's started well enough for the likes of Roeder, Allardyce and even Kevin Keegan but quite frankly we shouldn't be in this mess. If we're to have any chance of going straight back up we need Shearer to stay on and to use the vision he has for the club to stir the lads back up. We need to trim the wage bill and to hold on to all the players that we can. We also need to invest in new players and most of all, be absolutely straight with Alan as to where he stands... will he be able to run the club like a football manager should? The way he wants?

Big questions need to be asked,

If you asked me whether my team had let me down or if you were proud of them well.. Yes Newcastle United left me down yesterday and pretty much all season, but no matter what I will always be proud to support Newcastle.

Tad Caster said:

sp = you're a big club
NOT your a big club.

What a loser, hanging around a blog about another team. Pubs not open yet?

I don't think we're a big club. We have a lot of fans, but that's about it. We've been poor for some time and the problems haven't been addressed.

Richard said:

Leo, and all the others that want to put the boot into the Toon. We are a big club because despite winning no major trophy for 40 years, we have the 3rd highest attendance in the Premier League, the 12th highest attendance in Europe. Financially we have the 17th highest turnover in the world.

Do you honestly think there is any other club, who could do this with the same record? We'll just have to accept the cheap shots from other supporters, now we're relegated but thats part of the game. Its the media who get me; they've been part of the problem at here for years, and love making us look a laughing stock. Hope a proper media management policy comes out of the club for the future.

Stephan said:

Tottenham were worse off than Newcastle after eight games then 'Arry took over and with the same players worked a remarkable turnaround, unbeaten in first nine games.
Clearly as other posters have alluded too, the players at Newcastle are not good enough.

It is a shame to get relegated, especially when the footballing gods did everything to help. Only needed one goal on the last day or to better 35 points, 35 points!!!!

Well, here's hoping that some proper restructuring and increased development in the youth system can launch a return to the PL very soon

MADMEL said:

To all mag fans its not the end but just the beginning, You will return to the prem,I am a mackem so I know how it feels to go down, the only difference is we wont laugh about it the way you did when it was sunderland being relegated. I suggest you learn to be sympathetic and stop whingeing.

Frank Bloke said:

I just want to dispel a few myths for the immature idiots from other clubs (why is it always the likes of Everton, Spurs and Man City?) "invading" NUFC messageboards with their sad apology for wind-ups.

Look in the dictionary, if you know what one is, and find the word 'big'. It refers to size and NOT to success. If Newcastle are not a big club then I'd suggest that the likes of Everton, Spurs, Villa et al are very small ones. But as I've got more than half a brain I know that they and NUFC are big in size, if not in recent success.

I watched yesterday's match in a pub in a town in Kent with 5 other Toon fans, a load of Man U "fans" and supporters of a number of other clubs. At the end of the match the sympathy from them was amazing, numerous handshakes and best-of lucks, even from a mackem. If this is an indication that the "rest of the country hates us" then I must have been in the only pub in the country that doesn't live up to this supposed fact.

James 09 said:

So you've waited this long to deliver a stinging indictment aye Lee?

The Saint said:

I'm a Gunner but I do sympathise with you lot. I wish you all the best but I fear if a rebuilding is what you are looking for, instant success is not a given however I think you need a good board followed with a good manager and so forth.

I don't know what George Graham is doing these days but I know he did an awesome rebuilding job for Arsenal when he was there even bringing in excellent young players from the youth system like Keown, Adams, Merson, Rocastle, Thomas etc and Wenger's first title was really Graham's team and they won the double!

I guess I'm saying you could do worse than to give George Graham a try. I still think he is among Arsenal's top 5 ever managers and perhaps he'll do a good job for you guys.

Good luck next season!

Slabber said:

Big clubs win things.

Adriaan said:

With all the current and probably future chat about rebuilding the team, etc, I am wondering who can answer a question which has been bothering me for a large portion of this season.

As Mike Ashley owns the club, I presume this means he owns the ground outright. Is there anything to stop him putting us into administration, stating we are unable to repay the money he has loaned us, winding up the club and selling the ground for a very nice and large profit to developers ?

I have a horrible feeling the future could be a lot worse than any of us envisaged.

Here's hoping I am really wrong.

Tad Caster said:

"It's the media who get me; they've been part of the problem at here for years, and love making us look a laughing stock."

You're right - a lot of the media jump all over this club. But you're also wrong. Dead wrong. It's the owners and their cronies (Fat Fred every bit as much as Fat Ash) and some of the players (and this goes back at least to the days of SBR and his inability to have any kind of hold over Dyer and Bellamy and their ilk) that have put us in a situation where it's easy to ridicule us. I'm sick of reading garbage about the evil cockney press at the expense of providing some constructive criticism about the state of the club or the mess we watch on the pitch. The problem is not outside the club, it's in the club.

Dave Owens said:

"Looking at the players sent out to war this season.

You can't say Newcastle United don't deserve it."

Well, the penny's finally dropped, has it?

Why on earth weren't you saying this much earlier?

Andymac said:

Is it Ashley's fault ? Admittedly Shepherd/Hall started the rot but Ashley has clearly taken over and brought this club to its knees within two short seasons.

Ok he bought in cheaply when Hall and his stooges sold NUFC for a relatively small amount (bearing in mind Liverpool were looking for £500m plus) because they knew the club couldnt stand another season of mismanagement but neither could it pass an intense "due dilgence" inspection. So Ashley was the obvious choice.

Unfortunately we later found out that the fat cockney knew nothing whatsoever about running a football club. After watching Shepherds misfit, Allardyce, fail to turn things around he ducked and dived and brought in manager's who were not qualified, in current Premiership terms, to take this club forward. Keegan (2nd time around), Kinnear and Shearer were all lacking in capability, real time experience and motivational powers. As a consequence not one of them was able to sustain a winning run and quite why Shearer is seen as the favourite for the managers chair, after failing to motivate or guide a team to get one solitary goal and one point against either Villa or Fulham which would have meant Premiership survival, is way beyond me but probably makes perfect sense to Ashley.

As I see it he neither understands (and I would venture to say doesnt care) NUFC, nor knows how to run a football club yet has taken major decisions which has lead NUFC to relegation. Either he realises he has to invest money in this foundering club or he cuts his losses and sells out asap. In order to force his hand I would encourage all fans to avoid the pavlovian response of purchasing a season ticket until Ashley shows the extent of his ambition.

Either he puts up (before the season ticket money starts to roll in) and brings in a top quality manager capable of galvanising this leaden footed squad into something better than 3 points against a doomed Boro, or he walks away and we take our chances with Alan Sugar and the cast of the Apprentice ;-)

no 1's gonna miss ya! said:

does it feel any better today??

Dave Owens said:

Shouldn't you be in Gregg's right now getting the baby a sausage roll or clotheslining white trackies or looking for houses without burglar alarms or putting lipstick on your pit bull and making do?

Al from Wick said:

I’m an outsider (from the north of Scotland) but the first big game I ever attended was at St James’s Park more than 30 years ago and I’ve had a soft spot for Newcastle United ever since.
It has been dispiriting to see the club’s steady decline since the 1990s. The fans have shown great loyalty, yet what did they get at Villa Park on Sunday when so much was at stake? A dismal lack of fighting spirit from a team representing a city and a region that is traditionally such a hotbed of footballing passion.
There must be plenty of talented young players from the local area who could do a much better job than some of the misfits in the current squad, and show a bit more pride in the shirt at the same time.
I’m old enough to remember when Manchester United suffered the ignominy of relegation in the mid-70s. They cleared out all those players who were either past their prime or just not good enough, and within one season they came storming back to the top flight with a new, exciting, attack-minded young side. Here’s hoping NUFC can achieve something similar over the coming year.

would av won stuff at man utd al!!!! said:

burnley play better football than you toothless trophyless mugs!!! the championship deserves you!!!

j.w.foster said:

get rid of that goldigger part time plastic pretend to be footballer owen 100000 pound a week for the shit he played this season

Robin said:

Big clubs win things?
When did Arsenal last win something. Are they a big club?
As for that retarded scouser who claims that Newcastle aren't a big club, big clubs have big support and big modern grounds. Everton, meanwhile, have a dirty, creaking, wooden monstrosity full of thieving gutteral half Irish bog trotters. You may have finished fifth, but you'll always be the small club on Merseyside, no matter what you do.

Rick said:

The team got what they deserved.
What makes it worse is that Hull and Sunderland have been so poor this season, even NUFC could not finish above them. BTW Phil Brown was a disgrace yesterday with the celebrating. He is celebrating failure and needs a kicking....
The people who I really feel for are the guys who work for NUFC and will lose their jobs due to the team's performance.


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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