June 2009 Archives
Newcastle United players will return to their Benton HQ this week - but they will be walking back into a different environment to the one they left back in May under the guidance of Alan Shearer.
In my humble opinion, the training ground was transformed last season from a millionaires health club to an army boot camp within a week from April 1 when Big Al was appointed as boss in our last gasp bid to avoid the drop.
That wasn't Chris Hughton's fault as he was brought in amidst an emergency situation to look after other people's players but he now has another big job on his hands.
For Mike Ashley bringing Shearer in was the last desperate act from a desperate man as things started to crumble at St James's Park due to a string of decisions, which have almost killed us as a club.
So there you go then, Michael Owen arrived to 20,000 fans celebrating his arrival to Tyneside like we'd won a trophy and leaves with no more than a whimper after a playing his part in the Toon's relegation to the Championship.
Owen was never going to stay on Tyneside the minute we were placed in the same division as Scunthorpe, Blackpool and Barnsley was he?
It's a no-brainer and today's interview was inevitable.
Even before we kicked off at Villa Park for our ill-fated final game in the Premier League ex-Mackem reserve Cliffy Byrne of the mighty Scunthorpe United was trotting round the Wembley pitch after beating Millwall with a sign saying "Bring On Shearer."
The publication of the new Championship fixture list also said a lot for me too.
It seems the entire football world were getting a little bit TOO excited about "who the Toon were playing" on the first day.
Calm down we're only Newcastle United!
Perhaps the Football League just wanted to break us in gently by handing us a game at West Brom and getting us off to life in the Championship in Premier League surroundings then?
Or at least that is one way of looking at the new Coca-Cola Championship fixture list.
The other is that Newcastle United have been handed a start that could well bring them crashing down to earth with an almighty bump - especially given the current climate of no manager, the club up for sale and a clueless duo in Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias who are worryingly left holding the future of this once great club in incapable hands.
After West Brom, comes Reading at home, then Sheff Wed before a trip to Crystal Palace and then a home clash with Leicester City.
And so the forecast for the early part of the week at St James's Park and we'll be seeing dark clouds to continue to hang around in the Tyneside skies with plenty of hot air to keep on being pushed around the Gallowgate area.
Yes, the nightmare that is following Newcastle United is set to continue for the early part of the week at St James's with details of exactly who the Toon are playing in pre-season expected at around the same time as the new Championship fixture list.
With Alan Shearer in place and his backroom team confirmed, it might actually have been the most positive week since relegation as we try to look ahead to the first game of the season in the second tier.
Instead, Shearer is at home waiting for the call and top brass at Newcastle have spent more time denying what's not happening rather than telling us what is.
So let's get this straight, Newcastle United are for sale, have no manager, an AWOL owner and nothing in terms of pre-season friendlies arranged or preparations sorted for a marathon 46 game dogfight in the Championship - oh but your season ticket money will be expected soon when you renewal packs come through the door in the next day or so.
And as the official clubwebsite says we can "now start to look forward" to the new season and get your Championship fixtures and sign up to the SMS service for 25p a pop!
What a bargain and while you're in the mood and you've paid the full whack for you new kit (ÃÂ£75 a go), why not snap up your iron Coca-Cola badges for just a fiver!
Alan Shearer jetted back to Tyneside today after a short break but despite the release of a statement that has been ridiculed by the rest of the nation - United are no closer to appointing Big Al - or anybody for that matter - than they were a fortnight ago.
Shearer spoke deeply of his concerns about getting things sorted at Villa Park during a dark hour in Newcastle's top flight history but it appears that the owner of the club isn't in the mood for listening.
Once more Keith Harris, the man who failed to sell the club last years, has made positive noises about potential buyers coming in.
In a week when the silence has been deafening at St James's Park - the possibility that Alan Shearer may not be handed the manager's post for most is a scary one.
I endured a bad dream the other night that Newcastle being put up for sale was merely a hairbrain scheme by Mike Ashley to take away the attention of Shearer not getting the job and try to soften the blow that for a second time that Joe Kinnear was coming as "interim boss" instead.
In doing so Kinnear did OK as boss and steadied the ship with a couple of early season wins.