Bring on Cliffy Byrne!

By Lee Ryder on Jun 18, 09 06:30 PM

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!

The problem is that most of the people who had also been ribbing me for talking as if we were a big club were also the first to talk excitedly about taking on Newcastle.

Make your mind up!

If we aren't a big club, why have most of the Football League websites highlighted their fixture with us.

What's everyone getting excited about if we aren't a big club.


Preston North End chairman got the ball rolling.

Here is an extract from PNE's website.

"Chairman Derek Shaw admitted he was like every other fan of a Championship side this morning, looking when his side played Newcastle!

Most fans were probably like the proverbial kid in a sweetshop this morning as they looked closely as to when they visited St James' Park and when the Magpies visited them and the Chairman was no different.

"It is pleasing to be at home the first game," he told

"I am sure the fans would have wanted that.

"I think we all then looked for when we get Newcastle, which is November at home and I am sure everyone is looking forward to it."

Really Derek, aren't Preston North End (in theory) meant to be a big club as well?

Doncaster Rovers had already sold their season tickets on the promise of playing the Toon BEFORE we were relegated.

And Scunthorpe United, whose success starved fans have already created the trip to St James's Park as a "Facebook event" and cheekily invited me, unveiled striker Paul Hayes to say: "As a footballer you want to play the best sides in the world."

"We're not quite there yet, but we've been promoted to the Championship.

"To see Scunthorpe alongside sides like Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Derby, who have all played in the Premier League, is fantastic."

Maybe Hayesy, the Scunthorpe Telegraph obviously know something we don't and have plugged in their Championship Here We Come section a picture of Alan Shearer in all his glory.

Let's hope their crystal ball reading sportsdesk are right and Shearer is the man for us next season.

Ex-Scunny boss and Geordie Brian Laws was a little wiser though when pressed on playing the Toon.

He says: "We are playing Newcastle early in the season and I think that is a good thing because the teams coming down from the Premier League are likely to still be adapting to life in the Championship."

Even ex-Premier League side Crystal Palace were even getting excited with their fixture list headlined "Newcastle At Selhurst In August", but no mention of any of their London derbies or the game against Neil Warnock's old side Sheff United.

I could go on.

But if you think that the sad Villa fans who took the time to make that "Sob on the Tyne" banner were dancing on our graves, they will be handed a real run for their money next season by our new Second Division pals!!

Must go, starting to enjoy the taste of Coca-Cola now.


graham said:

The worry is next year itll be Milwall, Exeter and Wycombe Wanderers getting excited unless MA gets his finger out quickly and appoints Alan !!! I thought Mr Lambias had promised to be your mate not so long ago Lee and communicate, guess he's heading for Southampton next to stitch up KK again! Are the club really not giving any hints Lee?

damon said:

Lee, of course we're a big club man, that's not even open to debate. It seems the WUMs have finally got to you. Then again, there's precious little else to debate a the moment, with the wall of silence rivalling hadrian's in size and sheer cheek.
Very surprisingly in all this lunacy and endless ineptitude, I find one word keeps popping into my head above all others – and it almost makes me laugh out loud to hear it, you will too, I promise – but that word is ‘patience’. I say this because Ashley can try as hard as he likes, but he cannot kill the true heart of this passionate, distinguished and special club. He cannot harm us in the long term, only the short. Patience everyone, and stay together. The tide will turn. And we will only be the stronger and more united for it an all.
2nd tier Champions within 3 years and a major force once again with better infrastructure.

Mick Gilroy said:

All this nonsense about a "big club" is riduclulous, it is like school playground talk, "my Dad is bigger than your Dad"!!. What matters is if a club is successful or not and clearly we are not and absolutely miles away from ever being successfull. You can argue we are a well-known club, a popular club, a well supported club and certainly one of the most reported and talked about in the press, but please stop using this term "Big club" it is pathetic. Is a club judged to be a big club by the height of its stands?? If so then we must be the biggest in the world. HA HAH HAH!!

Ryder's reply: My dad is canny hard though Mick.

andy said:

Lee we are such a big club - that according to you only - one man in the world of football can manage us?

Im unsure as to the point of your blog - Palace and Scunny are excited about turning us over? Well there is a surprise.

More importantly you posted yesterday about £10m of bonuses to be paid over the next month. As i have posted recently in your blog, i think there is a lack of understanding of how grim our financial position is.

Lee said:

Agree with Andy and the sentiments of the others who have posted. I'd also be more worried if the rest of the league wasn't excited about playing us, which could well be the case if we don't get promoted at first time of asking!

little Davey said:

Lee, you must be mentally deranged if you think we will get anywhere near promotion this up coming season. God its no wonder we are called deluded! Open your eyes man and smell the coffee. Our club is in the brown stuff at the moment. IMHO we are more likely to be mid table strugglers at best. Unless things get sorted out PDQ.
Ashley's loving this. He knows he will sell in the end, but I'm sure he is enjoying watching us sqirm in the meantime. They say revenge is sweet, well his must have icing and a cherry on the top.
Oh and dont expect him to give a damn who he sells to either
LAUGHING STOCK, doesn't even come close.

Ryder's reply: You don't say Mr Davies, thanks for bringing me up to date.

Brian Whitfield said:

You don't honestly think that the rest of the Championship is excited about playing Newcastle because they are a big team??? It's more likely that they are rubbing their hands and salivating at the prospect of three easy points.
I mean, given the spectacular lack of any sign of discernable life at SJP they ought to be overjoyed at the thoughts of playing us.

M. Sebastian T. said:

All the comments mean is that winding up Newcastle fans has now become a truly national sport! My hope is that it is because Pools get promoted that they will be visiting SJP for a league game in 2010/11 season.

Mickey said:

For pity's sake man Lee, get a grip bonny lad! We'll be nowhere near promotion next term and quite frankly I'll be happy if we avoid administration. I think there's been a gross underestmation of the financial mess into which we've been plunged. We've a recent history of Champions League and full houses in the Premiership. Of course the minnows are getting excited at the prospect of us coming to town. What worries me is that the way things are gong we're going to get turned over left, right and centre and before long we'll be as sad and forgotten as LUFC. Remember them?

tres said:

Desperate, desperate stuff Lee. Crying out as loud as you can for the rest of us to agree that Newcastle Utd are as big as you think they are. I honestly believe that this kind of blinkered, arrogant and deluded attitude has played a part in your clubs demise over the last few years. Get down off your high horse, cos you sound like a stroppy spoilt brat, stamping his feet cos he's not getting enough attention who has absolutely no right what so ever to be perched petulently in that saddle kicking and screaming.

Ryder's reply: You must be desperate if you are looking on a Newcastle fan website.

colin said:

Very Poor Journalism, Typical of of the stereotypical Newcastle Fan with a dirty bedsheet with poor grammar outside SJP.

Next season is a learning curve for the club to get rid of the dead wood and build from the ground up, a new dawn with a bright future.

However the tarnish left from idiots like this will still stain the club.

It is always darkest before the dawn

Ryder's reply: Didn't you used to have an ice cream van in Shiremoor Colin?

Andrew said:

The article confirmed many of the prejudices I hold against Newcastle fans. The comments dispelled many of them. If I were one of you lot, I'd be chasing idiots like this journalist away from my club.

Mark said:

What a load of rubbish. Taxi for Ryder! for you are the journo who has just produced the worst article to ever be seen the human eye.

Bob Nudd said:

report that Chronicle journalism couldn't possibly get worse after the departure of Alan Oliver have proven to be wide of the mark. Desperate stuff bonny lad.

Ryder's reply: Stick to selling fishing DVDs Bob.

Adriano said:

Chief sports writer? Says alot about the quality of the publication then. What a child-like, bitter little rant that was. Keep clutching at those straws.

Lee Ryder Author Profile Pagesaid:

Ryder's reply: We must live in a giant playground then given some of the responses and emails I've sifted through since we were relegated.

Bet you're not fit to lace Adriano's boots in reality!

Pat Young said:

True though. One of several reasons why I can't stand the paper.


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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