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The joys of a Tuesday night in Scunthorpe...

By Lee Ryder on Jun 17, 09 10:00 AM

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.

If anybody was expecting a nice easy leg loosener against newly promoted Scunthorpe or even a nice home game with Doncaster Rovers, they will have to wait until later in the campaign for such "comforts".

And if you want evidence that we really have landed in a lower league just wait until you get to Glanford Park on a chilly Tuesday night where even Whitley Bay's floodlights rival those of the Iron in terms of height.

But while the surroundings at Scunny may well be humbling for Newcastle United, the challenge on the pitch won't be with every team geared up to beat the Geordies next term.

A trip to Blackpool in September might also have been a small crumb of comfort for the Toon Army, hoping for a big weekend, but that game will now played on a Tuesday night!!!

Some long haul trips to Swansea, Bristol City, Plymouth and Cardiff City are also likely to mean a tough schedule while TV demands will also play havoc.

Indeed with Sky and BBC battling for the live games United will face more upset with 5.15pm kick offs and 12.45pm starts soon to become the norm.

It's going to be a long season...but from Barrack Road to the Hoe in Plymouth (where serial Toon hater Mick Dennis says there is a nice Chinese Restaurant), Blog on the Tyne will be there giving you the lowdown on c*** pies to restricted views!

9 Comments

andy said:

At least we have some real news today Lee - unlike the hogwash of recent days - and pretty sobering it is too. Still unsure whats scariest, the mediocre teams we are playing next year or the fact i have so little confidence we will beat them.

Still waiting for todays article that Glen Johnson has turned down Liverpool because he has had his head turned by our Manager (?), MD (?) or new owner (?).

Jack said:

Shut it with this neg head, downer tripe. We'll sh:t em! Shearer will be named as boss by the end of the week. As mad as it may sound with Newcastle's fine tradition of having an abysmal defence being saved by a decent midfield, keeper, and a centre forward. I believe the problem with this side is the reverse. Keep the back 5 together at all costs. Get the rest of the top earners off the books. keep Guthrie, keep Lovencrants (he scored loads in the scotish version of the championship: the SPL), start Andy Carrol, sign a half decent winger to land it on his head and sign a midfield work horse to run the weekly marrathon against the Eddy Efforts of this p:ss poor division. The bookies very rarely get it wrong.

M. Sebastian T. said:

Well Jack, time will tell whether you get any wishes and whether you have got anything right about what will happen during the coming season. I have some doubts about that proving the case.

For example, your wishes of getting "the rest of the top earners off the books", and keeping Guthrie and Lovencrants are rather optimistic hopes. It is much more likely that other clubs will pass on the dross but take the few players who could perhaps do well under different circumstances (but only if the price is right). The most likely of your wishes to be granted is that Andy Carrol will not be sold, because is far too raw for prem clubs to have any interest.

Having to continue paying the expensive dross like Duff will eliminate any chance of signing any decent new players.

In the circumstances, my guess is that you are going to have to radically rethink your idea that the Championship is a "p:ss poor division", because it will be too hard a nut for p:ss poor NUFC to crack any time soon.

I agree that the "bookies very rarely get it wrong" but I look at that situation in a different way. My guess is that they are already chuckling all the way to the bank to deposit the bets put on by Toon fans, in the quite certain knowledge no bookies will be paying out winning on bets from Newcastle fans.

Lee is simply one of the realists even though that is not easy just now.

Scotty said:

I will admit that not seeing Newcastle Utd in next season's Premiership fixtures was yet another massive kick in the stones and it really hurt. The fact we start our Champonship season at a former prememier league club is of little comfort at all. I just pray the sale of the club gets done a.s.a.p and the new owners get Shearer on board as manager because this mess that cashley and his pals have left us in needs sorting now!!. I'm not sure if I can stand another kick in the stones next season can you guys.

Jackie W said:

Me being the eternal optimist am expecting good things this season and regardless of the Owner or Manager I can not for the life of me see us not buying at least half a dozen players and letting the same amount or possibly more go. Barton, Smith , Collocini and Guiteraz will all comand a fee and Owen , The Duke and Capcaca will help reduce the wage bill to a managable amount and take your pick from the rest of the dross .Regardless of the dire situation we are in now , young players will still have there heads turned and the Frazier story may sound Walter Mitty but lets be honest regardless of current league positions he would be crazy to opt for Hull if there was a genuine interest from Newcastle United. Who wouldnt want to bag 20 goals in a promotion season and achieve instant hero worship or then again he may fancy a few years fighting the inevitable and eventually be relegated with the Tigers. It has been quoted on here the bookies rarely get it wrong and its probably right but what price were we last year to go down ? We dont need bookies to tell us whats what and after our first couple of games we will have a rough idea of our fate.The only negative thing about the fixtures is the away game to Blackpool ....midweek ??? whoever picked that one must be te-total and cost the Tower Lounge a few grand...Roll on the Baggies Jackie W

Restless Native said:

M Sebastien T ... which team do you support?

Leonard Osbourne said:

Well, I can certainly vouch for the chinese restaurant on Plymouth Hoe - the 'Wet Wok' is just across the road from me. There's also some canny bars in Plymouth where we can celebrate trouncing the Pilgrims. I'm quite looking forward to this season -it was so difficult getting tickets when we were in the premiership. I'm relishing trips to Cardiff and Bristol, perhaps the de-glamourisation of our fixture list will get rid of the glory hunters who suddenly descended on Gallowgate with their barbour jackets and venison sandwiches the last time we were promoted.
Let's hope we can get the ownership,managerial stuff sorted soon though as the prospect of defeat at the hands of clubs like Plymouth (who were dreadful last season)would be tough to stomach. With a view to this I hope we won't be visiting the 'other' St James Park in Devon next season -now that is a s**thole.
Andy Carrol to emerge with the Championship Golden Boot next season. Up the Toon!

Leonard Osbourne said:

Well, I can certainly vouch for the chinese restaurant on Plymouth Hoe - the 'Wet Wok' is just across the road from me. There's also some canny bars in Plymouth where we can celebrate trouncing the Pilgrims. I'm quite looking forward to this season -it was so difficult getting tickets when we were in the premiership. I'm relishing trips to Cardiff and Bristol, perhaps the de-glamourisation of our fixture list will get rid of the glory hunters who suddenly descended on Gallowgate with their barbour jackets and venison sandwiches the last time we were promoted.
Let's hope we can get the ownership,managerial stuff sorted soon though as the prospect of defeat at the hands of clubs like Plymouth (who were dreadful last season)would be tough to stomach. With a view to this I hope we won't be visiting the 'other' St James Park in Devon next season -now that is a s**thole.
Andy Carrol to emerge with the Championship Golden Boot next season. Up the Toon!

Ryder's reply: Cheers for the information Leo, I am sure the Toon Army will be welcomed by most Championship watering holes next season with landlords rubbing their hands already.

Michael Owen said:

Glad to have left such a run down club.

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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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