QPR game brings back good and bad memories
The last time Newcastle United played Queens Park Rangers there was a different type of intensity in the air that some of us may wonder if we will ever feel again.
Indeed the Magpies were still going for the title back in the 1995/96 season and while everybody infamously talks about the 4-3 loss at Anfield and the Graham Fenton game against Blackburn, which United lost 2-1, this was the game that was sandwiched in between it.
Different fans have different views on where the 1996 Premier League title was lost but it was perhaps in the QPR game that we started to see it was slipping away.
As I say many feel Anfield was a major turning point or Eric Cantona's mis-hit volley at Gallowgate in March.
Then there was Fenton, then there were three straight wins and then there was Ian Woan at Forest which meant we were denied the chance to go into the final day on level terms with Man U.
But the signs that a side that has confidence flowing through their veins in the first half had hit rock bottom were in evidence the last time QPR were in Toon.
An unconvincing first half that ended 0-0 and a Kevin Keegan roasting at the break still didn't push Newcastle on and when Ian Holloway (yes that Ian Holloway) fired Rangers ahead many had almost thrown in the towel on the title.
That was until the magic little man Peter Beardsley stepped up and turned on the style by scoring twice in the last 13 minutes.
That day Beardo won it all by himself as Newcastle lived to fight another day.
The performance hadn't been the best.
Moving on to 2009 and QPR's next visit, here we fight to stay at the top of the Championship.
Players of the calibre of Beardo, David Ginola, Rob Lee, Les Ferdinand, Keith Gillespie and Tino Asprilla are long gone.
So is talk of Premier League titles and the "consolation" of playing in the UEFA Cup.
But what is left is the fanbase and a similar crowd to the 36,583 that swelled St James's Park to capacity that day in April 1996 is more than likely.
Funny how some things never change isn't it?