December 2009 Archives

Just when Newcastle United appear to have a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel - the prospect of the apple cart being upset emerges in the shape of Joey Barton and those blokes who pay thousands of pounds to take the Cockney Press shooting ducks to make sure that Sporting Chance get a good round of publicity for saving the career of the Toon midfielder.

Well quite frankly I'm not that interested in Barton's latest comments to be honest.

The time for talking went long ago and until he's talking about helping Newcastle United back into the Premier League most fans simply don't care.

I'VE documented Newcastle United's rollercoaster year and covered all the big news during a turbulent time on Tyneside.

The last 12 months have been a trauma for Toon fans across the board, with the changes in manager, shocking defeats and ultimately relegation.

But this has now given way to a new sense of purpose at Gallowgate and we've now got a resolute side which has pushed itself to the top of the Championship.

This blog has chronicled all the big events both on and off the field with my take on life following the Magpies.

Here I take a look back at some of my posts from 2009.


Charles Insomnia sleepwalks out the door


In the company of the legend that is Tino Asprilla


It won't be anything like Cloughie v Revie


The warning signs were there, but we all started fearing the R word


Relegation - pitiful, shameful relegation


When training was more like a spa for pampered Toon stars


Memories of Sir Bobby will live on forever


Bassong might have been a nobody when he came to Toon - but the fans know him now.

Memories of Beardsley against QPR


The Keegan fiasco, Mr Xisco, and more


Slating the prawn sandwich brigade


Middlesbrough have become a bigger laughing stock than Newcastle United

Merry Christmas to everyone who reads Blog on the Tyne, thanks for your support during

Amidst a cold snap at St James' Park, Newcastle United continued to warm Geordie hearts with a display that won't be remembered for classy football, great goals or competent refereeing.

Anybody who feared that Boro's better away form combined with the law of averages would see an end to Newcastle's long unbeaten run was able to relax before the hour mark as wee Gordon Strachan's side crumbled at Gallowgate.

Newcastle have an ordinary manager these days who walks into Press briefings with no hype and doesn't say controversial things, they play a style of football that doesn't have fans jumping out of their seats or leave supporters pleading to attack and the current XI does not contain what you would call any of the games's superstars.

But hey, it gets results and Newcastle are flying high at the top of a very average (to put it charitably) second tier of the English games

Newcastle United's encounters with Middlesbrough do not represent a local derby in the eyes of the majority of Toon fans.

But one thing is for certain when it comes to taking on Boro and that is that you don't lose a Tyne-Tees derby.

I might be wrong but playing Newcastle clearly means more to Middlesbrough fans then it will ever mean to us.

I don't know how they've done it and I don't know how Newcastle United have done it - but somehow when it seemed so straight forward to cash in on Geordie misery, Boro have managed to somehow make an almighty mess of their own season which has kept the knives pointing south of the A19.

The negativity that saturated Newcastle United has dried and although the stains of the worst summer in living memory still exist, the performance of the team on the pitch have handed us a little bit more hope.

Sorry, that's about as positive as I can be on that front but watching Boro's demise has at least removed some of the unwanted headlines at St James' Park or Sid James Park as Boro fans once jokingly sniggered out at us during darker days.

IF Andy Carroll didn't know how important he was to Newcastle United's future then perhaps he knows now.

In the aftermath of what was supposed to be a night out of winding down after a game and perhaps celebrating three points and his return from illness, there is no doubt Carroll got more than he bargained for.

Not for one minute is this blog condoning any behaviour that involves attacking somebody in a nightclub.

What's the best way to make yourself an instant hero at St James' Park?

Well running round like a man possessed in two sub appearances so far and then scoring a strong contender for goal of the season so far isn't a bad way of going about it.

And more appearances like this from Fabrice Pancrate could turn out to be a superb find this season.

While Toon fans welcome the boxing world to Tyneside for Saturday's big fight - no matter what happens in the ring at the Metro Radio Arena will cause less ripples on the Tyne than Watford ending Newcastle United's unbeaten run.

Amir Khan v Dmitriy Salita - at St James' Park today to big up the fight - will be nothing more than an afterthought for many if the Hornets come to Toon and win.

In doing so they would cause a shock result in the style of Grimsby Town in 1992 when they put an end to Kevin Keegan and Newcastle's 100% record of 11 wins on the spin.


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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