Don't cry for yesterday - Newcastle United sample life in an ordinary world

By Lee Ryder on Dec 20, 09 09:50 PM

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

If you take into account that Birmingham, last season's runners-up, ended the season with 83 points, Newcastle are more than half way there this time around.

Being a Geordie that experienced the 1995/96 season and lived to tell the tale, I'm no about to take anything for granted.

But believe me, this season compared to the 12 point lead surrender is very different indeed.

At times it was hard to believe that Newcastle and Boro had been Premier League teams last term.

Newcastle looked average while Boro looked poor and having sat through the Football League show on the morning of the game, I couldn't help thinking that the standard of football in the second tier these days is simply pants.

Fears that the standards in the Championship were poor back in August was met with a frosty reception from hardened second tier fans but sorry we were right.

If Newcastle do blow this incredible margin this season, it won't be because they've been outclassed by anybody.

It will be because they press the self destruct button.

Seeing Newcastle move on to 49 points against Boro also, for all you pessimists out there, probably confirms that we won't be slipping down to League One next season!!

And after Shola Ameobi and super Marlon Harewood's opener, all that needs to be said is keep it going lads.

The Championship?

One day we might look back at this and laugh!

Merry Christmas to one and all.


Chris Basey said:

"standard of football in the second tier these days is simply pants"

While, clearly the discrepancy between the second tier and the premiership is vast, and you point is well made, is that sentence really worthy of a journalist. I know the Ronny Gill is a local paper, but really, some semblance of pride and journalistic standards would be nice

Ryder's reply: OK thanks I won't mention your own shameless plug for your own website.

sting said:

the difference from last season to this is we r playing as a team and knowing wat to do if we could get the right wing working as well as the left i think we could improve the standard of football but regardless we r winning and thats the real thing good luck to the team and the manger hes proving left alone he can be a good manager and once again the supporters have shown ashley its all about the team and not him

harpo said:

Chris Basey, in truth this division really is pants. It's honest and to the point.
You won't see arrogance from us as we deserve to be in it after last season.

In summary we're not good enough for the top flight but not bad enough for the Championship.

xmas breeze said:

Lads enjoy this while it lasts, because Im going to.
We will probably get promotion because we got rid of a bunch of players who,s ego got in the way of the club & now we have players who want to be at the Toon.
However be WARNED Ashley WILL rock the boat when we get promotion and it will be deja vu all over again.
I wonder what price this time around, because for sure he will not invest anymore in the club and if you think he will then you had better get your head out of your *****.

Quoc Nguyen said:

well said Harpo

mark douglas said:

xmass breeze loved the comment about Ashley at the end of your blogg. Lets not forget this maggot is still eating on our corpse and still needs to go before we can cleanse our club.

dave said:


Faustino said:

Dave is angry

Nathan said:

Many happy returns Lee and all at the Chron. When we were in the Prem I always thought the Championship looked a really tough, physical league, with lots of good sides and players. I think I'm right on the first two points, but that's about it. I heard Peter Beagrie the other day say he rates Chris Brunt as the best player in the division. That just about sums it up for me! It is an exciting league, the play off chase is really tight and it's a lot more unpredictable than the Prem in my opinion. However the standard is far poorer than I first thought and I find myself wondering why I thought we would struggle this season! Credit has to go to Hughton and the lads for a wonderful job, many thought we would self implode, I'll hold my hands up and say myself included but we've really gone about it in the right way. Let's hopeg we can keep it going, then go up and stay up.

Tad Caster said:

SOME of the Prem games are exciting. When we went down, it could so easily have been one from another four or five clubs. They're still there and while some are much improved, others remain awful and have been joined by others. If we go up (I should say when, but I've been burned too often), we'll need a central midfielder with real skill and attacking zeal, probably another centre back and a fast, sharp forward to ensure we finish around half-way. After that, we'll need real investment if the top six haven't been creamed off to form a greedy barstewards top-top flight.

Kama said:

The CCC doesn't now look as tough as we thought it would be when we got relegated possibly because the team has transformed itself into a physical, no nonsense team with a winning attitude where all players work for each other and are managed by an uncomplicated, honest and dignified man.

This is a far cry away from the overpaid, uninterested bunch of whinging individuals who played the worst football in the Premiership and were managed at various times by a quitter, hasbeen and arm chair pundit.

Wor Bobby said:

xmas breeze,

We all expect/hope (aye, call me delusional) ashley to sell pretty soon after promotion anyway. Watch out though for more asset stripping first in January.


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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