February 2010 Archives

Well, would you bet against Newcastle United now?

Despite a long barren run on the road, the Magpies ended it in real style today with a great all round team performance at Watford.

The scoreline may look slender but really the game should have been done and dusted long before the injury time strike from Will Hoskins.

WHAT have Paul Gascoigne, Bob Moncur, David Beckham, George Best, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Theo Walcott all got in common?

Answer: They are all FA Youth Cup winners.

Last night at St James' Park the latest generation of Toon young bloods made a significant step to joining them after seeing off Crystal Palace in goal packed game.

Remember the last time we won a league game at Watford?

As a young lad delivering papers around the concrete jungle that is Shiremoor, the morning Newcastle United travelled to Watford a native proclaimed: "They've had it if they don't win today mind."

He had a point.

An ageing Newcastle side were struggling to make the cut in the old Second Division.

Turn the clock back to the 1990/91 season.

Appleby Park

St James' Park was far from the world class venue it is today, Sunderland were in the above division with Mackem misery to come in abundance on final day relegation at the old Maine Road, Mick Quinn was a God on Tyneside with a bandage on his right hand (caused at the time by supposedly making a corned beef sandwich) the old Appleby Park was still standing in all its glory in North Shields and Whitley Bay FC romped to the HFS Loans League Division One title with John Carver and Paul Ferris as star players, those were the days!

You could even watch Saint and Greavise before you set off for the match and Paul Gascoigne was probably the best player on the planet!

Walking in a Hughton Wonderland

By Lee Ryder on Feb 21, 10 03:13 PM

They say you should give credit where it's due and that was certainly the case for Chris Hughton against Preston North End.

Quite some time ago, I asked Chris Hughton if he was a bit upset that he hadn't enjoyed more recognition from Newcastle fans in the form of a terrace anthem.

Hughton quickly dismissed the idea and moved on to a different subject, his view being that he'd rather see all energies projected on to the 11 players on the pitch.

Wayne Routledge has played just two games as a Newcastle United player at St James' Park and already he seems to have handed his side a different dimension.

We love crowd pleasers at St James' Park, not just iconic number 9s but those who provide us with those moments that get you off your seat and make visiting teams feel uncomfortable.

Sir Bobby Robson summed it up quite well when he used to talk about a fully fit Kieron Dyer during his pomp, when he used to ask him to "sparkle" in around the last third.

NEWCASTLE United reclaimed top spot in the Championship with a 4-1 victory over Coventry City at St James' Park.

It was a welcome return to form for the Toon after inconsistent recent performances, but although the victory looked easy in the end Newcastle had to come from a goal down after Morrison opened the scoring for Coventry on the half-hour mark.

However, Routledge equalised minutes later and after the break United's goals just kept coming, with a strike from Andy Carroll, a penalty converted by Peter Lovenkrands, and the fourth in stoppage time from sub Ryan Taylor.

Chronicle chief sports writer Lee Ryder was at St James' Park to bring you all the action and colour from the game.

Please note:

1. We can't publish links to illegal streaming sites so don't even ask.

2. FA restrictions mean I can only write about the match at certain times.

3. We receive a lot of comments, and not all can be published.

4. Enjoy the game.

The Newcastle United number 9 shirt may well still remain vacant at St James' Park at first team level which keeps the dreams of a clutch of senior strikers very much alive and kicking.

But beneath the first team stage, perhaps the dreams of success pulling on the legendary number 9 shirt are arguably wilder.

However, as Sir Bobby Robson once said when people questioned Newcastle's chances of breaking into the top four: "There's nothing wrong with having wild dreams."

On a wet Monday night on a heavy pitch at the home of West Allotment Celtic, the foundations for such dreams becoming a reality are perhaps laid - and the latest dream chaser at the moment is Geordie teenager Phil Airey.

NEWCASTLE United go back to the top of the Championship table after digging deep for a 1-1 draw at Swansea.

For the best part of the match United looked like the long journey was all going to be for nothing but Carroll's late header snatched a lucky point.

Newcastle now have two home games to try to push on at the top of the pile.

Lee was at the Liberty Stadium to bring you all the action and colour from the ground.

Just click the link above to replay his coverage.

Please note:

1. We can't publish links to illegal streaming sites so don't even ask.

2. FA restrictions mean Lee can only write about the match at certain times.

3. We receive a lot of comments, and not all can be published.

4. This service is not available on some mobile phones.

5. Enjoy the game.

With Portsmouth heading for meltdown, Queens Park Rangers in total chaos and Crystal Palace crashing into administration and losing 10 points, Newcastle United are, incredibly, in danger of actually looking like a well an organised and stable club in comparison to our southern counterparts.

And all of this despite a season long campaign from Newcastle fans for Mike Ashley to leave Toon.

Chants for Ashley to go have not disappeared this season but this week it was interesting to see one of the Toon tycoon's fiercest critics, in fanzine True Faith, suggest that the United owner deserved credit for his performance in the January transfer window.

If there is such a thing as a panic button in football then Chris Hughton is refusing to press it following Newcastle United's drubbing at Derby County.

Newcastle's 15 game unbeaten run came to a disappointing end against the Rams on a night when nothing went right for the Magpies.

When United went 1-0 down to Rob Hulse's header there was nothing to suggest that Newcastle would not be able to operate the tools they have in order to snatch a result from Pride Park.

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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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