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September 2011 Archives


Demba Ba was pretty much talked out by the time he left St James' Park after emerging as an in-demand after match hero following his hat-trick against Blackburn Rovers.

He talked the talk well, after walking the walk in the Premier League with his first hat-trick in England with media men queuing up for a few words.

Let's be honest, Ba went into the clash with Blackburn under a little bit of pressure after failing to find the net in his first few games.

Yet Ba walked out of St James' Park clutching the match ball which had been signed by all of his team-mates.

The refreshing world of Leon Best

By Lee Ryder on Sep 23, 11 02:43 PM

Leon Best has had his fair share of critics since signing for Newcastle United but his goalscoring record of nine goals from 12 Premier League starts tells its own story.

The 25-year-old's attitude is refreshing in the modern game.

In many ways, he is perhaps too polite and at times not arrogant enough, if that makes sense - if he was he may have even more goals to his name.

My mind takes me back to when Best first signed for Newcastle back in January 2010.

Any Given Saturday

By Lee Ryder on Sep 16, 11 09:45 AM


At Villa Park tomorrow, two former Newcastle United players will attempt to break the Magpies' unbeaten start to the season.

One will be booed, one probably won't be - or at least not as much.

Charles N'Zogbia has already been on the end of one hot reception after choosing to walk away from Newcastle United, in the colours of Wigan he responded with two goals at St James' Park but didn't taste victory.

Shay Given has never faced the Toon since quitting during the same month as Zoggy, but is likely to be on the end of a warmer reception from the United faithful.

Chance of a lifetime

By Lee Ryder on Sep 12, 11 09:54 AM


Nile Ranger was handed the chance of a lifetime by Newcastle United when he was plucked from football's scrapheap in 2008 and given the opportunity to resurrect his professional football career.

Like any young lad, the Londoner has made mistakes in his life but it would appear that he is failing to learn from them.

His lack of progress in the first team alone, having been overtaken by Sammy Ameobi, shows that.

This blog is not condoning any of Ranger's alleged recent activity but the alarm bells should be ringing loud and clear for the former England youth international.

Do or do not, there is no try

By Lee Ryder on Sep 3, 11 11:58 AM


In a passionate working class area such as Newcastle, telling people "we tried" was always likely to go down like a lead balloon.

Therefore, it was hardly a surprise that the statement released 48 hours after the transfer window was bolted firmly shut until January contained the "we tried" line, it was half expected.

In a nutshell, actions speak louder than words in the world of Newcastle United and failing to emerge without a marquee signing to don the number 9 shirt was never ever going to go down well.

As Yoda once put it: "Do or do not, there is no try."


On a day when Newcastle United fans should have been celebrating a new striker, they instead discovered that you can't fly in a helicopter over Battersea after 8pm at night as a late bid for Bryan Ruiz went the same of Charlie Zog back in January.

To be honest, most Toon fans had already guessed that Newcastle United would probably not get the striker they wanted on transfer deadline day.

Basic logic tells you that, if something hasn't happened by the last day of the designated window, it probably wouldn't happen at all.

And after all, Toon fans have had plenty of practice sitting up to the late hours on deadline day watching over-hyped reports from various spots around the country to take in the day of judgement.

All of it was painful to watch.

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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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