September 2012 Archives

For the second game in a row 21-year-old young gun Shane Ferguson came off the bench, whipped in a left wing cross and allowed one of Newcastle United's marksmen to notch a goal.

It all sounds simple, but for some reason providing two of the most lethal strikers in Europe with a silver service has been a problem for the Magpies.

Demba Ba may well be the top flight's leading scorer on six but with better service the mind boggles at how many more he could have managed while poor Papiss Cisse, Manchester United in the League Cup aside, has looked a shadow of the player who scored so many times last season.

If there's one thing that makes me laugh from people outside of Newcastle, who don't seem to be able to grasp the passion that generates within our football mad city, then it has to be the notion that Geordie fans always feel the need for a "Messiah" in charge of their club.

This notion was neatly summed up by a couple of Aston Villa fans with their banner: "Who's your next Messiah, Ant or Dec?" when the club was relegated and since then I have heard even Alan Pardew referred to as the next Messiah from people that live south of the Tyne.

Firstly, there has only been one bloke known as "The Messiah" and that was Kevin Keegan.

He won the tag by transforming fortunes of Newcastle in 1992 by turning the club around with help from the millions of Sir John Hall and changing the club from a team fighting against relegation to Division Three into a European outfit and then title contenders in the space of a few years.

Love or money part 2 for Demba Ba

By Lee Ryder on Sep 22, 12 12:23 PM

It's been known for some time that Newcastle United have been trying to thrash out a new contract with Demba Ba.

And from what we understand Ba's wage demands are currently preventing that deal from happening.

Ba has stated his love for Newcastle United on many occasions so far since arriving a free agent over a year ago.

But he has yet to come out and really commit himself and put all the rumours of being unsettled to bed.

Perhaps there should be a new saying in football, something along the lines of: "You can't play in them all."

Back in the day when British sides were in Europe there was no such thing as resting players or rotating squads.

Indeed, the successful teams like Liverpool, who won European Cups galore, and Manchester United, Everton and Arsenal, who all have Cup Winners Cups to their name tried to play their full strength teams in every competition.

This was underlined further when the old thee foreigner rule meant teams looked at the restrictions as a negative and not a chance to rest bodies between league games.

How times change eh?

It may have been a night of high drama at Goodison Park but for a minute before the Merseyside thriller - football paled into insignificance as the victims of Hillsborough were remembered in front of a Premier League crowd in Liverpool for the first time since the findings of the 1989 disaster.

And it's safe to say there wasn't a dry eye in the house as The Hollies' He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother played out amidst an emotional minute of applause just across Stanley Park and the home of Everton's city rivals.


There was a lump in the throat as Radio City DJ Simon Ross said just before it: "Last week the world learned what the people of Merseyside have known for 23 years."

It was just over 12 months ago that Newcastle United were prepared to loan out Steve Harper to Championship side Brighton.

Now almost a year on and it is difficult to see what United will do without the long-serving 37 year-old stopper.

With Tim Krul showing he is human and suffering an elbow injury it just goes to show that goalkeepers are always a heartbeat away from a slice of the action.

Who would have thought that a couple of Newcastle United's biggest games of the season would be battled out over two legs in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers?

The stakes are incredibly high for both Senegal and Ivory Coast who know that their absence from January's finals in South Africa will heap national embarrassment on two proud football nations.

But they are equally as high for Newcastle who know that they are guaranteed to lose at least one of their biggest stars for up to six weeks next 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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