Should Newcastle United end this season in sixth place it would be an achievement that would earn plenty of plaudits from far and wide.

Newcastle take on Crystal Palace today at St James' Park with the chance to keep their slender hopes of a European place alive.

Certain games, churn out certain memories and for me taking on Palace took me back to the 1994/95 season.

That day, United needed to win and hope that other results went for them elsewhere for them to get into Europe.


It wasn't too long ago that Geordie boy Adam Armstrong was getting the bus to training and rubbing shoulders with office workers, students and shoppers.

Now he finds himself sharing a dressing room with proven internationals in one of the best leagues in the world.

And that makes Armstrong's journey from public transport to the Premier League stage that little bit more remarkable.

Newcastle fans were delighted for the 17-year-old to make his debut for the Magpies at Fulham yesterday.

It may have been as part of a disappointing 1-0 loss but it was one of the highlights and talking points of the latest chapter of United's season.

At one stage it looked like Olivier Kemen's night was going to be covered in controversy, by the end your heart bled for him.

Newcastle United's FA Youth Cup exit to Chelsea was a team performance but the closing image of the tie for the 2,506 spectators - including Alan Pardew - was Kemen sat slumped and inconsolable at the end of a narrow 3-2 defeat.

Kemen was an unknown youngster from Metz when he arrived last summer but those who follow the fortunes of the reserve and youth teams will know exactly what he's about by now.

If you haven't had a chance to grab a glimpse of the younger teams at Newcastle, he is a battling midfielder who looks capable of making the next step up through the ranks.

If Loic Remy's interview with France Football has told us anything, it has underlined he is ambitious.

And if Newcastle United want to keep stars like the 27-year-old striker then they too are going to have demonstrate ambition.

Remy has spoken of "one day" wanting to play for one of Europe's top five clubs and there's nothing wrong with that.

His statement is nothing more than a show of intent from a player that wants to ply his trade at the very top level.

It's great to see Newcastle United youngster Adam Armstrong rise to first team contention at St James' Park.

However, many will now wonder exactly when he gets his chance in a black and white shirt.

After no goals in 360 minutes (or no goals since Cabaye if you prefer) the Magpies are desperately lacking some attacking impetus.

At just 17, Armstrong is raw - but the question has to be at the moment, can he do any worse than some of Newcastle's more senior players have in recent games?


Willie Donachie's resignation as reserve team plunges Newcastle United into further disarray tonight.

The Scot was known for his passion but appears to have overstepped the mark on this occasion.

And after a post-game clash with Remie Streete it's goodbye to the ex-Man City and Oldham coach after four years at the club.

Joe Kinnear out for a duck...

By Lee Ryder on Feb 3, 14 11:11 PM

Joe Kinnear has sensationally resigned as director of football at Newcastle United.

The Magpies football transfer chief quits after just eight months in charge.

And he goes out without a permanent transfer signing on the board.

It was interesting to note this week that Newcastle United's director of football Joe Kinnear stated that he expects nobody to leave St James' Park in the current window.

The former Wimbledon boss has been quiet since taking over the post of United's football chief this summer.

Very quiet by his own explosive standards.


It would be easy to get misty eyed about the departure of Jonas Gutierrez to Norwich City.

But while some of his performances in a Toon shirt split the opinions of supporters, nobody can deny he played his part during a crucial time at St James' Park.

Jonas was a player who gave his all for Newcastle in his five years at the club after joining from Real Mallorca.

Yet while there were a host of tributes this week from fans there were also supporters who said they'd drive him down to Norwich themselves when hearing of news of his departure.


New year, new targets?

By Lee Ryder on Jan 1, 14 05:21 AM

Newcastle United have put themselves in a perfect position to kick on and make it a happy new year.

Sitting comfortably in eighth position they can maintain their challenge for a European place in the second half of the campaign, and let's be honest not many of us thought we'd be saying that a few games into the season.

In bagging 33 points at the half-way stage United have also allowed themselves to take the FA Cup a little bit more seriously - or at least that is the hope.


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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