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Mike Williamson - the song!

By Lee Ryder on Dec 23, 13 11:29 AM

You haven't seen the movie (yet), and there is no book - but thanks to the Toon Army, Mike Williamson finally has his own song.

Williamson has endured his fair share of critics down the years but he has always given Newcastle United an old school type of defender's game that you sometimes need in the top flight.

He doesn't over complicate things and knows how to use Row Z when it's needed.

But that's disrespectful to brand him as just a defensive clogger who once played in the lower leagues.

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Mathieu Debuchy was first class at Manchester United.

He put his body on the line for the team, motored up and down the right hand side, enjoyed 71 touches of the ball, almost scored a first half goal and never gave Man United moment of peace.

Even his own team-mates were chanting his name on the bus after the game!

When the possibility of United originally signing Debuchy from Lille began to grow in the summer of 2012 his performances at the Euros started to get fans excited.

He joined from Lille last January and after initial impact he seemed to struggle in the side, prompting criticism from some sections along the way.


I don't think any Newcastle United fan would put their house on Yohan Cabaye definitely staying at the club ahead of the next two transfer windows - regardless of your perception of his words to the French media in the last 24 hours.

He didn't make it clear he wanted to leave, but he also didn't make it crystal clear he sees his long-term future on Tyneside.

Obviously, the fact Cabaye refused to play in the first two games of the season suggests that he was more than prepared to quit the Magpies back in August.

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It was impossible for the Toon Army not to get carried away with the 1-0 at White Hart Lane yesterday.

Indeed,when I looked up to the away section at the famous old North London venue the scenes were akin to those at Old Trafford in 1999 when another great win over Tottenham Hotspur booked a place at Wembley in the FA Cup final!

This was only three points but after battling so hard for the supporters that made the journey it felt like much, much more.

And as we mull over another great win on a Monday morning you have to say that the response from Newcastle since losing to Sunderland has been nothing short of brilliant.

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The city is on a high this morning and rightly so after a great win over Chelsea.

The victory proved to offer fans some light relief after a tough few weeks for Newcastle United on and off the field.

For me, it was a great example of how things can be at St James' Park and for many people who have attended the stadium for decades how it should be on a match day.

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No battle, no victory

By Lee Ryder on Oct 28, 13 09:26 AM

So then the morning after the day before...

And the general feeling on Tyneside I picked up seems to be frustration as to why Newcastle United failed to match Sunderland when it came to motivation on derby day.

Certainly Sunderland didn't win it because they produced fantastic football on the day and Newcastle didn't lose it because they were really unlucky.

One team wanted it more.

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The calm before the storm...

By Lee Ryder on Oct 21, 13 08:17 PM


So it's the (relatively) calm period before Sunday's storm at the Stadium of Light.

Everybody knows what's at stake and everybody knows the consequences of losing, but what can we really expect from the 149th Tyne-Wear Derby?

Well, it won't be for the faint hearted that much is for sure, but even though we are six days away from the crunch clash already there have been plenty of conversations on just how important that first goal will be.

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In a season in which Alan Pardew said that Steven Taylor needs to play more, the former England Under-21skipper's campaign has so far amounted to just 48 minutes of action so far.

Taylor doesn't need to be told he got it wrong against Manchester City during the 4-0 defeat on the opening day of the season.

That night he was selected on merit alongside Fabricio Coloccini and handed the chance to stake his claim for the months ahead.

Instead, he found himself banned for three matches before being dealt with a hamstring injury that has now cleared up.

Do Newcastle need Taylor in the weeks ahead?

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Newcastle United will face a set of fans that are still loved up at the mere prospect of being a Premier League team tomorrow when they walk out at the Cardiff City Stadium.

And for me that can be as dangerous as going to Arsenal or Manchester United especially if you go into the game underestimating a side just because they are "newly promoted".

Certainly, that didn't really help the Magpies against Hull City recently and it won't be any different against the Bluebirds, in fact they face an even stiffer test.


It is still hard to believe that Newcastle United's top brass don't see the benefit of doing well in the domestic cup competitions.

Especially as their fourth round tie with Manchester City next month is likely not only to attract a full house but also the benefits of TV money after Sky waded in to snap up the coverage today, surely something that both interests and benefits the club's board?

It will also take a lot to convince many Newcastle fans that a top 10 finish should be classed as a success.

A top 10 finish isn't success, it's simply surviving and building up TV and prize money.

Profile

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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