Here we are again then, lots of questions, not many answers and nobody prepared to come forward and answer them on behalf of Newcastle United's incredible fanbase.

Put aside some of Joe Kinnear's unendorsed interviews about how the club is supposed to be moving forward and United supporters have been left with precious little when it comes to guidance on just where the club is heading next season.

The frustration amongst fans is clear for all to see for everybody in the city but the silence is far from golden.

Alan Shearer called Kinnear-gate a "PR disaster" while Rob Lee stated today in the Chronicle that it was impossible for players to know where they stand if they aren't allowed to speak to the manager before signing.

The departure of James Perch probably wouldn't have caused any type of uproar two summers ago when the utility man was sent to play for the reserves during their tour of Holland.

Shortly afterwards United's reserve team chief Peter Beardsley said that rather than sulking or moping around the place and feeling second team life was beneath him, Perch had been the consummate professional.


Some players in football won't even entertain the idea of the reserve team but here Perch was working harder than any of the younger players in training and setting the example.

We are told that Derek Llambias' exit from the corridors of power at St James' Park comes after a disagreement over exactly how Newcastle United's new set-up is going to pan out.

And whatever people think of Joe Kinnear's interview on Talksport this week the former Wimbledon boss was anything but kind when talking about United's departing managing director.

We've had just a few scraps of official statements from United this week and they managed to contradict each other.

Joe Kinnear's appointment as Newcastle United's director of football was described by many as a shock.

But given Mike Ashley's track record with making big decisions since taking over the club this should not be a surprise.

After all this is Newcastle United we are talking about.

KEVIN KEEGAN has suggested that Newcastle United will never be the same club while Mike Ashley is in charge.

In a powerful interview with Sky Sports he told cricketing legend Steve Harmison that his second stint as boss was a "living nightmare".

Regardless of whatever else happens in the summer transfer window for Newcastle United - losing Fabricio Coloccini could end up being a bigger blow than anything that has happened in the last 12 months.

Coloccini has been told to report back to the club's Benton base next month.

And even the sight of the Argentine jogging around the training pitch will be a significant boost for United fans.

Twice now, Coloccini has held discussions about his future on Tyneside and both times the need for him to be close to his family have been the main theme.Fabricio-Coloccini-3307186.jpg

THEY ALWAYS say in football that you should never go back.

But although Jose Mourhino's return to Stamford Bridge as Chelsea boss has resulted in the London media exploding in the last 24 hours, here on Tyneside it merely evoked memories of the return of Kevin Keegan half a decade ago.

Without doubt plenty of water has gone under the Tyne Bridge since Keegan was appointed as United manager for a second time five years ago.

When Steve Harper was handed the chance of a farewell game in front of a full house against Arsenal in a game that will be watched by a worldwide audience - it was almost as if it was written in the stars for the long-serving stopper.

And even if it did come at the expense of Rob Elliot after his red card at QPR, the chances are deep down the former Charlton Athletic man won't begrudge Harper a fond send off he will probably never forget.

Harper has seen it all down the years at Newcastle but fans or journalists don't always see the other side of life at the club.


When the final whistle at the DW Stadium sounded in Wigan's game against Swansea City it was very much a case of relief all round for Newcastle United fans.

But while Premier League safety is everything to Newcastle right now the facts of the matter are they should not be anywhere near this situation.

Pats on the back and praise were the order of the day just 12 months ago with United flying high and back in Europe.

You can do two things in football when things aren't going well.

You can either sulk and look for excuses.

Or you can work around the clock to find a solution to put wrongs right.

For Newcastle United the hard work continued this week.


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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