Saturday, 31 May 2008

First out....

Humm, it looks like Denis Wise and his mates are starting the summer clear out. Emre seems to be on his way back to Turkey, going to Fenerbahce. If the price that is being quoted is correct it seems like good business. Emre hasn't contributed much at all for the last year or so. He's always been injury prone and he seemed to have been a hangover from Souness's days.

At his best Emre is brilliant, its just that his best in a black and white shirt came two years ago and that form hasn't really been recaptured since then. I'll always be grateful for the free-kick against the mackems that he scored, but since then he's been a bit part player. Still, I'd be willing to bet that if he is going it'll be just our luck that he'll have a storming Euro 2008 competition.

One interesting thing that it does seem to indicate is that Barton will be staying.... Not a surprise, but disappointing.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Catherdral of Comedy

Another week, another laugh at the expense of the Toon.

Firstly it was Barton and his 6 month jail sentence for being a thug. No doubt he got his just deserts. For me the only decent thing that he's done was to plead guilty. That way at least the indignity of hearing him bleat on about how hard done by he was and about how he has suffered in the public eye, has been spared. Its stopped the name of the club being even further dragged through the mire.

Part of me wonders if the guilty plea was part of a deal to keep him in his job? Undoubtedly Newcastle United have a problem with him. Do they get shot of him (to whom??) or hang onto him and try to rehabilitate. I'd guess that much will depend on what happens with the Dabo case - which is due in June. My view is that we should have never signed him, it didn't take a genius to work out that he'd bring a storm of trouble to the doors of SJP... But the club aren't going to throw away a £6m 'asset'.

Hypocritically, I don't care either way - as I've said before, I wanted him locked up anyway, not for beating bystanders up on the streets of Liverpool, but for masquerading as a Premiership footballer.

The other bit of news this week, was the boardroom reshuffle, with Chris Mort going back to Freshfields. Its worth saying that I recall That Mort was always going to be an interim appointment as Chair... however, if you read the press you'd think this was more signs of boardroom instability... sigh. As far as the public facing part of Mort's job, I think he's been excellent. Dealt with the press without shooting the club in the foot, got rid of Allardyce, steered the club back into private ownership and put in a whole new management structure. I think he's done a good job, so if ever I need my conveyancing done, I'll be sure to ring Chris...

Finally, I've mentioned here before about my dislike for John Terry, both as a footballer and as a man. I've only just managed to wipe the tears from my eyes as a result of the Champions League final... of laughter that is. Thanks for cheering up my week JT.

Monday, 12 May 2008

That's all folks

Everton 3 Toon 1

Goodison Park, scene of a tropical rainstorm and another lesson for Newcastle United from a team that simply wanted it more. Everton were better in every department (with the possible exception of the goalkeeper) faster, fitter, stronger and had more desire. They had to win, and Newcastle had nothing extra to play for.

It was all vaguely depressing, hope flickered for a while when EMO scored a penalty (as an aside why does he take penalties, he might have scored both this one and the one against the mackems, but they were both really poor penalties) but as the thunder crackled above Everton shifted up a gear and scored two more goals.

Suspect this game may have seen the last of N'Zogbia, Ramage (who's gone to QPR today) Duff, Smith (hopefully) and although he didn't play today; Emre as well. Personally I wouldn't be heartbroken if I never saw the majority of those players in a black and white shirt again.

Still, 2007 -2008 season is now consigned to the history books, and on the face of it 12th in the table isn't too bad. Who says statistics don't lie?

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Could have been worse

Toon 0 Chelsea 2

Interesting day yesterday. It was my first visit to the cathedral that is SJP for at least 2 years (I'm in exile at the moment, where people talk oddly and have barm cakes rather than stotties) and we were playing a team in 2nd place in the league with every chance of still winning the championship. The sort of game that you travel to more in hope than anticipation. I was also taking my 14 year old nephew for his first visit, trying to make sure that he escapes the clutches of the evil red manure machine.

The ground was as impressive as ever, and certainly noisier than the last time I went. Playful goading of the Chelsea fans was mildly entertaining.... apparently they are going to somewhere in Eastern Europe shortly... for some cup.... They hadn't sold out the away section, which is odd seeing as the game was advertised as a sell out.

The first half was close and EMO should have scored with one that looped over the bar and John Terry cleared one of the line. Most of the creativity seemed to come from Martins (again) What was entertaining was the complete inability of the Chelsea strikers to get a shot even remotely on target. I made the mistake of telling the bloke next to me that there was no way Chelsea would be that poor in the second half (actually, I must learn to stop half time predictions, they always end in disaster) I was right. Ballack and Malouda scored goals of indifferent quality as Chelsea completed a standard win for them.

For us, I thought that Taylor and Faye both had good games, and Geremi and Smith were poor. And, please will someone teach Jose Enrique to pass the ball to a team-mate? As for Chelsea - Drogba was a characture of a world-class striker... Stroppy, petulant and fragile. He was rightly booed for being all of the above as well as generally rubbish.

But my real bile was saved for John bloody Terry (I should declare previous here; I've disliked him ever since I saw a documentary on footballers when he admitted to not knowing how to cut his own toe-nails as he has always had someone to do it for him). He is the emblem of everything that is wrong with football - arrogant, spoilt and bullying. He screamed at the referee (who was intimidated, so I guess it was effective) and both our players as well as his own. Odious and hideous footballer... I'd guess he craves respect, but seems to me to be all bluster and no thought. He's a decent player, but not as good as he thinks he is.... Rant over...

As for my nephew? I think he enjoyed the day, I looked round at one stage and he was caught up in abusing the ref for a decision that had gone against us... I have a sneaking suspicion he's hooked... My work here is done.

Saturday, 3 May 2008


Saw most of the Champions League semi-finals this week - I so wanted Barca to stuff Manure, but that never really looked likely and there was an air of inevitability about them making it to the final. Also, Paul Scholes goal was fantastic, he's always been the Manure player I've admired the most. As for the other one, Liverpool were awful (again) and winding up Drogba wasn't the smartest move that Benitez has ever made.

Needless to say the press have gone overboard about the first ever all English final of the Champions League - ignoring the fact that 2/3rds of the players won't be English - but, hey why let the facts get in the way of a bit of jingoism eh? As someone on RadioFiveLive the final will really show the South/South divide in English football.

The thing that has really got my goat this week has been the fans moaning about having to travel to Moscow for the final. Firstly, if Newcastle ever got to a Champions League final (stop laughing at the back! ) I'd chew off my own arm for a ticket and traveling to the nether regions of Eastern Europe wouldn't put me off. The arrogance of those Southerners suggesting that the final should be moved to Wembley beggars belief. Imagine if Milan and Juventus had insisted that the 2003 final be moved from Old Trafford?? The papers would have probably demanded that Italy be thrown out of Europe and the cup awarded to Manure....

On Monday, I'll be in the hallowed ground that is the cathedral of St James' Park for the first time in a couple of years. In the spirit of blind optimism I decided that Chelsea winning on Wednesday was good news for us - Chelsea are bound to have one eye on Moscow and therefore not want to over-exert themselves (gleefully ignoring that they are still quite likely to want to win the League). So, our usual end of season game against the billionaires playthings is bound to be a win for the gallant Northerners.... ahem....

Of course a win for the Toon on Monday will, in all likelihood give the title to Manure.... Damn....