Premiership Status assured for next season - now's the time to start planning, beginning with a clearout at the very top of Ash** and his cronies.
Apr 15th: Toon...2 Arsenal...1
After a sloppy start, we woke up, and the second of two Shelvey long passes reached Gayle, who passed out to Yedlin who centred for a beautiful Perez goal. We resisted all Gunners' pressure, then as the final third began, started to exert more concerted pressure. As soon as Slim came on as sub he forced a strong header across the box for Perez to flick to Ritchie for the winner! Diame was rightly Man of the Match, but all credit to the whole team!
Apr 7th: Leicester...1 Toon...2
Phew! That is the right scoreline isn't it? We beat the Premier League Champions of two years ago on their own patch! And this was no fluke, we deserved the win: what was most pleasing if not downright incredible, was that the much maligned Perez has blossomed under Rafa's minstrations. Earlier Diame had emerged from the wilderness, now Perez. Surely, surely, Now is the time for Ash*** to sell up, now is the time for him to go, Now, Now is the time!
Mar 31st Toon...1 Huddersfield...0
Not often this season have we been favourites for the win, and in the first half it looked a banker home win. We had chances too numerous to count, some of them sitters. But at half time it was goalless, and the frustration seemed to encourage the opposition and dispirit us. They looked the more likely until on came our January loan striker Slim, and hopes rose. In fact it was the much maligned Perez who got our goal, though frankly my old mum could have scored from Kenedy's fine pass. We clung on for the final nail biting minutes, but we look near safety now... aren't we?
Mar 10th: Toon...3 Southampton...0
With no game after today for three weeks (daft isn't it?), you might have described this six pointer as a must win. But afterwards, let's say it was happily an easy peasy win, Shelvey bossing and new man Kenedy slotting a brace. Frankly, we could have scored more, perhaps we don't need a new number 9?? Mind you Mitro got yet another on loan at Fulham plus a last minute winner, Wor Adam eqialled that with two for Blackburn- do we need a new striker???
Mar 3rd: Liverpool...2 Toon...0
Entirely expected, but not a thrashing. We hover so dangerously near the relegation spots
Feb 24th: Bournemouth...2 Toon...2
After the Lord Mayor's Show of course. Yet it ought not to have been with a sparkling performance until the last quarter. Gayle had breezed in with two goals in the first half, Perez ought to have landed us a third, but was up to his usual lack of form, then Shelvey, who'd had a good match, missed a shot that even my old gran could have notched in. Inevitably that gave Bournemouth hope, and we quickly paid the price. Tragedy this was not quite, but a very typical Toon fiasco
Feb 11th: Toon...1 ManU...0
So who said the age of miracles is past? Pundits gave us no chance, and after our bright start we were reduced to our usual playing on the break. Our debut goalie made several fine saves and was my man of the match, though nearly all the team contributed. It seemed our luck was out when the ref turned down our very strong penalty claim, but joy of joys, a Shelvey free kick was beautifully slotted home by Ritchie. Last ditch defending earned us a famous and exciting victory that lifted us off the relegation spot into which we had (temporarily) fallen. A magnanimous Jose afterwards praised our animal-like grit, "they gave everything they had," and he was right
Feb 4th: Palace...1 Toon...1
A bright first half hour saw us deservedly take the lead from a corner. Then it was a case of either we turned into our shells, or they woke up, or probably both. Their fierce pressure after half time brought a deserved equaliser even though it was via a dubious penalty. From then on there looked to be only one winner, so all credit that we somehow scrambled a draw, indeed had the odd chance to even nick three points
Jan 31st: Toon...1 Burnley...1
Two matches on one day! Which was more crucial? Was it the offpitch antics of our bumbling negotiators, whose handsome splashing out this transfer window amounted to every penny of zilch, despite being handed Rafa's 'List' at the start of the month. True we did bag some on loan players, but offloaded others, so Splashley is laughing all the way to the bank. But fans are not, the relegation battle is a lottery, and we must be among the likeliest ones, I'm sorry to say, for the chop. But on the pitch, we scraped a draw to only slightly relieve these relegation fears, cap'n Lascelles doing the business after our missed penalty had frayed our nerves. Yet they grabbed a late equaliser to plunge us back into gloom. A draw at home to Burnley! That sums up our plight. Thank goodness January is finally done with
FA Cup Jan 28th: Chelsea...3 Toon...0
What else did you expect? I'm glad I hadn't forked out to watch it on BT. I will say however that Chelsea beat Norwich in the last round, and were given a much tougher game than by us. Ah well, concentrate on the league. It is bound now to be 50 years since we won a major trophy, amd goodness knows how many more years we will have to endure waiting
Jan 20th: Man C ...3 Toon...1
At the end of a depressing week off the pitch, somehow this was almost cheering in that we weren't on the receiving end of a bloodbath, as some predicted, and Murphy even got us a consolation goal. No, the result was expected, what is utterly uncertain is where we are going, or rather where we aren't going, with Ash*** depressingly still here, and no signings in the transfer window
Jan 13th: Toon...1 Swansea...1
The true awfulness of the awful reign of Mike Ash*** finally sunk in today. Unloved, starved of funds, Newcastle United struggled to find the net today, despite being the slightly superior side. When we went one down, all the awful things I'd been feeling against Ash*** finally broke through the callouses of his miserable stewardship of our club. Why does one of the finest world class managers not even know if he has funds to spend? Why can't Ash*** sell up, sell out, get out, get stuffed? Thankfully our team awoke me from the urgency of my awful misery by equalising, but a single point at home against the bottom of the table sums up our plight, our awful plight- until Ash*** departs
Jan 6th: FA Cup Toon...3 Luton...1
Do I recall something from the infamous "Every Penny" Ash***, that he'll fork out twenty million when we win the cup? That may have been what spurred us on in a ten minute maelstrom when we netted three goals. Aside from that, this was generally a comfortable victory, as despite the wayward predictions of several well known pundits, we failed to slip on any banana skin
Jan 1st: Stoke...0 Toon...1
A much needed win, we finally bossed a game. Admittedly the opposition looked like our ineffective selves when playing under one of our Scottish managers. Atsu as forward was given plenty of chances, but couldn't convert. In fact the game gave Murphy a chance to shine, as well as the much maligned Perez, who against inferior opposition proved passable.
Dec 30th: Toon...0 Brighton...0
what could you possibly say?
Dec 27th: Toon...0 ManC...1
Against a team that has dropped one point all season, it is debatable whether anything, least of all us, could stop the City juggernaut. We tried, and in my view did creditably well. They scored only one goal, well below their average, while we had a shot headed off the line. We did indeed park the bus, and I for one think that proved the right tactic by Rafa, since at the end we had a chance to push for the equaliser, and Gayle very nearly got it. Not quite, and we would only have deserved a point for our sheer persistence. Everyone tackled well, trouble was that when we got the wretched ball, the pressure was so intense, the ball was given away too cheaply. Neutrals might complain this was dull to watch, and they'd be right, but whose fault is that? Man City have a squad that cost several times what ours does, and the fact that we restricted them to one goal, says more for our grit than their easy won swank
Dec 23rd West Ham...2 Toon...3
After an inauspicious start when newcomer Saivet gifted the home team a goal, he quickly made amends and Rafa's surprise midfielder justified his selection. Even more amazing, nobody else's choice but Rafa's, Diame, then put us into heaven, and at half time we deserved our lead having also hit the bar and the post. Okay, so they missed a pen, and Wor Andy came back to haunt us, but our third goal was a fine team effort and gave us our first three points for an awful long time. At least we have some festive cheer!
Dec 16th: Arsenal...1 Toon...0
The days draw ever shorter as darkness descends to its near permanent midwinter blackness. But there is the hope of better times when the dark Ash*** will blacken us no more. But when will that be, when will that be?
Dec 13th: Toon...0 Everton...1
Return of Big *** Sam was an utter shock- he actually won a match at SJP! Things are now at rock bottom, only good news is that the take over might actually happen, until then, heads down and hope for better days...
Dec 9th: Toon...2 Leicester...3
Toon's Birthday celebrations virtually sucked the ball into the opposition net in the opening minutes. Then, like at Chelsea and ManU, we almost went two up, but Gayle, whose run made our opener, fired just wide. From then on it was inevitable, it seemed, that we should fall behind, though a variation saw us equalise at 2-2, and a welcome home point was on the cards. But it was not to be
Dec 2nd: Chelsea...3 Toon...1
Obvious parallels with the recent ManU match, we began by pressing and harrying and got our reward with another Gayle goal. Thereafter class told...
Nov 28th: WBA...2 Toon...2
We looked to be heading for a new low when we fell two behind, but captain Clark hit back to afford us some hope, then Ritchie's fine free kick deflected in, and we were thankfully level. From then on, partly because they had one injured player, we pressed for victory. Though that sadly never came, this was a much more inspiriting match... and result!
Nov 25th: Toon...0 Watford...3
Oh dear, four straight goalless defeats, though it might have been, I only say might, have been different had Jos grabbed the first good chance of the match. As it was a side that really ought not to walk over us, walked over us. I can offer one grain of comfort however- our poor recent run must mean that Ash***'s asking price will have to be lowered
Nov 18th: Man U 4... Toon...1
Gayle fired us into the lead, Murphy should have made it two nil...
Nov 4th: Toon...0 Bournemouth...1
It all started so well! We had two strikers and dominated the first half, Gayle's goal being utterly wrongly ruled offside. But in the second half we went on our familiar back foot and seemed to be settling for a point until they pounced with an injury time winner. Alas, poor Rafa, second narrow defeat in a week, and our early season euphoria has dissipated. Even if we had put three up front, without one having a killer finishing touch, we might as well play with no striker at all
Oct 30th: Burnley...1 Toon...0
A very similar match to the last versus Palace, except that this time we conceded the one goal. We were generally solid but once again unspectacular. The few shots we had on target were mostly easily saved, Perez's being the pick of the crop. Shelvey made one delightful through pass, but on the whole was more wayward than usual. We found their defence even harder to break down than they did ours. Atsu looked the most likely to do the trick, but apart from a last minute surge on their goal, we didn't really look like scoring. Rafa is doing the best he can with who we have, but we cerainly lack one incisive striker, as has been admitted since last summer
Oct 21st: Toon...1 Palace...0
Our unbeaten run stretches to three, but unlike our previous two well fought and hard earned draws, this was a turgid affair, with a thankful late winner to make it sweeter. But nothing to write home about
Oct 15th: Southampton...2 Toon...2
Our second long trip to the southern coast yielded a point, that might have been more. We soaked up their pressure, as usual, then attacked, a fine long distance shot from Hayden giving us the lead. They hit back soon after the break, but all credit, we had regained the lead within two minutes. Perez, rather aligned by me I admit, forced home the ball from a narrow angle. Alas, though we continued to resist, Jeune panicked unnecessarily, giving away a soft penalty. I didn't see the resulting goal, but I heard it well enough. At the end we might have nicked it, but perhaps a draw was fair. Shelvey's passes weren't quite as incisive today, and Atsu, whom I usually admire, seems to have taken to a flight of showboating, but generally this was a fine team performance
Oct 1st: Toon...1 Liverpool...1
I had thankfully found the Australian Bar to watch us kick off for a dominant start. But their superiority gradually forced us into our familiar On the Break routine and all credit, we defended resiliently. However their Barcelona bound striker was clearly one big difference between the two sides and he proved it with an unstoppable piledriver. But we kept it going and Shelvey's through ball down the middle was well taken by Jos. The fact that the ball ricocheted off his ankle summed up the differences between us. Nevertheless, we held on for a well earned point.
Oh, the Bar was in Newquay Cornwall and I am glad to report the Toon equaliser got much the bigger cheer even though we were 400 miles away!
Sept 24th: Brighton...1 Toon...0
Perhaps here is the proof that spending can win you Premiership points- last season we beat Brighton well, but during the summer they spent and we hardly did, result- they beat us! If you play on the break, and that seems our most valid option, you need two things: 1 the ability to defend well, and that we did for most of the game. One slip however was our undoing. 2 you need forwards to put the ball in on the break. We had one excellent break, swiftly downfield, but muffed the final shot. Once we went one down, we did press more, but did not have the guile to unlock their defence
Sept 16th: Toon...2 Stoke...1
Is this deja or is it deja vu? Remember last season when we lost our first two games? Same again this year, and the pattern has been repeated with three straight wins to follow! If this continues, we might even win the title- like last season!! But more realistically, tougher games lie ahead, but congrats to Rafa and the squad for lifting gloom since the debacle that was the window. As it stands we are in fourth place (Champions League spot!), and while nobody really expects that to be our final position, at least a certain feel good factor is swooning around SJP
Sept 10th: Swansea...0 Toon...1
After the gloom of the non event that was the summer transfers, something to cheer about. Admittedly the first third of the game was pretty dire, our defending resolute, but possession limited. However we gradually emerged from our shell and new boy Jos had several on target headers, including one that look goalbound for sure. In the second half our captain first made a goalline save, before heading in our winner from a corner. It was enough to lift the spirits, and certainly those of that impecunious owner, this is the way to play to grab Premiership survival. However is it what fans, or indeed Rafa want?
Sept 1st: Today is the Unutterable Day of Shame.
Ash*** and his cronies have failed us yet again, why had we hoped for anything different? Yes, players have been sold, but none brought in during the final days of the transfer window. No marquee inspirational signing, zero ambition, invisible vision, complete lack of competence.
My predictions are inevitable if depressing: We will be in the relegation zone in January. Rafa will have gone. No light at the end of the tunnel unless Ash***'s gang have sold out. Now is the time to get the best price Mr Ash***!
Our Championship winning team will need to give 110%, except mathematically that is impossible, and 100% will not be enough. Let this be said of Ash*** (from Habakkuk 2:9 you'll recognise the translation as that of GA Smith) "Thou hast planned shame for thy house. Thou hast cut off many people."
So what can true and honest Toon fans do:
* Dinosaur Monty says a boycott of matches is sad but the only way not to line Every Penny's profits.
* Buy out Ash***- Ant and Dec need to form a consortium.
* Nothing illegal.
Aug 26th: Toon...3 WHam...0
Some lightening of the gloom that had descended over SJP, with a convincing win, though it must be said against a demoralised team. New man Joselu scored, and Mitro made some impression, as did Perez and Atsu. However, even though it was great that Rafa's praises were sung, a sense of foreboding hangs over us- all will be revealed after the transfer window closes
League Cup Aug 23rd: Toon...2 Forest...3
Boos rang out at the final whisle- deservedly- but who were they aimed at? Mostly I hope at Mike 'Every Penny' Ash***, though this was an inept performance, and that's being kind. Mitro got us off to a perfect start, from thereon it was down downhill. Last Saturday we were beaten by a promoted Championship side who have strengthened well, tonight we couldn't even beat a Championship side themselves playing below strength. Dark days indeed
Aug 20th: Huddersfield...1 Toon...0
No surprise really, though we tried our best. Ritchie had one good shot saved, what we need, repeat, is a top striker
Aug 13th: Toon...0 Spurs...2
What a contrast with our last Premier League match 15 months ago! Then we were relegated but showed guts in our stunning 5-1 crushing of the same opposition. This time, with virtually the same team that won us The Championship, we knew it would be tough, and so it proved to be. In the first half our shining stars mostly found they couldn't control like last season, and Hayden, Shelvey and Ritchie were largely anonymous. Only Atsu showed glimpses of his £6 million fee. Shelvey's frustration boiled over and, though goaded into it, he deserved the order of the boot, and from then on it was as painful as awaiting the end of the world, our defeat as certain as death itself. One positive: despite losing two defenders early on, we didn't let our heads drop and capitulate utterly. We badly need resurrecting before next week's match, maybe a star signing could be our salvation from joining the Mackems next season