Toon- the biggest soccer team not to have won a trophy for half a century.... and not likely to for the foreseeable, sadly. No proper trophies at all for 52 years.
May 14th: Toon...3 Man City...4
Totally against the run of play, we took the lead against the newly crowned champions! From an incessant defending, the first pass that was at all incisive for a breakaway, led to a corner, from which Kraft headed powerfully home. That stunned the champs, and a deflected goal followed by a piledriver saw us suddenly behind. But another of those breaks caused a soft penalty, which Joe- yes Joe- fired in. So scores were surprisingly level at half time. They persisted in attack, but another breakaway led to a second obvious penalty. Willock earned it and he took it and the ball was parried, but thankfully he fired us into the lead. However, like in the first half, they quickly restored their lead and ended up toying with us like a cat with a mouse. The difference in class was glaring, but you couldn't fault our effort. It left me reflecting, for the millionth time, how much we need that takeover... My only consolation is that Rafa is still 'between jobs,' and who knows...? But how long can he wait for Godot?
May 7th: Leicester...2 Toon...4
The tv commentator pronounced after a few minutes, "alarm bells are ringing for Steve Bruce." Well, we could have told him that the bells have been ringing ever since he was appointed! We had made a lethargic start, but somewhere along the way, Leicester began giving us Christmas presents, and, who else, Willock pounced on one and we took the lead. Wor Dummy made it two, heading in from a corner, and after the break. Wilson bagged a pair, the fourth goal being the pick, from a fine pass by Almiron. 4-0 up! The less said about the final fifteen minutes the better, but just to credit Dubby, who had made some saves earlier- he made a fine stop to prevent them from getting within one of us, and thus not putting us through the agony of a worrying finale.
May 2nd: Toon...0 Arsenal...2
According to the Duffer we are "pushing on" to the end of the season. Whatever he meant, I dunno, but from today's performance against a second string Arsenal, I would judge a good synonymn of Pushing On is Anaemic. Happy with 17th position in the league, one above the relegation spot, we played today like it was end of season, our position secure. Well it surely is, but the most interesting thing in today's tv coverage was interrupting to show the Man U supporters' protest against their owners. One can only abhor the unnecessary violence, but approve the excellent intention, one that puts Toon supporters to shame: our protests agin Ash*** have been compared with this, what's the word, anaemic?
April 24th: Liverpool...1 Toon...1
Deja vu, with Wonderful Willock coming off the bench to score again, a priceless last minute equalizer! Why on earth doesn't the Duffer put him in the starting eleven? Good to get a point off the Champions, who had covered themselves in disgrace this week, with the Super League project. But make no mistake, Ash*** would have signed up to it, had they thought to ask him
April 17th: Toon...3 West Ham...2
No longer is relegation a big worry!
Now's the time for that mysteriously delayed takeover!
Bring back Rafa!
No doubting the fact that The Duffer is a lucky manager, after today's match, the tensest of the whole season. We were gifted the first goal, an own goal, then their goalie makes a blunder. We are two nil up. Fair enough, we deserved the lead, for our attacking play. But instead of pressing on, we sat back, eleven men against ten, and it was Toon that looked like the team with only ten! We conceded two goals and with ten minutes to go, you feared the worst. But their equlaiser proved a wake-up call, and well done to Willock, who really ought to have been in the starting eleven, for heading home our winner. Suddenly we have 35 points, and we really should be safe now?
April 11th: Burnley...1 Toon...2
Much needed three points, we can breathe slightly more freely. Man of the Match? Well certainly Maxi turned the game when he came on as sub: in five minutes he had created our equaliser and then scored what proved to be our winner. He nearly set up a third in the dying moments. But he was only Half Man, because for me Dubravka kept us in the game with a confident display of goalkeeping, epitomised by a fine save from our own Wor Dummy, accidentally as it were. Three cheers!
April 4th: Toon...2 Spurs...2
Ash*** proved true to form, surprising us all yet again- by not sacking The Duffer. But no surprise as to this result, getting three points again proved impossible. The writing was on the wall when our £40 man, Joe, fired straight at the goalie, then Gayle failed to latch on a fine pass from Shelvey. Momentary hope when Joe scored a goal that any of 50,000 Toon fans would also have scored. Then heartache as we conceded twice within minutes. More attacking were we than in the Brighton debacle, though when our 40 man missed a sitter, it looked all up. But all credit for a good attacking performance that secured an equaliser from Willock. The mood reminded me of that famous 5-1 win over Spurs five years ago. Then we knew we were relegated, but with Rafa in charge, we had cause for cautious optimism. Today's play was positive, but it looks like it will be as much by other teams' failures that we might escape relegation this time
Mar 20th: Brighton...3 Toon...0
This threatened to be the daddy of all six pointers, though our task was made simpler by Fulham in the R spot below us thankfully losing, making it more inevitable than ever that The Duffer would park the bus tonight. Regretfully, this arrived with a dreadfully slow puncture, accent on the slow, and afforded fans a painful watch. One shot that hit the bar was the highlight of a miserable 90 minutes. What was most worrying was that this was the first time ever that the Duffer picked the best available team- with the probable exception of Joe. The betting must now be that thankfully before the next match, Duffer will have packed his clogs, though any new manager will need a heap of luck as well as managerial nous to keep us up. This is deju vu Mr Ash*** - Shearer, Rafa, and now...? Well Jones is the most likely, but Ash*** is a man for nasty surprises, so no shock if it turns out to be that dubious tv pundit Tim Sherwood, or even the Return of Roy Kinnear! The Entertainers we once were, now we merely aspire to be The Containers, and tonight even in that modest ambition, we failed so miserably
Mar 13th: After another tedious match, we snatched a late equaliser against Villa, to earn one much needed point. Which may mean that The Duffer's demise is delayed, many guess that Graeme Jones is there as a standby, and The Duffer knows it. Of course the scenario we are all dying to see is the departure of Ash***. Oh, and a takeover. Oh, and the reappointment of Rafa
Mar 7th: West Brom...0 Toon...0
We started brightly but failed to take any of the three chances in the first twenty minutes, no doubt The Duffer has slagged three players off: or mebbes it was his fault- have you considered that?- not playing recognised forward Gayle. He did come on and had half an hour, but by now this was a dour struggle, a six pointer that ended up with points shared. Better for us, of course, we did a job and parked the bus etc, but hardly inspirational
Feb 27th: Toon...1 Wolves...1
We grabbed a point against a lacklustre pack of Wolves, in the first half we should have put the game to bed, but spurned several reasonable chances. Inevitably Wolves improved and it was almost against the run of play that we finally scored with a powerful header from Lascelles. But could we hold on? No of course not, and in the end you felt we were clinging to a point, specially with our two best players, Miggy and Maxi, off thru injury. However Joelinten nearly won it for us at the end, only of course he couldn't put the ball in the net. £40 million? Maybe worth 40p by now, our local team might pick him- or maybe they might not
Feb 15th: Chelsea...2 Toon...0
I missed the rearguard action with nine men against Southampton, nailbiting stuff apparently, hanging on for a narrow win! I wished I'd missed this one. The two matches must have been chalk and cheese, with little forward movement from us, and Chelsea ought to have been out of sight by half time. Thankfully they weren't and we showed a bit more gumption in the second half, though one suspects that had we actually scored, Chelsea could easily have moved up a gear. We stand at the 'safe' 17th spot in the league, but how safe is that?
Jan 30th: Everton...0 Toon...2
Is that a misprint? No- for once we can hold our heads high, turning in a good performance. Let's hope that this was no flash in the pan and that talks of the R word (relegation in our case) is a thing of the past
Jan 23rd: Villa...2 Toon... 0
Deeply depressing and distressing watching on, as The D***er's New Style of play revealed a bankruptcy of enthusiasm and achievement. For myself, my team would not have included Lewis or Hendrick, and I certainly would not have brought on Red Card Fraser after his recent shocking display. There is a malaise about Newcastle Utd that is soul destroying. Some of the players are talented but they gave nothing to their manager (he wouldn't have deserved it anyway), to the team or to the absent fans. Something needs to change, though changing The D***er for another patsy will only provide a short term boost. As someone once said, "we're doomed."
Jan 18th: Arsenal...3 Toon...0
Before this match, D***er Bruce, all credit to him, bravely announced that after the last fiasco of a match, he was gonna play this game his "own way."
This was the result.
If you have a long memory, you will recall that Bruce, when appointed, announced he was going to play attacking football. He soon discovered that the team he had inherited were unable to oblige, and The D***er had to revert to Rafa's defensive formation.
But since that time Ash*** has splashed the cash on attacking players, although admittedly the forty million pound man is about on the level of dear old Joselu. But Ash*** has also purchased well in Wilson, and hit lucky with Maxi, even if the latter was not playing tonight.
So what did playing The Bruce Way involve? I haven't seen all the stats, except for the scoreline, but the new way seemed little different from the old- aimless, perfunctory at times, lacking pride. His team section would not have been mine, Ritchie should have been in, not Joe, and why wasn't our best current player Hayden given a starting place? This scoreline was utterly predictable- sadly.
Whither Newcastle? There is no way forward that will reverse the current decline. A new manager might possibly help, should an improbable load of cash be forthcoming, but frankly until Ash*** awards himself the order of the boot, both these 'solutions' are pointless, doomed
Jan 12th: Sheff Utd...1 Toon...0
You get many depressing lows as a Newcastle supporter. But this was one of the lowest. A must win game for both teams. We lost. The worst of it was, this bottom of the table side were far superior to us, even though they have no striker and have not won a league match all season (until tonight). They were better even before we went down to ten men.The penalty we conceded was certainly harsh, but the bottom line was, we always seemed to be playing for a draw- until we fell behind. The only good thing to come out of this fiasco, might be that Ash*** might well perceive the need for action. I would suggest that sacking D***er Bruce will solve nothing, since it will only lead to another Yes Man being appointed, should anyone be dug up who is fool enough to take on the job. Where do we go from here? Down is the only direction at present. Bottom of the table? How to avoid Relegation? The only hope that I can see is that there are worse teams still below us
Jan 9th: Arsenal...2 Toon...0 (FA Cup)
Result utterly as predicted. Manner of defeat less expected, for we showed ambition, had two glorious chances, and took them to extra time. No doubt we will be knackered for our six pointer in three days time. During the week D***er Bruce suggested that it was "morally" wrong for football to continue during this pandemic. I would question the use of that word, and ask him if it is "morally" right for him to continue as manager, come to think of it, is it "morally" right for Ash*** to pretend to be in charge? Maybe they can see the writing on the wall...
Jan 3rd: Toon...1 Leicester...2
In a lucklustre first half, we reverted to the ultra negative, then after the interval tried to be more constructive as we did against Liverpool. Almost at once, Leicester hit us on the break and showed themselves better finishers than the champs, and we were soon two down. Game over, though it was good to see Wor Andy hit the net for a consolation (what consolation?)- was his goal drought the longest ever for a striker?
Dec 30th: Toon...0 Liverpool...0
Never thought I'd be thanking Big *** Sam for our point tonight, but 'twas our former unlamented manager who gave the blueprint for tonight, when his team drew last week with the champions. I think we surprised our visitors, and took the game to them whenever we could. Ironically, their best moments came when they copied us!- on the break. Yes, they were off colour in front of goal, but Darlow was generally impressive, and our back nine solid. Best performance of the season
Dec 26th: Man C...2 Feeble Toon...0
At least we kept the scoreline respectable. Can you ask for any more?
Dec 22nd: Brentford...1 Newcastle Utd...0
What on earth went wrong? D***er Bruce had picked his strongest side available- only the ailing Wor Sean would I have changed- and we started with attacking intent. Wilson was sharp, but not so sharp as usual and couldn't take his half chances. Thwarted by the home side, by half time we had become lethargic, Bruce's team talk seemed to intensify our inability to break them down, and sloppy passing became the feature of our play. No surprise when we fell behind. That did awake us to some sort of action, typified by Wor Andy bundling over Wor Sean and shooting aimlessly. It's an interesting question, is it better to field a weakened cup team and go down, or play a strong one and still get beaten? Morale must be low after this defeat, but then fans' morale has been low for many a year- oh well, happy Christmas!
Dec 19: Toon...1 Fulham...1
Mebbes I was feeling jaded at Boris' belated (if correct) curtailing of our seasonal festivities today, but our team looked woefully flat in the first half, depressing also, even the hardworking Miggy seemingly exhausted. However he produced one magic pass to put Wilson thru on goal, and a slightly generous penalty saw us even up the flattering scoreline. From then on, you actually had to ask yourself, do the opposition only have ten men? This was a performance to miss, but good to see Wor Dummet back in action. Merry Christmas everyone?
Dec 16th: Leeds...5 Toon...2
Methinks D***er Bruce thought we could emulate the home team and play attacking football like them. Against West Brom last time it did work, but this time, though we again scored first, we had to defend well to keep the scored down to 2 all. But tonight the attacking subs failed to make any impact, and Leeds picked us off with three breakaway goals. Best player was probably Clark, with Hayden continuing to prove reliable. Murphy improved when he moved up from back, but Wor Sean was woeful for once, as was Lewis, and inevitably Joe little better
Dec 12th: Toon...2 West Brom...1
Our Covid ravaged side swung into action again, and a brilliant opening goal within half a minute settled the nerves. Or did it? A Covid indiced torpor gradually seemed to descend, and we reverted to type, defending until they got an inevitable equaliser. But all credit to The D***er for subbing with an attacking line-up, the returning Gayle scored a brilliant winner off Murphy's inch perfect cross
Nov 27th: Palace...0 Toon...2
After an unprecedented flow of attacking football and we had subsided to our normal passivity, I was idly musing on the coincidence of the two teams' logos, which both have 88. Did it portend 88 attempts on goal?! More like 88 passes in the match! But in the end, after a woeful display, 88 proved highly significant, as Wilson scored in the 88th minute, from a nicely weighted pass from Joe. Then Joe himself scuffed another shot, which neatly deflected off their player and into the net! But the one who really won the match for us was Roy of the Rovers, sorry of Palace: their manager bravely tried an ultra attacking formation, and thankfully for us, our forwards had much more space. Still, we took our chances. How we won two nil is welcome but nothing short of smash and grab. Maybe if an enterprising team of villains is looking for a mastermind?... Oh no, what did I write last time... Wor Steve for England manager- that's my cry!
Glad I decided to miss the Chelsea defeat. But it does strike me that as England have failed to win their Nations League group, is it time for a new manager to take the helm? A man with new ideas, vision, experience? Yes, I am talking up Wor Steve for manager of the national team (And I mean the English team). Who better to bring fresh impetus, a lively attacking style, a great new era will be dawning: Wor Steve Bruce for manager!
I appreciate this will be a great sacrifice for Toon, but we must stand aside in the national interest. Yes, a huge void will need filling, and I suggest Rafa is contacted immediately
Nov 6th: Southampton...2 Toon...0
Though we started aggressively, that changed when Miggy lost possession uncharacteristically, and we went one down. We rode our luck, our post hit, a cast iron penalty against us refused (thankfully) - you sensed we might even snatch a late equaliser as at Spurs and Wolves, but no, we were poor today and Wor Sean gifted them a second. Once the oppo keep Maxi under wraps, we struggle, and that's what happened tonight. Murphy vainly attempted to take on the Maxi role, but we lacked a real leader on the pitch like Jon Jo or Isaac Hayden
Nov 1st: Toon..2 Everton...1
A turgid first half can only be remembered for our good defending. But the second half proved more entertaining, with Wilson winning what I thought was a soft penalty- but who's complaining?- and neatly slotting in from the spot. Our best move came immediately after, with Longstaff (S) nearly scoring: he looked more up to speed today. Then the ex-Bournemouth duo gave us a two goal cushion, and it looked plain sailing. However what ought to have been a formality was nothing short of near disaster when they scored at the started of six minutes added on time. Frankly it gave us six minutes of anxiety, unnecessary because D***er Bruce had taken off our two most creative players (Maxi and Miggy) inviting the Toffees to come on to us. Thankfully we held out for the three points
Oct 25th: Wolves...1 Toon...1
Maybe the best moment was the D***er Bruce pre-match interview, in which he was asked about team selection: "what was your thinking?" Now there's a novel concept! In fact the answer was that injuries meant the line up sort of chose itself. We certainly offered an attacking eleven. However, this 'plan' didn't come to any fruition because we were forced to play defensively, and Maxi was not having one of his better games. Thankfully the defence was solid, I pick out Lewis who had his best game for us, and we clung on well. A goalless draw looked inevitable, until Darlow failed to save a powerful shot. Luckily for us, their goalkeeper didn't line up his wall too well after Wilson won a very soft free kick. All credit to Murphy who neatly curled the ball into the bottom corner of the net
Our mauling on Oct 17rh against ManU was screened on Sky Box office. Tough on those Newcastle fans who forked out the exorbitant £14.95! The greed of the Premier League did not entice me, so I missed our capitulation, conceding three goals in the dying minutes. Bring back Rafa, bring back Wor Kev, bring back even Wor Bobbie!
Oct 3rd: Toon...3 Burnley...1
One name the non-existent crowd would have shouted: Maxi!! He weaved and bamboozled the oppo for a brilliant first goal. Then, even better, with the scores level and Burnley seemingly in the ascendancy, he produced a lightning run, a brilliant cross, and Wilson slotted in the winner. The match had been threatening to become one of two halves, with us, after an aggressive first half, apparently capitulating, until Maxi changed the game
Sept 30th: how we beat second div Newport in the League Cup is nothing short of miraculous luck! Our play was at their level (or worse), they got an early goal, and our response was lethargic. I doubt if Wor Andy could have scored even from the spot. Murphy was the only one who showed much energy, but his finishing was woeful. An injection of something, or possibly they were tiring, yes that's it, and we finished the stronger, thankfully a Shelvey special got us an equaliser. We were down again in the penalty shoot-out, with our £40 million man missing. How on earth did we scrape home?
Sept 27th: Spurs...1 Toon...1
According to the Special One, Our Bruce is "intelligent," but more appropriately, he is a lucky manager. We said it last season, and this match it was nothing short of a miracle to come away with a point. We were outplayed, as expected, we had no shots in 90 minutes on target to nobody's surprise, yet we won a disputed penalty. For me, it was a penalty according to the rules, though surely the rules need changing. But well played to Wilson who calmly slotted in our last gasp equaliser
Sept 23rd: Morecambe...0 Toon...7
The best line was that Joelinton is now a transfer target for Division 2 sides. But at least we showed ourselves superior to the lower division minions. Beware however, lest euphoria overtake us again: the next match away against Spurs will prove a tougher job.
Sept 20th: Home defeat against Brighton, no shots on target. The Seagulls finished below us last season, but on this showing, it's us who will be fighting relegation. The absurd euphoria after the win against West Ham was partly tempered by an appalling home display in midweek against Blackburn, anf for those with eyes to see, the writing was on the wall even then. Today Wor Andy was ineffective, and was rightly subbed. Things did improve in the second half but this was a performance to forget, worrying times ahead
Sept 12th: West Ham...0 Toon...2
An excellent start, though let's be frank, we beat a side that is going to be fighting against relegation, so this was not the toughest of tests! At least two new signings came up with the goods, ie goals, and Maximin was as usual Man of the Match, and Almiron deserved better than a ten minutes sub's slot as he provided the incisive pass for the second goal. Well done to Wor Andy also, who may not be a forward any more, but did sterling work with his headers