Christmas is over, you are back to work and still wondering what happened on New Years Eve and where you are going to find the money to pay for all the presents, booze and food you went through during the festive period.
January 2011 turned started out as usual, nothing much was happening, nothing much was going to happen. The media tried it’s best to drum up stories to make us watch their television channel or buy their papers, but it just wasn’t working; NUFC were having a very uneventful January. This was a cause of much frustration for some, as it was well believed at the time that we needed strengthening. So, in time honoured NUFC tradition we waited until the last minute until we did something that took everyone by surprise. Not just us NUFC fans, but the footballing world as we sold Andy Carroll to Liverpool.
This shock move prompted me to take a look back through the annals of time and find out what else occurred during the month of January.
During the 1893-94 season a 7-2 home win versus Middlesborough Ironopolis was the first ever occurrence of a 7-2 scoreline in the football league
A run of 20 successive home league wins come to an end on 12th January 1907 when Crystal Palace beat NUFC 1-0 in the FA Cup. NUFC were unbeaten at home in the league for this season, the only time they have managed this feat and only dropped a single point in home games. Remember it was 2 points for a win then.
An away draw to Manchester City, on Jan 27th 1911, saw the home side miss three penalties. This is the only time this has happened in the top flight of football.
The highest January scoreline in the FA Cup was recorded during the 1926-27 season. It was a 8-1 home win over Nottingham County.
In January 1930 – Andy Cunningham became the first ever player-manager in the top flight of football.
We recorded out biggest January league win with a 9-2 scoreline, on 1st Jan 1934, at home to Liverpool. Seven of Newcastle’s goals were scored in the 2nd half. Despite this win the team were relegated at the end of the season.
The 1949-51 season saw the highest FA Cup tie attendance record for January at SJP, set at 67,596. It was against Bolton on Jan 27th.
On Jan 14th 1953, the FA Cup win over Swansea Town set a record of 16 FA Cup ties unbeaten. This record stood until Spurs beat it in the 1980’s.
The record league attendance for January saw 62,443 people turn up to watch Wolves on 9th Jan 1960.
On 23rd January 1988 the Milburn Stand was officially opened.
Finally, Jimmy Smith, Peter Beardsley, Malcolm MacDonald, David Ginola, Bob Moncur, Jimmy Scoular and Jack Allen all celebrate their birthdays during the month of January.
To keep this easy I’ve just concentrated on our Premier League years. You can moan if you want, but it’s been hard enough finding out our transfers for this period, never mind any earlier!
Some records say January transfer window first came into being in the 2001/2002 season, but when i research transfers for this season it seems that transfers were still being done during the other months.
For example, NUFC signed Jermaine Jenas for £5m from Nottingham Forest on Feb 8th 2001.
On 10 January 1995, Manchester United break the English transfer fee record by signing Andy Cole from Newcastle United in a deal worth £7million, £6million cash plus £1million-rated winger Keith Gillespie.
Further notable January transfers from our Premier League years;
2003 – Johnathan Woodgate (£9m) from Leeds United.
2004 – Nikos Dabizas (free) to Leicester City and Carl Cort (£2m) to Wolves.
2005 – Jean-Alain Boumsong from Rangers (£8m) and Amdy Faye from Portsmouth (£2m) arrived, while Craig Bellamy went to Celtic for a six month loan and Olivier Bernard joined Southampton (Undisclosed).
2006 – Laurent Robert left for Benfica (free)
2007 – We took Oguchi Onyewu from Standard Liege on a five month loan.
2008 – Ben Tozer arrived from Swindon Town (undisclosed)
2009 – Haris Vuckic from Domzale (undisclosed), Peter Lovenkrands had no club and came on a free. Kevin Nolan also arrived from Bolton Wanderers (£4m) and Shay Given left to Man City (undisclosed).
2010 – Danny Simpson signed after a loan spell with the club (undisclosed), Wayne Routledge from QPR (undisclosed), Mike Williamson from Portsmouth (undisclosed), Fitz Hall from QPR (loan), Patrick van Aanholt from Chelsea (loan). During this large influx of players, Geremi left to join Ankaragucu (undisclosed)
*Note – Leon Best is listed as Joining on 1st Feb.
That brings us bang up to date with:
2011 – Hatem Ben Arfa is signed permanently after being on loan with the club for an undisclosed fee and Stephen Ireland joins the club.(loan)
The exits from the club are quite unremarkable being fringe players, reserves or kids. Matthew Grieve to Stockport County (loan), Joan Simun Edmundsson and James Tavernier to Gateshead (loan), Tamas Kadar to Huddersfield Town (loan), Ryan Donaldson to Hartlepool (loan) That’s it, I don’t think I’ve forgotten anyone?
Oh, yeah, Andy Carroll left to Liverpool for £35m, knew I’d forgotten someone!
I’ll complete the transfers section with a familiar story from January 1995. On 10 January 1995 – Manchester United break the English transfer fee record by signing Andy Cole from Newcastle United in a deal worth £7million; £6million cash plus £1million-rated winger Keith Gillespie.
Where I was working at the time we had the radio on all day, and I still remember the shock when the radio announcer told us what had just happened. 10:30am was when I first knew in case you were interested.
I remember a lot of fans, including myself, were saddened and confused with Keegan for selling Cole, leading to Keegan publicly confronting the fans explaining his reasons for doing so. I remember the footage of Keegan standing on the steps of St James Park explaining what he did and for us to trust him. Which we did. Could Andy Carroll be Pardew’s “Andy Cole” moment?
Joseph Kevin Keegan OBE, better known around here as “King Kev” has been one manager that has hit the headlines in January, and not always for the good of the club.
I’ve already mentioned his selling of Andy Cole in 1995, but there are two other stand out January moments for the player once known as “Mighty Mouse”.
On 7th January 1997, he shocked everyone when he announced his resignation from the club. Absolutely no one saw it coming.
He stated he was quitting because he felt he had taken the club as far as he could. Rumours at the time said it was down to Sir John Hall asking Keegan for a long term commitment to the club, which Keegan was unable to give and that the pressure of selling Andy Cole and the failed title challenge of 1995-1996 were still haunting him.
Kenny Dalglish took over from him in a twist of fate that mirrored life at Liverpool Football club 20 years earlier when Dalglish replaced Keegan as Liverpool’s main striker. Was this the last time we would see Keegan at NUFC?
Exactly eleven years and nine days later Keegan returned to NUFC for as third time, his second stint as manager of the club. On 16th January 2008 thousands of fans turned up to see the return of the man we once hailed as “King Kev”. He didn’t jump straight into the hot seat, but instead watched the FA Cup 3rd Round Replay against Stoke City from the stands along side Mike Ashley and Chris Mort (remember him?). His first game back in charge was against Bolton Wanderers on 19th January.
Other less popular management appointments in January 2008 were Dennis Wise as Director of Football, Tony Jimenez as Vice President (Player Recruitment) and Jeff Vetere as Technical Co-ordinator.
This was going to be a revelation in football management. A “Continental” style setup for the 21st Century. It didn’t quite work out as well as they thought it would though.
So, another January been and gone, I hope the above has helped you decide whether this was an extraordinary January or just another run of the mill January in the history of NUFC.
*It’s by Pilot.