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They said we wouldn’t do it…

Posted on May 19th, 2011 | 34 Comments |

A good return to the Premiership for the Magpies?
A good return to the Premiership for the Magpies?
When we kicked off this…Er! Sorry!…

Before, long before we’d even kicked off this season, away to Man U, virtually everyone had us down as Championship fodder by the end of the season. Before a ball was even kicked, we had to wade through endless press mongering interspersed with fans bemoaning how we were gonna fail to achieve the standard required to stay in this league.

Most of it, admittedly, was the usual guff and lazy punditry put before us on a regular basis these days, the kind of stuff that’s lacking any real substance or conviction, and is just trotted out when the acronym N.U.F.C. is mentioned. I took with a whole sack full of salt, in fact I looked into buying shares in Siberia, no dice, so i had to just dismiss it as I usually do with that kind of inanity.

The really sad thing though was how a lot of fans didn’t seem to think we would comfortably survive. A bit (lot) like last season in the Championship. But as the games started to tick down, it started to dawn on people that this was indeed a better team than most had decided it was. After the very satisfying battering of Villa at home the hope of Toon fans everywhere must have tangibly lifted, but was dented almost immediately with the home defeat to fellow promotees Blackpool.

By the time we’d beat Everton and Chelsea away (albeit, in the Cup), then lost at home, once again to Stoke, Man city away and only managed a draw v Wigan, yet again at SJP, you could tell that it was gonna be one of those consistently inconsistent type of seasons. It seemed to me about this point that we were nailed on for mid table survival, beating decent teams but yeilding to ‘so called’ lesser teams.

After a great win away at this season’s obvious candidates for relegation, West Ham (they only just scraped by last term), and the absolute pounding meted out to S*****land (Brrr! Shudders!), we got a top result down at Arsenal, quickly followed by disappointment v Blackburn, Fulham and Bolton (what is it with us and Bolton, away?). Again, good to great results v Chelsea and Liverpool, sandwiching a poor one at West Brom (the other promotees). It seemed that was the final straw for the ‘powers that be’ and Chris Hughton was dispensed with. By this point our early promise had started to evapourate somewhat and we had started to backslide down the league again.

In comes Alan Pardew, the Liverpool win which was mostly attributed to Chris Hughton, became a distant memory as we slumped to two defeats at the hands of Citeh and Spurs. Wigan away made a welcome and refreshing change, for once. Then the hammering of, well, the Hammers, with Leon Best grabbing a hat-trick was a joy to watch and a boost back into the top half of the table. The it was foot off the gas time once again with the embarrassing cup defeat to Stevenage, hats of to them for ‘wanting’ it though, and the dual loss of all three points in the last seconds of the Mackem and Spurs games. Next we had what can only be described as ‘comeback’ of this year’s Premier League season, Arsenal at SJP. Not much left to say about that game, other than you can get it on DVD, it’s that famous!

So as we got down to the business end of the season, had the press, pundits and fan’s views changed with regard to our fight for survival?

Damn right they had!

Gone were the predictions of doom and gloom from the usual suspects, it was more about where we’d finish, with no mention of relegation scraps. Next, the press where starting to ‘help sell’ our best players to teams playing European football.

With the now constant stream of who we wanted with the money we got on the last day of January.

Draw, win, draw – Blackburn, Brum, Bolton.

Then, two of the worst games of the season in the shape of Everton and Stoke (again?). The win v Wolves cemented our reletively easy survival, for me, but it was a real pity we couldn’t have put Villa right in the brown stuff with a win at their place, it would of been so apt.

Just to get it straight in all comers minds that the Geordies were back in the big time – BIG TIME! The lads go and get an excellent draw at home to Champions in waiting, Man U.

That shut a few up!

Another draw v Blackpool, defeat at Liverpool (thanx ref!), victory v Brum and a creditable comeback away to Chelsea last week, unbeaten away to Chelsea this season, yey!

That brings us bang up to date with what has been a quite satisfying first season back in the top league.

So, with just the final game, home to WBA this weekend, can we defy the pundits and press, who’ve gone very quiet, it must be said, and pull off a top half finish?

What did you predict our final position would be, at the start of the season?

It would be interesting to see the media boys predictions again, wouldn’t it?

But hey, onwards and upwards!

HOWAY THE LADS!

Poll.

NUFCBlog Author: CLiNT FLiCK Cut me in half & it'll say Newcastle United F.C. just like a stick of Black 'n' White rock! CLiNT FLiCK has written 42 articles on this blog.

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34 Responses

  1. I’d have to say I completely relaxed after ther Manu & Villa games. NUFC were not really out of it at Manu and showed what they could do with Villa. From there on it was just a matter of how high up in the table the club could finish. When a counter current to that started, out went CH, and stability was restored. Howay the lads!

  2. Clint, as I mentioned the other day, it could be said that we have done more or less as we should have going by the value of our squad, which is the thirteenth best in the Premier League, with us currently standing at twelfth. Of course though, that isn’t the whole story at all, just an interesting side point for all those who say that we have a poor squad which deperately needs to be reinforced. We have an average one like Bolton, Fulham, Stole, or even our esteemed red and white cousins from the other, equally great side of the North East..

    How’s that Chuck? – I’m trying! ;-)

  3. Good season. Better than I expected. I didn’t think we’d actually get relegated again but I thought we’d have spent more time in the danger zone.

  4. Can,t remember making any prediction at the start of the season, but was always going to be happy with stability . I think most of us would have been happy with 17th to be honest and take anything else as a bonus which is what has occured really. The teams togetherness is what has been the backbone of our season and MUST be utilised to its maximum next season. this is the stuff that makes Manure tick so it must be worth having.

  5. It was all about survival from day 1#
    Anything better was a bonus.
    It was a season of unpredictability, to get beat at home by Blackpool but draw with Man. U., to hammer Sunderland and Villa, then lose to lower place teams ?
    It was the Arsenal game, that that some admitted to coming out for the second half to try and keep the score respectable, and the change that took place following the sending off.
    The unexpected draw at Stamford Bridge, with a bunch of bench warmers and kids ?
    The qestion arose, just which side was going to show up?
    The one fact that became obvious was the lack of depth and especially the quality of the bench.
    In which case we have punched above our weight for the most part and could`nt expect much more, but if the side is to be competitive in the coming season we have to add numbers to the squad plus a bit of quality.

  6. Porciestreet says:
    May 19, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    “Hey Worky, is that the sound of you choking or is it your tongue in cheek.”

    Porciestreet, I’m trying to cure myself of ‘Mackemism’ for Chuck’s sake, though I have to admit that I’m gagging a bit, and feel a little strange! :-)

  7. I remember that at the of October I predicted we would finish mid -table and ended up with 12th spot in my head. Looking now at the table I was right but the lads still have done much better than I thought. I thought we would be in the danger zone more often than not and to be flirting with a Europa spot a couple of times this season shows the lads have been excellent.

    Next season we will be much stronger I hope and we could clinch the Europa spot, that’s if we’re lucky with injuries for once.

  8. chuck says:
    May 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    “Workie
    Yeah I hear you !”

    Chuck, I have mentioned my association with the other lot on this ‘blog before.

  9. Really exciting season in term of football entertainment. Anything is possible for us. Hopefully we can show our improve squad next season. Keep going on our good work HWTL !

  10. I had us down for 46 points at the start of the season (much to the amusement of my Wolves supporting mates!!). However, I only have 14 of the 35 results correct. Never mind, its how many we got, not where we got them, that matters. HWTL,

  11. Well the biggest bonus for me is that we haven’t been in the bottom 6, struggling to escape, virtually all season.
    Its been a very strange season, unique even, in that it has been so tight from 6th to 20th, and even now with only 1 game left there is only 1 point seperating 5 clubs.
    I cant explain how thrilled and chuffed I am that NUFC isn’t one of them :D
    The fact that we still have the possibility to finish 8th/9th with a final day home win against the Baggies says it all. I just hope the Lads on the pitch pull out all the stops on sunday, and I think they will.
    HWTL

  12. I never thought even before the season started that we would get relegated , Reason being most of our squad are seasoned premiership players and not many promoted teams have that . Its going to be an interesting summer of wheeling and dealing and i wonder how much of the dead wood we can shift out and who will come , one thing i am confident about is that Pardew can move us forward wether we can get into the mix for a european place depends on the new signings but my faith in the the manager is growing .

  13. worky @2,
    that’s if you base it solely on monitory worth, over experience & less tangible things like skill factors, hey?

    We seem to be ending about where i thought we would, though i was expecting about 10th.
    That’s still possible like, so not disappointed yet.
    :)

  14. I agree with Porciestreet, about the togetherness, but our new found stability, took a battering mid way thru the season, what with the sale of Judas and the sacking of Hugton. But the team spirit and togetherness held firm.
    Much credit to the Lads for that.
    I hope we can keep that comeradery going with any new arrivals/departures.
    Its going to be an interesting and probably long summer tho.

  15. Clint – I dont think many fans really thought we could have finished 10th. Howay seriously. we hadn’t finished that high for years. Thats pretty optimistic mate.

  16. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    May 19, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    “worky @2,
    that’s if you base it solely on monitory worth, over experience & less tangible things like skill factors, hey?”

    Those things tend to go together though Clint. When a player is highly skilful and has experience wihtout being old and clapped out, they tend to be far more valuable than unskilled players with no experience, or even unskilled players with alot of experience!

  17. BB,
    aye mate,
    but it’s what i thought was possible, based on our squad v others.

    9th-12th was always eminently possible, i just don’t get sucked into the doom thing, try & keep a clear mind about it, then be realistic.

    The team spirit has been very much a deciding factor too like. It gets clubs a long way, just look at stoke & bolton this season.

  18. worky,
    aye mate, but that doesn’t mean owt, if they don’t produce it.
    & inexperienced players can be great players, just unrecognized.
    Was just watching some Solano reels last night, it’s amazing how little praise & prestige that guy garnered from the press & pundits, isn’t it?

  19. yes mate. I think the key to keeping that is NOT having trophy signings, the likes of owen, who were clearly only here for the wonga and who’s attitude stank.
    One rotten apple can literally cause so much damage.
    Pardew has a tough task ahead tbh, just to get the right players in.
    Of course team spirit will only get us so far, we still need talent aswell. And get a grip on all these injuries we get season after season.
    I hear Jonas is crocked now, any ideas?

  20. BB,
    i really do think that some of the injuries are ‘strategic’ mate. Not all obviously, a bit of rest at various points for various players, keeps ’em fresh & gives others a shot without saying you’ve dropped someone or let it be known that they are even droppable.
    You’re right though mate, no trophy signings, they rarely work out, or even work.
    It’s hard to be motivated once you’re financially sorted.

  21. Plus you cant legislate for a broken leg, courtesy of a manc shitty thug :evil:

  22. BB,
    very true mate.
    Sometimes players just take knocks too.
    Jonas is just getting an early vacation for good behaviour.
    :)

  23. Skysports Breaking news, nufc agree deal for n’zogbia, great news in my opinion

  24. Had there been an option between ‘Good’ and ‘Average’ I’d have taken it. As there wasn’t, I plumped for ‘Average’. That may seem a little harsh and if we do finish in 8th then I will gladly change it to ‘Good’, but there were too many home games lost or drawn that were way less than good in my view. I have high hopes for the Toon with good and justifiable reason and we should consider mid-table as very average in my view, and at least so long as the likes of Bolton, Stoke, and possibly West Brom are above us. HWTL, and I am full of good hope for next season. And thanks for all these blogs. Out here you guys keep me very much in the loop and I most grateful for it. Many, many thanks!

  25. Paul in Hollywood says:
    May 19, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    “Had there been an option between ‘Good’ and ‘Average’ I’d have taken it. …

    And thanks for all these blogs. Out here you guys keep me very much in the loop and I most grateful for it. Many, many thanks!”

    Paul, I thought about an option between ‘good’ and ‘average’ when I was doing the poll, as I would have gone much the same way! Then you start thinking stuff like ‘why not put very good between good and excellent?’ and so on and it gets too complicated. If we win against West Brom, that would indeed leave us in quite a ‘good’ position at the end of the season, but we divven’t knaa yet.

    Thanks for the rest too, it’s nice to know that we’re appreciated!

  26. Paul in hollywood,
    nice one mate!

    I see Lee Clarke has got Huddersfield in the play off final, well done Lee!

    Future Toon manager there, in a few years.
    Like the way he’s gone about earning his spurs in the management game.

  27. All you lot are very much appreciated by those of us who rely on you for new aboot all things NUFC. First thing I read in the morning (mid afternoon for you lot) everyday. If we beat WBA and stock don’t win, we jump two places. That’d be mint. Mainly just want to see the season out with a win, but at the same time I can forgive AP for putting out a young side to see what they can do. What’s the diff in TV money for finishing 10th v 12th?

    ooh, actually 3 if Citeh beat Bolton. can’t see Stoke losing to wigan, but Wigan will be desperate for points so who knows. We’re in a good position to see the season out on a good know. HWTL!!

  28. Where’s the news on skysports saying we’ve agreed a deal for n’zog?can’t find it anywhere

  29. i think its 800k for every place we finish higher. So still plenty to fight for. If i were fat mike i would say…ok lads, go out there today nad if you win it, where ever we finish higher than we are now is your cash to split as bonus between you and the rest of the nufc staff. If we went up to 8th spotthats 4 x 800k. 3.6 million spread out for all nufc staff… nice gesture, of course what mike will do is loose 4 million on the craps table instead, then tip the casino lass on the way out.

  30. Now if this Sunday is all about how much more prize money NUFC can win, then they need MA up front banging in the goals, since he is one who knows how to earn a profit. NUFC need another hat trick this year, and MA would look good in a fedora sitting in the owners box next season.

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