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Archive for author: bowburnmag

Walking in a Hughton Wonderland? Newcastle 3 Scunthorpe 0.

March 18th, 2010 | 226 Comments |

Unassumingly efficient?
Unassumingly efficient?
If anybody looks back and wonders when the tide of discontent finally turned, then last night’s game might well have been it. When the third Newcastle goal went in, there was a hearty and sincere rendition of ‘Walking in a Hughton Wonderland’ ringing around Level 7. For those who aren’t aware of the significance of that, it implies a form of acceptance from the most vocal part of the ground and arguably the most vociferous. Not perhaps, acceptance of those on the board but a firm nod of appreciation at the man who probably deserves it above anybody else.

The singing was spontaneous not contrived. It was a natural response to a moment when we ultimately put yet another win beyond any doubt. There was a relief in that chant, from fans who you sensed were previously ready, willing and able to let the manager know they had his back but unwilling to break ranks from those who lumped him in as part of the Ashley crew. It almost happened against Preston and there was a spattering of pro-Hughton singing but it was half-hearted and almost through gritted teeth. (more…)

Any, any, any O’Brien?

March 15th, 2010 | 276 Comments |

Nice nosejob Andy...
Nice nosejob Andy...
Will we seek to borrow back the services of Andy O’Brien from Bolton Wanderers? Chris Hughton has been speaking to the press and expressed his concern over the state of the current Newcastle injury list. Mike Williamson was the most recent casualty leading up to the smogs game at the weekend and when Coloccini limped off halfway through that game, Hughton had to contemplate the foreseeable future without a potential starting back four in Steven Taylor, Jose Enrique, Williamson and Colo.

The news is hopefully good on Enrique and he was reportedly close to a start on Saturday but having limped out of the Barnsley game having returned a little too soon and reporting a tightness in his hamstring, Hughton will be reluctant to put the Spaniard back in unless he’s absolutely certain of his fitness, though he appears confident he’s ready.

There’s no return date scheduled for Steven Taylor following his knee problem, and while the extent of Colo’s ‘dead leg’ is still unclear, Williamson is definitely out for at least a month with a broken hand. So with Enrique, Fitz Hall, Tamas Kadar, Danny Simpson and Ryan Taylor the only senior players left confirmed as fit to fill the back four positions, it was almost inevitable that Hughton might look to bring in an emergency loan as extra cover. (more…)

I can see clearly now the smog has gone!

March 14th, 2010 | 62 Comments |

Premiership in sight...
Premiership in sight...
I’ve just watched Barcelona beat Valencia 3-0 in a very ‘Messi’ encounter. The little Argentinian demonstrating why he’s considered arguably the best player on the planet, with a sublime hat-trick. Fast rewind to yesterday’s Tyne-Tees Derby and the football from both Newcastle and Middlesbrough was a million miles away from the football of the Spanish giants.

OK, so it was a derby and a scrappy affair isn’t unusual so what was I expecting? Not much to be honest, I’m just being facetious. And while I’m being honest, some of Boro’s play yesterday was actually quite tidy and Strachan has got them playing in the right way. In contrast, there wasn’t a lot to write home about from a black and white perspective in terms of the aesthetics. And yet, what we did see was yet another demonstration that we are almost inevitably going up.

That sounds a bit premature? I would probaby have agreed a few games ago but I’ve seen enough of late to suggest the ‘fat lady’ will be singing soon enough. It’s not about over-confidence or a lack of humility but the way we snatched a draw was enough to convince me that we have enough to make it happen. That it wasn’t pretty to watch is a moot point. Winners don’t always win pretty, that’s a given. And while there were some frustrating moments and Boro toyed with us at times, once again we had enough to get something out of the game. (more…)

New kids in the black and white!

March 7th, 2010 | 70 Comments |

(L to R) Fitz Hall, Wayne Routledge, Mike Williamson, Leon Best, Danny Simpson
(L to R): Hall, Routledge, Williamson, Best, Simpson
January came and went for Newcastle United fans but not with the usual disappointment following zero investment. No, the 2010 January transfer window proved to be an opportunity when even Mike Ashley realised some financial speculation was the right thing to do, not least because it might see a return on his money. But this isn’t a debate about the owner or his intentions. This is a first glance review of the lads we brought in during the January transfer window and what I think of them so far.

It was clear to a lot of us that we needed recruitment in various areas and while some of the gaps were filled, we also got the surprise package of Wayne Routledge. Not all of the players met with universal glee and obviously the jury is out for all of them still. Each were signed for an ‘undisclosed fee’ which seems to be the order of the day in many modern transfers. So it’s difficult to conclude whether they’re value for money or not, but here goes anyway: (more…)

Toon Tyke liberties – Newcastle 6 Barnsley 1

March 6th, 2010 | 89 Comments |

'Ruff' justice for Tykes fans
'Ruff' justice for Tykes fans?
Seventeen years ago, give or take a month, a vibrant Newcastle side swept aside Barnsley 6-0 as a certain Andrew Cole began to find his feet in town. After roughly forty minutes of stop-start first half football, your money wouldn’t have been on a similar outcome today. But after Barnsley ‘keeper Luke Steele saw red just before the break, the floodgates effectively opened and Newcastle ultimately demolished the ragged Tykes.

A minutes applause was impeccably overseen by both sets of supporters as they paid respect to Charlie Crowe and Keith Alexander, as I took up my usual vantage point. Unfortunately for me, the stewards were particularly jobsworth-like and were intent on contradicting the usual free-for-all-pick-your-seat process that goes on in much of Level 7, so I spent the first 20 minutes just trying to find somewhere else to stand. Of course, I could have just gone up to my seat but it’s one row from the back of the Level 7 corner and I just didn’t think I had the extra thirty steps in my legs. Those who know that part of the ground might sympathise. (more…)