As Newcastle United’s next Europa League opponents are the Portuguese footballing aristocrats of Benfica, I have been inspired to write a two part guide to the club.
In this first part, I will taking a brief look at the history of the club, as well as taking a look at the links between Benfica, Newcastle United and the North East in general. There aren’t a huge amount and Thursday will be the first time the teams have ever met in a competitive game, but they are quite interesting nonetheless.
History, facts and stats.
The club known as Sport Lisboa e Benfica, or simply “Benfica” was formed by 18 year old footballer Cosme Damião on 28 February 1904. In their 109 year history since then they have become Portugal’s most successful club, with 32 Portuguese League titles, 24 Portuguese Cups plus 3 Campeonato de Portugal titles (the old version of the cup), 4 Portuguese League Cups, 4 Portuguese Super Cups and not least, 2 European Cups won in 1960 and 1961. (more…)
Many thanks to “ToonBano” from the Toon blog www.toonbano.com for his fourth guest blog here – wt.
As we managed to fall over the line to a 1-0 ‘win’ over QPR its got to be said that was one of the worst games of football I have ever seen in my whole life. Which was caused by mainly two things a) QPR being one of the worst teams that have ever shown up at St James’ Park and b) Our defensive starting line up. Those two miserable things cancelled each other out into an insufferable bore fest that would kill anyone’s Christmas spirit no matter how jolly they were feeling prior to kick off.
But this kind of performance from us on our own patch against a completely inferior side is no surprise whatsoever to all of us, or it shouldn’t be. It’s a typical Alan Pardew performance which we have come to expect in his 2 years here as manager. We didn’t exactly ‘win’ that game on Saturday afternoon but just managed to get the ball into their net on that bare minimal occasion, as the opposition had no chance of doing the same to us. QPR were hopeless. We were not much better. (more…)
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle Date: Monday, 9th April 2012 Kick-off: 3.00pm Referee: Mike Jones UK TV: None
Not only does the Easter break in the United Kingdom guarantee you bunny rabbits, egg shaped chocolate and poor public transport, it also guarantees you that the F.A. will try and squeeze as many games together as possible. Much like the Christmas period where most country’s take the opportunity to have a rest, the geniuses at the football association have scheduled their latest orgy of footballing fixtures, with on fire Newcastle United hosting Owen Coyle’s improving Bolton Wanderers at St James’ Park for a 3pm kick-off on Monday.
There is no scheduled UK broadcast of the match, with Sky not opting to make it five live NUFC showings in a row. So unless you’re heading to St James’, it will be time to scour the internet again for some links, unless you’d rather listen to it via BBC Radio Newcastle… Whatever floats your boat really.
Newcastle are on the back of four victories in a row, a sequence which was last achieved in April 2006, when Glenn Roeder saved us from Graeme Souness’ reign of terror, and his inspired Magpies produced a late charge to finish 7th and qualify for our last European adventure via the Europa League. Actually it was the UEFA Cup back then, but sort of the same competition in theory. Newcastle are currently sitting very pretty in the table having, at the time of writing, overtaken Chelsea to take fifth place. Though as I sit here and try to predict the future, I’m going to assume we’ll be heading into this match back in 6th position, unless of course Wigan pick up an unlikely point or three at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon… (more…)
It was four days ago when I learned of the tragically premature death of Steve Thompson, aka “Thomma” to his friends, and in the NUFC blogiverse, “Bowburn Mag”.
He was a writer on this site from it’s inception in 2009, writing a total of 234 articles for us in our first year. It is probably thorough his writing, and of course numerous comments on several different blogs and forums that most will know him. As well as being a genuinely nice person, he was also a natural writer who had the capacity to communicate his real humanity in words and genuinely connect with the reader, which is a rare talent. It was this which inspired me to ask him to write some pieces here when the ‘blog was about to start. Even though all I had to go on at the time were his comments on other blogs, his talent still shone through. Being a keen footballer himself, he also had a very good understanding of the game, and with both of these qualities I genuinely felt that he could have been one of the best sports writers around if his life had taken another path. Sadly that life is over now so we will never know, but he still left some great pieces of writing which encapsulated perfectly his passion for football in general, and Newcastle United in particular. (more…)
The Magpies of Newcastle United will be looking to pick themselves up after a tough trio of fixtures and recent injury woes as they visit the Canaries of Norwich City.
Even though this is an away game, some may have thought this would be an easy three points, until recently that is. The loss of Fabricio Coloccini with a thigh strain, as well as Steven Taylor for the whole season with a knacked achilles tendon puts a new complexion on matters as our lack of strength in depth has eventually been exposed. Like ourselves, Norwich have been something of a “surprise package” in the Premiership so far. Though Norwich City’s entire first team squad is worth far less than the amount Mike Ashley received for Andy Carroll alone, they are currently sitting quite comfortably at 11th in the table. That is quite an achievement for such a modest squad who were expected to be rooted at the bottom of the table, and not to be sniffed at, especially in the light of our recent circumstances injurywise. More on that below however…