Archive for category: Kevin Keegan.

Which Newcastle United manager had the longest balls?

February 21st, 2013 | 7 Comments |

Newcastle United - A long ball dinosaur?
Newcastle United – A long ball dinosaur?
Since I wrote a few pieces on how Alan Pardew’s Newcastle United had become the biggest “long ball” side in the Premiership this season some time ago, It piqued my curiosity to look beyond and see how the “route one” style favoured by Pardew this term compared with that of his predecessors, and possibly, what we might be able to learn from what comes out in the wash so to speak.

The stats contained in the table below go back to the start of the 2008-9 relegation season. Hence, the managers I have included are Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear, Alan Shearer, Chris Hughton (x3) and Alan Pardew.

Admittedly, some of the managerial spells are ridiculously short, and one would prefer at least a whole season for each manager, where every other team in the division was played with their varying tactics pitted against Newcastle United’s would have been the ideal. However, in the crazy world of Newcastle United since the blundering Mike Ashley took over, the longest continuous run of Premiership matches for any manager apart from the current one has been Joe Kinnear’s nineteen. Although Chris Hughton at least had a full season in the Championship, his spells as caretaker apart, he only had sixteen games in the Premiership before being sacked. Anyway, the point of this is more to take a look at Newcastle United’s long ball style as a whole in recent years, rather than just focusing on one particular manager. This brings me to my final point in this section, why I haven’t included that Championship season. This was for two reasons: Firstly, because I do not have the same stats for that season (I only have Premiership stats from “OPTA”). Secondly, it is also (literally) a different league, a different paradigm where different standards apply. (more…)


Joe Kinnear – Underrated at Newcastle?

February 16th, 2013 | 37 Comments |

Joe Kinnear at St James' Park.
Uncle Joe.
In Joe Kinnear’s “Talk Sport” interview just over a week ago with Richard Keys and Andy Gray, besides being touched as Kinnear recalled the awful series of events which befell him after his reign at Newcastle, not just the heart episode which forced him into retirement but also the loss of his only son Elliott to multiple myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow), and then Kinnear himself contracting Septicaemia (blood poisoning), it also reminded me of the complete and utter of contempt shown to Kinnear by the media and many of Newcastle United’s fans when he was manager, a contempt which still remains seemingly after seeing some of the responses to it. So in this piece, I thought I would examine his record at the club, and attempt to explore some aspects of why this might be.

Getting to the interview itself, which is still available in full on the Talk Sport website, Keys remarked at the beginning of the interview on Kinnear’s time at St James’ Park:

“You slipped away so quietly after that time at Newcastle as a result of illness. we never really got the opportunity, I’m sure all Geordie fans would like to say ‘well done.’ You didn’t get quite the credit you deserve for laying the foundation stones to sorting that mess out. It was quite a period, wasn’t it?”

To which Kinnear responded: (more…)


Is Alan Pardew really backed by 95% of Newcastle United fans? [Poll]

December 13th, 2012 | 53 Comments |

The big Toon survey.
What a load of old cobblers!
“Alan Pardew backed by 95% of fans Chronicle poll reveals” wrote the Chronicle.

This staggering revelation would give Toon’s Silver Supremo the same kind of popularity as Kevin Keegan in the heyday of his “Entertainers” side, or Bobby Robson when Newcastle United were once again a top four side who were competing in the Champions League. Yet Pardew’s Newcastle United are currently 14th in the table and sliding downwards, with only one win in our last ten games.

So how can this be?

Let’s look at it another way. If you look at the image below displaying the results in the form of a bar chart, you may also observe that the story linked above could also have had the title “Over 50% of Newcastle United fans are less than content with Pardew Chronicle poll reveals.” (more…)


Battle of the bull merchants? Liverpool vs Newcastle United match preview

November 3rd, 2012 | 19 Comments |

This is Anfield.
Time to end the Anfield hoodoo!
Venue: Anfield, Liverpool.
Date: Sunday, 4th November.
Kick off: 4:00pm
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Manchester).
UK TV: Sky Sports.

This Sunday, NUFC attempt to right a good few wrongs against Brendan Rodgers’s Liverpool at the home of the Red Bin Dippers.

Our record at Anfield is marginally better than that at Old Trafford unfortunately in reality its still poor. Since we joined the Premier League back in 1993 we have won only once in the red half of Merseyside and drawn twice from a total of eighteen league games. The one win came in our first season back in 93/94 with goals from Lee and Cole. Back in those days we were given the nickname “The Entertainers” by Sky Sports because of our fluid, positive, attacking play masterminded by KK. Nowadays the task of entertaining has passed on to Pardew and his contribution to open attacking football tends to be in the form of the “hoof” or “long ball”.

Despite having failed to ignite a talented team for more than 45 minutes in any game we’ve played this season, Pardew had his fingers crossed yesterday when interviewed on BBC Sport, as he had this to say: (more…)


Newcastle United 2011 / 2012 Season Review – Part One

May 18th, 2012 | 9 Comments |

Ba celebrates hat-trick against Stoke.
"Make mine a treble!" - Ba gets his revenge on the Potters who shunned him.
NUFC Season Review – Part Two.

The end of the season is finally upon us. A season in which defied all expectations. A season where even the most optimistic of Toon fans would have struggled to predict what would be.

Newcastle United gate-crashed the top six, and also knocked on the door of the Premier League’s top four. As it turned out at 5pm on Sunday the 13th of May 2012, Newcastle United were confirmed as finishing in 5th place, above Chelsea, above Liverpool, and above the majority of peoples expectations.

The Europa League awaits the Magpies next season, a new chapter or perhaps a new beginning is on the horizon. But before we look forward into what might be, I’m now going to relive the season that was. Cast my mind back and tell the tale of Newcastle United’s 2011 / 2012 season. I hope you are all sitting comfortably… (more…)


Llambias: SJP name changed for the sake of the Geordie poor

May 2nd, 2012 | 15 Comments |

For the sake of the fans says Llambias.
For the sake of poor fans says Llambias.
Newcastle United’s Managing Director, Derek Llambias, has been speaking to David Conn for yesterday’s Guardian.

In the interview he spoke on how he has received so much abuse from Geordie ingrates that he doesn’t hear it any more, how Mike Ashley told him that he would have “a horrible job” in May 2008, just before he took over as managing director to oversee Ashley’s Sports Directification of the club, how the club spent all of the £35 million Andy Carroll money (although the club made a mighty profit of £36.731 million on player trading without amortisation in their last set of published accounts). Conn also wrote of many other things Llambias supposedly revealed to him in what is a rather fawning piece overall.

Irritatingly, for much of the “interview,” Conn give his own version of what Llambias told him, rather than just giving the quotes themselves in something which reads like a PR piece, something Llambias usually reserves for his friends at Mirror Group titles such as the Mirror, People, Chronicle and Journal. But I digress. (more…)


Hughton finally puts the record straight on Tiote, Ben Arfa and Carr.

April 8th, 2012 | 44 Comments |

Chris Hughton.
Hughton: It woz me!
In a brief but revealing interview for the Independent on Saturday, Chris Hughton has decided to put the record on misinformation about his role at Newcastle United.

Speaking on his time at the club, he said (amongst other things) what some knew already, that it was actually he who brought Graham Carr, Hatem Ben Arfa and Cheick Tiote into the club.

Whilst he was managing at the club, the now Birmingham City manager was dogged by rumours in the media that he a mere cipher at the club, that the team was run by a committee of senior players who actually picked the team, and that player aquisitions were out of his control after Hughton brought his old Tottenham collegue, Graham Carr, to the club as Chief Scout. The rumours about the players running team affairs were eventually refuted by Hughton himself, who described it as a “slippery slope,” and also by Kevin Nolan and other senior players. Now, Hughton has finally hit back at other misinformation about the recruitment of key signings, Hatem Ben Arfa and Cheick Tiote, and also the recruitment of the club’s current Chief Scout, Graham Carr. After talking about the days following his sacking by Derek Llambias and Mike Ashley on the grounds they were looking for someone “with more managerial experience,” Hughton had the follwing to say, firstly on whether his sacking was “unjust,”:

“Was it unjust? Yes, and that’s how most people felt at the time.”

He then added on Tiote, Ben Arfa and Carr: (more…)


Trotters in Toon! Newcastle United Vs Bolton Wanderers Match Preview

April 7th, 2012 | 61 Comments |

Bolton Fans.
Bolton Fans: Coming to SJP soon.
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…)


Howay The Lads – Reasons To Be Cheerful!

February 15th, 2012 | 97 Comments |

Table
Cheer Up!
It’s probably a demonstration of how far we have come in such a short space of time that some United fans have been decidedly grumpy following the recent setback at Tottenham. That’s understandable. However it’s a very short-term view of a one match blip in what has otherwise been a highly successful season so far. We have a number of reasons to be optimistic about the rest of the season, and perhaps the longer term future of our beloved club. Here are some of those reasons.

First of all, let’s put the Tottenham thing to bed. It was only one game, only 3 points. With their current players and manager not many teams will go there and get anything. We went there without key players like both Taylors, Tiote and Cabaye, and with our relatively small squad, didn’t have anyone as effective to replace them. We’ll no doubt repay the Spuds after “Harry” leaves in the summer. We’ve stuffed them before, we’ll stuff them again, that’s inevitable. (more…)


Magical Magpie Memories: The 80s Part Two – Coming Full Circle.

February 12th, 2012 | 16 Comments |

“Jossys Giants” visit Bobby Charlton and Willie McFaul at St James’ Park – 1985.

Aye Bobby Charlton, not Jackie Charlton who had left the club as manager in the huff over player sales and such before McFaul stepped in and faced the same old problem.

After introducing the Jossy’s lads to McFaul the ex Northern Ireland goalie, Bobby then takes them through the bowels of the old St James Park, the old away dressing room with the old plunge bath, the old physio room and so on. A magical trip down Magpie memory lane. As you can see, Bobby’s no Al Pacino when it comes to acting; then again, he could probably teach Pacino a thing or two on playing against the likes of Eusebio and Beckenbauer! (more…)