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Archive for category: Mark Viduka.

Bring On The Purples: Newcastle United’s Transfer Policy Explained

February 11th, 2013 | 126 Comments |

Haidara, Gouffran and Yanga-M'Biiwa at NUFC.
The French Revolution – giving Newcastle some Va Va Voom!
It seems a lifetime since signings like Michael Owen and Mark Viduka wore the black and white. Declining, injury prone and nearly always overpriced; these marquee players from the Shepherd era were one of the main reasons we were relegated  at the beginning of Ashley’s reign.

On massive wages and having already achieved something notable in their careers, they didn’t seem like they were hungry enough to care about the current club’s situation enough to save us from the drop. Going down to the championship a few years ago turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to the club in years as we found out who was there for the team and who was just there for the money and prestige.

The new policy of signing hungry players with lower reputations and wage demands started with the signings of players such as Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez, who were the first of many similar players to come through the door with similar ambitions and experience. These were followed in subsequent seasons by the likes of Cheick Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye, plus the five recent additions to the squad last month, making this transfer policy clearly the most important reason for our fledgling success in the last three / four seasons. (more…)


Mike Ashley vs Freddy Shepherd – Who’s better?

May 25th, 2012 | 64 Comments |

Mike Ashley and Freddy Shepherd.
"Satan's mirror has two faces."
Well, Newcastle United have finally managed to finish in the top half of the Premiership under current owner, Mike Ashley.

This is our first top ten finish, and qualification for European competition, since Glenn Roeder’s Intertoto “Dream Team” managed seventh, and Europe, after a storming finish in the 2005-06 season.

However, we fans are constantly reminded that this can only come at a very high cost, that the name of the club’s traditional home, St James’ Park, must be sacrificed to become a free publicity vehicle for Sports Direct, that we must also be subjected to a myriad of fit inducing signs publicising Sports Direct throughout games, that we must pay a £25 membership fee to purchase a season ticket, or even just one away ticket and so on…

Mirroring the spin department of the current administration at 10 Downing Street, everything is blamed on our previous administration for allegedly taking us to the edge of the financial abyss, with neither the world economic crisis, nor relegation to the Championship playing any part whatsoever. Even after five whole years, when controversial decisions are made, the spectre of the Byker Beelzebub himself, Freddy Shepherd, is constntly raised, and the club’s current owner is hailed as a messiah who has somehow led the club from the verge of complete extinction. So, now that the club has completed it’s fifth season under its current ownership, I thought I would put this to the test, measuring the performance of the current owner, both on the pitch and on the balance sheet, against his predecessors under the leadership of Shepherd. (more…)


Crocked, crocked and crocked – do NUFC get a lot of injuries?

July 21st, 2011 | 34 Comments |

Do Newcastle United get a lot of injuries?
I wondered where I'd left them
The stretchering off of Newcastle United’s Hatem Ben Arfa has raised some questions (at least with this writer) about whether we are indeed an injury-prone club.

This article was prompted by the recent injury to Hatem Ben Arfa in Newcastle’s 0-0 draw with Sporting Kansas City, but it’s something that has concerned me for quite some time.

As I write this, we sit at the top of the Premier League injury table alongside Spurs and the rabble from down the road and my perception is that we get a lot of injuries compared to other teams.

However, my perception might be clouded by the fact that I support Newcastle, so I set about trying to find some historical stats about injuries and – in the main – failed dismally to do so. I did find a site called LadyArse – a gooners’ fan site – which does contain an injury list that has us 5th, but I can’t vouch for the accuracy of said table.

Another thing that might cloud my perception is that injuries to key players are obviously noticed more than those to squad players, and we seem to have had a lot of those in recent seasons too.

So I guess my first question is: do we get a lot of injuries for a Premier League club? (more…)


The Ameobi argument – keep or sell?

January 26th, 2011 | 75 Comments |

Shola Ameobi, Newcastle United
Does he earn his pay packet?
Newcastle’s Shola Ameobi seems to divide opinion, with some fans eager to get shot of him at the first opportunity and with others jumping to his defence. This article looks at both sides of the argument.

I had an argument with my wife the other day. Having left our TomTom at home, it was one of those typical man and wife arguments about asking directions.

My wife wanted to stop and ask someone the way and I thought that was the most ludicrous idea I’d ever heard and refused to ask directions. She accused me of being a loser and I said that, being a Villa supporter, she’d know all about being a loser. Then I was given the silent treatment, which at least meant I could peacefully get on with following a car at random, which is my tactic in such circumstances.

Anyway, we got where we wanted to be and I was very smug. My wife said I was just lucky but I insisted the end result was what counts.

Which brings me to Shola Ameobi and the ‘end result’ that strikers must achieve to earn their pay packet. (more…)


Newcastle United – A Half Season Summary.

December 22nd, 2009 | 38 Comments |

Toon supporters: Happier than last season?
Toon supporters: Happier than last season?
As you’re probably aware, Newcastle United’s Boxing day trip to Sheffield Wednesday will mark our 23rd league game of the season, marking the half-way point in what is turning out to be a fantastic season so far! This article takes a look at some of the happenings since the season began way back on the 8th of August.

With a team seemingly devoid of confidence, direction, application and the uncertainty surrounding the owner, managerial position, and who was next to be sold, the toon set off for the season opener at West Brom. After being 1-0 down at half-time, a superb finish from Damien Duff earned us a share of the spoils. That was to be Duff’s only appearance for us this season as he was quickly snapped by Fulham and he followed the likes of Michael Owen, Mark Viduka, Obafemi Martins, Seb Bassong and Habib Beye out of the club. (more…)