Following a disastrous season to forget at Newcastle United, thoughts among some might be turning to the European Championships starting tomorrow. Moussa Sissoko (France) and Rob Elliot (Republic of Ireland) will be Newcastle United’s only representatives there, though bearing in mind that this will be the biggest shop window for footballers short of the World Cup, this might be a good thing.
Some might wonder how Sissoko managed to book his place with one of the more fancied teams after some of last season’s performnances, some might praise Elliot for some good performances standing in for the injured Tim Krul despite everything. However, players like that will not be the focus of this piece. I’m sure that pretty much all of you will know what they have been up to, along with high profile ex-players taking part such as James Milner (England) and Yohan Cabaye (France). Instead, I will look mostly at the “where are they now” players who will be there who used to ply their trade on Tyneside. Of these, the majority of the players (three out of four) will be playing for the two Irish sides in the competition, and another will be managing the Northern Ireland team.
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle. Date: Sunday 2nd September,2012. Kick-Off: 4:00pm. Referee: Lee Probert. UK TV: None.
Sunday brings Premier League football back to St James’ Park as Aston Villa provide the opponents for a 4pm kick-off. There will be no UK TV broadcast of the fixture so it will be time to scour the internet for links if you’re not attending the match.
Newcastle will look to bounce back from last weeks defeat at Chelsea. While Villa have lost both their Premier League fixtures to date, a 0-1 loss to West Ham, and a 3-1 defeat to Everton last week at Villa Park. Historically Villa have struggled at St James Park, with only one win in the last twelve years. So the omens do look good if you believe records mean something.
Newcastle United Vs Aston Villa History
The way in which the Villans goaded the Magpies back in 2009 when Newcastle were relegated still strikes a nerve with many Toon followers. On Newcastle’s return to the Premier League in 2010 / 2011, Villa provided our first opponents at home, so a chance for some kind of retribution presented itself. Joey Barton, a Kevin Nolan double and an Andy Carroll hat trick helped to inflict a 6-0 mauling for the Magpies. Last season, Papiss Cissé introduced himself in style, controlling Jonas‘ left wing cross and lashing a volley past ex-Magpie Shay Given to secure a 2-1 victory. The last time we lost to Villa at St James’ Park was during the 2004 / 2005 season, where we witnessed Lee Bowyer and KieronDyer fall out very publically and get themselves sent off for fighting after Bowyer felt that Dyer was refusing to pass the ball to him in the game. (more…)
Venue: St James’Park, NE1. Date: 5th February 2012 Kick Off: 1.30pm Referee: Mark Halsey.
Well, it was another three points in the bag for the Magpies as they passed the supposedly “magical” 40 point mark, with no less than 14 games of the Premiership season to go. Apart from this though, the most obvious salient point of this game was the debut of our second Senegal sharp shooter, Papiss Cisse, who took a mere 72 minutes to open his account for Newcastle United in spectacular style.
Starting the game on the bench, with Leon Best starting upfront alongside Demba Ba, it was expected that he would be given a run out some time in the second half just to get acclimatised for a probable start in the next game. However, assuming that was the general idea, and I think it’s safe to assume that it was, the plan had to be brought forward significantly when Leon Best was blocked from taking a shot by Villa’s Stephen Warnock. Best’s leg awkwardly struck Warnock’s blocking lower leg instead of the ball, with the striker picking up a Warnock knee knock in the process. Eleven minutes and he was out as Alan Pardew faced a very tough call, whether to select Cisse or Fenham’s very own goal machine, Shola Ameobi, as they both warmed up on the touchline. Of course, the Silver Supremo would have probably been flayed alive if he didn’t stick with the script, albeit with the star of the show taking his call earlier than expected.
Venue: St James’Park, NE1 Date: 5th February 2012 Kick Off: 1.30pm Referee: Mark Halsey
I never used to bother much about Aston Villa. They were just one of those “middle of the road” clubs who chug along season after season with reasonable-sized crowds but nothing particular to shout about. I got a bit annoyed at them when they kept trying to pinch James Milner a few years ago, but I suppose the point at which my attitude towards them changed significantly was in May of 2009.
It was during the game we lost at Villa Park which sealed our relegation from the Premier League. Being relegated was a massive blow to United, the club, the management, the fans – but the puerile chanting and infantile banners on display that day by a section of the Villa support were a disgrace to their club and will live long in the memory. These days I therefore have them in the same list as the likes of Tottenham and Man Utd – teams I just love to see us beat – for various reasons I won’t go into here, but which I’m sure some of you share.
With this in mind, Villa could hardly be arriving at St James’ Park at a better time. United are back in town after three away games on the trot culminating in the win at Blackburn Rovers. Demba Ba is also back from his exploits with Senegal and is raring to get amongst the goals once again. He’s certain to start. This time of course, we also have his Senegalese strike partner Papiss Demba Cisse in the squad, wearing the famous Newcastle United number nine shirt. We don’t know at this stage whether Cisse will start the game. Manager Alan Pardew has been hinting at allowing him to soak up the atmosphere from the bench first, before unleashing him to what would be a certain gladitorial entrance, the likes of which only a Newcastle crowd can conjure up. It’s a judgement call. Personally, the way the weather is in the North East at the moment, especially the temperature, I’d let him on from the start so he can run around and keep warm! (more…)
Venue: Britannia Stadium, Sir Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke-upon-Trent. Date: Monday, October 26th, 2011. Kick-off: 8:00pm. Referee: Mike Dean. TV: Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports HD 1.
Well, The Magpies must pick themselves up from their disappointing capitulation against Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup and prepare themselves for a trip to another of the nation’s great beauty spots, Stoke-upon-Trent.
A game against Tony Pulis’s hard tackling long throwing giants will be no Vicarage tea party, that’s for sure, and though there probably won’t be much “Champagne football” on the menu, it will be a stiff test for the lads. Especially so after a gruelling extra time midweek thriller which ultimately ended in disappointment. As if that wasn’t enough, we could also be without our own head of enforcement, Mr T, but more on that in the team news. Consolation for us however is that whilst the Magpies were exerting themselves in the ultimately doomed encounter at Ewood Park, Stoke were also playing in the competition, suffering the same kind of disappointment when they were knocked out by Liverpool in a 2-1 defeat.
If you won’t be at the game, make sure to check out our regular “match banter” feature, which will be posted around an our before kick off. (more…)