Norwich City vs Newcastle United match banter!

Posted January 28th, 2014 by workyticket | 588 Comments

Norwich City vs Newcastle United.

Goodbye from NUFC Blog!

Venue: Carrow Road, Norwich.
Date: Tues 28th Dec, 2013.
Kick off: 7.45pm.
Referee:
UK TV: None.

Hello, good evening and welcome to my last match banter!

Please forgive me if it doesn’t follow the usual script but this piece is really just a way of saying thankyou and farewell to everyone who has read and contributed after almost five years of blogging on Newcastle United here.

A few years ago my ex-friend and colleague, Hugh, left the site suddenly. I’ve managed to struggle along on my own since then, but I now have other things to do with my life, and in the last few days, the abovementioned Hugh has also informed me that he’s going to cut off the server on the 21st February. Continue reading…

Newcastle United vs Southampton match preview and banter!

Posted December 14th, 2013 by workyticket | 80 Comments

Newcastle United v Southampton.

The Saints are marching in!

Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Sat 14th Dec, 2013.
Kick off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Mike Jones.
UK TV: None.

Hello, good afternoon and welcome to my latest ‘match banter’ feature for this afternoon’s game against Southampton.

This could be the last one for a while, if at all. I thought I’d do one last set of matchday blogs though to let all you regular readers know that I won’t be doing any more for a while at least as there are far better things I could be doing with my life right now.

Anyway looking forward this afternoon’s game, one intersting statistic is that Southampton are the last team Newcastle United managed to score more than two goals against in a competitive match. That was way back on the 24th February when the Magpies won a 4-2 victory at St James’ Park on an embarrassing and contrived ‘French Day’ where Geordies collaborated with Mike Ashley in reducing the entire history of one of Europe’s greatest countries down to mustachioed Breton Onion Johnnies and Can-can girls. Continue reading…

Mr.Average: What is Alan Pardew’s average season performance?

Posted December 13th, 2013 by workyticket | 20 Comments

The Silver Fox: OK, but no fist pump.

The Silver Fox: OK, but no fist pump.

The 9th December marked the third anniversary of Alan Pardew’s appointment as Newcastle United manager, with the 11th being the third anniversary of his first game in charge, a 3-1 victory over Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool.

So, bearing that in mind, I thought I would look at Pardew’s 113 Premier League games, crunch some numbers and see what we can learn.

As well as the results, one other thing I have used to assess Pardew’s performance is Transfermarkt’s table of Premier League clubs ranked by the value of their squads. I have been consulting this for quite a few years now, and when Newcastle United were first promoted from the Championship under Pardew’s predecessor, Chris Hughton, Newcastle had the 12th most valuable squad, worth around £90 million like Aston Villa or West Bromwich Albion today. However, some astute signings whose value increased such as Hatem Ben Arfa and Chieck Tiote took this up to around ninth by the time by the time Hughton was replaced by Pardew. With a further influx of cut price talent, mostly from France, they soon rose a couple of places higher to seventh. Since then Newcastle have slipped back to eighth behind Everton, who have been the closest side to Newcastle United squad wise over the last few seasons. Basically over that period there has been a top six of Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham. After that there is something of a gap until you find Everton and Newcastle. Then, after another fairly large gap there is the rest. Continue reading…

Manchester United vs Newcastle United preview and match banter!

Posted December 7th, 2013 by workyticket | 72 Comments

Two teams needing to bounce back.

Two teams needing to bounce back.

Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester.
Date: Sat 7th Dec, 2013.
Kick off: 12.45pm.
Referee: Andre Marriner.
UK TV: BT Sport.

Well both teams go into this one still reeling from defeats in midweek.

For the Magpies, Alan Pardew’s four game winning streak was brought to a shuddering halt after a tactical masterclass in adversity from Swansea’s Michael Laudrup. After losing their third striker Alvaro Vazquez to a groin strain, Laudrup reacted by bringing on Nathan Dyer and using Jonjo Shelvey in a so called ‘false nine’ role. They went on to transform the game with a goal each, with Shelvey also forcing Mathieu Debuchy into scoring an own goal for a 3-0 defeat.

Newcastle United are still roughly where they should be in the league though, seventh. Meanwhile, Manchester United certainly aren’t after their midweek defeat to Everton. The Red Devils thought they’d try a grumpy Glaswegian as manager for a change, but now find themselves languishing two places below the Magpies in ninth place with only six wins from their fourteen Premier League games so far. Continue reading…

Swansea City vs Newcastle United match banter!

Posted December 4th, 2013 by workyticket | 128 Comments

Swansea v Newcastle United.

Swansea: The victims of some pathetic refereeing this season.

Venue: Liberty Stadium, Swansea.
Date: Wed 4th Dec, 2013.
Kick off: 7.45pm.
Referee: Howard Webb.
UK TV: BT Sport.

Hello, good evening and welcome to our latest ‘match banter’ feature for this evening’s game against Swansea City at their place.

Poor old Swansea haven’t had much luck recently. Amongst other things they have been the victims of some of some of the most awful deciosions, and it has usually cost them points, as it did against Valencia and Stoke most recently.

Personally, I think Michael Laudrup needs to be a little more like Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourinho. They know that match officiating, like parking enforcement is one of those jobs that just attracts the wrong kind of people mostly, little Hitlers. They know that there is no point whatsoever in being nice and respectful to them as that will just make them respect you even less, you have to make them fear you. Swansea are too nice and Laudrup and his players really need to start getting in their faces a bit more. Having written all that, I do hope that the Magpies win this game fair and square this evening, rather than having to rely on some dreadful decision. Continue reading…

Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion mega preview and match banter!

Posted November 30th, 2013 by workyticket | 95 Comments

Newcaastle United v West Bromwich Albion.

Can we throttle the Throstles for four in a row?

Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Sat 30th Nov, 2013.
Kick off: 5.30pm.
Referee: Phil Dowd.
UK TV: Sky Sports 1.

Could we be celebrating four wins in a row this evening?

If the Magpies do manage to wrestle a juicy three point worm from the Throstles at tea time, it would be the first first time they have managed such a feat since March and April of 2012. Back then, they beat Norwich, this evening’s opponents, Liverpool, Swansea, Bolton and finally Stoke in a 6 match winning run, before finally succumbing to a 4-0 hammering at Wigan.

Although that was in the Spring before last, the side had an unseasonal 4-3-2-1 ‘Christmas Tree’ formation with a potent ‘delta force’ of Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa up front. During the West Brom game in that run I jokingly referred to Alan Pardew as ‘Alan Pardiola.’ The Guardian’s North East football correspondent, Louise Taylor, actually took me seriously and the phrase stuck amongst spme fans for a while. Continue reading…

This ridiculous Cisse farce has been going on for too long now

Posted November 26th, 2013 by workyticket | 114 Comments

Papiss Cisse scoring against Leeds United in the League Cup.

The last Toon goal scored by Cisse which wasn’t ruled out

In case you missed it, Papiss Cisse had yet another perfectly good goal ruled out as offside against Norwich on Saturday, yet another linesman seemingly judging Cisse on his reputation, rather than what he could actually see.

Luckily for Newcastle United, they still won 2-1 and got the three points so all was well that ended well. Even so, that hasn’t always the case and it is getting absolutely ridiculous now, to the point where lazy linesmen are just saying “oh it’s Papiss Cisse, it must be offside.”

I use the word “reputation” above, though it might come as a surprise to some so called fans (and Sports Direct News rent a quote, Malcolm MacDonald) that Cisse is not the most ‘offside’ striker in the Premier League by any means. Romelu Lukaku, Christian Benteke and several others were caught offside more often last season.

However, when it comes to having perfectly good goals wrongly ruled out as offside, Cisse in in a league of his own. He had seven wrongly ruled out last season, including two in one game against Metalist Kharkiv, and one which robbed us of a derby win against Sunderland. This means that he would have scored at least twenty goals last season had those seven goals stood. Continue reading…

Newcastle United vs Norwich City match banter!

Posted November 23rd, 2013 by workyticket | 79 Comments

Newcastle United v Norwich City.

Chris Hughton returns to SJP..

Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Sat 23rd Nov, 2013.
Kick off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Mike Dean.
UK TV: None.

Hello, good afternoon and welcome to our ‘match banter’ feature for this afternoon’s game against Chris Hughton’s Norwich City at St James’ Park.

As usual, I will keep this one fairly short and sweet, as I have already done most of my pre-match ramblings in the Norwich City mega match preview I prepared earlier. However, if you fancied a bet on the game with some great odds available, why not try Betfair? You can also follow events as they happen throughout the game on the NUFC official website.

What the managers have been saying.

Alan Pardew: “We’ve got ourselves in a poised position – now we need to capitalise on that, something we’ve not done well in the last 18 months. If we win we can put ourselves right in the mix. For us, it’s a great opportunity and we don’t want to pass on those opportunities. They don’t come around very often in the Premier League. If we get ourselves in a good place with 50,000 (fans) that’s going to make a big advantage and we need to make sure we carry that through.” Continue reading…

Newcastle United vs Norwich City mega match preview

Posted November 23rd, 2013 by workyticket | 2 Comments

Chris Hughton.

Hughton returns to St James’ Park.

Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Sat 23rd Nov, 2013.
Kick off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Mike Dean.
UK TV: None.

Chris Hughton’s Norwich City seem to be a team in transition at the moment.

Despite bringing in quite a few new players in the last transfer window and very creditable 11th and 12th placed finishes in their last two campaigns, they still have a very modest squad by Premier League standards. Both Hughton’s predecessor Paul Lambert and Hughton himself punched well above their weight, so much so that some Norwich fans have become rather unrealistic about the squad’s real strength, with some ingrates even calling for Hughton’s sacking when, for the first time since they were promoted, they were about where they should have been, third or fourth from the bottom of the table.

Quite a bit if this has probably been due to the two managers difference in approach. Whilst Hughton’s predessor Paul Lambert would have a go, I think it could be said Hughton’s approach to get Norwich punching above their weight in the League was somewhat more cautious and ‘defensive’ in his first season at Carrow Road, albeit with very similar results in the League for the two managers. Continue reading…

What was Newcastle United’s £498,000 payment to Sports Direct for?

Posted November 21st, 2013 by workyticket | 47 Comments

NUFC in Sports Direct's 2013 annual report.

Exhibit A.

Firstly, I should declare that this piece was originally inspired by another, one of several on Newcastle United’s finances by a brace of accountants who also happen to be Toon fans in the latest issue of fanzine, ‘True Faith.’ It’s a very good read.

Of course, it has been known for quite some time that Sports Direct don’t pay a brass farthing for all the extensive worldwide publicity they get from Newcastle United. This was something which was finally confirmed by the club’s financial director, John Irving, at the first ‘Fans’ Forum’ meeting between representatives of the fans, the club, and sponsors, Wronga.

However it certainly less well known that although Newcastle United have been paid the square root of b*ggerall for all those vulgar signs, they actually had to PAY Sports Direct half a million pounds in 2012-13 as shown in SD’s 2013 Annual Report (page 90 under “Related Party Transactions”). Here you will see that Sports Direct received a payment of £498,000 from “Connected Persons,” Newcastle United Football Club. Continue reading…