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Archive for category: Thoughts and reflections.

Why do Newcastle United managers hate Dwight Gayle so much?

January 8th, 2021 | 55 Comments |

Dwight Gayle
Underrated?
Until Callum Wilson came along, Dwight Gayle was easily Newcastle United’s most successful finisher, and yet, apart from the odd cameo when Gayle would get a few minutes at the end, both Rafa Benitez and Steve Bruce have pretty much left him to decay on the sidelines. Despite excruciatingly bad performances week after week from other forwards, and despite a desparate lack of goals from Newcastle United over several seasons, Gayle has been left on the sidelines, but why?

To be fair, he is a rather injury prone player who has had several spells of injury since he signed for the Magpies in 2016, including the early part of this season. But there have also been many periods when he has been fit and ready to go, and has still found himself being overlooked in favour of strikers with the finishing skills of Diana Ross. (more…)


A Merry Christmas beckons for Newcastle United?

December 14th, 2020 | 20 Comments |

St James' Park at Christmas
A Merry Christmas beckons for Newcastle United?
With two victories against Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion already under their belts, the Christmas fixtures could be a very good period for Newcastle United if they can keep up the momentum in the run up to Christmas. All of their next three opponents, Leeds, Fulham and finally, Championship side, Brentford, in the League Cup Quarter Final are all below them in the league. Can Steve Bruce take the bull by the horns, silence the doubters and make the most of this opportunity? (more…)


Newcastle make their best start since the Championship, but Bruce still gets no respect

December 8th, 2020 | 7 Comments |

Steve Bruce
Bruce: No respect at all.
He’s the Rodney Dangerfield of football, Rodney Dangerfield being the famous American comedian whose catchphrase was ‘I get no respect, no respect at all!’ But meanwhile, despite all the moaning, considering the resources at his disposal, Newcastle are actually doing as well as can be expected, at the least, they certainly aren’t doing badly.

In their first ten games, Newcastle have won 14 points with a 40% win percentage, not the greatest until you consider that in 2019/20 they’d only won 3 points, and before that, Benitez only won 3 too, though he equalled Bruce’s first ten game total in our first season after promotion. Bruce and Benitez have had similar league finishes, both have played a similar style, counterattacking football with a big target man up front which isn’t the most exciting to watch, and yet one was almost worshipped and the other is treated with disdain, but why? (more…)


Reasons to be cheerful as Newcastle look to push up the table

October 9th, 2020 | 38 Comments |

Positivity is the key
It’s not all bad for Newcastle right now.
It’s fair to say it hasn’t been much fun to be Newcastle United fan for the past decade and beyond.

Given the stature of the club, the iconic ground, the history and the huge fan base, demanding a team that can be competitive in the Premier League shouldn’t be too much of an ask.

Of course, we all know that hasn’t happened. Instead, the Magpies have endured a difficult spell that has seen no chances of silverware, falling down to the Championship twice. (more…)


Are the Bellagraph Nova Group all that they seem?

August 19th, 2020 | 63 Comments |

Bellagraph Nova Group
The Bellagraph Nova Group in Paris.
As Phaedrus once wrote: “Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.”

I have thought of Phaedrus’s wisdom more than once when investigating prospective new owners of Newcastle United. Who can forget Rick Parker’s infamous Mackem ‘fakeover‘ where a Sunderland supporting scallywag posed as ‘Richard Parkinson,’ a £250 million textile baron and offshore investor from Ponteland who declared an interest in buying the club for £90 million, promising to turn Newcastle United into a fan’s trust and reinstalling Alan Shearer as manager with a large transfer kitty. Then there was Barry Moat, the mysterious ‘Capital Group’ and several others… (more…)