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Archive for tag: Gary Speed.

Llambias, have you no shame whatsoever?

December 1st, 2011 | 108 Comments |

Llambias: Shameless opportunist?
Llambias: Shameless Opportunist?
As I reported yesterday on these pages, Newcastle United’s managing Director, Derek Llambias, has responded to Joey Barton’s allegations about himself and owner, Mike Ashley, with a threat of legal action.

This is almost certainly an empty threat by the perfidious M.D. as he knows what happened, and what would probably happen if he attempted to take it to law. However that is not the main subject of this particular piece, it is just the context. The main reason is the ineffably crass and tasteless way that Llambias began his statement. He attempted to use the recent tragic and untimely death of ex Magpie legend Gary Speed, as well as the name of the club, to assume the moral high ground in his and Ashley’s dispute with an ex-player. It did the excact opposite.

The statement began:

“In a week when one of Newcastle United’s most beloved footballers passed away, it is disappointing that once again Joey Barton makes the headlines.” (more…)


Magical Magpie legends: Gary Speed

June 17th, 2011 | 16 Comments |

Gary Speed.
Speed: Preparation, attitude, professionalism.
This will be the first in a series of threads I am going to write, profiling some of my favourite ex Newcastle players from the last decade, starting with current Wales manager and MBE, Gary Speed.

Born in Mancot, Wales on the 8th of September 1969, Speed joined the Magpie’s in 1998 when Kenny Dalglish was at the helm. It was in a deal for a reported £5.5m from Everton.

The former Wales captain held the Premier League all time most appearances record with 535, until art and yoga enthusiast, David James, surpassed his record on 14th February 2009. He now sits in 3rd position overall after Ryan Giggs took the number one spot. During his career, he also held a record for having scored in every Premier League season (at the time), until Giggs again surpassed him on the 8th of February 2009 after Speed had been transferred from Bolton to Sheffield United on the 24th of December 2007. During his career he played for Leeds, Everton, Bolton and Sheffield United, collecting 85 caps, and scoring 7 goals for his country.

Although not extremely tall, Speed, standing at 5ft 8ins (1.73m) was excellent in the air at both sides of the pitch. He possessed an astute left foot and was known for his excellent set-pieces and effectiveness at winning back possession. In his early career he started as more of an attacking midfielder often operating on either flank at Leeds and Everton and his early days at Newcastle. Eventually he was used as a holding midfielder, sitting back and helping dictate the play, allowing his fellow midfield partners to focus on the attacking side of the game. He had extremely good vision and could pick a pass with ease, and was never afraid to get stuck in. (more…)


What do we think of the Newcastle engine room? – Part deux.

January 7th, 2010 | 66 Comments |

Looking and feeling a little rusty in the middle?
Looking and feeling a little rusty in the middle?
The previous review of the current squad, took a look at the Newcastle defence, an area that this season we’ve been surprisingly strong in, given our poor reputation in recent years.

Today’s review looks at arguably the fulcrum of a successful team, the midfield, the place that could and should control a game and dictate the style of play. Our midfield this season has been very much part of a strong defensive ethos, and while we have grafters in there, we’re also lacking some natural creativity and pace.

Looking at the current crop, it really makes you pine for some of our former midfielders who have graced the hallowed St James’ turf in the last couple of decades. Reminisce about the grace of French wingers David Ginola and Laurent Robert. Recall the guts, determination and drive of Robert Lee and Gary Speed. Consider the guile we had in Emre, albeit fleetingly, and the sheer brilliance of Nobby Solano. Even having pure pace a la James Milner, Keith Gillespie to worry the opposition. You can even look at some of the less popular characters. We would kill for the pace of Kieron Dyer and dare I say, I could forgive Jermaine Jenas. Possibly even Damien Duff is a big miss? Maybe that’s stretching it…

Anyway, that was the past, what about the present? (more…)


Toon put to the Blade(s).

November 1st, 2009 | 29 Comments |

Sheffield Utd's mascot, 'Captain Blade'.
Sheffield Utd's mascot, 'Captain Blade'.
It appears that the current mutinous attitude of the Toon faithful is spreading around the country as fast as the H1N1 virus with the latest rumblings of discontent being voiced at Bramhall Lane, where more than 100 supporters stayed behind after Sheffield United’s last home match, to demonstrate at their recent poor form. With two draws and four defeats in their last six matches, they decided nothing less than the head of manager Kevin Blackwell delivered on a Sheffield steel platter would be acceptable.

His excuse of having had lots of players unavailable for selection due to injury is cutting no ice, even though United had 10 first team players missing for a recent match with Scunthorpe. Probably, the same fans payed homage to him at the end of last season when he led United to the play offs, after narrowly missing out on an automatic promotion spot. Fickle lot us footie fans.

So, the Blades go into this game on the back of a 4-3 home defeat by Cardiff City, having leaked no fewer than 10 goals in their last three games. (more…)


What do we think of the Newcastle engine room?

October 27th, 2009 | 60 Comments |

Looking and feeling a little rusty in the middle?
Looking and feeling a little rusty in the middle?
Yesterday’s review of the current squad, took a look at the Newcastle defence, an area that this season we’ve been surprisingly strong in, given our poor reputation in recent years.

Tonight looks at arguably the fulcrum of a successful team, the midfield, the place that could and should control a game and dictate the style of play. That doesn’t bode well for our side at the moment because arguably, we have a midfield full of players who are very similar and lack pace. Therefore, the pace is often pedestrian and the game often goes stale.

Looking at the current crop, it really makes you pine for some of our former midfielders who have graced the hallowed St James’ turf in the last couple of decades. Reminisce about the grace of French wingers David Ginola and Laurent Robert. Recall the guts, determination and drive of Robert Lee and Gary Speed. Consider the guile we had in Emre, albeit fleetingly, and the sheer brilliance of Nobby Solano. Even having pure pace ala James Milner, Keith Gillespie to worry the opposition. You can even look at some of the less popular characters. We would kill for the pace of Kieron Dyer and dare I say, I could forgive Jermaine Jenas. Possibly even Damien Duff is a big miss? Maybe that’s stretching it…..

Anyway, that was the past, what about the present? – (more…)