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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Newcastle Have 8 League Games in 33 days

4:14 pm, Saturday, October 13th, 2007 by Ed Harrison · 13 Comments

Newcastle have been forced to play 19% of their total League Games for the season in a single month – December. This becomes 8 games in 33 days if you include the home game against Manchester City on 2nd January.

Sam Allardyce is justifiably upset at the poor scheduling of games by the English Premier League who have contrived to force the Tyneside club to play 7 games in December.

Let’s take a look at what Sam has been saying about this rather stupidly conceived congestion of fixtures – mainly because of TV coverage.

sam-allardyce-25.jpg

Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce – fuming at Newcastle’s league fixture congestion

What is true is that by the end of the year we should know how well positioned we are in the league, because there are 21 league points at stake during the festive month and 24 points in 33 days from December 1st. Let’s hope we hit form then :D

As we reported yesterday the Arsenal home fixture, originally scheduled for August, will now be televised on 5th December meaning Newcastle kick-off the month with three games in eight days. They also have been handed a hectic schedule over the holiday period.

With Newcastle playing just three times during November, the Newcastle boss is understandably very upset at the fixture changes.

Newcastle’s December Schedule of Games:

1 	Blackburn 	(a) 3pm
5 	Arsenal 	(h) 7.45pm
8 	Birmingham 	(h) 3pm
15 	Fulham 		(a) 5.15pm
23 	Derby 		(h) 2pm
26 	Wigan 		(a) 3pm
29 	Chelsea 	(a) 3pm

Here’s what Sam had to say to nufc.co.uk today:

“It’s an absolute disgrace,” “We play four games in 15 days at the start of December and then they expect us to play four more in just 10 days at the back end of the month.”

“By the time this month is over we will have played just three games in total, and then the same again in November. “That’s six games in two months and then eight in just one.

“During December there will be a massive 24 points at stake, which could make a massive difference to the outcome of the season.

“Why they have done this is beyond me, but all I know is that every one of our requests to the Premier League has been turned down.”

These changes are not at all made to accommodate the fans – they are made to accommodate the TV, where all the money is coming from. Fans have to take the brunt of this and are continually being messed around with these continuous changes.

Sam also criticized the decision to force Newcastle’s supporters to travel back from Fulham at a later time than previously planned. The Fulham fixture has been moved back to a 5.15pm kick-off to accommodate live TV coverage.

Sam went on:

“I can’t work out why they have made our fans go to London at one of the most expensive times of year to play there twice,” “And it will be difficult for them to get back from Fulham with the new kick-off time.”

“The fixture list gives us no time to recover for our FA Cup Third Round tie, not to mention the fact that we will lose up to five players at the start of January for the African Cup of Nations, in Geremi, Habib Beye, Abdoulaye Faye, Oba Martins and possibly Matty Pattison.

“We are one of only two nations now in Europe who don’t have the mid-season break, and I think it needs to be looked at.”

The only thing we can say to lift the spirits a little is that it would be even worse if we were in Europe with the extra fixtures a successful run in that competition gives each club. However, hopefully we can get most of our players back by December, so they can help to take the load on the playing staff. Carr, Babayaro and Duff – are you reading this?

This will also be a good test of the strength of Sam’s squad. It’s becoming clear that to be successful in English football these days, a club needs a really big squad, with all the fixtures to play during a season. Roll on the January transfer window.

Comments very welcome.



Tags: Newcastle News



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13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ToonKing // Oct 13, 2007 at 4:18 PM

    This sucks from the teams standpoint, but i’m happy that i’ll have more opportunities to see us play.
    But it’ll be very tough, there’s no denying that, the FA are tossers. Let’s hope we can get some good results.

  • 2 Keep Oba // Oct 13, 2007 at 4:53 PM

    Hey Ed. I meant to ask you recently what you thought of the recent trouble Northern Rock had and if you had heard anything concerning the status of our shirt sponsor. I see on Nufc.com they have a little blurb about Richard Bransen and friends taking over Northern Rock and rebranding it Virgin Money. Just want to know if you or anyone else out there, possibly with their ears closer to toon if they have heard anything about this. Virgin Money would be a funny name to have on the kit. I also think it would give the kit more international awareness since the Virgin brand is pretty famous. It cant be worse than NTL…didnt Virgin buy them too?

  • 3 Keep Oba // Oct 13, 2007 at 4:55 PM

    and yea, seven games in a month is poor, especially when I could use a game today. Im tired of the international breaks.

  • 4 gjdevon // Oct 13, 2007 at 6:14 PM

    branson reckons its going to be “Virgin Rocks” the new sponsor of the shirt, its all conjecture anyway as northern rock have paid up front and fat fred spent the dosh on pies!!

  • 5 Cockney Magpie // Oct 13, 2007 at 6:26 PM

    Team of Young Future Newcastle Stars – Krul / Ramage – Taylor – Edgar – Enrique / Milner – Barton – Troisi – N’Zog / Martins – Carroll. Whats everybody think? who should be replaced (apart from ramage obviusly)

  • 6 dave // Oct 13, 2007 at 6:26 PM

    KeepOba:

    For a little while there were loads of Geordies, in their kits, weirily trailing around the towns of England with queues of people behind them demanding money. A very worying time for all concerned. :-)

    I just can’t see the boys running out with ‘Virgin’ on their chests…call me old fashioned?

  • 7 dave // Oct 13, 2007 at 6:31 PM

    I could imagine them going out with ‘Money’ on the shirt though! In fact I like it!

  • 8 Bill F // Oct 13, 2007 at 6:48 PM

    Anybody else have problems earlier trying to access the blog or is it just my antique computer. A team of Virgins now now that is interesting concept. Couldn’t happen in Essex.

  • 9 Bill F // Oct 13, 2007 at 7:09 PM

    Cockney Magpie, nice dream but I would think the chances of seeing that team are about as good as seeing a pig flying past your window.

  • 10 Hammy // Oct 13, 2007 at 8:19 PM

    Hey Bill,
    I was having loads of bother before, it was taking ages to load the pages and the format looked different when it loaded, lost some blog too.
    Your surname isn’t Fawcus is it?

  • 11 Tripp // Oct 13, 2007 at 10:17 PM

    Hammy, the format was probably fubar because your browser didn’t load the stylesheet that governs layout/fonts. That happens sometimes when either the server or the client are struggling for some reason.

  • 12 Bill F // Oct 14, 2007 at 1:00 AM

    Hammy Sorry to be so late getting back to you if you are still around. I had to go out to drink beer and eat food at a friends going away party (they are going to live in India) God life is tough sometimes. No my name isn’t fawcus, not the most common name in the world is it? Sorry and all that.

  • 13 leo // Oct 14, 2007 at 2:20 PM

    8 games in 33 days in bad, but good. i hate international breaks though.




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