Newcastle United Season Review – Part One


Part one of the season review will cover the season through 6th December, when manager Chris Hughton was fired.

Chris Hughton – this man is a hero to us

The season got off to a bit of an ominous start in our first game at Old Trafford when we went down 3-0, but if Manchester United had taken more of their chances in that second half it could have been 6-0, and we knew Newcastle looked very second best against the Red Devils in that first game.

What the lads didn’t do in that game is drop their heads at all, and they kept to their task for the full 90 minutes, and we could see the spirit in the side was strong, and that would serve the side so well for the rest of the season, as it turned out.

But then would you believe it, in our first home game back in the Premier League we simply demolished Aston Villa 6-0, and they had finished 6th in the previous three seasons in the Premier League.

Former manager Martin O’Neil had again thrown his dummy out of the pram, and left the club high and dry, only  a few days before the season began.

Andy Carroll hit a hat trick in that game.

By the time we entertained Blackpool on 11th September Newcastle had taken 4 points from their previous two games, and the youngsters had seen off Accrington Stanley 3-2 in the Carling Cup and things were looking up.

But in a game in which Newcastle missed chance after chance, they created as many chances as in the previous game against Villa, Blackpool trotted out 2-0 winners and our long unbeaten streak since Fulham beat Newcastle 1-0 in May of 2009, came to a crushing and embarrassing end.

That was a low point for Newcastle – how could they let a side like Blackpool beat them at home?

But as Newcastle would do throughout the season, they came storming back with a very strong performance at Everton, and for the first time in around 9 years came away with a 1-0 win from Goodison Park, with a tremendous goal from new boy Ben Arfa – and this lad was looking the part for Newcastle.

It was a terrific fighting performance form the lads and in the next game our youngsters came away from Stamford Bridge with a magnificent 4-3 win in one of the most exciting games seen for a long time.

Newcastle deserved the plaudits for an attacking display away from home, and Shola Ameobi scored the dramatic winner in the 90th minute,  with a header from a corner – and Shola had a great game that night.

So with two good performance, s what would happen in the next home game against Stoke?   Surely a game Newcastle would win.

We were all over Stoke in that first half and were ahead 1-0 with a penalty just before the break from Kevin Nolan, but then in the last 25 minutes the team simply fell apart and conceded two goals  in a terrible defeat – the second in a row at St. James’ Park.

To make things even worse,  it was a James Perch own goal that lost Newcastle the game.

The next game at Eastlands would be a turning point for the season, as Ben Arfa had his leg broken in two places after just two minutes, by a terrible tackle from Nigel De Jong, and he didn’t even get a yellow card.

That in retrospect was the end of the season for the mercurial Frenchman,  and he would not return to the Newcastle side for the rest of the season.

While it wasn’t called as a foul tackle by the Dutchman, it didn’t stop the Netherlands manager, Bert van Marwijk, from leaving him out of the next Netherlands squad – specifically because of the tackle.

In the next game,  Newcastle again showed their good away form again with a good win at Upton Park 2-1.

But then virtually a second team full of youngsters were  torn apart 4-0 at St. James’ Park by Arsenal – and we should have played a stronger side – and we’re sure that’s just exactly what Alan Pardew will do next season,  to try to bring a trophy to Newcastle for the first time since 1969.

If a team like Birmingham can win the Carling Cup, then  there’s no reason Newcastle cannot do the same thing, and like Birmingham did this season, Newcastle will surely play their best side in that competition next season.

And then we played Sunderland at home in the next game.

And in an exhilarating display of attacking football, Newcastle simply tore Sunderland apart, both in skill and in fighting spirit and won the game 5-1, with Sunderland getting their consolation goal coming in the very last minute, for the biggest derby win from Newcastle for over 50 years.

Sunderland players really let their fans down in that game,  as half of them seemed to give up in the second half,  as Newcastle tore them from limb to limb.

Captain Kevin Nolan got a hat trick,  which will be remembered for years and years to come, and no wonder the captain is a hero on Tyneside..

Who would have thought following  that game  that manager Chris Hughton would be sacked in just 5 weeks. 🙁

And to keep things on the up – Newcastle then went to The Emirates Stadium and had their very first win there 1-0 with a classic header from Andy Carroll, when he out-jumped the goalkeeper, and that was three league wins on the trot with 8 goals scored and only 2 conceded.

But then Newcastle went into a bit of a slump, with a 2-1 home defeat by Blackburn and only a 0-0 against a badly performing Fulham side, at that time.

The next game would be a turning point for Newcastle and the manager, and the team looked like the had forgotten how to defend, when they were hammered at Bolton 5-1, with four goals basically giveaways from Newcastle.

That wasn’t the first time that defense fragility would harm Newcastle in the season.

Coloccini was sent of in the game in the second half, and had a terrible game, and then Mike Williamson was also given a 3 match ban after the game, for dangerous play against Elmander in the first half.

Officials had viewed videos after the game, of him bumping into the big Swede.

So Coloccini and Williamson were both out, and Joey Barton had also received a 3 game ban against Blackburn Rovers earlier, for punching Morten Gamst Pedersen in the chest in that game.

These were the first of far too many suspension that Newcastle players suffered last season, which cost Newcastle many points.

Newcastle did well to hold Chelsea 1-1 at home in the next game, with a nice early goal from Andy Carroll, but then came a big defeat at West Brom 3-1.

And as it turned out that be the last game for Chris Hughton, who had kept the team in the dressing room for around 90 minutes after that game.

But that didn’t help him and the next day – a Monday – the manager was fired and that came as a huge shock to Newcastle fans, and to the football public in general.

Chris had Newcastle in 11th place at the time, with 19 points from the first 16 games.

As it turns out Newcastle finished one place lower than that at the end of the season.

If Newcastle had continued throughout the 38 game season with the points Chris had gained in the first 16 games, Newcastle would have ended up with 45 points – they ended up with 46 points.

Newcastle were on a poor run of only 2 points from their previous 5 league games, but it looked like Ashley and LLambias were just waiting for an excuse – any excuse – to fire Chris.

But the lads had done well through December in the league, and Chris Hughton will always be a hero at Newcastle for how he brought the club back from the depths in a short 18 months spell – from June of 2009 following relegation to December of 2010.

In between, Newcastle had magnificently won the Championship with a massive 102 points, and were a clear 32 points ahead of third placed Nottingham Forest – a wonderful achievement by Chris and the boys.

Chris Hughton was a lovely man, as they say, and simply magnificent for Newcastle.

The question at the time was – who would be brought in to replace him, before the following home game at Liverpool?

That’s all in part 2, which I’ll bring out tomorrow, which will go through what happened through end of the January transfer window – a shocking transfer window for Newcastle.

Comments on part one are very welcome.

Note: This article was written last Wednesday.



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155 comments so far

  • Troleibusiukas_LTU

    May 26, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #1

    I would like to see Phil Airey in the first tem next year, he is sharp, fast, and improving well. He is still only 19. He could do the job for us, he is better than ameobies, ranger, lovenkrands. Should have been given the chance. He is our second striker.

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  • Brutooon

    May 26, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #2

    we lose couple of match at home

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  • roe997

    May 26, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #3

    ashley lambias and all executives and board members arrive at sjp this morning. Hearing rumours of takeover but im not convinced

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  • G

    May 26, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #4

    Excellent review Ed, hope the treatment is going well so far.

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  • Markaccus

    May 26, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #5

    Something is happening at sjp, I joined twitter yesterday so I could follow the people everyone on here seems to follow, and there are rumblings of a club sale, and of enrique going to lfc for as little as 4 mil, although we are supposed to have refued that insult

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  • Selbymag

    May 26, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #6

    According to George Caulkin the club have withdrawn its contract offer to Joey. Caulkin is as close as it gets to a trustworthy Journo

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  • tanmag

    May 26, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #7

    Get well soon Ed Harrison … all the best

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  • Toonmania

    May 26, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #8

    Selbymag,
    that’s old news happened yesterday morning keep up old chap 😀

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  • NorseToonBrann

    May 26, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #9

    lol there’s no takeover, get over it!! tho’ im looking forward to the anouncement of a press conference as that will certainly be presenting a new signing:)

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  • Graeme

    May 26, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #10

    Yep, FCB flew in first thing, all Directors now at SJP.

    Hopefully its a welcome committee for Gameiro and Gervinho lol

    Maybe its FCB@S farewell party!!!!

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  • WWJBD (Becks4RB)

    May 26, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #11

    What’s going on at stjames loads of cheering press around we signed some one? Am excited haha

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  • Toonmania

    May 26, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #12

    tanmag,
    what’s wrong with ed?? yours is not the first comment i have read wishing him well, but i haven’t heard anything 🙁

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  • Markaccus

    May 26, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #13

    Yes I’m seeing that now too selbymag, it seems the toon are citing difficulty in controling him as the reason. Supposedly run out of patients

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  • G

    May 26, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #14

    Toonmania, top right corner of this page, begins Personal Note:

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  • Toonmania

    May 26, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #15

    lambaise has signed a new 3 year contract lol!!

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  • southerngeordie

    May 26, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #16

    All these going on at SJP this morning – where are these rumours coming from? Who are the peeps on Twitter that everyone is following?

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  • Toonmania

    May 26, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #17

    thanks G,
    sorry i missed that ed, wish you all the best in your recovery and hope everything went really well.
    get well soon
    Paul

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  • Selbymag

    May 26, 2011 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #18

    Toonmania sorry but thats todays news. Yesterday Barton was not going to sign. Today he has no choice as the club withdraw their offer.

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  • Cockney Magpie

    May 26, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #19

    get wel soon Ed old chap, u just concentrate on gettin healthy. somethings are more important than feeding our never ending thirst 4 info.

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  • qtoon

    May 26, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #20

    Gotta love Ed’s commitment to the blog organising posts to go up when he’s away. Absolute legend! All the best pal!

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  • Selbymag

    May 26, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #21

    Yesterday was all about Mckay trying to screw the club over again. We must have paid the Tw*t millions for all the crap players he has managed! The club now appear to have called their bluff.

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  • Toonmania

    May 26, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #22

    there was lots and lots of articles yesterday saying newcastle had withdrawn there contract offer, if you go onto newsnow there must be 30-40 of them from yesterday mostly around 12pm onwards

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  • Selbymag

    May 26, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #23

    Apologies if thats the case shame on me for having to work for a living.

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  • Cockney Magpie

    May 26, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #24

    lol i work 12 hours a day i knew yesterday, thts no excuse selby 😉

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  • PHOENIXNIGHTS

    May 26, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #25

    I do not think Ashley will sell at the moment. One more year with improvement on the field and stability within the premiership and he will get more for the club. I’m a little demorilised at the moment and as I have mentioned earlier I DO NOT TRUST PARDEW. In January he was adamant AC would not be going anywhere(he went) Pardew states Barton must stay(?) Enrique must stay(?) Nolan must stay(?) Pardew has no clout within this club and whether he wants players to stay its not his call. We were paper thin, squad wise last year and players are going out already. I thought maybe 5 quality players coming in plus what we had would be fine but who knows. One thing I do know is that I F#####G hate Pardew.

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  • Markaccus

    May 26, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #26

    All the best ed, a shame it all seems to be going off and you’re going to miss it, doesn’t seem fair that. Both fur10ng and cwarr07 have gone quiet on twitter, something must be happening

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  • Toonmania

    May 26, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #27

    ?? strange answer, i’m at work all day but i have a sneaky look every now and again to see what is happening.
    anyway it doesn’t matter the fact is willie is being a total cock and trying to get a better contract for barton and the club have called his bluff, dam good job too, if he only wants to be here for the money show him the door as he’s no longer welcome.

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  • G

    May 26, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #28

    Regards a takeover, I think it is also unlikely, certainly for the time being. There is a realistic chance that we are stuck with MA for the time being. One of the financial chaps at work has a theory that the club will become a PLC again next year, with MA selling off shares, but remaining as the majority share holder. I don’t know enough about trading to comment on that, however, the guy in question is partial to the odd porky.

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  • Selbymag

    May 26, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #29

    Hard to browse the internet whilst driving from Essex back up north the coppers seem to frown upon it. I take this mornings news as confirmation after a lot of posturing by the thieving jock yesterday. Anyhows who cares.
    For what its worth i would rather Joey stay than not but nobody bigger than the club.

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  • Davies

    May 26, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #30

    Get well soon Dr Harrison. They say laughter is the best medicine, so here’s something to make you chuckle..

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/sport/sport-headlines/capello-sends-owen-highlights-dvd-201105263870/

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  • G

    May 26, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #31

    Davies, that’s brilliant.

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  • Stuart

    May 26, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #32

    Whats all this about everyone being at SJP? We announcing some new signings?

    I dont think its a takeover. I’ve read all the comments on here and the Joey thread and I dont think MA would want to sell up atm.

    If all the transfer rumours and that are right it would appear that MA has finally sorted out the financial troubles and now wants to push on and develop the club back into top 6 challengers.

    Howay, be announcing Gervinho, I’ll love you if you are 😀

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  • LondonMagpie

    May 26, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #33

    All the best Ed,

    I dont know what im going to do today and tomorrow at work without you giving me some articles to read on!!

    Hope for speedy recovery!

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  • G

    May 26, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #34

    That Cwarr07 bloke on twitter is saying it’s N’Zogbia returning?

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  • WWJBD (Becks4RB)

    May 26, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #35

    Now we know why Ashley is in town,1st transfer breakthrough made Charles N’Zogbia returning to #nufc
    from Cwarr 😀

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  • toonarmy09

    May 26, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #36

    How does anyone know that something going on at sjp ,is it just rumours off twitter or does any1 know owt concrete like ???

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  • Selbymag

    May 26, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #37

    Cwarr07 announcing Nzogbia back as the reson for everyone at SJP!!! WTF

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  • toonbelmonter

    May 26, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #38

    if theres journos outside st.james’ or benton a woulda thought it would have summit to do with barton like tbh, doubt itd be a new signing and if theres a takeover takin place dont they have to tell the FA about it then itd be all owa sky lol, but still a hope its either be a signing or takeover like lol, ani more info on wats happening lol,

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  • WWJBD (Becks4RB)

    May 26, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #39

    toonarmy09 I walked past not long ago and there is a lot of people knocking about. Press were there and a load of people in suits dancing and singing

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  • G

    May 26, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #40

    Toonarmy09, no idea, just rumours as far as I can tell, however, I get a work experience bod in my dept every Thursday and today I have given him the important job of watching all the football feeds on his idiotphone.

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