Things So Different From Three Years Ago At This Time

For whatever reason we’re thinking of where Newcastle were three years ago, when on May 24th our last game of the season was at Aston Villa.

John Carver and Alan Pardew

In that game we didn’t play very well at all, and there seemed no spirit in the side, and we lost the game through a Damein Duff own goal after 38 minutes,  when a Gareth Barry shot deflected off Duff.

And that was it – Newcastle couldn’t score a goal in the second half to keep themselves up, and as a reminder here’s the side that played in that game:

Steve Harper, David Edgar, Damien Duff, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Nicky Butt (c), Kevin Nolan, Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez, Oba Martins, Mark Viduka
Subs: Tim Krul, Ryan Taylor, Shola Ameobi, Michael Owen, Alan Smith, Jose Enrique, Jonas Gutierrez

And of course Damien Duff was one of the players who left Newcastle that summer, saying basically he was glad to get away once he had joined Fulham, and Oba Martins, Mark Viduka and Michael Owen also left, and they were all in that last day squad.

So it’s a little amazing where Newcastle find themselves now, with the chance of a top three finish, but at worst Newcastle will finish today in 5th place, and we go straight into the Europa Cup group stages of that competition next season – at least.

This is what Alan Pardew has said about the season:

“Third place puts you straight in the group stage and that is massive. That is a big, big jump for any football club.”  “What it could mean is off the scale. It’s almost as great as getting promotion from the Championship to the Premier League – it’s that significant.”

“I don’t think there is any doubt in the group that they can play ­Champions League football.”  “Next season is going to be even more ­challenging.”    “We’ve got a ­European campaign, we’ve got expectations and we might lose a key player, so I’m under no illusions.”  “But it’s been a great year and a year we’ve got to build on.”

“We’ve not cracked it yet. The top teams will be stronger next year. To break into this group next year may be tougher.”  “This is where we want to be.”  “The ­Champions League is the pinnacle of the club game, and for us to be competing for it is more than we could have imagined.”

“To finish fifth would still be a marvelous ­achievement. We are a new team, with new players and they have all done ­exceptionally.”  “I can look all of them in the eye and know they have performed. It is astounding we still have a chance of third.”

“And there has been the spirit we have had in the group. It is a pleasure coming to work.”

It’s been a  tremendous comeback season for Newcastle under Alan Pardew, who is so much better than we ever realized.

And three years ago there was simply no team spirit in that side over the last few months of the 2008-2009 season, and that’s one huge  difference to the team we have at the moment.

All credit to Alan Pardew and his back-room staff for getting that pride and passion back into the Tyneside club.

Alan keeps talking about  losing some players in the summer, and we have to think that’s because Newcastle have already had some inquiries, from top clubs like Manchester United as one example.

But even if we lose a couple of players,  Newcastle will still be bringing new players into the squad, and there seems no reason why Newcastle cannot do very well again next season, with hopefully a bigger and better squad.

But first things first, and a win today at Goodison Park would end this terrific season in style.

Comments welcome.

15 comments so far

  • Edmond

    May 13, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #1

    Can’t imagine being in CL after today would be so good, seeing us playing the likes of real and bayern!

  • Indian Magpie

    May 13, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #2

    Things have Changed, Alot

  • LewSpi

    May 13, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #3

    I accept that key players have to leave, but I just hope it’s not to rivals such as Manchester United or any other premier league club for that matter.

  • lewytoon

    May 13, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #4

    stop mentioning key player (s) leaving!!!!!

    as long as krul, cabaye, ben arfa, colo, tiote and cisse stay were ok, i think it’ll be ba who leaves.

    anyways todays one of our biggest matches in years. we could get champions league and rocket with reputation and funds, or get europa league and have more chance of losing payers. both are great but i know i want champions league 😉

    newcastle to win
    tottenham to draw
    arsenal to lose
    qpr down
    bolton survive
    city champions

  • JDdubai

    May 13, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #5

    It feels like Pardew knows a deal is all but done for someone and is dropping hints to lessen the impact of the announcement. Ba or Tiote i guess.

    Really cant see Chelsea not bidding for Tiote but as long as Roman pays 30 mill plus then so be it. I now feel confident that we will bring in equally good players to replace any who leave, maybe it will all depend on todays results though.

  • gorgonzola ( former Pecorino former to gorgonzola)

    May 13, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #6

    Havent posted anything really lengthy as this so here we go…

    Today I sit proud of my dear Newcastle. SInce I had to leave my country cause of sad circumstances, and emigrated to South Africa. After the shock of emigrating at a tender year of 12, it took me a while to settle once I did I started to look at football again. And bang I switch on the tely and I see Peter Beardsley I cant recall against who running down the left with the black and white stripe jersey and the Blue star on his chest looking for Cole on the middle..

    I liked what I saw and I fell in love with Newcastle…. what a club. Then was triumph and sadness for years on over, seeing us relegated I was on a plane coming back from the UK and I heard the news I was gutted…. and today look at us gents….only way is up…. For me what is amazing there is a player profile we signed or we tend to sign wich I like and I love that about this club…the Ginola, the Ferdinand, the Shearer, the Gillespie, the HBA, the Cabaye, the Tiote… 🙂

    HWTL upward and onward 🙂

  • Pardew's fist pump

    May 13, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #7

    That team back then must have been the slowest and most immobile in the entire league.

    If Ba leaves, De Jong to replace – easy-peasy!

  • dmac

    May 13, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #8

    I have a good feeling about today. Tottenham vs Fulham – spurs have been poor as of late and fulham havent been too bad that and Jol returns with a point to prove.
    Arsenal vs west brom – hodgsons last game he is going to want to go out in style.

    Both teams will give this game everything. Unfortunately we also meet an everton team in immense form at goodison and they are gonna want to finish season ahead of liverpool. I can see us doing it if everyone gives everything!


  • clinath@ed

    May 13, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #9

    Everyone keeps going on about us losing players. Tell me, other than Man City, who has that kind of money to spend in the current climate. Liverpool will have frightened off a lot of the EPL clubs, with their wasting of over £100 M. The tendency in the past is that you only spend money on players from abroad, so unless a big European club comes in, I think our players are safe. (mind you, I might be talking out me arse!!!) HWTL.

  • indian

    May 13, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #10

    Just post online streaming links if ya’ll can,I dont wana see the delayed one on my telivision

  • Gateshead-Mag

    May 13, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #11

    dunno y people suggest players like de jong, hes a man city player thats probly on 150 grand a week he aint gunna come here for 70-80 grand a week tops

    would only be a replacement for tiote, in my opinion a less good replacement

  • Pardew's fist pump

    May 13, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #12


    Ya’know, Nigel De Jong doesn’t own a copyright to the De Jong name and why would I suggest a DM to replace a ST?


  • Sammy Adamobi

    May 13, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #13

    whatever happens today, am so happy with this season, so much more than was expected! although, champions league would just be something else! 😀

  • LewSpi

    May 13, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #14


    He means Luuk De Jong. Not that horrible little man from City.

  • will190780

    May 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #15

    Jonas Gutierrez is so good he was on the field and on the bench. Looking back at the relegation lineup Duff and Edgar as full backs and the pace and athleticism of Viduka up top its no wonder we got relegated.

    In fact the bench looks better than the starting 11 thanks Shearer 🙂


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