Two Readers Doing Good Work For Charity

We’re always pleased to help our readers do some good things for charity – and here are a couple of them we’d like to showcase today.

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Newcastle fans – doing good things for charity

One of our readers Gareth Hawkins, along with two friends will be climbing the highest peak in England, Scotland and Wales in just 24 hours – and Gareth will be doing this next Saturday –  June 8th.

This challenge is to enable Gareth to get into shape and start eating better, and at the same time doing something very useful for charity.

This is all in the aid of the Macmillan Cancer Support – and it you’d like to support Gareth and his two pals in his efforts you can do so here.

Lewis Spears is one of our readers, and he and his pal Mail Shotting are planning a cycle ride for Help for Heroes. They’ll be setting off from Whitehaven at around 8:00 am on Sunday 23rd of June, and will cycle across the country in one day, arriving at South Shields in the evening.

It’s all for Charity – Help for Heroes – and a modest target of £500 has been initially set, but hopefully that can be exceeded.

Here’s where you can donate to Lew and Dan’s coast to coast challenge.

If you can help these two efforts – please do – and many thanks.

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164 comments so far

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 3, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #1

    Rotonda, Repost
    In 3 of those title seasons he(HBA) played 13 or less times though (13,12 and 9). He also only has 29 assists in 234 career games at club level. For a player of his undoubted talent, that isn’t good enough. 37 goals is also an average return for an attacking player with his ability.

    While I don’t want to lose him, at 20-25million, I would do the deal.

  • Agent Stardust

    Jun 3, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #2

    There are so many rumours about transfers in the Premier League at the moment. So many great exciting players. New managers coming in etc.

    Yet nowt for us to get excited about. Nothing at all. We cant be linked with a good manager or any decent players as we don’t have any money.
    It really is awful now. And it’s going to be like this for years. Even Andy Carroll we simply can’t buy. Remy we can’t get. Benteke impossible. So many others. It’s just pointless even getting excited in the transfer window.

    I think the overall plan is great when we are on a budget but this is as good as it’s gonna get. Long term we haven’t really got much to get excited about.

    The only possible excitement we are going to get is if there’s a takeover and somebody comes in with big money.

    If that doesn’t happen then sit back and enjoy 20years of fighting for 7th or 8th place.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 3, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #3

    There is a difference between not having any money, and being unwilling to spend it. We have plenty of cash and are on a good financial footing. That isn’t the problem.

    As for us not being linked to any good players in rumours, we have been linked to plenty. How likely they are to happen is another matter. Same with most clubs, it is just that time of year.

  • Agent Stardust

    Jun 3, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #4

    I disagree. No offence.

    We are linked with reasonable players, not great ones. We are in a battle for 7th place and even that will be tough.

    And I am very positive usually about the club and the way it’s run. I have 4 seaosn tickets and travel to other games eg Benfica etc. Yet I am really feeling down about it all this year.

    I understand what you mean tho.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 3, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #5

    Most of the players we are being linked with are full internationals. And most are wanting better then we can offer in terms of European football and silverware. I don’t think the lack of ambition is in these reported targets. Quite probably a lack of realism. We have bought very good footballers, not world beaters, but very technically able. Our failing has been to get them playing.

    You say we are in a battle for 7th, I agree. I think top 5 is out of reach except in exceptional circumstances. I’d say 6th to 10th is very much of a muchness although depending on Livepools summer dealings they could make that top 5 a top 6. Everton will struggle, particularly with Martinez in my opinion.

    To be honest though, 7th to 10th is probably about right for us, and should have been where we were last season.

    The depressing thing for me is style of play. Which, may, but unlikely, improve if Pardew gets his new coaching staff. I would have liked him replaced, and feel that had he been this blog would be much cheerier, and e had we been linked with exactly the same players we have been, under a new manager people would be more upbeat about it.

  • Agent Stardust

    Jun 3, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #6

    its all very upsetting

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 3, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #7

    Can’t argue with that sentiment.

  • Tsunki

    Jun 3, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #8

    All a bit confusing you mean. Mike Ashley is a man who does his thing the way he wants it done, sits astride an empire that has steamrolled its competition, has absorbed brand after brand while doing so, and is on its way to trying its hardest to do the same overseas. Is this the same Mike Ashley we suppose is content to be an also-ran in the football enterntainment business? I don’t get it. Surely someone who isn’t shy of using any wall, roof, house, passing dog as an advertising hoarding can’t be content to see his business pushed by a mediocre outfit with no ambition, glamour or glory? If I was MA, I would be starting to get very edgy that my brand wasn’t being showcased to its full potential by a club that makes headlines for all the right reasons, one with a sizeable following and popularity not just in this land but worldwide. I would want NUFC to be as attractive a junior shirt buy in Japan as Real Madrid and Man U. and sooner rather than later.

    Where’s he going with this?

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 3, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #9

    In my opinion we will have a better idea come the close of this window. Was January an admission of fault last summer and a realisation he had to spend to progress. Or was it just to stave off relegation.

  • Tsunki

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #10

    I still think MA is being advised poorly. Happens in the ‘best’ clubs, look at how Liverpool fared last year with its hotshot advisors, getting shot of them was the first step on their road to recovery.

    MA is currently looking like a man being hoodwinked by the spin of ‘stability’, ‘steady growth’, ‘firm financial footing’ and other such buzz guff. When we weighed up that Pardew managed to muddle through year 1 with a few bumps to a decent finish, we should have also accounted for what was a pretty poor league last year, only slightly improved on this year. The European competitions highlight that our leagues are slipping of late, and really speaking, our 5th was in hindsight not all that fantastic. But this season the same pattern of play has found us, and consequently, Pardew, out. Even with a few new faces, I think that after the first 5 games this year it will be business as usual, us struggling to hold ourselves up to mid-table. I am hoping that that will be about the time when Mike pulls the plug and clears the decks for a proper shake up from the board room down to the training staff. Thats where he should spend his millions, not so much on players as we have decent ones already.

  • cockneymagpie90

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #11

    We need Sahko, Will Hughes, Tom Ince and Bony all for about 30m and sell tiote for about 15m with a spend of about 15m

  • Ginger

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #12

    I don’t these technical players that we’re being linked with. What is the actual point?

    They can come and sit on the bench if they want with good ol Anita.

    Pardew just doesn’t understand how to handle technical players, so get him the dreadful players he wants. I think this will be his formation next season (Depending on if nobody leaves and we get nobody):


    Which on paper is a good team, aside from Guttierez starting and Sissoko being played out of position. But this is what he seems to be aiming for. The team I think we’d have if Pardew got signings of his choice:


    I think that is the team Pardew would like to have with Cabaye and Ben-Arfa leaving. Whilst I agree it’s not as good, I think we’d play better under it in my honest opinion.

    I just don’t see a point in buying technical players when he really doesn’t know how to use them correctly, it just seems a waste of money.

  • Tsunki

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #13

    Here’s a thought – do you think we had as many good games as West Brom last year? No? We had our moments, but some games West Brom had they looked pretty tidy all round. Here’s some more questions then – would you swap their squad for ours? If not, why?

  • Ginger

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #14

    I don’t want*

  • cockneymagpie90

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #15

    If we get Bony i think Pardew will want a friend for him so might end up keeping Tiote.

    But hes the only player of any real value id want to sell.

  • Tsunki

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #16

    …and Ginger basically veers straight into my point 🙂

    The reason why transfer windows mean very little at this point is that, while injuries shook things around a lot I admit, the playing staff can be rejigged, bodies moved in and out, but what difference will it make? I don’t care about the transfer business this summer at all. Really. THat’s because we had a set of players in our last ten games who could have dug in against anyone in the PL. But we got embarrassed by the mackems and then the scousers at home. Someone give me a good reason please for that, and why we couldn’t have at least stopped being beaten by more than 2 goals. That for me was an epiphany regarding Pardew’s latent lack of top tactical ability, coupled with our lack of fitness and proper training. I turned from a ‘wait & see’ man to a ‘can’t wait to see him move out’ man 🙂

  • Tsunki

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #17

    And all that up there encapsulates my reasons for giving the blog a wide berth lately. You will be pleased to see very little from me this summer. The real show starts in september, regardless of who we buy or sell.

  • Sinner

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #18

    I would keep Tiote, he was poor at the start season and injuries didnt help, but he showed some consistencies in the last few games.

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #19

    Wake up and smell the coffee people
    1 – as it stands, no players have demanded to leave Newcastle this summer as far as we know. We suspect Colo might leave for personal reasons but we don’t know. So there is no “indictment of Pardew’s management”
    2 – We know we will only spend the money that we have. Ashley isn’t going to simply give us money for transfers. This only happens at very few clubs in the PL these days.
    3 – We should see 8th place next season as a decent achievement. Anything higher would be fantastic. We would most likely have to displace Liverpool and Everton to get into the top 6. We’re miles behind Utd, City, Arsenal, Chelski and even Spurs.
    4 – If we did amazingly achieve top 6, that does not mean we can start thinking about Champions League realistically the following season.

  • Ginger

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #20

    Personally, I’d sell and sign the following players.

    Cabaye – 20m
    Ben-Arfa – 20m
    Gosling – 1m
    Obertan – 2m
    Shola – 1m


    Buy –
    Carroll – 12m
    Thomas Ince – 10m
    Siem de Jong – 5m
    Le Fondre – 5m


    That’s a profit of 5m

    With that, I think our team could have many tactics to it.

    A technical 4-3-3

    —Sissoko—-De Jong—Anita–

    A defensive 4-3-3

    Same could be applied with 442’s, De Jong could form a Carroll/Nolan type partnership with Carroll. We could bring Ferguson on to provide crosses from the left and Ince with crosses from the right if we need to exploit Carroll’s heading ability. Many different tactics we could use.

    I do think we need Carroll to help bring others into play and hold the ball up.

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #21

    Also, the fans needs to get off Pardew’s back now. He’s clearly not leaving this summer. So what is the point in all of this negativity? Get behind him and the team and let’s see how they get on. I really hope that our squad and prospective signings don’t come on this forum. They would get a really bad impression about us fans at the moment.

  • Ginger

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #22


    I agree with you and I think I’ll also be having a break from this blog. Usually I’m extremely excited, but not this time.

  • Tsunki

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #23

    Agreed there’s no point in Pardew bashing for the sake of it any more that boat has drifted out, as usual its all hands to the pump etc and get behind the lads. I still hope Pardew pulls the rabbit out of the hat as that would be great for all concerned, but I am still reserving the right to brace myself for a rocky beginning to the next term. Anyway, its a form of optimism to be looking forward to an upgrade on the manager, isn’t it? Chelski live on that stuff. 😀

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #24

    The problem with the negativity is that even if we’d finished in 8th place this season, there would still be loads of people complaining that we’ve gone backwards and bemoaning Ashley’s lack of investment to push for the Champions League places.

  • Ginger

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #25


    I can’t stand Pardew, I’m not going to lie. But the second he was confirmed as staying I got behind him. I just really don’t see a point in buying tecnhical players when he really doesn’t know how to utilise them.

  • Ginger

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #26


    If we had of finished eighth I wouldn’t have blamed anyone from blaming Mike Ashley, as due to the lack of investment it would have been his fault.

  • Tsunki

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #27

    ToonDarnSarf – I hope you aren’t lumping me in the same boat as catchy and rotonda etc, who have been moaning since the guy got the job. I don’t think of myself as negative since I was one of the supporters, who advocated him being given time and players. I will still be happy for him if he does iron our the er blips but these days I look at him askance and through slitted eyes. It is justified to a degree to be sceptical isn’t it?

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #28

    Tsunki – Well he’s our manager now, there’s no guarantee anyone could do better, he overachieved last season and underachieved this season. He’s about average in my eyes at the moment.

    If HBA keeps getting injured, Saylor keeps handballing it in the box, Pardew keeps making the wrong tactical decisions or Tiote keeps getting suspensions, then I’d happily see them gone in the right circumstances. But for now, I’ll support them all.


  • ToonDarnSarf

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #29

    Ginger – If we’d have finished 8th then it would have still been a decent season! Fans need to accept that 5th last season was an overachievement. We got lucky in some games, didn’t have so many injuries and some players were just on fire. It was highly unlikely that we would finish above Chelski, Liverpool and Everton again this season.

    As I’ve said, there aren’t many owners who are investing their own cash for signings, so why do our fans expect Ashley to? The club should support itself!

    As for the technical players, he stated that he wanted to run the play through Cabaye, but he seems to have been injured or off form most of last season, HBA was barely fit either. We didn’t have the continuity of players to play the football we wanted to.

    I’m not saying Pardew shouldn’t have been able to do a bit better with the players that he had available, but I don’t think it was as easy as people make out.

  • Ginger

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #30

    One thing I am concerned about is if Pardew replicates last season again, we have no chance of getting anywhere near the top six again.

    Chelsea have got Mourinhio and will be pushing on with big signings.
    Manchester City will try and buy the league again.
    Tottenham have one of the best players in the world at the minute, either they’re going to keep him or sell him for loads.
    I imagine David Moyes will sign a fair few quality expensive players for Man United.
    Liverpool are looking a class side, the money they get off Suarez and Carroll will fund the development of their team. Not to mention they aren’t afraid to splash the cash.
    Arsene Wenger will more then likely spend a fair bit from Arsenal this transfer window due to it possibly being his last. Go out with a bang so to speak.
    Even Sunderland are completely revamping there team and making good signings already, not to mention Paulo is looking like a good manager.

    So I think if we don’t push on next season, we’ll certainly be left in the dust.

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #31

    Tsunki – Nah. There’s different degrees of Pardew bashers and you’re definitely not towards the more extreme!

    I just don’t think it should be a topic of conversation to be honest. I wish this blog had an area for Pardew bashers and they could all just go there and tell each other about how amazing they are and share their experiences of how to manage properly (from Championship Manager), so I could just stay away from that area.

    Fact is, he’s our manager for the foreseeable future. He will only be sacked if we either have a terrible start to the season (relegation contenders), or we finish outside of the top 10 at the end of the season, or the dressing room isn’t behind him. If none of those things happen, then I’ll be happy enough as a Newcastle fan.

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #32

    Ginger, “One thing I am concerned about is if Pardew replicates last season again, we have no chance of getting anywhere near the top six again.”

    Talk about extremism! Don’t be so reactionary. Don’t you think our policy of signing marquee players for money we didn’t have and the resulting relegation has set us back a bit further than our last season??

    Forget Utd, City, Chelsea and Arsenal. They are streets ahead of us in terms of their squads, club structure and finances. The only way we finish above them is if they screw up. Spurs are a good model but they are several years ahead of us with their progress. Liverpool are a bigger club with more money and a better squad too. Even Everton are better than us right now.

    We’re the 8th best club in the Premier League, and we’re only a few injuries or bad form from key players away from finishing lower than 8th too. If the likes of Swansea, Villa, West Brom have an exceptional season and we have those injuries or loss of form, then we’re struggling to get top 10 again.

  • Ginger

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #33


    I would have been chuffed if we’d finished eighth and content if we finished top 10 in general. 5th was an over achievement, we rode our luck till the end of the season and played really well.

    I don’t think Everton are that good of a side, they seem pretty average to me. Liverpool play a good game but don’t get the points, and if Tottenham hadn’t of had Bale I think we could have finished above those three.

    The thing that agitates me, is you say the club should support itself, which don’t get me wrong I agree with entirely, I prefer being run as a buisness safely then ending up being bankrupt. Nevertheless, to get past breaking even we need to get in the Champions League and start finishing much higher up the table. To do this we need an investment.

    Surely if Mike Ashley was to invest money into big players, say 40m or so along with what me make, we’d end up making more then that consistently off finishing high and doing well in the champions league? Along with that an increase in ticket sales due to success and better sponsorship deals by far? He knew it wasn’t enough just getting Anita, whereas I believe he could have really pushed us on last summer. Hell he could even start taking money back and making more then the 40m he originally invested.

    None the less, even with the lack of investment Pardew should have done far better. He cost us points many times that season. He talks a good game, saying he wants us to play fluent attacking football on the ground, yet plays players that stunt our attack and plays a defensive game.

    I do genuinely think it was easy to finish higher with the team we had. We were one of the worst teams all year and yet were only 5 points off a top ten spot. If he hadn’t of made so many mistakes, we would have been top ten no bother.

  • Sazzer

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #34

    Obertan might soon be a Nice player.

  • Ian Magpie

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #35

    On the Monaco supposed interest bid in Cabaye and Ben Arfa. Seriously even if we get 50 mllion what is the point?? Ashley will only spend what the club sustainably earns. He won’t change the wage structure so why would a top player want to come to us when he can earn mega bucks at other clubs. The bank balance will be good and we will be financially better off but will they have replacements lined up, capable of winning us a trophy instead of just making us money after a couple of years. Lets hope so!

  • jazzyp

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #36

    you would sell ben arfa and cabaye but not gutierrez???

  • kevymartins

    Jun 3, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #37

    Brace yourselves, season full of laughter with the special one back.Let’s watch chelski go spend silly money and buy players like shevchenko haha.

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Jun 3, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #38

    Ginger – I see what you’re saying, but if we spend £40M, then that’s effectively £40M of debt for the club. These days that’s nowhere near enough to guarantee Champions League football.

    Check out this site:

    It puts us above Everton on squad value, but they’ve got several players who have been there for years and with a steady managerial situation, they have been able to get used to a style of play alongside their team mates. We should be trying to beat them to 7th if possible.

    You’re wrong about Spurs too, as well as Bale, they have some excellent players that I’d have in our team: Vertonghen, Walker, Dembele, Lennon, Dempsey, Adebayor…they would all get in.

  • ToonDarnSarf

    Jun 3, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #39

    Sazzer – Obertan has never been a nice player, just a depressingly average one…

  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Jun 3, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #40

    @ Ginger

    So we sell Ben Arfa & Cabaye, then what ? .

    What makes you think Ashley will invest the money straight into the team all of a sudden ? . When Spurs sold Modric they brought in a couple of good players immediately , we sold both Carroll & Ba and never brought in replacements straight away which cost us on both occasions.

    We should be fighting to keep our better players no matter what but it seems some people have got caught up in the “Ashley model” and want to sell for profits every season or two. Fair enough if we produced constant talents like Porto do but we have not had players with such ability like HBA,Cabaye & Cisse in a long time.

    IMO we need to keep what we already have, ship out the dead wood, bring in a striker winger and CB, then a few more squad players. The only player in our team who I think is massively over hyped and I would not be bothered if we let him go is Tiote. The guy can’t even do simple 10 yard passes and gets caught out trying to turn in dangerous areas far too often. Not to mention he is a card machine and has never tried to fix it.

    We need to stop thinking like accountants trying to balance the books and actually want to have our best players here without having to sell. We have just got £60 million in TV rights for gods sake, its not as if we are skint.

    At the end of the day If you think Ashley has suddenly changed his ways and will drop the supposed £30 million we would get for Benny & Cabs before the season starts you are kidding yourselves.

    Big Pappa out 😉

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