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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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Toon Legend – I Hope We Can Finish In Top Four

9:41 am, Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 9 Comments

Philippe Albert was signed by Kevin Keegan in the summer of 1994 for just £2.6M from Anderlecht, after a successful World Cup display for Belgium in the USA.

Soccer - FA Charity Shield - Manchester United v Newcastle United - Wembley Stadium

Philippe Albert – while at Newcastle

And the 6’3″ defender ended up staying at Newcastle for five years, and played 96 times for Newcastle with 8 goals, and was a folk hero at the club.

Philippe is now 46, and he seems upbeat on Newcastle at the moment, and had this to say in the Chronicle today:

“Winning at Old Trafford will give the players a huge psychological boost because they haven’t done that before.” “I want to see the team move on now and finish in the top six this season.”

“Actually, I would like to see them really go for a top-four place, although I know that is not easy because of the competition at the top of the league. If they can win at Old Trafford, they should be ready to finish anywhere.”

“Newcastle should always be a top-eight side, at the very least, and I believe we have a good team right now and a good manager in Alan Pardew.”

“If Newcastle can keep this run going, win a few more games, then they can really go into 2014 with the hope of getting European football.”

“The fans deserve that. They deserve the best, if I’m honest.”  “Every week they are there and it’s a privilege to play for them.” ” The stadium is a fantastic place and the people were so friendly to me.”

“If they can see you are trying your best, then that’s all the ask. That is why they would have enjoyed Saturday’s win so much.”  “Now let’s see if we can push on. I hope we can.”

Those are good words from Philippe, who is now a respected football pundit in Belgium.

And like a lot of players who play for Newcastle, Philippe follows the team’s fortunes after he retired, and of course Albert was a popular player on Tyneside, and a very good one.

And it could well be that Newcastle repeat the success of two years ago and finish in the top six, although top four would be a bit of a  stretch in fact a huge stretch.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 G // Dec 11, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Albert = Legend. That chip of his against Manyoo is sill one of my favorite pieces of footage.

  • 2 Our Toon // Dec 11, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Bills

    You talk about Ashley’s haters taking negative view points, this whole “we didn’t sell one of our top players” is absolute tosh!! That my friend is the epitome of negativity, constantly living in fear of selling a big player at the club is not the way it should be. The only reason we didn’t buy in the summer was because Ashley didn’t want to spend unless one of the purples were off, I think we offered Cabaye to Arsenal who in turn bid £10m which was very derisory, we leaked it to the press to start a bidding war, we dropped him to protect our commodity (injured would mean worthless) that backfired and no one wanted him. Happy to finish mid table, I have been saying for some time that the lack of ambition behind the scenes will disrupt harmony in the team…How long do we all believe these internationals will hang around for before they want to go to ambitious clubs?

    We all knew this squad had more quality than what was produced last season (mainly down to hoofball) now they are fulfilling that under good football why wouldn’t the owner revise targets and say let’s go for top 5? I have my own business, we set initial targets at the beginning of the year but revise these quarterly to see how we can maximise profits/performance. It seems Ashley sets a target for the season and then sticks to it, very rigid…this year is more open with teams beating each other, I’d say go for it, we have TV revenue coming in as well so whatever is spent can be countered by money on the way in, finally the higher we finish the more money we get…the better we perform in the league the more times we appear on TV meaning more money for the club!! It’s not rocket science.

  • 3 Transfer Sage // Dec 11, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Our toon

    I’m not a fan of Ashley, more to do with things like renaming the stadium, cladding advertising boards and the seats for the bench with sports direct crap, hiring idiots like wise and JFK in important roles etc.

    But I think the squad we are building is good. We have a decent squad, not just team not with reasonable back up in most positions. Yes I’d like to see things come along quicker (or if we insist in waiting for perfect deal do what Everton have and brought 3 very good players in on loan) but in general my issue with the players bought and sold isn’t too high, merely the timing of the purchases and not using the loan market to full potential.

  • 4 Spoof // Dec 11, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Philippe Albert, what a fantastic centre half he was, or was he a center forward, at times it was hard to tell lol.

  • 5 Our Toon // Dec 11, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    TS

    We move far too slowly in the transfer window, have never replaced Andy Carroll, Shola tries to do a good imitation but AC hold up play and goalscoring record is still better than Shola’s!! It’s coming up to a year since Ba left and he hasn’t been replaced, you talk about loan signings but for a club like ours which is in the top 20 clubs for revenue should we really be looking at loans as a viable solution? Remy has his good points don’t get wrong, but he is also the most selfish player on the pitch…more selfish than HBA. The issue with loan signings is that they are playing for themselves, there are 3 type of loanees, 1) Adebayor great on loan when at Spurs but since he was bought outright the guys been shocking (Clearly played very well to get contract). 2) Remy using us to get to another club and will always play for himself (plenty of times he’s chosen to shoot instead of teeing up a team mate that’s better placed) 3) Delefueo, young lad who just needs more experience as he won’t get it in the first team so send him out!!

    I don’t think in the long term that we gain anything from loans, if that was the case every club would be loaning!! What kind of message does it send to the likes of Sammy if someone like Zaha was bought in on loan, it just doesn’t sit right with me

  • 6 estechco // Dec 11, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Totally agree G @1, up there as possibly my favourite ever Toon goal (certainly in the top 3)!

  • 7 Spoof // Dec 11, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Our Toon is spot on, targets should be revised judged by how you are performing rather than be riigid and stick to your initial targets, so often we have the Ashley argument and we seem to go around in circles, but the simple fact is that anyone who says that Ashley is doing a bad job and destroying the side is talking nonsense, only Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby could claim to have a better side than what we currently now in our entire history, so he can’t be doing that bad, but at the same time anyone who believes that steady progress will be made and eventually we will compete for CL places season in and season out are kidding themselves, what we have now is probably as good as it gets under Ashley, mid table so the tv and Premiership money can be had is all that he needs, but to be sure of achieving that you have got to have a decent side, some clubs go for the big name £30m players, they are the CL clubs, you then have a lower bracket of £10/15m players, the CL clubs will go for this type of player as well but lesser clubs like Soton and West Ham will from time to time push the boat out and get 1 or 2 of these type of players, you then have the £5/10m player which is where we come in, ordinarily you get what you pay for but where we have been fortunate is that due to paying for the £5/10m player (less quite regularly ) we have managed to get players who belong in the higher bracket, some would say that was luck, some would say good management, some would say a little bit of both, but whatever the reason we find ourselves with Cabaye, Debuchy, Mbiwa, Sissoko, Tiote and Ben Arfa who were all bought in the cheaper price range but belong in a higher range, whether we got these through luck or good management is irrelevent, what we have to do is to take advantage and sadly this is where it all goes pear shaped under Mike Ashley, due to Remy not being fit and the furore with Cabaye we struggled a bit at the season’s start, however if we had spent as little as £20m for another striker, cb and possibly a winger, would Remy have been such a miss as he was and would Cabaye have been as desperate as he was to move on, the chances are it would be no to both questions which then makes you wonder just where we might be now if some spending had been done in the summer.
    Ashley has done a decent job, but he refuses to add the finishing touches and as a result he lets himself his manager and all us supporters down.

  • 8 toonincheek // Dec 11, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Surprising how few games Albert played over the five years.

    I thought he was an absolute regular – all but the firsat name on the team sheet.

  • 9 Persian Geordie // Dec 11, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Our Toon!

    who told you that Cabaye was offered to Arsenal? assuming?
    Ashley has not sold any players! still not happy? why? cuz you are worried about him selling players in the next window? well mate, we are not Real Madrid, if a club come in with big money then we will sell, simple, nothing wrong with it.

    some fans will never be satisfied even if we win a cup or finish in Europe again!
    this is the best squad NUFC has had since 2003 and no one is giving Ashley credit!he is not perfect but bloody hell, look at the god damn team! he build that team. i will give him credit for that and as long as the team is going in the right direction i will give him full support.




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