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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

St James' Park getting it together??

The rise and fall in the UEFA Cup, the well-publicised on-pitch bust-up between Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer against Aston Villa, the sale of Aaron Hughes to Aston Villa, Andy O'Brien to Portsmouth, the yet-to-be-decided leave of Bowyer to anywhere, much less Birmingham, the signing of Scott Parker, Belozoglu Emre from Inter Milan, Craig Bellamy practically in limbo as he surely must be feeling the pressures of his actions. You can add to this Charles N'Zogbia is in Switerzland at the Court of Arbitration in Sport with Newcastle officials, contesting the case by French club Le Havre that the player should be returned to them for two seasons, and Newcastle seem to endure something of a see-saw ride of club affairs.

Now, looking to get up and get on with improving and strengthening the resolve and preparations at the club for 2005-2006, the prodigal son Lauren Robert, due to go shortly to Portsmouth, speaks out TWICE in a week against manager Graeme Souness and about another Newcastle player, Jermaine Jenas. The fans must be thinking 'when is all this nonsense finally going to end so that this club can get back to focus?'

Robert must have heavily misinformed that becoming a former player meant he was temporarily not under Newcastle's authority for them to act against him, otherwise I cannot surmise why he would speak out as he has. OK, he officially is a Portsmouth player when July arrives, so why not have waited then to voice his opinion and avoid Newcastle taking action? Probably because he is paid well enough to speak publicly that such a fee covers the two week's fine, or the fine is immaterial in comparison to shaming Newcastle United FC. I just feel that these matters need to be dealt with behind closed doors. Robert could not be contained by Newcastle but their reaction, via chairman Freddy Shepherd, simply rebounds back to ignite Robert further.

With Bellamy kepted in limbo, as Celtic have been told he must go completely as another loan deal is out of the question, and possibly, or probably, resigned to training with the youths, Bowyer given the green light to seek another club, and Robert due out by Friday, perhaps Newcastle can very soon channel all attention and efforts positively for the upcoming season. With Bellamy, who is quoted saying that he will never get to sign for a better club than Newcastle, Souness won't renege on his word the Welshman will never play for the club again. With such a stance, Shepherd is behind the Scotsman all the way. So until a club bids for him and signs him, Bellamy seems certain to languish at the club until the end of his contract.

Robert claims Souness achieved nothing at his previous clubs and took Blackburn to the brink of relegation. Mark Hughes has brought a new zest to Ewood Park that saved them from the drop. I recall Liverpool having a now renowned change of fortune when Souness arrived there too. That doesn't mean Souness is due, therefore, to drag Newcastle down the table, and I hope he revives the club this season to the brink of some success, at least for Alan Shearer to retire on. But I sense this season will be one which the chairman wants to see a vast, vast improvement. Or there could be more publicly addressed resentment from other Newcastle players.



Anonymous Adam Gradwell said...

A very good article which highlights the nonsense that is Newcastle United. Tell us something we dont know!!!

6/29/2005 3:33 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good article, but obviously writen by a academic and not a fan of the, club. What people do not relise, and more so what the chairman does not realise, is that we the fans are the football club without our passion and commitment thats what would topple the club, No pre maddonas or managers would be able to take our club down because we are the club, and if the manager suceeds we will be there, and if he does not we will be there, unfortunatley i also think the chairmen realises this.

6/29/2005 3:50 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

just for the record, Robert did not speak out twice. He held one interview that was published over two days

6/29/2005 4:16 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For once Fred and I agree thank god Robert has gone !!!
I hope Portsmouth and whoever else get out of our cast offs get what they generally failed to show at Newcastle CLASS

6/29/2005 4:28 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Newcastle fan I am forced to watch on the sidelines as the club is pulled apart by various levels of incompetance from the chairman, who means well but too often gets it wrong; the manager, who's ego and confrontational management style is steering the club firmly into midtable; to the captain, who's power seems to far outstrip his rank; to the players, who's abilty never lives up to the reality.

6/29/2005 5:07 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

I find Newcastle have somewhere, for some reason, dropped from a title-challenging side that rumbled Man Utd similarly to how Chelsea have right now, to a mid-table side way too quickly. The talent that has been at the club, and certainly remains there currently, should see the Magpies soaring higher. Teams like Liverpool, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Spurs have far too much pedigree to be allowing the top three of Man U, Arsenal and now Chelsea to dominate the Premiership.

Having players like Bellamy and Robert, who can practically create chances on their own and score from almost any angle, both of whom have skill and pace, along with Shearer, the young talents of Darren Ambrose and Jenas, should be performing better than they have done. Shay Given is one of the best in the league and needs a consistent defensive four to aid holding out the attack.

The anon writer who mentioned CLASS was right. The club has to pay attention to the silliness that is making their headlines rather than the class they should be focusing on to exude.


6/29/2005 6:57 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

With five top five finishes over the last nine years it would be difficult to describe Newcastle as a middle table side. For any of the chasing pack to catch the top outfits, there is, without a financial windfall, need for better managment. At Newcastle, the chairman has consistently failed to find the right man and is in my opinion ultimately responsible for the clubs failure to win something. The "silliness that is making [the] headlines" has to be seen as a failure at executive level and by that I am pointing the finger at Fat Freddy and the Hall family who dominate the clubs business.

6/29/2005 9:14 pm

Blogger SKG said...

to me newcastle are the strangest side in the premiership. at times they look so bad it's almost embarassing to watch; at other times they look awesome - a team that once was the best attacking side in the premiership and on occasion shows what the premiership is missing. take for instance newcastle's performance at crystal palace last season - they were awesome, the best side to visit selhurst park - "if only we played like this all the time" i heard newcastle fans scream.

all the problems started when keegan left; newcastle just haven't been able to get a decent replacement for him. i don't think souness is the man either.

i fear newcastle will struggle again. in fact i would go so far as saying that i think souness might be on the list of managerial casualties this season.

6/29/2005 10:13 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

skg, this is where I come in. Souness has the backing (so far) of the chairman with financeas to stabilise the club. The current nuisances are Bellamy, Robert and Bowyer with their sensitive temperaments. Bellamy is being kepted on a string like a puppet now, not bought and not up for selection for the first team. Robert is out tomorrow (Friday). Bowyer isn't an entirely closed book but I suspect that if a club hasn't come for him he will be picked.

With the above, Souness should now get to knuckle down to forming the squad to how he wants them to play, which should encourage better results as a test of his management skills. I sense the telling period is this season. If there isn't an improvement, Souness could well be leaving.


6/30/2005 9:45 am

Blogger T said...

Thanks everyone for your comments.

Souness deserves a couple of seasons to put his own plans into effect.

He should be applauded for showing the exit door to disruptive players like Bowyer, Robert, Bellamy, Kluivert. They are examples of all that's gone wrong in recent years at the club: lack of discipline and respect for the Newcastle shirt.

The signings of Boumsong, Parker, Faye, and the eventual signing of Emre, shows that Souness is intent on bringing in solid, hard-working players that will bring backbone to the side which has been missing since Woodgate left.

Subject to bringing in another striker to support Shearer, I tip Newcastle to regain their top five form next season. I also hope Shearer can crown his career with a cup medal.

6/30/2005 12:44 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robson may not have been the greatest manager but he was no fool. he KNEWW Bellamy is a git, He KNEW Robert was moody, he KNEW Bowyer was a thug.

But he MANAGED the team to get the most out of them and got us into the top 5 of the league.

Souness has no management skills. He has alienated Robert (£9m), Bellamy (worhth alot more than the £6m we will get for him!) and Viana (£8m) so that we will lose them all for nothing.

This is not just disastrous man management, this is disastrous financial management! Douness didn't even have the brains to grit his teeeth and shut his mouth until he could sell these players for the best price possible.

This is typical of Newcastle who have bought ANOTHER central midfielder (Parker) to go with - Jenas, Dyer, Faye, Butt, Bowyer, Milner etc - non of whom can /want to play wide.
However good Parker may be, the money would have been better spennt upgrading our strikeforce of Shearer, Chopra and Amoebi who are possible the worst attack in the premiership.

Add in NO cover for our injury prone left back or right back and you get an idea of what a fiasco it all is.

Fat Freddy has been bleeding the club dry for his personal gain and his incompetence is killing the golden goose that Keegan created.

Recruiting Souness may be his downfall. there are only so many Geordie heroes like Keegan and Robson who can come in and raise us from the mess into the Champion's league spot.

Sadly, I have to ask why any quality players or managers would want to come here with all the facical mismanagementwe have seen from Shepherd and the Halls.

7/01/2005 12:50 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

I cannot understand why Newcastle fired Sir Bobby, I felt the club were in dire straits until he came over and then they looked the side that entered the top flight with Keegan. Far more promising. But it's the handling of discipline publicly that is casting a cloud over Souness's reign at the club.

The midfield is looking uneven. Young runners in Dyer and Parker, Jenas in the centre need experienced heads around them like Beardsley and Lee. Dyer and Parker would work better with a 'thinking' centre midfield between them. I wouldn't class Jenas and Faye as that.

Bowyer is disillusioned about his tenure there, the club has made it clear they are against him. He said he didn't want to go to a club whose supporters do not want him, what about a club that doesn't want him? He should have gone to Birmingham. Nicky Butt could come into the 'thinking' class for centre midfield but even he needs another experienced head alongside him.

With Souness's current squad, I see a 4-1-4-1 formation being its strongest. Carr, Taylor, Boumsong, Babayaro; Butt; Dyer, Faye, Jenas, Parker; Shearer. If 4-4-2, then Butt is on the bench, Ameobi comes in upfront.

Souness has apparently said today that he will be lucky to be at the club in 12 months time, which coincides with my prediction that this season is his make-or-break season for some improvement, not necessarily achieving a Cup win.


7/03/2005 8:05 pm


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