Month: December 2014

28.12.2014… Everton (h)…

Newcastle United 3 Everton 2

St. James’ Park… Sunday December 28th… 4.15pm

Attendance: 52,313

Ticket: £33 – Programme: £3

So… Since my last attendance, dumped out of the Capital One Cup by Spurs and beaten at home (again) by Sunderland. A season effectively over before the New Year, as we’ll no doubt field a weakened team in the FA Cup due to the ‘injuries’ we’ll pick up over the ‘busy Christmas period’…

This was also Alan Pardew’s final game as manager of Newcastle United Football Club…

Outside St. James' Park...

Outside St. James’ Park…

His time at Newcastle; one fifth place finish, followed up by a near-relegation (the pundits seem to forget about that one). A 2014 to forget; Cabaye / Debuchy gone, too many defeats, too many of them being hammerings.. oh, and embarrassing swears… and head butts…

Let’s make it clear though, he wasn’t ‘hounded out’ by the fans, most of whom realised long ago that neither him or Ashley were up to their jobs but also long since lost the motivation to be annoyed. The simple fact of the matter is, he left because he was offered twice as much money to work with a club (with which he has an affinity) much closer to home…

I won’t shed any tears over his exit, he finally lost me after the Southampton 0-4 debacle. From the day he walked in the door he was always an apologist for Ashley, and smug with it. Like the vast majority of Newcastle United fan’s though, I’m not naive enough to think that this will solve any of our problems, or that we’ll replace him with anyone with any more ability or ambition…

Inside St. James' Park...

Inside St. James’ Park…

Anyway, the game… Everton scored early, we woke up and scored three in reply including a first goal at St. James’ for Jack Colback.

Before anyone gets too excited though, I think I should mention at this point that Everton’s defending was woeful.

We could have kicked on and won comfortably but we did what we’ve always done under Pardew and tried to hold on to what we had. As a result, Mirallas pulled one back and we nearly threw it away…

So 26 points… Probably just enough for Mike Ashley to think about selling some players….

Newcastle United; Alnwick, Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett (YC), TiotéColback, Sissoko, Pérez, Gouffran (YC) (Cabella 91), Cissé (Riviere 73)

Not Used; Santon, Anita, Taylor S, Armstrong, Woodman

Goals; Cisse (34), Perez (51), Colback (68)

Everton;  Robles, Coleman, Alcaraz (YC), Distin, Garbutt, McCarthy (YC) (Barkley 45), Barry, McGeady (Mirallas 61), Eto’o, Baines, Koné (Lukaku 72)

Not Used; Oviedo, Besic, Browning, Griffiths

Goals; Koné (5), Mirallas (84)

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

26.12.2014… FC Halifax (h)…

Gateshead 2 FC Halifax Town 2

Gateshead International Stadium… Friday December 26th… 3pm

Attendance: 1,216

Ticket: £15Programme: £3

A Boxing Day draw for Gateshead that saw them continue their slide towards mid-table…

Gateshead International Stadium...

Gateshead International Stadium…

An improved second-half performance should have seen them take all three points but, as has been the case on a number of occasions this season, they were unable to take their chances…

Second Half Action...

Second Half Action…

Gateshead;  Bartlett, Curtis (YC), Clark, Oster, Turnbull, Ramshaw, Allan, Baxter, Pattison (Guy 46), Gjokaj, Wright

Not Used; Jones, Chandler, Shaw, Rankine

Goals; Oster (12), Wright (39 pen)

FC Halifax Town; Glennon, McManus, Bolton, Roberts, Pearson (Smith 58), Boden (Peniket 76), Jackson, Schofield, Williams, Maynard, Hatfield

Not Used; Senior, Ainge, Marshall

Goals; Maynard (10,25)

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

13.12.2014… Arsenal (a)…

Arsenal 4 Newcastle United 1

The Emirates Stadium… Saturday December 13th… 5.30pm

Attendance: 59,949

Ticket: £36.50 – Programme: £3.50

The memory bit first; first trip to Arsenal since a 3-0 defeat in front of 38,102 supporters way back in 1998…

Had plenty of time prior to the match for a wander (adding huge amounts of travelling contingency at the moment after recent mishaps), so took the opportunity to pay a visit to my favourite away ground; cliched I know, but it’s Highbury. Conclusions…? As good as the Emirates is, it just isn’t the same…

The match… After last weekend, this was almost inevitable really. Slightly puzzled by the suggestion from some sections of the press that we didn’t play too badly; from the opening exchanges it felt very much like a foregone conclusion…

Next game… Taking a weekend off due to BT Sport’s rescheduling of the Bristol Rovers versus Gateshead game to Friday night; so, the International Stadium on Boxing Day…

arsenal v newcastle...

Outside The Emirates…

arsenal v newcastle...

Inside The Emirates…

Arsenal;  Szczesny, Bellerin (YC), Debuchy, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain (YC) (Maitland-Niles 91), Sánchez (Coquelin 87), Cazorla, Welbeck, Giroud (Podolski 73)

Not Used; Sanogo, Martinez, Ramires, Campbell, Ajayi

Goals; Giroud (15,58), Cazorla (54, 88 pen)

Newcastle United; Alnwick, Janmaat (YC), Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett, Tioté (YC), Colback, Pérez (Armstrong 82), Ameobi (Cabella 56), Gouffran, Cissé (Riviere 56)

Not Used; Anita, Haidara, Vuckic, Woodman

Goals; Pérez (63)

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

06.12.2014… Chelsea (h)…

Newcastle United 2 Chelsea 1

St. James’ Park… Saturday December 6th… 12.45pm

Attendance: 52,019

Ticket: £39 – Programme: £3

Memories first… I first started going to the match with my dad during the 1980/81 season, we went to a couple of F.A. Cup games (Luton Town / Exeter City ), which I guess didn’t really give a particularly fair representation to my eight year old self of the average match day experience at the time. My first ever league game was on 28th March 1981 against Chelsea, a 1-0 win in front of a crowd of 17,297; a little closer to the reality of the period. A little extra significance being thrown in as it was only time that my mam came to the game with us too…

newcastle v chelsea...

Outside St. James’…

Not a lot to say really, I guess it’s all been said already but we have to enjoy days like this, heaven knows they’re few and far between. When the board went up signalling six minutes of injury time, the noise that built within SJP was just incredible. It just proves what’s been said time and time again, we don’t have unrealistic expectations, just give us something to shout for. Imagine what the noise would be like if we picked up a trophy, Capital One Cup included. So then, Alan Pardew, it’s over to you; White Hart Lane next Wednesday night, a packed away end, choose wisely….

newcastle v chelsea...

Inside St. James’…

Newcastle United; Elliot (Alnwick 45), Janmaat, Taylor (RC), Coloccini, Dummett, Tioté (YC), Colback, Cabella (Cissé 53), Sissoko (YC), Ameobi (Williamson 83), Pérez

Not Used; Anita, Gouffran, Haidara, Riviere

Goals; Cissé (57, 78)

Chelsea; Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta (Filipe Luis 67), Fàbregas (YC), Mikel, Willian (Drogba 67), Oscar (Schürrle 61 (YC)), Hazard, Diego Costa (YC)

Not Used; Cech, Zouma, Ramires, Remy

Goals; Drogba (83)

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

29.11.2014… West Ham (a)…

West Ham United 1 Newcastle United 0

Upton Park… Saturday November 29th… 3pm

Attendance: 34,977

Ticket: £43 – Programme: £3.50

My first trip to Upton Park since late 1997, when an overweight John Barnes had settled things in our favour…

More problems with public transport… 10.43 from Nuneaton, due into London at 12.50, arrived in London at 14.05. Twenty minute queues for a tube ticket followed, then a ten minute wait for a connection at Moorgate and a stop-start journey to Upton Park. End result, didn’t get to my seat until twenty past three…

Ground wise, Upton Park appears to have lost some of its magic following various redevelopments in the 17 years since my last visit but that could just be my selective memory playing tricks. Having said that, anything has to be better than the location to which they’re moving to next; soulless, corporate and dull, another example of a club selling its history for short term gain…

west ham v newcastle...

First Half: The View That £43 Gets For You at Upton Park…

The game itself was awful. Nothing happened in the twenty five minutes of the first half that I did manage to see, and nothing much happened in the second half either. West Ham took the lead when a sliced Cheikhou Kouyate shot fell into the path of an unmarked Aaron Cresswell who buried it from close range whilst Rob Elliot sat on his arse. West Ham never really looked like extending their lead after that and we never gave the impression that we were likely to equalise, either with ten men or eleven. The Sissoko sending off pretty much summed up our entire afternoon, absolutely pointless…

The game petered out, the final whistle blew, and on leaving the ground I discovered that at least one thing hasn’t changed; that being the one hour wait for a tube at Upton Park Station, in the same winding queue behind the fence, with the same pushing in…

west ham v newcastle...

Second Half: Newcastle Prepare to Take a Free Kick…

Positives though, find the positives; definitely not my worst travelling experience at Upton Park, in reverse order…

Second place… A cup tie lock-out against Sunderland in 1992... I was studying down in London at the time and took the opportunity to go and shout for anyone who was playing against the mackems. Didn’t get in, and Sunderland won…

First place… The game that didn’t happen in 1997... Travelled down from Newcastle on the coach for a midweek game; heavy rain all day. Gained entry to the ground, waterlogged pitch (fancy that), postponed prior to kick-off. By the time the coaches left London it was almost the same time that it would have been if the game had been played. Being a glutton for punishment I went back for the rearranged fixture (a cracking 0-0), hence the torn ticket (they didn’t issue new ones, just ripped the existing ones)…

Having said all of the above, it’s days like today and the ones recollected above that make you appreciate the results at Spurs and West Brom. Enthusiasm dampened but not diminished, travelling north next weekend for Chelsea at SJP…

West Ham United; Adrián, Jenkinson, Collins, Tomkins, Cresswell, Noble (YC), Kouyaté (Nolan 85), Amalfitano (YC), Downing, Jarvis (Zárate 70 (YC)), Carroll

Not Used; Vaz Te, O’Brien, Demel, Jääskeläinen, Cole

Goals; Cresswell (56)

Newcastle United; Elliot, Janmaat (Taylor, S 74), Williamson (YC), Dummett, Haidara, Tioté (Cissé 63), Colback (YC), Gouffran (Cabella 63), Sissoko (RC), Ameobi, Pérez

Not Used; Anita, Riviere, Alnwick, Armstrong

Goals; None

As usual, more pictures on flickr…