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random rambling and rants…

26.05.2017… 16/17 Photos…

48 games, 7280 miles, far too much cash, and now it’s over…

Click on the collage below to be directed towards shots from each of those trips undertaken over the course of the last nine months…

Another Season Completed…

The Premier League fixture list is released on 14th June, with the first games taking place on 12th August…

In the meantime, it’s time for some cricket…

26.05.2017… 16/17 Summary…

48 games attended this season, two down on last year. Games attended in (deep breath)… the Premier League, Championship, League Two, National League, National League North, FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League…

7,280 miles covered, almost an identical total to last season. This was largely down to the additional number of trips made to St. James’ Park…

Newcastle United…   nufc

20 Games (16 Home, 4 Away)

Won – 11, Drawn – 4, Lost – 5 / For – 37,  Against – 18

Final Position: 1st (24) – Promoted 

Miles Travelled – 5,730

An instant return to the Premier League, as EFL Champions…

As predicted, unlike the last couploe of seasons, it’s been a struggle to get tickets for away games (ood that). As a result, as much as I enjoyed promotion, I felt a little bit detached. Lots of home games though, there’s more than one way to put in those ‘hard miles’…

Sitting in the home end at Ipswich is not an experience that I would wish to repeat, and (depending on how we start), tickets could be at even more of a premium next season. Starting to think about a season ticket, much against my better judgment…

Highlights: Preston NE (h) EFLC4, Barnsley (h)

Lowlights: Ipswich Town (a)

Birmingham City…

14 Games (13 Home, 1 Away)

Won – 3, Drawn – 3, Lost – 8 / For – 9,  Against – 21

Final Position: 19th (24)

Relegation avoided on the final day of the season…

A little disillusioned with Nuneaton Town, ticket prices coupled with lack of ambition. As a result I started to go to St. Andrews’ instead. They remind me of us a little, and they’re not fans of Villa either…

Highlights: Huddersfield Town (h)

Lowlights: Queens Park Rangers (h), Wigan Athletic (h)

Gateshead (4) / Nuneaton Town (6) / Carlisle United (1)gateshead

11 Games (11 Home, 0 Away)…

Won – 4, Drawn – 4, Lost – 3 

Final Position: 8th (24)/ 12th (22) / 6th (24)

The now annual mid-table finish for Gateshead. Nuneaton flirted with relegation before a late season rally. Carlisle started well but faded, losing in the Play-Off Semi-Finals to Exeter City…

Numbers down across the piece, predominantly due to personal circumstances but partly as a result of Birmingham City…

Others…

6 Games / 4 Grounds

Not many this year… Molineux, The King Power, The City Ground and the Stadium of Light…

A pre-season trip to Wolves to acquire a purchase history; a trip to Forest (v Brighton), I still love the view of the River Trent and Trent Bridge from the Brian Clough Stand. A first visit to the Stadium of Light (nowhere near as bad as i’d imagined), and three trips to the King Power, including the Champions League round of 16 victory over Sevilla.

Highlights: Leicester City v Sevilla FC

03.06.2016… 15/16 Photos…

As per last season, it’s time for another pictorial review of underachievement… 50 games, 7400 miles, culminating in a second relegation from the Premier League in seven years…

The same as last year, an album containing a single image from each trip undertaken over the course of the last nine months. For the most part, it wasn’t pretty

Another Nine Months of Disappointment…

The Championship fixture list is released on 22nd June, the season begins on 6th August. Not long until we’re all back on the spike…

03.06.2016… 15/16 Summary…

So, 2015-16… It’s done then, and let’s face it, it wasn’t great…

Anyway, I managed to hit the 50 game mark this season, covering 7400 miles in the process; games watched in the Premier League, League Two, National League, National League North and the FA Cup…

Once again, far too much money spent in the process…

Newcastle United…   nufc

22 Games (11 Home, 11 Away)…

Won – 7, Drawn – 4, Lost – 11 / For – 30,  Against – 40

Final Position: 18th (20) – Relegated 

Miles Travelled – 6047

Miserable pretty much throughout, with the exception of the Rafa-fuelled sense of optimism generated in the last six games…

I made it to a few more games this season than last, a couple less away from home but eleven home games compared to last season’s six. The train journey is a pain but as long as they’re running on time, you get used to it. Thinking about a season ticket for next season, Rafa’s appointment is going to make tickets harder to come by early season, and some of our away allocations will be difficult to obtain if relying on a membership…

Highlights: Norwich City (H), Liverpool (A), Tottenham Hotspur (H)

Lowlights*: Crystal Palace (A), AFC Bournemouth (H), Southampton (A)

* Too many to mention, so I’ve limited it to three…

Nuneaton Town…

17 Games (15 Home, 2 Away)

Won – 7,  Drawn – 6,  Lost – 4 / For – 23, Against – 17

Final Position: 6th (22)

Started strongly but faded after Christmas. Ultimately, a three point deduction resulted in the loss of a play-off place…

A lot of games attended before Christmas, including the performance of the season at Telford. Not so much after the New Year, Newcastle’s plight becoming my main focus…

Highlights: AFC Telford United (A)

Lowlights*: Chorley (H)

* Any one of a number of home draws, resulting in too many home points being dropped…

Gateshead… 

4 Games (4 Home, 0 Away)…

Won – 2,  Drawn – 1, Lost – 1 / For – 11, Against – 7

Final Position: 9th (24)

A similar season to last. Neil Aspin Replaced Malcolm Crosby mid-season but the play-off challenge fell away long before the end of the season…

Only four games attended, and no aways, nothing post-New Year. One or two near misses due to fixture rearrangements, although more generally down to the same Newcastle United related reasons…

Carlisle United…  

2 Games (1 Home, 1 Away)…

Won – 0, Drawn – 2, Lost – 0 / For – 2,  Against – 2

Final Position: 10th (24)

A much better season than last but fell short of a play-off place in the run in. A mixture of cup runs and floods resulted in a number of rearranged fixtures and a bit of a backlog of matches…

As above, planned to see more games but a mixture of flooding and goings on at Newcastle. I really enjoyed my visit to Mansfield though, maybe more next season…?

Others… 

5 Games / 5 Grounds

Miles Travelled – 314

Not a lot to report, Newcastle’s relegation battle took centre stage…

There were trips to Solihull Moors and Hednesford Town before Christmas; but even the Villa v Spurs game was a means to achieving a purchase history for the Newcastle game. Tottenham looked good that day, without doubt the best side that I saw this season…

I did see a classic exampled of the cliched ‘game of two halves’ at the Hawthorns between West Brom and Crystal Palace. West Brom are going to be my surrogate Premier League side for 2016/17, squint a bit and they could be Newcastle…

Going Forward…

The Championship; the chance to revisit a few grounds and visit some new ones…?

Brighton, Fulham, Leeds, Bristol City, Rotherham, Sheffield Wednesday… Ticket allocations and dubious Sky rearrangements permitting…

Hopefully a few more Carlisle and Gateshead trips, and Nuneaton at FC United of Manchester on a Saturday please…

In the meantime, a few weeks of cricket…

07.08.2015… It Continues…

So it’s back this weekend, and I don’t think I’ve ever had lower expectations…

It hasn’t really been a great summer for Newcastle United. In fact for all of MA’s ‘sackcloth and ashes’ routine on the final day of last season, in reality, nothing much (if anything) has really changed…

badges...

Badges for All Seasons…

A quick overview….

  • Prior to the removal of John Carver came the cowardly handling of the departure of Jonas Gutierrez. As has been said on many occasions, the club has no class…
  • Following the removal of John Carver came another underwhelming managerial appointment. Steve McClaren appears to fill the only criteria required to be suitable for the role of head coach at Newcastle United, no current club to which to pay compensation and desperate for work…
  • Three new signings is a positive but it isn’t enough, and as usual they’re reactive rather than proactive; persistently playing catch up, never really building, just repairing enough to continue to suck from the Premier League teat. Add to that the fact that the announcement of a signing always feels like the sideshow to the main event,  the ongoing advertising onslaught for S****s D****t and W***a…
  • The lack of communication between club and fans continued, nothing other than through ‘Official Media Partners’ and the toothless Fans Forum. Only this week (06/08) Channel Four News found themselves banned from a pre-match press conference for submitting a question which the club were not comfortable with…
  • Pre-season hasn’t exactly looked promising either but we’ll have to reserve judgement I guess…

 

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Scarves…

Massively negative I know but that’s just where I’m at. I really want the club to do well, not unrealistically well (I’m not after Champion’s League qualification), I just feel that we’re nowhere near well enough equipped to finish in the top half. Alan Pardew’s remark about being unable to compete with Swansea and Southampton has become a reality…

As we go into the first weekend of the new season, we’re still weak in exactly the same places that were at the end of the last. We need another centre forward and, more pressingly, an experienced central defender. Everyone gets bored of hearing this but we really do still rely on the same three that were knocking around in the Championship, six years ago…

My travelling habits are already changing, I spent far too much cash last season so not bothering with the trip to Swansea City. I can’t really justify (or afford) a £70 train fare and a £35 match ticket, particularly when Nuneaton Town are at home on the same day. So, my first Newcastle game will be Manchester United away in a fortnight, a gentle introduction…

The other teams…? Nuneaton Town appear set for a season of rebuilding, Gateshead look decidedly mid-table and Carlisle United could be in for another tough season at the wrong end of Division 2; but hope springs eternal…

First competitive match…? Mansfield Town v Carlisle United, Field Mill, Saturday, 3pm…

Anyway, the league ladders are sorted, so here we go (again)…