Running: Great North Run 2021

Time: 1:47

The controversy surrounding the Great North Run in 2021 had been massive when they announced the route would be changed and no longer finish in South Shields. It would be in Newcastle to Gateshead and then back to Newcastle to finish. Obviously living in South Shields and walking home from the finish line I wasn’t overly happy about this either, but I had already paid for my place and it was my 10th official event, not really counting the virtual event last year. 

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Newcastle 3 – 1 Blackburn

It had felt like forever since we had a home league game, after a few away games. We don’t usually have the best of times at home against Blackburn. They have a very impressive record playing at St James Park, over the past few seasons. Coming out on top quite a few times, but things can only change and get better right? Yes that is very right!

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Newcastle 2-1 Fulham

After a first half which offered very little from both teams, the game really did look like it was going to be a 0-0 draw as goals did not look likely. But after half time a fierce shot from Cabaye from outside the box could only be parred by Schwarzer for Leon Best to slot it home. It took the striker just under 20 minutes to double his and teams tally, with a good turn and shot to make it 2-0. At that point it looked like we would easily see out the rest of the game with a second consecutive league win. However the final 10 minutes seemed a little bit tense, with the ref seeming to want Fulham to get a goal. Tim Krul continued his fantastic form producing some very good saves to stop Fulham from finding the back of the net. In the 88th minute a well worked free kick and header from Clint Dempsey saw the consolation goal for Fulham, although the 5 minutes of injury time were rather tense!

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Scunthorpe United 1-2 Newcastle AET‎

It took until extra time against League 1 side Scunthorpe for us to get the victory which after 80 minutes was not looking likely at all. But another fantastic free kick from Ryan Taylor, his second in as many games took the league cup tie into extra time. Just when penalties seemed to be the most likely outcome, up popped Ameobi to seal the tie with a fantastic strike! But it wasn’t Shola who scored the winner, it was his younger brother Sammy. Scoring his first ever senior goal, and one that will live in memory for a while yet!

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Sunderland 0 – 1 Newcastle

Only the second game of the Premiership season saw the Wear/Tyne Derby taking place. With Sunderland bringing in 10 new players and more players leaving St James Park than we have brought in, it was always going to be a strange game to guess the result of. Pre-match all kind of facts and stats were flying around including that we had scored against the Mackem’s the previous 22 games, and let’s face it they don’t manage to beat us very often. They seem to just crumble under the pressure, therefore we have a very good record at the Stadium of Light.

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Jose Enrique Speaks Out!

Only a week after leaving St James Park for Anfield, Jose Enrique has begun to open up wounds by saying how he fears for Newcastle. This transfer has annoyed me the most on behalf of the club, we all knew that Enrique would not be in a black and white shirt come the first Premier League game of the season. So why did we not bring in a replacement and wait until the day before the first game? No answer to that question, just showing that the club seems to want to screw us over yet again in regards to transfers out!

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Spanish Super Cup: Barca 3(5) – 2(4) Real

The second leg of the Spanish Super Cup was always going to be more on edge than the first leg which took place on Sunday night. This game saw a red card for Marcelo in the last few minutes with a tackle on Cesc Fabregas, causing a brawl to break out. David Villa and Ozil were also shown red cards due to their part in the brawl, baring in mind both players had already been subbed off the pitch. The only player who can keep his dignity after that is Brazilian Kaka who calming stood back and let them all go at it, brilliant to see!

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Newcastle 0-0 Fiorentina – ABANDONED

After 63 minutes of play and the scoreline being 0-0 referee Mark Hasley had to call an end to proceedings at St James Park. On an afternoon which saw the rain go from bad to worse, after raining from the very early hours of the morning. It was surprising to see the game last even that long, the pitch was extremely waterlogged. The ball was hardly moving, whether that be by a pass, dribble or run with the ball.

Even with the weather conditions I thought that Yohan Cabaye stood out with his passing and ability. Looking like a brilliant signing already. Being able to tackle and make the passes he did on the waterlogged pitch bodes well for when we have the perfect surface at St James Park minus the water.

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Parents on the line

After a very interesting discussion on Twitter last night with members of the coaching family – that’s something for coaches on Twitter to help each other out in the world of football coaching.

The subject was brought about after Anth had made comments about being shocked with the way parents had behaved on the line for a U11 game at the weekend. This then started a discussion with Chris, Rich, ChrisNick and John which I also joined in too.

We touched upon some very important problems which occur when coaching and on match days. Not that everyone has problems, a lot of parents are fantastic support towards coaches and let them get on with it. However, that is not the case for all of them. Every coach out there has probably had some problems whilst coaching at grassroots level.

I have very recently too, which in all honesty was a good job it was not my introduction to coaching as I would probably not have wanted to coach anymore. But with the experience I have now, I decided that the best thing for myself to do was step down as nothing worked in order to stopping the problems.

The respect campaign from The FA is supposed to have the parents not right on the line, which has been brought into place throughout the different leagues. But does it really make much of a difference? If they are going to shout they will be heard even if a few feet from the touch-line.

The parents are supposed to be supporting their child and the team, nothing but encouragement and well done should be shouted from the sideline. Thinking about the younger players u10s and right down to the start, if everyone is shouting and telling them different things the players easily become confused and then have no idea what to do. They start to become scared about making a mistake and getting told off afterwards. This is something that we as coaches must try to stop and do the most important thing . . . develop players. Therefore trying to help the players understand that they have to just play their own game and try not to listen to shouts from the side-line (other than the coaches of course).

Match bans could also be something to think about if they are very abusive towards any of the players (on either team) or towards the referee as well. While some people may just be beyond help, for some of them a couple of games being banned from watching might just help them to see a bit of sense and remind them that it is kids football – and it should all be about the boys and girls who want to just play.

I think personally after coaching at the girls centre of excellence last season, I actually forgot what it was like at grassroots games. It is the total opposite end of the spectrum and I really cannot understand why! Isn’t it all about the kids enjoyment as well as helping them develop skills as players? Some people need to remember that more.

Nobby Solano signs for Hartlepool

This sees Nobby back in the North East as a footballer again, showing that this is the area he most likes to be in. Such a fantastic signing for Hartlepool as I am sure he has what it takes to play at that level and really push the club forward.

I plan on going to a game next season to see Nobby play again, I hope a lot more Newcastle fans have that same opinion. Which will be a massive boost for Hartlepool.