2010/11 Season Review

First season back into Premier League (where we belong, I must add) and obviously at the start of the season we were very much tipped to go straight back down. We did not really make many signings or at least proven in the Premiership players. We brought in James Perch who became quite the scapegoat amongst the fans. Dan Gosling on a free transfer, but would be out until at least Christmas due to injury. Sol Campbell who was already clearly past his best, and would just cost us money. But then an exciting new player would be signed on loan (but then permanent in January) Hatem Ben Arfa who looked fantastic but suffered a horrible injury when he had his leg broken after a Nigel de Jong tackle. So those being the new players brought in not really much was placed on them. We had to rely on the team who done so well making the Championship look easy the year before. Not forgetting of course our signing and possibly player of the season Cheik Tiote.

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Henderson and Carroll doing the North East Proud!

It’s been a long time since Newcastle and Sunderland both had player’s in the England squad let alone team. But that changed this week when Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson both were called up to the full squad for the first time. They have both represented their country at youth levels and have had brilliant starts to the premiership season being key players for their respected hometown clubs.

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Newcastle 5 – 1 Sunderland

I spent the whole weekend in the build up to the Derby game feeling both nervous and excited. In all honesty I thought the game would be a draw after a very close and tight affair – but that could not be further from what happened! The lads went goal crazy and outplayed Sunderland all over the pitch!

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We Are the Champions!!!

The final home game of the championship season was yesterday afternoon at St James Park. No one really cared about the game, we wanted the trophy at 5pm after the game. Just a shame the game was very dull and we drew 2-2 which kinda took the edge of it all a little, especially the long wait we had for the set up and presentation of the trophy and medals (or at least it felt like a long wait). So I won’t dwell on the match too much and just be happy it was the last home game of championship football and hopefully it will be a long time (if ever) that championship football returns to St James Park!

Fizzy Pop Champions 2010

On Monday night . . . at the furthest possible place . . .we beat Plymouth 2-0 to become champions of the Championship and win the league. We will be presented with the trophy on Saturday after our final Championship home game (hopefully we will not have one for years and years to come) against Ipswich Town.

Goals from Andy Carroll and Wayne Routledge secured the win for the Toon who were dominant throughout the game. This condemned Plymouth to relegation. But did not stop them playing “We are the champions” from us! Along with “Blaydon Races” and “Local Hero”. The Toon Army invaded the pitch to celebrate!

Newcastle 4-1 Blackpool

The second last home game of the season saw Blackpool come to St James Park, with a lot of support in the bright orange shirts. Taking at least 3,000 tickets. With a chance of still making the play-offs we were half expecting this to be a slightly more difficult game but in the end that wasn’t meant to be. Again the pressure of playing at St James Park got to the away team who couldn’t really do much.

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Newcastle 4 – 1 Coventry City

It was back to St James Park after a disappointing away performance against Swansea on Saturday (which some how we managed to get a point from). We wanted to see a reaction and in the first 30 minutes we did not get that reaction. We dominated the game but did not put the ball into the box enough to create any clear-cut chances. I had literally said something like “we’re going to do something stupid and they will score” well we didn’t pick anyone up in the box and Clinton Morrison managed to score while slipping?!?! and beat Steve Harper from about 8 yards out. This put the visitors 1 up, against the run of play. Now we definitely needed a reaction and we actually got one, Wayne Routledge hit an effort into the bottom corner of the goal a few minutes after Coventry took the lead to make it all square again. We had to even it out as quickly as possible. Half team we went in 1-1.

Just under 10 minutes into the second half Andy Carroll put us in front using his power to get the ball into the back of the net. Which was a big sigh of relief more than anything. We had come from 1 down to be 2-1 up, something that used to happen a lot in the Sir Bobby Robson era but not so much in recent times. I feel this shows good character from the team and determination. We kept attacking and creating chances, I must say that Jonas Gutierrez is starting to become one of the most frustrating players to watch. Yes he can beat a player which is brilliant but he doesn’t know what to do after he beats the player, so either puts in an awful cross or loses the ball. We had to wait until the 70th minute for a chance to add another goal to the tally when Wayne Routledge easily the best player on the pitch was dragged down for a penalty his pace proving too much for the Coventry defence. Which saw Leon Barnett pick up his second yellow card so it was early bath for him. With Leon Best pretty much ready to come for the Toon it was obvious that Lovenkrands would be the player to make way (he was not really in the game very much) but probably knowing this he confidently picked up the ball and placed it on the spot for the penalty and calmly put it in the back of the net to put us 3-1 up.

After scoring the penalty Lovenkrands was on the pitch for 2 minutes before Best came onto replace him. Again Best has done nothing to impress me, surely the fresh legs up front should be chasing everything down? Yes I know we were 3-1 up but surely Best wants to make a good impression? Well so far he hasn’t done anything for me. But the scoring wasn’t done yet, in the 92nd minute Ryan Taylor tried his best to miss an easy chance by hitting it into the Gallowgate end but luckily he managed to hit the back of the net. 4-1 and a lot of people missed the 4th!

After a poor first half display the quality improved in the second half and a very important 3 points on the road to try to win the Championship. Another game at St James Park this week when we entertain Preston North End on Saturday at 3pm. Eventually a 3pm home game, it’s about time! I am sure Andy Carroll will want to score a goal or two against the club he went on loan to but did not feature very much. I am looking forward to Saturday after last night, let’s have 3 more points boys!