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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Newcastle 0-0 Arsenal

After last seasons thrilling 4-4 draw and the greatest comeback in Premier League history, this game was bound to be a disappointment. Chosen for ESPN TV coverage making our opening day of the season a 5:30pm kick off. Possibly a reason the edge was taken off the game? Well it is never the same when a game does not kick off at 3pm on a Saturday, just a totally different edge surrounding the game.

However, opening game of the season and I was excited and very optimistic. Until of course the first 20 minutes of the game when even in that early stage it looked like both teams were happy playing for a draw. Both clubs in slight turmoil with more players leaving than any hope of players coming back in. Nevertheless the fans turned up to support them, plenty of away support for Arsenal.

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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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Newcastle 3-3 West Brom

Last game of the season fell at St James Park, seeing West Brom being the visiting team. Already safe for the premier league next season. The game started as everyone would expect it, not really much happening and that last game of the season feel to it. Nothing to play for . . . well I think we should have played to get the highest league finish possible and bragging rights over our close rivals. At half time that looked very good, finishing in top half looked very much on being 2 up thanks to the third goal in three games from Steven Taylor and a Peter Lovenkrands goal from Scott Carson’s error.

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Carlisle United 0-3 Newcastle United

First game of the season, a friendly at Carlisle, which saw Chris Hughton put out a team in the first half then another team in the second half. Each team was made up of first team players mixed with the reserves/youth team players. I thought that was the best way to do it, as we have seen in the past the so called first team in the first half then replaced by the youngsters in the second half. As lets face it this up and coming season we are probably going to see a lot more of the youngsters than expected!

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Newcastle 3 – 0 Preston North End

Three days after the impressive second half against Coventry we were back at St James Park for the visit of Preston. Unfortunately the best player from Wednesday’s game was out injured for this game, Wayne Routledge and boy did we miss him. Danny Guthrie was given the task of playing right midfield and pretty much played everywhere on the park but wide on the right. Which was very frustrating to watch.

We got off to a great start when Lovenkrands scored in the first few minutes which was more a cross than a shot after viewing at half time. He went off injured about 10 minutes into the game and Leon Best came onto replace him. Nothing else really happened in the first half. It was pretty obvious that Preston could not create anything really and were very poor. This also had an effect on the Newcastle team who seemed to drop to their level.

10 minutes into the second half things started to look up when a good move put Kevin Nolan in to score his first goal in quite a lot of games. This would have to silence the critics he has built up quite recently for not getting on the score sheet. However the game pretty much went back to what it was like in the first half with nothing really exciting to report.

All in all it was a poor game and Ryan Taylor is continuing to become a super sub scoring in the 90th minute yesterday. Is he the new secret weapon for the end of a game? Preston were very poor and it had to be on of the worst performances from a team coming to St James Park this season! Leon Best was again very disappointing and I really don’t get the point of him at all. I would much rather see Nile Ranger coming off the bench at least he would make some type of effort.

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!

Newcastle United 5 – 1 Cardiff City

All of the pre-game talk was surrounding Geordie Michael Chopra’s return to St James Park (a place he has never scored) after scoring a lot of goals for Cardiff in the Championship this season. But it was another Geordie who has taken all of the headline away from him Andy Carroll.

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