The season so far.

Best fans out there.
It’s certainly been an eventful season at St James’ Park, full of highs, lows, drama and a few surprises too. I thought I’d just talk a bit about the events of the 2010-11 season so far and round up the good and the bad points..

Starting with the pessimistic side of things, let’s round up the lows of the season to date, it’s always better to be able to go from negatives to the positives;

Chris Hughton’s sacking – The disgraceful sacking of the man that took Newcastle back to the big time at the first time of asking. Chris did wonders for the club, he installed a feel good factor and had the backing of the fans and the players. Modest, dignified and a true gentleman, Chrissy got the best of out the team and got some cracking results in The Premier League. Unfortunately he didn’t have the confidence or the backing of the Newcastle hierarchy and was replaced by current boss Alan Pardew.

The sale of Andy Carroll – After months of speculation regarding Carroll’s future, the Newcastle board were insistent that Newcastle’s golden boy simply wasn’t for sale. This was good news, it seemed Mike Ashley was on the same page as manager Alan Pardew in wanting to keep the striker at St James’ Park. The lad himself went on record countless times saying he had no intention of leaving, although of course situations change and money talks. I’m beyond caring with what actually happened on deadline day, but the result was a boy who had the chance to be a local hero turned his back on the club, the club let it happen but it’s done now – End of story.

Bolton 5-1 Newcastle – This was our heaviest defeat of the season, it was certainly an afternoon to forget at The Reebok. The other stand out bad performance that springs to mind is West Brom away, we lost 3-1 and me and Toonsy were in the away end that day. Hughton lost his job shortly after the defeat to The Baggies.

Stevenage in the F.A Cup – When we are discussing poor performances it would be impossible to not mention our humiliating exit from The FA Cup to League Two’s Stevenage. It was a game that Alan Pardew wanted to win, that was evident with the team selection that day. Pardew played just about the strongest team he could, but we were woefully short and played terribly which resulted in an embarrassing 3-1 loss. Joey Barton scored a screamer but his consolation goal did little to remedy the rubbish we watched that evening.

Admission that we are a selling club – I may be a little unreasonable with this one. Obviously we are a newly promoted team with a high wage bill, I understand the importance of balancing the books and of course money talks. We may not be able to refuse good money for our top stars, but somewhere along the line we must build for the future. There are about 5 players who need to be tied down and we must resist any temptation to cash in on players that can take Newcastle United to the next level. Hearing Pardew say he hopes no one bids for Tiote had me a bit worried. Don’t get me wrong I’m a realist but like anyone I don’t want to see our best players head for the exit.

Now lets focus on the good points…….

Team spirit/Performances – We have a great dressing room at the club, full of natural born leaders and a tight group. This is something we had through out the Championship season, egos appeared to go to one side and the lads made the club credible again after the misery of relegation. This spirit and heart has been brought back into The Premier League by the lads and the proof is there, just look at the results against the likes of Villa, Sunderland, West Ham. The 4-4 draw with Arsenal demonstrated that we have a bunch of players that won’t give up.

The derby game – We have put on a show and dished out a few thrashings this season but none more satisfying than the 5-1 mauling of the unwashed gimps. Shola continued his Mackem slaying ways on that October afternoon with a brace to go with Kevin Nolan’s hat trick. I’m equally as proud that we got a draw at the Stadium of S***e, despite us controlling that game and being only seconds away from winning the game, we denied Sunderland the chance to get even for the home tie and prevented ‘bagpuss’ Steve Bruce from playing the song he promised he’d play should Sunderland be victorious.

Joey Barton – Joey has been pure class this season. On the pitch he has been our most consistent performer by far in my opinion. He motivates those around him and whilst I’m proud of most the lads this season, Joey gets the special mention because he has been first class, and just to top it off he is willing to take a pay cut to stay on Tyneside! Barton has spoke of his love for the club and the fans and has once again spoken of his desire to pen a new contract with Newcastle.

New lads – Cheik Tiote looks like he’s a £10-15 million player right now. He has been a revelation since signing for a bargain £3.5 million-ish from FC Twente. The Ivory Coast international has stabilised things in the middle of the park, he has tremendous strength and is very good on the ball. Cheik proved that he can strike a ball quite sweetly as well – how many times have you seen his goal now? I know it’s premature to rave about injured duo Dan Gosling and Hatem Ben Arfa, but I think it’s great that in the pair we have two lads that obviously want to play for the club and you can’t say fairer than that. We have seen what Ben Arfa can do, he is an excellent talent and I can’t wait to see him back in March.

Players improving by the week – I must admit that I didn’t think Danny Simpson was Premier League quality at first, but when it comes to this kind of thing I’m always happy to be proved wrong and I have been forced to eat my words because he has looked brilliant this season. Jose Enrique for me has developed into one of the league’s brightest left backs, he’s got it all and although I have always rated the Spaniard I think he continues to get better and he is just very classy. Also Colo, I have a lot of friends who saw the Argentine in the Premier League the first time round and told me how poor he would be this time round. He has looked outstanding at the back, I have received a few apologies on that one.

Current league position – Any sensible Newcastle fan who understands football and doesn’t have their head in the clouds understand that this league is far superior to the one we have just won comfortably. Before a ball was kicked this season we all said it was about survival (it still is) and that 17th position would suffice this season. We currently sit in 10th with a very healthy goal difference too. At this stage of the season we must all be more than happy with league position and points tally.

The fans – Has to be mentioned, us lot are damn good. Always vocal at games and turn up not matter what the day, weather, occasion or current form of team. It’s an honour to stand beside all you guys, the support as always has been magnificent. Well bar those that left at half time yesterday, but those people have been ripped enough for that one already, so i’ll be quiet 😉 – as long as you learn from your mistakes.

John Carver – Great to have John back home, he belongs in that dug out and bringing him back was very shrewd move by the club. It was naturally a very popular appointment with the fans, his return has been a massive positive. I think of JC and I fondly remember Sir Bobby’s days in the manager’s hot seat.

Andy Gray being sacked – I’ll keep this one short and sweet as it’s not overly NUFC orientated, but Andy Gray appears very anti-Newcastle. Unless your Everton or Manchester United seemingly the guy won’t care. He’s a prick, it’s funny he’s gone and that hairy handed numpty Richard Keys has followed him out the door.

So there you have it, my thoughts of this season so far. I’m sure there is stuff I have probably missed, maybe a another negative being giving away late equalisers in the Spurs and Sunderland games? Whilst another positive could be Nolan’s excellent goal return this season, with an impressive 10 goals from midfield?

Of course the number one positive to come in the last year is the creation of :mrgreen:

About MarkToon

I'm Mark, I live in a little town called Rugby. I go back a long way with Toonsy, we have traveled the country together watching the lads. I eat, breath and sleep Newcastle United! Follow me on [email protected] MRStockers or add me on Facebook- Mark Stockley.

83 thoughts on “The season so far.

  1. Alan – I think most of the Mancs just view him as the one who turned them down. Given their total lack of ability to understand higher motives such as Big Al’s, I doubt if his ‘brand’ is ever going to work there.

    Hold on…,.

    What am I saying? There ARE no Manure supporters north of Watford Gap services, are there? 😈


  2. Dave – sorry mate but it’s not as simple as wiping someone’s slate clean after they’ve done their time for me.

    People who have broken your trust need to take the time to earn it back in my opinion – to show you that they are really trying to change.

    Especially when you consider what a joke the British Justice system is.

    Barton was doing very well, but he took a massive backwards step with the Pederson incident. And there’s no way you can use provocation as an excuse – he, more than anyone, should know better by now.

    If he can go the rest of the season without getting suspended for violent conduct and keep his nose clean off the pitch, then I’ll review my opinion of him. Still a long way to go though.

    I do hope for all our sakes he does make me change my mind though.


  3. few of you mentioned home losses to blackpool,stoke and bburn- yes defo. i thought about putting them in, but after the mentions of west brom, bolton and stevenage i thought i’d move away from performances. Agreed though, winnable games that would have seen us safe i woulda thought.


  4. chicken shit – i’ve just reviewed my opinion of you & guess what ?.

    i still reckon you’re a prick of the highest order.

    dig dave – joey did the crime & he’s served his time – end of.


  5. chicken – am getting a bit annoyed that am not getting a better reaction from ya mind.

    as losing me touch 🙁

    but joking apart – ya wanna give it a rest with the joey shyte like.


  6. roy – I thought it might annoy you! 😉

    And I haven’t had a rant about JB for yonks – he was due one! 🙂


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