Our manager at the start of last season

With all the talk about how we have improved/weakened as a side, I thought it would be nice to have a look back at how we were coping this time last season.

We didn’t get off to the best of starts in our first game back in the top flight as 1,800 Geordies invaded Manchester only to see us lose 3-0 at Old Trafford. In all honesty I don’t think anyone really expected a result to be fair.

The first home game on the other hand was the complete opposite with a 6-0 demolition of a decent Villa side. I can remember how great if felt to taunt the Villa fans who had mocked our demise and loss of Premier League status only 12 months earlier. At the time the media brushed it off as a fluke result with a misleading score line, but future games against the likes of Sunderland, West Ham and Arsenal showed that performances like this were no anomalies.

Three days after the Villa match we found ourselves at the “Crown Ground” which is the home of Accrington Stanley and the entertaining Stanley Ultras. The match was (thankfully) not as tough as this seasons tie against Scunthorpe, although it did have its similarities with Ryan “Over The Wall” Taylor smashing in a stunning 35 yard shot to open the scoring.

We managed to run out victors although we did make hard work for ourselves at the end as we conceded a goal in added time which led to a nervy few minutes. That was to be last goal of the game though with us having dominated in a slightly misleading 3-2 score line.

Our third game of the campaign was to be against Mick McCarthy’s Wolverhampton Wanderers, with a strong Wolves side taking the ‘Kick Joey Barton off the pitch’ approach. Andy Carroll scored a headed equaliser in the 64th minute to ensure we came away with a point, but to be honest we were lucky to get even that and if I was a Wolves fan I would be disappointed that we didn’t win the game.

In terms of transfers during that period we managed to secure the signature of Cheik Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa while allowing Fraser Forster, Kazenga LuaLua and Ben Tozer out on loan. The club also showed that they wouldn’t back down when it comes to contract terms (something we have now become accustomed to) when they placed Steven Taylor on the transfer list after failing to agree on a contract extension.

So in summary at this point last year we were sitting in mid-table on a decent 4 points out of 9, while we are currently 6th in the league with 7 points out of 9.

While I don’t agree that our squad is currently stronger than last seasons, they have nonetheless put in some hard graft on the pitch, and if they keep this sort of form going in the next few games then I may have to re-evaluate my thoughts on the team.

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37 Comments

  1. 1
    craig chisholm says:

    its to soon to say really. the big worry is whre wil l the goals come from and also… when we string together 3 or 4 defeats and AP is under pressure, will we have the characters in the dressing room to stand up and get some steel and grit or will they just roll over. I have not got a clue myself and i guess we will just have to wait and see which newcastle show up this season. i place us anywhere from 8th to relegated.

  2. 2
    toonsy says:

    Craig – But this time last year it was exactly the same. People were saying the exact same things and I even remember people saying that team spirit doesn’t win matches.

    Like I keep saying, there is nothing to suggest that this new team won’t find their own spirit.

  3. 3
    Bobby says:

    This season is almost a mirror image of last even down to the squeaky bum league cup win at scunny, the press have written us off and we have played well, what a crying shame the club couldnt go that extra yard and take us further instead of standing still, passionate fans and a jelly fish board.

  4. 4
    craig chisholm says:

    well, i dont know about that as al lthe guys last season had just dragged us out the ccc so we knew they were good for the spirit and heart Toonsy. i get your drift though. we should be ok i think. we will know soon enough when we get our first loss.

  5. 5
    toonsy says:

    Craig – You could say that they are already showing spirit after the pre-season they didn’t have :lol:

    To come back from that and grab 7 points from nine and win in the league Cup isn’t bad going.

  6. 6
    Geordie Deb says:

    Well 7 points out of 9 can’t be bad. Considering all the upheaval in the team I think they’ve done well so far. Looking forward to the game at QPR Monday night. This is the kind of game where we have often had blips cos we couldn’t seem to raise our game. Too early to say how they are likely to respond to a few bad results – hopefully the siege mentality Pardew has been working on will come good and the lads will respond. I’m cautiously optimistic for this season I don’t know why especially with the potential weakness up front.

    Off topic howay England rugby team. Kick off 10 minutes – now there’s a group who are patriotic, just watch that team sing the anthem. Much rather watch England Rugby than the overpaid bunch of self deluded tossers who masquerade as the England football team.

  7. 7
    Geordie Deb says:

    Toonsy at 5, fair point. Keep forgetting about the disaster that was preseason, when that is taken into account your right, they’ve done even better.
    Glad to hear Mrs Toonsy ok after scare the other day. You’ll be a nervous wreck by the end of this pregnancy mate.

  8. 8
    toonsy says:

    Deb – It’s just until the12 week scan is out the way. Once that is done she’ll be fine. Her mate lost her kid at 12 weeks so she has it in her head that she needs to get past that.

    I still say it was my dodgy cooking though :lol:

    Yep watching the Rugby. Not a huge fan of it – I just live in the place :lol: although as you say they do epitomise pride and honour. World Cup though and nowt else on so I’ll be watching :)

  9. 9
    craig chisholm says:

    its not the same toonsy… would santon have came for a year in the ccc?

  10. 10
    Stuart79 says:

    I’m more confident this season that well stay up, but it is tempered by the missed opportunities I feel have passed us by.

    We exceeded all expectations last year but I feel we’ll be very lucky to do the same this year.

  11. 11
    toonsy says:

    Craig – Probably not. Although if we’re getting as tenuous as that you could argue that with players like him we may not have got relegated in the first place.

    I still say there is absolutely no way that anybody can batter the team spirit of these lads as nobody knows of they will have their own way of doing stuff. Maybe it won’t involve fatty Nolan and fried chicken, but the way that some people go on about it seems as though last season was the birth of team spirit and that it had never been heard of until then.

  12. 12
    toonsy says:

    Argentina are dirty bastards :razz:

  13. 13
    craig chisholm says:

    stu.. you think we will finish higher or lower than last season?

  14. 14
    craig chisholm says:

    toonsy… now that nolan has gone you talk about him as if no big deal… he was our top scorer for two seaosns on the bounce wasnt he? I thought he was a great captain, really i did.
    But with luck we will do ok this season and maintain mid table safety without a relegation nail biter.

  15. 15
    Big Dave says:

    Toonsy I blame hoofball hooters for that, as thats all we ever heard from him in interviews, this great group of lads, the team spirit is great in this group of players, yada yada yada.
    Thats all we got out of him.

  16. 16
    Stuart79 says:

    Craig – I think we’ll finish around the same place. It looks rosey now but I’m still not sure where the goals are coming from and just one more injury at centre back we’re fcked!

  17. 17
    Stuart79 says:

    It’s good to see it’s not just our football team that are shite at world cups.

  18. 18
    toonsy says:

    Craig – And everyone else talks about Nolan as if he shit golden nuggets. The same Nolan who ditched off to West Ham? The same Nolan who helped convince Andy Carroll to move to Liverpool, then went on Liverpool TV to tell them all about about it. The same one who said he’d kick Carroll off the park? Shame the fat cunt couldn’t even kick the ball the game!

    The same Nolan who scored 3 (three) goals when we really needed them after the sale of Andy Carroll? Leon Best doubled that and still gets shit for it.

    The importance of Nolan is being overstated somewhat. The focus was on him at Newcastle but his time at West Ham shows exactly what he is. With worse players around him he is struggling. Funny that. Perhaps the team around him at Newcastle deserves as much credit as Nolan perhaps?

  19. 19
    craig chisholm says:

    when is williamson back.. i kinda like him

  20. 20
    toonsy says:

    Dave – The fact is that team spirit mattered to “that group of lads” because they didn’t have anything else. They had to rely on blood and guts and couldn’t change a game with skill. I’m confident that when this new lot settle we’ll be able to add a different dimension to our play. The players we have now aren’t knock and run players. They are technical players.

  21. 21
    toonsy says:

    Stuart – Argentina using dirty tactics but to be fair it’s no excuse as England shouldn’t be falling for it. No excuse for Wilkinson to miss that pen though.

  22. 22
    craig chisholm says:

    toonsy.. if the importance of nolan, who was our top scorer is over stated … who do you think that we have left was more important from last seasons bunch? Colo perhaps?

  23. 23
    Big Dave says:

    Craig you say that Tugboat was a good captain, well I dont think a good captain would talk your best player into leaving the club, and then having the cheek to go on lfctv and tell them all how good a player the’re getting.
    Sorry but imo a good captain convinces your best players to stay, and leads by example not go missing in lots of games.
    I will never forget the liverpool game after he went, when tugboat said he was ging to kick carroll and do this and that.
    He couldnt even get anywhere near him, never mind close enough to kick him, but apart from that he was awol for the whole game, there is no way Shearer, Lee or speed would have done that and they always gave 100%

  24. 24
    toonsy says:

    I don’t think it matters who is left. i don;t think I ever harped on about anyone remaining??

    My point being that somebody will replace him.

    If you can’t see that Nolan was shit when Carroll left then you need to get yourself some spectacles bonny lad. Three goals. In perspective Steven Taylor got that in three games. Where was Captain Fantastic when we really needed him?

  25. 25
    Blackley & Brownlie says:

    Troy from previous thread. You ask what Pards should have said post window. I haven’t avoided the question just dealt with the real question. What could he say or do? Other than “sorry for making ridiculous statements and promises about things I know nothing about” and then shut the f*** up because, as a proven liar and maker of false promises, he’s got no credibility. I judged him on September 1 as he asked. Liar or idiot or both. Take you pick.
    I am just going to have a laugh now collecting classic Pardewisms.

  26. 26
    Jostoon says:

    No doubt Nolan played a major part in getting us back up 1st time of asking as did AC JE And JB out of all of them Nolan is the one that least bothers me, he had a great knack of been in the right place at the right time and scored some important goals, I agree, which captain of any team almost piggy backs the main Goalscorer to a new club. That’s when he went down in a lot of people’s estimations.

  27. 27
    Big Dave says:

    B+B maybe now you can answer Susan aswell as I think she was waiting for an answer.
    As for Pards I take it you know for sure that he was in on the lies or are you just guessing ? As they are pretty damaging accusations to make if you dont have prove.

  28. 28
    buddy says:

    stuart, in fairness the argies came 3rd at the last world cup. they are an aging team but still a very talented one at that. england are average talent-wise so i wouldnt expect too much from them throughout the tournament. and whilst the argies are known for their dirty tactics, certain england players are just as bad if not worse (thompson/ashton etc)

  29. 29
    Blackley & Brownlie says:

    Big Dave – I didn’t think Susuan seriously wanted an answer. She disagreed and I was happy to leave it at that. I just laughed at the notion that Pardew is getting the best out of Taylor. I quite simply give all the credit for Taylor’s performances to Taylor himself. He’s played like that before Pardew and he’ll play like that after Pardew. When Taylor drops a rick like he is prone to do from time to time will Pardew get the blame? You get 7 points from 9 and suddenly people start giving the manager plaudits for this, that and the other.
    Pards said Carroll was not going 100%. He said we would have a striker by close of play 100%. He said HBA would be back soon, but then admitted that that was b*ll*cks just to keep the lad’s pecker up. He is either saying that he has the final say or he is making promises that he knows he can’t keep. Like Toonsy says about leaving your wallet on the bar twice, you don’t do it. Unfortunately, Pars keeps leaving his wallet on the bar. Its dead straightforward. Liar or idiot. Just because its not something we want said of our manager, it doesn’t make it any less real.
    Anyway, you were on about Santon. Why have you painted him as a delicate little flower?

  30. 30
    Geordie Deb says:

    What’s happened to Jonny Wilkinson’s kicking??

    Re comments on Captain Tugboat – who thought he was Mr Newcastle. Couldn’t shut the mouthy scouse sh*t up waffling on urging us to get behind the team blah, blah, blah- tosser! Never really liked him,but acknowledge he did play a valuable role with his goals. Glad he’s gone. The part he played in thick as mince Carroll leaving was a disgrace.

  31. 31
    craig chisholm says:

    toonsy, now there is a saying that flicks my switch in an instant ‘bonny lad’… i take it you are in your later years in life already to say that kinda phrase.
    On the issue of all our players that have left being not important and not what counts… well, maybe you are right, certainly after three games we look great.. a poor mans barca no doubt! lol

  32. 32
    toonsy says:

    Craig – Read the comment on the next thread bonny lad. It it JJ’s article, not mine.

  33. 33
    Big Dave says:

    B+B I have stated several times why I didn’t want threw in straight away, but as you have not read my reasons I will state them once again just for :) He has only had a few days after returning from internationals to get to know his new team mates, I dont think that is long enough.
    So with the fact he hasn’t had long enough to blend with new team mate, new team, new country and a new language, if he was to play and make a balls up He would get slated for it by a lot of fans.
    It has been well documented that he seems to have lacked in self belief and confidence for a while, I just think he needs a bit longer to get used to the above problems, because if he did have a bad 1st game it might knock the heart out of him and set him back a bit. So imo I would go with the same team that has got us 7pts out of 9 so far and give the lad another week to bed in.
    So B+B why would you break up a team that has got us 7pts out of 9 to try a new player that has only had a few days to get to know his new team, players, country etc ?

  34. 34
    Big Dave says:

    Craig I dont know what No my comment to you is maybe 22 23 as im on my phone, but given what I said is Nolan still what you class as a good captain ?

  35. 35
    Beardsleys Boots says:

    Big D – I would put Santon on the bench and maybe bring him on in the 2nd half. Once we are a couple goals up :lol:

  36. 36
    Big Dave says:

    BB spot on mate I would do the same.

  37. 37
    Beardsleys Boots says:

    Big D – I’ve said on the next thread, there is too much pressure in the prem for instant results.
    Everyone knows it will take time for the lads to gel together and get an understanding of how each other plays, but they aren’t afforded that time due to the pressure of must win football.
    There are no easy games in the prem, unlike other leagues where there are two or three top teams and all the rest are average.
    Even newly promoted teams have the ability to turn over well established prem teams.
    I’m sure qpr will make it extremely uncomfortable for us, which is why I would like to start with the same line ups as against fulham.
    I just hope we have enough to get the win, or at least keep a clean sheet.
    My biggest worry is our centerback pairing. We dont defend the aerial ball well enough imo. We have been lucky a couple times already.

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