The 2010/2011 NUFC season review – Part I.

A day never to forget!
In many ways this season has been an unbridled success, although it hasn’t always been plain sailing. Survival was the aim and we achieved that with ease.

However a football season runs for many many months and at times it’s easy to forget just what went on at various points throughout the season, which is why I’m hoping this handy little (it will probably turn out quite long) review will serve to remind us of some of the good, and bad, moments of the 2010/2011 Premier League season.

Expect bias and for this to be very heavily tilted in favour of Newcastle United. This is after all an NUFC Blog so it’s perfectly acceptable to be a bit partizan towards our own team.

When the fixture list was announced I feared the worst from our opening two games of the season. Manchester United are Manchester United (they only dropped two points at home this season) and Aston Villa are a good side (they were at the time). We faced a very real prospect of gaining nothing from our opening two games.

As we headed to Old Trafford we had only the signings of Sol Campbell, James Perch and Dan Gosling in the bag. It turned out that Gosling would only see five minutes of action all season long. So there we were at the “Theatre of Dreams” 🙄 , the start of the season, the eyes of millions upon us, armed with virtually the same team that had won us promotion just a few short months earlier.

As it turned out we lost that match 3-0, but the most surprising thing for me was that we didn’t look out of place. Many teams go to Old Trafford and get beaten by more than three goals, better teams than us get beat by more than three goals, so as a debut back in the big time I wasn’t overly let down by that result as it was to be expected. With Villa up next though I did wonder if we would end up being bottom after two games.

It didn’t work out like that though. Football is a funny old game and fans of Aston Villa, who had previously revelled in our demise soon had the smirks wiped off their faces when they came away from St James’ Park on the end of a 6-0 thumping. One highlight of the season, only two games in. Incidentally the signing of an unknown Cheik Tiote was also confirmed that day.

An away League Cup victory at Accrington Stanley followed before Newcastle made the trip to Molineux for a clash with Wolves. Sat in the stands news filtered through that the most on-off of on-off transfers had been completed and Hatem Ben Arfa had finally signed for us on loan after months of wrangling, hissy fits and harsh words between the player and Marseille. That game ended 1-1 and NUFC looked to be building up some momentum.

That was until Blackpool rocked up at St James’ Park and reminded us all why we shouldn’t get carried away. Their ‘keeper played a blinder that day as the Tangerine Dream continued and Blackpool smashed and grabbed their way to a 2-0 victory.

Everton next and a trip to Goodison Park awaited. Generally speaking we don’t have a good record at Goodison, but this was a day for new loan signing Hatem Ben Arfa to really make his mark on the Premier League as he put in one of the most exciting performances I’ve seen from anyone in a black and white shirt in a long time. To refresh your minds, have a look at this.

Another impressive win followed as we beat Chelsea 4-3 at Stamford Bridge in the Carling Cup, but the ever so predictable kick in the nuts was soon to follow. A home defeat to Stoke was quickly followed up by an away defeat at Manchester City. That defeat at Eastlands was only part of the problem though as Hatem Ben Arfa suffered a double leg break at the hands of nasty Nigel de Jong. We’ve yet to see Ben Arfa return.

A snatched 2-2 home draw with Wigan was next as Fabricio Coloccini nodded in a 94th minute equaliser to cancel out a Charles N’Zogbia double, and that result sparked one of our most impressive runs of league form we had this season.

First up we won 2-1 at Upton Park before being unceremoniously dumped out of the Carling Cup by Arsenal. That set us up for a derby date with Sunderland who were looking for that next level at the time. By the half-time whistle all they were looking for was the level of the concourse as we set about thumping our hated rivals 5-1 in a match that will live long in the memory on Tyneside.

That result gave us all the feel good factor, which was heightened a week later when we took a trip to Arsenal, and came back with three points after an amazing 1-0 win at The Emirates.

Once again *BOOM* went the kick in the knackers and that fine run of form was soon forgotten. Blackburn came to St James’ Park and took all three points, a common theme which was starting to wear thin. Then Fulham headed South with a point before a 5-1 thumping at The Reebok left us all feeling rather low. A draw with Chelsea was scant consolation as we then transpired to rather limply surrender to the hands of West Brom. It was a performance that ultimately, and rather harshly in the eyes of a fair few fans, cost Chris Hughton his job.

To their credit the club moved quickly to appoint a successor. The reason for getting rid of Hughton was that the club said they wanted someone to take them to the next level. This started off wild speculation with names like Klinsmann, O’Neil, Jol all being linked. Eventually the name that got the job was Alan Pardew. Not exactly the first choice of anyone I’d guess.

Still it was his gig from now on, and with a home game against Liverpool coming up many were interested to see just how the players would take to a new manager. The answer was hardly crystal clear after the 3-1 victory as the players set about dedicating the win to their recently departed former boss.

Pardew came into the club with a tough fixture list to face. Liverpool was done and out the way, but up next were Champions League chasing Manchester City and Tottenham. The result? 3-1 and 2-0 losses respectively.

That takes us to exactly halfway through the season. We’re over 1000 words now so I’ll stop, take a breather, refresh, and bring you part II of our season review tomorrow.

Stay tuned!

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

160 thoughts on “The 2010/2011 NUFC season review – Part I.

  1. Plus Arfa turned into more of a super sub for Marseille didn’t he? Not an expert on the French league, but Arfa wasn’t a start under dechamps was he? Even before their fall out


  2. Newkie, if we got Menez I think we wold have a 4-3-2-1 formation with;

    Barton Tiote Nolan
    Ben Arfa Menez

    Which would work very well I think 🙂


  3. ???=Messi? 😀
    But seriously-sounds good to me, means we can use Jonas as a super sub, something which I think he’s suited to as he seems to play a hell of a lot better when he’s got competition, although he has been doing recently as well…maybe he’s taken note of fergie? I’d still have preferred the Zog but I guess theres not much chance of that, and he’d cost a fair bit more than Menez.


  4. Defiantly, with a mixture of Wigan scraping survival yet again, Premier League players always seem to be worth more, other clubs will probably start a bidding war and Dave Whelan hates us and probably won’t want to do business 🙄

    Hopefully the ??? is Sturridge. Here’s hoping eh 😉


  5. Yeah, well its partly down to the fact that they’ve proven they can cut the PL in the first place. Nzogbia has been here basically his whole professional career, and now he’s proven we can shine in a struggling side, and basically keep them up on his own. Madness that he won’t come to us for 12mil-he was going to go to brum for 9mil last summer wasn’t he? But personal terms couldn’t be agreed. Madness…still maybe we can grab him in january when he’s only got 6months.

    Sturridge or gervinho, yeah i’ll take them 😀


  6. I’d take Zog at this point but I just don’t see whelan doing an easy transaction with their business rivalry. Seriously hope we can get at least one good player in before preseason


  7. Man, there are plenty of quality players in holland and france to bring in to improve our attacking options! Really have to hope for some serious business from those upstairs


  8. People keep mentioning the fact that Whelan and Ashley won’t do business together………how do you think Wigan got Zog in the first place? 😉


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