Season 2005-06
December 2005 January 2006 February 2006
 MATCH REPORT . . . Cheltenham Town 0-2 Newcastle United Submitted on 30/01/2006 by Dirk
One fixture every Newcastle fan was looking forward too - Cheltenham Town in the Cup. The romance of the Cup or maybe it is the only competition will have a chance of winning. No Newcastle fan could remember having ever played there before. The ideal trip. Lower league opposition means the possibility of progressing and a new ground. Whaddon Road only holds about 7,000 of which Newcastle got just under 1,000 tickets. After all the corporates in Newcastle were sorted out, enough tickets remained to make sure proper supporters can see this fixture. The scramble for tickets was not as bad as expected with the Krev’s having received most of what they applied for.

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 RESULT . . . Cheltenham Town 0-2 Newcastle United     more . . . Submitted on 28/01/2006
Dear Deidrie, Submitted on 22/01/2006 by Trapper
Dear Deidrie,

Please can you help, my love affair is falling apart, it’s been going on for years and years, but now I think I’m beginning to realise its all over.

I can’t even get excited about going to see “her” anymore, the feelings of anticipation on the journey through have been replaced by a sad indifference and a morbid apprehension that our time together is going to be a tedious, uneventful, predictable bore.

It didn’t used to be like this, the days leading up to our “meetings” were full of excitement and eagerness, I couldn’t sleep the night before, now I can’t sleep for days afterwards wondering where it all went wrong.

The meetings were exciting, full of passion and drama, we were so happy and I would tell anybody who would listen about the great time we had had together.

I know I have to take my share of the blame, I’m not as passionate as I used to be, but perhaps this is because “she” doesn’t stimulate like “she” used to.

“She” has always had thousands of other admirers and I’ve never minded sharing her with them all, but I get the feeling the other 52,000 have the same apathy as I do.

It wasn’t very long ago that we had flair, passion, movement and pace. It has been replaced by lethargy, monotony and despondency.

Have you any advice that can re-kindle our passion?

Mr Sad and depressed,

Deidrie replies:-

You know she’s only using you, but if you really, really want to get things back to how they were. Get rid of that useless, whinging, negative Scottish T***
 MATCH REPORT . . . Newcastle United 0-1 Blackburn Rovers Submitted on 22/01/2006 by Trapper
About 16 months ago, we played Blackburn at home and beat them 3-0, Souness had left them and was to join us as our new manager the following Monday. John Carver was in charge that day. The Blackburn supporters were chanting “look at the shit, he’s left behind.

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 RESULT . . . Newcastle United 0-1 Blackburn Rovers     more . . . Submitted on 21/01/2006
Cosmic? Submitted on 19/01/2006 by Beat
Newcastle's longest running nightclub is finally being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. The Stage Door, as it has been known since 1974, will be re-opening as the COSMIC BALLROOM in February having undergone a major refurbishment. The venue, in the centre of Newcastle's Chinatown, has had a long and distinguished history in Newcastle and has drifted in and out of fashion many times since 1966 when it first opened. Built on the site of what was originally a Victorian banana warehouse the venue began life as The Bird Cage, enjoying success as a casino - the only thing suffering was its reputation.
The venue changed its name and its ways in 1974 becoming The Stage Door and setting up as a legitimate nightclub. The Stage Door went on to become one of the most successful clubs in the country throughout the 70s and 80s, counting people such as The Who, David Bowie and Motorhead as guests but as time passed and fashions faded, business began to decline. More recently the venue has been put back on the map by Nice, the promoters who also own the North and Camp David bars in Newcastle. After promoting the weekends there a grand refit is going to take place with Nice ripping out the entire interior and redesigning the whole place. Speaking of the refit, founder of Nice Paul Skevington says: "After promoting in the city for over 12 years and opening two bars, we can't wait to design our own club.
"The venue is the perfect size for us as we prefer small venues where a more intimate atmosphere can be created and a door policy can be enforced without leaving the venue looking empty. "The venue will hold just under 400 people and is split across two rooms, giving us the opportunity to dress each room separately and create a special, individual feel to each. "Downstairs is going to be stripped down to its bare bones and we have already found some great features from its Victorian past, beautiful original enamelled bricks, fantastically featured metal girders and copper sheeting that are all going to be restored. "This will be complemented with a state-of-the-art sound system and a fully integrated light and VJ set-up. The idea for upstairs is much more organic, imagining Jean Paul Gaultier was designing a small bar/club is our starting point and we see it as more of a boudoir with `pimp'/glam camp overtones!" Reflecting on what this means for the future of the club and his own company, Skevington adds: "We are all very excited and after 12 years it will be the first time Nice will be in a custom-built venue that we have full creative control over."

The refit is currently under way and the venue will re-open in February.

©The Evening Chronicle
A Victim of Our Own Success? Submitted on 18/01/2006 by Smike
No, not Newcastle United.

Regardless of the fact that we’re pretty poor at the moment we seem to be attracting more passengers on the coach to home games recently.

You are probably aware that recent home games have been over subscribed and the bus company have informed me that they are risking a heavy fine if there are too many people on the coach.

By law children should use the seat belts provided and the bus company should be seen to be actively encouraging this. Therefore the ‘sitting on knees’ scenario is also a non-runner. The bottom line is that there can be no standing on the coach. The regular coach has a total of 50 seats, as there are 50 travelcard holders we can therefore only guarantee travelcard holders a seat. So until we can persuade Guff to buy a Double Decker please make this clear to any ‘guests’. Obviously if there’s room we’ll take non-travelcard holders without any hesitation. Perhaps non regulars could park their car in The Sporties car park for use if the bus is full.
An Angry Ask Arthur Submitted on 16/01/2006 by Greavsie
An Ironic End Looming?

Well another away defeat to add to a growing list. If you look at the statistics it makes strange reading. Quite simply, when we have scored away from home we have won the game. This includes the league wins at Blackburn, West Brom & West Ham, and the Coca-Cola Cup win at Grimsby. In all the other away games we have failed to score, and all apart from the Portsmouth game which was 0-0, have been defeats.
So that means we have failed to score in TEN out of FOURTEEN away games in domestic competition. Although not a pure 100% relationship, just look at how many of the wins were when Michael Owen played, and how many of the defeats and blank returns were when he didn't.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that we are a much better team when he plays, and that he is the most potent attacking threat at the club. His pace and movement give the midfield and defence something to aim for when they are under pressure and looking for an 'out' ball, and gives opposition defenders something to constantly worry about. However, it is a bit like papering over the cracks when he plays. The three league away wins have been a distortion of the true picture of each of the games, which have all really followed a similar pattern. In the first half of each game, we could have been dead and buried had it not been for a combination of poor finishing and some great saves by Given. We manage to pinch a goal against the run of play, then get a couple more on the break when the other team are pushing forward for an equaliser. They have not been outstanding tactical performances, masterminded by a true managerial genius and executed by a well-oiled machine of footballing galacticos.

Without Owen we are shown up to be exactly what we are. A shambles of side, with no attacking threat whatsoever. Shearer has little pace, and is constantly having to play with his back to goal trying to hold the ball up. He can no longer carry the team. For Shearer's style of play to be successful you need to have some pace around him, or someone at least taking a gamble on his winning the ball and flicking it on. Who have we got that can do that job at the moment with Owen out? The midfield seem devoid of attacking intent and devoid of confidence, preferring to pass back and sideways, but with no-one making any runs or showing any desire to get forward, there is little option. The defence is a mess as we all know. The (badly hit) long ball fired up to Shearer, by-passing midfield is the extent of their current capability. You would have thought they would have learned its a waste of time when it keeps coming straight back again.

The whole team set up, especially away from home, appears tentative and cautious. No-one tries to beat their opponent. Quite frankly, they seem scared. Has Souness got them so worried about losing the ball and conceding a goal, that they won't take a risk? Its risk free football to lump it forward or to try to cross it before beating your man. No-one wants to accept responsibility and it is extremely easy to defend against. Just ask any of the back four of ten teams that have kept a clean sheet. Or even ask the Grimsby or Mansfield defenders who were hardly made to sweat in each of the respective games. We struggled even to make more than one or two decent chances against them. We are too static and too predictable. This allows the opposition to grow in confidence and dictate the flow of the game.

This is also creeping into our play at home. - Actually it is the same at home. Where we used to be able to dominate teams with pace, a bit of aggression and attacking intent, there is a far more cautious nervy approach. This is hardly going to get the crowd going and create an intimidating atmosphere.

So who's to blame? Its obvious that too many of the players on the pitch at the moment simply aren't good enough, and some wouldn't be playing were it not for the injury situation. However, injuries are part and parcel of football. It's a manager's job to get the best out of whatever bunch of players he has available to him for any given match. Is he doing that? I can't believe anyone would answer yes. Anyway, looking at the starting line up for Saturday's game, possibly seven would be in the first choice line up with everyone fit.

What concerns me most, is the comments Souness makes to the media both before and after games. There seems to be an attitude of being beaten before we step over the line, and this must permeate through to the players. They are constantly being told that they are not good enough, not first choice, yet they are expected to pull on the shirt and play their hearts out for him. I don't get the sense that the players are being encouraged to go out and express themselves, and really believe they have a chance of winning. Its as if we start the game hoping the other team won't play that well and we will be able to scrape something from it.

All we seem to get after the match, is a shrug of the shoulders, and comments about the injuries and the players giving what they can. That is absolute bull$hit. Surely he can see the players are not performing, yet we get the same rubbish week in and week out. If he can see the problems, then obviously he is totally incapable of doing anything about it, as nothing changes on or off the pitch. The trouble is, he has his ready made excuses and hes not going to be swayed from them.

The next game is at home against Blackburn. A team who we paid a large sum in compensation to in order to secure the services of Souness. When he left, various people still at Blackburn were quoted as saying him going was like a breath of fresh air to the club. He was only one bad result away from the sack for christ's sake. If you remember, we played Blackburn under the temporary managership of John Carver when Souness wasn't allowed to take up his new role until after that game. They were the worst team I had seen for ages, and we rolled them over without too much effort. I remember thinking at the time watching them, that this is how we will end up in twelve month's time. Well it's a bit longer than twelve months, but the sad prophecy has come true. Blackburn, whilst not becoming world beaters, are a much better team now than they were then, without a wholesale change in players. We on the other hand, are a sh!t soup, as another Carrville Mag has said. I have watched a lot of games on telly recently, and we are the worst team I've seen.

Whilst I would never want us to lose a game, and don't really care who the manager is and who plays, as long as the team is performing, it would be rather ironic for Souness' tenure as manager to be ended by a home defeat to Blackburn. It is us now that needs the fresh air and fresh ideas and I for one, won't lose any sleep should that happen after a defeat on Saturday.

PS. Rock and a hard place isn't it. I still hope we put five past them though, but you just know it won't happen, and any sort of win is likely to just delay the inevitable.
 MATCH REPORT . . . Fulham 1-0 Newcastle United Submitted on 16/01/2006 by Dirk
Fulham is always one of the more interesting London trips. After Arsenal (always a good trip and some memorable victories) and Chelsea, (posh area, but we only got a few draws there over the years) Fulham is my preferred London fixture.

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 RESULT . . . Fulham 1-0 Newcastle United     more . . . Submitted on 14/01/2006
 MATCH REPORT . . . Newcastle United 1-0 Mansfield Town Submitted on 09/01/2006 by Greavsie
Same Old Shearer !!!

Its difficult to know where to start with this report. I have mixed emotions over the day to say the least. Some positives, but the negatives are alarming.

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 RESULT . . . Newcastle United 1-0 Mansfield Town     more . . . Submitted on 07/01/2006
 MATCH REPORT . . . Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle United Submitted on 07/01/2006 by Beat
Like Clockwork
8am – Set off with everyone bang on time. George was collected to stop him knocking on the wrong doors trying to find Smike’s House

8.20 – Coley showed off his main Christmas present – a plastic gizmo that turns a can into a bottle. Having entertained his dad with it on Christmas day decided to show us how it snugly fits onto a Coors can.

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 MATCH REPORT . . . Newcastle United 2-2 Middlesbrough Submitted on 04/01/2006 by Smike
All Over?

With plenty of time whilst sitting on (or waiting for) various coaches recently to contemplate the current plight of The Toon, my conclusion is that we are in need of eight quality new players, but not in the January window.

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 RESULT . . . Newcastle United 2-2 Middlesbrough     more . . . Submitted on 03/01/2006
 RESULT . . . Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Newcastle United     more . . . Submitted on 03/01/2006
 RESULT . . . Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle United     more . . . Submitted on 03/01/2006