Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Swansea City – 25/04/15

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Cal

What a week. On Sunday we had a boycott of varying effectiveness, depending on your source, but at the very least a sizeable and noticeable portion of the crowd were absent, much like our points haul as we suffered yet another defeat. Carver didn’t want to blame the latter on the former, but then he did so anyway.

The Magpie mastermind then unveiled his latest stratagem:

“We need to come up with a solution, a formula, to win the game. If it means being a little bit more direct, then that’s what we’re going to have to do. I have to find a method of trying to play now that might not be pretty on the eye, but I need to find a way of getting some results, getting some points.”

While we’re on the subject of the club’s supposed leadership picking opportune times to spew verbal diarrhoea; famously media shy captain Coloccini, fresh from suspension for a needless and cowardly lunge, has kindly reminded everyone that he doesn’t want to be here:

“Some day I would go back and be able to play in San Lorenzo and retire there. Last year we had arranged the return to San Lorenzo… It is clear that [NUFC] had to defend their right because I had a contract.”

We go into the match 14th in the table, 5 points above the drop, albeit with one less game to play than three of the teams in the battle. Should Aston Villa manage a win over Man City, we could slip to 15th, and then be in range of Sunderland and 16th next week. The visitors are currently 8th, top of the “best of the rest” table, but still 9 points adrift of the European contention places.

You could argue that Swansea have nothing to play for, and that the loss to Leicester last week shows that they could be there for the taking, but that’s of little comfort when we’re the 6th most out of form side out of 98 European teams. A loss today takes us to seven in a row, a new record for the club in the Premier League, and the longest streak in nearly 40 years. Continue reading

I think we need some perspective on the club’s situation

Originally a forum thread by Goat

I’ll probably get flamed to death for this, but here we go.

I think some folk are getting a little too paranoid about the club at the moment, which obviously will not be helped by the bad results.

If we take a step back, there’s nothing to indicate that Carver is keeping the job other than some Twitter rumours, which as we all know, can’t be trusted. His win percentage is abysmal, he’s nearly getting us relegated, and he’s a definite downgrade on Pardew, so it’s unlikely really.

As I’ve said before, Hughton was sacked for Pardew because the board wanted a better manager with a better track record to take us forward, so there’s an indication there that they do care about the quality of our manager.

It also makes business sense to hire someone who will take us further up the table and grab the extra £750,000 per position increase. The club would make far more money doing that than saving a few quid on a manager’s wages, and it would considerably help to avoid the catastrophic impact of relegation. Continue reading

Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Tottenham Hotspur – 19/04/15

Click here to go to the discussion thread by TJR

This is a game where the off-field action is expected to overshadow what happens on the field. Newcastle fans are ready to unite together and make a stand against the slow death of Newcastle United as a sporting institution. Mike Ashley is, bad decision by bad decision, slowly sucking the life out of this once great club. As yet another season fizzes out many fans have had enough of the neglect and are ready to fight back.

It would be impossible to do a match preview for this game without focussing on what is going on outside of the match, and I’ll come to that. First though the match itself. Both sides head into this fixture in pretty poor form; Newcastle on the back of two away defeats, at Sunderland and at Liverpool, while Tottenham have recently drawn at Burnley and lost at home to Aston Villa. Newcastle are officially the second worst team in the league based on form, although many would argue the worst. Spurs are 10th in the form table and will be after a win to keep their increasingly unlikely top 4 hopes alive.

The Premier League table doesn’t make for much better viewing for Newcastle fans, as United are slipping ever closer to the danger zone, now just 7 points clear of the drop. Aston Villa and Leicester look to be on good patches of form and look like beating the drop. QPR have also shown a lot of fight of late as well. The poor form of Burnley, Sunderland and Hull may just be our saving grace.

Tottenham star Harry Kane will be looking to add to his 19 Premier League goals this season. The England international is joint top scorer of the league and has been short-listed for both the PFA player of the year and the PFA young player of the year awards. He’ll no doubt see the awful defence of Newcastle as an ideal opportunity to get himself on the back pages once again.

Sunderland fans have raised money to fly a plane over St James’ Park with the banner five in a row. I can only assume it is in reference to them equalling our record of five derby victories in a row rather than pointing out that we’ve lost our last five Premier League fixtures in a row. Even with them being only a point above the drop zone and looking in great danger of going down it is typical Sunderland to over celebrate something we achieved years ago.

It looks like Sunderland might have picked the wrong game to gloat though as a lot of Newcastle fans won’t be there to see the plane. A large section of our supporters have decided to boycott this match to make a stand against Ashley. The two videos below from True Faith show different fans explaining why they support the boycott. Continue reading

Preview: Liverpool vs Newcastle Utd – 13/04/15

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Cal

Five seems to be becoming somewhat of a theme for us this season, our fifth back in the Premier League. Last week’s loss to Sunderland made it five derby defeats in a row. Should we lose this Monday evening match on Merseyside, it’s five back-to-back league losses, equalling our sequence of successes from November, which included a one-nil victory over today’s opponents.

In our last six games we’ve won just once, beating Villa by a single goal, the other five games were all lost. Carver’s unique brand of attacking and brave football has seen us score twice in this period, conceding twelve. Only Hull lie below us in the form table, taking a whole point less from the available eighteen.

We sit five points short of the ever important 40, which Carver has begun to target for our remaining seven games in a season which started with the intention to finish top half at a minimum, then dared to flirt with the idea of European qualification, before crashing back down to Earth thanks to an extended period of relegation quality form and football. We’re currently 13th, but on a downwards trajectory and by no means safe.

Our hosts also had European aspirations, but back-to-back losses have likely shut down their dreams of a return to the Champions League, and they have a fight on their hands for a Europa League spot. They’re currently sixth on 54 points, jammed between Saints and Spurs. Continue reading

Preview: Sunderland vs Newcastle Utd – 05/04/15

Click here to go to the discussion thread by TJR

Five in a row? Premier League survival? Flaccid or erect Dick? Those are just some of the questions that will be the topic of many conversations in Wearside pubs leading up to this prestigious fixture. Ultimately the answer to the first two will provide the answer to the third. We are about to find out just how the latest Sunderland manager will perform.

I just called this game a prestigious fixture; it once was a celebration of North East football. Now though, the derby of despair would perhaps be a more accurate description. The footballing mood across Tyne and Wear is gloomy to say the least. Newcastle fans are far from pleased with mid-table mediocrity, and John Carver is hardly a popular choice of manager, but those in charge of the club have no greater ambitions. Sunderland could end the weekend in the relegation zone, like Newcastle they have been in woeful form of late and the league table is a sorry sight. Advocaat has a tough task on his hands. Continue reading