Sunday afternoon brought the incredible and very disappointing news reported by multiple media outlets that Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley appointed former manager Joe Kinnear as the club's new Director of Football. This preposterous appointment is the latest in the long string of decisions made by the owner that are apparently designed to provoke the supporters. Kinnear certainly wasn't appointed on merit. -Kinnear's shock return to Newcastle The Newcastle Journal's Mark Douglas had the first report I saw on Kinnear.
Youth development is a key part of Mike Ashley's plans for Newcastle United and so far the club have failed to make this work. A fundamental part of the clubs transfer policy is the development of young players, hoping that a number of them will progress into the first team. Don't sell Cabaye! (Or should they?) Tiote - A fallen star In the season that has just ended, ten players aged 21 or under took the field for the first team. Another four of the lads played elsewhere on loan. There are 16 players aged 21 or under in the first team squad today, but between them all they have only made 52 starts in all competitions.
Newcastle United supporters have a couple of songs for their French midfielder Yohan Cabaye. One of them goes: Don't sell Cabaye, Yohan Cabaye, I just don't think you understand! That if you sell Cabaye, Yohan Cabaye, you're gonna have a riot on your hands! But sell him they might and despite the song, many supporters would be quite happy to see it happen. There certainly won't be a riot. 'Yohan Cabaye considers move away from Newcastle United' -- The Guardian 'Newcastle steeled for fight to keep Yohan Cabaye from Manchester United' -- The Independent 'Yohan Cabaye hints at Newcastle exit' - The Telegraph 'Yohan Cabaye admits he would relish the chance to play for Manchester United' - The Sun And so on.
Eighteen months ago, Newcastle's Cheick Tiote arguably stood as the pinnacle of Premier League defensive midfielders. His menacing look and square jaw, was supplemented by a composure that made him central to the Magpies' cause. On his debut against Everton at Goodison Park in 2010 he misplaced just two passes. It was an impressive statistic that was repeated around Tyneside for weeks after the game. His arrival at the club had been perfect timing as Newcastle were in chronic need of a player to provide a defensive shield for the back four following their promotion to the Premier League.
Here we are a week on from the half announcement that Alan Pardew would remain in his job as Newcastle manager going in to next season and still Twitter carries numerous tweets from supporters who would love nothing more than for Pardew to be fired. It's understandable -- they're sticking by their beliefs and I totally understand them being underwhelmed by the prospect of another season watching ugly football, but is all lost with Pardew as far as the fans go? Maybe not. - Shearer: Pardew deserves to stay Personally, I am not convinced that Pardew has it within his abilities to turn things around.
On Tuesday evening the NUFC tag on Twitter went into meltdown with the legion of delusional 'ITKs' (fantasists claiming to be football agents or other people In The Know for those of you who steer clear of Social Media) claiming that Alan Pardew had been sacked. The North East based football writers went quiet presumably investigating if the rumour was true. Thousands of Newcastle fans grabbed their phones as soon as they woke up on Wednesday morning to see if the rumours had been confirmed, but there was nothing from the club.
An amazing accumulative attendance of 1,202,612 people paid good money to watch Newcastle United at St James' Park this season in the most difficult economic climate in modern times. Unfortunately for them, their football club have lost nine of their 19 league games on home turf - two more than they suffered in the disastrous 2008/09 relegation season. The last three home games alone have seen Newcastle concede ten goals without managing a single one for themselves. Pathetic. Fortunately, this season Newcastle managed to avoid the same fate as they suffered only four years ago, but that is as much to do with poor teams below them in the league as anything else.
Rating the season out of ten. 3/10. Some of you will think this is too high and others will criticise my negativity -- but it's been a long, difficult season for us supporters. With one home game remaining, Newcastle have already lost eight at St James' Park -- that's more than they lost at home the year they were relegated. Add to that the fact that they only achieved two wins away from home and it's been dire for the fans who spend an awful lot of money to watch them. - Pardew plays down comments Europe added some much needed interest and excitement but even that was often far from spectacular.
The Government tell us that Tyneside has one of the lowest life-expectancy rates in Great Britain. They tell us that this is because of poor diets, too much alcohol and smoking. I beg to differ -- the number one life span reducer in the region has to be watching Newcastle United football club. - Match report: QPR 1-2 Newcastle - Brewin: Haplees Hoops hand Toon lifeline Today's 2-1 win away to Queens Park Rangers guaranteed that Newcastle's Premier League status would be preserved. This game alone took a year or two away from me!
This has been a very poor season for Newcastle United. With two games remaining they are still not safe from relegation -- a position no one, not even the most pessimistic person, would have predicted back in August as the campaign kicked off. The strain is showing on manager Alan Pardew both physically and now in his press conferences. -Heneage: Pardew 'realistic' Earlier this week, Charles Sale of the Daily Mail wrote a piece with the headline: 'Ashley faces GBP;10m bill to axe Pardew after agreeing bumper eight-year deal' Sale wrote: 'Alan Pardew.
Newcastle kept their first clean sheet away from home for four months in Saturday afternoon's 0-0 draw at West Ham United, but away wins for Wigan at West Brom (3-2) and Aston Villa at Norwich (2-1) mean that Newcastle have slipped further towards the relegation zone with only two games to play. Newcastle, in 16th, are just one point ahead of Sunderland, who play Stoke on Monday, and just three points ahead of Wigan, who currently occupy the final relegation spot but have a game in hand. - Premier League standings Newcastle have a serious problem with second-half performances when away from St James' Park.
If you went back a year or two and asked Newcastle fans their opinion of Cheick Tiote, the overwhelming majority would have been incredibly positive. He was a hero. A warrior in midfield capable of taking on and dominating some of the finest footballers in the league (more on that later). He'd win the ball and play it simple -- and he'd do it incredibly effectively though he picked up an awful lot of yellow cards along the way. - Pardew hurt by criticism of players If you asked the same people now they'd tell you that he should be nowhere near the first team and should be sold at the first opportunity.