End of the ‘naughties’ for Newcastle? – Happy New Decade from nufcblog.org

Posted on December 31st, 2009 | 46 Comments |

Howay the New Year!
Howay the New Year!
This time ten years ago, we were staring into a brand new millenium and the late great Sir Bobby Robson was halfway through the first season of his popular reign as manager at Newcastle United. The slightly uninspiring capture of Diego Gavilan was the only January transfer that Robson made and the little Paraguayan never made the impact he would have hoped for at St James’. Sir Bobby, conversely, went on to create one of the most exciting sides of a Toon generation.

Despite falling short as Keegan had done back in the ’90s, with his wealth of experience, Robson played a brand of football that the supporters could once again get behind. And the football wasn’t just good to watch but effective as we flirted with European and domestic success. But of course, the end of his reign was somewhat soured by it’s nature as many fans welcomed the decision feeling he’d lost the dressing room, and he was unceremoniously dumped by Freddy Shepherd.

2000 actually saw Robson get rid of one of our most infamous and old-fashioned bad-boys, Duncan Ferguson, but the new millenium brought the advent of a new type of bad-boy. The ‘noughties’ became the decade of the ‘naughties’ as Robson built his side around ‘bling boys’, such as the likes of Keiron Dyer, Jermaine Jenas, Titus Bramble and Craig Bellamy. Footballers have always lived the life of Riley but for some reason the sudden increase to obscene and unjustifiable salaries made it all the more unpalatable. We picked up headlines for the wrong reasons as regularly as we did for the right reasons.

Following the end of Robson’s tenure, we then had to put up with Souness’ drab style of football and some ridiculously poor but astronomically-priced players, step forward Jean-Alain Boumsong, Albert Luque to name two of the more unpopular recent wastes of money. And of course Souness’ tenure witnessed one of the most embarrassing episodes in our proud history, as Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer went toe-to-toe at a packed St James’ against Aston Villa.

And it wasn’t long before Souness was shown the door and Glen Roeder stepped forward to take the reigns, with a little help from a certain Mr Shearer along the way. Despite a spirited end to the 2006/2007 campaign, Roeder failed to build and he too was shown the exit, to make way for Sam Allardyce having been relatively successful with his long ball efforts across at Bolton Wanderers.

Some introspection at the time, seemed to have led Newcastle fans to accept that following the swift departures of Souness and Roeder, that Allardyce should be afforded some time to build from the bottom. With promises of doing just that, and his high-tech approach to solving our persistent injury woes, it seemed like the right way to go.

Having put up with Shepherd’s reign, which had involved the pre-millenium News of the World scandal, the poor treatment of Sir Bobby, the continual poor management of NUFC’s finances and his general arrogant and dislikable personality around the games and in the media, Newcastle fans were overjoyed when the club was surprisingly bought by at-the-time billionaire recluse in the Spring of 2007. Mike Ashley was here to rescue Newcastle from mediocrity and the rest you could say is history, if only we weren’t still living the current nightmare.

But with what appeared to be some shrewd buys, most of which were sanctioned by Shepherd before the full takeover in the summer, most fans were optimistic for the coming season. But try as we might the majority of Newcastle fans couldn’t stomach his brand of football and when it became ineffective it was unbearable. Mike Ashley obviously thought so and no doubt influenced by his decision to mix with the fans before, during and after games, where detractors voiced their opinions, he made a bold move.

So it probably shouldn’t have come as any surprise that fans having waxed lyrical about the days of ‘The Entertainers’, that Ashley would try to resurrect that era, given his claim that he was ‘here to have fun’. And yet, it was a decision that shocked the world as Keegan returned to St James’ for the third time, no doubt with a feeling of unfinished business after walking away the first time round as manager.

Even some of the most cynical of fans were excited by the proposition of capturing even a small element of that first Keegan era. But the doubters warned that he would walk at some point. And he did, but not before securing Premiership safety after a difficult return. And not before he was undermined and effectively managed out of the club by an ill-advised new owner who quickly went from hero to villain, as one indiscretion led to another.

From swilling beer in the stands, to the unpopular appointments of Dennis Wise and Joe Kinnear, Derek Llambias. From the poor communication to the conceited behaviour. From the obvious inexperienced and irresponsible way he took over the club and misunderstood and disrespected it so unforgiveably and ultimately to the unforgiveable way he messed around and tried to disparage Keegan. From the false promises of a club sale to the farce of bringing Shearer so late in the day that he inevitably hung him out to dry and then left him to rot back in the BBC studios, Ashley became the villain of the entire decade’s pantomine.

And there are other more recent villains who deserve a mention – Joey Barton a locked-up, let out, lashed out liability who still has the audacity to put his head above the parapet and slate his fellow professionals, even though he’s absolutely spot-on. Keegan himself for the £25m he attempted to claim back from the club, something even I find difficult to accept. Andy Carroll more recently for his off-the-field misdemeanours that bring unwanted attention.

But for all the crap we’ve put up with in recent years, and for all the uncertainty that pervades St James’ Park, can we hope for a new decade to bring some good fortune?

2009 was a year to forget really – it involved all the ‘Rs’. Redundancy, Robbery and Rip-offs for some of us. Recession for all of us. And humiliatingly, Relegation for all of us as Newcastle fans, the one thing we thought was a distant fear as we entered 2000 with Robson leading the way. But the other villains I haven’t mentioned yet, are the highly-paid misfits who weren’t good enough or bothered enough to fight for survival last season and jumped ship at the first opporutunity. Who could blame them, you could say? Reverence also for all Newcastle fans as a hero and legend was laid to rest after a brave battle against cancer.

Well there are heroes of the pantomine that now deserve a mention, relatively speaking that is. The players that stuck around following the drop into the Championship and those have since joined, are heroes almost to a man, having knuckled down and found some honesty, some decency and thankfully some form. And the man right at the front and in charge of it all is Chris Hughton, charged with the job of caretaker manager and ultimately now our permanent gaffer. He is reserved and unassuming and inevitably labelled a ‘yes man’ to Ashley, following the turbulence of ‘Keegangate’.

And yet, we are top of the league and Hughton has come in and got on with it, without any fuss, and so too have his players. They are gradually earning the respect of the football world as the club seeks to find it’s soul. 2010 is likely to be as unpredictable as the last few years, but for now there is a glimmer of hope that we are becoming a proper football club again, even if the way in which it has happened is far from ideal. Who knows what Ashley will do? Who knows who we’ll buy in the January transfer window but for the sake of our promotion push let’s hope they’re more successful than Diego Gavilan. Whatever happens, it’s sure to be anything but boring because this is Newcastle United after all.

Here’s to a brighter future for our belove club and all supporters in and away from St Jame’s Park –

Happy New Year and all the best from the Bowburn branch of .org and the rest of the crew!

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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46 Responses

  1. Excellent posting BBM :)

    I was just thinking about this earlier. The noughties really have been such a fall from grace for us.

    One player i will never forgive however is Kieron Dyer. I fimly blame his antics and attitude for being one of the main reasons behind Sir Bobby getting the sack. Then to see him coming out and saying how much he loved Bobby and this and that. I’d like to say i want him to break his leg again and never be able to kick a football again, but i’m just not like that ;)

  2. Hopefully we will move in the right direction in the next decade, even if we fall apart, this great club will still remain my obsession as with so many supporters all around the world, happy new year to you all. keep the faith. Thanks for giving us the chance to give our opinions, they always differ but we all want the same thing, newcastle to be treated with respect and to prosper. Thanks BBM keep up the good work along with worky, deb and toonsy, top people.

  3. Funny goings on at Pompey. Player not been paid again. Apparently this month its the banks fault!

  4. Nice summary of the decade BBM. You did miss out the banners, protests and NUST but apart from that and the odd grammatical rick – well done!!
    So . . . a happy 2010 to yourself and all at .org.

  5. I think it all went wrong with Allardyce. That’s when the media and neutrals started to dislike Newcastle. They knew that Souness and Roeder wouldn’t really cut it ut for some reason they all love Allardyce. ‘Big Sam’ has been pretty poor at both Newcastle and Blackburn yet he is still praised. He got rid of committed pros like Scott Parker and brought in Joey Barton, along with David Rozehnal (useless) and the even worse Claudio Cacapa and Mark Viduka. The only players that he brought in that have ever looked vaguely competent are Alan Smith (this season) and Habib Beye. Glenn Roeder made shrewd signings like Sibierski and SOuness may have fell out with the talented Robert and Bellamy, but was successful in the cup and brought in Emre, Parker and Solano. Despite what many in the press think Newcastle were right in getting rid of Sam Allardyce. Its just what happened afterwards that went wrong. Hopefully Chris Hughton can get us back on track.

  6. Truth be known, I rushed the last bit as wor lass is kicking off. I’ve got hoovering and cooking to do. So grammatacial errors will have to wait! :)

    All the best though to everyone, hope New Year’s celebrations go well and onto a prosperous and happy 2010 for all.

  7. Toonsy it happens all the time at this time of the year. A few years ago i was given a cheque for £10 by pukka pies after i choked on a piece of rubber in a balti pie, it took two days longer then normal to clear because of the busy banking system, this is exactly the same!

  8. No mention of the £17m Pantomime donkey that was foisted onto Ashley! Lets face it he might not be the perfect owner and probably wouldn’t come top of his class in a charm school but at least the club is starting to look a bit more stable financialy which is more than most of the other EPL and Championship clubs are.
    I’ve said it before but do not be surprised if we aren’t given him the freedom of the City in five years time, Theres nowt as strange as football or its supporters.

  9. Let’s hope the Toon have a quiet, uneventful year, which will make a change and probably be a miracle i know!

    Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and successful new year. Have a good time tonight. Great to read and exchange opinions with you all.

  10. we havent had a real noughty since David Batty.. even though he could be too noughty sometimes, he had a toon-heart. now we only have Harper and Steven Taylor with a toon-heart… when Batty played we also had Shearer, Beardsley, Lee… and they all played with their heart. They loved the club and the fans. We dont have that kind of breed in the club anymore. And we need a new owner!
    Hughton has done well so far, but i im still not sure he’s the right choice.. Next year it will probably be Premier League (let’s hope), and we need some more quality players.. And get rid of some of the shitty ones.. And I must say i think it would have been better if Alan Shearer had got the manager-job, because then we would probably still have had some of the players that left the club in the summer. Im sure almost everyone would have loved that, both players and fans. oh, and btw, Happy New Year and lets hope it will be a fantastic decade for the nufc-fans ;)

  11. Ove, you are forgetting Shola, the club have tried to get rid of him several times but he has clung on tenaciously to stay with the club he loves.

  12. Big Willy @8 agree with every word m8 , for the first time in years the club seems to have found a bit of stability . If we are to win promotion and the right transfers are made to enable us to stay in the premiership then ashleys policy of investing in the youth will begin to look good . The likes of Kadar , Krul and Ranger will be a couple of years older and we will see if they are as good as thier potential promises . if say in 2012 we are back in the top six then alot of what has happend in 2009 will have suddenly been forgotten .
    Every one have a happy , healthy 2010 and i hope we are celebrating promotion and winning the world cup in the summer (every one can dream :))

  13. BBM great look back over the years and thanks for all the work you put in along with worky, The lovely Geordie Deb,everyboby else involved, and just thinking where has Hugh dissapeared to havn’t seen him in a while. ?
    I hope 2010 will bring us promotion and I hope that it brings you’s all health wealth and happiness.

  14. Big Dave – Hugh has had to concentrate on other commitments mate. Those who have been here all along, will have recognised that he kept the blog going for days and weeks on end, and will no doubt miss both his tremendous articles and the great banter when he got involved in debates. He made no promises, but I’m sure given chance, he’ll contribute one way or another in the future.

  15. wishing all – the very best for 2010 – and that includes the amstel drinking sand dancer x

  16. but that excludes the p***head komfort , the ex p***head batty & the spotty faced w***er loony_factor.

    i’m off to the pub to welcome in the new year with a glass of fresh orange – good night.

  17. Happy new Year to one and all.

    Lets hope the tensies see a new dawn.

    And lets all pray we never see the two biggest disgraces ever to come our way back again.

    Kevin the Kowardly Money Grabbing Keegan and Fat Freddie Shepherd. (Hard to know which is worse – after all – both fleeced us)

    Onto a new decade – and new era under Mike – I would like to thank personally him and recognise him as the man who put more money into us than any man in history. Mike saved us – some dont like it – but some dont deal in fact.

    I hope at this time of year you can all thank him too…..

  18. It’s too early for New Year’s Eve jokes Dusty. I haven’t had enough alcohol yet.

    I look forward to 2010 and Ashley’s olive branch of getting rid of Llambias. Then we can consider reconciliation.

    All the best you lunatic. ;)

    Back to play on the Wii, oh how my life has changed… :)

  19. Happy New Year’s Eve everybody!

    What a crap year or what, eh? Can’t wait to see the back of it – roll on 2010.

    Off on the hoy noo…Remember to raise ya glasses for absent friends…


  20. Not as productive as Ed., now there was a guy that was really prolific, may have even burned himself out ?
    But hey BBM, you have done a great job, with some of the best match reports and observations, long may it last.
    Soh! best wishes to all, including those with whom i may have disagreed with and it`s onwards and upwards to-wards our rightful place in the top division, with perhaps Beckford combining with Boyd (got five against Dundee)to give us hopefully a goalscoring deadly duo.
    These two and Kilgallon plus a signed Simpson, should get us promotion.
    Then we sign Ireland as the creative midfielder and the first season back is a guaranteed mid table finish.
    Amstel Time !

  21. been oot get some pellets for me air rifle any noise after 12 and me neibours will be gettin a cap in them

  22. some top lads on this blog including komfort worky stardy big dave bowburn who luvs king kev toonsy jay jay toon factor oh and leaky butt stuart :lol: oh and a top lass in geordie deb oh and y gotta love chuck he makes me laugh i hope u all have a good new year and a safe 1 you bunch of p:ssheads xxxxxxxxx

  23. Batty im sure your not really looking to far forward to 2010 but I hope you and the Family have a Good New Year together Buddy and tell the youngun I was asking for him and will be thinking about him. Look after each other mate.

  24. thanks dave and i always do tell him m8 oh dave he will be on a yank base which is good he will be driving 1 of them new panthers which is good and hes a geordie which will stand him in good stead :lol: but hopefully i will be looking forward to next season m8

  25. Dr. Ed Harrison is a retired IBM Consulting Group Executive who now has time, and lots of it, after 34 years at the American computer company, to write about his lifelong passion – Newcastle United Football Club.

    Ed was born and bred in Newcastle Upon Tyne, and watched his first game at St. James’ Park in 1949 as a 4 year-old with his Mother and Father. He was told to look out for number 9 – Jackie Milburn – the great Wor Jackie – and was he fast!

    In football terms Ed was a goalkeeper and played for Wharrier Street Primary School and Newcastle Minors (Newcastle Schoolboys Under-11), in 1956 and went on to play for Newcastle Schoolboys and Northumberland Schoolboys (Under-15) in 1959 and an England Schoolboys trial.

    Ed was at Newcastle United for a couple of years from 1960 as an amateur, while still at school, and played with Bobby Moncur and David Craig, amongst others, for the Newcastle United Under-18 side (Newcastle N’s in those days), during the relegation season of 1960-1961.

    He attended Heaton Technical and Manor Park schools, and then went on to study at both King’s College, London (BSc – Electrical Engineering) and Newcastle University (PhD – Computer Science). He played for Newcastle Universities and England Universities from 1967 until 1970.

    But a short couple of years after Ed joined IBM in 1970, he was shipped over to the USA, with his new wife Madeline, a beautiful local Newcastle lassie.

    At IBM Ed was in computer systems and network design for his first 22 years at the company and then in his final 12 years was persuaded to enter executive management. where he ended up running IBM’s Americas’ Network Consulting Group for 6 years from the late 1990s, and was instrumental in forming the IBM networking alliance with Cisco Systems in 1999.

    Ed and Madeline live just outside Raleigh in North Carolina. Their twin sons Paul and Neil, and daughter Elaine, are now in their early 30s, live close by, and Neil has carried on the family tradition by becoming an avid Newcastle United supporter.

    And one final thing – you can take the boy out of Newcastle but you can’t take Newcastle out of the boy!

    Howay The Lads!!

  26. happy new year lads if anyones up!if any1 was watching sky sports news 2 or 3 mins be4 midnite it showed phil brown singing when the toon got relegated and i nearly cried!then said a prayer that all i wanted for 2010 is for the toon to trade places with hull..hate hull more than the mackems tbh!terrible fans and club…happy new year sir bobby..

  27. alanmc09 – I agree. Under normal circumstances i would be suportive of a club like Hull. However, there manager turns my stomach. What a horrible excuse for a man. Their fans could do with piping down aswell. After all the club are only here because the taxpayer absorbed the losses when they were locked out of Boothferry Park! Judging by there accounts, they may head that way again!

  28. Toonsy happy New Year to you mate I hope 2010 is as good for you as it is for the Toon. Funny enough I cant stand that cnut Brown he is such a knob lol

  29. Big Dave – Happy new year to you n’all! Right, bedtime. I can feel my hangover kicking in! :(

  30. Hark now hear the Geordies sing,

    The sunlin ran away,

    An we will fight fo eva mor

    Becoz ov new years dayyy.

  31. she’s a big lass she’s a bonny lass and she likes her beer, an the caal her cusshie butterfield an a wish she was here.

  32. happy new year batty…..and i hope you manage to give the bookies a good hiding this year.