Vying for No.9 at Newcastle United? – Part Deux.

Posted on January 12th, 2010 | 129 Comments |

So who fancies living up to this then?
So who fancies living up to this then?
Well here it is, the third and final chapter of my mid-term player review. And a topical area for discussion, as speculation remains over a move for Leeds Utd’s Jermaine Beckford, or A.N. Other should we fail in that bid.

The No.9 shirt is almost as synonymous with Newcastle United, as St James’ Park, the black and white stripes or that deed funny accent we’ve got. It’s been made particularly special in this part of the world because it’s been worn by some of the best players this country has seen. The likes of Gallacher, Milburn, MacDonald, Cole, Shearer have graced that shirt and it will undoubtedly always be a big shirt to fill.

Ironic then, given that the No.9 shirt and the prestige it carries with it is currently up for grabs, that we have a group of strikers who fall somewhat short of the standards we’ve come to expect from our centre-floorboards, and that none of them look like earning that honour just yet, particularly in this current barren spell…..

So how far short have they fallen so far? As with my review on the rest of the squad, I’ve only included the lads who have played at least a couple of games so far and I’ve just added to my initial review from back in October.

Shola Ameobi – What can you say about this young (?) man that hasn’t already been said a million times. An undoubted talent, with plenty of awkward and unpredictable ability but one which needs a rocket up it’s ar*e to perform. In the past, he has had to make do with sitting and waiting in the wings as the big names and big earners kept him out. And when called upon, he usually did enough to encourage us. But given longer periods to impress, his laidback and nonchalant approach was not appreciated by the Toon faithful. However, this season started differently and while tormenting Championship defences he couldn’t seem to stop scoring, that was until he got knacked. Come back soon Shola, we love you really (Update) Came back with a bang actually and scored in his first game and then two out of the next four games. Undoubtedly capable at this level, but even now seems to have relaxed back into his lazy ways in recent games. Will he still have enough to fire us to promotion?……..
rating so far – 8/10

Andy Carroll – Gangly, awkward and seems to spend a lot of the match on his backside. But he’s a trier and for every utterance I make at games about his ineffectual displays, he answers me swiftly by smashing home a volley within minutes. So he’s picking up that knack, we hoped he had, of scoring goals. If he could improve his hold-up play and lead the line more effectively, he could be a big player in the future. My only worry is that we just play to his main strength, his heading (although you wouldn’t think it, if you’d been at the Doncaster game). (Update) Caused as much trouble off the pitch as he has on it recently, and while his last goal was fantastic, he’s failed to score since early November. Still gangly and awkward and not pretty to watch but bloody effective at times, though not the prolific striker we’re crying out for but perhaps due to a lack of the type of deliveries he needs? I fear not……..
rating so far – 7/10

Peter Lovenkrands – Made an impact with his pace when we signed him last year, when we were crying out for something different, and scored a couple of decent goals. Didn’t seem that keen to stick around following relegation but with no other prospects on the horizon, and following an offer of a contract, he signed back up for us. So far, I think it’s only fair to say, he’s been a bit of a let-down. (Update) Looked a little brighter since coming back, after he had some time away due to personal reasons. Scored a couple of goals and looked sharp but maybe still not had enough consecutive games to get into any sort of form? ……..
rating so far – 6/10

Marlon Harewood – Big, strong, fast, and an appetite for some action. No, it’s not Ashley in his favourite restaurant. I’m talking about Marlon, or at least I should be. After bundling home his debut goal against QPR at St James’, his loan spell from Villa couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. However, amid rumours of a fallout with staff and given his lacklustre approach, his horrendous touch and inability to use the pace and strength he obviously has to his advantage, he’s just yet another striker proving to be a major disappointment. If you don’t wanna be here Marlon, we can fetch you a taxi to the airport (Update) Somehow grabbed some important goals by managing to be in the right place at the right time, but never effective enough in the role he was given. Didn’t work hard enough, though improved slightly and wasn’t making the ball stick when pinged into him. I don’t think Hughton intends to change the style of play to potentially get more out of him, as a different type of striker (i.e. with wingers), so perhaps unlikely to make a return but it’s definitely not out of the question……..
rating so far – 6/10

Nile Ranger – Perhaps, at least in my eyes, the one with the most obvious potential to be able to do that famous No.9 shirt justice. Everytime I see this lad, he impresses me and I only wish Hughton would let us see more of him from the start. His maturity and composure is beyond his years but he still has that youthful enthusiasm and with his strength and height, he is a genuine threat all of the time. All he needs now is to score (Update) – Since he got that elusive first goal, and where I think some of us probably hoped and expected he’d then score bagfuls, his form has dipped a little. Still showing potential and huge amounts of willingness but is possibly suffering from the very thing meant to protect him. A lack of games……….
rating so far – 7/10

It’s probably just as crucial to get a creative midfielder or two in during the transfer window and even mix up our style of play, but that seems unlikely reading between the many lines of fact and conjecture. It’s more probable that we’ll try to secure the services of a switched-on and hopefully pacy (and cheap) striker to get the balls we’re missing in the channels upfront. Either way, we need to start scoring goals. People have even contemplated Xisco returning (this is where I fall off my seat laughing…).

So once again, I’ve rambled, enough of my reviews.

What do you lot think?

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

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129 Responses

  1. Totally agree, none are worthy of the no.9 shirt! Just retire the shirt no one out there will ever be good enough and understand what it means- look at who replaced Shearer? Blooming Martins who didn’t have a clue!

  2. marion hairdo – 6 out’a ten ! you been drinking ? he’s a big useless pudding & i’d be annoyed if we got free with a bag of crisps – if he comes back me season tickets in the tyne.

  3. If we get promoted I would like to see us try and ship out Ameobi,he is clearly not good enough for the EPL.
    To be fair though he has performed ok in the CCC as this is his level.
    Lovenkrands IMO has been a disapointment, I have not witnessed his so called express pace and he does not get involved enough.
    Carroll has potential to be a good target man but I don’t see him being a prolific scorer. He needs to develop a lot more and learn to stay on his feet.
    Ranger is only a bairn and if he keeps his head down, should develop into a decent forward.

  4. BBM pretty much agree with the ratings. Re Lovenkrands I think its a shame as im sure he would be prem quality if given a decent chance, instead of trying to get Beckford in to hold up young Ranger even more. Then the 1st chance he gets he will be away some where to get a chance of playing football.
    Still dont think we have a number 9 yet ;)

  5. I remember years ago when all players wore shirt numbers 1 – 11 and because of injuries Graham Oats wore the No 9.
    Graham Bloody Own Goal Oats……pure liberty, I was mortified.

  6. Agree with comments that none of the lads warrant the number 9, will be a long time till we can attract a good enough player to wear it on their back as well

  7. I do wish people would stop saying Ameobi has found his level. Isn’t he our 2nd highest european goalscorer? Has he scored goals at premiership level before? I think the answer to both is yes!

    Dont get me wrong, he frustrates me as much as the next person, but the guy can score goals. He has scored 8 in 10 appeaances this season. My main criticism is that he can go missing during games, or just not turn up in some! However, he can score goals!

  8. Great post, along with the other reviews!
    Think the past few weeks of player reviews just shows that we have a distinct lack of quality throughout the team except goalkeepeer and for the first time in a long long time in defence! ranger and Carroll need more playing time to develop properly, same with lualua, vuckic, donaldson etc, we keep churning out these young amazing talents, Chopra etc who fail due to a lack of being nurtured properly.
    Personally think this transfer window we should get simpson along with good right and left wingers. Strikers score when get given enough chances, were stale, we have big lads who thrive from crosses with nobody to provide them! so 2 out and out creative wingers who can bloody cross for a change would do wonders.

  9. toonsy – I respect your view, but I can’t agree with your comment re Ameobi. If this team gets promoted and wants to develop in the EPL, then there should be no place for the likes of Ameobi. His record in the EPL is poor and that is a fact.

  10. I’m with you toonsy,
    Ameobi has done wonders this term & bbm even praises him, then semi slags Carroll, then gives ’em the same score.
    Der! At least one more point for Shola.
    Lovenkrands hasn’t played enough to slag him, & he’s still put the ball in the net a couple of times.
    Ranger needs game time too.
    Harewood, like or dislike him, he’s popped up at the right time, isn’t that what strikers are supposed to do?
    By luck or design.

    But anyhoo, we don’t have anyone truly deserving of the iconic no. 9 Toon shirt…Yet!

  11. I think we have a great potential number 9 in Ranger and I would not have any problems IF we signed a striker this window giving them the number 9 from the start. Who knows it might inspire them with the tradition that is in the number

  12. TGS – Granted, he isn’t prolific, far from it. But also remember he has never really been given a chance as he has always had better players in front of him like, Shearer, Bellamy, Owen?, Martins, Viduka etc. A lot of his premier league appearances have been subs aswell to be fair.

    He is not the No9 we’re after, but his experience could be crucial if we go up.

  13. On a different topic, does anyone have reservations about signing Simpson on a contract. I will be happy for him to be loaned to us again until the end of the season and then reviwed depending on whether or not we are promoted. IMO his distribution needs to be vastly improved as he gives the ball away cheaply. I can’t fault his attitude and effort though.

  14. Johno Toon – The tradition with the No9 shirt stops with Newcastle and its supporters, at a push some English players may know what its all about but i doubt it would inspire them. However, foreign players don’t know what its about and therefore its just another number to them.

    No9 was only kept alive so long because of Shearer.

  15. Text received today – Police in Angola have named an early suspect in the recent attack on the Togo team bus, with over 300 shots fired and only 3 on target, they are keen to talk to Shola Ameobi.

  16. TGS – I think that is the way we will go with Simpson, extend his loan and maybe get him for nowt in the summer. His crossing impresses me though, he can swing a good ball in the box and as you say, his work ethic and attitude have been brilliant.

  17. bigbadbob – Do you reckon Adebayor ran to the front of the bus to celebrate in front of the Gunners?

    Sick i know, hopefully it doesn’t offend anyone.

  18. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    January 12, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    “We really need a new Pedro.

    Supply is everything.”

    Is that a piece of dialogue from ‘Scarface’, Clint? :-)

  19. I agree with micky2736,all our strikers can score,given a chance! Why haven’t we been linked with Moses? Moses and Adam Johnson could both be got,and both could do a job once we get promoted too. Or play keegans 4-3-3 and see if we can get Delph or wilshere on loan to compliment smith and Barton/guthrie?

  20. That’s the one i was looking for worky. :)

    Oooo! Controversial toonsy.
    Not unfunny though.

  21. We NEED a right winger. Guthrie isn’t good enough on the right (I quite like him in the centre), Taylor isn’t good enough on the right, Jonas is way better on the left. I think the midfield in general makes our attackers look poor. Jonas is the only player to ‘consistently’ pass and cross, Nolan picks out a good pass every 5 games, Smith passes no further than 5m away (and usually backwards). We have strikers who are all pretty good in the air but rarely score headers.

    I think Ranger is our only striker with the potential to cut it in the Premiership, Carrol could maybe be a big man for a bottom 5 team.

  22. If and this is a big IF, Carroll applies himself over the next couple of years he could become another Big Dunc type of forward (without the injuries hopefully). Due to his personality/attitude however, I fear he will fade away.

  23. thinking of happier times, being 27 quinn was my first toon hero, pure natural talent, what a finisher.

  24. “Ameobi has done wonders this term & bbm even praises him, then semi slags Carroll, then gives ‘em the same score.
    Der! At least one more point for Shola.”

    It was meant to be a six for Carroll…

  25. he might of been on the chubby side micky quinn,but i used to love watching him.
    natural goalscorer he very rarely missed a chance,he might not have been the quickest,but he is on of the quickest on the turn i,ve seen.
    quinn was also brilliant in the air,a real old time striker.

  26. I’m in the middle of reading ‘Who Ate All The Pies’?

    Quinny comes across as a bit of a berk at times to be honest.

    But he says this was the best football of his career but he enjoyed the racing more than the footy when he got into it.

    He was a big hero of mine though. First couple of season tickets watching that fat get :)

    Never forget the Leeds game…

    Just read the other night about him scoring a hat-trick past Seaman at Highbury and then saw it on ESPN or Sky Sports in the gym last night.

  27. Ah! ok bowburn,
    fair enough mate,
    that makes sense of what you wrote then.
    Ta for the update.

    you could be right about Carroll.
    Maybe his bad persona actually cements that idea,
    strangely enough?

    Here here jay jay.

    R Taylor has a great cross on him & dead ball.

  28. Quinn was like lightning over 10 yards or so.
    I know it sounds daft, but you know what i mean,
    don’t ya’?

  29. little bit off topic,but can everyone remember old stiff hips himself mark mghee,s solo effort against bradford.

  30. CLiNT – 10 yards?

    Could he ever run that far? He was sharp in the turn though and knew where the goal was.

  31. I have to say that I support the stance that NUFC are taking against LUFC re the Beckford offer. 1.5m and no more for a 3rd division player (old money) who is out of contract in July. If they don’t get Beckford which I won’t lose any sleep over, I would like to see them go for someone like Gary Hooper from Scunny who is 22 and averages a goal every other game.

  32. I think that’s fair bowburn.
    Good lad.
    I know he annoys us all, but he has done well this season so far. & that should be reflected in our appraisal of him.

  33. TROJAN 69 – one of my favourite Toon goals.

    Late goal wasn’t it? Think we won 1 nowt?

    I was in the Leazes with my uncle.

    McGhee was a cracking player.

  34. It never ceases to amaze me the no. of times the media regurgitate a ‘story’.
    Re: ‘we won’t be held to ransom…’

  35. quinny and mghee scored some goals that season,between them.i dont know how we did,nt grt promoted that year,that game against swindon how many chances did we have,still ended up nowts each.

  36. Pedro v Brighton, was it?
    Slides in, scoops,winning the ball back, chips the ‘keeper.
    One of my all time faves.

  37. CLiNT – That’s possibly my favourite goal maybe of all time, other than perhaps Le Tissier’s against us.

    TROJAN – we tailed off didn’t we? Confidence started going and then the play-offs…

    Let’s not mention them 8O

  38. my favourite game was that one against manure,we had to win or we,d get sucked into the relegation zone.
    i think glenn roeder and paul goddard scored the goals with jesper olsen replying for them,there was 42,ooo in the stadium with about 6,ooo locked out.

  39. bbm – “Who ate all the pies” is the funniest football autobiography that I have ever read. The piece about signing for the Toon is priceless and a must read.

  40. bowburn,
    it raises hairs every time i see it, still.
    Saying that though, i’ll let you into a little secret mate, whenever i feel sick as a pig, i watch a Pedro youtube comp or such like & i always feel tons better.
    The guy was/is a magician & more importantly-wors!

    Hey! the Le tissier goals are special like too, tbf.

  41. One of the worst nights in my life was in 1990 when the Mackems beat us 2-0 at SJP………..

  42. aye bowburn,were you at the boro game last day of the season or were you at st james,for that crappy screen?
    it was a sunny day,and you couldn,t see the screen the technology was crap at the time.
    everyone just invaded the pitch and sat on the grass to watch it.

  43. my fav game was against leicster 3 1 down with aboot 20 mins too go then sir alan himself scored a hatrick 4 3 too us

  44. TROJAN 69 – haha aye I was up in the East Stand and they wouldn’t let us down onto the pitch.

    Hey that was fcking shite wasn’t it? :)

  45. TonyGreenSupreme – I’ve actually enjoyed it, but being quite candid, it’s made me see him in a different light.

    Being a kid I guess I was naive to the stuff they got up to back in the day. Now I’ve been given reason to give it thought, I don’t like the idea that we was basically a tw*t to his missus and was a sh*t dad by all accounts.

    Maybe I’m getting older but I’ve always had principles. Part of me laughed at some of the sh*t they did, the other half thought what an ar*sehole in other bits.

    Aye probably just me getting old and sensitive… 8O

  46. Favourite Match – Nufc 3 Barca 2 (Tino hatrick)
    Favourite moment to cherish – Rob Lee’s headed goal at Wembley v Chelsea in 2000, that few moments was something to savour and the atmosphere at Wembley will linger for ever, having been there on numerous occasions and witnessed tripe.

  47. BBW, you missed out Len White he was brilliant and should have been capped for England. I agree with the mass of people about leaving the number nine shirt in abeyance. Correct me if I am wrong but in the days of Milburn and quite a few years after that, no one player had the 9 shirt as a squad number. Every team was numbered 1 to 11 and whoever was selected to play centre foward got the 9 shirt.

  48. TGS – aye that Rob Lee goal was enjoyable eh?

    We were just to the right of the halfway line and we mental didn’t we? Ant and Dec were pelting up and down the aisles next to us…

  49. Big Willy says:
    January 12, 2010 at 10:56 pm
    BBW, you missed out Len White he was brilliant and should have been capped for England. I agree with the mass of people about leaving the number nine shirt in abeyance. Correct me if I am wrong but in the days of Milburn and quite a few years after that, no one player had the 9 shirt as a squad number. Every team was numbered 1 to 11 and whoever was selected to play centre foward got the 9 shirt.
    << With the exception of Bloody Graham Oats, anyone remember him. LOL

  50. TGS – I meant to say, it’s probably easier now because I’ve been amongst it and seen it and sort of think, most of the lasses can see what they’re getting into.

    Whereas the way he talked about his original missus, she was a nice lass and yet he treated her like dirt. Probably not making much sense.

    Spent a bit of time having beers etc with some of the Newcastle lads, just through footy connections and some of them really do act like ar*eholes. There are more bad than good. Not enough respect for others, particularly lasses.

    Feck me, I do sound old… 8O

  51. the first leg of the derby play off,quinny was smashed out of his head in the toon at three in the morning,the kick off was at twelve.

  52. Michael O’Neil should have gone on to much better things.
    I used to quite like him and Darren Jackson with Sarge Goddard in attack and supplemented with Gazza.

  53. remember gazza,s chipping of the keeper against swindon in the 5-0 fa cup game,that,s when lou macari got done for betting against his own side.

  54. TROJAN 69 – The Barsteward, I never knew that. I was at the 1st leg as I blagged a ticket in the Fulwell end and stood silently pissing myself when Hardyman I think it was missed a penalty. I was convinced that we would go on to win at SJP, but hey ho………

  55. anyone remember kevin drinkell,s goal for norwich against newcastle,it was about fourty five yards out.

  56. Re post 77 – Meant to say pissing myself with laughter.
    (I certainly did not have bladder problems)lol

  57. aye paul hardyman kicked budgie in the heed,believe it or not i was in the clock stand,me uncle got us tickets,never been crapping myself as much as i was that day.

  58. BBM – Yes Budgie saved the penalty and then got kicked in the nappa by Hardyman who was sent off. Kevin Dillon and Roy Aitken kicked lumps oot the Mackems that day. Unfortunately drunken quinny couldn’t score.

  59. Isn’t it interesting that the club considered retiring the no. 9 shirt after Shearer & as of now, they may as well have.

  60. i’m from the younger generation of toon fans seemingly, but my favourite game to have been at had to be 8-0 over Sheff Wed with wor Al scoring 5. Either that or Everton where Shearer scored what for me, is his best goal ever. That volley was unbelievable like.

  61. You could be right about that Shearer goal v everton Ross.
    The one v villa wasn’t bad either.

  62. rambo reilly, billy whitehurst,billy askew,frankie pingle what a corker he was,wayne ferreday what!,benny kristiansen.

  63. Aye, Everton volley was very special.

    Or that one we he guided in on the volley against Villa.
    Might have even been past Schmeichel?

  64. Best away games:
    1984 Maine Rd – MUFC 1 NUFC 2, Pedro & Keegan. Got chased all over Moss Side by the local inbreeds after the match.

    1988 Old Trafford Semi Final v Sheff Utd, super Shearer

    1999 Old Trafford Semi Final v Spuds, super Shearer and Griffin kicked lumps out of Wor Daveed (Ginola)

  65. Kristensen was one of my favourite players as a kid.

    Partly because I was a sweeper and partly because I got his old gear up at the school of excellence.

  66. BBM- Agreed Benny was a decent centre back/midfielder. Signed by the Bald Eagle with Pingle who was crap.

  67. Aye it was past schmeichel bowburn,
    Shearer knew he’d scored a blinder too, the way he just stood, arms aloft, sucking up the atmosphere.

  68. Robert’s ‘ninja goal(Palace?)& 2 rocket launchers v spuds.
    Solano v everton & dribble up the pitch v 1860 or troyes.

  69. One of my favourite toon goals was ginola in the uefa, think it was against fenevarcos, chest, thigh, top corner.

  70. I was in the pub with a couple of glory supporting manure fans and they put the 5-0 match on, still sends shivers, at 2-0 they switched it off and put the x-factor on! i’m barred now.

  71. Robert scored some great goals, free kick against southampton and his double against the spuds.

  72. Nobody remembers Len White, bloody hell, what a load of retards, try checking your Newcastle history. I’m lost for words.

  73. bowburnmag says:
    January 12, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    “Partly because I was a sweeper and partly because I got his old gear up at the school of excellence.”

    The ‘Bowburn Beckenbauer’. :-)

  74. I really cant believe no-one has mentioned Albert’s chip to make it 5-0! That was a corker! Ginola’s in that game wasn’t bad either like!

    Speaking of which, can anyone remeber the last time we scored a long range goal? Personally i cant! The last one the comes from the top of my head is Martins against Spurs away!

  75. Strikers for next season in the premiership:

    Big guy (starter): 9. Carlton Cole/Hugo Rodellega
    Big guy (backup): Andy Carroll

    Quick/umpredictable goalscorer (starter): 10. Any ideas??
    Quick/umpredictable goalscorer (backup): Jermaine Beckford

    5th striker to ease in: Nile Ranger

    Sell: Ameobi, Lovenkrands

  76. What about Richardson’s free kick for the mackems at SOL last season , more or less sent the mags down !

  77. big willy at 103; apart from AS,i thought lenny white was the best R/W C/F the toon has had still curse dave mac for that sicking tackle,on poor len

  78. Big Willy – Len White was by all accounts a great centre-forward but before my time so I’d just be waxing lyrical about stats and not performances.

    I mentioned Gallacher, Milburn, MacDonald, Cole and Shearer as they were stand-out No.9 icons for different generations.

  79. Alreet guys!! I think we are stuck to be honest, id like to see a bit of investment like everyone else but the reality is A) who can we afford that will be able to do the business in the premier league and B) that would be willing to come to the championship for 6 months until we get promoted. Its a rock and a hard place…Im just hoping we find a diamond in the rough!!!

  80. BBM, he was a stand out icon for his generation, I still think the Eastham, White, Allchurch combo was the best of their type ever for the Toon. Still it’s all subjective I suppose, just hate to see some of real old heroes forgotten.
    I wonder how many still remember Dick Keith and Alf McMichael or Jimmy Scoulor, Bobby Simpson or many of the other greats of yesteryear. I suppose in fifty years time people will be saying “Alan who”?

  81. Big Willy,
    i’m guessing we’re too young to remember Len White.
    I’m aware of his exploits in a B&W shirt, but don’t ‘remember’ him, as such.

  82. BIG WILLY;you bring back memorys,had little GH on R/W,those days we took C/Fs for granted (always had good one)it was a left winger we used to scream for and we try loads AS JF ect,by the way willy do you know where lenny is now?

  83. Icedog, yeah little Gordon or Charlie Drake as we used to call him for obvious reasons. He only really used to look good playing with The E,W,A trio. But on his day he was too good for any left back of the era.
    I don’t know what happened to Len but I vaguely recall him passing on after a serious ilness, could be wrong though.

  84. I can’t remember who Wyn played for before us (Bolton?) but I do remember him getting a reet mauling by John Mcgrath when he did.

  85. thanks for that i hope not(lenny),i know A/scanlon has gone a little while ago,(comes to us all) isurpose

  86. He played for rotherham 1st up willy.
    Died in ’94 in huddersfield, another club he played for, also played for stockport.

  87. BW – Well aye, and I suppose I might have ended up with a big list.

    My excuse is that Milburn overshadowed him for most people.

    You forgot the ultimate entertainer Bobby Mitchell on the left wing, as good if not better than Ginola or Robert.
    Could do it all, take on defenders , provide the perfect cross, score, you name it.
    Played a few times for Scotland as did Jimmy Scoular and Ronny Simpson, also on that side.
    As for Len White , had a better scoring record than Wor Jackie.
    And yes we were fortunate to have watched those entertaining sides of the late forties into the sixties.
    Many things have changed in the game since then, some for the better, but there`s a lot of negative aspects to to-days game, shirt pulling ,diving, holding, things rhat would not have been tolerated in the day.
    Yeah I know makes me sound like a geezer, so what !

  89. Aye,
    but they used to be able to barge the ‘keeper over the line & it would count as a goal back in the day.
    & i bet ‘heavy’ tackles were a lot more tolerated.

  90. Favourite goal – has to be the 30-odd yard chip by Philippe Albert in the 5-0. The look on Schmeichel’s face was a picture.

  91. CHUCK;dont think anyone could forget B MICH m8,just seemed to have a lot of good players then,but yes things have changed,thing that sticks in my mind,was the BALL,god when i played them days,in heavy rain etc,felt like 3stones if you had to head it in the value area,made your eyes water,new balls coming in we would not touch used to call them penny floaters

  92. Back to No.9`s, Shola is something of an enigma, his problem is a lack of consistency, otherwise he could be a hell of a player.
    Think you are being overly generous BBM in your ratings, not only generous but you give Harewood with 5 goals I believe a lower rating than a Ranger who has i believe 1 goal and hardly any starts,?
    Not that i think Harewood is all that, mostly a tank, with not that great a technique, but hey, he did get 5.
    The rest as strikers hardly rate a 5, never mind sevens and eights.
    Your just a generous hearted guy BBM.
    I would be willing to get rid of everyone but Shola and Ranger.
    Bring in Moses from Palace and Best from coventry for no more than 7m for the pair, an investment for the future, striker problem solved.
    Who am I kidding, this lot want people for nowt !

    Sure Nat Lofthouse probably got 30% of his goals from bundling the goalie into the net and another 30% with his head.
    And no contrary to what people think, I believe the game then was cleaner, with a different ethic.
    Sure it was a physical game, which is different from a dirty game.
    To days game unfortunately has adapted many of the negative aspects of play, brought by players from various leagues throughout the world.
    Anyone doubting this should watch the “55 FA Cup Final”, between NUFC & Man. C. which is available on DVD.

  94. Remember that guy we had who certain fans described as “He runs around in circles”.
    He now has 5 goals in 18 games and has set up others for scores.
    Dont understand it !

  95. How many corners did i run away from, with a leather ball soaked by rain and covered by mud, weighing half a ton.
    Could do ones self a serious injury getting it on your head.

  96. Since we’re talking about semi-forgotten Toon forwards, especially big, bustling number nines, I’m surprised that no one has mentioned Vic Keeble so far…