Newcastle United – Five key matches to promotion.

Posted on April 9th, 2010 | 51 Comments |

Has won some vital and unexected points this season.
Has won some vital and unexpected points this season.
At the start of the season I found myself wondering what would happen this season. I certainly never really expected such an emphatic rise back to the Premier League. This new found team spirit wasn’t yet formed, our owner still wanted to sell the club, the transfer window was still open so there was always one eye on the exit door as we awaited the departure of the next player, we weren’t even sure of who our manager would be as Chris Hughton was only harbouring the caretaker tag way back then.

I say way back then, but in reality it was only nine months ago. It is remarkable how the feeling around the club has changed so dramatically in such a short space of time. Promotion secured in record time, a team that want to play for the shirt and with eath other, a desire to not give up are all things that have come to the fore this season. We know next season will be tougher at times and we know we need to strenghten the squad in the quest to secure Premier League survival. The fact we can plan ahead already is a bonus and should allow us to steal a march on the teams that are yet to be promoted or teams above that are unsure which league they will be playing in next season.

Despite that, we must not forget just how hard it has been to secure promotion. You only have to look at pre-season media predictions to see that most people had us down to struggle, our overpaid stars wouldn’t be able to cut in a much more physical league etc etc. Of course, they equipped themselves rather well much to the annoyance of the doubters. Along the way we have picked up some impressive results, and battled away to some undeserved ones. Here I pick my five defining matches of the 2009/2010 promotion campaign.

Newcastle United 3-0 Reading.

Not so much the match itself, or the result, but one passge of play that puts this into the top 5 for me. Kevin Nolan ran half the width of the pitch to chase down a loose ball that was heading out of play, he passed it to Joey Barton who quickly moved the ball to Ryan Taylor who sent an inch perfect cross onto Shola Ameobi’s head for 2-0.

With play like that, and desire to boot, I thought then that we may have been ok this season after all, even at that early stage.

Newcastle United 2-1 Doncaster Rovers.

On the back of two home draws to QPR and Bristol City and two away defeats to Nottingham Forest and Scunthorpe, a win was very much needed to get our season back on track.

Doncaster took the lead and could have put the game to bed had they managed to convert a penalty that was fortunately missed. Zhurab Khizanishvilli was then sent off for the hosts but it wasn’t to deny them 3 points as Kevin Nolan scored the winner in injury time to take the points for the ten men of Newcastle.

Newcastle United 5-1 Cardiff City.

The first time we saw a real return on our January investment in what was billed as a tough match. It didn’t turn out that way as the hosts ran riot and were 3-0 up in 15 minutes thanks to goals from Andy Carroll (2) and an own goal. Peter Lovenkrands added two more in the 2nd half before Cardiff grabbed a consolation just before full-time. It finished 5-1 but really could have been more.

Swansea City 1-1 Newcastle United.

The game that defined our promotion for me. Largely outfought and outplayed on the day, Newcastle were not to be denied a share of the points as Andy Carroll equalised in the 87th minute to cancel out Swansea’s deserved opener.

A battling performance that had become a signature of ours this season, winning points when we didn’t deserve them and doubly important given the fact that we went into the game reeling from a midweek 3-0 loss at Derby.

Newcastle United 2-0 Nottingham Forest.

The game that pretty much sealed promotion. Goals from Shola Ameobi and Jose Enrique sealed a win that effectively secure automatic promotion for us and forced Nottingham Forest to settle for a play-off spot.

So there you go, my 5 games that defined the season. Feel free to agree or disagree, discuss or add your own suggestions. Of course the season is not over yet and we could yet have a late entry into the top five. Perhaps it could even be the league winning match?

I hope so, I want a trophy!

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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51 Responses

  1. Cardiff at home was a key game – We gave them a good thrashing and I think it gave the players the confidence to play with a bit of freedon at home.

    It must of done as we went on to score a hat full of goals in our next few home games.

  2. Ye, we went through a spell when we won 5-1, 6-1, 4-0, 3-0 etc…

    Its results like that that make me believe despite having an arguably lesser squad than last year. The galvanised spirit and stable dressing room means we are a better team.

    So yes, we are in an easier league, but not many of the current Premiership teams would have completely put those teams to the sword like we did. Most of the time, even in the Cups, its proven that despite the gulf in class, they still have to grind out results.

    We won many many games comfortably and we won many games even when we played badly. That can only be a good sign.

    Its crucial we keep up the good vibe, as it makes a huge difference to te players on the pitch, when we don’t get on their back after a poor run… Thats our responsibility as supporters next season. To stand by our players/ and manager no matter what!!!

    No Ashley banners, no Hughton out! after three defeats, no booing when a players makes an error… Just pure support and encouragement! Please!

  3. lesh – From what I can gather it is a development that may yet happen.

    I trust the bloke who mentioned it.

  4. Cardiff was when I really belived that we would be promoted as Loven and Carroll decided to step it up about then…

  5. toonsy – eh! I aint heard about this, why won’t carroll ever play, whats the rumour?

  6. press are always report toon will spend 15mil or 20mil 25mil etc depends what rag floats your boat,toon have said nowt realy,but it must be better than the likes b/ham owners saying we have 40mil to spend,guess who will get screwed

  7. Amid all the euphoria about promotion I’d like to mention two names – Ameobi and Taylor. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve slated Shola but I detect that something’s turned in the lad’s mind. Those quick turns and early low shots he’s getting in remind me a lot of young Andy Cole. Has the penny dropped just like it did for Bellamy in his final days at SJP?
    Steven Taylor was an absolute rock before his injury and this followed an excellent run of form during our last days in the Prem. I’ve read all the bollocks re the Caroll thumping but we really should keep hold of the kid. He’ll be miles ahead of both Williamson and Colo in the Prem.

  8. Feck me, Carlsberg dont create jobs, but if they did they would probably be the best jobs in the world! :lol:

  9. Well toonsy, if whatever may be yet to happen does happen, then we can only assume the protential perpetrators aren’t black and white supporters.

    The things folk’ll do to spoil a great season!

  10. lesh – I don’t think it’s about that, somethings go a bit deeper than allowing someone to do something just because they plays for Newcastle United.

  11. Hey solidarity with the Carlsberg workers, can you send me a job application form please !

  12. Appreciate the worldly wisdom toonsy – my comment was nothing more than a throwaway!

    Jonno and again Toonsy, I like the bit where Carlsberg’s rule was that they hadn’t to get pissed!!

    Reminds me of the S&N draymen who’d have a bottle for breakfast before the dray left the yard and a slug at each drop-off (for quality assurance purposes you understand) with ‘lunch’ in the middle. Watching the dray wending its way back to Gallowgate, you’d be able to spot when they’d had a busy day!!

    Those guys still managed to drive, unload, load and get the job done and after a hard day at the office, they’d still go out for a drink at night!

    What a life!

  13. Carroll rumor? Legal difficulties keeping him off the pitch indefinitely?

  14. Nothing besides what’s been written on this blog. The club’s silence has made me a bit worried, usually there would be some kind of statement unless there are serious legal issues still to be sorted out.

  15. We need a few more rumours going around regarding Carroll – There hasn’t been anywhere near enough!

    Louise Taylor will be incandescent with rage!

  16. None of us want more speculation about the Carroll/Taylor – he’s lookin to bone my bird fight, but I would really like some sort of conclusion to the matter.

    Without Andy serving serious prison time if possible.

  17. Maybe its something to do with the up coming court case. Remember with Barton that he wasn’t allowed back to the city of his crime, can’t remember whether he was allowed to play against Liverpool & Everton away as part of his bail conditions. Maybe Carrol has to leave the Toon if found guilty but not given a custodial sentence.
    Although i’m probably wrong mind

  18. Louise Taylor
    Hmmm ! seems to have infuriated “The big Kahoona”to no end.
    Bit of an enigma really, the fact she works for the only readable English paper left, no pun intended.
    However the Guardian`s football site is a joke, with a totally biased and close to moronic writing staff, probably the dumping ground for those they dont know what to do with, but have some kinda hook.
    Do it WORKEY give it too her !

  19. toonsy – spill the beans, you can’t say you heard it from a reliable source and not tell us what it is!

  20. The most likely reason the parties involved have been silent on the issue is so it doesn’t end up impacting Mr. Carrol’s pending case. I imagine the club would have agreed to pay any medical bills for S Taylor and such.

    No news is probably good news at this point. Sorry to ask about the rumour, but comments 2 and 4 sure got me wetting me pants right quick.

  21. Chuck….. The Guardian`s mid-week Sports section’s been ok of late (LT excepted of course)- it’s been giving some print to some non Prem football. There have been letters reminding them that there is a world beyond the so-called big four and Pompey!

    However, the weekend is usually 100% big four and that includes its sister, the Observer.

    It appears the Prem is such a deirable ‘product’ and it appears to have the mass media in its pocket (or it’s lining the pockets of the ,mass media)

  22. Stevep @30….. found what?

    Or are you adopting the Stardust behaviours by attention seeking?

    Worky, can we have an analysis please…… no fees assumed?

  23. Lesh
    No, I`m refering to the on line site, bunch of kna nowt but opinionated jerks.
    Got no problem with the paper, well maybe sometime`s

  24. Lesh
    As for “The Observer”, I remember when it was readable, it`s all about ownership, same with football clubs.

  25. I hope to god we keep Hughton and have patience with him.

    He deserves all of this at the minute with the incredible loyalty he has shown this club (and an outsider) when others would have walked.

    He refuses point blank to play the media game. Thats not his style and fair play to him. A refreshing change to dinausours like Kinnear, Hughton mearly keeps his mouth shut and gets on with his own business. I think he has the credentials and slyness to be a top manager but obviously he needs the funds to give him a fighting chance in this day and age.

  26. Aaaaall the way back to JJ @ 3: Spot on, fella.

    And yes, I think everyone – even the worst of the Shola-bashers – have to admit the kid has done good this term. Statistically even better than Carroll and Lover. I know he’s been crocked a lot (again) but how about coming off the bench after weeks on the treatment table and scoring?


    In terms of goals per minute played, wor Strolla’s got it nailed. It’d be great to see him keep that form into the Prem.

  27. More on Strolla: I’ve never seen a player so able to make every calculated, skilful strike look like a total fluke! If you take any of his goals in isolation, it’s a fluke. If you look at them all together, you have a bloke who looks like a horse falling downstairs… and manages to score nearly a fluke per game doing it.

    Love ‘im.

  28. I’m coming home Newcastle!!!!

    Well Bowburn actually but close enough…

    In Toon tomorrow though kiddas and we’ll be one step closer to the title at 5pm (hopefully).

  29. Staying where I was has fecking toughened me up more like…

    Although there is more padding round the midrift with the amount of Chinese buffets I’ve had at lunchtimes and the pub dinner and 4 or 5 pints on a night probably didn’t help…

  30. toonsy – forgot to say, some good matches but I’d drop Reading a replace it with Leyton Orient.

  31. Yeah thought about that bowburn, in fact I read someone say much the same thing. That without that drubbing we may not have had the chance to clear ranks of players who didnt want to be here.

  32. Just started reading the post, and I remember Nolan chasing down that ball that looked a certainty to go out of play.

    I think the fact that someone in our team bothered to chase it was a suprise to Reading and led to the goal.

    And everyone was so happy that Shola got a hat-trick.

    A good game.

  33. To Whumpie @ 43 LMAO at Shola looking like a horse that had fallen downstairs! Great description. I definitely am of the opinion that despite Shola scoring goals he still looks as though he scuffs shots with mistimed balls and if it does happen to end up in the goal that it is more by good luck! But hugely happy he has had a ‘lucky’ season.

  34. Jill @50.

    Couldn’t care less what Shola or his goals look like as long as he carries on doing what he does even is appearing to play the part of a pantomime horse.

    His goals have been important to us so let’s give the lad the credit he deserves – great stuff Shola.