A Merry Christmas beckons for Newcastle United?

Posted on December 14th, 2020 | 20 Comments |

St James' Park at Christmas
A Merry Christmas beckons for Newcastle United?
With two victories against Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion already under their belts, the Christmas fixtures could be a very good period for Newcastle United if they can keep up the momentum in the run up to Christmas. All of their next three opponents, Leeds, Fulham and finally, Championship side, Brentford, in the League Cup Quarter Final are all below them in the league. Can Steve Bruce take the bull by the horns, silence the doubters and make the most of this opportunity?

Looking back at the last two games, One of the most salient features has been the improvement of Joelinton, who was instrumental in both victories with a goal, two assists and more besides. His performance in the victory over Crystal Palace was one of the best by any Toon player this season, and according to whoscored.com, one of the best by any player this season. Hence it’s a very important time in his development, if he can keep it up his confidence can grow and who knows? maybe his career at Newcastle can take a whole new turn?

Leeds United vs Newcastle United – Weds, 16th Dec

The next game for Newcastle, against Leeds, could be an interesting proposition. Under manager, Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds play the kind of football that many Toon fans berate Steve Bruce for not playing. It’s exciting and dynamic, like this, but as yet results have been erratic, which is why Leeds currently find themselves two places below Newcastle United in the table in 14th, with the Geordies having a game in hand. It will be a clash of opposing styles, Leeds’ unstoppable force against Newcastle’s immovable object. If Leeds are at their best, they will probably be our toughest opponents.

Newcastle United vs Fulham – Sat 19th Dec

Managed by former Toon player, Scott Parker, Fulham, like West Brom, are another team promoted last season who are finding the going tough. As a player, Parker always seemed the kind of sensible chap who might do well as a coach, and he probably will but right now he is still very inexperienced, having only managed 76 games in his career so far, and only 21 of those in the Premier League, where his record is P20, W5, D1, L17. Having written that, another relatively inexperienced manager of similar vintage, Frank Lampard, seems to be doing alright with Fulham’s ‘noisy neighbours’ at Chelsea.

One Fulham player of particular interest to Geordie fans would be former Toon striker, Aleksandar Mitrovic, who was sold to the Cottagers in July 2018 for over £20 million. It might be comforting to know that Newcastle didn’t lose the Serbian Alan Shearer after all. Whilst he is highly effective at Championship level, so far, the Premier League has been far more of a struggle for him. His record for this season has been 2 goals in 10 games, with an overall return of 3 goals in 12 appearences.

Brentford (League Cup QF) – Tues 22nd Dec

Which brings us to the final game, a League Cup Quarter final against Championship side, Brentford. The big question for this game will be how strong a side dare Bruce select? Would he dare to risk Callum Wilson? St Maximin etc? That might depend on the result of the previous two games. Two more wins would see Newcastle United with 23 points after only 13 games. On the other hand, Newcastle will have a tough period over the New Year period, when they face Manchester City, Liverpool and Leicester. But why shouldn’t a team like Newcastle United win a trophy when teams like Swansea and Wigan have in the modern era? With over fifty years since the last trophy, last even a League Cup could transform the spirit of Newcastle United after over 50 years of Cup misery. It would give a psychological lift to the whole club, and most of all, the fans.

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1093 articles on this blog.

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20 Responses

  1. These games are doing my head in. I missed the game live with Leeds because I thought it was on this evening.

    Chuck, I suppose you’ll be happy that Newcastle United lost, because of your sweetheart, Marcelo Bielsa? I suppose you think it’s a victory for the beautiful game or whatever?

  2. Worky
    No I expected Leeds to win being the difference between the two clubs is
    obvious, one playing like a BSA coached side the other playing an attacking approach, meaning Leeds can rely on The Toon to barely cross the half way line, even if they wanted too, no it’s not just against the top sides that they play this game it’s a policy of quite a few lower ranking sides unfortunately.
    Something that has been ignored and eliminated from the Leeds game, who although not exactly taking over the league are leaving a number of clubs scratching their heads and who may be the club who are about to force their way up the league, almost beating Man City recently.
    So far not one pundit I know of has described exactly their style of play other than the fact they don’t play a defensive role , a pleasant surprise being their fans are assured of an interesting game.
    While brother Brucie sticks to a form of
    eighties football played in Italy score an early goal and lock the door, or park the bus as it has been renamed, another form of boring football, trouble is playing defensively for 90 minutes is
    boring to the fans, who want to see something imaginative and exiting, hardly worth the entrance price right now and when the crowds return, I’m sure they will let Bruce know all about it .

  3. Yes, Chuck, Leeds can be a pretty picture at times, but we’re still ahead of them in the League, and the goals were going to both sides until 70-80 minutes. We could have had a debatable penalty too which might have made it 3-3.

    As for this evening, It was a game of two halves, with Fulham dominating the first and Newcastle the second, though not to much effect on either side if it hadn’t been for a strange own goal and a penalty. None of it makes any difference to you though, you just keep chuntering regardless. No Chuck not ‘Catenaccio’ again, we’ve already been through that several times. Not all boring, defensive football is ‘Catenaccio.’

  4. Worky

    Look we are all wrong at times, but the idea is to admit it instead of continuing to magnify the fact you are wrong, NUFC are definitely going to struggle
    once again this year, with a manager
    no better than his predecessor’s, but who fits into Ashleys plans being both cheap and gives him no problems, other than the fact he is not a quality
    manager, however the fans may have more patience with, being he’s a local boy.
    Well I got news for you he will never be a good manager as Ashley has already given the word that “HE” is in charge
    Look Ashley only wants to take his annual cut from bums in seats, however he is aware of the fact he cannot sell a continuously loosing side playing awful football, people will just refuse to show up, that’s if they ever allow spectators back into the stadiums.
    We need both a decent manager and there are enough young managers around who could certainly do better than Bruce, followed by a a mass selling of the present mediocrities we have, yes folks why hide the fact,
    for instance how come we can’t even beat a side like Fulham?
    Hey amuse yourself, but that doesn’t mean nufc are about to go anywhere except the bottom part of the league and if they continue as being directed by Bruce, may end up being relegated.
    Look I recall when you boasted that Williamson our worst ever defender who playing regularly under that outstanding manager whom Ashley gave an unprecedented eight year contract before even “he” decided on an offer from Palace who soon fierd him, talking about Paerdew here.
    Shortly following we finally got rid of Williamson, though I recall you defending him claiming he was a decent player during his stay.
    Look all the Newcastle fans want is a side that is competitive and play at least an interesting style not being coached by someone whom I believe could be the last of the British retreads.
    Though didn’t BSA just get an offer from a PL side, I find that unbelievable
    but I also find your statement we may be about to push our way up the league to be nothing but wishful thinking.


  5. Well, Chuck, your sweetheart really took one hell of a beating against Manchester United. He couldn’t change his tactics, and we are well ahead of Leeds in the table, considering we have a game in hand. I was disappointed with that first half against Fulham, they were just so laid back and let Fulham, a team they should have been havibg a go at, have the ball most most of the time. It was total role reversal in the second half though, Newcastle dominated but the only goals were a daft own goal and a penalty.

  6. Worky
    Football is supposed to be entertainment not a case of watching some of the most boring games available.
    And it appears those clubs (apparently , Leeds excepted) are now playing this defensive game, that is the bottom ten sides in the PL, claiming it’s the only way they can survive in the EPL
    Yes some of the more recent additions to the PL, have shown us they can compete in the top league , however there are sides like Nufc who simply bore you to death, I mean what do they do in practice play only defensive football’
    I’m really surprised that the fans put up with it and lets see what happens when they are allowed into the stadiums, where I’m sure they will vent @the boring display that is being served up .
    The side is as usual, not in the least competitive, in fact they are an embarrassment, which makes me wonder why any fans have attended games at all.
    Face it cousin Bruce was hired because he came cheap and one still gets what they pay for, plus I suppose being a local didn’t hurt.
    The blame for this can only be placed on our owner who runs everything, from buying players then taking his annual cut from the club, but is now in a bind with his real business, he needs cash to buy more big box stores and he could almost taste the offer made by the Saudis, which will never be replicated, therefor has opened an investigation as to why. which could be an further embarrassment and was not meant for general distribution.
    Unless the club is bought by an owner with ambition and a bit of money, we are destined to become like both Sunderland and Boro.
    in which case no one will care.
    In spite of having a three goal Brazilian striker who the club payed over forty million quid for and should be sold as soon as possible, can you imagine paying that amount for a guy who score three goals in a season and a half and is still pencilled in on the sheet every game, face it folks there’s been no improvement at this club since Ashley took over, in fact the club has been relegated twice
    under his stewardship and will likely be relegated again before we get rid of him.
    And forget about winning anything, unless we end up being owned by a megabucks owner, hey! what about the Saudis ?

  7. Chuck, I get frustrated sometimes too, eg why does Andy Carroll still get shoved out there in the final part of games as if he’s still some kind of goal threat? Why did Bruce experiment with formations he never uses in the PL in the League Cup? It’s true that we got to the Quarter Finals but we had great luck in the draws and still struggled against teams like Newport County as Bruce tinkered around with his (unfamiliar) 4-3-3s and 4-2-3-1s. Most of all, why doesn’t he play Dwight Gayle more? You have to be balanced though. You just decide you don’t like someone and never have a good word to say about them, or the opposite, you cannonise them into infallible Saints who can do no wrong, like St Bielsa. You need to grow up, Chuckles, FFS you’ve had enough time to do that now!

  8. Soh ! we got beat by Brentford and Fulham and we are slowly but surely going down the table, facing some of the top sides over this winter schedule and will probably go down if we can’t beat sides like Fulham.
    While our manager claims the side are tired and other excuses, we know whats wrong, lousy and injury prone players some permanently like Dummit, who should have been replaced long ago.
    That and the fact they like their manager are a waste of money, a forty + quid striker that couldn’t hit a barn door at five paces.
    While this blog is advocating we are doing well and about to climb up the table, just what are they thinking and have they actually seen any of the clubs recent games, or does the club have to be among the bottom four or five before attention to relegation kicks in.
    Truth is we have a lousy cheap side, with a manager that makes BSA look like an outstanding performer while I can’t see the fans having any respect for him either and can’t begin to figure out why
    they attend such boring games, surely there are better attractions than going to watch some of the most boring football anyone has seen at St. James’ in years.
    Now is the time to exert a bit of pressure (a Boycott) on our owner by forcing him to buy some talent, only this time no three goal center forwards,
    a season, as I would like to know who the hell is responsible for some of our lousy signings, who don’t come close to Carrs picks, with some of them still playing for top sides.
    Not a bad idea actually buying top players and selling them on, as it was the only time we could play against top sides, without automat-
    icily expecting to lose, but Ashley needed his cut and sold them all.
    The club that once had at least respect, is now a laughing stock in the division and unless there are major changes will as I believe end up like both Sunderland and Boro.

  9. No, Chuck, we weren’t beaten by Fulham. You’re so determined to have a go at poor Steve Bruce that you’re just making stuff up now. I didn’t say that we’re doing ‘well’ neither, just average, considering.., You just make everything sound like the days of McClaren and Carver and we’re in the bottom 3. We’re still 13th with a game in hand, that’s the same as Benitez.

    I was going to say I hope you had a Merry Christmas, but of course, you wouldn’t know what the word ‘merry’ means you old Scrooge!

  10. Chuck, re your comments on Brexit (which for some reason you posted below another blog on here), you are the kind of person George Orwell might describe as a negative, transferred Nationalist. As the great man pointed out, Nationalism isn’t always chauvinism about ones own nation, it could be for other nations, eg a British Communist in Orwell’s day who thought that the Soviet Union could do no wrong. It can even be for an idea, eg pacifism. It can also be positive, negative or transferred – The ‘Communist’ example being transferred Nationalism.

    For whatever reason, you have an obsessive hatred of England, you have provided ample evidence for that throughout the life of this blog, and you are willing to take up the cudgels for any nation or group who happen to be having a go at the old country, whether it is Ireland and the EU over Brexit, the Saudi butchers in their dispute with the English Premier League or whatever. One side is always completely, 100% in the right and the other is always 100% in the wrong. Also, actions that you would praise if one side did them, you would attack if the others did. It is impossible to debate seriously with a Nationalist.

  11. worky
    what brought that about ?
    Are you really so enraged you have to resort to insult in reply to the fact I stated NUFC are a poor side, that have a useless manager, being it just happens to be what the majority of fans think, along with the other well known fact that as long as Ashley runs things this club will never be a contender for anything more than a relegation spot.
    As for reminding you of your history of three hundred years in the slave trade, the so called famines of both India and Ireland, resulting in millions of deaths .
    the introduction of concentration camps and the fact that it was only recently that the final payments to former slaveowners was paid by the British government, no not the deserved descendants of slaves, but too the descendants of those slave owners for losing their services,
    It appears only you and Nial Ferguson “the present apologist for the Empire” are the only ones, being the facts are available if anyone doubts it.
    It’s just not revealed in the whitewashed history of the empire offered by most school curriculums.
    Ah well if you wish to ignore such things and resent someone who does, that’s up to you.
    I still don’t get what was obviously an insult in describing me as a negative transferred Nationalist and please leave George Orwell out of the equation, being he’s a writer I happen to like.

    As for having a hatred of England, that’s unfair and face it Brexit was a long drawn out failure due to a poor judgement on the part of former PM
    Cameron who fully expected the electorate to vote “no” to leaving the EU, which was rejected by mainly older voters, those who remember the UK as a white country not the multi-racial one that now exists.
    Fact is the UK will find it more difficult
    and would have been better off to stay
    within the EU, most people understand that and would have found it almost impossible to operate under WTO Rules by not reaching a deal with the EU.
    Actually there’s little difference following the deal, though I would say the EU courts are more liberal and would possibly be preferred by most.
    All that really occurred was not a real separation, but most things will remain much the same as both parties wanted and could be called a draw were this a football game.

  12. Chuck, I was referring mostly to your comments on Brexit which you posted under another blog for some reason.

    So why don’t you bang on about the US’s more recent transgressions then? Pretty much every country in Europe has a beastly history, and the US certainly does, being built on stolen land and genocide (of both humans and beasts). People only have to read your posts to know that your hatred of England is rather obsessive. Why are you so gleeful about what you see as the imminent destruction of the UK? Think of me as one of those psychoanalists you have so many of over there, I want to get to the heart of your nationalist neurosis!

    I even remember one example where you posted a glowing account of the notoriously racist South African Boers, as usual because they went to war with your most hated enemy in the 1900s.

  13. ‘A nationalist is one who thinks solely, or mainly, in terms of competitive prestige. He may be a positive or a negative nationalist – that is, he may use his mental energy either in boosting or in denigrating – but at any rate his thoughts always turn on victories, defeats, triumphs and humiliations. He sees history, especially contemporary history, as the endless rise and decline of great power units, and every event that happens seems to him a demonstration that his own side is on the up-grade and some hated rival is on the down-grade. ‘


  14. Worky
    Calm down after all this is a blog that allows anyone to state what they believe, regardless of how others feel about it.
    You can deny it, or even get nasty about it (which you have) or simply ignore it.
    Anything I might have mentioned about Brexit is for the most part true, it being an embarrassment to the Torys who got things wrong and will come out of this as a poorer economy, but still linked to the EU.
    Of course staying as Cameron had expected wasn’t the result and caused enough embarrassment to the party with Theresa May giving an awful performance until Boris outed her. Fortunately a majority of the deal had been agreed upon by then and it was a wait and see who cracks first situation
    which was expected by any sane person.
    Of course both sides claimed they had
    gotten the best of their opponents, but we are really aware that both sides were hoping for such an outcome, being both needed each other .
    However as little damage as possible was done to the actual members, other than the UK who will take a loss economically but France will not suffer as they will be allowed to fish in the UK’s waters and The ROI who have the largest trade deal with the UK will not suffer economically and being the six counties of NI will become part and parcel of the EU being the EU has taken them (as part of their customs zone) for a number of years.
    Whatever one states about the deal, it’s the best that could be expected from the EU, who were aware that Brexit was the result of an accident
    and had to play the hand dealt to them.
    Yes it was all the result of PM Cameron’s belief that the British electorate would bring a result of the UK staying, dangerous things those referenda’s, however it’s a sad sight to watch the goings on within the Labour Party who even after seeing the screw- ups of both Theresa and Boris still easily defeated Labour in the general election.
    Doesn’t say much about that loser Corbin, now happily ensconced back among the back benchers and safely criticizing his own party and aggravating Jewish voters .
    Ah well such is life I suppose !


  15. Worky
    Actually I apply the same attitude to the US as the UK, whether in regard to history or politics, for instance there’s no way I believe in the old shibboleths of American exceptionalism or Manifest Destiny, or a constitution written by and for slave-owners, but at least their is a constitution, not some vague reference to the
    Magna- Carta, from medieval times.
    And I recall the fact that there was a system referred to as segregation, “Separate but Equal”, which was separate for many but in no way Equal, and lasted until 1964, of course in mainly states below the Mason Dixon line., much like South Africa, with separate drinking fountains and if a Afro- American needed food he had to find a segregated restaurant that served them, even though it may mean they had to go to the back door.
    Yes ! that was life in the USA, though throughout history there have been slaves though the significance of their color was ignored. As claiming”Racism”indicated any lack of humanity, which if one reads the original declaration and constitution, claims that African Americans owned by US citizens were in fact not considered 100% human, and why not as that’s how the country was built, due to the free labor of those very slaves, which until the British Empire ended slavery in the early 1800’s was readily available.
    Again this took place mainly below the Mason-Dixon Line but those former slaves had to live in a racist country being the armed forces
    which claimed to exclude racism didn’t segregate races but assigned people to jobs that were considered non fighting jobs , such as cooks etc.
    And of course there are other formerly English speaking countries that refused people of color from immigrating, mostly those in both
    Australia and New Zealand and of late the mother country the UK,
    As for your claim I liked the racist South Africans, not really I just preferred them to those from the UK, who took over the settlement on the cape which allowed themselves a partial freedom from British law who trekked north to get away from the now British owned Cape area.
    However if one examines that conflict, they will undoubtably find a number of white immigrants to South Africa (which was the latest
    get rich country, discovering diamonds and gold) who joined forces with the Boers against the Empire, which had reached it’s zenith @ the time.
    The rest is history, though I’m not sure if it gets taught, being few can tell you why the British Empire went to war against the Boers of South Africa .
    Ah well !

    Segregation, until 1964, when the civil rights amendment to the Constitution


  16. Worky
    At least Leeds play an interesting style of football and their tactics are far from the norm, but one is assured of enjoying the game fortunately.
    Unfortunately NUFC and the way they play is awful, a reflection of the managers one who is recognized by such people as Guardiola
    and Pochetinno, who claim they learned so much from Leeds manager Bielsa and our most recent( Local Boy )manager Bruce.
    Who has not impressed and is resented for the awful style of play.
    Who most recently has been rejected for playing mostly a ten men behind the ball football and along with other candidates for relegation believe is the only alternative when playing against the top ten sides.
    The problem with that is will the fans show up when allowed, being ten men behind the ball is both boring and a recipe for defeat, not exactly something the fans look forward too, I certainly wouldn’t
    attend any home game to watch it.
    Yeah Bruce’s recently voiced remit is to keep the Toon in the PL, obviously because the price of football clubs depends on the division they play in and now Ashley is desperate to sell, well I got news for him, it will not be easy, being we have a crap side with only the goalkeepers worth saving and unless he buys some decent players it’s back like WBA an elevator side to the second tier.
    As for Bruce, no way he should be a manager in the top league in Europe, but he’s a local (though not really backed by the fans) and came cheap like everyone else working for Ashley.
    This will only be taken care of by new ownership and obviously football clubs especially those with owners who care about how they both finish in the league and whether they play a pleasing style of football are not that rare, there’s still hope for NuFC, as opposed to playing the present defensive crap, which doesn’t
    do much apart from boring the fans, which could be the beginning of a slide downwards and end up like the Mackems and Boro
    Ah well !.

    problem is



  17. Yo Bro ! On Any given day there are tales of defeats of big name clubs, by those not considered good enough.
    And as a result the recent draw against Liverpool by nufc, a side patched together because of it’s stringent and admitted spending habits which guarantee it’s owner an annual profit from the bums in seats and a couple beers @half time crowd.
    Which brings to mind , well now we are all seated,( a sensible choice ) “how about doing away with segregation of fans” and have
    them served beer as they seat , distributed by vendors ,all of which is both available and will be willingly accepted, I have witnessed it over the last fifty years.
    Well actually to not appear one sided some of that time was during
    prohibition where the selling and distribution of alcohol was verboten !
    Where was I ? Oh yeah I loved to go to yankee stadium, especially when they still played afternoon games and Whitey Ford backed by Puerto Rico’s, Luis Arroyo if needed. (being in the day it was not un common for the starter to end a game),
    Yeah , I can visual it all, sitting in the bleachers, shirt off and enjoying it all.
    It was like beating the system. or sumt’n !

  18. Well, Chuck, you are certainly well ahead of me when it comes to your American version of ‘Rounders.’ I’ve heard of two chaps called ‘Babe’ Ruth and Joe DiMaggio, but I believe they plyed their trade quite some time ago. I also know that DiMaggio was married to Marilyn Monroe for a while, which is a bit better than Coleen Rooney!

    As you know, it’s mostly about TV now, it’s a far bigger factor than ‘bums on seats. Nowadays the fans are in there to provide a bit of ‘atmosphere’ for the TV cameras as much as anything.

    But what about the Capitol? It reminds me of the time I was arrested and thrown in a dungeon in the Houses of Parliament. That was fun. Are they going to have another go, not the same thing but some other kinds of disturbances? I saw something puporting to be a video of riots happening in Portland but it looked like it was staged for the video. Antifascists don’t paint ‘Antifa’ on themselves for a start.

    Wasn’t prohibition in the 20s? Al Capone and all that? Even you don’t go back that far!

  19. ‘Worky
    At least Leeds play an interesting style of football and their tactics are far from the norm, but one is assured of enjoying the game fortunately.
    Unfortunately NUFC and the way they play is awful, a reflection of the managers one who is recognized by such people as Guardiola’

    I would argue with any of that but he hasn’t won much outside of Argentina, just the Championship with Leeds and an Olympic gold medal with Argentina and he’s 65 now. I used to like the other Bielsa, Jorge Sampaoli, who also managed Chile and Argentina. I wanted him to be a Newcastle manager. He was a little radgie, he was only about 5 1/2 feet but he was great to watch on the touchline with his eyes popping out of his head and the fooball was non stop attack, pretty much. The fans would have loved him.

  20. Well, from examining the present state of affairs @ NUFC, I would say it’s just about time for Ashley to spring for a goal-scorer, being the latest results (a most recent defeat in a series) that was actually praised by our astutest provider of defensive (read boring) football.
    Any manager voicing approval of any kind, following a series of defeats has to be questioned.
    Of course our owner though not really that knowledgeable about the game, certainly understands that for any club to be in fifteenth place
    at this time of year certainly needs help!
    I suppose we will just have to await the eventual takeover by the Saudi’s, but it should prove worthwhile, after all the Geordie fans have done their part and getting rid of our present owner will be cause to celebrate.
    With a brand new venture as a competitive EPL club.

    Look whatever you may say about Bielsa, he in many people’s
    opinion and certainly it’s the opinion of Citeh’s and former Spurs manager’s that they learned from him and respected his tactical astute style and there’s no doubt they (Leeds) play an attractive style of football, unlike NUFC
    who play a purely defensive game, yet have one of the highest goals against totals.
    Unfortunately there are still a few of the older managers who usually get a call from some sinking team that needs to avoid relegation.
    BSA being typical, but their will always be a need for replacement managers,
    And regardless of time there are those who will never be good managers and we are just unfortunate to have one, surely the fans understand this as obviously there’s a possibility of crashing out of the PL.
    I mean who the hell agreed on a forty thousand flop who has scored what is it three goals ?
    I’m disgusted !
    And look there are managers sprouting up all over, younger ones obviously and some with different approaches like Southampton
    a well run club, with a young manager.
    Soh ! what are we doing with a manager who has won “nowt” and never will , oh yeah I remember now , he came “cheap” !