Thursday, September 03, 2009

Brothers Hit the Big Leagues

Now that blogger has decided to start letting me upload pics again, I can catch up a little.

So this past weekend the brothers back in England did their bit for charity by playing footy in a tournament in aid of Bobby Robson's cancer charity (pretty certain that was the cause, but you can correct me in the comments if I got it wrong). One of the perks of signing up teams was that each one was allocated a former Newcastle player as "coach" for the tournament.

Daniel and Matthew kinda lucked out I'm guessing, and got Stevie Watson. He's a local lad who was (and still holds the record by the way) the youngest player to ever play for Newcastle's first team, when he was still only 16. He played for us a lot in the 90's, when I was in the "go to as many games as I could" phase of my life (all home of course, and plenty of away games too), so I was a big fan. He had a pretty incredible touch, and enough skill that he ended up playing pretty much every position at one point or another in his career. Ruud Gullit made plenty of mistakes in his time as manager of Newcastle, and one of them was selling Steve to Villa. I'm pretty jealous I wasn't back home this weekend....

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Same Old Shearer

Always scoring.....

Well, not really any more, but another exiled Geordie sent me the link to this little video below, just in case anyone's forgotten the playing career of the man attempting to do the impossible and keep Newcastle up this season.

After Monday's win, everything's back in our own hands - two games of the season left - two wins would be nice, but to be honest, just staying up is the only target now, so whatever it takes. I think there's a little bit of belief back in the team now that they've won a game, so here's hoping tomorrow is another victory. Still wishing I was there to watch it, but will have to make do with the texts, calls and photos from my brother as usual to keep me in touch with the atmosphere.

Haway the lads.....

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Huge Sigh of Relief

Wish I had been there, but not sure I could have taken the pressure. Newcastle's future status in the Premier League is back in their own hands, so although we're not out of the woods yet, tonight's win over Boro was a huge step in the right direction. I am officially starting to breath again (until Saturday I guess). Haway the lads - you can do it!

Update - pic from my brother from inside the ground (while he's using my season ticket I might add...)


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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Freddy Shepherd, Quote Machine


Always one for a classic quote, Freddy Shepherd, former Chairman of Newcastle United came out with this one today, in response to questions about him buying a stake in (dirty, dirty) Leeds United.
"It's in my blood. You can get rid of the wife or the bank manager, but a Geordie can never get rid of Newcastle"

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Euro 2008 Permutations

Hmm, today brings the first real test of Euro 2008 - working out what combination of results (and actual scores for that matter) will do to the qualification of individual teams from Group C.

If you think it's easy, here's a (hopefully correct) rundown

The Netherlands have won Group C and will play the Group D runners-up in the quarter-finals.

Romania will qualify for the quarter-finals if they beat the Netherlands, eliminating France and Italy.

If Romania fail to beat the Netherlands, the winner of France v Italy will go through.

If France and Italy draw, a point against the Netherlands would be enough to send Romania through. France must win to have any chance of qualifying.

If France and Italy share a score draw (1-1, 2-2, 3-3 etc), Italy will go through if Romania lose (by any score). In this scenario, Italy, Romania and France will be level on two points each but Italy would have scored more goals in games between the 3 teams.

Romania will finish bottom of the group if they lose and France and Italy draw 2-2, 3-3 or 4-4. France will finish bottom if they draw 1-1 unless Romania lose 3-0 or by a four-goal margin.


If France and Italy draw 0-0, Romania can lose by one goal, two goals or by a three-goal margin other than 3-0 but still qualify. In this scenario, Italy and Romania would have identical head-to-head records, but Romania would have better goal difference in ALL group matches or, in the case of the three-goal defeats, goals scored. France would finish bottom, having scored fewer goals head-to-head v Italy and Romania.

If Romania lose 3-0 to the Dutch, Italy would qualify with a 0-0 draw against France because of their superior coefficient points. France would finish bottom as they would have scored fewer goals head-to-head v Italy and Romania.

If Romania lose by four goals or more and the other game ends 0-0, Italy would proceed with a better overall goal difference than Romania. France would finish bottom as they would have scored fewer goals head-to-head v Italy and Romania.

If France and Italy draw AND Romania avoid defeat, then Romania go through.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dreaming

When I grow up, I want to be able to do this.....

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Kevin and Dennis - a Wise choice?

It looks like Mike Ashley is bolstering his Newcastle board with the appointment of Dennis Wise as "Director of Football".

Not sure how I feel about this - it never seems to quite work out as planned when clubs appoint people in this position, but only time will tell I guess. I do think it's a good thing that the owner is putting a decent amount of money into the infrastructure and support roles at the club though, so fingers crossed this gives Keegan the time and freedom to get the team playing to their full potential.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

England Failure

Once again, England sports are in the news for the wrong reason - the failure of the footie (soccer) team to even qualify for the European Championships next year has cost Steve Mclaren his job, and mean that it's going to be a lot easier for people to plan their holidays next summer. Although it looked like Beckham might have had a chance at being the saviour again, it didn't quite work out this time.

At least it's a national holiday over here, so drowning my sorrows won't have to be combined with getting up for work.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

ToonTastic Start to the Season

Oh happy days - Newcastle travelled away to Bolton today to kick off the new Premiership season, and came back with a 3-1 win. Martins (pictured) scored twice and either Charlie Zog or David Rozenthal scored the other, depending on which commentary you read. Rumour has it that Martins first was an overhead kick, but I haven't seen any highlights yet to confirm.

So, I guess I'm in a little shock, but with a smile as wide as the Tyne. It's still way to early in the season, but we're top of the league, and long may it last 8-)

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Just in case you didn't realize

The Beckhams arrived in the US yesterday. So much coverage, I think it even shocked the US paparazzi, but needless to say, he was all over TV, Radio and Web yesterday. One good thing though, it did allow me to find out that my neighbours (the cool ones, not the dodgy walk into your house uninvited with a made up story about having to move a car from their "driveway") have a good mate who works in the LA Galaxy marketing department, so there's still a chance I might get a ticket for a game.

I guess the big question will be whether or not he actually makes any difference to how "soccer" is perceived over here. I know Pele came over a few years ago (make that 30 or something now I guess - I really am getting old), but that didn't pan out once he packed up and left, but this time there's a decent shot given all the work that's gone on behind the scenes with the clubs and infrastructure etc etc. The pay for your average player in the league is still crap, which I guess will always be the case until more big bucks get pumped in by the sponsors and advertisers, but living over here, you realize how many kids actually play this sport, at least until they hit 11 or 12 and get swept off into the excitement of making billions playing NFL, basketball or baseball or something. Seeing that "soccer" can actually make you a huge star (and rich) might just be enough to tempt a few more players to not leave the sport when they have a few choices, and that might just be the tipping point.

Anyway, some of the links here if you're interested.

SI
BBC
ESPN
Sky
New York Times
The "real" Times
And it even made news over in Oz!

If that's not enough, you're a sadder man than me and you should learn to use Google....

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Who Ate All the Pies?

Ever since Mickie Quinn retired, it was obviously Mark Viduka, and we're pleased to announce today that he's following in Quinn's footsteps by signing for Newcastle United. A two year contract, with an option for a third, and hopefully lots of goals from the Aussie pie eating champion.

Details here (on his signing, not his pie eating).

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Soccer AM - Lovejoy Gone

Oh, no - it could be the end of life as we know it. It looks like Tim Lovejoy isn't going to be participating in the Saturday morning institution known as Soccer AM (I try and watch it every time I go home - if only FSC would show it over here). At least Helen is staying on...

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Lovejoy quits Sky Soccer AM show

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fynn the Footie Fanatic

So it looks like Fynn (and personally, I think it's directly related to her superior coloring)is a bit of footie player. Here's a brief shot of her taking on herself - young careers always start on the living room carpet. Before you know it, she'll be playing for the Rapids.

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Newcastl United get Buyout Offer

Mike Ashely (girls name, but lots of money) has made an offer to buy out Newcastle United, paying 1 quid a share. Given the price only a few years ago was around 20 pence, thats a pretty good markup (stock closing before the announcement was at 84 pence).

He has already bought out Sir John Hall and his family (I really hope that means Douglas has gone the distance) - now he just needs to persuade Freddie it's time to sell (it is Freddie, in case you're looking here for some advice).

Anyway, I pray Mr Ashley (who just happens to have floated Sports Direct recently, earning himself a nice round 900 million quid) has honorable intentions, and wants to see Newcastle at the top of the league and winning trophies, something which hasn't happened since before I was born...

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Roeder Resigns (allegedly of course)

I must admit, I was a little surprised this morning when I found out Roeder had 'resigned'. I know the result (and from what I can gather, the performance as well) was terrible, and we're sitting at the low end of mid-table, but the fact that a manager is actually leaving at an ideal time is a little unusual for Newcastle. In the past few years, we've normally waited until the manager has spent all the funds for a year, gone through pre-season with everyone, and then had the usual bad start to the season before he goes. I guess this time, we're at least trying to get the order right.

Obviously, all the money is on Big Sam to come in and take over, although nothing has been confirmed yet - just seems a bit of a coincidence for Roeder to go one game after Mr Alladyce left his beloved Bolton. I have heard he's a pretty progressive manager, and very impressive to speak to, but to be honest, I just want someone who can come in and help the team win something. Of course, if it was that easy, we'd have done it before now....

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Beckham Not Here Yet, Still Getting Way Too Much Publicity

I could claim that I moved over here 10 years ago to get away from all the Beckham frenzie in the UK, but I'd be lying - it was annoying (and got worse after I left from what I can tell), but not enough to emigrate.

Anyway, it looks like the media frenzy is here already, even though no-one watches footy. His pics appear almost daily on the gossip sites, including his latest haircuts. I can only imagine what's going to happen when he actually arrives in the country to live.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Beckham's new home

So after a couple of months of frantic searching, "The Beckhams" have found a house close enough to fall for the Scientology sales pitch by TomKat.

They paid $22 million for it, which sounds about right for an upscale LA house, but then in the commentary, it says it's only got a 3 car garage! How will they survive with a garage that small? I'm sure there must be a mistake in there.

Anyway, if you're nosey, there are more house pics here.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Niall Quinn's Disco Pants stop EasyJet Flight

Not literally, but looks like things were a little too boisterous for the plane to take off. The big news about this is that Niall shelled out eight grand to get taxis for all the fans to get from Bristol back to mackemLand. Somehow I can't see Freddie doing this, although I bet there's a decent sized expense bill going in this morning, courtesy of the Disco Pants.

Fans thrown off plane over Niall Quinn's Disco Pants | News | Guardian Unlimited Football

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Bellamy Back to his "teambuilding" ways

I wasn't going to mention this, but then it even made the news over here, so guess it was a bigger deal than I thought. Or maybe after having supported a team he played for, you become impervious to his charms, and basically block it all out.

Anyway, for those that haven't heard, the Liverpool squad are away for one of those winter shindigs to the Algarve, where they get some sunshine, train a few times, and get allowed out for the usual "we want to be in the Sunday papers, so we're all going to get wasted" night out. Luckily, Liverpool had a number of willing volunteers for the last task, and so starts the night of drama. Apart from the usual Robbie Fowler gets wasted with his mates, and the police have to be called to calm things down, the main attraction was a certain round of golf Mr Bellamy decided to play. Apparently upset at the piss taking of his karoake performance (or something similarly life threatening), he decided to play a quick round, substituting the use of a ball for his teammate - John Arne Riise's legs.

The Liverpool PR men are now in full damage control mode, with talk of fines for club rules being broken (I presume meaning that you're not really supposed to beat up your teammates, rather than an improper use of equipment golfing fine). There's also talk of Bellamy being out in the summer, which is hardly surprising, given he hasn't exactly set the Liverpool team on fire with his goalscoring exploits, even without the latest incident. At least he didn't get arrested I guess.....

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Arsenal and the Rapids?

Stan Kroenke looks like he's feeling a little left out after the recent purchases of UK footie clubs by American sports owners, so he's joining in the fun.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Wikepedia does(n't) always work

After the almost shocking display last night, when San Marino almost managed their first win ever against Ireland, someone kindly went in a modified the Wikepedia entry for the Irish Football Association.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Beckham Ditches Real, Joins LA Galaxy

So Beckham has formally announced (press conference, offical statement, the works) that he's leaving Real Madrid at the end of the season, and jetting off to LA to join the Galaxy in the MLS. I'm not sure if he's ever seen a game over there, but it's a good place to go towards the end of your career - he'll pretty much clean up. The standard isn't as good by a decent stretch (most of the good players you see in the World Cup team somehow end up playing in Europe), and the pace of the game is nice and easy. Given you're not allowed to put any hard tackles in without the whistle going, he's probably going to get a decent number of free kicks around the box as well, so all good for him.

I wonder if this will do anything for the MLS out here - I mean, he's probably the worlds best known footballer, and he's been over here a few times doing some self promotion, but footy is very much a 3rd division sport over here - superceded by pretty much everything, and not only at professional level - college as well. Still, only time will time - at least he went to LA, who do actually have a decent number of fans turn up for games (something to do with all the non-natives who live there is my guess). Let's see if ESPN decides they want to start showing a couple of games...

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