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canofbeans

What the Gruniad says....

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The club

 

What heaven sounds like

 

"They've had a good afternoon. Here they are looking for number five. Philip Albert... Ooooooh! Absolutely glorious!"

v Manchester United, 1996

 

Then and now

 

1893: Formed from the union of Newcastle West End and Newcastle East End, their first home League match at St James' brings in gate receipts of about 40 pence. 2008: generating that sort of income every split second from vol au vent sales in the Platinum Suite alone.

 

The credit cruncher

 

Mike Ashley. Rated as the 54th richest man in Britain with a personal fortune of £1.4bn. The sportswear magnate was once described as "Britain's answer to Howard Hughes", yet now seems happy to wobble his enormous tummy in front of thousands of total strangers.

 

Their prospects

 

Despite his vast fortune and fondness for the Toon Army Ashley has been reluctant to invest heavily in the squad and has imposed a wage cap, with the result that the team is short of depth. Much will depend on the fitness of Michael Owen and Mark Viduka - hardly a reassuring sentence given their histories.

 

Mission for Doctor Who

 

Bring back Hughie Gallagher. The Scottish forward whose goals and mercurial skill led Toon to their last League title back in 1927. Combination of brilliance, belligerence (after one game he once pushed the ref into a bath) and drinking would delight fans and headline writers alike.

 

See the ground on Google Earth

 

Search "St James' Park" to see the fabulous if lopsided stadium, from the air appearing a fusion of two different grounds.

The players

 

International game

 

St James' Park is truly cosmopolitan with a rich mix of South Americans, Europeans and Africans plus an Australian and a Canadian. None speaks with such an impenetrable accent as Terry McDermott, however.

 

Fab enough for Fabio

 

Guthrie. This neat and busy midfielder would surely make an ideal stand-in for Gareth Barry.

 

Breaking through

 

Kazenga LuaLua. Teenage forward from the Congo whose older brother Lomana used to delight the Tyneside public with his acrobatic goal celebrations. Kazenga is fast and tricky and should get a chance to show off his tumbling skills a bit this season.

 

Newcastle's got talent

 

Geremi has claimed that if he wasn't a footballer he'd like to be a private detective. Since moving to St James' Park he certainly seems to have perfected the art of moving around so stealthily nobody notices him.

 

Who'll give 110%

 

Shay Given. Top-class Irish goalkeeper and loyal club servant who has done an admirable job disguising the Mags' defensive frailties for over a decade. Thousands of Geordie bairns have been named in his honour.

 

Who'll give 1,000%

 

Joey Barton. The player who is to the anger management industry what sweat is to deodorant.

 

Story of the summer

 

Ashley insists that in future the players must pay for their club suits ... Keegan asks for more transfer funds ... Barton talks to his lawyers.

The manager

 

Kevin Keegan

 

Here are your best bits

 

Reviving Newcastle when they were near the bottom of the Second Division; almost winning the Premier League; signing Alan Shearer; England's first competitive win over Germany for 34 years in 2000.

 

His tactics board says

 

"Score one more than them. Entertain. Pray Shay has good game."

 

His Post-It notes say

 

"Find out what Dennis Wise does" ... "Buy eccentric South American striker" ... "Take deep breaths before post-match interviews"

New face

 

Danny Guthrie

from Liverpool, undisclosed

 

Described by Kevin Keegan as 'a mix between Paul Bracewell and Rob Lee'. The Shropshire lad is a box-to-box midfielder fighting with Joey Barton for a place. Not, literally, of course. 'Pocket general' status beckons.

Last season

 

 

Points per game

v top four 0.13

v the rest 1.40

 

FA Cup 4th round

 

Carling Cup 3rd round

 

League discipline Y59 R1

 

Top scorer Owen 11

 

Fair play league 15th

In this dog-eat-dog league they're...

 

A Border Collie

 

A breed that used to be associated with shearers, but is now frequently made available to more cosmopolitan owners. Instantly recognisable because of its black and white coat, which it can be seen in whatever the season.

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We picked up the ideal stand in for Gareth Barry for a 10th of the price Barry will cost from the club trying to sign Gareth Barry.

 

Did well there :anal:

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Guest alex

Said this before but I used to get the Guardian on a Saturday sometimes. The football coverage was the main reason I stopped.

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don't even have the right quote for the Albert goal

 

 

The way I remember it?

"on a day when Newcastle would have settled for one nil, here they are looking for number 5, .with Phillipe Albeeeeeerrrrrrrrrt Oooooooooh Glorious! If the rest was the cake that was the Icing, A quite majestic Goal from Phillips Albert."

 

off the top of me head. :anal:

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International game

 

St James' Park is truly cosmopolitan with a rich mix of South Americans, Europeans and Africans plus an Australian and a Canadian. None speaks with such an impenetrable accent as Terry McDermott, however.

 

:anal:

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Mission for Doctor Who

 

Bring back Hughie Gallagher. The Scottish forward whose goals and mercurial skill led Toon to their last League title back in 1927. Combination of brilliance, belligerence (after one game he once pushed the ref into a bath) and drinking would delight fans and headline writers alike.

 

I'm not sure he'd be able to cope with the modern game. I'll have another 10 years of Shearer though if the Doctor's doing requests.

 

29kxc83.jpg

 

^^ I'll have some of that too while you're at it, Doctor. :icon_lol:

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