Season ticket sales continue
and the X-Men
Newcastle 2 West Ham 0
Jonas Gutierrez made one and scored one as
he and his team mates managed to find a performance to maintain Newcastle's
Premier League status on an emotional day at St. James' Park.
Two second half goals ensured survival, although Hull City's inability to
score against Manchester United meant that the score on Tyneside was
But it was a nerve-wracking day with United's future in the balance right up
to the final few minutes when Gutierrez's deflected shot found the net after
Vurnon Anita had made a mess of a seemingly unmissable chance.
Thankfully that didn't prove costly as the visitors and soon-to-be-deposed
manager Sam Allardyce, failed to punish a nervous Newcastle who were backed
by a noisy but united following.
Folk had managed to suspend their anger and
frustration from the previous games to give whole-hearted support to the
side and it paid off, visibly lifting the side at times and creating a
That started from the very first whistle when John Carver's side won the
ball from the kick-off and set up an early attack that almost saw Emmanuel
Riviere net at the Leazes end but he hit his shot across the goal.
Fans had seen owner Mike Ashley give a rare pre-match
interview to Sky (see below) that was screened live in the concourses and
although the timing and content were both questionable, it confirmed that
all the players and staff were focussed on securing the all-important
Carver had reinstalled Mike Williamson back into the centre of defence after
the relationship had seemed broken following Williamson's dismissal at
Vurnon Anita replaced Ryan Taylor in midfield and Ayoze Perez was dropped to
the bench to make way for Papiss Cisse.
But it was Anita who bust a gut to win back possession time after time who
did much to engineer the win and fittingly Gutierrez also worked his err...
backside... off to become the matchwinner after his own personal fightback.
But hearts were in mouths after just three minutes when Williamson put in a
challenge that sent Enner Valencia tumbling but referee Martin Atkinson
waved away some half-hearted appeals.
Riviere volleyed into
the side-netting in the sixth minute with an acrobatic effort but once Daryl
Janmaat and Gutierrez failed to hit the target from distance the positive
start began to wane.
News of two disallowed Hull goals started to filter through and the game and
crowd became tangibly edgy.
Stewart Downing looked suspiciously offside in the 24th minute but happily
wasted a good chance to give the Hammers the
lead which Tim Krul smothered.
United started the second half brightly again and somehow Riviere failed to
make contact from six yards out after Janmaat had laid the ball on a plate
But just three minutyes later the vital breakthrough came when Jonas put
over a cross that Moussa Sissoko gleefuly headed past Adrian and sent St.
James' Park into ecstasy.
Sissoko crossed for Cisse but his header was blocked and Fabricio Coloccini
volleyed wide as Carver's side searched for a second while Winston Reid
headed narrowly over at the other end.
Then came the moment when Anita's endeavours should have paid off, breaking
at pace with three colleagues with just the 'keeper to beat. But his pass
was weak and Adrian intercepted as the whole ground groaned is disbelief.
But then came the moment when Gutierrez wrote his name in Geordie folklore
with a shot from the left that deflected off Carl Jenkinson, wrong-footing
his 'keeper and sparking wild celebrations, including from the goalscorer
who ran bare-chested to the dugout.
Like Sissoko, he was booked but that mattered not a jot as this time a
favourable deflection had secured our status, unlike Damien Duff's that sent
us down exactly six years ago.
The remaining minutes flew by without incident and although they were
playing seven minutes of added time at the KC Stadium, the final whistle
blown by Atkinson signalled survival.
Some celebrations followed but the feeling of relief was the main emotion
and although some fans stayed to voice their anger, the ground quickly
emptied and the players failed to come back out.
A suitably confusing mixture of emotions that will no doubt continue into
the close season. Ashley's pre-match words were similarly contradictory and
ill-timed but they will be constantly referred back to as Lee Charnley & Co
get to work on bringing in the staff and players required to "win
The three points meant United finished 15th, ahead of the mackems and Aston
Villa who were both beaten on the final day of the season, while Hull join
Burnley and QPR in the Championship next season.
Full match report to follow.
Team: Krul, Janmaat, Coloccini, Williamson, Dummett, Sissoko, Anita (Gouffran
88), Colback, Gutierrez, Riviere, Cisse.
Subs n/u: Woodman, R.Taylor, Ameobi, Cabella, De Jong, Perez.
Booked: Sissoko, Gutierrez.
Goals: Sissoko 54, Gutierrez 85.
WHUFC: Adrian, Jenkinson, Burke (Tomkins 69), Reid, Cresswell, Song, Nolan,
Kouyate (Lee* 77), Downing, Valencia (Amalfitano 63), Cole.
(* Substitute Elliott Lee is son of former Magpie, Robert)
Subs n/u: Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Jarvis, Nene.
Atkinson - a fifth outing for the whistler from Yorkshire, after the 0-2
home loss to Manchester City, 1-0 win over Leicester City at SJP and 2-1
home success against Chelsea (when Steven Taylor was red carded. Most
recently, Atkinson was in charge of our 0-3 defeat at Everton, sending off
Final Premier League results:
Arsenal 4-1 West Bromwich Albion
Aston Villa 0-1 Burnley
Chelsea 3-1 mackems
Crystal Palace 1-0 Swansea City
Everton 0-1 Spurs
Hull City 0-0 Manchester United
Leicester City 5-1 QPR
Manchester City 2-0 Southampton
Newcastle United 2-0 West Ham
Stoke City 6-1 Liverpool
Premier League - bottom six:
John Carver said after the game:
"I didn't know Mike even did an interview
beforehand - I didn't see it, but that's the step that we might be taking to
bring this football club together, because it has to be one, it has to be
one for us to be successful.
"We can't afford to get ourselves in this situation ever again. We all know
we have made mistakes, everybody, and we have admitted those mistakes.
"This is a big summer now and I have had assurances that we are going to
spend money, so the fans can now go away, have their summer holidays, look
forward to players coming through the door, but also look forward to that
fixture list coming through.
"It feels like you have just won the cup, that's what it feels like. I
actually sit here now feeling like I have won the cup, and wouldn't it be
great in the future to be sitting here having won a cup?
"Now I know Mike has come out and said he wants to win things and he is
going nowhere. Well that's a good thing, that's a good thing as long as we
get everybody together, Mike, (managing director) Lee (Charnley),
myself, whoever it is - me, because I want this job, by the way, so there's
another story for you.
"I am not going anywhere unless they tell me I am going somewhere else, but
I want this job."
Ex-Magpie boss Sam Allardyce confirmed this was his last game in
charge of the Hammers:
"I thought it was time to leave, I thought it was the right time to
leave. For me, four years is a long enough spell. You don't want to
over-stay your welcome and like I said, you have to commit your whole life
to being a Premier League manager.
"You are under scrutiny all the time and you have to be totally obsessed
with the job to get it right, and particularly your family, you have to
ignore that side. They worry for you, they support you. They are down when
you're down, they're up when you're up, so it does become a bit of a strain
on them, particularly your wide, so it's time to have that break.
"It's leaving on a high for me - not a high today the way we performed in
the second half - but leaving on a high, and walking away from a football
club that has achieved so much in the last four seasons is something I am
very proud of."
Hammers in Toon - PL era:
2014/15: Won 2-0 Sissoko, Gutierrez
2013/14: Drew 0-0
2012/13: Lost 0-1
2010/11: Won 5-0 Best 3, Nolan, Lovenkrands
2008/09: Drew 2-2 Owen, Carroll
2007/08: Won 3-1 Viduka 2, N'Zogbia
2006/07: Drew 2-2 Milner, Solano
2005/06: Drew 0-0
2002/03: Won 4-0 LuaLua 2, Shearer, Solano
2001/02: Won 3-1 Shearer, LuaLua, Robert
2000/01: Won 2-1 Cort, Solano
1999/00: Drew 2-2 Dabizas, Speed
1998/99: Lost 0-3
1997/98: Lost 0-1
1996/97: Drew 1-1 Beardsley
1995/96: Won 3-0 Albert, Asprilla, Ferdinand
1994/95: Won 2-0 Clark, Kitson
1993/94: Won 2-0 Cole 2
Closing home game results - PL era:
2014/15 West Ham won 2-0
2013/14 Cardiff City won 3-0
2012/13 Arsenal lost 0-1
2011/12 Manchester City lost 0-2
2010/11 West Brom drew 3-3
2008/09 Fulham lost 0-1
2007/08 Chelsea lost 0-2
2006/07 Blackburn lost 0-2
2005/06 Chelsea won 1-0
2004/05 Chelsea drew 1-1
2003/04 Wolves drew 1-1
2002/03 Birmingham City won 1-0
2001/02 West Ham won 3-1
2000/01 Aston Villa won 3-0
1999/00 Arsenal won 4-2
1998/99 Blackburn drew 1-1
1997/98 Chelsea won 3-1
1996/97 Nottingham Forest won 5-0
1995/96 Spurs drew 1-1
1994/95 Crystal Palace won 3-2
1993/94 Arsenal won 2-0
Proud sponsors of
Speaking live on Sky ten minutes
before kick-off, Mike Ashley spoke to reporter David Craig:
"I didn’t anticipate we would be anywhere near
this situation. After the last couple of weeks I’m still a little bit
shocked about where we find ourselves today," he told Sky Sports News HQ.
Asked where the responsibility for the slump down the table lies, he
said: "At my door."
"I will continue the policy of investing in the football club. We’ve got the
club on a very sound financial footing. So we are able to spend, and punch
above our weight."
“Now it’s to win something – and by the way, I won't be selling it until I
do. Not at any price. And when I say win something, if we ever get in a
position where we get a Champions League place, that also qualifies as
”From this day forward, we will definitely be making our own luck. To be
categorically clear, I'm not going anywhere until we win something."
Nearing the money shot
Bigirimana, Shane Ferguson, Kevin Mbabu, Remie Streete, Haris Vuckic
losing 1-0 in the second leg on Saturday, Rangers advanced to the SPL
playoff final thanks to an aggregate 2-1 semi-final win over Hibernian.
Vuckic started and picked up a booking before he was replaced after 74
minutes at Easter Road. Rangers face Motherwell for a place in next seasons'
top flight, facing the Steelmen at Ibrox on Thursday and then at Fir Park on
Sunday week, May 31st.
Don't forget that promotion for Rangers would see the loan fee payable to
Newcastle increase by £500K.
saw Kevin Mbabu play the second 45 minutes for Rangers U20s in the Scottish FA
Youth Cup Final at Hampden. However he was unable to prevent a 2-5 defeat at
the hands of deadly rivals, Celtic.
Sylvain Marveaux (Guingamp)
A calf strain saw the midfielder miss his
side's season closing 1-2 defeat at St. Etienne on Saturday
Marveaux ends his year at Guingamp having made 33 appearances in all
competitions and scored three times.
A breath of French air
United are one of twelve teams
currently contesting the Tournoi
International de Football U17 in the French town of Saint-Andre-Lez-Lille.
The nineteenth staging of this annual three day event saw the young Magpies
draw 0-0 with FC Copenhagen on Friday before another scoreless encounter with
Dynamo Moscow. Matches are played over two 20 minute halves.
Sunday then saw Newcastle face FC Porto, securing a 1-0 victory over
the Portuguese side thanks to a Callum Smith goal, to seal their place in the semi-finals.
Ben Pollock, Jamie Holmes, Owen Bailey, Yannick Azoakonou, Callum Smith, Ben
Kitchen, Mackenzie Heaney, Shane Donaghey, Dan Lowther, Lewis McNall, Nathan
Harker, Kurtis Russell, Kieran Olsen, Oliver Long, Kelland Watts, Cameron
Armstrong, Jai Grant.
PS: A Magpies U14/15 squad is in France, where they are participating in a tournament near Lyon.
Thames oil slick
The Selhurst special one has granted ESPN
an audience - here's what they asked and he answered:
ESPN: How do you rate your season with both Newcastle and
AP: I think it is my best season
as a manager. I say that because I've had two such different challenges over
the course of this campaign. At Newcastle, I had a
team at the bottom of the table with a crowd that was very angry at
what had gone on at the club for a period of time. I suspect it will be
difficult for me to top this season in the future.
(We were tenth on the day that Pardew left)
ESPN: What emotions will you feel
if Newcastle are relegated from the Premier League on Sunday?
AP: I want them to stay up, of
course I do. They are my players, my staff, a club that means a lot to me
and always will. I hope they get the win they need and then they won't have
to worry about any other result.
ESPN: Does it frustrate you that
your five years at Newcastle are remembered by some for the wrong reasons?
AP: Amid all the negativity at
Newcastle, we achieved some great things. Finishing fifth in the Premier
League with a great team was a fine effort and we also got to the quarter
finals of the Europa League and nearly got past a Benfica side that went to
the final. They were great days, great nights at St James' Park and I
remember them with affection. Maybe they are forgotten
(let's recall also your fine efforts in finishing 12th, 16th and
10th and losing four out of five FA Cup ties)
ESPN: You still appear to have
great affection for Newcastle despite the campaign by fans to get you out of
the club. Is that fair to say?
AP: I didn't listen to half of
the criticism I received. I just didn't let it enter my brain. It affects
people around me, but it was my job to see through that. When you are in
charge of a top club, where expectations are high
you have to deal with that.
I look at Rafa Benitez in his time at Liverpool, he had difficult periods
and the same goes for Brendan Rodgers in the same job now.
These difficult periods come and you have to accept that. I did as well as I
could at Newcastle.
(Ah yes, the unrealistic expectations of NUFC fans - how dare we expect
a team - and a club - to actually try? And as for comparisons with
Liverpool, just laughable, we have more in common with Tranmere.....)
ESPN: Was there ever a time at Newcastle when you doubted yourself as
AP: No. If I doubted myself, we
would never have gone on the run we did shortly before I left. You always
have to have faith in your own abilities and that has to be evident to your
ESPN: What did you learn from
what appeared to be a traumatic experience at Newcastle?
AP: It helped me to grow as a
manager because there were a lot of games at Newcastle when I was the
dominant force, the focus of attention. You don't have that kind of focus at
a lot of clubs, so I learned how to ram that home. I also developed a habit
of beating the top teams at Newcastle and thankfully, that has continued at
ESPN: Have you been given the
credit you deserve over the course of your management career?
AP: That is for other people to
say. All I can point to are the facts. If we win on Sunday, I will have
collected 57 points from 37 games this season. That is a hell of a return
over the two clubs given the resources I was working with. During my 18
games at Palace, we are the sixth best team in the league. The facts speak
ESPN: Where do you want to take
Crystal Palace during your time as the club's manager?
AP: There is a chance here in the
next couple of years to have a real go at getting
ourselves into a semifinal or a final of a cup competition and maybe even
win a cup, that would be fantastic. We could get into Europe as well, of
course we could.
Work up a song and dance routine Alan and you'll win the bloody
Eurovision Song Contest - perhaps a rewrite of the Cliff Richard ditty,
"(Self) Congratulations"? Trying telling those Newcastle fans who
witnessed the capitulations to Stevenage, Brighton (twice) and Cardiff just
what your definition of "a real go" is.....
ESPN: You were critical of the Europa League competition during your
time at Newcastle, so would you want to be in that again with Palace?
AP: I would not want to be the
Europa League in the current format, that's for sure. Thursday night games
are difficult to contend with given the level of physicality we deal with in
the Premier League. We struggled with it at Newcastle and we were not alone
in that among the English clubs. Until that issue is addressed, no Premier
League team wants to be in the Europa League. That's the reality, even if
some don't want to admit it.
ESPN: Looking to this summer's
transfer market, what teams do you see Palace competing with to sign
AP: Newcastle, Aston Villa,
Everton and maybe even Spurs. While we cannot compete with some of those
clubs in terms of budgets, we can look to attract the kind of players they
are also in the market for. If we could add that kind of quality of player
to this current group, then we have a chance to push on.
ESPN: There has been a lot of
talk about agents and the tactics they use in recent days following Raheem
Sterling's fallout with Liverpool. How do you deal with agents?
AP: I always ask two questions
when we are closing in on a deal: What currency
are we dealing in and how many people are expecting to get paid as part of
this transfer? I have had situations in the past when you are close to
signing a player and the money involved switches from euros to pounds to
dollars. It is a difficult process, but one we have to work with.
What tripe is this? The nearest you came to closing in on a deal was
getting a phone call to say it had or hadn't happened - part of the reason
you left NUFC.
ESPN: If you fall out with an
agent, can you just cross them off your list and vow never to work with them
AP: Not really. If you've had a
bad experience with an agent, you have to move past it. You are bound to
want a player at some stage who is represented by this guy and you will have
to try to work around the personality of the agent. You tend to work out
what makes them tick, what they respond to. You have to have tactical plans
to get a deal over the line.
It had to be there, the phrase that pays - only in its abbreviated form,
lacking the preface "we just couldn't get it....."
I have to be involved in negotiations because players have to buy into me
and what I want from them if they join my club, so all managers need to be
fully involved in transfers, that's for sure.
At last, something we can agree on.
Magpie takes flight
From The Shields Gazette, Tuesday:
Relegation-threatened Newcastle United have suffered another blow – with
finance director John Irving (pictured right) set to quit the
Long-serving Irving is third in charge
behind owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley.
And Irving’s departure couldn’t have
come at a worse time for the beleaguered club, which could be relegated on the
final day of the season and faces a hugely -challenging summer whatever its
fate on Sunday.
Irving – who, along with Ashley and
Charnley, is on the club’s board – is understood to be leaving for
Newcastle Airport, where he will take up a similar position.
He has spent the past seven years at St
David Gilroy, Irving’s assistant, is
reportedly leaving for Manchester City.
Toon trio receive
England's U20 squad for the upcoming Toulon Tournament in France includes
fit-again Magpie Rolando Aarons.
The 19 year-old made a goalscoring international debut against Romania last
September before injury forced his omission from a subsequent squad.
England will face Morocco on Thursday May 28th, Ivory Coast two days later,
Mexico on Wednesday June 3rd and China on Friday June 5th.
Also selected by England coach Aidy Boothroyd are Birmingham City's Demarai
Gray and James Wilson of Manchester United, two players that the Magpies have
scouted on numerous occasions this season.
Fellow Magpie Olivier Kemen wasn't in the French squad.
Moving on to the U18 side and Magpies duo Freddie Woodman and Adam
Armstrong are both included in the squad for a pair of internationals
The young Lions will be in friendly action on Monday June 8th and Wednesday
June 10th - both games taking place in the city of Khimki near Moscow.
Forthcoming national service for current Magpies:
Moussa Sissoko (France):
Sun 07.06.2015 Belgium (h) FR (Paris)
Sat 13.06.2015 Albania (a) FR (Elbasan)
Daryl Janmaat, Tim Krul (Netherlands):
Fri 05.06.2015 USA (h) FR (Amsterdam)
Fri 12.06.2015 Latvia (a) ECQ (Riga)
Remember when we
wore black & white?
The horizontal hold has gone - just like the team
is Ingerlunnd? or Leeds?
Now on sale this is Newcastle's 2015/16 season home shirt -
which will be worn against West Ham on Sunday.
The weekend after, Widnes Vikings will play at the same venue wearing a shirt
more deserving of the description "black and white stripes" than
this aberration. Typical.
With immaculate timing, this appeared online within hours of Wonga unveiling a
website and advertising campaign - featuring a redesigned company logo....
Prince in Toon
- group offer
Former Magpie favourite Philippe Albert
is heading back to Tyneside for a talk-in event next month - and there's a
special bonus offer now available to NUFC.com readers.
The popular Belgian will appear at the Lancastrian Suite in Dunston on Friday
June 19th in the company of Sky's toon-supporting presenter Pete Graves.
Tickets cost £20 per person and anyone booking a table of 10 for £200
will receive an unframed NUFC 1984 replica home shirt autographed by Kevin
More details and bookings can be made online
(booking fee applies). Telephone bookings made on 07414 960956
in office hours will avoid booking fees.
Former Magpies not retained by their current club for next season include:
Darren Ambrose (Ipswich Town)
Damien Duff (Melbourne City)
Danny Guthrie (Reading - Fulham loan)
Alan Neilson (Cambridge United coach)
Oguchi Onyewu (Charlton Athletic)
Peter Ramage (Crystal Palace)
Ben Tozer (Northampton Town)