33mins Milner's inswinging corner
from the Milburn/Leazes side was palmed away by Cudicini from under his own
crossbar at the expense of another flag kick. To good applause from the toon
fans in the opposite corner, N'Zogibia jogged over and his effort ended up
in the back of the net via the boot of Geremi from close range, the
proximity of Bramble leading to initial confusion over who had scored.
While the PA credited the Newcastle player though, Bramble's lack of
celebration suggested he had no part in it - a fact later confirmed by the
TV replays 1-0
35mins Almost straight from the
restart, Jarosik's flick found Gudjohnsen with a clear sight of Given's
goal, only to be dragged down by Babayaro. Lampard netted the
resultant penalty. 1-1
Half time: Newcastle 1 Chelsea 1
Full time: Newcastle 1 Chelsea 1
Graeme Souness said:
"Our season has been simple to describe. When we've
had our better players to pick from, we've been a good team. But when we've
run into injuries, as we have done, then we've been getting beat by teams we
shouldn't be losing to.
"Chelsea were always going to join
Manchester United and Arsenal given the money they have spent on everything.
That shows the level we are working at and what we have to try and catch.
"What I have learnt in my time at this club is how
people react when the pressure is on, who is really with me, who might be
with me and who is not with me.
"We are far clearer in what our aims are and what I expect from them than we
were eight months ago.
"What we are looking to do is bring
in several new faces that will make a big difference to this team. I cannot
put a number on it. I'd love to say six players, but I'm a realist and I
know that won't happen.
"I would not speculate on who is coming
and who is going because, obviously, there are people we would like to cash
in on, but there has to be a buyer for them and maybe people do not value
them as much as we will, so they will be here next year.
"Likewise, the kind of players that we want to buy are players who are top
players at big clubs at the moment, and those clubs will not want to sell
their players, so there is an interesting summer ahead for us.
"We could end up with a lot of new faces or no new faces, but I cannot
answer that now.
Jose Mourinho commented:
"It will be hard because they know the
team we have, they know what we can do and they know they need to be better if
they want to fight with us for the championship, so it is absolutely natural,"
"Manchester United, Arsenal, I can guess Liverpool, Newcastle, teams with power,
I think it is normal they want to improve and fight with us for the
championship. It is normal."
toon coach Steve Clarke (who has just had a suite at Stamford
Bridge named after him) commented to the Chronicle:
"I hope the
Newcastle fans are not blaming Babayaro.
"He came out
with us at our request. Our manager asked him to come out with us.
Babayaro spent eight years with Chelsea and he has been a great servant
for us. He played five times for us in the Premiership this season and
that also makes him a champion in our eyes and we felt it was only right
he should come out with us.
"I am sure the
Newcastle fans will understand and appreciate that. Don't forget, I have
worked up here and I know that the Newcastle and Geordie public are
understand their football and they understand and appreciate good football
and the great tribute they paid us was also a tribute to themselves.
spot for United and Graeme Souness at the end of the season is that they
have brought in a lot of younger players and that will stand them in good
stead for next season.
will be able to work with them in pre-season, something he did not do last
season, which is important. If they get one or two signings in hopefully
they will be back challenging again at the top of the Premiership.
meantime, what they have got to do is to take a step back, look at their
situation and decide what is the best way forward for them, and I'm sure
that's what Graeme Souness and Freddy Shepherd are doing."
From the official
Chelsea website report - which sounds more like an extract from a Chelsea
Flower show report:
It was a strolling end to
a magnificent season, the best in Chelsea history and the best in top flight
history. Chelsea have 95 points. And at the end Newcastle fans, team and
management were magnificent in their praise and applause. It was a lovely
New strip was sported for the first time
as we maintained our run of never having lost our
final home game of the season since 1990/91 (when
already-relegated Hull City beat us 1-2)
And what did the first and last toon Premiership games of the season
for Souness have in common? His side took the lead courtesy of an OG -
David Prutton putting through his own goal at Southampton back in
Three home games against this lot in season 2004/05 and we ended up
with a victory apiece and one draw.
Chelsea ended the season with 29 wins and a new Premiership
record of 95 points.
They also beat Arsenal's record of 17
goals conceded in a Premiership season and Liverpool's post-war top
flight record of 16. Geremi's goal saw them equal
Preston's record of letting in 15 goals in 1888/1889 (from 22
By contrast all of our records were unwanted ones:
Lowest Premiership finishing spot (14th - previous was 13th in
both 97/98 & 98/99)
Lowest number of wins in a Premiership season (10 - previous 11
in both 97/98 & 98/99)
Largest ever differential between our points tally and Champions (51
points behind Chelsea)
Largest number of goals conceded in a Premiership season (57 -
previous 54 in 98/99 & 99/00)
Joint lowest number of points in a Premiership season (44 -
equal with 97/98)
Joint lowest number of home wins in a Premiership season (7 -
equal with 98/99)
We were officially the least resistant side in the Premiership, having
failed to win 14 Premiership games that we were ahead in at
Chelsea in toon - Premiership
2004/05 Drew 1-1 Geremi (og)
2004/05 Won 1-0 Kluivert (FAC)
2004/05 Lost 0-2 No scorer (LC)
2003/04 Won 2-1 Ameobi, Shearer
2002/03 Won 2-1 OG, Bernard
2001/02 Lost 1-2 Shearer
2000/01 Drew 0-0 No scorer
1999/00 Lost 0-1 No scorer
1998/99 Lost 0-1 No scorer
1997/98 Won 3-1 Dabizas, Lee, Speed
1996/97 Won 3-1 Shearer 2, Asprilla
1995/96 Won 2-0 Ferdinand 2
1995/96 Drew 2-2 Albert, Beardsley
(lost on pens) (FAC)
1994/95 Won 4-2 Cole 2, Fox, Lee
1993/94 Drew 0-0 No scorer
There was a second half appearance for Michael Chopra 14
minutes from time, the Newcastle-born striker ending a season on loan
at Barnsley with his first Toon outing for 12 months.
When Cameroon defender Geremi
put through his own goal 12 minutes before the break, United's
scoreless run at St.James' was ended after 323 minutes.
However, within 90 seconds the visitors were level, as Frank
Lampard shot from the penalty spot after Babayaro had
In an anaemic first half, goal chances were few and far between
and although things got a little better after the break, again
we played some vaguely decent stuff but failed to hurt the
The suspicion remained that the visitors were going
through the motions and would have been capable of raising their
game several levels, had anything more than statistics been at
Wearing their new home kit, the Magpies earned a point but
dropped to their lowest ever final Premiership finish of 14th
place, after Fulham hit half a dozen without reply against
Norwich and Birmingham beat Arsenal.
Despite that though, the mood was upbeat among Newcastle fans,
with the Champions warmly applauded onto the field - Celestine
Babayaro running out with the visitors having made four
league appearances for them earlier this season.
And later in the game Kluivert
was clapped from the
field when withdrawn and the whole squad was cheered after the final
whistle from an almost-full ground.
Contrast this to the scenes in the final home game of last
season, when a side ten points and eight places better off were
given the cold shoulder by tens of thousands of disillusioned
Twelve months on and what did we see? Pride? passion? or
You pays your money and you takes your choice - how many will do
so in the form of season ticket renewals remains to be seen
Of course though this being Newcastle, we had to balls it up.
With the team in the centre circle applauding all four sides of
the ground, the geek on the SJP PA managed to drown out the
singing of the toon fans by playing "Is this the way to
Amarillo?" at full blast, doing his best to kill the
atmosphere, with a completely inappropriate piece of music.
|A place in the Intertoto Cup now beckons, while the smoggies
celebrate UEFA Cup qualification. In a word, sickening.
Having failed to add to his
tally of 155 starts and 26 sub appearances for the club as he
spent the afternoon on the bench, Laurent Robert said his
au revoirs to the United faithful after the match in rather
Having been among the part of the squad that went to applaud the fans in
the Gallowgate end, Robert tossed his shirt into the crowd,
followed by his boots - and then socks and shorts before taking
his leave of St.James' Park in a grey pair of pants.
Meanwhile Patrick Kluivert also
made his final bow at St.James', trotting off to be replaced by
The Dutchman did reappear in
the centre circle at the final whistle alongside his colleagues,
including Nicky Butt, Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer.
And Kluivert's final action as he left the field for the final
time was to turn and spit on the turf - a contemptuous gesture
but a fitting farewell for a man who has milked this club for a
king's ransom, but reserved his best performances for Osborne
Road - not Barrack Road.
Good riddance to the pair of them.
Hopefully they'll take their skiving turncoat pals with them to
the next station that the gravy train stops at.
To quote John Lydon, "ever get the feeling you've been
It gives us great pleasure to draw a line under this
miserable season, when domestic underachievement was tolerated
in the vain pursuit of trophies.
Had it come off there would have been no-one happier than us -
but when the time came for the big men to stand up and prove how
good they were, our stars were nowhere to be seen.
Cowards, liars, wrigglers and bottlers - the lot of them. Not
fit to wear the shirt.
We've watched some sh*te turn out for this club since first
taking our place on the terraces in the 70s, but throughout all
the years of Shintons et al, there was still a belief that those
entrusted with a place in the team had a vague sense of pride,
duty, effort and commitment to the cause.
Not any more.
Had it not been for the efforts of younger players in recent
weeks, this would really have been a sombre end to the
As it is, we wish Souness and Shepherd the best of luck in their
task of ridding us of miscreants and misfits and trying to find
new recruits with a modicum of bottle, dignity, grace, passion
Keep the faith.
PS - while we find ourselves increasingly at a loss to
understand what goes on in the heads of some of our fellow fans,
we're still buoyed by the reactions of others - some known to us
for longer than we care to mention, some new faces.
To everyone who ensured that this season was the most successful
ever for NUFC.com in terms of audience size and email receipts,
thanks for sharing your views, jokes, competition entries,
coxy's, corrections, TV
listings, moans, diatribes and everything else that we've
The team might make us feel like packing in, but you lot never
Finally, to all of those who must remain nameless but who
contribute to this site in the form of support, encouragement,
finance and information.....cheers, cheers, cheers.