Half time: Newcastle 0 Chelsea 0
73 mins Ten minutes after
Intertoto rivals Bolton had opened the scoring at home to Birmingham, we
regained pole position as Amady Faye headed
Emre's corner to Titus Bramble who volleyed strongly into the
Gallowgate End goal. 1-0
Full time: Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0
Glenn Roeder said:
"I feel exactly the same as I've always
done when I come up here after we have won a game, very satisfied.
"It's a shame the season is finishing,
isn't it? We have come from nowhere.
"They normally say there's a team that
goes down that comes from nowhere in the middle of the table. But this time
around, it's gone the other way, we have come from nowhere to get a stab at the
UEFA Cup next year via the Intertoto.
"It's immensely important. There's a
financial issue, which is always very important, and there's an issue that our
fans - and rightly so - expect it.
"You can say it is only the Intertoto
Cup, but nevertheless, it is an entry into the UEFA Cup and the fact that we
have got a chance of playing in the UEFA Cup gives us a little bit more of an
edge in attracting other players to come to the club in the summer.
"I noticed when I was here as a player, that when we got a goal up, the
fans will not let you lose.
"The volume was as intense on Sunday as
anything I have ever experienced, and I know it affected Chelsea.
"In fact at one stage, I looked across
at Jose Mourinho and saw he was having difficulty getting his instructions
Having spent the game slumped on the bench wearing a thick
coat, Jose Mourinho grumbled:
"Newcastle did this game, Chelsea did
this game and the referee did not do what he should do.
"Babayaro is a red card in every
country, in every division on every pitch; Boumsong is a penalty in every
country, in every division, on every pitch.
"A clear penalty, a clear red card, at
Blackburn two penalties - people cannot think because you are champions, you
don't deserve respect or because you are champions, you don't want to win.
"Because I came with a team full of
young boys and without the stars, if you want to say that, it doesn't mean you
don't want to win.
"You want to play a game, you want to
have the same chance as the opponents.
"We are not guilty that Blackburn
needed a victory to go to the UEFA; we are not guilty that Newcastle needed a
victory to go to the Intertoto.
"We are not guilty of that. We just
want to play a normal game of football, and these two matches were not normal
games of football."
"Robben is a lucky boy. He's a very
lucky boy to to be going to the World Cup.
"Achilles is the worst injury you can
have, and the way he was tackled from behind, he's a lucky boy, a very lucky
Glenn Roeder's Premiership record as
Newcastle caretaker manager:
P: 15 W: 10 D: 2 L: 3
Chelsea @ SJP - Premiership years
2005/06 won 1-0 Bramble
2004/05 Drew 1-1 Geremi OG
2004/05 Won 1-0 Kluivert (FAC)
2004/05 Lost 0-2 (LC)
2003/04 Won 2-1 Ameobi, Shearer
2002/03 Won 2-1 Hasselbaink OG, Bernard
2001/02 Lost 1-2 Shearer
2000/01 Drew 0-0
1999/00 Lost 0-1
1998/99 Lost 0-1
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
Since already-relegated Hull City beat us 2-1 in 1990/91,
we had never lost our final home game of the season and happily
that record continued today.
Titus Bramble netted the sixth goal of his Newcastle
career and the third in the Premiership. With one away goal to his
name, all five of his conversions on Tyneside have come at the Gallowgate
Carr became the seventh Newcastle player to be dismissed this
season, trudging off in the footsteps of Boumsong, Parker, Taylor, Bowyer and Babayaro and the rescinded Jenas red.
Mike Riley was responsible
for four of those dismissals , in the four Premiership games he's
refereed - he was denied a full set though, not waving wave his red
card against Cheltenham in the FA Cup.
Three consecutive clean sheets from Shay Given at the end of the
season, coinciding with his trio of club captaincies.
Two seasons on
from collectively flouncing out of the ground to leave Bobby & Co. to
celebrate fifth place with the blokes taking the posts down, most United fans
stayed on after this game to cheer Roeder and his players round the pitch as
they secured seventh spot and an Intertoto date.
That apparent application of supporter double standards reveals much about what has gone
on at this club during another season of blink-and-you'll-miss-it intrigue,
farce, misery but ultimately a small modicum of respectability.
Glenn Roeder has come in and improved the side without spending a penny (given
that the transfer window closed hours before his appointment) and in the process
allowed us to rediscover a measure of pride and unity that was misplaced somewhere last year between Cardiff, Lisbon and Washington Services.
In the process his stock has risen among the rank and file; not to the level of
adulation that one hysterical local scribe would have his readers believe, but
to a position at least of appreciation of a job well done. So far.
What the caretaker has achieved was initially down the the fact that he wasn't
That fact alone was enough to buck up the playing staff, lighten the moods in
the corridors of the club and reinvigorate most fans as the season turned from a
potential relegation fight into something a good deal more pleasurable.
If one accepts the notion that the Premiership is an increasingly average league
composed in the main of unremarkable teams though, then the successes Roeder has
overseen become slightly less fabulous - the gulf in class between us and
Chelsea, Man United and Liverpool not being reflected in the margin of our
defeats by them.
But applying the same logic though to the latter days of Souness only makes his
shortcomings ever more inexcusable - given that both men have been consistently
hamstrung by a signficant injury list.
Four months in and with people starting to chant his name, the man who didn't seek office is now tempted to take the reins
full-time - some
old boy network favour-calling allowing him to study for the required big boys
bus pass while in post.
The question is though - now he's ready and willing, is he able?
Already being in charge and showing himself
capable of putting out a winning team is a major plus - as is having a declared
interest in youth development; something his predecessor could never be accused
Like Joe Harvey he was a respected leader on the field for United, both men
making over 200 appearances in a black and white shirt but failing to achieve
international recognition for England.
Having some prior knowledge of the club, the
region and the peculiar demands of the job is a not insignificant factor - as is
a willingness to settle in the area and not conduct his business from the
departure lounge of various airports. Contrast his Tyne-Wear derby comments with
a certain Dutch chap's.
If those are the positives, then there remains a body of opinion that greets the
news of his appointment with a heavy heart - not least because of his track
record in previous managerial jobs.
There's also the fact that
Alan Shearer still seems to maintain a great influence over matters on Barrack
Road and that Roeder seems intertwined with him - at least at this point. That
could well change though, once that big banner on the back of the Gallowgate is
just a memory....
Speaking purely from our own perspective, May 12th 2006 should be when we close
the door on the sheet metal worker's son from Gosforth and plan for a new era.
After all, no man is bigger than the club - as Shearer has said himself. He'll
always be popular and a welcome sight - but in terms of influence, thank you and
Enjoyable though much of the last decade has been, we remain the target of
opposition fans to regurgitate their "still ain't got no
silverware" / "never won f*** all" chants ad nauseaum.
And there's not a damn thing we can do, other than stand there and take it.
The perfect scenario would doubtless be a bold appointment and with it plenty of
wedge and an
undertaking to let the new manager get on and manage - the risk of bruising a
few local egos and disrupting cushy numbers one worth taking.
Expectation remains the name of the game in this Toon - and it's difficult to
argue against that, with most of the fanbase enjoyed sketchy memories at best of
us actually ever achieving something tangible.
In an ideal world we'd be looking to attract a winner, someone who other clubs
would covet. With the best will in the world Roeder doesn't tick those boxes at
this stage in his career.
It's no shock that other Premiership Chairman are happy for us to take Roeder -
like David Dein's protection of Wenger during the England pantomime,
self-interest begins at home.
But maybe such a radical candidate doesn't exist - or has no interest in staking
his reputation on
pulling round a club that has been in the doldrums over the
years more often than in Europe.
While we didn't appear to be in the Hobson's choice situation that we were
marooned in post -Robson, many of the alleged candidates bandied around were
given credence only in the minds of bookmakers and cyber crackpots.
Credible options there were - but why those never came to fruition is yet to be
revealed. One thing's for sure, if anyone allegedly in the frame ends up in
charge on Teesside or Wearside, then the pressure on Roeder will be media-led
At the heart of some of the misgivings being expressed about Roeder is a disappointment that we've opted for a comparatively low-key appointment,
rather than another so-called big name.
This mindset has existed in one form or another for many years - Willie McFaul,
Arthur Cox, even Kevin Keegan's return to the helm "to save us from
disaster", as the song says.
The big assumption there has always been that these top-drawer movers and
shakers were actually interested in coming here.
If that's construed though as modifying our collective self-image from that of a
major force in the Premiership to something slightly more realistic, then that's
maybe not a bad thing in our eyes.
We've had enough personalities with airs and graces acquired elsewhere, who
mutate from glamourpuss to sourpuss, as the club wheel and deal to try and
accommodate their fiscal requirements, before exiting stage left when their
fallability becomes all-too evident.
It can't have gone unnoticed how we've improved as a side when players acquired
for substantial fees have been absent through injury or non-selection -
certainly among those trying to balance our books.
That though doesn't really square with the image that many fans have of
ourselves - not to mention one or two people in more influential positions.....
If there is a saving grace, it's that even when he returned to the club at the
Academy, Roeder's appointment was greeted more positively than when Souness and
his henchmen rolled up at the gates.
And through his efforts (and a hearts and minds
campaign of positive media coverage coupled with pressing the flesh on a nightly
basis at talk-ins etc.) he's enhanced that standing in four months.
He doesn't start from scratch totally next season, having gained some knowledge
of the playing staff as his disposal - and which of those he's looking to
But as Roeder knows as well as anyone, the winters are long and the summers are
short here. He's at the mercy of the fixture list, our constant battle with
injuries and off-field calamities and every other eventuality that makes this
His appointment seems a realistic one given our current standing in the game,
but hardly one that demonstrates a genuine appetite to battle the big guns of
the Premiership - and is another example our continual lack of forward
Previous attempts at occupying the upper echelons saw countless millions blown on unrecouped fees and
vast payoffs to jettison
failures. That has to take its toll eventually.
If the legacy of that is that the cash box is empty, maybe Roeder's willingness to
work with what he's given makes him the only game in Toon.
However, he's seen enough to know that his team needs reinforcing - and that
unlike the smoggies, he can't whistle up a shadow XI from the juniors.
Substantial investment is required. Again.
Maybe behind this
appointment is Freddy's so-far fruitless search for what he called "A
If that's the case, then Roeder will certainly survive in the hotseat long
enough to complete his Pro Licence. That's about as long-term as things get