Sat 21st July 2001, 7.00pm.
St. James' Park
Half time: Newcastle
0 Lokeren 0
mins. Home debutant Craig Bellamy deflected a
header past Dabanovic from inside the six yard box at the Leazes End for
the first European goal of his career - and his opening strike for
Full time: Newcastle 1 Lokeren 0
On the turnout:
"They were talking about 20,000, 21,000 or
22,000, but 29,000 roll up on the night.
"It's just exceptional, it's unique. It was a
massive crowd for a match like this where we were leading 4-0 in the
middle of July.
"I think they were probably expecting not an
avalanche of goals but when you win 4-0 away from home, they expect 5-0 at
home. But it never works like that.
"They had nothing to lose. They came to enjoy it
and they did. They made it difficult for us and they worked hard, but we
had chances and didn't take them.
Craig Bellamy's home debut:
"It was important for Craig to get his first
goal. I had a chat with him before the game and said 'it's your first
match at home, it's important that you show the public whatever quality
you have, show them that you're proud to be a Newcastle United player in a
black and white shirt'."
On the Trevor Sinclair situation and allegedly tapping up the West Ham
"To some degree, my reputation and my credibility was attacked by
a few papers and that's rather hurt and distressed me.
"You know yourselves that I don't do business in
that way. I never have done and I never will. I'm very experienced in
buying and selling players. I will never discuss club business with you
until that club business is completed. All this with Sinclair, as it is
with other players, has been papers fabricated and speculation by the
"I understand West Ham's anger and I have a
certain amount of sympathy for Glenn Roeder, a young manager coming into
the circus. I understand how he feels.
"We did have words together
yesterday and I need to talk to him again today personally because the
whole thing is fabricated. It's very sad. He's been misdirected. I'm very
angry about it. It's caused irreparable damage, I think."
Our next opponents, 1860 Munich:
"It's a Bundesliga team, they're strong and
they're well-organised. Charlie Woods has watched them and Leeds United
have helped us by sending us some tapes because they played them last
"Charlie's gone for a personal look, but we're
away first and I quite like that. "It should be a pretty good game
here, the second leg in 10 days. If we get 29,000 tonight, we'll get
35,000 for the Germans."
Counting all qualifying games, and
matches in the Fairs, UEFA, Cup Winners, Anglo Italian, Champions League
and Intertoto cups, this was our 71st European tie and 36th
First team football returned to
Gallowgate after a nine week absence, and a fantastic turnout of almost
30,000 fans were on hand to witness an eminently forgettable evening.
Many of those in the ground were obviously making a diversion before
plunging headlong into the hedonistic delights of Newcastle's nightlife,
boosted this weekend by the additional love parade-related events.
One or two others
appeared to have started their own celebrations somewhat prematurely, as
the aroma of what were once called "jazz cigarettes" drifted
across the stand, causing a certain mellowness in the crowd.
Unfortunately United appeared to have also been at the whacky baccy, and
the ninety minutes passed by in something of a slumber, with only valiant
attempts by the crowd to lift the team nudging the Magpies from their soporific
Of course this game was a dead rubber in terms of the tie, but regardless
of that a tremendous number of folks were persuaded to part with £12 and
A quick look around my usual section confirmed that many
season ticket holders had either taken the opportunity of having a
different view, or not bothering to attend at all.
In their place however came the usual non-league-game crowd to take their
places, with many fans taking advantage of the ticket sales continuing
until kickoff, and bringing along various children, grandparents and most
things in between.
Their genuine enthusiasm at being inside the hallowed
walls of the park and seeing their heroes in the flesh gave the occasion
an atmosphere that it scarcely deserved, and at times the support eclipsed
that of some games with a full complement of regular fans.
The enthusiasm was such that even the ballboys were given
mini-ovations, deserved in the case of the lad in front of the deserted
East Stand who showed some outstanding ball control at one point.
he'd have been better off employed fielding in the slips for England at
Robbie Elliott received great applause before the game, especially from
the "Gosforth" corner of the Leazes, and had a reasonable game
with one or two of his trademark out-swinging line-hugging passes evident.
The same couldn't be said for the lumbering Quinn, filling a shirt in the
left side of midfield, who struggled to get into the game.
On the other flank, Solano was obviously earmarked as the key to
unlocking the Belgian defence, and was often found in a wide right role.
Unfortunately, he was hampered by the inability of his colleagues to find
space to get on to his crosses, except at set pieces.
Had Carl Cort played,
this game may have been the goalfest many expected, but a lack of height
throughout the side and invention on the ground made for a sterile affair.
The visitors had no ambitions to do anything other than stop us scoring,
but may have had cause to reconsider that policy as we were guilty of
defending too far up the pitch and almost paid for it on a couple of
The goal and following introductions of Lomana LuaLua and Olivier Bernard kept the crowd
in a semi-animated state, and both brought an increased sense of urgency
to proceedings. It stayed at one goal though, and a scrappy one at that -
1860 will require a damn sight more effort and
application to get past, methinks.
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