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2000-01 Season Preview written for ZooFootball,com, Aug 2000

Our ego's were stroked by the ZOO football crowd, who rather strangely were interested in our warped opinions and crystal-ball gazing for the then-New season. Here's our contribution:

Key Signing?
Carl Cort. Bought to provide much-needed assistance to Shearer and presumably as a replacement for Big Dunc. However, he could end up being our main attacking outlet, and as such, our season could rest on his ability to settle quickly at a new club and add consistency to his game.

Key Departure?
Lionel Perez. A baffling choice to non-Newcastle fans given that Robson has offloaded Robinson, Maric, Ketsbaia and Pistone for a combined 8m and the French goalkeeper went on a free.

However, the presence of Perez at United was a continued reminder of the arrogance of former manager Dalglish, who brought him in on ludicrous wages from Sunderland. In the two years since, he's made well over 500k out of Newcastle without ever kicking a ball in a competitive game for us.

When he eventually condescended to get off his backside and go out on loan (to Cambridge and Scunthorpe), Newcastle still ended up paying part of his wages.

What a fine example to young players! He's a disgrace to the profession. And he had a horrible perm.

Season View?
Little over a month ago everything seemed rosy in the garden but a mediocre pre-season and injuries to key players and new signings have left us seemingly as ill-prepared for the struggle ahead as we were 12 months ago.

It's vital that we get off to a good start in the league this time out, if we are to have any chance of making a return to European competition. As for the cups, we have a record in the League Cup roughly comparable to the Pitcairn Islands in the Eurovision Song Contest, while it would defy logic for us to have a fourth successive FA run. So, it's off to the Millennium Stadium in May then...

Bobby Robson seems to have everything a Newcastle manager needs: knowledge and understanding of the north-east, the respect (fear in some cases) of his coaches and players, a healthy and co-operative attitude to the media and not least, some idea of how football should be played. Post-Robson doesn't bear thinking about at present. Let's just hope his health and appetite for the game remains intact.

Only if Bobby signs Hansie Cronje, or imprisons Bobby Charlton in the catacombs under St.James'. Otherwise, go for the Reds.

Where will you finish?
As me granny used to say, bottom of the top half.

Reflection on last season?
A black and white knuckle ride as usual, but it was never dull....

What constitutes Successful season?
Bobby Robson still being alive, no lurid Newcastle-related exposes in the Sunday papers, the abolition of David Mellor, abject misery for the inhabitants of Wearside and Teesside, and the introduction of round-the-clock pub licensing hours in the UK.

Walking the disciplinary tightrope?
Off the field - Kieron Dyer. On the field - nobody, our good record from last season will hopefully continue.

Relegation fodder?
The teams that finish below us.


Page last updated 24 June, 2009