Then Saturday Comes… the half decent football blog

RIP Newcastle United 1993-2009

kevin keeganJust two games after Steven Taylor was tipping Newcastle United for a top-six finish next season, the Magpies have dropped out of the top flight.

Although still a Geordie hero, you can imagine King Kev had a wry smile after being proven right in his objections to the direction fat cockney Mike Ashley was taking the club.

A meek 1-0 loss against Aston Villa confirmed their drop to the Championship, where they will play such luminaries as Blackpool and Doncaster Rovers.  It’s no less than the barcodes deserve, after some ludicrously atrocious mismanagement off the field was replicated for months on it.

At this juncture big congratulations have to go to Sam Allardyce, Harry Redknapp and Paul Hart, who all showed how easy it was to drift away from the relegation zone with an ounce of footballing nous.  Ricky Sbragia and Phil Brown should be thankful that in Middlesbrough and Newcastle there were two teams even less interested in survival than themselves.

Still, the Hull City and Sunderland fans are right to celebrate their achievement of survival, irrespective of it being attained in spite of rather than due to their players.

So where next for Newcastle?  A huge clear-out is needed, not only because the current squad is terrible but also for financial reasons.  In a move that sums up Ashley’s complete lack of foresight, they neglected to include relegation wage cut clauses, something of real concern when you remember 15 players are earning over £50,000 per week.

Yep, you read that right. Collocini, Butt, Geremi, Duff, Barton, Owen, Viduka, Cacapa, Martins, Nolan, Smith, S.Taylor, Gutierrez, Beye and Jose Enrique all earned in excess of £2.6m for their ‘efforts’ this season.

But Newcastle’s most important decision this summer will not be to do with the players, it will come in the dugout.  Newcastle United can be a force to be reckoned with if you have the right manager (Keegan I, Robson and to an extent Dalglish).  Here are five potential candidates and my esteemed analysis of their credentials.


Joe Kinnear

Joe Kinnear

PROS: Already on the pay roll, his name is a pun

CONS: Doesn’t know the players’ names, cockney mafia



Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer

PROS: ‘Geordie Messiah’, enthusiastic, hard working

CONS: Tactically inept, shifty eyes, no experience




Steve McLaren

Steve McLaren

PROS: Competent manager, jolly, water resistant

CONS: Potential nervous break-down, ginger





Timour Ketsbaia

Timour Ketsbaia

PROS: Bright young manager, fans could sing ‘Timouri Ketsbaiiiia’ to the tune of ‘Sex on Fire’

CONS: Untested in England, crazy, Uncle Fester




Steve Coppell

Steve Coppell

PROS: Extremely competent, intelligent, very experienced

CONS: Too uncharismatic for the ‘Geordie Nation’?



There you have it, Toon fans.  The most obvious appointment would be Steve Coppell, and he would easily walk the division. Steve McLaren would get promoted as well.  But in reality that doesn’t matter.  Far more important for the Newcastle fans is to bring in someone who is geographically compatible with the club.

Therefore your next Newcastle manager will be…

Peter Quasimodo

Peter Quasimodo



scunthpOne of the teams Newcastle will join in the Championship is Scunthorpe United.  However, the Iron are infinitely more happy about their new dwellings than their deluded North-Eastern peers.

A frankly ridiculously entertaining 3-2 play-off final win was just rewards for a Scunthorpe team that plays fantastic football.  Even more ridiculous was the performance of Martin Woolford, who I previously thought was employed simply because he had pace; little did I know, but he’s actually better than Maradonna.

It was really no surprise that the highest profile League One game of the season should serve up such a feast of football.  I’ve been saying all year that League One is actually a far more entertaining spectacle than matches played at higher ends of the football pyramid.

If you don’t believe me check out this goal, and remember it was scored by the losing team.  A rocket!

After the season Millwall have had, it’s a shame that they couldn’t go up too.  Same goes for Leeds and MK Dons, all of whom will surely challenge for League One honours again next season.  If Norwich, Charlton and Southampton think they are going to walk that division they have another thing coming.

Still, the last word has to be a congratulations to Scunthorpe.  Hopefully this time they can keep hold of their best players and have a proper crack at the Championship next season.




Manchester United defender Gary Neville is the surprise inclusion in England coach Fabio Capello’s squad for the World Cup qualifiers in June.

Despite his only memorable contribution to the season being manhandled by John Carew at Old Trafford this season, Fab has gone against his ‘how many games has he played recently’ obsession and called up Red Nev,

Still, it’s not that bad.  I’m sure he won’t start, and he has lots of experience he can pass on.  What is worse is that there is still no place for Manchester City’s Nedum Onouha, one of the unsung revelations of the season.  In 2009, he and Fulham’s Brede Hangeland have been the best defenders in the country.

Of course, this time next year when Man City have bought half-a-dozen superstars and are celebrating their first top 4 finish, Onouha will be in the England set-up.  Not simply because he is worthy, but because you are only seemingly worthy if you play with other good players.



joker clappingEND OF AN ERA

Thursday will see the final update of the 2008-09 season.  As well as a glorious report of the Champ’s League final, I will be unveiling a much anticipated season review.

My broadcast media training is being busted out and a fantastic youtube review is being put together by my team of researchers.

Until Thursday, farewell my friends.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooah woah, temour ketsbaia! what about htafc as being ‘up there’ in league 1 next season? the beardsly thing was genius fair play

Comment by simpson

A friend sent through the following you Tube link too:

But seriously Dalglish? Successful? Sells Ginola and Ferdinand to be replaced by Jon Dahl Thomasson, and in his first full season takes us from 2nd to 13th.

Comment by Johnny Curry or if that doesnt work try this

Comment by Johnny Curry

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