The Football Ramble
Est 2007 - the most entertaining voice in football

The latest things going on in football tagged with `Newcastle`

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And with that statement, made after Crystal Palace conceded to bring Arsenal level in Saturday’s late kick-off, Gary Neville captured the thrilling unpredictability and outright lunacy thrown up during the opening weekend of the Premier League.

Well, most of it anyway.

With David Moyes gone, it seemed like aerial threats had, for the time being, been suspended from the skies above Old Trafford. Unfortunately for Ashley Young, this time it wasn’t (just) the fans showing their displeasure at a fairly lacklustre performance, but the local wildlife too, and while speculation abounds as to whether a bird did actually crap in his mouth or not, it’s a fairly damning indictment of the current situation at Old Trafford.

Congratulations must go to Swansea City, who didn’t allow the change of regime at Manchester United, not to mention an excellent pre-season, to distract from the fact that the Reds were eminently beatable at home last season and despite Louis van Gaal’s tactical switch ups, still looked unconvincing and disorganised, especially at the back.

va

If he wants to be optimistic, van Gaal now has the opportunity to prove his worth as a manager. He’s going to have to identify the players he needs, convince them to join a club without Champions League football for the foreseeable future, and sort out all the ones he’s got, all with the press watching him like a hawk, the precedent of Moyes/Woodward transfer farrago hanging in the air.

Let’s hope he can stay out of their line of fire, eh?

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One embarrassing squirt in and around the face is an accident. Two looks like a campaign of terror against overpaid footballers.

We honestly thought it would take longer than five hours for someone in the Premier League to make a mockery of Sky’s latest promotional tagline, The Most Envied League In The World™. In retrospect, it’s obvious. We never cope with the implementation of any technology well (see also: J.Pearce, Goal Line Technology) and with all the attention surrounding the unholstering of the vanishing spray in our elite domestic league, something was bound to go horribly wrong.

Cheers John Moss. At least we got it out of the way early.

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Other things likely to cause long term damage to the eyesight included Remy Cabella’s hair, Lee Cattermole’s fifth minute strike to put Sunderland ahead against West Brom and for West Ham fans in particular, Mark Noble’s first half penalty miss, which, when viewed in conjunction with débutante Eric Dier’s 90th minute strike, looks all the more horrendous.

Still, at least Sam Allardyce is in familiar territory. The Hammers are currently bottom of the table after that frustrating defeat, with Stoke & Newcastle United keeping them warm. At the other end, Manchester City are top, with Arsenal and Liverpool bringing up the rear. Leicester City are ninth after a 2-2 draw with Everton but The Nuge didn’t score so we’re not sure if it counts.

He doesn’t seem to think so.

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By Kelly Welles

Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, West Ham, Newcastle United, stoke city, Crystal Palace, Swansea City

sky

Oh, Sky. How the Ramble have moaned and complained about your insistence on designating every single day of rest Super, regardless of whether anything remotely Super has happened or is going to happen.

You seem to have no idea that by doing this, you’re actively eroding our enjoyment of the very game you’re trying to promote, because you’re falsely raising our expectations.

It’s like insisting it’s Christmas every day. And Jim White is Santa.

There was a little magic in the air yesterday, it’s true.

Even with that pesky slip, and the unexpected impact Tony Pulis and Connor Wickham had on the title race taken into consideration, neutrals could settle down on their sofas with the possibility of a Super day of football unfolding;  the righteous red half of Liverpool still in the race and capable of sneaking a hand onto the trophy while Manchester City were still admiring Manuel Pellegrini’s magnificent follicular formation.

But then West Ham touched the ball and we realised the chances of Sam Allardyce’s backfiring Datsun of a team beating City’s super sleek Lamborghini were roughly the same as Pete Donaldson receiving a call from Big Roy today.

Let’s not be completely unfair to the Home of Football, though. The scrolling scores and As It Stands table offered brief jabs of excitement – not least as they noted Newcastle’s emergence as a greying force after spending last couple of months in mourning for their absent manager.

Of course, relegating an already doomed Cardiff City and allowing Martin Skrtl to score an own goal isn’t *quite* as exciting as Super implies, so kudos to Shola Ameobi for trying to inject a bit of sparkle into what could be his swansong. 

sunday

Congratulations, Manchester City. It wasn’t quite the thrill we were seeking but with our Soccer Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-ed minds now turning to the World Cup, but it’s always nice to see quality players like Vincent Kompany and England’s own Joey Hart exploding with actual merriment.

As for the magic, we’ll defer it for now. We’ll almost certainly need it in June.

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By Kelly Welles

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Images: purelyfootball,@thecypriotafc

Liverpool, Manchester City, West Ham, Newcastle United

We’ve probably touched on this before, but in case any of you are new to adult life, taking pictures and putting them on t’internet is not a recent development in our evolution as a species. Andy Carroll’s been at it for years, as his now moribund Bebo page will testify. 

Unbelievably, some of these shots were taken when Andy was just sixteen years old. If he had this much vision and creativity with a Nokia camera phone, can you imagine what visual treats we might have been privy to if he’d been born nine years later, and reaching creative maturity at the same time as Microsoft’s Kinect technology was redefining the possibilities of home cinema?

The mind boggles.

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andy1

Rule #1: Don’t always assume that your subject should be central. Sometimes a more pleasing effect can be found with the subject on the periphery.

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andy2

Rule #2: Don’t assume this is always the case though. Sometimes you might want to distract the viewer from an item in the picture (like brollies your mate appears to be holding), and placing your tan front and centre can help with this.

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andy3

Rule #3: Use light and shade for subtle emphasis. Here Andy has placed his boyish good looks in the shade for better definition of his abs and that wicker waste bin.

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andy5

Rule #4: Now hang on a minute. We might not be among the elite of football pundits, but that is not bloody Andy Carroll! How did she get in there?

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andy4

Rule #5:Oh, right. Sorry bout that.

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By Kelly Welles

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Images via Bebo.

West Ham, Newcastle United, Andy Carroll

inbetweeners

Emile Heskey is set to star in the Inbetweeners 2 movie.

This glorious (and invariably fictitious) rumour started doing the rounds after someone spotted the Newcastle Jets striker’s name on the movie’s Wikipedia page, but since his prowess in front of goal hovers at roughly the same level as Simon, Jay, Neil and Will’s success with lady women, it feels like quite a good fit.

The campaign starts here.

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By Kelly Welles

Emile Heskey, Newcastle Jets, Inbetweeners

 
Regular viewers of Soccer Saturday will know that it doesn’t take a great deal to get Jeff Stelling into a foaming frenzy (a result for Hartlepool United is usually sufficient) but of all the reactions we’ve seen to the moment Alan Pardew headbutted Hull City’s David Meyler on the touchline during Newcastle’s 4-1 win, Stelling’s is probably the most efficient summary.

So far we’ve only caught a glimpse of the contents of the weighty tome the presenter refers to, but no author would bother to make it up. It opens with Pardew being sent to the stands for his offence, takes in a £100,000 fine from the club, condemnation from commentators, fans and the press as well as the early exchanges of a promising row with Graeme Souness.

Plot developments will include (but not be limited to) an FA enquiry, an extended ban and a ‘difficult’ conversation with club chairman Mike Ashley.

Keep reading, Ramblers. This one has real potential for our internationally renowned Book of the Week award.

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By Kelly Welles

Alan Pardew, Newcastle United, Football Association

It seems fitting that the Ramble’s favourite fail magnet was born on Valentine’s Day. The man is a lover, not a fighter, and to prove it, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite Keggy moments for you all to enjoy.

It’s our Valentine to you guys. Browse it while you’re waiting for your postman to arrive.

We’re sure he or she will be there soon, although it is getting late, isn’t it?

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Keggy vs. Machine

 
It’s impossible to over emphasise how exciting BBC Superstars was to the unfortunate generations who missed out. It’s persecution and reckless endangerment of athletes in the prime of their career is crystallised beautifully in this clip, which sees our man pedalling the hell out of a racer before stacking it, sliding across several feet of gravel before coming to rest, legs akimbo, on the track.

What. A. Guy.

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Keggy vs. Gender Stereotypes
pink

Real men wear pink.

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Keggy vs. Gravity

 
Some Newcastle United players have come to regret their association with helicopters, but not Keegan. This, one of his finest moments, sees him plucked, in full kit, from the St James’ Park pitch after announcing his retirement.

Despite his best efforts, Graham Souness failed to spoil the party.

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Keggy vs. Biology

 
The seventies. Quite homoerotic really.

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Keggy vs. Football

Ever since then I waited for the teamsheet before changing. Keegan, for example, would come in and tell us if we were playing straight away. His team talks were always very simple and he’d often say, “Just two minutes of your time, lads.” Once he came in and was about to speak to us when he went back out again to get his coat. Tino stood up, put on a coat and went, “OK lads just two minutes of your time,” in that accent of his. Seconds later KK walked in and just told Tino to carry on! Some managers would have gone spare but Keegan always laughed and joked with the rest of the lads.”

                                                              John Beresford. Newcastle United Defender, 1992-1998

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Keggy vs. The Football Ramble
panini

No man can call himself an elite footballer until he has survived the scrutiny of the DWHof panel.

He did, therefore he can.

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By Kelly Welles

Kevin Keegan, Newcastle United, Hamburg

breezy

When asked for reaction to the shocking news that Joe Kinnear had parted company with Newcastle United, Pete Donaldson sat back in his armchair in the Ramble’s oak panelled library, adjusted the belt on his smoking jacket and thoughtfully exhaled a generous lungful of Gauloise smoke, before saying this:

“Like the bloke in an outdoor cafe who pushes a map under your nose while his chubby mate makes off with your wallet and phone, Joe was a mere distraction, a big rummy trifle. Like one of those massive inflatable men they stick outside car dealerships to attract customers, but less intelligent.”

Actually, can inflatable men work fax machines? If so, there’s a job going…

That more or less covers it, we fancy.

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By Kelly Welles

Newcastle United, Joe Kinnear

Swansea 2-0 Fulham
fester

Ray Wilkins’ continuing presence on the touchline might be starting to Fester with René Meulensteen.

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Southampton 2 – 2 Arsenal
koscielny

Don’t give Laurent Koscielny too hard a time. Anyone would be mildly distracted by rumours of impending capture and a return to their natural habitat.

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Crystal Palace 1-0 Hull City
alice

Pete & Alice Eagle had a pre-match wander round the pitch.

eagle
It’s as yet unclear whether they made it out of the stadium alive.

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Norwich City 0-0 Newcastle United
binbag

Highlights of this game were limited to a bust up and a bin bag. The bin bag looked more threatening.

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Liverpool 4-0 Everton
petulance

Despite a cracking performance, Daniel Sturridge’s old foe Mr Petulance put in an appearance.

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Manchester United 2-0 Cardiff City
regan

Ole Gunnar Solksjaar hasn’t changed a bit, has he? Fred the Red, on the other hand, has put on a little ballast since the last time the two met.

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By Kelly Welles

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Images: Michael Regan/Getty,  Barrington Coombs/Empics Sports Photography Ltd, usatoday.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Cardiff City, Everton, Fulham, Newcastle United, Southampton, Crystal Palace, Norwich City, Swansea, Hull City

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