Tag Archives: Kevin Keegan

Iconic Moments: Shearer comes home (July 1996)

In July 1996, Newcastle United were still reeling from having thrown away a glorious opportunity to become champions of England. They held a 12-point lead over Manchester United in January, yet had somehow presided to lose the title to the men from Old Trafford by May. Kevin Keegan wanted to have one final throw at the dice to give the Geordie supporters the silverware they craved.

Alan Shearer was one of the hottest properties in world football. He had finished as top Premier League scorer for the past two seasons and just claimed the Golden Boot honours at the 1996 European Championship for England. It looked certain that he was going to leave Blackburn Rovers after his international heroics but where was he going to go?

Manchester United wanted to sign Shearer after missing out on him in 1992 and entered the race to get his signature. However, United chairman Martin Edwards stated that Blackburn refused to do any business with their former title rivals. However, Blackburn did decide to do business with Newcastle United.

It was Shearer’s boyhood club and his hero growing up was Kevin Keegan. On 30th July 1996, Blackburn received a world-record transfer fee of £15 million from Newcastle for Shearer’s services. He was coming home to Tyneside.

He became Newcastle’s record all-time goalscorer before retiring in 2006 but would never win any silverware for his hometown club. However, this signing was for the fans and Keegan’s last gift to them. He would resign as first-team manager in January 1997.

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Iconic Moments: Cole swaps Newcastle for Manchester (January 1995)

In January 1995, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was on the lookout for a new English forward to take the pressure off Eric Cantona. His team were not setting the pace in the title race and he wanted to shift the momentum away from league leaders, Blackburn Rovers.

It was anticipated that the player on the move would be the in-form Nottingham Forest striker, Stan Collymore. However, the Red Devils were about to cause a surprise which left everyone within football stunned. They broke the British transfer record to sign Andy Cole for £6 million from Newcastle United.

Cole had an incredible goalscoring record. He’d scored 68 goals in 84 matches for Newcastle, finishing with a phenomenal strike ratio rate of 81%. However, his relationship with manager Kevin Keegan had deteriorated and it was Keegan who was happy to sell his star asset, with Northern Ireland winger Keith Gillespie going in the other direction to St James’ Park. Ferguson admitted it was a “pleasant surprise” to get him and Cole said himself it was a “big shock.”

Keegan gave a passionate plea outside Newcastle’s ground to stunned supporters, defending the deal saying: “I felt we can take it on and you’ve got to allow me to do that. If it doesn’t work, I know what the implications are.”

When Cole left Manchester United for Blackburn in December 2001, he’d won nine major honours, including five Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League. Newcastle United won absolutely nothing.

The Managers: Micky Adams

Premier League Clubs Managed: Leicester City (2002, 2003-2004)

In a 19-year professional playing career, Micky Adams made 438 league appearances and experienced the Premier League as a player with Southampton. He made the step into management with Fulham in 1996 and has earned four promotions during his career. Unfortunately, his only full season in the Premier League as a boss ended with Leicester City suffering relegation in 2003-2004.

A Premier League player

Raised from the steel city of Sheffield, Adams made his playing breakthrough with Gillingham in 1978. He came through the playing ranks at the same time as fellow Premier League manager of the future, Steve Bruce and made nearly 100 appearances for the Gills before moving into the top-flight of the Football League, joining Coventry City in 1983. Again, he featured almost 100 times for the Sky Blues but he wasn’t well-appreciated by the supporters or the coaching staff and eventually moved to Leeds United in 1987. He left Coventry before their FA Cup final victory and it was actually the Midlands side that ended Leeds’ hopes of the famous trophy that season in the semi-final stage.

His most productive league spell of his playing days came at Southampton. Operating as a full-back, he joined the Saints for £250,000 in March 1989. It took him 18 months to earn himself a regular place in the team at The Dell. In the inaugural season of the Premier League, he played in 38 of the club’s 42 matches but is in the record books of the league for the wrong reasons. For dissent, he was given the red card in Southampton’s second match of the season against Queens Park Rangers. This meant he became the first-ever player in the Premier League to receive a red card.

His career in the top-flight ended when Alan Ball replaced Ian Branfoot as Southampton manager in January 1994. Ball elected to start Simon Charlton ahead of Adams and he was shipped out on-loan to Stoke City in March. Fulham signed him on a free transfer in the summer of 1994, reuniting him with Branfoot who would help Adams out with his first steps into coaching. However, it would be a real baptism of fire in which he would get the Fulham job as a manager.

91st out of 92

When Branfoot stepped down in March 1996, Fulham were sitting 91st out of 92 clubs in the top four divisions of English football. Relegation to the non-league looked like a distinct possibility so it was to be a real test of Micky’s managerial credentials straightaway.

He kept them up and in the following season, guided the Cottagers back to Division Two as they finished runners-up in the Third Division. His work won him Manager of the Season honours with limited resources to work on in west London.

In September 1997, his reward for starting Fulham’s charge up the divisions was the sack. Owner Mohammed Al Fayed decided to replace him with a higher-profile appointment as Ray Wilkins and Kevin Keegan moved into the dugout at Craven Cottage. That was four months after he had signed a five-year contract to stay on as Fulham boss.

He dropped down a division to join Swansea City but his reign there was short and not positive. He lasted a mere 13 days and oversaw just three games. Adams claimed money that had been promised to reinvest in the playing squad was not forthcoming. Before the season was out, he also had a go at managing a struggling Brentford side in the Second Division but couldn’t prevent them from being relegated. He was dismissed following their relegation with owner Ron Noades deciding to make himself the manager instead.

It is fair to say 1997-1998 was not a good season for Micky Adams.

From Brighton to Bassett

After a short break from management, Micky returned with Brighton & Hove Albion in April 1999. He arrived with the club in financial trouble, having been forced to sell their ground just to keep afloat. The only transfer fee he invested on during his time as Brighton boss was to sign Bobby Zamora for £100,000.

After leading Albion to a mid-table position in his first full season on the south coast, he led them to the Division Three title in 2000-2001 by 10 points. This led to him collecting a second Manager of the Season award. He felt though he had taken Brighton as far as he could and was disappointed to be overlooked for top-flight positions in the summer of 2001 at both Southampton and West Ham United.

In October 2001, he left Brighton to become Dave Bassett’s assistant manager at the Premier League’s basement side, Leicester City. The pair had worked together for six months at Nottingham Forest in 1998 and were brought in to try and rescue the Foxes precarious position. They had mustered just one victory in eight games at the start of the 2001-2002 campaign.

Bassett couldn’t save Leicester. The squad simply wasn’t good enough or confident enough to stay up in the Premier League. Days before their top-flight demise would be confirmed by a home defeat to Manchester United, Leicester confirmed Bassett would move into a Director of Football role and Adams would succeed him as manager. He was in-charge of the club’s final-ever match at Filbert Street which saw them defeat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 on the final day of the season.

Despite Leicester propping up debts of almost £30 million on their relegation which led to a transfer embargo, Adams guided the club back to the Premier League at the first attempt of asking. Leicester finished runners-up to Portsmouth in the 2002-2003 First Division.

His work received praise from the man who replaced him at Fulham, Keegan. In November 2003, he said: “I have a lot of respect for Micky Adams, who has proved himself at all levels. He has gone into clubs with little or no money to spend and shown he is not afraid of taking on tough jobs.”

A testing Premier League spell

With Leicester’s financial issues, Micky had to rely on loans and free transfers to bring players in ahead of their top-flight return. He did bring the likes of Les Ferdinand, Craig Hignett and Marcus Bent into the club but things were always going to be tough for the Foxes.

A second half collapse at Molineux in October saw them throw away a 3-0 lead to lose 4-3 to Wolverhampton Wanderers and it would be the story of Leicester’s campaign. They scored plenty of goals but conceded too many. Despite drawing at home with unbeaten Arsenal, winning 1-0 away at Birmingham and 3-0 at Manchester City, Leicester’s prospects of avoiding relegation always looked grim.

In March 2004, the club made the headlines for the wrong reasons when nine players were arrested for various offences related to an alleged sexual assault on three German tourists in La Manga. Three players; Keith Gillespie, Paul Dickov and Frank Sinclair were all charged but all allegations were later proved to be false. Adams even offered his resignation over the unsavoury incident but this was rejected by the Leicester board.

In his autobiography ‘Micky Adams, My Life in Football’ published in 2017, he admitted: “There is no doubt in my mind that it had an adverse effect on my career. Even though the players did not suffer in the same way, they had other issues that were never brought to light.”

Leicester were relegated in early May after a 2-2 draw with Charlton Athletic and after a poor start to the 2004-2005 campaign back in the Championship, Micky quit the club despite the board again attempting to change his mind. This time though, they had to accept his decision.

Since then, Adams has managed several clubs in the Football League, including Sheffield United, Coventry City, Port Vale and a second spell at Brighton. He ended his football management career in 2015 with Irish side Sligo Rovers.

Since then, he has his own football consultancy business, which has led to him lecturing on the Wales FA pro-licence course and does some part-time coaching for an Under-18 side close to his home in Leicestershire.

The Clubs: Newcastle United

All data correct upto 26th February 2018

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
872 329 225 318 1195 1178 +17 1212 23

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Shay Given 354
Alan Shearer 303
Shola Ameobi 294
Rob Lee 267
Nolberto Solano 230
Gary Speed 213
Fabricio Coloccini 211
Aaron Hughes 205
Steven Taylor 194
Kieron Dyer 190

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Alan Shearer 148
Peter Beardsley 47
Andy Cole 43
Shola Ameobi 43
Les Ferdinand 41
Papiss Cisse 37
Nolberto Solano 37
Rob Lee 34
Demba Ba 29
Gary Speed 29

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Newcastle United 8-0 Sheffield Wednesday 19th September 1999 1999-2000
Newcastle United 7-1 Swindon Town 12th March 1994 1993-1994
Newcastle United 7-1 Tottenham Hotspur 28th December 1996 1996-1997
Newcastle United 6-0 Aston Villa 22nd August 2010 2010-2011
Newcastle United 6-1 Wimbledon 21st October 1995 1995-1996
Newcastle United 5-0 Manchester United 20th October 1996 1996-1997
Newcastle United 5-0 Nottingham Forest 11th May 1997 1996-1997
Newcastle United 5-0 Southampton 16th January 2000 1999-2000
Newcastle United 5-0 West Ham United 5th January 2011 2010-2011
Newcastle United 6-2 Everton 29th March 2002 2001-2002

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Manchester United 6-0 Newcastle United 12th January 2008 2007-2008
Newcastle United 0-6 Liverpool FC 27th April 2013 2012-2013
Manchester City 6-1 Newcastle United 3rd October 2015 2015-2016
Arsenal 5-0 Newcastle United 9th December 2000 2000-2001
Chelsea 5-0 Newcastle United 9th November 2003 2003-2004
Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Newcastle United 11th February 2012 2011-2012
Manchester City 5-0 Newcastle United 21st February 2015 2014-2015
Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle United 29th December 2012 2012-2013
Newcastle United 2-6 Manchester United 12th April 2003 2002-2003
Manchester United 5-1 Newcastle United 29th August 1999 1999-2000

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Kevin Keegan 4 8th January 1997
Kenny Dalglish 3 27th August 1998
Ruud Gullit 2 28th August 1999
Sir Bobby Robson 6 30th August 2004
Graeme Souness 2 2nd February 2006
Glenn Roeder 2 6th May 2007
Sam Allardyce 1 9th January 2008
Kevin Keegan 2 4th September 2008
Joe Kinnear 1 1st April 2009
Alan Shearer 1 24th May 2009
Chris Hughton 1 6th December 2010
Alan Pardew 5 30th December 2014
John Carver 1 9th June 2015
Steve McClaren 1 11th March 2016
Rafa Benitez 2  

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester City 6th May 2012 52,389 2011-2012
Newcastle United 1-1 Sunderland 4th March 2012 52,388 2011-2012
Newcastle United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur 18th August 2012 52,385 2012-2013
Newcastle United 2-0 Liverpool FC 1st April 2012 52,363 2011-2012
Newcastle United 0-3 Sunderland 14th April 2013 52,355 2012-2013
Newcastle United 0-1 Arsenal 19th May 2013 52,354 2012-2013
Newcastle United 0-6 Liverpool FC 27th April 2013 52,351 2012-2013
Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester United 28th August 2005 52,327 2005-2006
Newcastle United 1-1 Chelsea 15th May 2005 52,326 2004-2005
Newcastle United 1-0 Liverpool FC 5th March 2005 52,323 2004-2005

 

Intro

Newcastle United were once christened “The Entertainers” as their gung-ho approach to attacking football almost landed them a Premier League title under Kevin Keegan in 1996. The Magpies have often lurched from one crisis to another and although there have been some impressive campaigns under the guidance of Sir Bobby Robson and Alan Pardew, they’ve lurched more often than not with relegation and fell through the trapdoor in both 2009 and 2016. Former Champions League winning manager Rafa Benitez is hoping to avoid a similar situation in 2018.

 

1993-1994

Kevin Keegan brought Newcastle United into the Premier League in 1993 and they immediately became the team to watch. The Magpies finished a fantastic third in the table and scored more goals than any other side in the season. Andy Cole finished as the winner of the Golden Boot with 34 goals, whilst Peter Beardsley returned to Tyneside and also chipped in with 20+ goals. Among the highlights in terms of results was a 3-0 home win over Liverpool FC where Cole scored a first half hat-trick and a 7-1 drubbing in March 1994 of hapless Swindon Town.

 

1994-1995

Newcastle made a red-hot start to the 1994-1995 campaign, winning their first six league matches and staying undefeated for the first 11 games. A 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford to Manchester United saw the beginning of their challenge to derail. Top spot was surrendered following defeat to Wimbledon a month later and Keegan’s side faded to sixth and missed out on European qualification. Cole was sold controversially to Manchester United for a British transfer record in January 1995 but the money would be reinvested that summer. Rob Lee was one of the stars of the team with his early season form winning him international recognition from England.

 

1995-1996

In the summer of 1995, Keegan spent the Cole money on Les Ferdinand. His £6 million arrival was one of several signings during the season. David Ginola and Warren Barton were among the other pre-season captures whilst David Batty and Faustino Asprilla joined the group during the season. The Toon Army made another searing start and lost just three times between August and mid-February. A 2-1 win over Bolton Wanderers in mid-January saw Newcastle establish a fantastic position. They were 12 points clear and odds-on to win the Premier League title.

Then, they collapsed and opened the door for Manchester United. Defeats to West Ham United, Arsenal and Blackburn Rovers along with losing the 4-3 classic at Anfield saw them slip behind their rivals from Old Trafford. Although they dug out three successive 1-0 victories in April, Keegan’s side finished gallant runners-up; four points shy of the Red Devils. It did feel like a golden opportunity missed.

 

1996-1997

Keegan cheered the fans up after the near-miss of the previous campaign as he persuaded Alan Shearer to return home. The local Geordie joined from Blackburn Rovers for £15 million in a world-record transfer fee. In October 1996, Newcastle dished out the perfect revenge on Manchester United, dismantling Alex Ferguson’s side 5-0 on Tyneside with Philippe Albert’s delicate chip of Peter Schmeichel one of the finest moments of the season.

However, the fans would be left devastated as Keegan suddenly resigned in early January. He was replaced by Kenny Dalglish and they finished second for the second successive season, edging out Arsenal and Liverpool FC on goal difference to claim a place in the group stages of next season’s UEFA Champions League.

 

1997-1998

After the joys of the previous two seasons, Newcastle dropped to 13th in 1997-1998 and only guaranteed their Premier League survival with a win over Chelsea on the penultimate weekend of the season. Pre-season preparations were severely damaged by a serious knee injury for Shearer in a tournament on Merseyside. That kept him out of action until mid-January and with Ferdinand sold to Tottenham Hotspur, the goals dried up. There was also some issues off-the-pitch. Directors Freddy Shepherd and Douglas Hall were forced to resign after being caught in a tabloid sting which saw them mock Shearer and make fun of the club’s own supporters.

 

1998-1999

Kenny Dalglish lasted just two games into the 1998-1999 campaign. He resigned and was replaced by Ruud Gullit. The Dutchman was given a rude awakening as Liverpool FC thrashed Newcastle 4-1 in his first match in the dugout. Three straight wins did follow which got Newcastle upto fifth but that was the peak as the league season tailed off again. Even the arrival of Duncan Ferguson from Everton in November couldn’t set pulses racing. Newcastle finished 13th for the second successive season and lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United at Wembley Stadium.

 

1999-2000

Newcastle were plunged into crisis in the early weeks of the season. The first shock of was the sending off of skipper Shearer in the opening day loss at home to Aston Villa. Back-to-back away defeats to Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton followed and then, Gullit controversially left Shearer on the bench for the Tyne & Wear Derby against Sunderland. The Black Cats won 2-1 and Gullit quit 48 hours later, having lost the power struggle against the captain. Sir Bobby Robson took over, stabilised the club and ensured comfortable survival. Newcastle finished 11th and recorded their biggest-ever Premier League victory too – beating Sheffield Wednesday 8-0 with Shearer scoring five goals.

 

2000-2001

Robson’s first full season as Newcastle manager turned out to be an unremarkable time as the club finished 11th again – 10 points shy of the European qualification positions. Shearer missed a huge portion of the season with injury and the £7 million spent on youngster Carl Cort from Wimbledon was poor business. A 3-1 win away at Leeds in January did take Newcastle sixth in the table but ultimately, a seven-game winless run that followed meant it was another season of mid-table mediocrity for the Geordie faithful.

 

2001-2002

Newcastle made a quantum leap forward in 2001-2002 and the signings of Craig Bellamy and Laurent Robert added plenty of pace and flair to their attack. Shearer scored 23 goals in the Premier League, only narrowly missing out on the Golden Boot to Arsenal’s Thierry Henry. A 3-1 victory at Highbury over Arsenal in December ended a four-year drought without a victory in the capital and an exciting 4-3 success at Leeds ensured Newcastle topped the table at Christmas. They stayed in the title race until back-to-back losses to Arsenal and Liverpool FC in March. However, a 2-2 draw at Blackburn in April with both goals from Shearer ensured UEFA Champions League football for only the second time in the club’s history.

 

2002-2003

Although they finished with fewer points than in 2001-2002, Newcastle actually improved position in the table to finish a fantastic third, only behind Manchester United and Arsenal in the final rankings. Robson’s side made a slow start, losing three of their first five matches and conceding five goals in away defeats to both Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United.

Newcastle starting putting results together though in the autumn months and emerged as a potential outsider for the title come springtime. The £8 million arrival of Jonathan Woodgate from Leeds United helped bolster the defensive numbers but consecutive defeats in April to Everton and a 6-2 beating at home by Manchester United finished off those lingering title dreams. Nevertheless, Newcastle brushed off challenges from Chelsea and Liverpool FC to secure a deserved top-three finish.

 

2003-2004

Newcastle’s season never really psychologically recovered from a surprise exit in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds to Partizan Belgrade, losing a penalty shootout at St. James’ Park. They played poorly away from home all season, collecting a staggering 12 draws on their travels and winning just twice at Middlesbrough and Fulham.

It took until early October for a first Premier League win to be recorded at home to Southampton and it was the Saints who finished off their aspirations of nicking fourth spot from Liverpool FC, as Newcastle drew 3-3 at St. Mary’s in the season’s final week. Many fans were disgruntled by the backwards step made by the club especially as no money was spent all season. Lee Bowyer was the only arrival and that was on a free transfer from relegated West Ham United.

 

2004-2005

Sir Bobby Robson’s five-year tenure at the club was ended four games into the season. Just two points were gained and two days after a 4-2 defeat to Aston Villa where he’d left Alan Shearer on the bench saw him asked to clear his desk by chairman Freddy Shepherd.

Graeme Souness resigned as Blackburn Rovers manager to fill the vacancy on Tyneside and a 10-match unbeaten run in all competitions suggested better times might follow but Newcastle lacked any consistency to launch a European challenge via the league. Key player Craig Bellamy was loaned out to Celtic in January after falling out with Souness and worse was to follow.

In April, teammates Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer started fighting each other during a 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa. Both were sent off and banned, with Bowyer fined six weeks’ wages and from that moment on, any momentum was lost. Newcastle quickly exited the latter stages of the FA Cup and UEFA Cup and finished a dreary 14th in the league table – their worst finish to this date.

 

2005-2006

To try and solve their goalscoring woes, Souness and Shearer managed to persuade Michael Owen to join Newcastle from Real Madrid for a club-record fee of £17 million that still stands today. Unfortunately, Owen sustained a broken metatarsal in a New Years’ Eve defeat to Tottenham Hotspur that ruled him out for the second half of the season.

Shearer retired at the end of the campaign, scoring in his final appearance during a Tyne & Wear Derby victory over Sunderland. Two months earlier, he became Newcastle’s highest all-time goalscorer in their history, surpassing the great Jackie Millburn’s total of 200 goals against Portsmouth.

Souness had gone well before the season’s end. He was sacked in early February after a dreary 3-0 defeat to Manchester City. Academy director Glenn Roeder took charge on a caretaker basis and guided the club from 15th on his arrival to a 7th-place finish that won him a two-year contract as manager.

 

2006-2007

Damien Duff and Obafemi Martins were the main summer arrivals in the first campaign since 1996 to start without Alan Shearer among the playing squad. Scott Parker succeeded him as captain but the momentum that Newcastle had attained at the end of the previous campaign did not transfer into this season. A large injury crisis, constant speculation about the future ownership of the club and a lack of results saw Newcastle finish a tame 13th in the table. Roeder resigned a week before the season’s end and Sam Allardyce was appointed as his successor.

 

2007-2008

Businessman Mike Ashley became the club’s new owner after buying Sir John Hall’s 41.6% share for £55 million. His arrival came a week after Allardyce’s appointment as manager and it soon became clear that he would not be able to stamp his authority on the place. Being the only side to lose all season to Derby County didn’t help.

A poor November saw the club slide into the bottom half of the table and the natives were getting restless again. Allardyce’s contract was terminated by mutual consent in early January and Ashley made the surprising move of bringing Kevin Keegan back for a second spell as manager. It took him nine games to taste victory in the Premier League but he did guide the Magpies away from danger to 12th. Worse would follow though for the long-suffering supporters.

 

2008-2009

A major falling out between Keegan and the board in early September started a chain reaction for Newcastle’s most chaotic season to-date. He resigned, stating the failure to have complete control over player transfers as the reason for his second departure from the club.

Joe Kinnear was not a popular choice and his reign only lasted until early February when health problems meant he had to stand down. Popular players like Shay Given and Charles N’Zogbia were sold and sensing relegation as a real possibility, Ashley asked club legend Alan Shearer to vacate his place on the BBC Match of the Day sofa to take charge of the club in an interim capacity for the last eight games of the season.

He only won once (against Middlesbrough) and a Damien Duff own goal on the final day of the season at Villa Park consigned them to relegation, ending their 16-year stay in the top-flight.

As Sky commentator Martin Tyler said on the final day: “From undermining Kevin Keegan to overtaxing Alan Shearer, it has been disastrous.”

 

2010-2011

Under the guidance of Chris Hughton, Newcastle returned to the top-flight at the first attempt and achieved some impressive early season results. Aston Villa were thumped 6-0, Sunderland well-beaten 5-1 and an Andy Carroll header beat Arsenal at The Emirates Stadium. Hughton though was never the preferred appointment of Ashley and he was sacked following a 3-1 defeat in early December to West Bromwich Albion.

Former Southampton and Charlton manager Alan Pardew was his replacement and again, not an appointment the fans wanted. He started well with a 3-1 win over Liverpool FC but the sale of fans’ favourite Carroll on transfer deadline day for £35 million to the Merseysiders once again stretched the relationship between fans and board to breaking point.

A sensational comeback to draw 4-4 with Arsenal did sooth the pain of no replacement being brought in to replace Carroll and Newcastle finished 12th in the final standings, although it could have been ninth but for throwing away a 3-0 lead on the final day against West Bromwich Albion to draw 3-3.

 

2011-2012

Pardew inspired a wonderful 2011-2012 season from his team which still had them as an outsider to qualify for the UEFA Champions League on the final day.

After going through their first 11 Premier League games unbeaten, Newcastle then failed to win in six consecutive games in November and December, mainly due to a spate of injuries among key defenders. The team recorded a resounding 3–0 home win over champions Manchester United in January and also produced excellent victories away to Chelsea and at home to Liverpool FC.

Demba Ba arrived on a free transfer and scored two hat-tricks in the first half of the campaign. In January, Senegalese forward Papiss Cisse joined from Bundesliga side Sport-Club Freiburg and made a sensational start, scoring 13 goals in just 14 appearances. Defeats in their final two games saw Newcastle finish in fifth place but qualify for the UEFA Europa League. Pardew’s achievement was noted as he won the LMA Manager of the Year award.

 

2012-2013

Following a great campaign in 2011-2012, it was back to struggles in 2012-2013. Newcastle lost 19 of their 38 matches and experienced their worst Premier League home defeat too, losing 6-0 to Liverpool FC in April.

Ba was sold to Chelsea in the January transfer window and Newcastle finished just five points above the bottom three in 16th position. The only highlight was a run to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League.

 

2013-2014

In the off-season, Newcastle confirmed the return of Joe Kinnear to the club as Director of Football, much to the chagrin of the supporters. The only arrival in the summer was the loan signing of Loic Remy from relegated Queens Park Rangers. A 4-0 defeat on opening weekend to Manchester City was a bad start but Newcastle finish 2013 in the mix for the European positions. This is thanks to the goals of Remy, the outstanding form of Yohan Cabaye and excellent victories over Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and a first win at Old Trafford since February 1972.

Cabaye was sold to Paris Saint-Germain for £19 million in the January transfer window and Pardew attracted bad headlines when he head-butted Hull’s David Meyler during a touchline confrontation in March at the KC Stadium. He received a seven-match ban for his actions and Newcastle’s season faded badly in the closing weeks as they limp to the end in 10th place, having lost seven of their last eight matches.

 

2014-2015

Newcastle started the season without a win from their opening eight Premier League games and Pardew was faced with growing pressure from frustrated fans, who start a website SackPardew.com to try and get the board to act on the poor results. He turned the corner with a run of six successive victories that took them from 20th to 5th in the table but in late December, he left the club to fill the vacancy at Crystal Palace.

Long-serving assistant John Carver got his chance in the spotlight but his managerial reign did not go well. He presided over some of Newcastle’s worst-ever league form, including a run of eight consecutive defeats. A win over West Ham on the final day of the season ultimately secured Newcastle’s survival at the expense of Hull City.

 

2015-2016

Steve McClaren was appointed as manager in pre-season but the 2015-2016 campaign was another disappointing one for Newcastle supporters. They didn’t win a match until mid-October, when summer arrival Georginio Wijnaldum scores four goals in a 6-2 victory over Norwich. Back-to-back victories against Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur in December suggest a potential revival but McClaren’s lack of enthusiasm and results speaks for itself. A shattering 3-1 home loss to AFC Bournemouth in March saw his tenure end five days later.

Rafa Benitez was appointed as his successor but he arrived too late to save the club. Despite staying unbeaten in their last six games and a 5-1 victory over Tottenham on the last day, Newcastle are relegated but Benitez does eventually decide to stay on as manager, surprising many experts by signing a three-year contract.

 

2017-2018

Under Benitez, the Magpies hit the heights of sixth place after a 1-0 home win over Crystal Palace in October. However, a 1-0 loss to Burnley in their next match starts an alarming run of eight defeats in their next nine matches. Victories away at West Ham and Stoke over the Christmas programme keep Newcastle above the bottom three and Matt Ritchie’s recent winner against Manchester United suggests the manager’s ability to get the maximum out of his squad mean they are more than likely to maintain their top-flight status at the end of the season.

Premier League Files: Mick Quinn

Premier League Career: Coventry City (1992-1994)

Mick Quinn made 64 Premier League appearances for Coventry City and his return of 25 goals in that time is very impressive figures.

He was born in the Everton area of Merseyside but grew up as a Liverpool FC fan. He began his career in the late 1970s as an apprentice at Derby County but would turn professional with Wigan Athletic in September 1979. He made 69 appearances for Wigan, scoring 19 times for them as they were toiling at the time in the old Fourth Division.

Despite helping Wigan to promotion in 1982, he was given a free transfer and moved to Stockport County, before a spell at Oldham Athletic. At both of these clubs, he started to become a prolific goalscorer.

Totals of 54 goals in 121 appearances for Portsmouth and 57 strikes in 110 appearances for Newcastle United showed his instincts of finding the back of the net. Between 1985 and 1992, Quinn was one of the top strikers outside of the top-flight. He did have one season with Portsmouth in the First Division in 1987-1988 but it ended in relegation. During his Pompey spell, he also spent two weeks in jail after breaching a driving ban which had been handed down to him for a drink-driving charge.

At Newcastle, he scored 34 times in the 1989-1990 season, including four on his debut against Leeds United. Quinn ended up as the Football League’s top goalscorer for that season. Newcastle’s form in the Second Division dropped off after 1990 as they missed out on promotion via the play-offs. He fell out with Kevin Keegan on his arrival as manager and was sold to Coventry City in November 1992 for £250,000.

Coventry manager Bobby Gould got an immediate payment back on Quinn’s signature as he scored 17 goals in his first six months at Highfield Road. Nicknamed ‘Sumo’ by the supporters, he scored braces against Manchester City, Southampton, Liverpool FC and Aston Villa. The latter two sides lost heavily (5-1 and 3-0) respectively as the Midlands side reached the dizzy heights of fourth in the table. They couldn’t maintain their early season tempo and faded to 15th in the final standings.

Quinn made a rip-roaring start to the 1993-1994 campaign, scoring a stunning hat-trick on the opening day as Coventry stunned one of the title favourites, Arsenal 3-0 at Highbury. Another five goals followed as the Sky Blues improved to 11th under the guidance of Phil Neal, who had succeeded Gould in October 1993.

He started the first three games of the next campaign but his Coventry career effectively ended after an unnecessary red card at Ewood Park against Blackburn Rovers. When he left the field midway through the second half, the game was firmly in the balance at 0-0. By full-time, Blackburn won 4-0. Neal was furious with Quinn and signed Dion Dublin for £2 million in the aftermath of this defeat. He never started a game again for Coventry and made his final appearance on New Years’ Eve 1994 in a 4-0 loss at home to Tottenham.

Unproductive loan spells followed at Plymouth Argyle and Watford before a brief spell in Greece with PAOK. Shortly after his signature in Greece, his younger brother died at the age of just 25. He left the Greek club in February 1996 and decided to retire from the game with immediate effect.

Today, he has racehorse stables in Newmarket, does some scouting work for Wigan Athletic and covers football and horse racing for radio station talkSPORT.

Iconic Moments: Keegan resigns (January 1997)

He was seen as the man who could do no wrong for Newcastle United. Kevin Keegan was the fans’ favourite on Tyneside. He has sent them home with plenty of joy as a player and produced many memorable moments during his five years as manager.

It was an absolute bombshell for the players and supporters when on 9th January 1997, Keegan decided to resign as manager. That was despite Newcastle being still in the race for the Premier League title and possessing hopes of success in the FA Cup and UEFA Cup.

Form had tailed off towards the end of 1996. Newcastle did go on a seven-game winless sequence but were still fourth in the Premier League and within striking distance of league leaders Liverpool FC. Less than 10 days earlier, they’d battered Tottenham Hotspur 7-1 at St James’ Park. Keegan’s last match in charge had been a 1-1 draw in the FA Cup third round at First Division Charlton Athletic from which he walked out of a press conference after the match. This announcement still came as a shock to all though.

A prepared statement was read out from the club’s Durham training complex, which read: “Newcastle United Football Club today (9th January 1997) announced the resignation of manager Kevin Keegan. Kevin informed the board of his wish to resign at the end of the season, having decided he no longer wishes to continue in football management at this stage in his life. Following lengthy discussions of which the board attempted to persuade Kevin to change his mind, both parties eventually agreed that the best route forward was for the club to, reluctantly; accept his resignation with immediate effect.

Keegan would return to the hotseat later on in his career, first with Fulham a year later before spells managing the England national team, Manchester City and another brief spell at Newcastle in 2008.

His teams were exciting, enthralling and energising to watch. They were “The Entertainers.”

Iconic Moments: Keegan loses it live on Sky (April 1996)

In 1996, Newcastle United looked on course to become Premier League champions, just three years after returning to the top-flight of English football. Under the guidance of Kevin Keegan, the Magpies’ were playing some of the best football around, thrilling their supporters and also the neutral fan. They were even christened ‘The Entertainers’ by Sky Sports.

In January, they beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 and put themselves 12 points clear of the chasing pack. Surely, the biggest prize in English football was on its way to Tyneside? Not if Manchester United had anything to do with it. Alex Ferguson’s side went on a spectacular run of form, winning 10 out of their next 11 games and Newcastle started to wobble. They lost at West Ham United, Arsenal and Blackburn Rovers and were edged out in a 4-3 epic by Liverpool FC at Anfield. Now, they were playing catch-up.

In mid-April, Manchester United were pushed all the way by their rivals in the Pennies, Leeds United. Leeds went down to 10 men early on, yet looked the more likely side to score before Roy Keane broke their resistance. Afterwards, Ferguson turned the heat on Keegan by making comments about the performance the opposition had put in at Old Trafford. He said: “Why aren’t they in the top six? They’re cheating their manager, that’s all it is. When they come to play Newcastle, you’ll notice the difference. It’s sad to say that but I’m very disappointed in Leeds.”

12 days later, Newcastle travelled to Elland Road needing a win to stay in the title race. Leeds battered Keegan’s side early on, hitting the woodwork twice and forcing Shaka Hislop into some decent saves. Newcastle dug in, scored a goal from Keith Gillespie and held on for a 1-0 victory – their third in a row. Keegan then went live on Sky and lost his temper, providing everyone with one of the greatest rants in football history.

“When you do that with footballers like he said about Leeds, and when you do things like that about a man like Stuart Pearce…I’ve kept really quiet but I’ll tell you something, he went down in my estimations when he said that. We have not resorted to that. You can tell him now, we’re still fighting for this title and he’s got to go to Middlesbrough and get something.”

“And I’ll tell you, honestly, I will love it if we beat them. Love it.”

Kevin Keegan had blown it and so had Newcastle. They drew at Nottingham Forest three nights later and Manchester United ended up Premier League champions by four points. Newcastle have never come close to winning the championship since.

Premier League Rewind: 23rd-24th August 2002

Results: Chelsea 2-2 Manchester United, Manchester City 1-0 Newcastle United, Birmingham City 0-1 Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Charlton Athletic, Liverpool FC 3-0 Southampton, Middlesbrough 2-2 Fulham, Sunderland 0-1 Everton, Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Aston Villa, West Ham United 2-2 Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion 1-3 Leeds United

The second weekend of the 2002-2003 season was a strange one in terms of days when matches were played. It might have been a traditional weekend, but by Saturday evening, all 20 teams had featured and there were no Sunday/Monday matches. There were still 26 goals though in the 10 games.

The programme began with a Friday night match between two of the Premier League’s big heavyweights as Chelsea and Manchester United battled it out at Stamford Bridge. The Blues’ made the quicker start and William Gallas headed them ahead inside of three minutes. David Beckham produced a brilliant equaliser in a match where the goals scored were of the highest quality. Bolo Zenden scored a tremendous individual effort of his own on the stroke of half-time to put Chelsea back ahead. The points would ultimately be shared as Ryan Giggs scored in the second half after a thunderous United counter-attack.

Reigning champions Arsenal had an almighty scare away to West Ham United. West Ham were coming off the back of a humbling 4-0 defeat to Newcastle United in their first match of the season but looked on-track to send the Gunners’ tumbling to their first league defeat of 2002. Goals from Joe Cole and Freddie Kanoute had the Hammers’ 2-0 up and it could have been 3-0 – only for David Seaman to save Kanoute’s very weak penalty. Arsenal showed their fighting spirit to recover the deficit and leave with a draw. Thierry Henry and Sylvain Wiltord both scored powerful efforts that nearly burst the Upton Park goal nets.

Another 2-2 game took place at the Riverside Stadium where Middlesbrough threw their game away at home to Fulham. Summer signing Massimo Maccarone scored twice on his home debut to have Steve McClaren’s side cruising to victory. Unbelievably, they gave this away in stoppage-time. Sean Davis and Facundo Sava scored to salvage an unlikely point for the Londoners. This game also got fans to see Sava’s traditional celebration for the first time – ‘The man with the mask!’

It looked like Anfield was about to welcome a new hero in the form of El-Hadji Diouf. Gerard Houllier had spent big money (£11million) to take one of the stars of the World Cup finals that summer to Merseyside. It initially looked like being a sound investment, especially after Diouf scored twice on his home debut in a comfortable 3-0 victory over Southampton. Danny Murphy got the third from the penalty spot. Little did LFC fans know that day that this double act from Diouf would turn out to be his most meaningful contribution in a Liverpool FC shirt.

Kevin Keegan was facing former foes in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off and beating them too. Ex-Newcastle United forward Darren Huckerby scored the only goal as Keegan’s Manchester City beat Newcastle 1-0 at Maine Road. Newcastle would have another excellent season under Sir Bobby Robson’s guidance but a terrible away record early season scuppered their title challenge. The Magpies’ won just once away from home from August to early December.

Premier League newcomers Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion were finding life tough at this level. Both lost their first home matches on this particular weekend. Birmingham fell 1-0 to Blackburn Rovers with Dwight Yorke scoring the only goal. West Brom were taken apart by a ruthless Leeds United side at The Hawthorns. The Baggies’ lost 3-1, with Lee Bowyer scoring the pick of the visitors’ goals.

Elsewhere, Charlton Athletic came from a goal down to beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 and there were 1-0 victories for Everton and Tottenham Hotspur over Sunderland and Aston Villa respectively. It said a lot for the competiveness of the Premier League that after two matches, only Liverpool FC and Leeds United could boast 100% records. Neither would play a part in the title outcome come May, so this was another example of early days where the table wasn’t taking any detailed shape.

What else happened in August 2002?

  • The UK is left shocked after the disappearance of 10-year-old Soham schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.
  • 118 soldiers are killed when a Chechen missile outside of Grozny strikes down a Russian Mi-26 helicopter.
  • Johannesburg in South Africa hosts Earth Summit 2002 with the main aim – discussing sustainable development by the UN.
  • The first series of “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me out of Here!” begins on ITV. Radio DJ Tony Blackburn will end as the winner.
  • The 2002 Commonwealth Games close in Manchester.

Premier League Files: Peter Beardsley

Premier League Career: Everton (1992-1993), Newcastle United (1993-1997), Bolton Wanderers (1997-1998)

Peter Beardsley had a magical football career that in terms of his playing days, spanned 20 years. He won multiple league championships during Liverpool FC’s last glory period in English football and represented England at two World Cup finals and the 1988 European Championships in West Germany.

Beardsley’s achievements within the game can’t be ignored. His best days might have occurred just before the launch of the Premier League but he still played a significant part in Newcastle United’s free-flowing and entertaining approach they took to the new era of English football under Kevin Keegan.

After winning two league titles and the FA Cup in 1989, Beardsley was discarded by Liverpool FC boss Graeme Souness in the summer of 1991. Souness was reshaping the squad at Anfield and wanted to bring in a fresher, younger player. His decision to sell Beardsley to Merseyside rivals Everton didn’t make him that popular with either side of the city.

He scored 25 goals in two seasons at Goodison Park, including 10 in the first Premier League season. Sweetly for him, one of those goals was a winning goal in a Merseyside Derby against the Reds’ in December 1992. Beardsley became only the second player in the proud history of this famous fixture to have scored for both Liverpool FC and Everton.

The Toffees’ though were in financial trouble off-the-field. When hometown club Newcastle United offered them £1.5m for Beardsley’s services in July 1993, Everton simply needed to take the money, especially as Peter was now 32-years-old.

This was his second spell with the Magpies’, having played for them between 1983 and 1987. He had been Keegan’s strike partner then. Now, Kevin was his new manager and Beardsley flourished back on Tyneside. He scored 21 league goals in a formidable strike partnership with Andy Cole. Their total of 55 combined outscored several Premier League teams in their entitrely. Newcastle finished a fabulous third in their debut campaign and qualified for the UEFA Cup.

A broken cheekbone on the opening weekend of the following season saw Beardsley miss early season matches and he had already hit his peak with his local club. He still achieved 13 goals in 1994-1995 to top Newcastle’s goalscorers’ chart after Cole had departed for Manchester United in January 1995. Beardsley almost captained the club to the ultimate prize in 1996 but the club threw away a 12-point lead and it was the Red Devils’ who claimed their third title in four seasons instead.

When Alan Shearer arrived at St James’ Park for a world-record transfer fee in the summer of 1996, Beardsley switched into a deeper midfield role to accommodate the striking talents of Shearer and Les Ferdinand. His role became more restricted as the season continued and in August 1997, with Kenny Dalglish having replaced Keegan in the dugout, Beardsley was sold to Bolton Wanderers for £450,000. He featured 21 times in 1997-1998 for the Trotters’ but couldn’t stop them sliding back into Division One after one season in the Premier League. That was the end of his top-flight days. Peter finished his career with brief spells at Fulham, Hartlepool United and finally, two games for the Melbourne Knights in Australia before hanging up his boots in 1999.

He immediately returned to Newcastle United once he finished playing to start a successful coaching career. He has spent that time working mainly with the club’s reserves’ side and training youngsters how to finish as an attacking coach. Considering his fantastic goalscoring ratio and record, these young talents have a fine tutor to listen to.