Tag Archives: Newcastle United

Memorable Matches: Wimbledon 3-3 Newcastle United (December 1995)

Goalscorer: Les Ferdinand 8, 29, Dean Holdsworth 19, 65, Efan Ekoku 21, Keith Gillespie 35

Teams:

Wimbledon: Paul Heald, Kenny Cunningham, Alan Kimble, Andy Pearce (Alan Reeves 46), Chris Perry, Robbie Earle, Oyvind Leonhardsen, Jon Goodman, Efan Ekoku (Marcus Gayle 46), Mick Harford, Dean Holdsworth

Newcastle United: Shaka Hislop, Warren Barton, John Beresford, Steve Howey, Darren Peacock, Lee Clark, Rob Lee, Keith Gillespie, David Ginola, Peter Beardsley, Les Ferdinand

Referee: Gerald Ashby, Attendance: 18,002

Newcastle United had made a flying start to the 1995-1996 Premier League campaign. Kevin Keegan’s side had only failed to win twice when they travelled to Selhurst Park in early December to play Wimbledon. Their record at Selhurst Park against the Dons was dismal, having lost six of their previous seven visits there. This would be another difficult afternoon against Joe Kinnear’s side that needed points themselves. Wimbledon came into this match in the bottom three in the table.

It was the league leaders who broke the deadlock inside eight minutes. Mick Harford lost possession and Newcastle made a sweeping break forward. Former Wimbledon player Warren Barton produced a super ball for Les Ferdinand to score his 16th Premier League goal of the season. It was his fourth of the current campaign against Wimbledon, having grabbed a hat-trick on Tyneside back in October.

However, if Newcastle thought it was going to be a routine afternoon from that point onwards, they would be seriously mistaken. Wimbledon often raised their game for matches against the more prestigious clubs in the division and they demonstrated this with two quick-fire goals to lead 2-1 by the 21st minute. First, Dean Holdsworth levelled the game, finding some space in the box to curl the ball beyond Shaka Hislop after being picked out by Jon Goodman. Then, Hislop made a mess of a looping ball into the box from Alan Kimble. Goodman lobbed the ball back across the box and ex-Newcastle player Harford’s shot was diverted into the net by Efan Ekoku.

Within half an hour, Newcastle were back on level terms in a free-flowing match where attacks were definitely doing better than defences. Ferdinand scored his second. David Ginola dropped a ball into the near post and Ferdinand evaded his marker in the penalty area to make it 2-2. It was only early December and in all competitions, Ferdinand already had 20 goals to his name – firmly justifying the £6 million price tag Newcastle had paid Queens Park Rangers in the summer for his services.

By half-time, Keegan’s Magpies’ were leading for the second time. Ferdinand turned goal provider. He had the beating of Chris Perry on the left-hand side, before cutting the ball back into the danger area. Keith Gillespie went for the ball with Kenny Cunningham and the ball came off one of them and trickled into the net. Replays later showed that Gillespie had got the faintest of touches and so could be credited with the goal. Injuries to Andy Pearce and Ekoku at half-time forced Kinnear into two half-time substitutions but Wimbledon showed great character to level the match again with 25 minutes remaining. Kimble did brilliantly to shake off Gillespie, before delivering a brilliant cross. 36-year-old Harford won the header in the air against John Beresford and Holdsworth was there to score his second of the contest, despite Hislop getting a strong hand to his header.

The final outcome was a fair result in an enthralling contest. Newcastle had trouble in the capital all season, failing to win in London and that was one of the reasons why they surrendered a 12-point lead in January to finish runners-up to Manchester United.

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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.

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.

Shock Results: Newcastle United 5-1 Tottenham Hotspur (May 2016)

Goalscorers: Georginio Wijnaldum 19, 73 PEN, Aleksandar Mitrovic 39, Erik Lamela 60, Rolando Aarons 84, Daryl Janmaat 86

Teams:

Newcastle United: Karl Darlow, Paul Dummett, Daryl Janmaat, Chancel Mbemba, Steven Taylor, Jack Colback, Cheick Tiote (Jonjo Shelvey 62), Moussa Sissoko (Jamie Sterry 84), Andros Townsend, Georginio Wijnaldum (Rolando Aarons 76), Aleksandar Mitrovic (SENT OFF)

Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld, Ben Davies, Jan Vertonghen, Kyle Walker (Nacer Chadli 71), Eric Dier, Ryan Mason (Tom Carroll 45), Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela, Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son (Josh Onomah 45)

Referee: Anthony Taylor, Attendance: 52,183

There was meant to be a sense of gloom around St James’ Park on the final day of the 2015-2016 season. Midweek results meant Newcastle United had already been relegated before this fixture against Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham had enjoyed their best-ever Premier League season and could secure the runners-up spot with a positive result on Tyneside. In the end, this turned into one of the most surprising scorelines of recent times.

Despite their impending demise from the top-flight, Newcastle were unbeaten in five matches and the fans showed their support towards Rafa Benitez, who was in-charge but mulling over whether he wanted to stay and be the man to guide them in the Championship. His side made a good start and after 19 minutes, took the lead. Aleksandar Mitrovic assisted Georginio Wijnaldum who scored his first goal in 16 Premier League matches. Tottenham simply didn’t look up for the fight. Golden Boot winner Harry Kane was left chasing shadows all afternoon.

Mitrovic was putting in an all-action display. The Serbian, who had scored in the win at White Hart Lane in December 2015, doubled Newcastle’s lead six minutes before half-time. In doing so, he scored the 1000th goal of the 2015-2016 Premier League campaign. Not even Sunderland fans paying for a plane to fly over the ground during the match, saying ‘Auf Wiedersehen Prem Tyne to Go’ could dampen the spirits of the home supporters.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men did flicker into life early in the second half and Erik Lamela managed to reduce the deficit, finding the back of the net on the hour mark through Karl Darlow’s defences at his near post. Moments later, Newcastle were down to 10 men. Mitrovic was shown his second red card of the season for a dangerous lunge on Spurs full-back, Kyle Walker.

That should have prompted a proper fightback from the visitors. Instead, they folded in alarming fashion. Moussa Sissoko drove the hosts forward from midfield. The Frenchman was upended in the penalty box by Jan Vertonghen after 73 minutes. Wijnaldum coolly dispatched the penalty to take his league tally for the season to 11 goals – all coming on home soil. Tottenham heads completely dropped after conceding this goal and the gloss on the scoreline was added by late efforts from substitute Rolando Aarons and right-back Daryl Janmaat as Newcastle said farewell to the Premier League for at least a season in fitting fashion.

Defeat here for Pochettino’s side, coupled with an Arsenal win over Aston Villa meant the Gunners finished above Tottenham for the 21st successive Premier League season. Benitez signed a three-year contract to stay on at Newcastle in the summer of 2016 and would guide them back to the Premier League for the 2017-2018 season.

Premier League Files: Darren Peacock

Premier League Career: Queens Park Rangers (1992-1994), Newcastle United (1994-1998), Blackburn Rovers (1998-1999)

Darren Peacock made nearly 400 league appearances in his career. He spent eight seasons in the Premier League playing for Queens Park Rangers, Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers. A very nasty neck injury ended his playing days at the start of the millennium.

Darren began his career in the lower leagues of English football with Newport County. When Newport went bankrupt, Hereford United picked him up on a free transfer in 1989 and turned him into a very capable and towering central defender. In his first full season with them, he was voted Player of the Year. Gerry Francis and Queens Park Rangers were impressed and in 1990, parted with £200,000 to bring Peacock to west London.

He made over 100 league appearances for the Hoops and was a constant threat at attacking set-pieces. On transfer deadline day in March 1994, he was sold to Newcastle United for £2.7 million. It is believed that this transaction started the rift between Francis and the club’s board which led to his decision to resign as first-team manager seven months later.

Kevin Keegan had every faith in Peacock’s abilities and he immediately broke into their first-team setup, helping Newcastle to a third-place finish in their very first Premier League season. In total, he would make 176 appearances for Newcastle, scoring four goals. One of his rare goals was the opener in the 5-0 demolition job Newcastle dished out on Manchester United in October 1996.

Kenny Dalglish started to break up the team that had come within a whisker of the Premier League title in 1995-1996 and in 1998, sold Peacock to Blackburn Rovers. This is where his injury problems began to occur. He scored just once against Southampton in a 3-3 draw but Blackburn’s decline was well underway and they would be relegated at the end of the 1998-1999 campaign. It was whilst he was on-loan at Wolverhampton Wanderers that saw the end of his career.

In a match against Fulham, he collided with his own goalkeeper, Michael Oakes and suffered damaged vertebrae in his neck and compression to his spine. Despite being knocked out in the collision, he carried on playing and it was only when he returned to Blackburn that it became clear how close he had come to paralysis. In December 2000, he retired on medical advice.

On retiring, Peacock moved to the Algarve with his family but returned to England for a two-year spell as manager of non-league side Lancaster City between 2013 and 2015 when his assistant manager was his former teammate at Queens Park Rangers, Trevor Sinclair.

Peacock also had one of the most famous haircuts in the 1990s. His long hair which stretched over the back of his shirt made him a firm favourite with supporters, especially at Newcastle.

Great Goals: Hatem Ben Arfa – NEWCASTLE UNITED vs. Bolton Wanderers (April 2012)

On Easter Monday in 2012, Newcastle United were at home to relegation-threatened Bolton Wanderers and were struggling to break down the Trotters resolute defence. The score was 0-0 and therefore, something special was required to break the deadlock. It came from midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa.

The Frenchman received the ball inside his own half and a beautiful spin saw him leave Sam Ricketts on the ground. He was now away and continued a mazy run right through the centre of the St James’ Park turf. Three Bolton players were beaten and then, he calmly placed the ball beyond the advancing Adam Bogdan.

At times, Ben Arfa was a frustrating enigma. Sometimes, he was brilliant, other times, he was non-existent. However, this was one special goal from a player who has always had the quality to deliver but not always fully demonstrated his abilities.

Iconic Moments: Big fight afternoon on Tyneside (April 2005)

It was supposed to be a day of celebration on Tyneside when Newcastle United hosted fellow mid-table side Aston Villa in April 2005. Alan Shearer had been persuaded by the Geordies hierarchy to postpone his planned retirement and carry on playing for another season. Despite a mediocre league campaign, the Magpies were still in Europe in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals and had reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup. On this day though, a couple of their players bought the sport of boxing onto the football pitch.

The day wasn’t going to plan. Aston Villa had cruised into a 3-0 lead and Newcastle were already down to 10 men after Steven Taylor’s red card for a deliberate handball in the second half. The game was up with less than 10 minutes to play before it all exploded between midfielders Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer.

Furious that Dyer had ignored him for a simple pass, Bowyer saw red and started fighting Dyer, throwing at least three punches in his direction. Dyer threw one back more in self-defence before Villa’s Gareth Barry and stunned Newcastle teammates managed to break the pair up. Referee Barry Knight had no choice but to send both offenders off, leaving Newcastle with just eight players to finish the contest.

Both players apologised and were banned, with Bowyer taking the lion share of the blame for being the transgressor. Newcastle’s season never recovered. They finished 14th and won no silverware despite those deep cup runs. It was a shameful afternoon for everyone connected with this proud football club.

Premier League Files: Fabricio Coloccini

Premier League Career: Newcastle United (2008-2009, 2011-2016)

Argentine defender Fabricio Coloccini spent eight years on Tyneside and became a cult figure with supporters of Newcastle United. Signed during Kevin Keegan’s brief second reign in the summer of 2008 from Deportivo La Coruna, Coloccini would captain the club for several seasons and made 275 league appearances for the Magpies.

After beginning his career at Boca Juniors in his native Argentina in 1998, Coloccini attracted the interest of Italian giants AC Milan but he only made one appearance for the Rossoneri and had several loan spells away from the fashionable Italian city. Time away included spells in Spain with Alaves and Villarreal. In January 2005, he joined Deportivo La Coruna on a permanent contract and was a regular starter, featuring 105 times for the former Spanish champions.

Two days before the start of the 2008-2009 campaign, Coloccini made the switch to English football as Newcastle United paid Deportivo £10.3 million. He made his Premier League debut at Old Trafford and it was an impressive opening bow as Newcastle drew 1-1 with Manchester United. He formed a partnership with fellow newcomer Sebastien Bassong but Coloccini initially struggled with the physical demands of the English game. He came under pressing scrutiny for this, especially when Newcastle lost 5-1 at home to Liverpool FC in December 2008. His performances did improve after this game but a final day loss to Aston Villa saw the club relegated to the Championship.

Despite Newcastle’s relegation, Coloccini stayed loyal to the club and was the mainstay of the tightest defence in the division. His great contributions earned him a place in the Championship Team of the Year as the Magpies returned to the top-flight at the first attempt as champions. In late 2010, Coloccini wore the captain’s armband for the first time and marked this feat with his first Premier League goal in the 2-2 home draw with Wigan Athletic. His 2010-2011 campaign of impressive landmarks continued against Tottenham Hotspur when he opened the scoring in the 1-1 draw in his 100th appearance for the club.

When Kevin Nolan swapped the north east for London and West Ham United in the summer of 2011, Coloccini was handed the captain’s armband permanently by manager Alan Pardew. Having previously played sporadically in a partnership with local player Steven Taylor, the pair were the regular centre-back combination in the 2011-2012 season as Newcastle finished in a fantastic fifth position in the table. They conceded only eight goals in their first 11 matches and Coloccini rightfully deserved his place in the Premier League PFA Team of the Year.

It looked like his time on Tyneside would end abruptly in January 2013 when Fabricio stunned the club by handing in a transfer request. He stated personal reasons for the decision, wanting to return to Argentina. San Lorenzo was the club who showed the interest but a transfer fee couldn’t be agreed between the two parties and after further consultation with Pardew, the Argentine elected to stay on until the end of the season and make a more firm decision about his long-term commitments in the summer.

Further persuasion from Pardew in the summer of 2013 convinced Coloccini to stay on with Newcastle determined to hang on to one of their prized assets. In November 2014, he reached the milestone of 200 league appearances for the club in the 1-0 Premier League victory over Liverpool FC. A week later, he scored his first goal in three years with a header in the 2-0 success at The Hawthorns against West Bromwich Albion.

He remained with Newcastle until July 2016 when after their second top-flight relegation during his time at St James’ Park, his contracted was mutually terminated so he could complete his move back to Argentine football. He’d hoped to end his career with San Lorenzo but after just 12 appearances, was made surplus to requirements in the summer of 2017.

The Managers: Alan Pardew

Premier League Clubs Managed: West Ham United (2005-2006), Newcastle United (2010-2014), Crystal Palace (2015-2016), West Bromwich Albion (2017-2018)

Life has been very tough of late for Alan Pardew. The 2012 LMA Manager of the Year hasn’t been able to arrest the slide at West Bromwich Albion and the Baggies’ relegation looks set to be confirmed in the coming weeks. A run of eight successive defeats saw him part company with the club in April 2018.

Pardew has attracted headlines for the wrong reasons and got himself into trouble with the senior authorities on a number of occasions. He is a confident manager who has always believed he can turn around difficult outcomes. He’s often been able to string together a lengthy run of successive victories but at the same time, can be in control of teams who go on worrying runs of consecutive losses too.

His best achievements as a player and manager have been to reach the FA Cup final three times. However, it has been a case of three times unlucky as he has lost on all occasions.

Wonderful winner against mighty Liverpool

Born in the Wimbledon area of London, Pardew started his career as a part-time player in non-league football whilst working as a glazier. His most prolific spell came with Crystal Palace. He joined them in 1987 for a fee of just £7,500. Two years later, he helped them win promotion to the First Division and in 1990, came the greatest moment of his career.

The midfielder scored the winning goal in extra-time of a fantastic FA Cup semi-final against mighty Liverpool FC at Villa Park. The Eagles won 4-3, just seven months after losing 9-0 to the same opposition in a league fixture at Anfield. They were through to the final where they played Manchester United. Despite leading, the game ended in a 3-3 draw and Alex Ferguson’s side won the replay to earn their first major honour as a partnership.

In 1991, Crystal Palace finished a surprising but deserving third in the First Division table before Pardew moved to Charlton Athletic in November 1991. He was the Addicks top goalscorer in the 1992-1993 season with 10 goals and was part of the squad that made a triumphant return to The Valley after several seasons playing at neutral venues across the capital.

He played four times for Tottenham Hotspur during the 1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup, being part of a squad that lost 8-0 to German side 1. FC Köln which remains the club’s heaviest-ever defeat. After a spell with Barnet, he ended his playing career on the books of Reading in 1998, although he never played a first-team game for the Berkshire outfit.

A controversial departure

It would be Reading where Alan would make his first steps as a manager, taking over in a couple of caretaker spells before getting the job permanently in 1999. Reading were toiling in the Second Division at the time and often fighting off relegation but he managed to guide them to serial play-off contenders during his time with the Royals. The likes of Jamie Cureton flourished under his management and in 2002; he won promotion to the First Division automatically.

There were no issues with stepping up to a higher level. In his maiden season as a boss in the second-tier, Pardew’s Reading side finished a stellar fourth but were beaten in the play-offs by Wolverhampton Wanderers. His impressive time with the club attracted the interest of West Ham United and it would be a controversial departure too.

In September 2003, West Ham approached Reading for permission to speak to Alan. Reading rightly refused but Pardew decided to force the hand by tendering his resignation. A compromise was eventually reached and he would take over at Upton Park but it was a sour ending to an excellent first job in management.

Denied by Gerrard

Having been relegated from the Premier League on the final day of the 2002-2003 campaign, West Ham United were firm favourites to make an instant return but the going was much tougher than anticipated. The Hammers had to settle for a place in the play-offs as Norwich City and West Bromwich Albion won the two automatic promotion spots. The play-offs ended in defeat in the final to his old club Crystal Palace.

The 2004-2005 season was just as hard proving that no matter how talented your squad is, getting out of the Championship is very tricky. Yet again, West Ham had to settle for a spot in the play-offs. Pardew was coming under scrutiny from some sections of the Boleyn Ground faithful and failure again would probably cost him his job. This time he prevailed, as Bobby Zamora’s strike defeated Preston North End 1-0 in the final. After two seasons in the wilderness, West Ham were back in the Premier League party.

Their first season back was very impressive. Pardew’s side always posed a threat on the counter-attack and played some enjoyable content which pleased the supporters. They finished ninth in the Premier League and beat Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the season to deny Spurs a chance in the Champions League. There was also a 3-2 success on the club’s final trip to Highbury – Arsenal’s iconic ground.

The main highlight though was a run to the FA Cup final with the likes of Bolton Wanderers, Manchester City and Middlesbrough being defeated on the road to Cardiff. In the final cup final to be played in the Welsh capital, West Ham took on red-hot favourites Liverpool FC and came within a few moments of winning the cup for the first time in 26 years. They led 2-0 and 3-2 but Pardew was to be denied by Steven Gerrard’s stoppage-time heroics with an exhilarating equaliser. Liverpool would win the penalty shootout leaving the Londoners heartbroken.

It felt like the cup defeat had a negative effect on the dressing room dynamics and despite signing world stars Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, West Ham went on an alarming run of defeats which was their worst run in 70 years. This included a shock League Cup exit at the hands of Chesterfield and UEFA Cup failure at the first hurdle to Palermo.

The new Icelandic owners gave their public backing but a horrible performance and 4-0 loss to Bolton Wanderers in mid-December was the final straw. Pardew was sacked two days later but he would be back in management just over two weeks after this axing.

Charlton woe

On Christmas Eve 2006, Pardew returned to Charlton Athletic, succeeding Les Reed in the job. The Addicks were in the bottom three and struggling to maintain their grip on their Premier League status. Pardew’s first match nearly drew instant success late equaliser from Fulham in controversial circumstances. It would be the story of his reign at The Valley.

Charlton’s form improved, including a 4-0 victory over his former employers in February but it wasn’t enough to avoid the drop. A 2-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur in the club’s final home match of the season saw Charlton’s seven-season stay in the top-flight come to a sudden end.

The spark seemed to have gone from Pardew. He couldn’t motivate the club to a sustained push for an instant return to the Premier League. Charlton finished a distant 11th in the Championship in 2007-2008 and after slipping into the bottom three of that division in November 2008, he parted company with the club by mutual consent.

His next role was down in League One as he tried to revive Southampton’s fortunes. Despite a points deduction for entering administration, he did bring in plenty of firepower with the likes of Lee Barnard and Rickie Lambert arriving on the south coast. Southampton did win the Football League trophy under his stewardship in April 2010 but with low morale within the staff, he was sacked five months later by owner Nicola Cortese.

It looked like his top-flight days were numbered until Newcastle United came calling.

Defying the critics

In December 2010, Chris Hughton was dismissed as Newcastle United manager and three days after his departure, Pardew was confirmed as his successor. Many Magpies supporters did not want him as their manager and a poll on the Sky Sports website confirmed this. He received just 5.5% backing.

He won his first match in-charge though, defeating Liverpool FC 3-1 and was manager when Newcastle produced one of the greatest comebacks in Premier League history, storming back from 4-0 down at half-time to draw 4-4 with Arsenal in February 2011.

Newcastle finished 12th in 2010-2011 and that summer; they recruited very well, using contacts from France to bring in the likes of Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux and on a free transfer from West Ham United, Demba Ba. Ba’s goals in the first half of the season, combined with a solid defensive line-up and the qualities of Cabaye meant he would defy the critics throughout the 2011-2012 season.

Newcastle remained unbeaten until mid-November and were a fixture in the top seven all season. The January arrival of Papiss Cisse from Sport-Club Freiburg added more firepower to the striking ranks and the club enjoyed their best season since Sir Bobby Robson’s final full term in 2004. The Magpies were in the mix for a UEFA Champions League qualification place until the final day when defeat at Everton ensured they’d miss out on a top-three spot. Nevertheless, fifth place in the final table, ahead of Chelsea and Liverpool FC was a stunning achievement. Pardew’s work was recognised and he was awarded LMA Manager of the Year honours.

Crazy moments

In September 2012, he signed an eight-year contract extension but the 2012-2013 season was a major disappointment. Newcastle finished 16th in the table and suffered some damaging defeats, including a heavy 3-0 loss to local rivals Sunderland in April 2013. They did reach a UEFA Europa League quarter-final before losing to Benfica.

The 2013-2014 campaign went better and Alan won the Manager of the Month award for November after four successive victories. The club won at Old Trafford in December and sat sixth in the table going into Christmas. However, Cabaye was sold to Paris Saint-Germain in January and he got into hot water twice in quick succession which put his position in severe jeopardy.

First, he was caught by television cameras using foul and abusive language towards Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini during a 2-0 home loss in January. Two months later, he was sent to the stands after head-butting Hull City’s David Meyler following a touchline confrontation. It was an extraordinary incident which saw him fined £160,000 combined by the FA and his own club and given a seven-match ban, three of these games saw him barred from entering the stadium.

There was a tumultuous start to the 2014-2015 season and the relationship between manager and supporters seemed to be at an all-time low. Newcastle sank to bottom in the Premier League after four games and disgruntled fans set-up a website called SackPardew.com in an effort to convince Mike Ashley to dispense with his services. He survived this storm and a run of five successive victories saw the club rocket up the table from 20th to 5th. However, there was always a feeling in the closing weeks of his reign on Tyneside that his time was coming to an end.

After not fulfilling media commitments following a 3-2 home victory against Everton, speculation grew on whether Pardew would leave Newcastle to take the vacancy at Crystal Palace. Two days later, compensation was agreed between the two clubs and Alan was leaving the north east behind to return to a club that was still dear to his heart.

A sound start at Selhurst

When Pardew took over at Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace were in the relegation zone but immediately showed a revival in fortunes. In his first match in-charge, Palace beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 and would beat both Manchester City and Liverpool FC before the season’s end. Crystal Palace finished the 2014-2015 campaign in 10th place which remains their best-ever Premier League finish. In doing so, he became the first manager to take over a side in the drop zone and guide them to a top-half finish.

It was a sound start and the first half of the 2015-2016 campaign went swimmingly too, helped by acquiring Cabaye again after he fell out of favour at Paris Saint-Germain. After 19 games, Palace sat in fifth position and looked set to launch a serious challenge for a European spot in the most unpredictable Premier League season.

However, a dismal run followed. Crystal Palace went 14 league games without a victory and plummeted down the table into the bottom five. Late season victories over Norwich City and Stoke City removed any late threat of a relegation battle but finishing 15th at the end of the season was not what anyone hoped for. Alan’s salvation was another excellent run in the FA Cup and another final which ended in another agonising defeat. Manchester United came from behind to defeat the Eagles 2-1 after extra-time in the Wembley showpiece. It was the third time he’d experience FA Cup final heartache as a player/manager.

The poor league form continued throughout the first half of the 2016-2017 season. Despite a three-game winning sequence in September that did have them briefly upto seventh and above eventual champions Chelsea, another dire sequence of results followed. One win in 11 saw the south Londoners slip down to 17th in the table and a few days before Christmas 2016, Pardew was sacked after a 1-0 loss to Chelsea.

After a stint working as a TV pundit for Sky Sports, Pardew returned to the managerial dugout at West Bromwich Albion in November 2017. He replaced Tony Pulis at the helm but his record was nothing short of disastrous. He won just three matches in all competitions from 20 games, earning him a grim win ratio rate of just 15%. West Brom won only once in the Premier League during his reign – a 2-0 success over Brighton & Hove Albion in January and a run of eight successive losses means relegation from the Premier League at the end of the campaign is now just a mere formality. In early April, he parted company with the Baggies by mutual consent.

Alan Pardew has always tried to play football the right way and encourage an expansive style but his recent spells in management since leaving Newcastle United haven’t gone to plan. With the nightmare he has recently experienced at West Bromwich Albion, it is more likely he will be a TV pundit than a manager in future seasons to come.

Memorable Matches: Newcastle United 5-1 Sunderland (October 2010)

Goalscorers: Kevin Nolan 26, 34, 75, Shola Ameobi 45 PEN, 70, Darren Bent 90

Teams:

Newcastle United: Tim Krul, Jose Enrique, Fabricio Coloccini, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Joey Barton, Cheick Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez, Kevin Nolan, Shola Ameobi (Nile Ranger 86), Andy Carroll

Sunderland: Simon Mignolet, Phil Bardsley, Titus Bramble (SENT OFF), Nedum Onuoha, Michael Turner, Lee Cattermole (John Mensah 76), Ahmed Elmohamady (Asamoah Gyan 40), Jordan Henderson, Steed Malbranque, Darren Bent, Danny Welbeck (Kieran Richardson 55)

Referee: Phil Dowd, Attendance: 51,988

The Tyne & Wear Derby has seen plenty of classic memories and crucial encounters down the Premier League Years. For Newcastle United supporters, few can topple Halloween 2010 when Sunderland turned up for what turned out to be a horrific afternoon for the visitors.

Steve Bruce’s side started a point above the Magpies and had just beaten Aston Villa in their previous match. Newcastle were also coming off the back of a fine away victory at bottom-placed West Ham United. This eased the pressure on Chris Hughton who was coming under pressure regarding his position as the club’s manager.

Hughton had a simple plan for this match – get balls into the box for Andy Carroll and Shola Ameobi to battle with. Their hard work and ability to win balls in the air meant others like Kevin Nolan could benefit – with deadly results. Nolan would enjoy one of the greatest days of his career as Newcastle ran their local rivals ragged all afternoon.

The scoring was opened by the midfielder on 26 minutes. Ameobi won the aerial battle from Joey Barton’s corner. Nolan latched onto the knockdown and even though he was back to goal, he still managed to flick the ball over Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and a couple of defenders on the goal-line. It was wonderful improvisation from the former Bolton man and more was to come.

Just eight minutes later, he doubled Newcastle’s advantage. Good work from Jonas Gutierrez and Carroll saw Nolan profit to finish from close-range after Carroll’s attempted bicycle kick ended in his path. Despite having the pace of Danny Welbeck and Asamoah Gyan in their attacking ranks, Sunderland just couldn’t put it to any use. They were virtually out of the game by half-time.

The home side won a penalty which was confidently dispatched by the excellent Ameobi, who always seemed to raise his game for these occasions. Shortly into the second half, Sunderland’s day got worse. Titus Bramble chopped down Carroll and the ex-Newcastle defender got his marching orders from Phil Dowd, who showed nine yellow cards and didn’t have his best afternoon in the middle.

Newcastle took advantage of the extra man to increase their lead. Carroll, who deserved a goal for his brilliant display was so unlucky when his header in the 70th minute thumped the crossbar. Ameobi was first onto the rebound and smashed the ball past a shell-shocked Mignolet. Nolan’s day was about to be complete, nodding home from close-range five minutes later as Sunderland gave him the freedom of St James’ Park from a corner.

Darren Bent scored a late goal for the visitors but it wasn’t even consolation for Sunderland who had been well and truly humbled. The Black Cats finished above Newcastle in the final table but this was a day of pain and misery. Chris Hughton was harshly sacked in December but this win will go down as one of his greatest achievements as a manager.

Memorable Matches: Newcastle United 4-2 Sheffield Wednesday (September 1993)

Goalscorers: Andy Cole 21, 76, Andy Sinton 26, 47, Alex Mathie 81, Malcolm Allen 88

Teams:

Newcastle United: Tommy Wright, John Beresford, Kevin Scott, Steve Watson, Barry Venison, Paul Bracewell, Lee Clark, Rob Lee, Nicos Papavasiliou (Alex Mathie 62), Malcolm Allen, Andy Cole

Sheffield Wednesday: Chris Woods, Roland Nilsson, Nigel Pearson, Des Walker, Graham Hyde, Nigel Worthington, Chris Bart-Williams (Gordon Watson 85), John Sheridan, Andy Sinton, Chris Waddle, Mark Bright

Referee: Roger Dilkes, Attendance: 33,519

Newcastle United were back in the top-flight of English football and Kevin Keegan’s side were determined to have a real attacking purpose to their game. However, it was an underwhelming start to their Premier League life. In their first six games, Newcastle had just one win against Everton and six points on the scoreboard. They took on Sheffield Wednesday in a Monday night game, who like Newcastle, had made a slow start to the 1993-1994 season.

The first incident of note happened before kick-off even occurred on Tyneside. Wednesday arrived with an away kit of white which clearly clashed with Newcastle’s traditional home strip. That meant Keegan’s side were forced to make a late switch into a blue away strip for the first time. It was a distraction but didn’t detract from what would turn out to be an entertaining contest.

It was the visitors who had the first opportunity of the night with John Sheridan clipping the post in the ninth minute. 12 minutes later, Newcastle took the lead with a fourth goal of the season for Andy Cole. Malcolm Allen’s shot was spilled by England goalkeeper Chris Woods and it left the 21-year-old rising star with a simple tap-in to open the scoring. Sheffield Wednesday were never going to be bystanders though and levelled the contest up just five minutes later. Andy Sinton scored his second goal for the club since arriving from Queens Park Rangers; picking his spot and finding the bottom corner.

It was 1-1 at half-time and more goals looked likely in the second half. It was Sheffield Wednesday who struck the first blow. Sinton, a Newcastle United supporter as a boy, scored his second goal of the evening with a simple header after ex-Newcastle player Chris Waddle produced a wonderful cross to the back post. The chances kept coming for both sides. Graham Hyde spared Des Walker’s blushes when he cleared his clearance off the goal-line whilst the usually prolific Mark Bright spurned a glorious opportunity in a one-on-one situation to increase the lead for Trevor Francis’ side. Hyde then hit the crossbar and Francis must have started to wonder if the missed chances were going to cost his side. His worries were to be proven right.

Substitute Alex Mathie delivered a neat cross into the danger area which Rob Lee reached. The midfielder teed up Cole, who spun past Roland Nilsson and scored his second of the evening. Newcastle had the momentum and they took the contest away from Sheffield Wednesday in the last 10 minutes. On his debut for the club, Mathie produced a magnificent finish to put Newcastle ahead before Allen wrapped the game up with a close-range header in the 88th minute.

Newcastle would finish a brilliant third in their first Premier League season and scored the most goals of any side in the top-flight. This was a night where their swashbuckling style was first made fully evident to the wider public.

The Managers: Steve McClaren

Premier League Clubs Managed: Middlesbrough (2001-2006), Newcastle United (2015-2016)

Steve McClaren is hoping to follow in the footsteps of managers like David Moyes, Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce, all considered being past their sell-by-date as top-flight bosses but who have managed to return to the Premier League dugout in 2017-2018.

McClaren is currently out of work but is hoping this will change. His most recent role was as a coaching consultant with Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv. He guided Middlesbrough to a UEFA Cup final in 2006 and took FC Twente to a surprising Dutch title four years later. However, his dreadful reign as England manager seems to have scarred his reputation with both chairman and the media for good.

A loyal assistant

His playing days were nothing special to write home about. He played for Hull City, Derby County, Lincoln City, Bristol City and Oxford United before injury forced him to retire in 1992.

After retiring from playing, McClaren began his coaching career as a youth and reserve team coach at Oxford United, before moving back to Derby County in 1995, where he served as assistant manager to Jim Smith. Together, they won promotion to the Premier League and they established the Rams as a consistent top 10 side in the Premier League.

In early 1999, Manchester United were looking for a new assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson as his long-time no.2 Brian Kidd had elected to take the managerial post at Blackburn Rovers. McClaren got the role and his first game next to Ferguson saw the Red Devils win 8-1 away at Nottingham Forest. It was a wonderful first few months in the role with United winning the treble, consisting of the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League. Another two Premier League titles followed in 2000 and 2001 and he was one of the first to embrace the new technologies of using sports psychologists and video analysis to enhance player performances.

In 2000, he combined his Manchester United role with a position on the coaching staff with the England international team. McClaren served as assistant to Sven-Goran Eriksson from November 2002 all the way until his departure after the 2006 World Cup finals.

Boro breakthrough

In the summer of 2001, Steve elected to move into management, realising his chances of succeeding Ferguson as Manchester United manager as slim. Southampton and West Ham United both approached him but he turned both clubs down and was appointed Middlesbrough manager after impressing owner Steve Gibson in an interview.

His first two seasons at The Riverside Stadium are solid, if unspectacular. Middlesbrough finish 12th and 11th in the table respectively and make the FA Cup semi-finals in 2002 before losing at Old Trafford to Arsenal.

The big breakthrough came in the 2003-2004 season. Despite another mid-table finish in the Premier League, Middlesbrough claimed silverware for the first time in their 128-year history. They knocked out Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal before defeating Bolton Wanderers 2-1 in the League Cup final.

This meant European football would follow in 2004-2005 and McClaren was able to attract the likes of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Mark Viduka and Michael Reiziger to the club in the close season. Middlesbrough made the last-16 of the UEFA Cup before bowing out to Sporting Lisbon, who will go on to make the final. There is progress in the league too. Boro finish in seventh position which is their best finish in the top-flight in 30 years.

His most dramatic season at the helm was his last one on Teeside. Middlesbrough struggled to 14th position in the league with some disastrous results; including a 7-0 beating at Highbury away to Arsenal. However, they achieved far better success in the cup competitions. They reached the FA Cup semi-finals before losing to West Ham United and enjoy some stunning nights in the UEFA Cup. Both FC Basel and FCSB of Romania hold four-goal leads during the two-legged ties and will be eliminated in dramatic conclusions to these matches. For the first time in their history, Middlesbrough reached a European final but they are no match for Sevilla in the showpiece event, losing 4-0.

He left at the end of the season with the biggest job in international management ready for him.

The England nightmare

When Luiz Felipe Scolari elected to turn down the position of becoming England manager, McClaren got the job in May 2006, edging out Sam Allardyce to the position. Many England fans were unconvinced by the FA’s choice and that was further outlined when he decided to leave national treasure David Beckham out of his early international plans. John Terry was appointed captain.

Qualification for EURO 2008 was meant to be straightforward but the first signs of problems occurred when England were held to a goalless draw at home by FYR Macedonia. Days later, the Three Lions lost 2-0 to Croatia and another defeat in Moscow to Russia left England’s qualification firmly in the balance. He didn’t help his relationship with the press after walking out of a press conference following an unconvincing 3-0 victory over Andorra, saying: “Gentlemen, if you want to write whatever you want to write, you can write it because that is all I am going to say. Thank you.”

Victory at Wembley Stadium over Croatia in their final match would guarantee qualification. Anything else would likely lead to elimination as on the same night, Russia were playing no-hopers Andorra. It is a night Steve McClaren will probably never be able to erase from his memory.

First, he was photographed on a filthy, wet evening in an umbrella to protect him from the elements. This earned him the nickname; “The Wally with the Brolly!” Secondly, he dropped experienced goalkeeper Paul Robinson for rookie Scott Carson and this backfired when Carson allowed an early Niko Kranjcar shot to spill through his fingers and into the net. Lastly, England lost the game 3-2, despite recovering a two-goal deficit in the second half. Russia beat Andorra, so England failed to qualify for a major tournament for the first time since the 1994 World Cup.

A day later, McClaren was sacked. His tenure is the second shortest in history of managing the England national team. His reputation and creditability had been completely destroyed.

Rebuilding himself

Steve moved abroad and took a job in Dutch football with FC Twente. He spent two seasons with them, making them a strong force in the domestic game. In 2010, Twente saw off challenges from perennial title winners Ajax and PSV Eindhoven to become Dutch champions by just one point. He became the first Englishman to win a league title abroad since Sir Bobby Robson had won the Portuguese league title with FC Porto in 1996.

He admitted this was his best achievement in football, saying: “Winning the Carling Cup with Middlesbrough was special but this is pretty much right up at the top of anything I’ve ever done. To win a championship in a foreign country with foreign coaches, I think it’s made me stronger.”

He left after his achievement and tried his luck in the Bundesliga with VfL Wolfsburg; it didn’t work out as well as he hoped. Poor results saw him dismissed by the 2009 German champions in February 2011. After an unsuccessful spell at Nottingham Forest, McClaren returned to FC Twente for a second time in January 2012. However, he couldn’t rekindle the spirit of his first stint there and resigned a year later.

Following a stint in-charge of Derby County, McClaren returned to the Premier League in 2015; nine years after he left Middlesbrough. He succeeded John Carver as manager of Newcastle United. He was on the backfoot from the outset. Newcastle went eight games without a win at the start of the season and although there were brilliant victories in December 2015 over Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur, it always looked like he was fighting a losing battle on Tyneside.

With the club in the bottom three, a damaging 3-1 home defeat to AFC Bournemouth in March 2016 left him firmly in the firing line with the Geordie supporters. He was sacked five days after this loss to the Cherries.

He had a brief second spell as Derby County manager and is aiming at returning to management in the near future. Whilst he waits, he is currently working as a pundit for the EFL television coverage on Sky Sports. Hopefully, he won’t react as dramatically as he did when working for Sky after England’s shock loss to Iceland at EURO 2016!