The FBA’s – Finalists

The Football Blogging Awards announced the finalists in each category last week, and thanks to all your votes “” and one of our resident writers Steph Bishop were amongst the names to be announced.

Steph has reached the final stage as the best female blogger whilst “GallowgateShots” is in the running to receive the best club blog award. Each category containing 10 nominees.

The voting polls have now been reset ( previous round voting has been wiped and voting starts from zero nominations) and reopened. You can vote via Twitter, Facebook or via the FBA website, all available here.

GallowgateShots and Steph are the only NUFC representatives who have reached the finals cut and we really hope that you can help us on our way to winning the awards in each category.

A special mention to fellow finalist @FPLHints who has been nominated in the FPL Blog category.  He gets our vote .

Thanks Again.



Ryan Taylor – Recovery Update

On Monday, Ryan Taylor marked his first 90 minutes in well over two years with a goal from the penalty spot when Newcastle United’s under 21’s took on their Brighton and Hove Albion counter parts. This was a significant milestone in the versatile player’s recovery from an injury nightmare that has lasted for more than two seasons. Having already played in friendly matches against Carlisle United and Burnley it was time for the former Wigan Athletic player to step up into a competitive game. After the match Taylor declared himself fit for first team selection; something that he has been dreaming of for a long time going off his interviews on the clubs official website.

Whatever your opinion of the player is surely you have got to be pleased for him managing to come through the mental barrier of having to battle back from not one but two serious knee injuries?

His return does give the manager a further option from the bench and we might actually be able to take a set piece for a change as we all know that Ryan Taylor is a bit of a specialist having seen him score many for and against the club. He will certainly be able to provide cover at right back but I would not class him as a player for our first choice starting eleven. I know there are a lot of fans who romanticise about him due to his goal against Sunderland in 2011 but for a player who was not the quickest to begin with being out for two seasons he could find it difficult as a lot can change in two years.

When Raylor first got injured back on that late summer evening at St James’ Park in 2012 when Newcastle United were entertaining Greek outfit Atromitios in the second leg of the last qualifying round of the Europa League, the club were in a different place to what they are now. It is crazy to think back on what has happened over the past two years.

Hopefully Ryan Taylor’s injury woes are now over.


Writing Opportunity

With the popularity of growing we are now looking for guest writers to show off their blogging talent via the website.

We have listed a handful of topics below in which we’d like to test your writing skills, simply chose one title and write a small piece on the matter then email the finished article to  We’ll gather all finished blogs and submit the best one(s) on the site.


“Two Weeks Down The Line”
( a look at where you expect NUFC/Pardew etc to be after the Home game v LFC )

“Gouffran – Cemented Role”
( a piece looking at how YG’s reputation has taking a beating over the last 6month by fans and how he still managers to secure a starting position despite this )

” ACON – Who’ll be going ”
( look through the results and upcoming qualifying fixtures of the African Cup of Nations, go into details of who NUFC may lose and how that will effect the team )

“Siem De Jong – Update”
( a look at Siem De Jong since he arrived at NUFC, signing , game time, injury set back, and update )

” Mike Ashley – Rangers Bound ? “
( investigate Mike Ashley’s recent interest in Glasgow Rangers and how this may effect his ownership of NUFC )


We look forward to hearing from you.


Obertan and Ameobi – In From The Cold

In the balmy days of late July, Alan Pardew felt a corner had been turned at Newcastle United.

After a truly abysmal six months, Pardew was confident a fine season lay ahead as he reflected on the club’s decisive business in the transfer market.

Ayoze Perez, Jack Colback, Siem de Jong, Remy Cabella, Emmanuel Riviere and Daryl Janmaat had all been captured early in the summer, and the mood on Tyneside had lifted considerably.

Pardew felt assured enough to say: “We have pitched in and signed players that we think give us a chance to push for the Champions League.” Let nobody tell you it is the fans who have unrealistic expectations at Newcastle United.

The largely positive pre-season and transfer window (which was ruined in the closing weeks by the failure to bring in another central defender and striker) bought Pardew some time, but things are now as ugly as they have ever been at St James’s Park for the former West Ham boss.

The tension which came to the fore at the close of last season kept bubbling under the surface, and Pardew has found himself in the eye of the storm for the last month or so again.

Fightbacks against Hull City and Swansea City to salvage draws have shown that there is fight in the Newcastle side, but the limitations of the team have been exposed in the first seven Premier League games of the season.

United have just four points on the board ahead of Saturday’s visit of Leicester City, and Pardew knows things cannot carry on like this for much longer.

The club’s summer signings are taking longer than anticipated to adapt, and although patience is needed with each of them, it does not appear as though the likes of Cabella and Riviere are about to spark into life soon.

Pardew is in need of some inspiration, and when he looks at his squad, there are not too many players he will feel confident in calling upon.

Papiss Cisse’s welcome return to form has been huge for Newcastle, and they will need him to continue to fire if they are to climb away from relegation trouble.

For Pardew, though, it must be hard for him to look past the short-term.

It still seems unlikely the axe will fall on him after the Leicester game. Although Mike Ashley keeps his cards close to his chest and any announcement on Pardew’s departure would probably come out of the blue, the feeling is his finger is not close to the trigger – yet.

However, it may not be long before the lingering prospect of relegation becomes too great for Ashley to ignore.

The Leicester game – as difficult as it is sure to be against the impressive Premier League new boys – is Newcastle’s last realistic hope of three points until well into November.

The following fixtures are at Tottenham and at home to Liverpool, while there is a League Cup trip to Manchester City sandwiched in between.

The Spurs and Liverpool games are certainly not unwinnable – indeed, Newcastle earned four points from the same fixtures last season.

However, they are not matches Pardew will want to rely on for points, and after those fixtures will come a difficult trip to West Brom.

When you consider that December includes games against Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton and, of course, Sunderland, the importance of the Leicester match becomes ever clearer.

Without wanting to sound like a doom monger, there is a very real prospect Newcastle could be cut adrift going into 2015.

So who can Pardew turn to in order to rescue not only his job, but also the club he is employed by?

Two unlikely figures have come back into contention again in recent weeks, and if you had told Pardew back in July that he may come to rely on them to keep him in a job, he would have probably laughed in your face.

In pre-season, the feeling was that Newcastle would be happy to sell Gabriel Obertan and Sammy Ameobi at knock-down prices, or even loan them out.

Both have been hugely frustrating figures over recent years, for differing reasons.

However, Pardew has now looked around at his options in the light of underwhelming performances from his first choices, and turned to two players who looked like they were coming to the end of their Newcastle careers.

Both have shown signs of improvement, and could be key for United on Saturday.

Obertan has always had the tools to make it as a Premier League winger: his pace alone is enough to frighten most full-backs.

However, his infuriating lack of end product and inability to make the correct decisions in the final third had made him a figure of derision.

It says a lot that he is now back in favour, but with precious few alternatives, Pardew was right to go back to him.

Obertan set up Cisse’s first goal at Swansea last time out on a rare start, and probably deserves to keep his place against Leicester.

Ameobi, meanwhile, provided the assist for Cisse’s second after coming on as a substitute, and perhaps he is now slowly developing into the player he once threatened to be.

It’s time for him to find some consistency, and again it would be hard to place full faith in him just yet.

He should start against Leicester, though. Yoan Gouffran’s desperately disappointing performances on the left should make him a certainty to be dropped.

Newcastle have struggled on both flanks this season, with Cabella and Moussa Sissoko also failing to convince yet on the right.

If I was to guess Pardew’s line-up against Leicester, it’s likely Ameobi will come in for Gouffran on the left, with Cabella restored on the right and Obertan returned to the bench.

However, there is a real prospect that Obertan and Ameobi could both start, which is something which would have been unthinkable just three short months ago.

They are out-and-out wingers, though, which seems to suit this Newcastle side at the moment as they try to become a more potent outfit.

When the likes of Cabella do (hopefully) get up to speed, then the reliance on players like Obertan and Ameobi will be greatly reduced, but for now, they are needed.

“Newcastle need Obertan and Ameobi” is not a sentence any of us expected to say at the start of the season. Hopes were high, but much of them have now been extinguished.

The forgotten men have come to the fore again, and you can include Cisse in that group as well after his sudden return to form.

This is no longer just about Pardew and his future: it’s about Newcastle and their future in the Premier League.

The situation – if not already – is likely to become extremely serious in the coming weeks, and the Leicester game is as close to a must-win as you are likely to get at this stage in a season.

Newcastle may just need their forgotten men to come to the rescue.
Gabriel and Sammy, it’s time to take your big chance. You won’t get another one.


Willo – “Exciting Times Ahead”

Over the international break you may have noticed a few stories creeping into the press with the Newcastle United players offering their support for beleaguered manager Alan Pardew. Fabricio Coloccini, Papiss Cisse, Daryl Janmaat and Mike Williamson are the players in question.

It is not a coincidence that this comes on the back of an increased presence of PR “Guru” Keith Bishop (no relation to me, thankfully). With fans protesting against the manager, Keith Bishop’s “crisis management” services have been required to try to nullify the problem.

However, this is quite naïve on the clubs part. By sending players out declaring how they are behind a very disliked figure it is only further stoking the fire amongst supporters- once again proving just how out of touch this regime is with their “customers.”

If we look at the latest quotes by Williamson; (full article found here)

Williamson states that Pardew “has the right credentials” when asked if he was the best hope for the club.
What are these credentials? Pardew has been sacked from West Ham United, Charlton Athletic (relegation) and Southampton. We are currently on a horrific run of results stretching back to Boxing Day 2013 and Pardew nearly took us down in 2012/13 season. Finishing fifth, once, stands out on a CV filled with failure but that was three seasons ago and since then we seem to have reverted to type.

“There are exciting times ahead”
5 wins in 26 outings does not exactly scream excitement, Williamson. A relegation dog fight, which I do not believe we have the bottle to win at this moment in time, might be exciting for the neutral but for fans of this club it will be torture and heart breaking.

“We want to cement ourselves as a top-seven team”
This is an insult to the fans intelligence that have been constantly told that we cannot compete with the likes of Southampton etc., Williamson even sort of alludes to this in the same article.

“He is a fantastic manager”
Given that Williamson, with all due respect, is playing above his level at the moment it is hardly surprising that he backs the manager. If (and hopefully when) Pardew is sacked Williamson will be out of the team. I know some people will not agree with that because Williamson was probably player of the season last year for many (Loic Remy was mine) but, if you are honest with yourself, should he really be a first choice centre back in the Premier League?

Saying things about Pardew, like that, will hardly endear Williamson to a fan base that is hurting and very angry with the current situation. These comments by the centre half have been published only a week after he said that the club went into the international break on a ”high”; which did not go down well considering the club are currently sitting in the bottom three, joint bottom of the Premier League. It underlines the failure of this “crisis management” by Keith Bishop as these quotes are making things worse and not helping to improve the already fractured beyond repair relationship.