Good day! We’re here for the penultimate episode of the NUFC “short” story. We’ve made a riproaring start to life in season 3, the pressure of being champions is being thrived upon rather than being a weight on our shoulders and life is good. So, how far can we go? It’s Liverpool first.
We’re actually unbeaten in all competitions at the moment and although Liverpool won’t just leave us alone we’ll take a point. Nuisances.
We thrashed Dortmund 5-0 earlier in the season but our visit to Germany is a lot less fun. It looks set to be a 0-0 draw but a last minute penalty leads to our first loss of the season. I could see it from here, never a pen.
Anyway, Fulham are bottom of the table. What they need is a Michael Jackson statue. Thankfully they defend like statues and it’s another win.
After an International break where Gudjonsson gets his first goal for Iceland, it’s back to the capital to play Chelsea away. Look, Jesper. Get another hobby. Bjarni the Gud continues his recent run of form and it’s a share of the spoils.
We can secure a place in the last 8 of the Champions League with a win over Brondby. Dortmund have made a proper hash of this group. We win, we’re through, what more can you ask?
We’re just not ruthless anymore. We are denied time and time again by the always annoying Kevin Pressman before known psycho Paolo Di Canio looks to have claimed a point for Sheff Wed. Andreas Andersson, who has been nowhere near as impressive as he was last year, but he climbs off the bench to net a late winner.
The League Cup – always a favourite on the blog – is next. Shearer sticks it to QPR despite Kevin Gallen reducing the arrears. It’s Villa at home in the quarters.
Ironically that’s where we are off now. What a way to suffer your first domestic defeat of the season.
Stan Collymore and a young Alan Lee. That’s a pity but it’s also December, so not a bad time to lose your first domestic game.
As we’re already through I can rest a few for the trip to Bulgaria. The front 4 all score and if nothing else that shows we could survive without Shearer, who is definitely on the decline.
That’s a strong last 8. I wouldn’t have wanted to play any of them. On the plus side, Milan have just sold Maldini to Juventus.
That’s future Dave’s problem. Current Dave has to play Man Utd, who we are joint top with at present. It could have been any score but some poor finishing keeps it to 3. Later that night on Match of the Day, Alan Hansen makes the bold claim that you’ll never win anything with Neil Sullivan in net. I think he’s probably right.
Boxing Day should be a time for celebration but we’re off to Arsenal. Wenger has got these in a right mess. They’re 16th and field a 36 year old Ian Wright alongside Isiah Rankin up front. Jordi Cruyff and Craig Burley are deemed star players and despite all that they win 3-2. Urgh.
We’re still top, mainly because everybody else is as incompetent as we are. Wrexham are our visitors in the FA Cup and a dour game is settled by Woodcock. On New Year’s Day.
Just two days later it’s the usually fruitless trip to Ewood Park. Petri Jakonen gets man of the match as always but he can’t stop Keith Gillespie – not many can – and it’s 3 welcome points.
Another two days later it’s time to seek revenge against Aston Villa. Both sides are knackered and much rotated but Aaron Hughes scores just after half time to put us in a 2 legged semi final
It’s the revenge cup this year, as it’s Arsenal over 2 legs. Why don’t you try and stop me?
We pipped Leeds to the title on the final day of last season on goal difference only and they’ve got themselves in second place here as Man Utd have fallen off a cliff over Christmas. Aaron Hughes gets his 6th red card of a career that is not even 100 games old yet and it’s backs to the wall, but a flurry just after half time gives us a lead which we just about hold on to. A huge result!
That puts us 3 points clear of Leeds heading to the Wear-Tyne derby. They are 13th and we should really win but form goes out of the window in a derby. Or something. A terrible game comes to life in the final 4 minutes, where we lead for a minute and look set for a point after being pegged back immediately. Then…BJARNI THE GUD
Writing his name into history. What days.
FA Cup 4th round time and we’re off to QPR. We knocked them out of the League Cup so sticking with the theme, they’re out for some form of revenge. They were an awkward opponent then and it’s more of the same here, with Bjarni the Gud showing he is the natural heir to the Shearer throne. Apparently.
It’ll be Liverpool at home in Round 5. That’s…not great. It’s before the Champions League returns though so we’ll hopefully avoid the mega fixture pile up for now.
Coventry are 7th yet park the bus on their visit up north. I suppose it’s their bus they can do what they want with it. They score with their only shot on goal, a Stuart Nethercott header from a corner. We equalise but can’t find a winner. By can’t find I mean there are literally no highlights for the last 25 minutes. Incredible. Consider that bus parked. David Batty gets man of the match.
Grumble. Our lead is cut to 2 points which we’ll come to in a minute. First though, it’s time for the final game of this update and it’s the first leg of the League Cup semi final against Arsenal. I don’t believe in counting your chickens before they’ve hatched but I think we’ve got one foot in the final. Even Shay Given saved a penalty.
So all is well in the City of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Our form has been patchy and the goals have not flowed as they once did but we’re still top, that’s the main thing.
With the second leg, the FA Cup and the Champions League all to come it’s going to be a test of our resources in the closing months of the season. It could end up being a bumper last episode next week…or we could crash out in the next game of every cup. Join me then to find out which it is. Bye for now!