Greetings and welcome back to the Newcastle United “short story”. This was meant to only be a one season thing to see how we did without the injured Shearer but it turns out blooding youngsters and signing nobody is more fun than I imagined. Seeing as we are now Premier League champions, we’ll carry on for a third and final season before moving on with our lives. The only signings I am allowed are re-gens of my players who retire, so with Rush and Pearce hanging up their boots…
Sadly Geoff “Psycho” Mail has damaged his spine so we won’t be able to play him until the new year. Rush Hour II will hopefully get a loan move but I’ll keep him in mind for cup games if I can’t shift him.
The last thing I can afford to do is sell players, let alone to rivals, so bids for Gillespie and Disco Des from the red side of Manchester are knocked back.
They are also sniffing around Steve Watson, along with Liverpool, but they can dream on.
We get to play in the Charity Shield, a fine day in any manager’s life, and despite trailing at half time Shearer sorts them out before Jackie McNamara lashes in our winner.
It’s an inauspicious start to the season though. Blackburn have Petri Jakonen in goal and play everybody behind the ball. We run out of ideas remarkably quickly and 0-0 is about as good as we deserve.
It’s a tough start to our season as we’re off to Leeds, who we only pipped to the title on goal difference. John Hartson gives us that sinking feeling but those old pals Gillespie and Shearer rally to get us all three points. Phew.
Elland Road is looking large. It’s time for our derby next and it’s a bit of a ding dong affair, our two goal lead is immediately halved before we get two more. Even though we concede again it’s a welcome home win.
We’re still not firing on all cylinders as Coventry get the better of us at Highfield Road. We’re awful, but Chris Woodcock climbs off the bench to nick a point. Sign of a good team or the beginning of the end?
Champions League draw could have been a lot worse. Dortmund will be tough but by this stage some of their better players have been poached, I think we’ll get through being very honest.
Middlesbrough are our next visitors and our uncertain start to the season continues. The new craze is for teams to play ultra defensive against us – a compliment, in many ways – but when you can’t find a way past Mark Schwarzer it’s not great.
David Batty departs injured and will miss the England game, but don’t worry…
Crikey. We just can’t score. A 2-0 win over Derby is more important than I ever thought imaginable.
Bjarni can start with Shearer going forward, Andersson was immense last season but dreadful so far. Dortmund are smashed to bits.
Before newly promoted Birmingham also taste defeat.
Our new found momentum even sees us win despite playing with 10 men for 55 minutes. Shearer’s back in the goals and Disco Des weighs in too. He’s still waiting that England cap though he has been in several squads.
The goals continue to flow in Denmark, Woodcock getting the nod up front and rewarding me with a quick fire brace. It’s closer than it needs to be but who cares?
Tottenham were title challengers last year but thankfully aren’t quite as good this year. We’ve hit a groove now and not even Jurgen Klinsmann can stop us
After the International break – no cap for Des, no game time for Barnes – it’s Southampton. They are Shearered and those 0-0s of a month ago are a distant memory.
It’s four more against the Bulgarian champions. Shearer’s recent return is incredible.
The party is somewhat halted at The City Ground. A ridiculously open game sees us have a winner from Woody chalked off but a point is better than a loss. We’re actually unbeaten still.
So after 12 fun filled games we’re top, by a single point. But still too early to get excited.
Man Utd just don’t stop. No.
He sort of underlines his credentials with a pair at first Division Southend in the League Cup. A complete shadow side also sees Rush II score though we’ll be missing Steve Watson for a month. Swings and roundabouts.
We’ll resume battle next week. Thanks for your company.