Short Stories: Newcastle United – Part 6

But you said…

In my defence, the vote was pretty close and I really wanted to carry on the NUFC save too. So you’re getting two stories a week from me until there’s an uprising against the quality of the content.

To recap, I started a game as Newcastle and decided not to buy anybody at all, even though Alan Shearer was injured for 7 months. As luck would have it, we did ok then Shearer returned and we did brilliantly. We won the FA Cup, came 4th and lost in the semis of the Champions League and the League Cup. Quit whilst you’re ahead?

Well, maybe. Instead I’ve decided to carry on. I’m not going to buy anybody still, unless anybody in my squad retires, in which case they will be replaced by their own re-gen. I’m looking at you, Rushy.

We re-join the game in August 1998. England finished 3rd in the World Cup, beating Scotland in the 3rd/4th place playoff. Incidentally the World Cup final was almost identical to 1994

98 WC final

Magic. Some good news for me is that by not spending any transfer money, they’ve expanded St James’ Park.

new stadium

Getting closer to than 52k. In the meantime though, it’s Wembley for the Charity Shield. It’s an opportunity to see how a couple of the youngsters get on, namely Chris Woodcock and two stars of last season, Bjarni Gudjonsson and Brian Pinas.

CS lineup

Probably should have taken this more seriously.

CS 5-2

Get used to Scholes scoring past you lads, you’ve got another 10 years of it yet.

What worries me is that most of the goals weren’t even rebounds – this game loves a rebound, but these shots were flying in. Southampton at home is a kind way to start a season, or at least it should be.

5-3 soton

What is going on here? Has Shay Given got no hands? He was injured towards the end of last season but this is getting serious now. Off we go to Upton Park for more “ffs”

1-1 west ham

I enjoyed that 3 minute lead. Man Utd keep bidding £6m for David Batty but that’s not really part of my game plan here. Now he’s injured for two weeks.

Tyne-Wear derby day is bound to be a charged affair, especially after a year without one. The newly promoted mackems keep us out thanks to Lionel Perez until the final minute where Gillespie eventually beats the bedraggled Frenchman and the Geordie public go home happy.

1-0 gillespie

This is a strange season but we’re off to Leeds unbeaten in the league and taking one game at a time.

At least that was the plan…

6-5 leeds

I don’t know where to start. Is it Shay? Do I need to send for Shaka?

The Cup Winners Cup will be a chance to continue to blood the youngsters. Jimmy Crawford is already 25. Paul Brayson however is not. We’ll have a great time in Northern Ireland.

CWC draw

Shaka is in for the visit of Leicester. We lost this fixture last season and we’re off to a rough start with Fenton scoring after just 2 minutes. I hate Graham Fenton. We equalise but never look likely to win it. Weird stuff going on here, I guess we are in unchartered territory here as I’d normally just spend the pain away.

1-1 leicester

It’s a month out for Peacock and I’ve also decided to loan out Brayson. He’ll have a great time at Altrincham.

A midweek trip to Everton has disaster written all over it, but I’ve recalled Given hoping that last game will give him a kick up the arse. He’s barely utilised through the whole evening as we go 3-0 ahead before the half hour. Chris Woodcock appears from the bench to get his first goal for the club. I think Woodcock and Pinas make us a very potent force.

everton 1 - 4

Cock Piss Tomasson.

International break now and Andy Griffin damages his spine playing for England Under 21s. That’s a shame, as he would have played the CWC games. This is rough too:

shearer 2 weeks

He’s got 7 in 7 this season so will be missed for the next few, especially as it’s Arsenal at home next. Gillespie has been nursing sore ribs for a long time and is still not back, so it’s Des Hamilton in the AMRC role with Bjarni the Gud partnering Andersson. Aaron Hughes is wanted by Arsenal so he’s starting. That backfires as he is sent off shortly after half time but we hang tough and Bjarni heads a last gasp winner. What is life?

2-1 arsenal

That puts us third and sends us to Northern Ireland in good spirits. It’s a very experimental side but it’s what we’ve committed to here and Idiot Enterprises and it’s over 2 legs afterall. Shearer will be back for the return leg so he can run wild if needs be. Also, and I don’t know why I feel the need to justify this so much, we play Thursday-Saturday and it’s a big ask.

Portadown team

26 shots later…

4-1 port

Poor Shay. Just can’t catch a break. The young lads did well though, and the potent duo got on the scoresheet again. I’ll look forward to the return leg.

Just two days later then and it’s Villa away. Shearer announces he is fit to the surprise of everybody, and with Gillespie back there’s only Peacock missing. I’ll stick with Aaron Hughes, his Arsenal red card dismissed as an unlucky blemish.

3-2 villa

Maybe he’s just a clumsy oaf? Barnesy bends in a free kick which helps establish a 3-0 lead but it’s a nervy last 35 minutes and an even nervier last 10. Aaron Hughes making Darren Peacock seem competent is a new low.

A midweek Tyne-Tees derby will please both fans and police alike but it’s 2nd vs 4th so a bigger game than usual.

1-1 boro

Rubbish. Incidentally it’s Tottenham who top the pile.

Another newly promoted side next as we make the trip to Nottingham. The Aaron Hughes experiment is over for now, with Peacock back in the mix.

2-2 forest

Bring back Aaron Hughes. We’re 2-0 down and a mess but Shearer gets us back into it and then covnerts a pen after a deliberate handball sees Centurioni sent off. We push for a winner but sub Woodcock elbows Scot Gemmill in the face in injury time. I must stop feeding these youths raw meat.

Portadown arrive at St James’ Park and looking them in the eyes, they don’t believe they can overturn a 4-1 deficit here. Even Shay fancies a clean sheet here.

porta 6-0

Hurrah. I put Shearer on at half time just to be a tosser. Woodcock’s 3rd goal is ruled out for offside but he’s making good progress. It’s Dinamo Moscow in round 2 which will be a lot tougher.

Final game of this update and we’re off to Bolton. Let me tell you about Bolton. They are bottom of the table and have lost 10 out of 10. They regard Paul Telfer as a star player.

bolton 0-3

Make that 11 out of 11. I’m quite happy with third but our goals against column is disgusting.

prem top october 98

Man Utd are struggling for goals but opted to sign Scott Booth for £3.7m. That will not help but it’s not Shearer so I’m fine with it.

That’s about all I’ve got for you in this update but I’ll be back same time next Wednesday with more from NE1. Toodles!



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