Blurry Future

Blurry Future

“In this painting I just wanted to make a collage of some of the recent players in a blurry style to suggest that nothing is solid at this stage,its untold, the future is blurry I decided to pay tribute to our two long serving keepers in this one Shay Given and Steven Harper and some of the local lads Steven Taylor and Shola Ameobi.”

Another Setback (Since 2004)

Graeme Souness replaced Robson on September 13, two days after the Magpies’ match against Souness’ former club Blackburn Rovers. After initial good results, the team soon became mired in the bottom half of the table, remaining there for the rest of the season, and opinions on Souness are mixed among fans.

Following a training ground spat, Newcastle have been forced to let go one of their main assets Craig Bellamy, while their dip in performance due to the absence of Shearer through injury has worried the fan base. Despite the heavy investment of the last ten years in high profile transfers and the benefit of Alan Shearer, Newcastle is conspicuous in having failed to secure a major title. There is also such a growing gap between teams like Newcastle and the top flight of Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea that it is unlikely the club will succeed in the near future.

In November 2004 Club Chairman Freddy Shepherd again caused controversy, stating there was no debt owed by the ‘elite’ clubs of the Premiership to the rest of The FA—’97but with his own team underperforming this was somewhat ironic as well as inappropriate.

In April 2005, Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer came to blows during a Premiership match against Aston Villa, in an incident later described as ‘the blackest day’ by Shepherd. Bowyer was fined six weeks’ wages (about £200,000), and both players received playing bans by The FA. The event overshadowed the announcement that Alan Shearer had extended his playing contract for a further year, and was to take up a coaching role with the club.

Newcastle had won the home leg of their UEFA cup Quarter final against Sporting Lisbon in April, but were most comprehensively outplayed during the away match and lost 4 – 1, in the process suffering several injuries. In the same week they played Manchester United in an FA Cup semifinal at the Millenium Stadium, Cardiff. The scoreline, again 4 – 1, reflected the one-sided nature of the encounter. This left the Inter-Toto Cup as the team’s only route into European competition in the 2005/06 season. During this campaign a rift opened up between Souness and Shepherd with the Manager complaining that an already thin squad after a poor transfer season (the promised major signings having not materialised) was not up to the challenge.


(Left to right) Charles n Zogbia, Shola Ameobi, Shay Given, Steven Harper, Obafemi Martains, Steven Taylor, James Milner.

In July 2005 rumors circulated that the club was being stalked with a new buyer but this later emerged to be the Shepherds consolidating their interests. In August they were eliminated from the Intertoto Cup after a 4-2 aggregate loss to Deportivo La Coruna, which left the club out of European competition for the 2005/06 season.

In August 2005, the club signed Michael Owen for £17 million fee from Real Madrid, surpassing the previous £15 million Newcastle paid to Blackburn Rovers for Alan Shearer, in what was arguably the biggest transfer since then. This transfer was seen by many as unlikely because Owen’s former team, Liverpool were thought to be his next destination.

Late February 2006 manager Graeme Souness was fired from his position as manager, and ex West Ham manager was put in charge as caretaker until a new manager was appointed. After guiding the team from 14th place to 7th place by the end of the season, Roeder was given the job on a permanent basis with a two year contract.

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