“We sold Cabaye, Yohan Cabaye
And now we think you’ll understand,
That cos we sold Cabaye, Yohan Cabaye,
We ended with a trophy in our hands”
It’s taken until 2026 but Newcastle United have finally made it to their first Wembley final since 1999. Alan Pardew looks proud as a peacock in his Primark suit as he leads his boys out, having just agreed a new 25 year contract.
40 year old captain Steven Taylor, newly reinvented as a left winger, might have a chance to make up for the 243 apologies he’s issued via the media over the years, after 15 consecutive defeats to recently renamed local rivals, Sunderland Obesity. He is unable to beat his chest anymore due to an ongoing heart complaint, much like every other Newcastle fan has suffered at the hands of the black and whites, but this looks like his opportunity for redemption.
Veteran Ryan Taylor retains his spot at right back after managing ten games since recovering from his latest knee operation while also in the team today is Shane Ferguson, recalled for the day after his tenth loan spell at Blyth Spartans. James Tavernier and Paul Dummett partner each other in central defence for the first time.
Dan Gosling continues in central midfield alongside the promising Haris Vučkić. Despite now being 34 and having established himself in the first team this season after 17 years of reserve team football, ‘young’ Haris is already being touted for a move to a Championship team. Mehdi Abeid takes the right wing spot after Sammy Ameobi is finally dropped after failing to deliver in over 300 first team games. He joins his 45 year old brother Shola on the bench who hopes to make one final appearance and hit the 100 goal mark, if he manages to score a hat-trick before hanging up his boots this afternoon, or negotiating a further 2 year deal.
Up front we have the quite literally diminutive Adam Campbell, another who has returned to the club recently after winning ten in a row with Sports Direct Rangers in the Scottish Premier. He partners the sensational Gabby Obertan, top scorer with 9 goals this season.
Newcastle have become the first team in history to reach the final after failing to score in any of their previous 10 rounds of cup matches, by somehow turning around what has historically been an appalling penalty shoot-out record. That largely thanks to the heroics of world number one goalie Rob ‘Nelly the’ Elliott, earning his nickname as a result of overindulging in his sponsorship deal with Greggs. He becomes the chubbiest player since William “Fattie” Foulkes won the FA Cup over 120 years ago to appear at Wembley.
Newcastle kick off but the first half is largely forgettable, and as we know United never manage two decent halves in a game, hopes are therefore high for the second half. Pardew has his work cut out to lift the team and improve the shape and tactics for the second half despite having the strongest squad he claims he’s ever had available to him.
Campbell, Abeid, Taylor and Gosling have been largely anonymous and it’s no surprise when Amalfitano and Marveaux come on to change the midfield, but Shola storms/strolls off to the dressing room as reserve goalkeeper Jak Alnwick is sent on up front, Taylor lucky he is not being hauled off early to give him time to write his latest apology.
The second half is equally poor with neither side looking like they want to win this. Then, in the dying seconds Obertan breaks clear for the first attack of the game but rather than take the ball closer to goal he shoots from just inside the opponents half and wins it for Newcastle with a stunning strike of some quality, top corner with Moe Heart at full stretch.
It would be fair to say that even the real Joe Hart and two Peter Schmeichels wouldn’t have saved that. Actually that didn’t happen, excuse my dramatic licence. The fact of the matter was that Obertan tripped over his own feet and centre half Ivor Trollop rolled the ball back to his own goalkeeper. As a result of this unexpected and potential first touch of the ball during the entire game, Moe Heart fainted with excitement and the ball passed through his legs, coming to a stop an inch short of the goal line. However, in an unexpected twist as his limp body fell to the floor he inadvertently headed the ball over the line and into his own net. A clinical victory for the Mighty Mags with the dubious goals panel awarding Gabby his tenth of the season.
The team jogs up the famous steps having conserved as much energy as possible during the 90 minutes of play. However, they are beaten to the top by a flabby man flailing his elbows to barge past the 11 heroes who graced the hallowed turf.
Mike Ashley becomes the first man in 57 years to lift a trophy for the magpies as the FA Vase is hoisted aloft and his 25 year plan comes to fruition 6 years earlier than scheduled. He salutes the zero hour employees who have ventured to the capital under threat of even less hours if they did not turn up.
“Nurse, my whiskey infused drip needs changing!!”…and I don’t mean JFK as he’s long gone now.