Every so often, compilations of Newcastle United clips appear on my social media feeds.

Shearer’s best goals; Peter Beardsley moments of magic; David Kelly looking particularly grinny after scoring.

Recently, the compilation was made up of Papiss Cisse’s first lot of goals for the club. Now, apart from some obvious things, like a turn of speed as though he was being chased by sharks with lasers shooting from their fins, there was something else I noticed. And if I noticed it, I’m pretty sure loads of other people did too.

He didn’t look up. He knew where he was, where the ball was going to be, how astonishingly quickly he was shifting over those few yards, and how to hold off the flailing defender beside him. He reminded me of Andy Cole. The different eras always create impossible but fascinating discussions over the merits of comparing their respective heroes.

But this set of clips was from only a few years ago. From a few managers ago. From a relegation and promotion ago.

The audacious smashing swerve against Chelsea sticks out as a stunner but Cisse’s timing was devastating. He had a blistering partnership with Demba Ba that probably kept Alan ‘Couldn’t quite get it over the line/we was missing that bit of quality’ Pardew in a job for a bit longer than at West Brom. Or Crystal Palace. A lot has happened in those few years.

Several of the players from that team went on to apparently bigger and better things that sort of didn’t work out…

Hatem Ben Arfa was a talent who couldn’t really learn how to get any better.

Yohan Cabaye was the midfield general who saw Pardew’s genius and followed it back to Crystal Palace, where he has gone on to win… nowt. Via PSG, of course. Would you rather be the Billy Big Boy Pants at a smaller club, (hate to say it, but that’s us) or a bit part player at Loadsamoney Rovers?

Demba Ba moved to Chelsea, but for tactical reasons as well as any others, was never as prolific as he was at St James Park. What’s that? The money?! The transfer fee?! Well, I never.

Were they better than what we have at the minute? In front of goal, yes. We have no one prolific, and reading between the lines of Lee Charnley’s comments, it doesn’t look like we’ll be spending all of our summer holiday money in the first shop we find selling shiny new footballers. Charnley’s comments on the spending to get back up, coupled with the ‘news’ of the staggered payments Spurs are making for Sissoko, does make me wonder why we aren’t paying staggered payments, too, but then getting anything for Sissoko was good business. Wasn’t it?

Newcastle United as a business making institution have a bit of history when it comes to selling players on who didn’t particularly hit the heights for us, perhaps because they were played out of position, or were filling in for the unfillinable –Jon Dahl Tomasson being a case in point- and then going on to greatness. Hell’s teeth man, he went on to win the Champions League with AC Milan, and they were, erm, quite good.

What did we do wrong? We have sold players deemed surplus to requirements who have gone on to win the league; Danny Simpson did it a couple of years ago.

And recently, we have a history of finding the weakest spots of managers and being tutted at by the media for doing so. Alan Pardew, Steve McClaren, Graeme Souness… they were found out either by us, or not long afterwards. But we’re delusional.

Is the ‘championship team’ tag a little old now?

We finished in tenth place, and while this was on goal difference, it was also because as a unit, we defended more effectively than the teams around us. Losing by not a lot to Manchester City might have been a significant factor in that top half, goal difference placing, utterly negative though it was.

Rafa Benitez was placed in fifth place of the Premier League managers in a recent article in the online sports pages. He gets the best out of players who play in his system, and if you won’t –or can’t- play within it, you don’t fit into his plans. He lives and falls by being the big cheese who makes those decisions, which takes guts. I’ll take that over the Pardew-Moyes-Allardyce-Pulis merry-go-round of inept chewing.

But statistics are only as useful as the conclusions drawn from them. The conclusion suggested by Charnley this past week is, yeah, that’ll do.

It’ll do…won’t do. It didn’t do in the past.

Watching highlights reels from ten years ago and feeling nostalgic is fine when you’re having a cuppa, but I would be much happier with the adrenaline fuelled extra of what could be. And this from someone with rose-tinted myopia.

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  • Paul Patterson

    The partnership of Ba/Cisse was criminal under coached and not built on.

    • Leazes.

      Ba was sold by Ashley for profit.

      Ferdinand was sold by Sir John Hall to pay himself and Lady May back for Shearer

      Shearer/Bellamy was broken up by Shearer.

      • Paul Patterson

        Correct on certain points. Bellamy being a tw*t and sourpuss being a poor manager broke the latter up.
        Ferdinand was sold to pay off the Shearer deal.
        The Ba sale was a £7m godsend.

        • Leazes.

          So basically you are saying I’m right?

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Bellamy carried Shearer, he literally had no legs when Belkemy went yet Shearer wanted to be the main man. Ultimately Bobby was sacked because Shearer was in a huff that he may be sold.

      • Ram Kishore

        I dont know much about Shearer era issues.. but when Ba was sold it wasn’t jus for profit leazes , there were other factors too..
        U failed to see the other issues that was needed to be accommodated during the 12/13 season

        • Leazes.

          He never tied to keep him and sold him to Chelsea reserves!

          It very much was the case of profit comes first regardless of the implications for his own team…. same as Carroll…. in fact same as every sale!

          Ashley will write-off a season at the drop of a hat.

          • Mark Potter

            This is a lie. Ba had a release clause.

        • Mark Potter

          It wasn’t for profit. Newcastle got Ba on a free transfer. West Ham had him on a three and a half year contract, but within the first half year they got relegated, despite the goals he scored for them. Ba triggered a release clause allowing him to leave. NUFC got 18 very good months from him, for nothing.

          People like Leazes moaned at the time he was signed.
          Complaining how much is spent, rather than ability, matters more to these people. Ba soon proved he had the ability in abundance.

          But the contract he signed with the club had a £7m release clause. He could leave any time he wanted, if anyone offered that amount. Chelsea triggered that clause, and there was nothing the club could do to prevent Ba leaving, nor get the amount of money he was probably worth by then, as a proven PL goal scorer. There is no evidence that the club had any interest in selling Ba. Though they may have become aware that he was unsettled since the arrival of Cisse a year earlier. Cisse had taken his place playing as centre forward. Ba was offered a five year deal for more per week than Newcastle were paying. They were also playing Champions League and competing for the Premiership. Their manager who took Ba to Chelsea was that little known guy Rafa Benitez.

          Newcastle were certainly aware of the clause and speculation about Ba leaving. There was massive media interest after Harry Rednapp, then manager of Spurs, revealed the release clause in a post-match interview some time earlier. The club seemed to be prepared for the bid from Chelsea, and had planned to replace Ba with Loic Remy. After a couple of weeks of negotiations Remy got on a flight from France to come to England, but stopped off in London and signed for QPR when they offered him higher wages. By then the manager of QPR was Harry Rednapp. QPR paid Marseilles €10m, so about £7m at the time.

          Selling Ba would have cost the club at least as much to replace him. A profit was made that transfer window only because of Remy’s duplicitous behaviour, which meant we failed to get a replacement for Ba before the window closed.

          • Ram Kishore

            Someone talks sense and understands the situation..
            Never can stop leazes from moaning

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        You just talk rubbish
        H, what is the point of you. Do a Jezza, you are not wanted.

    • Down Under Mag

      Ba didn’t want to be playing second fiddle to Cisse after being played wide but being instrumental in setting up a lot of Cisse’s chances. So he took the release clause when he was offered a chance…and more money. Who can blame him.

      Bellamy was a little excrement stirrer but Shearer was also no saint and needed to be the “big man on campus” and had to have his own way. Sounds was brought in to try and shake things up and appease Big Al’s ego at the time but it was done with such ham-fistedness that the club suffered. The sad thing was Shearer and Bellamy were a terrific partnership.

      Kenny decimated the club after Keegan walked, I guess he didn’t want to win something with someone else team, however you have to question selling the likes of Gina, Ferdinand and others to bring in the dross he did alongside his old (and I do mean antiques) scouse team-mates for one last payday. Only he will truly know whether it was intentional sabotage or just epic incompetence…but it took the club from a place where we should have maintained our place at the top of the “big club” list instead of finding ourselves in the doldrums.

      • Leazes.

        You’ve been reading Ryders twisted view on the world…. you shouldn’t let the Chronicle do any thinking for you….. its not healthy!

        Its spin…. The Chronicle’s remit is to support the regime…… he usually clobbers the ones who leave and drowns those who stay in saliva!

        If Kenny ‘decimated’ the club it was to sell players for Shepherd and build in his own way…. unfortunately the hatchet job only produced two Wembley trips, and was antithesis of the ‘entertainers’. This is a club which lurches from one position to another at the whims of owners and when you have owners like Shepherd Hall and Ashley its going to be destabilising…. none of them had a clue where they were heading…… the current owner has never had ambition for United so he just sells players regardless of public opinion….that’s the only difference!

        Managers are fall guys for owners not architects of destruction.

  • Leazes.

    Is it really only 22 years since United broke its transfer record?

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Which worked out so well.

    • Mark Potter

      No, it’s nearly 13 years.