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Top 10 Newcastle United Disappointments

5 days ago

What are the top 10 Newcastle United Disappointments?

In a new feature on The Mag, we are featuring a different NUFC Top 10 each day.

A bit of nostalgia, stimulate a bit of debate / argument.

Choosing from a list of potential Top 10s, ‘Disappointments’ was the stand out for me.

After all, Newcastle United Disappointments is what our club specialises in big time!

So without any further ado, in reverse order – Number 10 to Number 1 – these are my Top 10 NUFC…

10. Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer a disappointment, surely not?

No, Alan Shearer will never be disappointment to me BUT what happened to him in 2009 and the lasting effects of that, will always leave me gutted.

With eight games to go, Newcastle United were going down. All kinds of factors had brought this about but Mike Ashley had his prints all over it.

Shearer couldn’t turn down a call for help from the club he loves and walked into a poisonous situation / dressing room.

None of can know for sure either way BUT for me, Alan Shearer had all the attributes to be an excellent manager, especially with Newcastle United. If he hadn’t answered that cry for help in 2009 he may well have got a proper chance in management, whether at NUFC or elsewhere.

In a parallel universe Alan Shearer would now be manager under ambitious owners, with Kevin Keegan as Director of Football.

9. Steve Bruce

I have always despised him and always dreaded him getting the Newcastle job.

What a nightmare when it happened in 2019.

Only a big Newcastle fan when it suited, nobody should forget how he was almost in tears when in the studio on Sky Sports as we hammered his true love Man Utd 5-0. No longer a Man Utd player and supposedly a massive Newcastle fan, yet gutted on a day when any true NUFC fan would have been dancing around the Sky Sports studios, not crying.

8. Leazes End 1978

I was only a kid but when they pulled the old Leazes End down, it was just horrific.

Brilliant memories from the matches where I went in the old Leazes…the roof, the singing, the atmosphere, the fires lit by mad gangs of NUFC fans, the underlying fear/excitement as a young kid amongst all this madness.

It says it all that I look back on that season and the biggest regret is losing the Leazes End, rather than the relegation!

7. Kevin Keegan third time around

Kevin Keegan had performed miracles first and second time around, as a player and as a manager.

However, even he couldn’t overcome the obstacle of Mike Ashley.

Kevin Keegan is the greatest for me and always will be, how he was treated by Ashley is an absolute disgrace, amongst the many other MA disgraces…

6. 1990 play-offs

For so much of that season it looked like Newcastle would go up automatically, in the end finishing third, six points clear of the rest.

In sixth place the Mackems and in the play-off semi-final first leg, Newcastle got a well deserved 0-0 draw, John Burridge saving a penalty.

Despite having a far better team, Newcastle didn’t turn up on the night at St James Park, losing 2-0.

To make matters worse, Sunderland were beaten in the play-off final by Swindon, only for financial irregularities seeing Swindon stopped from going up and an agonising wait to see who would go up instead. Newcastle had finished six points clear of Sunderland so surely it had to be them…but no, after weeks of waiting it was Sunderland who went up instead.

5. Champions League 2002/03

After dramatically losing the first three games, Newcastle still went through thanks to beating Juventus, Dynamo Kiev  and Feyenoord, that last game a brilliant night in Rotterdam.

Back then, you had a second group stage. Having serious bad luck when losing to Barcelona and especially Inter (Bellamy sent off after six minutes), Newcastle then beat Bayer Leverkusen home and away, before travelling to Inter.

Some 14,000 Geordies in Milan (see image above), incredible. Even better, Newcastle were the superior team. Shearer scored twice and we deserved to win it. If Newcastle had done that, then I think the very last game of the group at home to Barca could have been very different instead of a 2-0 lame defeat with nothing to play for. NUFC would have been in the last eight of the Champions League and who knows…?

4. FA Cup semi-final in 2000

This was the closest Newcastle United have ever came to a trophy in my time going to matches.

We were by some distance the best team on the day but Gus Poyet scored two goals either side of that Rob Lee one.

If we’d got through this semi, Newcastle United would have beaten Aston Villa in the final comfortably, as Chelsea did. Sir Bobby and the fans would have brought the FA Cup back to Tyneside.

3. Gazza 1988

Another case of what might have been.

Paul Gascoigne was the last of the trio to go.

The Mag

Issue 1 – August 1988

Just imagine what could have been achieved with a team built around Gazza, Beardsley and Waddle?

If Newcastle United had had different people owning and running the club, that trio could have helped establish this club for a long long time, not to mention the trophies that would have surely came our way. What a waste.

2. Mike Ashley 


Already over 14 years he has been here and it has been absolutely disgraceful what he’s been allowed to get away with.

Quite ironic that we are struggling still to get rid of him because of the owners’ test, considering how he has behaved.

English football and the Premier League are a disgrace in terms of how they are regulated, Mike Ashley’s presence the proof of that.

1. Premier League in 1996

Yes, so close.

That season was most certainly the best of times, the worst of times.

So much of the 1995/96 Premier League season absolutely brilliant, only the final run-in the huge disappointment.

If Kevin Keegan had won the title, who knows what else that would have led to.

The Mag Issue 75 February 1995

Issue 75 – February 1995

The truth is that KK and Newcastle did very little wrong that season, we just had too small a squad to make any real changes when key players maybe needed a game or two on the bench. Whilst the main reasons for coming second were Man Utd’s incredible run of form in second half of season and in particular Cantona and Schmeichel playing at such an amazingly high level match after match.

(Previously in these featured NUFC Top 10s – You can go back and see the Top 10 Playmakers, Right-Backs, Centre-Backs, Goalkeepers, Goals and Strikers)


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