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No goals on Keegans return

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Newcastle United 0-0 Bolton Wanderers

Team: Given, Carr, Taylor, Cacapa, Jose Enrique, Milner, Rozehnal, N'Zogbia, Duff (LuaLua 80), Owen, Ameobi.
Subs n/u: Harper, Edgar, Troisi, Carroll.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Andrew O'Brien, Michalik, Gardner, Joey O'Brien, Nolan (Campo 67), McCann (Cohen 75), Guthrie, Davies, Taylor (Samuel 79).
Subs n/u: Al Habsi, Giannakopoulos.

Return of the King

It was confirmed on Wednesday afternoon at around 4pm that the man who once saved Newcastle and revived the clubs fortunes has returned for a second spell.

The 56 year old almost led Newcastle to Premiership glory in the 1990's with an entertaining brand of football and despite strong links for Didier Deschamps or Gerard Houllier, it's Keegan who was named.

Keegans first spell as manager began with promotion to the Premiership in 1992-1993, his first game was a 3-0 win over Bristol City and Newcastle just survived the threat of relegation on the final game of the 91-92 season.

Keegan will be in attandence as Newcastle take on Stoke in an FA CUP reply on Wednesday and his first game will likely be against Bolton Wanderers at the weekend.

Exactly what we feared

Manchester United 6-0 Newcastle

Nobody gave Newcastle any hope of coming away with anything from Old Trafford on Saturday night, many fans were just hoping that it wouldn't be a humiliating 6-0. Managerless, underperforming and fearing the worst it was delivered in spectacular fashion.

Newcastle had managed to make it to the break with the score goalless, although MIchael Owen wrongfully had a goal chalked out for offside, but even if Newcastle had managed to grab a win it would have been underserved.

Allaryce's number two Nigel Pearson took charge of this game and described the morale just 'okay', and even he didn't have what it takes to get the players performing to their potential.

The second half was painful to watch as Ronaldo found the net twice before Tevez (2) and Rio Ferdinand found goals, Alan Smith being sent off and then Ronaldo completing his hat-trick.

Yet Sir Fergie was still able to get wound up by a couple of penalty appeals that didn't go his way, quite rightly aswell. Ronaldo could have just fallen over Taylor but the Newcastle defender made no contact with the ball. More obvious a penalty was Ryan Giggs being clattered by Alan Smith. Newcastle can count themselves lucky to have such a bad ref or it would have been a whole lot worse.

Ronaldo's first coming from a free kick, after being clipped by Alan Smith he left Shay Given with no chance. As the Newcastle wall jumped, Ronaldo cleverly fired underneath them.

Five minutes later and Given rolled the ball out to Cacapa but Ryan Giggs was awaiting and rolled the ball to Carlos Tevez to score.

Ronaldo grabbed his second after finishing off an excellent move but more was yet to come as Ferdinand drilled home a super volley and Ronaldo grabbed his third before Tevez completed the rout.

The next task for a managerless Newcastle will be to overcome Stoke City in an FA Cup replay.

Harry says no

The hunt for a new manager is back on after Harry Redknapp rejected the chance to swap coasts.

Redknapp has been the favourite to succeed Sam Allardyce following his acking on Wednesday. Redknapp held talks with Newcastle on Friday night ut by the Saturday afternoon he decided that his future lies with his current club.

Redknapp told Sky Sports News: "I'm happy - this is a club I feel comfortable at. I have a fantastic relationship with the fans, a fantastic relationship with the owner and with Peter (Storrie, chief executive).

"The players I've brought to the club, I've sold Portsmouth to them and to walk away having brought them here, when the club is doing so well, wouldn't be right."

"It's not all about money. People don't know me but money is not my God. I'm happy, I enjoy it here and I have a great relationship with the fans," he said.

"It would be difficult to sleep at night. You have to look at yourself and say 'the club's been good to me and I've got to pay them back'.

"When you bring in players - and I signed a lot of good players in the summer with some terrific backing from the owner (Sacha Gaydamak) - some of them could have gone to big clubs. To walk away half way through (the season) is the wrong signal; it's not fair. My heart is with Portsmouth.

"I had a great offer from them and to be offered the chance at a fantastic club like Newcastle was a terrific opportunity for me but at the end of it I couldn't do it.

"The owner (Mike Ashley) seems to me to be the most ambitious guy you could hope to meet and they are good people up there.

"Newcastle is a massive club with great supporters - they get 50,000 every and it's a great job for somebody but I won't be going."

Fucking Disgrace!

Sam Allardyce has been sacked as manager of Newcastle United on Wednesday afternoon by chairman Chris Mort, despite numerous statements that his position is not under threat.

Sam Allardyce took over a squad of average players in May 2007 and despite a takeover of the club by a supposed millionnaire he was not given the fund promised to strengthen the squad.

Despite this Allardyce led Newcastle to their best start in over 10 years but then things started to go wrong when Newcastle hit a bad run of form, and 239 days after taking the job, Allardyce has been sacked.

Newcastle issued this statement: Newcastle United has today parted company with Sam Allardyce as its Manager with immediate effect.

This decision has been reached by mutual agreement.

Newcastle United Chairman Chris Mort said: "Mike and I would like to place on record our thanks for Sam's efforts and wish him well for the future.

"A new manager has not yet been appointed at Newcastle United. We will make a further announcement on the managerial position when appropriate."

Sam Allardyce said: "I am disappointed to be leaving Newcastle United but I wish the Club all the best for the remainder of the season and for the future."

First Team coach Nigel Pearson will take charge of the team for Saturday's game at Manchester United.

6 managers in 10 years, no wonder the club is in a mess.

Arsenal awaiting

Monday's FA Cup draw will see Newcastle travel to Arsenal if they see off Stoke City in the third round replay.

Arsenal have already knocked Newcastle out of the Carling Cup this season and will be back at the Emirates in the Premiership just a few days after the fourth round clash.

Newcastle have beaten Arsenal in two FA Cup finals, in 1932 and 1952.

How did we survive

Stoke City 0-0 Newcastle United

Newcastle United will enter Monday's 4th round draw after something of a minor miracle at the Britannia Stadium, managing to hold on against the fly flying Championship side for a 0-0 draw.

It was a second half where Newcastle certainly should have bowed out and it was only due to the resiliant displays by Shay Given, Steven Taylor and Abdoulaye Faye that Newcastle survived a cup upset.

The starting line up for Newcastle begged certain questions with Milner, Emre and Beye all left out, although revealed to be due to illness and injury, but on the bench Newcastle had three youngsters in Kazenga LuaLua, Andy Carroll and David Edgar.

Andy Carroll did have a late chance to grab the victory for Newcastle when he shot into the side netting from close range, the best chance Newcastle managed to carve out.

It was the introduction of Jon Parkin where Newcastle should have lost. Just seconds after coming onto the field he picked out Ricardo Fuller who muscled his way past Shay Given and cut the ball back for Parkin but Taylor and Faye were back on the goalline to rescue Newcastle. Then from the resulting corner the ball came close range to Richard Cresswell but somehow he was denied by Shay Given.

Newcastle did look lively at the start, Duff showing good movement and Michael Owen could have had a goal in the first half had it not been for the quick reactions of Simonsen.

Nicky Butt also had a couple of efforts that sailed over the crossbar. The Owen and Viduka partnership upfront was largely ineffective although with that said the service to the frontment was minimal at best.

Stoke must surely feel thay have missed a great oppotunity to eliminate Newcastle from the FA Cup and Sam Allardyce has come under more pressure following another poor showing.

The presence of Sir Alex Fergsuon in the stands, however, did serve as a reminder as to how one game can change a career. Ferguson was on the verge of being sacked when a struggling Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup in 1990. The question beggers whether Sam Allardyce can follow that path at Newcastle.

Team: Given, Rozehnal, Taylor, Faye, Jose Enrique, Duff (LuaLua 74), Smith, Butt, N'Zogbia, Viduka (Carroll 87), Owen.
Subs n/u: Harper, Cacapa, Edgar.

Stoke: Simonsen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Cort, Dickinson, Lawrence, Eustace (Pulis 90), Pugh, Cresswell, Sidibe (Parkin 65), Fuller (Pericard 90).
Subs n/u: Hoult, Zakuani.

Referee: Steve Bennett (Kent).

Barton bailed

Joey Barton was freed from jail on Thursday evening after being granted bail at a court hearing. Barton was arrested on charges of affray on December 27th.

Following an hour long court hearing, Barton was told he was free to leave prison. No conditions of bail were released and by 6pm Barton was out.

Barton will appear at Liverpool Magistrates Court on January 16th.

Allardyce nervous as Toon lose

Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester City

Sam Allardyce has admitted he is feeling the pressure after his Newcastle side crash to another defeat. Allardyce could only look on as his Toon side squandered a promising first-half display on Wednesday against City, who ended their wait for a first league win away from Eastlands since the opening day of the season.

Defeat to City means that Newcastle have taken one point from the 12 available over the festive period. A 2-2 against basement side Derby County with defeats also against Wigan and Chelsea.

City produced two top quality finishes from Elano and Gelson Fernandes to kill off the game and Newcastle could be disappointed to take nothing. They did give a good battling display but with a defence leaking goals and the attack not scoring, it was only going one way after Elano had finished.

It doesn't even get any easier for Allaryce, a bana skin game with Stoke City in the FA Cup at the weekend is followed up with a trip to Old Trafford. Allardyce will then lose four of his players to the African Nations Cup.

Newcastle did do enough to ensure that City keeper Joe HArt had a busy first half, his first action was to stop a close range header from Habib Beye after five minutes.

Abdoulaye Faye also tested the keeper twice and Martins hit a powerful shot his way, but the NIgerian was making a habit of not taking chances and he was not the only one. CHarles N'Zogbia send a ball into the area to far in front of Mark Viduka.

City were good at breaking on the counter, and proved it when Martin petrov fired at Shay Given and again seven minutes before half time when Vassell passed to Elano and the Brazillean hit a curling shot past Given, that really you can only stand and admire.

Michael Owen was introduced at half time and almost had an immediate impact, forcing a save from Joe Hart but Newcastle would still struggle to carve out openings.

Claudio Cacapa twice found himself in good positions and Micah Richards denied Mark Viduka a tap in, but the game was well and truely over when Gelson Fernandes fired in a 2nd goal.

NUFC: Given, Beye, Taylor, Cacapa, N'Zogbia, Milner, Butt, Faye (Emre 73), Duff (Jose Enrique 64), Viduka, Martins (Owen 46). Subs n/u: Harper, Rozehnal.

MCFC: Hart, Onuoha, Richards, Dunne, Ball, Ireland (Gelson 75), Hamann, Elano (Etuhu 71), Corluka, Petrov, Vassell (Bianchi 88). Subs n/u: Isaksson, Garrido.

Undone by Kalou

Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle

Solomon Kalou hit a late winner to pile more misery on Sam Allardyce, but defeat has come under some controversy as Chelsea were awarded two suspicious goals.

First was the match opener from Michael Essien who fired home after the ball appeared to be deflected into his path via a handball. Meanwhile there is also suspicions of an offside as Kalou fired the winner.

Newcastle, however, can take heart from a battling display that deserves to have earn the team at least a point from the game, which it almost had as Nicky Butt levelled the game in the second half.

Chelsea could have been infront after 10 minutes but Blues captain Michael Ballack hit high into the stands after good work by Essien had carved out the oppotunity.

It was then Newcastle's turn to threaten before Shay Given pulled off two good saves, first punching away a Balleti cross before Kalou could finish and then making a super stop from Obi mikel.

Chelsea would take the lead, a long throw finding it's way to Wright Phillips, his mis timed shot bounced up of Kalou, amid suspicions of hand ball, and when the ball landed Essien had the simple task of finishing from close range.

Chelsea would remain infront until the 55th minute. Charles N'Zogbia beating Mikel and cut the ball back to Nicky Butt who needed two attempts to beat Wayne Bridge and fire home.

Kalou could have had Chelsea back in front within seconds, Michael Ballack squandered another chance, all the while Chelsea boss Avram Grant was subject to a torrent of boos. Then with three minutes remaining Kalou popped up with a goal from close range.

Team: Given, Beye, Taylor, Cacapa, N'Zogbia, Milner, Butt, Faye, Smith (Rozehnal 70), Duff (Viduka 89), Martins (Owen 74).
Subs n/u: Harper, Emre.

Chelsea: Hilario, Belletti, Alex, Ben-Haim, Bridge, Essien, Obi, Ballack (Sinclair 76), Wright-Phillips (Sidwell 90), Joe Cole (Pizarro 65), Kalou.
Subs n/u: Taylor, Ferreira.

Crowd: 41,751

Referee: Mike Riley (Yorkshire).

Barton locked up for New Year

Joey Barton will spend the New Year behind bars after being arrested for assult on Thursday. He was arrested in the early hours of the morning following an incident in Liverpool.

Barton, of Foxbank Close, Widnes, Cheshire, appeared at Liverpool Magistrates' Court for a 45-minute bail hearing required because the common assault and affray took place while he was already on bail for two other separate offences.

Barton has been denied bail due to the threat of further offences and will remain in custody until January 3rd, rling him out of the games against Chelsea and Manchester City.