Vital Football

Latest Newcastle United News

Sir Bobby - Gone but never forgotten - Part 2

Sir Bobby - Gone but never forgotten - Part 2

Season 2001/02 was the season that defined Bobby at Newcastle however. Pre-season hardly saw a great deal of trading, with three players coming in. Robbie Elliott returned on a free from Bolton whilst the profligate Craig Bellamy came in underwhelmingly from Coventry. Finally the unknown Laurent Robert joined for a large £10m from PSG after much to-ing and fro-ing.

However the genius that was Sir Bobby galvanised the promise, the experience and the passion for NUFC that lay in his squad and did something that to this day, the likes of City, Spurs, Everton and Villa can only aim to replicate on a similar budget (or not in City's case).

An indicator was on the wall from game 1, Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, where we battled away and Clarence Acuna bagged a point. September saw the likes of Robert and a fit-again Shearer kick into gear. Beating Boro 4-1 away was the appetiser to a classic 4-3 Newcastle special, this time against Man Utd. This time however we won.

Bobby had us playing the football of the Keegan era, had rejuvenated our flagging number nine and was loving the chance to manage his boyhood club. 3-1 wins at Everton and 4-0 at Bolton earmarked our status as dark horses before Villa were put to the sword 3-0 at SJP.

December 2001 was without a doubt my most special month following Newcastle. Finally finished my studies, I was earning a decent wage and could get home and away to every game. December was one of those months where all those trips to defeat after defeat come full circle and for once Lady Luck shined down.

Wins at Ipswich and v Blackburn were the start before four crazy days. December 18th saw us travel to Highbury in a humdinger of a match where O'Brien, Shearer and Robert scored in a 3-1 win that took us top of the league.

December 22nd took us to Elland Road against a decent Leeds side. Lee Bowyer had just been cleared of the Sarfraz case and it was a fired up atmosphere in West Yorkshire. Bellamy opened the scoring before our former rent-a-thug equalised for the Whites.

In a boxing match, we slugged it out from 3-1 down as Robbie Elliott and Shearer made it 3-3. Finally in the last minute, Dyer slipped Solano in behind Ian Harte in the channels. Solano slipped past Martyn to send us into bedlam and stayed top of the league. That level of football, that intensity, that pride - that was the hallmark of SBR.

Things continued in a similar vein in January as we kept beating teams to stay in contention. The Dabizas goal at Sunderland was particularly special for a Durham lad as we beat them 1-0 on Wearside. Every game seemed to be a drama, with 3-2 wins the norm.

Sadly it wasn't meant to be. Bergkamp scored one of the finest PL goals against us as Arsenal braved the cauldron and won 2-0. We were then trounced 3-0 by Liverpool before a 2-2 at Ipswich brought the title dream curtain down. However Bobby picked us up and focused on the Champions League.

Despite everyone hurting, SBR regalvanised the team. A 6-2 Good Friday win v Everton got the party started. Draws saw a slight stutter before one of my all-time favourite SBR games. Going down to Derby, we swiftly went 2-0 down by Christie and Morris and lost Shearer to a face smash with Rob Lee. However from adversity in the second half, goals from Robert, Dyer and then, again in front of a baying, mental mob, LuaLua cartwheeled away following the winner.

A thumping win against Charlton left us on the precipice before a dramatic 2-2 against Blackburn at Ewood meant we qualified in 4th.

Since then only Everton have broken that stranglehold with one top four finish. Since then the money and name of the Sky Sports Big Four has ensured a closed shop in those lucrative positions as Spurs, Everton and Villa continually falter in their pursuits. However we managed to do it again the next season, albeit one better!

Continued in part 3...



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Ross Molyneux
Date:Saturday August 1 2009
Time: 10:53AM

Login to post a comment

Recent Newcastle United Articles

Match Day Officials v Birmingham (10/12/16)

The Football League have now announced the Match Day officials that will take charge of the game against Birmingham City this weekend.

Newcastle Win Forest Appeals

Newcastle's appeals against the red cards to Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett in the Friday night defeat at Nottingham Forest have been successful.

Sky Change More NUFC Games

The latest games that Sky TV are moving to broadcast were announced today.

Sky's 10 In 10 - Who Features?

Sky Sports being their festive 10 in 10 this week, so who features in the football screening overload for 2016/17?

Archived TOTT Articles

TOTT articles from

Site Journalists

TNMW
Editor email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Forest MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Darlow84%
Yedlin0%
Lascelles7%
Clark1%
Dummett0%
Hayden3%
Shelvey3%
Ritchie0%
Perez0%
Gouffran0%
Gayle1%
Sub - Anita0%
Sub - Diame0%
Sub - Mitrovic1%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 19 13 1 5 40 21
2 Brighton 19 11 6 2 39 17
3 Reading 19 10 4 5 34 1
4 Leeds Utd 19 10 2 7 32 3
5 Birmingham 19 8 7 4 31 2
6 Sheff Wed 19 9 4 6 31 1
7 Norwich 19 9 3 7 30 4
8 Huddersfield 19 9 3 7 30 -3
9 Derby County 19 8 5 6 29 4
10 Fulham 19 7 7 5 28 9
11 Bristol City 19 8 3 8 27 4
12 Barnsley 19 7 4 8 25 3
13 Forest 19 7 4 8 25 1
14 Preston 19 7 4 8 25 1
15 Aston Villa 19 5 10 4 25 1
16 Ipswich 19 6 6 7 24 -2
17 Q.P.R. 19 6 5 8 23 -8
18 Brentford 19 6 4 9 22 -2
19 Burton 19 5 7 7 22 -4
20 Wolves 19 5 6 8 21 -3
21 Blackburn 19 5 5 9 20 -7
22 Cardiff 19 5 4 10 19 -12
23 Wigan 19 4 6 9 18 -5
24 Rotherham 19 1 4 14 7 -26
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Newcastle United Results (view all)

Newcastle United Fixtures (view all)

Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Birmingham City (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 14 2016 7:45PM : Wigan Athletic (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 17 2016 3:00PM : Burton Albion (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 26 2016 7:45PM : Sheffield Wednesday (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 30 2016 7:45PM : Nottingham Forest (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Jan 2 2017 3:00PM : Blackburn Rovers (a)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Mcnamee6720
2.Toon_NoMatterWot20
3.keggy_keagal8
4.billybobcat8
5.Finn_the_Dog5
6.The Owl5
7.officemonkey4
8.PieMag3
9.North Yorkshire Mag2
10.Neppos2
The Vital Football Members League