Breaking: Sam Allardyce To Declare Interest In Barcelona Job

Hot off the back of the news that Pep Guardiola is set to step down from his managerial role at Barcelona at the end of the season, after the “failures” of coming second in the league, reaching the Champions’ League semi-finals and the final of the Copa Del Rey, as well as winning the Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup, West Ham manager and self-promotional fantasist Sam Allardyce has declared his interest in the job. The former Bolton manager is said to have thrown his massive hat into the ring, and instructed his secretary to only accept calls from Spanish sounding people.

We were lucky enough to grab a few words…

“Barcelona would be lucky to have a proven manager of my undoubted and proven ability. Since taking my first job in management back in 1991, I have proved my excellent quality, and value to any football club, instigating cutting-edge approaches to management, including a system that will one day ensure that the ball never has to touch the ground once in a 90 minute game.” Continue reading

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Exclusive Paul Cannell Interview Part 1: The NUFC Years

As featured in Issue 2 of Black and White Daft. WARNING: Contains lots of “colourful” language. Walker lad, after all.

Born in Newcastle in 1953 Paul Cannell was brought up in High Heaton in Newcastle’s East End. He fulfilled many a Geordie schoolboys dream and wore the famous Black & White coveted ‘Number 9 Shirt’ making 65 appearances between 1972 and 1978 for the club he supported as a boy. He scored a total of 18 goals playing alongside the likes of Malcolm MacDonald, John Tudor, Alan Gowling and Mickey Burns. We caught up with Paul in the Newcastle Arms for a liquid lunch. Just as we were about to start, Paul asks the barmaid “Didn’t you used to work in the Corner House?” which came the reply “Aye, who are you?” “Paul, Paul Cannell.” She said “nah, never.” Paul continued “Didn’t your bloke run off with a blonde bimbo?” She said “Aye, but you should knaa all about bimbos!!” In the 70’s Manchester had Best, Arsenal had Marinello and Newcastle had Geordie Paul Cannell.

As a local lad, was it always your dream to play for Newcastle United?

Narr.

No?

No. Never.

It wasn’t your dream?

No. I was going to go to Durham University to study Law. I mean I loved playing football but I was on the books for Sunderland as a schoolboy. Charlie Ferguson was the scout and Bomber Brown was the manager, Dennis Tueart was there and Derek Foster the goalkeeper. And I was quite happy playing for Sunderland in the Northern Intermediate League, so then we had a game against Newcastle United and Alan Brown said I had to sign a contract before I could play against them – a school boy contract – I’d never signed a contract before so I thought – with mixed feelings – I was being made to sign a contract to play against Newcastle – because I was dying to play against Newcastle. So anyway, I signed the contract and he said if you have any problems with it, we’ll release you – so I signed the contract, and I wasn’t picked for the team against Newcastle. So I says “You fucking twat, you got me to sign that!” So I said I want to be released. And then I was due to go to Durham University and Joe Harvey and Geoff Allen came to see me… Continue reading

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Why We Want Barcelona To Win Tonight

While some English supporters will be supporting Chelsea tonight when they face Barcelona at the Camp Nou for the reward of playing either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich in the Champions’ League Final in Munich, Newcastle fans should shun the urge to support British. There is no place for sentiment when the potential of an astonishing return to the Champions’ League for Newcastle United is concerned, and the advance of Chelsea to the final would move them one step closer to halting that dream altogether.

Because if Chelsea win the competition, and United finish fourth after one of the most surprising and uplifting seasons in the history of the Premiership, we will be cruelly robbed of the opportunity to play among the brightest stars of the European game. It would be too much to take, a heart-breaking caveat to a season of huge success.

Chelsea don’t deserve to win the competition, and nor do they deserve to feature in the final: they currently sit in sixth in the Premier League, their team of aging stars on the verge of being disbanded and rebuilt entirely in the summer after a season deemed unsuccessful enough to warrant the dismissal of their manager. They are as far removed from “Champions” as is almost conceivable for a club of their stature, and their form over 38 games in the league this season is far more indicative of their actual quality than this prestigious tournament.

And for those Newcastle fans who will cheer the Londoners this evening, and then hope for their defeat in the final, consider this: if Chelsea make the final, and Newcastle take fourth place, we will have to wait almost a week beyond the end of our domestic season to discover exactly what that position means. Those will surely be the longest six days of any Geordie fan’s life.

Hopefully, Barcelona’s arrogance won’t count against them, and inspire an unlikely bulldog spirit in the Chelsea camp, because comments made by centre-half Gerard Pique in the run up to the game about Didier Drogba will already have fired the Ivorian striker up.

All the Spanish side need to beat Chelsea is to box clever, to stick to their own game and to remain confident in the system that has seen them steam-roll opponents all year, and only fall at the final hurdle when it comes to their league thanks to Jose Mourinho’s incredibly impressive Real Madrid side. Because matched up man-for-man, Barcelona are easily the superior side – they just need to translate possession into a killer instinct, and with Chelsea likely to chase a second goal for the first third of the game, the space for such play should be available.

But then, if Chelsea were to land a second blow, and score an invaluable away goal in a stadium already likely to be buzzing with nervous energy, Barcelona would be faced with a Herculean effort to score three. They need a big performance, and hopefully the likes of Messi, Iniesta and Puyol can inspire it.

So, for tonight, let’s forget about the British game (as if it cares about us!) and focus our attention on cheering the Spaniards through to the final.

Ven A Barcelona!

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Black & White Daft Issue 8 Available To Buy Now

The latest issue of Black & White Daft is now available across the North East from Newsagents and selected local bars, as well as from The Back Page on St Andrews Street.

Inside you will find the usual Geordie crack, regular features including Sam Allardyce’s Transfer Profile, Season Review 1964/65, Following Newcastle in the 1970s, Compare The wearcat, Mad Mick and Match From The Day, and much more.

There’s also a one-off article about Jimmy Hill antagonising the mackems, and two brand new columns: Atkinson’s Football Diet (a Statto’s wet dream), and St James Park: Why We Fight.

Here’s the cover…

Subscriptions are available for the UK (£26), Europe (£32.50) and the Rest of the World (£37.50) by calling The Back Page on (0191) 2615005.

Follow us on Twitter: @BlacknWhiteDaft

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Newcastle United Ultimate Record Available To Buy Now

The bible according to club historian Paul Joannou is now available to buy, and it’s selling like hot cakes. Well even better than that, it’s selling like a limited edition Ultimate Record dedicated to the complete history of Newcastle United…

Here’s the official word on the book from the publishers and the author himself:

To mark Newcastle United’s 130th Anniversary it is appropriate that the Ultimate Record charts United’s celebrated history season-by-season, match-by-match, almost 6,500 games and around 586,000 minutes of football.

Branded the United Bible, the book contains just about everything you want to know about the Black’n'Whites.

Founded as Stanley Football Club in the St Peter’s and Byker area of Newcastle during November 1881, soon to change their name to East End FC and ultimately Newcastle United in 1892, the club’s past is well known for being a hugely colourful story packed with incident.

All of 130 years of action on and off the field is comprehensively reviewed and charted from the very first pioneering game when Stanley played the Elswick Leather Works 2nd XI on 26th November 1881, to Newcastle United’s final fixture of the 2010-11 Premier League against West Bromwich Albion.

The book is wonderfully illustrated and produced in the precise style of Club Historian Paul Joannou enthusiasts of the club are accustomed to. With co-authors Alan Candlish and Bill Swann, the expert knowledge of United’s history is second to none.

Author, and club historian Paul Joannou says: “When the first edition of Newcastle United’s match by match history was published over 25 years ago in 1986 it was one of the earliest Complete Record books at a time when detailed historical works of that type on football clubs were in their infancy. Now almost every club in the country has such a volume.”

“Since 1986 much new data has been researched on United’s match record with even obscure and until recently, hidden friendly games now being discovered. This book takes the club’s match record a stage further and brings everything up to date, a fitting way to mark 130 years of action since the founding of the club in St Peter’s.”

The Ultimate Record is the Newcastle United Bible. No supporter should be without a copy, a book to answer almost every query and also to dip in and out of time and time again. Yet, it is not just a statistical record of the Black’n'Whites but also relates the history and a comprehensive summary of every season as well as profiles of star players. The detail is immense, included are not only United’s senior fixtures but also all other first-team matches, friendlies included, as well as a review of the club’s Reserve and Junior teams since Victorian times.

Newcastle’s Chairmen, Directors and Officials are charted as are Managers, Coaches and Trainers over the years while there is a comprehensive Player Register scheduling the club record of every player to appear for the Black’n'Whites, nearly 1,200 individuals. A focus is also given to pioneer grounds and St. James’ Park, while an informative Facts & Figures section catalogues United’s principal records over those 130 years.

Fully authorised by Newcastle United, the Ultimate Record is produced in limited edition and should not be missed. It runs to 344 large pages, containing a wonderful array of photographs, and retails at £27.50.

Buy your copy from The Back Page on St Andrew’s Street in Newcastle. You can ring them on (0191) 2615005, but expect to pay a sweet fiver in postage as the book is a monster, so best head into the shop and see the lads.

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Let’s All Laugh At Sunderland Again

Now is the time to celebrate the mackems’ continued inability to beat Newcastle, even when the club is entangled in yet another fine mess of its owners’ making, and they’ve invested heavily in ten new players designed to allow them to push on to the next level. Which is why eight of them weren’t on the pitch at kick-off on Saturday…

Anyway, why not share the anti-mackem abuse with as many people as possible, by picking up a copy of the now legendary Let’s All Laugh At sunderland, and follow up Let’s All Laugh At sunderland Again from The Back Page.

For a limited time only, both volumes are available for just £5, including p&p, which is a saving of almost £3 all told. Get them bought!

To order, call the lads on (0191) 2615005, and tell them we sent you.

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The Back Page Travel Club 2011/12 Price List

The Back Page Travel club have been taking Newcastle United fans to away fixtures for the past 8 seasons and are rightly considered the Toon Army’s leading unofficial travel company. Today they announce their prices for the forthcoming season, starting with the trip to the Dark Side in just under two weeks.

We’re told there are still a limited number of seats available on the sunderland coach, and it is first come, first served. So if you’d rather not travel as part of the club’s official party on the coaches provided by Mr Mike Ashley, give them a call on (0191) 261 5005 for further information or to book.

Most times at the minute to be confirmed, unless otherwise stated below…

  • sunderland – Sat 20th Aug – £14
  • QPR – Mon 12th Sept – £38
  • Aston Villa – Sat 17th Sept – £30
  • Wolves – Sat 1st Oct – £30
  • Stoke – Mon 31st Oct – £30
  • Man City – Sat 19th Nov – £26
  • Man Utd – Sat 26th Nov – £26
  • Norwich – Sat 10th Dec - £34
  • Bolton – Mon 26th Dec – £26
  • Liverpool – Sat 31st Dec – £28
  • Fulham – Sat 21st Jan – £38
  • Blackburn – Wed 1st Feb – £26
  • Tottenham – Sat 11th Feb – £38
  • Arsenal – Sat 10th March – £38
  • West Brom – Sat 24th March – £30
  • Swansea – Sat 7th April – £42
  • Chelsea – Sat 14th April – £38
  • Wigan – Sat 28th April – £26
  • Everton – Sun 13th May – £28
  • It costs a measly £3 for a lifetime membership, and everyone is guaranteed seats on the coach to any fixture provided they book a week before the fixture.

    Travel safely and in comfort, from St James Park to the away stadium door-to-door. The police would like to remind us all that NO alcohol is permitted on any public coach, so it’s good to see the lads at the Back Page make sure there’s none on anyway. And if you try it, you’ll have to answer to them.

    To book, or to ask any other questions, ring (0191) 2615005, or visit the Back Page shop on St Andrew’s Street, Newcastle. Just opposite The Newcastle Arms, which is nice and handy.

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    Issue Five Released This Saturday

    Calling all Black and White Daft fans…

    Issue 5 of Newcastle Fanzine Black & White Daft is out this Weekend, with an exclusive interview with Big John McNamee, features include the Fulwell Invasion 1970, The Great North Mackem Pram Push, CSI sunderland, comparethewearcat.com, Luton Away Fan Ban, Season 1961/62, Bobby Robson Transfer Centre, Goodbye Cabaye and much, much more.

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    Looking For Newcastle’s Away Programmes For 10/11?

    Well look no further.

    Our sister site The Back Page have a Programme Club running every year where punters can put their name down for every programme, home or away, including cup games and friendlies and then pick them up after the games.

    So rather than losing your copy to the rain, or as a result of too many sherberts, ring the lads up on (0191) 2615005 and ask to join the club, or pop into the shop in person at 56 St Andrews Street, Newcastle. It’s free to join, and every programme costs £1 on top of the cover price.

    Can’t say fairer than that really.

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    Away The Lads

    With the new season approaching, and the team now back in training, The Back Page have announced that they will be running buses to the pre-season friendlies against Darlington [on July 15th] and Leeds United [July 31st]. Details below…

    Life membership for the Travel Club costs just £3, and is open to all. To join, or to buy tickets as an existing member, call (0191) 2615005 or visit the shop on St Andrews Street, Newcastle.

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