Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Worst Sides in Toon History?

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Worst Sides in Toon History?

Article excerpt

THE stench of relegation hangs heavy in the air at St James' Park. Newcastle United are up to their necks in the mire - things are bad.

Lee Ryder, on his Twitter account, had this to say towards the end of United's disastrous defeat against Bournemouth on Saturday:"Watched some bad #nufc teams down the years. Even teams in old Second Division gave more fight than this. Dear me."

The Chronicle's Newcastle United man has been around the Toon block a few times as a reporter and fan - and few of us would argue with that assessment.

Accordingly, we recall the five worst sides (quite probably, and not including the current bunch) in the club's post-war history.

Happy days!

2008-2009: Echoes of 2015-16. Some decent players on paper, but far too infrequently standing up to be counted.

Record signing Michael Owen was top scorer with a meagre 10 goals. Mark Viduka and Alan Smith had injury-plagued campaigns. Damien Duff flattered to deceive.

It was a troubled season played out under that distracting "Cockney mafia" cloud as three consecutive managers - Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear and Alan Shearer - battled to keep United in the top flight. Interestingly, the centre-back pairing for most of those games remains familiar seven years later: Coloccini and Taylor. The bitter memory of that last-day relegation is still fresh in the memory.

The team, though, did have a solid backbone of players - Nolan, Barton, Carroll etc - who would bounce back at the first attempt.

1991-92: The side which just escaped dropping into football's third tier for the first time in United's history - ironically, as the club celebrated its centenary.

The opening day 2-1 defeat at Charlton set the tone for the season.

Come the end of a woeful January 1992, United sat an ignominious 23rd in Division Two, having lost 4-0 at Southend, and 4-3 to Charlton at St James'Park, where they'd been 3-1 up at half-time. Manager Ossie Ardiles was dismissed. …

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