Monday, June 13, 2011

A Month of Saturdays: May 2011

May brought with it the end of a generally successful return to the top flight of English football. An early defeat to Liverpool was countered by victory over the eventually relegated Brummies which itself ensured our survival. Subsequent draws with Chelsea and West Brom meant that we finished twelfth. Slightly below half-way, and frustratingly overtaken by 5under1and at the last, this still represented an excellent return to the top flight.

Inevitably, the end of the season prompts a degree of gazing in to the rearview mirror at times gone by. Alan Shearer was heard to reflect on his brief managerial spell, and Kevin Keegan was also found passing judgment on Jabba and Llambiarse. However, while Keegan may not be a fan, the Guardian's David Conn had a look at the club's finances and was relatively content with what he saw. And, with the final whistle blown on the season, it was left to yours truly to cast an eye back over events since last August.

Having looked back, we endeavoured to set out our thoughts on what we needed to do over the coming weeks, but recent quotes from ASBO and Jose Enrique suggested that they might not be around for that much longer. With Fat Sol and Shefki Kuqi already gone, it was inevitable that there would follow a flurry of transfer speculation, with everyone from the Zog to the Hulk linked to us. One alleged target not coming our way was Johan Elmander with the Bolton man bound for Turkey, but by the end of the month we had something to celebrate with French international Yohan Cabaye telling his team mates that he was heading for Tyneside.

In other news, it wasn't just the club with players in their sights, with Nile Ranger taking his namesake to heart a little too literally as photos taken by his girlfriend showing him posing with a replica gun hit the press. On the subject of people being undermined by their girlfriends, credit to the other half of an Arsenal fan, who not only recorded his complete breakdown as we staged the mother of all comebacks this season, but also posted it on YouTube for everyone else to see.

Still, if Ranger thought he had problems, he need only to look at Plymouth Argyle whose financial position took a precarious turn.

Better news though for NUWFC who were in discussions as to how they could link up with NUST, while Whitley Bay provided a degree of cheer with an unprecedented third consecutive win in the FA Vase.

Finally then, this was also a month in which two of our players mused on the subject of children, with ASBO keen to stress to any future kids the need to learn from his mistakes, while Kevin Nolan demonstrated his Scouse wit by suggesting that Rocky might not yet be the right man to entrust with your childcare arrangements.




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