Newcastle 1995-1996

JSArsenal

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A simple thread.

How did they lose a 12 point lead? I know it happened but ..... how?

Yes I'm looking back at all the sides who were "destined" to win the league but blew it for one reason or another.
 

sebsheep

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A simple thread.

How did they lose a 12 point lead? I know it happened but ..... how?

Yes I'm looking back at all the sides who were "destined" to win the league but blew it for one reason or another.
Definitely feels like it was related to a certain interview.
 

FootballHQ

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When people say that it's always a bit misleading as Man. United had two games in hand didn't they? Of course they still had to win them but six points wasn't a significant difference and then Man. United had that smash and grab up at St James with the Cantona winner and then it was just one more slip up needed and Newcastle drew a few in the run in.

Newcastle started that season with 12 wins from their first 15 games so very close to what Arsenal have achieved. After xmas however they lost most of their difficult aways at Man. United, Arsenal, Liverpool (famous 4-3) and Blackburn who won the league previously.

Everyone says Cantona return was pivitol but actually Man. United had a poor run up to xmas. Won just 2 of 8 games up to losing at Leeds on Christmas eve. Motored after that though with only defeat being the infamous one at the Dell wearing the grey shirts in the first half.
 

Chairman Steve

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From memory, I think it was mostly about Keegan being stubborn about the way he wanted to play and never adjusted to that as the fatigue set in later in the season. Maybe a little too gung ho and should have looked to be more conservative in the second half of the season so they weren’t so fecked by the end.

His Newcastle teams epitomised that mentality of outscoring the other team, which whilst it’s entertaining it doesn’t make a title winner.
 

FootballHQ

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Newcastle signed Faustino Asprilla and only won 4 or 5 league games after he signed
I always wonder why they didn't make a serious play to get Shearer back then. Of course January transfers weren't much of a thing in the 90s but you could still sign players up to about late March and Blackburn had dismally gone out of europe and were sliding down the league at that point. Perhaps he didn't want to move on eye of euro 96 but he'd have been more logic than Asprillia who was exciting but didn't really score that many.

Man. United signed Andy Cole one January so I'd say if Newcastle had signed Shearer in Jan 1996 they'd have won at least one premier league title.

They weren't that far away in 96/97 either, finished 2nd and that was with a more average record after Dalglish took over from Keegan. More innocent times growing up watching football back then when you could win a premier league with 75-80 points range so everything felt closer from top to bottom.
 

Guy Incognito

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When it mattered their defence crumbled.

They couldn't grind out wins when they needed to.

The Blackburn game did it for them. Everyone thought Keegan lost the plot but the reality was his team couldn't hold on to leads. 1-0 up and conceded twice in the final 10 minutes. That was the night the title was mathematically out of their hands.

I always wonder why they didn't make a serious play to get Shearer back then. Of course January transfers weren't much of a thing in the 90s but you could still sign players up to about late March and Blackburn had dismally gone out of europe and were sliding down the league at that point. Perhaps he didn't want to move on eye of euro 96 but he'd have been more logic than Asprillia who was exciting but didn't really score that many.

Man. United signed Andy Cole one January so I'd say if Newcastle had signed Shearer in Jan 1996 they'd have won at least one premier league title.

They weren't that far away in 96/97 either, finished 2nd and that was with a more average record after Dalglish took over from Keegan. More innocent times growing up watching football back then when you could win a premier league with 75-80 points range so everything felt closer from top to bottom.
96/97 was an odd season because Newcastle were pretty much in the wilderness when Dalglish took over and their form improved in the final 8 games. No one really talked up their chances the same way they did with Liverpool or Arsenal.

They were mathematically in a title race yet it never felt the title would be heading anywhere but Manchester.
 

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Cantona. He was unbelievably decisive as the season wore on to its conclusion. And he was the main reason United were able to win 13 of their last 15. A run like that (or the one that Newcastle opened the season with) are slightly more commonplace now with the gulf that's opened up between the best and the rest, but at the time that was incredible form with the levelling influence of smaller squads, crapper pitches, etc.

Every league champion needs to have a couple of months where they are simply grinding out results with ugly football. Newcastle didn't have that in their locker in the second half of the season, taking 6 points out of a possible 36 from February to April. With a bit more control there, they might have got a couple of narrow wins which would have been taken the heat off and kept the onrushing United at arms-length. They were unlucky as well to be fair, there's a 6-point swing alone in that hard-to-believe defeat to United.

When people say that it's always a bit misleading as Man. United had two games in hand didn't they? Of course they still had to win them but six points wasn't a significant difference and then Man. United had that smash and grab up at St James with the Cantona winner and then it was just one more slip up needed and Newcastle drew a few in the run in.

Newcastle started that season with 12 wins from their first 15 games so very close to what Arsenal have achieved. After xmas however they lost most of their difficult aways at Man. United, Arsenal, Liverpool (famous 4-3) and Blackburn who won the league previously.

Everyone says Cantona return was pivitol but actually Man. United had a poor run up to xmas. Won just 2 of 8 games up to losing at Leeds on Christmas eve. Motored after that though with only defeat being the infamous one at the Dell wearing the grey shirts in the first half.
One of those rare cases where the myth is actually true:

 

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remember coming away from the 3-3 game that season saying they'd bottle it, don't know if there were any injuries or so, remember them buying Asprilla but they looked jittery as anything against us, still can't believe we went down that season, after the first 10 games don't think we had a win then went on a decent streak but fecked up against 'pool last game of the season.
 

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Not enough bottle, Blackburn showed they had the bottle, they proved you need bottle to go up against big teams and come out on top. But Newcastle lacked bottle. Keegan's rant proved he'd lost his bottle, but it probably made the team lose their bottle as well.
 

Thunderhead

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Not enough bottle, Blackburn showed they had the bottle, they proved you need bottle to go up against big teams and come out on top. But Newcastle lacked bottle. Keegan's rant proved he'd lost his bottle, but it probably made the team lose their bottle as well.
tbf iirc the rant was with 2 games to go after they beat Leeds so don't think it had any bearing on the rest of the season as such
 

matherto

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tbf iirc the rant was with 2 games to go after they beat Leeds so don't think it had any bearing on the rest of the season as such
Yeah I had it in my head that it was late in the day and pretty much already finished by the time he lost his head.
 

Thunderhead

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Yeah I had it in my head that it was late in the day and pretty much already finished by the time he lost his head.
actually it was after the penultimate game, cos the best line was 'they've got to go to <somehwere> and get something, and I'd love it..."

can't remember who you had last game of the season
 

Man-United

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actually it was after the penultimate game, cos the best line was 'they've got to go to <somehwere> and get something, and I'd love it..."

can't remember who you had last game of the season
Middlesbrough, and their fans would have hated it if Newcastle won the league.
 

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Newcastle lost both home and away to United(Including losing their 100% home record)which caused a mini collapse. Resulted in them getting beat by the likes of Liverpool(4-3) and Arsenal, along with some draws against Spurs and Forrest. Also United only got beat twice after New Years.

Keegan meltdown makes it’s worse but overall it’s not that surprising.
 

Sweet Square

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Not enough bottle, Blackburn showed they had the bottle, they proved you need bottle to go up against big teams and come out on top. But Newcastle lacked bottle. Keegan's rant proved he'd lost his bottle, but it probably made the team lose their bottle as well.
Bottle……
 

CallyRed

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A simple thread.

How did they lose a 12 point lead? I know it happened but ..... how?

Yes I'm looking back at all the sides who were "destined" to win the league but blew it for one reason or another.
Are you trying to understand so you can tell Micky?
 

FujiVice

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We were capable of beating them twice and putting together a run of about 15 game unbeaten run after Christmas. Where as Newcastle got found out around January after a good start.
 

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Loved the 90s premier league. Was at high school, and with Euro 96 and WC98 during the period it was just a glorious time for football.

Looking back, I'm not sure Newcastle were actually that good a team and just hit a purple patch.
 

GuybrushThreepwood

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Yes our comeback win over them at Ewood Park during the run-in pretty much killed their title chances.

It was 2 Geordies and boyhood Newcastle fans who combined for our 2 goals as well to effectively end their title bid, with Shearer providing the assists for both of Graham Fenton's goals.
 
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GuybrushThreepwood

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On a side note but related to Keegan's Newcastle, I recently saw some highlights of the Andy Cole-Peter Beardsley partnership in 1993/1994, with them scoring a combined total of 55 league goals that season. Definitely a dynamic duo !
 

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What a coincidence. Few days ago, YouTube recommended me their review of that season. What striked me most was their games vs Arsenal. That arsenal team was there to injure and kill, completely opposite of Arsenals "soft" mentality of the last 25 years. Especially, their lb (winterburn or something) should have been given red card from the start almost. The guy was doing self ending tackles and the best one was that fouls were given in favor of him for play acting.
 

Irwin99

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Number of factors I guess. Newcastle were seen as great entertainers but seemed to crumble when it really mattered. I'd say the following were big factors
  • Their defence was always leaky from what I remember- edit, it was actually only two goals worse than ours. 37 conceded
  • They lost twice against us. Keane was phenomenal in the first game and we won 2-0 and then THAT smash and grab 1-0 win courtesy of Schmeichal and Cantona :D
  • Cantona kept dragging us to 1-0 victories when we needed him at the end of the season coupled with Newcastle failing in big games (the Liverpool match being the most infamous)
  • Asprillia - I honestly can't remember much of him but he didn't have the desired impact. Not sure if it was his fault though.
Like Arsenal a few times under Wenger in his latter years they seemed to crumble when they felt pressure and things weren't going their way. The 4-3 result to Liverpool is probably the best example. Football can be very cruel (and funny)
 

Offside

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12 point lead is nothing when you drop a few points and the other team is winning every week.

We lost an 8 point lead with 6 games to go in 2012.
 

Lay

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Number of factors I guess. Newcastle were seen as great entertainers but seemed to crumble when it really mattered. I'd say the following were big factors
  • Their defence was always leaky from what I remember- edit, it was actually only two goals worse than ours. 37 conceded
  • They lost twice against us. Keane was phenomenal in the first game and we won 2-0 and then THAT smash and grab 1-0 win courtesy of Schmeichal and Cantona :D
  • Cantona kept dragging us to 1-0 victories when we needed him at the end of the season coupled with Newcastle failing in big games (the Liverpool match being the most infamous)
  • Asprillia - I honestly can't remember much of him but he didn't have the desired impact. Not sure if it was his fault though.
Like Arsenal a few times under Wenger in his latter years they seemed to crumble when they felt pressure and things weren't going their way. The 4-3 result to Liverpool is probably the best example. Football can be very cruel (and funny)
He was good but the dynamic of the team was compromised. Wasn't a signing they needed.
 

stubie

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What doesn’t get spoken about much is we blew a 12 point lead to Arsenal 2 seasons later
 

KeanoMagicHat

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Not enough bottle, Blackburn showed they had the bottle, they proved you need bottle to go up against big teams and come out on top. But Newcastle lacked bottle. Keegan's rant proved he'd lost his bottle, but it probably made the team lose their bottle as well.
Blackburn completely bottled it, lost 3 of their last 5 games and their crucial last game. They just got away with it because United couldn’t score against West Ham. Probably the most underwhelming finish to a league by a champion.
 

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Cantona. He was unbelievably decisive as the season wore on to its conclusion. And he was the main reason United were able to win 13 of their last 15. A run like that (or the one that Newcastle opened the season with) are slightly more commonplace now with the gulf that's opened up between the best and the rest, but at the time that was incredible form with the levelling influence of smaller squads, crapper pitches, etc.

Every league champion needs to have a couple of months where they are simply grinding out results with ugly football. Newcastle didn't have that in their locker in the second half of the season, taking 6 points out of a possible 36 from February to April. With a bit more control there, they might have got a couple of narrow wins which would have been taken the heat off and kept the onrushing United at arms-length. They were unlucky as well to be fair, there's a 6-point swing alone in that hard-to-believe defeat to United.



One of those rare cases where the myth is actually true:

Holy shit Chelsea are in 10th place in that clip too. We've finally come full circle.
 

WeePat

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Newcastle signed Faustino Asprilla and only won 4 or 5 league games after he signed
I was just a kid then but when they signed Asprilla and I saw his goals in the CL, he was instantly one of my favourite players. It sounds crazy now but I used to run around in the school playground pretending to be Asprilla :lol:
 

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Yes we definitely choked big time in 1994/1995. The match that really stands out was the home defeat against a poor City team battling to avoid relegation. West Ham was our single worst away fixture results-wise bar none when were in the Premier League.

We should have won the title relatively comfortably that season to be honest, and wrapped it up before the final game of the season. Even with us choking, Utd needed a late penalty to beat Southampton in their penultimate game to ensure that the title race went down to the last day. At least the way things panned out allowed me to wind up Liverpool fans I knew for a while, by saying that the only time the Premier League trophy had been paraded around Anfield was during our title celebrations there in 1995.

We were pretty hard done by in the 2 games against Utd, leading 2-1 at home and looking like the better team before the ridiculous decision to send off Berg and give Utd a penalty, and with Sherwood’s late equaliser being wrongly disallowed (in my opinion) in the game at Old Trafford (although admittedly Utd completely dominated that game and spurned a host of chances). Had those 2 games ended in draws instead of Utd wins, there would have been a 6 point swing from Utd to us.
 
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Alive and Kicking

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Blackburn completely bottled it, lost 3 of their last 5 games and their crucial last game. They just got away with it because United couldn’t score against West Ham. Probably the most underwhelming finish to a league by a champion.
If the season hadn't been stalled and restarted in 2020, I feel Liverpool may have finished in a similar way. 22 points clear IIRC and I honestly believe that if the stuttering form of that specific time would have continued, it would have narrowed the margin enough to just about instill some nerves.
 

Josh 76

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When people say that it's always a bit misleading as Man. United had two games in hand didn't they? Of course they still had to win them but six points wasn't a significant difference and then Man. United had that smash and grab up at St James with the Cantona winner and then it was just one more slip up needed and Newcastle drew a few in the run in.

Newcastle started that season with 12 wins from their first 15 games so very close to what Arsenal have achieved. After xmas however they lost most of their difficult aways at Man. United, Arsenal, Liverpool (famous 4-3) and Blackburn who won the league previously.

Everyone says Cantona return was pivitol but actually Man. United had a poor run up to xmas. Won just 2 of 8 games up to losing at Leeds on Christmas eve. Motored after that though with only defeat being the infamous one at the Dell wearing the grey shirts in the first half.
People think the 0-1 win at Newcastle was a big turning point, but Utd lost to Wimbledon a week or so later. I think Newcastle had thought they had won it, and were unable to pick them selves up again once they realised it was not over. Basically they bottled it!
 

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On the subject of 1997/1998, IIRC Utd started the season so well (including beating Juve at Old Trafford), that there was at least some talk in the media about them having a chance of winning the treble then. I remember us getting battered 4-0 at Old Trafford (when we were in-form and enjoying a strong first half of the season ourselves before collapsing during the second half) and Utd winning comfortably at Anfield also in and around that period.

I know Keane’s injury was a huge blow, and I recall the defeat against Coventry was a turning point. But ah well the treble did come the next season !
 

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Cantona. He was unbelievably decisive as the season wore on to its conclusion. And he was the main reason United were able to win 13 of their last 15. A run like that (or the one that Newcastle opened the season with) are slightly more commonplace now with the gulf that's opened up between the best and the rest, but at the time that was incredible form with the levelling influence of smaller squads, crapper pitches, etc.

Every league champion needs to have a couple of months where they are simply grinding out results with ugly football. Newcastle didn't have that in their locker in the second half of the season, taking 6 points out of a possible 36 from February to April. With a bit more control there, they might have got a couple of narrow wins which would have been taken the heat off and kept the onrushing United at arms-length. They were unlucky as well to be fair, there's a 6-point swing alone in that hard-to-believe defeat to United.



One of those rare cases where the myth is actually true:

Yes. One of SAF's greatest achievements imho, was creating squads, teams and tactics which could be adapted like a swiss army knife. Pep style overlaps one string of matches and really dirty grinding 1-0 George Graham's at the other. For a Season you ideally want to be able to play a myriad of different ways and styles to overcome form, opposition, conditions, fixture schedules and injuries.
 

Sparky_Hughes

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Yes our comeback win over them at Ewood Park during the run-in pretty much killed their title chances.

It was 2 Geordies and boyhood Newcastle fans who combined for our 2 goals as well to effectively end their title bid, with Shearer providing the assists for both of Graham Fenton's goals.
Graham Fenton! There's a blast from the past, I went to school with a girl who's surname was Fenton and she swore blind he was her husband...... she was 14 :lol:
 
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