Newcastle 1995-1996

Gazza

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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.
The latter statement doesn't make the former any more true. Cantona and Schmeichel were pivotal.
 

Red in STL

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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.
If you think Winterburn and Arsenal were dirty think again

Watch this, only 1 player was booked!

 

2cents

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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 !
I remember going 5-0 up away to Chelsea in the FA Cup third round in January 1998 and thinking we were gonna win everything. Insanely good first half of that season, but really suffered from the Keane injury in the long-term and some others (esp. Giggs) in the run-in. And in fairness, Arsenal were great, we just didn't fully understand yet what Wenger was capable of.
 

croadyman

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I remember going 5-0 up away to Chelsea in the FA Cup third round in January 1998 and thinking we were gonna win everything. Insanely good first half of that season, but really suffered from the Keane injury in the long-term and some others (esp. Giggs) in the run-in. And in fairness, Arsenal were great, we just didn't fully understand yet what Wenger was capable of.
Still remember Barnsley knocking us out of the FA Cup in replay at Oakwell. Scott Jones scoring two goals then doing nothing since sticks with me
 

Ladron de redcafe

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Still remember Barnsley knocking us out of the FA Cup in replay at Oakwell. Scott Jones scoring two goals then doing nothing since sticks with me
Feeguson played a weakened side. I remember most of the first team not playing. But yes, beating us 3-2 and then 2-0 in the league after United pasted them by 7 earlier on in the season showed how much United's form had dipped by March. Sheffield Wednesday (whom United beat 6-1 earlier on) also beat us that same spring. So did Leicester by a goal.

It was a disastrous finish to the season and I think most of us was due to Giggs pulling his hamstring.
 

Ladron de redcafe

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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.
2 late Blackburn goals, if I remember correctly, that flipped the match. And yes, that seemed to put United in pole position to win the title.
 

2cents

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Feeguson played a weakened side. I remember most of the first team not playing. But yes, beating us 3-2 and then 2-0 in the league after United pasted them by 7 earlier on in the season showed how much United's form had dipped by March. Sheffield Wednesday (whom United beat 6-1 earlier on) also beat us that same spring. So did Leicester by a goal.

It was a disastrous finish to the season and I think most of us was due to Giggs pulling his hamstring.
There was very little squad depth back then, we had the likes of McClair and Thornley coming off the bench.
 

Mockney

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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 …
No but you guys had a game in hand that would’ve put you level 2nd with us and Liverpool… Maybe that’s what you’re remembering?

So it really was just a catastrophic meltdown, with more points and fewer games remaining than Arsenal have now.



The Keegan rant is the one that’s a bit of a myth as it came about 3 games from the end, so whilst it probably helped us get over the line, we had already basically caught them by then.
 

GuybrushThreepwood

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2 late Blackburn goals, if I remember correctly, that flipped the match. And yes, that seemed to put United in pole position to win the title.
Yep 2 goals in the last 5 minutes for us, after David Batty (who a few months earlier had left us to join Newcastle not long after his fight with Le Saux on the pitch in Moscow) had given them the lead not longer before,

Utd's home win against Newcastle during the festive period, came a poor run of results right (something like 5-6 matches without a win)? Newcastle probably went to Old Trafford reasonably confident of getting a result, before Utd convincingly won to send out a big warning.

Recently I tried to explain the brilliance and importance of Cantona (including the fact that he gave other players around him a big lift) to some younger fans I know, who only focus on goals scored and assists stats.
 

JohnnyKills

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People focus on Newcastle and Cantona, but a lot of it was about United's kids getting up to speed.

The core of that team (the Nevilles, Butt, Beckham and Scholes) would go on to win six Premier League titles in eight years and would have won 97-98 too, without injuries. And of course there was a treble in there too.

The first half of that season they were bedding in and there were quite a few thumpings along the way. By the second half of the season they'd got the measure of the league, as the results proved.
 

JohnnyKills

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Feeguson played a weakened side. I remember most of the first team not playing. But yes, beating us 3-2 and then 2-0 in the league after United pasted them by 7 earlier on in the season showed how much United's form had dipped by March. Sheffield Wednesday (whom United beat 6-1 earlier on) also beat us that same spring. So did Leicester by a goal.

It was a disastrous finish to the season and I think most of us was due to Giggs pulling his hamstring.
And the fact the board were so tight they wouldn't buy any depth! Not to sound spoilt, but United would have won even more in that period had we not had a bunch of penny-pinching directors who were more concerned with dividends than improving the team.

Ferguson produced arguably the second-best crop of young players ever, behind the Barca generation of Messi, Xavi etc, and we hardly made any big-name signings to complement them.

People talk about the Glazers being awful (and they are) but the PLC were crap too. We just had a brilliant manager to win things for them.
 

croadyman

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Feeguson played a weakened side. I remember most of the first team not playing. But yes, beating us 3-2 and then 2-0 in the league after United pasted them by 7 earlier on in the season showed how much United's form had dipped by March. Sheffield Wednesday (whom United beat 6-1 earlier on) also beat us that same spring. So did Leicester by a goal.

It was a disastrous finish to the season and I think most of us was due to Giggs pulling his hamstring.
We won the league game but you are right we played the likes of Thornley & Nevland in that replay,mind you Cole,Sheringham & Becks all played a part in game.
 

Ladron de redcafe

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And the fact the board were so tight they wouldn't buy any depth! Not to sound spoilt, but United would have won even more in that period had we not had a bunch of penny-pinching directors who were more concerned with dividends than improving the team.

Ferguson produced arguably the second-best crop of young players ever, behind the Barca generation of Messi, Xavi etc, and we hardly made any big-name signings to complement them.

People talk about the Glazers being awful (and they are) but the PLC were crap too. We just had a brilliant manager to win things for them.
It got frustrating for Ferguson during that period and it was frustrating as a fan. I remember the Batistuta "saga" in 98 and rumours about Oretega and you just knew none of that was ever going to come to fruition because the club simply didn't spend.

Newcastle were paying GBP 15m during the summer of 96 when our all time record was the Cole-Guillespie swap (9m or so going Newcastle's way).

United were the richest club on the planet during the time and it was outrageous to see how tight the PLC was.
 

Ladron de redcafe

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We won the league game but you are right we played the likes of Thornley & Nevland in that replay,mind you Cole,Sheringham & Becks all played a part in game.
I just looked it up and you're right. I remember a 2-0 loss but this wasn't it. It was a 2-0 Barnsley win.
 

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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.
It's interesting when you hear Sutton talk about that season and how in spite of winning the league they were bricking it in the final weeks and bottled it. It's just lucky that Cole et al didn't have their shooting boots at Upton Park.

It was never 12 points. Arsenal had a couple of games in hand.
It was a lead that was enough for Fred Done to pay out and Fergie hated him ever since.

Arsenal hit form at the right time and it was one of those seasons. They did the same in 98-99 and it was all the more special given what happened in the FA Cup and final day. And even more sweet in 2003!
 

antohan

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Recently I tried to explain the brilliance and importance of Cantona (including the fact that he gave other players around him a big lift) to some younger fans I know, who only focus on goals scored and assists stats.
It's so weird how younger fans can't grasp that at all. But then, so much is about the tactics and systems these days... who was the last player who could actually do that? Not just being committed, ranting or even inspiring, but noticeably lifting the level of those around them. I'm thinking somewhat Scholes or Rooney, but not to the extent of Cantona. He was immense.
 

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They had tough away fixtures at the back end of the season - Liverpool, Blackburn. We had Eric on a mission (and beat them 1-0 at St James’s Park).
 

M15 Red.

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They were a fantastic team to watch. Ginola was brilliant. I would have loved to have seem him playing for us.
 

Red in STL

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It's so weird how younger fans can't grasp that at all. But then, so much is about the tactics and systems these days... who was the last player who could actually do that? Not just being committed, ranting or even inspiring, but noticeably lifting the level of those around them. I'm thinking somewhat Scholes or Rooney, but not to the extent of Cantona. He was immense.
I'm not sure in English football there's ever been another player that did what Cantona did, in my lifetime at any rate, the closest I can think of was maybe Juninho at Middlesborough although they didn't win the trophies he seemed to lift the level of those around him
 

Red in STL

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They were a fantastic team to watch. Ginola was brilliant. I would have loved to have seem him playing for us.
When he was in the mood he was great, the problem was that he wasn't in the mood half the time and was then just a moody Frenchman
 

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When he was in the mood he was great, the problem was that he wasn't in the mood half the time and was then just a moody Frenchman
You could say the same for Cantona. And just like SAF did with Eric, i think he would have gotten the very best out of Ginola. Consistently.

David was never "Head Over Heels In Love" with Keegan, that's for fecking sure.
 

Red in STL

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You could say the same for Cantona. And just like SAF did with Eric, i think he would have gotten the very best out of Ginola. Consistently.

David was never "Head Over Heels In Love" with Keegan, that's for fecking sure.
Cantona was moody and way more consistent than Ginola, but i wouldn't disagree what SAF would have gotten out of him but I do suspect that Mrs SAF wouldn't have let him use the hairdryer on him, that would have been a month on the couch at least :lol:
 

Oranges038

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Recently I tried to explain the brilliance and importance of Cantona (including the fact that he gave other players around him a big lift) to some younger fans I know, who only focus on goals scored and assists stats.
Yeah, Cantona just had an impact on the team that no amount of stats could quantify.

Young lads will only know him by what player card he has on FIFA.
 

Ladron de redcafe

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Yeah, Cantona just had an impact on the team that no amount of stats could quantify.

Young lads will only know him by what player card he has on FIFA.
His impacts gets lost in today's stats-centric world but that run during the spring when he seemed to score the only goal in a stretch of 1-0 wins to win us the title was special. Even in the match against Leeds away (Keane scored the winner with less than 10 minutes remaining), Cantona was easily the best performer.

People remember his FA cup final goal against Liverpool in that dire final, but he blocked a Chelsea shot on the line in the semi final at Samford Bridge when he was the only United player behind Shchmeichel. Which just shows how involved he was, as oppposed to some modern strikers whose only focus is their goal count and are only seen standing around in the opposition penalty box.
 

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they lost 5 in 8 starting in Feb and we were relentless

the 2nd defeat was the 1-0 to us and I think that broke them mentally

we were already top in March despite being 12 behind in January
 

Ladron de redcafe

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they lost 5 in 8 starting in Feb and we were relentless

the 2nd defeat was the 1-0 to us and I think that broke them mentally

we were already top in March despite being 12 behind in January
We had already reduced the difference to 7 by that point, if I'm not mistaken. They'd dropped points going into the match but yes, given how dominant they were in that match and how United managed to weather the storm and cut the deficit, all the momentum was United's, and I still find it crazy to see how defeated their fans were after the final whistle blew. It was as if United went ahead on points.
 

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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:

Didn't think 6 points from 36 could be possible. 1 win and 2 draws or 2 wins from 12 games?!

It was actually 4 points from 18 points (6 games) or 7 points from 24 (8 games )
 
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