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The Opposition – Newcastle

It doesn’t seem like so long ago that Newcastle were a major player in the Premiership but it was way back in 1996 when The Toon were challenging for the Premiership title.

Kevin Keegan had transformed a struggling side into one that could challenge for major honours and came so close to winning the league when they finished second to United. The following season, Alan Shearer signed for his boyhood club for a then World record £15m but Newcastle again finished runners up, but Keegan resigned in January 2007 and was replaced by Kenny Dalglish, who guided the team to another second place finish.

He was followed in 1998 by Ruud Gullit, who himself was replaced by Sir Bobby Robson, who took Newcastle into the Champions League. Robson’s sacking seemed to trigger Newcastle’s demise and a succession of manager’s starting with Graeme Souness in 2004. he was followed by Glenn Roeder and later Sam Allardyce, who was sacked after less than eight months in charge.

Keegan returned to the club but left 232 days later and Roy Kinnear took over the troubled club but was admitted to hospital with heart trouble, leading to Alan Shearer to temporarily take charge and try and keep the club in the Premier League. He failed and the club was relegated.

Newcastle returned to the Premiership after spending a year in The Championship but have had an erratic start to the new season.

Currently sitting in 10th place in the league before Saturday’s results, Newcastle have had mixed results going into Sunday’s game.

They started with a 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford, which was followed by a 6-0 demolition of Aston Villa, Andy Carroll grabbing a hat-trick in that game. After scraping past Accrington Stanley in the League Cup, Newcastle escaped with a 1-1 draw at Wolves and suffered a 2-0 home defeat at fellow newcomers Blackpool, City’s opposition next week.

Two straight wins at Everton (1-0) and Chelsea in the League Cup (4-3) gave the impression that Newcastle had turned the corner. However, the club suffered another setback as they succumbed to a 2-1 home defeat by Stoke last Monday.

Manager – Chris Hughton

Hughton was appointed Newcastle manager in October 2009 and led the club back to the Premiership. However, before the season started, he was among the favourites to be the first Premiership manager to lose his job.

Danger Man – Andy Carroll

The striker has scored four goals in six appearances for Newcastle, including a hat-trick in the 6-0 win over Aston Villa

Former City and Newcastle Players

There have been several noted players that have appeared in the blues and white of City and the Black and white of Newcastle. Among them have been Andy Cole,  Joey Barton, Antoine Sibierski, Peter Beardsley, Shay Given, James Milner. Anyone got any more? Let us know

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