NUFC 2010/11 - Season Summary
|Premiership||12th||Manager||C Hughton > A Pardew|
|FA Cup||3rd||Coach||C Calderwood > S Stone, J Carver|
|League Cup||4th||Captain||K Nolan|
|Attendance||47,718||Top Scorer||K Nolan (12)|
On their return to the Premiership United finish in a respectable 12th place, but Ashley once again caused unrest by changing managers mid-season.
Form was erratic In the first few months of the campaign with some excellent victories and some disappointing defeats (particularly at home), but the Magpies were safely ensconced in mid-table.
Chris Hughton was popular amongst the fans and the players and there was a great deal of anger when he was sacked with the club in 11th position; the club stating that "the board now feels an individual with more managerial experience is needed to take the club forward".
The sense of betrayal was exacerbated by the appointment of Alan Pardew, who had been recently sacked by League One Southampton, as his replacement. Rumours abounded about gambling connections with Ashley and Llambias.
The managerial change made little material difference to the results and the fans' anger boiled over again when Andy Carroll was sold to Liverpool on Deadline Day with the club having no replacement lined up.
The next match was at home to Arsenal and the mood darkened significantly when the Gunners scored 3 times in the first 10 minutes and led 4-0 at half-time. United’s memorable comeback was one of the season’s highlights alongside the victories over Aston Villa and Sunderland.
United suffered a humiliating defeat at Stevenage in the FA Cup Third Round with Pardew blaming the performance on "fatigue".
Both Chelsea and Newcastle put out reserve sides in the League Cup and United pulled off a great result at Stamford Bridge but were no match for Arsenal.
Hatem Ben Arfa suffered a horrific double leg fracture as a result of a disgraceful challenge by Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong. The referee missed the incident and De Jong was not even booked bringing calls for the laws to be changed to allow retrospective punishment of players in such cases.
Andy Carroll made two appearances in court in relation to assaults.
In the first few months Newcastle’s home form was relatively poor and they fell to some disappointing defeats. However, they started to improve and a run of three successive wins at West Ham and Arsenal and at home to Sunderland (5-1) took them up to fifth at the start of November.
But the next 5 games saw only 2 points gleaned and resulted in the controversial and unpopular sacking of Chris Hughton.
Although protests were a backdrop to Pardew’s first game, a solid performance and a victory helped cool the situation.
United remained inconsistent, but would have finished 9th if they hadn’t contrived to give away a three-goal lead against West Brom in the last match of the season.
R3 - An embarassing and humiliating defeat at struggling League Two side Stevenage.
|25/08||R2||A||Accrington Stanley (L2:6th)||W||3-2|
R2 - Hughton's youngsters dispatched their reilient League Two hosts despite a nervy finish.
R3 - Both clubs played virtual reserve sides at Stamford Bridge but the was nothing second-class about the game in which United gained a shock but deserved 4-3 victory.
R4 - Arsenal and Newcastle took a similar approach in the next round, but the Gunners coasted to victory.
|Hatem Ben Arfa||3||1||1|
GK: Harper (Krul)
RB: Perch > Simpson
Ak: Carroll > Best > Lovenkrands
|James Perch||07/10||Nottingham Forest||£1.5m|
|Michael Richardson||07/10||Walker Central||Free|
|Hatem Ben Arfa||01/11||Marseille||£5M|
|Shefki Kuqi||02/11||Free agent||Free|
Expenditure was limited during the summer with the low-key domestic signings including experienced centre-half Sol Campbell from Arsenal on a free.
United also looked abroad and brought in Ivory Coast international midfielder Cheick Tioté and French youngster Hatem Ben Arfa on a season long loan from Marseille with an option for a permanent move; triggered in January.
Pardew hinted at the possibility of bringing David Beckham to the club on a loan move from the LA Galaxy.
|Nicky Butt||06/10||South China||Free|
Nicky Butt was the only major departure during the summer, but the January window saw the shock sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool for an incredible £35million, a record fee for a British player.
Pardew claimed the player prompted the move and Carroll claimed he was forced out. Whichever the case, the fans were furious that the club had sold their top scorer without having a replacement lined up.
|Hatem Ben Arfa (£2M)||08/10||01/11||Marseille|
|Stephen Ireland||01/11||06/11||Aston Villa|
|Kazenga LuaLua||08/10||01/11||Brighton & Hove Albion|
|Ben Tozer||09/10||06/11||Northampton Town|
|Tamás Kádár||01/11||02/11||Huddersfield Town|
|Wayne Routledge||01/11||06/11||Queens Park Rangers|
|Ryan Donaldson||01/11||03/11||Hartlepool United|
|Xisco||01/11||06/11||Deportivo La Coruña|
Illustrations by and copyright Hutch
Kit Illustrations by and copyright Historical Football Kits
Cards and additional stats from Doing The 92