With the revolution under Sir Bobby Robson well underway and ready to take flight with a first full season at the club for the former England manager, a major setback was suffered with Alan Shearer picking up an injury in November 2000 which would see him go without scoring another goal that season which meant that the midfielders were relied upon to get the goals. Carl Cort could only grab a handful of goals and had injury problems of his own and a young Shola Ameobi was beginning to make a promising breakthrough from the youth academy/reserves to the first team. When Shearer scored on 4th November, Newcastle would have to wait until 20th January for a striker to score a goal. It resulted in another comfortable mid-table finish but the lack of firepower up front failed to provide hope for a European place.
Fittingly the 500th Premier League goal for The Toon was scored by club legend, Gary Speed who was the first to play 500 games in the Premier League.The back end of this century of goals though includes the first third of the excellent 2001/02 season in which we achieved Champions League football - more of that to come in the next article.
Date: 26th December 1999 to 17th November 2001 (692 days)
Newcastle 2 (Duncan Ferguson 67) Liverpool 2 - 26/12/99
Liverpool came from a goal down to take the lead thanks to Michael Owen's double after Alan Shearer's opener. Newcastle grabbed a point on Boxing Day when Duncan Ferguson carved (see what I did there) open the Liverpool defence to equalize to send both teams home with the present (I didn't say I'd stop with the Christmas puns) of a draw. As for the goal itself, Warren Barton had the ball in the midfield area and had the time to cut onto his left foot. He then knocked in a delightful ball to Ferguson who lost his marker, Rigobert Song and diverted his diving headed glance into the bottom corner passed Sander Westerveld.
Most important goal
Newcastle 4 (Wes Brown own goal 82) Man United 3 - 15/09/01
Goal 488: A memorable match at St. James' Park on a Saturday afternoon. After Nikos Dabizas' second half strike to give the Magpies a 3-1 lead, poor defending allowed Juan Veron and Ryan Giggs to give Man United a route back into the game and set up a grand stand finale to the match. The goal was instigated by the pace and breakaway of Craig Bellamy as the counter attack was on. Bellamy played in Nobby Solano for a shot which was well saved by Barthez but as Man United were so pre-occupied with defending the situation, the rebound kindly fell to Alan Shearer who struck it first time and after thudding off Wes Brown in an attempt to block the shot, the ball slowly looped towards the goal and nestled in the corner. After a review from the dubious goals panel, it was decided that Shearer's initial effort was off target so the goal was officially deemed as an own goal from Wes Brown.
Everton 0 Newcastle United 2 (Kieron Dyer 87) - 19/03/00
Goal 420: Intricacy is probably the best word to describe this excellent goal from the 21-year old Kieron Dyer. Newcastle were already a goal up going into the closing stages thanks to Aaron Hughes' close range striker about ten minutes previous to Dyer's goal. Dyer received the ball and delicately poked the ball past Everton defender, Abel Xavier who went in with a sliding tackle but missed both Dyer and the ball as the youngster knocked the ball out of his feet to use his pace to latch onto it. He then precisely lobbed the ball over Paul Gerrard who was off his line to present the opportunity and that wrapped up the three points for Newcastle to take away from Merseyside.
Most goals in a match
Newcastle United 5 (Duncan Ferguson 3, 4, Nolberto Solano 17, Richard Dryden own goal 31, Garry Monk own goal 83) Southampton 0 - 16/01/00
For the second time in the 1999/00 season (the other time coming against Sheffield Wednesday), a fantastic first half performance set up Newcastle for victory as they grabbed their first league win of the new millennium. Duncan Ferguson, who was in the middle of forming an excellent striking partnership with Alan Shearer, found really good form of his own and added to his confidence as well as the team's by scoring two goals in the opening four minutes. Club legend, Nobby Solano added a third with the unfortunate Richard Dryden scoring at the wrong end to give Newcastle a comfortable 4-0 lead at half time. The second half was played with less intensity as the first and quite understandably but a fifth was added in the closing stages of the game: the shot from Nikos Dabizas was heavily deflected by no current Birmingham manager, Garry Monk.
Middlesbrough (Gary Speed, Alessandro Pistone, Alan Shearer x3, Alain Goma, Kieron Dyer, Carl Cort, Nikos Dabizas, Laurent Robert) - 10 goals.
The big win away at Middlesbrough in September 2001 was a key influence in Boro being the holders of this unwanted record. Colin Cooper gave Middlesbrough an early lead but, after the half hour mark, goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was given a straight red card with gave Newcastle the cue to run riot and for Shearer to score his first goal in ten months.
Alan Shearer (Leicester, Man United x2, Sheff Wed, Liverpool, Bradford, Leeds x2, Coventry x2, Arsenal, Man City, Middlesbrough x3, Ipswich x2, Bolton, Aston Villa) - 19 goals.
Shearer still came out on top from this era of Premier League goals despite being injured for a large chunk of time. Interestingly, Shearer's goal against Man City in September 2000 gave Newcastle their last league win away at Man City back when the Citizens played their home games at Maine Road.
Right foot: 50 (up 1 from Goals 301-400)
Header: 18 (29) (down 11)
Left foot: 32 (22) (up 10)
Inside the box: 87 (up 5)
Outside the box: 13 (down 5)
Open play: 78 (up 11)
Set piece situation: 11 (down 8)
Penalty: 7 (down 4)
Free kick (directly): 4 (up 1)
At St. James' Park: 57 (down 1)
- Leazes End: 29 (up 2)
- Gallowgate End: 28 (down 3)
Away from home: 43 (up 1)
Midfielders: 43 (down 1)
Strikers: 42 (unchanged)
Defenders: 10 (down 1)
Own goals: 5 (up 2)