TV View: ‘Squeaky Bum Tyne’ on Survival Sunday as Ashley comes clean

Swings and roundabouts as West Ham fans point to exit for Allardyce and emotional Kane sheds tears . . . after Spurs clinch Europa League spot

It was “Squeaky Bum Tyne”, as one headline rather excellently put it yesterday ahead of Hull (and their Geordie manager) and Newcastle’s efforts to cling to Premier League life.

Not half as squeaky a day as Sky Sports would have hoped for, though, every issue decided apart from that last relegation spot. Well, if you exclude, say, the tussle between Crystal Palace and Everton for 11th, which was never going to create a Martin “Agueeeeeeeeeero” Tyler moment.

And to Ed Chamberlin's eternal credit, he didn't try to whip us in to a frenzy either over whether Spurs or Liverpool would clinch a Europa League spot, Liverpool so up for qualifying for the competition they were 5-0 down to Stoke at half-time.

Jamie Carragher’s jaw hit the Sky studio floor when Ed broke the news, Stevie G probably half tempted to hop on a flight for LA there and then. Some folk just don’t appreciate Thursday winter night trips to Poland enough.


Survival Sunday it was, then, all Sky Sports 1 eyes on Newcastle, while Sky Sports 3 were on the Hull shift.

Some devastating team new for Hull, Falcao was out for United, so there was a chance they’d score goals, but they might have been buoyed by seeing Angel Di Maria’s name on the visitors’ team-sheet, knowing he’d probably limp off after 23-ish minutes, looking increasingly disillusioned with footballing life in England where he has been more Aaron Lennon-ish than Angel Di Maria-esque.

Some time later: Di Maria (Januzaj – 23’)


Swings and roundabouts, then.

The bad news back at Newcastle was that the entire team was available, but as gaffer John Carver informed the faithful recently, "there is nobody going to land from Mars with a spaceship load of players".

They’ve had to make do with what they have, then, rather than being assisted by an extraterrestrial intervention, which has been a source of considerable angst for the Toon Army, their despair largely directed at owner Mike Ashley, who they’d very much like to leave.

He doesn’t give many interviews, but he was courageous enough to chat with Sky before the Survival game. The Sky man: “What’s your ambition for the club?”

Mike: “Definitely to win something – and by the way, I shan’t be selling it until I do.”

Insert your “Ashley to remain Newcastle owner until Kingdom Come” gags here.

And then he clarified his statement – winning things would include qualifying for the Champions League.

Graeme Souness thought it was a very positive interview, and saluted Ashley for it, leaving Jamie's gob smacked: "Let's not get carried away because he's done an interview!" And, not unreasonably, he suggested this might not be the day to declare that trophies and Champions League spots were the goal when a failure to beat West Ham could result in winter night trips to Rotherham.

Back to the Hull channel.

Alan Parry tried to look on the bright side for Brucie's team: "They're stuck on 34 points, but that's a lot more than we got in the Eurovision Song contest."

Niall Quinn fell silent, evidently not the only one pained by our semi-final exit, something Al should have considered before he thoughtlessly began playing with numbers

Kick-off. The Newcastle v West Ham game? You couldn’t but recall the gaffers’ earlier declarations: “I still think I am the best coach in the Premier League.” John Carver.

"I don't think there is any coach more sophisticated than me any more." Sam Allardyce.

Heavens. Not pretty, but after having two goals disallowed and a stone-ish wall peno turned down, it was time for those “To Hull and Back” headlines, Brucie and half the flippin’ Irish squad heading for Rotherham and the like.

How impressed were the unhappy Hammers with their boys’ efforts? Well, they serenaded their own gaffer with: “You’re getting sacked in the morning.” And with that he departed.

Meanwhile, Spurs did a lap of honour, Harry Kane especially emotional. You would be too if you'd just clinched Thursday winter nights in Poland.