BORED by international football fortnight?
Can’t cope without Newcastle United to moan about?
Why not fill the gap until next week’s surrender at Manchester City by discussing the merits or otherwise of this worst Toon XI of all time?
GOALKEEPER: Mike Hooper (1993-96)
Bird watcher turned ball watcher when shots started flying past him at an alarming rate.
RIGHT BACK: Darren Bradshaw (1989-1992)
First of four Jim Smith signings to disgrace this line-up.
Supporters too young to have been scared by his thankfully rare presence should YouTube his back pass in the bonkers 6-6 draw at Tranmere in 1991.
CENTRE HALF: Roy Aitken (1990-91)
Admittedly used more as a holding midfielder in Smith’s ageing Division Two side at the start of the 1990s.
Quite what the former Celtic utility player held onto – apart from his place for too long – is another matter.
CENTRE HALF: Graeme Oates (1976-78)
Another joker equally as inept in defence or midfield.
Most infamously remembered for an own goal against Leeds.
LEFT BACK: Celestine Babayaro (2005-2008)
A prime example of why clubs should not buy rejects from the top four.
The expensive downside to his repeated injuries was the wages inflating his bank account for so long.
RIGHT WING: Wayne Fereday (1989-90)
If the Gallowgate gates were proverbially opened then he would have carried on running towards the Tyne Bridge.
His only saving grace was that some geeza called Harry Redknapp lured him to Bournemouth in exchange for Gavin Peacock’s goals.
CENTRE MIDFIELD: Fumaca (1999-2000)
Fooled no-one but himself when performing “step overs” with no West Ham player within 20 yards of him in 2000.
Far worse too when he actually touched the ball.
CENTRE MIDFIELD AND CAPTAIN: Geremi (2007-09)
Toon’s own “Galactico” was last seen ballooning a shot into orbit over the Scunthorpe stand during a 2-1 defeat.
Even the man who signed him, Sam Allardyce, doesn’t mention the former Real Madrid schemer when talking about what a fine job he reckons he did on Tyneside.
LEFT WING: Pat Heard (1984-85)
Lacked both ability and pace yet amazingly is a European Cup medal owner after warming the bench for Villa in 1982.
Might have saved the final for Bayern Munich if he had been brought on.
CENTRE FORWARD: Frank Pingel (1989)
Bought by Smith to keep the club up, he wasn’t even looking the right way when heading his only goal past Liverpool’s Bruce Grobbelaar.
Newcastle went down and Pingel quickly went out.
CENTRE FORWARD: Rob McDonald (1988-99)
Signing by caretaker boss Colin Suggett who was quickly ditched by Smith and replaced by, er, Pingel. ‘Nuff said.
INJURED: Marcelino (1999-2003).
SUBS BENCH: Xisco (2008-13), Jean-Alain Boumsong (2005-06), Nacho Gonzalez (2008-09), John Bailey (1985-88) and John Robertson (1988).
CONDITIONAL DISCHARGES: One member of the current squad (this learned publication might still need to speak to him) and big Billy Whitehurst (just in case I ever meet him).
MANAGER: Ruud Gullit
Just pips Graeme Souness by a dreadlock on the treasonous grounds that axing Alan Shearer was a far bigger crime than scattering Craig Bellamy.
CHAIRMAN: Gordon McKeag
Effortlessly paddled the club through a tearful river of 1980s medriocity and could not even hand the Magpies home advantage when later overseeing the FA Cup draw.
Reckon you can trump that lot?
Why not post your own scream team below?
– GAVIN LEDWITH