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Off the Pitch 绿茵场外
英超联赛如火如荼。 绿茵场外不仅为你描述精彩的赛事,更帮你掌握最新、最地道的足球英语。
Sad Day for Newcastle 纽卡斯尔惨痛的一天
 


Alan Shearer
Alan Shearer applauds fans after Newcastle's defeat
There were scenes of jubilation and misery 欢呼和悲痛 after the last games of the Premier League season were played on Sunday.

With Manchester United already crowned champions 获得冠军 last weekend, all attention was focused on the battle for survival 保级战 at the bottom of the league table 联赛榜.

Each year the three teams with the fewest points are relegated 降级 to the division (英超)级 below, the Championship 英冠. To take their place, three clubs from the Championship are promoted 升级 to the Premier League.

On Sunday, with West Brom already relegated, the fight to stay in the Premier League involved four clubs: Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Hull and Sunderland.

Of these, the biggest question to most neutral observers 中立球迷 was whether the once-mighty 曾经强大的 Newcastle and their manager Alan Shearer could avoid the drop 避免降级.

Newcastle have struggled recently but are still regarded as a 'big' club; with a huge fan base 球迷基础 and star names such as England's Michael Owen amongst their ranks 其队伍中的一员.

But this season had been particularly unstable. The side has hovered dangerously 危险的徘徊 above the relegation zone 降级区 and a succession of different managers have been brought in to try and steady the ship 稳定航向,这里指稳定球队, the latest being the popular but inexperienced Alan Shearer.

So with all eyes on Shearer and his men as they went into their last game, could they pull off a great escape 能否胜利大逃亡?

Sadly for Shearer his team slumped 倒下 to a 1-0 defeat by Aston Villa, meaning Newcastle were relegated for the first time in 16 years.

"I am bitterly disappointed, obviously. I'm feeling hurt, a little bit of anger, a bit of everything," said Shearer afterwards.

While he felt mixed emotions, Shearer was keen to avoid the question of who was to blame for Newcastle's relegation.

Don't point the finger
 Look, you can point the finger at me, at (previous boss) Joe Kinnear, at the players, at (chairman) Mike Ashley but it really just comes down to the fact that we weren't good enough this season nor the season before and you can go back over a number of years and it's the same.
 
Alan Shearer, Newcastle manager

"Look, you can point the finger at me, at (previous boss) Joe Kinnear, at the players, at (chairman) Mike Ashley but it really just comes down to the fact that we weren't good enough this season nor the season before and you can go back over a number of years and it's the same."

The term "to point the finger" means to blame, but Shearer made it clear that blaming anyone wouldn't help the situation.

Alongside Newcastle, Middlesbrough were also relegated after losing 2-1 to West Ham.

But the day was a happy one for Hull and Sunderland, who both survived by the skin of their teeth 好不容易,侥幸.

Hull lost 1-0 to champions Manchester United but still stayed up as they had one more point than Newcastle.

After the final whistle, manager Phil Brown took to the pitch and led his team's fans in a celebratory song.

"We got to where we got to with sheer guts, determination, drive - all of the things that have been questioned at times," he said after the game.

Guts
 We got to where we got to with sheer guts, determination, drive - all of the things that have been questioned at times.
 
Phil Brown, Hull manager

When he says his team had guts he means they had courage and the ability to keep on fighting even when the situation was difficult. The word sheer emphasises the absolute importance of this courage.

So while we say goodbye to West Brom, Middlesbrough and Newcastle from the Premier League, we will be welcoming three new teams from the Championship next season: Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Burnley.

Of these, Burnley are perhaps the surprise package 出乎意料升级的队伍 – they have not played in England's top flight 顶级 for over 30 years and the town has a mere 70,000 inhabitants.

In fact, as manager Owen Coyle said, "When Manchester United play at home there are more people at (their stadium) Old Trafford than there are in the whole town of Burnley."

Whether or not they can fill Old Trafford, Burnley fans will get the chance to take on Manchester United 与曼联较量 in next year's Premier League season.

 
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