Nolan leads the way! Reading 1 Newcastle 2

Posted on April 13th, 2010 | 304 Comments |

Mr Reliable Kevin Nolan helped Newcastle United step within one point of picking up the Coca Cola Championship title, with a brace tonight against Reading at the Madejski Stadium. In a game which saw us below par, Reading may feel hard done by that any lingering hopes they had of making the play-offs all but disappeared with our victory by the odd goal.

However, as with many teams this season, Newcastle’s ability to score goals and grind out the result meant Reading would have to have a go and they were left wanting when it came to a cutting edge. In fact, it took a combination of Steve Harper, Jose Enrique and Danny Simpson producing an own goal before Reading got off the mark. At the other end, Kevin Nolan re-established himself as the club’s leading goalscorer with another two crucial goals, taking his tally for the season to 18 in all competitions.

Chris Hughton was forced into making changes following Tamas Kadar’s knock at the weekend and with Enrique still struggling, the gaffer opted for the defence which finished the game against Blackpool, with Danny Simpson at left back and Ryan Taylor replacing him on the right. Elsewhere, Hughton opted to combat what he obviously expected to be an attacking approach from Reading by dropping Lovenkrands for Alan Smith who dropped into Nolan’s position, while Nolan played in his advanced midfield role and Shola replaced Andy Carroll upfront.

And despite Reading starting the brighter and looking the more likely to take a lead and perhaps should have through Shane Long, it was Kevin Nolan who gave Newcastle the lead against the run of play on 20 minutes. A long punt from Harper was helped on by Ameobi and when Nolan found himself on the edge of the box, he held off the challenge of the defender before firing a left foot shot past Federici to make it 1-0.

That seemed to spur Newcastle into life but Reading continued to dominate proceedings and so it was again against the run of play in the 42nd minute when Nolan increased the lead. Having missed a chance of his own, Routledge was played in brilliantly by Guthrie and the winger crossed for Nolan to volley in for his brace. And he should have grabbed a hat-trick after the break when Routledge sent in another great delivery but his header came back off the post.

With Coloccini off injured at half-time, Simpson filled in for him in the middle of defence with Enrique slotting back into his usual left back position. And it was he who conspired, with the aid of Harper and Simpson to reduce the deficit for the hosts. When Reading forced a corner in the 72nd minute, Harper should have dealt better but pushed the ball down and when Enrique struck to clear it, he could only cannon the ball off a helpless Danny Simpson and into the Newcastle net.

Reading threw caution to the wind and Chris Hughton made changes to shore things up, bringing on Barton and Carroll for Guthrie and Routledge. And we could have sneaked a bonus at the end, as Reading took chances by pushing everyone forward for set plays, both Nolan and Gutierrez coming close to taking advantage of breakaways.

The win puts us nine points clear with three games remaining, meaning that we would have to lose all remaining games for West Brom to take the title on goal difference. We now need only one point to claim the Championship trophy and ironically our smog neighbours could do us the favour of putting that beyond any doubt with their televised game on Saturday by taking anything off the Baggies. If not, then we go into our own televised game on Monday against Plymouth, with the knowledge that anything but defeat will mean we go up with honours.

I should make note that despite my reservations about his general fitness and weight, which I still stand by, Kevin Nolan has impressed me no end this season. With his crucial goals, his overall attitude and apparent influence around the club, wherever we go from here, Kevin Nolan’s contribution to this difficult season should not be underestimated.

Us – Steve Harper, Ryan Taylor, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Danny Simpson, Wayne Routledge, Alan Smith (c), Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez, Kevin Nolan, Shola Ameobi.

Subs – Tim Krul, Joey Barton, Leon Best, Jose Enrique, Andy Carroll, Peter Lovenkrands, Fabrice Pancrate.

Reading – Adam Federici, Andy Griffin, Bryn Gunnarsson, Alex Pearce, Ryan Bertrand, Jay Tabb, Bryan Howard, Gylffi Sigurdsson, Jimmy Kebe, Jobi McAnuff, Shane Long.

Subs – Kalifa Cisse, James Henry, Simon Church, Hal Robson-Kanu, Jem Karacan, Ben Harmer, Grzegorz Rasiak.

Att – 22,000 (with 4,000 Mags in attendance)

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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304 Responses

  1. ‘Below par’?
    Team with changes at the back, away from home.
    To a team in form & tough to beat. Give them some credit.
    They still had something to play for & we still get a great away win.
    & their goal was a total freak.


  2. Not a big fan of Nolan, but like you say, his influence can’t go unnoticed. He should stay and Barton should be shipped out in order to free up wages. Also, our likeability factor will shoot up 33.3% if Joey gets on his bike, haha!

  3. Would love to see Nolan get 20, or at least end up top scorer.
    For obvious reasons.

  4. Aye,
    i’d keep Barton too, probably.
    Could become a good DM with a proper pass in him.

  5. Guys, he is allegedly on 65k week and has rarely figured in the team this season. You have to think that he is in the top three to be offloaded when the window opens.

  6. Also, he is far too slow to become a DM. At most he could become a CM much like Xabi Alonso, coupled with an energetic, athletic DM Barton could prove a good player. However, surely Guthrie has done enough this season to have made that position his.

  7. Not sure what you’re saying @8 Dragonera?

    You don’t need pace to stand in the centre circle. Smith & Butt currently do that job & Barton’s quicker than them, on similar wages & has more skill.

  8. Can name one good defensive midfielder that is as slow as Barton?

    I don’t think Smith is actually a good defensive midfielder. He has the tenacity and willingness to tackle, but positionally he isn’t great and he has no pace to catch a midfielder once he is passed him.

  9. Butt aswell, is not good enough at DM anymore. His legs have gone, we have known this for quite some time.

  10. See chelsea got away with murder tonight, again.
    Got away with 2 nailed on pens v bolton.
    That’s what we’re up against next season, rank decisions v the usual suspects.
    Can’t wait.

  11. Look at the best DM’s. I would say that Fletcher, Mascherano, Palacios, Song and Essien are best in that position. Songs lack of pace stops him from becoming the next Vieira, but he is still quality and thats only because he is excellent as a DM in every other way.

  12. My point exactly,
    convert Barton for the reasons i’ve stated, job’s a good ‘un.

  13. Keane, viera, batty, makelele, none of them noted for pace, they weren’t bad DMs IMO.

  14. When he gets going Bartons passing and work rate is top class, I think he still struggles to regain form after the injury…

  15. Essien doesn’t play anymore does he? :)
    fletcher & mascherano, dunno about them being top 5 like, they get talked u a lot, i’ll give y’that like.

  16. Batty was never an out an out DM. Makelele, Vieira and Keane were all quite nippy in their prime actually. Even then, they were natural DM’s with the positional sense and right mentality. Barton is a forward thinking player with no pace and people want to see him converted into a DM at this stage of his career. No thanks.

  17. CLint

    I meant top 5 in the Prem. No point listing DM’s from another league where the pace differs.

  18. I’m still not convinced about but I can only tip my hat to him this season. He’s been a breathe of fresh air to the team. I would think he’ll be club skipper next season. Well done kev.

    Barton still our best midfielder. He kept city up almost single handedly a couple of seasons back.

  19. I don’t get y’angle Dragonera? :/

    It’s plain as day.
    Loads of players drop back to different positions in their career.
    Or is it that you’re ‘against’ Barton per se & want shot?
    That’s ok mate, just say that.
    I think he could do the job, with a bit skill, score the odd goal, salvage his career.
    Or do you begrudge him that?

  20. “Barton still our best midfielder. He kept city up almost single handedly a couple of seasons back.”

    Can’t help but feel that this is the only thing keeping Barton’s head above water at the minute. We cannot base a players value on his past achievements. Owen is a prime example of this. What has Barton delivered in a NUFC shirt? Very little, he doesn’t deserve the time you are affording him.

  21. Clint

    …To put it simply, i do not believe Barton has the right attributes to cut it as a DM at Premier League level. Simple enough? Jheez!

  22. Ok man,
    fair enough.

    But you can’t say players have been crap when they haven’t played, either through injury or whatever (jail sometimes in Joey’s case :) ).

  23. He’s been injured FFS! That’s not his fault. Also living off past glories. Every player bought and sold are done so on past glories! Were not in a position to be releasing anybody, let alone our better ones.

  24. It doesn’t matter whether he has been injured or not. The fact is, his contribution has been very little whilst picking up 65k per week. Im sure we can get a better, less injury prone player on half those wages.

  25. Damn right Stuart.

    What d’you think of ‘my little scheme’ of employing Barton as a quicker than we have now, more skillful than we have at present DM?
    Could it work?

  26. Stuart

    “Every player bought and sold are done so on past glories”

    Yes, except that the past glory of these players tends to be more recent than 4 or so years ago…

  27. Money isn’t everything Dragonera.
    That’s not a good enough argument on this one.
    How much will it cost to get fletcher, song etc.

  28. It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when a player like Joey Barton is held in such high regard. For Gods sake he was never a great player to begin with. He has one stand out season and the rest was mediocre. We can do better.

  29. I’m not having a go mate,
    just think it could be a logical move.
    Barton must be starving for football right now.
    That’s the sort of atmosphere we need right now.
    In CH’s interview after the game he mentioned how squad players are champing at the bit to get minutes. Long live competition in the looker room.

  30. “How much will it cost to get fletcher, song etc.”

    We don’t need to buy those players. Just players with similar attributes.

  31. Don’t think he’s held in ‘such high esteem’,
    he’s just a decent player that could really come good after getting over injuries etc.
    & we could still get our monies worth from him.

  32. Then who y’talking about?

    Butt’s gone, & so has his wage.
    Smith may go along with his.
    Keep Barton, he’s a better player & younger.

  33. I Dont mind Joey, however you cannot argue that for the wages he has been on since he joined us, he hasn’t produced. It’s not so much an opinion as it is fact. Injuries aside (I wont say off field antics aside, because they’re his own fault), he just hasn’t shown the Joey Barton of old. Something which you cant be too surprised with, given the fact that (as has already been mentioned), he only briefly showed fine form and it was quite a while ago now.

    He kissed a Reading fan tonight also, for anyone who was unaware, lol

  34. Anyhoo,
    later Dragonera,
    Please don’t take any of this to heart.
    ez mate.
    Off to kip

  35. Aye mate,
    but how good will they be?
    how much will THEY cost?
    Will they get injured?
    See what i’m saying?

    Night mate.

  36. CLiNT-to be fair mate, you have to assume regardless of injury, they wont get locked up, lol

  37. Carroll did.
    Bramble, dyer, bellamy, bernard etc etc.
    So maybe we can assume a % will, hey Ross?

  38. Spyro I usually agree with most, if not all, of your footballing views, but personally I think getting rid of Barton at this point would be counter-productive to say the least. Why bother, when we have a big season ahead of us in the prem? He’s proven at that level and if he doesn’t cut it after another year we can get rid. After all, he’s a championship player at the moment, so even if he doesn’t have a great season next term he won’t particularly devalue. Let’s just wait it out and see what happens.

  39. Barton has a attitude problem which far outweighs his usefulness. He does not co-operate and only serves as a time bomb ticking away waiting for the next scandal. His usefulness / wages also do not correspond.

    I say off with his head.

    Nolan on the other hand has been huge for us this season. He won this game and is a match winner. There is a difference between someone who scores a goal in a 5-0 win and someone who scores in a 1-0 or 2-1 victory. the 1-0 or 2-1 wins are important goals and Nolan has been the difference between drawing games to winning games. He gets my vote of confidence.

    I also think we need a debate on what the expectations are for next season and to give us a bit of a flavor as to what the aspirations of our fans are considering the success we have have had.

    Perhaps this season will serve to spoil us with so much success and thus bring back the high expectations or brine of relegation a season ago pickled some sense into us?

  40. I am sure Nolan scored 18goals already~~~~Where’s the other 2 goals u forget to give credit to???


  41. Brilliant result, comedy own goal that was just one of them things. Harper could have done better than flapping at it and he is starting to worry me.

    Give Krul a go.

  42. Michael 12 – Good post!

    Depends if we are looking at long term or short term aspirations?

    Long term it has to be Europe again. I think it’s something we all dream of, seeing our team up against the best on the ccontinent.

    Short term, ie next season, it has to be survival by hook or by crook. It probably wont be pretty, but neither would another relegation.

    Once we survive we can then look to step up a level again.

  43. Ross
    it wasn’t a “Scouse kiss”, was it? (Known in Glasgow as the Gorbals handshake!)

  44. Looking forward to seeing the highlights of this game. Sounds like it was a classic example of how the team have learned to win even when not dominating.

    As for Barton I think Michael gets it spot on; we could simply do much better for the money. Take a hit on his fee and get someone less likely to damage our hardest-won and most important asset: team unity.

    While I’m on – I hope the smogs get rolled over at the weekend so it goes to Plymouth. Cos oiz goin. :)

  45. What are people basing this idea that Barton is ruining team spirit on?

    Sounds like typical unfounded prejudice to me like.
    I don’t like what he’s done in the past, but that does cause unbridled bias against him.
    As for Harper, their cross for their goal was well deep & away from the ‘keeper, there’s no way Harper woulda got to it without leaving a massive hole for the player to head into.
    Not the end of the world.
    CH said there’s plenty that want to get on the pitch last night, so he’ll probably play some underlings now. Hope that doesn’t mean giving up the chance of reaching 104 points.
    Yea, i know, i’m greedy.

  46. Exactly how is Barton going to spoil ‘team unity’? I get the impression he is ‘one of the lads’. He’s always at the games and in the dressing room – Even when injured. That’s the sort of commitment the club needs. How many injured players just stay away?

    As for taking a hit on him and his fee, are we really at that stage already when we can afford to let our better players go for a minimum fee? There’s me thinging we were struggling for money.

    To get a player that has proven his quality in the PL like he has would cost a lot more than we have in the kitty.

    He’s been injured – That’s not his fault exactly… If he gets a pre season under his belt it will be like having a new signing for next year – I’m sure we will need them.

  47. I agree Stuart,
    The lad has even been caught on camera-smiling, FFS!
    Let’s see what he’s like when fully match fit before we make any rash decisions, hey?
    But in saying that, i reckon CH is much more measured & magnanimous than some of us lot.
    Fank thuck.

  48. I bet having players like Nolan & R Taylor (fellow scousers & slid lads) around him has helped. Also Smith, Harper & even Butt too.

  49. you guys are absolutely retarded. what’s the use in arguing? you’re never going to change the other person’s mind….go play football or something

  50. So,
    should we play bairns & squad players for the remaining games & risk dropping points?
    Or be absolutely ruthless & clinical & just go for max points?

  51. stuart 79 , its my understanding , that if you are injured as a first team squad you are still at liberty to come along , and i think you need clearance not to come by CH or his deputy. HOWEVER in general most of the players are given that clearance not to come anyway, standards slip, I remember , watching teams like livepool and manu in the 80’s and the whole squad would be there chosen or NOT !! I would like to see that committment again, oh good win anyway !!

  52. CF , I think we need to go for max puntas , and the bairns can be blooded in the pre- seasons , maybe bring a few on as sub perhaps…

  53. Good answer Nzed, can’t disagree with that angle.

    How i’d love us to learn ruthlessness.
    We’re getting there like.

  54. CF the fact is the TEAM will be drastically different come august , and the first day of the premiership , we as bloggers should have a little bet as to how many from the CCL team last match play in the first game , boldly I say FIVE at the max SIX , but probably FIVE , naming them is the next step …..

  55. Pre season games are worth about as much to a youngster as Chris Hughton playing Championship Manager – They will be playing against players who are only half fit, will only be half fit themselves and the opposition will hardly be bending over backwards to play hard will they?

    Anyway, pre season friendlies will be better used blooding in new signings not youngsters. They should be given a chance now – Not whole sale but a couple here and there.

    I think we only have a couple anyway don’t we? Ranger seems to have fell off the end of a cliff, Kadar is injured and Lua Lua is away on loan I think.

    I would give Vukic a run – See if he’s all that. How anyone can make any judgment on him is beyond me – We’ve never seen him.

  56. “Dragonera says:
    April 13, 2010 at 11:38 pm
    Batty was never an out an out DM”

    Um… actually Dragonera, yes he was just about the definition of a DM.

    However, I do agree with you ;-).

    I think Barton has had his opportunity, and as was the case with Owen. He may be a decent player. But isnt anywhere near the wages we are paying him.
    For those wages we could attract someone far better in the holding role. And as a central midfielder, he gets injured far too often to find any kind of consistant form. And if he’s not injured, he’s in court.
    I liked him a lot as a player but. We don’t need 60k a week players sitting on the bench…
    I’d let Butt go, Smith and Barton if we could afford to. Would leave the squad a bit thing though…
    I’d have loved Bramble to be converted into a DM, I think he has all the ability. Good strong tackle, powerful, good in the air, great passer. But oh well…

  57. stuart 79 , what the F is happening with this french guy panacreate or PANCREAS….


    my SIX who will defno start next season from this ….

    GUTIERREZ, HARPER, NOLAN,GUTHRIE , TAYLOR and CARROLL…..the rest will either be gone , in the squad or pushed out for some new players , i think…

  58. Off the Barton topic. I really don’t think Simpson has proved good enough, and is the one question I have of CH selection.
    How is Simpson starting ahead of Ryan Taylor in the right back position?

    Also, I’m so glad Nolan is coming good. He is not world class, but he is a very very good team player.
    He has good work rate, can pass well, gets forward and is the only midfield goal threat we have.
    I hope he has done enough to shut up the “fat Nolan” critics who hassled him last season.
    There is just no pleasing some people.
    People are praising Carroll, yet Nolan has outscored him as a midfield player! Surely our overall player of the season. not much flare and show boating, but the statistics show he gets the job done!

    And also, playing a 4-4-2, we really dont need a DM, Guthrie is box to box, and Nolan can play a more advanced role. He still gets back too.

  59. “nzedtoonman says:
    April 14, 2010 at 11:06 am
    stuart 79 , what the F is happening with this french guy panacreate or PANCREAS….


    my SIX who will defno start next season from this ….

    GUTIERREZ, HARPER, NOLAN,GUTHRIE , TAYLOR and CARROLL…..the rest will either be gone , in the squad or pushed out for some new players , i think”

    Coloccini and Enrique will definately start too…

  60. SIMPSON will remain a squad player for one or two seasons . then he will go to pastures new , lucky if he plays 7 -8 prem games this next season.

    Barton must go , he is bad for the team , and lets adxmit he has not played enuff to justify the 60-85 k which he allgedly gets paid….

  61. jj I just can’t see us having eight players from MAY XI making the august XI … someone has to make way for the new arrivals ,i say between NOLAN, SIMPSON, COLO, ENRiQUE, and BARTON at least three or even four will defno go…

  62. hitman, mark me words man , how many of the starting line up in the prem league do you think there will be from the team we have now ??

  63. NZ

    My logic, is if MA was prepared to bankroll them through a Championship season, when we couldn’t afford it. Surely he isnt stupid enough to sell them, now that we can afford them, and leave our squad so thin, and in so doing repeating the mistakes that got us relegated last season.
    I say surely, because I’m giving Mike that benefit he has learned from experience.

  64. its all well and good saying get rid of barton,but first you need a buyer,hes hardly played this season it will take a massive punt for a buyer to come in.

  65. And (nztm 80) our two best defensive performers Colo and Jose are squad players at best, as far as you’re concerned? How do you work that one out?

  66. JJ , my whole point is the STARTING XI in August , I’m not saying the players may still be squad , BUT I have watched us and there is no way we are even 50 -60 % strong enough to be a mid table premier side at the moment so doing the maths we need 5 players minimum to strengthen , so some have to warm the bench..

  67. And on the players side. If anyone wanted or could afford them, they would have made offers last season.

    The only players I see that might go are:

    Butt, Xisco, Ryan Taylor, Steve Taylor (hope not), Barton, Smith, Ameobi, Best…

    Nolan is the best captain we’ve had in years. He is showing such passion now and passing that on to the players. He will definately not go.

  68. a lot of u think their is going to a lot of changes only if ch is sacked! the why he is talking 95% these players are going to be at this club and will play them that what he has said the last to games and being negative what is going on if he is not going to use young players why the f..k they not on the bench if he is not going to use them they will leave! and next season he wont anyway in the prem rant over. ps we have got no 1 change a game to come off the bench and we are going no where with him in charge will only change my mind on ch what he buys and gets rid.

  69. JJ says:
    April 14, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Where have you been over the last 3 years?

    Ashley’s a proven miser in the PL.

    He should have bought Peterborough.

  70. we,re looking through black and white tinted glasses if we think 8 or 9 of our starting XI can be premiership force..we will have to re- shape drastically , come on lads even reading looked far better than us for 75 mins, what we going to do aaginst say man city for c’s sake…

  71. My opinion
    Bags packed – Butt, Pancrate, Onesize, Best
    Draught from the open door – Smith, Barton, Ryan Taylor
    Possibly trying to open the door – Krul, Forster, Kadar
    The rest are keepsies – plus another 5 -6 in.

  72. no 80 what are u taklking about even the crap i come out with no 1 apart from u cant say enrique is in my mind the best left back in the world.

  73. stuart 79 , cheers , but me thinks close season is going to be more intersting now , wil cashley stay , if he does not then he won’t invest , so we need a quick change of ownership . if he stays then we need prob 20 mill , and nowadays that only buys you 2-3 good players..

  74. dont worry lads the prem is a crap league u only got to look at the shit the 2 ageing teams are top of the league who have lost about 15 games between them enough said. we would still be ok with are shit the way u are talking. name aq team that of the top teams have looked solid at the back non. they are all shit andy carrol will fu..king eat them for breakfast are problem is the central midfield and jonas and routledge need to stay fit to us to play against these losers even if they ccc teams play well they have all been beaten havnt they and if manu or chelsea do the same it is a good win so get real toonsman.

  75. Read the match report in todays Journal by Mark Douglas and wondered what ever happened to accuracy in the written media or is no one bothered any more?
    Back page, he says that we have 4 games left?
    Match stats say Simpson was subbed on 46 mins but report says Readings goal rebounded off him on 77 mins?
    Looking at the results page and they have the League one and League two headers the wrong way around.
    Expected better from our local paper.

  76. nzedtoonman says:
    April 14, 2010 at 11:41 am

    I really don’t know what to expect – I think Ashley would like to go but I don’t think there are any buyers out there so he’s probably lumbered with us and vice versa.

    I’m slightly concerned that Hughton seems to be saying that the squad doesn’t need much altering for the PL and his only ambition is to not be a yo-yo club.

    It says to me that he has been told there’sd hardly anything available for him to spend.

    We’ll have to wait and see I suppose but without squad strenghtening the squad it’s going to be a long season.

  77. NZ

    Goalkeeper – Harper is more than adaquite, nowhere near Shay’s league but good enough none the less.

    Defense – I think our defense is good enough for survival except for right back where Simpson just isnt cutting it and would only do as cover in the Premiership (although he is still young.


    Good enough for top 14 if you ask me. Although would be nice to add Hutton to that. And we still have Williamson and Kadar as cover.

    Midfield – Routeledge has been good and deserves a chance to prove himself. As have the rest of our starting midfield.


    A talented right winger, two experienced proven CM and a first choice Argentina International left wing.

    Good enough for midtable. Compare them to Stoke’s midfield who finished top 10 so far.

    Up front – Carroll and Lovenkrans. I think are adequate and can definately make the step up. They suit each other. Although, I do think we need another speedy goal scorer up front.

    All in all, I think our exact current lineup without injuries is good enough for survival. Except for our right back position and maybe one quality striker.

    Having said that, injuries, especially at St James will occur and we need to bring in cover and extra quality.

    Especially, at RB, CB, AMC, and ST. Thats four players.

    Lets not assume players won’t cut it purely because they havn’t the experience at Premier league level.

    Look at Jagielka, Cahill, Bent, Kevin Phillips, Ryan Shawcross, Gareth Bale. And many more. That all came from the league we are playing. Many performed even better in the higher league.

  78. Lescott (Wolwes), Bellamy (Norich), Robbie Keane (Wolves), Ashley Young (Watford). I can go on and on!

  79. Best won’t be leaving!
    Has no one seen CH’s interview about him.
    CH will be keeping most of this team, with a few additions, he said so himself.
    Soz like, don’t shoot the messenger like.

  80. Stuart79

    No offense, but its exactly your attitude which makes me think you have played very little football yourself.
    Football teams become good mainly with confidence and consistancy. Something we have finally finally achieved this year!
    No I don’t think we have the best squad in the world at all. They won’t finish in the top 8 and probably wonlt finish top ten.
    But They are the best squad, (as a unit) we have had in the last three years without doubt.
    They are learning to play with each other, knowing each others games, and that means more than anything…
    Yes we need to buy. But who says we won’t.
    We have been thumping teams 4-1 5-1 6-1 3-1. Those are results a top premiership team would attain against the same opposition.
    Let me remind you that the Likes of Liverpool and Man U and Arsenal have lost to league 1 opposition this season playing strong squads.
    We are so much better off not having the likes of Michael Owen assured of a first team place on reputation alone.

    What Chris Hughton is saying, is he want continuity, competition for places, and to keep the togetherness that has been created.
    These are words any true football fan should be delighted to hear!
    You build a team over years. He will add two or three to add quality. And in my mind. For the LAST YEAR. He and yes Ashley have done very little wrong.
    Ashley spent 5Mil last tranfer window. Who says he won’t invest in the right players?

    Just wait and see and don’t judge yet.

  81. Can’t see there being wholesale changes, it’s not CH’s style.
    He’s a team builder & a socialist, he’ll try & give everyone a chance.
    The days of chopping & changing every few months is pointless, stupid & has to end. It’s as daft as changing managers every 4/5 losses.
    BrandNewcastle, maybe/maybe not?

  82. Nice one jj @ 104.
    Not what some want to hear/believe maybe, but could be well close to the truth imv.

  83. JJ says:
    April 14, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I don’t think anyone is saying they should be judged on the fact they don’t have PL experience, although the fact their unproven does give us a degree of uncertainty.

    I’m basing my decision making on having watched them all season.

    To me both Nolan and Smith don’t have a great first touch, which you need in the PL and our strikers won’t find it as easy to get chances in the PL. Not to mention they probably won’t get as many chances created for them also.

    Unfortunately I see us getting steam rollered a few times next season with this team.

    I think we could compete with the Stokes and Wolves of the world but what happens if we play them on the back of a good thrashing? Confidence will be low and all of a sudden our ‘gimme’ games have a different perspective.

    I still maintain we could spend £20m and bring enough quality in with that to keep us up.

  84. Stuart if we keep most of this team & therefore continuity, plus add, like you say, £20/25m worth of players, could be less if we get good deals, in.
    We’ll be in decent shape to survive no problem.

  85. JJ says:
    April 14, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Wenger or Mourinho played very little football so what’s ya point?

    But if that’s how you see it I will rattle off the names I have heard speaking about our chances nest season.

    Shearer, Ferdinand, Lee, John Anderson, SuperMac, Lee Clarke and Alan Hansen have all said that this current squad will struggle as it is in the PL.

    They’ve come to that conclusionfrom what they have seen this season.

    The fact is nobody knows how they will do, we all have our opinions but ultimately we won’t know until they play.

    The problem with that is ‘if’ they do play and get 1 point from the first 5 games that will be incredibly hard to recover from.

  86. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    April 14, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Agreed – I have said all along we need that much to bring in better players. You never know it might even improve the current players a little.

  87. Stuart,
    the same ‘pundits’ ALL claimed we would do nowt this season mate.
    So we can’t really put too much stock in their ramblings.
    They were wrong this year & can be wrong again.

  88. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    April 14, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    “Can’t see there being wholesale changes, it’s not CH’s style.
    He’s a team builder & a socialist, he’ll try & give everyone a chance.”

    Clint, I don’t think it’s just about “socialism” and “giving everyone a chance”. It’s also about having a whole squad that is truly ready for first team action when required, and to make sure that key players are not tired and below par due to being overplayed.

  89. I’ve listened to SuperMac all season and he has never said we would do nothing this season. He says we have never played too well (Which I agree with) and I never heard the rest say it.

    I know you said take a look a football focus but I cannot find Clarke, Hansen, Shearer, Lee or Ferdinand saying NUFC won’t get promoted.

  90. Ye, Stuart,

    We probably will have a few heavy defeats next year. But who cares. As long as we survive and come out of it, the togetherness of the team will get us through.
    With our old policy of spending big we still had the odd thumping at the hands of Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea etc.
    We won’t compeat there. No sides do. Even Villa got thumped 7-1 on an off day.

    I agree though. We do need to invest. But my point is that Hughton is right to keep the core of the squad the same.

    You also were critical of Nolan for his first touch, yet defended Owen who probably has an even worse first touch.

    (Someone like Ameobi has a decent first touch… but his second touch is hidious, haha…)

    Anyway. There I agree. If we keep the squad together and then spend around 15mil or three or so good additions. That would be the ideal scenario. And I’m positive we will…

    Like I said. Add three players of say Hutton, O’Hara and say Carlton Cole. We’d still keep the togetherness and have a solid squad.

  91. Stuart79 says:
    April 14, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    “I’ve listened to SuperMac all season”

    Ah! So that why you’re such an argumenttive sod, Stuart! ;-)

  92. workyticket says:
    April 14, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I often wonder how the Liverpool teams of the 70’s and early 80’s managed to play 60 games a season, on pitches that were nothing more than mud baths with a squad of 14 and still be extremely successful.

  93. Im not saying you have to be a professional footballer.

    Im not talking tactically. Yet I’m sure both have played many games of football in their lives at some level.

    I’m saying having played. Anyone will tell you, that a group of less skilled players who have played together for a long period, will beat a group of skilled players that are still learning each others games, purely on experience and awareness of their team mates. Everytime!

    You see it all the time in football. These show boaters with all the skill in the world. Take on an team that has solid experienced players.
    They perform all the tricks in the world. Look great on the ball. Dribble past the entire team. And end up losing 3-1.

    Thats the football experience Im talking about. But you won’t understand unless you’ve played the game a long time.

  94. 119 JJ says:
    April 14, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Don’t agree with that assessment to be fair but you don’t have to have played football for years to come to that conclusion – Any team sport has the same team spirit need.

  95. Stuart

    “I’ve listened to SuperMac all season and he has never said we would do nothing this season. He says we have never played too well (Which I agree with) and I never heard the rest say it.”

    Yes, I agree, we havn’t always played great. But thats another fact about sport…
    The better the quality of the opposition, the better you play!
    Our players will (no doubt)improve playing better opposition next year.
    I’m by no means saying survival is a certainty. It never is. Last season taught us that.
    Even if we invested 100Mil Scumderland style, it would garauntee anything…

    I’m just saying, that in my opinion, we are finally going about it the right way. We are slowly building a team of players that play more for the club and fans and themselves than the money…

  96. JJ says:
    April 14, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    I’m just saying, that in my opinion, we are finally going about it the right way. We are slowly building a team of players that play more for the club and fans and themselves than the money…

    I agree with that – It’s a start, but hard work is only the start, you need quality too. We need to add that and we could have the best of both worlds.

  97. Stuart

    “April 14, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Don’t agree with that assessment to be fair but you don’t have to have played football for years to come to that conclusion – Any team sport has the same team spirit need.”

    True again… its a factor in all sports. But football more than any other.
    Knowing where your teammate is going to make that run without looking up to see.
    Knowing he is going to make a run after a one-two to a cetain position.
    Knowing a players likes making a late run to the far post, etc.
    These small things that come with time on the field together, can make average players an excellent team.
    And we arn’t going to have that, bringing in 5-6 foreign stars who need a season to adapt.

  98. Stuart79 says:
    April 14, 2010 at 12:43 pm
    workyticket says:
    April 14, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    “I often wonder how the Liverpool teams of the 70’s and early 80’s managed to play 60 games a season, on pitches that were nothing more than mud baths with a squad of 14 and still be extremely successful.”

    Because the opposition were the same too, Stuart.

  99. workyticket says:
    April 14, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Does that not apply now though? Especially in the Fizzy whereall the teams have a similar sized squad?

  100. :
    April 14th, 2010 at 12:02 pm
    One hundred!

    Well done cooldj

    Who’s to get “one hundred and eighty”?

  101. JJ@119

    “a group of less skilled players who have played together for a long period, will beat a group of skilled players that are still learning each others games, purely on experience and awareness of their team mates”

    This happens quite a lot these days, when one of the big teams (Arsenal!) stick in a load of brilliant youngsters for the league cup, etc. The games are usually great to watch, but the youngsters eventually come unstuck somewhere down the line against a ‘lesser’ team full of old stagers.

  102. Stuart,
    they did a resume on what was said about us a the start of the season, & who said it. & there they were in all their pundit glory, getting it so wrong it hurt. Recorded for posterity too.
    I saw/heard it with me own eyes/ears.
    They said it mate, all of ’em.
    & just to reiterate, they were all dead WRONG, weren’t they?

    CH’s rotated alright this season, i know he says ‘we’ve injuries’ at the time, but they have to.
    Just ask McCarthy!
    Funny how manu etc can field weakened teams but wolves can’t. So they have to be economical with the truth to satisfy the fa.

  103. liverpool in the 60’s/70’s had the continuity of brilliant managers coming from inside the club too like.

  104. laDS THE PREM LEAGUE IS SHIT! we are going backwards no money at clubs apart from city and the players in years to come are getting worse. the best team i have seen this season with first team players fit everton they have pissed on these so called goods teams! if we can match everton in a few years then so be it. top tree players play in spain nobody can afford them or buy them. not manu or chelsea full stop thats why the league is sh..t plus nobody is going to come here 55% wage tax no club is going to pay a top player 200 grand and still wouldnt get the same if he was in spain on less

  105. clint flick! the tax rate is going up like ares but 40% but if u have signed a contract b4 jan in spain it stays the same tax as b4 like ronaldo the tax is just like 23% until your contract is over so a club in england could not match that so we will be able to compete with prem clubs becasue they will be buying average players like manu u have bought some joker from mexico thats what is it down to coming. the thing that pisses me off is these clubs are linked to these players and media go on about they are going to get this and that not once in all my life manu could ever get the best player in the world at the time only newcastle did with tino who was at the time top3 player in the world

  106. Asim, I disagree that the Premiership is Sh!t…

    But I do agree teams arn’t as strong as they used to be.

    Man United has lost Ronaldo and Tevez, which has weakened them by some way.
    Chelsea have a decent squad, but they are aging and they have a transfer ban this season so that can’t bring anyone in.
    Liverpool are going to lose some big players because of their failure to qualify for the Champions League.
    Arsenal, they lost Adebayor and Toure and Flamini and Henry recently and havnt really replaced them.

    Other sides however, such as Spurs, Villa, Everton, Fulham and Man City have picked up because of years of BUILDING A TEAM. (City Apart).

    So in my opinion, although the top 4 are weaker. The league is better. And we have 9 fairly competitive teams.

    So for us to break into the top ten will be near impossible next season.
    We need to be looking at a top 14 (safe midtable position) and then let our current squad develop whilst adding the touch of quality each season. Just like you described at Everton or Villa.

  107. Asim, since 1.1.2010 (the end of the so called “Beckham Law”), Spanish footballers have paid 43% tax. The highest rate in the UK (for over £150,000 per annum) is 50%, not 55%.

  108. so that makes it a weaker league!why aRE they catching up simple the players are getting worse. the league would only get better with the top players we havent got any just mybe rooney.

  109. Aye Darth,
    the prem ain’t shit.
    But it’s leveling out a bit like.
    A lot of losses & draws this season.

  110. only top spanish players in spain get top doller! the rest ccc wage thats why when we have bought from spain they cant believe what wages we are paying. players who are not from spain get 23% tax is what i said b4 jan and the contract stays the same until finised.

  111. asim says:
    April 14, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    “so that makes it a weaker league!”

    Erm, no Asim. You are judging the whole of the Spanish League from the transfer activities of one highly exceptional team, Real Madrid. It isn’t all like that.

  112. Asim

    Of all the clubs in Europe, only Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Lyon would challenge the top four. So to call it a weak league really isn’t true.

    Rooney, Drogba, Gerrard, Lampard, Essien, Tevez, Modric. These are all world class players.

    How does a team like Fulham beat a giant like Juventus is the league is so weak.
    Or a sixth placed Liverpool thump Portugals top side.

  113. JJ says:
    April 14, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    “Rooney, Drogba, Gerrard, Lampard, Essien, Tevez, Modric. These are all world class players.”

    JJ, you missed out Torres, Fabregas, Reina and all the other top Spaniards playing in the Premier League.

  114. they are not world class players! if fulham can beat juventus then it proves the players are getting worse. the prem league will be like the italian league soon. man u and chelsea we are judged on not fulham or liverpool they are playing in that cup with other losers who are not bothered about it apart from them 2 playing their first team bad are liverpool and fulham give me a break tell me if u think them too are a great side no.

  115. Em, ye, its had been for ages. I just got tired or hearing what “we” think. ;-) and headlines that are completely misleading to articles… followed by FACT… I think.

  116. Well it’s nice to see that after gaining promotion and virtually assuring the league title that people still cant be happy, not even for one day!

  117. Asim,
    that’s a very ‘immediate’ view you’ve got yer’self there mate.
    Ever so slightly ‘too’ general like.

    & yr’an angry bugger too.

  118. toonsy,
    gotta concur.
    maybe no one on here has ‘appenis.

    the old crap jokes still suck.

  119. torres fabregas reina would get in the england team but are even close to spains team torres only plays if they play 2 up front. so would u play lampard or fabregas answer fab. spain will walk the world cup why becasue their league is 10 levels better then ares.

  120. Asim, surely the relative quality of a league should be judged by all of the teams involved, and not the elite few? That’s like judging the whole of British society on the behaviour of the royal family.

  121. “Asim say:

    they are not world class players! if fulham can beat juventus then it proves the players are getting worse. the prem league will be like the italian league soon. man u and chelsea we are judged on not fulham or liverpool they are playing in that cup with other losers who are not bothered about it apart from them 2 playing their first team bad are liverpool and fulham give me a break tell me if u think them too are a great side no.”

    I’ve never read a paragraph that makes less sense in my life…
    “If Fulham can beat Juventus it proves they are getting worse” – yes, that makes loads of sense. Not…
    Three English teams can’t make the semi’s of the Champions league EVERY YEAR Asim.
    Man U have a weaken team on last year, but still should have shat home against Bayern.
    They had 60% possession over two legs. And would easily have beaten a powerful Bayern team had they not been unfairly put down to 10 men… And I hate Man U!
    I never said Fulham were great, but they have got further in the Uefa cup than, Valencia (third in the Spanish league). So by your logic, they are better than Deportivo, Seville, Valencia etc. And thats a 10th place English team!

    You started off ok, but really, now you are just arguing yourself into a corner because of failure to admit when you are wrong…

  122. spain won’t walk the world cup because their league is better than ours Asim, they’ll walk it because they have better players in their national squad.

  123. i am making these points! becasue we are better then a lot of people think we are not going down the league i point out has a lot of very bad sides and we can still give these so called good teams a good game at are place.

  124. Also, to say those players are not world class… haha. Name me ten midfielders better than Gerrard, Lampard, Fabregas in the world…
    Or name me 10 better strikers than Drogba, or Torres, or Tevez.
    Name me better defenders than Terry or Vidic?

  125. “asim says:
    April 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    i am making these points! becasue we are better then a lot of people think we are not going down the league i point out has a lot of very bad sides and we can still give these so called good teams a good game at are place.”

    See. now that was the only point you needed to make… and I agree. I think 3-4 good signings and we can compete for a top 12 position. Much further in years to come…

  126. jj you are talking crap! who gives a shit who wins the tin pot just u going on about me saying the league is shit and putting fulham and liverpool who got knocked out of the real cup! so you based that on rubish and for manu who having all ways been lucky to win the champ league just caught up with them.

  127. asim,
    relax mate.
    I’m pretty sure that the teams that win virtually any cup, especially a euro one are more than happy.
    So are the euro championships pap compared with the world cup. if so spain are still crap.

  128. Asim. Please make one sentence when you don’t contradict yourself and then we can continue this debate.

    Let me some this up. By your logic.

    The English league is sh!t. Because none of their teams won the Champions League this year.

    The Italian league is even worse and is the level the English league will end up at.

    The Spanish league is wonderful, even though the all mighty Real Madrid got knocked out by a French team.
    And there only team to actually have won much at all for the past 5 years is Barcelona.

    So to some up. Because Barcelona have Messi and some other top player who make them a league apart from any club in the world right now – the English league is cr@p and Spain is the best league in the world by a mile…

    Is that correct?

  129. terry and vidic are shit fu.k me! slow weak not my cup of tea getting found out big time both vidic when was it the last time he stayed on the pitch in big games gets dun for fun.

  130. jj,
    i think asim is one of those that think a player is instantly shit if they make more than 3 mistakes a year.
    Unless, of course, it’s someone they’re championing, then mistakes are overlooked & denied.

  131. Ok, Terry and Vidic are sh!t? Right… ok… um…

    You got me Asim… I cannot argue with someone who knows as little about football as you do.
    All I hear from your mouth is you telling me who is sh!t. Im asking you to tell me who is better than they are?
    Seen as though they have been in the WORLD TEAM OF THE YEAR for the last two years!

  132. FIFA/FIFPro World XI team in full:

    Iker Casillas (Real Madrid); Dani Alves (Barcelona), John Terry (Chelsea), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United), Patrice Evra (Manchester United); Xavi (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Fernando Torres (Liverpool).

    Five players from the Premier league. Hmmm. Including those two sh!t slow centre backs.
    The Fifa guys are clearly clueless and need a great mind like Asif to guide them.

  133. FIFA/FIFPro World XI team in full:

    Iker Casillas (Real Madrid); Dani Alves (Barcelona), John Terry (Chelsea), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United), Patrice Evra (Manchester United); Xavi (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Fernando Torres (Liverpool).

    Five players from the Premier league. Hmmm. Including those two sh!t slow centre backs.
    The Fifa guys are clearly clueless and need a great mind like Asim to guide them.

  134. thats my hole point! nobody out their the players are getting worse i wasnt trying to compare these players or teams u are i was making a point the league is getting worse u see these players week in week out. we dont see other leagues as much apart from spain. fuc..k me if ever1 goes on about we in england team got the best defender in the world best midfielder and best striker we should walk each game but is not true is it these losers have been trying for ten years had have got nowhere have they.

  135. The top four may not be as strong as they were last season. That Asim I agree with.
    My arguement is that we are still miles behind them, as are 90% of Europe. And we also now have much improved teams like Villa, Fulham, Everton and Tottenham to deal with.
    Your argument was that, and I quote, “the Premiership is sh!t”…
    My answer is that, no its not… infact, overall, its probably stronger than it was when the top four were so dominant.

  136. So were saying Spain is the best league in the world because they have one outstanding team?

    Not sure that’s a valid reason.

    It would be interesting if the top four of the PL and La Liga all met in a mini tournament – Barca would probably win but I don’t think the other 3 Spanish sides would fair very well against our top 4.

    Is it strength in depth that counts or the strength of your best player? Or in this case the strength of your best club.

  137. Dunno so much about top two. Real have won nothing for about three seasons.
    Top one definately! Barca’ is awesome…

  138. no it makes the league weaker! how can it be stronger if u are saying! more teams are beating each other thats my point easier for us to stay up! not go back down.if ten dead legs can beat the top teams that proves they can compete against top 4.which should not be the case with the players and money.

  139. stuart79! liverpool are shit so u cant compare them being a top 4 side anymore and for arsenal found out time amd time again. chelsea and united found wonting that leaves nobody so they would finish last.

  140. Asim, no, it makes it harder to stay up, because it means we are facing 10 good sides, perhaps better than us and 4 very good sides, rather than 10 average to poor teams and 4 brilliant sides.
    Either way, we probably won’t beat the top four sides. Even if they are weakened. But now we have to compete against five or six sides that have improved remarkably since we were last in the Premier league.
    Its going to be very tough to get points off any of the teams in the top eight. Whereas before we only had the top four to worry about.

  141. In your defense. The teams below the bottom eight are poor. And if the likes of Stoke with a midfield of:

    Liam Lawrence—–Amdy Faye—-Dean Whitehead—Etherington

    If they can compete for a top ten place then:

    Routeledge——Guthrie——–Nolan———–Jonas definately can too.

    Thats why, I agree, we should be ok. Especially if we bring in players like Hutton, McGeady, Gervinho. We will compete well.

    But the only arguement I have with you, is that the English league is still strong. Very strong.

  142. we dont have any1 to worry about they are all sh..t mark my words! next season if i am wrong then slag me off jj becasue i wont forgat your name.

  143. asim says:
    April 14, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Who mentioned Liverpool? City are in the top 4 at the minute.

    As for found wanting, how many Spanish sides got the last 8 of the CL?

  144. Stuart – give up mate…

    Ok Asim you win…

    Leeds beat Man U this year at Old Trafford. I reckon that they must be one of the best teams Leeds has ever had. I mean. Well they must at least be better than Man United.
    It couldn’t have been just a once off poor performance.

    That football giant FK Rubin Kazan beat Barcelona 1-0 in the championsleague this year too. Barcelona were really found wanting I reckon. They must be on the decline.

  145. “we dont have any1 to worry about they are all sh..t mark my words! next season if i am wrong then slag me off jj becasue i wont forgat your name.”

    Right Asim. So should I put a tenner on Newcastle winning the league then. I mean. If we can’t win such a sh!t league and beat garbage like Man U and Chelsea then we really must be Sh!t ourselves. Eh?

  146. are u on glue city are not a top 4 side until they finish there it changes week by week! how many english teams in last 4 non so get your stupid last 8 crap out of your head. who cares do manu or chelsea just u.

  147. JJ

    I’ve agreed with almost everything you said, but Man U “unfairly put down to 10 men”? Rafael clearly pulled back Ribery while already on a yellow. It HAD to be a red card and Sir Alex just isn’t used to reasonable officiating in the Premier League. Ask Martin O’neal.

  148. And I think we can agree that the top 4 from the last 10 years or so have taken a step down this term. Man U and Liverpool are the most notably worse, and it has come down to a lack of depth.

    The second tier do seem to be getting better (Villa, Tottenham, Everton, City). City has enough cash to buy themselves a title in the next three years, if they actually get some decent defenders this summer.

    Everton and Arsenal have bright futures, partly because they have been profiting from City’s millions. How could we not bleed them for more when they came calling for Given? I was wishing they would offer 15 million for Bassong, he would be the best CD they have.

  149. I don’t give a STUFF about Spanish football! My club have won a cup for the first time since I was, um, one.

    We’ve stuck a million column-inches of tripe right up the jacksies of some scum-sucking reporters.

    We’ve found a brilliant manager, decent bloke and uniter of teams all in one.

    We’re gonna get over 100 points.

    We’ve smashed the CCC attendance record.

    We’ve gone from laughable defence to the best defensive stats in the league.

    We’ve learned how to win ugly, badly and every other way.

    We’ve thrashed loads of teams.

    We’ve got several players closing in on 20 goals this season.


    Who gives a flying buttock about Spain???


  150. Stuart.

    Dont you get it!!!!

    Only the top four teams in Europe are World Class and because of this they have world class leagues.
    So Spain, Italy, France and Germany are the best leagues in the world and England is sh!t…

    Liverpool is sh!t and so are Man U and Chelsea!

    Arsenal is sh!t, Terry and Vidic are sh!t defenders. Torres is not a world class striker.

    And Newcastle are going to sh!t home next year because the other teams in the Premiership are sh!t!!!

    Everything is sh!t… well according to Asim. Except for Spain because although Real and every other Spanish Club (Barca apart) has done sh!ter than the English Clubs this year. In Europa and Champions League. Barca’s team means the Spanish league is “the Sh!t” and England’s is just “plain sh!t”…

    Get it now?

  151. how many games have barca lost and real madrid! every good team loses! but how many games have chelsea lost and manu about 16 games between them! even more that does not make them a good side but a bad 1 that these 2 sides are still top. makes are life a lot easier not weaker as u put it.

  152. “Free Scoring Smudge says:
    April 14, 2010 at 4:05 pm


    I’ve agreed with almost everything you said, but Man U “unfairly put down to 10 men”? Rafael clearly pulled back Ribery while already on a yellow. It HAD to be a red card and Sir Alex just isn’t used to reasonable officiating in the Premier League. Ask Martin O’neal.”

    Ye, maybe, I just don’t like when players get other players yellow cards by “gesturing” to the referee like Ribery did…

    Plus I got 100 quid I have to hand over to a mate if Bayern Munich win the Champions League ;-). Hopefully Barca save me!

  153. asim – Surely that points to the fact the the EPL is stronger on the whole than the Spanish league then? If everyone can beat everyone?

    Look at the La Liga table, it is the most 2 horsed race a 2 horse race can get. Barca have lost 1 game, Real have lost 4. Look at the rest. Valencia in 3rd have lost 7 and all the rest have lost a third of their games at least.

  154. Haha, just kidding. We got no chance…

    I think:

    France and Uruguay will qualify from group A
    Argentina and Nigeria from group B
    England and USA from group C
    Germany and Serbia from group D
    Netherlands and Cameroon from group E
    Italy and Paraguay from group F
    Brazil and Ivory Coast from group G (Portugal out)
    Chile and Spain from group H

  155. you couldnt say spain could u! i am right u are wrong all their players play in spain and have made them better players why! u no the answer. the best league in the world by a country mile.

  156. Then I think:

    Spain will beat Ivory Coast
    Brazil will beat Chile
    Netherlands with beat Italy
    Cameroon will beat Paraguay
    Germany will beat USA
    England will beat Serbia
    Argentina will beat Uruguay
    France will beat Nigeria

    From there
    I think Argentina/Spain/Germany/Brazil will win.

    And I’d put my money on Argentina.

  157. no toonsy it is weaker becasue u have to better yourself against real or barca were in england you would not get better just worse were us and others would catch up with the so called top teams like it is happening becasue they cant get the better players in the world anymore apart from city who could make this league a 1 horse race until the arabs fu.k off which would be bad for the prem.

  158. Asim, I watched Spain lose to the United States with a full strength team in the Confederations Cup.
    And yes they have a fantastic team. But, I don’t see them beating Brazil or Argentina. Those teams come alive during the World Cup. And they will have much of the home support.
    They are also used to playing on pitches which may be a bit bumpy and the carnival atmosphere and massive noise of the Vuvuzelas.
    The smart money is on Brazil or Argentina. And outside bets on Ivory Coast, Netherlands and Spain.

  159. I was in Joburg last January, everyone was going nuts for the World Cup already. I really hope it works out, it would be great for the country if there aren’t any serious problems.

  160. jj germany are soo shit! they wont win a game at the world cup. put your money on them not to get past group games. if you think manu played bayern off the park then thats thier 6 players who played in that team fuc.k me i wouldnt like to see the rest of the players.

  161. jj u are wrong mate! spain are streets ahead of any1! no team will be able to get the ball off them and for argie 1 man team but what a player brazil shit cant defend for toffee.

  162. I’m pretty sure there won’t be any hassles FFS. Not with the games anyway.
    These stories about overseas visitors being told to wear knife proof vest etc in the British press are a bit of a joke.
    The only thing I see being a problem is time management and transport because of major road works which arn’t yet completed.
    The opening ceremony will be impressive. Having hosted Cricket and Rugby World Cups they always have been.
    Tickets are selling. All big games are sold out.

    Our hotels and restaurants are some of the best in the world.
    And generally during these events everyone shows great unity. People love there sport here. The only problem comes with Government interference which FIFA don’t accept.

    Having said all that, I hope I’m not proved wrong by some idiots who decide to ruin things. But that could happen anywhere.

  163. jj u are missing the point! english fans going their start any sh..t will get killed or either stabbed for being in the wrong area without the police to help them it is the worst country in the world to go out a person in your country has the worst death rate in the world for muggings and murders. i am not having a go mate.

  164. I was shocked when we first got to Joburg, there are areas that make the US look third world. As for the security issue, if people use common sense they will be fine. There are places in any city that you shouldn’t go.

    It’s such a beautiful country and should be a popular tourist destination that it currently isn’t, and the violent crime rates are clearly the issue.

  165. —————–Sergio Romero——————



    Di María———-Sergio Agüero————–Jonas


    One man team???

  166. Ok, fair enough, but there are a couple of key questions you need to answer if you are ever to get a handle on the issue:

    1. Where do you stand on string theory?
    2. Sausage sandwich: red or brown sauce?

  167. the rest are shit by the way tevez cant get in and for the midfield were is it! you have named 4 forwards so basicaly no team like i said. jj u are starting to carried away becasue jonas plays for them like i do. but only messi would get in. so they would get battered by them messi wouldnt even get the ball thats why he plays sh.t for argie becasue thats what happens and trys to do too much if you watch this average team.

  168. Happy Happy Joy Joy
    Ok, boys – time for a sing-song!

    Happy Happy Joy Joy
    Happy Happy Joy Joy
    Happy Happy Joy Joy
    Happy Happy Joy Joy
    Happy Happy Joy Joy
    Happy Happy Joy Joy Joy!

    (I don’t think you’re happy enough!)

    Aaaand repeat.

  169. “Asim

    jj u are missing the point! english fans going their start any sh..t will get killed or either stabbed for being in the wrong area without the police to help them it is the worst country in the world to go out a person in your country has the worst death rate in the world for muggings and murders. i am not having a go mate.”

    Ye agree Asim, you’ll get killed within a day… ;-)

    The police presence is massive… and our police force don’t take sh!t. They are used to controlling large crowds. There are always plain dresses police with head phones and anyone who even thinks are pretends to threaten to cause trouble will get arrested before he knows it.

    And those fans that end up in the wrong areas. Well. Don’t see what they want to be doing those areas… and you do get the “wrong areas” in every country.

    If tourists come here, with a positive patient midset. They will have the best holiday of their lives.
    There is no country with more to offer in the world than South Africa as a tourist destination.

    We have, the Mountains, the deserts, the forrests, the wildlife, the sealife, the beaches, the food, the places of history, the adventure sports etc etc… and the Hotels and Lodges are just first class.

    The stadiums are looking very very impressive. I’d say on par with Germany.
    And you’ll find the people very very friendly.

    Just don’t be stupid and make racist remarks and flash money around and you will be fine.
    Generally overseas sportsman love coming here.

  170. For Christsake enough allready, your driving everyone chucking crazy with this pissing contest.
    Change the subject, PLEASE !

  171. Funny Asim, 90% of that sh!t Argentinian side play in Spain.

    And Brazil have always played five outright attackers with five outright defenders and its worked out ok for them in World Cups.

    Besides. If you are going to argue Tevez is a sh!t player then I may as well give up now. Because then you are arguing for the sake of arguing and most of what you’ve said has made very little sense.

  172. Hello, good evening and bollocks.
    Welcome to this evening’s edition of Clueless Prognostication for the Mentally Impaired.
    I am your host, Reginald Gonadwort.
    Today we address the red-hot question: Messi, the entire Spanish 1st 11, or a tub of cheese? Which is most likely to win a cock fight in a library?


  173. Messi may be quite good at football, but his chilli recipe is rubbish.

    (A source close to the player said today)

    The voices.

    The voices.

    The voices.

  174. Did I just read a comment a few comments back that stated that France is a better football league than England??


  175. jj i am not having a go at your country it is lovely! they are not coming over for a holiday are they. my point is these fans wont no what has hit them until it happens ever world cup their is big trouble and they will soon find out and then it will stop. i bet you some fans get killed.they will find out it is the last place on earth to start any sh..t.

  176. Whumpie-

    Ya want a good Chili recipe? I got one. Straight from Texas, m8. Also- you’ll need Cayenne pepper. You probably don’t have that in England. I’d be happy to ship you some. For a price :D

  177. Asim-

    Where’s JJ from again like? And why are we arguing about fans getting killed?

  178. Whumpie
    And things get very messy in Chile if the sauce is too close to the player – Que?

  179. jj you dont watch football then just 10-20 % play in spain. only 3 players in your team name play in spain

  180. Well it is O’Hurley, Lyon are in the semi’s, where are the English teams?

    Asim, I do think Spain has the best national team by far on paper. But the thing about these tournaments, is they seem to bring the best out of the less known players.

    Lukas Podolski for instance ALWAYS plays well in big tournaments for Germany. Yet he never does it at club level. Schweinsteiger is another good example.

    Look at the Czech Republic in the Euro before last… Best team by miles. But they lost to Greece? France lost to Greece. Portugal lost to Greece (twice on home soil).

    There are other factors involved.

    Having said that, I did place 500 pounds on Spain last year to win the World Cup, so if they do and you right, I’ll be smiling all the way to the bank.
    Just got a feeling they won’t though.

  181. going on about world cup in south africa! he saying lovely place ! i am saying it is a bad place to start sh..t and people will gett killed. talking about fans of countrys

  182. Asim, you are probably looking at their last squad, which had players like and Gago Perrotti injured.
    But to be quite honest I stopped concentrating properly when you said Tevez is not good. Clearly you don’t watch him play. He is almost identical to Rooney. Who you said is World Class.

  183. JJ-

    Hadaway, lad- just cuz Lyon is having a good season in the Champion’s League doesn’t mean that Ligue 1 in France is better than the English Premiership. Get yer heed on straight like!!

  184. There has been a lot of disagreement over whether Newcastle’s current group will do well in the Prem next season.

    I say buy young players with potential and give the current group a shot. If we can get a low-mid finish (is 12th reasonable?), we could be seen as an up and coming team with an enormous fan base, possibly as soon as January. That’s when we can reasonably expect a world class player to come aboard. Look at Modric, almost came here, but going to Spurs sure looks like the correct career move.

  185. JJ-

    Also, havin’ a go at Asim is just gonna make ya mad. He’s like talkin’ to a brick wall, that one. A reet worky ticket like.

  186. FSSmudge-

    STILL gutted that Modric went to Spurs. He’s exactly what we need in the centre like.

  187. Modric needs a big CM like Palacios to protect him. Not sure we have that ATM

  188. FSSmudge-

    Lol I see m8. Almost thought asim was a WUM, but now I think he’s just a numpty.

  189. look i would never say rooney is world class! i live in manc land what a joke it is! even when ronaldo was playing for the scum i wouldnt say that u could ask any1 in manc land i allways say they are sh..t team even when they were good. fu..k this shit anyway we are all newcastle fans who say this and that but we would allways hug each other then fu.king fight 1 another enough said we are up like i said we would be in the first week in april that all that matters.

  190. And also, why’s JJ slaggin’ off the Germans like? They came back from a 3-0 deficit and beat Manure 4-3. And he’s sayin’ they’re pants!! HAHA

    I think the Germans can nivvor be underrated like. Too much talent on that side to slag ’em off. Sure Ballack is gettin’ aud like, but wot bout Schweinsteiger? That kid is a cracker!!

  191. Barton coulda protected Modric from a drunk 16 year old talking smack, but we couldn’t have relied on him last term. Modric would have partnered Butt.

  192. Free Scoring Smudge says:
    April 14, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    We are a million miles away from buying a Modric again – £17m????

    Although it would seem Ashley was willing to sanction that signing – So what’s changed, apart from us being in better financial nick.

  193. OHurley, the Germans, chased my great grandad outa Latvia! B@stardS!!!
    And they cost me money by losing in the last World Cup. I had them as favourites! B@stards!!!
    And now I said they wouldn’t get past Fioretina, Man United, Lyon and Barcelona to win the Champions league. And I gave my mate 5-1 odds. Which he took. So now they will probably do it and cost me more money!

  194. OHurley says:
    April 14, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    “And also, why’s JJ slaggin’ off the Germans like?”

    We never need an excuse to slag off Germans and Yanks, OHurley! ;-)

  195. well i cant slag the yanks because any thing me lad wants out in afgan the yank lads say just take it bud lol there lookin after our troops

  196. We don’t need to splash 17 million on a player of Modric’s quality. Teams that finish midtable rely on solid defending and scoring from set pieces. I think we can achieve both next term, although Colo and Harper seem to be coming apart here.

  197. stu iam not sorry too say i was right aboot when we would go up and we would pull away agen lol ur appoligey is accepted lol

  198. Also,
    A bonnet, what a frilly hat? :)

    A hood sounds mean, like it belongs on a car.

  199. Call a boot a trunk?? WTF are you talkin’ about??? We don’t call boots trunks. lol

    And watch it worky- us yanks bailed your british arses outta the sh!tter in WWII (not to mention supplied you before we got involved) :D

    You Brits are wierder than us yanks could ever hope to be. At least the Cockneys are. That stupid rhyming slang they’ve got annoys me to no end lol. Apples and Pears? WTF seriously???

    “Av a butchers at the bird walkin’ up them apples and pears.”

    “Did ya see that bloke get a daisy root to his cobblers?”

    How the hell did they even come up with that??

    And dont’ EVEN get me started on *most* British food (I rather enjoy pease puddin and stottie cakes. Meat pies are good too.) But Kidney stew? Black puddin? Spotted dick (even though it’s tasty, I just won’t eat something called “spotted dick”).

    So yeah- Yanks ain’t wierd. Brits are wierd.

    Though, I can support some slaggin’ off of zee Germans and the French. Britains got them beat on everything but food.

  200. OHurley says:
    April 14, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    “And watch it worky- us yanks bailed your british arses outta the sh!tter in WWII”

    OHurley, that’s the kind of American attitude that really insults the intelligence of British and many other people involved in the war I’m afraid. We do actually know that America was dragged reluctantly into the war after much of your fleet was obliterated at Pearl Harbour by the Japanese, nothing to do with us. As for the assistance, we paid for that with interest and it almost bankrupted us. It was Stalin on the Eastern front who turned the tide of the war more than anyone and they lost over 20 million people in the process.

  201. Worky-

    I know m8… was just bein’ cheeky. Didn’t mean to insult by any means. Just givin’ you sh!t for the same kinda reasons you lot still give the Germans sh!t.

    Seriously m8- wasn’t meaning any offense, just bein’ silly cuz you all called us “wierd”. Thus the :D after the statement.

  202. OHurley says:
    April 14, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Don’t worry mate, Worky’s always happy to try and knock you down with lots of information that brings the argument to a conclusion that favours him – All in the name of opinion…

  203. OHurley – Take no notice of Stu, if he isn’t wallowing in self pity the he isn’t happy, although happy is probably not the most appropriate word ;)


  204. I know most of u here in this blog hate me but …do u think chris is a good manager …half of his sinings are not even close to epl standard …I really doubt we will have a good season next year

  205. toonsy says:
    April 14, 2010 at 6:53 pm
    OHurley – Take no notice of Stu, if he isn’t wallowing in self pity the he isn’t happy, although happy is probably not the most appropriate word

    What planet are you on?

  206. Stu and Toonsy-

    Thanks m8s lol:) Just all in a bit of good fun. Hell if lived back then, I’d have been over there killin’ nazis too. I think it’s amazing how we pulled together as a united World and ended the reign of a brutal and maniacal tyrant.

    Now, let’s be a united World under the black n white flag and go conquer the Prem!!

  207. Great answer!

    You should be on stage with come backs like that – Not!

    No chance of forgetting your prejudices to get involved in a real football debate then.

  208. Henock – We dont hate you :)

    Regards his signings, he hasn’t signed PL players because we haven’t been in the Premier League. It isn’t that hard to think about it like that.

    If you look at it and ask the question have his signings improved the team from what it was before he made them? Then the answer has to be yes. Routledge, Williamson and Fitz Hall to an extent, have all improved the team from what it was and increased qualty for the league we are in.

    Leon Best I was always sceptical about, but if he isn’t playing then he isn’t going to score his first goal. Who knows, if he can get his first one then more may follow? Hopefully although I’m still unsure of him.

  209. Stuart79 says:
    April 14, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    “Great answer!

    You should be on stage with come backs like that – Not!

    No chance of forgetting your prejudices to get involved in a real football debate then.”

    Excellent, putting ‘not’ on the end of a sentance. Brilliant, an excellent use of a 20 year old retort.

    Read 273, you’ll see I do engage in debate, unlike you who is all over someone like a rash if they dare utter something positive!

  210. Stu – And whilst we are on about prejudice, it’s a bit ironic coming from you relly isn’t it?

    You hound workyticket every time he says something, and now you try it with me all the time.


  211. Stu – on another note, I’ve actually just spent the last hour trying to put something together for us all to debate ;)

  212. O’H,
    Stuart means the boot of a car, what you call a trunk.

    As for the food ‘debate’.
    english food is anything from around the world, which we used to own btw, from asian to african, caribbean, nepalese, thai etc.
    I think you’ll find.

  213. If we like it, we adopt it, it the english way.
    words, music, food, culture, you name it.
    ‘Ave it!

  214. A few transfre rumours again today. Kevin Prince-Boateng, Marc Wilson, Jamie O’Hara, Robbie Keane and Nadir Belhadj.

    Dont you just love rumours ;)

  215. worky – Aye that’s fine. Was going to suggest it my self but didn’t know if the Player of the Season poll was carrying on :)

  216. Stu – Yes, don’t buy Lexus 4×4’s, or if you do don’t smash around corners in them ;)

  217. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    April 14, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    “english food is anything from around the world, which we used to own btw”

    Quality :lol:

  218. peace lads peace,take chill pill, could be worse some even support sun/land,poor sods

  219. ive said for a few weeks harper has been iffy,looked like boy lost last night,why not rest him give krul some ex

  220. toonsy says:
    April 14, 2010 at 7:43 pm
    Always chilled, icedog

    is that with or without your big gun ;)

  221. Well he’s set himself high standards this season.
    But his iffyness has still produced wins.
    Still got the best defensive record in the leagues too.
    Must be doing something right ice.

  222. clint aye mate but is that not time to play him a winning defensive record,not shove a lad in a loseing side imo,i hope we tie it up in next game then he must try some kids imo

  223. I guess mate.
    Gotta play ’em again some time like.
    But look what happened when he bowed & played kids v peterborough in the cup. Maybe they learned something back then though, hey?

  224. toonsy says:
    April 14, 2010 at 6:30 pm
    batty – You been keeping yourself busy?
    <<<< lol toonsy a divent kna what u on aboot

  225. @197 Whumpie, Just came on to see what everyoner thinks and your Blog 197 is spot on , Good Lad , Mind I do like watching Barcelona play !!