A chance for Toon to forget the past in their next five games?

Posted on November 20th, 2015 | 278 Comments |

Newcastle United's next five opponents
Newcastle United’s next five opponents
Looking forward to Newcastle United’s next five league games, against Leicester, Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Tottenham and Aston Villa respectively, usually one would be forgiven for thinking that the Magpies should have a good chance in three of those games, against two smaller sides and another troubled giant in Aston Villa. One would also be forgiven for thinking that the games against Tottenham and Liverpool would be the toughest. However, looking at things more closely, it might not be that simple.

For example, Newcastle’s next opponents at SJP this Saturday, Leicester are currently the highest of our next five opponents at 3rd in the League at the time of writing this, and are alone in this group in having won their last three in a row.

After that we have travel to London to meet Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace in 8th, who are still two places above Liverpool, and will be our opponents after Crystal Palace, with Tottenham coming after that and finally, Aston Villa. Hence the relative prestige of the teams isn’t necessarily reflected in terms of recent form. For a bet on any of these teams and more, you can pick up some great free bet offers at bettingworx.com.

Aston Villa of course have been abject this season though, and currently find themselves bottom of the League. Hence, they are the only team to have done worse than 17th placed Newcastle so far! One would think this would be the easiest way to pick up 3 points from this group. However, like Liverpool with Jurgen Klopp, The Villans have also brought in a talented young manager in Remi Garde, who won the French Cup and French super cup with Lyon. Hence, if things don’t go as well as we hope against our next four opponents, we must hope that Garde has not manage to turn around Villa into a genuinely competitive side once again.

Getting back to Leicester, highly prolific striker, Jamie Vardy, is probably the most likely to score. He has scored 12 goals in 12 Premier League apearences this season, making him the top Premier League goalscorer so far.

Reasons to be cheerful for the Magpies

Newcastle of course are not doing very well themselves, only recently managing to escape the bottom three in 17th, though perhaps Steve McClaren can take solace in the fact that he is in good company, with Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea only one place above him.

However McClaren and Newcastle United can take solace in something far more important though as they go into their next five games and it is this: In the first six league games of their twelve so far, Newcastle took only two points, but in the second group of six games they have taken 8. In those first 6 games they only scored 3 goals, but in the other six they have scored 10, albeit that six of those goals were scored in one game against Norwich.

Hence Newcastle United are on an upward curve overall, and going into the next five games on the back of a victory against Bournemouth, but it has displayed itself in terms of erratic football rather than steady improvement: For instance, hopes after a very convincing 6-2 victory over Norwich were soon crushed by a 3-0 defeat against the team we hate losing against most, Sunderland. In my experience, it is normal that an improving team will be erratic before they are consistently good rather than making a steady game by game improvement. Newcastle were certainly like that all in one game against Manchester City five games ago. If you remember, Newcastle United actually started very well in that game, and should have gone 2-0 up when a perfectly good goal from Mitrovic was ruled out. The team then had a disastrous period of around 20-25 minutes after half time, letting in five goals and eventually losing the game 6-1. Writing as a Newcastle United fan, it is to be hoped that this is the case, and that the Magpies will start to show to show more consistency over the coming games, starting tomorrow against Leicester.

Toon’s next five fixtures

Newcastle United vs Leicester: Sat, 21st Nov, 3pm.
Newcastle United vs Crystal Palace: Sat, 28th Nov, 3pm.
Newcastle United vs Liverpool: Sun, 6th Dec, 4pm [SKY].
Newcastle United vs Tottenham: Sun, 13th Dec, 4pm [SKY].
Newcastle United vs Aston Villa: Sat, 19th Dec, 5:30pm [SKY].

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1091 articles on this blog.

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278 Responses

  1. Leicester are a tight team who are breaking us up quite well, however they are giving us a few set piece opportunities and picking up the odd card in the process.

  2. It was a cracking goal.

    If Cisse is completely out in the cold as I speculated earlier, it is about time that Mitrovic started scoring a bit more. If it was Ameobi snr, he would be getting more stick. He has a pretty lousy scoring rate for Serbia too (2 goals in 18).

  3. Not one attempt on target for Newcastle. I did notice that Danny Simpson seemed to have a good game. He was right up at the front for much of it and nearly scored, but that Okazaki scored anyway picking up the seconds from Simpson’s stab.

  4. Look it’s nowt to do with who we area scheduled to play, there are no g’me’s in the PL and though we won against Bournemouth, that game and to-days saw a side that was totally un-prepared and after spending quite a bit of Ashley’s fortune looked designated for the second tier.

    Mitrovic has gone missing for most games, besides getting himself a red card and some one aughtta explain, he’s not gonna intimidate anyone in this league, so just try and play football.

    As for Cisse, has been missing since last season and his efforts are half hearted, I really don’t understand why Perez gets so much positive ink, he has proved nothing other than being a prospect.

    Wijnaldum is another who regularly goes missing, despite his big scoring game.

    Everything begins and ends with Sossoko and Janmaat, the only guys putting out an effort, besides Colo (who has lost a step) and Mbemba.

    Dummitt is a mediocrity, Anita is inconsistent and Tiote hasn’t had a decent game since last season either.

    As for DeJong, worse than his brother.

    Thauvin obviously wants to go home and didn’t want to come here to begin with, at least that’s what his body language sez.

    I like Elliot decent goalie.

    And why are we not scoring, with the new Shearer/ Bellamy forwards Mitrovic and Perez, it’s tough when you don’t get any service.

    To-day we were jus out run, tactically inept and in just about every phase of the game looked second best, with no one really putting in 100%.

    This side is destined for the second tier, regardless of who Ashley springs for during the window and he had better have a chat with Carr, who has loaded us up with his crap choices of players.

    But the biggest problem is Ashley himself, who simply hires shit yes men managers and other top management, because he cant give up on making all the decisions,

    As I stated Moye’s wouldn’t be my first choice of manager , but appears now he may be available would be the best choice, because to keep McClaren sleepwalking us right down to the second tier, is just not a good idea.

  5. I recently noticed that the old ‘Ban the Bomb’peace sign has added a cross to the lower section, below the center.

    Is this some kind of anti Islamic symbol, are we about to get into another religious war a continuation of the crusades.

    And who is/are responsible for this addition to the symbol, because it could be a very divisive and unwelcome inclusion.

  6. Chuck, are you sure you don’t mean the “Ban the bomb” sign combined into the Eiffel Tower? Personally, I’m not sure about that one either. Besides the idea of an graphic designer making a worldwide reputation on the back of the so called “Charlie Hebdo” attacks and now over a hundred people being slaughtered in Paris, the idea of a symbol of France being conflated with a symbol of peace and banning the bomb / nuclear power is a little strained when you consider that France is a highly nuclear nation which is currently bombing the hell out of Syria!

  7. chuck says:
    November 22, 2015 at 4:27 am

    “Everything begins and ends with Sossoko and Janmaat, the only guys putting out an effort, besides Colo (who has lost a step) and Mbemba.”

    Chuck, yesterday, everyone was shite, maybe Elliot reached mediocrity but the defenders, the ones you name were even more shite than the rest. Going along the backline, Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini and Dummett all stank. They absolutely hummed. Williamson really is Beckenbauer compared with the way that lot played at the back yesterday. We always have to end up going back to the great master to save the defence, but, alas, he’s at Wolves now.

  8. Yeah right and thank goodness for that, he shouldda been gone long ago.

    Watching the Spurs game, now there’s a decent pair of center-backs Alderwiereld and Vertonghen.

    Of course considered out of our league at the time (read too expensive) though we had shown interest, guess that’s when our dear owner thought he could maintain a PL presence, without breaking the bank even though others were.

    It’s one thing to attempt to save money by putting out a cheap product, as done in the retail sportswear business, but to then attempt to run a football club in the same manner, is something that just doesn’t work.

    “Were gannin doon wi the Mackems”, regardless of who we buy in the next window, as it will a case of ‘a day late and a dollar short’.

    Not to mention lousy management!

  9. Hmmm…! yeah i guess you could describe it as looking somewhat like the Eiffel Tower, (The old peace sign) though just as easily be interpreted as a cross being added.

    And yes it was always in it’s original form considered a ban the bomb symbol, that eventually morphed into an international peace sign and hopefully it won’t further morph into some kinda Christian and anti-Islamic indicator, being it’s pretty difficult to find practicing Christians anywhere in Europe, these days, perhaps not a bad thing ?

  10. And oh! forgot to mention the difference in such a short time, (resulting from the change in management) after watching Liverpool’s game against Citeh, playing a totally different game, (possession and pressing Citeh very high), with twenty two players in one half at times, a risky business i know, but i’m trying to make the point a good, or the right manager is one that get’s result’s, which is why smart owners pay to hire good managers.

    Instead of cheap yes men, it’s self defeating and the main cause of the present dissatisfaction between owner and fans.

    I was amazed to see the emptying of St James’ Park on Saturday, long before the game ended, it’s gotta be a long time since the fans have demonstrated their unhappiness like this, it could be the beginning of a massive boycott of home games if there is no improvement in both results and a change of the piss poor running of the club.

  11. chuck says:
    November 22, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    “And oh! forgot to mention the difference in such a short time, (resulting from the change in management) after watching Liverpool’s game against Citeh, playing a totally different game, (possession and pressing Citeh very high),”

    It was the kind of football your (ex?) sweetheart, Brendan tries to play, Chuck. You used to say it yourself.

    chuck says:
    November 22, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    “Of course considered out of our league at the time”

    I used to bang on about Vertonghen, and he went to Spurs for around £9.5 million, and I don’t think that was much different from Mbemba? I thought they could have gone a fair bit higher than that, even at the time I thought we could have bid up to about £12.5 million without paying too much. There was the Spurs factor but as I wanted us to go for him before that and we might have had more of a chance though. Newcastle need to go in earlier than the big guns.

    “I was amazed to see the emptying of St James’ Park on Saturday, long before the game ended, it’s gotta be a long time since the fans have demonstrated their unhappiness like this”

    It has been happening on and off for over eight years now though, and there has been no October Revolution yet.

  12. I was thinking about it in the Supermarket, I tried to think about it from the point of view of the average Geordie heterosexual male on Tyneside who is either married or has a girlfriend. He thinks about boycotting the club, then the true horror of the alternative dawns on him. Whether he likes it or not, the alternative Saturday will be an afternoon down the Metro centre waiting for their beloved to try on clothes. No hetrosexual man wants that. They would rather undergo the punishments of Zeus like Prometheus. Just a thought.

  13. Yes i understand that attending home games at St.James’Park, is a tradition, that goes back generations, but there have been occasions where following relegation, attendance’s suffered.

    And yes i had previously mentioned a definite number of empty seats, that wouldn’t appear to coincide with official attendance figures.

    Though the club has admitted to a reduction of approximately two thousand, per game this season, that would be @ twenty five quid for an average ticket, a total of around fifty thousand quid per game and if this average continues until the seasons end, eighteen home games at a reduction of two thousand a game amounts to around a loss of somewhere near one million quid a season.

    Not enough to do real damage but would and has caught the attention of our dear leader already, when he notices we are still a bottom side and in danger of getting relegated.

    Just think of a reduction of five to ten thousand missing fans,
    which would create total panic and no doubt a reaction from “our dear leader”who i believe at this stage has a number of different problems to face, most created by his own greed.

    An organised boycott is the only way to get Ashley’s attention
    or at least a reaction, but would that reaction include the hiring of a real board, one not made up of yes men and sycophant’s, probably not, but what have the fans to lose, another hammering by newly promoted clubs or Sunderland.

    But we need a decent Manager FFS, not some retread who has been fired by just about every club he has managed and will continue to sleepwalk the club into the second tier, get rid of him NOW!

  14. As is often pointed out in the Chronic, the football brains in the boardroom at Newcastle United are Lee Charnley, Bobby Moncur and Graham Carr, a teaboy who ate all the biscuits, a failed lower league coach and a failed non league coach. The keep banging on about how they are the ones Ashley turns to for advice. May God have mercy.

  15. Dont know who’s making the decisions at NUFC these days (or any decisions for that matter, probably Ashley) but with the present number of injuries, why are some of our best youngsters being pushed out on loan.

    We have our young goal scoring machine @ Coventry, Armstrong, still banging them in, when the side cant buy a goal.

    Then there’s his team mate Bigirimana, who had shown composure, passing ability and excellent defensive ability, a player who IMO is an improvement on Tiote, presently out injured.

    We also badly need a left winger (no not politically) and Shane Ferguson is playing well now, scoring two goals in his last outing.

    I don’t believe any of the three were given a chance and at this moment with so many injuries, that’s when these youngsters should have been given an opportunity.

    Can Armstrong continue to score in the PL if brought back, hopefully as no one else is.

    I know Ferguson could play in this side, he’s also known to have played as a full back and can be expected to cover for whoever is playing LB and could be capable of setting up Mitrovic with his ability to put in some decent crosses, as both he and Perez are suffering from a noticable lack of support up front.

    As for Bigi, he was praised during his last game for Coventry, for the way he ran the side, something that Tiote has no clue about, once he wins a ball, it becomes like a hot potato, he cant get rid of it quick enough, but Bigi can do everything Tiote can yet still pick out the perfect pass and run the side.

    To not use these players and send them out on loan, is one of the dumbest moves yet, simply to save a few buck’s in wages, while we are fighting to get out of the relegation zone.

    I mean who the f**k is making these decisions and why ?

    And many call the Magpies fans expectations high and their demands even higher, but when management are making these dumb-ass kind of moves continually, they have every right to bitch.

  16. If i see another article by Carver, (the guy’s obviously a head case) with his continual speculation both about the club and his future as a heed coach somewhere, i’m gonna be sick.

    Bad enough we have to listen too McClaren’s excuses, we also have to hear from f***ing Carver tell us how good a head coach he is.

    Fact is he should go find a third or fourth division club that will put up with his bull***t, i mean that’s about the best he can expect, but don’t subject the fans (who were glad to see him go, following his less than inspiring presence at the club)

  17. Soh ! nice to hear the players are not happy !

    They should be, they are collecting a check every week and not doing much for it, it’s the fans that should be pi**ed having to pay those checks.

    I wonder how much longer we will have to wait for Ashley to admit to making another mistake, by hiring this clown as head coach.

    If Pardew is anything to go by, it could be years and we could be in the second tier, as with the recent increases in PL revenues, there will undoubtedly be fierce competition in the second tier for those three PL spots.

    Yeah Ashley stands behind his mistakes, refusing to admit he was wrong and the more the fans insist, the deeper he digs in his heels, it’s known as hubris.

    All the more reason to hire some people who know what they are doing, face it Penfold, Carr, McClaren and Bobby Moncour are far from anyone’s choice of a board, but they all have one thing in common, they are willing to say “YES” to any suggestion from Ashley.

    Guess i’m gonna miss a lot of next seasons games, as we get few second tier games here, suppose i will have to watch RM or Barcelona, or the occasional EPL game.

    Ah well !

  18. chuck says:
    November 25, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    “We also badly need a left winger (no not politically) and Shane Ferguson is playing well now, scoring two goals in his last outing.

    “I don’t believe any of the three were given a chance and at this moment with so many injuries, that’s when these youngsters should have been given an opportunity…”

    Calm down, Chuck. You’re a desperate man clutching at straws, which is understandable watching Newcastle United on a regular basis. What about the two who youngsters were deemed good enough to stay, Mbabu and Aarons?

  19. Yes i was impressed by both and just don’t understand why they would be sent out on loan, unless it’s to save a few bucks.

    Better those youngsters play for the reserve side, along with the other young talent’s, so as they can familiarize themselves with their fellow team-mates and general tactical approach, in order to fill in for injured first-team players when required.

    But on looking at how this club is run, it’s obvious that Ashley is calling the shot’s, as surely no one would want to take responsibility for the chaos and piss poor management that
    reflects the present NUFC.

  20. I believe we should brace ourselves for the sale of Sissoko and possibly Velez.

    Why ?

    There are too many negative stories being planted, about Sissoko especially, i really don’t give a damn if Velez is sold, i just don’t rate him that much and can’t believe how he has been praised since his arrival.

    A case of praising one and demonizing the other.

    Velez is no Bellamy, nor is Mitrovic a Shearer.

    On a different note, yeah i watched Townsend and though him a decent player, but as of right now, what’s wrong with Ferguson, plays regularly with ‘Norn Iron’and has been sent out to so many loan clubs he must wonder who has his contract.

    Even Joe wanted to sign him, before he found out he was already on our books, while playing for Birmingham.

    Same thing with Aarons and the kid M’Babu, who had a decent introduction, playing well in his one and only start, a much better player than Dummitt.

    However don’t expect anything positive to develop even if Ashley keeps both Velez and Sissoko, as the problem of poor management will continue, as Ashley will continue with Mcclaren
    and the rest of the clowns presently screwing up the club and we will end up where we deserve to be, relegated (again)

  21. chuck says:
    November 26, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    “Even Joe wanted to sign him, before he found out he was already on our books, while playing for Birmingham.”

    I checked out that story at the time. I actually gave up writing at the Metro because of it. It looked like total bollocks that was just made up for a good story to me.

    Do you mean Perez (Velez)?

    Mbabu can play anywhere at the back, allegedly. He’s mostly a right back but when he got his big chance he was at left back, and he can play in the middle as well.

    Although he still looks like he’s twelve, Ferguson isn’t really a young prospect any more, he’s in his mid twenties. Even playing in the Championship, League One and Scottish championship, he has hardly set the world on fire.

  22. Perhaps so! but he IMO is the most productive left winger we have right now and we need that left side to be involved in the game, actually like to see him ‘Ferguson’ link up with M’Babu, being Dummett appears to be struggling and seldom crosses the midfield line.

    Who knows about whether Joe actually recommended we sign Ferguson, though it wouldn’t surprise me if he did, face it the guy was way outta touch with the game, but only Ashley was unaware at the time.

    Which has always been my main criticism of Ashley, the man knows little or nothing about the game, but insists on making all decisions, certainly looks to me like he wants to run NUFC in the same manner he runs his retail business.

    See what happens when we go into the second tier at the seasons end, being that’s where we seem destined for.

    Though I see where McClaren has come out with a challenge to the present transfer policies, which could hasten his departure, as no one gets into Ashley’s face

  23. John Jo Shelvey appear to be on our shopping list for Christmas, along with Townsend.

    A left winger and a playmaker/scorer, not a bad player and we need someone to take charge in midfield desperately, Cabaye should have been brought back from PSG, but it’s too late now.

    Townend is obviously out of favor at Spurs, for whatever reason, also a decent player, but the fact we are reportedly going for British players is nonsense, they are no different from anyone else and one can usually find better continental players for less.

    It will be interesting to see who we bring in during the next window, just to see whether Ashley has learned anything, as i’m sure he must be aware by now that we are among the candidates for the drop and whether he pays any attention to McClaren’s needs.

  24. Pardew today, which will mean extra dollops of embarrassment and egg on the face if it goes tits up as it does usually.

    Chuck, you’re writing about Ferguson and players like Townsend and Shelvey as if they are in the same league. Fair enough, the latter two are good players but it’s just the usual media drivel factory at work as usual. If the get one right every now and again, it’s more like a monkey typing Shakespeare if you put in front of a typewriter for long enough.

  25. Another fiasco, one that leaves me baffled as to why this clown of a manager is still here, as it must be obvious to everyone he has no clue as to what to do and i can assure him that lifting the cursing ban at training sessions is not the answer.

    To anyone watching it’s obvious the side has lost all confidence,
    when players are passing the ball back to the goalie from the halfway line, as if it were something toxic they don’t want to touch.

    Sure they started out looking good and were fortunate to get an early goal, but the two goals scored by Palace shortly after soon brought their heads down and from there on it was all Palace.

    I honestly don’t know what to think about this side but one thing for sure we need a manager, because there’s no way this guy can install any will to win in a side that expects to be beaten week after week, and manage to make it happen.

    Just look at the difference in Liverpool following the hiring of Klopp, same players, different team.

    Does Ashley really believe McClaren will eventually get the club on a winning streak and avoid relegation, if not what is he waiting for, dump this ineffective chump, end his f**king career, the man is a danger to football.

    I never made any comparisons with Ferguson and both Shelvey and Townsend, simply stated Ferguson was (IMO) the best available left winger in the squad.

    I was right in stating Dummett was not up to par, he had a horrendous game to-day as did most, a total loss of any confidence that needs major surgery, unless Ashley want’s to lose money and play in the second tier next season .

  26. Now the abyss of doom has opened up once more after only fourteen games. As the commentator for NBC said, this time last season we were 9th and the latter half of that season was enough of a fright. The way things have been this season though, we could end up playing like Carver’s Newcastle for the whole season and winning only 6 games out of 38 or something like that

    “Just look at the difference in Liverpool following the hiring of Klopp, same players, different team.”

    Chuck, you used to think the sun shone out of Brendan Rodgers’ arse, now you’ve just cast him aside like an old pair of socks like all the others. You just love them and leave them. Funnily enough it’s Kloppo’s Liverpool next, then Spurs, which just adds to the standing over the abyss feeling.

  27. Yes indeed i wasn’t the only one who praised Rodgers who i believe deserved the praise at that particular period, at Swansea he played a possession game which was a pleasure to watch and after all only Ferguson and a few others had winning clubs that stretched almost their entire careers.

    I’m not dismissing him and expect him to find another club, where once again he will reach some success, not only him, but Moyes also.

    I wouldn’t be unhappy to see Rodgers at Newcastle, or anyone else apart from Pardew, Carver and McClaren, Ashley sure can pick em!

    Whereas what happened to your hero, ‘the prince of Denmark’, who at that time you thought was going to be another Johan Cruyff and whom you praised on a daily basis, both he and the players he brought in, at least Rodgers was a success at Swansea, while it took little time for the Welshmen to arrive at the conclusion your prince just didn’t have what it takes and fired his ass, he never lived up to his own or anyone-else’s expectations.
    Ah well !

    Ashley had better get rid of our present clown of a manager, before he has some real trouble from the fans, i mean how much can they take of his ignorance and lack of communication, with St. james’Park virtually empty before the last ten minutes and a steady booing following to-days game.

    Tell me is this his recipe for success, with some pretty tough games coming up, we may very well see a reduced fan base, possibly the only thing that may get his attention, but he has to act and the sooner the better, as it’s obvious to all that McClaren has no clue about what to do.

  28. We may get lucky, McClaren may decide to do the right thing and fall on his sword, ya know just quit.

    I,m sure Ashley would love that, then again it’s nice to receive a check every week that could turn into a pay-off.

    But where does that leave us?

    Still up sh*t creek without a paddle.

    Who should replace McClaren ?

    Right now and available, i would pick Moye’s (emphasizing he’s not my first choice) who i believe could stabilize the club.

    He managed to keep Everton in the PL during his time there and turned them into a decent side and on a shoe-string budget, which should interest Ashley.

    Though he may want more control of signings and other things that are normal for managers to control.

    I believe it’s about time to reduce Carr’s role as football director and have him do what he’s supposed to do, scout.

    Send Penfold back to the office ,as i’m sure there are lot’s of pencils to sharpen and hire someone who knows about football.

    Otherwise, hello Notts Forest, Leeds and Fulham, next season.

  29. chuck says:
    November 29, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    “He managed to keep Everton in the PL during his time there and turned them into a decent side and on a shoe-string budget, which should interest Ashley.”

    That whole thing about “shoestring” Everton is a myth which has also been encouraged by the club themselves, or Chairman Bill Kenwright anyway. It’s a case of if you repeat it enough it will become true. As I’ve pointed out numerous times on here, behind a strong top six of Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool, Everton have been the next overall in terms of their squad strength. They used to jostle with Newcastle but no longer, we have fallen back even further despite the recent influx of big ticket players.

    Hence, if Everton come seventh, they are doing ok, not bad, not very good, but just about as they should be. They haven’t been some little Championship club who should have been relegated. Moyes’s average finish was 8th. he was a bit like Pardew. Triumphs like qualifying for the preliminaries of the Champions League once (and getting hammered in the first game), winning manager’s prizes like Pardew etc were offset by other Pardew like stuff like nearly getting relegated and finishing 17th. Remember, that’s even worse than the worst Pardew season at Newcastle (16th) and the Carver nightmare (15th).

    As for another of your love affairs, Roberto, he has finished 5th and 11th, giving the same average of 8th. I’m not criticising him but he hasn’t parted the Red Sea yet either. Neither did Moses for that matter but that’s another story. This one is the same story though. 5th is very good, but that was offset by a poor 11th so just OK overall.

    Having said all that, there has been a glass ceiling. If you get to seventh, the next two, Tottenham and Liverpool are much further ahead in finance and squad, and Arsenal, Chelsea and the two Manchester teams are further ahead still. But Everton haven’t punched above their weight, and Toon style, Moyes nearly got an easily top ten club relegated. Moyes would be going down the same Pardew / McClaren style avenue. As I’ve also mentioned before, Everton have been at the same sort of level squadwise. Everton have done far better than Newcastle, who have done awfully. However it is still average based on the resources of the players. Just think about the players Everton have had through the days of Moyes and Martinez – Leighton Baines, Lukaku, Barkley, Stones, Jagielka, Neville, Yakubu, Cahill, Fellaini, Drunken Ferguson etc etc… The underdog thing is taking the piss. One reason for the underdog thing they have might be that they see themselves as the equal of Liverpool, and have a bit of chip because they haven’t won 18 leagues and 5 European Cups?

    Some did say that Ferguson put Moyes forward for Manchester United because he didn’t want to be succeeded by a top manager who might do as well as he did.

  30. Listen ! when Moye’s was recruited from Preston (a regular 1st. division side when Tom Finney played for them) he came with a decent reputation, it could be a similar move to our getting him, if Ashley wises up.

    With him, you wouldn’t see the kind of football that Rodgers produced with a very good Swansea team, but like BSA and others, he understand the game and could have the same stabilizing effect he had at Everton.

    Who were in a similar situation to Newcastle, fighting off relegation, each season.

    It appears that both Moye’s and Rodgers are being considered for McClaren’s spot, though both having recently been fired, could be available, though as expected the media and bookies have to lay odds on someone.

    Another name mentioned was Arry, which could be another disaster.

    I would be more than happy to see either Moye’s or Rodgers arrive, FFS anyone but this clown McClaren, who has tried everything , but the quality is just not there plus he has run out of ideas.

    If we get lucky and sign either Moye’s or Rodgers, there will of course have to be changes made, no more Carr acting as both ‘Chief Scout’ and ‘Director of Football’, as for Penfold, send him back to the typing pool or sharpening pencils and hire a real ‘Director of Football’.

    The rumors of an organized Boycott are getting more ink lately, a sign that the fans have had enough of Ashley’s bulls**t and are willing to walk, which is understandable after the lousy start the club has had, with no sign of improvement in sight.

    It would behove our dear leader to act now before this gets completely out of control.

  31. As for comparing Everton with the top money clubs, you know very well that the top club’s poached regularly from Everton and still do.

    Fortunately they have a great group of youngsters constantly coming through the system, that and a great scouting policy, face it anyone who can find a youngster like Coleman for sixty thousand quid, obviously have a decent system in place.

    The club did well both under the present manager and Moyes, but were it not for the big fee’s from selling the likes of Rooney and others, who knows may have ended up in the second tier.

    Face it the Chelsea’s , Arsenal, Citeh, Man.U’s and Liverpools have the cash to spend, leaving the rest among also ran’s.

    Of course we know Ashley is also a Billionaire, but he’s not that interested in having a winning side, being NUFC are only an adjunct to his real business ‘SD’, but he is certainly concerned by the fact he may lose the riches of PL membership and with a half empty stadium on top of second tier football, may really have to get outta toon.

  32. chuck says:
    November 30, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    “It appears that both Moye’s and Rodgers are being considered for McClaren’s spot, though both having recently been fired, could be available”

    I love that, Chuck. It gave me a laugh! The “though both having recently been fired” bit did anyway. I suppose the other one for Newcastle United is “out of the game for years and hence completely out of touch.”

    Moyes was fired for a reason. Real Sociedad were getting more beatings than us! It was November and they still hadn’t won ONE game, and the draws were sparse too. They got their first win in the game after Moyes was sacked.


  33. Well, perhaps we should give the NEW (Johan Cruyff) Michael Laudrup a call, wherever he is, if you are not keen on either Moyes or Rodgers, who i believe could stabilize the club at this very important stage.

    The fact they were both recently fired doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad managers, as we have seen a certain positive longevity by Moyes during his Everton stay, plus Rodgers time at Swansea can only be considered successful, as was his most of his Liverpool tenure.

    Loosing some of his most important players and a necessary change of tactics were disappointing at Liverpool but when compared to the likes of Carver and McClaren, he should be considered successful.

    It’s just the fact that this US ownership want success and are willing to pay the price, no messing around like our cheapskate owner, who would be satisfied with mid table mediocrity, as long as he is allowed to present ‘SD’ signs all over the screen
    at home games and collect whatever revenue he can from ‘PL’membership.

    Yeah, it’s all about money with Ashley, though he would find it difficult to spend even half of his fortune if he wanted too.

    But there’s never enough for this modern day Scrooge who recently voiced the fact we will have to sell , before we buy.

    Fact is we have no one to sell but our best players, the rest are crap, so expect Sissoko and Velez to go so we can buy more of Carrs expensive failures and guarantee relegation.

    Reading some of the fan comments, it appears there are a number who consider a boycott to be the only answer that will get Ashley’s attention, which i tend to agree with, either that or end up watching Rotherham, Brentford and MK dons next season.

    Have to admit the possibility of signing ARRY! is scarey enough and i recall when he came to Tyneside to discuss this with Ashley, but had a better deal at the time.

    At present he needs a job and would probably sign for the club
    which would guarantee a drop to the Championship, with which he is quite familiar and once again Ashley could prove to everyone how little he knows about football.

    What to do, what to do!

  34. chuck says:
    December 2, 2015 at 12:07 am

    “Well, perhaps we should give the NEW (Johan Cruyff) Michael Laudrup a call, wherever he is, if you are not keen on either Moyes or Rodgers, who i believe could stabilize the club at this very important stage.”

    You know what I think about those two, but I never really thought about Laudrup as a Newcastle manager in these times. Realistically, putting him with Ashley would be like putting fire with a barrel of gunpowder, or putting Mike Ashley with Kevin Keegan again.

    “Have to admit the possibility of signing ARRY! is scarey enough and i recall when he came to Tyneside to discuss this with Ashley, but had a better deal at the time.”

    ‘Arry said that something just wasn’t right when he spoke and saw the setup at Newcastle. If he scares you, don’t forget big Ron Atkinson.

  35. It might surprise you to find that ‘The Prince of Denmark’ is presently a 15/1 bookies choice , according to the media, though Carver and others may be on the same list, just don’t ask at what odds.

    Hell the bookies gotta cover all angles.

    We often hear the nationalist point of view from certain writers or so called ‘sports journalist’s’ who represent the bottom of the barrel and who use sensationalism and variations of articles they steal from those who contribute to the various football blogs, but that’s another story.

    But those calls we hear for a solid base of home grown players, who can face up to the rigors of EPL football and who are willing to play the full ninety minutes, are just nonsense.

    Guess which clubs have employed the most foreign players, yep! you guessed right, it’s the wealthiest and the most successful clubs.

    Ah well, another myth destroyed.

    Besides that i notice a definite move to-wards shifting blame to the real source of NUFC’s problems, the lack of any incentive by those supposedly in charge of certain roles.

    The whole board is a sick joke, with only one voice determining what policy to take and that’s the one person, who is the most ignorant about football, our owner Ashley.

    Yes despite his claim to have taken a step back and allowed those he chose to do their jobs (an excuse that he can claim that will absolve him from blame) but it’s obvious who calls the shots at this club, down to who gets the tea lady’s job when Cathy retires.

    So clearly it’s a case of Ashley rules and if you want a job, you had better be able to agree with all decisions made by him.

    One of which was the recent decision to sell before we buy during the forthcoming window.

    FFS! are we to still sell off our best players, while facing relegation ? anyone see any logic in that idea.

    Oh ! and the logic of bringing back Williamson should no doubt take care of our recent problems in defense, if situations like this were taking place at any other club, they would become the laughing stock of the league, but at Newcastle, it’s just business as usual.

    It’s a mess here at this club, with transfer targets becoming more expensive and producing less, the whole club is a sick joke, with a totally screwed up board (which really doesn’t matter because all decisions are made by Ashley) and yet they still pore through the turn-styles every other week to be humiliated, as they will be this weekend by Liverpool.

    About time the ‘support your team crowd’ wised up, by cancelling their season tickets and taking a break, as it’s clear the only thing this owner wants (besides total control) is to make money from the club.

    But there will never be a boycott, too many idiot’s who still believe Ashley has the clubs best interests at heart and don’t realize it’s the only way to get his attention and possibly change the way the club is run.

    Ah well not my problem and hopefully we can watch some good games, with the likes of Nott’s. Forest, Leeds and Fulham in the second tier, where this present side belongs.

  36. chuck says:
    December 2, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    “but it’s obvious who calls the shots at this club, down to who gets the tea lady’s job when Cathy retires.”

    Maybe it’s Kathy who pulls all the strings as Ashley’s spy? You’ve always got be be careful with the tea ladies, they see it all! I wouldn’t put anything past her. ;-) She had a very deep love for Pardew, I remember her gushing about him on a TV thing like he was Tyrone Power meets Errol Flynn!

    chuck says:
    December 2, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    “It might surprise you to find that ‘The Prince of Denmark’ is presently a 15/1 bookies choice”

    Chuckles, you know I don’t take any notice of that stuff. Their gaming partners just want people to have a bet and logically, getting punters to make a wrong bet is obviously better than getting them to make a right one as if everyone made good bets, the bookies would go bust!

  37. Maybe we should sign Cathy the tea lady, or Arry’s dog, ya know the one he had the illegal bank account’s name under.

    Couldn’t be any worse than the assh**e’s Ashley has appointed.

    Nah ! things will never improve at St. James’ until Ashley decides to go.

    And the only way to do it is to Boycott the club, which ain’t gonna happen.

    So here we are in deep doodoo, with no change in sight, watching our team sleepwalk into the second tier, which is where we belong at this time.

    I mean why did Ashley spend over fifty million (not exactly chump change) on mediocrities ?

    And why did he wait over a year before spending, i mean does he have any clue as to what he’s doing, what with stuff like this, the dumb-ass buy em cheap and sell em on policy, appointing only yes men who will unquestionably do as they are told, but who also come cheap i might add.

    Either the fans at Newcastle are incredibly stupid or are completely masochistic, not sure which, who would have to grow a set of cojones in order to initiate a decent boycott, it’s the only thing Ashley will relate to, a loss of dosh.

    But imo things will just go from bad to worse and the fans will have no one to blame but themselves, enjoy it!

    PS forgot our savior Williamson, just brought back from Wolves has knackered himself in training and will probably miss the game on Saturday, lets hope so anyway.

  38. Cathy doesn’t really get enough credit, she was (before retiring) the longest serving survivor at the club, even avoided the big cut in employee’s at St.James’ which took place shortly after Ashley arrived (looking after the penny’s)

    Tyrone Power and Errol Flynn FFS, how long is it since you went to the movies, these guys have been pushing up the daisy’s for fifty years or so.

  39. Big game coming up, one where we will be expected to get hammered, then it’s Spurs where we should get another beating, resulting in (hopefully) McClaren’s retirement.

    Question is which new clown will we hire to replace him ?

    I’m sure there’s a mixed bag out there, those who need a job, those who feel they could revive the club, those willing to accept the fact they will never have control of anything except “gan oot there and win” with the side handed too you”.

    A case of how Ashley remains as the final word.

    Put out the word that you are only the owner and the running of the club is left to the board, while you only pay for everything.

    Which is total bullshitt, the reality is, Ashley heard about this system where clubs have a director of football and insists that Penfold is that person, when we all know he’s just someone out of the office, replacing a guy who was fed up with the way the club was run and quit.

    It also should be obvious that Carr is the closest thing to a DOF and it’s he who makes all the decisions, with the OK from Ashley, of course.

    It’s been that way since Pardew arrived, who badly needed the job and put up with this nonsense, but there was friction between he and Carr, obviously a case of Pardew wanting to select his own players.

    When the Palace job came on offer, he jumped and who can blame him, whereas now we have another loser (Ashley sure can pick em) who is about to get fired (thank goodness)

    But the question is who will replace him, if his record of choices is anything to go by, it can only be another clown, maybe Arry, hell he tried to hire him once before.

    Anyway i’m familiarizing myself with the teams in the second tier who we will be playing against next season, as we sleepwalk to-wards the championship league.

    Way to go Ashley!

  40. chuck says:
    December 3, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    “Tyrone Power and Errol Flynn FFS, how long is it since you went to the movies, these guys have been pushing up the daisy’s for fifty years or so.”

    I used them as they were the kind of dashing swashbucklers that folks like you and Kathy will remember.

    chuck says:
    December 4, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    “we should get another beating, resulting in (hopefully) McClaren’s retirement.”

    How many times did you say that about Pardew over four years? Ashley even kept Carver the caretaker on for nearly six months. Incidentally, Pardew’s win percentage at Crystal Palace is currently 55.26, which is slightly lower than Arsene Wenger’s at Arsenal. It’s even better than what he managed with a Southampton which were the Man City of League One. His win [ercentage at Newcastle was only 38.38.

    Ashley’s brought in some worn out old crap as managers, that’s for sure. However there’s the additional factor of getting sucked into the Newcastle United “miasma,” a bad air around St James’ Park which can infect those foolish enough to play or coach there.

  41. No! the problem is our owner and i am beginning to wonder whether the fans are not as much a part of the problem.

    They have been totally cowed and accept anything Ashley throws at them, with some forlorn hope their only answer, there are even those who are willing to believe if you just support the side, miracles may happen.

    If they had any sense or a set of cojone’s they would use the only weapon available the boycott, i mean after donning their ‘loan shark’ logo’d shirts they pour into St. James’ in the tens of thousands, barely making a sound and silently watch the club take another beating and to-morrow will be no different.

    Is this an acceptable situation or have they been totally cowed into accepting this as some normal situation they have no control over, they should be ashamed of their acceptance and realize they by their passive actions have become part of the problem.

    I refuse to believe that McClaren and those on the board are any different, they will do, like Carver and Pardew anything the man wants, just as long as there is a few bucks in it for them.

    “What’s in it for me like”! should be the club’s rallying cry.

  42. chuck says:
    December 4, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    “Anyway i’m familiarizing myself with the teams in the second tier who we will be playing against next season, as we sleepwalk to-wards the championship league.”

    Chuck, if you wanted to look at the Championship, there was a magnificent second half performance from Chris Hughton’s Brighton today to take them back to the top. It was a Hollywood game – 2-0 down at half time with 10 men, but after a half time team talk from the great man they came out a different team and won it 3-2. The Smoggies are second and a McClarenless Derby are third.

    Another one of your favourites, Steve Clarke has just been fired by QPR.

  43. Yes ! i have been following Hughton’s career following his ignominious firing by the guy who KK described as knowing less than nothing about football, who in fact was doing Ashley’s dirty work, shows what kind of people are in charge at NUFC.

    Congratulations are extended to Hughton, who has improved as a coach and manager over that period of time, even so it’s doubtful if he would be re-hired regardless of his recent success, preffering a guy who was previously an Engerland manager and we know how that has worked out, Ignorance rules @ NUFC.

    Yeah i expected more from Clarke, but like most i’m not right all of the time, though we are unaware of the circumstances involving his firing.

    And yes i still keep an eye on the other big side in the NE Boro. and had noticed a Mcclarenless Derby are doing well.

    Looking at to-days line up, looks like a desperation move, leaving out the new Bellamy and Shearer, guess that’s the signal to bigger clubs, that Velez will be available for those who want to pay an over the top price in the future.

  44. Not a bad effort, the first half, the only time i have seen the side make a concerted effort.

    But being Liverpool are known as a high pressing side, it should be an opportunity for United to take advantage of that by using their pace to take advantage of the fast break more.

    Again everything is coming through Janmaat and Sissoko on the right, which becomes more obvious as the game proceeds, we need more from the left side, but Dummett who when he first got starts employed an attacking role, now seldom crosses the halfway line, making for an unbalanced side.

    In which case what happened to the youngster M’Babu who had a great initial game for the side and was impressive ? of course our best buy M’Bembe is looking better by the game.

    Wijnaldum once again playing out of place disapears for most of the game as does DeJong, Anita is just not consistent enough and Colback continues to collect stupid yellow cards.

    Cisse is at least trotting instead of walking, time to let him walk from the club, as he obviously doesn’t care.

    Collo. is playing well despite his detractors and Janmaat is the only one who appears to care, we should have ten outfielders who put in such an effort.

  45. The proverbial game of two halves, certainly the first goal saw a resurgence of the side and a revival of fans who had for a good part of the game made themselves heard but not in the roaring style of old and with ‘St.James’ rocking one could see the change it made to the side.

    Where did his determination come from ?

    Who knows, but for sure it’s the only game i have seen that showed that determination missing from this club in years, that plus the crowd recognizing the sides efforts responded in kind resulting in a very welcome three points.

    Surprise, surprise!

  46. If one looks back on recent games, i believe you will find NUFC have scored most of their goals from fast breaking attempts, which is a game i have advocated, being a high pressing game seems to be in vogue throughout the PL and that fast breaking game is the perfect answer.

    Though i wasn’t happy to see Newcastle utilize the catenaccio following the first goal, as the defense was doing perfectly ok, defending in depth for ten to fifteen minutes with only a single goal lead is not the way to go, inviting the opposition to attack you is asking for trouble.

    However it would be nice to have a comparable wing back like Janmaat on the left, plus a fast winger to create a balance, perhaps an available Townsend could fill that role.

    Whats the story with young M’Babu who looked as if he could be the answer during his debut, but has disappeared from the radar since, it being clear Dummett is not the answer.

    Also though some claim Anita had a good game, he also has a problem of inconsistency and is prone to giving the ball away and giving up free kicks, we need a midfielder that can take charge and put his foot in (no not Colback who overdoes it like Tiote) someone like Cabaye would do fine and i don’t understand why we didn’t put in a bid for him, ah well !

    So it’s a left back who can compete with Janmatt playing and on the left, a decent center half to eventually replace Collo, a play-maker in midfield and a pacey left winger, “violla” !

    That’s my remedy to our problems, but then i stated we would get hammered to-day, so what the hell do i know.

  47. Howay Chuck, that was a very good team performance overall and Wijnaldum was excellent. As for Colback being a bit rough, that’s his job and he is a ginger Geordie so it’s hardly surprising. You used to go on about the aptly named Scoular back in the old days.

  48. Well, after coming down from the ecstasy a bit, it was a good performance overall, maybe not quite very good as Liverpool certainly weren’t very good for them. They’re at that erratic stage which comes with change. I hope that is the case with Newcastle too.

    Many performances were actually average / pretty good rather than amazing. It was two Dutchmen who shone again beyond that, Wijnaldum and Little Vurn in front of the back four.

  49. Yes Wijnaldum did score, but in most games he remains somewhat anonymous, for whatever reasons, whereas both Sissoko and Janmaat both appear to have the lions share of possession.

    Whether this is a result of the present imbalance of the side or not remains to be seen, what i’m on about is the reluctance of Dummett (who may be following instructions) to carry the ball out of defense, combined with Wijnaldums reluctance to play as a winger, either way both Sissoko and Janmaat are responsible for most attacking play, not to mention Sissoko also tracks back a lot more than Wijnaldum.

    I simply don’t understand those fans who attack the two right side players, as there’s no one who covers more ground or who puts so much effort into their game as this pair.

    I would use Wijnaldum as a second striker or as sometimes refered to as a number ten, he has the pace and accuracy to play that role, much more so than DeJong or Thauvin, even our supposed future top striker Perez.

    I would like to see some changes in the side, like putting either Aarons or Ferguson on the left wing and though we have a number of young LB’s available give them an opportunity to show they can also carry the ball like Janmaat and create some balance to the side.

    Better a balanced side than one where all attacking plays are generated from one side.

    And if those youngsters cant do the job, then sell them on and buy someone who can, don’t let their careers suffer on the bench or out on loan.

    Look i liked the way Cabaye would put his foot in, besides the many other things he did well, but both Tiote and Colback are players who take dumb-ass fouls and should be a bit more aware of when and how.

    I recall when we played Nicky Butt who was past his prime at the time, now there was a guy who fouled (being he lacked pace) but it was never in a dangerous spot and he seldom collected cards due to the fact he made each foul look inconsequential.

    Whereas Tiote wasn’t satisfied unless he sent his man into the stand and Colback is so obvious and aggressive and mostly in front of the ref.

    Look! yes Dirty Jimmy Scoular didn’t get his reputation from being a gentle soul, but he used his ability to tackle strongly that many atacking players avoided him and of course many of the tackles made then would certainly be considered fouls in to-days game.

    And for sure physicality is still a large part of the EPL even to-day and i hope it continues, but the likes of Colback and Tiote should learn to use it more selectively and you dont have to kill the guy FFS.

    On mentioning the physical side of the game, hopefully this next central defender expected will be able to put himself about that and the oppositions heads, it’s all a part of the game.

  50. A good team effort, where everyone put in his shift (where did that come from?)

    Though it was no classic and Liverpool were short of some players
    but NUFC were good enough to defend well and apply the fast break.

    The only time i became concerned was when they put ten men behind he ball and invited Pool to come at them, instead of continuing to attempt the fast break, as pool pressed hard with ten men accross the midway line.

    In fact the second goal was the result of going back to their original game plan, which being Pool are known to play a high pressing side, they can be taken advantage of by a pacey fast breaking side.

    Yeah i realize i’m laboring the point but it’s something i have been advocating for some time and it’s nice to see it work, hopefully this could be a turning point for the side, though it’s Spurs up next, who are a decent side, lets see.

  51. Little Vurn as you call him, was ok, nowt special he tends to lose the ball too much and his passing is nowt to rave about.

    He is a bit lightweight and it’s doubtful if he’s going to improve over time, a decent squad player that’s all.

    When one compares him to Cabaye, it becomes obvious where he’s at.

    Actually i thought Collo. had a good game and though he’s close to his sell by date has the experience too read the game that gives him that advantage, he was especially good in the air yesterday and i fail to understand why so many knock the guy.

  52. Actually, I’ve changed my mind again a bit. It was a very good performance as they really put alot of effort in running around and stifling Klopp’s pressing style.

    Little Vurn is better in the air than Coloccini.

  53. Yea Yeah! he might be if he could get higher than his listed Five foot six, (usually listings are at least an inch higher than actual height)

    He is a lightweight, inconsistent, a poor scoring record, not a great defensive player, his passing leaves a lot to be desired, in fact very average, we could do better.

    You know it amazes me when i read criticism’s of certain players and outrageous praise for the likes of Wijnaldum who went missing for a good deal of the game, but because he scored that OT goal, he’s a hero and the real hard work of players like Colo., Sissoko and Janmaat are ignored, besides the fact that Sissoko made that second goal.

    One more thing, why is Wijnaldom our leading scorer, not playing as a No.10 ?

  54. Rumor has it that we are looking at a Jamaican LB, currently playing for the New York city ‘Red Bulls’.

    Which i find hard to believe, i mean Ashley actually financed a RT ticket to the Apple for Carr, nah !

    Probably looked at a video.

    We could certainly use a good attacking LB (Santon anyone) as Dummett may be good enough for Wales, but he lacks the ability to play in this league.

  55. Tactically the game consisted of two sides pressing high, the difference being the pacier side (NUFC) tracking back quicker and breaking quicker, as Liverpool looked like a tired and disinterested bunch, who just never got their act together, though i think it was Klopps fault fielding a poor choice of players, plus a couple of key players were injured.

  56. “One more thing, why is Wijnaldum our leading scorer, not playing as a No.10 ?”

    Chuckles, Wijnaldum was playing in the centre behind the striker in the first few games. Then he was switched on to the left against Chelsea and scored in his first game there. He scored again in the next game on the left, then scored four in the game after that.

    That isn’t any aspersion on his abilties in the middle, he can play any midfield position and has excelled in the middle, but the goals at Newcastle (bar one in the first game) and the assists have come since he was nudged over to the left.

  57. Yes I viewed that clip on life as a worker in one of Ashley’s warehouses, looks quite similar to one of Hitler’s slave labor camps.

    But I suppose not much different from the community destroying Wal-Mart operation, a race to the bottom.

    Interesting to have seen the changes in society since the post WW2 era, where Orwell and Huxley projected their idea of what the future had to offer in ‘1984’ and ‘Brave New World’, neither exactly correct but certainly close in many respects.

    It’s expected that the decades to come will see a rise in living standards of Asian nations and a comparative reduction in the present standards in both Europe and the USA and if the ‘Wal-Mart. and ‘Sports Direct’ models are anything to go by, better make sure your kids get a good education.

    Of course the big question is (supposedly) whether The UK intends to remain within the ‘European Community’, which is of course nonsense, it has too, being it’s not a Norway, with loads of oil to afford one of the worlds best and most expensive social systems.

    I mean who the hell in Europe can afford to leave such an enormous market and go it alone, plus the fact that Eurpean laws are necessary to ensure the people of the UK are protected in many cases.

    But there are I guess those who consider Britain to still be great and can do without the EU, in this fast changing world we live in.

    Good luck with that, actually the truth of the matter is, it’s only a part of the present bargaining chips in regard to the UK’s attempts to get themselves a better deal within the European Community and one can expect little change to occur.

  58. chuck says:
    December 9, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    “Yes I viewed that clip on life as a worker in one of Ashley’s warehouses, looks quite similar to one of Hitler’s slave labor camps.”

    Steady on Chuck! I wouldn’t go quite that far! Hugo Boss was worse than Ashley, his clothes really were made in the concentration camps.

  59. It’s my belief that with a decent left winger partnered by an attacking LB, we can inject a bit of balance within the side, but it’s my belief that Wijnaldum is not that left winger.

    The fact is he may be listed as such but plays much more in the center of midfield, obviously feeling more comfortable there and IMO fit’s in as the perfect George Robledo of the new century.

    Yes I know that was a long time ago, but Robledo and Wor Jackie formed the perfect pair up front, as opposed to Mitrovic and Perez who it seemed was some ones (Carr’s ? ) idea of a new pairing of Shearer and Bellamy.

    So it’s a decent left winger,(Townsend) and an attacking LB with Wijnaldum playing behind the center forward.

    Though I have seen Haidara play that role, (attacking LB) but he never seems to be fit these days.

    The one position we need desperately is a decent midfield general (like Cabaye) who can run the side, Little Vurn is i’m afraid, not that one.

  60. Well I know its not exactly a concentration camp, but it’s the new system used to soak up the unemployable in to days so called first world, where there are certain jobs that pay minimum wage and where the rules are such that workers are employed in a fear driven atmosphere, with little or no amemitie’s for the workers other than
    those enforced (not always)by law

    With little in the way of benefits and if there were no government rules would be a lot harsher, but apparently the Government has introduced a loophole for employers, it’s known as the ‘zero hours contracts’ (a shameful law) which makes a mockery of workers rights.

  61. Yeah the Walton family who’s personal value is unknown at any given time and many of the big manufacturer’s are presently in a race to the bottom and shift their businesses from country to country, wherever they can find the cheapest deals.

    Question is, in to-days world, with the ability to employ robotics to eliminate humans in conjunction with the enormous human growth rate, what becomes of the unemployable.

    Yes I suppose Ashley’s warehouses still employ people, but there are many who have enormous warehouses, with robot’s who stack and pick from racks of goods, where there is no need for either lights or heating and after a set number of years, the robots are then replaced by more efficient ones and this is the future.

    That is if there isn’t some kind of revolution, which has historically been the case, or if the electorates
    ever figure out what’s in their best interest, especially in this era of a small minority owning an enormous percentage of the worlds wealth and putting the squeeze on the drones.

    Though Huxley’s answer was the drug soma (and with so many countries legalizing cannabis) cheap grass and Alcoholic drinks could be seen as their answer.

  62. The Guardian are really giving it to Fatty Arbuckle with both barrels right now – 7 stories in the last two days. Chuck, you say “slave labor camp” but the Guardian says “Gulag.”


    If Ashley goes tits up mired in scandal though, he’s probably fixed it all up so Newcastle United have all the liabilities and he walks away even richer, or something like that. :-)

    From the little I’ve read about Sam Walton, strangely it was in a book about computing for a course I was doing. It was comparing him with the newer super rich geeks from Silicon Valley. I got the impression that he’s a bit of a good old boy from the south, and like one of those clever chaps who sold the picks and shovels during the California gold rush, the ones who ended up making more than all the gold miners combined.

    One big old fashioned chain I miss that came from your side of the pond originally is good old Woolies (Woolworths). I wish there was still a Woolies here but they went bankrupt and mine was taken over by a poncey middle class supermarket called Waitrose a few years ago. Wal Mart’s presence over here is “Asda” a big UK supermarket chain they took over. However, it’s the recent German invasion from “Lidl” and “Aldi” which are the big noise in cut price retail over here right now.

    People talk of the “unemployable” being abandoned, but that is often a conceit of those who think they are above it. First it is the unemployed, then the working poor who are so poorly paid they still need benefits from the government to survive. However it ends up being almost everyone, now it’s even Junior Doctors over here and they’re still highly skilled and highly employable around the world.

  63. Hmm ! a lot too swallow, though I do agree with certain claims by ‘whey’s keys Luise’ even sounds like certain stuff I wrote on here.

    Look we all have our opinions on the Ashley/Newcastle thing, and in general I think most fans by this stage have reached similar conclusions, though there are still a number of fans repeating the old dogma, “just get behind the side” nonsense.

    The fact is we are all fans, being you just don’t change your mind about who to support other than your original side and enjoy watching them win, an example was the roaring fans at the Liverpool game, who have until now been as subdued and as quiet as lambs.

    Plus we all have our opinions as to tactics and who should stay and who should go, from players to upper management.

    One thing I do believe, there would be no tears shed over Ashley’s exit, however the EPL’s wealth is just too much of a temptation for him to leave and i’m sure the exposure he gets for Sports Direct is also a factor.

    In which case it may be a good thing for the fans if the side were to be relegated, as it would give Ashley pause for thought concerning his management system, having to reach the conclusion, it just doesn’t work, an expensive lesson I might add.

    That and an expected reduction in bums in seats in the second tier, would I believe cause him to either sell up or change his business plan.

    Yes I can understand his attempt to maintain a mid table mediocrity and collect his money each season, but to maintain a mid level existence in the PL requires a certain amount of annual expenditure on players, this is where he falls short, not really understanding that and attempting to do everything on the cheap.

    That and the other nonsense of only buying younger players in order to profit from any sell on moneys, face it the man is a modern day “Croecus” who’s only goal is to become even wealthier.

    But time will catch up with his plans and it’s only by luck we avoided relegation during the last few seasons.

    All of this could change, were the fans to unite and force him out via a boycott, that or force him to do their bidding concerning his running of their club, unfortunately they just don’t have the Cojones to do that, therefor are stuck with whatever he decides to deliver.
    ah well!

  64. If you consider Ashley as a blight on Newcastle and a purveyor of crap merchandise via ‘Sports Direct’, think of ‘The Walton’s’ as a family that has litrally destroyed small towns and certainly small business throughout rural America with their race to the bottom line.

    And yes i’m quite familiar with the Supermarket giants such as “Asda” and the German outfits both ‘Aldi” and “Lidl” one Wal-Mart under another name, the other two consisting of specialized products, that are also available in other markets and operate with a minute number of hired employees, where prices are so low it’s almost impossible to go elsewhere, unless you are looking for certain products not sold there, their range of goods and brand names being limited.

    One thing about Aldi & Lidl is the fact they keep the prices of the competition in check, that is if they want to stay in business.

    I’m afraid the once mighty Woolworths is long gone in the US, even long before the same chains UK stores.

    Unfortunately their business and imitator chains time has also come and gone, replaced by outlets and junk stores, who buy up regular retail goods , left over stock from regular retailers from when they re-stock for the approaching seasons.

    One can buy perfectly good quality items at these places for one third of the original price, the problem is they only carry whatever is available with a resulting lack of brand names and goods which may lack a variety of sizes.

    As for the term unemployable, I only used it to cover those who for instance work at Ashley type warehouses or similar employment, due to either a lack of education or training in a particular field.

    I mean whatever became of the hundred’s of thousands of skilled tradesmen who worked in the steel, shipbuilding and coalmines of the North East, who may now exist working for peanuts at call centers or other low paying jobs and who were or are too old to retrain for jobs that don’t even exist.

    Yes ! thank you Maggie, being most of them are now gainfully employed by money management companies at
    Canary Wharf’ or banks in the city, you wish !

    It’s always the fault of government policies, the reason why Big Government is both disliked and mistrusted in the US, as they are considered to have too much control over peoples lives, but here in the US they are only doing the bidding of the super rich and the ‘military industrial complex’, but blamed for everything from lack of control over immigration or the countries poor education system and worse healthcare system, much of which is true.

    I see where Finland, with a high unemployment rate is about to distribute an amount of eight hundred plus Euros per week to every adult, which will replace every other benefit (must be Cheaper to do it this way) regardless if employed or not.

    It was also mentioned, this is not a new idea, the British government had considered such a plan back in the fifties, which obviously never came to fruition.

  65. “Aldi” and “Lidl” are the new wave. Tesco, the British Wal Mart and the other biggest retailers would build lots of these huge aircraft hangar style stores outside towns which would sell everything including the kitchen sink like Wal Mart, decimating local town centres. Although price is the big selling point, Aldi and Lidl on the other hand are a return to smaller more local supermarkets you can just pop into after work or whatever, rather than just organising a big weekly trip with a big empty car to load it up with tons of goods at the Tescos or the Asdas. I don’t know about Wal Mart over there but over here, the older giants have had to respond by building less megacentres and more of what could be described as large convenience stores and smaller supermarkets.

    I think that Aldi and Lidl are another con. It’s just cheaper non brands / own brands you can get cheaper at the other supermarkets anyway. However they compare them with the most well known brands like Heinz beans, Kelloggs’ cereals and so on and say they are bargains. It just looks like sales and marketing to me.

    Alas, I think Woolworths belonged to the era of the town centre and the Shopping centre, but the dawn of the out of town shopping experience eventually killed off the idea. Ironically though, I think it might have come back if it had just hung in there for a few more years.

    One thing for oldies to fume about and chunter at in shops today is the serve yourself checkouts, which are the end of civilisation as far as I’m concerned.

  66. I generally find Aldi and Lidl to be ideal for such things as freshly made breads and rolls and pastries all baked on the premises and certain continental foods I prefer.

    And there is no doubt though that prices are rock bottom, of course they have a limited variety of goods available and those that prefer certain brand names will have to try elsewhere, but even so I found other markets have to compare pricewise even with preferred brands.

    The one difference is the introduction of a number of foods not generally found in UK based stores, resulting in a change in the diets of some customers willing to sample those foods from various EU countries.

    As for checkouts and customer relation services, the UK is way behind in their training methods, I mean how many “how are you to-day sirs” do you get from your average checkout clerk, whereas it’s common practice in he majority of US stores and de rigeuer in all Aldi and Ldl stores, plus a thank you and perhaps a smile.

    It’s about training!

    However I have noticed how certain villages and small towns can die, whith the introduction of large box stores nearby, with adequate parking and a one stop type shopping experience.

    Unfortunately the individual shops just cant compete with the economy of scale of their massive rivals, plus the availability of adequate parking.

    Resulting in a town with either vacant stores or small pound saver type junk stores.

    What I mean is, there’s a local price to pay for lower cost goods and parking, especially if those stores that were forced out of business provided certain goods unavailable elsewhere, bakeries, butchers, fishmongers, newsagents Deli’s etc, all depending on the quality (though more expensive) of their products, that plus a certain familiarity with those customers, that makes the shopping experience something of a social occasion.

    Strangely enough Woolworths were the Aldi and Lidl of their day, so there’s hope.

    One such new way of shopping is by delivery, just order and a weeks supply of groceries will be delivered to ones door on a continual basis, eliminating the big store altogether.

    The only constant is change.

  67. OK enough already with shopping !

    The morra’s game against a good Spurs side will be a real test and if the Toon can get a point outta the game many of us could consider that to be a success.

    I guess Ashley is not exactly a happy chappie, following a massive loss for SD and a rejection of his case against Rangers, the man is not used to losing, except when it’s NUFC that’s doing the losing, of course.

    Well he had better be, because this is the toughest league I have seen in a long time, strangely enough most of our sides don’t do that well against continental opponents, especially in the European tournaments but there have been any number of unexpected results in the PL.

    No! there are no gimme games and when looks at the league tables and see last seasons champions a few points from fighting relegation and see a relatively newly promoted side at the other end of the scale, one wonders what happened to expectations.

    I hope our dear leader is not becoming complacent with our recent win against Liverpool and taking this as a sign we are about to finally begin to move up the ladder, as we are still candidates for relegation and if he fails to bring in reinforcements, could mean it will eventually cost him even more than putting out for three or four new players.

    Even the second tier has now become tougher, with former PL clubs looking at those millions within their grasp if only they can get into the division, that plus looking at the likes of Bournemouth and even Leicester who have both shaken up the status quo of the PL.

    Though if we were to go down, it may not be such a bad thing, as i’m sure it would make Ashley consider his style of management and possibly listen to the voices of reality, because at present he still believes he can run this club cheaply, with his age related transfer policy and his micro management system based on what he knows, retailing!

  68. Chuck, we just don’t feel comfortable with all that artificial, scripted “have a nice day … missing you already” type stuff you have over there. We’d rather have rudeness than that. Anyway, New York is the world capital of rudeness and grouchyness. You’re a typical New Yorker and I rest my case! :-)

    Surely you didn’t think the game was at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon? It’s 4pm over here time on Sunday once again. There were some very good signs in that last game so it might not be quite as negative as you paint it. On the Championship, Hughton is still top with Brighton. They have a crunch match against second placed Boro next.

  69. “Anyway, New York is the world capital of rudeness and grouchyness. You’re a typical New Yorker and I rest my case! ”

    Sorry Chuck, I forgot about Paris for a moment there. My apologies to the Big Apple.

  70. Actually New Yorkers are quite unlike their reputation, I have witnessed many occasions where they went out of their way to assist, those people who constantly appear to be looking up.

    During my various stays in London, I can only say, that Londoners in comparison are are a pretty cold bunch, but then so are most inhabitants of large cities.

    And yes there’s no doubt in the fact there’s no one as rude as the Parisan, it’s quite noticeable even here in the Apple, they believe they have a special permit to jostle and take up space as if the were home in the City of Lights.

    And when it comes to US based Customer Services, there’s no doubt they are a step ahead of most countries, as far as an understanding the company policies, problems and remembering that customer service reflects the company image.

    Many people take the speed of transactions between New Yorkers as rude, take for instance, buying a pack of smokes, in Alabama you get the “how y’ all doin” plus a rundown on the weather, then asked what you want, followed by a “Y’all come back n’see us y’hear”

    In NY the person serving looks at you and moves his/her head in an upward motion, which means whadda ya want, you say no more than name the brand of smoke’s, he then places the particular brand on the counter covering it with his hand, the other hand reaching for your money and the transaction takes place, he then follows up by looking around and yelling “next” !

    Simple and fast, in NY time is money, no rudeness involved as it’s accepted by every local as being quite normal.

    This is probably what tourist’s take for bad manners, but New Yorkers just don’t have time for conversation pleasantries, or bullshit.

    Yeah I just forgot the game was on Sunday and am well aware of time zones being we the east coast are Grenwich plus five, with an additional three time zones and the only time there’s any confusion is during the introduction or ending of Daylight Saving Time here and it’s British equivalent.

  71. Like it used to say on the old bottles of fancy perfume, Paris, New York and London were the predominant cultural capitals of the 20th Century, so they all must have been doing something right.

    Basically, customer service is getting worse everywhere. One example – When I was a younger man and I used to buy insurance, a chap in a suit called Paul who I’d known for years would come round to my house and sort everything out. That wasn’t posh fancy stuff for multi millionaires like Coutts bank, it was the good old people’s Co-Op and they were usually the cheapest too. When I phoned a company, I wouldn’t have to go through millions of options then wait for ages listening to awful music in the worst possible sound quality. It’s all gone to shit now. I’ve dealt with US customer services too, the same old press one for this, press two for that with the same old insulting shit about how they are bending over backwards to help me. It’s all f ing humbug now! :-)

  72. Yeah there are the dreaded phone menu’s that list everything but the reason you are calling.

    They are money saving devices combined with “we really don’t want to hear from you, so why don’t you just hang up in frustration like everyone else”

    Talking about frustration, this game is both boring and IMO unwinnable, starting out with what appeared to be a high pressing game in numbers, with the defensive plan, just hoof it up-field, regardless if we have anyone there or not (Dummitt)

    Again most, or should I say the few times we attacked, same story, Sissoko and Janmaat, with nothing coming through the left side, has Dummitt been told not to carry the ball out.

    DeJong has gone missing, pull him off and put Marveaux on the wing and stick Wijnaldum behind Cisse, actually take Cisse of also and play young Perez up front, anything but this tactical mess that’s going nowhere.

    What’s Colback’s problem, every game it’s the same problem, yellow cards, which are totally unnecessary, about time the Head Coach had a word in his ear about this.

    And the pairing of Colback and Anita, just doesn’t work, we desperately need a mid-fielder like Cabaye to control things.

  73. Unbelievable! but on saying that we should have put four in, but I will take it.

    Another proverbial game of two halves, where Newcastle refused to drop their heads and gave Spurs a game and ended up with a well deserved win (if you only count the second half, that is)

    Only problem is, fat man (who was at the game) may now believe we are a good side and my worst nightmare sell Sissoko and refuse to continue rebuilding.

  74. What a crazy season, who would have projected we would be in a position of above the league champions ?

    Yet a spot below Bournemouth, where sides like Leicester are giving clubs fits and the big clubs are being beaten regularly, strange !

  75. chuck says:
    December 13, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    “Another proverbial game of two halves, where Newcastle refused to drop their heads and gave Spurs a game and ended up with a well deserved win (if you only count the second half, that is)”

    Well you got there eventually, Chuck. A very good brief summary of the game in the midst of your usual character assassinations.

    “Only problem is, fat man (who was at the game) may now believe we are a good side and my worst nightmare sell Sissoko and refuse to continue rebuilding.”

    You’re a real ray of sunshine, Chuck, like Doris Day on happy pills.

    Personally I think I know the reason for the new improved Newcastle and I think you’ll agree. Big Mike is back from Wolves, and the stiff competition has scared Coloccini and Mbemba into getting their act together at long last. Hence our recent victories against two big teams are largely due to Williamson. He has saved us once again, albeit indirectly.

    “Yet a spot below Bournemouth, where sides like Leicester are giving clubs fits and the big clubs are being beaten regularly, strange !”

    Until the last couple of games, Bournemouth have been the unluckiest team in the Premier League. They did get a bit at last but they’re still well behind in the luck stakes.

  76. As much as I think you are right for the most part, that is excepting the big Mike insinuation, there could be the fact that thee long standing belief that it takes at least six months for foreigner players from the continent to adapt to the rigors of the EPL, is a myth.

    Yeah ! I believe it’s Spurs only home defeat this season and there’s no doubt they have a decent side, but one has to give credit to the Newcastle side who refused to buckle under pressure after being a goal down and came out of the game with all three points, something that no other side has done so far, this season.

    But that doesn’t mean we can sit back and expect to just beat Villa next weekend, or anyone else for that matter and simply climb out of the relegation zone.

    We still need help and we also have to look at some of our recent choices, and who we need to bring in, in order to make this side into a force that other clubs fear.

    That and begin a re-evaluation of those players on the books and who we may need to replace, which IMO is quite a few, but there is the skeleton of a very decent side who with a good recruitment program, could bring the club to the level of the twentieth best side in footbsll.

    Of course this all has to be vetted by Ashley, who we know is not keen on spending his money on an adjunct to ‘SD’ but must realize how close he may be from losing the the rewards of EPL membership.

    but who fears relegation more

  77. Chuck, some players might have problems settling in. Spanish strikers can the most hit and miss, like Morientes at Liverpool and players like Falcao and Soldado more recently but I would say that just as many don’t have problems. Then you have some which go off like a bomb, then go out of form like Torres and more recently, Costa at Chelsea. I don’t think you can slap a six month rule on it.

  78. Yes I read those articles regarding ‘Sports Direct’ about the labor practices employed and the wages paid, dreadfull!

    One wonders how this kind of wage slavery can thrive in a modern day Britain, where are the laws and what has happened to trade unionism, though when compared to the Walton family here in the US I might very well ask the same questions.

    As for the six months to a season for foreign players to adjust to the rigor’s of EPL football, it was often echoed by pundit’s and others and became a clice` over time.

    Something I never believed for a moment, however I will admit that an additional number of players added to the side plus an entirely new coaching staff, may have it’s difficulties at the beginning, though not for the number of games played by NUFC.

    Confidence ? sure it’s an important part in any teams makeup and the fact that the club lacked confidence in the early stages, is a major part of the early Newcastle demise.

    However, that which occurred in the last two games ending in wins over two decent sides, where the club refused to buckle and came away with all six points.

    Even though the side only attacked from the right side of the pitch and mainly because of Sissoko (who has been criticized by certain amount of fans) and Janmaat (also verbally abused) who are IMO the most productive players in the side.

    Hopefully they will not be sold on, as they could be a solid part of any rebuilding that takes place, which should not be based on sell on value, or we will go back to square one, but based on how they would fit into the present system, whether youngsters or mid twenties players, being most players reach their prime around twenty eight, based on a combination of physicality and experience.

    But it’s not what I believe or anyone else, it’s all about what ‘Mr. Sports Direct’ thinks, which i’m sure by now everyone is aware is all about how do I make this profitable.

    Ah well !

  79. Chuck, they’re churning out stories every day. It’s war by the look of things. Sports Direct down by 11% in one day (and 3% the next) is quite something. To put it in prespective, that’s more than Newcastle United going down the Suwanee in one day.

  80. Perhaps this is the moment we were waiting for, where the operating of a EPL side and it’s cost are no longer self financing and with the present troubles surrounding his questionable management of both NUFC and SD.

    If so there may be a possibility of Ashley concentrating on SD and putting the club on the market.

    Though I doubt it, too much revenue being an EPL member.

    However there appear to be a number of non British money types looking at available clubs, if only they can get over their location thing, they could have a ready made state of the art stadium plus a guarantee of around fifty thousand bums in seats, not a bad deal.

  81. Chuck, no one good ever wants to buy Newcastle. If an overseas billionaire came in to buy it, it would probably be Donald Trump so he could knock down SJP and build a casino and skyscraper instead, or Kim Jong Un so he could use it as a publicity vehicle for North Korea, which on second thoughts is better than being a publicity vehicle Sports Direct and Wonga I suppose.

  82. I just read there’s a good possibility that Swansea may sign Bielsa as their new manager, now there’s a forward thinking ownership.

    Though I feel the side may be in for some homework, in order to put into practice, some of his tactical approaches to the game, should be interesting to watch, if it happens.

  83. I take it you concur with he idea that club ownership is like any other real estate deal, location, location, location!

  84. chuck says:
    December 15, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    “I take it you concur with he idea that club ownership is like any other real estate deal, location, location, location!”

    Chuck, If you mean London, not really. For every argument there’s usually a strong counter argument. You could speculate that Abramovich bought Chelsea because it was the nearest big side to his place in Billionaire’s row in London. But then again, even richer Arabs chose Manchester City, which isn’t quite Monte Carlo I think you’ll agree. London has Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, but the much smaller Manchester has two of the best sides as well and traditionally, the two biggest English clubs over history have been Liverpool and Manchester United, now owned by Yanks and with top German and Dutch managers respectively.

    You could say (and I have before) that West Ham have benefitted hugely from the London Olympics, especially if you live here in London and know a bit about the amazing deal they got on leasing the stadium. However again, Manchester City got their nice stadium from the Manchester Commonwealth games, and that was also converted from a big track and field stadium to a proper tailored football one.

  85. Wrong again, it is all about location, take Kronke and Usmanov the prominent shareholders at Arsenal, can you see either located in the Manchester/Liverpool area.
    And what about Lewis and Levy at Spurs (though one would expect Jewish owners at a recognized Jewish supported club)

    And yes I believe what you claim as speculation, that Abramovich chose Chelsea being it’s location was as close to Billionaires row as it is, probably has more truth than speculation.

    And why did the most recent ownership pair of West Ham owners chose to sell up a club in Birmingham, to move to London and then gain ownership of the former Olympic stadium, (with the aid of some heavenly grease I can only imagine)

    Again why would Fulham most recent owner, from the US chose to buy a second tier club, rather than a EPL team , yes it was an EPL side when bought but clearly on the way to relegation.

    There’s been strong speculation concerning US money being invested in Palace.

    There may in fact be more clubs being looked at , due to the recent increase in EPL revenues, but when was the last time anyone made an offer for the three former NE giants NUFC, Sunderland or Boro. All of which have decent recently rebuilt stadiums, as opposed to Fulham and Palace, which requireis big investment in it’s infrastructure

    Look both Liverpool and Man U. are presently living on past performances and neither city is anything to boast about, Liverpool a shabby once prosperous Port City is on the bones of it’s ass and Manchester, though a bit more upscale is trying hard to rebound from during this post industrial period, dredging old bedsteads and junk from it’s canals and converting it’s former mills into flats, but neither one can come close to London for shear wealth and the things that make life liveable.

    Plus how much time do you think Citeh’s owner spends there compared to time in London and it’s also possible the Fenway crowd also spend more time in London than Merseyside.

    For sure, location is a major factor as far as the market is concerned, just like in the regular real estate world.

  86. Soh ! guess the fans will be concentrating on the approaching transfer market, which will open soon.

    With many considering Townsend a done deal, but i’m sure if it happens Spurs will make it a tough deal, which Ashley may turn down, but being there may be a player or two that interest Spurs, there may be someone going the opposite way, that of course is if it happens.

    What are Newcastle’s present needs ?

    Quite a few i would say, if they intend to be a force in this league, or even a mediocre side, being there are few gimmees these days, with everyone fighting hard to maintain an EPL presence and the lucre it bestows on it’s members.

    So what do we need ?

    Definitely a left winger with pace.

    A LB, who can match up with the winger,(like Janmaat and Sissoko) and bring some balance to the side, that and allow Wijnaldum to take the No. 10# role, which IMO is his natural role.

    Of course we need a replacement for Colo, though he is still playing well(contrary to what some ignoramus say) he could have another good season in him, by coming off the bench.

    Of course i believe it’s inevitable we will sign another striker, who ?

    The other area we desperately need help is a creative midfielder (think Cabaye) as Vurn is a decent if lightweight in that role, certainly when compared to Cabaye.

    That’s about it, but along with recruits there has to be a clear-out of the deadwood, of which there is plenty.

    From here it would be a matter of the old clice, three out three in, improving each year without breaking the bank for half a dozen or more players.

    Of course if Bielsa or Jose decide they would love to manage the side, i down with that!

    But then what do i know.

    Team for the second half.




    **************Batshuayi **********


  87. No Chuck, get with the programme. It’s about about global brands cum religions nowadays. Manchester and Liverpool could be a magical wonderlands as far as many of their fans are concerned as they are now in places like Hong Kong, Singapore or wherever around the world.

  88. Just read an article on Ivor Broadis, now in his nineties, that I remember well from his early fifties stint at NUFC.

    He was a skinny lightweight inside forward if my memory is correct, a twinkle toe’d player very much like his team-mate George Hannah, a Norn Iron international.

    It appears most inside forwards (inside midfielders to those not used to the old 2-3-5 system of that era) were either twinkle toe’d skinny guys or just little guys.

    That is with the exception of George Robledo, who reminds me of Costa @ Chelsea and who kinda pioneered the number ten role behind wor Jackie.

    Talking about Chelsea, how about a bid for Luic Remy, who hasn’t been getting many starts and needs to show he belongs in the French National side, a loan deal could possibly be worked out and no doubt he could get playing time in what may be a resurgent Toon side, face it the guy can score and with Wijnaldum playing the 10# role behind him, watch out!

    It’s unusual to see NUFC as a favorite, but against a fast fading Villa side, it should be an interesting game this weekend.

    Nine points in a row will be welcomed, by a pressurized McClaren, plus give a degree of confidence to the players, after all they have been to-gether long enough for them to gel, as a team.

    Look the situation at Man. U. is not all roses, the fans are not happy with VanGaal, primarily with the brand of football, it’s been called boring, plus apart from some of the younger players, his choices are questionable, they are in fact not an impressive side and IMO awaiting “The great One’s” arrival.

    And i’m beginning to second guess whether Liverpool’s choice of manager ‘Klopp’ who I think may be a bit of a head case, may not turn out as expected.

    They have a decent side playing some good football, but somehow I don’t see either side returning to the decades where they dominated the league.

    Perhaps the EPL has reached a situation of becoming as close to parity as is possible, that there is presently so much funding available, that every club has a shot at the big time, apart from the billionaire clubs, which has become possible due to the recent rules in regard to

    While the fact that clubs like Chelsea have so many players stockpiled on loan, should also be addressed by the league it being unfair to other sides and would result in a more even playing field.

    That’s it until game time.

  89. Well it’s Villa up in a couple of hours, a side desperate for a win, though we have a score to settle with them, for the taunting during our relegation season, so don’t hold back, make it a serious score.

    I’m sure that will increase the confidence in the side, but I wouldn’t count on anything right now, being they are a desperate side, combined that with the law of averages and
    who knows, crazier things have happened, this being the season of surprises.

    Looks like JJ Shelvey is on his way outta Swansea, could be a decent buy and we desperately need a playmaking midfielder, not my first choice, but better than what we have.

    With Townsend on the left wing and Loic Remy on loan from Spurs up front, Shelvey directing traffic, Wijnaldum behind Remy and Colback as a defensive midfielder, there should be plenty of goals in that lot.

    But then what do I know in comparison to Carr and Ashley ?

  90. Chuck says:
    December 19, 2015 at 2:47 pm


    “i’m curious, does this blog get many, if any hits these days ?”

    That depends on whether I write blogs, Chuck. Obviously, it makes a huge difference when I write lots of stuff. When I’m not, there are still a few of the hardcore lurking in the shadows without commenting, even Nutmag I suspect despite his protestations.

  91. Villa now have a manager who was regarded as a potential saviour for Newcastle at one stage, Remi Garde. He has yet to bring any “ooh la la” to the villans but we must hope he doesn’t start today. They were in a fragile position anyway, hanging by a thread made almost entirely out of Benteke’s goals. When they sold him, it was pretty much inevitable they would be in serious trouble.

  92. Great !

    Villa could win this game yet, i guess the pressure’s of TV schedules etc. forced the game to be played under ridiculous circumstances, ain’t ya glad you are not still on Tyneside with weather like that.

    The point is don’t think this club is on it’s way up the division, it’s gonna be a hardscrabble fight, but this result should convince Ashley that he has to dig deep into his pocket to ensure that EPL funding.

  93. A game of missed opportunities and poor team selection, lets hope Cisse doesn’t get another game and that goes for DeJong who should be sent back to join his brother, another failure.

    I would like to know who the f**k is supposed to be on the left wing, I mean does Wijnaldum decide to just play in the middle because there are better opportunities to score there
    The side looked a bit more balanced when Thauvin came on, plus he put in some nice crosses, perhaps he should get more games there and let Wijnaldum play behind the striker being he’s not interested in playing as a winger.

    This game should have been a cast iron guarantee for Newcastle and they blew it, which probably means their confidence is now back to square one, plus give credit to Villa, who never gave up

    Ayew was definitely man of the match, plus give Villa some credit, they played hard and never gave up.

  94. Another loss to Liverpool, being totally outhustled by a determined Watford, like Man.U. where LvG is feeling the pressure he being outplayed by another recent arrival, who may lack the big names, but certainly don’t lack physical effort, I mean ask me who is presently top of the EPL.

    Yes the pundits are cringing, they don’t get it, makes them insecure as these recent arrivals are showing no respect for the so called top sides, the ones who have spent fortunes importing big names, who take the money but don’t put in the effort.

    Something to do with the riches from TV revenue, everyone wants a part of it, players, managers, agents, but has there been any actual improvement in the league, certainly not on record, as the EPL sides haven’t been capable of getting as far as the quarter finals recently.

    Tell me what would you have said if someone forecast that ‘The Great One’ would be fired before Christmas, or LvG. would be afraid of following him, both having spent like drunken sailors on rebuilding.

    No sir there are no entitlements for former top championship sides like M.U. and Liverpool, only on recent results and neither side look any better than recent arrival Leicester.

    On yesterdays game at St.James’ (which IMO should have been abandoned) but obviously rescheduling and possibly tv pressure’s being what they were, obviously no one had the cojones to make the obvious decision.

    The result was farcical, we should have had at leas three
    sitters, but give Villa some credit, they came out in the second half and salvaged a point.

    I wonder when the supposedly decent coach McClaren will notice that the club has no attack coming from the left side of he pitch, being Wijnaldum has decided he doesn’t care to play there, preferring the center field role.

    That is until the introduction of Thauvin for a tired wee Vurn,

    Thauvin brought balance to the side playing on the wing, with a number of solid crosses and aught to be playing there regularly as Wijnaldum it appears is not interested, so play him behind the striker, which hopefully won’t be Cisse, who is finished or should be at this club, he and DeJong, who is horrendous, even worse than his brother.

    Look we have some decent players, but it’s obviously about tactics and as long as we have a manager who only attacks from one side of the field, we are in trouble, as Janmaat and Sissoko can’t do it everyweek.

  95. SOH ! Everton up next, who were outhustled by a dynamic Leicester side.

    Though it was fairly close and wont be any walkovers this weekend, for United, (that’s Newcastle United as the other united have now become an average side who are regularly beaten at Old Trafford) and are about to fire their latest flop of a manager, to be replaced I believe by Mourinho).

    There are rumors by idiots that NUFC will sign an unwanted Everton striker ‘Naismith’, to which I say “ney way jose”.

    The only thing that was positive during the rainstorm game was the introduction of ‘Thauvin’ who though he replaced the defensive playmaker, ‘wee Vurn’, who by then was dragging ass, came on to play on the left wing, (something Wijnaldum apparently is disinterested in doing)
    preferring to play in the center of the pitch, where one is likely to score more often.

    If he looked at the clubs history he would find that one of Newcastle’s most consistent scores, over an eleven year career at St.james’ was Bobby (Dazzler) Mitchell, who set up as many goals as he scored and was no end of entertainment, as a fast winger, who took on left backs and sometimes beat the same guy twice before sending the ball into the box.

    So much for left wingers, but probably Wijnaldum would be better playing behind the striker, certainly when compared to DeJong.

    And it would be interesting to see how Thauvin would fit as a starting left winger, a bit of flair that would be able to supply crosses into the box, instead of everything coming from the right and could stretch the oppositions defenders.

    But then go tell Shteve that .

  96. Watford’s striker Odion Ighalo is another one from the Udinese stable of talent I’ve written about on previous occaisions. He used to play with Alexis Sanchez there. As I wrote, that certainly isn’t the way I want to see Newcastle going, but their owner (Pozzo) is much better at the footballer farm concept. His manager rescue from semi obscurity is better than Ashley’s efforts as well. Quique Sanchez Flores won trophies with Benfica and Atletico Madrid but he went to the Arab Emirates and out of sight.

    Regarding your thoughts about Wijnaldum it’s like Ben Arfa the other way round. When Wijnaldum plays on the left he’s on his “wrong” right foot and inevitably cuts in. But they do that deliberately now and it can be a very effective. It has been very effective since he’s become our top goalscorer.

  97. I believe it has been proven that a right-footed left winger is at a disadvantage when receiving the ball, by wasting time using his left foot to trap the pass, then transfer it to his left foot and it’s also generally accepted that footed wingers are also at a disadvantage when playing on the right and I cite our players Jonas and LB Santon, who never failed to cut towards the center of the field when attacking, which of course everyone in the league knew.

    Just watched a terrific game of football, between Citeh and Arsenal, Ya Ya Toure’s goal was just unbelievable.

    Unfortunately the big flaw within the present rules of the game is the lack of a time clock, which enables sides leading at the late stages, to waste time and we are all aware of the various ways of how to accomplish that.

    The time should be taken out of the ref’s hands, like in many professional sport’s by playing two half’s of thirty minutes each, with the clock stopping whenever the ball is out of play, simple!

    This way there can be no time wasting as every game is played for exactly sixty minutes and everyone is aware of how much time is left, again simple.

    But knowing how slow association football takes to change it’s rules, (except for the dumb-ass offside rule, which presently no one knows not even he ref’s, being it changes every year).

    But whoever decides the extra time allowance, ( usually a standard four minutes and which is another dumb rule) well it’s all very arbitrary and I believe it’s about time to bring the game up to standard, by equalizing the playing time to thirty minute a half, with no prejudice to either side.

    And if anyone believes thirty minutes of actual playing time, to be too short, nonsense, as most games consist of less than thirty minutes of actual football.

    I say this because to-days game is quite arbitrary it depending on both the referee and timekeeper and can be frustrating for both the players and more so for fans.

  98. As for your claim, that wingers who’s good foot is on the inside while facing the oppositions goal and who cut inside
    have any kind of advantage or be as you state very effective, ermmmm! ‘like who’ for instance? can you cite one case, because with both Jonas and Santon, it was proven to be a disadvantage, as every PL defender became aware of it and knew exactly what to expect.

  99. I dont think I’ve ever said this before but Phil Neville hit the nail on the head on “match of the day” over here. He raised the issue that because so many teams have one striker, defenders don’t know how to defend against 4-4-2 anymore. However, it isn’t the old school, bread and butter British managers like big Sam and big Tony Pulis who are bringing this renaissance, it’s continental sophisicates like Quique Sanchez Flores and even more, Claudio Rainieri at Leicester. When I’ve seen Leicester and Watford it always seems to be 4-4-2. Things go in a circle.

    They’re saying that Pavel Srnicek has had a serious heart attack out jogging and is in a critical condition. I wouldn’t be surprised if jogging causes more premature deaths than smoking. It’s an evil habit and if a heart attack doesn’t get you, serious joint problems will in later life. Even the man who got everyone doing it died of a massive heart attack whilst out jogging at 40. I certainly hope that doesn’t happen to Pavel though.

  100. Anyone read the great journalist ‘Lee Rider’s’ rating of the present squad, I recommend it, that is if you enjoy a good laugh.

    It proves one thing only, that his his knowledge of football could be written in an area the size of a postage stamp and being he appears to be the leading sports/football commentator of the paper, sez something else about the others, which in turn suggests that those who base their belief on his reports know even less than he does’

    I’m amazed that people like Rider get hired by newspapers, (perhaps to-days standards for local papers has dropped) but I have to say, some of the blogs by youngsters trying to get their foot in the door, certainly make more sense than those presently working for the Chronic and being paid to write lazy uninteresting crap, that totally lacks originality or any real meaning, just a re-run of the same old subjects.

    Perhaps that may have something to do with the demise of the old ‘Football Final’ RIP.

  101. Yeah, jogging, one of the most dangerous of health and body image obsessed individuals.

    I see them both during the early morning, returning from the park, sweating and gaunt looking having just completed a circum-navigation of the reservoir in Central Park, others appearing in the post rush hour period of early evening.

    The young Wall Street crowd both male and female, intent on being both fit and competitive, but impressing no one, but themselves.

    Of course it’s great to look trim and fit in this era of
    overweight chubsters and I suppose cheaper than those one observes through the windows of the various gyms one cant fail to notice, intently burning calories via various machines, where the lack of a personal trainer or the right workout gear, can cause certain embarrassment.

    I have certain acquaintances who run as couples and have completed the NY marathon a number of times who resemble matchstick people, wearing the latest in running gear and who brave the elements winter and summer, searching for what, I have never found out.

    But even Pheidippides would blanche at their resolve had he not learned his lesson in regard to jogging back and forth between Sparta and Marathon, before dropping dead.

    Nah! the toll on the body just ain’t worth it, ankle’s and foot-bones constantly painful, with knee cartilage’s compressed by so many jolts, they end op having little or no resistance to pressure

    That and early hip replacement’s by the age of forty, I think not, much preferring a good hundred block stroll around different neighborhoods of the city, where I can observe the changes and watch the street theatre constantly going on around me, stop and enjoy a slice of pizza or have a cold one.

    Now that’s the way to enjoy an exercise regime, as opposed to the ‘masters of the universe’, heading for the downtown express to Wall St. to match stress for stress with their competition, but looking good as they do it.

  102. Shite, Chuck. I’m in total agreement with you there. Haven’t read any of his drivel for ages now. Local newspapers have been taken over by big groups, have amalgamated etc and the quality has really gone through the floor. It’s like they’ve all been taken over by Mike Ashley! Even supposedly “quality” national newspapers like the Guardian and the Telegraph (to take the two at either side of the tight political spectrum) are really declining in quality despite the Guardian winning a Pulitzer prize for Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald after all that kicked off. Hard sales of actual newspapers on paper are plumetting with all the laptops, tablets and smartphones and they are having the same pains with the business model that the music business had with mp3s. The Guardian have been reaching out to so called “liberals” on your side of the pond with their online content. Somehow, I don’t think they’ll be as successful as Rupert Murdoch has been with right wing whackos over there though. Do you?

  103. In regard to the who’s who of managers, unfortunately NUFC is still in the dark ages, for instance Swansea have recently declared their willingness to hire one of the worlds most innovative managers Marcelo Bielsa, a former national team manager of both Argentina and Chile, plus managed clubs in both countries as well as Spain.

    Nicknamed “El loco” (the crazy one) because of his complicated tactical setups, by those too ignorant to understand them or believing that the average football player would have a difficulty understanding his tactical approach.

    There’s a certain amount of truth in that, being they are rather complicated and require players with a certain degree of understanding tactically.

    Well good for Swansea, though I don’t believe they will be able to sign him, but at least they are willing to take the risk, unlike the clubs where the owners know little about the game and rely on those old fashioned mostly British managers (that I often refer to as Retreads)

    You all know who they are, the BSA’s and Pulis’s, not that these men don’t understand the tactics of percentage football and who rely on set pieces to win games, their specialty is Keeping clubs from relegation, but there’s a price to pay for the dreadfully boring game they play and i’m sure many fans would me willing to take the drop, just to get rid of them.

    A situation we well understand, having had Pardew with his awful tactical approach, who on receiving any players with flair, would keep them on the bench until they couldn’t take it anymore, then blame them for putting on weight (what else did he expect having never given the guys an opportunity to play)

    Now we have an idiot that many say is a good coach, you gotta prove it to me as I have no expectations from (‘The Wally with the Brolly’), but have no doubt our owner will hang onto him, not knowing the difference.

    I guess that puts me back to my belief that a combination of Ashley, Pudgie, the Wally and Carr are going to take this club to where that kind of top management belong, yes folks the second tier.

    Bielsa at NUFC, ha, ha, ha! when pigs can fly.

  104. Hey, i’m a big fan of ‘The Guardian’ read it on a daily basis while on your side of the pond during the summer months.

    However the online version that covers football, is possibly the worst of all UK versions, though I wouldn’t know having given up reading years ago.

    The Guardian, apparently in their arrogance take an approach that equates the game as something only idiot’s have any interests in, their constantly changing sports staff, continue the established viewpoint that it’s something to make fun of, including those who find it of interest, very aggravating and their articles contains a certain amount of disdain in regard to the readers.

    My question is if this is not only the views of the sports writers, but management in general, why not stop insulting people and just stop writing about the sport.

  105. Chuck says:
    December 22, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    “Of course it’s great to look trim and fit in this era of
    overweight chubsters and I suppose cheaper than those one observes through the windows of the various gyms one cant fail to notice, intently burning calories via various machines, where the lack of a personal trainer or the right workout gear, can cause certain embarrassment. ”

    Chuck, totally unnatural lifestyles, either sat on their arse in a car or going bonkers and giving themselves a premature coronary. We used to have a more natural lifestyle where we walked to places, did the garden and would go out hiking and fishing and stuff like that, and eat natural food like a nice bit of fish and some broccoli.

    Over here, they found that crown green bowling is the perfect aerobic exercise for oldies. The bowling action is perfect for gently exercising the right muscle groups without straining anything and it’s true. It’s like British version of Chinese oldies doing Tai Chi and bowling club members always seem to live forever. I suppose that American ten pin bowling is the same but a bit more vigorous. Fishing is very good as well, all that walking and casting off and bending over is an excellent little workout of all the right areas.

  106. “Nicknamed “El loco” (the crazy one) because of his complicated tactical setups, by those too ignorant to understand them or believing that the average football player would have a difficulty understanding his tactical approach.”

    I think the word might be “demanding,” Chuck. It can be great for a while but his intensity seems to be hard to sustain at club level.

  107. Yes! but wouldn’t it be nice to have either Bielsa or someone similar, as our manager and experience the kind of football our knowledgeable fans crave, following a recent history of retread clown managers.

    As for exercise, I walk the streets, (no not literally) what I do is pick a neighborhood I haven’t been too in some time, between 125th St. and The Battery and check it out, getting my exercise, recording places for future reference and at the same time enjoying the street theatre.

    Anyone living in a major city can do likewise and enjoy both the walk and exercise involved.

    Just noticed here have been a number of people praising Thauvin’s short but effective stint during last Sundays game, too bad he wasn’t on for the entire game, as his crosses to the box and play in general, was very decent, plus the fact we have played a number of games without a real winger, everyone’s most recent hero, (except mine) Wijnaldum, deciding he prefers to play inside leaving us unable to either stretch sides or put crosses into the box, one of the reasons we seldom score (right Shteve/wally)

    And if as everyone sez about Shteve/Wally, he’s a good coach, how come if Wijnaldum is playing in he middle, does he not pencil him in as a no 10# as we know he can score, forget about deJong, send him back to Holland to join his failure Brother.

  108. It the same time reading an article by one of the Chronic’s sports writers, this knowledgeable soul came out with statement, we only need one signing during the approaching transfer window.

    If I were his boss, that would have set off alarm bells immediately and I would have had him take both a breathalyzer and blood test as no one could possibly be that ignorant.

    Well on second thought’s, I guess Ashley might be inclined to agree, nah! even he is not that dumb.

  109. Then there’s the old adage, which really p***es me off.

    “Newcastle United fans are too demanding and critical”

    Excuse me! but are we not the 18th. or 20th. wealthiest clubs in the world, have we not been profitable and expect an increase of an additional fifty million quid this coming season.

    Do we not have a fifty thousand plus state of the art stadium, which is close to being filled for most home games.

    Well yes perhaps we don’t bring in the revenues that certain clubs regularly generate, mainly from sponsorships and certainly have a smaller worldwide audience.

    However that’s because of the fact, who wants to wear the logo of a loan-shark outfit and the present poor top management, problems all of which can be resolved by hiring the right people.

    Look NUFC garnered quite a few fans during the KK regime, when they were considered everyone’s favorite second side and away fans were excited that the Geordies were in toon.

    What i’m saying is that a successful side playing with flair and winning games, garners more fans both inside and outside the country, which results in more fans and an increase in revenues.

    I have noticed that the non British fans, have a distinction based on age, the older ones follow Liverpool, and the next generation favor Man.U.

    Which is easy to understand, when non Brit’s pick a side to support it’s usually the winning dominant side of that particular era.

    But there are also niche sides, where some non Brit’s find attractive (the KK NUFC side around the millennium) who’s motto was you score three we will score four

    But I guess Ashley hasn’t figured this out and prefers to have a side who’s ambitions don’t reflect it’s position as a club that is a top twenty as far as wealth is concerned, preferring to milk a steady income guaranteed by a mediocre and boring existence in the EPL, when there’s the possibility of generating more income and growing the club to compete with the best.

    Ah well it’s his club, ain’t it ?

  110. Chuckles, being “liked” by supporters of other teams isn’t necessarily a good thing. If Newcastle United didn’t bungle their chance at the really big time at that stage and instead started winning a string of trophies like Manchester United, it wouldn’t have taken Newcastle long to become hated like them by fans of other teams.

    As for “demanding and critical”, it depends which side of it you look from. In terms of the size of the club with its big stadium, fans who turn up etc (big), or what they have actually achieved in recent decades (bugger all). So I think when they say that they mean considering the Magpies’ record of underachivement in recent decades.

  111. Look, for the most part memories are short these days of instant gratification, i mean who cared about any recent successes when the big money takeover occurred at Citeh.

    A case of acquiring many more fans than the unfashionable Citeh of old, again many of whom lived nowhere near Manchester, those and the London fans who for some reason (winning?) support northern clubs.

    And as i stated fans come with success, over the generations, Liverpool with their early run of league championships, followed by Man. U. and there’s no doubt NUFC picked up a few fans around the millennium with their entertaining style of play.

    Another unusual thing, is the fact once you choose to support a side, it’s usually for life, regardless of win loose or draw.

    I rest my case by using NUFC as an example, who other than Geordies would pack in over fifty thousand fans, while sitting in the relegation zone.

  112. I would say if Newcastle fielded a side that played an entertaining style of football and won their share of games, in other words a side that was a pleasure to watch, but not necessarily a champions league side, they in turn would acquire more fans, earn more, attract a better (more rewarding) group of
    sponsors and overall be a more successful club.

    And without the general discord that has been a part of the clubs history, since the arrival of Ashley, who it should be noted has no interest other than using the club as an advertising board for his real business and of course the modern day infusion of TV generated funding that all EPL sides earn and attempts to do it on a shoestring, unless forced by
    the possibility of relegation.

    Which this present season will undoubtedly happen, unless he once again opens the purse strings, which is no way to run a club and usually costs more in the long run

    The result of ignorance and the lack of top management.

  113. “those and the London fans who for some reason (winning?) support northern clubs.”

    Chuck, the thing is that London is like New York. It’s a big metropolis which attracts people from all over. I live in London, but I was born in Gosforth and grew up in the NE. However the ones brought up around here are mostly Arsenal and if I go up the road, mostly Spurs. I think it might be these people brought up in these anonymous towns of commuter urban spread in the south east which might support Manchester United. They don’t have much history, identity or football history in their area and might just as well swing toward Manchester United as Arsenal or one of the other big London teams. Quite a few Paddies support Man U as well and they’re all over the place as you know over there in Noo York.

    Merry Christmas by the way, Scrooge, and a Merry Christmas to any other sad bastard who is reading this drivel on Christmas Eve.

  114. Yeah! got to the stage in life that Christmas without children and family close doesn’t have the same meaning.

    Yes we too lived in Gosforth for a short while following WW2 when they still had tram cars that ran from there to doon the Toon, along what was ‘The Great North Road’.

    Housing was in short supply but we managed to rent a place until we could find something a bit bigger and closer to the Toon.

    I don’t remember a lot, other than it was a pretty grim period, for all, though there was a certain euphoria and anticipation of better things to come, now that the war was over.

    But it certainly didn’t have much effect on the Toon faithfull, who packed St.James’Park to the brim, having been denied the real thing during the war years, having to watch patched together sides.

    Yes the euphoria of the expected brand new world, didn’t exactly occur, though the country did make enormous political changes and to the world’s surprise dumped wartime leader Churchill, having disbanding the coalition government

    It wasn’t long before Newcastle won it’s first of three FA cups beginning in 1950 and had a decade or so of decent sides, I can still envision the players bursting out of the tunnel onto the field with the crowd in full voice yelling “howeah Newcasile” as they pronounced it.

    Must have been quite intimidating for the likes of Preston, Blackpool, Burnley and others, who made up a part of the old first division during those years.

    Too bad there’s little in common to cheer about these days.

    Though perhaps Ashley may spend like a drunken sailor this transfer period, that is if he doesn’t want to end up relegated, just don’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen.

    And a merry Christmas and a prosperous and happy New Year, to ANY readers.

  115. That game was just sickening. Rather than bemoan that last minute goal though, Mitrovic has got to stop missing so many good chances. Chuck, don’t have a go at Anita as he was very good.

  116. Chuck, I wrote this one very early this morning when I got in but the server went wrong as I was posting it. I’m getting used to it now so I copied it to my clipboard just in case.

    Well that’s another Christmas over with.

    You still haven’t mentioned how you ended up in Newcastle though, Chuck. I used to have a Yank brother in law who lived in Ponteland. He was a company man for RCA, and came over to run the old RCA record plant in Washington. He eventually married my older sister as well or he wouldn’t have been my brother in law!

    I wasn’t there for the immediate postwar period, but yes, I’m sure you’re right to say “I don’t remember a lot, other than it was a pretty grim period, for all, though there was a certain euphoria and anticipation of better things to come, now that the war was over.” There was rationing and bombsites so it wasn’t going to be paradise. It was a time of huge expansion for the US and a time of huge retrenchment for Britain with the deconstruction of the empire and war debts. It was still a time of huge achievements in science, technology, and culture for the postwar generation that grew up after the war though. There were elites doing great things and having a whale of time after the war, but the general experience of of the man or woman in the street was indeed rather drab. Even though prosperity improved in the 50s and 60s, it was still rather drab for most, even in the swinging 60s when I was born.

    Philip Larkin famously wrote that “sexual intercourse started in 1963 (which was rather late for me) – Between the end of the “Chatterley” ban, And the Beatles’ first LP.”

    Sexual intercourse started in the UK in 1963 anyway. The reference to the Lady Chatterley’s Lover trial and the Beatles wasn’t glib. The Chatterley trial was a very important moment which introduced modern Britain and launched the so called “swinging sixties.” A relaxation of the old establishment and censorship released a whole generation of people who grew up in the gray austerity of postwar Britain. Having written that, it was there well before the 60s. For instance, America is the natural home of pop art, especially your city, but it actually came from Britain originally as an ironic look at the plentiful, disposable culture of modern America from the drab old UK. http://independentgroup.org.uk/images/popups/tomorrow-poster2.jpg

    On Newcastle United, I recall that they were second division after the war and it took them a couple of years to get promoted? Then they were quite good for a few years in the league but actually struggled quite a bit when they were having their cup successes in the 50s, coming middle to a bit close to getting relegated. Sadly, I despair to think that the only truly great Newcastle United team was Colin Veitch’s Edwardian wonders from the 1900s!

  117. A bitter disappointment, being the loss occurred during the last minute of the game.

    I’m still not sure whether Everton are that good a side, but I have noticed that without McCarthy in the lineup they lack that combination of defender/playmaker and midfield control he brings to the side.

    Which is also missing from the NUFC side, since loosing Cabaye, which makes it essential to acquire a playmaker of that quality.

    But certainly a draw would have been acceptable, with Everton the better side in the first half and Newcastle edging it in the second and from my perspective we had the better opportunities.

    It appears somehow the coaches have installed a similar tactical approach I had been advocating “similar” to the old Italian ‘Bolt the door’ “catenaccio” (unless one considers Collo. as the rear sweeper/Defending) using the fast break, it’s obvious they have practiced bringing the ball out quickly and our more pacey players getting forward, which can be especially effective against sides who employ a high line, which appears to be the flavor of the month in the EPL presently.

    I think the tactical situation is showing signs of improvement and with some key signings could see the fortunes of the side improve (hopefully).
    if we survive and make the right signings

    But face it our present situation is precarious.

    If we do make the right signings now and in the summer, this club could become a side to contend with in the 16-17 season, of course we have a lot of deadwood to dump, which could certainly lighten the bill.

    But the future would be guaranteed with only a player or two to replace during the future seasons.

  118. Worky
    Yeah, my old man was involved with the reconstruction of both destroyed and future projected infrastructure of new housing estates, which involved the immediate construction of what at the time were known as “Pre Fabs” (pre fabricated housing)which had been designed and in many cases pre fabricated both in Canada and the US.

    A temporary fix to the housing situation, which in many cases outlived their projected live span and in fact there may be certain cases of some existing to this day, as the tenants appear to have been very content with both the design and utility and in certain cases objected to their finally being torn down, their replacements which certainly were lacking in both imagination and design features, not to mention a vast sameness, when built almost a generation later.

  119. Watched he Stoke vs. MU. game, awful!

    I believe LvG. may be calling for a cab some time soon, as it appears, yes he was successful at other TOP clubs, but has been shown to be a bit of an autocratic bully, something that is no longer tolerated by the power of highly compensated players these days.

    And anyone willing to part with possibly one of the best wingers in the world, talking bout “DiMaria” here, sez it all.

    That and the boring style he has introduced has turned the old Trafford faithful against him and there was a time that every team coming to play there, came with a certain trepidation, nowadays they arrive expecting to win.

    Ferguson must be enjoying things, as it reflects a picture of him as the ultimate un-matchable manager in the history of top level football in the UK.

    First Mourinho, then LvG, who next ?

    Perhaps they can trade jobs ? but what does this say, as far as football is concerned ?

    It certainly reflects the power of players in most professional sports, gone are the days when you were told o go see the manager, who then gave you the news, you are getting on and we are reducing your wages this year, but keep it too yourself, or pack your bags you have been sold to Stoke.

    Yep a lot easier to fire one man to-day, than to get rid of an entire side and certainly cheaper.

    Ah well it keeps the media employed and in certain cases
    justifies the fans feelings.

  120. Being the window of opportunity is about to open, it may be a good opportunity to bring in a couple of badly needed players.

    Forget about Taylor or Dummett, even Lasceles, non of which is good enough to fill Colo’s boots, but there must be a decent center-back available, who can put himself about with a bit of a physical presence, size and the ability to score from set-pieces.

    We also need a backup for Janmaat, but that can come later, as a good playmaker is obviously missing, no DeJong ain’t it nor is he a number 10#, Vurn as I stated is a journeyman and a good one, but no Cabaye.

    More important is a good attacking LB to give the side balance, we have three that could fill the role as a partner for him in Aarons,, Thauvin and Ferguson, given the opportunity, but Mr. Mack or whoever picks the side continue to ignore them.

    It should be obvious that Wijnaldum can play as a No,10#. his natural position, but that includes tracking back.

    So during this window, how about a Left Back who can carry the ball upfield, play Wiynaldum as a No.10, and a real winger on the left.

    And try to get Remy here on loan, being we need a proven goal-scorer, following the sitters missed in the last couple of games the rest can come during the summer sales.

  121. chuck says:
    December 27, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    “Yeah, my old man was involved with the reconstruction of both destroyed and future projected infrastructure of new housing estates, which involved the immediate construction of what at the time were known as “Pre Fabs” (pre fabricated housing)which had been designed and in many cases pre fabricated both in Canada and the US.”

    Aha! Now it all becomes clear.

    Aye, besides the war, I suppose that the British style of housebuilding was very traditional, and still went on that way after the war with most smaller houses. Two courses of bricks or blocks or whatever. Of course, in many parts of your country, Canada, Scandinavia etc, they’ve been building houses in a more modular way for quite a long time and hence had an advantage on quick to build, prefabricated housing.

    There has been a bit of a revival of the prefab idea because people who don’t own a house already usually find it impossible to buy one now because the prices are so ridiculous, a result of decades of an unnatural housing bubbles forcing them up beyond all reason. It is usually prefab, stackable boxes for young urban singles. I know that some of the old school prefabs were built by prisoners of war

  122. I’m really not that knowledgeable on home construction, though I remember having a conversation with a contractor, in regard to modular built homes.
    This was a contractor who gave up on the usual method of framing on sight and switched to the erection of modular units, with the buyer selecting from a small variety of choices.
    Claiming it was both quicker, more cost effective and the
    finished product was constructed with better quality control.
    In his words a better constructed house.

    Of course the other differences between US and what I believe to be the British method, of having a combination of both inside and outside walls as weight bearing as opposed of having the outside walls as being the only weight bearers which allows for a variety of inside design, that can be changed throughout the homes lifespan.

    With the foundations and (basement) wiring and plumbing
    completed prior to loading the various modems onto a truck and shipped to it’s final location, the house it’s self, pre wired and plumbed needs only to be connected and could be erected and ready for use within a twenty four hour period.

    Which is remarkable.

    Actually I recall being at the Montreal World’s Fair, during 1968 or 69, and was highly impressed by the Israeli architect’s ‘Habitat’, reminded me of a Middle Eastern or North African Casbah type series of apartments with everything pre built the ultimate in pre fabricated apartments, almost like a massive leggo like structure,
    I recall the bathrooms came as a molded structure complete in every way all that was needed was to connect everything, it’s still there on one of the islands in the
    St Laurence, though I don’t know if it was considered as being successful or not, but certainly fascinating at the time.

  123. A terrible game to-day, the side looked tired and appeared to sleepwalk their way through the game, with little effort by some.

    Unfortunately the young replacement goalie had a nightmare of a game, as opposed to the solid Elliot, who has proven to be every bit as good if not better than Krul in certain situations.

    There’s a danger we may be going down with the Mackems, unless there are improvements in the side, being we should be winning games against opposition like Villa and WBA, plus I believe we outplayed Everton in the second half and certainly deserved a point.

    Arsenal coming up next will be no easy game, in which case where are the points coming from ?

    Though we are not the only club in trouble, look at ‘LvG’. and ‘Mourinho’, both in big trouble, the Glaziers must be going nut’s considering how ‘LvG’ has spent and any manager who sells a player of Di Maria’s stature has to be a bit of a whack job.

    It’s become a case of the players now having the hammer and you had better not piss them off or they will do a job on you.

    Perhaps these last two losing games will have the desired effect on Ashley, to where he will open his wallet come window time, but don’t hold your breath.

    If he doesn’t then for sure we will be relegated and that’s not going to please him, nor will it be so easy to
    repeat the last relegation scenario.

    Nope! things don’t look good folk’s, but I have been saying that all this season.

  124. Another sickening game, especially with the “stone wall” penalty on Mitrovic that never happened. I had a bit too much port and stilton from Christmas as well which didn’t help. I can’t even discuss it.

    I never actually built any houses from scratch, but I did restore a few old wrecks and sold them at a profit to make a crust for a while. Generalising hugely, I would say that the “modern” way is having a timber or steel frame where the walls are just like a facing, opposed to the old method where very solid walls are the frame. Of course, New York is the best place to see how the limits of the old architecture were eventually liberated by the new. They built them as high as they would go the old fashioned way but it still wasn’t enough, then more modern techniques took steel framed monsters into the sky.

    Getting back to smaller houses, something made the old fashioned way will take longer and be more expensive, but will be more solid and resistant. It’s like the three little pigs story with the wolf huffing and puffing at the door. I remember being in Florida a long time ago. Most of the houses there were a modern frame with a skin, but they would get blown away like nothing when a really bad Florida storm came along. When I saw the very posh houses there though, they were usually old school brick / stone things and wouldn’t get wrecked.

    Those old prefabs your dad built were excellent considering what they were, and there are quite a few of the old ones still around, in the North East and especially down here in London after the Jerries bombed it. I suppose that new ones are classed as big caravans without wheels nowadays. The old ones get demolished rather than fall down most of the time too. The thing is (down here in London anyway) is that although they were prefabs, they were also mostly bungalows with nice little gardens full of roses in a very old fashioned community. If people face the prospect of being rehoused, it will probably be in a block of some sort and they fight tooth and nail to stay. Which would you prefer, Chuck?

  125. Hmm ! horses for courses I think. depends on what and where.

    There is a rational about erecting houses for a prescribed amount of time and apart from those Built of Stone, they all have a prescribed life span.

    Certainly in the case of brick built housing, which if unable to adjust the interior design, due to walls being weight bearing (which can be adapted and changed), but at a tremendous cost, making it difficult to justify on cost alone.

    Whereas some of those Florida condos (up to four or five floors) could and are just torn down and replaced by a completely new building, which may be more cost effective.

    But as I stated i’m certainly no expert in this particular field.

    I like the idea of a high beachfront condo, that has interior parking and only requires one to lock the car and your door, arrange to have all mail forwarded by a reliable mail forwarding outfit and be able to travel, when and where I like, but to spend a summer in Florida, no thanks.

    I kinda like NYC, he city like most large cities has a lot to offer in regard to healh care, entertainment, food, the art’s and more, but like Florida no place to spend the hot humid days of July and August.

    Anyone intending to visit here, I would suggest mid Sep. through Oct., especially if you manage to find an ‘Indian Summer’ however weather wise it’s usually perfect in any case.

  126. In regard to Mitrivic’s penalty claim, yep ! no doubt.

    I hate to come down on referees but sometimes I believe they base their judgement on what they believe is fair as opposed to following the rules.

    I do understand that particular reasoning, but it’s not up to them to make judgement calls based on what they consider to be fair, but to adjudge each case on the prescribed rule that covers the situation.

    And certainly in every game we find poor calls increasing in number, perhaps the quality of oversight is becoming worse, certainly the game has suffered due to the increased number of players diving and some of the acts could be considered just terrible, if not laughable.

    Something which deserves some form of punishment, perhaps a yellow card or two could change this nonsense, but one also has to understand the pressures the officials are under and their reasons for ignoring some situations, especially those that could change the outcome of the game.

  127. Worky@114
    I have never nor ever been accused of “Lurking” before.
    Time was when I would read The Guardian everyday The Observer every Sunday and loads of other stuff. Be honoured this blog and the New Internationalist are the only things I read now.
    Taking a few minutes every few weeks to catch up with what “The Odd Couple” (Worky & Chuck) are going on about is enough.
    Didn’t go much on the subject of who invented what and mine is bigger than yours etc.
    I could have a go about the curse of Supermarkets but won’t.
    But I do remember Prefabs they arrived in our village in two half’s on low loaders. An uncle of mine had one which he called his “Bully Beef Can” he loved it and lived in it till his death in the late eighty’s.
    Moving on several years an architect in my present village had an all singing all dancing top of range latest prefab shipped in from Germany, it came with the team to erect it, not guy’s in overalls but white coats. One feature intrigued me the down pipes from the guttering were metal ropes and the water runs down the outside of them not down a conventional pipe.
    The owner has since moved away and it is being rented for £2,500 a month.
    Sorry Ive got nothing to say on football since the death of NUFC.

  128. I think that the server was hit by an asteroid there! So much for that great American customer service you rave about, Chuck!

    Nutmag, I have to keep Chuck on his toes :-) Was your uncle in the army? I’m guessing that from the bully beef can. The Germans are crazy about mobile homes and things like proper houses that can just be pitched up. I’m off to watch Match of the Day, but I’ll probably give the Newcastle bit a miss. I’m glad the site’s back on though.

  129. I don’t know what happened, though I recently upped from Windows 8.1 to 10 and once again have to adjust to a new operating system.
    I find it a bit difficult to contact the blog, though I can easily find ‘bbc sport’ and ‘news now’ perhaps it has something to do from your end ?

  130. Transfer time !

    If we are to avoid the drop, we have to re-sign Remy, a consistent scorer, even if only for the rest of the season.

    After that we could evaluate who will be available during the summer and bring in a decent striker, for the long run.

    We also need a Cabaye like playmaker being we have no one to fill that role and don’t tell me ‘wee Vurn’, who may be a decent player but when compared with Cabaye, one can see what he lacks.

    Colback is going to have to up his game if he wants the defensive midfielder role and has to stop with the dumbass yellow cards and improve his passing game.

    Dummett, is not exactly setting the world on fire and I don’t understand why he never carries the ball upfield, (perhaps he has been told to hold back) he is only a fair centerback who lacks height which shows our lack of depth.

    De Jong bitches at not getting playing time, but on performance he is no better than his brother.

    We are wasting our time penciling Wijnaldum in as a left winger, he being the perfect no 10#, whereas Thauvin looked decent there providing some decent service to the box, give the guy a chance.

    And a Remy-Wijnaldum pair up front would certainly be more productive than the so called Shearer-Bellamy replacements Mitrovic and Perez, who have not looked anything near as good as that old partnership, perhaps we should look at any offers made for this pair.

    OK! the question is, does Ashley want a competitive side, being we have the basis of a decent side, but lots of deadwood and the reason being poor upper management. including some poor purchases.

    I would get rid of the following.

    DeJong- not good enough
    Marveaux, why keep him when he never gets a game.
    Mitrovic-not good enough
    Cisse- finished.
    Tiote- sell him while he can bring a price.
    Dummett-not up to par.
    Williamson, is he still here?
    Gouffran, cant get a game.
    Riviere, who? is he still here ?
    Taylor, major sick note.

    I probably missed someone, but getting rid of this lot would open up opportunities to free up wages and perhaps bring in some funds for replacements.
    But they certainly are deadwood, either not good enough or players Mr Mack has ignored, in which case why are they still here.

  131. Finally I read where Shteve is about to play Wijnaldum as a No.10 in a 4-2-3-1 lineup, what took him so long ? as usually he’s played in a no mans land midway between left wing and centerfield, with Shteve making sure he tracked back, what can I say?

    However the question arises, who will play up front, actually all we have is Mitrovic, being Perez is no real center forward, sure he has skills and yes he gets a few goals as he should, but the guys a lightweight and tends to be pushed off the ball and be bullied.

    His role at he club is really undefined, certainly hasn’t got the pace of our former small man Bellamy, so where would he fit in ?

    On the other hand I was impressed by the few minutes allotted to Thauvin on the left, which immediately gave more balance to the side.

    He (Thauvin) has good ball handling skills and is not afraid to take on defenders, plus he has the ability to feed in good crosses, at present badly needed if we are to score more often, I say give the lad a chance, by not listening to the idiots who consider him only another lightweight, as they did with Cabella.

    While we are at it, it appears our other ex flair player HBA, is having an excellent season, thank you Mr. Pardew.

    Yeah we have had some decent players here, unfortunately we haven’t been so lucky when it came to managers, who had no clue on how to use them.

    With Thauvin or perhaps a fit Aarons given the opportunity to play, why would we need to spend a minor fortune on Townsend, obviously not rated by Spurs.

    However we do need a consistent center forward, a Remy or a Lacazett, who with Wijnaldum behind to pick up the scraps, would ensure our survival this season.

    Being Dummett is a stay at home LB, why not give our youngster with the ‘natty dreds’ a shot, as if I remember right he was very effective at bringing the ball upfield, looking a bit like Janmaat, which in turn could give the side much more balance and perhaps a few more goals.

    But yes we need a CB for the long run, but we have (sick note) Taylor about to return and perhaps give Colo. a much needed rest, so that could wait until summer.

    The problem appears to be, though we have had enough opportunities to score during the last few games, no one seems capable of clinically finishing, in which case either we get Remy on loan and look carefully at the possibilities to sign a long term prospect, during the summer, or spend heavily in bringing one in now.

    Either way, we have to spend to stay up.

  132. Chuck, the problem with the site was completely at this end. It was really bad but should be over for now thanks to Hugh.

    They actually played ok in the last game, but Mitrovic has goalitis, even though he has scored two or three since he arrived from Belgium. He might do some of the right things up until the crunch, but when the crunch comes, he fluffs it. This is two firing blanks now after Riviera from Monaco. In my omniscient wisdom, I did raise the alarm that he’d only scored once for Serbia in 13 or something like that when Ashley paid all that money for him. .

  133. Yes I just made ‘duckduckgo’my default search engine and everything appears to be fine.

    Actually the style of play has improved immensely in contrast to Pardews defensive boring style, though I am still awaiting Bielsa’s arrival.

    As I said, the side are now a hell of a lot more entertaining than before McClaren’s arrival, but i’m really not convinced Shteve is the right guy for the job.

    Of course Bielsa is only a reference to what would satisfy me as a choice of manager, but there’s more chance of my landing on Mars than on seeing him in charge at St.James’

    In which case we should be looking at (up and coming guys) like the present Boro. or West Ham managers, as i’m sure we could find someone decent, however it’s not as you very well know the clubs main problem, which is both Ashley’s system and the present not fit for use board, or top level management.

    Hell I am just about willing to settle as i’m sure most fans by now will agree with, is an entertaining game of football, where the side give 100%, win lose or draw.

  134. “Actually the style of play has improved immensely in contrast to Pardews defensive boring style, though I am still awaiting Bielsa’s arrival.”

    Pardew has got Crystal Palace in seventh place though. You wouldn’t believe it after Newcastle, but Pardew’s Palace even got a reputation for being good at getting goals from free kicks! In terms of resources, they’re the ones who should be looking over ther shoulder and we’re the ones who should be looking at a low European place. Pardew’s never had any real success, but he certainly knows how to throw mud in the eye of his critics (like us!).

  135. Yeah ! I’m sure he’s still using the same old positive thinking psychobabble on the Palace players, but eventually they too will figure him out, you just don’t become a good manager from a crap one.

    Well when you have two strikes against you, the odds are against making any decent signings, strike one, the fact the side is in the relegation zone and there’s little to indicate the club can expect to improve under Shteve, plus a club located three hundred miles from anywhere, doesn’t really appeal to many players, unless there’s either an opportunity to win something or receive a shit load of money.

    Ask Ba or Remy! or George Eastham……

    as for signings we usually end up with the leftovers, that come cheap.

    Actually Ashley if he wants to survive the drop, aught to make Remy an offer he cant refuse, just to finish the season in the black and white, where he will get plenty of playing time, earn publicity which could get him a place in the French side and f**k off to wherever come the summer, with a nice piece of change in his sky.

    Leaving plenty of time to find a consistent goal-scorer to replace him, instead of going after expensive strikers who on looking at the clubs position, both geographically and in the league, immediately ask ,”are you serious”?

    Because if this club goes down, it ain’t gonna be like last time, there will be a suitcase parade, being none of the present players would be willing to spend a season in the second tier when there’s no guarantee of promotion.

    Yep! Nufc are between a rock and a hard place, all due to mismanagement, thank you Shteve, Pudgy and Fat Man, a true bunch of f**k ups.

  136. On Ashley news today, Sports Direct shares are now worth less than half what they were at their peak in April 2014 (433 now vs 922 then).

    Chuck, I would hardly compare George Eastham with Ba and Remy! It usually seemed to start with the quality of the “digs” they would get at Newcastle United back in the old days. It did with Eastham and it did in another famous spat when Len Shackleton and Joe Harvey (no less) kicked off and went on strike over the quality of the accomodation about a decade earlier (?). Eastham went to Everton so you can hardly say he wanted to move somewhere more fancy!

  137. C’mon Worky you can do better than that !

    Eastham never played for Everton, but he did force a move to Arsenal where he played for six years.

    Yes it had something to do with poor housing, but primarily it was about the clubs ability to keep a players registration, which was known at the time as the slavery contract.

    Which prevented a player who’s contract was approaching it’s prescribed limit, to negotiate either a better contract or chose to move to another club, meanwhile holding his registration and refusing to pay him.

    Eastham with financial help from the PFA later managed to take the case through the courts and was successful in ridding the league of this rule forcing a move to Arsenal.

    Though not as controversial and well known as the later Bosman rule, did a great service to the poorly paid professional footballers of that era.

    Plus signifies even at that time what a cheap-ass club Newcastle were, plus the lure of playing in London as opposed to the north east.

  138. Yep ! during the early fifties many professional footballers earned less than many working men, with weekly wages around thirteen to twenty quid a week, many with certain conditions attached which relied on bonus payments.
    Unbelievable as it seems, many needed regular jobs which were supplemental too their poorly paid careers.

  139. And yeah, the market certainly hasn’t been kind to Ashley, just shortly after he was looking at the world as his oyster.

    Which makes it essential that the club beat the drop, as only the approaching riches of EPL membership can ensure
    NUFC as the cash cow used to advertise his real business.

    Ah well !

    Does anyone really care ?

    Doubt it.

  140. chuck says:
    January 8, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    “C’mon Worky you can do better than that !

    “Eastham never played for Everton, but he did force a move to Arsenal where he played for six years.

    “Yes it had something to do with poor housing, but primarily it was about the clubs ability to keep a players registration, which was known at the time as the slavery contract.”

    Aye Chuck, you’re right, he went to Arsenal like Malcolm MacDonald. I don’t know why I wrote Everton. I don’t know, I wasn’t there but it seemed from what I read it all started with the accomodation and eventually blew up into a grand battle about player’s rights. As you know, there were no mansions in Darras Hall, they’d get some pokey lodgings somewhere with a big old Northern battleaxe as a landlady, if they were lucky!

    Incidentally, Bobby Robson’s old mate, fighter for player’s rights and the father of modern football, Jimmy Hill died recently by the way, as did the much younger Pavel Srnicek, another jogging casualty who went in his 40s. I don’t remember mentioning Srnicek above, probably because of the site going off for a while over the new year.

    Oh well, it’s the FA Cup today against Watford. I hope we’re not the same as we have been in the last few FA Cups. I don’t know, besides all the rest, Quique Sanchez Flores was my manager pick for the season, along with wonderkid at Bournemouth but he has it even harder that Watford and is still in his 30s. As i’ve mentioned before, it’s kind of ironic, and very clever that him and Rainieri, the continental sophisticates have done so well by returning to good old fashioned 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 because modern teams are forgetting how to defend against it. The same went for Pellegrini at Man City when he won the League and the League Cup.

  141. Yes the picture has certainly changed in regard to who has the hammer in regard to modern day football.

    There was a time when a player was called up to the managers office and told his wages were to be cut or handed a train schedule and directions to his new club, where a deal for him had been completed.

    I recall the moment it became clear, it was when Van Hoojdink or whatever his name was simply said , i’m not playing for you anymore and got away with it.

    It appears Newcastle are stumbling from one debacle to another despite Ashley throwing fifty or so big ones at the problem.

    He must be fairly confused when he looks at the recently promoted sides and sees how well they are doing and wonders why ?

    When the problem is facing him directly every time he looks in a mirror.

    It’s not about money in his case, it has more to do with ego or the fact he continues to believe he has the answers, when it comes to the operation of a football club.

    The problem is (and he has been told so by many for years) that football is not the ‘Retailing Business’
    and doesn’t operate on the same principles, which he has simply refused to accept, having discovered a new system that will revolutionize the business, ‘buy cheap and sell for profit’ and hire a bunch of cheap losers to run the operation.

    Hey ya gotta laff!

    I’m curious as to what he’s going to do about it, will he desperately chuck good money after bad, by spending heavily during the current window, or perhaps fire the grinning McClaren, who looks like he’s confused though not that bothered as everything will eventually work out OK .

    Or, perhaps reach the conclusion he has no clue about what he’s doing and hire some professionals to run the club, I very much doubt if it will be the latter, but then what do we know what goes on I this guys head.

    But for sure if there are not major changes made, “were gannin doon wi the mackems”

    Ah well, aint my money.

  142. chuck says:
    January 10, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    “I recall the moment it became clear, it was when Van Hoojdink or whatever his name was simply said , i’m not playing for you anymore and got away with it.”

    Aye, I remember Van Hooijdonk and his moods, but don’t you mean Bosman the Belgian? He was no Messi or a Ronaldo (and he’s skint now apparently) but he certainly left his mark on football.


    Another game without a goal for Newcastle, against Watford reserves. If they only let in one goal a game (as they have in the last three) the defence hardly deserve a firing squad, but if they can’t even score one goal back, even a solid defence isn’t going to help that much.

  143. Yes we all remember Bosman, but few have heard of Eastham, both who contributed enormously to the welfare of the modern day footballer, not to forget the fact that every one of to-days footballers has an agent/lawyer, looking after his welfare.

    A far cry from the thralldom of the post war players.

    Looks like we are about to sign another French/Senegalese
    player, supposedly a strong running, decent passer and known to put his foot in defensive midfielder, who I assume will be Tiote’s replacement.

    And it’s no secret we are also interested in JJ Shelvey,
    who I assume will replace ‘weeVurn’ though I would have preferred a return of ‘Cabaye’, but lets see.

    Fact is we really need a winger on the left and a good young central defender for the future, as Colo is getting
    on and I doubt if he has another season in him.

    But above everything else we need to get Remy for the rest of the season, he is desperate to play, being he needs exposure in order to be selected into the French squad for the Euro’s.

    It’s a case of surviving the drop then re-evaluating come the seasons end, but right now is the wrong time to be cheap, Ashley has to spend in order to survive in the PL.

    But that considered, there has to be an evaluation of how the club has been run and realize it’s time to hire the professionals that can make this club successful, which means many of those in top level management have to go, plus Ashley has to stop interfering and change the policies that are obviously not working, after all eight years later we are still fighting relegation, signifies something is not working.

  144. Oh Chuck, you always believe all that guff coming out of Lee Ryder’s backside!

    We need goals. Cisse has been psycholgically broken down until he doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going. However, does sending out Carr for another striker fill you with confidence after the last two goalshy hitmen at around £17.5 million combined? Then there’s the De Jong brothers (say no more). I think I would rather throw a dart at a board full of striker photos than send Graham Carr to find one.

  145. With Saivet (definitely) and Shelvey (according to the BBC) added to the squad we’re positively overflowing with midfielders now. What we really need, though, is a couple of strikers who can hit the 21 square yards of goal at the opposition’s end.

  146. Well regardless of how anyone feels about it, a deal has been done, in fact two deals.

    The controversial JJ Shelvey, who has had his problems at Swansea, actually since he left Pool.

    Though where he fit’s in remains to be seen, a fairly strong attacking midfielder, known for scoring from a distance, who it appears was signed to fit a role similar to that played by Cabaye, which would not exactly be a role he is familiar with, or played.

    Lets see how he works out !

    Saivet appears to have a decent history as a defensive halfback, the captain of his former side, with a reputation similar to Sissoko, he can run all day, is supposedly a decent ball passer, good in the tackle, which is more than we presently have there,in Tiote-Vurn and Colback.

    As for John-Joe, if given the choice between him and Dejong, I know who I would pick.

    Sell DeJong and Tiote, hang onto Colback, we will need him when the African cup is being played.

    I gotta say Colo. is playing his ass off these days, hell he may be good for another year as a super sub. Though we should be looking for a serious replacement for the future, which are neither of the two recently brought up from the second tier.

    As to what you are referring too on the market, I only advocated getting Remy on loan, he did the job for us last time and is a proven goal-scorer, I can just imagine him playing up front with Wijnaldum as a No.10.
    Plus it’s commonly understood he needs playing time hoping to impress for the Euro Championship games.

    For the time being that should suffice, as I think Thauvin can play on the left wing, despite his detractors
    and I understand the young M’babu had an excellent game last time out, proving he could bring the ball up-field, giving the side a bit more balance.

    On the other hand what are we to do with all of the midfielders (the deadwood) perhaps we could do as ‘Sports Direct’ does, put up a for sale sign, going cheap, never used, great deals.

    Just call Mr.Carr @ StJames’Park.

  147. Almost forgot, interesting game to-day, certainly no classic, but the side played hard, especially in the second half and appear to be half assed convinced they can play with any side, doing better against the top clubs and failing when it comes to the lower tier sides.

    Whats that about ?

    It’s about time that someone (the ref) started calling the wrestling matches that take place in the box, during set plays,.

    As a matter of fact I give this ref to-day, kudos for his calls, as most ignore the mayhem going on, most lacking the cojones.

    Perhaps his example will be followed by others, though I doubt it.

  148. Worky

    Though we paid over the top for Mitrovic, the fact he isn’t scoring is not entirely his fault, it was the same with Cisse and others, stuck up front alone with no service or help.

    It appear Wijnaldum has figured out he has to play up front and pick up or pick out opportunities in tandem with Mitrovic, either feed him or score from his scraps, just like Ya Ya Toure.

    I believe that Carr had intended to do a Bobby Robson, by getting both Mitrovic and pairing him with Perez in a revival of the Shearer /Bellamy pairing, which obviously hasn’t worked, Perez not having the pace and Mitrovic, not very good at holding up the ball, ah well !

    Better with a Remy/Wijnaldum pairing.

  149. chuck says:
    January 13, 2016 at 12:28 am


    “Though we paid over the top for Mitrovic, the fact he isn’t scoring is not entirely his fault, it was the same with Cisse and others, stuck up front alone with no service or help.”

    I’m not basing it on how many chances Mitrovic gets, but what he has done with those chances, chances he should have stuck in. Even the best miss more than they hit, but he just hasn’t shown the nerve and lack of hesitation you need to be a hit man so far, even if he has done other aspects fairly well. Last night he won the penalty, scored the penalty and provided an assist which is very much in his favour but he still didn’t bang it in from open play. We’ll see, but as I’ve mentioned already, he has been a like that with Serbia too.

    Hugh, I don’t understand all the midfielders either, unless he is getting rid of a few.

  150. It’s still my belief that the results we have had are more the fault of poor tactics, than individual skills.

    I find McClaren to be only slightly better as a coach than Pardew, the side certainly play a more entertaining style, becoming a club known as a fast breaking side, which should be obvious to any manager they having some pacey players.
    To which the addition of our new French midfielder who is also known to be able to run all day, is a positive.

    Though i don’t know about Shelvey, don’t recall him as being particularly mobile, tell me again why we went out and spent twelve big ones on him and what his role is likely to be in a fast paced side.

    Hell I could be wrong, but i’m sure if it’s a midfield general we were looking for, there were better deals available, but lets see ?

    Afraid i’m not one of those in Carr we trust peple.

    Though he’s probably the best of a lousy bunch of top management yes men, which means this club will go nowhere until Ashley hires the right people, which is not in a cheap fire sale.

  151. chuck says:
    January 13, 2016 at 12:04 am

    “Well regardless of how anyone feels about it, a deal has been done, in fact two deals.”

    Aye, I’ve lost alot of interest, my finger is no longer on the pulse. I’m getting more like Nutmag all the time, especially so with recent developments in my life.

    avatar chuck says:
    January 13, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    “It’s still my belief that the results we have had are more the fault of poor tactics, than individual skills.”

    Ultimately, I blame the bad voodoo at Newcastle United.

  152. Soh !

    Looks like someone has taken stock of what’s going on at the club and decided to dump the deadwood, which in turn asks or questions Carr’s abilities as a top scout.

    After all is he not the man who is responsible for making the decisions in regard to who plays for the side over the last few years.

    Yes there are certain caveats as to where and for how much and certainly an age limit which have been imposed on him in regard to choices, but I have no doubt he has Ashley’s ear and has total control, though they tell us otherwise.

    Of course there was Pardew (without any say as to who we signed) who just ignored a number of players brought in, HBA, Marveaux and many of the youngsters, being they didn’t fit his tactical approach (whatever that was?}

    As for Mr. Mack, he probably has as little say in regards to transfers as his predecessor, but it’s a job, better than toiling in the lower leagues, so he is willing to agree with whatever rules are imposed on him.

    Is this any way to run a football club ?

    But anyway we are about to dump another young French player, that we payed a lotta money for, along with a number of others.

    Tiote, who it has been mentioned will be sold for 8M.quid
    personally I doubt it but if they do, great.

    Thauvin will join Cabella back in the French League on loan, as will (hopefully) Gouffran and Obertan, plus I don’t see much of a future for DeJong.

    Which could loosen up some wage availability and allow us to make some signings come the summer.

    Though who will make the decision’s remains a problem, if it’s only Carr, with his checkered history, it could be a problem, being I have no problem with an overall ‘Director of Football’, but certainly not someone who makes those decisions without input from the head coach/manager.

    Nah ! the question will always revert to how good is your top management, in order to have some kind of success and this club, needs to apply those changes or continue as a losing side.

  153. Worky @ 154
    No my uncle was never in the army. He was a miner in charge of an underground stables as horse keeper.
    Pit ponies were around a lot longer than some people think.
    Well I suppose as this is a football blog and it is “Groundhog month” time for the same old who we are going to buy? and who we are going to sell? 99% of it exactly the same crap we have heard in other windows
    Nothing any good will happen while we have Ashley’s A.S.S
    Ashley’s Stupid System. and that will remain as his ARSE is his main priority.
    Ashley’s Really. Shite. Emporiums.
    Since he bought “The Bus” that was Nufc all he wants to do with it is to park it up a Cul-De-Sac and use it to advertise “A.r.s.e”. Just as well really as the conductor is clueless and the driver doesn’t know where he is going.
    Time was when that bus travelled far and wide around Europe. even so 50,000 still go to look at it up its Cul-De-Sac. Well that is till its towed away and impounded in the Championship and what will the cost be to get it out?
    Its an addiction Worky but it can be controlled. I’m not controlled by it anymore but like all addicts your never really free.

  154. Year eight and instead of being a competitive side, as promised, here we are second from the bottom, leaving our beloved owner, with his finger pressing hard on the panic button.

    So who to blame ?

    It’s obvious to any discerning football fan, where the problem lies, yet our beloved owner refuses to face reality.

    He is certainly a stubborn man and in retrospect must reach the conclusion that he and he alone is entirely to blame.

    The club has been in the relegation zone for the most part of this season, which is not to say we have been much better in previous seasons, apart from the false dawns of a fifth place finish, which was for the most part, more luck than anything and certainly not close to the side’s we had under SBR, who was fired for dropping to a fifth place spot.

    And that’s only the playing side of what has occurred, the fans detest Ashley in general and have never forgiven him, for the renaming of ‘St.James’Park’, ‘WONGA’ and the hundreds of ‘Sports Direct’ signs scattered throughout the ground.

    The club is presently the laughing stock of the league, with the worst management of any club, in both the EPL and Championship league combined, where we may very well find ourselves next season, in which case how will he be able to pay all of these top wage earners he is bringing in.

    Having already experienced a season in the second tier, one would have thought our beloved leader would have at least learned by his early mistakes, but no, we go through the same old problems of bad management, hiring only those who are willing to agree with our leader and of course these are for the most part, second raters in need of a job and willing to accept whatever Ashley decrees is the right thing to do.

    As long as he remains as owner of this club, he will never have the respect of the fans and believe it there have been some crap owners in the last sixty years, but none who have completely taken away the joy of watching NUFC play, the present fans are the most subdued and quietest fans in the league, having had little to cheer about in years.

    If one were to formulate a plan on how to fail completely as an owner of a football club, Ashley’s current plan would win hands down, it’s only his hubris that refuses to allow him to make the changes needed, which is of course, hands off, hire the professionals that have the know how to manage a club such as this and offer the fans something to bring them out of this present depressive state of affairs he has managed to reduce the club too.

  155. Everyone depressed enough ?

    Ah! it’s actually not as bad as it cold be, we could be Leeds, or clubs like Notts. Forest or the Sheffield’s, who it appears have had their day in the sun but are now permanently anchored in the second tier, who’s chances of slipping down a division, are probably better than being promoted.

    On the other hand it appears Boro. are running away with the Championship, having a decent young Manager while we appear to be going in the opposite direction, with their old manager, ah well, put it down to good and bad upper management.

    Perhaps if we spend enough on players, we like Sunderland could possibly creep out of the relegation zone, obviously Ashley believes it to be the case, but it could be a situation of throwing good money after bad.

    On the other hand it would be nice to have all three big NE clubs in the EPL, four derby games a season, I could live with that.

    Looks like Townsend is our next target, which would strengthen our left and bring a bit of balance to the side, plus another Sissoko type and whatever Shelvey brings to our midfield and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them both get starts the morra.

    Question is who have we lined up as our new striker, hopefully it’s Remy, who with Wijnaldum playing behind him could be the source for a few badly needed goals.

    Sure we need an eventual replacement for Colo. but as of right now he is playing excellent, like he always did and we could wait until the summer, same thing with our need for a LB, but having knocked Dummitt recently he makes me eat my words about being a stay at home LB, by scoring against M.U.

    Hell you cant win em all I guess or get too depressed, being life has a way of surprising us all.

  156. Nutmag says:
    January 14, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    “Worky @ 154
    No my uncle was never in the army. He was a miner in charge of an underground stables as horse keeper.
    Pit ponies were around a lot longer than some people think.
    Well I suppose as this is a football blog and it is “Groundhog month”

    Aye Nutmag, I just tend to associate the term “bully beef” with the army. I used to get fed alot of corned beef hash when I was a bairn (with lots of crusty bread to dunk in it), but you don’t see that much nowadays. The oldies used to eat stuff like pig’s trotters and tripe too which everyone hates now, though as a chef you’ll probably know that things like that are still delicacies in France, like pig’s ears, tongues and so on. If you go to the restaurants of Lyon, the traditional home of French food, they love to serve up stuff like that.

    I remember hearing about pit ponies when I was a youngster in the NE, homes for retired pit ponies or whatever so I looked it up and the Independent said that the last pit ponies were given their cards in Wales in 1999!


    Don’t feel obligated to mention the football if you don’t want to, Nutmag. Write about whatever you want. I know how you feel.

  157. chuck says:
    January 15, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    “Hell you cant win em all I guess or get too depressed, being life has a way of surprising us all.”

    The thing is though Chuck is when it comes to Newcastle United and surprises, they are usually bad surprises! :-)

    I haven’t switched off completely, but I’m more detached than I used to be. I’ll watch the games and enjoy it if we win, but I don’t get as involved as I used to. I think it’s all the Sports Direct stuff as much as the being shite which has led to my greater detachment.

  158. “The oldies used to eat stuff like pigs trotters and tripe” You mean their not going home after a night on the beer to pigs trotters? What is the world coming to, and tripe I love them both, but there again I am as you say an “oldie”.
    Back when I was in the army in Kenya, I was chef to a survey team that mapped the Northern Frontier Province up to Sudan Ethiopia and the Somali borders.
    Trips lasted about three months with a month off at the end and three months pay when we got back. Best job I ever had. Like being on safari for three months and then having another holiday when I got back.
    Only once the army in their wisdom got it wrong.
    They though we were a regiment out on a days exercise which meant they gave us the rations for one meal.
    Bully Beef tinned green beans and pom. In that three months I learnt to cook bully in every way known to man and then some. We did supplement it with things we shot thank goodness.

  159. Nutmag, my dad used to say “pom.” He was in the navy during the war. He was in alot of campaigns (I’ve got his medals) and saw alot of action. When he talked about it though, he made it sound more like a long holiday in India and Egypt most of the time. Unless, that is, he was doing the “you lot today don’t know you’re born” routine, which of course he was right about really.

    On the football (sorry Nutmag), even though we did very well, and Mitrovic did well along with others, he should have scored and still doesn’t have that confidence when it comes to the crunch. Good job we’ve got Wijnaldum, and Shelvey was very good with him today as a partnership as well. His probing passing probably made him man of the match just ahead of Wijnaldum.

  160. Bully beef ! I assume you are referring to the canned stuff from (mainly) Argentina that was one of the staples that fed the people of Britain during WW2, along with imported powdered eggs and Spam from the US and of course fish & chips.

    Also known as corned beef, though there’s a decided difference between it and the salted beef commonly sold alongside Pastrami in the few remaining Jewish delis left in NYC.

    It appears many Jewish people these days prefer to eat Chinese not unlike the British, who it seems prefer a good Indian curry as opposed to the more stodgy traditional meals, like roast beef vegetables roast potato’s and Yorkshire pudding.

    Though there’s a lot to be said for what’s known as comfort food, which can still be had in some of the old fashioned diners left in he city, each traditionally sold on specific days of the week, such as Liver and onions, Corned beef and cabbage every Thursday, Wednesday it’s Salisbury steak or Brisket of beef and on Fridays, there was fish cakes and spaghetti.

    I still enjoy either a Pastrami or corned beef sandwich on rye bread with good mustard a pickle and some cole slaw
    on the side. mmm! mmm !

    On my visits to Newcastle (mainly to catch a game) there was of course the pasties from Gregg’s plus stuff only (to my knowledge) sold locally, such as peas pudding, savaloy sausages, a number of things (pork usually) inserted into stotty cakes, with were dipped in gravy and of course any number of meat pies.

    Plus of course the chippies that were constantly compared both in quality and quantity, though I was a bit disappointed by some of the chippers recommended, those close to the old North Shields fish piers.

    However the best of all were the Kippers bought at Craster, simply delicious.

  161. Interesting game to-day, with Newcastle starting like ‘gang busters’ attacking ferociously, putting The Hammers on the back foot for most of the half and for a side lacking in goal-scoring ability, appeared to be in for a high scoring game, having put two on the board in no time.

    However like most of the magpies games, it developed into the proverbial game of two distinctly different halves, with ‘The Hammers’ reviving following a give away goal by our normally decent M’bemba.

    And ending with a sigh of relief from the home fans having won a deserved three points.

    I,m getting a bit tired of Colback’s poor judgement, when it comes to stupid fouls, perhaps if he gets to sit out a couple of games and is informed as to why, he may get the message.

    Once again Collo. played an inspirational game and i’m happy to see Wijnaldum playing behind the striker, he’s beginning to look a bit like Ya Ya Ture and if he continues in that role, will end up with a bunch of goals in this his first seson here.

    The combination of Sissoko and Janmaat on the right continues to be our biggest threat and it will be interesting to see how Townsend will fit on the left, that’s of course if we sign him.

    Shelvey had his few moments with some nice passes, but he needs game time to sharpen up and I expect a lot more from him.

    Of course we didn’t and shouldn’t expect a lot to-day from either he or his new French midfield partner Saivet, reportedly a box to box central defender much like Sissoko, other than he has played as a winger and can partake equally in the attack, though he is primarily a defensive midfielder.

    Finally the club finds itself out of the relegation zone, which must be a relief for all, but it’s going to be no easy task to manage to crawl further into the safety zone of mid table mediocrity and another season of EPL football.

  162. M.U. vs. Liverpool an interesting game, though the better side lost, but more important the game that followed saw a Stoke side match up well against Arsenal (this years pretenders to the league title) which would cause many to reach the conclusion, that the old EPL consisting of those clubs owned by oligarch’s or at least billionaires, no longer dominate the way they once did, based for the most part the ability to buy the best players.

    Though I don’t discount entirely the fact money can buy success, it presently looks like the choices made by certain clubs in regard to bringing in players have had an improved effect on how well certain clubs have done, well that and the fact that there’s also an understanding by owners that the quality of coaching and management , has recently proven to play an equally important role.

    With many of the old British managers (the retreads) now well passed their sell by date’s and most clubs (apart from NUFC) now realizing that top management is as important as acquiring top players, be they young British or continentals.

    Plus, the approaching EPL season will as everyone is aware
    produce an enormous increase in TV revenues, leveling the playing field to some degree, with the traditional clubs such as Villa, NUFC and Sunderland, once expected to survive the drop, now competing with clubs such as Bournemouth, Leicester and Watford for those consistently increasing funds.

    However the EPL’s increasing ability to purchase top players from both European and other leagues, seems to have resulted in an exiting new form of football, a constantly evolving style of both tactically and technically.

    There is the old English/British style of a game played fast and furious, with a good degree of physicality, where plyers have little time on the ball, combined with a much improved technical ability, making it the most watched league in the world.

    That being the case it also has imported certain less pleasing aspects, such as diving, time wasting and other annoying aspects, however contrary to the logic of being able to buy some of the worlds best players, the results of EPL sides against their European opponents has shown to result in less success in Euro. tournaments ?

    Though it must be said, those opponents are also equally wealth, they being the R.M’s, PSG’s including Barca, Bayern Munich and the big Italian clubs.

    One wonders what he future of the game holds for everyone, as there has to be a limit when it comes to the amounts presently paid out by the competing TV networks, but who knows.

  163. chuck says:
    January 16, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    “Bully beef ! I assume you are referring to the canned stuff from (mainly) Argentina that was one of the staples that fed the people of Britain during WW2, along with imported powdered eggs and Spam from the US and of course fish & chips. ”

    It’s the same as Corned beef, Chuck. Getting proper Fish and chips can be a hit and miss business nowadays. It used to be the standard thing to cook them in beef dripping. That’s the magic ingredient in proper fish and chips. Now alot of them don’t care and cook them in vegetable oil, which is a different kettle of fish entirely. I fryed up in my mother’s fish and chip restaurant in Whitby a few times. You have to have the right batter mix with the right amount of soda to make it light and crisp, and the dripping must be the right temperature when it goes in (hot) so it seals very quickly. Chips cooked in dripping are the best. Then there’s the old cod / haddock debate. Personally I think that cod is fluffy, but Haddock has a bit more flavour.

  164. On reading to-days various media reports, it has been claimed that NUFC’s deal for Lacazette is ongoing and that Lyon have tentatively accepted a record Newcastle bid of twenty five million quid, resulting in only Lacazette’s willingness to make the move and iron out personal terms.

    Unbelievable !

    I suppose the thought of relegation and the humbling our dear leader would undergo as a result has generated an ego driven attempt to prove he knows just what he’s doing, but twenty five million, especially in these present market conditions is an incredible offer.

    Is EPL membership worth that kind of offer, combined with the money’s already spent, not to mention payrolls, it’s not the kinda dosh one would expect to spend for mid table mediocrity, which could mean we are destined for a run at a top six to eight spot in this approaching 16/17 season.


    yeah right.

  165. Worky, it’s not that difficult, a cup of Water combined with a cup of flour, or equal amounts of both depending on the amount needed, the trick is in adding the necessary amount of soda, being the more you add the crispier the batter.

    As for chips or fries as they are known here, one has to doff their hats to the Belgium’s, it being their national dish.

    Having often enjoyed plates of Belgian fries and mussels.

    There’s a school of thought that requires the fries to be partially cooked, then placed in the refrigerator and after a period of time placed back in a very hot oil and of course you are right that beef lard is by far the best ingredient, if not exactly the healthiest.

    Cod or haddock, that’s a tough one, but I think I prefer the Icelandic cod with those large sweet flakes, to the smaller haddock, not to say I would refuse a good plateful of either right now.

  166. Yes I do remember the twin comic books of the early fifties, The Dandy and the Beano and of course the Wizard and The Adventure, which were a continuous series of written stories, quite interesting but apparently written for public school boys of that time.

    While cleaning out an old building last summer I happened to come across a series of magazines dating back to the early fifties ‘The World Wide Magazine’, unfortunately they were waterlogged and unreadable, but I remember the magazine well, it’s origin dating back to the possibly the beginning of the twentieth century, with articles on some of he most remote parts of the world, I suppose like most of the reading material of it’s time now long defunct.

  167. Sounds like one of those “derring-do” style things from the good old days when British men in moustaches ruled the world. I used to read the Beano with Dennis the Menace and the Bash Street Kids. I didn’t read the Dandy much. They had Desperate Dan with his endless cow pies,

  168. Ah yes the Beano and Dandy and the natural progression to the Wizard and Hotspur, from “Lord Snooty” to “Roy of the Rovers” Then on to Biggles, Robinson Crusoe, and Treasure Island Then for me across the pond to Chucks neck of the woods Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
    This has made me think how reading habits have changed. Through my youth and on it seemed the favourite read for many was Westerns (Cowboy books). I tended to favour biographies and more factual stuff but bookshelves were full of “Cowboy books”
    I think this obsession followed on into TV programs like Wagon Train, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, The Virginian, Bonanzer, and the High Chaparal.
    Must have been the USA were the only ones making TV programs then.
    I often wondered how The High Chaparal was such a successful ranch when there wasn’t a blade of grass as far as the eye could see.

  169. Nutmag, I was a bit late to the party but I recall in my day that the BBC was more British and home grown, because it was the British Broadcasting Corporation after all and it made its own shows. The BBC was a bit more posh and more the channel of the middle class “Cuthbert Cringeworthy” types. Then you had the independent ITV importing the Yank shows with all their exciting gun play, carnage and such, which was what the bairns on the street wanted to watch.

  170. Having missed the early BBC & ITV telly stuff, I really couldn’t comment, though most US generated stuff was awful both then and now, apart from some of the HBO and other independent series, with the old networks having yet to realize how far behind they have become.

    The only real difference I recall was between the radio programs, the ‘Light Proram’ and the ‘Home Service’ and I think the Third Program, was it ?.

    Though the radio produced some decent stuff, apparently that produced for TV left a lot to be desired and due to cost bought a lot of American rubbish, to supplement their schedule.

    Unfortunately lately we here in the US have been subjected to a lot of English period pieces showing how life was for the wealthy, that and those who worked for them, a constant repeat of upstairs /downstairs, which becomes more boring as it goes on, basically another Coronation Street or East Enders Soap opera, in upper class drag, though I have to say a big hit especially with American women.

    Another interesting program of course was the BBC overseas radio broadcast’s, which gave one a fairly believable viewpoint on what was taking place, when one was out of touch in various places throughout the world.

    I always recall and it has become a personal joke between my son an I, having just listened to the bbc news from a rebroadcasting station in Sarawak, it was stated he next program will be on “Mushroom Growing In Tasmania” which left me twiddeling the waveband and being unable to find anything tolerable to listen too, switched in despair back to Mushroom growing.

    As it turned out, it was one of he most interesting of lectures, something only the bbc could do and on relating this to my son, he would enquire as he passed through what was I watching, mushroom growing dad ?

  171. Chuck you must have been around for bbc radio programs like Dick Barton, Paul Temple, and the scary Valantine Dyall The Man in Black, Dick Barton episodes only lasted 15 minutes a night.
    A couple of good reads I had late 50s early 60s I remember from your side of the pond were The Jack Dempsey Story and especially Johnny Resko great read and he wasn’t a bad artist too.
    Wish I could find time to read now, mind you it would have to be real gripping stuff at my age staying awake would be the problem.
    While I’m at it, one of my favourite watercolour artists is American Winslow Homer. He did live here in Cullercoats on the north east coast in the late 1800s for a while
    He could really catch the mood of a place.

  172. Chuck, most TV is complete and utter crap at the time, but then you look at the highlights in retrospect and it might seem like more of a golden age. The 50s is before my time but they were still showing 50s American shows like Sgt Bilko, The Twilight Zone and Perry Mason decades after. The BBC in their genius / stupidity also made great TV programmes that were later hailed as classics, but bits of them are missing because they wiped alot of the video tapes to save on tape costs!

    Aye, the third programme was for classical music, and is now Radio 3. Nowadays, there’s a very good show about world football on the world service among other things. It’s on after midnight over here but it’s more like tea time in New York. It’s a much better and more educational than the usual drivel about football.


  173. Your right Worky about tv being crap a good 90% Id say.
    Soaps, Gameshows, Buying houses, Antique shows and dare I say it cooking programs and ANY! so called Reality Shows they all leave me cold. They are all a bit like Victorian freak shows.
    Everything has an up side though it gives me more time to be more productive.

  174. A word of warning, having recently viewed the movie ‘The Revenant’, despite a certain reluctance on my part, believing that the trailer might be the best part of the movie.

    Well my reluctance proved to be right, being the movie turned out to be a long boring piece of crap, resulting in everyone calling it a work of art, clearly a case of ‘The King has no Clothes’ the know nothing critics being afraid to mention anything critical in case they are ostracized for not recognizing art and the fact it could earn a lotta loot for the studio.

    Just don’t waste your money, unless you are heavy into boredom.

  175. When I was growing up, as far as the TV went there was a real clash between the old and the new, especially with the BBC. You’d watch the BBC of an evening and they would have something like Monty Python followed by the old time racism of the “Black and White Minstrel show”, which was bizarre.

  176. Nutmag

    Yes I recognize many of those radio programs, there was one special Sci-Fi series, that had he best and eeriest sound effects, something like ‘Journey into Space’ and of course there was the old favorite ‘Book at Bedtime’.

    And yes I suppose there were the age related comic-books, though I was never into Biggles or for that matter the awful ‘Dennis Wheatley’ stuff that epitomized everything wrong with the children’s books of the time.

    Having the good fortune to be afforded a reading list offered by one of my teachers, which caused disruption in the Library from overly officious and opinionated Librarians who believed the reading matter to be beyond my age group, unbelievable bitches !

    Not that all children’s literature at the time was bad, there was a series of books by Ladybird, I used to buy for my son, which covered a number of subjects and were fairly well written, this was in the mid to late seventies and possibly was unavailable during the fifties.

    As for my nomination of the best radio station, over there, it’s ‘Lyric Radio’, which is broadcast in Dublin, which covers a number of musical taste’s from serious music to some really good Jazz programs, blues and a myriad of foreign sounds with a live concert thrown in every afternoon and some of the most informed announcers.

    I awear it attracts fish being I always seem to land more fish while quietly playing it.

  177. Appears ‘wor Mike’ is about to go hog wild, spending like a drunken sailor, twenty five million for Lacazette, twelve to fourteen big ones for Townsend and god knows who else, some pundit’s even prophesying the side could finish somewhere in the top ten.

    Yep! no wonder the Newcastle faithful are a bit f**cked up, this guy has them going from, the depths of depression, to a state of euphoria with the belief they can or are capable of winning the league, or if not,at least end up as mid table mediocrities, which i’m sure Ashley would settle for right now.

    But upon examination, it is only a repeat of what occurred a few seasons ago, when he went hog wild and bought Cabaye, Sissoko and who remembers.

    I suppose when you buy four or five, a certain percentage have to be decent business, though we have had our share of failures.

    It’s amazing what panic can do for a football club, go get em Mike!

  178. Worky

    Is this the kinda shit you guys are being subjected too by the cheap-ass tv people over there, I thought we had reached the pitt’s with Gerry Springer and the other creeps trolling on the bottom of life’s social classes, in order to entertain those only a step above that level, in order for them to feel good about themselves.

    Nah ! this is really the pitts.

  179. Nutmag

    Yes I too am a fan of Homer, who’s works covered a lot of the American frontier, plus seascapes, which often used the New England Dory, of which there were many different types, a seaworthy but cheaply made flat bottomed double ended boat, with that could be rowed , sailed or adapted for use in many different areas of the US east coast.

    Of course one of the most popular seascapes is that depicting the African American man surrounded by sharks lying on the deck of a dismasted and rudderless sailing boat, titled ‘The Gulf Stream’

  180. Chuck, there’s a chap over here called Jeremy Kyle who makes Jerry Springer look classy. Some of the best television I watch nowadays is documetaries like Storyville on BBC4. This is one of them about an FBI informer:

  181. Hmm ! an interesting watch, the techniques used by the various agencies appear familiar to what one would expect, plus the victim/perp. fits the bill, a small time criminal, given the choice of a life in the joint (and most know what that entails) or work for us.

    This I assume was a BBC produced documentary, an after the fact scenario i’m assuming ? as I didn’t get to watch it in it’s entirety.

    Of course the same story has repeated itself in London, and in cities throughout the UK, especially those with large Muslim populations.

    POlice departments throughout the world, would simply find it impossible to work, without their enforced snitches.

    Yes there are many similarities between the present day UK and US, just replace FBI with Special Branch and
    MI5, or CIA with MI6, the difference is in the amount of funds and scale involved.

    Though each believe they are more sophisticated than their counterparts, but it’s organizations like the NYPD & The Met, that do the most surveillance and in the case of the Met. have been accused of actual assassinations.

    Which with the general availability of smart phones the evidence has become clear, certain policemen from both sides of the Atlantic, appear to act with impunity, knowing the courts or police governing bodies will whitewash the whole crime, regardless of the evidence produced.

    Right now the Mayor of Chicago (who will never be elected again) is in deep trouble for withholding evidence from the public for months and only producing it because of being forced by the courts.

    But surveillance is the problem, it appears that we are all becoming another East Germany, with everyone informing on one another, not only government agencies, but the private sector also, to the point I received pictures of Winslow Homer’s painting ‘The Gulf Stream’ on my computer, following yesterdays conversation with Nutmag where we mentioned the painter.

    Plus each and every one of us has an enormous store of information on our shopping habits, what we eat, where we spend our leisure hours, where we travel, the list goes on, all directly from credit and debit card information, to the point there is, more information out there in private hands and in government data banks than most individuals could tell you about themselves.

    Though it appears the average individual cares little about it, the usual attitude when informed about this is a look indicating you may be paranoid or a bit strange and followed up with the old adage “if you are not doing anything wrong, what are you worried about”?

    This is not the world I envisioned, nor want and it appears the more technology we acquire the more harm we create for the planet, at least that’s what Stephen Hawking warned recently and I would be inclined to take a warning from someone as bright as he.

  182. chuck says:
    January 19, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    “This I assume was a BBC produced documentary, an after the fact scenario i’m assuming ? as I didn’t get to watch it in it’s entirety.”

    It was worth watching the whole thing, Chuck. I think it could have been an independent production, and I think its proper title was (T)ERROR. Don’t know about whether it was commissioned or financed by the BBC or whatever but most of those Storyville things are documentaries of very high quality. One of the very best ones was “The English Surgeon.” It’s about brain surgeon Henry Marsh and his perfectly named assistant, Igor, in Ukraine. It’s absolutely stunning.


    I was watching another documentary about the local jihadists here, one of them supposedly was the chap on the latest Daesh video from Syria but they were just completely inadequate clowns, desperate losers who wanted to be important, but had little intelligence and couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery. They are being completely conned as the real power behind Daesh aren’t fanatics at all, they are Saddam Hussein’s army, putting that the one that largely dissapeared, with the remnants disbanded in Iraq. That’s why they can fight. Apart from all the equipment they are getting their hands on they have lots of Saddam’s old officers; not the big ones like the ones in that pack of cards, but the captains and the colonels, with that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the fanatical frontman. Not many people seem to realise this when they say that you can;t negotiate with Daesh. Really at that core which has the power they are just the old fashioned, more secular butchers like Saddam and Bashar al-Assad. What a mess that daft ex-President of yours got us into, and now you’re going to make Trump the next leader of the free world! :-)

  183. Chuck, the secret services are very big in the UK for its size. Despite the UK’s depleted power after the war, it was still heavily involved in the cold war spying game and with NATO defence in Europe against the Russkies. Since that there have been alot of spies looking for a role in life and these modern day kamikazes fit the bill. Haven’t you ever wondered why there’s an MI 1,2,3,4,5 and 6. There even used to be an MI 7 too! MI 5 (Domestic Intelligence) and James Bond’s MI 6 (Foreign Intelligence) are the famous ones.

    They didn’t used to exist before, well, they did of course, but their existence was never acknowledged, even when you could see big headquarters in the middle of London. What is even creepier now though is that spy chiefs seem have gone completely the other way. They have gone from invisible hands to coming out as celebrities on TV shows, like real life James Bond figures which I find very creepy indeed. It makes me feel like a police state has become accepted and part of the furniture.

  184. Chuck, Trump and Palin are teaming up now to “kick Isis ass”. I think it might be time to start thinking about emigrating now, just in case. :-)

    I think she referred to Trump as being “avant garde” at one stage! Who does she think he is, Picasso? Stockhausen?

  185. Punctuation! I didn’t mean Worky Trump and Palin just Trump and Palin.
    Your not a bad sort really.

  186. Mike Ashley is worth more than Donald Trump. Maybe they’re about the same with Sports Direct going down a bit recently but Google still has Ashley on top.

  187. Hey ! sometimes I find it difficult to believe what i’m hearing , reading or seeing, certainly last night’s shrill advocacy of ‘The Donald’ by what should be an entirely discredited Palin, a total ignoramus, advocating a buffoon.

    But on knowing how crazy and ignorant the American electorate are, it becomes a bit scary, even the seven dwarfs (the remaining republican candidates) now considered as the mainstream, are amazed by Trumps success and extremely concerned, being they realize how angry the average (but ignorant) white middle classes are and the possibility of this buffoon becoming elected.

    If you don’t find this scary, then you obviously don’t understand how serious things are, though most sane people expect ‘The Donald’ to crash and burn, ermmm ! I don’t see any indication of it happening any time soon.

    The problem is the rapidly changing demographics in the US, which could result in white Americans of mainly European stock, becoming outnumbered by people of color by mid century, combined by robotics taking over those well paid manual jobs, that in combination with de-industrialization and the exportation of jobs to lower wage earning countries, has caused a decline in the standards of the white middle classes, who are naturally angry as a result, believing they were the ones that created and therefor should be entitled to the rewards of having created this the worlds wealthiest of nation’s.

    Though that itself is a lie, it was built mostly by those of color free labor or slavery, that and the hard work of the vast mmigration of both Chinese and Irish labor during the nineteenth century.

    The result was the creation of the tea party, who if they understood their dilemma, would ally themselves with Bernie Sanders, presently running on a revolutionary platform, as a Socialist/Democrat.

    Who’s platform is to oppose the super rich, create a health system based on the NHS including eliminating the present inclusion of the large insurance companies, well I can’t get into he whole platform, but only indicating the present confusion within the country during this long pre election campaign.

    Which should give the electorate some idea of who they should vote for, but in fact only confuses the real issues and usually ends up with the winner being he/she who spends the most money, which in turn comes from the oligarch’s of this present gilded age.

    Who in turn get to pass whichever laws they desire and have a major say in the distribution of wealth.

    And Oh! Congratulations to the young Doctors within the NHS, who have stood up to Cameron and his attempts to cut funding for the NHS, a continuous policy of underfunding, which has been a Tory policy since it’s inception , attempting to turn people against the system and creating a return to a private health system looted by those same leach like insurance companies that manage to syphon off around one third of the cost of healthcare here in the US, not to mention the pharmaceutical manufacturers who make fortunes from a too long patent protected time period.

  188. Shall we get back to football ?

    Or perhaps become a dissident political voice, where everyone can discuss their opinions, which in turn would certainly draw more than one agency’s interest.

    i’m curious, as to what will happen to the present archives of the blog, should it close down.

    And is it the belief that everything, written material, videos etc. are also stored in the vaults/clouds of more than one intelligence agency, not because of any particular interest on their part, but simply because everything to-day is scooped up and stored, why I cant imagine, seems like an incredible waste of time and space.

  189. “has caused a decline in the standards of the white middle classes, who are naturally angry as a result, believing they were the ones that created and therefor should be entitled to the rewards of having created this the worlds wealthiest of nation’s.

    “Though that itself is a lie, it was built mostly by those of color free labor or slavery, that and the hard work of the vast mmigration of both Chinese and Irish labor during the nineteenth century.”

    Well you’ve hit on the knub of capitalism there, as Marx would see it anyway.

    The new NHS contracts are to prepare the way for US style privatisation. Noam Chomsky summed it up years ago when he said “That’s the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital.”

    Richard Branson and Virgin have already taken over quite alot of stuff for the NHS under the radar and the American giants are in too. One of the main architects of all this trouble, Oliver Letwin wrote a blueprint on how to privatise the NHS some time ago and they will all get alot of money off the companies who benefit in the fullness of time. It will be in the form of highly lucrative advisorships / consultancies.

  190. The present Labour Party situation, reminds me of when I lived in London during the late seventies.

    When a serious division between the left and the more liberal opposition, within the party. resulted in the breaking away, by what became known as the SDP.

    A very similar situation exists at present, with a dissatisfied Blairite group very unhappy with The Shadow PM and the left.

    Then there are the SNP, which has taken over all former Labour constituencies, increasing their vote to total control of Scotland, and looks likely to vote in favor of Scottish interests for the foreseeable future, possibly becoming in fact, the balance of power.

    A group much more influential than the old Ulster Unionist party that gave the Tory governments of Thatcher and Major the necessary votes and ability to pass bills.

    The question is at this particular time when Labour has lost the Scottish vote, they will find it very difficult to garner a simple majority, which in turn if the Blairites decide to jump ship, would signal the end of the Labour party and with it much of the legislation passed by them, including the NHS.

    Plus Corbyn appears to have transformed himself into a figure no different to any of the others by attempting to spruce himself up, by going out and renewing his wardrobe, plus has given the house one of it’s most boring speakers, neither of which is a good sign.

    Even Bernie over here has (not the greatest of orators) puts him to shame, while at the podium.

    Time to reorganize and settle differences or become irrelevant, I hope for everyone’s sake that present Labour can unite under a workable platform, being the alternative is total control by ‘big money’ and their willing co-horts the Tories.

  191. While we are on he subject of ‘Big Money’, it has come to my attention that NUFC are now the seventeenth richest club in the world, jumping two places from last years nineteenth place finish, in the wealth league.

    With around nine of the present EPL sides in the top twenty, it gives one an idea of why so many players have there eyes set on playing in such a league.

    Is this a good thing for football in general ?

    I doubt it, why ?

    Well, during the seventies when multi million pound
    tv contracts were non existent, the quality of football was more egalitarian , with clubs from the Dutch league and the Scottish league, winning major European tournaments.

    Few were surprised by this, being those sides were considered fairly wealthy, their revenues coming mainly from bums in seats.

    With the two Glasgow former giants, Celtic and Rangers expanding their stadiums to accommodate approximately fifty thousand or more, but where are they now? both struggling with Rangers nearly broke and languishing in the second tier, simply due to the lack of a decent TV contract.

    There’s no doubt that The English Premier league has become the main beneficiary, stripping other leagues of their best players .

    Club earnings have not only increased, but at an unbelievable rate, the EPL clubs are about to receive around one point five billion quid this coming season, to be shared out respectively.

    It’s no wonder our Dear Leader is currently spending like a drunken sailor, with this kind of revenue and possibly more expected over the next few years, certainly not a bad investment.

    But to become relegated with it’s cost could be fatal, that’s why we should expect a banner winter market, being every EPL club will do whatever they can to avoid the drop.

    However is this a good thing for football, well unfortunately good for some, but bad for the majority.

    It certainly has broadened the viewing market and generated an enormous amount of wealth throughout the world, on the other hand it has not exactly been kind to the smaller countries leagues, forcing them to become for the most part selling clubs or providers for the EPL, and other large leagues.

    Football has become not unlike capitalism, sometimes cruel, other times rewarding and face it, football is a marketable commodity, like it or not and not out of place in this dog eat dog world we live in, where wealth has a tendency to travel in an upward direction.

  192. The morra’s game will certainly be one of the seasons most important, why ?

    It a case of time running out, in other words the season is more than half over and we are running out of games, in order to climb out of not only the relegation zone where we have once again found ourselves, but out of that danger area of the bottom third.

    Now a team like Watford should or would have been a ‘gimee game’ a few seasons ago, unfortunately there are no longer any games where one can feel confident of a win, with most recently promoted sides having a bit of quality, I mean look at how Leicester have stormed their way to the top of the league.

    My point is people have been telling me, ” Aw Newcastle wont go down, they are too good a side” !

    Oh yeah! then why are we still in eighteenth place ?

    Sure there are still sixteen games to play, but unless we can stack up a bunch of wins, which I consider unlikely, it will be close, as it was last year and the year before FFS,

    That’s why this Saturdays game is so important.

  193. Chuck, it was the early 80s when Labour split up. The powers that be are trying to dress it up as a return to those days but decades after, so much has changed. The SDP was a disaster and was eventually swallowed up by a black hole of a party, the Liberals, who were almost wiped out at the last election.

    If you remember just after the war, the right wing of the party with Herbert Morrison tried a coup to get rid of Attlee just after he’d won a landslide election so this is nothing new. Herbert Morrison was the grandfather of Lord Mandelson, the Prince of Darkness who is still at the dark heart of Labour’s right wing. Despite outward appearences, Attlee was a very cunning old fox though.

    With the smaller parties in the last election, the comparison in votes vs representation is absurd. For instance the SNP got less than 1.5 million votes and got a huge 56 seats. On the other hand, Ukip got nearly 4 million votes yet they only got one seat! the Greens got nearly as many votes as the SNP but they only got one seat too. The eviscerated Liberals still got nearly 2.5 million but they only won 8 seats.

    I think Corbyn is getting a bit better actually.

  194. Another fiasco, with Mr. Mack, starting out with a 3-5-2, who does he think he is Bielsa ?

    To begin a game against two big strong hard running strikers like Deeney and Ighalo, with a three man back line, is suicidal, especially when using an ageing Collo. and it means the successful attacking duo of Sissko and
    Janmaat are ruled out Janmaat having to stay in defense.

    Look we know there are defensive problems due to injuries, but if this is how McClaren solves those problems, time to look for both a striker and a manager.

    It looks like Carr has blown it in regard to Mitrovic,he just hasn’t got it, I have been advocating a return of
    Remy a proven goal-scorer, if only until the end of this season, as it appears that Ashley is not about to spend on either a decent striker, or winger, or for that matter a decent central defender.

    And by the way everyone still think Shelvey is the answer, certainly not as far as to-days game is concerned, I will take Cabaye over him any-day.

    Though McClaren readjusted his starting lineup, it was a day late and a dollar short, this side is in real trouble despite throwing money at the problem, that’s what’s wrong with the club, Ashley either waits until extremis or refuses to pay the going price and ends up paying for what he gets, second rate players like Mitrovic, Gouffran DeJong, and those from the second tier that even McClaren wont play.

    I think it’s time to re evaluate Carr, as his choices are becoming worse each time there’s an open window, that and a clear-out of his top management, who couldn’t run Gatesheed never mind NUFC.

    When the club is sitting in a mid table position next season, in the second tier, he can only blame himself.

  195. WORKY
    Yes I’m aware the actual split took place after Maggie was elected, but the damage was done during the late seventies.

    And yes I agree about Mandelson, the architect of the Blair clique, who ended up in the wrong party, he would have fitted perfectly with the Tories, a dangerous article, who almost converted the party to Conservative Lite.

    As for divisions, sure the Labour Party was built on bringing so many diverse political beliefs together and it would have been unusual if that were not the case.

    And yes again, the infighting between the postwar Atlee government was as vicious as could be , but then so were the policies and platforms and the individual’s involved.

    Don’t forget all they had to accomplish in the new world they found themselves in, how they managed to accomplish what they did is still fairly amazing.

  196. News Flash, you heard it here first folks, though it’s not something the cognoscenti are unaware of, there are now serious rumors that Ex NYC Mayor Bloomberg could throw his hat into the presidential race, probably on the Republican ticket.

    Why ?

    Well everyone is aware of the fact the leading Republican candidates, ‘The Donald’ and ‘Cruz’ one a buffoon, the other to the right of Attila the Hun are not exactly the choice of the Republican Party establishment.

    It was supposed to be Jeb Bush or someone less radical than the two mentioned, however the voting public are sick and tired of the same old, same old, administrations
    and are voting for the more non establishment radicals, like Cruz and Trump.

    Even the Socialist/democrat Bernie Sanders looks as if he has a lead over Ex Secretary of State, Hilary, yes sir that’s one angry bunch of voters out there.

    But back to Bloomberg, why him ?

    He represents a safe alternative that the less radical republican party can rely on, with a near perfect record during his terms of office as The Mayor of the city,
    erm ! that’s NYC.

    And as most of us understand he’s a billionaire, which for some strange reason, many Americans give a free pass to as politicians, believing they have no monitory designs, Hmmm! having previously elected one of the Rockefeller’s as governor of the state of NY.

    Who it’s rumored died in the saddle while having a heart attack, way to go Rocky!

    Personally it’s my belief that Bloomberg as a candidate, would cause a sigh of relief for many, especially those old fashioned Republicans, even the angry voters, but then what do I know ?

  197. Chuck, I hear you’ve been having a bit of weather over there again? I don’t why you Yanks come over here moaning about a bit of mildly irritating drizzle with your apocalyptic weather over there?

    chuck says:
    January 23, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    “And as most of us understand he’s a billionaire, which for some strange reason, many Americans give a free pass to as politicians, believing they have no monitory designs, Hmmm! having previously elected one of the Rockefeller’s as governor of the state of NY.”

    But that’s BS and exactly what shouldn’t happen, Chuck. I know that candidates like Clinton are all bought and paid for by corporate interests, Israeli interests and such, but Billionaires with large corporations still have more incentive to feather their own nests than anyone else. It’s just like cutting out the middleman or woman to make the corruption of power more efficient! Whoever wins, it will be a sad state of affairs. We’re all doomed!

    Trying to drag something positive from the ashes of yesterday, young Lascelles was possibly / probably the best player on our side. He’s the defender but he did what Mitrovic is failing at too often.

  198. One last chance for Newcastle, make Remy an offer he cant refuse, just think of what his chances of being picked for France would be , were he to come in and score the goals for Newcastle that would keep them up.

    It’s no longer a possibility for the club to end up in the top eight as some were predicting, not even the top ten, they will in fact be fortunate to stay in the league but it appears, no one really believes it, thinking like the last few seasons we will scrape by.

    I’m wondering exactly what our owner will do with all the highly compensated failures we are paying, on a second tier income, when by hiring the right management, this club, the seventeenth richest club in the world, could be one of the best in he EPL.

    Unfortunately (for the fans) Ashley believes he can run the club on a shoestring, certainly as far as hiring top management is concerned, which are the most important roles in every club and his choices of head coach were based more on cost than ability.

    He is both detested and perceived as someone who cares little about either the club or it’s fans, who have kept their side of the bargain, by showing up week after week, despite results.

    His time at the club has been a testimony to his cheapskate attitude and some deluded belief in his
    abilities to run the business successfully.

    A quick return to the PL from a more competitive second tier will not be guaranteed this time and will require a lotta dosh, certainly more than spending some money to bring in the talent that will save the club from the drop.

    However I don’t believe that will change much, as there has to be a thorough re vamping of top management, for this club to become half assed successful.

    I just don’t get it, when he see’s other clubs competing for top managers, why would he think hiring cheap retreads like Pardew (whos star and side are collapsing) and McClaren (fired from a second tier club)would be a good move.

    I just don’t get it, what is he thinking ?

  199. Weather ? by mid week you wont see a square centimeter of snow in the city, we got the equipment and know how and a bit of a blizzard ain’t gonna faze anyone, by Monday everyone will be back to work.

    Besides there was a lotta exaggeration and certain dumbass extreme cautionary measures by politicians afraid of getting caught with their pants down.

    This is becoming a problem, the control exercised by state and local governments, all backed by the old bullshit line , “It’s for your own good”

    Measures that like those introduced by ‘The Patriot Act’,
    that over the top act that gave unreasonable controls to government, another ‘it’s for your own good’ piece of control legislation.

    You know what i’m talking about, you got ‘The Special Powers Act. a more draconian piece of legislation than even the recent US ‘Patriot Act’ which is saying something.

    We have this present Mayor, who has to be the dumbest politician I have ever seen, who goes out of his way to annoy everyone from the State Govenor to the bum’s who refuse to be rounded up and herded into dangerous City shelters during the cold spells.

    Ah well ! nowt like wielding a bit of power for the ego.

  200. Ah, so it’s the same over there. We used to be the masters of understatement over here and just got on with the job but it’s different now, or it is with the stupid broadcasters anyway. A few snowflakes and they carry on like it’s the end of the world and everyone is screaming like we’ve just been invaded by aliens. They’ve got to fill all this 24 hour rolling news with drivel, and then there’s the so called Twittiverse or whatever it is which ramps everything up.

    I’m no expert on Noo York or Bloomberg but from what I’ve heard, it’s going the same way as London (or the other way round). All the stuff that made it so interesting is being slowly eroded away? Eventually both cities will be run for a few guys like Bloomberg by armoured storm troopers. It already is looking at some the gear your cops have over there!

  201. Yep ! gentrification as it has become known, has taken over NYC, where the only remaining remnants or pockets of poor, are the Dominicano’s of Washington Heights, and the African American’s of certain parts of Harlem, who will eventually be driven from he city, by economic circumstances.

    In the words of a black mayoral candidate, who founded “The Rents R’ Too Damn High Party” a joke but with a lot of truth.

    Bloomberg was basically OK, apart from his Nanny like interference such as attempting to make the city both bike friendly and pedestrian usable, using thousands of gallons of paint to indicate god knows what, which in their wisdom the people have ignored.

    The other nanny like laws introduced, were the reduction of sugar and caloric intake in many fast food outlets, look i’m ok with reduced calories, but should there be laws governing caloric intake, specifically serving sizes ?

    Unfortunately it seems both London and New York, have become Cities that only cater to the rich (of course here are the low wage servant classes that look after them also, I understand a trained Butler can make a good living these days) those and the up and coming strivers.

    But the loss is New York’s, no acapella groups in Washington square parks, no Puerto Rican ‘s enjoying a game of dominos, drinking beer out of cans inside brown paper bags, no Latino dance clubs, with great bands, many of the ethnic restaurants are disappearing, replaced by Thai and Chinese take outs and there’s a Sushi place on just about every block, one has to travel to find a decent Pizza joint, Aaaaargh ! its unbelievable.

    The other Boro’s are the same, with rents outta sight and I just heard there will be no more rental buildings in Manhattan, only Condos and Co-ops, and we have a mayor who got elected on an affordable housing platform, no not Bloomberg, however looking at the present candidates, especially those on the Republican presidential ticket, I gotta sat Bloomberg is way better than any of those clowns.

    Though I kinda lke Bernie Sanders on the democratic/socialist ticket, but how ya gonna get a socialist elected in the belly of the beast.

  202. Back to football, it’s understood if Chelsea sign Brazilian Pato (duck in Spanish or homosexual in certain vernacular’s)
    Then Remy would become available, it’s also rumored that Lacazette could also be available for a high price.

    So what is Ashley waiting for, we are talking about the worlds seventeenth biggest clubs here, go get both of them and solve the problem before it becomes unsolvable, you cheapskate.

    When one looks at the amounts other clubs are paying for top rated talent then consider we paid around thirteen million for Mitrovic, then that’s an example of throwing money away by believing you are doing good business and getting top quality cheap.

    A typical example of Ashley’s ignorance, and misplaced trust in Head Scout ‘Carr’, which in turn is why this club is going nowhere, it’s all about management, or actually the lack of management, which manifest’s itself in secrecy and a lack of open discussion by an intimidated board only interested in holding onto their weekly paycheck’s.

    Yeah McClarin will eventually be fired, as so far he has proven no better than the clown we had before him and was brought in on someones recommendation, after being fired by a second tier club, for the sides lack of performance,
    which is a great reason to hire him FFS.

    It’s difficult to see how Mcclaren’s constant bemused expression and lack of apparent concern could inspire any side, never mind a side that has been staving off relegation for the last few seasons, despite it being the worlds seventeenth richest club.

    You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried, a series of wasteful transfers on the say so of, no not the manager, but the f***ing heed scout, negotiated by a jumped up former pencil sharpener, who inherited the job being he was next in line, perhaps they could have given the job to Cathy the tea lady, as she couldn’t have possibly done a worse job than any of the clowns presently in upper management at this club.

    The availability is in place for someone to write a book on “How not to run a football club” as the information is
    readily available, despite the owners attempts at secrecy.

    Pardew now resorting to feeding information on his tenure in charge at NUFC which deflects from the fact he is now dropping steadily down the league with Palace, which no doubt he will find someone or something to deflect the blame onto.

    Fact is we are in for the long haul with Ashley, being he is obviously fixated on the riches of EPL membership, but is unwilling to spend any of it (at least on buying decent players or giving up any real control)and wouldn’t get his price by selling the club while in the second tier anyhow.
    Too bad !

  203. Going off on a tangent, the world cup was about as good for Brazil as Daesh, President Asad and Russia have been for world peace recently. Not only have the finances been a disaster in a precarious, developing economy with mad ideas like state of the art studiums in the middle of the jungle, but it is also thought to have brought the so called ZIKA virus to the Americas.

    I don’t know about New York but London prices have completely unsustainable for ordinary people to live here. Millionaires and billionaires have lots of houses worth millions even tens of millions that they never live in. Smaller fish from overseas buy more modest proprties as an investment and the prices go ever upward. The huge increase in house prices has become an engine of the UK economy but it shouldn’t because it has terrible consequences.

    The big question eventually is who going to clean up after after the rich, make their gourmet meals, service their supercars if workers can’t afford to live anywhere near London or New York? Is Donald Trump going to do all the dusting and cleaning in that Trump Tower of his? Or scrub out all the lavatories? I don’t think so. Having said that, New York is different. We think London is a crowded city over here but New York is the king of high rise living and is far more compact in terms of bodies per square mile. I’m just waffling there though. It’ll be the same.

  204. Nah ! don’t do a lot of boozing at home, it’s for social occasions “dahn a pub” only.

    See we got rid of what I thought was a decent young winger, who could also do the wing back thing and has played well for a recently revived ‘Norn Iron’ which in turn I have heard rumors of their manager O’Niell, no not Martin, he manages Ireland, or ‘The Republic’ as some refer to it, but just getting into the euro championship was not enough, he actually won the division and when one considers the opposition, while playing with a side like NI, not bad, anyway he may be a gamble for Ashley to consider, after this season. knowing he’s not gonna get a Bielsa or Mourinho.

    And as it turns out, we went out and spent twelve or so million quid on Townsend, I don’t get it ? why would Spurs want to get rid of a young Engerland winger, guess that’s for us to find out.

    Not only has the panic button has been pressed and no doubt there will be more reinforcements arriving as our dear leader is not going to admit he “doesn’t kna what he’s deyin like” so his answer is to chuck money at it.

    Obviously he is fixated on the approaching EPL increase in revenues from the networks, which should be enough to keep the club ticking over nicely at mid-table for the foreseeable future and one relegation apparently was more than enough.

    All we need now is Remy and Lacazette, followed by a center back (someone for the future to take over from Collo.) and an attacking LB, to support Townsend and give balance to the side, the fans will no doubt then erect a sculpture of our dear leader and place it next to SBR and hail him as a visionary, or summat?

  205. chuck says:
    January 26, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    “And as it turns out, we went out and spent twelve or so million quid on Townsend, I don’t get it ? why would Spurs want to get rid of a young Engerland winger, guess that’s for us to find out.”

    As you know, he was doing ok, then Spurs bought the most expensive player in their history (buying wise), Erik Lamela who plays in the same area. On top of this as the final nail in Townsend’s Spurs coffin, there was also a backstage bust up with one of the coaches (could be a fitness coach?). I don’t know the details but he seemed to be banished Benny style over it.

    “Nah ! don’t do a lot of boozing at home, it’s for social occasions “dahn a pub” only.”

    Do you see any other Newcastle United fans there?

  206. Actually surprisingly enough I have ran into Newcastle fans “dahn a pub” which I suspect climbed aboard the KK bandwagon, but as one knows unlike other sports, they have stayed true to the old generalization, you can only pick one football club in a lifetime.

    Well it now appears following both last summer’s and recent reinforcement’s, with a good possibility of more to come, our dear leader is determined to put together at least a decent side, that can guarantee voiding the drop.

    Resulting at the worst, some visibility which could possibly bring an opportunity to play for a bigger side, though on looking at both Cabaye and his mate’s present situation at Arsenal, yes they got to move to London, however one is on the bench and the other is playing for Palace, not exactly what either was looking for.

    Whereas a possible renaissance of NUFC, might bring enough money and/or exposure to blind them to the fact that Newcastle isn’t exactly London.

    That and the fact they were once everyone’s second favorite side to watch and what was once created can be repeated, but only if you are prepared to back the club with the required resources, including the right people in upper management.

  207. One beef I have with the Newcastle fans is their knocking Sissoko, who IMO is by far our best player, who runs his ass off for most of the game and at present combined with Janmaat is our biggest threat, it’s no wonder we have been offered big bucks for him, but there is a certain crowd who in their ignorance, keep on bitching about him not giving it his all, personally I don’t get it, ignorance I guess.

  208. Just read Townsend is happy to play for NUFC and why not, he is about to receive eighty grand a week for the next five n’a half years, not bad for a former bench warmer.

  209. Just Noticed ex Newcastle player HBA has scored 11 goals in 24 games for Nice, not bad for another unwanted benchwarmer , I guess Townsend would be more than satisfied with that amount and so would the fans.

    Just goes to show how some managers are clueless as to using or getting the best out of players and just how important the right manager is.

    Thank goodness we got rid of Paredew, the master of psychobabble, who never saw a flair player he didn’t want to get rid of.

  210. That’s Nice above…..

    Who do ya fancy for the Euro. championship during the summer, might just go to a few games, haven’t been since f***ing Greece won it in Portugal playing like BSA or Pardew were managing them, awful.

    Both who managed NUFC, along with Sounes and a few other losers.

  211. I just came upon an article I find difficult to believe, that Neo-Nazi’s marched through Newcastle on Saturday with signs reading, “No refugee’s Hitler was right”, is this true ?

  212. Just googled it, a scattering of deluded racist’s, anti Israeli elements, even homophobic Polish fascist’s, plus a smattering of anti Syrian refugee guys, as if any self respecting Syrian would heed for the Toon, where they have their own problems.

    Yep! there they were, supposedly exercising their right to freedom of speech, confronted by an anti fascist crowd who supposedly looked like hippies, but managed to beat up on some of the right wingers, who’s pals were inside a pub but were afraid to open the door and let in their friends, not exactly Brownshirts or SS material, who later berated the local police for not protecting them.

    Anyhow their was around nine or ten arrests made, in what turned out to be a tempest in a tea cup.

    My most interesting observation was was the guy carrying the flag “Misanthropy league” or summat, which left me clueless as exactly where his sympathies lay ?

    Not only can NUFC not win a game the toon itself, couldn’t even stage a decent riot, perhaps a testimony to the local people who apparently showed little interest in the procedure’s.

    Good for them.

  213. chuck says:
    January 27, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    “Yep! there they were, supposedly exercising their right to freedom of speech, confronted by an anti fascist crowd who supposedly looked like hippies, but managed to beat up on some of the right wingers,”

    Chuck, back in my day it was “Fluffies,” who would fall more within your “hippy” description. Then there were “Spikies,” the spikies usually being committed Anarchists who were well up for a fight with some fascists.

    Some of the group holding the banners at the beginning of this look pretty spiky to me.

  214. Fascists aren’t all that anyway. In my day they they would do things like throw teargas at us in a bar then run off like big girl’s blouses. They specialise in 15 fighting one Asian shopkeeper and stuff like that.

  215. A Kurdish asylum seeker in Calais when asked why he wanted to come to the UK said: “I am Kurd, I spend two years learning English, I don’t want to go Germany and start all over again. I love UK, I will go anywhere, even Doncaster!”

    It’s a terrible situation but having been to Doncaster, I couldn’t help chuckling.

  216. Doncaster, eh!

    Wasn’t KK from there ?

    What I wonder would be the Kurd’s take on going to Newcastle, a lot further from anywhere than Doncaster.

    Another interesting tit-bit from Ed.Snowden, concerning smart phones, apparently everyone who owns a smart phone is subject to being traced continually, photographed, listened too, and god only knows what else, all of which is recorded and contained in some cloud operated by either the GCHQ which is basically a sub contractor to the NSA.

    Aint life wonderful !

  217. Aye, KK was from Doncaster. Driving down the motorway, you knew you were at Doncaster when you could see a group of big, fat cooling towers spewing out fumes. They went about three years ago though.

    Sorry Chuck, I didn’t answer your question about the European Championships earlier. I just think it would be a bit boring if the Spaniards or the Germans win.

    Re Snowden, when you take the capacity of a mobile phone to keep track of your location and all the other stuff, it has been pretty obvious what the security services would do for years. Over here we have a thing called Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act which goes back to 2000, even 9/11 and Iraq. There are alot of people going on about how Terrorism is being used as an excuse by “the man” to create a police state. However, one thing which isn’t discussed as much is how much paedophilia is being used in the same way.

    Forget about the CIA and MI6, it’s the local council:


  218. Yep ! and your supermarket, friendly local eatery, pub and a host of others who regularly sell info about you from use of your credit/debit cards, not to mention your bank who sell everything from your deposited salary, to how much of it goes where, to those who have you on cctv, from the minute you walk out the door, that’s both private and big bro’s, not to mention the host of things you purchase on line, including where you travel, how much you spend on vacation, what kind of a tipper you are, ffs there’s no end to it.

    I don’t even know why there’s a need for the FBI or Special Branch, just check with your bank or credit card company, they know everything about you.

    Of course there’s the old adage “if you are not involved with something illegal, why worry” yeah right!

    Thing is its only since around 1980, that we became so documented, yeah the advent of Computers with their instant recall of stored information, I guess everyone is aware of the vast storage area they are about to complete in Utah, football fields in size, when one can store the history of the world on a fingernail size memory stick.

    That’s every phone call made in and more than likely outside the US made by boring no-bodies in the last few years (I guess) Snowden would know, ask him ?

    It’s kinda weird, in this the age of he Geek or Nerd, who has the power at his fingertips, to do virtually anything, that’s why they are hiring more women into the Army’s of the world, as supermen are no longer required, someone with patience to sit in front of a screen and operate it, is way more important.

    I remember as a youngster reading around the same time, Huxley’s Brave New world and comparing it with Orwell’s 1984 and wondering which would come closest to the reality of the future, of course hoping it was Huxly at the time, knowing there would be the drug ‘soma’ available
    as opposed to big Bro. and a not exactly great environment.

    Actually neither came close, well not really close, though there were similarities.

    But this is the age of the nerd, the age of information, the age of artificial intelligence (anyone see Ex-Machina)

    It appears we Homo Sapiens had better watch what we create, or we may become like the animals we keep eliminating useless to artificial intelligence therefore eliminated, hell i’m only repeating what Stephen Hawking stated, well not verbatim but in essence.

    Where will it all end and when.

  219. Hmm! that was just too dark, lets move right along here folks, with a bit of footy.

    It’s my belief that “were gannin doon wi the Mackems”, that Ashley has left it too late and perhaps overpaid for a group of average players.

    We certainly didn’t get who we wanted, even taking the handbrake off those doing the negotiations, actually what else does Newcastle have to offer other than money, fifty thousand fans quietly sitting on their hands.

    Of course this situation didn’t just begin, it’s been a part of Ashley’s business plan from day one and we should have rebuilt the side over the last eight years instead of attempting to get by on the cheap, same with Villa and Sunderland, no ambition other than collecting EPL revenues.

    While other clubs got it and both hired he right management grouping in addition to players, knowing well that’s how you achieve success, it just ain’t available with mugs like the chubby Director and the wally with the Brolly types, being management is all important.

    look at Spurs over the last few seasons with Levi in charge, if you remember they were not a very successful side , but since Levi took over where are they to-day ?

    No to aim for mid table mediocrity is a recipe for relegation and with he recent bids by Ashley, he understands a part of the recipe , except for cheap/dumb top management.

    Will the side beat the drop ?

    It’s not gonna be easy, even bringing in new players, it’s still a side short on quality, especially on the bench.

    I certainly wouldn’t bet on it and if it happens, we go down, what’s plan “B”.

  220. Chuck, if you are an average person or business person and you set up your own little website with your own domain name online and such and you go online looking for a web host, there is a good chance you might end up with a one who has servers in Utah. It is certainly a big industry there. Hugh and myself have to keep running away from a nasty one who keeps taking everyone else over even though they are shite, their sites keep crashing and their customer service is horrible and insulting. They have lots and lots of servers in Utah. Iceland has huge banks of servers as well. With monster server banks which can overheat, the more ice cool the better, so what better than a land of ice and emptiness situated between the key areas of Europe and the Americas? It has huge “Green” advantages as well as you don’t have to burn lots of energy creating cool in a hot place.

    If you like 1984 and Brave New World, there are influences. Jack London sounds as English as Big Ben, though he was actually a Yank. His “The Iron Heel,” a dystopian tale of American Oligarchy.


    Then there was the Russian Yevgeny Zamyatin with “We” from the 1920s.


    Swan Hunter’s shipyard gets a mention in “We” as well.

    When you think about whether 1984 and Brave New World are “accurate,” it isn’t about the surface detail. I know more about Orwell than Huxley. I read Brave New World many years ago so my memory of is is quite poor. Orwell was preoccupied with Stalinist tyranny when the crimes of Stalin were still relatively overlooked, especially by some on the left.

    Your side of the pond is noted for having a fit every time the word “Communist” is mentioned, but it’s forgotten that Roosevelt, a very intelligent man and a giant of a President at a huge moment in history, was totally and utterly charmed and had by Uncle Joe. Roosevelt famously said at Yalta “Wake me up when we get to Germany, I don’t care two hoots about Poland” and saw him as a genuine partner in world domination. Hence you had the two great post war power blocks running through the centre of Europe and this was the environment in which Animal Farm and 1984 were written.

    “when one can store the history of the world on a fingernail size memory stick.”

    That is like one of the things they say on dodgy TV, Chuck. ;-) How much history? Every single thing which has taken place in the last few billion years? In how much detail? You couldn’t fit the entire history of the world on a fingernail, not yet anyway. Going back to the beginning of this comment, that’s why those server batteries in Utah you mentioned are the size of football fields.

  221. chuck says:
    February 3, 2016 at 3:28 am

    “We certainly didn’t get who we wanted, even taking the handbrake off those doing the negotiations, actually what else does Newcastle have to offer other than money, fifty thousand fans quietly sitting on their hands.”

    Berahino for £20-30 million? He’s been very good at times but attitude problems have left him on the bench for so long that he isn’t even match fit at the moment. He’s a very bright prospect but he hasn’t quite done enough yet to justify the kinds of figures being bandied around. One good season and attitude and fitness problems this one. He can go on to be a top player, but going into the twenties and thirties at this stage has a bit of January madness about it, not to mention fear of relegation of course, which is normal now. He’s the sort of player Man City or Chelsea could have a go at crazy money without going “all in” like Newcastle. Ashley goes too far in one direction, then too far in the other. As an alternative way of spending £20 odd million could be paying a top manager for a few years.

  222. Yes of course, what I meant was purely as a measure of comparison, the finger nail bit, I tend to elaborate in which case don’t take everything I say literally.

    Roosevelt was more than the figure that meets the normal eye, a strange character, who sometimes lied to amuse himself, for no apparent reason and certainly not the projected leftie that many believe , despite the number of socialistic organizations he introduced, WPA etc., but in fact the savior of Capitalism as we know it.

    Well for the most part, excluding his introduction of Social Security and certain restraints placed on Wall St.
    Especially the Glass/ Segal act., which was given away by
    Bill Clinton, who to-gether with his missus earned over $24m. last year from the most prominent Wall St. Bankers, so who owns Hillary, despite her calculated (get me elected as the peoples president) off the cuff (rehearsed) lines and obvious sense of entitlement.

    If one listens to her, it should be apparent, that she unlike Bernie, dwells on the past, dwelling on the continuation of the Obama policies and her record, what record ? as an enabler for Bills extra marital amusements.

    The woman will be a disaster if elected, but then so will the entire list of would be’s.

    Gotta watch the game.

    Unfortunately she didn’t say which people she ment, obviously anyone figuring how much she has received from the ‘super pacs’, it’s they who own her

  223. Scrappy unwatchable game, for both sides.

    With the Toon like an ‘Abbott &Costello’ routine ‘whose on first’, Dummett being replaced by left winger Aarons, while Townsend ended up on the right wing, leaving the side totally unbalanced.

    Shelvey had a nightmare, we hopefully haven’t lost M’Bemba to anything serious, forget about Dummett, who hopefully was taken off because of how he played, awful.

    This on loan striker better be decent, as Mitrovic keeps missing sitters.

    I just don’t get what McClaren is trying to do tactically and it’s obvious we need a decent left back to back up Townsend, no not Aarons.

    I felt sorry for Elliot who improves from game to game, but with the support he gets……

    It’s gonna be a long season and doesn’t look good.

    Could very well be ‘gannin doon wi the mackems’

  224. Yep ! a day late and a dollar short, appears Shelvey was a bust, being most of his passes went astray and his tackling was awful, tell me again why we didn’t try and get Cabaye back ?

    Townsend ? I’m sure he already regrets his move norf, hopefully both he and Shelvey’s games are a result of being out for so long, cause if this is the best they have to offer, hello second tier.

    I have no clue what McClaren was attempting, tactically or position-wise, it might just have been a better plan to have found a better Manager instead of wasting money on mediocre players, as had we got Messi and Ronaldo, Mr Mack would still have that bemused grin, the grin of a puzzled loser, on his face.

    FFS how much longer will Ashley put up with this loser, is it not obvious that he has no clue on either the right choice of players to bring in (and with unlimited funds)
    or what to do with them.

    It’s too late now, the writing’s on the wall, we are bound(with the Mackems) for relegation.

  225. Worky

    Yes as you mentioned above their were any number of dystopian novels from shortly after the Russian Revolution, (many based on ‘lock step’ societies)

    Novels and movies, some quite interesting Metropolis etc. that extended up until quite recently, it’s a genre that never goes away, varying in type for the most part on the time’s they were produced .

    Of course when one looks at Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward’
    which occurred during the sixties, where almost a billion people were in lock step, driven by the discredited political belief’s of one man, mass hysteria.

    Listening to the English language broadcast of radio Peping, filled with terms from the Marxist texts, such as “The Wall St Warmongers and their running dogs’ etc.

    I found it more entertaining than real, but for real entertainment, Radio Tirana, Hoxha’s English language propaganda broadcasts from Albania took the cake, it was hilarious and far to the left of Mao, if you can believe it.

    The only Dystopian society left to-day is obviously North Korea, thank goodness, more often films of this genre are made, like Soylent Green, and recently Ex-Machina, a vision of what the future might have in store for us, regarding artificial intelligence etc. I suppose they all fall into that particular genre, though some may disagree, being they have little in common.

  226. I didn’t see the game, Chuck, I was out doing something much better. Much, much better by the look of the result and seeing that we had a defender sent off as well.

    I’ve been watching Bernie. He may be called Sanders but he’s no spring chicken! Nothing wrong with that but I noticed that when he’s speaking, he grabs on to his lectern for dear life like it’s his zimmer frame. You;re right, he’s a good talker but what I can’t believe is that he keeps using the “S” word (Socialism) with almost gay abandon over there without being lynched! What is happening in America? You know me though, once I get my teeth into something I like to research it thoroughly so I looked into old Bernie. He’s saying all the right things but his voting record and such reveals another story, that he’s not quite as bold as he seems, and in many respects he has been almost Clintonesque on issues like Iraq and Israel in the past. Ralph Nader was always my favourite American maverick. He is genuine.

    I can’t stand Hillary Clinton. She reminds me of an old whore well past her sell by date who has been walking the streets of Washington for too long. She’s been paid for by everyone. That would be an very sexist thing to write, but of course, the same is even more true of her husband!

  227. I used to have a Short Wave radio and would listen to Radio Tirana. It was probably much later and was all about how well the farming was going and such.

    Chuck, I remember going to see all the tunnels in Vietnam and they had a tourist centre showing films etc. There were a hell of alot of American tourists there bringing bucks into the Vietnamese tourist industry but did the hosts compromise, put aside old wounds, forgive and forget etc? Did they hell! The highly undiplomatic films and commentary there blared out at the American guests through a cheap, distorted PA system at maximum volume. Every other phrase was about “dead Americans” and “Capitalist running dogs.”

    On the subject of dystopian, sometimes it creeps up on you when you’re in it, like the police turning into another branch of the miltary for example.


  228. “Of course when one looks at Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward’
    which occurred during the sixties, where almost a billion people were in lock step, driven by the discredited political belief’s of one man, mass hysteria.”

    A great leap forward into starvation, and then there was the Cultural Revolution. Mao was a terrible leader, as well as murdering tens of millions, he killed tens of millions more though sheer incompetence.

  229. Worky

    Yeah, I guess i’m i’m kinda like ‘Nut Mag’, other than I have yet to kick the addiction of watching the worst managed club in football.

    I’m not talking about McClaren, but the whole magilla from Ashley (who bears the most responsibility) to (jobs for the boys, Peter Beardsly)

    Where a hands off (does anyone really believe Ashley doesn’t control every move made at this club) attitude would be a good start, that and end the hiring of cheap-ass yes men.

    Running a football club is not unlike running any business
    apart from one doesn’t run an entertainment business in the same manner as selling cheaply made sportswear with an expensive label attached.

    And everyone is or should be aware, that success in business is based for the most part on the quality of those employees who operate it.

    He (Ashly) employs a totally opposing system with SD, hiring management who depend on sales, the rewards being big bonus’s, and those on low wages just come and go, which makes little difference, being those in manage ment remain and control conditions.

    Wheras at NUFC, which sells entertainment (though not since Ashley arrived) he personally controls everything (anyone remember his cutting staff at St.James’Park)which was one of his early moves, giving off signs of future expectations.

    Sure every club has a board, but just look at who is on the Newcastle board, (nobody’s), could be your next door neighbor and wouldn’t make a difference, that and all of senior management, all with meaningless titles bereft of any authority, whose only head movement is a practiced nod of agreement, in order to keep those checks arriving every week.

    There’s a good chance of a second relegation this season, Ashley believing that by throwing money at the clubs problems, he can solve them, I got news for him, without the right management, he wil continue to repeat the fact this club has not had a decent season in the almost nine years he has been here.

    Time for a re-evaluation of his policies and a good start would be to find a successful manager and give him carte-blanch, as far as running the club, being it should be obvious to even himself, that the club’s problems can’t be solved by either money or certainly not by hiring cheap failures.

    You know it’s not just a problem of losing and boring football, look how it has effected the fans, who have nothing positive to look forward too, who sit quietly all of the starch knocked out of them, they re-act more like drones than excited fans, better we get relegated as it may force Ashley to re-evaluate and change a presently unworkable situation.

  230. Worky

    Yes ! I had noticed how US Police departments now resemble the military, certainly in regard to weaponry, I mean they all have these swat teams, plus more military hardware than they need, I mean exactly to be employed against who and why, I cannot imagine.

    Dystopian? absolutely ! scary ? you bet !

    One means of ending all of that, is simply to do away with the second amendment to the constitution, in other words the right to bear arms, certainly I understand the original intention, in it’s time frame, but in to-days world to let just about anyone own a deadly weapon, is only a recipe for deaths in high numbers.

    But in these here United States, a declaration like his is tantamount to heresy or treason, according to some.

    One of the positives of modern technology is the invention of the smart phone with it’s camera and audio systems.

    Though not a fan of most people’s annoying use of these
    devices, they have become a wonderful weapon against police and other agencies, who’s brutality against innocent civilians, has recently resulted in a slow but gradual police reluctance in beating up or shooting people, most judges and local District Attorney’s (with their close relationship to police agencies) becoming less likely to take the word of the cop’s, after viewing videos that tell a different story.

    Well on having spent time in Viet Nam, both during the war and after I find they are a pragmatic and as far as I could see forgiving people, though I certainly wouldn’t blame them for being otherwise.

    These sentiments have been echoed by one of my nephews now teaching in Ho Chi Minh City, of course many of those who underwent those times are in a minority and the crazy part is, like it’s often adversarial neighbor China, Viet Nam has become almost a more capitalistic economy than the US itself.

    Watched last nights tv debate and your take on Hilary is more or less the same, though i’m not a misogynist by any means, that supercilious smile, plus her sense of entitlement, that and her claiming to have accomplished so much, is off putting.

    The secretary of state job was agreed long before in return for her support of Obame during the elections, becoming a Senator for NY, was another political deal (carperbagger) worked by Bill, in either of these jobs, nothing substantial took place other than her screwed-up the version of the US Ambassadors assassination in Lybia.

    As for Bernie, he’s IMO another futile but appealing cause, however not unlike the UK, politics are in the hands of the wealthy, who unless the general public wake up will remain in charge, at present in the US the top half dozen banks and the top half dozen families (Waltons, & Koch’s) own just about everything.

    The young people are already in revolt, with close to ninety percent of them voting for Bernie, however I believe this has more to-do with his offer of free third level education, same as the fact most of the Anti War supporters during the Viet Nam war were there in self interest (avoiding getting killed) as opposed to their finding it morally offensive.

    Well it’s a start, the American electorate are IMO generally ignorant and continue to vote against their interests, but no doubt they are angry, they also realize their living standards have shrunk since the late seventies, there have been few wage increases during the last ten years, but when looking for the reasons, they instead look for scapegoats, like immigrants, mostly of a darker color and end up voting for the very oligarchs (Donald Trump) who come up with vague slogans such as ( I’M gonna make America Great Again) which means nada !

    Then there are the great unwashed, those in the countries center, the Bible Belt, that bastion of fundamentalist Protestantism , the only country left in the first world that actually live their lives by relying on that best seller “The Holy Bible” a bunch of fables written over the centuries that have been changed by it’s various rewriters and has little to do with to-days world.

    Yep, certainly a strange world we live in !

  231. The last time I saw WBA at St.James’they and the Mackems were below us in the league, and the Newcastle fans were in good voice, yelling ‘Gannin doon wi the Mackems” to which the WBA fans responded with “so are we , so are we, so are we”! I thought it was clever and funny.

    But it could be true this year, no not for WBA, but both NE sides, with only a hopefull Boro. promoted to the PL.

    You know these retread managers, (how long will it be before Pardew gets his cards at Palace, as it appears they are falling apart) they all must have the same book filled with excuses for their failures, but i’m beginning to believe McClaren is even worse than Pardew, if that’s humanly possible.

    How ? after spending eighty million on players, do you manage to look awful, put a left winger on as a left back, then put the left winger on the right and complain, we didn’t see any defensive problems occurring.

    I already said get rid of this clown a long time ago, too late now, every dog in the street knows this club is f***ing useless and expect to take three points home when playing them, we are “Gannin Doon”! and deservedly so.

    This requires Ashley to reassess his Business Plan and everything else, because he is effectively responsible for everything that happens at this club.

    And what you see is all about him, though no doubt he has his enablers, those who sagely nod their heads in agreement with everything that comes out of his mouth.

    I think like Nut-Mag I should just give it up.

  232. Chuck, maybe you know this already but there was a huge tonnage of surplus heavy metal from Afghanistan and Iraq that was recycled into the police over there. It’s called the 1033 program and started with Clinton in 1997, but it was all the junk coming from Iraq and Afghanistan where it really got into its stride.

    People have been atomised and their societal structures broken up, and they are endlessly turned against each other like fighting dogs.

    Yes, religion has caused alot of trouble but two of the greatest prophets of the 20th Century, Friedrich Nietzsche and Fyodor Dostoyevsky correctly predicted that a world where God dies, a world without moral absolutes, can be worse. Look at the history of the 20th Century and some of what a godless world has brought us; Fascism, Nazism, Bolshevism, the industrialisation of mass murder all over the world, two world wars etc…

    The current wars in the middle East are less religious than they seem. The man at the centre of the Syria conflict is Bashar al Asad, a secular dictator, Usama bin Ladin, Ayman al Zawahiri and Khalidh Sheikh Mohammed were educated, secular, middle class and upper class Arabs, engineers, lawyers and Saudi millionaires, not Imams. As I’ve mentioned already, Baghdadi is just a religious frontman for Daesh, and the real power behind them is Saddam Husseins old officer class, which is why they can fight and use strategy. I really don’t know what I’m waffling about sometimes, but I even find stuff like the above more cheerful than discussing Newcastle United nowadays!

  233. Religion

    Religion has been the cause of some of the most brutal wars , some lasting for years, i’m talking about both Islam and Christianity, all based on a book of fables(the Bible)
    which one can find an argument for anything, not to mention a counter argument.

    They (both Islam and Christianity) both have continual disagreements mostly for schismatic reasons.

    Sure George Bush stirred the pot, but the struggle for power there is mainly a schismatic affair, which has simmered since the seventh century.

    I’m not condemning either religion, which if practiced as it should be , is fine with me.

    And one has only to look at that golden period in Spain, where for the most part, Moors, Jews and Christians lived
    together in a fairly peaceful manner and the country became an example to others, in the arts, mathematics, agriculture, inventing Algebra along with Mapping the stars, Navigation, where one library held more books than existed in all of Europe north of the Pyrenees.
    Granted most of the knowledge had originated in ancient Greece, but was brought to Spain via it’s first invaders the Syrian Umayyads.
    Unfortunately religion and race reared their ugly heads and the Reconquista began, then at first the Moors were expelled, then the Jews and then those who had converted to Christianity, the Converso’s.

    Of course that ended all foreign presence in Spain as there were no Moors or Jews then left in Spain, after eight hundred years, yeah right.

    Too bad it all happened, but it was about religion and one can trace it in just about any subsequent war that has taken place, seems ridiculess I know but the

  234. A very welcome three points, from a game that could have had half a dozen goals, all for Newcastle.

    Yeah Mitrovic got his, but had enough chances to get a hat trick or more.

    WBA ? face it, they were awful and never looked like they were in the game, unfortunately most other sides in the PL are a lot better, so don’t expect to get all three point’s regularly.

    Surprisingly Taylor had a decent game, Elliot was his usal reliable self, with not a lot to do.

    I was surprised at seeing Aarons start as LB again, he did better than I expected, but (puleez), leave him on the wing in future.

    Wijnaldum had a decent game, however despite some decent runs and defensive plays, it was far from Sissoko’s best outing.

    Again Janmaat was outstanding, both attacking and managing to get back to take care of his defensive duties, my man of the match.

    Tiote was also a surprise, good defensively and his passing was surprisingly good, too bad his rocket of a goal wasn’t allowed.

    Watched Townsend who plays on both wings what’s that about?
    Probably lacks match sharpness, but put in some decent crosses, I can see him getting a lot of assists for this club.

    I think Shelvey also needs match sharpness as he looked much better in spraying passes around to-day, as opposed to his nightmare against Everton.

    Colo, decent as usual.

    Hopefully with a few additions we may be looking at a decent side, but I have said that before, but yes having spent around fifty big ones we still need more quality in depth, certainly looking at to-days bench.

  235. It’s just incredible how Syria is disappearing before our eyes, there is hardly a town, or for that matter a building, that hasn’t been subjected to some kind of trauma.

    The people are scattered throughout the globe, the wealthiest getting choice, the others either starving in tent cities or walking to Germany and what are the western democracies doing, hell they are adding to the rubble, by bombing the shit outta the place, FFS do something positive.

    But no one, especially the UK wants anything to do with
    “Those People”, well other than Germany and certain Scandinavian countries, who are already filled with refugees from the Balkans and Africa, with a rise in some places of Neo-Nazi gangs, because of the social and other strains put upon the countries.

    The US presidential wanabee’s give lip service to the electorate, that no jihadi’s will get through the thorough vetting service each want to set up, meaning we aint gonna take any refugees, especially rag heads.

    One brave candidate talks of lighting the sand with nukes,
    not good!

    The Saudi’s and Iran, each representing one of the two major Islamic tendencies, the Shia and the Sunni have reopened that seventh century conflict, through subordinate states concerning who should have succeeded the profit, resulting in the most chaotic conditions ever throughout the whole peninsula.
    Insanity !

    However like the so called western democracies, everyone is locked into their present positions, with little chance of any change of policies.

    The fear is the possible spreading of Nuclear weapons, or some kind of permanent war scenario, not unlike the Iraqi Iran war of the eighties.

    With the Israelis carefully watching the Iranians while they test their latest rockets and Saudi ready to acquire nukes from the Pakistani’s, he moment it looks like Iran will return to manufacturing nuclear weapons grade warheads.

    The cold war may look like a picnic compared to what we may face, with everyone and his brother threatening each other.

    It’s crazy !

  236. Sorry that’s ‘Prophet’ not ‘profit’ must have been thinking bout Ashley’s favorite thing.

  237. “Granted most of the knowledge had originated in ancient Greece, but was brought to Spain via it’s first invaders the Syrian Umayyads.”

    Chuck, what about the Babylonians?

    “But no one, especially the UK wants anything to do with
    “Those People”, well other than Germany and certain Scandinavian countries,”

    Chuck! the US, the richest country in the world with a population of over 300 million as well as a huge landmass has taken around 2000 Syrian refugees. Even though the UK has taken a very small amount to compared to Germany, and proportionately to Sweden as well, and has fobbed people off by saying it will be over five years, it has still taken on more than the US so far, which is almost five times as big in terms of population and bigger still in terms of land area. I’m not trying to defend David Cameron there, but if you are upset at the amount of Syrian refugees some countries are taking, you should have a word with Barack Obama, or maybe President Trump after the election!

    On the other hand, I think that Angela Merkel might have been a little bonkers to say “come on down!” (so to speak) in her quest to be seen as a kind of Teutonic Mother Theresa / Nelson Mandela figure on the world stage before she retires. People in Syria whose lives are beyond unbearable don’t need encouragement from Angela Merkel to escape from Hell, but it can confuse the issue for genuine refugees by encouraging other less genuine refugees to try their chances, which actually makes it harder for the genuine ones. Another thing is that Europe is now more interdependent through the EU and it’s treaties. Hence, millions of refugees when they have citizenship will have the right to travel around and live where they like in europe. This mean that Merkel’s decision will affect other countries who may not agree with Merkel’s policies, and make her even more the autocratic President of Europe, making autocratic decisions which have consequences that will reverberate far beyond Germany. In Sweden, their we are the nicest country in the world image has being damaged by a far right gang of Swedish thugs going around beating non-Nordic looking children, which is like a flashback to the 1930s.

    Once again, I don’t want to defend David Cameron, but his argument is to take refugees directly from the area, rather than those who have been trafficked into Europe. In isolation without all of Cameron’s cynical motivations, it is actually an argument which merits serious discussion. Getting back to Merkel’s invitation, do you encourage millions of men, women and children to jump into highly dangerous boats, or hang on for dear life under a truck etc, or do you have huge projects in the area to screen genuine refugees properly, hence discouraging people trafficking?

    There is a very cynical thing in the current debate which I don’t like. It starts from the positive argument that immigration is a good thing because overall, immigrants work hard and more than pay their way in taxes. So far so good. It’s true and a good counterargument to the factually incorrect one that immigrants are a drain on the economy. However, like everything nowadays, it just gets perverted into another marketplace argument with human lives as the commodity. In this case saying that taking these refugees is a good thing. This is because if they are the ones with the money and the ingenuity to get over to the rich countries of Europe, more of those are the University students, the professionals, the ones who know european languages and will pay bigger taxes into the economy in the fullness of time. This suggests that the others are can go to hell though, and accepts that we are just cynical, amoral and care little for humanity unless there’s money in it.

  238. I was out again and only watched the “Match of the Day” highlights of the game, so I couldn’t really give any deep, informed opinion from my side.

  239. Worky

    Yes of course, you seemed to miss my piece on those present candidates from the GOP, who are bent on taking ‘no one’, especially Arabs/Muslims, even Indian Sikhs, whom they appear to lump with Arabs they being undistinguishable from Arabs, because of their turbans.

    And sure I understand Syrian refugees represent a tremendous problem and agree Angela appeared a bit overly optimistic, about Germany’s ability to absorb such a large group, plus the fact every one, whether from Africa or Afghanistan, or wherever are attaching themselves to this human mass determined to improve their situation through mass migration.

    I also mentioned the social strains would cause a Fascist/Chauvinist, reaction, which is presently taking place, even in those accepting Scandinavian countries, like Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

    Also the fact that some of the poorest countries are having to house millions (Jordan & Turkey) of tent cities, sure the UN and EU pay part of the costs involved, but have you seen the size of these tent cities and can you imagine the social and economic strains this puts on these countries.

    While the best the US, and the NATO countries of Western Europe can do is to contribute to the destruction of Syria, by a constantly bombing the shit out of it, and this is a plan FFS ?

    And the UK as I previously stated is doing it’s best to avoid taking any of ‘these people’, hell they don’t even want Bulgarians, Poles or anyone else for that matter, and no doubt would like to rid themselves of those former colonials, apart from those who can afford London Mansions of course, hey! same in New York.

    That’s what the pre Brexit talks are about, plus any immigrants they may let in, they want to avoid paying or reduce social services to less than the norm, What happened to freedom to live in any EU country if you carry an EU passport ?

    I see where your dear leader, the PM, is about to begin a propaganda campaign for acceptance of what’s on offer from the EU, which as far as I can see, is no more than lip service in comparison to what was asked, knowing fine well the UK, cannot survive economically (why they joined in the first place) without the market the EU provides and there’s just no way it will happen, regardless of he threat of a Brexit.

    No it appears no one is a hero apart from the southern tier countries of the EU, (Greece, Italy, Spain) who have
    been absorbing the brunt of a steadily increasing flow of refugees for decades, plus the Countries mentioned above who have attempted to absorb the overflow from the same places.

    Meanwhile The US and NATO countries are assuring the Gulf
    States and the Saudi’s, questionably those responsible for much of the Arabian Peninsula’s unrest, by funding much of the present violence, for religious reasons, mainly the continuation of a war based on a religious schism, began during the mid seventh century, insanity?

    However it also permits these questionable statelet’s to remain in the hands of families dynasties, who in turn use the US to protect their wealthy status, not unlike Quwait or the fact Bahrain, hosts US military bases.

    The British used to do it until they could no longer afford it, or no longer had the military muscle, their Gulf Fleet left the area around the late fifties.

    It’s complicated, hopefully the ‘US Department of State’ will give the next elected US president, an extended briefing on the who’s who, of the area, because I doubt at present many could even find the area on a map.

    Ah well !

  240. The media have the club looking at three strikers this summer.

    As of now (no doubt things will change long before then)
    It looks like the Bundisliga giant Bas Dost, or the Belgium striker Batshueyi, with a surprise being the rumor that Liverpools Sturridge could be available for a less than massive amount, guys a great player but may be a permanent sick note.

    Having watched the Citeh vs Leicester game before the Toon game where I came to the conclusion, if ‘The wally with the Brolly’ can get his multi million quid players to play anywhere near the intensity of the no name Leicester side, we should be fine, he question was IF.

  241. Bas Dost was a free scorer in the Dutch League, and there was an Icelandic chap called Finbogason too. and I used to check them out but unlike the Eredivisie players I did rave about, I didn’t think they’d be the same in a top league. Bas Dost went to Wolfsburg and in his first two seasons I was right for the most part. He scored a third of the goals in Germany than he did in the Netherlands. However he got better in the next season then dipped a bit this. Finbogason went to Real Sociedad and bombed.

  242. “The British used to do it until they could no longer afford it, or no longer had the military muscle, their Gulf Fleet left the area around the late fifties. ”

    Well not for long, Chuck. There will be a new British base in Bahrain for the new aircraft carriers and for destroyers.

    My family has a bit of history in the middle east, hence I have always taken a very keen interest in it. As I may of mentioned (but I know what your memory is like, Chuck), a distant uncle of mine called Sir Mark Sykes helped to set the disastrous future course for the middle east as far back as 1915. Sykes and a Frenchman called Picot made the Sykes-Picot agreement. He’s still a villain to millions over there who were born generations after he died (prematurely of the great flu at the end of the war). It was actually signed on behalf of the British by Edward Grey, one of the Geordie Grey family like Earl Grey on the statue and the tea boxes. I’ve spoken with a few Arabs about middle east history, but I don’t mention that.

    The patchwork quilt of Arab countries which came out after the fall of the Ottomans was about as bad as it could be in countries like Iraq and Syria with Sunni and Shia, Kurds and so on. The middle east has been hell for many decades, the difference is it finally came to the the US and Europe this century. As for Sir Mark, he might yet redeem himself. They exhumed his body in the hope of finding a cure for influenza. Apparently this was because being an Aristocrat, he was very well kept in a family mausoleum. My Grandfather on my mother’s side also witnessed the fall of the Ottoman empire when he was over there in the First World War. I was inspired into the ramble above as they are in Gallipoli discussing the battle on radio 4 over here with someone else who had a grandfather or great grandfather out there.

  243. “No it appears no one is a hero apart from the southern tier countries of the EU, (Greece, Italy, Spain) who have been absorbing the brunt of a steadily increasing flow of refugees for decades, plus the Countries mentioned above who have attempted to absorb the overflow from the same places.”

    Well the thing is that they don’t want to stay in austerity Greece and Spain. They know what’s what and just pass straight through those countries and head to the land of lederhosen. They are going to be many, many more as Russia is slaughtering everybody now.

  244. Well the present US bases in Bahrain may be in place, but the carriers have yet to be completed and it doesn’t appear that will happen any time soon,

    Also there’s the deployment of aircraft, being things are a bit unsure at present as to which kind of system is to be deployed, a regular catapult launched or vertical take-off versions, for the latest US built F35.

    Apparently there are questions concerning the fact cost cutting has reduced the operating capabilities, in regard to their being constructed without a catapult type launching system, besides the fact the VTOL version is as yet unproven and the projected cost of purchasing these aircraft if prohibitable.

    Then the fact they are not nuclear powered, reduces their range, ah well, i’m sure it can all be worked out, we must all cut our cloth accordingly theses days.

    In Syria, the cats among the pigeons i’m afraid, with Russia firmly entrenched, with both air bases and naval facilities and it looks as if with their military assistance the balance of control is becoming more firmly in Assads hands.

    In which case it’s only a matter of time before the so called rebels are defeated and there’s little the west can do about it, unless they want to risk a conflict with the Ruskies, as both the Turk’s and Ukraine found out.

    There’s just no end to it, and to withdraw and let the Iranians, the Saudi’s and Israel work things out between them would be the beginning of WW3, yet to attempt a solution that solved all of the issues would take a Sisyphian effort.

    It appears that as usual with European Colonial types used to just drawing lines on maps or charts regardless of who or what they were dividing, Mr’s. Picot & Sikes have a lot to answer for.

    As does the British Government, who created or gave legitimacy to the Emirates plus former Trucial States members, Bahrain and Quatar, they being protectorates of the former British Empire since the nineteenth century.

  245. Chuck, I know you’re not a big fan of the UK, but what was it that inspired such hatred and resentment? Was it the weather and the food?

    “In which case it’s only a matter of time before the so called rebels are defeated and there’s little the west can do about it”

    What does “defeated” mean in a war like this though, where gangs can go away and then come back again like “whack a mole”. It’s all Syria in the news, but what about Iraq now? It’s Daesh that “the west” are supposed to be fighting but Daesh are the marriage of Saddam’s Hussein’s army and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s Al Qaida in Iraq, and we’re still fighting the same war. We are chasing shadows. Bin Ladin is dead, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is locked up, Al Zarqawi is dead, but they just come back with different names and different faces.

    “unless they want to risk a conflict with the Ruskies, as both the Turk’s and Ukraine found out.”

    I seem to recall that Turkey shot a Russian plane down. Afghanistan sucked the life out of the old Soviet empire and nowadays with the very low oil price and sanctions, they are very economically vulnerable. This is not the best time for Putin to get sucked into more wars.

  246. On the subjects of things seemingly going away and then coming back, do you remember Saddam Hussein’s deputy, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri? The “King of Clubs” from that pack of cards who wasn’t caught? The bald, albino one who looked like a Ginger British Field Marshal from the war? You don’t hear anything about him now, but he is still a major figure in current events.


    He has been one of the military brains behind Daesh military advances in the past with the Naqshbandi Army of Sufis, but there are reports that there has been a big falling out between them and Daesh, which would be important.

  247. Just stating facts, if they don’t appeal to you, so be it.

    Look Putin is no hero of mine, but one has to look at what he’s dealing with.

    The gradual encroachment of NATO, with former Soviet allied countries bordering on present day Russia being induced with visions of an eventual membership (which most have) in the EU and at the same time belonging to a vast military organization, that would protect them from Russian threats, both economic and military and incursions and demands to hand over parts of their traditional national territories, being a large number of Russian speaking people live there.

    Putin has recently spent a lot on rebuilding the Russian armed forces, the modern Russian military are not to be messed with as Turkey has found out and it’s doubtful if they will attempt to shoot down any more Russian aircraft, as they tend to send no more than warnings whenever there are incursions nowadays.

    And yes the Russians continue to probe western defenses from the Arctic to the Mediterranean, keeping a now reduced US presence, plus a mostly unwilling Nato organization on their toes.

    They are deeply entrenched in Syria, which prevents western forces creating ‘no fly’ zones and if not careful may find themselves embroiled in a situation they cant get out of.

    Yes Russia may like all countries suffering from blockades, be hurting economically, however it’s a vast country, with both oil. gas. and unlimited mineral wealth and certainly no Iran, who still have the same imperial interest’s as they always have.

    The problem is geopolitical, the vast amounts of oil reserves in the middle east, plus the minerals and oil located in the former soviet republics, now with names ending in Stan are paramount to the economic wellbeing of the major political blocks involved.

    Were it simply a case of a bunch of unhappy Arab nations States and enclaves, created following WW1 by both the French, but mainly the former British Empire, who were interfering in just about every-one’s affairs at the time.

    It would be simple to up and leave, considering the present turmoil covering the whole Arabian peninsula, the continuity of a religious war began in the seventh century.

    Just not that easy i’m afraid, too much at stake, though most don’t understand the geopolitical implications and tend to reduce matters to a more simplistic level, why listening to possible ‘wanabee’ presidential candidates can be scary.

    One must give credit to Obama, who has managed to extricate most of the military from the area and if the Taliban were smart would give him some kind of exit policy from Afghanistan, though this area is very important geographically it being the center of the ‘Stans’, plus he has made inroads in Iran another important factor in that area, which most present Republican’s in office just don’t get.

    It’s like a chess game, known as world domination, which is involves both military domination, though not occupation and access to whatever wealth can be extracted from the areas involved, better to have like in Egypt a strong man, which gives total control to whoever pays him
    Democracy you say, heaven forbid !