Is it springtime for Rafa and Newcastle?

Posted on March 14th, 2016 | 165 Comments |

Rafa joins the Tyneside madness!
Rafa joins the Tyneside madness!
As relegation struggling Newcastle United face Leicester City at this evening at the King Power stadium, all eyes will be on new manager, Rafael Benitez, and what he can do to turn things around.

Although starting against the League leaders riding a wave is tough, Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City are themselves a testament of what can be achieved against the odds, both at the bottom and the top of the Premier League. Benitez probably won’t need any reminders after what he achieved with Valencia in La Liga, and Liverpool in the Champions League. Though many have commented that Benitez’s record with subsequent clubs hasn’t been quite as good, he still managed to win five big trophies with Inter Milan, Chelsea and Napoli, including a Europa League and World Club Cup. As for Real Madrid, he never got a chance. Hence, one could hardly describe Rafa’s post Liverpool period as wilderness years anyway.

Before I proceed further though, I should declare that I used to visit the very pleasant city of Valencia in the early 2000s. During my visits, I enjoyed Benitez’s Valencia team as they broke the Spanish duopoly of Real Madrid and Barcelona, and have been an admirer of Benitez ever since. Even without any personal bias on my part though, there is no doubt that in terms of ambition and previous success, Benitez is several leagues above all of Mike Ashley’s other appointments, and indeed, all previous Newcastle United appointments since the late, great Bobby Robson. To illustrate the point, Benitez has won the same amount of major trophies as Newcastle United have in the whole their 125 year history (12). He is also the only manager who has won the whole set of European and World Club trophies. Even as a Newcastle United fan, I must reluctantly admit that this trumps the Toon’s solitary Inter Cities Fairs Cup in European competition!

Getting back to this evening’s game though, tips and predictions for the game are availble at My Betting Bonus. Whilst it’s fair to say that all games, including this evening’s are crucial with the Toon in the mess they’re in again with only ten to go, I also think that it will be next one against Sunderland at St James’ Park that could really set the course for either disaster or salvation in Newcastle United’s season. One optimistic note is that a large (some have even said suspicious) amount of top players (Coloccini, Tiote, Townsend and Cisse) will be back from niggling injuries just in time Rafa the Gaffer’s eagerly awaited first game. On a less optimistic one, however distinguished Benitez’s previous record, the task is very hard indeed now. I must admit that I can’t remember the last time a team has ever been rescued from the bottom two by a manager with only ten games to go? After watching our new manager for fifteen years since those happy times in Valencia though, I still have alot of faith.

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1092 articles on this blog.

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165 Responses

  1. Nice one Worky good to have you back at the key board.
    The picture of Rafa is a welcome relief to from the ones of McClaren I seemed to have endured for months.

  2. As was first mentioned elsewhere, he works his first miracle by simply walking into the Med cantre, and everyone is very suspiciously fit and well and ready for action asap.
    Either this guy is exceptionally special or we have a bunch of extremely two faced players on the books who play when they feel like it, and I know where my money is going.
    It does show though that the players are showing imediate respect which should make Raffa’s job a tad easier.
    This 10 week pressure point need not be as bad as is being made out as I think if Raffa sees enough good coming out of the remainder of the season, irrespective if we go down, he may wellbe tempted to stay on….Here’s hoping.
    Howaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay the Lads.

  3. porciestreet! How’s things?

    That was obviously the worst of three possible results, but the defence looked far better and more symmetrical. Same old problem though, scoring. I hold out more hope for Doumbia than Mitrovic. Leicester only got one on target really.

  4. Yep, I think that was a much improved performance. We were up against the top team away from home, fought well and were undone by a special goal.

  5. A poor game from a spectators perspective, but what some may have missed was the fact NUFC prevented most of the Leicester fast breaks, usually coming from long balls, almost a club trademark.

    Though there was no improvement up front, even though we had scoring opportunities and that remains a problem.

    Leicester players admitted it was in fact an ugly game, well what I saw was the beginning of a bit of defensive organization, not to say we have solved the problem, we still need both a left back and a replacement for Collo, (but keep him as a reliable replacement from the bench)

    Seems Benitez has began judging players and mentioned Sissoko as being someone he wants, I totally agree, given the right role (which is not as a right winger) he could become another ‘Ya Ya Toure’, with both strength and pace the guy can run for the full 90 mins. and with his talents, can play in a number of roles.

    And being Townsend has proved he can play on the right wing, perhaps we could use Aarons on the left, winger problem solved.

    As for the rest, these are keepers, Townsend, Shelvey, Wijnaldum, Colo., Janmaat, and M’Bemba.

    Squad players Haidara, Colback, Dummett, Tiote and if he improves DeJong, who knows about Saivet.

    The younger guys to give an opportunity to are Perez, Toney, Lacelles, M’Babu and Aarons.

    We will have to bring in a decent pair of strikers, plus at least a left back and a Collo. replacement, but if Collo. wants to stay, he would be an ideal sub coming off the bench.

    The rest, let em go! a real clear out of deadwood, to be replaced in time by decent youngsters.

  6. Regardless of the huge Tyne-Wear emnity which is already there, the next game will be a real grudge match between Allardyce and Benitez too. Allardyce really doesn’t like Benitez, because he felt he was a foreigner who didn’t give him, the greatest manager the world has ever seen, the respect he deserved. He’s always having a pop at poor old Rafa every time he gets a chance. Besides the usual, obvious reasons for wanting Newcastle to win, I hope that Rafa gives Fat Sam a really good stuffing as revenge for all that too.

    Newcastle handled things well early on, but a top notch goal from not much put an extra spring in Leicester’s step and after that things were a bit more difficult. As to what is behind Leicester’s phenomenal success, it is the same as what is behind Diego Simeone’s success at Atletico Madrid, a kind of Italian high energy 4-4-2 similar to that used by Arrigo Sacchi’s all conquering AC Milan side. Simeone might be Argentinian but he learned in Italy like Ranieri.

  7. I beg to disagree in regard to Leicester, theirs is a game based on hard work, hard running combined with a bit of pace, plus mainly a long ball game, being they are not an Arsenal (or former Swansea short ball side) by any means.

    Both wingers and forwards are high, with the expectation of a breakaway through a long ball over the top, which when combined with pacey forwards who know how to put the ball in the net.

    An experienced Rafa, being well aware of that and countered well, giving Leicester fewer opportunities to play their game, plus refined his game tactically for the second half
    to a point we could and should have won the game.

    Which is the first time I have seen a Newcastle manager outplay on a tactical level any second half of any game in years.

    In which case there is hope, if Ashley realizes what he has in Rafa. he may decide to let him run the club in the manner he see’s fit and why not, one cant argue with success if in fact it comes.

    In fact Ashley is prepared to give him a three million bonus if we survive the drop, but even spending that kinda dosh is better than loosing out through relegation.

    Hopefully Ashley will realize it takes a bit more than a couple of ‘yes men’ and jobs for the boys, to run a successful football club

    Should be an interesting few weeks.

    Unfortunately our hit men, couldn’t hit a barn door from six feet out, meaning we keep Perez, but let the rest go, as all they do is collect a paycheck.

  8. chuck says:
    March 16, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    “I beg to disagree in regard to Leicester, theirs is a game based on hard work, hard running combined with a bit of pace, plus mainly a long ball game,”

    I don’t really diagree with that, they do work extremely hard (I did describe them as “high energy”) and they do hit long balls. They always have a small gap between their lines, always less than a quarter of the pitch, but it halps to deny the opposition space, enabling mids and defenders to press and harry in numbers. The old 4-4-2 here conceeded the midfield too often with a player down in the middle, but the tight banks of defenders and midfielders at Leicester have been turning that around, winning the ball back and counterattacking at pace with two strikers. It’s the Italian Job from Ranieri, Chuck. It’s what Sacchi used to kill your old favourite, the Catenaccio, as well as Simeone putting one over on the Spanish big two.

    Alot has been said about Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez. However, Vardy is 29, Mahrez is 25, they have both been playing in the Premier League for a couple of years but these goals of theirs this season have seemingly come out of the blue. Vardy scored 5 goals last season and Mahrez scored 4. There was a strong hint of what was come with Ranieri though, not with Greece where he only played a handful of games and it didn’t go very well. Before that with Monaco though he was very effective too, getting them to second behind Paris St Germain and in the Champions League. That could be what persuaded Carr to go for Riviere, Ranieri had him scoring quite a alot more than that usual, then he went back to not scoring much as soon as he was sold.

  9. Well I guess we agree more than disagree, though I still claim Leicester’s main reason for success is their high rate of play, looking very much like Barca. when losing the ball, they then give the opposition no time on the ball harrying them until they cough it up.

    It takes a great deal of energy to play this game plus obviously a group of dedicated players, the added tactical approach from that old fox Ranieri, doesn’t hurt either.

  10. It should appear obvious that our next game will be one of the most important of the season.

    A win could settle the side and give them belief, which they really need at this stage and at least give the fans something to feel good about.

    Though I wouldn’t say it is a must, it certainly would be an all important three points.

    A critical time for Rafa. which will be a big factor in the future of the club, we lose Rafa, we end up as Leeds United .

  11. Chuck says:
    March 17, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    “Well I guess we agree more than disagree, though I still claim Leicester’s main reason for success is their high rate of play, looking very much like Barca.”

    Well I would agree with that as well. The only diffrerence is that if you are looking for a great team to compare them with, I would compare them with Sacchi’s Milan or more recently, Simeone’s Atletico Madrid.

  12. Not really!
    I made the comparison they reminded me of Barca. when attempting to recover the ball, which takes a lot of energy as does most of their game, looking like a bunch of terriers after a prey.

    One can’t deny the energy levels are outstanding, most sides can play this way for some of he time, whereas Leicester play at these levels most of the time.

    Not an easy task and IMO the reason they are still contending for the Championship title, just pure hard work.

  13. It looks like the approaching season 2016-17 will be a big year for the EPL in many senses.

    The managerial roundabout has produced a change in a number of clubs, with Mourinho (who started with last years championship winners Chelsea) is gone, so is Nigel Pearson is also gone from this years leading club Leicester.

    With Rodgers, Monk, Arry, all getting the boot, though BSA has found a new home at Sunderland and of course the eventual firing of a hopeless McClaren has seen the introduction of Benitez, but for how long ?

    There are rumors concerning Wenger, plus Pellegrini is assured of being replaced by the current Bayern Munich
    Manager, three quarters of the way through the season, which is callous at best, but that’s the way business is being conducted nowadays.

    The infusion of money into the league, has some clubs in a frenzy (NUFC) splashing out cash and doing their best to beat that all important drop to the second tier, where a quick return is not as easy as supposed.

    Everything is about revenue to-day, yet even with the projected and present incomes, it appears the EPL sides have become less competitive against their continental opponents.

    The number of English managers is decreasing and pretty soon it will consist of retreads like Arry, BSA etc.

    But one thing you can bet on is there will be big bucks spent during the summer window, certainly Ashley has at last learned a lesson from it all which is you have to spend just to stay in place in this league and any club employing a dumbass management program just wont last in this league, too much money at stake.

  14. Are you trying to drive me bonkers again, Chuck? There might be some similar characteristics, but with Sacchi’s Milan, the whole system is similar.

    It might seem very energetic and demanding, but the highly compact nature of the team (remember the Sacchi 25 metre rule between the front and back lines) helps: “This allowed us not to spend too much energy, to get to the ball first and not to get too tired” as Sacchi said himself. It is very similar with Leicester now though. Getting through those compact lines is like trying to get though quicksand, then you get counterpunched.

    With Barcelona, they seem very energetic when they are pressing out of possession. The thing is though, as you know, Barcelona are notorious for hogging possession, and in possession, they also save alot of energy by letting the ball do the work. Players like Messi can go 60 games a season without getting injured or burned out.

  15. Of course when one has two to three seconds on the ball
    it’s a lot easier to play a more pleasing possession game, whereas in the EPL you have barely one second before you are challenged.

    Personally I prefer the more physical and faster paced game, reminds me of the early days when Swedes, Fins and Russians began arriving into the US/Canadian NHL.

    Where there existed much smaller rinks and a much more physical game as opposed to the European emphasis on speed and stick handling, utilizing larger rinks.

    Then before you knew it we had Swedish and other goons
    Playing as hard as their US/Canadian counterparts.

    Seems things have gone the other way as far as the EPL is concerned, the refs all calling the game as if it was being played on the continent and the idea was to win free kicks and if possible a penalty, by employing their over the top acting skills.

    Nah! I remember a time when both sides outrightly rejected any form of diving, to day it has become an accepted part of the game, to the disgrace of those involved.

    And yes keeping the side compact and utilizing a high lineup like Leicester is one way of controlling a certain area of the pitch makes it easier for sides defending, though it does make it easier for the opposition to employ a fast breaking attack, as that entire side move forward and back as one entity.

    The fact Leicester employ their forwards on the shoulders of the oppositions defenders, makes for the situation that is responsible for most of their scoring, a quick lob over the heads of both attackers and defenders and a foot race for possession, though when in possession have quick passing forwards who know how to run the channels.

    They (Leicester are a well drilled side, but in general a one trick pony other than their present tactical approach), as Benitez showed during the second half of our recent matchup, where they looked pedestrian and the fact is Newcastle had more scoring opportunities.

    Hopefully he will also employ something similar against our neighbors down the road, or am I being overconfident in Rafas. abilities.

    Being Rafa. is the best guy we have had since SBR and when compared to who we have had recently (look how Pardews side are dropping like a stone) we really need to
    Employ a better upper management system that he can work with.

  16. Again from a spectators perspective, not exactly a great game, it appears both sides are where they are position-wise because neither are that good.

    Plus the fact it looked as if the Newcastle fans considered a tie almost as if it were a win.

    Sure we looked better in the second half (we have had such lousy managers that this seems almost like a miracle)

    Rafa. takes from the first half and adjusts the side to counter the oppositions tactics, which is refreshing for a change, considering the reaction of the last two clowns in charge, during second half’s

    Whether we can score enough goals in this rapidly shortening run in is the question, Carr has a lot to answer for, when considering the current crop of strikers he is more or less responsible for.

    Obviously bringing on Cisse was a desperation move he was the only striker on the bench and we never looked like we could win, hoping for the one point a draw would earn.

    Will we avoid the drop ? well I wouldn’t bet a thin dime on our chances, as to what the seasons end will bring either a certain relief if we stay up, but the Schadenfreude of going down, knowing Ashley will be screwed brings a certain satisfaction, after all he bears the responsibility for whatever happens, being his ok is responsible for everything that has happened.

  17. Did anyone catch the short video interview of Ashley made recently ?

    Perhaps he should do more as he comes across as something less than the projected ogre commonly imagined by many fans, which is partially a result of his camera shyness, certainly he comes off a much more sympathetic figure.

    The jist of the interview was his answering the question, “do you regret buying the club”.

    To which he replied in the positive, meaning yes he does.

    Though stating he is locked in to both Sports Direct and NUFC for the foreseeable future, plus the situation in regards to the recent funding of players has reached a point that the clubs account is close to empty.

    I assume this means hard times ahead, having no funds available, other than those generated by Sports Direct.

    Though he did come across as a somewhat sympathetic figure, it looks like he waited too long, before making the decision to get rid of McClaren, perhaps due to ignorance, or stubbornness, as no one expected the chubby
    managing director to make that call.

    Plus it’s obvious from the beginning he had little clue when it came to hiring the right people to run the club,
    plus his refusal to communicate with the fans didn’t help.

    Ah well! we learn something every day, in any case he will as long as there’s that silly money from the EPL available, hang onto the club even if we do make the drop, it’s that or sell!!

    Though I haven’t heard any rumors of a possible buyer, it seems EPL clubs are now attracting new and for the most part foreign owners (because of he money) but I expect Ashley to hang on even so.

    If in fact he is both disappointed and has spent considerably more than necessary, it really is his own fault, the fans have shown up in numbers keeping their side of the bargain going, even though it has been for them, some of the clubs worst performances, resulting in one relegation, and this the third subsequent relegation fight, which may send us into the second tier and like Leeds Utd. into oblivion.

    Yeah ! not a good story, too bad the club is not located in the capital, with it’s state of the art stadium, guaranteeing a full house each home game.

    I guess there’s going to be a spending spree, this summer, and should see some of the worlds best Coaches/Managers and players, coming and going, mainly attracted by the opportunities of high earnings.

    Where will it end, certainly if Rafa. doesn’t manage to pull our chestnuts out of the fire, I can say the second tier, but it’s doubtful if we can

  18. Sorry I took so long Chuck. I don’t know, even you seem to be falling for the Ashley’s voluptuous charms now. Will it be Nutmag crumbling next? I will always be resolute. He was an ogre, he is a ogre, and he will be a ogre in the future as well.

    I think I have more faith than you in Rafa Benitez though.

    “They (Leicester are a well drilled side, but in general a one trick pony other than their present tactical approach), as Benitez showed during the second half of our recent matchup, where they looked pedestrian and the fact is Newcastle had more scoring opportunities.”

    With all the emphasis on Vardy, Mahrez and Drinkwater in the midfield, the final piece in the jigsaw happened in January when they signed Robert Huth. Before they used to leak goals but score one more than the opposition, making for very exciting games. Now, with Huth, that defensive system is tighter than a gnat’s chuff. Leicester still score one more than the opposition but that is usually the only goal now, I think that three of the last four have been 1-0 victories like the one with us. That’s where they were supposed to fade out, but the side have got more professional.

  19. Yeah, I remember when Huth arrived here from Germany, a young tall and aggressive defender, there were rumors during his career that we might even sign him.

    His subsequent career was less than impressive, just an average defender, though as his size would indicate, a bit on the physical side, perhaps he has improved with time and experience.

    Though i don’t recall anyone describe him quite like you did, in fact he reminds me as more of a poor mans John Terry, being useful during set plays by being decent in the air.

  20. As for Leicester, i myself and most people i talk to are both impressed and supportive of the club as a possible league winner, i suppose it’s that general get behind the underdog thing.

    However they provide an entertaining style of football, not anything complicated tactically, but put 100% effort into their game, something i would like to see repeated by Newcastle, well they had better pick up their game with Benitez in charge or move on, being the fans are not that happy with a bunch of strollers being paid big bucks.

    And no i still believe i got it right months ago, when i projected relegation for this side, no doubt it will take more than Benitez to awaken these guys to the reality of their situation, as it took Ashley to realize how precarious a position they were in.

    But fair enough he didn’t blame it on the f***ed up board but stated it was his responsibility and blame should be placed at his door.

    On the other hand, would i buy a used car from this guy, nah!

  21. Chuck, I’m sorry, I must admit I was totally wrong about Huth as he was signed sooner than I said. To be honest i only really started watching them properly in January or February anyway and my brain isn’t what it was.

  22. Some may be sniffy about the contract arrangements, never the less Benitez can be considered quite the coup. A win in the next match will do blimmin’ wonders.

  23. A coup ?

    I believe I already said that and still find it hard to believe he will still be here at the beginning of next season.

    Which is about all we could expect from him this season, to avoid the drop and that doesn’t look too probable, IMO we will end up in the second tier again.

    A case of Ashley believing by spending big bucks we would be assured of escaping the drop, one cant blame the board, as they are a board in name only, every decision
    being made by our owner.

    Sure he would and will continue to own the club, he being smart enough to realize there’s a lot of money to be made in the EPL. and though he admits to being the cause of the clubs present demise and will no doubt try a new tack (Benitez) with someone who will if we survive, change the system entirely from top to bottom, which is exactly what’s needed at this club

    And as I used to say “it’s a slow learning curve” and a sense of desperation that has driven him to finally hire someone who can, if given the time and necessary funds
    rebuild this club into a side that represents the twentieth or so richest club in the world.

    Because if he cant do it, then it’s obvious time to sell, ten years is more than enough for even the dumbest owner to get things right.

  24. Poor Johan Cruyff’s checked out, my favourite footballer. He was the person who really got me interested in football as a game of strategy, rather than just supporting a team and hoping they win. I was only a bairn and I’d just started supporting the Toon really when the 74 world cup was on. Newcastle had been in the cup final that year, and got hammered by Keegan. When I watched Cruyff and the Dutch play though, it was like a different game that totally revolutinised football.

    MIchael says:
    March 24, 2016 at 12:36 am

    “Some may be sniffy about the contract arrangements, never the less Benitez can be considered quite the coup. A win in the next match will do blimmin’ wonders.”

    Well I’m just glad we got him, Michael. He didn’t have to come here. He’s won a huge amount of trophies, he could have got a nice, safer job somewhere else eventually without sticking his head in the Lion’s mouth on Tyneside, but he has and good luck to him.

  25. The odds on NUFC avoiding the drop are not good, it seems only five teams are realistically involved, Villa, Sunderland , NUFC, plus Norwich and Palace, yes that’s right Palace, our once favorite Manager (Pardew) has true to form, not won a game in the clubs last ten, the best results being a couple of draws.

    How welcome is he now that the fans are aware of his lack of managerial skills, former player or not.

    If both Palace and Norwich continue their present demise, it could see three north east sides in the PL next season, as I expect Boro. to make the cut.

    Stranger things have happened, though I fully expect a win in our next outing against Norwich, however if we don’t get that win, it looks like curtains for our chances and we will be playing kick and rush football with the other overly physical second tier clubs, a result of poor upper management, in which case we can only hope that Rafa has the coaching ability to pull our chestnuts from the fire.

    Not to mention the extreme loss of EPL funding and the possibility of becoming another Leeds Utd.

    Yep! a lot at stake in these next eight games, somewhat similar to the situation where Shearer had the audacity to attempt to coach the side, prior to our last relegation.

  26. chuck says:
    March 27, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    “If both Palace and Norwich continue their present demise, it could see three north east sides in the PL next season, as I expect Boro. to make the cut. ”

    Chuck, bollocks to Boro; I’m supporting Hughton and Brighton. It’s the season of the nice guy and he’s the one who’s currently in the top two promotion places. They were in the relegation places and going down to League One when he took them on last season, but they’ve been transformed. Have some faith in Rafa the Gaffer.

  27. Were gannin doon wi the Mackems !

    Get used to it.

    It is inevitable and necessary, plus the only way our dear leader can understand his policies simply don’t work, therefor time to hand over the reins to someone who has an understanding of how a football works.

    Yeah Benitez is a good manager, but he won’t be here when we move to the Champions League and we may very well then hire another cheap loser like we have done during the whole Ashley tenure here.

    Possibly ending up as another Leeds United, as I certainly don’t have much faith in this present side to find a way to avoid the drop.

  28. chuck says:
    March 28, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    “Were gannin doon wi the Mackems !

    “Get used to it.”

    Oh ye of little faith, or more accurately, oh ye of no faith whatsover, Chuck. We really need to beat Norwich though and Pardew’s Palace in what what football cliche artists would call the real “six pointers” between now and the end of the season. It’s one of those full scale Pardew mega-slumps that we know so well down there.

  29. Well another conundrum added to the run in, with Elliot sidelined for what looks like the rest of this unhappy season.

    Like Steve Harper, who never received his just due while playing second fiddle to a regularly picked Seamus Given, Elliot has proved to be every bit as good as Krul and better in certain circumstances, naturally he gets little credit, which baffles me.

    Another player presently unavailable is our DM Colback, not because he is injured, but because of his proclivity in collecting dumb-ass yellow cards.

    I don’t mind a player taking the occasional yellow “one for the team” style fouls, where necessary, but either Colback just doesn’t get it or no one has informed him he’s getting a rep as an idiot, in which case it’s about time he grew up and started to make the right decisions.

    I’m a bit annoyed at the way Janmaat (one of our best and most productive full backs) who has put out an “I’m ready to move on” rumor, using his Dutch friends to broadcast it for him, if you want to go, at least be honest about it.

    Looking at the run in schedule, it looks like there’s a few games we could actually win, depending if Rafa. can get this bunch of players to give it !00%.

    We have the Norwich upcoming game, which could be a bellwether for the run in, with the possibilities of beating sides like Villa, Swansea and Palace, with the possibility of perhaps a couple of draws included, which would give us a chance to beat the odds and survive once again.

    Then I suppose we could run outta luck this year ?

    But the real news is that by now Ashley, following nine years of attempting to reinvent the way a football club is run, should have reached the conclusion to leave it to the experts and go mess with his other business “Sports Direct”, which is presently in demise, having lost heavily in the market and is now the number two business in the sports rag trade.

    Though Benitez spent a lot of money while at Liverpool, at least he understands the game both from a tactical viewpoint and in a commercial sense.

    And if we are to be successful in our run in, he should
    be given a free hand to reorganize this club, which means get rid of the jobs for the boys people and instill his own brand on the club, being we have had to put up with cheap rubbish mangers and not so great signings over time
    and its time we had a business like organization, with a club that belongs at least, in the EPL top ten.

    It all depends on Ashley’s willingness to give control to Rafa. and cut out his constant intervention in the clubs affairs, or at least give it a trial period, as we were obviously going nowhere fast, with such people as Pardew and Carver, plus Pudgy the Managing Director, not to mention the rest of the so called board.

    FFS i’m sure even a side like Blythe Spartans have a more sophisticated management system than NUFC over the last nine years, time for change.

  30. chuck says:
    March 30, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    “Well another conundrum added to the run in, with Elliot sidelined for what looks like the rest of this unhappy season.”

    Chuck, the boy’s done good, but I think you might be stretching things a bit there. Let’s see what Darlow can do. He’s a talnted goalkeeper who hasn’t had a chance yet. It has been good to see Lascelles.

    “Another player presently unavailable is our DM Colback, not because he is injured, but because of his proclivity in collecting dumb-ass yellow cards.”

    Lots of people who have have played his role (midfield henchman) has got cards galore, and grief about it when they play in black and white. His ginger predecessor, Nicky Boot (as Pele called him) was one, Tiote was another. They expect to be suspended once or twice a season.

    “Though Benitez spent a lot of money while at Liverpool, at least he understands the game both from a tactical viewpoint and in a commercial sense. ”

    Once again, Benitez didn’t spend that much at Liverpool. They spent alot to catch up with the biggest moneybags teams, but they were still a bit behind. For a team that won the Champions League, and were in another final under Benitez, Liverpool were minnows who punched above their weight. He never spent like Chelsea or more recently, Man City, and they were behind United as well.

    “But the real news is that by now Ashley, following nine years of attempting to reinvent the way a football club is run, should have reached the conclusion to leave it to the experts and go mess with his other business “Sports Direct”, ”

    Trying to reinvent the way a football club is run? Not really, he was trying to make a selling club, like the Udinese – Watford – Granada axis I wrote about here. That isn’t new or reinventing the game. Ashley’s hubris in thinking he could do it his way, with incompetence and zero knowledge combined with extreme arrogance has been what’s gone wrong. The other thing is that he tried to do it with Newcastle United, one of the traditional old clubs with history and a big passionate fanbase, which isn’t right. You don’t buy a club like Newcastle United for that, you get a Watford like Pozzo.

  31. Well I would be willing to argue that Elliot has been both an unexpected surprise and established himself as a safe pair of hands, especially in regard to his defending against set plays, something neither Given or Krul were/are good at, plus his quick reaction saves are as good as that pairs, something both had been noted for.

    In which case we really don’t know what to expect from Darlow, but if he turns out decent, there will be competition for the position during the approaching season.

    Nah! Colback? I can only refer you to the dumb-ass fouls, resulting in bans by Tiote, during his early days at the club, on the other hand Nicky Butt did commit a number of fouls (mostly professional) but few resulted in cards and even less occurred in dangerous areas, being the man was both professional and a smart player, whereas Tiote just wanted to put every tackled player in the stands and god only knows what the ginger haired Colback is thinking, or maybe that’s his problem, he doesn’t think ?
    Anyhow someone should have a word with him being he never seems satisfied until he has earned a dumb-ass yellow card foul in a game.

    And yes I have to agree Ashley’s business plan is similar to the Udinese system, don’t know about Watford or the recent addition to the Spanish Premier Division Granada.

    Perhaps they employ the same plan, as far as buying and selling players, as used by Udenese, the difference is they probably have the necessary foundation for that type of operation, in having football pros. within the Club management system, including a sound scouting system.

    On the other hand look at who makes all the decisions at NUFC, which is Ashley, (with Carr in his ear) who is possibly the most ignorant of owners, with hubris to spare, the rest (apart from a now Benitez and his staff who will be on their way if we are relegated) should be on their way with Carver to the local job center, and a completely new management system put in place.

    However it’s just impossible to imagine Ashley either giving up control or changing the system, therefor selling is not something we can expect, (although I believe Liverpool are about to be taken over again, by some oligarch)

    I’m afraid the rapidly increasing revenues from the EPL have been like light to a moth, his fixation on making a success of NUFC and making it into a top money maker are too much a target for this success inspired owner, who hasn’t given up on it happening.

    It’s all about ego, in it ?

  32. Pathetic !

    The only way to describe NUFC this season, but don’t worry we can probably get into the top ten in the championship next season.

    To-days game proves the side is not only poor, but don’t appear to care, playing most league games as if they were training sessions.

    If Rafa. cant get them to play, then………..

    Yep! going down with the Mackems, and Ashley is going to miss out on all that dosh, “just deserts” comes to mind.

    Soh! blood will have to be spilled, we just don’t know who’s blood, but we demand a sacrifice……..

  33. Well Chuck, I was going to write another long reply to you after the game (mine are getting to be as long as yours now), but I’m as sick as a parrot after the end of that game. Mitrovic scored twice though.

    I think the selling club idea started to crumble when we faced relegation last season. Though of course, we have seriously faced relegation for three of the last four seasons now.

  34. chuck says:
    April 2, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    “Soh! blood will have to be spilled, we just don’t know who’s blood, but we demand a sacrifice……..”

    Chuck, traditionally they used to sacrifice the fattest beast, and we know who that is!

  35. Look it’s been in the cards for the last few seasons, the fact that we are not a top PL side (that’s a top ten finisher) and were lucky to avoid the drop on a couple of occasions.

    We cant rely on either luck or the misfortune of other sides in order to stay up.

    However I’m not seeing any major effort from this side, still jogging around instead of giving it their all, like they don’t care.

    And with the uncertainty of who will be here next season (players and management) what to do ?

    The only thing left to enjoy is a bit of schadenfreude as we drop down a division and the fact Ashley will not get to reap the rewards of the recent increase in EPL funding.

  36. It isn’t looking good. It wasn’t just that we had to get three points, but we also had to stop Norwich from getting three points. If we overtake Blunderland, we’re still in the bottom three. We have to overtake Norwich as well but giving them three points has just made the job much harder.

    Pardew is being Pardew again and their disastrous run continued with another defeat the other day, so they are the next rung on the ladder at 16th. They’re nine points ahead of us though, so Norwich and the Mackems are the targets.

    The defence was distressing. It started ok in the first two games, but the way we let three goals in yesterday made it look like they were going backwards and were now having problems getting used to the Benitez method in defence. The attack had a go and to be fair, Mitrovic did score twice but the back four weren’t getting with the programme yesterday.

  37. Thought I’d take a look at the game just to see if anything or what had changed under Rafa’s stewardship. Apparently not much they are still Carr,s team unable to put in a whole 90 minute shift.
    The result (and there is no question about it) They are relegated! Rafa will leave, Ian Cathro will be given the gig and a new load of Carr,s crap will be shipped in to replace load leaving. The only one I’d keep is playing at Coventry at the moment and should take to Chamionship football. I think it will be some time before this lot will get anywhere near the EPL again.
    Just a thought is Carr Dennis Wise in disguise?
    I had better pack in now before people get the impression I give a FQ

  38. Yes, I suppose it’s not easy for the squad, having what some players had referred to as a complicated tactical system introduced by McClaren, suddenly totally changed
    by Rafa. making the difficulties of adapting to it amid a struggle to avoid the drop, even more difficult.

    Though there are those complications involved, still the side do not look as if they are particularly concerned, no real extra effort was seen during the last couple of games and the side look like a bunch who consider their future is elsewhere, so why put out the effort.

    I don’t really recall any game I have watched as an outstanding performance and have projected relegation at an early stage for both North East clubs as being inevitable, neither side willing to work hard, plus we just don’t have the horses.

    So! what’s the answer ?

    It’s as obvious as the nose on your face, “MANAGEMENT” if one examines the reasons why teams are relegated from the EPL its either through poor management or a lack of funds, and in many cases a combination of the two.

    We all are aware by now how Ashley with his misplaced idea’s of how to run a football club, which he has dug his heels in on defending when it has become obvious to all, clearly a case of Ego combined with hubris, the attitude that dominated his rise in making Sports Direct the no 1# retailer in the sports apparel field, but just doesn’t work when it comes to football.

    That and the fact Sports Direct has lost heavily in it’s market share and is now No2#, plus the government is on his case about work practices at his warehouses and stores.

    which is why I believe relegation could be a blessing in disguise, it may (but don’t count on it) cause a change in the whole system, which requires a complete examination of the club from top to bottom.

    And make the necessary changes needed, which is get rid of Ashley first and foremost if that were possible, but ain’t gonna happen, being this hard headed individual is not prepared to lose money on NUFC and will be here until he can declare his time here as profitable.

    Well it’s not as if the club deserves a permanent EPL spot, apart from the fact NUFC is reportedly among the worlds twenty wealthiest clubs, which sez it all.

  39. It’s the Chuckle Brothers again. :-)

    Leicester v Southampton was like a battle of the great masters by proxy. Koeman the Cruyffian with his attacking “Christmas Pudding” formation (3-4-3) against Ranieri with the Sacchi 4-4-2 system I’ve already discussed above.

  40. Yeah! a very entertaining game.

    Though I believe the difference wasn’t a measure of tactics, rather a case of who was willing to put out the most effort and we have seen how Leicester win games with that 100% effort, time after time.

    On the other hand the final score reflecting the tactical low scoring game one would consider in regards to he tatics used.

    On a different note, the Spurs vs Liverpool game was equally entertaining and it appears LVG has (now that he is giving his youngsters starts) a decent if youngish side with talent to spare, hope they give him an opportunity to finalize his re building plan.

    As there is little consideration given to managers these days, apart from at NUFC who give too much time to their various flops.

    Following Newcastle’s defeat by a much more inspired Norwich side, I believe we are now doomed to at least one or more seasons in the second tier, i’s what we deserve and will certainly signal a change in the clubs status, bringing us closer to becoming a Leeds United than a side that belongs in the worlds top twenty, at least in regard to wealth.

    It remains to be seen what Ashley does following relegation, which is a top to bottom reorganization, the question is have these last few seasons changed his attitude about the general business plan he has installed, or will things continue in the same manner.

    A possible subject manner you could possibly do an interesting blog on.

  41. Browsing through one of the NUFC sites, I came across an article that stated the sale and development of a certain St. Nicholas Hospital and its surrounding real estate, located in Gosforth.

    Not having much idea of what kind of hospital this was and where it was located I looked on MAPS and discovered it was the sight of the former nut farm, “Cox’s Lodge” off Salters Rd. which was to my knowledge the only “hospital” in he area.

    Of course “Cox’s Lodge” was once a part of the local color and used in the vernacular to description what was known in those days as a loony bin.

    And often used to describe certain people in a derogatory manner, “wey man ! he/she should be in in Cox’s Lodge like”

    Just curious if this is something only geezers as old as myself remember, as no doubt the building has changed both owners and purpose over the years.

    Or has “Cox Lodge” and it’s local meaning now become a forgotten in time local synonym for mental institution.

  42. Having been, like every Newcastle fan, subjected to watching a crap side over the Ashley ownership period
    and adding insult to injury with some of his decisions, by his temporary changing “St. james’ Park” to ‘Sports Direct’ and adding those in your face SD signs everywhere and adding the logo of a legal loan-shark to the clubs shirts.

    Obviously a man who cares little about others not only the Newcastle fans, but the judicial system, the Rangers football club and the massive warehouse system that hires mainly foreign workers in what has been described as slave-like conditions, the conditions in his store where many are on zero hours contracts.

    His behavior is by now fully understood apart from the few idiots who continue to believe he has the best interest’s of NUFC at heart.

    Well I have been saying from early in this season that there’s a good possibility we will be relegated and now more than ever believe it’s inevitable.

    Question is “now what” ?

    There may be a short feeling of retribution or Schadenfreude following our EPL exit, as it really doesn’t need to affect the fan base, though it certainly will have it’s affect on Ashley, being if there’s no instantaneous return to the EPL with it’s revenues, he may very well sell up and cut his losses.

    Plus the Championship is not that bad a division though the quality is more a game of perspiration than inspiration and shouldn’t be any worse than what we have been subjected too in the last nine seasons, as a matter of fact the season spent in the second tier is probably our most successful of seasons since our dear leader arrived.

    But it certainly will be of great interest to see what happens following our relegation, though I don’t expect
    a quick return like our last time down, it may in fact be the beginning of the end of the Ashley/Newcastle partnership, please god!

  43. sorry I took so long Chuck, I haven’t been in much. Talk about doom and gloom? At least Nutmag’s doom and gloom has more brevity :-)

    chuck says:
    April 5, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    “Not having much idea of what kind of hospital this was and where it was located I looked on MAPS and discovered it was the sight of the former nut farm, “Cox’s Lodge” off Salters Rd. which was to my knowledge the only “hospital” in he area.”

    It’s St Nicholas hospital now, Chuck. I think it has been for a very long time but I think people carried on calling it Cox’s Lodge. I might be wrong though, I’m going back into the deep past when I was much younger mostly.

    “And often used to describe certain people in a derogatory manner, “wey man ! he/she should be in in Cox’s Lodge like”

    My mother used to say they’d put me in Cherry Knowle if I wasn’t careful! No one ever wanted to go in there. It was the most sinister place ever. You could imagine Vincent Price running it. Even if you broke out of there, you were still in a nightmarish lunatic asylum called Sunderland as well! On the outskirts of Sunderland anyway.

    They used to need quite a few mental hospitals up there. There was Sedgefield as well, which was very big if I memory serves me well? My mother was in Sedgefield for while, not as a patient but making sandwiches with the women’s volunteers or something like that. That was a long time ago when I was a bairn though.

  44. Ah that blade of grass that is Rafa Benitez that so many Geordie’s are clinging to. That light at the end of the tunnel, that glimmer of hope.
    I admit to thinking I saw a glimmer of light when Rafa arrived but I mistook it for the glint of fear in Ashley’s eye, the fear of loosing so much money after all that’s his only motivation.
    On the subject of “mental hospitals” “loony bins” “funny farms” Most areas had them and people did speak of them in that derogatory manner. When I worked in Morpeth the local one was St Georges. We employed two of the inmates as kitchen porters two of the best kitchen porters I ever had. My abiding memory will always be of Jimmy one of them and at the age of about mid forties dressed in a suit three times to big for him, given to him by the Hotel owner. He was like a child at Xmas so excited about going home for his annual holiday.
    Most if not all have gone “care in the community” took their place. The large local one to me at Hatton outside of Warwick is a large housing estate now.

  45. Nutmag says:
    April 8, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    “On the subject of “mental hospitals” “loony bins” “funny farms” Most areas had them and people did speak of them in that derogatory manner.”

    They still do, Nutmag. In more modern vernacular, secure units have often been referred to as “Fraggle Rock” from the Muppet show offshoot. They are down here in London anyway: eg “Where’s Fred gone?” – “Oh he just snapped one day and they sent him off to Fraggle Rock for a while.”

    There was a basic need for “care ihe community” as places like Cherry Knowle and the rest were awful. However the Conservative government of the time completely buggered it up the way they do by underfunding NHS and social services so they were just pretty much abandoned without enough support.

  46. Yes just this week figures of suicides attributed to people with mental health problems has risen dramatically.

  47. Yes ! what surprised me was the fact the person who wrote the article, mde no mention of the fact it was once the infamous Cox Lodge.

    Who knows perhaps someone who had never heard of the place ?

    On another tack, it appears there will be a general inquisition, (without the usual tools of the real inquisition I hope) in regard to the past and present situation existing at this club over the last eight years.

    Had Ashley been reading some of my rants over time and took them to heart it would be unnecessary, it certainly doesn’t take an inquiry to figure out the reason’s for the clubs decline, any fan can pinpoint the fact it was arrogance flavored by a good deal of hubris and a cheap-ass approach, all stemming from our owner who was bound and determined to prove he knew what he was doing.

    Name them from the London moneyman (was his name Moat?)
    who f**cked off back to London as fast as his little legs could carry him, following his examination of the books, to the subsequent jerks that followed him.

    Yes it was all so easy, at least that’s what Ashley thought, however the subsequent quality of those he hired left a lot to be desired, therefor it can be assumed poor management was the prime reason for the present demise, though for a while Pardew managed to avoid the drop, the fact was, it was tough to watch his sides play ugly plus he was given players who were lucky to get off the bench, mostly flair players, whom the fans loved.

    Well lets see how the inquisition turns out, though it may be too late to hold onto Benitez who would IMO be the ideal savior of the club, being we were lucky to have managed hiring him.

    Apart from that I doubt if anyone is that interested in watching, as each game infuriates us more and the fact we are going down becomes more apparent, just like the eight games when Shearer took over, a foregone conclusion.

  48. Nutmag

    How many of those suicides were Geordies, as most present fans are all in a state of extreme depression I believe.

  49. We forgot to mention the two biggest asylums in the North East by far, St James’ Park and the Stadium of Blight!

    “Name them from the London moneyman (was his name Moat?)”

    Moat was the Geordie one who had a few million, but nothing like enough to buy Newcastle United, Chuck.

  50. chuck says:
    April 8, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    “as most present fans are all in a state of extreme depression I believe.”

    The phonelines at Tyneside Samaritans will be busy this evening.

  51. I switched channels after the first half, watched pieces of the other games and it’s probably my last (NUFC) game for this season.
    Afraid it’s over bar the shouting, so this means a full season (in the second tier)) without a NUFC game, with the way we are presently playing, will be no great sacrifice.
    There seems to be some hope of Benitez staying, even if/when we make the drop, this I doubt, in which case we aught to be looking at someone who may be interested in the job.
    Lets get the season (possibly the worst recorded by NUFC) certainly while in the EPL, my question is why do the fans continue to travel in the thousands to places as far away as Southampton, did anyone expect anything different from this crowd of well paid wankers, who obviously don’t give a rats ass.
    Ah well! what to do, what to do?

  52. Worky its not doom and gloom its calculated logic.
    With the owner and his hirelings we have, I think the level at which NUFC should and deserve to play is Mid table championship to Mid table Div 1.
    Forgeting Rafa as its highly unlikely he will be around long.
    After Ashley Carr is most to blame this is his team.
    Yes we all like the flair players and our number nines, he forgets for every Bobby Mitchell, Ginola, Shearer you need a Brennan, Scoular, Philippe Albert. Also the solid graffters that turn up every match and give 100%. Teams are built as a unit with thought and skill not by throwing a few “starlets” together with more though about their sell on value than their team ability.
    Back to Rafa its this Carr collection that he has to try and make a team out of. Sorry to say there is not much hope, they have no backbone no grit no fighting spirit. I would rather make a team of our rejects than this lot.

  53. Nutmag

    Yes you are right, this present side are here basically to put themselves in the shop window and hopefully find themselves a stable and winning side.

    As for the quality ?

    We have had a number of decent players come in, but having had Pardew and McClaren, both failures throughout their careers, wasn’t much help.

    Of course any signings who’s price went up while at the club, were immediately sold, this was part of Ashleys business plan.

    Here was an owner who knows nothing about football, who employed other idiot’s who knew even less than he did and
    thought he was smarter than the average owner and would show them how to run a football club, yeah right!

    There’s the Board, The current manager, the chubby pencil sharpener, Managing Director is his title, who couldn’t manage a decent bowel movement, never mind a football club.

    Then we have the hero of the last piece of silverware the club won, (Moncour) dug up to fill out the board, he being in need of a few bob and willing to say yes to anything from Ashley, with Carr who literally ran the club, having the ear of Ashley selecting who was to be signed, who did bring in a few decent players, but who’s fortunes in he market have overall been negative.

    Ashley aught to have accepted his recent offer to resign.

    As for one of our best ex players in charge of the youth squads (who were beaten 7-1 in their last game), continues to remain in charge, obviously jobs for the boys.

    The club is rotten to the core because Ashley continues to hire third rate people, yes he has threatened to begin an inquiry, but we are all aware of his control freak nature and don’t expect much will come of it.

    The strange thing is, he is as stuck with NUFC as we are, the difference being he because of money, he refuses to quit before he wins something, (all ego and and money) we the fans because it’s our side.

    We are going down and may be the next Leeds Utd. certainly as long as our dear leader with his ideas of how to run a football club, remains.

  54. Oh ! by the way there are rumors of not only Everton being taken over by US interests, but the possible appointment of “Bielsa” as manager, now those are two positive moves, whereas we seem to be going from bad to worse, with no light at the end of the tunnel.

  55. Nutmag says:
    April 11, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    “Yes we all like the flair players and our number nines, he forgets for every Bobby Mitchell, Ginola, Shearer you need a Brennan, Scoular, Philippe Albert. Also the solid graffters that turn up every match and give 100%.”

    I see what you’re saying Nutmag, but I wouldn’t separate those qualities so definitely. Just because someone has “flair” it doesn’t mean they aren’t grafters and so on… For instance, were hammered by Ronald Koeman the other day, he had all the qualities you mentioned above. I remember that Bob Paisley was very specific about the makeup of his teams. Just on the ages, he said he liked five or six to be around the age of 26 with a couple of youngsters and a couple of wise old foxes over 30. Of course, a manager couldn’t think like that within Ashley’s policy.

    In other news, previous Newcastle rejects are going from strength to strength. Ben Arfa got a hat-trick the other day and has been scoring freely in general, and Hughton’s brought Brighton from near relegation to fighting for automatic promotion to the Premiership in a season and a bit.

  56. chuck says:
    April 11, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    “Oh ! by the way there are rumors of not only Everton being taken over by US interests, but the possible appointment of “Bielsa” as manager,”

    Does this mean that your crush for Roberto is over if Marcelo takes over then, Chuck? :-)

  57. Not only Marcelo, we can also include everyone, from players,management officials, excepting Benitez (who will be off anyhow) down from Ashley to the youth coaches.

    It should be obvious to everyone that this is the worst run club certainly in the PL, though it remains to be seen if that doesn’t include the Championship league where we will be playing next season.

    It ain’t gonna be like the last relegation, where we walked it back to the PL.

    Why, FFS! these people led by Ashley, are a bunch of total F**k ups, who will have to pay Shelvey eighty grand a season in the Championship.

    Who knows who is responsible could it be our chubby ex pencil sharpener/now managing director, who failed to introduce a wage lowering clause if we were relegated, or were they so confident in beating the drop, they didn’t think it necessary.

    It’s my belief we will have a suitcase parade leaving St. James’ following our demise, of course those with enormous contracts will want to stay and why not, but it’s also my belief that most want away already.

    After all who would want to be in the far North East playing against the likes of Rotherham, Brentford and
    Huddersfield on a cold winters afternoon ?

    Our future being closer to such sides as MK.Dons, Charleton and Bolton, all ex premier league sides now about to drop to “Division 1”

    Soh ! lets all give a resounding cheer for our dear leader
    who like the Pied Piper, has led the side from bad to worse, fuelled by the idea of making a few bob and advertising his real business “SD”, which is also under extreme pressure, having dropped from a clear leader in the Sports Rag trade, to second place from a company most have never heard of, where just desserts comes to mind.

    Lets hope Ashley will have second thoughts and will realize he just has no clue on how to run a football club and would be better off selling, but if he wants to be a part pf NUFC, he can always put his SD logo on the clubs shirts, for a price over the present six million per annum
    presently earned from that official Loan-shark outfit

    Question is who will we get to replace Benitez, as he has obviously seen enough to realize this is not where he wants to be, I suppose a number of jerks will throw their hat in for the job, Lee Clark comes to mind and more than likely none of Benitez’s coaches would want to stay, which is the usual case of NEXT IN LINE ! the usual cry.

    It’s been a real bummer since SBR left and doesn’t appear to be about to change anytime soon, Benitez has been the only choice Manager appointed, but once again Ashley left it too late to end Mcclaren’s role, what had become obvious to most fans, that this grinning idiot could make a difference, a decision like the appointment of Shearer with only eight games to play, was similar.

    Now we have no Hughton to lead us back to the promised land (EPL)we may be there for a long time, along with Notts Forest, Leeds and Blackburn and oh! by the way Hughton has his side Brighton challenging for a PL spot lying third in the Championship division.

  58. Chuck, I watched Atletico Madrid 2, Barcelona 0 to take my mind of all that stuff. It was another defensive masterclass in the style of Arrigo Sacchi with lethal counterattacking. They made Barcelona look quite ordinary.

    Hughton won again on monday too, with a 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest. They are looking at Leicester City under the financial fair play now as they think the Thai owners might have pulled a Man City style incestuous sponsorship fiddle to get around the regulations.

  59. Yes it appears that ‘tika taka’ was the last innovative tactical introduction, a basic return of the Dutch total football of the seventies (on speed) that’s of course unless you include some of Bielsa’s various introductions.

    Then again it doesn’t hurt to employ certain tactical approaches against sides who consistently apply the same tactics game after game, being for every system used, there’s a formula to overcome that particular system.

    The present managers of the EPL tend to lack the ability to project the tactical approach of their opponents, and few have the ability to change the particular approach other than post first half.

    Something that every fan during the Pardew regime found out, being the man was limited to the football tactics of over a decade prior.

    Perhaps NUFC could give Bielsa a call when Benitez rides into the sunset, could be an interesting experiment, only thing is for his tactics to work, one needs a fairly smart bunch of players, something rare these days, as opposed to earlier times where many players were the driving force behind tactical changes.

    Anyway, with a club as badly run as NUFC one can only expect the worst, though few expected to see Benitez here
    it was actually a desperation move, which was a day late and a dollar short, a typical move made by a know nothing owner, (throw money at it) who will no doubt refuse to believe that the impending relegation is his fault and carry on with his dumb-ass management policies, though without the riches of EPL membership
    Too bad!

  60. And yeah, Athletico Madrid, have had some decent players and managers over recent times, of course Simione is still looked upon as the guy who tricked Beckham and earned him a place on the bench, still remembered as much as the “hand of god” situation with Maradona’.

    It’s interesting to note that Spanish football is now considered to be the best, with both managers and players alike, in demand in various leagues, being somewhat akin to “serie A” during an earlier stage, due to it’s innovative tactical approaches.

    But we don’t have to concern ourselves with that, as NUFC will obviously be playing in any league where perspiration is more important than inspiration.

    Ah well!

  61. Anyone catch the Dortmund vs Liverpool game, what a comeback,
    One can only envy a club that came from behind and especially against a side as good as Dortmund.

    Rumors are starting about who will replace Benitez, with Tony Pulis mentioned, which wants to make me puke.
    Not because he couldn’t be successful in getting the side back to the PL just the manner of play we would be subjected too.

    Though when compared to “ARRY” who recently placed the blame squarely on the players, trying to get his foot in the door,
    Puhleez anyone but either of these two guys, it would definitely put the final nail in NUSC’s coffin.

  62. Chuck, so that’s it then, you’re going to keep bangning on about Bielsa now your other crushes have disappointed? :-)

    If you want to read an intereting piece on the evolution of tactics (from back in 2008 but don;t let that one put you off), here’s one from Jonathan Wilson in the Guardian. He was musing on how the 4-2-3-1, a development of the 4-4-2 had finally taken over the British game. In that piece among other things, there is a long bit on Sacchi and in that, he asks whether Sacchi’s fluid 4-4-2 system would work today, especially with different offside rules. Well it has certainly been making a comeback with Atletico Madrid and Leicester and we are getting an answer.

    I don’t think Simeone is remembered for that Beckham thing so much over here. I don’t think that Spanish league football is considered to be the best either. The huge Barcelona and Real Madrid teams are definitely, but that is two teams out of a league of 20.

  63. Hmmm ! so you say, if that’s the case then how do you explain the champions league is won on a fairly regular basis by Spanish clubs, with a current two sides Athletico Madrid and their fellow city rivals Real still competing in the final four.

    Not to mention the fact another two Spanish sides Villarreal and Sevilla are among the final four of the not so important cup, which could end up with both finals fielding all Spanish sides.

    This is not a prediction, only an indication of how strong La Liga is, certainly in comparison to most European leagues, though certainly there are concerns voiced by both Spanish players and other football people about the present earnings of most EPL sides and with it, the ability to poach players and managers from just about any league.

    And with the presently expected increases in EPL revenues, it’s expected that spending by EPL clubs will increase heavily during the upcoming off season, which must be a concern to many continental sides.

    One just has to consider NUFC’s recent dealings in France and Holland, after all no one wants to become a supplier of both managers and players, especially clubs with histories of winning the European cup, who now, have no chance in to-days footballing reality. being reduced to selling off their best players and managers.

    While on the subject of managers, there has been conflicting stories in regard to Benitez (will he stay , or will he go) ?

    It’s my opinion he already wants out of this crazy organization, but that’s not what worries me, it’s the quality of his replacement.

    As of quite recently, a number of retreads have jumped the gun and are throwing their hats into the ring, about this non existent job, with “Arry” putting in a subtle message he could be available.

    I don’t want any Arry’s, Lee Clarks or Pulis’s and certainly no Gary Monk, being we (Ashley) made what for him was the only positive move in hiring Benitez, who if he doesn’t want the rewardless grind of the second tier, then so be it.

    However puhleez consider carefully who you choose as Benitez’s replacement, being it’s another important step in the hopefully revamping of this club and don’t leave it up to our chubby managing Director Charnley, keep him as a future sacrificial goat, who can be blamed for anything and everything.

    As blood has to be spilled following relegation.

  64. On comparing the different lineups over the years, I go back as far as the era of football, where not only every
    (old first division) side fielded a 2-3-5 lineup with jerseys only numbers going from 1 through 11, which was an indication of where you played, or lined up.

    Well not exactly, those so called inside forwards,8#&10# were fetch and carry players who dropped back and defended, though NUFC introduced the no 10# as a second center forward (certainly in the case of George Robledo)
    George being good in the air, as opposed to “Wor Jackie”
    who was not the greatest header of the ball.

    Whereas the Centre back would in many cases join up with the two full backs and his two fellow half backs, were known to join in the attack, setting up plays.

    It wasn’t all attack as suggested by the lineups, just as the various lineups in to-days game certainly are only an indication of how the side will play and only god and Bielsa know the various combinations he has introduced into the game, making it a much more interesting game but a nightmare for those players who didn’t get it.

  65. chuck says:
    April 15, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    “Hmmm ! so you say, if that’s the case then how do you explain the champions league is won on a fairly regular basis by Spanish clubs, with a current two sides Athletico Madrid and their fellow city rivals Real still competing in the final four.”

    Chuck, I’d already explained everything in my infinite wisdom. The last two Spanish winners were Real Madrid and Barcelona and as I explained to you above: “The huge Barcelona and Real Madrid teams are definitely” meaning they are top world teams who spend more money than anyone else, win big trophies and any of the world’s best players would want to join. However, as I also pointed out, that was only two teams out of a league of 20. I also explained that like Leicester, Atletico were really punching above their weight with alot of help from Arrigo Sacchi style tactics.

    To be fair, I didn’t make a point about Sevilla and Villareal. They have done well, especially Sevilla in the Europa League. But they also take it far more seriously than English teams like Spurs for whom the Premiership is the number one priority. Once again there is a two tier La Liga with the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid having completely different TV contracts, where the Premiership is more equal. Having written that, I think Liverpool are going for it this time because they won’t be getting into the Champions League any other way this season. Chelsea had a similar season recently so interim Rafa went for it and he won it.

  66. Soh ! the fact that four of the La Liga sides are in the last four of both cups at this particular time is really no indication of how good La Liga is and use Spurs as some kind of example.

    As Spurs are no longer involved in that particular cup,having been knocked out, I might add that you don’t get as far as they did by not caring, as for Liverpool they only way the can quality for the Championship is by winning that cup, can you say the same about either of the Spanish sides in the uefa cup.

    The very fact that promotion and relegation in both countries, brings the sides with the most talented and greatest wealth plus best management (all round) to the top and ensures that the top league will benefit.

    I hope you are not suggesting that the EPL has on average better clubs than Spain in total, that’s easily disproved, by simply watching both the Newcastle/Swansea game to-day and comparing it with the Citeh/Chelsea game
    which if you were unaware you would swear were from different leagues, perhaps they or one WILL BE at the end of this season.

    Look over the last half decade or more, Spain has proven to be have fielded the most successful of sides, both the national and La Liga sides, and have exported many of their best players and coaches, whereas the EPL with it’s super funding, have hardly exported any with only Moyes, a Scot (recently fired) and former MU defender Neville (also fired) and only one Welshman going in the other direction “Bale”, in comparison with an uncountable number of Spaniards coming to the EPL and Champions league, both players and coaches.

  67. I was going to watch the Nufc vs Swansea game for a brief while to see how it would go, but decided to watch the whole thing.

    Three nowt is about where the club should be, I just don’t get it why this side has played so bad for so long.

    Though it does need both a clearout and a different approach, certainly in regard to the business plan and overall top management.

    It’s now a three club league, with Sunderland ourselves and Norwich, that is in regard to relegation.

    About the game, the usual foul ridden sort, where NUFC put out the most perspiration, but little inspiration and a relegation proof Swansea seemed as if they hardly cared.

    With the stands roof obscuring (with Shadows) most of the pitch, where it was difficult to recognize which side was in possession.

    I was glad when it ended but got to enjoy a later Citeh vs Chelsea game, with some excellent football, Citeh are looking very good at this stage of the season and have a chance of winning some silverware I believe.

    Liverpool were fortunate to get the win against Dortmund, as the German clubs supporters though they had it in the bag.

    We would be fortunate indeed to have a side with that kind of never say die attitude, as I believe had we fallen behind early it would have brought about a collapse as per usual, though I still expect the club to be playing in the second tier this approaching season.

  68. This first win for Rafa. indicates nothing, playing against a Swansea side going nowhere, though safe from relegation.

    Who looked as if they really didn’t care, in fact looked like most Newcastle sides we have unhappily watched for most of this season, possibly the worst the fans have encountered since the introduction of the PL.

    Look one win means nowt, we are “gannin doon with the Mackems”, unless we encounter a series of miracles, which aint gonna happen.

    Get used to it, though it appears there are still plenty of fans who still believe, even after a season in the relegation zone, with a side that couldn’t care less.

    With even more believing that Rafa. will stay because of the wonderful Geordie fans etc. I say bull**it !

    It’s purely wishful thinking, it’s still all about money so get used to the fact he will be long gone, with possibly some retread manager appointed and perhaps more than one season in the second tier.

    That is unless there’s a complete change of the present business plan, from top to bottom, that plus a clear-out of those who’s efforts this season have proven to be less than 100%.

    Just look at to-days Leicester side and the effort from everyone, the recent come from behind win by Liverpool against Dortmund etc., then compare it with NUFC, we can’t afford to keep players who are not willing to give it their all, I mean it’s not as if they were on starvation wages.

    Yes it would be ideal to keep Rafa. and let him rebuild the side and with that, also get rid of those from the board down to the youth team coaches, a clean sweep of the present loser system endemic to this club, problem is it will just get worse when he leaves, which is why the fans want him to stay, a forlorn hope indeed.

  69. Looking more like relegation every day, with the bookies (who are seldom wrong) laying ‘odds on’ figures of our demise.

    Even so the deluded fans have voted over fifty percent believing (or at least voting so) that the club will survive.

    Look you can only pull off the miraculous avoidance so many times, season after season, but when you are in the relegation zone for most of the season, the odds are your gonna go down.

    Which then begs the question, “will he stay or will he go”

    With Benitez, there’s a chance of some kind of reorganization, with hopefully both he and Ashley reaching a mutual understanding, where Benitez will actually run the club, from top to bottom and it’s also my understanding that Carr had offered his resignation.

    Well if he actually wants away, hell let him go, why ?

    Because he is one of the management team that has f**ked this club up, having had Ashley’s ear for a number of years concerning such things as building the side, regardless of the fact the players brought in were not the choice of the “Head Coach”.

    Is that any way to run a club ?

    But it really doesn’t matter, the club is going down and Benitez will be off, who then ?

    It was stated Moye’s has shown interest in managing/
    coaching a relegated Villa, in which case it appears management jobs are becoming more difficult to find, with clubs not having to break down doors to find top rated people and many willing to take what’s on offer.

    Face it how many thought Benitez would be interested in taking over from McClaren.

    Anyway the guessing game has already began, concerning who will be the next honcho at the Toon, of course that would be in the second tier and if Moye’s attitude is anything to go by, then there’s a slight chance that Rafa may join him in the second tier, being managerial jobs at substantial clubs are not that easy to come by and everyone needs a paycheck.

    Stay tuned, things are getting more interesting by the day.

    And oh! we have a number of games left, mostly against decent sides, other than Palace & Villa, whereas I don’t see wins against, Chelsea, Spurs, Citeh, or Liverpool, well as Chelsea have no real ambition for anything perhaps we could get a draw.

    Soh ! two possible wins and a draw equal seven points, will that be enough ?

    Doubt it.

    One thing you can take to the bank is, there will be three big clubs relegated this season and there will be enormous management and policy changes at each club, to ensure a quick return to where the money is, if not, they could go the way of Leeds and other former big clubs, with little in the way of funds or signs of returning to their former glory days.

    Just don’t let it happen at St.James’ Park.

  70. Well a 3-0 and a draw against Man City is certainly an improvement anyway, so there’s still hope, not that anyone would notice reading your comments, Chuck.

  71. Hey! I have always been a fan of how Lizzie does her job.

    Stiff upper lip and all, a job I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but when one considers everything, a job that she has been outstanding in.

    Unfortunately for the country those that will inherit the role just don’t appear comfortable with, or capable of, though it is a different era and the demands of an empire are a lot different from the present situation.

    I guess there will be no Brexit and everyone can relax and soldier on, though we are still unaware of what Lizzie thinks.

    My understanding is there is no chance of her abdication in favor of Charlie, as long as she still draws a breath.

    Probably a well found plan, after all Eddy appears to be someone without any particular need to change the world, which will no doubt be the role of British royalty in the future.

    Ah well! that comes with the end of most empires, hell they had a decent run for their money, Kohinoor and all, which as Cameron stated, give back one thing and before you know it, the British Museum will end up empty.

  72. Missed the Citeh game unfortunately, and find the result hard to believe, though I can’t see us getting any joy from the Anfield fixture.

    It’s still a tight race for clubs at both ends of the PL, which makes the league more entertaining than most.

    Though I believe there’s more chance of us playing against Villa next season, than remaining up.

    I would be overjoyed if we remained within the big bucks EPL certainly now we have a decent manager, lets see ?

  73. Chuck, we were actually unlucky, Man City’s goal was definitely offside. Up or down, Benitez has certainly improved the team in the last couple of games.

  74. Ermmm! yes I suppose so.

    To-days game was an example of that, the odd’s on getting two goals and splitting two points was a tough way to go after half time.

    But giving credit to the side they accomplished what few would have given them any chance of earning, myself included.

    There were at least two other (second half) occasions where we should have scored, in a half that was much better than the first.

    Yes there was more determination and effort put out and that early goal, helped to inspire the side, to the point
    they began to believe they could tie or even pick up the win.

    All of which is due to Raffa’s tactical and inspirational
    half time message, which would never have happened with either Pardew or McClaren and proves that a good manager is worth his weight in gold.

    Can this continue against the better sides in he run in, as we should pick up all six points against both Villa and Palace, I certainly hope so, but wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

  75. I see those nearby rivals Sunderland have taken another step to-wards retaining their EPL membership, in a crappy tie against Arsenal, a side going nowhere.

    I believe it’s time for Wenger to go, with all the money available at the side, he just can’t seem to put together a team that impresses or is capable of winning anything, with his best sides in the distant past.

    Which makes Newcastles survivalall the tougher.

    We may not be “gannin doon with the Mackems”, it will probably be Norwich instead.

    Which adds insult to injury.

    If Raffa leaves, we can expect an attempt to acquire Steve Bruce, another re-tread, who will no doubt be cheaper than hiring a real mnager and prolong our second tier stay and aggravate Ashley to no end.

    That’s if Ashley doesn’t sell up, being his real business has recently lost somewhere in the region of one third of it’s value, life just cannot be a bowl of cherries for him.

    If he had any clue he would desperately attempt to keep Raffa at the club and give him carte blanche to reorganize the club from op to bottom, as he has proven to be the only manager (apart from Hughton) that has had any success at this club.

    Well lets see how things go, i’m going with the bookies!

  76. Chuck, you’re still stuck in the 40s and fifties with this obsession about the decline of the British Empire. We’ve moved on so far since then, it’s now “Whither the American Empire?” You’re a whole empire behind! :-)

    Our problem isn’t really with a largely ceremonial Royal Family, it’s politicians and huge corporations, same as it is over there. Prime Ministers becoming more like the POTUS from Blair onwards has damaged democracy rather than improved it.

    I’ve just got my fingers crossed about the football now but thing is, the older I get, the more I see that Chomsky was right:

  77. Actually it was more about how good queen Bess 2# has done her gig, which was to oversee the transition of the Empire into a … you name it.

    Than about Empire.

    Being the former empire has now become one of the countries within the super state of Europa and despite London’s want out mayor Boris and his sanctioning of a “brexit”, it just ain’t gonna happen, being Britain needs the EU more than the EU needs Britain.

    Don’t underestimate the viability of the royal family, though in comparison to Europe’s other Royal families, they remain locked into a long gone and a bit over the top lifestyle.

    Though I see the royal yacht is gone, don’t know about having a complete train at their disposal, but there’s so many of them and are still a bit of a drain on the economy.

    Prefer a bicycle monarchy like the Scandinavians and Dutch like.

  78. Rooting for the underdog again, hopefully Leicester can fulfill their dream season with an EPL championship.

    Watched them play yesterday, they are ruthless and Ranieri
    has them playing in a 4-4-2 not really tinkering, but continuing with big Nigel’s playing style.

    One cant help but notice the to-getherness of this side , how they play for the team as opposed to any form of individuality, a pleasant surprise and great entertainment.

    Looks like Rafa. is looking for all nine points, hmmmmm?

    Nah ! ain’t gonna happen, but it would be great if he decided to stay as opposed to leaving when were relegated.

  79. Why are you Yanks so obsessed with the Royal Family, Chuck? Actually, your dynasties of presidents like the Bushes and the Clintons, not to mention the Kennedies look like a wish for a royal family of some sort.

    I’ve already done Ranieri’s tactical approach and where he got it from, you’re just trying to wind me up now. Incidentally, on the subject of Leicester, Riyad Mahrez, bought for under half a million from Ligue 2 Le Havre, won the player’s player of the year award yesterday evening after beating Swansea. That is quite an achievement in itself. We got Amalfitano from a similar Ligue 2 club for twice as much but he didn’t do quite as well. On our own players, did you notice how good little Anita was in the last game? His little legs were going like the road runner and his crossing was superb.

  80. Yes! watched Leicester’s last game and feel pretty assured they will be crowned champions.

    Don’t know what happened to Spurs, who appear to have a young well balanced side, guess they need another season to gel.

    Yeah, I was watching Anita as a matter of fact and noted his recent improvement, though in a better side he would be coming off the bench, he’s not reallt my idea of a starter, but that judgement could be used against a number of our present squad.

    I see there are rumors of Liverpool putting in a bid for HBA, who is apparently playing and scoring well in the French league, too bad Pardew had no clue as how to use him, another example of why this club needs someone like Rafa.

    Though it scares me as to who we may appoint next as we go down to the second tier, hopefully we don’t go back to Carr buying unwanted players for some re-tread manager who has no clue what to do with them.

    Bruce has been mentioned, i’m sure it’s because he’s a Geordie, which is a ridicules enough reason, one would think we would be preparing for Rafas departure by looking at the best candidate available, rather than someone who is a local and I believe he already turned down that possibility a few seasons ago, so screw him, he’s not my idea of a good manager anyway, jus another retread, looking for a job.

    Well should be interesting to see who stay and who will go
    being not too many will be looking to plsy in the second tier, with no guarantee of a quick return like the last time.

    Another disastrous appointment by our dear leader, could turn us into a Leeds United, a no hope side bogged in the championship for ever.

    My suggestion is to throw some money at Rafa. and hope he is as enamored by NUFC as he sez he is, and have him reorganize the club from top to bottom, rather than go back to being a club ran by a comitee of uselass jerks.

  81. I watched he Champions League semi final with Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich. The pundits agreed with me that Atletico are a deluxe Leicester, but they failed to mention that both are a homage to Arrigo Sacchi. They were a total, 100% team where everyone knew exactly what they were supposed to do. The only goal was amazing, it was one of the best this season anywhere.

    I haven’t seen much of Ben Arfa at all. I don’t watch football the way I used to but he’s certainly scoring goals.

  82. Yes I couldn’t agree more about such sides as Athletico and Leicester, they are both well drilled sides who are totally aware of where each individual should be and why, plus they give 100% effort every time.

    After all football is a TEAM effort, though it’s nice to have flair players who can entertain, being football is also a form of show business.

    The old argument about clubs who have a mixture of players, say for instance a Ginola or a Robert, neither of who believed in tracking back, but had that game winning ability as opposed to the ultimate team player, has often been a point of contention.

    SBR having both a Robert on one side , with Nobby on the other, with the holdup and scoring ability of Shearer combined with the speed of Bellamy and the all round ability of Gary Speed, was a fortunate man.

    With SBR giving up on Robert’s ever defending, but starting him, with the awareness that he could either score or provide the cross that scored.

    Unfortunately many well drilled sides without those flair players don’t necessarily provide the same kind of entertainment, though they usually end up being more successful, depending on the opposition and how they are set up tactically.

    It’s usually a case of horses for courses, with certain adjustments made to counter the tactical approaches of each opposition side.

    Something that Pardew knew nothing about, playing the same old defensive role game after game.

    On the other hand if Benitez were to stay, i’m sure he could and probably would bring in a whole set of defenders, he being known as a primarily defensive coach.

  83. Should be an interesting game this weekend vs Palace, who will show up with our ex manager Pardew.

    Who true to form has not won a game in the last eighteen, slipping and sliding down, edging closer and closer to the relegation zone.

    Though according to the arithmetic of the upcoming run in
    they should be considered safe.

    Nine points is what we need, from these final three outings, I can see six perhaps, but that’s about it, another season of being a day late and a few points short, stemming from the lackluster defeat by Norwich not so long ago.

    The million dollar question is (will he stay or will he go) I very much doubt Rafa. will stay if we are relegated and certainly wouldn’t blame him. though jobs are becoming much more competitive these days, with Moye’s possibly awaiting the firing of his current replacement at Everton, being the fans are presently unhappy with the way the club are playing.

    It appears many of the older retread managers have given up, preferring a job as a media pundit, where their words of wisdom are no better than their abilities to manage were.

    I just hope that like Rafa. some thought is used when appointing our new manager, puleez ! no more crap managers, we have already seen some of the worst available, no mas !

  84. Well this is it now. You just never know with Pardew though, he confounds logic more than just about any other manager. He is also in the FA Cup final as well.

    Chuck, I may have written in the past about how bonkers politics is over there but I don’t think I can sit on my superior British high horse anymore as it is getting just as bonkers over here now (and that isn’t easy!).

    “On the other hand if Benitez were to stay, i’m sure he could and probably would bring in a whole set of defenders, he being known as a primarily defensive coach.”

    I don’t think the record would support that. We could debate about his style but whatever it is, he’s bought big strikers and attacking / creative midfield players like Torres, Higuain, Xabi Alonso and others in the past.

  85. Don’t start counting your egg’s……….

    We should be preparing for next seasons games against the likes of Leeds and Birmingham……

    And looking for a decent coach/manager…..

    How lucky were we to-day…..

    Janmaat was really missed….

    However Townsend improves with every game….

    As does young Lacelles.

    The tension mounts with six points to play for, though I doubt if we will survive the drop this time and certainly don’t deserve to.

  86. chuck says:
    April 30, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    “Don’t start counting your egg’s……….”

    I prefer statistics and logic to cliches, Chuck. The average chicken will lay around 3 eggs every 4 days, or 0.75 eggs a day.

    chuck says:
    April 30, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    “As does young Lacelles.”

    What about the other half of the Nottingham Forest two, Karl Darlow? He certainly made an impression in goal.

    As for a manager in the Championship, the best one at the moment is a chap called Chris Hughton at Brighton. The record for his last 18 games has been Won 13, Drawn 4 and Lost 1. Brighton have been hammering teams 4 and 5 – 0 in their last few games.

  87. Yes of course the two outstanding players were Darlow and
    Townsend, who IMO was a very good signing, hell the guy covered more ground than Sissoko.

    It seems Rafa has put to-gether a decent defensive pairing in M’Bemba and Lacelles, both got a bit of pace and anticipation, only needing to lay the body on the opposition
    to keep their heads up.

    As for Rafa ?

    It would be nice if he were to remain at the club, with a degree of freedom to rebuild the side, I believe he is seriously hoping for survival, though I personally think not.

    And cant see him managing in the second tier, too bad it’s a day late and a dollar short, as he does appear to want to stay and could no doubt do a good job, certainly when compared to our former clowns in that role.

    Yes a bit of Schadenfreude on Hughton’s part would be very forgivable, though he doesn’t strike me as being that kinda guy and hopefully he makes it into the PL with Brighton.

    On the other hand I just don’t get why there has to be a playoff for the third spot team, unless of course it’s about money, seems to be the third place side should be automatic, unless there’s a tie between the third and fourth place sides.

  88. I suppose all we can do is take a wait and see attitude, in regard to whether the club will survive the drop and allow Rafa. the opportunity to rebuild this totally mismanaged side.

    Obviously the reality of what has been going on (the mismanagement and chaotic scenarios) has registered with Ashley and hopefully he has realized to continue in this direction, will only cost him money and pain.

    Those previously making decisions (Carr and Chubby) have hopefully reached the understanding, they are now the head scout and the guy who signs the checks, with Benitez free to take charge overall, including all signings, from first team to the youngest recruits.

    It’s only taken Ashley eight or nine years to get it, attempting to employ business policies that don’t work
    wasting time and money by employing cheap help and who’s on the job learning period breaks most records for owners.

    Finally on appointing a decent manager, who could have the answers to the clubs remaining in the relegation zone for almost the entire season, and could hopefully turn things around, though he may be a day late and a dollar short.

    It would certainly be a good idea to throw a few extra bucks at Rafa and a contract that states he has control over the running of the club, for a decent time period.

    But I suspect we will end up with another flop of a manager (possibly a Geordie) certainly we cannot expect another SBR. probably Clark or Bruce, who I wouldn’t wish on any club, ironically the one other manager we could use is Chris Hughton, too bad, he ain’t interested having worked another miracle with Brighton, where they get to play in the PL and we get to play in the second tier, and don’t forget the massive amount of revenue we will miss out on.

    lets see how things go!

  89. Doom and gloom, Chuck. We might stay up and have Benitez as manager as well. I wonder who will win all the manager of the season awards this time? Obviously, Claudio Ranieri will win every award going. With their achievement going worldwide, I notice that Yanks still find it impossible to say “Leicester” properly! :-) Lots of others have been trying to get some of the credit for Leicester’s triumph though, including the Buddhist Monks who blessed the stadium and even Richard III!

    On the subject of Hughton, he has one game and he’s level with Middlesbrough for the last automatic promotion place.

  90. Yeah !a tight race for promotion from the second tier clubs, hopefully both Boro. and Brighton make it, as it appears one north eastern club will go down, and one (Boro?) will earn promotion, we just don’t know who will go down, yet!

    It’s been one of the closest contests in some time at both ends of the PL, plus there’s still no guarantee’s on who will go and who will stay, apart from Villa there are three clubs presently contesting for the second tier title, plus those who will compete in that dumb-ass round for third place, why I have no idea, but the FA have their idiotic side so we have no choice.

    Yes it’s also true yanks have difficulty pronouncing Leicester, also Cholmondeley (pronounced Chumly for some unknown reason) that and places with names such as Thames which is pronounced Tems, but who really couldn’t care less how the locals pronounce them, though they seem to take some kind of perverse pleasure in correcting others with terms they themselves mispronounce.

    I watched the Spurs game, though they are both a young side plus a very good side, they should never have ended up tying with Chelsea, which means they are inconsistent and perhaps need another hard season to prove themselves.

    Though Levi appears to have bought well during his term at the club, they now have to prove themselves, or become like their north London rivals Arsenal, just not good enough, as we all saw the gunners fans with their signs
    out, indicating many have had enough from Wenger and want him out, with which I tend to agree.

    What many owners are presently discovering is that a good Manager is as important as the players he buys and it’s nice to see some success coming from those younger news guys on he block.

  91. Burnley are already up I think, Chuck, and it’s Brighton OR Middlesbrough for the automatic slots and otherwise the playoffs.

    Spurs lost it and started playing like they did in the days of “Chopper” Harris and Billy Bremner. Costa nearly ended up like Lord Nelson at one stage (with one eye), though knowing Costa, he probably engineered the whole fight himself. The other Arrigo Sacchi tribute act, Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid are through to the Champions League final. They will probably end La Liga on equal points with Barcelona but with Barcelona winning on goal difference. Like Costa, Simeone was another master of dark arts of football. There’s nothing much that is new nowadays. You’ve got the the tactical theories of two great coaches of the 80s and 90s, Cruyff and Sacchi still battling for dominance.

  92. Yeah ! the Spurs vs. Chelsea game was more of attempts to win an academy award for acting than any real physicality.

    With the Spurs side constantly trying to get a reaction from Costa, which they did.

    I really detest the acting and time wasting that now dominates the game , due to imported players and the cultures they bring to the EPL.

    It’s about time most refs either ignored those constant appeals for non existent fouls, or begin to give out yellow cards for simulation.

    When comparing the games of Rugby (a game known for it’s physicality) and association football, and the reaction of the rugby players (obedience, acceptance, with very little in the way of dissent) compared to football, with the ref frequently surrounded by dissenting players, it’s becoming a bad joke.

    One would think most players upon receiving a yellow card would be more careful, but the opposite actually often happens, the players on yellow cards know that most refs will allow cardworthy tackles due to the fact few refs have the bottle to actually send players off.

    But something has to be done about the quality of to-days
    EPL officiating, the obvious answer is to look at the sport of rugby, with its worldwide range of cultures and the fact they all react in the same manner.

    That and the rules of the game, where rugby allows modern technology to determine certain disputed calls and a “sin bin” is used instead of those ridicules yellow and red cards.

    Which don’t actually effect the present game, but tends to suspend players from future games that have nothing to do with the game presently being played, wheras the “sin bin” its instantaneous and only effects the current competition.

    The other most common policy is time wasting from sides leading, which not only draws the ire of spectators but ruins the game, I suggest that obvious time wasting also become subject to a form of punishment(a card or the sin bin) either that or an official time clock, where every time play stops , so does the clock.

    I’m surprised by the fact Association Football has not brought the game into this the twenty first century, with virtually evey oher pro sport having some form of official time kerping device available for all to see, football for ome strange reason remains a game locked into rules created a century ago.

    FFS all that’s happened in my lifetime, is the introduction of red and yellow cards, a totally inadequate system as Rugby found out, that and the constant changes of the offside rule, which at present no one knows, it being a purely subjective view, that is often disagreed to, by both the ref and linesnan.

    And this is the worlds most popular game ?

  93. chuck says:
    May 5, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    “I suggest that obvious time wasting also become subject to a form of punishment(a card or the sin bin) either that or an official time clock, where every time play stops , so does the clock.”

    Chuckles, haven’t you seen players (often goalies taking half an hour over a goal kick) getting told off, and cards, for blatantly wasting time? I think it’s happened to Krul?

    Generally, I think you can overinterfere with things, and the game just becomes too much process and just too much “stuff” getting in the way of the flow.

  94. Smoggies promoted and it’s the playoffs for Hughton in the big Championship promotion showdown. It couldn’t have been closer, a 1-1 draw and Middlesbrough just scrape into the top two by an extra goal difference of 2.

  95. So ! I guess you have no problem with time wasting, though it’s considered a foul,(but seldom called) so should we eliminate it or enforce it ?

    There is a ready made way of eliminating time wasting, used by most major professional clubs in most pro. sports, which is “a time clock”, available to both fans and players alike that takes the guessing game of how much extra time to play.

    A game of two periods with both periods consisting of thirty minutes of actual football, would solve the problem
    and take the amateurish guessing opinions of whoever decides on extra time out of the game forever.

    Same thing with the present totally inadequate card system, by using the rugby and pro hockey system of the “Sin Bin” which unlike cards only effects the actual game being played, I mean what’s banning players from future games got to do with the game in progress, whereas the sin bin, give instantaneous punishment and does nothing to interfere with future games.

    Yes time to bring this game into the twenty first century, that’s if the governing bodies want to sell the game by improving the rules, with the only rule being constantly changed is the offside rule, which has become
    even more subjective and more undecipherable than ever.

    Change comes slowly and usually they get it wrong, hell I recall before the card system was introduced, the ref had the decision to send players off for certain fouls, depending on their severity and intent, which was fine.

    In to-days game a couple of yellow cards with little intent to injure is the equivalent, and it effects future games, which is just pure nonsense.

    Yeah! I know most change meets with rejection and I have no doubt Association football is no different, thank goodness there are sports like Rugby, who have embraced positive change involving both time and instantaneous punishment and have grown and improved because of it.

  96. Face it, it took years before they decided to install a goal line system, that decided whether the ball actually crossed the entire goal line and the got it wrong, the decisions being no better than before in many cases.

  97. Nothing about the game, Chuck? I thought we might have had a penalty for a foul on Mitrovic today, I’ll have a problem with that if it still looks as bad when I watch the replay. I told you that a player can be punished for wasting time and I don’t have a problem with that. It’s obviously a large bee in your bonnet though, even more than staring onto the abyss of relegation it seems.

  98. Well looks like we will be playing against Leeds next season and may become the next Leeds in fact, stuck struggling in the second tier.

    To-days game proved how poor this club is and has been since our present owner bought in , with his business policies on how to run a football club, based on mainly ignorance and the desire to earn him more money.

    Though he tries hard to pretend not to be involved, he is and continues to be the only decision maker of everything that happens at this club.

    It’s doubtful if Rafa. will be here following relegation
    in which case it would be a good time to look at possible replacement.

    Apparently Boro are up again with a decent young manager and our other neighbor Sunderland had a good win against Chelsea, at least Sunderland were willing to put out the required effort and will have bragging rights to the North East area, good for them, you get what you pay for, which unfortunately in our case is a bunch of strolling big money nobodies, that only play when they feel like it.

    “Clearout” yeah sell them all, they don’t deserve to play for this club, and few will be willing to play hard in he second tier, hell if they continue to stroll around the pitch, they may all see their careers shortened soon enough.

    I’m disgusted with this bunch of losers.

  99. Aston Villa again FFS, what is it with Aston Villa? They behaved awfully again this time with the throwing of the beach balls on the pitch in the middle of the game to disrupt matters and turn things into a farce.

  100. I called it “way back” that we would be relegated and I was right.

    Mismanagement, poor choices of both managers and players being the reason, Rafa a desperation move which almost came off but as anyone watching to-day will have to agree with, is we had our destiny in our own hands, but due to poor finishing couldn’t even beat the one side sitting in the bottom spot of the league for most of the year.

    Had Ashley made the move earlier we may have survived, but the usual day late and a dollar short bullshit just doesn’t work.

    So what ! so Ashley is going to lose a lotta dosh and hopefully realize he knows little about running a football club, that it’s not retailing cheap garbage, by sewing brand name labels on them, he has got what he deserves but what about the fans, who’s club it really is ?

    Ah well, guess I just wont be able to watch any games for the next twelve months, or more !

  101. Perhaps the Newcastle fans can pull something similar to the Villa fans, with a massive turnout to boo both Ashley and a couldn’t care less side that doesn’t deserve anything other than a free transfers.

    The fans deserve the only praise, following the club away and filling the home games, I might be a good time for the players to give a mass apology for their couldn’t care less attitudes all year long.

    It’s a sad situation, when the twentieth richest club in the world is relegated for the second time in less than a decade, due to an owner who just doesn’t get it.

  102. Hell I said it ages ago Nufc is dead it was murdered by Ashley and his “hirelings”. We’ve just been waiting for this collection of “Carr morons” to nail up the coffin which they did really well today.
    I never ever thought I’d get to this point but I’m quite pleased, there is not one reason why this club should stay up. I suppose it is correct love can easily turn to hate. I couldn’t care less if they drop like a stone they deserve nothing better.
    I’m so glad I stopped watching or caring some time ago.
    Believe me it can be done and I guess a great many are going to join me now.
    Pack it up there is so much more you can do with your lives. Nufc R.i.p
    (Was it February when “Veela” got there last point) You’ve got to laugh!!!

  103. Nutmag

    If what you say is true, what are you doing on the blog then and I find it strange you seem to know exactly what’s going on, strange for someone who neither watches or cares ?????

    I’m sure the loss of next seasons massive revenues will have it’s effect on our dear leader, lets hope the effect is a positive one (which would be a step in the right direction)

    A simple admittance that he knows as much about running a football club as he did the day he took over would be a start.

    Yes it would have been nice for the fans, had he replaced McClaren months earlier when it became obvious that he was as big a clown as Pardew, and then gave Rafa. carte blanche to run the club.

    Though i’m not that unhappy about relegation, it will hopefully concentrate Ashley’s mind and convince him that his micro-management system needs to go, along with most of Carr’s purchases and hand things over to a proven manager, or director of football, that is one with a track record, as it has been proven that to-days managers
    come directors of football are probably more important than the players themselves.

    So no more head coaches/managers, based on how cheap they come.

    As for most of the player’s, hell if possible I would dump the majority, but then in a sense I understand most use the club as an entry into the EPL, then on to bigger and better clubs, obviously this club is a joke among the French and Dutch leagues.

    I suppose most will want away, other than those on big money and a rebuilding system will have to be put in place, each year away from the high PL revenues is a year wasted, in which case Ashley will want another quick return, but one thing you can bet on is Ashley will be here for some time, at least long enough to get a return on his money.

    Though whether he really understands that he is more responsible for this calamity than anyone else, remains to be seen, hell we may become the new Leeds United, constantly struggling in the second tier.

  104. Should they stay or should they go ?
    Darlow, stay,
    Elliot, ”
    Krul, ”
    Woodman ”

    Janmaat,Stay. excellent attacking RB
    M’bemba ” good player
    Lacelles ” ” prospect
    M’Bemba ” ” ”
    Haidara ” a possibility.

    Sissoko, Stay,with the right manager, has a great engine Townsend, hopefully, our best signing yet
    Aarons, ” Prospect
    Wijnaldum, ” if he gives it 100%
    Anita ” off the bench
    Colback ” could someone explain, you don’t have to collect a card every game.

    Perez, stay still a prospect ?

    Simply sell the rest as they don’t belong at this club .

  105. Chuck
    My visits to the blog are infrequent to say the least.
    As for knowing what’s going on nothing has changed for years and anyone with half a brain cell has been repeating it over and over. Only Ashley and his hirelings don’t get it.
    This conclusion has been evident for ages.
    I don’t honestly care!
    As I have said before Ive gone from a lad who cycled 20 miles in all weathers to see the toon play, to now when I wouldn’t cross the road if the admission was free.
    I have lived in the midlands for some time now and used to drive up to matches but Ashley put an end to that.
    Just today a good mate of mine who supports Wolves and has a box at the Molineuw said great we could get together for the match next season. I will say to you what I said to him. “You are confusing me with someone who gives a s##t.
    I still visit the blog I like the chat on whatever subject but I am truly over Nufc. its strangely satisfying seeing it all without the emotion.

  106. You two are like Statler and Waldorf meets Cassandra. Though it seems that Troy really is on verge of falling now, wasn’t it the same last season where it went to the last game? It still isn’t quite technically impossible yet.

  107. Yeah right ! mathematically possible, but more likely than not.

    It appears Sunderland have a side that cares and will IMO
    avoid the drop, whereas it appears the present Newcastle team have their own agenda’s.

    Mainly getting as far away from this toxic club as possible, having given up months ago, a number have also put out feelers as to where they might be willing to go and the usual gossip from certain clubs as to who they would be willing to sign, you know how it goes.

    Nothing illegal, just a wink and a nod here and there.

    If it were up to me, very few would be retained, considering the amount of effort they have produced over the last few months.

    I mean how dumb can an owner be, he watches a side lose games, week after week, then when the situation goes beyond extremis fires the clown in charge.

    Is he serious, does he really think he knows anything about professional football ?

    In which case, he aught to find someone who does, or enjoy a long stay in the second tier, I just think the man is incapable of giving up any form of control to anyone, therefor this club will not find it as easy as last time, when the bounced back comfortably.

    Ah well !

  108. Chuck, Ashley running Newcastle is bad enough, but you’ve got Trump running the US to look forward to in November. I think that Sarah Palin should be vice President too. That would be a hell of a team. :-)

  109. Ain’t gonna happen, there will be plenty of republicans voting for Hillary when the two square off in the general election.

    Though I would prefer to see Bernie get the Democratic nod.

    At least he has established a new political perspective, a revolutionary push to the left, forcing Hillary to follow suit, being there was little separating the two parties previously, each containing the spectrum of both left and right, perhaps this recent Bernie phenomena may have given to-days youth an awareness of what is possible
    by organizing and creating a democratic party that is significantly different from the Republicans with their belief that the party actually acts in an economically concervative manner.

    With “Ronald Raygun” during the eighties spending his way out of an economic slowdown, by simply printing money, with interest rates way above 15% and the national debt raising by the trillion, this is conservatives being fiscally responsible ?

    The one thing going for the candidates at present is a mutual anger that has awakened to-days electorate and present political establishment of both parties, with many willing to see their party’s in the hands of people like Trump.

    The once all powerful established parties, those of the then dominant majority white middle classes are facing the problem of a majority of non European immigrants only now exercising their political rights.

    A lot depends on which way the former Tea Party and the anti Wall St group go, being they will definitely vote.

    One group betting on (tea party) Trump, the other on Bernie, though Hillary (the hawk) looks as if she will benefit and end up being the one squaring off against The Donald.

    What does this indicate for future politics in the US ?

    Certainly dissatisfaction on the way things have been run, with both houses considered toxic and with voters who may dump a lot of presently established members of both houses, in the upcoming November elections with the reasoning ‘what do we have to lose.

    The middle class tea party folks who have lost their jobs and the underclasses living (at least attempting) on minimum wages lower than the majority of most European states, hell what do they have to lose ?

    What will be the outcome of the presidential election, the compromise will be Hillary, with her air of entitlement, versus The Donald, which I believe will be edged by Hillary, as some kind of sanity will be maintained, with no doubt people crossing party lines.

    What this actually means is a transformation of both he political system plus the acknowledgement that the US military cant be bogged down in the middle east, China presently being the more worrysome in a military sense, with it’s South China Sea policies, where a massive shift of US military to the area will rule out any further US boots on the ground in either Afghanistan or the Arabian peninsula.

    There will be no re-examination of the former trade pacts, certainly not if Hillary is elected, being it was her philandering husband who signed most, which explains where many former US jobs went.

    Yes the democratic system, supposedly the fairest of present systems, is not exactly my idea of the perfection when one considers how the parties actually control things.

    To-days roadbump (Bernie the Socialist and The Donald, god only knows how to describe him) aught to give both parties cause for concern, if they are about to consider business as usual, being an informed voting public could cause all kinds of problems.

    It’s simply another ‘Gilded Age’ one that takes place every so often, with a bought and sold House and Senate, bought by the wealthy classes, the Walton family, the Koch’s etc. etc.

    In which case the only way to prevent this from taking place is to restrict the amounts of money allowed to be donated within the political system, though I can’t see that happening, but were the electorate aware of that it could resolve most of the countries problems, by eliminating it’s essential criminal “K’ Street bag-men.

    Who need to be eliminated along with the entire system of lobbying, But when you have a population where only around fifty percent of those eligible show up to vote,
    it favors the establishment and allows the super wealthy to buy the country.

  110. Chuck, when I first heard the slogan “Feel the Bern”, I thought it made him sound like a dirty old man! London has a Muslim mayor now. I suppose he’ll be banned from the US if Trump wins. Over here, Jeremy Corbyn hasn’t collapsed under all the propaganda against him like expected, but Labour’s loss of Scotland is still costing them dearly. The government here is now so awful, we might as well have Trump!

  111. Yes a relief to see that clown of a mayor Boris disappear into what hopefully is oblivion, and apparently the recently elected Muslim mayor has told Trump to go pound salt, a good start !

    And hey! Bernie is coming on strong against Hillary, winning state after state.

    His legacy if not becoming the democratic nominee will be the scare he is presently giving to Hillary and the political establishment, how he has driven her way to the left of where she wants to be.

    The same thing is taking place in most countries where the electorates have had enough of establishment politics and are so angry they are even willing to destroy the parties involved.

    The Irish voted recently in a general election and have yet to form a government, plus there were more candidates for office elected in the prior general election, who ran as independents than those attached to the main parties, which tells one what the voting public think about their politicians, same thing in the US, people are both angry and willing to destroy the system.

    Otherwise why are both a socialist and a bufoon leading the nominee process, not to mention a Wall St. owned hawk (Hillary) strange mixtures.

    This should be an opportunity for Labor, but on watching both PM’s question time and other clips of Corbyn, he certainly doesn’t strike me as being particularly leader-like or effective.

    The Scots certainly have shown themselves as smart politicians, to the detriment of Labor, by becoming a one party state no doubt about who came out on top following the referenda on Scotland’s exit from the UK.

    Seems you are stuck with Cameron for the foreseeable future, then worse as the present Chancellor takes over the reins, with Labor withering on the vine because of a lack of real leadership and no one in sight to establish themselves as an elecorable leader, of a party which has obviously lost it’s way.

  112. It appears we are to be relegated.

    Though whether Rafa. will go or stay remains to be seen, it all depends I suppose on the amount offered by our dear leader, after all each of us has his/her price.

    Though I believe Rafa. will be following the scene at Everton closely, having a home on ‘The Wirral’ peninsula which is a lot closer to Everton than Tyneside, plus playing in the second tier is not exactly a good move for someone of his stature.

    So where does that leave us, erm! up shit creek without a paddle I would imagine, as we are not about to attract many who can compare with Rafa.

    Yes there will be the usual Clark and Bruce and god knows whatever retread useless cnuts who are looking for a paycheck, but if we lose Rafa. it could end in tears and if you think struggling in the EPL is tough, try struggling with a lousy side and some retred manager in the second tier.

  113. Though in a sense, it’s clearly a case of poetic justice for our dear leader, he being responsible for everything that has gone wrong with this club and has been lucky up to now to have the fans continue to fill the stadium.

    But don’t count on it continuing, there will be a drop in attendance this coming season, after all who’s interested in watching Newcastle play against Preston or Brentford on a cold day in January ?

  114. I have been away for a long time. Following the goings on but reticent. This is our worst fear come true. Disaster is not even a big enough word to describe what has happened to us. Relegated a second time confirms our status as no longer a premier league team. Sad day for us all.

  115. FFS it’s only relegation, not the end of the world and NUFC are simply once more visiting a league they have certainly become familiar with over the years.

    All things pass and now that relegation has firmly focused Ashley’s mind, no doubt he has reached the conclusion, that without a good management system in place, we will only repeat the past, yeah right!

    It certainly wont happen under the type of top management he has previously hired, we have all had enough of those cheap re-treads, what we need is either a DOF or a manager who can rebuild the side from top to bottom, who will be given carte blanche to do the job, it simply cant be done on the cheap.

    No more Carr and whoever, at odds about who to buy, that should be a combined and agreed upon policy then we send Charnley to Gatesheed or back to sharpening pencils or whatever he did previously, somewhere he can do no further damage, though in fairness, most decisions were not his to make.

    We can have a director of football or someone (like Rafa.) who would be given the authority and money to employ a winning system, not some ridiculous policy where the club only buys those under twenty five or six, leave that to the (mostly continental sides) who have had a decent history of buying cheap and selling high.

    Oh! I forgot that’s what Ashley does in his real business
    in it.

    We are as a club right now, up shit creek without a paddle and looks like Rafa. could be heading for Everton, so the upcoming decisions are very important, no more cheap tricks but a solid and experienced management system put in place and given the support of our owner, who should finally have reached the conclusion, he knows little about running a football club.

    Though not having reached this conclusion during the last nine years, it will probably not happen, Ashley being the control freak he is.

    Do I care ? not really, not watching this awful bunch every week will be a relief, plus I would prefer to watch football played with a bit of inspiration you can leave out the second tier perspiration that will be upcoming.

    And what do you do with a bunch of second rate players bought for big money in the second tier, another expected money loosing proposition, I certainly wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of any new manager at this club, being the club has become toxic with the future needs enormous, a poisoned chalice is how to describe it, the only things positive about this club are the fans and the state of the art stadium.

    The rest under Ashley’s direction has become a joke, based on ignorance.

  116. Michael12 says:
    May 11, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    “I have been away for a long time.”

    Aye, you certainly have, but it’s good to see you back on here, albeit in awful circumstances! I don’t know, after decades of observing Newcastle and Newcastle United, maybe we put too much store in football and just want to win too much? We have a bad owner who has made some terrible mistakes, but then again, we had a bad owner before who made some terrible mistakes and we seem to attract them as well, like a tragic opera that needs new baddies to keep the story going.

  117. Mr Ashley
    Further to your interview at the end of last season.
    The horse is now in the “Knackers Yard” the “Cart” has been chopped up for fire wood, and as you requested the “Buck” has been left on your doorstep.
    We would appreciate it if you would take it and together with your “hirelings” (They that only you like!!) and p##s off Thank You.

  118. Yes we all know very well that our dear leader has been remiss in his handling of the club, a clear cut case of hubris possibly brought about as a result of his recent success with “Sports Direct’ a corporation which has more than doubled in value over the last few years.

    He, possibly believing both NUFC and SD are similar businesses and to apply the same business practices to each, without hiring a decent top management group for the show business part, remember Wise, Llambias, Joe Kinnear, Pardew, McClaren not to forget Shearer Charnley and Carver, none of which should be considered as candidates for even a Sunday Morning pub side.

    With SD, there was a clear cut system, reward both upper and lower management people and exploit the rest by the use of the “zero hours contracts” which doesn’t require any tinkering, more or less running itself.

    Which if applied to a football club, just doesn’t work, in which case it has taken him nine years to figure out he and all of his applied policies have been both a waste of time and money and is more or less imploring Rafa. to stay as manager, head coach and managing director combined, which means he has finally accepted the fact it’s time he handed over the reins to someone who could
    turn the club around and set it on a course for success.

    Whether Rafa. stays or goes is very important, as who else might be available, mostly retreads looking for a paycheck.

    There are not many, if any, who have a track record, that are available to a side freshly relegated, most looking for clubs going in the opposite direction, up into the PL.

    Though there are some positives that may induce Rafa. to stay, one would be the control that Ashley has constantly refused to give up, control over who comes and who goes, hopefully also the elimination of the age limit for new signings, well we all know what the problems are at the club.

    Another positive is the fact Rafa. who’s family live on ‘The Wirral’ peninsula, where he can commute to from Tyneside, though that may be threatened by the availability of an opening at Everton, following Martinez’ firing, which is considerably closer.

    But to miss this opportunity , may result in a longer than planned stay in the second tier, or becoming the new Leeds Utd., which i’m sure is the last thing either Ashley or the fans want.

    I mean would the fans take to Clark (constantly putting himself in line for the job) or Hulls Steve Bruce, I think not!

  119. In any case we (the fans) can take the approaching season off now and scan the media this time next year to see whether we are reinstated in the premier Division or not.

    I can’t help but wonder exactly how “Wor Mike’ is handling the enormous amounts of revenue he is missing out on and has only look in the mirror to figure out who’s to blame.

    Ah well !

  120. Hmmm!
    Did anyone expect such a game from Newcastle to-day ?

    No, I didn’t think so.

    Can anyone explain how we came out winners by a score of 5-1, and where we could have actually had a couple more and this with a side that was a man down for most of the second half.

    Sorry folks none of his made any sense to me.

    Sure the side defended well and made Spurs look awful with Sissoko continually making breakout runs, joined by Janmaat, Townsend, Wijnaldum and later by young Aarons, each with pace to burn, which was a pleasure to watch.

    But still doesn’t answer the question, why now following relegation, Rafa ? maybe ?

    Look it would be nice to have him but don’t expect it to happen, meaning we have to do due diligence on our next manager, no more cheap clowns or retreads.

    And we have to hang onto our best players, Sissoko, Janmaat, Wijnaldum, Townsend, Aarons and M’Bemba and youngsters Lascelles and Velez.

    With Haidara and M’Babu, as possibilities and Colback and Anita coming off the bench not impressed by our signing from Swansea John-Joe or DeJong.

    Where we need help is an additional RB, an attacking LB
    a replacement for Colo. and at least two decent strikers, though Mitrovich should be fine for the second tier.

  121. And yes it was a nice send off, beating Spurs, but it raises far more questions about this side than answers, face it to destroy one of the best PL sides, playing almost an entire second half down a man, well none of this makes sense, when one realizes that a couple of extra wins would have avoided relegation.

    I don’t get it ?

  122. chuck says:
    May 15, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    “well none of this makes sense,”

    Chuck, this is Newcastle United, of course it doesn’t make sense! You should know this by now.

    Spurs were crap for a top four team, but we made them look crap and it was a very good performance where we were on top of them and fighting for every ball. We got alot better with the nine games under Benitez, but these things are often erratic at first. Alas it was a bit too late, and even if we’d won last week, it still wouldn’t have been enough, we’d have gone on awful goal difference anyway. Sunderland did a bit better than expected too.

    It was classy of the Sunderland fans to chip in and hire a plane to fly over SJP with the message “auf wiedersehen prem tyne to go!”

    I noticed that the Mirror have been shamefully winding up Geordie fans by bringing another awful name into the frame as “replacement” for Benitez, Neil Warnock. Has Peter Reid been mentioned yet? As Joseph Conrad once wrote “The horror. The horror!”

  123. Yeah so did Marlon Brando in the movie ‘Apocalypse Now’.

    Or should have, which would have accurately describe the Vietnamese conflict, which also made little sense.

    Both being based on “The heart of Darkness” by Conrad who
    was without doubt the greatest writer of sea stories and for someone who spent the earlier part of his life speaking Polish, had a wonderful command of the English language.

    But for NUFC to take Spurs apart the way they did is just inexplicable, it was not as if Spurs had nothing to play for, (second place which they lost to North London rivals Arsenal) it was a case of there was little they could do about those fast breaking attacks.

    And the fact Pochettino reportedly claimed they just decided not to play, is rubbish they were simply outplayed and were lucky concerning the final score, as
    Newcastle should have had at least two more.

    My question is was it a question of Rafa. being in charge, or was the side capable of this kind of football all season ?

    I still fail to find any sense in this strangest of seasons.

  124. Rafa. will he stay or will he go ?

    Appears to be the most widely asked question, with many dismissing the idea, while others have a more positive outlook, with various reasons as to why he could stay.

    It also appears the possibility of Carr moving on may be in the works, after all there has to be the official sacrifice or the naming of a scapegoat.

    Being our dear leader cannot be appointed (for obvious reasons) as scapegoat, it falls on ‘Carr’ and his questionable signings.

    The fact is Carr has had a position of authority being for all intents and purposes a DOF, (having Ashleys ear) besides also choosing who should be signed, regardless of who the head coach wanted.

    On the other hand it’s reported Rafa. and his retinue are reported to have one of footballs largest data bases on players, which in itself would be a good enough reason to dump Carr, making his trips to both Holland and France irrelevant, though a clean sweep of all scouts and coaches other than Rafa’s. would be the way to go, no holdovers or jobs for the boys candidates either.

    I’m sure there are any number of people looking at NUFC and hoping Rafa will go, as jobs are not that easy to come by and some decent managers are beginning to look hungry and be willing to accept any million quid job on offer.

    Also the rebuilding job, would certainly interest many, especially if (as rumored) they got the same deal and overall control not to mention the big bucks supposedly on offer to Rafa.

    In which case if Carr were to announce he was going, it would certainly indicate, Rafa. had decided to take on the rebuilding program, meaning a quick return to the PL.

    Though there are rumors that Rafa. is interested in the Everton job, it’s a somewhat toxic position, for a former Liverpool Manager that few Everton fans would condone, regardless of how good he may be.

    However it’s as close to his Wirral home as Liverpool was, but I think not, possibly the fans would prefer a return of Moyes, another out of work manager, who was fairly popular during his spell at Goodison Park.

    It appears Ashley will try hard to hold onto Rafa.and about time too, though we can only hope with the limited information at hand he is capable of rebuilding, plus it’s nice to have the security of a million quid job for the next few years, regardless of what division you are playing in, with any number of out of work managers available.

    Lets see what happens !

  125. chuck says:
    May 16, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    “Both being based on “The heart of Darkness” by Conrad who was without doubt the greatest writer of sea stories”

    Perhaps, but that’s a bit like saying that Shakespeare is the greatest writer about Kings and battles. It might be true, but it misses the fundamental point somehow. Conrad might have been an ex seafarer whose books featured many boats and alot of water, however, ultimately, he is a very great writer for the same reason as other very great writers are very great writers, because he tackles the fundamental questions of what it is to be human with ruthless honesty.

    “My question is was it a question of Rafa. being in charge, or was the side capable of this kind of football all season ?”

    Well look at Chelsea and what happened to their players. No one doubts that they have abilty, but they lost the plot as well because it all went wrong backstage. Well it has always been wrong backstage at Newcastle.

  126. In regard to “will he stay or will he go” above, it appears I was not far off the mark.

    It now appears Rafa’s silence had been a part of his negotiating tactics, face it three million a year plus something like total control of most of the important matters concerning the club, is a massive incentive to stay.

    I mean where else are you going to take over a wealthy (in the top twenty of the worlds clubs) club, with a guaranteed 50’000 fan base, even in the second tier, which really gives him both time and relieves him of the pressures of the EPL.

    Sure there’s the pressure of achieving an instantaneouse return to the PL, but with Rafa. in charge that should be attainable.

    And as I thought, it appears that Carr (a major culprit)
    is now on his way, that undeclared DOF who had the ear of
    Ashley during most of his tenure at St. James’is finally gone, though Charnley has been kept, basically as a go between for Ashley and Rafa., with no real power other than that of signing authorized checks from Ashley.

    The official appointment could be made public very soon,
    following the dotting of the “I’s” and the crossing of the “T’s”.

    Again on examining the situation, one fids the bottom line is as usual, based on money.

    A nice piece of change for Rafa. (could you retire comfortably on nine million quid) plus a quick return to where the money is for Ashley, it appears that Ashley’s
    greed has proven to be more important than his ego and found him willing to cede a lot of control to Benitez.

    About time IMO, following almost a decade of controlling what goes on at this club, with one fifth place finish and two relegations to show for it, how long would we have waited for this reaction, had we avoided the drop?

    As I mentioned above, Rafa. came with an entire retinue including a scouting system in place, that extends a bit beyond the usual train journey through France and Holland
    and are reported to have a massive data base on players, in which case we should see a radical change in playing staff come our return to the PL, hopefully one that is willing to give their all every week, not just against the top sides, which is what happened this season.

    An occasional trip to the second tier every so often, can be a reminder for owners that in order to collect the monatery rewards of PL one has to invest continually, no side being good enough to rest on their laurels.

    In which case let me be the first to welcome Rafa. as our new savior, hoping both he and his retinue can bring a modicum of success to St james’, following the last depressing seasons when Ashley was doing his imitation of an owner who knew better than the present professionals who run most top clubs.

    Even though most of us will no longer be able to watch the side play (TV wise) while in the second tier.

  127. The decisions presently being made by many clubs are mostly concerned with the appointment of managers, contrary to the usual zooming in on players.

    It seems the acquisition of a good manager has become more important than adding to the squad, in which case it may take time for the movement of players to occur, at least until the management system in each club has been settled.

    I would say that what’s apparently on offer (according to rumor) at NUFC, is as good a deal any presently unemployed manager could expect and doubt if Rafa. would be dumb enough to turn it down.

    Rumor also has it “The Great ( or perhaps not so great one these days)One” is destined for MU, with VDG becoming the director of football, a way to settle the situation, without having to fire anyone.

    Rodgers is heading to Celtic, but apparently Everton have as yet to contact Moyes for a return as the Everton manager, yep there are a few decent managers, still looking to land a job in the EPL and it would IMO behove Rafa to accept a year in the second tier, in order to rejoin the PL with a squad mostly of his choosing, who will hopefully be willing to play football during every game, not just against the top sides, like they did this last relegation season.

    With the number of English managers at its lowest ebb in years, having only the likes of BSA, Pardew and Eddie Howe left, who IMO could be gone before long, leaving the league with an all foreign born managerial crowd.

    The number of both foreign managers and players, increasing by the year in both the PL and second tier, is also no advertisement for English football, though one has to admit it’s the amounts of money spent by these clubs that is the attraction.

    Can this situation go on forever ? doubt it, the present TV money may come to an abrupt halt, being the technology is available to steal signals and more or less watch whichever game you want to, just a matter of technology, which no doubt will be exploited by those aware of how to.

    Yeah, this present situation is one of the reasons there is an opening for another league in England, there’s obviously enough foreign players in the leagues to replace themselves with an entire new division, which is presently being contemplated.

    Which in fact could become minor clubs used by the EPL’s top clubs, with Gatesheed for instance becoming a minor club, stacked by both the NUFC youth players and or reserves.

    Things do have a way of changing and though the present football leagues are somewhat conservative, one thing that will change it all, is money, which is what it’s all about anyway.

    Just don’t bet on things staying the same.

  128. Of course Taffs and Jocks are excepted as far as being foreign, but I doubt if any/many would accept being classified as English.

    just a clarification like!

  129. chuck says:
    May 18, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    “In regard to “will he stay or will he go” above, it appears I was not far off the mark.”

    Chuck, I seem to remember that you kept saying he’s definitely off!

    You keep reading all that nonsense in the newspapers. As for Pardew, whatever we say about him, he’s practising his fist pumping technique again for the FA Cup final. He has a whole repetoire of them.

    “Yeah, this present situation is one of the reasons there is an opening for another league in England, there’s obviously enough foreign players in the leagues to replace themselves with an entire new division, which is presently being contemplated.”

    What are you on about now? What other league? Have you been smoking again?

    I think Benitez could make a good team with those players, it’s just been all wrong at Newcastle.

  130. Just popped in again to see what’s happening? It seems its all as Chuck say’s “Will he won’t he” How and When?
    I suppose everyone has become so used to hearing drivel spouted over and over by the likes of Pardew, Carver and Maclaren. They didn’t notice Rafa saying it would take at least two weeks of negotiations before a decision would be made.
    Any who! there is a North East club at Wembley on Sunday Morpeth Town playing the newly formed Hereford in the FA Vase. Oh happy days!!
    Worky there has been a suggestion of another league to make it PL and four leagues of twenty clubs. I believe that’s the plan

  131. “Any who! there is a North East club at Wembley on Sunday Morpeth Town playing the newly formed Hereford in the FA Vase. Oh happy days!!”

    Is that Hereford anything to do with that lot who knocked us out the FA Cup all those decades ago? If so I hope they get murdered by Morpeth and never get in the proper FA Cup again because I’m so sick of hearing it every bloody time Hereford have anything to do with the FA Cup!

  132. Worky

    Get with the plan, there is a proposed move pending to re-allocate the present leagues into four separate groupings of twenty clubs per league, if this is news to you then….

    And yes as far as I understand, there is a good chance that given certain signed statements on his role as the Newcastle manager, Rafa. would in fact be willing to take on the role of rebuilding this club.

    After all I don’t see any big clubs banging on the door looking for him, plus three million a year for three years is a nice piece of change, hell the man is close to sixty and this could ensure a comfortable retirement plan.

    Look at first I didn’t think we would be able to hang onto him if relegated of which I have been positive about since early in the season, but the power of money can be very persuadable.

    And where else is that kind of money on offer, there are plenty of out of work managers in what has become a buyers market for managers, I mean NUFC having Rafa as their manager in the second tier, probably will become the norm in the near future, but for sure it’s a buyers market.

    When clubs fire the likes of ‘The Great One’ and LVG is moved upstairs (as DOF) to avoid firing him, then we can figure out how the present EPL with it’s enormous funding
    has changed things forever.

    As I mentioned above, there are only three (all lousy) English managers left in the EPL, who should be gone before the end of next season, simply because they are not up to the standards of foreign competition.

    That’s how things stand at the moment, as it would take IMO, a massive deal at a top club to be on offer, in order to attract Rafa from the offer on hand, just ask his wife, who is smart enough to let him know, take the job Rafa!

  133. Well it’s a good thing for the world that Pardew didn’t win the FA Cup anyway. If he actually won a proper trophy, his head would probably grow so big that it would start to blot out the Sun and cause an environmental catastrophe.

    “When clubs fire the likes of ‘The Great One’ and LVG is moved upstairs (as DOF) to avoid firing him”

    That would be ironic as that is exactly what happened with Bobby Robson and van Gaal at Barcelona.

  134. Yes Worky that Hereford they went bust but a load of volunteers have put them back together again down in the lower leagues.
    You’ve got to admit that was some goal they scored against us, in really horrendous conditions.

  135. Nutmag says:
    May 21, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    “You’ve got to admit that was some goal they scored against us, in really horrendous conditions.”

    Aye but we’ve all seen it enough times now, Nutmag, it’s 2016!

  136. Well the last game of the season certainly put Ashley between a rock and a hard place. How could he not do a deal with Rafa. The wolves were at the door and only Rafa was stopping them. The alternative does not bare thinking about. Its taken nine years and even then Ashley had to be backed into a corner, staring at needing a new team a new manager and the loss of his favourite thing MONEY.
    If it goes wrong now and they don’t give Rafa full control the whole mess will implode on him.
    I bet he is not enjoying letting go.
    I really didn’t see this coming a few months ago. If this is another Toon false dawn (and we have had a few)its a big one!!

  137. Nutmag says:
    May 22, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    “I really didn’t see this coming a few months ago.”

    But we usually say that every few months, Nutmag! It’s usually after some outrage or other in recent years.

    As one giant ship sinks into the Championship, another one from the past has risen again, Sheffield Wednesday. It’s daft though. Poor Chris Hughton’s Brighton were equal on points with second placed, automatically promoted Middlesbrough, yet they end up missing out to sixth placed Wednesday.

  138. Exactly !

    The promotion system to the EPL is ridicules where a simple system of promoting the top three clubs, has been turned into a stupid contest involving the third to sixth place clubs, which does little apart from generating a few extra bucks, but is obviously totally unfair to the third place side and should be eliminated.

    All a part of the FA system, that has failed miserably in regard to rule changes and the allotment of resources.

    To just award those clubs in the PL those enormous amounts of TV revenue, as opposed to possibly allocating the money to subsidizing the price of tickets, or a pension system for players and officials and a number of other agencies, that would include the often forgotten fans.

    Who have to put up with in most cases poor facilities such as toilets and attempting to grab a beer at many clubs is akin to shoving like a rugby player involved in a rugby scrum.

    A relative of mine was astounded to find out it was possible to get a beer at US stadiums, without having to leave ones seat, that or a hotdog, sold by vendors employed to provide for the fans in their seats.

    Yes some of those ramshackle stadiums built a century ago, could certainly use some modernizing. though not St.James’ Park, it being one of the clubs that has first class conditions, from what I have seen.

    Yes i’m certainly not a fan of any of the governing bodies, as they are obviously corrupt and run by a criminal element which could eventually collapse like a house of cards.

    Though it appears most fans of the game appear willing to accept whatever the owners and governing bodies agree to.

    Yes! with all the billions of funding, to then just hand it over to the club owners may not be in the best interests of the game and certainly no incentive to the fans to attend games.

    If I ruled the world, here would be changes for sure, especially as the fans have the hammer, but most don’t understand how to use it and will carry on regardless of how they are treated.

    When you are resigned to be treated, like shit, that’s how things will remain, one has to demand change for the better, not silently await the owner to decide to initiate it.

    Ah well!

  139. “Will he stay or will he go”

    From where I stand, it looks as if Rafa. will possibly be announced to have signed a new improved version of his current contract.

    One that gives him more power than he has had at Liverpool, which may be a good thing in respect to the club , finally appointing someone who has a great resume, who with his trainers and coaches will install a system that is workable.

    It’s been mentioned Carr is about to take a powder, whether given a push or deciding his run has finally come to an end, as both heed scout and un-official DOF, having quietly made most of the decisions over the last few years of the Ashley regime.

    When one considers the way NUFC has been run, by the present owner, a half-assed business run by half assed people, the club is fortunate to have Rafa. with his retinue and player data bases etc., the way any modern day football club should be operated, it gives one a sense of hope, we may finally be going from the ridicules to the sublime.

    We have three years to see how the program works, if it’s a bust then how much has been lost, but to go into the second tier, with so many players wanting away and some retread manager who has no idea, but needs a gig, would be football suicide, so lets get behind Rafa and see what happens.

  140. Chuck, if you think it’s bad that the US is about to elect Trump, it looks like Austria might be electing another Hitler. Having written that, Hitler was actually quite liberal for an Austrian. It’s always seems to be names starting with “H” and ending with “R”. There was Hitler of course, the last far right Austrian politician who caused a big stink was called Haider, and this latest one is called Hofer. It’s not that all Austrians have names like that, eg Mozart, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Niki Lauda etc…

  141. How about ‘Schickelgruber'(which of course was Hitler’s
    given family name)and yes Austria has certainly produced a number of post WW2 politicians who were in fact no more than Nazi apologists and were elected as such, apparently not this time though.

    On the other hand it appears there is a general trend in politics throughout Europe, which is increasingly nationalistic and of the right, (fascist)-(UKIP)

    It appears to be Xenophobic in nature with a certain amount of racism, which is he main reason for the approaching Brexit referendum, engineered by Cameron to draw votes from ‘UKIP’ during the last general election.

    Which most including Cameron, plus most thinking people
    hope will result in a rejection of cutting ties with the EU, being it would be suicidal from an economic viewpoint and would reduce the EU to a second class military organization and with it NATO, which may in fact be something to consider, being it is presently just another arm of US military and economic worldwide domination.

    I really have no idea why the UK ever joined the EU, being they seem to reject everything proposed other
    than any economic circumstance that would favor them.

    By frequently threatening to sever themselves from the union, unless given preferential treatment and a rejecting of the European court on many matters, sure there are differences between what the founding members of the coal and steel community of the early post war years envisioned and for the UK a latecomer, to now attempt to change these policies to suit their agenda’s is a bit arrogant, doncha think?

  142. As for politics in the USA, the present leading pols. from both parties, (it’s a two party system folks, that has been an institution since the forming of the country)

    That’s the buffoon ‘The Donald’ and his fascist hawk opponent ‘Hillary’, the ex wife of Bill Clinton, who is convinced she is the country’s most entitled candidate.

    Constantly stating her history as one of two Senators from NY state, where she accomplished nothing, keeping her eye on the presidency, until Obama (an obviously smarter and more electable candidate) eliminated her, possibly with a promise of the most senior cabinet role Sec. of State, to keep her in the public eye.

    We are all aware she screwed up on many occasions, especially during ‘The Arab Spring’ in north Africa.
    and is beholding to Wall St. money, whereas her Dem. opponent Bernie, a Socialist, recently converted to the two party system (in order to be considered) has recently both outdrawn her in crowds and has recently won a majority of states, has forced her way to the left of her comfort zone.

    Though following over a hundred years of anti socialist propaganda in these here US of A, I certainly think it’s a step too far to see a socialist as President of the worlds most capitalistic country.

    But unfortunately for the establishment, it’s the electorate who are driving this pre election campaign
    and their ignorance is unbelievable, consisting of two basic groups, ‘The Tea Party’ those unemployed middleclass white men, previously hired before anyone of color (a form of welfare)who are some very angry people and who are willing to vote for ‘The Donald” and possibly bring the whole system down around their ears.

    The others are those(a very mixed bag) of middle class and the Latino vote, plus the youth of America, with strangely enough not many women backing Hillary.

    It seems Hillary is getting her support mainly from Afro-Americans, (which I don’t get, being she is not in favor of Bernie’s insistence of a $15 minimum wage, by insisting on only an increase to $12), plus the right wing of the Dem. party, though in recent polls ‘Bernie’ vs ‘The Donald’ show’s Bernie well ahead, while Hillary trails Trump head to head.

    Both parties certainly have their problems and perhaps this election could change party politics forever, just as a vote for Brexit could change the UK forever.

    Careful what you vote for.

  143. On looking at to-days world, what I see is constant change, continual wars, economic crisis and uncertainty, sure the so called cold war has disappeared, which means nothing, being the balance of world power keeps changing and as we are aware the number of weaponry in the hands of unstable countries is enough to destroy the world for all time.

    The end of both great wars, one named the war to end all wars, was renewed only twenty years later and since we have had both wars and revolutions going on throughout the world without end, yes a crazy world i’m afraid.

    Of course this has nothing to do with the present crisis at Newcastle United, that is much more important to most Geordies, the appointment of our new savior Rafa. Benites
    who is expected to bring the side back to where they belong, (post haste) ‘The English Premier League’, with it’s current riches and rebuild a side that most Geordies can be proud of, it happens every thirty years or so at the club, but due to two relegations and an orrible last nine seasons , we are owed by our dear leader.

  144. Well we stand corrected about the Austrians, Chuck. We’re in good company though, as Nietzche once described Bavarians as “half Austrian, half human being.” No, the good old Austrians have made my previous comment look daft and prejudiced as they (just) elected a kindly old Bernie Sanders / Jeremy Corbynalike in the end, another schoolteacherly chap called Alexander Van der Bellen just nicked it after the postal votes were counted. Hofer was ahead by a percent or so until they were counted. Van der Bellen is a 72 year old economics professor who’s a Green from the left. It’s a good job he isn’t a British politician though with a name like that.

  145. Worky you’ll be pleased to hear Morpeth Town beat Hereford 4-1 to win the FA Vase.
    That makes seven wins out of the last eight for North East clubs.
    It seems football is alive and kicking at grass roots level in the North East.
    NUFC did make a donation to Morpeths trip to Wembley apparently.
    Whatever happened to that “Hot Bed” of good Geordie youngsters we used to have?

  146. They are all playing games at present, video games that is.

    None of to-days youngsters have the time or inclination to play a game of pick up football, as most sports are highly structured, wearing all the necessary uniforms and supervised by highly paid sports teachers.

    There is little incentive to learn the necessary skills and little time allotted from a busy schedule, with only the better athletes coached and employed in the schools football sides.

    It’s the same thing in most first world countries, which is why most top players to-day, come from deprived communities, those willing to do what’s necessary to reach the European leagues, not all of them make it, but not for want of trying.

    One would expect more first world youngsters to compete when one looks at the earnings of to-days players, but I suppose the competition is fierce and most prefer an education to a competition, ah well! so much for the Morpeth’s and Spennymoor’s I suppose, being we will never see that goal of a full squad of Geordies, playing in the black and white.

  147. Worky

    On Austria, an Empire that in it’s time governed their citizens in a fairly benevolent manner, much more so than the other Empires in pre WW1 Europe.

    The present Germanic remnants of that former Empire that is now the Austria we know, is totally different.

    By not having the stabilizing effect of the southern Slavs, Hungarians and others and was always the bulwark of Christian Europe against the expansion of Islam, or the Ottoman Turks, who as you know reached and placed Vienna under siege, only one of two battles lost by Sulieman the Magnificent.

    Plus the Austrians were treated far better than they deserved following WW2, and have remained in many cases unrepentant Fascists, unlike their German cousins, who though probably unrepentant, have at least (we hope) learned something about how to take over Europe, by doing it through economics, Germany being one of the worlds top exporters.

    But yes! there appears to be a rise of the right wing politics throughout Europe’s northern and the former Soviet Block countries, based on Xenophobia and racism, a self defeating purpose being Europe with it’s declining populations needs immigration, which is beneficial to those countries, I mean why is it Germany and Angela are so acceptive of Syrian refugees, they need the workers.

    Though in the UK people like the current PM, are paranoid about immigrants and use it as an election ploy, with such rumors as the eastrn block countries are exporting thir population to the UK to take your jobs, instilling a fear in the electorate.

    The fact that Polish migration to the UK was a huge success, is readily ignored and seldom mentioned.

  148. Hopefully this contract (Rafa’s.) will soon be signed sealed and delivered, but what concerns me more is we may lose our best players, before things are straightened out.

    Especially with Penfold and Ashley still in the drivers seat.

    Such players as Sissoko, Janmaat, Wijnaldum and Townsend, are without doubt top players and would play a large part in the clubs revival and promotion, in the coming season.

    Any of the others I don’t care about, but if Rafa is about to rebuild this squad, he will need that base of talent to build on.

    I understand about high wages and players rejecting a move to a lower league, but on examination, they bear a responsibility for the clubs present situation, so a little responsibility on their part would be acceptable.

    I just cant see why this contract is taking so long, obviously Ashley is loath to turn over the use of his fortune to some Spanish Manager, who spent freely during his time at Liverpool, but on making that choice is it not time to hand over control, to someone who knows what he’s doing as opposed to try and figure it out himself, or leave it to such cheap losers such as Llambias, Pardew, Penfold, McClaren, well you get the idea.

    In which case sign the f***ing piece of paper and get on with the rebuilding of this club.

  149. Seems that Rafa. has signed an agreement that is possibly
    unprecedented at NUFC and possibly the EPL itself, a deal that gives him absolute control of all football matters at the club.

    So! what does this mean, it could move a lotta deadwood out of the club, Carr especially (no more train journeys to Holland and France) time for him to retire.

    The coaches of everyone not already a part of Rafas. present entourage may be doing themselves a favor by dusting off and making the necessary changes to their resume’s, which will take care of our failed youth system,

    Though some of the fans appear to be ok with the selling of some of our top players, hopefully Rafa Knows better and hangs on to the likes of Janmaat, Sissoko, Townsend and Wijnaldum, a quartet that will be essential in our comeback attempt.

    It certainly was a big step for Ashley, to relinquish his control with everything related to running the football club, possibly he still has a say in certain money matters, after all of his nonsense over the last few years, could it be he has finally realized two businesses are one business too many, especially the NUFC business, of which it can now be said, he knew little.

    It will no doubt be an interesting three years, with an immediate return to the PL not just hopeful but a necessity, being the chances of promotion decrease directly with time in the lower league’s.

    It’s still early days, and Rafas. moves and deals will no doubt be closely watched and in some cases criticized, but lets leave that until the seasons end and get behind the side, as the fans ended up as a quiet unresponsive lot following all the crap games they were forced to watch, never mind, a few rousing games in the second tier and hopefully they will be back in full voice and eventual promotion back to the money league.

    After all any club that has gone through the crap that we have for so long deserve to have a winning side and something lke this should have taken place years ago, so Ashley, you owe us one!

  150. chuck says:
    May 24, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    “who spent freely during his time at Liverpool”

    Chuck man, for the nth time he didn’t! He got alot back as well and his net spend was actually very low for a Premier League / Champions League winning team. It was peanuts compared with the likes of Chelsea. He had the Yank Mike Ashleys as well, Hicks and Gillett were absolutely awful and were mucking him around the way Ashley mucked Keegan around at the end.

    Chuck, have you thought of going into politics because septuagenarian lefties seem taking over the world right now? Professor Von Bellend’s the hero of Austria, Feel the Bern won’t go away and Shillary’s in real trouble now. Even if she wins the nomination with all these super delegates, her reputation is shot before the real race has even got going. She is the personification of all the things people have had enough of.

    chuck says:
    May 25, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    “Seems that Rafa. has signed an agreement that is possiblyunprecedented at NUFC and possibly the EPL itself, a deal that gives him absolute control of all football matters at the club.”

    Of course, all managers would love that (if it wasn’t for the relegation bit), but Rafa will love that even more. If he wasn’t such a good manager making millions, he would probably be diagnosed as having OCD. He is a total pioneer on analysis and all that sort of thing since he was young player in the 70s analysing himself. To say he likes to control all the little details is an understatement!

  151. Nutmag says:
    May 23, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    “Worky you’ll be pleased to hear Morpeth Town beat Hereford 4-1 to win the FA Vase.”

    Aye, I read about it. Even though Wembley was almost half empty, there was still 47,000 there apparently.

  152. Calamity Calamity how are we Geordies going to cope with this optimism and hope. I had to look up “optimism” its a word I haven’t used lately.
    Just when I had rid myself of my “Toon” addiction this happens NUFC to be run as a football club.
    Mind you I’m not about to do anything silly like buy a season ticket or organize a visit to SJP just yet.
    You can only take optimism so far!!

  153. Of course a certain degree of optimism has to creep into the heads of those who had given up on NUFC, plus all of those that hadn’t, those subdued fans in a state of constant despair.

    It appeared prior to the actual relegation, that most fans had already given up and the actual fan discontent had reached a stage that they would once again break out with marches and a serious anti-Ashley campaign.

    Of course the Benitez deal has most fans cheering, not only the deal, but no one appears too upset by the coming second tier involvement and fully expect a quick return to the money league.

    I suppose Ashley is congratulating himself by having defused any fan campaigns that would effect crowd attendance in this approaching season, which has finally brought about what everyone believed was necessary that is to hire a top management group (Rafa. and his entourage) that understood how to effectively run a football club.

    It’s no big secret, his old lady told him, “take the job Rafa”. as there are no better offers on hand, it’s nine big ones over a three year period.

    It ain’t brain surgery !

    Soh !, the probability of an instant return to where the money is, a revamp of the side, with Ashley off the hook and the spreading of happiness among the fans, who have now found something to look forward too, great solution all a’ round .

    Problem solved, now all they have to look for is the new improved NUFC, terrorizing the second tier as they march their way back up the ladder, to where the big bucks are.

    No ?

  154. So !
    at present everyone appers to be happy enough, with some believing rafa will be NUFC’s “Moses”, leading them out of the present wilderness and into the promised land of big bucks and big clubs.

    Having lined and up the most talented of second tier prospects, while attempting to hang onto the clubs better players, an instantaneous return to the PL is not only looking good, but expected.

    So what happens if it all turns brown, where the young talented second tier players considered by the club, want to go to Champions league sides and those that got us relegated are looking for bigger and better clubs.

    What will Benitez do then ?

    Yes it has been mentioned be a daring few, that offers for Benitez have been few and far between, indicating perhaps he has become somewhat irrelevant, as far as Managers are concerned, with perhaps his short spell at RM, being his last shot at the big time.

    When one considers the amounts being paid to the two new managers of both Manchester sides, which dwarf the paltry nine million for three years, then the Benitez saga becomes a more realistic deal, not by any means a lot of dosh, however what’s unusual is the amount of control being ceded to Rafa. which is unprecedented in the top UK leagues.

  155. Has in fact Ashley, gone overboard in relinquishing so much control, which despite Worky’s denial, he spent heavily while at Liverpool and more or less spent himself out of a good job.

    just ask the two former Yank owners, who were more or less forced to sel.

    I think not, but i’m sure he will retain a certain amount of control over spending, but that’s not my point, it’s the fact that Rafa. is expected to work miracles, the fans i’m sure have enormous expectations, following his signing the three year deal.

    What if it all comes down around his ears, where the side don’t achieve promotion, what then, will the call go out to fire him, he same way as most of his predecessors apart from the great one Pardew.

    Naturally there will be a call for a Geordie manager, but with only guys like Bruce and Clark around (these guys never give up) who is there, nobody!

    Which leaves Benitez in a tough spot, having almost guaranteed success, he had better deliver, the question is can he, or is he past his prime and only looking for a paycheck.

    For Rafa. to fail is obviously not something the fans want to hear, or consider so let me be the first to bring it to their attention, it could just as easy go balls up,
    which could mean a long stay in the second tier, hell it happened to what was a bigger club at the time, Leeds Utd.
    who have now become a regular mid table no-bodies, with no signs of ever becoming promoted, after O’Leary spent them into penury.

  156. Chuck, you’re just trying to wind me in before you go and worry the poor fish! I conclusively proved some time ago that in net terms, he didn’t spend much at all, especially for a team that won a Champions League trophy and made another final. I’m not going over it again. Those Yank owners looted the club.

  157. I just dont get it the fact so many Newcastle fans continue to criticise the one player who has covered the most ground and has been responsible for so much of the play,both in the role of defense and fast breakouts, which has become virtually the only way we have managed to score recently and feared by many sides, yes I’m talking about Sissoko and having watched him play with what has been a disorganised side without any consistent patterns of play,wonder why he receives so much criticism, he being the most consistent player in a totally inconsistent side and who is entitled to have an occasional off game.
    And I find it unsurprising he is coveted by top clubs or selected by the French as a member of the national side and would be surprised if he were to be sold (fough I doubt if he would refuse any decent offer from a top club,as opposed to playing in the econd tier)
    I, sure Benitez would like to keep him, knowing that managed properly he could become a bigger asset asset

    to any club, with his pace and engine, but we are all too aware of Ashley’s reluctance to turn down an opportunity to sell on for a nice profit, that being part and parcel as a club policy,though we are still (I believe) unaware of how much say Benitez has in his new improved contract,

  158. Well the Euros.have began with a surprisingly poor start by the host side (though they managed to scrape a win) while Engerland though looking good against an. Ageing Russia side were suspect in defense and allowed a late equaliser, with most fans ready to celebrate a first game victory.

    Ah well no doubt there will be more such results, I would be more accepting of the likes of a John Terry or Stones in place of Cahill and sterling had better get used to the idea of playing as a team member instead of looking for personal glory .

    Which goes for others in the Engerland set up, but my big question is “what has happened to Rooney and where best to play him” ?

    Plus the fact Engerland lack a center field playmaker ( which ain’t Rooney)

    Missed the Germany game last night, though I caught most of the “Norn Iron” game who were outplayed by a decent but going nowhere Polish side.

    It should be one of the most interesting of Euro tournaments in some time (As opposed to the Portugese games a few years back, which I attended) which was both meaningless and face it any time a side like Greece wins, that sez everything about it.

    We are still awaiting those big guns, Italy,Belgium,Spain and a few others who have the ability to win the tournament , which hopefully will turn out to be a feast of football and possibly watched by more scouts from the EPL than you can shake a stick at, with many top players looking to impress this possibly the biggest trading of any off season window, considering the enormouse amounts being divvied out to EPL and Bundesliga sides by Fox tv.