What a difference a match-day makes!

There’s nowt as fickle as folk they say. I would say there’s nowt as fickle as football fans. Like many of you, I turn bi-polar when it comes to the footy and I’m either in great spirits when we win or a right grumpy git if we lose. My posts on here will only ever be one way or the other after a game…..no middle ground!

During pre-season, the devil certainly made work for idle hands and I am extremely happy the season is underway as we can get back to discussing football matters.

Despite this it still seems that the hot topics amongst fans are transfers, ambition and the Fat Man.

Regular visitors to this very ‘blog will know how I feel about these topics. In a nutshell, we’ve sold our best players and not replaced them and we are two good signings away from a very strong side. Just over a week remains in the transfer window and I just am pretty worried about the whole situation.

We aren’t showing any more ambition than being a mid-table side but hey, that’s what we are at the end of the day and all we ever will be under this regime. I also think Mike Ashley is a massive tosser.

Apparently, Mike Ashley isn’t on many Christmas card lists either and I have read a huge amount of comments regarding fan ownership, various protest methods and how to drive Ashley out of our club.

Then there are the fans that are becoming frustrated with all that sort of talk and just want to support the lads on the pitch without getting into the politics. I think it’s safe to say that we all agree that we do that come kick off time.

Now does any of this really matter if we are winning games and exceeding expectations in the league?

For some fans it does and for others it doesn’t.

If we are winning games and comfortably in the top half with players like Demba Ba, Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux, Dan Gosling, Cheik Tiote and Gabriel Obertan all performing to a high standard then I am happy. That’s 7 players listed there brought in by this regime for less than 20 million pounds. Less than £3 million a player on average.

The magic number for survival last year was quoted at being 40 points. That happened to be exactly what it turned out to be and we are currently 10% there having played just 2 games this season. Those 2 games weren’t the easiest either.

I didn’t think we played well against Arsenal or Sunderland either to be honest. Not saying we played badly, just think we didn’t have any cutting edge and didn’t look like scoring too often (if at all against Arsenal)

As things stand, Newcastle are the only team in the Premier League to have not conceded a goal. I realise it’s early days yet but let’s enjoy it while it lasts please!

Now this group of players will only improve as the season goes on. The more match sharpness they gain and the better they get to know one another’s game is definitely a recipe for improved performances. We are also missing Ben Arfa and Marveaux to boot and there is a very small chance we may bring in a left back before the window closes…

So from your personal standpoint, if the team keep winning games and are sat in around 8th or 9th position poised for a blast towards the higher echelons come the end of the season….will you still be screaming to sack the board?

Is there underlying issues that cannot be resolved or would you begrudgingly accept that the formula is working?

About Moreno

Raised in Tyneside and now spreading the Gospel of Shola down in shandyland! Follow @MorenoToon on Twitter !

72 thoughts on “What a difference a match-day makes!

  1. Nothing to do with Bendtner, but I have been thinking about this for about a week now, so may as well throw it out there to ponder.

    I expect Barton to leave shortly after the window closes.

    I very much doubt that no club has expressed an interest. His form was good last season and he is a leader; there will be takers.

    I think the club are holding off on letting him go until after the window closes, that way his departure on a free won’t be too much of a loss for them as he won’t have to be replaced and his wages will be off the bill. Cue talks of Gosling stepping up to the first team.

    Anyone else see this happening?

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  2. Eh? Can that work?

    I thought you could only sign free agents after the window closes, meaning we would have to outright sack him? 😕

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  3. Still think barton will see out his contract, No decent clubs are coming in for him and unless he fancies taking a huge pay cut hell stay put and leave next summer, In the meantime hopefully pardew can somehow mediate between him and the board like he did for saylor and he might get a new contract…

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  4. Moreno

    Yes, you’re right. We would have to pay the remainder of his wages, which would probably equate to around 2.5million.

    However, I would imagine that would be in the small print of anyone who comes in for him and the buyer would probably have to subsidise a large part, if not all of the wages.

    Still, 2.5million for Barton ain’t bad, is it?

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  5. Interesting dilema Moreno. If we were 8th or 9th at end of the seson with the lads all playing well, and as long as our ambitions were to push on and try for a Europa place with steady building, then i couldn’t give two hoots what Ashley and Llambias were up to. They could be devil worshippers in disguise for all i care as long as I have a club to support that looks like it is progressing and we have entertaining football to watch week in week out. I think the board are to be applauded for getting those players you mentioned in with such little outlay. If only they would get their finger out and fill those couple of positions where we are currently weak, stop this farce of haggling so much they lose the player – everyone gets the message you won’t pay over the odds but howay! Ongoing sustained investment, combined with our great scouting policy, start communicating with the fans and it will be happy days as far as I’m concerned. Let’s face it the number of fans happy with the owner/board etc are minimal. If Ashley’s strategy was to buy the club to promote his cheap tat far and wide, surely it makes sense for him to try to do that on the back of a successful rather than unsuccessful club – more airtime, media exposure etc?? Then again sense/Ashley??

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  6. …from last thread
    El T….but to go after the window shuts does he not have to be out of contract? which he won’t be unless NUFC pay off his contract in which case they’ve saved nothing on wages.

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  7. The derby game is an exception. You would expect (hope) that the players would raise their game a bit for that one. You would also expect (hope) that the manager fires them up appropriately.

    Next game is scunny, but Fulham at home will be the real benchmark for me. How we perform against a team that is arguably in our “tier” in the PL is a good measure of how good a team we actually have.

    We also don’t have any strenghth in depth at either end of the field. Midfield is covered, but forwards and defenders aren’t.
    Comments have already been made on here, that everyone was glad that Colo wasn’t injured on Saturday. Without Colo and Saylor our defence is poor.

    Up front we have Ba, Best and everyone’s favourite son, Ameobi.
    Ba, could come good, but we need someone else in to replace Carroll. Bendtner could be the solution, at least he has PL experience.

    Pardew, seems to have got his tactics right for the first two games. Let’s hope that wasn’t a fluke. I’m no fan of the bloke, but if he gets us winning then he may change my preception of him around.

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  8. EL T….that’s the point though, once the window closes no one can come in for him, unless we release him first.

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  9. andybrassell Andy Brassell
    Suggested in yesterday’s L’Equipe, confirmed today that Sochaux have reported Newcastle to FIFA for making illegal approach to Modibo Maïga
    16 minutes ago

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  10. Richietoon

    I was under the impression a player could be released at any time, not just during a transfer window…?

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  11. Still disagree with “sold our best players and not replaced them”( maybe not suitably replaced)……but not being replaced only applies to Jose(so far),Judas= Ba but he has been replaced as has Nolan=Cabaye 😉

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  12. Yeah if he stayed untill after the window he couldn’t play again until january for his new side and if we sacked him we’d have to pay hiswages anyway. All in all think your speaking a load of bollocks, fishing for reactions if nothing else. On the article I agree we are two signings away from a decent side but we have been for years, the two needs just keep changing… I’ve always found it funny how fickle football fans are, myself included.

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  13. Richie,

    I personally don’t class Ba as being the replacement for Carroll. I know you do but my opinion on that is different

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  14. Spot on Moreno, can’t imagine what this week would’ve been like if we had lost on the weekend.

    2 in 0 out most fans will be relatively pleased with the window.

    El T – if Barton lasts this window, he’s here til Jan at least. I’m hoping he can still earn a new contract.

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  15. “All in all think your speaking a load of bollocks, fishing for reactions if nothing else.”

    I love a well thought out and reasoned argument, I do. 🙄

    “Yeah if he stayed untill after the window he couldn’t play again until january for his new side and if we sacked him we’d have to pay his wages anyway.”

    I have already addressed these points above.

    It’s just a thought. Why is it so inconceivable? If you can explain that without sounding naive I will gladly concede my argument…

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  16. Rory,

    I think Deb’s excellent post @5 sums it up really.

    There’s such a fine line between us being happy or angry about it. The right amount of communication and a bit more investment and most fans won’t have any cause to complain

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  17. I think if we improved and finished higher there will still be comments along the lines of “if we’d spent more we’d have improved more” kind of thing.

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  18. We are two signings away from a good starting 11 , but how many other teams can say that as well? 🙂

    What happens on the pitch matters most to me , our time in the championship showed that to me , I really dont care what happens off the pitch ( tho i do have opinions on it and often debate them ). 3 points every sat is whats its all about. Yes we wont win all the games and will lose our fairshare but nothing compares to match day.

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  19. Toonsy, agreed @ 17

    Would there be as many calls for protests and sacking the board though if we improve and finish higher?

    Surely a lot of the angst is due to the concern that we will under-achieve and be in a relegation scrap (people have said as much)

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  20. If we get a good striker and lb in next 8 days we will have our strongest squad for some years with a wage bill halved and in line with 50% of turnover target. We will have a strong sustainable business and hopefully one that is attractive to the likes of Rich geezers like Ambani (Indian tycoon).

    When we were relegated 2 years ago we had the 6th biggest wage bill in the prem. This represents a massive turnround and Ashley deserves some credit?? I really hope he opens his wallet for Pieters and a decent no. 9 but honestly think talk of boycotting matches and club shop etc. is a huge over reaction.

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  21. Moreno

    “Would there be as many calls for protests and sacking the board though if we improve and finish higher?”

    Don’t know about others, but I certainly would.

    I have no problem with being cheap in the market if you can find good players for a modest price.

    My problem is the constant lies, deceit and general unethical behaviour. These guys can’t be trusted. They’re scum bags.

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  22. its all pointless as i dont think we will now buy anyone at all and the RT will become our LB this season and ashley will try to limp through. I am also getting a bit worried about Arfa… the bloke is always knackered and is now out til october at the earliest. Dyer anyone?
    AP is a complete bull shiter and case point proves it when he is blabbing on about Pieters and how we are keen on him and are trying to push that one over the line blah blah.. and then lo and behold PSV say yesterday that they have had not one offer for him from us. Its the usual smoke screens and waffle. The end of window headlines are going to be a re-run of all other windows including the last ditch attempt to buy a great name for not enough money, thus not getting him and so on. How can they say in all honesty that they ran out of time for these two most obvious spots,, they have even admitted they need them.. even dekka says they need them.. AC has been gone now for 7 months ffs… Jose was a done deal to liverpool from day one.. AP said when carroll was sold that he had targets lined up for summer and that we had stole a march on other prem clubs in that pursuit.. humm.. yes. Then he has said about a billion time that they had contingency plans in place to act swiftly when jose left… wow.. look at how fast those plans have kicked in!
    Our squad is paper thin and if we lose jonas and then colo or STaylor where are we?

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  23. Moreno….I don’t class him as a suitable replacement at all, but one striker left, one came in, It’s a replacement which ever way you look at it imo but we still need a striker because the ones we have arent good enough imo.

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  24. Fair enough El Toro,

    That’s what I was asking with the article.

    So if we were challenging for Europe under their guidance and were close to getting champions league (hypothetically of course) you’d still want them out and would voice that?

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  25. El toro, my point is why would we sack him, as that’s essentially what it is, if he’s starting every game and has said nothing recently. The only reason it’s not unconceivable is it’s llambis. But what benefit would there be for doing it? It would mean they are paying a years wages for nothing and if there is one thing you can’t accuse the board of it’s knowing their numbers. The whole reason he’s available for free is no one will pay a transfer fee so it’s free as that covers his wages. Paying someone for doing nothing is exactly what the board try to avoid. If he again came out scathing the board then theres a reason until then they’ll go forth an unhappy alliance. They won’t just randomly sack him.

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  26. “Moreno….I don’t class him as a suitable replacement at all, but one striker left, one came in, It’s a replacement which ever way you look at it imo but we still need a striker because the ones we have arent good enough imo.”

    You could say he is Xisco’s replacement under that argument then 😕

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  27. Richie I accept your point about Cabaye replacing Nolan. Not sure I accept Ba as a replacement for Carroll yet.
    I’m NOT writing him off before anyone starts having a hissy fit. I’m just saying so far its hard to tell whether Ba can be considered a replacement because he hasn’t really shown us anything. Time will tell.

    As for the main point of the article:
    It’s hard to say. I can’t see us doing really well without a minimum of a decent leftback and a decent striker being brought in. Also we were promised them, and the ‘trust/being treated like mugs’ aspects will not be easy to forgive.

    To me if we get in the LB and s and striker without selling any first team players Ashley will have done enough for me to say I am reasonably happy and we should see how things pan out.

    Arsenal and Sunderland looked fairly blunt against us for differering reasons. That allowed us to look defensively stronger than we actually are.Add into that 1 or 2 injuries over the season and there is no way I can imagine us retaining that defensive record.

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  28. Jebus Craig. I’m not AP’s biggest fan by a long chalk, but give him some credit. He’s been out to PSV to run the rule over Pieters. How much more does he need to do to prove we are interested. So what if we haven’t put an offer in. It may be that were aren’t sure of him, hence why AP went out to watch him, to give a final assesment and will then report back to owl heed and say yes or no.

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  29. Harrogate Geordie I agree. What exactly would we be protesting about? Played two, four points out of six, only team with clean sheet, beat our biggest rivals on their own turf, club allegedly trying to fill positions we are all clamouring for, some great new players, manager saying he wants to play attacking football on the ground rather than hoofball. Yep it makes total sense to get the pitchforks and bedsheets out and have a bouycott….. Surely people can see that the sooner Ashley makes his money back the sooner he is likely to go? The harder that is ie boycotts, not buying pies, merchandise from club shop etc the longer he will stay. Lets just get behind the team and forget all the off the field antics.

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  30. Moreno….no you couldn’t because Xisco is still a toon player and Ba came in before Xisco left 😉

    Pootle….as I said he doesn’t compare to Judas as a player but one striker out one in is a replacement, whether he’s of the same standard or not.

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  31. Micky Toon, at least the Utd fans set up their own club and supported it rather than just winging.. Not that the owners gave a sh*T

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  32. Moreno…in ref to the article though 😉 …I’d be more tolerent of fatboy maybe but I’d still hate the fecker 😀

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  33. ” My problem is the constant lies, deceit and general unethical behaviour. These guys can’t be trusted. They’re scum bags.”

    ET I agree with this.
    If they get us the two players they promised and that we clearly need I would consider it a step in the right direction. It would be enough to earn another chance – but only if it signals some changes in their general behaviour particularly towards the fans.

    Obviously the problem is this is a very hypothetical scenario as i honestly cant see us doing that well.

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  34. Moreno

    Yes. I would want them gone, but their business methodology to remain. As I said, they are scum. Literally can’t stand them.

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  35. ” Surely people can see that the sooner Ashley makes his money back the sooner he is likely to go?”

    It’s a nice thought but it seems naive to assume that as soon as Ashley makes his money he will go.

    If he can keep NUFC in the PL, say between 11th and 17th and turn a yearly profit of £30m plus whilst at the same time remaining relatively distant from the fans, what’s the big impetus that would make him want to sell?
    In fact if he makes NUFC fairly profitable it will almost certainly mean he wants to sell it for more money, not at cost price.

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  36. To the level heads out there and to the knee jerk divs i reckon we should change the bottom of our badge to say ‘You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time.

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  37. A post I made the other day which never got a response.

    What’s to stop Ashley making his money back, showing no ambition and pimping his company only for us to be bought with a leveraged buyout throwing us back into debt.

    People are willing to tolerate him as we are in debt, yet we could be right back to square one when he sells having gained nothing as a club 😕

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  38. Micky toon… if we aint sure of him then why are we farting around with a week of the window left? Why did AP say he had a plan in place which would ‘kick in’ in the event of jose leaving. And as fro the striker berth… 7 months!!!!!!!!!!
    AP said that these two deals were hard to get sorted ..’not becasuse of us but because of the other clubs’… well i dont know how he figures that out when we have not put an offer in. Its just way way to many lies. Its like i said the other day, i dont care about the money or anything…. i would like, just for once, for our management to gain a set of knackers and tell the truth.. nice and straight. Is that really too much to ask for.

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  39. Thing is moreno it’s his company and he can do what he want’s with it. That’s why i try not to get too bogged down with it. Playing devils advocat you could say he’d be leaving us with a young/talented squad with a slimmed down sensible business model.

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  40. Moreno….I wouldn’t put owt past him, who knows what dastardly plotting goes on in his fiendish little mind 😈 😉

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  41. “Playing devils advocat you could say he’d be leaving us with a young/talented squad with a slimmed down sensible business model.”

    Based on that I can’t see why he would leave it though….why would you put so much work into something and get so much grief for it, not to enjoy the fruits of your labour?

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  42. Moreno…did you write this article for me? 😆

    For what its worth I wouldn’t be shouting sack the board if we finished 8th/9th then again I’m not shouting sack the board now.

    If we were relegated again then maybe but I’m willing to give the new model/way some time. It’s not ideal & I’d love to us challenging at the top or for CL but we’re a millions miles away from competing with the big 6.

    The mis-communication or lies/deceit is frustrating but i do not feel it’s that bigger deal. I believe it when it appears on the official website & not before particularly when it comes to buying players.

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  43. PSV/Sochaux to report us for tapping up their players—–Good!!
    That surely means we have been in contact and the deals will be done, interesting tho` GOING to report us, NOT reported us.
    Threatening is different to doing–it`s just sabrerattling to get the best price.
    Charlton also it seems, ??

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  44. to all the people who are saying .. hey we are doing well blah blah blah.. get off ashleys back etc… lets be honest here, we are two games in ffs.. in two more games time we could be bottom, its that simple.
    And lets presume that even AShley will have a vested interest in us staying in the prem for obvious reasons….
    We are in the biggest, richest, toughest league in the world.. WE DO NOT HAVE A LEFT BACK at our club. That is shocking and no one will convince me otherwise.

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  45. Even if we did the treble I still wouldn’t support the board. Being successful doesn’t need to be linked to liking or disliking Ashley and co. I hate the way they do things, and I’ll always hate them while they do it, no matter what the team does.

    I’ll always support the team, though, whether they are champions or kicking around the bottom of football league.

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  46. Moreno says:
    August 23, 2011 at 12:15
    A post I made the other day which never got a response.

    What’s to stop Ashley making his money back, showing no ambition and pimping his company only for us to be bought with a leveraged buyout throwing us back into debt.

    People are willing to tolerate him as we are in debt, yet we could be right back to square one when he sells having gained nothing as a club

    Becasue he is not a James Bond esp evil villian with plans for world domination? 🙂

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  47. Moreno very interesting thread mate, I would be well pleased with 8th or 9th but I would still like a new owner.
    But what if we scrap with the bottom 3 for the second half of the season only to survive come the final game or 2, will some fans still be prepared to roll on there back and take what ever the Fatman decides to give them ???

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  48. Since Carroll left he has played less and scored less then Ba.
    Genuinely worried what the reactions on here would be if we had lost the first two games and Pardew had stated we didnt need anymore players.
    As opposed to two cracking results and the manager saying we need a left back and a striker.

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  49. SolanosTrumpet,

    “Genuinely worried what the reactions on here would be if we had lost the first two games and Pardew had stated we didnt need anymore players.”

    Doesn’t bear (or bare? Where’s Stardust?) thinking about really 😯

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  50. Dave,

    Agreed, thing is, if the strategy is working and we are pushing for Europe….do we want to change it?

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  51. “Genuinely worried what the reactions on here would be if we had lost the first two games and Pardew had stated we didnt need anymore players.”

    I think the samaritans phone lines would be jammed with sucicidal geordies, the blogs would have exploded in a fit of bile and rage and fenwicks would have sold out of bedsheets. Sky sports would be canvassing any buck toothed idiot they could get their hands on for a sound bite before the Fulham game and manage to get a shot of someone standing behind a banner saying Ashley is a peado.

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  52. JT [email protected]—Nowt to worry about 😆

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  53. Moreno @ 44 … would say that is one of the main concenrs many of the so called Ashley lovers are concerned about .. if it isnt him, can say that there are very few others who would be interested and certainly anyone that was interested would need to make the cash they need to buy MA out back from the club .. hence why we should be happy we have him and get on with supporting the team.

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  54. Cracking thread, Moreno! I agree with most of what’s on here, except for the “I’ll be against them whatever” type of thing, which I kind of understand but disagree with.

    Geordie Deb pretty much nailed it at post 5, and Solano’s Trumpet @57 put things in perspective.

    For me, it comes down to separate issues:

    1. On the pitch – great start; really chuffed. The spirit’s still there despite claims to the contrary from (here’s the clue) those who’ve never bought into Ashley’s vision for the club and just want more money.

    2. Lying bosses: yes, it’s been done, but nothing like as much as people want to believe. A lot of the time it’s press or agent gossip taken as gospel if it contradicts what the club have said.

    3. Comparisons: beware what you wish for. Look at other owners before you start wanting to put your hand back into the lucky dip barrel. I think on balance (see post 20) we’d likely get someone worse on most counts.

    So let’s see where we are next Wednesday morning. Until then let’s let the massive egos play the usual brinkmanship and hope Ashley wins. That’s our money, not his, that he’s trying not to get scammed out of by clubs who know we’re desperate.

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  55. Whumpie spot on mate! Fat Ash is a poker player extrodinaire and is just playing Russian roulette with PSV, Sochaux, Lyon and maybe Man City (Bridge loan). By giving the illusion of us having many options he is driving down the price and will see who cracks first.
    I hope!! If not I’ll be slagging him off myself on Thursday morning 😆

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  56. Quite. I’m determined that we’ll get our players, partly because like everyone I know they’re needed – but also to put the doom-mongers back in their boxes.

    But as we enter the final week, it is getting a bit squeaky-bum time! I keep thinking back to January 31st, when I reckon Ashley’s ego made him point AC towards his helicopter, rather than his business sense. As tyou say – russian roulette. 😯

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  57. Just wondering if now that Valencia have the mone from selling Juan Mata they are still after Colo 👿

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