Is the team burnt out?

Jaded Jonas?
Newcastle United’s performances of late have slightly dipped in terms of intensity and effectivenes.

The Premier League game against Norwich City saw Newcastle be sloppy in possession of the ball and at times their passing was very poor.

You have to consider that the core of this team has played together since the beginning of the season and with the injuries that Alan Pardew’s side has picked up along the way has we have seen a core that of the team that has been played for the majority of the season.

One player who always gives his all is Newcastle’s very own Spiderman, Jonas Gutierrez. Recently he hasn’t been his stand out self, which raises the question whether he has been playing with an injury. There have been times when he has played well but is the season starting to take its toll on him particular? The Argentine international has proved a valuable asset to the left-flank and most notably this was seen when he tracked back to help Ryan Taylor out for many of the first games of the season. Without him tracking back, that area of the pitch would have been left exposed for opposition teams to capitalise.

Yohan Cabaye has been a prominent figure of Newcastle United’s campaign but since returning from his three match ban he has again not reached the heights that he did when in a sustained run in Pardew’s. With have to take note he has had to adjust to the English style of play this year but is there another reason for why he hasn’t been performing as well?



Take the match against Wolverhampton Wanderers at St James’ Park, Newcastle should have capitalised on a side running on very low confidence after the sacking of Mick McCarthy. This was not the case, Newcastle had gained a two goal lead at half-time but allowed Wolves to creep back into the match and score two goals to level the scores. The game was there for the taking but instead Newcastle took their foot of the gas and Wolves were picking up the ball in the middle of the park.

So is it down to fatigue? It could be, looking at the bench today there were a handful on young players involved in the match day squad with Gabriel Obertan, Chiek Tiote and Ryan Taylor all out with injury. The game yesterday was one that was poor on occasion and at times the team looked like they were on the back foot. It was a victory ground out with only one goal to decide the match but a win is win.

What do you think? Is fatigue accounting for our recent performances or is something else contributing to the dip in form?

About ZoΓ« Vicarage

A lifelong Newcastle fan. Currently exiled in Sunderland studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland Follow me on Twitter: @ZoeVicarage

56 thoughts on “Is the team burnt out?

  1. I wouldn’t say burnt out… maybe one or two – namely tiote, guti and maybe cabaye (argueably our 3 who work the hardest) are probably flagging a bit.

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  2. Spiderman has layed on a few goals recently actually. Maybe the fact that the last couple of decent crosses, Cisse has buried, will encourage him to cross more.

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  3. Why should the team be burnt out? They only play a match once a week. Liverpool have been in the CC (and won) are still in the FA cup and the league. Chelsea are in the FA cup AND Europe. Sunderland have a replay in the FA cup to prepare for. In conclusion I don’t think our players are anymore ‘burnt out’ than other teams. Maybe we just can’t see the wood for the trees.

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  4. i dont think they should be burnt out.. why should they? we have had no euro footy, and were knocked out the cups early doors.. all we have had has been the premiership to occupy out minds and time. also, other that the money bags teams.. all the other clubs in this division are in the same boat if not worse. i just think its a combination of two things… they switched off too soon and are all now mentally on a Dubai beach already on time-off and the second thought is that i think that other teams have no had time to look at us and have worked out how to break us down with relative ease. Fatigue… no i dont think so at all.. just single easy to get at and fluster now.

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  5. Think the likes of Colo/Jonas/Cabaye/Ba will inevitably begin to tire more and more, for much of the season they have carried weaker players in all honesty as our squad is a mix of excellent first teamers and those we would hope to be back up.
    Always been told to end with a sprint, lets hope the players get a second wind and end this season in the manner they started.

    Just some perspective though, for those who only wish to see the dark side. When did our “bad run” start? Whilst there has been genuinely poor form recently, there have been murmurs of discontent for months now. Turn of the year? Saylors injury? Regardless:
    1) In 2012 we have picked up 17 points in 10 games, which amounts to 64 points over a season.
    2) Since and including game we have picked up 21 points in 16 games, which amounts to 50 points over a season

    Progress from last season even in our torrid spell, without Tiote for most of that, Saylor for all. Perspective is needed by many on here, we are a good few years away from having a pristinely quality squad #cheerupmoodymags

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  6. Even the moneybags teams. Chelsea needed Terry, Lampard, Drogba to get them through. The old guard that play in the league as well. They couldn’t put out a 2nd team and possibly hope to get anywhere.

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  7. I don’t think it is burned out as much as it is an unstable squad from week to week. Too much time spent on the ball looking for the pass instead of knowing where your teammate is positioned. That leads to give aways, and more chasing to get it back. I also think the Dembas want the ball sooner than they should get it. Instead of NUFC playing the ball around the edge of the 18 yard box, it is hoof it forward where it gets knocked down, but no one is in position to pounce on it. So, if some are tired, it is because of a lack of consistency and thus efficiency.

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  8. I do think some of our top players seem warn down. Why question is why?

    Lack of depth (CB, wings)? Covering for others (Collo, Jonas)? Not yet used to Prem-level intensity (Cabaye)? Cup of nations (Tiote)?

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  9. good article zoe πŸ˜‰

    without long cup run or europe it’s hard to make argument for fatigue but might be the case with certain players due to our tactics.. we surrender bulk of possession to most opposition we play against, and as anyone knows who plays, it can be much more tiring both physically and mentally having to work off the ball all the time.. if it’s not burnout I would think it could be down to certain players losing confidence with average run of form compared to early season, or certain players might have lost some drive/motivation due to our style of play, Ba working off scraps, Cabaye used to being able to dictate play most games etc.. hard to know what it is really but the team definitely has lost something in the last couple of months, and it’s more than Steven Taylor being missing

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  10. I wouldn’t say burned out for most but I would say “flagging” for some.
    I think the issue with out team of late has been to grind out results and as we’ve seen, when we have went a goal up or two, we have opted to invite pressure from the opposing teams rather than go gungo ho looking for the kill.

    In theory, it’s not a bad ploy in terms of gaining the points as we have seen, us being in 6th place.
    The problem is, we seem to be becoming a bit too used to i t”even at home” and when your goalkeeper is time wasting, “at home” it doesn’t exactly send out a confidence message to the fans or the players really does it.

    Realistically, we could have put that game to bed and had little to worry about as Norwich were’t exactly much of a threat and we could see how they set their stall out, which was to contain us and hope they had something to hang onto in the latter stages, which they actually did as they could have snatched a draw, which as we all know only takes a fraction of a second to do and one mistake is all that’s needed.

    Pardew has done a lot of mixing and matching due to injuries and a few of our players have been working overtime in sort of wet nursing other players who have came into unfamiliar positions which obviously at this stage of the season will take it’s toll.

    Cabaye has worked his socks off and probably hasn’t worked as hard in one season like he has in his first season here and the same goes for Tiote working like a demon and also being at the ACON.

    Some players are naturally fitter than others and some work harder than others, so having half the side playing in second gear due to fatigue especially our nailed on first teamers, it will naturally have an impact on the team as a whole in terms of taking the game to the opposition.

    The problem with that, as I said, is, it puts us on the backfoot and we end up working like nutters off the ball trying to win it back and creating undue pressure on ourselves and once we win it back, we end up too slow in thought and accuracy to actually cause the opposition the problems that we know the team as a unit is capable off.

    To be honest, I think we are finding out who can cut it and who can’t this season and by the end of the season, although many will be knackered , they will know 100% what to expect from the next season and will be ready for it and those who aren’t will be surplus to requirements, which means, we will add the necessary bodies to cater for that and lose those who promise much but deliver little.

    One thing we are finding out though ,is, we are getting a very good insight into who are well capable of being part of a strong back up squad and added to that a bit more quality, we can rectify any short comings attacking wise and defensive wise, so we have a well balanced team/squad that can surge us on from there.

    In my opinion, Pardew is learning one hell of a lot about what he’s got and will, in time fine tune it so that we carry on progressing.

    Sorry if I’ve only typed a short sentence but I desperately need a wee. πŸ˜€

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  11. What I can’t understand is how we can look like we are going to overun teams and bury them Then suddenly its the complete opposite Wolves Fulham etc..At times it looks bad enough to be investigated for match fixing. πŸ™

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  12. DJG from your last thread – it wasnt wqilliamson he was shouting at. it was hatem. i watched replay last night and he shouts at Hatem to clear it next time!

    this showed me a lot about AP’s mentality.

    Here were the sequence of events;

    1) hatem passed to willamsons feet after his dribble near our goal
    2) williamson lost it after his own dribble and norwich nearly scored
    3) AP then screams at Hatem Ben Arfa, telling him next time to ‘get rid’

    This shows me HBA is the scapegoat; even though he did nothig wrong.
    On flip side he may also have made HBA scapegoat as he didnt want to knock williamsons since the crowd had just barracked him

    on tired point;

    NO PREM PLAYER SHOULD BE TIRED IN MARCH

    keep fighting fabrice

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  13. It’s going to get worse soon as we play 1st April, 6th April, 9th April.

    Guti is clearly running on empty after the amount of defensive work he got through in the early part of the season. I would love to be able to throw Obertan in and give Jonas a game or two off, freshen the left side up with some pace. Or even Ben Arfa over there. Cabaye should be ok with having those 3 games off but with it being a new league to him maybe he is flagging a bit.

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  14. Zoe good read, I do understand what some are saying that we dont have cup or Euro games to cause us burn out, but I do think that some of our players are putting in more work having to cover for failings in the defence, and it does seem like it’s affecting the 3 players that are doing the most running about.
    So I think its quite possible that they are fuked by half time because they have allready covered as much ground as most players would cover in a whole game.

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  15. I think it’s clear that important players who aren’t so experienced in England are finding the pace a bit tough at the minute.

    In fairness we new this would happen, we havent got a big squad and where a bigger squad would have allowed Pardew to text players earlier in the season he couldn’t do it so the players are getting tired – thats normal.

    I see us having a stronger squad next year (hopefully) so the natural progression should be there.

    This season is now just about grinding out the results and just battling like mad – although it’s worth pointing out that sone of our remaindingcgames are against teams who will be tired too like WBA, Bolton, Stoke and Wigan.

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  16. I don’t think that ou preseason went as planned. Also the short breaks to Portugal and for cup and internationals have not fully refreshed the players. Also where possible we have kept the same team. We don’t have the strength in depth. However, I think those that have come in have played their part. We do need to be able to rotate, and manage our fitness breaks better.

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  17. Doitforsirbobby – He could have hardly yelled at Williamson for not clearing it when Hatem did the exact same thing beforehand. Williamson should never of had the ball and it was the second or third time that Hatem had put a member of the back four under pressure with a cheeky pass. I dont think he was the scapegoat at all just the one responsible.

    I would like to know why we so often seem the more tired of the two teams after our games. There is no reason why the players should not be fit. Running all day is one of the greatest strengths a player can have and makes up for all manner of other deficits.

    I do think having more first team competition can only help us. Guthrie and Perch seem to be our two first choice back ups if Tiote and Cabaye are out and whilst they are decent esp Guthrie we need higher quality back ups. Maybe Vukic is one of those players maybe not.

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  18. Interesting question Zoe. I tend to think it’s a mixture of things really .I don’t doubt for one minute that Jonas ,Tiote and Colo and Cabaye are flagging for various reasons .Jonas and Tiote because of babysitting the defense and the ACON in Tiotes case too and Colo because he needs eyes in the back of his head trying to watch out for Willos clangers .Cabaye and to a lesser extent Benny will probably of done more running than theyv’e ever done since coming to the PL and will have not realisticly have really known what to expect .Another point worth raising is the mental fatigue you put yourself under when you are striving to stay above /maintain the status quo ,even more so when the weight of expectation is on your shoulders from fifty odd thousand fans . It is easy to forget what a long way we have come considering our small squad and budget. When the players lose a couple of so called easy games confidence will drop which in itself is mentally tiring as when your on a roll you are full of beans.

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  19. Who would take Berba here?

    How we would fit him into a side that struggles to already accommodate HBA I don’t know but i definitely would snap him up!

    His contract is up this summer and he is known to be a Newcastle Utd fan..

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  20. Good read Zoe

    Noticed Cabaye being mentioned a lot with the burned out/flagging comments. Didn’t he jut have a 3 game ban recently? :/

    Always a bone of contention for me this subject. Considering what these guys get paid to do a job this shouldn’t be the case. Some of us work 60 hours a week, whilst raising kids and still performing well enough to keep our jobs earning about half as much a year as they do in a week!

    I would argue its nothing to do with the fitness but how comfortable they are in the knowledge they’ll get picked. If Marveux had stayed fit I have no doubt our wings would be more competitive and if Gosling had lived up to his billing it would be the same in central midfield.

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  21. ST – i wouldnt just because Mike wouldnt so no point of entertaining idea. Plus berba wouldnt fit into AP work ethic up top. He is a class, but luxury type of player

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  22. SolanosTrumpet
    March 19, 2012 at 17:01
    Who would take Berba here?…….have you tried Blue Line Taxis? πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†

    I would if Ba was to leave……but he’s too old and expensive for our transfer policy and will end up at a bigger club anyway.

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  23. Moreno… I hate the “tired” thing too, they don’t play anymore games than they did when I started going in the early 80’s, play on better pitches, lighter boots etc, kick a “penny floater” about have better diets, every part of their fitness analysed and looked after….tired my arse, bless em :mrgreen:

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  24. Disagree about jonas, he had a great game yesterday and was definately motm (perch 2nd), understand what you mean by looks tired or even carrying an injury as he isn’t running quite as much as he used to, maybe that’s just him pasing himself, messi does it, doesnt over-exert himself do that he can still be running at the last moments of the match, however guti does still track back a lot, and his passing yesterday was immense. Other than that, agree with the rest of the article. Ba in particular seems knackered isn’t making the runs he used to and isn’t taking on players like he did.

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  25. @Richie, i don’t think Berba would go for blueline, he’d be furious when he found out all the text charges on his phone bill!

    Yeah i don’t think he would fit in here at all from work ethic to position in the team, i’ve always just loved watching him and was hoping someone could convince me it would be a good idea to try and nab him.

    Forget physical tiredness, it must be mentally exhausting to try so hard for a team, feel your doing so well in the league and yet still get so much abuse that you feel you have to take time off from social media interactions with fans that do respect you a la Danny Simpson. πŸ˜•

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  26. well said Richie, so how do ya explain how we looked knackered in the 2nd half?
    Surely those that aren’t injured should just about be at the peak of their fitness at this part of the season.

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  27. Solano πŸ˜‰

    Some one mentioned earlier, possibly on another thread but the last place I’d be as a footballer would be the likes of twatter or trawling through blogs, you’re asking for trouble. The world is full of arseholes who delight in abusing people I’m afraid.

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  28. ok I get the mental fatigue, especially after the loss to Arsenal, which was a kick in the goolies like.
    I think we have a target to go for now once again (5th) so expecting much better things against Wet Bum on sunday.

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  29. BB…..I wish I could explain it, maybe he works them too hard in training …or they all smoke 40 a day πŸ˜‰

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  30. Yeah tbh I agree, for all the genuine fans moaning the stuff that may actually hurt will most likely be fake comments from mackems or rival fans just trying to get a rise. It’s a shame though.

    How do people feel that atm, if we can’t get 5th we are relying on the scousers to get us into Europe. If they lose against Everton/Sunderland we will have to feel above Chelsea to get Europa League

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  31. well I was gonna blame the pre match meal, but decided the spliff at half time must be to blame. 😯
    πŸ˜†

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  32. Solano…I’d be gutted if the scum nicked our Europa place by losing an FA cup final πŸ˜₯ …that said, I have a gut feeling Everton will beat them at the SoS…then Liverpool will win the Semi.

    I think alot of the abuse will be of Toon “fans” too as we do seem to have our fair share of arseholes but like as a player, I wouldn’t give them the chance, stay well clear of social media sites, problem solved.

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  33. BB…you could be right πŸ˜† …..mind half time oranges aren’t what they used to be either πŸ˜€

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  34. I would be gutted if Scum get to final and end up nicking our Euro spot πŸ‘Ώ It would be just our luck aargh.

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  35. Richie your spot on mate if they cant take it Twitter is no place for them.
    And anyone with a bit of sense would realise that Simmo was getting very little grief from our supporters but sure don’t let that get in the way of using it as a stick to beat our supporters yet again

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  36. Dave…it’s the last place I’d be if I was a footballer….and I’d be world class so wouldn’t get any grief…..but still :mrgreen:

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  37. Richie I was on twitter the next day and if you go through most of the bad tweets he got wern’t from Toon supporters, yeah there was some shit ones from our own fans but that would happen in all walks of life, but I have always believed if you take the highs you have to expect the lows aswell, and although it doesn’t excuse it the wages they’re on must make it a bit easier

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  38. Dave….on that sort of money ya could call me owt ya want…I know you do anyway, but you get my drift πŸ˜€

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  39. Its not fatigue-Jonas had a great game on sunday that wasn’t limited by fatigue but just by his diving. Problem with cabaye is that he lacks acceleration, he can’t drive forward with the ball, and neither can guthrie or perch which is why we have such a one paced midfield. Problem with that in turn is that Cabaye simply gets lost in matches….as Guthrie did to an extent. Says a lot that Perch was our best midfielder really.

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  40. Newkie, I think it is a bit fatigue and he’s diving more than normal because he can’t put the same intensity into his sprints so he just goes down more/quicker! πŸ˜†

    When he first came he had a little turn of pace, now the english game has sucked it out of him, but at least he’s getting in some crosses, he’s assisted 2 of Cisse’s 3 goals!

    I’ll never understand Pardiola’s tactics but Perch was our best midfielder, and in a midfield of Ben Arfa, Cabaye and Guthrie it really frightened me. If Perch was at left back and we played midfield 3 of Cabaye Guthrie Jonas with the forward 3 of Ba left, Cisse central and Ben Arfa right would we have played better? One can only hope that we play a 433 next season. If Swansea can do it why can’t our players

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  41. @premandup i agree with u! I think those are signes off our preseason preps! As u say u build ur stamina strengh during this periond! Disaster tripp to the us. Tiote stranded cos off visa etc.. And with the thin squad we have u cant strain them too much with conditioning during the season as that would get u even more injuries! As per yesterdays match it was clear to see we were 2nd best most off the time cos we are that famose step to slow! on a positve note tought perch had a canny game

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  42. I don’t think they are tired…. it’s the hunger that has abated and as a result the intensity has dropped.. Maybe because the run at the start of the season has resulted in us securing top flight football for another season and we have eased off some… Its no excuse but I reckon that this is what is going on at the moment.

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  43. It’s nothing to do with tiredness or a lack of hunger.

    It’s this:
    ” Its not fatigue-Jonas had a great game on sunday that wasn’t limited by fatigue but just by his diving. Problem with cabaye is that he lacks acceleration, he can’t drive forward with the ball, and neither can guthrie or perch which is why we have such a one paced midfield. Problem with that in turn is that Cabaye simply gets lost in matches….as Guthrie did to an extent. Says a lot that Perch was our best midfielder really.”

    Coupled with the fact that teams can more readily exploit known weaknesses in our team.
    Also the fact that our currently most creative player gets stuck out on the right wing when he would probably be better between the midfield and strikers.
    Plus the fact that Nervous Mike is not playing well at all at the moment.
    Added to which is the amount of simple errors our midfielders are making even when under minimal pressure.

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  44. I don’t think Jonas had ‘a great game’ though. He started well but faded.
    I actually thought he was more effective driving forward as a fullback than he usually is as a winger and it was a shame he didn’t push on a little bit more often.
    I wouldn’t object to seeing him like this:

    Simpson—–Coloccini——Williamson——Jonas
    —————————————————————–
    ——Cabaye———-Tiote——–Perch/Guthrie—-
    —————————————————————–
    ————————Ben Arfa—————————–
    ————Cisse—————————-Ba————–

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  45. Pootle, I see your point but the fact remains that every player is playing below par.. You hi-lighted a few players but every one seems flat. Call it want you want but I don’t see that hunger and determination in their eyes (apart from the second half against 5under1and) that they had early in the season.

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  46. Maybe they need another jolly boy outing 😯 rest lmao πŸ‘Ώ 1 game a week and they need a rest,suppose to be pro athletes πŸ‘Ώ

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  47. I was less than 30 metres from Cabaye when he did the most amazing flying clearance and could have severed in half the Norwich player he beat to the ball, in the second half. I saw nothing to suggest he lacked heart or hunger.
    In the first half I was just above Jonas when he crossed the ball for the Goal – I couldn’t see a lack of desire.
    I can’t definitively say you’re wrong. Maybe close ups on TV betray something impossible to pick up at the ground.
    All I can say is I didn’t pick up a lack of hunger.

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  48. Williamson is the only one who I noticed who looked broken.
    Especially after the dribble. He caused apprehension to start building in the crowd and from then on looked more and more nervous as the game wore on.

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  49. Well, I guess you are right then Pootle… Those two small instances in the whole game really shows that the hunger was there.. I should have known better than to second guess your post at 50, your ability to never be wrong is quite outstanding.

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