Newcastle 1-1 Blackburn: A nightmare result for NUFC as Rovers earn replay

After 3-1 January wins in our last two FA Cup outings in 2017 and 2018, it was anything but a comfortable victory today, with a late Matt Ritchie penalty securing a replay at Ewood Park.

Given we have some tough fixtures to come against Chelsea, Spurs and City along with a vital home game with Cardiff in the league, a midweek cup replay is just about the last thing Rafa needed right now.

The first half was a pretty uninspiring affair for the 36,000 at St James’ Park. We found Blackburn’s two banks of four hard to break down, meaning the promising Longstaff struggled to get into the game as much as we’d have liked. Jacob Murphy looked completely lost and incredibly low on confidence (or quality), Woodman got nowhere near far too many crosses and seemed pretty vulnerable when pressured in the box, and then there was Joselu. He seems a top bloke and he tries his best, but you know a striker is going to struggle when they struggle to hold up the ball or finish.

On the plus side, Lejeune looked classy on his comeback and was comfortably the best player in black and white for me. Kenedy showed flashes early on when he hit his stride and started running with the ball, but his lack of vision and spacial awareness so often costs him. He needs to learn when to dribble and when to pass, but, like Murphy, he’s another who looks shot for confidence.

Ritchie saved Benitez’s blushes late on, but it really was a poor performance and a big chance missed to boost our worryingly low confidence levels at home. The likes of Muprhy, Joselu and Kenedy had a huge chance here to give something Rafa to think about and make a statement, but I’m struggling to think of one good thing they did unfortunately.



I know we made 8 changes, starting three youngsters and several players who don’t often start when everyone’s fit, but it looked like it could’ve been a Championship game when looking at both sides.

Now we face an unwanted midweek trip to Ewood Park – a game I’m not too confident of coming through given Benitez will be forced to field a very weak side against a Balckburn side who’ve lost just 2 of their last 33 at home.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

139 thoughts on “Newcastle 1-1 Blackburn: A nightmare result for NUFC as Rovers earn replay

  1. I am trying to bring up stuff that is relevant for the weekend and the near future. There really is no solid news. So much so, that Eds has just descended into total bickering, although it has been going that way for a long time.

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  2. Gonna be a long old window Eric if folk are waiting on any action from the club. I don’t tend to read any twitter gossip or journo BS now. Whether it’s fakeover or player talk, i try hard to side step it.
    As always , i will believe it when said player or new owner are holding up the shirt at SJP.
    Until then, as you were, nowt to see here like.

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  3. Olly’s Sunderland twitter reaction to The Checkatrade win is the usual grasping at straws by the Mackems. One tweet from Roker Report said the Magpies had run out of Paedo songs. If I was a Sunderland fan I wouldn’t be the one bringing that up mate. In whatever context. Shows you are not too bright!

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  4. Kimtoon: I think I may be grasping at straws myself because I think we somehow might get a draw against Chelsea. I have no idea why as we have literally no midfielders. Has Longstaff started a PL game? And Hayden. He is not good enough to make any demands of the club and I don’t see PL teams lining up for him.

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  5. Since the only big news out of Newcastle is about a Greggs’ vegan sausage roll, serious questions have to be asked. What the hell is in a vegan sausage roll?

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  6. Eric Sykes:
    Since the only big news out of Newcastle is about a Greggs’ vegan sausage roll, serious questions have to be asked. What the hell is in a vegan sausage roll?

    Fake meat, sage, onion and herbs at a guess mate. Apparently they are very nice, my daughters vegan. Makes some cracking meals too .
    I made a vegan wellington at xmas which was actually tastier than the bloody chicken !

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  7. So we have agreed terms with USA m/fielder now it’s down to Jabba to agree transfer fee,well that’s another not signing then

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  8. Icedog:
    So we have agreed terms with USA m/fielder now it’s down to Jabba to agree transfer fee,well that’s another not signing then

    It’s all very tiring now Kim, so many different stories and misinformation. I’ll believe it when he’s holding the shirt at SJP. Right now I really don’t believe that we will sign anyone… 😔😔 all very depressing

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  9. Yesterday the story was his wage demands to high, today it’s we can’t agree fee !
    Can you smell something ?

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  10. KIMTOON:
    Yesterday the story was his wage demands to high, today it’s we can’t agree fee !
    Can you smell something ?

    Aye nowt will happen,and nobody signing imo

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  11. KIMTOON:
    Yesterday the story was his wage demands to high, today it’s we can’t agree fee !
    Can you smell something ?

    That non-story was from Ryder. Do I need to say any more?

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  12. Ashley is reminding me more and more of Trump. Ploughing along with a wrongheaded policy, in Trump’s case the border wall, when it is hurting everybody, including himself. And, like Trump, eventually everybody becomes exasperated, tired of it and just gives up. Everybody except family eventually gives up. Sound familiar? Rafa has clearly had enough but cannot quit because of the financial handcuffs.

    If the gloom doesn’t lift, and it won’t until at least after Spurs, we are probably down. There doesn’t seem to be much fight in the club, even Rafa now.

    We are desperate for a statement signing but nobody believes it will happen. We seem like a zombie club marching into the abyss of The Championship with our owner oblivious to what that will mean. We don’t have players to sell this time and The Championship is even tougher than the last time we went down. Plus we will not have the draw of Benitez to attract top players.

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  13. I still think we should play Schar in midfield. It may sound like a negative tactic but who else do we have and nothing is working at the moment anyway. We will set up defensively anyway, so play a ball playing defender and open up a spot for Lejeune. With Shelvey injured, the alternative is Hayden and he has shown he is no alternative. A deadweight who can’t tackle or pass and who wants away.

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  14. The pubs in the toon are doing their bit to get jabba out,they have put pictures of him on their urinals,and also helps to stop people peeing on the floor

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  15. Eric Sykes:
    I still think we should play Schar in midfield. It may sound like a negative tactic but who else do we have and nothing is working at the moment anyway. We will set up defensively anyway, so play a ball playing defender and open up a spot for Lejeune. With Shelvey injured, the alternative is Hayden and he has shown he is no alternative. A deadweight who can’t tackle or pass and who wants away.

    That’s really a good shout ERIC imo

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  16. Uncle Ed has finally woken up as well. He had said that after our 10 game nightmare start that we had an EASY run that could see us “safe” by the New Year. I was in Washington State recently and cannabis is legal there but I am not sure if that law has made it to the Carolina’s yet. Anysway, Ed must have been on some seriously good stuff to be writing that – day after day.

    I am not really criticizing Ed but he has been going under the assumption that Rafa would pull us through whatever the constraints he has been under. He couldn’t have been watching our football or results this year. Actually, I am criticizing Ed a bit because he has shown absolute blind faith in Rafa no matter what the evidence has shown to the contrary. Same with large sections of the crowd who hold Rafa blameless just because Ashley is MORE TO BLAME.

    I don’t know if Rafa’s skills have become outdated but recent evidence means they should be questioned. He did not do that well at Napoli or Madrid, although he didn’t do badly and I, for one, think he had time to avoid relegation with us and certainly had the players.

    There are ample examples of Manager’s losing their touch. Jose recently. From the past, Malcolm Allison and Brian Clough for many reasons. And many more. Sometimes the game just passes them by and the long hours and endless drills on the training pitch just don’t matter.

    But then again, 3 years of fighting Ashley are seeming to be taking their toll so maybe that is the whole story and Rafa will bounce back at his next club. Probably Leicester.

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  17. It is not really fair on Burton. You would have thought Man City would put out a weakened team but they don’t really have a weakened team when you get De Bruyne for Silva and Jesus for Aguero.

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  18. I am sure Olly will do this in the next few days, but what about the upcoming fixtures of our rivals given such a daunting task faces us. I have looked at them and none of them has an easy ride. I don’t see any of them pulling away. Here goes:

    Hudderfield on 10 points. I see 1 point from the next 4 games:

    Cardiff A
    Man C H
    Everton H
    Chelsea A

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  19. Cardiff on 18 points, I see 3 points from the next 4 games:

    Huddersfield H
    Newcastle A
    Arsenal A
    B;mth H

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  20. I know it will not pan out exactly like this, but my table after 24 games looks like this:

    Cardiff 21
    Southampton 20
    Newcastle 19
    Burnley 19
    Fulham 18
    Hudderfield 11

    There would be a glimmer of hope as we would have played most of the top teams. Ki, Muto, Shelvey and Lejuene would be back. And we would only need a little over a point per game to survive.

    A couple of signings would make a massive difference and I think would make us safe.

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  21. I have us down for a draw with Cardiff. That is pivotal. If we win it would flip our standings and Cardiff would be on 19 (according to me) and we would be on 21.

    We have seen this before, that relegation rests on fine margins. Wouldn’t we have stayed up if we had beat Villa in that last game under Shearer. Also, that draw the Mackems got at SJP under Big Fat Sam gave them momentum, plus there was the hand ball at Norwich that wasn’t given in injury time that turned a draw to a loss.

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  22. Hey Olly: if you want to use what I have just written as the basis for an article, I don’t mind. I think it would be informative as it shows that we are not the only one’s with a difficult next 4 games. In fact, I think all of the bottom 6 have tough runs and these games are unlikely to separate us, apart from perhaps Huddersfield.

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  23. Quite depressing, Eric. The club don’t seem to be in a rush to sort the signing out and with cardiff on the horizon I find it bizarre in the extreme. Almiron for instance would give everyone a lift. But surprise surprise they can’t agree on any of the financials. 😯 Penny wise pound foolish as ever!

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  24. In the end the league doesn’t lie and every team has to play each other. I will say though that if you wanted to see a team struggle and go down , you’d hand them a fixture list like ours .

    Part of me is convinced that the PL want us gone, i think we; or more importantly Ashley, is an embarrassment to the PL with his tat ads all over the shop and our less than entertaining displays on tv.

    Rumours going around of player unrest now, apparently unhappy with home tactics. Is this why rafa looks like a scolded cat or is he just totally ****ed off with Jabba’s antics.

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  25. If we do drop, we will not come straight back up, it will be third time unlucky and if the fool cannot see that then all hope is lost.
    Still, he’ll have his parachute payments for a couple of seasons i suppose and he’s cut wages to the bone so that’ll help i’m sure 🙄

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  26. O h and we shouldn’t let that little pipsqueak Penfold off either, he’s just as bloody culpable as his master is. P i ss up and brewery spring to mind where he’s concerned.

    As for the fakeover, Jabba needs to s hit or get off the pot now.

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  27. I mentioned this a short while ago but January 21 is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year. The reasons are: it’s a Monday; the holidays are over; the holiday bills are due; the short days and cold weather.

    Depending on the results it will be slit your wrists time for NUFC fans. Chelsea and Blackburn do not look promising and then we have Cardiff on the 19th.

    Then of course there is the transfer window. If we have not signed anyone decent by the 21st then I can see the misery index dialing up to 11.

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  28. Ashley has the ability to change the mood in a heartbeat. We know we have the money:

    * sign Almiron for a club record fee. That would be a minor statement of intent to Rafa. Then offer Rafa another 25 million to extend for a year.

    * loan a decent midfielder from one of the bigger European Clubs who have a surplus of good players.

    * send Kenedy back to Chelsea and loan a different PL player.

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  29. Leazes Flags 🏴 🏳 🏴 🏳

    So there was this
    So there was this
    So there was this
    @FlagsLeazes
    7h7 hours ago
    More
    Please tune in to @bbcnewcastle with @MichaelOnSport , @stevehowey624 and @FlagsLeazes tomorrow night from 5-7.
    We will be discussing the current state of the club and what the club have done to us. @NUFC #NUFC

    Then there was this
    Leazes Flags 🏴 🏳 🏴 🏳

    @FlagsLeazes
    2h2 hours ago
    More
    Mmmmm, when you receive a phone call stating that the interview on the radio has had to be cancelled!!
    Is this the PR machine working overtime again and won’t allow the TRUTH to come out.
    It stinks @NUFC #NUFC

    And this

    Leazes Flags 🏴 🏳 🏴 🏳

    @FlagsLeazes
    2h2 hours ago
    More Leazes Flags 🏴 🏳 🏴 🏳 Retweeted Leazes Flags 🏴 🏳 🏴 🏳
    Received a text msg from the club advising to come and collect all remaining flags and to hand in our security passes.
    Looks like we’ve touched a nerve and the club don’t like the truth. #shameful

    Can anyone please help with a van and storage ? @NUFC #NUFC

    WTF is going on with the club, sense a heavy hand here.

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  30. Actually I would’ve also liked us to go back 8n for Mbabu. Looks class these days and not much money relatively at around €15 million they want from Schalke who are interested.

    We will scrape the barrel once again though…

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  31. Dubai Toon:
    Actually I would’ve also liked us to go back 8n for Mbabu. Looks class these days and not much money relatively at around €15 million they want from Schalke who are interested

    We will scrape the barrel once again though…

    They’ve gone through the barrel mate touching terra firma now like.

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  32. Chris “the intern” Waugh has the answers to the readers’ tough questions in The Chronic today and doesn’t hold back:

    Q: What is happening with the Almiron deal?

    A: No idea

    Q: And the takeover?

    A: Not a clue

    Q: And… Oasis or Blur?

    A: I have pondered that one for 18 years and will have to get back to you.

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  33. I’ve seen a lot of “letters to the editor” suggesting that Man City disrespected Burton by winning 9-0. Then there were many replies saying what were they supposed to do, not shoot? The solution is obvious – send Man City players to a few NUFC training sessions before the next leg.

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  34. Pretty sure we will see Hayden again for Chelsea. Let’s see if we can cobble together an 11 for Chelsea with 3 CBs:

    Dubravka

    Yedlin Lascelles Fernansez Lejeune Ritchie

    Hayden Longstaff

    Atsu Rondon Perez

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  35. If Rafa has any sense he will cancel the loan contract of Kenedy.
    It’s looking highly likely that a loan is yet again going to he his best chance of getting any quality player in this window.
    Atsu and Murphy can both play Kenedys position and all have been of a similar standing so far this season. But if he gets rid of Kenedy and can bring in Loftus-Cheek or Abraham for example (sticking with Chelsea loanees) then at least we can improve the midfield or forwards.

    Rafa can’t show loyalty to another clubs players who is under performing for us – it could be the difference of staying up or not.

    That’s as things stand of course. I know the biggest difference is Ashley handing Rafa money to spend – but we all know that isn’t happening. So the options Rafa has is limited and shifting Kenedy is definitely one he should be considering imo.

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  36. Sharpy17:
    If Rafa has any sense he will cancel the loan contract of Kenedy.
    It’s looking highly likely that a loan is yet again going to he his best chance of getting any quality player in this window.
    Atsu and Murphy can both play Kenedys position and all have been of a similar standing so far this season.But if he gets rid of Kenedy and can bring in Loftus-Cheek or Abraham for example (sticking with Chelsea loanees) then at least we can improve the midfield or forwards.

    Rafa can’t show loyalty to another clubs players who is under performing for us – it could be the difference of staying up or not.

    That’s as things stand of course.I know the biggest difference is Ashley handing Rafa money to spend – but we all know that isn’t happening.So the options Rafa has is limited and shifting Kenedy is definitely one he should be considering imo.

    Sharpy: Valencia just cancelled Batshuai’s loan mid-season. He had like 2 goals in 21 games so they are sending him back to Chelsea. I am not saying we should loan him, rather I am saying another team cancelled a loan so why not us? Hopefully, they had the foresight to put this option in the loan agreement.

    I agree totally that we should not be grooming other teams’ players if they are not up to the job for whatever reason.

    My guess is that there was a loan fee for Kenedy and we would still have to pay that if we send him back. Knowing our lot you can see that being a sticking point as we would have to pay a second loan fee for someone new. To a normal owner that would not be a problem, but we do not have a normal owner.

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  37. It is interesting that everybody is coming to the same conclusion – that Kenedy should be sent back. Part of it is the realization that Rafa will have basically no money again in this transfer window. Or, at best, I can see us making a desperation move for Almiron on January 28 if he is still available. It depends on the Cardiff result and how badly we get beat by City. Hopefully, the Fatman will be there to see one, or both.

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  38. And you can bet that Wor Lee and Chris “the intern” Waugh will finally wake up and ask if Kenedy even can be sent back now that it has been mooted on several forums. They are not exactly independent thinkers are the brains trust at The Chronic.

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  39. When Rafa yet again is shown to have had no money to spend in yet another window I wait for the fans criticsm of Rafa. This has been the case for a while now but this current situation is a micro situation of Rafa’s PL NUFC career.

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  40. Have we signed anyone ?
    Have we been bought yet ?
    Nothing to see here, move along now.

    Day 11 of the transfer window, here at desperation station we are running out of patience and the natives are increasingly restless. We are waiting for the reality train to arrive which we fear will be packed as it’s long overdue but at least we can start our journey on the road to nowhere.

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  41. Chronic are reported that NUFC are interested in, but have not bid for, “The Turkish Messi”. We are much more likely to get “The Turkish Joselu”.

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  42. Eric – there’s only one Joselu!

    WTF is all this austerity about? The club should have loads of money. Is it all about getting Rafa to sign a new contract? That would be hard to believe unless it was some weird way of getting rid of him. It wasn’t our fault we got relegated. It was all down to Rafa. I wouldn’t put it past them.

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  43. Eric Sykes: Sharpy: Valencia just cancelled Batshuai’s loan mid-season. He had like 2 goals in 21 games so they are sending him back to Chelsea. I am not saying we should loan him, rather I am saying another team cancelled a loan so why not us? Hopefully, they had the foresight to put this option in the loan agreement.

    I agree totally that we should not be grooming other teams’ players if they are not up to the job for whatever reason.

    My guess is that there was a loan fee for Kenedy and we would still have to pay that if we send him back. Knowing our lot you can see that being a sticking point as we would have to pay a second loan fee for someone new. To a normal owner that would not be a problem, but we do not have a normal owner.

    Eric – exactly mate, good example. The loan system should offer the opportunity to get a player in that you may not necessarily be able to afford otherwise or to bring in that little bit extra quality that maybe wouldn’t want to join your club long term, but could spend a season getting an opportunity he may not get at his parent club.
    If we have a player performing no better than our own players, then why keep them???.

    I know Batshaui was just an example, but I would definitely send Kenedy back and loan him instead. Him, Loftus Cheek, Drinkwater, Moses, Abraham – there’s plenty from Chelsea that would be better options imo.

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  44. So Rafa confirms Dummett and Shelvey out for the Chelsea game, but Fernandez is back. I guess it makes team selection easy for Rafa then. Though I do think Schar or Lejeune could play a holding midfield role as well – Schar certainly seems to have a good range of passing, and Lejeune is a good footballing defender too.

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  45. Ki.
    Muto.
    Kenedy.
    Shelvey.
    Dummett.
    Diame.
    Darlow

    All out for tomorrow’s game. Is there an increase in desire to get players in? Hahaha

    What’s the point in trying to save a few mil at the risk of relegation and losing tens of millions?

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  46. On January 1 they knew:

    Shelvey was carrying an injury

    Ki would be a way for a month

    Diame was carrying an injury

    Hayden wants away

    So who could have predicted this midfield crisis, which is what it is now. EVERYBODY!!!!!!

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  47. The only good thing is that we have so many fit centre halfs that we can play them all and won’t really need a midfield. It will look about the same as when we played Chelsea at SJP with 8 or 9 behind the ball.

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  48. Is Rafa getting off easy? He is the only one facing the media on behalf of the club and therefore is the only one that can let the fans know what is going on. Charnley and Ashley never speak so it is in Rafa’s hands.

    Why is he keeping quiet. Why not rile up Ashley? What does he have to lose? If he is worried about sowing seeds of discontent with the players, they know what is going on. That ship has sailed.

    Why aren’t the press pushing him more for an answer? Isn’t that their job? Are they scared of being banned?

    Maybe it is not the right forum, but what is the alternative, to get nothing or dripped spin from Bishop?

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  49. Eric, Rafa’s not talking cause there’s nowt to talk about. His scouts will of spent months lining up potential targets only to get a poundshop players list handed to them instead.
    What to do in such a situation ?
    Rafa looks tired, really tired and you have to feel for the guy, he must be sickened as much as us.
    3 windows his team have put a lot of effort into scouting and spoken to his A list targets and for what. Really, in Rafa’s shoes i would do the same, what’s the point moaning or talking about it anymore, it won’t change a thing. He’s away seasons end and i bet he can’t wait.

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  50. I have a terrible feeling that by the time we play Cardiff they will be 3 points ahead of us and with all our injuries and home form it’s not inconceivable that we’re 6 points behind them after that game. In fact I’d say it’s currently more likely than not!

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  51. Rafa looks sick and tired of this whole circus now.
    Yet another transfer window period where the media are asking him stupid question – is there any manager that actually discusses their transfer targets??.
    But you can see Rafa now is desperately biting his lip and avoiding the increasing desire to blurt out ‘are you lot fcuking stupid?, have you learned nothing yet?, don’t you get that Ashley still owns this club? In what world do you think I’ll get any money for transfers? … the fat $hit didn’t even pay for the pizzas!!’.

    He looks like he just wants out now. He’s trying to say the right things still but there is no conviction left – he may as well finish every sentence now with blah, blah, blah 🙄

    Can’t blame him like, it really can’t be easy and must take the patience of a bloody saint working with those clowns

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  52. Sharpy, exactly mate, what is he supposed to say in such a s hit situation like this.
    Jabba sucks the life and soul out of everything that crosses his path, he’s like something from a harry potter novel. Only in your worst nightmares would we be forever stuck with an owner like this.
    He will be gone one day, he can’t live forever. That’s my only comfort right now .

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