Can Newcastle be a top-six team in the next two seasons?

Catalysts for a top six challenge?
Much has been made of our lack of transfer activity and constant negativity with players leaving and injuries in recent weeks has bee rife.

Admittedly it is a worrying that key players like Hatem Ben Arfa are going to miss the start of the season as he is a key player and will be missed as we set about trying to improve on last season.

What is improvement though? Where should we be aiming? We’ve heard certain noises particularly on this ‘blog that we should and deserve to be fighting for a top 6 finish within the next two seasons.

Opinion is often divided when it comes to our future and how ambitious we should be in the coming years. When we look at our status as a recently promoted side we do have to look at ourselves and realise that steady rise is needed rather than a sudden delve into the higher realms of the top flight. But then we ponder on how we have arguably the best support in the country regularly fill our stadium and simply the name Newcastle United represents a real cornerstone of English Football.

Arguably the Premier League is as strong as it has ever been. To break the higher levels of the league you need many things; money, desire, ability, money, money oh and MONEY. This is a critical point really. All the top six of the past season have spent millions upon millions to be there. When we look at our spending it simply bears no comparison.

To work out where I think Newcastle would fit into the league potentially we have to work out the teams who are most likely to threaten our chance of a top six place. I personally feel that the Premier League is broken down into small groups of teams at similar levels.

1) Manchester United are simply the best team at the moment closely followed by big spending Chelsea and Manchester City with the creative yet can’t win anything Arsenal.

2) Liverpool will no doubt push for a top five position with the amount they have invested and Tottenham have constantly spent large amounts of money and always test the top teams.

3) This next clutch of teams all have strong squads and are experienced in the Premier League; Everton who without David Moyes would be average, Aston Villa who did have a poor season but are always good team, Bolton who have been steady if somewhat boring, and Stoke who no one likes to play.

4) Sunderland are likely to head this bunch up with the amount of spending they have done, with Fulham who I think will impress this year and potentially West Brom under Roy Hodgson could be a canny outfit.

5) The regular relegation contenders headed up by Blackburn who have lost the plot with their owners, Wolves who are average but sometimes dangerous, Wigan who are looking to be heavily in the mire this year and the three promoted clubs, QPR, Norwich and Swansea.

So they are the five groups I personally feel the Premier League falls into. So what about Newcastle’s position? Which group would they fall in?

Well it’s clear we have the heritage fans and players to beat the likes of group five and possibly group four, so I would say at the current state of our squad we should at best be aiming for group three. Yes we may have better players than Aston Villa or even Stoke and Bolton, but these teams are never easy to beat, especially Everton.

When we see the strength of the top two groups it’s easy to see how our work to reach those heights in almost impossible. The longer the top teams stay at the top the more money they receive and the harder it is for us as a team to break into that bracket. Of the teams in group three I genuinely feel that us and Everton are the two that could challenge BUT not this season.

We are still in transition and we are no closer than we were last season. We have lost our talisman and number 9 with no replacement as yet and lost our captain and also top scorer. It is worrying times indeed.

The likes of Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Sylvain Marveux are good additions, but they are not enough. To realistically gain a top ten finish next year we need to buy three more players – a striker, a utility player to cover defence and, although I would prefer yet another striker, a creative winger could be just as effective.

The stumbling block as ever with predicting our future in the league is that we are never sure of our Chairman’s spending or if he really has the clubs interests at heart. If we were to spend big this season and reinvest wisely again next summer who is to say that we cant compete with the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham?

The trouble is that ‘IF’ is booming at us loud and clear with so many variables hinging on it.

Note from Toonsy – Thanks to Liam Southern Toon for giving us this to ponder.

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

118 thoughts on “Can Newcastle be a top-six team in the next two seasons?

  1. ime not saying we will get near the top like,but must admit there queer old results last season in the PL so who can say at this stage of the game

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  2. fantastic article! If we used the amount of investment that NUFC are capable of receiving, especially after this past January, then we should be heading up that third group.

    We SHOULD easily have the money to spend on a top striker, a confident defender or two, and possibly an attacking midfielder.

    Although honestly, after seeing Vuckic, Abeid, and Gosling, I don’t think we need that attacking midfielder as much. The focus most definitely needs to be on a top striker and at least one accomplished fullback. Having said that, I would probably actually accept taking Sebastian Bassong back to the Toon for only 4 mil. He’s not known for running up the line or anything, but he is a solid defender

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  3. Have we got the players though I do think we need three more but who knows maybe two will help us be top ten this year

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  4. If we spent the money that we do have on a top, clinical finisher and a good fullback, I would be satisfied with our transfer activity. That would still allow us to have an established left back with somewhat-back up to LB in Ferguson or Kadar (who I actually rate highly depending on the aim of the match – score or hold on)

    This midfield has creativity and goals within it. If we just have one player capable of putting those chances away on a consistent basis, we will be set!

    But then comes that terrible word to NUFC fans, “if.” dammit ashley

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  5. With a top centre-forward and a couple of defenders we could really surprise teams this year!

    Our mid-field is outstanding. Real quality and pace with strength-in-depth.

    If we’d had that depth last year I think we’d have finished 7th that’s without the pace & flair of HBA, Abeid, Gosling, Marveaux. Vuckic & Cabaye.

    This year could be great if Ashley buys a quality CF or two!

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  6. Gawd there are some really positive toon fans out there or have they been on the silly cigarettes

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  7. Sure I think it is possible 2 years, but we have to remain relatively healthy and we need an uptick in quality at a couple of positions such as upfront and at RB.

    It would require a top notch striker though, which, as we know, do not come cheap.

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  8. Aye think top seven step too far this year however we have a strongish squad and with 2 more additions who knows?

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  9. I think with the addition of a decent striker and replacement left back for Enrique (and no major losses) we have an good chance of a top 10 finish. Maybe new season over optimism but I’ve just backed the Toon at 16/1 to finish 7th.

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  10. I’m going to try to look at this through the eyes of Mike Ashley. I don’t want to spend any money if possible. Free transfers are going to be my primary way of bringing in new players. Pardew wants to use players with pace and flair. We can acquire those as exhibited already this summer.
    I also want to push through promising youth players. Shane Ferguson looks like he could become a very good player after watching his few appearances. Even Sameobi is showing some promise despite his evident genetic weaknesses! James Tavernier has impressed in preseason, along with Vuckic and Abeid.

    So far, we have a pretty capable midfield coming out of our academy. That should save us some money. Right now Phil Airey is our big hope to provide any sort of youthful promise in the striker department after Nile Ranger continued to just be an idiot, wasting his potential and opportunity.

    So as a tight owner, I will continue pushing through the cheap youth option. But if I listen to logic, I would still have to supply some money for a top striker right now who can play at the top for a few more years.

    So let’s hope that MA will finally listen to logic, eh? πŸ˜†

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  11. Like this article says ‘IF’ we buy a quality CF like ErdinΓ§ or Sturridge I am sure we’ll make top 6, with no long term injuries of course.

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  12. With this team + a quick striker, some luck with injuries, I think we can stay in touch with the top 6 if we have a couple of good runs of form. Very optimistic of course, but if I wasn’t looking for my team to do well, I wouldn’t even want to watch the games. That’s the point of supporting a sports team anyway, isn’t it? guys? isn’t it? *echoes* sigh

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  13. Cannot see it, only because I think in the next two years we could well lose the likes of Tiote and Ben Arfa.

    Keep the likes of them, then why not!

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  14. To answer the actual question of the article, Yes. I think that we COULD finish in the top six in the next two seasons, but that depends on 2 big IFs

    1) IF Ashley shows a little more ambition with the money at the club’s disposal right now by buying a new striker and a fullback.
    2) IF we can keep these exciting and quality players that we have in the squad right now. We all crapped ourselves when Essien got injured because our minds went immediately to the player who could play the most like him, our very own Cheik Tiote. Keeping a hold of our best players is definitely a priority now. We now know that the amount won’t matter because it simply won’t be spent on the squad anyway right now.

    Those are actually two big IF’s that could very easily keep us from getting to the Top 6

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  15. no chance ,we wont even improve on last season , i dont expect us too pick up many points against the top 6 this season

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  16. Last season we threw away a lot of points and still ended up with 46. This season I think we can get into the high 50’s say 57 or 58 points which would put us into group 3. Personally I think 3 & 4 are likely to be one big group. To get to the tp of group 3 or make the jump towards group 2 Ithink we are short of for example Erdinc, Barnetta, Matudi and some serious strengthening in the defense. Yes we can afford to do that over the next 18 months. However I do not expect to do all of that in this seasons transfer windows. It would be nice to think that as we move on the fringe players Carr has identified targets for January and next summer that would strengthen the squad. So this season establish group 3, next look to group 2, but probably another year or two to establish that.

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  17. hydeous, that’s what I hope for also! Why not have dreams that we can go for it this season? We have a phenomenal midfield, and with one more good striker and fullback, and as you said luck with injuries, we could very well stay right up there. Hell, we could even have some very good cup runs this season. I would honestly be thrilled if we got to the final of the League Cup! 57 years since our last big domestic trophy, you bet I would freak out

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  18. premandup, I like the systematic way that you just approached our rise to prominence. I don’t think anybody would be daft enough to believe that we would break into the top 6 this season. Though next summer does offer us a lot of promise with the ending of Xisco and Smith’s contracts, we will have loads more room on the wage bill. Bring in more Frenchies and awesome youngsters!

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  19. Not if we continue to sell our best players instead of building a team around them.

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  20. We are so desperate for a striker we evidently are prepared to wait on Erdinc making a decision. Why? Does he want to come? Yes or No? Simples.
    If Newcastle United is a last resort we have come a long way, not.
    Pardew may have something up his sleeve but then again…………….

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  21. AndrewT I don’t actually think the ambition is top 6. I think it’s established top 8 with focus on cup runs.

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  22. Considering we should have finished 9th this past season, and seeing that we have replaced Carroll and Nolan with Demba Ba and Gosling (never really used him last season) and also having Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, and Sylvain Marveaux with Vuckic, Abeid, Ferguson, and Tavernier coming through we should look to improve from that place by at least aiming for 8th place if not 7th or 6th.

    NUFC are in a very unique position right now to be able to drastically change where they were 2 seasons ago with fairly minimal investment compared to what others clubs have had to pay out. Look at the money Liverpool are investing to try to get back to 4th place after finishing 7th a couple years ago! If we just spent 20 million in this window, we could very realistically get 7th or 6th place!

    … Does anybody else think this whole, “not really spending money in the transfer window” thing has been totally accepted by everybody and may HOPEFULLY be a smokescreen for MA to use to bring 3 more players in the last month of the window? Hey, a guy can hope and dream, can’t he?! πŸ˜‰

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  23. I agree with Ice pup πŸ˜† i’ve heard that name before πŸ˜‰ .
    I cant really remember anyone saying about making the top 6 πŸ˜• the only mention of it was from Jose, But I do think with a few quality players and some injury luck we would be a safe top 10 with a good chance of beating some of the top 6, but I just cant see it happening under the Fatman I think will he is here we need to worry about staying in the prem nevermind breaking the top 6 πŸ˜†

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  24. premandup, obviously the club needs to establish itself gradually rather than rushing into forcing itself as a top team in the Premier League. Look at Tottenham; they paid so much money to eventually get into the Champions League, but now that they probably won’t be getting it again, they have been hurt again and haven’t been raiding the transfer market like the usually do, having to sell before bringing anybody in and having Modric trying to force a move to Chelsea, who I don’t think ‘need’ Modric in any kind of sense. Maybe he should try to force a move to ManU, labelling himself as Scholes’ replacement πŸ˜›

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  25. @ batty nooo its not peter beadsleys younging its ice dogs pup cant belive he got me a deal on here….. 10 a month its a bargin

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  26. I dont really think that money is everything, We proved that better than anyone when fat fred was in charge, Everton have finished top 6 a few times in recent years, With shrewd business and stability it certainly can be done.

    The league is so gash from 4th or 5th down i would definately expect us to be challenging the top 10 this season and probs until fat mick waddles back to landan… πŸ™„

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  27. No chance for top 6 in the next year or 2 with this owner. Hopefully he is gone after that. I think we can finish somewhere between 8th and 10th depending on injuries. If things really go pear shaped probably 12th to 15th. That would only be with a massive injury list including several defenders. The owner would then panic and anything could happen.

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  28. Good read Liam,

    We ‘deserve’ top 6.

    We will never get there under this regime with the policies they implement.

    HBA and Tiote will become disallusioned with the lack of ambition after a year or two and we will have more Jose Enriques on our hands. Players who love the club and the fans but don’t feel they will be pushing for Europe with us.

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  29. On topic, yeah why not? It depends on injuries and other things of course but it can be done. I’d settle for top half this year although I’d be delighted with higher, then we build on that. Progression πŸ˜‰

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  30. Can’t really argue to much.
    I think if we got a quality striker, a RW who could also play up front, and a fullback who can preferable play either side of the pitch, we might just have a chance to finish as high ad sixth (although seventh or eight would be a more realistic goal)

    There are a few caveats:
    It would depend n us having reasonable luck with injuries.

    It would depend on our new guys living up to expectations.

    It would depend on the aforementioned new ST, RW and FB being of significantly better quality than the likes of Ameobi, Routledge etc.

    Unfortunately its the last part where we will fall down, in my opinion. Unless we find 3 really hidden gems I can’t see Ashley paying for 3 players of the required quality. He might pay for a striker as we are desperately short up front, but that is all I can realistically see him doing.

    Therefore unless Ashley develops a hitherto unexpected generous streak I think we’ll finish in the around group 3 or 4 mentioned in the original article.

    To become a top 6 team we need four or five players the like of which are well beyond what Ashley is currently prepared to spend. Our only hoope at the moment would be if some of the youngsters turned out to be that good.

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  31. Good read Liam.

    If we spent the Carroll money wisely there should be nothing to stop us securing 7th or 8th place this season.

    We won’t, so I see mid table at best again.

    It’s a huge gamble at the moment because we don’t have the security of knowing we will put
    the ball in the net whereas we did with Carroll and Nolan.

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  32. Aye bobby goals are a big problem. We said that all last year and we look now and we have sold our top two scorers. Puts huge pressure on ba best ameobi and hopefully one other. However we didn’t have the likes of gosling hba or cabaye last year. As it stands I would love to see two strikers come in

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  33. @Liam

    I don’t believe for one second they will buy a striker unless they offload another ie Best.

    If he doesnt he will go with Best, Ba, HBA and Shola.

    I don’t believe any of this Erdinc talk from Pards.

    Totally to increase season ticket sales. πŸ™„

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  34. More will leave on deadline day, including Enrique to Liverpool and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone comes in for Barton at the last minute and he leaves.

    On top of that a huge offer will come in for Tiote and it will be the Carroll scenario again. Less money of course.
    πŸ˜•

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  35. Just putting my trusty crystal ball away for tonight.

    It’s never failed me yet. πŸ˜›

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  36. It is a funny old business when neither the product nor the customer is important.
    Agree with those who think there will be last minute sales. He’s done that with Given, Milner and Carroll.

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  37. And in news that will excite Bobby Shinton Number 9,

    SkyGraemeBailey Graeme Bailey
    AFP’s French expect Tom Williams @tomwfootball says Pastore signing will be PSG’s last so Mevlut Erding is set to stay put #nufc
    16 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply
    πŸ™„

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  38. Top half will do for me and that would be realistic if we strengthen the squad a bit more, most of the teams in and around us are in the Europa league and this will weaken them as the season goes on and this should work in our favour.
    Top 6, nee chance.

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  39. Blaydonson
    July 28, 2011 at 19:33

    “Agree with those who think there will be last minute sales. He’s done that with Given, Milner and Carroll.”

    Who all have something in common. Answers on a postcard please πŸ™‚

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  40. I would recommed that everybody watch Liverpools match against Galatassaray.Half time and Pool are trailing by 2 goals.Carroll is playing for them and he looks so very pathetic.Lets all laugh at him.. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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  41. Toonsy – -Am gonna go on a wild guess here and tell that its all of them wanted to leave….Am I right??? πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

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  42. Are we not forgetting that we aren’t the only team who can potentially improve? πŸ˜•

    Teams below us may just very well progress faster than us as their owners show some ambition or even more crazy…convert some of the transfer fees received into transfer fees spent.

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  43. deepak is an indian toon
    July 28, 2011 at 19:57

    “Toonsy – -Am gonna go on a wild guess here and tell that its all of them wanted to leave….Am I right???”

    DING DING DING We have a winner.

    That is correct. All three of them handed in transfer requests πŸ™‚

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  44. Moreno – Like whom? You do realise thus far we’ve been the second busiest team in terms of incoming transfers right? Behind Sunderland….. How many of their signings would you like?

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  45. David Goodwillie has indicated he wants to move to England and doesn’t want to get involved in the powder keg of the Old Firm.

    Dundee Utd want Β£2m for him. I think he is someone who is talented and young and worth the money.

    Sign him toonsy.

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  46. Toonsy – Thank you…and I would like to donate my million pounds to the club. πŸ™‚ I know,big sacrifice but its for the club right… πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

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  47. I think we have to accept the situation and say that Ashley can stick his money up his backside as he clearly doesn’t want to spend. If we have quality coming through which have been nurtured for a few seasons now, then why not let them play? Vuckic to play up next to Ba or Strolla? If it’s a disaster then surely the board has to react with a proper summer purchase.

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  48. Deepak – If you mean donating to the club but actually mean me then I accept πŸ˜†

    God I’m skint πŸ™

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  49. I personally feel that we need 2 more signings this summer and get two more in January and we could possibly be looking at the likes of everton, tottenham and Liverpool in a top 8 finish. Top 4 is clear for all to see I feel. If we can get in a LB and ST. If we got the funds i would like us to get a rock solid CB and push stevie taylor to RB, i still ain convinced with danny simpson. I’ll b a happy Geordie if this happens.

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  50. Well he must obviously think he can do a good job there as reports suggest he wants to play at RB. He gives is all on the pitch and I just feel that he would be more solid at RB than Simpson and don’t forget he does score goals πŸ™‚

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  51. Real mature titbit from Steve Wraith I see…..

    stevewraith steve wraith
    Whats the difference between Amy Winehouse and Fatty? Hopefully about a week! #nufc
    18 minutes ago

    Wishing death on someone. Top bloke πŸ™„

    Anyone who backs that is an utter ******** and waste of human tissue.

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  52. We’re in the group with everton, villa and a bunch of others, be interesting to see how it pans out – Sunderland haven’t bought any quality, same with everton, villa have lost young, freidal and downing for 40m and spent 16 on given & zogs.
    So out of that lot we’ve strengthened more than most, our midfield on paper looks top 6 but strikers and defence look weak even if we keep Enrique – I’ve a sneaking feeling he wants to run his contract down πŸ™

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  53. Agree with stevep about defence. I think every season our defence gets overlooked transfer wise but we really do need RB and CB and LB when not If Enrique goes. I’d also forget about erding he obviously don’t want to sign for us as reports seem to suggest but its a matter of time think. We should look in the bundesliga to sort out these problems howedes and hummels are 2 quality young CB’s.

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  54. Bollocks to people saying we can’t beat top 6, we had a worse squad last season yet still managed to take points off every top 6 team bar ****ty and even then should have got something – we lost points last season against teams we should heve beaten, consistency is what we need or we’ll become spurs who’ll win fvck all this season yet again

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  55. Stevep – He’s posted on here before under his real name. No pseudonym like bobby suggests πŸ˜‰

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  56. Great to see Liverpool lose yet another game 3-0 after spending 125 million ( tho 60 if you take Torres / babel fees) can imagine posters on here would be baiting for blood if toon had done that – oh hold on ….

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  57. Bowburn – You still got my e mail addy? Drop us a line if you have. I have some questions that you may be able to answer. Not sexy ones this time though πŸ˜‰

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  58. T – aye, I rarely use on that one at the minute though. But I’ll drop you a line, because I’m nice like that!

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