Winless run continues! Stoke 2-1 Newcastle

Cisse’s strike was not enough
Newcastle United succumbed to their fourth defeat n the spin last night at Stoke City ran out 2-1 winners at the Britannia Stadium.

Another defeat it may be, but I actually feel better about this one than I have about previous losses. The result will take the headlines but it was the performance that heartens me as we saw a much improved showing from United.

With not much action to really write about in the first-half,aside from Peter Crouch having some teeth knocked out, the game kind of came alive in the second when Papiss Cisse reacted first to a parried Demba Ba shot and fired past Asmir Begovic via the post to give the away side a 47thminute lead.

Further chances followed for Demba Ba and Cisse once more but Begovic was equal to their efforts and kept his side in the game. Indeed the away side may have been unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty after what looked to be a handball by Ryan Shawcross but Howard Webb was unconvinced and waved the claims away. Maybe because we weren’t playing in Manchester United red perhaps?

However Stoke are a tough nut to crack at the Britannia and they pushed for an equaliser only to find blind alleys and blocked paths. Indeed Tim Krul hadn’t really had much to do on the night having just one effort to comfortably contend with.

That changed nine minutes from time however when Stoke equalised. Jonas Gutierrez allowed Cameron Jerome to cross for Jonathan Walters to head the hosts level.

Parity didn’t last long however and the home side were soon 2-1 up after Cameron Jerome got on the end of a knock-down from Kenwyne Jones to give Stoke an 85th minute lead which United couldn’t recover from.

The game against Wigan on Monday now is huge. We need a win at any cost although I can’t help wondering just how hard the defeat last night will have hit the players. They actually did enough to get something from the game in my eyes, perhaps not the win some may say, but almost certainly enough for a point and to have that taken away from them at the death could hit confidence further.

Howay the lads!

Stoke: Asmir Begovic, Geoff Cameron, Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross, Ryan Shotton, Glenn Whelan, Steven Nzonzi, Charlie Adam, Matthew Etherington, Jonathan Walters, Peter Crouch

Subs: Thomas Sorensen, Matthew Upson, Wilson Palacios, Dean Whitehead, Michael Kightly, Cameron Jerome, Kenwyne Jones

Newcastle: Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson, Davide Santon, James Perch, Vurnon Anita, Jonas Gutierrez, Cheik Tiote, Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse

Subs: Rob Elliot, Shane Ferguson, James Tavernier, Gael Bigirimana, Sylvain Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Gael Bigirimana

Attendance: 26,793

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.

195 thoughts on “Winless run continues! Stoke 2-1 Newcastle

  1. Newkie

    I suppose it could go either way. If he passes and it’s wasted people will want to see him shoot, and if he shoots instead of passes people will want to see him pass.

    I suppose it comes down to the type of football you want to see. I would rather the team work the ball into the box, whereas others see a gap and see an opportunity at goal.

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  2. newkie its a “team”game not “a”player game it hasnt really worked for 12 games what do you do leave it for another 12 i say change it whats to loose.might be like a new manager coming in you know how that works for a few weeks

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  3. Kid, lets just agree Cisse and Ba dont make a good partnership. They are both #9’s and need somebody to compliment them. That means rotating them or giving the shirt to whoever is in form at the time. At the moment if we had Remy, I’d pick Ba next to him as he is doing what he’s meant to do – scoring. I see no reason to let Ba go. He performs for us consistently. We need to increase competition for places to keep players on their toes.

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  4. You’re bang on @ 76

    It’s like Benny. Probably MOTM in half our games, but he’s wasted several chances, either trying to take too many people on or shooting from outside the box. When he’s poor he gets slated for not taking the easy pass. When he scores a screamer, or beats several men to get into the box and set up a goal, he’s better than Messi. Just another aspect of fickle supporters 😉

    I personally don’t care for the style, especially not right now. I like screamers-great goals are what football is all about, and I know Barca moves are examples of the best goals, but shots into the top corner from 20 yards out, a second of genius, glorious stuff :mrgreen:

    I especially don’t care right now. I just want us to win games and do so in the most effective way we can. If long ball was the most effective I’d be all for it. It isn’t though, so that’s why I’m angry at it…

    @77 😆 Well that’s alright then!

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  5. Ice-Agreed. We’ve needed freshening up for ages now. Problem is in the last game it almost worked, which means we’ll probably see the same again on monday…

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  6. Shamrock

    I most certainly can agree with that and in an ideal world I would like Ba to stay. I only say get rid because I don’t see him willing to accept being dropped even if he is off-form and he will sulk if asked to play wide for a sustained period of time. Regardless of form, I hate the idea of a player indirectly calling the shots.

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  7. Munich @ 64 “Cisse has to maybe go through a learning period this season to recognise really how demanding the EPL is. Defenders are all over the strikers, not giving them a hint of space …” Not our defenders. He’s playing against them in training remember. 🙄

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  8. Newkie – In training, Cisse manages to light a cheroot, have a few blahs, and still bag ’em. 😆

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  9. B+B 😆 The perma-grin on his face is probably a result of watching Williamson try and run with the ball up close too often.

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  10. Quick little statto blast re; Cisse and Ba;

    Based on averages per game. Ba has played 1145 minutes, equal to 13 full games. Cisse has played 889 minutes, equal to 10 full games.

    Shots – Cisse 2 – Ba 4.
    Goals – Cisse 0.17. Ba 0.57
    Assists – Cisse zero after 10. Ba 1 in 6.5
    Shooting Accuracy – Cisse 10%. Ba 16%.
    Offside – Cisse 1.4. Ba 0.5
    Crosses – Cisse 0.5. Ba 0.3
    Blocks – Cisse 0.1. Ba 0.1
    Clearances – Cisse 0.3. Ba 0.8

    Overall Ba takes more shots, but he does more for the team than Cisse.

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  11. I really don’t think Ba and Cisse up front is our biggest problem at the moment.
    Infact, I think if we were creating more chances as a team then these boys would be scoring goals. The stats fans will be able to see that as a team we are creating way too few chances in a game. The formation we play has a lot to do with it but the players selected to play in that formation equally plays its part. I think Pardew has been getting both seriously wrong so far this season.
    If you play 4-4-2 the emphasis is getting the ball out wide quickly and allowing them to get the ball into the box. That isn’t ever going to happen with Jonas on the left, and Benny on the right. Yet that is the formation Pardew continually sticks with wherever possible. Including last night, and I still don’t understand that formation and selection!. If he wants to play 4-4-2 he should be trying the diamond formation that Newkie is so keen on, Tiote DCM, Cabaye right side, Anita left side, Benny heading it up.
    But for me, 4-3-3 produced the best football we played in a long time and that’s where I personally would like to see us.
    The point I’m making is, get the formation and players in there favoured positions right and create the chances for the forwards and they WILL score.

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  12. Also re Ba being greedy-Didn’t he play a part in suggesting/getting Cisse on board? What motive would someone who’s apparently obsessed with only scoring for himself have in bringing a player who is renowned as a poacher to the same club as him? Surely he’d put him, or the club, off the deal?

    Why would he help his interviews and help him settle? A bruised ego definitely, but I’m still hopeful it’s not beyond repair, or an innate part of his character.

    Carlton Cole is just jealous because he’s got a worse record than Shola 😉

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  13. Well I don’t think we were the better team and I think at the most we might have deserved a pt, We always seem to feel sorry for our selfs or blame bad luck, injuries, the ref’s etc.
    We need to start playing as a team and I have to say I seen a wee bit of that lastnight from some but we still have individuals that either can’t play in a team or don’t want to.
    The Kid I have said all season that IMO Ba has caused damage to the team for his own personal ego and greed, and I must say that my feelings towards him are Not clouding my judgement on him, whilst I know that strikers need to have a greedy streak but for me his is damaging towards the team and he’s not a team player.
    Willo well I have made my fews on him clear enough many times he is not Prem standard and the longer he is in the team the longer we’ll suffer.
    I will say again though that I was so pleased for Cisse lastnight and proud of the work and pride he showed in the shirt

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  14. we have NEVER lost 5 matches on the bounce since the EPL was formed.
    14 points from 14 games. Exactly the same as our relegation season. We are on schedule for a massive 38 point total. God help us.

    I know we played alot better yesterday, but a good team is built on a solid defence, and ours is pathetic really.
    Cant see things improving until Jan/feb.

    Next two matches are absolutely massive.

    welcome back O’Hurley.

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  15. Shamrock-Good stats and no real surprise for me. Ba often comes deep, plays with back to goal and gets the team moving forward by spreading the play along the line.

    Sharpy-A lot of good points there which agree with, especially the part where you mention my formation 😀

    I’ve given our standard 4-4-2 set up some slack given that many players have been off form and injured and blah blah blah from the start. But Jonas, Jonas Jonas….I’ve just seen so little from him this season, both going forward and defending. If Cisse is happy and firing again, we need someone who can supply. Fergie or Marv, don’t care who. If Benny is still out for monday I’d actually play both of them instead of Jonas. He was on the right against Southampton and still was poor….

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  16. Dave-Do you believe everything that puppet says? 😆

    In all seriousness, I think many clubs were watching him-the mackems were close were they not? But Cisse chose us….I heard that as Ba was with Cisse on Senegal duty at the ACON that he helped convince him, perhaps those reports were wrong, I’m not certain.

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  17. Newkie as you know im a big Jonas fan but he has changed a lot he actually looks as if he is getting too slow and like Strolla looks as if he is carrying a bit of extra weight

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  18. Newkie I don’t think they are anymore than team mates at club and international level, so I have never thought of them as close friends, even more so after I seen Ba’s face a couple of times last season when Cisse scored he looked like he had just been hit up the face with a wet kipper 😀

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  19. Got to say I love Jonas his loyalty and hard work has served us well but he is looking leggy lately I must admit.

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  20. Newkie – if Benny is still out, I’d stick Fergie LB, Marv LW and Santon RW. I really don’t see what he has to loose by at least trying it out. It has to be more creative than that starting team last night.
    My biggest concern against Wigan is that Kone will rip Colo and Willo up with his pace and movement.

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  21. Dave@96-I know mate. I’ve always been a big fan of him as well but this season he just looks lost. It’s a real shame.

    RE 98

    He said: “It was the perfect return to Newcastle for me – the goal, the victory. And not too much snow! So it was a good day.

    “I am really happy for Papiss. I thought he tried really hard and he’d already had a couple of chances to score before he actually did.

    “It’s really important to score for a new club early – when you come in and score right away you feel much better. It helps a lot so I’m really, really happy for him.

    “It was a goal of real class. He’s actually right-footed but he showed that it doesn’t matter if the ball comes to him on his left or on his right, he’s going to hit it.

    “It was a great signing. I was very happy when he signed.

    “To be fair I wasn’t too bothered who we signed, as long as we got a new striker it would help us. But fortunately for me it was someone from my country who I know well and I know how good he is. So I’m happy about that.

    “He talked to me before he signed a little bit. I just said to him ‘Go on – sign’. He asked everything about Newcastle – how were the supporters, the club.

    “I’ve not told him everything because I want him to see for himself what it is like here. But he’s going to see it now.

    “And he hasn’t seen anything yet. I think he loved the reception he got.”

    –So Cisse asked him about it and Ba told him to sign. That’s how it looks to me. He could quite easily have told him not to, it might not have mattered, but he could have said it was ****e up here etc….

    I know what you mean about the reactions Dave-but to be honest, so many fans got on his back and even now cite Cisse as the reason we got into Europe, well, I’d be ****ing pissed off as well like.

    And to top it all-He stole Ba’s celebration. A step too far for me 😆

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  22. Dave – I agree, and I think were people refer to Shola as a good impact sub, so could Jonas be.
    Like last night for example, when we are winning a game like that 1-0, Jonas would be a good player to bring on 20-30mins to go and use his work rate to break things down for the opposition.
    He looks to be struggling to cope with 90mins but could still do a very important job for us.

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  23. Dave@100-Are you worried he is best mates with that dirty ******* Tiote Dave? 😉

    Sharpy-Yeah I know what you mean about Kone, looks a very good player to me, pace and work ethic. Not to mention if Jordi Gomez finds any space, and he probably will, he can punish us. I like that formation, and the size of our left shouldn’t matter so much against wigan who don’t have that many strong burly players like Stoke. Would love to see Santon on the right wing as he seems to like attacking a lot more than defending-I thought he was poor vs stoke it has to be said, didn’t track back very quickly a few times and he is primarily a defender…I know it sounds harsh against one of our players of the season but….

    Jonas just has no threat. Put anyone else on the wings.

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  24. Did we play 4-4-2 yesterday? Cisse stayed on the Right side of the formation and dropped back to help out Simpson repeatedly. Anita was far more advanced than Tiote and Perch. I’d call that formation a 4-2-3-1.

    Someone mentioned how Obertan would have been perfect for this match, and I agree. I think either him or Sammeobi on the left instead of Jonas would have really stretched stoke. Our game plan clearly involved getting Cisse behind their LB and having Ba drop back toward the midfield to pick up the ball. With a little support from another player who can carry the ball forward, I think we may have been able to control the ball even better (we did that better today than we have been of late).

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  25. Apparently Perch is only 3cm shorter than Colo..does that surprise anyone else 😕 The hair really makes him look a lot taller.

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  26. Newkie @ 103 you don’t really take much outta that interview do ye ? he has been asked by a reporter what he thought he was hardly going to say owt bad 😀 he says he knew him well but he doesn’t refer to him as a mate or owt like that.
    I just think he seen how the fans took to him last season so was royally ****ed off so went to see Pards and demand that he is the main man playing through the middle because he was jealous, and Pards made the big mistake of agreeing to it.
    I spent yrs working as part of a team and I can tell you I hated to see favoritism and so did others and it can cause a very bad feeling in a team.

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  27. Smudge-The official line up had us as 4-4-2 although I agree with your points, esp the Anita one which is why is seemed like 4-3-1-2 but also with Cisse dropping back a fair bit to help out.

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  28. Sharpy @ 104 I just can’t believe how much Jonas has changed pace wise, and it got me noticing that some of our players struggle to last fitness wise so could it be down to them not being fit enough ?

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  29. Hardly going to say anything bad-but do you doubt it Dave? I honestly don’t doubt that he wanted Papiss Cisse to come. That says a lot to me.

    Ah yes, the favoritism. Like the kind where you score 15 goals for your side but then get pushed into an unfamiliar position for the sake of the new guy on the block? That kind of thing 😉

    I’m not saying he’s an angel, I’m saying it works both ways. Pardew should have thought about that and if he didn’t have a bloody plan in place-like playing them both up front using my formation ( 😉 ) then he shouldn’t have made that promise.

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  30. Newkie – that Perch stat is surely off soccer AMs ‘who’s longest in the shower’ question isn’t it?!
    Colo looks way taller than Perchino.

    Dave – I know, it’s a real shame about Jonas coz his graft was so important to our success last season. He covered so much ground and was a huge player for us. There was a stat in the Chronicle I think that stated our players have ran fewer miles – I can’t remember if it was based off last season or compared to other teams. I think it was last season, but it highlighted that our workrate was poor though. I thought that was the point of recruiting younger players 😕

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  31. Sharpy 😆

    I don’t know what to tell you mate. On here it says he’s 3cm shorter http://www.whoscored.com/Teams/23

    I wiki’d them to check, and that says James Perch is 1.85m and Colo is 1.84 😯 I really don’t know what’s going on, I know Colo isn’t massive and Perch isn’t that short but they never looked that close 😕 How can Perch be taller!?

    I think this requires some serious investigation….

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  32. Also sharpy re the workrate-definitely not the same as last year. People like to sight formations and such like magic formulas, but if players aren’t putting in the hard graft then you won’t win your match, unless you’re a team of superstars. And we definitely aren’t that.

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  33. Accoding to whoscored Colo also weighs as much as Anita…wtf….Was Colo mistakenly on Ramadan when they did that 😯

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  34. Kim-Aye, I know that much is ******* 😉 Although Colo is actually shorter than I thought, they’ve definitely messed up his weight.

    I blame the Kid for introducing me to such a poor football stat site…. 😛

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  35. Newkie,
    Colo’s hair gives himm about five inches. I think he is 6 foot tall. Not big for a defender really but he is still quality.

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  36. Richie @120 😯 What a statement to wake up too, it’s up there with being prodded in the back first thing in the morning 😆

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  37. JJ-Yeah, always thought he was at least as tall as Staylor though…and Perch is definitely taller than I thought he was.

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  38. Kim-I think it’ll be the crowd more than anything, TV won’t change too much. We’ll need an early game to settle them, or we risk moans/anti ashley chants and if we don’t get going it’ll end up like Swansea.

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  39. Anita was known as a player to sit deep and keep things simple at Ajax, but imo he has looked best for us when pushing forward. He has a deceptive turn of pace and is a good passer of the ball. I would like to see him play closer to the strikers in the next game.

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  40. The Kid-I agree with that. Whilst he may not be superbly techical or pacey as far as dutch attacking midfielders go, he can definitely play that role for us imo. His size, ball control, acceleration and as you mention his passing ability suit him to the attacking mid role for the EPL….maybe we can turn him into our very own David Silva?

    Alright, getting a little high on hope now 😆

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  41. Newkie – You make Anita sound like a world beater. I must have missed those wonderful attributes. I should pay more attention. Are you a used car salesman?

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  42. I thought Anita played really well until I realised my poor net connection was getting him confused with Tiote. But after my initial error i kept an eye on him and it was definitely his best game for us..

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  43. B+B-There may have been a hint of exaggeration in that description. 😀

    In all honesty I think he can fill in for Cabaye and probably be as good in an attacking passing sense. But he’ll be playing there because we don’t actually have anyone else about…

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  44. @jj I saw Colo in the RVI the other day. I touch 6ft (in my heels) 😛 but Colo was at least 6 – 6-2. strapping lad. looks smaller on the telly.

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  45. Kim…Nowt wrong with waking a lass up with a statement or a prod in the back….or even better, both 😯 😆

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  46. Thinking about it more I would say we need definite action from Ashley in January. He must show his commitment to the club by releasing at least some funds for incoming players if we are to salvage anything from this season. We still have the core of a good squad but not nearly enough quality. Why we didn’t strengthen last summer is a complete mystery to me for the sake of 2 or 3 M more pounds than we wanted. However that’s irrelelvant now we have to move forward. A realistic tally of points by the halfway mark is 20-22 which is horrific after last season. Since I can’t see anyone of quality being willing to take us on as manager with Ashley at the helm I don’t favour sacking Pardew unless we end up in the relegation zone at some point. So keep your eye on that 18th place lads and lasses and hope we don’t continue to fall toward it.

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  47. G2 not just a manager mate as ive said before which “decent”player would come to the toon if we are down there if he has a choice of another club thats the worry

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  48. Newkie – your stats have got Colo a gig in this years panto as one of the seven dwarfs – are we really meant to believe that mate 😐 😉

    To be fair tho, I can believe it. Asides from the stray pass I thought Tiote showed signs of getting back to the player we know he can be. I also thought that Anita looked a lot better the other night as well. Whilst that’s a good sign, neither are the most creative player on the park and that’s what we’re massively lacking.

    You mentioned Jordi Gomez yesterday Newkie, and I think that’s what we need. A player who isn’t bothered so much about dribbling or scoring themselves but can play a ball that can cut a defence in half. He was class the other night and took he’s hat trick really well, but was the player who got the ball forward on the first place.

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  49. Newkie forrest gump covered a lot of ground too so do you think we should try to get him in the Jan window 😆 oh and he doesn’t have a discipline problem like Tiote so we wouldn’t lose him as much through suspensions 😉

    What with all the fuss about the size of players ? IMO it’s normally only the small ones that worry about size 😆

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  50. Have to agree ice @137. Will Debuchy still want to come the way things are going for us now? I hope so. We have to do something about the right side of our defence before it’s too late. We can’t count on Saylor. He is far too injury-prone and Colo can’t do it by himself. Surely Pardew is pressing hard now for incoming if he has any plums. He must lift the side for the Wigan game or things will get even more ugly. We are sorely lacking in leadership from Ash/Llam (what a surprise).

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  51. I wonder where the 3.5M pound payment to agents for 2011/2012 places compared with other clubs icedog? It sounds like a lot but compared with the likes of Man City, ManU, Chelsea it’s probably peanuts. I’m still disappointed with what we are getting from our new sponsor. I believe Arsenal’s new deal brings in 30M pounds a year. I realize we’re not Arsenal but 8M pounds a year is pathetic. We were getting more from Branston. I thought Llambias was a great business negotiatior? He isn’t a football man so what does he actually provide us? Some naked laps around St James for the owners amusement aside I mean.

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  52. G2 imo we will get nowhere until owlheed leaves and someone in that would stand up to jabba comes in,but thats in our dreams mate 🙁

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  53. Sharpy-Blame the website! To be fair, it’s only the weight one that was a mile off, claiming he was the same weight as Anita!

    I think anita is actually decent for creativity. Not exactly the answer to our problem, but he’s created the third most chances out of him, Cabaye and Benny and considering he’s played at right back so much it’s a good average-he should be able to cover for Cabaye and if his work rate is as good as it was vs Stoke then we should be alright in the centre, even though he was apparently on the wing….

    Sharpy-Yeah Gomez would have been a good addition, to be honest that’s why I wanted dempsey, that kind of player who could have fit in a number of positions and provided dribbling ability along with assists and goals. Although as we were up against spurs/liverpool we were never going to get him….Gomez is also a proper Jordi, hopefully he won’t score against us eh 😀

    Dave-Let’s hope Cisse doesn’t hear you slagging his best mate off eh 😉

    Interesting that Perchy now already has a league suspension. Do you think Perch is a dirty player out of interest Dave?

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  54. G2 not sure but our last signing the agent fee was nearly a mill,talking gunners Dean would be a canny guy to get in he at least knows footy and did a great job for the gunners for a long time

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  55. Newkie no I don’t think he is a dirty player but just a bit **** at tackling and doesn’t really have a prem brain, but then you get away with a lot of them tackles in the championship and IMO he is a championship player, so I can’t really blame him.
    Ice I can’t really see Jabba getting shot of Lamnbastad he trusts him too much

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  56. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2068187/Premier-League-clubs-spend-71-8m-agent-fees.html. This is a link to agents fees. It claims we paid the fifth most fees between Oct 1, 2010 and Sept 30 2011. I was very surprised by this table. In that year we spent 6.4 M pounds which is behind only Man City, Spurs, Liverpool, and Chelsea. Of course Dalglish was spending wildly at about that time. This means our fee payments have dropped off a lot since then if you compare it to the 3.5M pounds for 2011-2012. A bad sign considering we were going into Europe and needed considerable strengthening.

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  57. Dave-fair enough. But I guess squaddies for most sides, bar the top 4, are “championship players.” I generally think Perch can time a tackle well-from the midfield, it’s when he gets skinned and goes to ground that he usually looks in trouble. Been a bit shaky this year but not too bad.

    G2-That’s a lot of money for those slimey c*nts 👿

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  58. GeordieTwo/Ice – I think Ashley made money available in the summer, but the way Owlheed negotiated the deals meant it wasn’t spent!!
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Ashley didn’t loose any sleep about the fact the money wasn’t spent, but I do thing he made funds available.
    I’d also question Owlheads ability to negotiate a football deal. I reckon he’s probably great at bullying a small sportswear company that is about to go bust, but dealing with a proper co. or football club and I reckon the bloke would just be an arrogant, annoying ****wit. The summer was a joke and no other club struggled to land their target players the way we did.

    Newkie – I think you’re right we wouldn’t have signed Dempsey ahead of Lpool and spurs but his age was an issue as well. That’s why I think we should scrap that criteria of the recruitment.
    I agree that Anita is likely to get more creative as he settles in, but I don’t see alot of goals in him, and Cabaye has never really get going with the goals get either.
    I think the minimum ‘ins’ come Jan would be Debuchy and a CB. Then with the current team I’d go;

    ————— Krul ————–
    Debuchy/colo/new CB/santon
    ————– Tiote ————–
    —- Cabaye——-Anita ——–
    ————– Benny ————–
    ——— Cisse —– Ba ———-

    I think Santon and Debuchy would provide the width, the CBs and Tiote could look to play the ball into Cabs and Anita and Benny could cause havoc. Ba and Cisse would get more service and the goals would flow again – league wrapped up by mid April I’d think – jobs a good un 😉

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  59. To be honest Newkie I thought it would be more after listening to Llambias whinging about it for years now. As for our squad players the problem is that our purples are injured quite a lot and in reality our squad players then have to be first-teamers which they can’t manage for any lengthy period of time. Our injury-prone purples I think are proving to be Saylor (if you consider him a purple), Cabaye, and Tiote.Surprisingly not Ba after all that’s been said about his knees. In my opinion Simpson should be a squad player at best also. So we have 4 fairly low quality squad players in the lineup most of the time: Willo for Saylor, Perch in and out in various positions, Simpson because we have no real first team RB and one or the other youngster because we can’t trust players like Obertan and Marveaux (or Pardew doesn’t seem to). That is too many below Prem quality players playing too much first team football for us.

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