Stat Attack! Toon DM’S Vs the Premier League,

Who comes out on top?
Who comes out on top?

A lot has been said about the effectiveness of our defensive midfielders, including failing to protect the back four, passing backwards too often and generally just not being good enough. Following the success of our central defenders and full backs comparisons, I thought we would take a look at Tiote, Anita and Colback in detail.

In order to give this comparison some perspective, two further Premier League defensive midfielders will be compared alongside our own players. First up is Oriol Romeu of Southampton. The Saints are flying high in the league and Romeu is not an expensive superstar. Next up is Wallsend born Michael Carrick of Manchester United. He is still going strong and has been talked abut as a potential Toon summer signing. This time there are 13 disciplines to judge the players on, with the usual scoring system of 10 points for first place, 5 points for second, 3 points for 3rd and a single point for 4th. These are averages over 90 minutes. At the end we will add up each players’ respective scores to see who contributes more to their team overall. I have not included goals scored or defensive errors, because these players produce so few of either. So lets get started:

The dreaded back-pass:

I hear Jack Colback in particular get hammered for this on a regular occasion. Sometimes it is an essential move, but if used too often it kills momentum – so who are the worst offenders? In 5th place is Cheick Tiote, with 25.50 over the 90 minutes. In 4th is Michael Carrick with 19.56. 3rd place goes to Jack Colback with 15.35 whilst Oriol Romeu takes 2nd place with 14.64. Taking this field then, is Vernon Anita with only 10.18.

Forward passes:

We will ignore sideways passes and crosses, sticking with simply forward and backwards passes. For this one Jack Colback shows he is not one for getting involved with forward drives too often, taking last place with 25.75. In 4th is Romeu with 30.22. 3rd place is taken by Anita (30.68) and 2nd goes to Tiote (38). Winner is Michael Carrick with an impressive 54.92.

Key Passes:

This is laying on goal scoring opportunities for teammates. The least useful here is Anita with only 0.20 over the average 90 minutes. In 4th place is Michael Carrick with 0.51. He makes lots of forward passes then, but not a lot of goal scoring opportunities from them. Third place goes to Romeu (0.56) and in second is Colback with 0.59. He might be shy sending those balls forward, but when he does – he sends them forward with purpose. Surprisingly that leaves the winner as Cheick Tiote with 0.63.

Passes Completed in %:

Backwards, Forwards, Sideways etc etc – it’s irrelevant if you lose the ball. Vernon Anita is only successful 80% of the time. Oriol Romeu can only manage 84%, whilst the great Michael Carrick stutters in 3rd place with 87%. In second is Jack Colback on 88% whilst the tidiest in possession is Cheick Tiote with 89% of his passes finding a teammate.

Fouls:

A big part of a defensive midfielders game is getting stuck into the opponent and letting them know they are in game, but if they give away too many fouls and that competitiveness invites pressure on their own teammates. Here Tiote shows he’s a dirty so and so with 2.38 fouls over the 90. In 4th is Romeu with 2.04. Third place goes to Colback (1.48) whilst 2nd place is earnt by Anita (1.45). The cleanest DM then is Michael Carrick, with only 0.51 fouls over the average 90 minutes played.

Yellow Cards:

We can accept our DM’S will pick up the occasional card – but when it becomes routine it stunts the player’s effectiveness because they have to take it easy for the rest of the game. As you might expect, Michael Carrick comes out on top with only 0.14 yellows. Next up is Anita on 0.26 and in 3rd place is Tiote with a yellow every 4 full games. In fourth is Colback on 0.53 leaving the wooden spoon for Romeu on 0.56.

Lost Possession:

Often these lads are our last line of defense before the ball finds it way into our own 18-yard box – so it’s important they don’t get dispossessed. If I say to you Michael Carrick, you probably think ‘tidy player. keeps the ball’. If you do, think again. He loses the ball 1.6 times for every completed 90 minutes. Tiote is up next with 1.3 whilst Romeu makes takes 3 points with 1.2. In second is Jack Colback (1.1), leaving Anita as the safest player to be in physical possession of a football (1.0).

Tackles Won:

We now head into the bread and butter of these players’ jobs. Bringing up the rear again is Michel Carrick with only 1.37 per game. Considering he is supposedly a beast – you might be shocked to find Cheick Tiote only wins 2.12 tackles per 90. In third place is Anita on 2.36 and taking 2nd place is Colback on 2.42. Winner by some margin is Oriol Romeu with a mighty 3.61.

Headers %:

If you think Vernon Anita is maybe a bit lightweight and weak in the air, then you would be right. He is the only player to drop below 50% with 45.83. Taking 4th spot is Carrick, who wins exactly half his aerial duels. In 3rd place is Romeu (55.56) and runner up is Tiote with 62.50%. Jack Colback shows he is a high altitude specialist with 65.22% of his headers won.

Total Duels %:

This includes take on’s, headers and tackles. Little Vernon shows he is no match for the opposition here with only 41.96% of his take on’s won. Cheick Tiote is not much better with 42.11. Romeu takes third with 46.41 and second spot is claimed by Carrick (48.39). Jack Colback shows who’s Boss by being the only player her to win more than half his battles – winning 54.07%.

Interceptions:

Who spots those through balls and cuts them off before any real harm is caused? Cheick Tiote is switched on, stopping 2.62 over the average 90 minutes. Anita is not too far behind with 2.50. In third is Romeu (2.32) whilst Colback earns a single point with 2.24. Michael Carrick is last with 2.09.

Clearances:

Oriol Romeu does not react very fast, with only 1.39 to his name. Colback is not much better with 1.42. In third is Tiote (1.50) whilst 2nd spot is claimed by Michael Carrick with 1.66. Top Dog here is Vernon Anita, with 1.71 over the 90.

Blocks:

Final category then, this is the last ditch efforts to save out bacon! Fastest out of the blocks is Jack Colback with 0.59 blocks over the average 90 minutes played. In last place is Carrick (0.14). 2nd place goes to Romeu, who averages 0.56. 4th is Anita (0.26) and in third spot is Tiote with 0.37.

Final Table:

1) 63 Points – Jack Colback.
=2) 52 Points – Vernon Anita.
=2) 52 Points – Cheick Tiote.
4) 46 Points – Michael Carrick.
5) 38 Points – Oriol Romeu.

Final Thoughts:

First thing is to observe that different teams play different systems, so each player will be positioned further forward or further back than others – but they are all defensive midfielders and by including ‘forward’ stats, the the numbers should balance themselves out. From the above table, I think it’s fair to say that any talk of the Toon signing Michael Carrick this summer is nonsense. He is weaker overall than all 3 of our DM’s and is 35 on his next birthday. Anita has shown that he is actually decent player – but 2 big gaps in his game are head-to-head battles and pass completion. The stats are a bit deceiving here as he scores highly, but he seems to be more a reactor than a catalyst. He reads the ball well, but can’t command it. Jack Colback shows he is very well rounded and effective where it matters. There is no doubt he is underrated and should be a key part of our team.

About Shamrock

Like everyone here, support Newcastle United. Not the easiest side to feel good about at times, but it's our side!

211 thoughts on “Stat Attack! Toon DM’S Vs the Premier League,

  1. Defensive mids we have Anita, Colback, Saivet and Tiote assuming Shelvey is guaranteed the other MF spot. I agree that we sell Tiote, he was good in his first season but about average since.

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  2. ERIC if I had as many wife’s as Tiote has I would be a bit moody too,maybe he wants to go to China to hide from them or needs the money to pay one or two off
    I would snap there hands off foe six mil as Georgio says

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  3. They want their heads testing if they don’t take Β£6m for Tiote like. Mc said that Colback & Anita are both back in training this week so the players are there to let him go.
    But that aside, the way he was letting Willian go past him last weekend, I’m amazed anyone would be ready to hand over Β£6m for him!!.

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  4. A women scorned can be big trouble,Rogers is in court with his Mrs trying sort out the 102 properties they own πŸ™„

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  5. Colos scan shows his injury isn’t that bad – could be back for Stoke … Will this bad news ever end???!!!!!

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  6. Sharpy – to be fair, Willian is a brilliant player in the form of his life at the moment, he’s been the only one trying all season for Chelsea and he’s a hell of a lot better than the majority of players our defensive mids would need to put up with.

    When he was back in against West Brom he dominated the midfield, should have had a goal (did anyone see Manure’s 3 man offside goal yesterday like???) and was a major reason our defenders had virtually no work to do, imo.

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  7. Newkie – which is why Tiote should have been all over him like a rash mate. Willian certainly didn’t have to work too hard against him last weekend.

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  8. Newkie: I thought TDS and TAE would have been all over that Man U “goal”. Willian has been Chelsea’s best player by a mile but Tiote still had a nightmare (as most others did). He has only played about 1 decent game i 2 years (West Brom) so I don’t see why they just wouldn’t let him go as we have plenty of cover.

    On the flip side, if we let him go and get overrun in midfield Steve will be crucified, so I can see his reluctance.

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  9. Can we have all of the wasted trees back from the newsprint spent on who will replace Coloccini as Captain and as Centre Back.

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  10. Now Chris Waugh is referring to Dummett as Welsh. That is 2 in 1 day. He is born and bred Geordie and an academy product. They should be proud of that as it doesn’t happen too often. He is not Welsh, his grandfather was πŸ™‚

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  11. Eric @84 – but our midfield is getting overrun with Tiote in it!!. Here’s an idea – sell Tiote for Β£6m and coach the other midfield players to work harder. I think Shelvey and Colback could work well together and Anita and Saivet could provide cover.

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  12. Sharpy – you can say that, but then Willian has the ability to spot a run and pick it out with Fabregas style accuracy, Tiote would have been told to close him down to stop that from happening… Anyway, not a single Chelsea player had to work hard in that match, and they still absolutely creamed us. I’d hardly say Tiote was our worst player that day, Taylor and Colo were an embarrassment, they need protection but their job is to defend and they probably managed to do that competently for all of 5 minutes on the day.

    Let me be clear, I’m not saying don’t sell tiote for 6 mil as I think he is past it (and it would give us the funds to getRonaldinho on a free :mrgreen: ) but at the same time, he’d probably still get into my team against Stoke.

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  13. I just wanted to take a look at 4 teams we should be better than but aren’t: Watford, Stoke, Everton, and Palace. Steve said we were a top 8 club at the start of the season. Well that isn’t the case.
    Watford: 9th, 10W 6D 10L, 29 for, 28 against +1 GD
    Stoke: 10th, 10W 6D 10L, 27 for, 32 against -5 GD
    Everton: 11th, 8W 11L 7D, 46 for, 35 against +11 GD
    Palace: 13th, 9W 5L 12D, 27 for, 32 against -5 GD
    And now us:
    Newcastle: 18th, 6W 6D 14L, 27 for, 49 against, -22 GD
    We should be on par with these clubs but aren’t. Not even close. The elephant in the room is the goals against. We’ve given up loads more goals than the other four. Fix it Ashley.

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  14. Newkie – Willian is a top top player and I take nowt away from that. If we were undone by a great piece of skill I hold my hands up and applaud it. But that’s not what we saw at all. I agree that Tiote wasn’t alone in his dog**** performance, but usually he’s a walking yellow card and he couldn’t even be arsed to pick one of those up. If I had someone running circles round me I’m damn sure I’d be kicking the little **** to make him think twice like.

    Mate there is no way we want Ronaldino under Mc. He’d have been great under KK or SBR but Mc would have him tracking back defending FFS.

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  15. G2 – Evertons stats are surprising there aren’t they – only won 2 games more than us 😯 – mind they have drew games where we’ve lost them, but good positive goal difference.
    Palace have fallen like a stone though haven’t they?!.

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  16. Sharpy there is no weight behind that story. It’s an opinion piece from a fan. I’d snap his hand off too and I think PL team’s will find it easier to hire top managers regardless of their position because of the money sloshing around – albeit there will always be the few that value trophies over money…

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  17. When you look at some of the Managers available now or out of contract in the summer it will be staggering if we stick with Steve:

    Peligrini
    Rudi Garcia
    Benitez
    Mourinho (I know, but he is available)
    Garry Monk
    Moyes
    Rodgers
    Pearson
    Bielsa
    Huddink
    Walter Mazzarri
    Lucien Favre

    And I didn’t even mention those under contract like Lee Clark and Jurgen Klinsmann πŸ™‚ Or up and coming Managers that would be available and know we have a decent squad if not relegated.

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  18. Every single one of them have better recent records than Steve. Some resigned, some were replaced and some didn’t live up to very high expectations.

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  19. I’m interested in knowing people’s thoughts. I’m not asking for names as such, but would people want another English manager (either experience or up & coming) or who you prefer foreign (either experienced or up & coming)?

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  20. I’d take Rogers over McClaren, but would take a long line of managers before Rogers. It’s all irrelevant though, because the board seems to think the Grim Reaper is doing just hunky dory…

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  21. I forgot Jorge Sampaoli the ex-Chili manager who someone brought up the other day.

    Shamrock: is auto correct changing Grin Reaper to Grim Reaper πŸ™‚ I though you were the one who started to call him that.

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  22. And Shamrock: If we don’t get more than 2 points from the next 6 I think Ashley might have to have a rethink about if his board know what they are doing.

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  23. I thought the penny had dropped when we put Tuchel, Garde, De Boer, Galtier ETC. on our shortlist; Young, Good youth development record, Style/System suited to our squad, Intelligent

    Whether any of those guys would have given us time of day is another matter, But theres plenty more out there in the Pochettino/Koeman mould.

    Fuck knows how we ended up with Steve…

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  24. He would have to be the biggest dumb **** to stick with SM if we lose the next game or 2. Either that or he really loves to gamble in the extreme.

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  25. Amazing how often Wenger sees things that go against Arsenal but misses dubious decisions in their favour

    Must be coincidental

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  26. The reason I ask the question is there was rumour of Viera being considered for the job and I didn’t like the idea – I thought an experience pair of hands were better in the position we were in. But now I wonder if Viera could have done any worse to be fair.

    Moyes would be an obvious choice, but is the obvious choice the right one?!. I’d love De Boer, but then if there is chance to get Rafa or Pellegrini then should we go for one of them instead?!.

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  27. Eric – After that list of managers who are available it just makes the decision to have McClaren all the more alarming and a clear indication of the mediocrity the club is happy to accept. They don’t deserve our backing and they don’t deserve to be in the PL.

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  28. Stu – I wasn’t expecting anything from the club yet, but thought the attending fans might have put something out there by now.

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  29. The last time a set of fans released the minutes before getting permission off the club they got banned from further forums. That was NUST and over two years ago. They’re still banned!

    Now you know what I mean about N. Korea…

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  30. Oh and by the way, there was no dispute of the actual minutes released, just that NUFC hadn’t given them ‘permission’ to release them.

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  31. Sharpy@114, They dare not or they’ll get barred from further forums just like the nust were previously πŸ™„ It is like North Korea with a dash of fred Karno’s circus thrown in.

    Actually there is a song from the 1st world war which alludes to Fred Karno and the british infantry and the first part of the chorus could easily be about the Toon front line πŸ˜‰ The first part of the chorus goes
    we are Fred Karno’s army,
    Fred Karno’s infantry;
    We cannot fight, we cannot shoot,
    So what damn good are we?

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  32. Well I have to say, if Adam Johnson is telling the truth then I find the over reaction to this sorry episode so very typical of today’s society.

    It would appear he has been sacked for pleading guilty to kissing a 15 year old and texting a 15 year old, not for actually doing it as the club knew he had done that.

    If he is lying of course, then he is a **** head and should be jailed.

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  33. Stu – I have to be honest mate, your acceptance of that is worrying.
    It’s not just what he did with her but what he intended to do before he got caught.
    It said in the news yesterday that they exchanged over 800 texts in a 7wk period. That’s a 27yr old man texting a kid – and a great mean of his texts were of a sexual nature. There were also texts from him telling her to delete the messages, knowing it was wrong what he was doing.

    I think what he did was disgusting, let alone what he intended to do.
    I personally think Sunderland have under reacted and should sue the scumbag for the wages they paid him.
    I just don’t see how you can think it’s an overreaction at all.

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  34. Oh and Stu it also said that he was ‘sexting’ girls in there 20s as well, so why didnt he make do with one of them?.
    Why did he research the legal age of sex?
    And why the **** is his daft missus sticking with him?.

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  35. Stu

    are you kidding me?? πŸ™„

    Hes a grown bloke kissing a schoolgirl fan. Hes a **** head and a nonce just for doing that.

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  36. Sharpy: he said in court he did a search for legal age of consent in the Sunderland dressing room as they were discussing differences around the world. Very convenient that given the timing. He could also have started that conversation.

    Sunderland knew about the texts and the kissing with tongues and kept him on. I doubt they could sue.

    The fool also asked her to send him a naked picture. He has to be glad she didn’t because I think that child porn could then have been added to the charges.

    He has admitted lying to the Police so he is probably screwed.

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  37. would it be ok if Jimmy Saville was caught just kissing girls in hospital? would he keep his job at the BBC?

    I Think its right in today’s society we totally condemn actions like this. In todays society where more and more school girls are being groomed by Asian gangs.. we shouldnt tolerate this at all whether its sex of an initial text message. like sharpy said, its the intentions

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  38. Johnson has no line of defence at all, not like a kid conned him and had no idea of her age. I hope he gets locked up for a very long time. Don’t suppose Sunderland can sue him for his wages though, he may have lied to them, but he also played, so was working for them. Pleased not playing now and let’s hope never works again

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  39. One text the idiot sent was for a thank you kiss and some “feeling”. Another referenced her in a bikini on facebook and saying he would like to see her without the bikini. He put a lot of this stuff in writing and that search for “age of consent” is damning and the excuse for it is lame.

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  40. Johnson also said in court that when he said “feeling” he had not meant emotions but feeling each other up. He has basically admitted everything except oral sex and putting his hand down her pants. They are the things that would send him to jail for a long time so is there any wonder he is trying to turn that into he said – she said.

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  41. Eric – I was under the impression he told Sunderland that nothing at all happened with her, and he only had contact with her to give a Sunderland shirt. Are you sure mate, coz in his initial plea at court he denied all charges – and only changed his plea on 2 charges when he went back to court a couple of weeks ago.

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  42. anyway πŸ‘Ώ enuff about Johnson…

    where the hell are the minutes from the fans forum? its not as if we’ll hear anything new anyway πŸ˜•

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  43. Simon – If I was Sunderland though I would be saying – had he told the truth we would have sacked him back then. If the player says he’s innocent then we have to support him and stick by him.
    But this isn’t like he’s maintaining his innocence and evidence or a decision goes against him.
    He said nothing happened at one court appearance, then admitted he’d lied in his second court appearance.
    I would certainly be looking into it, and if not I’d be making a public statement to explain why we can’t/won’t.

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  44. Sharpy @129: This was in Football365 today but I saw something earlier he admitted to Sunderland that the kiss was with tongues:

    “The court heard that Sunderland chief executive Margaret Byrne, Johnson, his barrister and the footballer’s father met for a conference on May 4 2015 where the footballer was to accept that he had kissed the 15-year-old girl and messages had been exchanged.

    Mrs Byrne was also issued with a copy of his police interview transcript and that of his alleged victim.”

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  45. I can’t believe some people think a grown man grooming a 15 year old girl and sticking his tongue down her throat is in any way acceptable. πŸ˜•

    Anyway – how much are Stoke Gina stuff us by? I’m thinking 3-1.

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  46. I think the Mackems should sack Margaret Byrne as it was a serious misjudgment on her part. She also should have had a Sunderland lawyer in that meeting.

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  47. Shamrock: Stoke are inconsistent as well. I think they lost their last home game 3-0 and won their last away game 3-0.

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  48. Well that got the blog busy.

    I’m looking at only the facts as stated. Kissing a 15 year old girl is stated as a fact. Not a hanging offence in my opinion – not my cup of tea and I wouldn’t recommend it but Jesus Christ! Talk about over reaction and the general reaction on this blog proves my point.

    If he has done what he is accused of then it’s an outrageous act of criminality and he should be punished but she was 15, not 5. Still wrong but the reaction of people on here are making it out that he is as bad as Gary bleeding Glitter. Who for the record is a vile, disgusting man who should never have seen the light of day again, before people have me down as a sympathiser of his.

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  49. Eric – did he admit to kissing her though, or was he just there to answer to the accusation and admitted to exchanging texts but that was it?.
    He didn’t admit it to the police and plead not guilty in his first hearing, so if he had admitted it to the club then surely they would be legally bound to report it to the police themselves & Byrne would have had to provide a statement to say he admitted it.
    I can’t see how the club could get away with it if he had confessed to them whilst denying it to the police & courts.

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  50. proves what point Stu. we should be lenient if a grown man kisses a school girl but doesnt have sex with her 😯

    I think you better quit while you think youre ahead….

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  51. When Gary Glitter got chucked into Bristol Prison, the lags started singing ‘ Do you wanna be in my cell, my cell, my cell’ πŸ˜€

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  52. Stu – Johnson himself has admitted that the girl (yes girl, not woman) should have been safe in his company.
    What about his intentions?.

    You and I rarely see eye to eye on here, but this takes it to a different level of disagreement.

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  53. So, Johnson has admitted everything except the two most serious offences. He has admitted and put it in writing that he wanted to take it further in his back seat. He has admitted he knew she was 15. He has admitted he lied to Police. What more do the jury need to know?

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  54. Gashley – Lenient? Again who said that?

    My point is that everyone is frothing at the mouth with rage – the same words and descriptions are being used to describe him as were used to describe Gary Glitter and other we’ll know child abusers of young children under the age of 10. I think there needs to be some perspective that’s all.

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  55. Eric – Well maybe they need to know IF he actually did commit the more serious offences? I’m not sure I would be arrested, charged, trailed and jailed for thinking I’d like to rob a bank.

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  56. Sharpy: I do not have the court transcript but it is pretty clear he admitted to Sunderland that he kissed a 15 year old. If you read any of the reports in the papers today I am sure you will see that he admitted kissing her to Sunderland.

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  57. Stuart: the other stuff where he is asking to go further are in e-mail. Obviously, he cannot be charged with something that didn’t happen. The girl is accusing him of having oral sex with her and putting his hand down her pants. That is he said-she said, but if the prosecutor can show he did all of the other stuff, and he admitted it and admitted he wanted to go back for seconds in writing then their case that the girl is telling the truth and Johnson is lying AGAIN becomes stronger.

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  58. We all know the fact she was 15 makes it illegal and wrong. I don’t think anybody disputes that at all. But if it was on her 16th birthday (which it wasn’t I know) would the same people being using the same descriptions of him? Some will say it’s irrelevant because it wasn’t and I get that, but we are not talking about a 10 year old girl here. We are talking about a girl who by all accounts looked about 20, went to night clubs and acted a lot older.

    Wrong as he was, I cannot and will not accept he is on a par with the other vile animals that people are comparing him to by virtue of the descriptions they use.

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