Ding dong merrily on high

Ding dong merrily on high , in heav’n the bells are ringing : Ding dong! verily the sky, at Saint James Park they’re singing……………….Sorry folks, couldn’t resist. Anyway here we sit, merrily on high, top of the championship and really we couldn’t ask for a better christmas gift at the half way stage. The players and Rafa have done what was asked to date and it hasn’t been pretty at times but it’s been effective.

Newcastle faced a robust and physical Burton this weekend and the first quarter of the game saw Burton have the lions share of possession before Dwight Gayle did what he does best and net on the 15th minute yet just 5 minutes later LLoyd Dyer replied for Burton to level the score. Newcastle continued to battle with smart work from Shelvey who continued his fine form of late picking out some decent passes to Ritchie who also worked hard all game. Then just as Burton looked to be making a few in roads, Shelvey picked out a class pass to Ritchie who fed the on rushing Diame who rolled his man and scored on 34′; 1.2 now and could Newcastle hang on for the win.

Second half saw Burton come at Newcastle again and again we seemed to be struggling with they’re physicality, yet still we picked out some class moments where we should have gotten maybe another goal or two. In the end we saw it out to secure the 3 points and go top for Christmas, well done the lads. So where do we go from here ? Well with the African cup of nations looming, things from here on in could get decidedly sticky. With us losing key players or at the very least tidy back ups, Rafa needs a plan going forward. If we throw in Jonjo Shelvey’s possible ban of up to 5 games, it gets even worse. So, should we be bringing in loan players or signing a couple.

In january we face a drilled and very confident Brighton under the stewardship of the ever popular Chris Hughton and few of us wouldn’t want to see us both escape the clutches of the Championship. Unlike us, Brighton don’t stand to lose any key players to the ACON and this undeniably gives them the upper hand, throughout January and part of February at least. Blackburn, Brentford and Rotherham are the other 3 teams we need to beat in January. Of course we have to beat Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest to finish December in style first.

There has been much talk of who we should or shouldn’t sign in January with differences of opinion on whether to loan with a view to buy or just loan or buy. Likewise there are differences over the calibre of player with some of us feeling we can’t yet attract a top quality Premier league standard player. The feeling being that we should wait until summer and see if we are Champions with the chance to lure really good players to the Premier League under Rafa.

What ever your view, there must be a plan in place if we are to secure promotion and this will be the acid test for Mike Ashley surely. Will he go with Rafa’s demands or think we can coast our way back to the Premier League? More importantly has Ashley learnt any lessons where lack of ambition is concerned. I would like to think he has. Keeping Rafa on board is by far the best bit of business he’s done for the club in recent times; so credit where it’s due, he just has to back him now.

Finally the other talking point seems to be whether or not we have good enough players for the Premier League. Many feel if we go up we will be mid table fodder at best and others feel we will be relegation fighters, destined to forever yo-yo between the Premier League and the Championship under Ashley’s ownership.
Whatever your thoughts there is one thing that cannot be denied, this is a team that you can really get behind. There is fight and spirit there, there is leadership and not just from Lascelles; and I hope he doesn’t leave by the way. In the end they have worked hard and come back from a very tricky learning curve at the start of the season and shown they know how to scrap in this league. We really can’t ask for much more and go into the festive season Merrily on high.

Merry Christmas all

Kimtoon

82 thoughts on “Ding dong merrily on high

  1. Great thread. Thanks Kim. Onwards and upwards!

    My gut feeling is Mike Ashley will stick to his word with Rafa. Fingers crossed.

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  2. KIM as normal a bloody good thread ive just had so many let downs over many years its nice to have something to cheer for a change,lets hope jabba lets it carry on

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  3. A concern for some at the start of the season was that we did not have the depth of ‘character’ to win this league compared to 2009-2010 when we had Nolan, Carroll etc.

    Well we go into Christmas with 49 points from 22 games this season, top of the league. Exactly the same points to games tally as the last time we were in the Championship.

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  4. Good article, Kim.

    Personally I think we will be at least 14 points clear of third by the time we get into February and our bigger squad will makes us better in the second half of the season.

    As for, Jabba, I don’t think he gives two ****s about the club in reality as he has more important things on his plate so he will leave it the Charnley and as long as Charnley doesn’t need to go cap in hand to Jabba he will be just fine. The problem will come when the club don’t have the cash to match Rafa’s ambition.

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  5. The toon, dourly consolidating themselves at the top of the league.
    It sure as heck aint pretty, but due partly to the abject quality of the opposition, super effective.

    Another contented Saturday night….

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  6. Kim – good article again.

    Initially I thought we struggled today, but credit to Burton – they really give it a good go today and weren’t intimidated by us one bit.

    Most of the season so far has been about Gayle & he got another one today. But I thought Lascelles & Clarke were excellent today – they needed to be tough and battle & did.

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  7. Just watched the highlights, seems like Atsu muffed it again a couple of times. Another player not good enough for the Prem, squad player at very best.

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  8. Sharpy 17, watch Atsu blow it in the first half when Gayle was just standing there waiting for the pass. If Gayle had someone like Beardsley, with his vision, he would score loads more He takes up some great positions and just doesn’t get the ball..

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  9. Delusional Jawdee:
    Sharpy 17, watch Atsu blow it in the first half when Gayle was just standing there waiting for the pass. If Gayle had someone like Beardsley, with his vision, he would score loads more He takes up some great positions and just doesn’t get the ball..

    D.J – I know the incident you are talking about and he should have defo played it through for Gayle.
    But to be fair, every player will make the wrong decision a few times in a game, I still think he does some decent work for us when he gets played. He certainly wouldn’t be in ahead of Ritchie, and I think Gouffran has played well enough to get in ahead of him this season. So yeah, based on that he’s a squad player – but still a useful one IMO.

    Put it this way, he’d be ahead of Obertan, Sammy, Thauvin & Cabella

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  10. Kimtoon:
    Sharpy, my old nan would of been ahead of them 4

    Kim – trust me, it wasn’t lost on me when I was typing it either – but that was the reality in terms of our wingers last season.
    For me Atsu is still bedding into a new club having had little stability in the previous seasons – with lots of different clubs on loan.
    He hasn’t been poor for us IMO and could potentially be a decent player for us – I think Chelsea is a level too high for him so he needs to make a move at some point.

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  11. Stuart79:
    Blimey, just landed in San Juan and Brighton won!!! They were losing when I left… *******s!

    Stu – very nice mate!!. You spending Christmas in Puerto Rico?

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  12. Nah, Sharpy. Just getting on a cruise here tomorrow but will be spending it round the Caribbean islands. Although it’s currently pissing down so I hope it gets better… 😕

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  13. Stuart79 they usually have **** loads of umbrellas on those snobby environmentally unfriendly junckets, keep that warm rain off your heed mate. TTBAWA.

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  14. Stuart79:
    Blimey, just landed in San Juan and Brighton won!!! They were losing when I left… *******s!

    What is it you do Stu? You are a proper globe trotter!

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  15. There is no let up from Brighton. They folded from a similar position last year, so let’s see if they have the character to have learnt from that – but so far good job and it keeps our lads on their toes – which is probably a good thing.

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  16. Sham, I’m lucky enough to have my own company which allows me time to see the world. Although unfortunately it also means I usually have my phone to my ear for a lot longer than is probably healthy on holiday.

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  17. Fair enough Stu. What area is it in and how did you get started? I find these stories fascinating.

    Shelvey hearing this week. Could have a big impact on us this January if we lose both an on form Diame and our playmaker.

    I see lots of clubs are circling around Mitro. We are also linked with a left back, which I’m not sure is necessary this season.

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  18. Sham Dummet is a good defender and fortunately for us his back passes ((usually 95 % of his passes) are more accurate than his passes forward. His throw ins, when he eventually gets round to taking them, are abysmal at best – usually onto the head of one of the opposition. However he is good defensively and it is a pity the rest of his game is not of the same quality. Worth keeping in the squad but I think we could do better. Attacking options down the left do not appear to be as good as on the right.

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  19. Stu – I love the Caribbean mate but never done a cruise (yet). I think we will be soon though coz there are places we want to see that would just be too difficult to get to with the lad in toe.
    I reckon I could swap Christmas trees for palm trees ?

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  20. Clattenberg is such Ponce with his gelled hair and Champions League tattoo. He thinks he’s one of the players. You are not Mark, you never will be.

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  21. I must admit, even though we need to be in the top two, it’s nice being 1st. 🙂 Credit to Brighton and Chris for pushing us all the way. It just shows how hard it is to get out of this league, some early pacesetters have fallen away and there is a long way to go still. I’m sure we will have another blip at some point where we lose two or three games, but so will Brighton. I’m hoping our squad size will trump Brighton’s over the next few months, although they have a good squad. We’ve played some of the lesser teams lately, although not always won. It will be nice to test ourselves against Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton away at the end of January.
    I don’t think we should worry too much about the PL, I’m sure Rafa will be already thinking about what players he wants and can attract the right level of players. As good as Gayle is in the championship, I think we could do with another striker. We have the basis of a PL team already, with Shelvey and Hayden for example. The fact that we have someone like Murphy, just ‘in reserve’, should something happen to both Gayle and Mitrovic, shows how well the club is being run and how seriously they are taking promotion.

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  22. Sham – We supply fuel to power plants, but all the fuel we supply is derived from waste. So for instance household waste or waste wood. Instead of it going to landfill we process it (which basically means shred it up and take out recyclable materials) and then what’s left we supply as combustible fuel to generate electricity and hot water. Most of the household waste is exported to Scandinavia and the waste wood will be recovered in the U.K. Starting next year. The UK are just so far behind everyone else when it comes to energy…

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  23. Interesting Stuart. It is odd that the USA seems to be going in the opposite direction. They have basically given over 4 States to frackers, are appointing oil execs to high powered Government positions and a lot of the Republican bought and paid fors want to get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency.

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  24. Stuart79:
    Sham – We supply fuel to power plants, but all the fuel we supply is derived from waste. So for instance household waste or waste wood.Instead of it going to landfill we process it (which basically means shred it up and take out recyclable materials) and then what’s left we supply as combustible fuel to generate electricity and hot water. Most of the household waste is exported to Scandinavia and the waste wood will be recovered in the U.K. Starting next year. The UK are just so far behind everyone else when it comes to energy…

    Stuart that’s interesting mate. Can I ask you a question? Disposable nappies, I was told that they can be used to produce fuel, is that true and if so why isn’t it being done ?

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  25. Eric – Problem in US is that there’s so many landfill’s that it’s not a major issue for them yet. In the UK the area is small with a big population so we have a lot of waste but little landfill space avaiable. Which of course is good for companies like ours… 😛

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  26. Kim – nappies generally just get put in the kitchen bin and then processed by people like us. It all goes into the waste fuel mix. They would have issues if they were just on their own but in the scheme of things they aren’t a big waste stream so there’s not too many problems with them.

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  27. Stuart79, what’s the name of your company, are you in the north east ?

    I also work in waste remediation

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  28. Stu, Cheers, it’s just that Lew is in adult pads and they used to collect them in a clinical waste bag off me every Monday. Then 4 years ago they said I had to put them in the regular black bin. They take up so much room as you can imagine so I kicked off and demanded a bigger bin as it’s 2 weekly collection here. I always feel so guilty sending them all to landfill and always wondered if there was any truth in what I was told about them being used for generating fuel.

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  29. A really well written post Kimtoon lass. Lots to think about there. We should be deep enough to survive ACoN and it might give a few players a chance to start matches and make big contributions. Diame will be the biggest miss I would think. Why don’t they come to a decision about Shelvey’s punishment? Why is it dragging on so long? Very strange.

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  30. GeordieTwo:
    A really well written post Kimtoon lass. Lots to think about there. We should be deep enough to survive ACoN and it might give a few players a chance to start matches and make big contributions. Diame will be the biggest miss I would think. Why don’t they come to a decision about Shelvey’s punishment? Why is it dragging on so long? Very strange.

    tomorrow mate tomorrow

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  31. GeordieTwo:
    A really well written post Kimtoon lass. Lots to think about there. We should be deep enough to survive ACoN and it might give a few players a chance to start matches and make big contributions. Diame will be the biggest miss I would think. Why don’t they come to a decision about Shelvey’s punishment? Why is it dragging on so long? Very strange.

    Ta G2.
    Re Shelvey, if it’s one mans word against another or there are other factors such as been reported that Jonjo was being targeted by their players with nasty comments then it could be a bit messy to sort. But racist comments cannot be condoned ever. Interestingly I got chatting to someone who’s met Jon jo and he said he can’t see him saying anything racist as he was such a lovely guy, so who knows what really happened.

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  32. Hi guys, sorry that I have not been active on here much this week/weekend! What with illness and my engagement party it has been such a busy time! However, I wont bore you all with that! What I want to say is that there will be a thread up Tuesday, which will discuss a certain pattern in our play that I think I have noticed but nobody has touched on yet. I hope this will be my best thread yet and I am very much looking forward to hearing everyone’s views on it! Thanks guys!

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  33. Congratulations Jake. And thanks for the thread Kimtoon. We are not getting many games here and internet feeds are iffy at best. I think we might be on TV here on Boxing Day, fingers crossed.

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  34. In ex-NUFC news. The Mail reports that Ginola has left his wife for a woman nearly half his age. I also read there was a sighting of Sissoko and that he should have been sent off but then provided an assist. So that’s one so far for Spurs then. At this rate he will have 3 by the end of the season, for 30 million.

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  35. icedog:
    so De Jong scores again,and is injured again strange isnt it NOT

    Yes I think he’s found his level. He’s injured but there is a winter break in the Netherlands until the middle of January. A less demanding league like that will probably suit him. I think it would be best for all parties concerned if PSV table a bid for his services on a permanent basis, fingers crossed he can shake off this latest injury and score more goals for them. He’s obviously not suited to the physicality of the PL.

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  36. DJG: Yes I think he’s found his level. He’s injured but there is a winter break in the Netherlands until the middle of January. A less demanding league like that will probably suit him. I think it would be best for all parties concerned if PSV table a bid for his services on a permanent basis, fingers crossed he can shake off this latest injury and score more goals for them. He’s obviously not suited to the physicality of the PL.

    dont think they are daft enough to sign a sicknote,the guys made of glass

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  37. Nice thread Kim. Your comment on the ACON got me thinking about how much more ‘diverse’ the English second tier is. The problem of losing players to the ACON was usually only a problem reserved for Prem sides but with the continued investment in clubs and ‘globalisation’ of the Premier League, it seems now Championship sides are also affected. How long until big clubs in League One also see some of their star names leave for the ACON?

    Having said that (I’m betting Eric agrees), it’s ridiculous how frequent the competition is on in the first place. Every two years is it? Why can’t they just do it every four years like the Euros?

    In other news, a Mr Rob Brown who some of you may remember used to post here dropped me an email and has started his own Youtube channel. So every week now as a sort of feature we’ll be tying the two together in a sort or Vlog thread.

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  38. Andy, Every two years is a joke, I always roll my eyes a tad when there is talk of us signing an African player. It is really disruptive to many teams and as you say not just the Premier league any longer.

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  39. Yeah it’s a joke init. It must have some impact on a player’s transfer value if they’re likely to play in the ACON. They could potentially miss about 5 games I’m guessing.

    Kimtoon:
    Andy, Every two years is a joke, I always roll my eyes a tad when there is talk of us signing an African player. It is really disruptive to many teams and as you say not just the Premier league any longer.

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  40. Just read on wiki it was still every 2 years but then again wiki isn’t always a paragon for accuracy.

    Simon:
    I could well be wrong here, normally am, but has the African Cup of Nations not changed to every 4 years now?

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  41. No Simon mate, that would be too logical. It is still every 2 years. I don’t know if you remember but they also switched from even years to odd years. This entailed playing the tournament in successive years in 2012 and 2013 and then again in 2015. Three in four years, the daft buggers.

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  42. Eric Sykes:
    No Simon mate, that would be too logical. It is still every 2 years. I don’t know if you remember but they also switched from even years to odd years. This entailed playing the tournament in successive years in 2012 and 2013 and then again in 2015. Three in four years, the daft buggers.

    yep was just about to mention that Eric. Like I said, very disruptive.

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  43. Again on Wikipedia it says the 32nd African Cup will be held in 2019 with Cameroon as the host nation. The 31st is the 2017 Cup. I too had read somewhere that it was being switched to every four years. Must have been duff information.

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  44. Groucho I think most manager’s find A.C.O.N and world cup’s qualifiers a unwanted distraction. The reason I find it impossible to support England is that no Newcastle player ever get’s picked for the team.

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  45. When is the Shelvey verdict? I don’t understand how the FA can rule on a he said/he said point. Do they have video evidence, lipreaders. verification from a Ref’s Assistant? It is not like John Terry where there was evidence and corroboration. I think I read that some of the Wolves players were saying Shelvey said something but Shelvey and NUFC players denied it.

    He will probably be banned anyway, but I would like to see their full verdict to see what they have on him, or what they think they have. Would you trust the FA or PL to even settle an argument between two 5 year olds?

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  46. Townsend was wrong to choose Palace mate. I agree with you on that but would he of got picked if he was playing well for Newcastle I’m not so sure. To be fair I think Lascalles, Shelvey,Colback, Gayle all deserve a chance against a side like Malta or even Scotland ?

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  47. England are a waste of time if you go by the latest Managers selected. Mr. Roy and Fat Sam won nowt of any significance between them. Southgate sacked by Boro and went out of the U21 Euros at the Group Stage. And we are expecting the FA to make the right decision on Shelvey!

    The FA supposedly had a root and branch change for the National team and what did they do, kept Mr. Roy on after his abysmal World Cup. I did see they produced some nice brochures with their “vision” for the future of the England Team and then there was… Iceland. Bunch of bureaucrats picking a soft option at the behest of their friends in the press and because they are English.

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  48. Ice, did they demote that Ref from The Forest game? His name is Steve Martin which is apt as most of his decisions were comedic (although tragic for us). Two sendings off in the same match rescinded, he has to have been demoted?

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  49. Eric Sykes:
    Ice, did they demote that Ref from The Forest game? His name is Steve Martin which is apt as most of his decisions were comedic (although tragic for us). Two sendings off in the same match rescinded, he has to have been demoted?

    aye mate he was given lge 1 games to ref,i think he done two games talk hes back with a ccc game boxing day for some poor club ime looking to find out which lucky club gets him,will tell you when i find out

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  50. the FA fined £35000 for allowing players to displaying poppys on their sleeves by FIFA who the F–king old farts think they are fff,i would be taking this one to the law courts

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  51. Ice: they say it is a political symbol and want the rules to be the same for everyone. They worry that if they allow this then they will have some crazies like Uganda having a badge like 2 crossed AK47s on their sleeve. or something like that.

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  52. Stem agree about selection of players for England. A player has more chance of being picked for England if he plays for Man U reserves than if he plays for Newcastle.

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  53. Eric Sykes:
    Ice: they say it is a political symbol and want the rules to be the same for everyone. They worry that if they allow this then they will have some crazies like Uganda having a badge like 2 crossed AK47s on their sleeve. or something like that.

    still i dont agree,it was a *world*war like,then again some might want a picture of Pardew on their shirt now that would be bad 😆 😆 😆

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  54. Ice: it is so strange that not many pundits are calling for Pardew’s head. If it was anybody else with his record they would be all over it. I can’t work it out, is it because he is English? Is a ****ney? Is friends with the press and the ex-players? What does he have to do to get the sack?

    He continually makes excuses and says he has been unlucky. You cannot be “unlucky” for a whole calendar year. He has the worst record of any Manager in the football league during that time.

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  55. I mean, you have yer Collymores and yer Savages laying into Pep Guadiola (21 major trophies in 21 years) and hardly a peep about Arrogant Alan.

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