Old Geordie Geezer’s Weekly Round-Up: Shelvey in focus

Are we going to survive without Shelvey? I think the Blackburn game suggests a hearty “Yes”.

All we were missing was a bit of luck. Remember the not too distant past where we actually had games with no shots at goal?

The great Jonjo Shelvey debacle of 2016 reminds me of a theory that I once pushed regarding the great teams of recent years.

Many of the most successful teams in Premier League history have turned out to be one man shows, struggling to maintain form when hit with a single injury or ban.

When Adams was out injured for Arsenal they went through a rough patch, and struggled to replace him when he finally retired.

Then we had periods of poor form coinciding with the absence of other pivotal players. Manchester United almost collapsed when the in-form Ferdinand was out through injury, and again later when Rooney had a spell out.

Frank Lampard proved to be the player that Chelsea couldn’t do without, while Gerrard was Liverpool’s mainstay.

What is interesting here is that it’s rarely the 30 – goals a season striker who kill’s a team by going AWOL. It’s usually someone from the engine room that makes everything tick. Bit of a mixed metaphor there.

So if the game against Blackburn showed us anything it has to be that even without Shelvey being there to orchestrate, we can still create chances. Whether they go in or not is a different matter, but chances were definitely created, and many from telling tackles in midfield that caught the Blackburn players out of position.

Transfer news is as daft as ever though it appears that Rafa is communicating better with the media these days, resulting in a lot less speculation. At least a lot less believable speculation.

Keep yourself up to speed with my Weekly News Round – Up on my Youtube Channel.

96 thoughts on “Old Geordie Geezer’s Weekly Round-Up: Shelvey in focus

  1. Nice one Rob Brown mate. Shelvey has been important this season but it’s not a one man team. Where would we be without Gayle’s goals? And several other players have been crucial as well including Ritchie. Going forward I still think we need to strengthen at several positions. This is definitely a work in progress.

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  2. Can’t see it happening either. He would help us. Some of the fees quoted sound ridiculous. The 20M pounds for Tom Cairney or example. Madness. Wouldn’t touch that one. 8M for Ince sounds a bit high but nothing like the Cairney price.

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  3. GeordieTwo:
    Can’t see it happening either. He would help us. Some of the fees quoted sound ridiculous. The 20M pounds for Tom Cairney or example. Madness. Wouldn’t touch that one. 8M for Ince sounds a bit high but nothing like the Cairney price.

    20m for Cairney has to be Fulham basically saying that they’re not interested in selling him, right? There’s no way he’s worth that much, but what possible incentive would they have to sell him at a “fair” price, especially to a division rival like us? They still have a very real shot at promotion, so in some ways Cairney is worth far more than 20m to them.

    8m for Ince doesn’t sound crazy in the current market, but again, it would seem odd if Derby were willing to sell him to us. They’re one of the few teams who have a chance to push their way into the top 2.

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  4. No me we have badly missed Shelvey. Survived?, well 1 win in 4 and some pretty awful football is more coping than surviving IMO. No we aren’t a one man team and nor should we be – there should have been other plays step up, but they haven’t. I know there is Gayles goals, but how many assists from Shelvey?.
    I think if we are being truly honest, the absence of Shelvey has had a big impact on us – but maybe the positive is it has also highlight a real lack of creativity just at the right time – i.e. A transfer window when we can do something about it.

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  5. Stu – I saw the Torres rumour. He’s on HUGE wages at the moment which could be a sticky point, but there could be some truth in that one. He’s not the forward he was at Liverpool though.

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  6. I like Ince a lot, always have and wanted us to get him ages ago. He and Hughes are a big reason why Derby do so well.

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  7. I see Everton & Man Utd have agreed a £22m fee for Morgan thingy – that might will free up one of our Everton targets.
    Mind you, if they are shelling out that much, they may be looking to sell rather than loan.

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  8. Ravel Morrison is training with Wigan having been dumped by Lazio – that’s some fall from grace innit!!.

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  9. ‘Our most recent visit to the University City was back in the promotion season of 1992/93 when Kevin Keegan’s side were beaten 2-4 at the Manor Ground, winning the return game on Tyneside the following May.’ ‘Magpies midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has reason to recall his visit to the Kassam, playing his final game for Swansea there in a 2-3 FA Cup Third Round upset a year ago’.. from nufc.com. Grrr. Does my head in that, how can you be beaten 2-3 away from home? The home teams score comes first and the away second, so Swansea were beaten 3-2. It was Oxford United 3- Swansea City 2. Sort it awwt!! 🙂

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  10. To be honest, if we’d got through against Hull, it would just be us losing the first of two ties tonight at Man U and the fixtures would be piling up. I hope we can beat Birmingham with the fringe players but I think we can all see how important the league is for us and how games can quickly add up. All these cup games should be over one game in my opinion. Maybe if you get to the semi-final it could be at a neutral ground on a weekend? The final is not played over two-legs and that is the most important game! Likewise for the FA cup, we should have just played extra time and penalties.

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  11. Sharpy17:
    I see Everton & Man Utd have agreed a £22m fee for Morgan thingy – that might will free up one of our Everton targets.
    Mind you, if they are shelling out that much, they may be looking to sell rather than loan.

    Aye Everton have some dosh now haven’t they? I’m still trying to get my head around that, for years they were the overachieving paupers of the PL, which is what Davey boy built his reputation on.

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  12. DJG: Aye Everton have some dosh now haven’t they? I’m still trying to get my head around that, for years they were the overachieving paupers of the PL, which is what Davey boy built his reputation on.

    I know mate, Bill Kenwright has really done a great job there IMO. Saw them through some really difficult times & still managed to give their fans some decent times. He always kept it a football club though & took on the best footballing managers he could get. I know some don’t, but the fans have a lot to thank him for IMO.

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  13. Lots of talk about Ince this morning. I’d be really surprised if Derby let him go, but £8m is a decent fee and they may have their own targets to spend that money on.
    If we could get him and say Delph or Cleverley, I’d be happy. I reckon a 4-3-3 formation could work with those additions.

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  14. Sharpy17:
    Lots of talk about Ince this morning.I’d be really surprised if Derby let him go, but £8m is a decent fee and they may have their own targets to spend that money on.
    If we could get him and say Delph or Cleverley, I’d be happy.I reckon a 4-3-3 formation could work with those additions.

    dont kown who he will sign,would take Ince but doubt Derby will sell to us,just notice Richie has the same agent as Wilson am i reading into something thats not there???

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  15. SHARPY the hold up with Cleverly is Rafa wants a loan with view to buy Everton want to make it a sale no loan in the deal imo Rafa will win but it might be late in the window imo

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  16. the whisper is Ince has a 8 mil buy out clause in his contract,dont know if thats true but 8 mil seems low in todays market in Jan

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  17. icedog: dont kown who he will sign,would take Ince but doubt Derby will sell to us,just notice Richie has the same agent as Wilson am i reading into something thats not there???

    Do you think Wilson will want to leave Bmouth mate?. It seems a decent set up there and Eddie Howe is a good manager. Better wages i guess. But again, I’m not sure I see Bmouth letting him go either.

    Talk today that Max Gradel at Bmouth is handing in a transfer request. He’s a decent enough winger and would be an improvement on Gouffran IMO.

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  18. icedog:
    SHARPY the hold up with Cleverly is Rafa wants a loan with view to buy Everton want to make it a sale no loan in the deal imo Rafa will win but it might be late in the window imo

    Ice – yeah, I personally don’t see anything happening until they have the Morgan deal signed and sealed. I think they will want their players all in place first. I can live with that as Shelvey is back shortly.

    If that’s true about Ince buy out clause, that could be great news. Derby wouldn’t be able to do a great deal to stop him leaving.

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  19. Gashley:
    Delph , Cleverley or Ince
    None of them if we’re heading for the Prem.

    Loan yes but permanently? no way

    Gash – why no way?. Do you not think they would join on a permanent deal?.

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  20. I am very much in favour of young reserve players going out on loan so that they get regular games at a higher level. However in the case of Roberts going on loan to Kilmarnock I do not understand the thinking behind this. Unless we are definitely guaranteed a left winger in this transfer window what can we do to strengthen the left where we have been weak all season compared to the right. Atsu is at ACON and Aarons is not fit. Surely we should have kept Roberts back as insurance. He scored again today for Kilmarnock against Gateshead and I would have thought he would make more progress if he was taken directly under Rafa’s wing rather than Lee Clarke’s although Troy might disagree.

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  21. @Sharpy

    I Dont they’re good enough for us. Is Cleverly any better than Colback / Hayden or Shelvey? hes done nothing at Everton so why should we end up being lumbered with him on a long contract. Same for Ince..

    Delph maybe, if he looks good while on loan

    Players like Atsu, Mitro, Hayden, Perez, Colback might not be good enough for the Prem if we return. Last thing we want is a squad full of mediocrity ..

    Question marks still over C Clark, Lazaar, Mbemba, Hanley, Dummett, Gamez

    Get some loan players in to secure promotion then bey better players than we already have.

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  22. Gashley, I share your doubts mate tbh. With Ince I remember reading on a Liverpool forum about him ages back and the general consensus was that he was a guy who thinks he’s far better than he is and all about the money. If the clause is true and we do get him I suspect he’ll be on very big money. Question is, is he worth it and is he going to do a job at premier league level.

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  23. kimtoon:
    Gashley, I share your doubts mate tbh. With Ince I remember reading on a Liverpool forum about him ages back and the general consensus was that he was a guy who thinks he’s far better than he is and all about the money. If the clause is true and we do get him I suspect he’ll be on very big money. Question is, is he worth it and is he going to do a job at premier league level.

    Why spend big money on a Derby player? I bet nobody decent goes in for him from the Prem. Same as Cleverley. Why take on Evertons scraps. He’s not good enough.

    Theres far better players to approach if we secure promotion. I reckon we should only be looking at loans for now.

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  24. kimtoon:
    Gashley, I share your doubts mate tbh. With Ince I remember reading on a Liverpool forum about him ages back and the general consensus was that he was a guy who thinks he’s far better than he is and all about the money. If the clause is true and we do get him I suspect he’ll be on very big money. Question is, is he worth it and is he going to do a job at premier league level.

    Kim – to be fair Ince is only 24 now and still learning. He left Lpool in 2011 so was only probably 19 (ish). He wouldn’t be the first kid at that age that bought into his own hype. But he’s got on with it and and is learning his trade.
    I reckon part of his problem is his dad keep talking him up. I saw him on Sky goals on Sunday taking him up to Cammy & Sheppard again.

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  25. Gashley:
    @Sharpy

    I Dont they’re good enough for us. Is Cleverly any better than Colback / Hayden or Shelvey? hes done nothing at Everton so why should we end up being lumbered with him on a long contract. Same for Ince..

    Delph maybe, if he looks good while on loan

    Players like Atsu, Mitro, Hayden, Perez, Colback might not be good enough for the Prem if we return.Last thing we want is a squad full of mediocrity ..

    Question marks still over C Clark, Lazaar, Mbemba, Hanley, Dummett, Gamez

    Get some loan players in to secure promotion then bey better players than we already have.

    Gash – I think Cleverley is head and shoulders a better player than Colback – who passes sideways & back. He’s a different player to Shelvey and Hayden to be fair, but yeah, I reckon Cleverley and Delph would be 2 midfielders who look to get forward and will make those runs that Colback & Tiote don’t and Shelvey rarely does actually – he likes to be the player making the pass finding those runs.

    Ince I think would be better than Gouffran and maybe Atsu. He’d play more regularly than Aarons for certain – those are the players in our squad who would be selected left side, so he’s an improvement. I honestly believe he’s good enough for the PL, but there would be only one way to find out.

    I agree there is a question mark over some members of the squad, but not Clark. For me he’s been one of our most consistently better performers this season. Likewise Hayden actually.

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  26. Colback is backup to Hayden and Shelvey. Cleverly is far better than Colback, so Cleverly is an improvement to the squad and gives competition to the other two to keep them on their toes.

    Ince or Atsu? Ince by a mile. Ince or Gouffran? Ince. Get him in.

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  27. To say Cleverley isn’t doing anything at Everton – Townsend wasn’t doing much at Spurs either, but I’d have him back at the toon in a heartbeat.

    Albrighton was doing that little at Villa they released him. He went on to get a league winners medal with Leicester from a free contract.

    That’s only 2, there are numerous cases of players who did nowt at one club but went on to do well at others.

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  28. Sharpy, well you are spot on about his dad, that was the gripe with the pool fans that he was orchestrating stuff in the background .

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  29. kimtoon:
    Sharpy, well you are spot on about his dad, that was the gripe with the pool fans that he was orchestrating stuff in the background .

    Kim – yeah similar to the Eubanks in boxing.
    I think Ince should get some credit for leaving Lpool when he did, and dropping down to Blackpool – that was hardly a move by someone who thinks he’s billy big *******.
    He could have easily stayed at Lpool and wasted years getting the odd first team game. But look at how many young players they have brought through.
    He moved on and down a league to get regular football & develop as a player. He may have a bit of arrogance about him, but that’s probably born of fans slagging him off – and to be fair, there’s a few arrogant footballers out there.

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  30. SHAM/SHARPY I disagree 😆

    Townsend had better players ahead of him and he fell out with a coach, He had a good time with us but hes still got to prove his consistency .

    I agree, Cleverly is a different player & better than Colback but COME ON! is this our yardstick ? be better than colback and youre in 😳 Colback is pish poor in the Championship never mind the Prem

    What has he done to deserve a place at the Toon? ask everton fans how good he is. hes not a bairn hes 28 i think..

    Same situation for Ince. Goof has looked good on occasions but is average, Atsu has a lot to prove. So again the competition isnt great although he could be an improvement on the two of them… that doesnt mean hes worth 8mill

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  31. I see Spurs are prepared to sell Tom Carroll – I’d see him as a good option too personally.

    I obviously don’t mean take all of these players, I just mean there are a number of options this window that would be available and improve our midfield.

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  32. Sharpy17:
    To say Cleverley isn’t doing anything at Everton – Townsend wasn’t doing much at Spurs either, but I’d have him back at the toon in a heartbeat.

    Albrighton was doing that little at Villa they released him.He went on to get a league winners medal with Leicester from a free contract.

    That’s only 2, there are numerous cases of players who did nowt at one club but went on to do well at others.

    Cleverley hasnt done anything, anywhere mate. Lives of his Man U hype. been loaned out to some poor teams before going to Everton on a free… 28 this year…

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  33. Sharpy17:
    I see Spurs are prepared to sell Tom Carroll – I’d see him as a good option too personally.

    I obviously don’t mean take all of these players, I just mean there are a number of options this window that would be available and improve our midfield.

    must be a TOM day today mate 🙂

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  34. Gash – it has to be the bench mark if you are looking to improve your squad doesn’t it?!.
    I mean don’t get me wrong, there are better midfielders out there, but as we stand we aren’t likely to attract them I’m afraid.

    We are looking at players who can get us promoted this season, and then stabilise us as a PL side in the next couple of seasons so we can build on that. We aren’t getting promoted and immediately becoming a top 10 side I’m afraid. So we are looking to get players to get us up this season and who can have us finish comfortably between 12-17th – these players we are being linked with and talking about could do that mate.

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  35. Some would say TOM Huddleston would be an improvement on colback. Doesn’t mean we should sign him

    Not for me m8.
    Get some loans in and attract better if we’re promoted

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  36. Gashley:
    Some would say TOM Huddleston would be an improvement on colback. Doesn’t mean we should sign him

    Not for me m8.
    Get some loans in and attract better if we’re promoted

    Gash – if only it were that simple I’m sure every club would be doing it.

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  37. Sharpy17: Gash – if only it were that simple I’m sure every club would be doing it.

    Every club isn’t Newcastle United ?
    52k and Rafa as boss will attract better players than the ones mentioned

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  38. Gash – I remember people suggesting Virgil van Dyke as a CB option on here and getting shot down that the Scottish league is a big difference. Then saying Saints spent too much when they bought him. He looks pretty decent now.

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  39. Gashley: Every club isn’t Newcastle United ?
    52k and Rafa as boss will attract better players than the ones mentioned

    I think you’re looking at it through black & white lenses to be honest mate. I’m not looking to wind you up or be a worky ticket or anything like that mate. But I honest think nowadays, a player would look to teams like Southampton, Stoke, WBA, WH ahead of us.
    If/when we are back in the PL and become a stabilised club, then yes, we would be ahead or on par with those clubs again – but now, sadly not.

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  40. Some would say TOM Huddleston would be an improvement on colback. Doesn’t mean we should sign him

    Not for me m8.
    Get some loans in and attract better if we’re promoted

    Sharpy17: I think you’re looking at it through black & white lenses to be honest mate.I’m not looking to wind you up or be a worky ticket or anything like that mate.But I honest think nowadays, a player would look to teams like Southampton, Stoke, WBA, WH ahead of us.
    If/when we are back in the PL and become a stabilised club, then yes, we would be ahead or on par with those clubs again – but now, sadly not.

    I know you’re not trying to be a worky ticket m8. It’s your view and I have mine.
    West ham, stoke and WBA wouldn’t go anywhere near Cleverly, he’s just not that good.
    Ince might add something different but he’s still a bit raw. Doing well at the moment in the championship, is he good enough for the step up? Not convinced tbh

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  41. I’m not convinced about Ince. Championship – Sure he’d do a job and possibly offer more than Gouffran. PL – not sure. He would cost too much money to be a not sure.
    I’m not expecting world class signings but I expect Rafa to pull some good players out of the hat. Gayle for example, he just seemed to know that he would fill his boots in the championship, in the system that he wanted to play and £10m looks like good value now. I think he will have similar ideas for players who ‘just get’ the PL and are strong enough/talented enough to compete. I think he will get some signings wrong also and we will have to be patient and understanding. He made some bad signings at Liverpool as well as some excellent ones. Sels has been his bad one and Gayle his best one this season and it will be the same in the summer. I’m hoping we get players that want to go as far as they and the club can go. Mitrovic is a fans favourite, not because he is scoring loads or is world class, but he just seems to get the club and the fans. We need to build a team around that ethic, Lascelles is getting a bit of stick in some quarters at the moment for his performances but he seems to get the club also and I think he will get better, he is still relatively young. I’ve got no idea who will arrive in January, it’s needs to be someone who buys into the club but has the quality we need, like Ritchie.

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  42. Agree with Gash and his views… I seriously hope we are aiming a little higher than the names being thrown around atm…
    We need serious player improvements not players that are just a bit better than what we currently have…

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  43. I don’t fancy either Cleverley or Ince either. Just not worth going after, especially if they’re on big wages. I’m not sure where Rafa is looking. The good Championship teams aren’t going to want to negotiate with us. Look at what happened with Knockaert. So I would think it would have to be Europe again. Prem players aren’t going to come to us until we get promoted.

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  44. Well, Rafa was hinting to the press that he hoped to have a couple in by end of this week but I just don’t see that happening. Still think when the new players arrive it will be ones no ones talked of.

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  45. Just to be clear on this, the players I’m mentioning I see as transitional players – players for the next 2-2.5 yrs. To get promoted and keep us in the PL. I agree the likes of S’ton, Stoke and WH wouldn’t consider them, coz they are no better than what they already have.
    Don’t get me wrong, if we can get better players then great get them – but we simply are as big attraction at the moment.

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  46. Aussie Magpie Fan:
    Agree with Gash and his views… I seriously hope we are aiming a little higher than the names being thrown around atm…
    We need serious player improvements not players that are just a bit better than what we currently have…

    Aussie – great to see you back on mate. Hope you’re well ?

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  47. Gashley:
    I’d rather play Anita in midfield than Cleverly?

    Order:
    Shelvey
    Hayden
    Anita
    Cleverly
    Tiote ?

    Agree Shelvey and Hayden would be ahead, but not having Anita in midfield mate.

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  48. SSN saying Cleverley having a medical at Watford.

    Kinda backs up what I’m saying though coz I’d put them as one of those 12-17th placed teams.

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  49. Sharpy, I am finding it hard to believe any of the names we are linked with will be joining us. Like I said I think it’ll be someone we haven’t thought of.

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  50. Kim – I think a problem we might find is that there are 5-6 clubs in the PL in and around that relegation battle. They will likely be looking to loan or buy the players we will want.

    My other fear is that we focus on one player – that could well be Callum Wilson this window and we will most likely miss out. It’s been our usual MO in previous windows – it’s Lee Charnleys gig after all.

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  51. Sharpy, not so sure mate, look how Rafa got Ritchie and Gayle in, that was pretty good business . IF the will is there I think things will move, in the past we have been too focused on the cheap deal and missed out or made poor ‘ sick note signings ‘ . Under Rafa I suspect that has changed. Plus I am hoping that common sense has now set in , in regards to looking at the long term situation.
    Well we can hope anyway.

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  52. Thanks Ice, been reading on and off but posting very little. Keeping track of the goings on and that’s about it.. keen for this season to be done and dusted and back in the big time… feels like a gap year.. ?

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  53. Aussie:
    Thanks Ice,been reading on and off but posting very little. Keeping track of the goings on and that’s about it.. keen for this season to be done and dusted and back in the big time… feels like a gap year..

    😆 😆 😆

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  54. Aussie:
    Thanks Sharpy, all good mate, hope all is good with you and yours too! ?

    Can’t complain mate, well I could but nobody would give a crap ??.
    So are we going to see you on a bit more often then mate?. As Ice says, you’ve been a miss.

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  55. icedog:
    well i think Wilson is Rafa target ican see him paying 18 mil to get him,who the midfielder is i have no idea

    Ice – I agree mate. He doesn’t seem to have much faith in Mitro & Wilson looks like he’s top of Rafas list.

    I think maybe Lotus-Cheek was top of the midfielder list but Chelsea don’t see to want to let him leave. They may change their minds before the window closes and in the meantime they work on Wilson.

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  56. Just watching SSN and Bilic getting interviewed. Payet refusing to play for them to force through a sale.
    What is it with these players that makes them think a contract can just be torn up whenever they want to move man?!.

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  57. Sharpy, will try and post a bit more often, I kind of feel like I have said my piece on most matters mate (much to the bemusement of some bloggers)
    I might post the blog fantasy league table as a starter. ??

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