Chelsea 3-1 Newcastle: Strong start surrendered once again as NUFC shoot themselves in the foot

It was Man Utd away 2.0, that. After Gayle put us 1-0 up after 12 minutes, Chelsea went in at the break 2-1 up and ran out comfortable 3-1 winners in the end, with individual errors at the back costing us dearly one again.

A decent first half effort and a game we started so well in, but it shows once again that application and teamwork will only get you so far – especially against these top teams.

Gayle’s goal was the product of some really good early pressing and alertness from our front three in the opening stages, but, despite this early promise, we never looked like keeping Chelsea at bay for long.

With stars like Eden Hazard (who ran the show) and Alvaro Morata, it’s never going to be easy to contain a Chelsea side full of quality, but more individual errors cost us once again – undermining what was a really promising start to the game.

It was an interesting team selection from Rafa. I thought the system makes sense, and worked in parts, but the players filling certain key roles were highly questionable:

NUFC XI – (3-4-2-1) – Darlow – Mbemba, Lejeune – Manquillo, Diame, Merino, Ritchie – Murphy, Perez – Gayle.

Diame no longer has the legs to work in a two-man midfield. He and Merino were quite sloppy and struggled to properly protect the two centre-backs from the floating Eden Hazard. Easy to say now, but I’d have far preferred Hayden next to Merino in a game like this.

Ritchie at left-wing back just didn’t work. He had a shocker, costing us the second and third goal with some really basic errors. Usually, you’d back Ritchie to be switched on enough to play that wing-back role, but he’s left Yedlin exposed so many times recently, so it’s not like we weren’t warned on that front.

(See full PLAYER RATINGS here)

We were partly punished for taking the lead too soon and being unable to work out how to approach the game, partly punished by the clear gulf in class across the two sides, but it was individual errors that really killed us once again today.

Another frustrating afternoon, but this isn’t the game to get annoyed about. We have two massive home games coming up now (Leicester and Everton).

Let’s look forward to the much needed return of Lascelles and Dummett, put this one behind us and hope for some big results in the weeks to come.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

 

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

101 thoughts on “Chelsea 3-1 Newcastle: Strong start surrendered once again as NUFC shoot themselves in the foot

  1. Stu,
    Remember a few games back I said we would be lucky to have 25 points by the New Year? Looking much more likely now. We will have played 20 by then and will in serious trouble if there is no proper investment come January.

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  2. Joselu dropped from the starting eleven (and not before time) was the only piece of good management by Rafa today.
    His decision to bring Yedlin on at 3-1 down was ridiculous.
    I know I will get some stick for this but I would like to see Mitrovic on the pitch and Rafa on the dole.

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  3. shamrock:
    Stu,
    Remember a few games back I said we would be lucky to have 25 points by the New Year? Looking much more likely now. We will have played 20 by then and will in serious trouble if there is no proper investment come January.

    I agree, Sham, especially if we go through Jan like I expect. I think it will be a good achievement if we get to 20 points by Jan. although we won three on the trot previously so it’s possible. We need to beat the teams around us.

    Saving grace is that Huddersfield, Swansea and WBA/CP no score. Plus I doubt West Ham will get much at Man City.

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  4. This seemed inevitable. We came up with a weakish squad and looked on as everybody else improved. Our only hope was that Rafa could get us organized enough to stay up.

    As it has panned out there are other weak squads such as Swans, West Ham and West Brom that could save us. Maybe Palace, Stoke and the promoted clubs as well.

    My main fear is that we are in a real relegation fight come the new year and what would that do to a takeover? If we are, the logical thing for PCP to do will be to wit until the summer or extract a relegation clause from the fatman. This bad run of results has thrown everything up in the air.

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  5. I still don’t get what we have to lose by putting Mitro on for the last 20 minutes. Best case we get a goal and give him another look. They had sort of sat back anyway. They don’t go for the jugular like Pep – they took Hazard off.

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  6. funrafa:
    Anyone has the takeover news? That is the only thing I care about now.

    Personally I don’t think it will happen this season now. It’s highly unlikely a purchase could be done in time to influence January and who would buy a football club not knowing which league it will be playing in? Ashley will then gamble with little to no investment in January and hope Rafa can keep us up. I doubt he will if we don’t address the goal scoring issue.

    I expect to see sometime in January that Ashley will take the club off the market (to stop uncertainty in his words) like he’s done previously. Then it will all blow up with the fans and we will probably go down.

    Apart from that I’m really optimistic we have a great future… 👿

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  7. Stuart79: Personally I don’t think it will happen this season now. It’s highly unlikely a purchase could be done in time to influence January and who would buy a football club not knowing which league it will be playing in? Ashley will then gamble with little to no investment in January and hope Rafa can keep us up. I doubt he will if we don’t address the goal scoring issue.

    I expect to see sometime in January that Ashley will take the club off the market (to stop uncertainty in his words) like he’s done previously. Then it will all blow up with the fans and we will probably go down.

    Apart from that I’m really optimistic we have a great future…

    With little to no investment in January, no one can keep us up this season my friend.

    Ashley will get what he deserves.

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  8. I said weeks ago 20 points at start of jan would be good and was told I was a bit pessimistic 🙄 I would snap your hands off for it now.

    Fun rafa, it isn’t gonna happen mate, never was truth be told.

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  9. funrafa: With little to no investment in January, no one can keep us up this season my friend.

    Ashley will get what he deserves.

    Besides, what is the point to keep it up? It will be relegation battle one season after another, if we are lucky to survive this season. No hope at all.

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  10. kimtoon:
    Brighton slaughtered by Pool today, hudders lost too, every little helps.

    Fatsam in full gloat mode

    Getting tight down there with Everton recovering along with Watford and Burnley still doing well. Looks like it will be 3 of 8 and they are all very similar. I am not as pessimistic as Stuart but I also don’t see a Buyout now.

    I don’t think there will be a team(s) that get cut loose like the Mackems last year (possibly Swans) so everything will come down to the wire.

    Rafa man, if you are not going to play Mitro just sell the fcker. We desperately need a striker so get 15 mil for him and force the fatman’s hand for another 20. Getting relegated again would cost him 200 million. He has to see the sense in this.

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  11. kimtoon:
    I said weeks ago 20 points at start of jan would be good and was told I was a bit pessimisticI would snap your hands off for it now.

    Fun rafa, it isn’t gonna happen mate, never was truth be told.

    I really can not figure out the benefits Ashley will get from keeping Toon without any investment in it.

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  12. We need 50 million in January plus the proceeds of any sales. But that’s what we needed in the summer and now it will be even more urgent. Fatty just doesn’t know what he is doing with a football club.

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  13. At least we were better than we were against Watford. We might have done ok today if we had had a left back. Ritchie is no wing back.

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  14. eric sykes: Getting tight down there with Everton recovering along with Watford and Burnley still doing well. Looks like it will be 3 of 8 and they are all very similar. I am not as pessimistic as Stuart but I also don’t see a Buyout now.

    I don’t think there will be a team(s) that get cut loose like the Mackems last year (possibly Swans) so everything will come down to the wire.

    Rafa man, if you are not going to play Mitro just sell the fcker. We desperately need a striker so get 15 mil for him and force the fatman’s hand for another 20. Getting relegated again would cost him 200 million. He has to see the sense in this.

    Eric – How can you be more optimistic? It’s very unlikely we will be able to improve our squad.

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  15. Stuart: I have been burned so often by Fatty but for some reason think that he cannot be so stupid as to not give some funds in January to protect his investment. Can he?

    Are you at the Ashes yet?

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  16. And the jury now in on Joselu. He is a bust and should have been a loan and not a purchase.

    Some strange picks and subs but we would have lost anyway.

    The Scousers love Rafa but I remember them saying he made some strange moves there. Madrid turned on him quickly for the same reason.

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  17. Just looked at the table and it really has sorted itself out quickly. I think there will be an almighty scrap between the bottom 10 with any team being able get a result. I think we have played the other 9 already with mixed results. West Ham are in real trouble because their next 3 games are terrible which may turn the crowd against Moyes pretty sharpish, they already hate the Dildo Brothers. Swansea are crap so if we cannot stay above them we deserve it. Who knows about the rest as it is very much of a muchness.

    We need that striker in January and I think we will be fine. Who will be available though? It really has to be from Spain pr Germany, right?

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  18. eric sykes:
    Mackems lost at home again and every time they fail to win it sets a new record

    About the only thing that keeps a smile on my face at the moment mate.

    eric sykes:
    Mackems lost at home again and every time they fail to win it sets a new record

    eric sykes:
    Mackems lost at home again and every time they fail to win it sets a new record

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  19. eric sykes:
    Stuart: I have been burned so often by Fatty but for some reason think that he cannot be so stupid as to not give some funds in January to protect his investment. Can he?

    Are you at the Ashes yet?

    He’s a gambler, Eric. And he’s stupid.

    Go to Perth a week on Tuesday. Although it’s looking like it could be a long hard slog this summer in oz and winter over here for NUFC! :mrgreen:

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  20. I like Chris Houghton a lot but I’m pleased Brighton took such a pasting coz they have built confidence from a solid defence with Dunk & Duffy in particular.
    That will have hurt them mentally that defeat I reckon

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  21. What a truly strange formation and system that was. Has Rafa been meddling with drugs? Right winger Ritchie at left back. Hayden and Shelvey on the bench for Diame? Manquillo on and Yedlin dropped. Weird all over.
    I see all our midfielders getting panned for losing the ball or getting caught on it. It was Kante you idiots!
    I just don’t understand how what looked our strongest 11 in the second half on Tuesday is ditched in favour of that shamblolic line up. Trusting Rafa is becoming difficult.

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  22. kimtoon:
    Lee Ryder‏Verified account
    @lee_ryder

    Follow Follow @lee_ryder

     More

    ICYMI – Mike Ashley holding out for £400million? http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/newcastle-united-takeover-been-second-13985052 … #nufc

    ? no real intention to sell OR invest. Guys an idiot

    Kim, Lee Ryder hasn’t got a clue! Nobody apart from Ashley, PCP and their lawyers will know what’s happening.

    Ignore anything anybody in the press says about any takeover. The only thing we should look at is the longer we go without confirmation the more unlikley it is there will be one this season and if it doesn’t happen we will likely go down.

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  23. Stuart79: Kim, Lee Ryder hasn’t got a clue! Nobody apart from Ashley, PCP and their lawyers will know what’s happening.

    Ignore anything anybody in the press says about any takeover. The only thing we should look at is the longer we go without confirmation the more unlikley it is there will be one this season and if it doesn’t happen we will likely go down.

    Haven’t got over Lee Ryder giving Yedlin an 8 against Watford when he was awful. Some blame Ritchie for not supporting him enough. Does that mean we have to “Pardew” Ritchie. Many players don’t make good defenders but we should play to their other strengths. I am thinking of Ben Arfa, Lauren Robert and Ginola. Mourinho set out to ruin Hazzard by trying to make him defend more and he certainly lost form which has now returned. I don’t like criticising Ritchie for his very poor performance yesterday because he is no left back and the best use of his talents lie up front. He’ s a good player and provides most of our assists.

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  24. You have to stick with Rafa but as I have said the scousers used to complain about his selections. I would suggest that we have the worst squad in the league if we do not play Mbemba, Mitro and Shelvey and Rafa has done that often this season. You can only go so far with oranization and tactics and even that was missing on Saturday.

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  25. Stuart: looking like a whitewash downunder. When they get momentum they tend to turn the screw and so far their pace bowlers are holding up. Be afraid! Probably need a double century to stay in this one.

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  26. I cant see a buy out now, too risky with relegation around the corner. I reckon Fatty will invest 10mil max, we’ll sell Mitro for 9-12mil and maybe Diame / Mbemba / Saviet, Colback

    Should have enough with 17 plus mil to buy a striker who can score a few to help us stay up,

    We seem to have no clue how to play at the moment. Lejeune, , Diame, Yedlin look nervous and Richie seem to be running on empty.

    At least Murphy is showing some zest. We desperately need our captain back along with Atsu

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  27. So Rafa has said he has no idea about the January plans. Whilst I’m not surprised at this complete and utter shambolic running of the club I’m surprised Rafa is putting up with it.

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  28. Rafa didn’t want to talk about anything. In the photos I’ve seen he looks tired, fed up or angry.
    Totally outclassed recently against the better teams. He knows it but is sick of complaining.
    Even £5m a year still doesn’t help your pride.

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  29. Just totally fed up with the whole thing now.
    Everyone jumping around getting excited a few weeks back after AS and PCP offer reported, knew it was a false dawn. Don’t believe he has any intention to sell, just tactics to hide the fact he doesn’t /won’t invest in January . He will remove club from market at the end of jan citing an agreement couldn’t be reached and that investment wasn’t made as there was a chance he may of sold. It’s so bloody obvious, I will be floored if this club gets sold. Face it we are stuck with him and ultimately we will end up relegated AGAIN.

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  30. With the calibre of players at Rafas disposal we are facing a cup final every game, we only have arguably 4 PL quality players at present plus bad injuries hurting us. Hence every game is like minnows playing a big club. The players are having to put so much effort in to match the better sides they are facing it’s knackering them. Ritchie is a classic example, the guy looks spent yet has been a great player for us in the past . Tiredness is catching up with him and there is something very wrong when you have to play him out of position such as Saturday.
    There is ultimately one person to blame for us struggling and that is Ashley, failure to back the manager with a proper CF and quality number 10 in the summer was a huge mistake.

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  31. I’m reading Ritchie is tired – he’s played 15 games so far this season with 2 2wk International breaks thrown in which he hasn’t been part of the Scottish set up. If he’s tired Rafa should rest him and play Aaron’s – but I don’t see how he can be (unless he’s carrying a knock).

    I also don’t understand why I’m reading ‘poor Rafa’ posts either. All was fine when we were picking up points, but now we have hit a bad patch, it’s the clubs fault not Rafas.
    For me the players aren’t working hard enough in terms of closing down and tracking back. I’d be interested to know where we stand in the distance covered stats, but other teams look like they work harder to me.

    We are about where I expected us to be at this stage of the season, and about where I expect us to finish up at the end of the season.

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  32. Also, I think we can all agree we had a very favourable set of opening fixtures which have hidden our shortcomings to an extent.

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  33. Sharpy, I do think he is carrying a knock, I said that two games back actually. He broke his wrist when we played Watford too, not that that effects running.
    My point is though that most of our players are having to work twice as hard as their counter parts do to the gap in quality, that has to be tiring to some extent.

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  34. I do think Rafa should start Mitro though and bring on subs a bit earlier, but it’s not the whole reason we’ve been poor. You can’t make a silk purse from a sows ear and I do think the lads are working hard. Lot’s of individual errors are costing us, but that’s what happens when there is a gulf in class.

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  35. Kim – gulf in class?. I get we don’t have a squad like the Manchester clubs of Chelsea or Liverpool – but what gulf in class is there to Burnley or Watford – I’m sorry but I don’t see a huge difference personally.
    If in January we were trying to sign someone of their players, there would be people on here saying they weren’t good enough – Cleverly was one I remember who was linked with us and deemed not good enough. I also remember the Delph link and people saying he was ****e – I don’t think he’s missed a game for Pep this season!!.

    Of course we could go out and buy better players. But personally I don’t think Rafa has picked his best 11 yet!!. His selections at times don’t make sense. The Mitro thing speaks for itself – I don’t care how the kid trains – he’s better than Joselu.
    Saturday – Diame in midfield?! – Hayden and Shelvey on the bench. Defensively Hayden is better than Diame – offensively Shelvey is better, so why go with Diame. Then there’s the subs?!?!?!!.
    That’s not me blaming Diame for the defeat by the way, that’s just me questioning his selection.

    Maybe we don’t win the games we’ve lost even with the changes. But I think it gives us a better chance imo.

    Darlow came out at the end of the Chelsea game and said the half time message was to defend until the 80th min and see how it looked from there. Defend a 2-1 loss?! – what game plan is that?!.
    I expect to go to Stamford Bridge and get beat, I get that – but there are ways of doing it – and I for one would rather get beat trying to pick up points, than keep the goal deficit down.

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  36. Sharpy17:
    I’m reading Ritchie is tired – he’s played 15 games so far this season with 2 2wk International breaks thrown in which he hasn’t been part of the Scottish set up.If he’s tired Rafa should rest him and play Aaron’s – but I don’t see how he can be (unless he’s carrying a knock).

    I also don’t understand why I’m reading ‘poor Rafa’ posts either.All was fine when we were picking up points, but now we have hit a bad patch, it’s the clubs fault not Rafas.
    For me the players aren’t working hard enough in terms of closing down and tracking back.I’d be interested to know where we stand in the distance covered stats, but other teams look like they work harder to me.

    We are about where I expected us to be at this stage of the season, and about where I expect us to finish up at the end of the season.

    Sharpy, with all due respect, there’s nothing to suggest the players are “trying hard enough.” The lack of quality in our squad is clear. This is what happens when players lose form and the players replacing them aren’t good enough. Anyone who expected us to not have a run like this is mad.

    It is clearly the clubs fault for not backing the manager. Look at Huddersfield and Brighton, they’re on a bad run too.

    Anyone who thinks different seem to have missed the last few seasons for newly promoted teams.

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  37. What a ****** that SM is,a few passengers were told that they would have to get the next flight because they were over booked,SM had booked a hole row of seats as he didn’t want anyone sitting beside him and wouldn’t give up any seats

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  38. Stuart79: Sharpy, with all due respect, there’s nothing to suggest the players are “trying hard enough.” The lack of quality in our squad is clear. This is what happens when players lose form and the players replacing them aren’t good enough. Anyone who expected us to not have a run like this is mad.

    It is clearly the clubs fault for not backing the manager. Look at Huddersfield and Brighton, they’re on a bad run too.

    Anyone who thinks different seem to have missed the last few seasons for newly promoted teams.

    Stu – well I didn’t see players closing down very well on Saturday mate. In fact Fabregas had time to change his boots before making most of his passes. Merino didn’t track Hazard for his first and none of our players threw themselves in harms way for Moratas goal.

    As for backing managers – WH, Palace and WBA have all spent more than us in recent seasons. All are established PL clubs and all sit below us in the league. Swansea was another being mentioned as doing better than us in the summer.

    I’m not disputing for a second we need to strengthen. But would anyone argue that Mitrovic is better than Joselu?. Does anyone else think Diame is better than Hayden or Shelvey?. Does anyone else think Aaron’s deserves more of a chance?.

    Sorry but I think whilst there could be an improvement in players, I also think Rafa is making mistakes.

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  39. kimtoon:
    Sharpy, I do think he is carrying a knock, I said that two games back actually. He broke his wrist when we played Watford too, not that that effects running.
    My point is though that most of our players are having to work twice as hard as their counter parts do to the gap in quality, that has to be tiring to some extent.

    Exactly Kim. No just physically, emotionally as well. Players put in twice the effort but still get a win, it must be very frustrating for them as well.

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  40. kimtoon:
    Just totally fed up with the whole thing now.
    Everyone jumping around getting excited a few weeks back after AS and PCP offer reported, knew it was a false dawn. Don’t believe he has any intention to sell, justtactics to hide the fact he doesn’t /won’t invest in January . He will remove club from market at the end of jan citing an agreement couldn’t be reached and that investment wasn’t made as there was a chance he may of sold. It’s so bloody obvious, I will be floored if this club gets sold. Face it we are stuck with him and ultimately we will end up relegated AGAIN.

    I am prepared to go down with Ashley. I lost emotionally and he lost financially. Let’s see who can last longer.

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  41. funrafa: Exactly Kim. No just physically, emotionally as well. Players put in twice the effort but still get a win, it must be very frustrating for them as well.

    I mean “can’t get a win”

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  42. Sharpy17: Stu – well I didn’t see players closing down very well on Saturday mate.In fact Fabregas had time to change his boots before making most of his passes.Merino didn’t track Hazard for his first and none of our players threw themselves in harms way for Moratas goal.

    As for backing managers – WH, Palace and WBA have all spent more than us in recent seasons.All are established PL clubs and all sit below us in the league.Swansea was another being mentioned as doing better than us in the summer.

    I’m not disputing for a second we need to strengthen.But would anyone argue that Mitrovic is better than Joselu?.Does anyone else think Diame is better than Hayden or Shelvey?.Does anyone else think Aaron’s deserves more of a chance?.

    Sorry but I think whilst there could be an improvement in players, I also think Rafa is making mistakes.

    He sees them in training, Sharpy, we don’t. I accept that Mitro can’t be as bad as Joselo but Shelvey paid the price for being utterly pathetic against Watford. That’s fair enough.

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  43. So jabba wants the full 400 mil or it comes off the market in Jan,the fat swine never wanted to sell in the first place the lying sod

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  44. Icedog:
    So jabba wants the full 400 mil or it comes off the market in Jan,the fat swine never wanted to sell in the first place the lying sod

    Probably a negotiating tactic, but if there is no sale the Fat Tw@t better give Rafa 50 million in January plus sales proceeds or his gamble might cost him 200 million.

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  45. Ice, I thought that’s who you meant.
    As for Jabba and the £400m, this shows he will move the goal post to scupper any deal cause the reality is he has and never has had any real intention to sell up. I said earlier it will come off the market in jan.
    This stunt if true will cause major unrest with many fans and wreck any feel good factor built up and ultimately will be the clubs downfall. He has everything coming to him, I’m past caring.

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  46. kimtoon:
    Ice, I thought that’s who you meant.
    As for Jabba and the £400m, this shows he will move the goal post to scupper any deal cause the reality is he has and never has had any real intention to sell up. I said earlier it will come off the market in jan.
    This stunt if true will cause major unrest with many fans and wreck any feel good factor built up and ultimately will be the clubs downfall. He has everything coming to him, I’m past caring.

    Ime past caring as well,both of us said from the outset he had no intention to sell in the first place

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  47. Who are our 2 best forwards who play with different styles? Gayle and Mitro, right! Mitro starts and scores for Serbia and doesn’t get sent off. To be sure, he is a bit of a nutter but it is not like he has been suspended more than Shelvey.

    Now think of this. Who has the most red cards and 2nd most yellow cards in La Liga history. There is a massive gulf in class between Sergio Ramos and Mitro but he is a red card waiting to happen (19 and counting). Did Rafa sit Ramos?

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  48. I was low on Ramos’ red cards. He has 24 for Real Madrid alone. Most in La Liga history, second most yellows.

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  49. Icedog:
    Toon get Luton in cup draw,wear and tees Derby,Everton draw L/Pool

    Cue the millions of showings of Ronnie Radford’s goal for Hereford and an interview if he is still alive.

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  50. icedog:
    because he has kept on scoring Turkish chairman has put a price tag of 100mil on his head (Tosun),bye bye toon

    Ice – I can’t say I’m surprised to be fair. With each passing week that £20m looked to be chump change for him really. Last I read was Mitro & £7m – it’s a real shame but while he’s still playing CL footy I reckon it was always a long shot of him coming. The summer maybe?!.

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  51. Sharpy17: Ice – I can’t say I’m surprised to be fair.With each passing week that £20m looked to be chump change for him really.Last I read was Mitro & £7m – it’s a real shame but while he’s still playing CL footy I reckon it was always a long shot of him coming.The summer maybe?!.

    Saw highlights of the Galatasaray game from the weekend. Tosun scored and was Man of the Match – AGAIN.

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  52. The Mackem, 17, sh*tting on seat story is quite funny but also a bit sad because he has been suspended from work when really it has nothing to do with his employer. He says he can’t remember anything but then contradicts himself. The highlights:

    * Only had 2 chocolates from his advent calendar to eat that day.

    * Had 12 bottles of Bud and 6 pints of strongbow before the match

    * Said the lad next to him confirmed he did not sh*t on the seat but did p*ss on it.

    * said the only explanation could be that he thought he was on the toilet

    NOW WHO IS SH*TTING WHO you SMB.

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  53. I find it terrible that there are thousands of drunk driving convictions a year and nothing happens at work and then an immature Mackem does something perfectly normal and appropriate like taking a sh!t at the SOL and all hell breaks loose.

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  54. Eric Sykes:
    The Mackem, 17, sh*tting on seat story is quite funny but also a bit sad because he has been suspended from work when really it has nothing to do with his employer. He says he can’t remember anything but then contradicts himself. The highlights:

    * Only had 2 chocolates from his advent calendar to eat that day.

    * Had 12 bottles of Bud and 6 pints of strongbow before the match

    * Said the lad next to him confirmed he did not sh*t on the seat but did p*ss on it.

    * said the only explanation could be that he thought he was on the toilet

    NOW WHO IS SH*TTING WHO you SMB.

    that’s actually pretty sad.

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