Man City 2-1 Newcastle: A valiant effort on a day most NUFC fans feared a drubbing

On a day where many feared a drubbing, the lads put in a big effort and respectable display at the Etihad tonight, falling to a narrow 2-1 defeat to Man City – with Kyle Walker’s 30-year stunner being the difference in the end.

We were up against the best Premier League team (statistically) ever and gave it a good go and stayed in the game – which is commendable given every single Man City starter cost more than our £16m transfer record..

Dubravka was brilliant, Fernandez continues to look like a very solid buy, Kenedy was better (not brilliant but more like it after two horror shows), Yedlin put in a big shift and Rondon looks a real unit who’s capable of holding up the ball, linking the play and causing problems for any centre-half.

Our passing (from midfield especially) and ability to retain the ball in general needs to be better, but it was good to see us look organised and disciplined again after a turbulent week on and off the field.

It was a funny old first half. Lascelles’ early mistake gifted City possession in a dangerous area and they were 1-0 up five seconds later, with Sterling cutting in from the left and firing past Dubravka – giving them a lead within 7 minutes.

We then struggled to keep a hold of the ball (despite looking slightly more willing to get forward) and looked sloppy at the back, making it look as though we were in for a torrid evening – but things got better.

They were limited to half chances but we took our one big opporunity, with some great work from Rondon setting up a marauding DeAndre Yedlin to smash home at the back post after a brilliant 70-yard run.

The second half was more of the same, however a superb 30-yard drive from Kyle Walker ended up being the deciding goal 7 minutes into the restart.

Performance wise, Dubravka was excellent. He was commanding and barely put a foot wrong all afternoon. Lascelles made an early error but recovered well, whilst Fernandez put in a very assured display at the back; he’ll be a regular alongside the skipper before long.

Rondon was impressive in the circumstances. He was quite isolated but he’s a man mountain who made runs, battled for every ball and played a huge part in the goal; showing his intelligence with a clever ball across the box.

It wasn’t brilliant, but there were some positive signs today – and it can only get easier from here!

Bring on Arsenal at St James’ Park in two weeks time!

(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.

230 thoughts on “Man City 2-1 Newcastle: A valiant effort on a day most NUFC fans feared a drubbing

  1. We need a result against Arsenal just to get our season started. Looks like Shelvey and Ritchie will be back and we will probably need a couple of goals as Arsenal are good up front but their defense if pretty terrible from the games I have seen.

    One thing flying under the radar a bit is there could be a crisis brewing at West Ham. They spent 100 million, plus gave Wilshere and Pelligrini a fortune but the PL is so tough now that even that is no guarantee. They have Everton away next, followed by Chelsea and Man U. They could be this season’s Palace with a good squad but cursed by the early schedule. I doubt if they will replace the Manager as he has a 3 year deal on 10 mil a year.

    We are not seeing much criticism of media darlings and “everybody’s second team” West Ham though are we? That is a myth. They are loved in the media but in their current guise I think they are despised by a lot of fans. It is a long time since Bobby Moore retired and Frank Lampard came through their academy. Now people connect them with stealing that stadium from the taxpayer, the ***** brothers and Baroness Brady – were they just flailing around trying to think of a woman to give an honour to? She seems to have no redeeming qualities, a sort of female Nigel Ferage.

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  2. Would love West Ham to do a nose dive into the championship. Horrible stadium, odious owners and daft as brushes spending.
    Eric – the rumours going round is that Shelvey won’t start and Rondon will only get back to Tyneside on Friday. Another unfortunate outing for Joselu it looks like. A winnable game slipping away?

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  3. Dubravka almost (but not quite) saved a penalty for Slovakia. Played in an empty stadium. Hate these international breaks…

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  4. georgio:
    Would love West Ham to do a nose dive into the championship. Horrible stadium, odious owners and daft as brushes spending.
    Eric – the rumours going round is that Shelvey won’t start and Rondon will only get back to Tyneside on Friday. Another unfortunate outing for Joselu it looks like. A winnable game slipping away?

    If that is true we are going to need some luck because I think we will need 2 goals and I am not sure where they would come from even with Rondon. I think there is ample evidence now that Shelvey is our most important player. How Shevey goes so do NUFC. If he is missing, I think our odds of winning are about half. With Merino gone we just do not have another creative midfielder and Ki seems to be an inbetweener neither creative or defensive enough but probably better with Shelvey than with Diame.

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  5. Ice, Agree mate, also we could have a major problem even if he did sell up, in that he has sold off stuff and will no doubt have us tied into deals involving everything we sale going through SD on a long term deal. You only have to look at the ****e he’s left Rangers in with just only having a 10% interest in the club previously. Even a court case couldn’t loosen his evil grip on Rangers.
    As you said Ice he’s a greedy man, seems for some people there is never enough money weighing down their pockets.
    The bad publicity and attacks on SD must continue imo, we need to come up with new strategies to make his life as uncomfortable as possible. Now he has his eye on his HOF deal as well, it’s the perfect time to increase pressure on him via MP’s and protest groups. Let him know he won’t be able to fart without it being scrutinised . Time for the City and government to tightened some rules around ownership of any company, quite what though I’m not sure.

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  6. It looks like Lejuene will be back early judging by the picture Simon posted of him running on a treadmill after only a month. He was walking after a week and I said at the time that his injury may not be as bad as some others. I am not an expert by any means but I do know that there are degrees of cruciate injuries from tears to total detachments so fingers crossed he will be back early in the new year. We need his calm presence and also height because he brings that rare commodity of a tall man being good with his feet.

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  7. He also remarked he’d be back in training in just a month. Seems premature to me. It used to be an injury that ended careers.

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  8. Yup .. some wise fella once said you can only have effective protests against those who can feel shame. Doesn’t sound too much like Ashley.

    Stay away from the ground and make nufc games a non spectacle .. after all his lack of investment takes us halfway there already. Wonder how long sky’d tolerate that

    icedog: he doesnt care what any body thinks of him,thats why imo fans protests does not affect him,hes a greedy man you have to hit him in the pocket for him to care,that means staying away from the ground but that the fans will not do ime afraid

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  9. Kimtoon: that Bolton situation looks eerily familiar to the Mackems. Bolton also had an owner who wrote off a lot off debt in a sale (125 million) but that still left money owed. Ellis Short did the same and has a lien on the parachute payments.

    Even with getting promoted last year Bolton are still in trouble because debts are coming due.

    There was an article today saying Sunderland just had to pay 6 million in instalments for 2 players they bought in the PL. One turned up for training for the 1st time last week and the other is AWOL. They have 2 more Jack Rodwells but to add insult to injury still owed money on them 🙂

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  10. Eric Sykes:
    This one’s for you Kimtoon. Martin Samuel who defended Ashley last week is now defending West Ham under the guise of protecting tax-payer money. I only skimmed it but it is so typical of West Ham being able to do no wrong according to certain journalists:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-6152649/West-Hams-bad-landlords-wasting-money.html

    I give up Eric, they can do no wrong in the eyes of certain media. They are tenants only at the end of the day. If they want more say then go build your own stadium, innit.

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  11. I see Ashley’s little darling company Flannels is opening a shop on Northumberland Street. Sounds a perfect place and opportunity for NUFC fans to protest and Ashley will sit up and take notice.

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  12. georgio:
    I see Ashley’s little darling company Flannels is opening a shop on Northumberland Street. Sounds a perfect place and opportunity for NUFC fans to protest and Ashley will sit up and take notice.

    Yep, do it on opening day, he’ll love that.

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  13. : Mike Ashley loses court case


    Newcastle United owner and Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has been dealt a blow by a High Court judge.

    Mr Justice Arnold says Sports Direct managers were justifiably criticised by lawyers representing a financial watchdog which wanted documents staff thought would help in an investigation.

    Lawyers representing the Financial Reporting Council had “characterised” Sports Direct’s approach as “one of obfuscation and delay verging on obstruction”, and Mr Justice Arnold says that criticism is “entirely justified”.

    The judge has now ordered Sports Direct to produce a number of documents wanted by the Financial Reporting Council.

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  14. As quoted in the Sun, Keegan has written:


    “They have made a toy out of Newcastle.

    As much as it pains me to say it, I have no desire to be associated with the place for as long as that continues.

    “I will gladly return when they have gone.

    “I look forward to the day when Newcastle is free of the man who has lurched from one bad decision to another, run an empire of self-harm and handed money and power to people who deserved neither.

    “I don’t want to share my oxygen with these people.”

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  15. simon read‏Verified account @simonnread

    Follow Follow @simonnread

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    So if you try and contact @houseoffraser now their PR agency replies: “We are unable to respond directly to each request. If you do not receive a personal response within 48 hours we have been unable to help you at this time.” what are they paid for then?

    All going well then 🙄

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  16. Mark Douglas‏Verified account @MsiDouglas · 2h2 hours ago

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    Keegan also says he’s mystified why “football authorities” didn’t investigate further what came out of his employment tribunal.

    me too KK

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  17. ——————————————————————————–

    ——————————————————————————–

    ——————————————————————————–

    Huddersfield Town‏Verified account @htafcdotcom

    Follow Follow @htafcdotcom

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    #htafc is delighted to reveal plans for a major redevelopment of its training complex, @htafcCanalside, designed to bring the facility up to the highest of @premierleague standards.

    If only we could compete with Huddersfield town.

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  18. Will be interesting to see which paper serializes Keegan’s book. Normally, I would have said The Mirror but aren’t they the official partner or whatever of NUFC? Which paper will take their lips of Fat Mike’s backside long enough to print excerpts?

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  19. Would the broadsheets be interested? Probably not, it’s not about rugby or cycling. I hope it is The Mail so I can see Martin Samuel twisting like a pretzel trying to defend Ashley.

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  20. I like this cartoon featuring Roy Keane. The man always seems like he is one supermarket checkout mishap away from going full on serial killer. I never understood why Ferguson made him captain as it gave him license to intimidate his own players. And I certainly wouldn’t give him any managerial authority as it has been proved time and again how combustible he is. These are the stories you hear as well. What about the players who are too intimidated to stand up to him? And with Keane, it always seems like there is the threat of physical violence which should not be the case between a Manager and Player, I don’t care how much the lad culture still exists in football.

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/ng-interactive/2018/sep/11/david-squires-on-the-nations-league-and-ireland-roy-keane-row

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  21. A lot is made of Royston training to be a boxer so I looked it up on Wikipedia. It said he joined a boxing gym at age nine and won all 4 of his amateur novice fights. Hardly Mohamad Ali!!! Might explain why he missed with that swing at Big Al. Maybe there is more to it than Wikipedia says but if we go on their info it is pushing it to make out like it was a big part of his life.

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  22. OK, tell me again what the point of this 2 WEEK international Break is? They invent a new pretty meaningless competition and then play 1 game per team in it during a 2 WEEK BREAK. Then they pad it out with a second game that is a FRIENDLY. 3 months after the World Cup and when there will soon be Euro Qualifying, then actual Euros then WC qualifying.

    Is it simply to fill Euro/Fifa coffers? Do they need it? I think the estimate for the North American World Cup take for FIFA is $29 BILLION. Yes, $29 BILLION. How many Swiss mansions do you think Sepp Blatter’s successor will get out of that! The estimate for the average ticket price is $417. That’s gouging of the highest order that any ticket tout would be proud of.

    Alright, if you want this new tournament then why add the friendly? Why not play the games on a Thursday night and then send the players back to their teams and play a full league schedule the following Tuesday and Wednesday?

    This is just bloody stupid and none of the fans want it. The only people that seem to want it are the ruling body suits and the England Band.

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  23. And then they are playing the Asian Cup in the winter which I think will mean the loss of Koreans like Ki and Son for a month. I haven’t looked into it but are the Japanese and Aussies also involved? I would be pissed off if I had to lose Mooy for a month.

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  24. I know 1 of the teams in each group plays 2 games and the other teams play 1 apiece. That’s just EUFA trying to justify the 2 week break though. There are ways around that, or better still, why not just not have this “competition” at all. The calendar is already full and this is the governing bodies making an excuse for having so many friendlies by saying these friendlies are not friendlies.

    Where is Wayne Rooney, he could have padded his top scorer stats even more by playing in this meaningless farce.

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  25. OLLY: You have to see where Kenedy is coming from. See below for images of Chelsea training ground which has 34 pitches and compare it to NUFC. It is not in London either, it is about 30 miles west, a few miles away from an idyllic part of the River Thames. I have a friend that lives nearby and so many footballers have bought houses on the river it has caused sky high prices to go even higher. I have visited her 3 or 4 times and it would be ideal for a young footballer. You can drive to Heathrow in 20 minutes and then get the Heathrow express to Kings Cross in another 20 minutes. You are living in the Country and 1 hour from Central London clubs, restaurants and shops.

    Also, I don’t blame Kenedy for saying he wants to make it at a club that won the Premier League when he was there (admittedly not playing much).

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-6154385/Sportsmails-guide-training-grounds-Premier-League-clubs.html

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  26. Got to agree on the international break Eric. If you read up on this new competition it’s supposed to replace ‘ meaningless friendlies ‘ , so how come they are STILL cramming them in then.
    As you say, it’s just another money spinner.

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  27.  Mark Douglas Retweeted

    The Chronicle‏Verified account @ChronicleNUFC · 17h17 hours ago

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    Kevin Keegan on the @alanshearer statue.

    “He has been bumped round the corner because he refuses to be a cheerleader for corporate incompetence.”

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  28. I guess because it’s the break I strayed onto NUFCTV and watched the U23s beating Doncaster 3-1. That kid Sean Longstaff really stood out as an exceptional prospect. One long ball he played for the first goal, Pirlo would have been proud of, or Alonso or Xavi or even Shelvey.
    I’d already put him in ahead of Hayden and possibly Ki. Sterry also looks way better than Manquillo as stand in for Yedlin and I prefer Cal Roberts to either Atsu or Murphy. The question is would Rafa drop his purchases for a bunch of kids?

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  29. Approx 50 people attended incl a number of NUFC fans.
    Halliwell chaired the meeting
    Started with the administration matters.
    Outlined procedure for voting, use of polling cards etc
    Asked the audience if there were any questions on the resolutions.

    1 reply . 1 retweet 3 likes

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    NUFC Fans United‏ @NUFCFansUtd · 15m15 minutes ago

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    SD AGM SUMMARY: 2
    Asked the audience if there were any questions on the resolutions.
    The board retired to allow attendees to complete/hand in voting cards.
    …and that was it…they never reappeared so nobody was able to raise any questions.

    1 reply . 1 retweet 2 likes

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    NUFC Fans United‏ @NUFCFansUtd

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    SD AGM SUMMARY 3:
    Attendees clearly expected another session with questions from the floor but it never happened.
    Stage managed/shambolic.

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  30. I am going to have another moan about international breaks because it is a joke. Can you believe there is another one in early October!!!!!!!!!!!! We play Man U on October 6 and then do not play again until October 20.

    International breaks – where football and blogs go to die!

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  31. There’s a really simple solution though. Get rid of a couple of friendlies and then there wouldn’t have to be a break in Sept AND Oct.

    Then, after the hectic Christmas season you could have a January break with no PL or International football.

    It is really easy but they won’t do it because you have all of these federations pulling against each other to keep their fiefdoms and make as much money as they possibly can.

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  32. icedog:
    international football should be done way with

    Ice: I am guessing you mean international breaks and go back to the way it was 20 or 30 years ago. They get a month to prepare for the tournaments FFS.

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  33. I am not trying to be a grumpy old man here, mainly because I am not that old. Isn’t 50 the new 40 🙂 Anyway, these 2 week breaks disrupt the season and nobody likes them.

    Even Southgate kept Kane out of the game saying he was playing too much football.

    So, if the England Manager keeps his star player out of a friendly to protect him from fatigue because there are too many games, then I rest my case, M’Lud.

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  34. I see SD refused to accept questions today at their AGM. They’re having a real issue at the minute. Jabba has lost circa £210m in the last couple of weeks due to their share price dropping… Shame!

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  35. Eric, we have 4 games then a break in oct of 15 days for internationals as you say, then ANOTHER break after 4 PL games in November after Bournemouth game for 15 days until Burnley game.
    Totally ridiculous that the PL season can be disrupted this much.

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  36. Kimtoon: it is all about the federations lining their pockets. They have to get the International breaks in before the Champions League and Europa League knockout games kick in. Then the big clubs would complain more and not release their players. So they have this window between September and the end of November to cram in meaningless games.

    Am I being cynical? I doubt it.

    Now they are trying to RE-FCKN-BRAND friendlies as competitive games with this new competition.

    Do they think we are stupid?

    Yes!!!!

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  37. It is a totally convoluted way to preserve the international breaks and to shoehorn a few minnows into the Euros whilst giving some failed bigger teams a second chance at qualification. It is the Eurovision Song Contest of International Tournaments. I suppose it might be helpful to England if the FA appoint Steve McClaren again.

    The only good thing is that the major Nations play each other, but they did that anyway with friendlies. And then you will still get the regular qualifiers anyway so England will get Malta and San Merino.

    Mutton dressed as lamb. A sheep in sheeps clothing.

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  38. Sorry to go on about it, but that is what the international break does to me.

    This is a backdoor way into the Euros for 4 teams. The relative insignificance is shown by the reaction of the major country losing teams – a big yawn! They still have the regular qualification route to come and it is not like if they qualify twice they will get 2 spots in the finals and play an A and B team, although that would have made this sham a bit more interesting.

    It really is Uefa trying to pull the wool over everybodies eyes and pretending friendlies are not friendlies for the major countries.

    I will stop with the sheep metaphors now.

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  39. Eric, England are in a group with Spain and Croatia, so there is every possibility that they will come last and be relegated to the second tier. In that event the media outcry will justify the entire competition.

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  40. Again, I hope I am not boring anybody but it is the international break so nobody comments anyway 🙂

    We have just seen the result of this brainwave by the suits:

    In a normal crap/useless/meaningless international break there would be 2 friendlies. The manager would start the nominal 1st 11 in each 1st half and then make sweeping changes at half time and on 60 minutes to have a look at the up and comers.

    Now, the 1st team is played in the 1st game and the up and comers (2nd team) in the 2nd game. Of course, the 1st game was played at Wembley and the 2nd at Leicester so the suits stiffed the provinces again 🙂

    I hope this is clear now as it really is so convoluted that it could only be imagined by a bunch of Eurocrats trying to justify the international breaks and their own existence.

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  41. PremAndUp:
    Eric, England are in a group with Spain and Croatia, so there is every possibility that they will come last and be relegated to the second tier. In that event the media outcry will justify the entire competition.

    It will be like the miracle of Panama never happened and Gareth gave up his waistcoat (oh, he did that already). You’re right though Prem. People like Neil Ashton and Martin Samuel will paint it as a disaster. I wonder what vegetable they will superimpose Southgate’s face on?

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  42. After all of these non-friendly friendlies are completed there is a summer tournament when only 4 teams face off. Will there really be any interest from the other 40-odd teams that don’t qualify? I guess we are about to find out what it is like to be a Scot.

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  43. So, if England win this new cup will it matter or will it be like winning the Inter-Toto cup, the LD Vans Trophy or the Texaco Cup? Or like winning The Championship for that matter. Did we care that we were winners or would runners up and promotion have been fine?

    If you win it, you cannot say you are European Champions because there is an actual European Championship the next year. I suppose the organizers are hoping that it will be like a Europa League where there is still prestige in winning it even though there is also the Champions League.

    I think it will be more like the Inter-Toto Cup. Did we win that one year, I can’t remember?

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  44. Alright, enough of that. I will have forgotten all of these rules about these non-friendly friendlies anyhow when the next lot of games roll around in a month.

    Arsenal. We actually beat them only a few months ago. I hope Rafa sets up more like against Spurs than Chelsea.

    Arsenal are still pretty crap in defense but good in attack. We have a better chance if the Uruguain Hobbit is not there to screen their defense but I think we can get a draw.

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  45. Sorry. Now I just read a report on yesterday’s England game and see we play Spain and Croatia next month. Are we bothered if we lose these? My guess is they will be heralded as important if we win and shrugged off if we lose as the real qualifiers don’t even start until next year. A sort of heads I win tails you lose, or a school sports day where everyone gets a prize for turning up.

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  46. I am sure anybody who started reading has stopped by now but, whatever… The international break is probably good for us. We hardly have anybody in the National teams and Rafa has 2 weeks to prepare for Arsenal who have almost all of their squad away. My main gripe is the disruption it causes and that there could be a better way to do it.

    And for the top players like De Bruyne or Pogba, do they really need another 4 “competitive” games before Christmas? They only have so many games in their legs and already play about 60 a year. See what Southgate has said about Kane – basically that he is knackered.

    Say City draw Fleetwood in the FA Cup. Will Pep rest De Bruyne? The one chance that a 10 year old might have of seeing Kevin in the flesh and Uefa take it away. I know that is dramatic but I got to see Bale, Modric, Ronaldo and Kroos in the flesh last year and I was as hyped up as a school boy after 10 bags of skittles. Uefa are probably denying that actual schoolboy in Fleetwodd that sort of experience.

    The only good thing is that said 10-year old will not be able to hold up a sign saying “Kevin, can I have your shirt” and his dad selling it on ebay a week later.

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  47. I am not a lawyer, but the Mackems are thinking about taking action against their own players saying they are deliberately making themselves unfit in order to drive down their transfer value. Actually, being a bit crap has already done that.

    Its an interesting argument though. Voiding a contract because you say the player is not trying. I wonder if we could go back and get some money off Michael Owen? He has admitted he wasn’t trying for us. He even said he didn’t play because he wanted to maintain his value in free agency and was worried he might get injured.

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  48. Want a win tomorrow, have had a crap couple of weeks with the lad home ill , and it’s his birthday Saturday and he’s still ill poor thing. So C’mon lads , cheer us all up with a nice win .

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  49. Eric Sykes:
    I am not a lawyer, but the Mackems are thinking about taking action against their own players saying they are deliberately making themselves unfit in order to drive down their transfer value. Actually, being a bit crap has already done that.

    Its an interesting argument though. Voiding a contract because you say the player is not trying. I wonder if we could go back and get some money off Michael Owen? He has admitted he wasn’t trying for us. He even said he didn’t play because he wanted to maintain his value in free agency and was worried he might get injured.

    good point

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  50. kimtoon:
    Want a win tomorrow, have had a crap couple of weeks with the lad home ill , and it’s his birthday Saturday and he’s still ill poor thing.So C’mon lads , cheer us all up with a nice win .

    thats extra work for you mate,hope he picks up soon,and a win of coarse

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  51. Kimtoon: hope he picks up a bit.

    I think we have a shot against Arsenal if Shelvey plays. I doubt we will see Rondon until the second half as he is coming back from Panama. So, it will be more Joselu. A goal every other PL game this season. If he keeps this up until Christmas we can probably get 30 million for him in January.

    From what I was saying before, if Kane is knackered then all of the Arsenal players must be knackered as well as they all played in the WC, International Break, Europe and latter stages of the FA and League Cups last year.

    Our lot play 38 league games, 1 league cup and 1 FA cup so should be fresh as daisies.

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  52. Joselu has played 194 minutes and scored 2 goals. That is a goal every 97 minutes. Better than Alan Shearer! Almost a goal a game in terms of minutes played. If he keeps this up he will be in Messi and Ronaldo territory.

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  53. AND… Have you noticed Rafa doesn’t rotate anymore, because he doesn’t have to. He is used to being in multiple competitions. That may be our one saving grace, that we can put out our best team week after week and should be OK as long as Shelvey stays fit and when Lejeune comes back.

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  54. I think Perez has been a bit flat and Rafa is still trying to figure out Muto. But assuming Rondon cannot start and with questions about Ritchie, I think this is Saturday’s lineup:

    Dubravka

    Yedlin Lascelles Fernadez Dummett

    Ritchie/Murphy Shelvey Diame Kenedy

    Perez

    Joselu

    No more 5 at the back until we play City or Liverpool please.

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  55. I have people coming to stay this weekend so I will get it all off my chest today 🙂 And its the international break so it is slow anyway.

    Who is this T!T Jamie Redknapp. He played for Liverpool, yes, but was the worst player on that Liverpool team. Possibly ever. Now he says that Rafa’s negative tactics may be holding Shelvey back.

    The team is built around Shelvey’s skillset moron. Diame is there to disrupt and pass to Shelvey.

    Shelvey played against Spurs and Cardiff and we were positive although everything didn’t come off. When we played tactically against Chelsea and City, Shelvey wasn’t on the field.

    Maybe bollock-brain Redknapp wasn’t paying attention or had a column to write and decided Rafa bashing was in vogue so he better catch up.

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  56. Despite Rafa’s optimism on Shelvey playing earlier in the week I’ll be very surprised if he does play. Same with Ritchie I expect. So we’ll go into a big game with Hayden, Murphy and Joselu on the pitch. Laughable really.

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  57. georgio: I was hoping Hayden was still suspended. I was never sold on him but was willing to give him a chance. His head didn’t seem right in the Spurs game and the reasons he was giving for wanting a move didn’t make sense, especially since there didn’t seem many (if any) takers.

    Rafa has been making noises that Shelvey is close.

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  58. georgio: I am trying to remain positive. With Shelvey, I think 2-2. Joselu to get a goal to keep up his goal every 90 minutes ratio and pave the way to a 30 million move to Burnley.

    Without Jonjo. 0-2.

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  59. 2 more days and we can get our fix of meaningful football again… we can also look forward to being in a bad mood for the following week

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