Crystal Palace 0-0 Newcastle: The Toon stand strong as Mike Ashley watches on

It wasn’t pretty and it was another performance where we lacked quality and intent in attack, but it’s a good point in the end – with us standing strong and defending well in a game that Palace dominated.

In a game where we were hoping for our first win of the season, it’s fair to say three points never looked likely, but a point on the road, several strong performances at the back and an away clean sheet are three positives to take.

A worrying sign was our lack of creativity or cutting edge in attack – with us rarely looking keen to commit bodies forward – however it’s perhaps quite apt that Mike Ashley was in attendance (for the first time in 18 months!) to see how much we lack quality in those areas.

I said before kick off that keeping Zaha quiet was key – and Yedlin did a superb job of that.



Zaha didn’t quite look his normal self – and the fact he had problems with his back in the warm up could explain that – but we did a very good job of keeping him at bay.

We did get lucky, mind. Despite 62% of the ball, they did only manage four shots on target, however Mamadou Sakho should’ve given them all three points. In his only mistake of the game, Dubravka misread the flight of Townsend’s cross, leaving Sakho free to nod into an empty net at the far post. It looked a certain goal, but, thankfully, he missed.

Dubravka was reliable and, aside from the above, did everything right – but it was Lascelles and Fernandez’s strong showing at centre-back that was perhaps the biggest plus point.

They won just about everything in the air, read the game well and made some brilliant covering tackles to stop Zaha in his tracks. We’ve come to expect strong and reliable displays from the skipper, but Fernandez was outstanding once again and my man of the match.

Shelvey showed glimpses of quality (although our deep lying position in the game limited his ability to do damage), Diame got stuck in well, Kenedy struggled, Perez was soft and ineffective and Rondon barely got a kick.

Interestingly, we’ve not actually conceded a goal yet when we’ve played a side outside the top 6, but we’ve not scored one in those games either (with Palace and Cardiff away both ending 0-0) – a stat that perfectly sums up our biggest strength and clear weakness.

Leicester at home next. A point is something to build on, but we’ll have to be much better going forward if we’re to get all three next weekend.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & 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.

75 thoughts on “Crystal Palace 0-0 Newcastle: The Toon stand strong as Mike Ashley watches on

  1. There’s not much more to say about the match or the start to the season. Support for Rafa is holding up although I expect a few cracks to develop soon. I still expect us to just about stay up but there do seem to have been some strange decisions. I wonder if they were purely financial?

    Loaning Gayle was bizarre but perhaps that was forced on us by WBA? We could do with him as he would obviously be a better plan B than Joselu.

    Having no cover for Shelvey is madness. KI and Hanley are not it.

    Then there is the elephant in the room – MITRO. Fine, sell him if he doesn’t fit the system, but then to not spend the money on a replacement is again madness. Plea is doing well at Gladbach and reports were that we lost out of him for the sake of an extra million. I am not sure if he would have chosen us anyway but to not have other options is criminal.

    BTW, I have always thought that there was more to selling Mitro than that he didn’t fit the system.

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  2. I’m also getting p*ssed off with Rafa sticking with Kenedy and Perez. Thank god we can send Kenedy back, but we’re stuck with Perez. I’m sick of them being passengers in games coz basically they know they aren’t getting dropped.
    I’d rather see Longstaff or Muto getting a chance ahead of Perez now.
    I’d play Murphy ahead of Kenedy. Kenedy is the better player but looks disinterested and I’d far sooner see a player trying and working hard.

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  3. Dubai – Spurs 2nd goal was excellent but I thought Brighton were unlucky to not get at least a draw there.
    I’m a big fan Hoots so watch Brighton wherever I can and he has them playing really good football. I know he’s had money to spend where Rafa hasn’t, but I don’t think their players are SO much better than ours – yet they certainly play better than our lot.

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  4. Are there any positives:

    1. Our worst run of fixtures is over.

    2. Leicester are a good team but not unbeatable and Man U are playing Jeckyll and Hyde even though they have good players. 4 points is possible, but so is zero.

    3. The defence is solid and Fernandez has fit in seamlessly. Now if we can just start to either get on the front foot a bit more or play fast counter attack. That will depend upon:

    4. Rafa said Shelvey has been carrying an injury but hopefully it will get better rather than worse. That will allow Diame to play the game he played in the second half of last year where he disrupted the opposition and laid it off to Jonjo.

    5. Diame, Perez and Kenedy could not have been any worse but have shown in the past they can perform. Hopefully they can turn it around or Rafa can give them a few games off to get their heads together.

    6. Hopefully, Rondon is not injured and Muto settles in more.

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  5. When have protests against an owner ever worked? The Glazers are still at Man U and there were mass protests for years. The Hull owners are still there, so is Tan at Cardiff even the Venkys at Blackburn. Liverpool’s ownership changed because a loophole in the financing not because of complaints against Hicks and Gillett.

    I actually think Ashley might want out, but more because he knows he has a massive task at House of Fraser that will demand his attention and he doesn’t want this little pesky fly that is NUFC buzzing around distracting him.

    We don’t know if Ashley actually reduced his asking price just like we don’t know he increased it. But, guess what! We are in exactly the same position as last year with it looking like we will be in a relegation fight and Rafa even admitting such by using terms like “if we survive”. He doesn’t have a new contract and the playing staff has not been upgraded. We are probably worse off because the rest of the league did upgrade and 2 of the promoted teams spent a fortune.

    Who in their right mind would buy NUFC at this point?

    Any protests at SJP are counterproductive. And that includes outside the ground. We need to be positive because this team needs all of the help it can get. Sure, protest on Northumberland Street if that makes you happy. Have little meetings of supporters groups and twitter rants but that will not sway the fatman. Remember the SackPardew.com movement. That made no difference whatsoever and neither will Ashleyout.com. He will sell on his terms. And nobody will come close to his terms at the moment because we are fighting for survival again with a worse RELATIVE squad and a manager who can walk in 6 months.

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  6. Eric Sykes:
    When have protests against an owner ever worked? The Glazers are still at Man U and there were mass protests for years. The Hull owners are still there, so is Tan at Cardiff even the Venkys at Blackburn. Liverpool’s ownership changed because a loophole in the financing not because of complaints against Hicks and Gillett.

    I actually think Ashley might want out, but more because he knows he has a massive task at House of Fraser that will demand his attention and he doesn’t want this little pesky fly that is NUFC buzzing around distracting him.

    We don’t know if Ashley actually reduced his asking price just like we don’t know he increased it. But, guess what! We are in exactly the same position as last year with it looking like we will be in a relegation fight and Rafa even admitting such by using terms like “if we survive”. He doesn’t have a new contract and the playing staff has not been upgraded. We are probably worse off because the rest of the league did upgrade and 2 of the promoted teams spent a fortune.

    Who in their right mind would buy NUFC at this point?

    Any protests at SJP are counterproductive. And that includes outside the ground. We need to be positive because this team needs all of the help it can get. Sure, protest on Northumberland Street if that makes you happy. Have little meetings of supporters groups and twitter rants but that will not sway the fatman. Remember the SackPardew.com movement. That made no difference whatsoever and neither will Ashleyout.com. He will sell on his terms. And nobody will come close to his terms at the moment because we are fighting for survival again with a worse RELATIVE squad and a manager who can walk in 6 months.

    Eric – I think the money not spent in the summer would clear the debt and Ashley would sell the club for £300m. But I think a clause to that sale would be stadium advertising – and that’s gonna be the sticking point. I don’t think Ashley would sell without that clause … but I don’t think anyone wants to buy it with that clause.

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  7. Sharpy: I just think that a purchase of NUFC would come out of the blue now and Ashley will not be swayed by anything the fans do. The only thing he is worried about is another relegation because he can see how difficult it is to bounce straight back. You aren’t really seeing yo-yo clubs as much, a lot are going down and staying down.

    All of the other PL clubs with decent stadiums have rich owners willing to make investments so that makes us attractive as a scarce commodity. I don’t think anything the fan groups say or do will make any difference to Ashley.

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  8. But… what were the 4 Amigos doing at the game today? Rafa said on Friday that he wouldn’t talk about a contract until after January, so it’s not that. Perhaps to discuss a January budget because anyone can see we need a striker. Everybody says its hard to do business in January but Spurs got Lucas Moura then. Is there some secret deal? Not with Stavely, I am sure.

    Or is it Ashley winding up NUFC fans because he knows that seeing them together would cause speculation?

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  9. I just watched Watford-Fulham and it is immediately apparent that both teams are much better than us in midfield and attack. Our lot will have to play to their fullest potential every week to get anything. The good news is that I think our defense is better than both of theirs. Guess who was Man of the Match? He looks like he’s added a stone and absolutely bullied Watford second half. It probably makes him better as he had no pace anyway so why not become an even bigger Troy Deeney or Mick Harford if anybody on here remembers him. Judging by this and the performances for Serbia, I think Rafa has made a massive mistake.

    There was a funny bit after his goal where he jumped on one of his teammates and tried to wrap his legs around him. Poor guy buckled under his weight and then the Mad Serb started doing primal screams about 2 inches from his face. Worth looking up on youtube.

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  10. A point’s not bad but we have absolutely no attacking threat. No attempts at all from Kenedy, Ritchie, Rondon Shelvey Diame tells the story but to describe Perez as a striker/playmaker brings the language into disrepute. The lad was totally useless all afternoon. Always tackled always falling over he was dreadful. The good news is we have no alternative! Muto? Ki? Longstaff? It’s a big ask.

    Fernandez looks a £6m steal. MOM by miles.

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  11. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the “fan” who threw the bottle was paid or planted by one of Ashley’s henchmen to make our fans look bad and get bad press for the fans instead of him… a very strange incident. The palace player had not done anything untoward and it’s not common for our away fans to behave like that… although I could be wrong.

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  12. If Rondon is injured it makes our summer transfer business look even more stupid.

    I am convinced there was/is something personal between Rafa and Mitro because why else loan him out when we were short of numbers last year and in a relegation fight. That said, I am sure that Rafa was expecting to spend the transfer fee on a striker.

    If that striker was Rondon, OK, but we should have bought him. That would free up another loan move but more importantly we would not have needed to send Gayle the other way which I am sure WBA insisted on as part of the loan.

    Nobody in their right mind would have Joselu as anything other than a bit part player. A third choice at best. Someone to hold the ball up and protect the lead. Now he may be our main striker.

    Then there is Muto. He’s had a couple of months to settle in, now it is time to step up.

    Finally, Perez is streaky and is not a Number 9. Is he even a number 10? He seems to float on the half way line shielding the midfield a lot of the time. But when he gets going and his flicks and jinks come off he can be OK. But we will need him this weekend.

    If Rondon is out it has to be Perez and Muto. What other choice do we have.

    Rafa has been a Manager for a long time, he cannot have thought we would go through the whole year without an injury to any of our strikers. I am convinced he thought he was getting the Mitro money and it is madness that he didn’t when you look where we are now.

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  13. Ryder weighs in on Mitrovic.

    One very strange thing that Ryder said is that Mitro brought in his own striker coach and personal trainer to do work after the NUFC training. He acts like this is a bad thing. I think he is intimating that Rafa has his way and this contradicts it. Really, Lee!!!! I have seen articles in the Chronic about Shelvey, Murphy and even Joselu talking about how they came back early and hired trainers to get a jump on fitness.

    If you look at Ronaldo, everybody talks about his private fitness routine, nutrition and the work he did after the regular training finished…

    How can what Mitro did wanting to get fitter and do extra training be a bad thing Mr. Ryder? And Rafa even asked him to lose weight so he would be more mobile.

    The rest of the article is not a bad read, with other bits of stupidity thrown in. Because, after all, it is Ryder.

    https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/how-aleksandar-mitrovics-form-fulham-15189336

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  14. What’s going on, or not, with this blog? Comments are rarer and rarer and nothing like a while ago or even recently. A slow death?
    It could of course be a reflection on how the season’s going or Ashley’s tenure.
    And the football has been overwhelmingly dire.
    Comments Mr Hawkins?

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  15. Sharpy17:
    I’m also getting p*ssed off with Rafa sticking with Kenedy and Perez.Thank god we can send Kenedy back, but we’re stuck with Perez.I’m sick of them being passengers in games coz basically they know they aren’t getting dropped.
    I’d rather see Longstaff or Muto getting a chance ahead of Perez now.
    I’d play Murphy ahead of Kenedy.Kenedy is the better player but looks disinterested and I’d far sooner see a player trying and working hard.

    Perez was our leading scorer last season and everyone pretty much accepted he improved a lot. From what I’ve seen of Muto he wouldn’t be an upgrade. Longstaff is a midfielder not a striker/no10.

    Off the pitch I see the club are following their usual PR disasters. Contacting local boxer Craig Ritson and told him he must remove all NUFC related badges ect off his boxing gear. You really couldn’t make it up. Who makes these decisions…

    Back to matters on the pitch. Selling Mitro wasn’t the problem and never was. Not replacing spending the £22m on a replacement was the problem.

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  16. Stuart Mate, I am not sure if 75 minutes of regulation PL time at a new club and new country in mostly lost causes is enough to judge Muto.

    Minutes Played:

    Spurs 9
    Cardiff 35
    Chelsea 11
    City 0
    Ars*nal 11
    Palace 9

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  17. I think a fit Shelvey and Rondon will make a big difference. And then there is the problem of both Perez and Kenedy being out of form but we have seen both perform well for NUFC and hopefully they can turn it around.

    Rafa usually hits on a formula and we go on a run.

    I know it is all doom and gloom and it will probably get worse before it gets better. I have said before that Leicester are a good team and a point would be OK and we never get anything at Old Trafford.

    So 3 points total, bottom or 2nd bottom, and then 2 weeks of International Break hell.

    I think that boxer will be taking the NUFC badges off his trunks voluntarily!

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  18. Eric Sykes:
    Stuart Mate, I am not sure if 75 minutes of regulation PL time at a new club and new country in mostly lost causes is enough to judge Muto.

    Minutes Played:

    Spurs 9
    Cardiff 35
    Chelsea 11
    City 0
    Ars*nal 11
    Palace 9

    Eric, I’m calling it. He’s not going to be that good. Better than Joselu maybe, but that’s not saying much. Muto also wasn’t the greatest scorer of goals in Germany either.

    Btw I’m over in NY for the next few days and then going to Chicago. Heard it’s ok but too many ex pats 🙂

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  19. I will not turn on Rafa because he has his hands tied behind his back by the Fatman. But, here is a stat that Pards , Schteve and Ugly John would be proud of: 1 win in his last 11 PL games.

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  20. Rafa’s been talking about Muto needing time to settle in. That may well be the case but it’s time we’re running out of. The lack of attacking threat is there for all to see and some of the more experienced players really need to step up their games. Ritchie hasn’t had an attempt all season, neither has Kenedy, Diame or Shelvey while Perez hit a new low on Saturday.
    I can forgive Joselu because he’s just hopeless.

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  21. Bloody NUFC have told Lewis Ritson he can’t wear boxing shorts with the NUFC crest on it!!
    The lad is a young boxing role model going for World titles – a real positive association with the club and they’ve told him to remove it. I bet if it was SD they f*ck wouldn’t!!

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  22. Personally, Sharpy is like to see Ritson have anti Ashley badges all over his gear now. Even have a Sports Redirect sticker on too. That would be very funny.

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  23. Sharpy17:
    Bloody NUFC have told Lewis Ritson he can’t wear boxing shorts with the NUFC crest on it!!
    The lad is a young boxing role model going for World titles – a real positive association with the club and they’ve told him to remove it.I bet if it was SD they f*ck wouldn’t!!

    The badge is a variation on the Newcastle city coat of arms with black and white stripes anyway. Don’t NUFC licence the badge out and then anybody can do what they want with it? Has he said something against Ashley? Even if he has, I’ve never heard anything like this before.

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  24. Just read the story on Ritson and he is selling merchandise with the badge on it and not paying a license fee. The club has every right to ask him to remove it. A total non-story as he could pay the license fee and be done with it. He could get a NUFC tattoo or wear the shirt into the ring.

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  25. Stuart: there are tons of things to do in Chicago. You could take the architectural river cruise or go to a Cubs baseball game if they are home. There are thousands of bars and restaurants. If you haven’t been before you will be surprised at how clean it is. There is a portrayal of Chicago sometimes as like a murder and gang capital. It is a very segregated city though and the violence is restricted to the South and West sides and you will not be going there I am sure. I am guessing you will be meeting with locals who will show you around.

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  26. Rafa said today that Muto “trained well”; that is Rafa code for he will start the next game or at the very least take a much bigger role. It doesn’t just mean he is running around, it means he is listening to the coaches and understands what Rafa wants in terms of formation and the specifics of what he must do. That was always one of the problems with Mitro, that Rafa didn’t trust him to carry out his instructions.

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  27. Ashley’s cunning plan if we get relegated. Sell Lascelles and Shelvey to cover the cost of relegation because there is also the parachute payment and what Fatty has squirreled away from 2 years in the PL. Then we recall Gayle to add to the remaining squad who would again be the best in The Championship. Hire a promotion specialist manager – WARNOCK.

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  28. A total cynic (who me 🙂 ) could argue that minus Lascelles, Shelvey, Lejuene and maybe Dubravka that Rafa has already built Warnock’s perfect Championship team.

    But, I will say again, it is more important to stay up.

    Do you think that if Huddersfield and Cardiff go back down they will bounce back immediately? There’s an almighty scrap going on in The Championship even at this early stage of the season.

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  29. Interesting claim in the Chron that Ashley won’t let Rafa sign players on long term deals because he won’t commit to one himself. This is moving into classic Catch 22 syndrome. There is some sense in it but as KK keeps telling us Ashley never does things with the club’s interest at heart. He thrives on small vendettas.The guy just doesn’t see the big picture.

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  30. georgio:
    Interesting claim in the Chron that Ashley won’t let Rafa sign players on long term deals because he won’t commit to one himself. This is moving into classic Catch 22 syndrome. There is some sense in it but as KK keeps telling us Ashley never does things with the club’s interest at heart. He thrives on small vendettas.The guy just doesn’t see the big picture.

    its a load of crap,how does he think other club go through change of manager they want “their players in,its what is called “transfer” window,sometimes the new manager likes the players at the club and maybe changes one or two,jabba knows nowt about football hes proved it many times

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  31. Eric Sykes:
    Ashley’s cunning plan if we get relegated. Sell Lascelles and Shelvey to cover the cost of relegation because there is also the parachute payment and what Fatty has squirreled away from 2 years in the PL. Then we recall Gayle to add to the remaining squad who would again be the best in The Championship. Hire a promotion specialist manager – WARNOCK.

    Eric, I have three theories what happens;

    1) Jabba uses the money that’s sat in the bank (and that must be nearly £100m) to plug the gap caused from another relegation.
    2) Jabba uses the cash to fund a new manager when Rafa leaves. He will hope this placates fans annoyed at Rafa leaving.
    3) He takes the money to pay it off his loan which enables him to reduce the asking price and still get his £400m.

    The last one for me is the best if it means getting rid of the toss pot!

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  32. georgio:
    Interesting claim in the Chron that Ashley won’t let Rafa sign players on long term deals because he won’t commit to one himself. This is moving into classic Catch 22 syndrome. There is some sense in it but as KK keeps telling us Ashley never does things with the club’s interest at heart. He thrives on small vendettas.The guy just doesn’t see the big picture.

    In Ashley’s weird world that logic stacks up. He doesn’t understand that the squad and the club infrastructure needs improving regardless of who the manager is. It’s basically gross negligence.

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  33. Stu and georgio: I don’t think that Ashley realizes that the whole Premier League dynamic has changed this year. We had 2 relatively underfunded teams go down in WBA and Swansea to be replaced by ambitious and free spending teams in Wolves and Fulham who are likely to take points off us. Then the rest of the teams all spend more than us, especially teams like West Ham, Watford and Bournemouth who we would normally see as being RELATIVELY easy games.

    I think we are definitely bottom 5 in squad quality and possibly bottom 3. There were no easy games last year and with all the spending it just got a lot harder.

    Then there are the top 6 who we took a few points from last year. They all spent a fortune and/or hired new and ambitious managers.

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  34. We get all of the games in the US and I have watched quite a few. After 6 games I think I can say there is a bottom 6 in terms of squad quality, 3 of which will go down. I will put them in order of quality but this doesn’t necessarily mean anything as their are other factors like manager, schedule and luck:

    Burnley
    NUFC
    Southampton
    Brighton
    Huddersfield
    Cardiff

    I put us 5th bottom mainly because we have quality defenders. I wavered though and thought maybe we were 3rd bottom in quality.

    We are in for a tough ride.

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  35. If you don’t score goals you are always in for a tough ride.

    Interesting that Telegraph are reporting Jabba still wants Rafa to stay and has asked Charnley to find out what he wants in January. How about the money that was promised to him?

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  36. Schedule matters because it can create or kill momentum.

    We also have a nightmare holiday of Liverpool on Boxing Day and Man U on New Years Day.

    Combine that with our start and whoever set up our schedule must be a Mackem.

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  37. I don’t know what it says, but the Man U team that went out to Derby cost about 450 million to put together. I will have a look at what our team on Saturday cost. Might give a bit of perspective, but also might tell you morale and manager also matter:

    Romero 10 mil
    Dalot 30 mil
    Bailly 30 mil
    Jones 15 mil
    Young 25 mil
    Herrera 30 mil
    Matic 40 mil
    Mata 45 mil
    Lingard 0
    Martial 50 mil
    Lukaku 80 mil

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  38. By my reckoning the team against Palace cost about 52 million:

    Dubravka 5 mil
    Yedlin 6 mil
    Fernandez 6 mil
    Lascelles 4 mil
    Dummet 0
    Ritchies 12 mil
    Diame 5 mil
    Shelvey 12 mil
    Kenedy 0
    Perez 2 mil
    Rondon

    Even if you said that kenedy is a loanee and substituted Murphy, same with Rondon and subbed Gayle that would only come to bout 72 million. Or less than 1 Lukaku.

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  39. I will tell you what else Ashley has done. He has cleared the decks and set up the payroll for relegation. He might give Rafa cash in January to pull a rabbit out of his hat but we will still make a big profit in the last 2 years.

    If you look at the payroll in the last accounts without their shenanigans it was about 90 million. Now with a lot of contracts expiring, sales and cheaper options coming in, my guess is probably 65-70 ex the 2 loans. That is affordable in the Championship with parachute payments and if you sell Shelvey and Lascelles to top up the coffers.

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  40. Here’s the rub. Even if Fatty gives Rafa 30 million in January to try to stave off relegation it will not effect the payroll much. We will increase total wages for 6 months but then if we get relegated we send Kenedy and Rondon back from whence they came and HUZZAH the payroll is back down to 65-70 million and even less if Lascelles and Shelvey are gone.

    Ashley might be a [email protected] but he is not a stupid [email protected]

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  41. I don’t think Ashley wants us to get relegated but he has made contingency plans for if we do. I really think he will gamble 30 million in January but that Rafa will be gone anyway. Spending that money is not much of a gamble anyway if you buy the right players.

    He could just sell them for a bit less in the summer if we go down and in the scheme of things a 10 million pound loss would have been worth the gamble.

    Rafa will take the money as well because he doesn’t want another relegation on his CV no matter what the mitigating factors.

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  42. so the Swiss have banned the Chelsea owner from living there??,theres more ganning on than we know about,he wants 3 billion for the club ffs hes knocked back 2 billion 🙄 🙄

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  43. Olly: in your article on Jiminez he is quoted as saying Keegan’s transfer budget was 25 million pounds and one of the players they could get was Benzema. Keegan quit in September 2008 and Benz went to Madrid in July, 2009 for 35 million Euros. More than the whole budget on 1 player 🙂

    Somebody is making things up. Jiminez gave a list of the outrageous demands for players like Beckham or Kaka that Keegan made. Subsequently, they all went to a tribunal where Keegan was awarded 2 million pounds for constructive dismissal with his main claim being that Wise and Jiminez had undercut him in transfer business. Wouldn’t Jiminez or Wise have brought this stuff up then instead of 10 years later.

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  44. Is Jiminez really telling us that Benzema who was playing for Lyon in the Champions League at the time and with Real Madrid sniffing about would have come to a PL struggler? It would have taken Keegan’s miraculous powers of persuasion to do it but it is beyond comprehension that Wise and Jiminez could have set it up.

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  45. People should read the Times Jimenez article that Olly has linked in his article. Jiminez says that he was brought in to help Ashley sell the club and is a tech and property guy and in the next breath starts talking about all of the players that he recommended to Keegan that he turned down. If he was there to sell the club with what he says were his Middle East connections then what was he doing recommending players? Makes no sense. Unless it is a lie.

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  46. Never really took to KK myself but that Jiminez story is absolute ******* apart from saying that KK lost the plot if you disagreed with him.

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  47. So Keegan turned down the likes of Benzema and Sturridge. Anyone else thing it’s odd that they didn’t impose these two players on Keegan, instead deciding that Gonzalez and Xisco were better players to force on a manager… 🙂

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  48. I totally disagree with protesting before a match. We do not need any promotion of a negative atmosphere before a very important game, even if it is against Ashley. We certainly do not need any spillover of this negativity into the ground. Find another way to do it. Not at SJP on a match day. Ashley will ignore it anyway.

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  49. Disagree Eric – this latest round of protests will gather momentum as we get closer and closer to another relegation. They will end up in the ground.
    I don’t like it but this Ashley regime must be brought to an end. The starving of Rafa in transfer funds for whatever reason is absolute madness at a time when huge amounts of cash are arriving at the club.

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  50. georgio: I am not against protests but think they are largely symbolic because they hardly ever work. When they seem to, like with Hicks and Gillett at Liverpool, it is more of a perfect storm of factors with the fan protests being the least important.

    The exception might be West Ham last year as that did seem to jolt their 3 blind monkeys into life.

    My only objection about the NUFC protests is that they are match day.

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  51. I am sure we won’t see Rondon until after the International Break.

    Joselu or Muto to start? Probably Joselu with the rest of the team unchanged.

    Really need Shelvey to have recovered and Perez and Kenedy to find form.

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  52. We’ll be lucky to see Slimani before xmas! Another great move Rafa, selling Mitro and loaning Gayle. That leaves Joselu jogging around for a lot of games unless you throw Muto in. Never mind you can always buy Mbabu in January.

    If we don’t win any of the next two games the season will only have one end. We’d then need to win one of every three games and I just can’t see that.

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  53. georgio:
    We’ll be lucky to see Slimani before xmas! Another great move Rafa, selling Mitro and loaning Gayle. That leaves Joselu jogging around for a lot of games unless you throw Muto in. Never mind you can always buy Mbabu in January.

    If we don’t win any of the next two games the season will only have one end. We’d then need to win one of every three games and I just can’t see that.

    georgio: I wrote a lot about this the other night on this thread (above). Ashley is setting up payroll and squad for relegation but hoping Rafa pulls a rabbit out of his hat. I still think Rafa will get 30 mil in January as one last roll of the dice to stay up because if it doesn’t work we can just sell the players for a small loss in the summer.

      (Quote)

  54. georgio:
    Depressing picture Eric.

    I am trying to stay upbeat but it is hard to see who will score the goals. Ryder says some might consider us underdogs on Saturday. I haven’t looked at the betting but you can put me down in that camp.

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  55. Back from hospital with Lewis, just spent 9 days in with him. He’s still not right and todays blood test shows he now has a virus as well. 🙄
    Anyway missed the Palace game,saw the highlights on motd on the little bed tv though, looks like a point was a good result in the end.
    We are really in the clarts aren’t we.

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  56. Paul Pogba has 30 million social media followers. WHY? Maybe I am too old because I am not on facebook partly because I do not want them delving into my life and preferences but also because I am not interested in how many steps someone took on their fitbit, pictures of a burger the had at TGIF or selfies taken with their kids and cat.

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  57. Kim
    Sorry to hear that Lewis has been in hospital again. He is not having a good year.
    Hope he gets rid of this virus asap.

      (Quote)

  58. sidekick:
    Kim
    Sorry to hear that Lewis has been in hospital again. He is not having a good year.
    Hope he gets rid of this virus asap.

    Cheers mate, he went in with a chest infection after getting a cold a month ago. He spiked a temp and went into status so had to go in on the 18th. We were shoved from one ward to another eventually ending up on a resp ward where he then caught a virus ! Not before they managed to puncture a vein in his foot when trying to take blood 👿 now he has a poorly foot and he STILL has a terrible cough. Reckon he’s worse than before he went in. It’s never bloody ending mate, we’re both exhausted. Just hope we don’t end up back in there as it’s hellish.

    Could do with a toon win to cheer us up and get some much needed points.

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  59. KIM hope things pick up for yous mate,your having a bad trot lately,dont think toon will give much cheer,but heres hoping

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  60. Kim
    News is that Rondon is out with a thigh injury.
    Better news is that Mitrovic is fit to play. Oh wait , Benitez got rid of him.

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  61. Lawro predicts Liverpool to draw tomorrow. That will be 83 Premier League games without defeat according to Lawro.

    What’s the point when you are so biased?

    He predicts 0-2 for us.

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