Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle: Sack him NOW before it’s too late

Thank goodness that Graeme Jones is coming in to fix everything, eh?

This was the second match of Steve Bruce’s tenure of Newcastle United, because, as we all know, he hasn’t been allowed to play his way before the Arsenal match and well…erm… it was terrible….again.

Another appalling effort from this down (in more ways than one the way we’re going), deflated and desperately bad Newcastle United who once again looked anything but a side playing for the current head coach in a 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa that featured no fight, no goal threat and no sign of a response to nine games without a win.

The result also sees us fall to 16th and below Burnley in the table on goal difference, making it TEN without a win and almost SEVEN hours since we last scored a goal.

Both sides came into this game on winless runs; Villa had lost three and had drawn one of their last four outings in all competitions while Newcastle’s form playing somebody else’s way, barring Steve Bruce’s first game against Arsenal, was nine league and cup games resulting in seven losses and two draws.

The squad available to Steve Bruce for this match promised a lot more than what has been seen in recent games, so there were no real excuses for not playing players in positions that actually made sense. Saint Maximin was available for the squad, Fraser was back after suspension, and every position in the team (aside from at centre-back) could be filled without much question of whether it was the “best” available.

Steve Bruce said he wanted to ensure that the team could get “playing 20 or 30 yards higher up the pitch”, so surely, he would pick a team full of pace and attacking flair that could achieve this in a balanced and intelligent way? Surely, he would play his preferred 4-4-2 formation with all the players in the right places?

Did Bruce do this? No.

Bruce opted for a complete change again and what was being reported as a 5-3-2 formation. He made four changes with Hayden, Schar, Manquillo and Hendrick replacing Clark, Longstaff, Krafth and Joelinton.

More pace and power was certainly not added to the team and players such as Fraser, Murphy and Gayle found themselves stuck to the bench.

The big news was the return of Allan Saint-Maximin after injury and Covid issues, but rightly he wasn’t handed an automatic start after his recovery.

However, the takeaway from this news was that had ANOTHER change in formation, ANOTHER new midfield combination, two players starting in Hendrick and Shelvey who have looked especially poor this season, Almiron in a yet ANOTHER different position, and the continued problem of having a complete lack of crossing ability to actually make use of Andy Carroll’s main attributes.

Two minutes into the game, issues were already starting to become apparent such as why was Callum Wilson finding himself on the left wing twice and having to try and cross the ball in. The lack of proper wide presence was already popping up as a problem.

We looked generally ok for five minutes; not necessarily good but ok.

It took 12 minutes for Aston Villa to break the deadlock with absolute dire defending meaning that Watkins could simply nod the ball into the back of the net.

There was a suspicion of offside about the goal but according to Sky commentators, VAR ruled that Schar’s touch of the ball meant that the goal stood.

Darlow’s role in the goal was bizarre and it will be one that he will want to forget, as he challenged Watkins without even raising his hands.

22 minutes in we won a corner and it was fabulously pointless. Shelvey did however get past the first man and Lascelles’s got a head on it but it was cleared by Mings.

The first half hour of the match was… predictable. Villa were in control and Newcastle were helping them keep that control.

31 minutes in, a great Hayden tackle near the Villa box, led to Newcastle experiencing a rare example of being able to threaten. The ball was soon whipped into Carroll but he probably should have done better. 60 seconds later brought the arrival of Aston Villa’s second…which was quickly ruled for offside.

Villa did, however, double their lead eventually on the 41st minute as Traore blasted in the ball from inside the box. It was all too easy for Villa to pass through our defence and create the goal.

This was already a poorer display than the Arsenal match and Steve Bruce’s farcical words of playing it his “way” were somehow becoming more and more farcical by the second.

Newcastle were dithering all over the pitch and every single thing that happened felt inevitable. It was typically passive and pathetic in all areas, with us stinking of a side who’ve lost all faith in the manager.

Jonjo Shelvey would pass the ball now and then but ultimately wandered around like he was going on stroll round the park, while Jeff Hendrick proved that he is the football equivalent of wearing glasses with eyeballs drawn on them to pretend you’re awake.

There was no hope at half time. There was no hint of improvement coming in the second half and Bruce decided to stick to his guns with no changes being made after the break.

The second half, unsurprisingly, started in a similar fashion with Villa attacking well on the 47th minute but Darlow was able to save the rather tame shot with his knees.

Carroll picked up a yellow card for a nasty, late tackle in the 54th minute created from the continued lack of pressure and closing down from the team.

Lascelles followed quickly afterwards on the 56th minute perhaps proving that any semblance of discipline had seeped away.

After 60 minutes, it was clear that Bruce had told the players to keep doing what they were doing because there was no change in play at all. If an ‘attack’ did come from Newcastle then it petered out with little threat to Villa’s keeper. It was at this time that I started wondering where my cat was. It wasn’t clear at this point how Newcastle were to shape any sort of viable chance and it definitely didn’t seem to be through dead balls as Shelvey’s free kick was easily cleared.

Manquillo suffered a nasty but fair tackle on the 62nd minute and needed some treatment before continuing. Villa again threatened to score with some acrobatics from Ross Barkley but it went over the bar – another lucky escape as we somehow kept it at 2-0.

On the 70th minute, Bruce decided to make some changes with Carroll and Manquillo being replaced by Fraser and Saint-Maximin. Although these changes were welcome, it all felt too little, too late.

A little bit of luck and some good play on the 71st minute between Almiron and Fraser created something that probably could have been a lot better but showed that there was some quality in the team not being shown.

Villa could have easily scored on the 72nd minute as Shelvey lost the ball poorly in the middle of the park, allowing five Villa players to bare down on goal.

Strangely enough, crosses started to gain more quality when two wingers were on the pitch but with the purpose-built Carroll off the pitch, they all simply landed next to defenders.

Newcastle started to gain more of the ball in the last ten minutes of the 78th minute mark but part of this felt more like Villa knew they could relax without fear of any proper threat.

On the 80th minute Gayle replaced Almiron for his 100th Newcastle appearance. Was this now a 4-4-2 formation?

After staring at my wall for 5 minutes, we were near the Villa box but nothing of note happened and I started wondering what my wall was up to again.

This match was atrocious and again showed how utterly useless Steve Bruce is as Newcastle manager. There was no fight, there was no proper plan, there was nothing. There was no point in us travelling to Birmingham and it probably would have made more sense for us to send some flowers and a card excusing ourselves from the match.

We have the worst form in the league and we are dropping like a slab of cement.

This was a car crash of a match that made Jack Grealish’s driving antics seem like minor bumps against the curb.

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103 thoughts on “Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle: Sack him NOW before it’s too late

  1. another painful watch, and bruce comes out he was encouraged with certain things in the game, the guy is totally delusional, watched the cheltenham match prior to that sh*t, seen 11 players give their all against the billion pound side, proper manager who has his team well drilled and fight for every ball, could do with him here in fact we could do with there players also

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  2. Another very strange press conference.

    Why didnt he start Fraser?

    It felt like Villa eased up and that is what Bruce sees as us doing better.

    We had one “shot” on target and that was that tame header in the 1st half.

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  3. Surprisingly, I think we have a chance against Leeds. But Bruce has to realise we cannot send the whole team forward for set pieces because they have pace and will do what they did the last time.

    I knew there would be a Bruce death spiral. Said it when he was hired. It was a matter of when rather than if. I dont think he has ever turned it around, he was sacked by the Mackems and Villa and that is what we need to do if we do not beat Leeds.

    I would have sacked Bruce tonight but I know Fatty will give him Leeds and probably Everton at the least.

    Bruce has not only lost the dressing room he has lost his mind judging by the press conferences.

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  4. I’d take Kinnear or Carver back at this point tbh, at least their madness would be mildly entertaining. Bruce is a boring failure and all his issues seem to stem from the fans or the players telling him how they want to play? What a joke.

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  5. Eric Sykes:
    Another very strange press conference.

    Why didnt he start Fraser?

    It felt like Villa eased up and that is what Bruce sees as us doing better.

    We had one “shot” on target and that was that tame header in the 1st half.

    Eric, the man is now delusional. He complains about not having enough fit centre backs and then plays a formation that needs 3 centre backs. 😕 He then complains that ASM and Fraser haven’t been available for him enough and he leaves Fraser on the bench. 😕 He sees “encouragement” in a performance that showed no improvement with one shot on target. 😕 He’s telling everyone he’s the right man for the job and then goes and gets a Championship coach to help him out. 😕

    We have 19 games left and I think if Jabba leaves it much longer we will be down.

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  6. Stuart79: Eric, the man is now delusional. He complains about not having enough fit centre backs and then plays a formation that needs 3 centre backs.😕He then complains that ASM and Fraser haven’t been available for him enough and he leaves Fraser on the bench.😕 He sees “encouragement” in a performance that showed no improvement with one shot on target.😕 He’s telling everyone he’s the right man for the job and then goes and gets a Championship coach to help him out.😕

    We have 19 games left and I think if Jabba leaves it much longer we will be down.

    Exactly, the mans a walking contradiction

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  7. So apparently the club forgot to extend Yedlins visa and it’s run out !That’s why he’s unavailable , it will now have to go before a panel again.

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  8. Will my comments appear?

    Darlow has been our best player but that first goal was bizarre. Was he afraid to give away a pen with a handball? Did he forget he’s a goalie?

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  9. On the last thread I made at least 5 comments that just disappeared. Seems whatever the issue it’s working again, which is more than can be said about our team…

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  10. The same issue occurs again and again. No legs in midfield. Can’t get up and support the forwards. Not quick enough to close down or get back and the answer certainly isn’t Billing. We need mobile players who also can handle the ball, feel comfortable with it and get the head up. Hendrick, Hayden, Lascelles, Caroll, Joe can’t wait to get rid of the ball. Awful.
    Dubravka needs to come back in. I’ve no idea why Darlow didn’t use his hands for the first goal.
    Bruce is an idiot and proves it every time he speaks.

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  11. You know how when you were a little kid and you ran down a really steep hill and couldn’t stop your momentum…………………..That’s NUFC right now.

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  12. Bruce was encouraged when ASM & Fraser came on – thought we looked better.

    Dean Smith took Grealish, Barkley & Targett off to rest them … tells you how worried Villa were about our improvements does it?!.

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  13. I mentioned it in the article last night, but it just amazes me.

    Darlow & Wilson have been our best players so far this season.

    Bruce makes his changes & manages to make them both look worse. Darlow looked poorer against Arsenal & im really not sure what he was doing with their first last night. I think he was too late to it & just trying to put Watkins off coz he knew he was never getting to it & he was out of position to make the save. He was let down by Shelvey & Schar really.

    He’s put Carroll up with Wilson & pretty much taken him out of the game. I don’t remember Wilson having any meaningful play in the game at all last night.

    He’s switched to 2 up front and had only 1 shot on target in both games.

    I know Arsenal & Villa are good teams & I know it takes time for changes to take effect. But the reality is there is nothing where you can see ‘that’s what he’s trying to do’. It’s hit and hope. Hoy some crosses in the box (not many good ones), hope Carroll gets on the end of one or something falls to Wilson.

    It might be a bit more effective with the quality of ASM & Fraser putting those balls in, but it’s still a bit hit & hope.

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  14. I’m done with Shelvey as well now. He’s a player I’ve went back & forward with for a long time, but I’m done now. He’s the laziest one trick pony I’ve ever seen, and we can’t depend one that one trick much either.

    I’m happy to see him leave if another club want him. Let him go.

    Also Schar. He can go too & bring back either Lejeune or Watts.

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  15. While I’m on one … I don’t see the point of bringing Graham Jones in either.

    What’s he going to bring in??. Bruce hasn’t asked for or needed another coach in 18 months – what’s changed?.

    Bruce already doesn’t seem to be able to make a decision on how’s way to do it – does he really need another voice to confuse things?!.

    If he was replacing one of the Steve’s then o could understand, but adding to the team now just smacks of desperation to me.

    It’s obviously cheaper than sacking Bruce & bringing in a whole new group, but I don’t imagine it will bring the needed improvements.

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  16. I am not as down on Darlow for that non-challenge as others seem to be. I reckon he thought he would be sent off if he went in hard. Regardless, keeper is not our problem and I dont mind who plays there as long as it doesnt create tension.

    Shelvey cannot play against Leeds. They are too quick for him. I would say the same about Lascelles who I have previously called to be removed as Captain. That sort of makes him undroppable in Bruces’ eyes and he has been our worst centre back all season, nevermind after Covid.

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  17. We need a link in midfield. The defenders can be solid as long as they are not under pressure ALL game. There are bound to be errors if you just sit there and invite the opposition on. Similarly we do not play our way forward. It is either Jonjo Hollywood or more likely a Darlow hoof. The only other “tactic” is to have a solo run at the opposition with no nearby support. This is all coaching apart from the static midfield. The Steves must be the only people in the country who cannot see it.

    I am depressed but not suicidal about this. We can find a quicker midfielder even as a loan. Hayden can tackle and Matty can pass so we need a link. We could scare the sh!t out of teams with our pace but have to release the hounds. ASM, Miggy, Fraser and Wilson are all fast. Faster than a lot of these tugboat central defenders on midtable teams anyway. The problem is the way Bruce plays them asking them to be auxiliary defenders rather use their speed and creativity.

    When we got Wilson and Fraser I thought that’s what we going for – rapidity in attack and quick transitions. It seems that Bruce is not capable of this even when provided with the tools. If we get a midfielder we might sneak 17th, but we would be far better off just getting rid if Bruce. If we lose to Leeds and Everton even Ashley must see Bruce has to go.

    Oh, and as far as the new coach goes. If he can get one of our players to take a corner he will be a welcome addition. Of course we have to win a corner first to take one 🙂 Havent looked at the stats but I bet we are bottom at that as well.

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  18. Saw the demonstrations in Russia and it looked like America 🙂 Riot Police with billy clubs. Normally yanks would be all high and mighty about that sort of thing but Trump changed all that. And even worse because it was his supporters, the supporters of the self proclaimed law and order party, who were attacking police. And congress if they could have laid their hands on them.

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  19. There is a virtual riot going on on all NUFC Blogs as well as The Chronic and Guardian comments sections. That and a certain amount of accepting our fate apathy. I dread to think how ugly this would be if people were allowed outside and into grounds. Remember when Pardew would not come out of the dugout towards the end of his tenure? It would be hard to sneak cabbages in to SJP but a pocket full of Brussel Sprouts would have sent the message. Could have had a brussel sprouts day but Covid has even denied us of that little bit of fun.

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  20. I have always been against marches to the ground before a match as I thought they were self defeating. I might have changed my mind on that under current Management but will never know because of Covid. I was OK with protests before games outside Sports Direct stores as that didnt affect the players. I was pretty strident against one idiot on Eds who gave out Charley’s address and asked for a march there. I still believe that is off limits, binging in his family. I got a lot of hatred for that view and I think I am banned. Never read it much anyway 🙂

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  21. Forgot about Gayle when talking about speed. So that’s:

    Gayle
    Wilson
    Miggy
    Fraser
    St Max

    Does any team in the PL have a faster group of forwards? Certainly not in the bottom half.

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  22. Eric Sykes:
    Forgot about Gayle when talking about speed. So that’s:

    Gayle
    Wilson
    Miggy
    Fraser
    St Max

    Does any team in the PL have a faster group of forwards? Certainly not in the bottom half.

    Exactly Eric

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  23. Well I’ve read there’s a possible swap Billing for Ritchie – I’d take that coz I think him alongside Hayden in midfield would certainly strengthen us.

    I’d also loan Lingard, and bring back Jetro.

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  24. Sharpy, Billing would fit in our MF quite nicely i reckon, good shot on him too. Trouble is at this present time I wouldn’t trust Bruce to get the best out of any footballer.

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  25. Billing plays exactly like Shelvey. We need someone fast and aggresive for starters. The odd goal would help too. Billing’s not for me.
    The other absolute necessity is fitness. We don’t look fit at all.

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  26. Kimtoon: we are built for speed up front so the cabbage plays Carrol with the assumption I think that he will knock it down to Wilson. That negates one of Wilson’s main assets, his pace and also Bruce doesnt play wingers to feed Andy. That leaves us with hoof ball and Andy marked by 2 centre backs every time. Bruce really doesnt have a clue does he!

    You are right what you said the other day when questioning Bruce would play 20-30 yards up the pitch so we would end up on the half way line 🙂 8 on our 18 yard box with our forwards is just insane. Not that he played them. Fraser, Gayle and ASM all subs. I understand ASM.

    Whatever he said about his way and gloves off, that is not how he set up. He played not to lose again. Even when we went down after 11 mins he thought we could nick a draw. No subs at half time to change the system? The man is a clown. I am starting to agree with some that he might be even worse than Ugly John Carver. Carver was dealt a really bad hand with injuries. If Bruce asks fans to meet him at the training ground for a fight he will officially be worse as Ugly John only talked shyte some of the time where with Bruce it is constant.

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  27. Can we get Davies from Everton? I dont know why they would loan us him unless he is angling for a move and we had a purchase clause. He looks OK and gets stuck in but is he the answer? Depends on the question. Long term, no. To avoid relegation and keep Shelvey, Sean and Hendrick off the pitch – possibly.

    I have always been a big advocate of addition by subtraction in some cases. And with these 3 passengers, now is the time.

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  28. And FFS Andy Carrol is not PLAN A.

    He is Plan B for the last 20 mins at best. He is actually most useful defending opposition corners if God forbid we have a lead in the last 20 mins. Or even a draw.

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  29. Davies is more bothered about his fashion & JD Sports ads. Playing wise he’s Evertons Sean Longstaff – runs a lot, does very little.

    I watched Chelsea today & thought I’d take Billy Gilmour on loan though. He’s a clever young player.

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  30. Liam Kennedy Retweeted
    Titan Sports Plus
    @titan_plus
    ·
    10h
    Some details revealed by Chinese media about the reasons of Rafa Benitez’ departure(1/2) (Ⅰ) he promised to extend his contract through to the end of 2022 after the last season(Ⅱ) Rafa (in UK) is incapable of joining his team before the season kickoff due to travel restriction

    Liam Kennedy Retweeted
    Titan Sports Plus
    @titan_plus
    ·
    10h
    Some details revealed by Chinese media about the reasons of Rafa Benitez’ departure(2/2): (Ⅲ)Not all his staff is willing to work in bubble anymore.(Ⅳ) Rafa is not happy with his results in Dalian but could not get players he admires for the new season due to CFA’s new caps

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  31. Sharpy17:
    Davies is more bothered about his fashion & JD Sports ads.Playing wise he’s Evertons Sean Longstaff – runs a lot, does very little.

    I watched Chelsea today & thought I’d take Billy Gilmour on loan though.He’s a clever young player.

    Ha, Ha, Ha Sharpy. And you want Lingard 🙂 Instagram maniac with his own silly logo designed by his buddies and sells $5 hoodies for $50 online for his own “fashion brand”. Oh, and his own stupid hand signal for whenever he scores which has been about once in the last 2 years. Him, Carrol and Joelinton would get you 5 goals a season between them.

    I usually trust your transfer knowledge. Not this time. I would prefer Davies from what I have seen.

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  32. So the latest is that the written press will no longer get time with Bruce like normal. It’s been cancelled and now they have to try and get their questions answered sat alongside the tv and radio broadcasters.

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  33. Lingard has his own little dance as well but we never see it now because he hardly plays and never scores.

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  34. kimtoon:
    So the latest is that the written presswill no longer get time with Bruce like normal. It’s been cancelled and now they have to try and get their questions answered sat alongside the tv and radio broadcasters.

    Wor Lee went off on one about Bruce. Very unlike him. The rest of the print media have slowly turned on Brucie as well although most were not taken in as much in the first place as Bruce’s TV and radio pundit pals.

    Simon Bird, Little Chrissy Waugh, George Caulkin, Henry Winter and others were not sucked in as much to the Bruce love/excuses/points on the board nonsense.

    Bruce had Luke Edwards. Shearer to an extent, because he has a Sun column but even Big Al seems to have given up on him.

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  35. Whoever’s job it was to renew Yedlins visa should be sacked immediately imo.

    Even for how badly our club is ran, that’s just unacceptable.

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  36. Eric Sykes: Ha, Ha, Ha Sharpy. And you want Lingard 🙂 Instagram maniac with his own silly logo designed by his buddies and sells $5 hoodies for $50 online for his own “fashion brand”. Oh, and his own stupid hand signal for whenever he scores which has been about once in the last 2 years. Him, Carrol and Joelinton would get you 5 goals a season between them.

    I usually trust your transfer knowledge. Not this time. I would prefer Davies from what I have seen.

    Eric – 😂 no sooner did i press save did I remember Lingards Lynx advert. Far point 🤷🏼‍♂️. I do think Lingard would give us more creativity though and is a player that would make runs like ASM & Fraser. I think he’d be a better option to Joelinton & better decision maker to Almiron – who I like but don’t see enough end product from.

    I think Davies would be a slight upgrade on Sean Longstaff, but I don’t think it’s the type of midfielder we desperately need right now with both Longstaffs & Hendricks already there.

    I think we need a Billing or a Choundry type player – big, strong tackling type midfielder to strengthen things in there so our forwards can be forwards.

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  37. https://youtu.be/Gj0LaqI5m1o

    If you get chance, this is decent podcast with the legendary Mick Lowes & his thoughts on all things NUFC. Only done this morning so hot off the press.

    I met Mick a few times at a few different events & he was/is a top bloke. Very knowledgeable & genuine fella. He loves the North East not just NUFC.

    Good watch/listen if you have an hour spare 👍🏻

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  38. I will have a look at that Sharpy. I watch Wraith’s stuff on Youtube and most of it is quite good. He is a very good moderator.

    Gibbo and Supermac are very good.

    The lasses on a Monday night dont pull any punches either.

    3 Amigos is boring because they talk about a takeover for an hr and a half, every fcn week even if there is nothing happening. It is like they were so invested in it the first go round that they have to make excuses for what they said before. I skip that now.

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  39. Eric Sykes:
    I will have a look at that Sharpy. I watch Wraith’s stuff on Youtube and most of it is quite good. He is a very good moderator.

    Gibbo and Supermac are very good.

    The lasses on a Monday night dont pull any punches either.

    3 Amigos is boring because they talk about a takeover for an hr and a half, every fcn week even if there is nothing happening. It is like they were so invested in it the first go round that they have to make excuses for what they said before. I skip that now.

    Eric – I don’t tend to listen to/watch any toon podcasts coz so many hark back to Rafa and takeovers like you say. They all get boring & ive found through 2020 there have been so many supporters picking up a camera & creating a YouTube channel and talking like they have an informed opinion because of their new platform. To be clear, I have no issues with any fan having an opinion whether it is similar to me or not – it’s the way they deliver it like it’s fact coz they have a signed framed toon top hanging behind them.

    I grew up with Mick Lowes though & have plenty of time for him.

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  40. Aye Sharpy mate. It is easier to be a bit more reserved on a blog and have a think before you speak (although you might never know it with me 🙂 ).

    Never gets too wound up on here which is what I like about it. I can disagree with Stewie Thatcher and he can disagree with Aussie John Maynard Keynes’ stupider and more insulting brother but it usually doesnt go too far.

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  41. SHARPY!!!!!!

    You must have grown up with Ando as well!!!!

    He could cause a suicide at an Abba concert. A falling out about blue and pink at a baby shower. A dirge about which is better for depression, lithium or valium. Who played Marvin better in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Alan Rickman seemed born to play that part, but the others were good as well.

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  42. Eric Sykes:
    SHARPY!!!!!!

    You must have grown up with Ando as well!!!!

    He could cause a suicide at an Abba concert. A falling out about blue and pink at a baby shower.A dirge about which is better for depression, lithium or valium. Who played Marvin better in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Alan Rickman seemed born to play that part, but the others were good as well.

    Yes mate, Ando was a pain in the ar$e 😂

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  43. Betting for next NUFC Manager:

    Rafa 6/4
    Hughes 3/1
    Howe 6/1
    Steve Cooper (who he?) 15/2
    Graeme Jones 10/1
    Max Allegri 1/10

    Nah, Max Allegri is not even on the bookies’ radar. I had never even heard of Graeme Jones until last week and now he is 5th favourite FFS.

    Can you really see the Fat Man bringing back Rafa after he worked so hard to get rid of him?

    I am not saying keep Bruce, but this is a sorry group of candidates. It is sort of like Dancing with the Stars/Strictly when they announce the list of “celebrities” and you go – who? Turns out they used to be on East Enders or read the news on Welsh TV (I have never watched Dancing with the Stars BTW, but the news keeps on going on about it).

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  44. Here’s a theory. I have no idea who identified Graeme Jones as a coach but the first instinct of the media is to assume he is there to bring a bit more of a passing game or flair to the team. How about caretaker in waiting?

    There is no way either of the Steves would step in if Bruce was sacked. They would leave with him and good riddance. But look at that list of bookies’ favourites to take over. You would need somebody to step in for a game or 2 whilst you looked for other options.

    I might go with Duncan Ferguson. He’s better than that lot above apart from Rafa.

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  45. Some suggestions for types of cabbage to leave on the steps of SJP tomorrow:

    Napa
    Green
    Red
    Bok Choy
    Savoy
    Kale
    Kohlrabi
    Brussels Sprouts

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  46. Leeds have lost their last three games and haven’t scored. They’ve conceded 36 goals too this season. They’re odds on to beat us. We are the ideal opposition to get them out of their mini slump.

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  47. Lampard sacked. For the absolute opposite of Ashley see Abramovich. Only interested and focused on the absolute success of his football club.

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  48. Stuart79:
    Lampard sacked. For the absolute opposite of Ashley see Abramovich. Only interested and focused on the absolute success of his football club.

    Stu – I get the point you’re making but at the same time I think it’s disgusting they’ve sacked him.

    Shows zero loyalty to the bloke. Not just a player who brought so much success to the same owner, but the fella that steadied the club last season after a few poor managerial appointments & a transfer embargo.
    Not only did he steady the club, but he developed numerous young players – increasing their value & achievement a top 4 finish.

    No doubt he’s going through a sticky spell & his new players have not hit the ground running. But they should have afforded him more time imo.

    Credit to Man Utd & Arsenal for their handling of their managers.

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  49. I’m going to have to stop watching all news outlets. People are now demanding to know when schools are reopening only 3 weeks after demanding they were closed…

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  50. I see a letter was sent to government by doctors expressing concerns over the large gap between vaccine doses. They are asking to see data that proves the longer gap will do no harm to efficacy of the vaccine. So far no data has been seen, they continue to wait.
    Pfizer continue to say they recommend 21 days as laid out in their tests and trials.

    Eric, you said the States were doing the 12 week gap yet all our news outlets are saying we are the only country to have that gap ? confused.

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  51. Lamps gone then, will Tuchel be better that’s the question.

    Be interesting to see if the same players will perform better now since every pundit is adamant it couldn’t work for our team.

    I know it’s better players but they are still under performing so lets see.

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  52. So the Academy guy is still to coach the first team plus this Bournemouth coach is coming in. What are the other 2 Steves doing? Probably should ask what they havent done?

    Coached corners and free kicks
    Got anything out of Joelinton
    Developed a “front foot attitude”

    I could name many more but I will leave it there.

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  53. kimtoon:
    I see a letter was sent to government by doctors expressing concerns over the large gap between vaccine doses. They are asking to see data that proves the longer gap will do no harm to efficacy of the vaccine. So far no data has been seen, they continue to wait.
    Pfizer continue to say they recommend 21 days as laid out in their tests and trials.

    Eric, you said the States were doing the 12 week gap yet all our news outlets are saying we are the only country to have that gap ? confused.

    Must have been someone else. Perhaps not on here. What I have said is that Biden wants 100 vaccinations in 100 days. That could include 1st and 2nd doses with Pfizer but some other cos only require 1.

    What Biden and his main Doc approved was getting whatever doses are available now into as many arms as possible and I assume hoping that production will ramp up for the second doses.

    I didnt say anything that I recall about a 12 week gap but it is very easy not to be clear on a blog. Hope I cleared up what I know about this in the US. The Guardian has a US edition that keeps very current with Covid here. Washington Post also has a lot of info.

    The big news here is that they have opened restaurants with limited capacity in Chicago. Bad news is there will be 8 inches of snow tonight.

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  54. When have the press ever given Bruce any tough questions? It is him that has stuck his foot in his own mouth with his stupid answers which have gotten more ridiculous as our slide continues. He has thrown everybody under the bus and contradicts himself almost as soon as words come out of his mouth. Certainly in successive press conferences on formations etc.

    He hasnt got a clue and I really believe this Graeme Jones fella is the caretaker in waiting because Fatty doesnt really know who to appoint, or who would be interested, if he sacked Bruce.

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  55. Kimtoon: I also said my 88 aunt got her first UK dose 3 weeks ago and is not scheduled for the second until March.

    I dont think there is a policy in the US of delaying a second dose. They are winging it as far as I can see, hoping more vaccine will be there. They havent really explained it. I think Pfizer said that they only tested the vaccine with a 21 day gap so they do not know what will happen if you wait longer. Covering their own backsides as well they should with all the medical litigation that goes on over here.

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  56. Eric, when i said the other day we were the only country doing it (spaced out doses ) you said the states were doing it too. I replied that i didn’t know that and interesting.

    We must of been at cross purposes then if you actually meant getting as many done as possible instead.

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  57. Eric, I still say that it’s not the way to go, why would they gamble like that ? It leaves them open to law suits if long term it creates issues . It’s off label use at the end of the day .

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  58. Eric yes that’s exactly what Pfizer are saying. Given it’s mainly NHS staff and the elderly in hospital and care home settings getting that one it doesn’t sit well.

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  59. Also the grouping system is not being fully adhered to either as any left over vaccine is being dished out to anyone. Though better than wasting it i suppose.

    Lews carers husband works on the vaccine roll out at superdrug, he works at our town center store.
    They are doing vaccines 8am -8pm. If at the end of the day there are vaccines left they must be used up or wasted.
    They started off calling the cop shop round the corner to ask if any officers wanted to pop round for a jab as some going spare then started going through a telephone numbers list of people but they had to get there in half hour of call.
    They even been out front of store and got random people off the street to use them up, age no question !
    This is happening all over the country apparently , at least at there stores anyway.
    There will be a fair few out of the groupings that are now vaccinated .

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  60. So all of the pundits are changing their tune on Bruce, the latest being Cascarino and Sutton. Sutton is one of those who recently was saying NUFC fans were delusional. My view is that they had only watched a few highlights until recently but then we had 3 featured games against Arsenal, Sheffield and Villa when there were no other PL matches running simultaneously. They got to see our coaching failures in all their un-glory. They have seen almost all of these players before in the PL. Under Rafa and for other teams so they know they are for the most part middling players and not relegation fodder like Sheffield and West Brom.

    So, it must be Bruce and now most pundits have had an awakening. They do not want to be seen to be wrong and with relegation now a real threat they have changed their tune. Before Xmas relegation looked unlikely so they took the easy route and defended their pal. Now they are defending their own reputations, what is left of them.

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  61. kimtoon:
    Eric, when i said the other day we were the only country doing it (spaced out doses ) you said the states were doing it too. I replied that i didn’t know that and interesting.

    We must of been at cross purposes then if you actually meant getting as many done as possible instead.

    Kimtoon: I think they are winging it because there have been so few vaccinations here and they want to get it rolling. They really havent explained if it will work. I dont think anybody knows as as Pfizer said this was not the basis of their trials which were for 21 day spacing. They are very worried about the so-called UK covid so want as many vaccinations as possible as that does give partial immunity I think.

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  62. I am thinking I will probably be vaccinated by May. Just a hunch based on the numbers I am seeing. There are 330 million people but some will not get vaccinated. there are 75 million kids to start with. But then there are the vaccine deniers. I think that is like half the Trump supporters which would be a minimum of 45 million and probably more because not all of his fans actually voted for him. After all, he said it was rigged, so why vote.

    That gives me hope that they will get to me sooner rather than later. I am doing all I can not to catch this and even cancelled a trip to somewhere that I would be outside most of the time.

    It is great news that Chicago is under the case count to open restaurants. Gives hope for the UK as you are doing what we have done. As long as people adhere to the rules.

    The bars have limited hours and limited seating (25%) so they are only putting their toe into the water. Lets see how it turns out and maybe Stewie can have a word with Boris to have the UK try it this way?

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  63. Eric Sykes:
    So all of the pundits are changing their tune on Bruce, the latest being Cascarino and Sutton. Sutton is one of those who recently was saying NUFC fans were delusional. My view is that they had only watched a few highlights until recently but then we had 3 featured games against Arsenal, Sheffield and Villa when there were no other PL matches running simultaneously. They got to see our coaching failures in all their un-glory. They have seen almost all of these players before in the PL. Under Rafa and for other teams so they know they are for the most part middling players and not relegation fodder like Sheffield and West Brom.

    So, it must be Bruce and now most pundits have had an awakening. They do not want to be seen to be wrong and with relegation now a real threat they have changed their tune. Before Xmas relegation looked unlikely so they took the easy route and defended their pal. Now they are defending their own reputations, what is left of them.

    So true, even Luke Edwards has turned.

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  64. Redknapp was saying how Villa are so much better than us , conveniently forgetting that last season that same team were hanging on by a thread until the last day whilst we were assured safety weeks before. Alright they have added players but even so you would not expect such a gap in ability.
    Bruce has had 100m thrown at the team and regressed us all over the pitch and made us a laughing stock.

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  65. kimtoon:
    Lamps gone then, will Tuchel be better that’s the question.

    Be interesting to see if the same players will perform better now since every punditis adamant it couldn’t work for our team.

    I know it’s better players but they are still under performing so lets see.

    Kim – I’ve thought about that theory from the pundits & probably like most took offence to it & thought it was another Bruce defence.

    But then I mulled it over. How many of our players played THAT much better under Rafa?.
    Collectively we played organisationally better, more disciplined. A new manager could certainly bring that back – there are certainly improvements a new manager could bring in.
    But I’m not sure any manager is making some of our players better players.

    If you were being truly honest – taking Brucey out of the equation – how many of our 25 player squad would you rate above average?.

    Pundits bang on about our unrealistic ambition. Forget top 6 because I don’t believe any toon fan expects that.

    Let’s look at Wolves, WHU, Everton – how many of our players would those teams want? How many of our players would get into their first teams?.

    Hells bells, how many get into any team outside the current bottom 3 if you want to get really morbid about it?!.

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  66. Eric i am group 6 along with Lewis which means we’ll likely get done aroundjune /july. Our Hazel can get done soon as she is a paid carer. Hazel thinks it’s wrong she gets done before Lewis who has health needs and epilepsy, she has a point.
    Lew was on the list not likely to get a ventilator back in march yet not vulnerable enough to be in a higher group for vaccine apparently !makes zero sense that and smacks of little care for the disabled and special needs to me.

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  67. Sharpy17: Kim – I’ve thought about that theory from the pundits & probably like most took offence to it & thought it was another Bruce defence.

    But then I mulled it over.How many of our players played THAT much better under Rafa?.
    Collectively we played organisationally better, more disciplined.A new manager could certainly bring that back – there are certainly improvements a new manager could bring in.
    But I’m not sure any manager is making some of our players better players.

    If you were being truly honest – taking Brucey out of the equation – how many of our 25 player squad would you rate above average?.

    Pundits bang on about our unrealistic ambition.Forget top 6 because I don’t believe any toon fan expects that.

    Let’s look at Wolves, WHU, Everton – how many of our players would those teams want?How many of our players would get into their first teams?.

    Hells bells, how many get into any team outside the current bottom 3 if you want to get really morbid about it?!.

    We beat West Ham and Everton and drew with Wolves who are on their own mini-death spiral 🙂

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  68. Fair points Sharpy but i still think our players are better than what we are seeing, you only have to look at how well organised they were under Rafa and how good we were looking towards the end of his time here.
    Losing him and Rondon was so damaging to us.
    Even so, look at the attacking talent left on our bench saturday, effing criminal.

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  69. interesting, if sprawling article from Ryder saying Jones will be the first team coach and that Harper is vocal. Also that the youth coach is still in the 1st team picture.

    What do the Steves do (Agnew and Clemence)? Isnt this undermining Bruce’s authority and judgement by going over his head? They are pretty much saying the Steves are out or have very little say from now on. Arnt the players going to get a bit confused with 5 coaches now, plus Bruce, who isnt the most cogent at the best of times?

    Who do they listen to? Who has authority? Who carries the bags of balls and puts out the cones? That would be the Steves, right. It is like the movie Office Space where they keep moving the employee Milton to worse and worse offices until he eventually ends up in the basement. He does eventually burn the place down so I would watch out for the Steves if I was Charnley.

    My main question is who identified Graeme Jones and why would Ashley sanction it and not just sack Bruce? Olly thinks it is money. I think there are no takers for the NUFC job.

    https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/steve-bruce-newcastle-united-stay-19694169

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  70. Eric Sykes: We beat West Ham and Everton and drew with Wolves who are on their own mini-death spiral 🙂

    We drew with Lpool too mate, but which of our players will Klopp come looking for?

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  71. Losses to Leeds and Everton and Bruce is sacked. Jones caretaker, as I said earlier. Problem is I have a feeling we might do OK against Leeds. Bruce must see the writing on the wall unless he is stupid. He knows what he has been doing hasnt worked so it is time to bring in Fraser and Gayle and keep that waste of space Joelinton out of the squad. Same with Shelvey who would be overrun by Leeds.

    Sharpy: I did listen to the Mick Lowes youtube. It was quite funny that he thinks Joelinton is the worst buy in THE HISTORY OF FOOTBALL. Not just NUFC who he covered for 25 years.

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