Newcastle 0-2 Arsenal: Can someone tell them we’re not safe yet? Pathetic.

Could someone remind Steve Bruce and the Newcastle United squad that we’re 17th and still in the midst of a relegation battle?

An abysmal performance at St James’ Park, with us playing like a side with one eye on their summer holidays – not securing Premier League survival.

After Elneny gave the visitors a 1-0 lead just five minutes in, we failed to lay a glove on the Gunners before Aubameyang made it two in a second half that ended with a red card for Fabian Schar.

One shot on target, 38% possession and a big chance missed to extend our lead over the drop zone – not to mention the fact we could’ve gone 13th with a win.

We may remain nine points clear of danger, but with Leicester and Man City up next at a time where Fulham face Burnley and Southampton, this was especially unacceptable – handing Scott Parker’s side an avoidable glimpse of hope in their bid to beat the drop.

Steve Bruce made just one change to the side that earned a 1-1 draw at Anfield last weekend, bringing Callum Wilson in for Joelinton in attack and sticking with a 5-2-3 formation.

It was our top scorer’s first start since February, with Matt Ritchie also passing a late fitness test after suffering a calf injury in midweek.

There was no Joe WIllock, who was ineligible against his parent club, but this felt like a team capable of beating a mid-table Arsenal side who’d made wholesale changes ahead of their Europa League semi-final second leg against Villarreal next week.

The game kicked off and we immediately sat off Arsenal, looking like a side who felt they were already safe in the opening stages – an approach that was punished within six minutes.

After Luiz’s lofted through ball put Bellerin in down the right, his cross was miscued by Aubameyang and fell to Elneny on the edge of the box. The Egyptian isn’t known for his goals, but smashed a volley into the back of the net. No pressure on the ball, Dummett exposed too easily down the left and a strike that Dubravka could and should have got a stronger hand to.

1-0 Arsenal and a pretty pathetic start from our point of view, gifting one of the poorest Arsenal sides we’ve seen an early confidence boost. We need to step up the pitch, push our wing-backs up, up the intensity and press the ball, with the first 15 minutes being that of a side eyeing their summer holidays – not securing Premier League safety!

There was a flicker of a response via Allan Saint-Maximin, who got one shot away and Xhaka booked, but it was a slow, sloppy and half-hearted start from the home side.

Half an hour in and it was very nearly two. First Xhaka had a well struck shot tipped wide by Dubravka, then the Slovakian was bailed out from the resultant corner as Almiron cleared an Elneny header off the line.

Mike Dean then fell for a shameless Ceballos dive which got the Paraguayan booked – a decision about as bad as our first half performance up to this point, with our attack isolated, our midfield anonymous and our back line all at sea.

40 minutes in and we’ve had 37% of the ball, 2 shots to Arsenal’s 12 and just four touches in the opposition box. In truth, we were lucky it was only 0-1.

Half-time and it seems both Steve Bruce and the players needed reminding that we are 17th and still in a relegation battle.

Our negative approach, lack of intensity or movement was painful to watch against a beatable Arsenal side. You’d like to think the second half could only get better, however we were sleepwalking towards an avoidable defeat if we didn’t seriously buck our ideas up.

We came out from the break with a little more urgency, upping the tempo, denying Arsenal easy possession and committing bodies forward when we got on the ball, yet this still didn’t result in any meaningful efforts on target, with us continuing to rely on hopeful balls up to Wilson or ASM bursts.

Just after David Luiz limped off with a hamstring injury, Xhaka was lucky to stay on the pitch after a cynical block on Sean Longstaff. If it was higher up the pitch he’d have been off, but it’s laughable that this was ignored by Mike Dean when Almiron was cautioned for far less in the first half.

Half an hour to go and we needed to change it. Instead, we went 2-0 down with 25 minutes remaining. Murphy didn’t get close enough to Martinelli – not for the first time – and the Brazilian’s cross was poked home at the back post by Aubameyang. Another poor goal to concede but it’s exactly what we deserved, sadly.

Bruce then made two changes, bringing Schar and Joelinton on for the frankly awful Fernandez and a booked Almiron, with Gayle also replacing Clark in the closing stages. Yep, that’s right, we stuck on all of ours attackers and hoped for the best, with Wilson, ASM, Joelinton and Gayle ALL on the pitch at the same time at this point.

Needless to say, it didn’t work and things then went from bad to worse as a reckless lunge from Schar saw him sent off for a foul on Martinelli. It looked harsh but VAR stood by Mike Dean’s decision, meaning the Swiss defender was back on the sidelines for a few more weeks after only just returning from two months out.

The camera panned to Joe Willock sat in the stands with a few minutes to play and his reaction summed up this one pretty well…

On a weekend that saw many stay off social media, it seemed we had decided to boycott our survival bid. A pathetic performance that stunk of a side who think they’re safe and manager who got his ‘tactics’ all wrong.

Next up, a tough trip to Leicester City next Friday night!

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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!

72 thoughts on “Newcastle 0-2 Arsenal: Can someone tell them we’re not safe yet? Pathetic.

  1. That was a typical Bruce inspired performance. Same as all season. Total rubbish.


  2. Pretty angry at our total lack of attack today, we had no midfield and the players all looked lost, chasing down shadows.


  3. JJ on 5 live saying the likes of Newcastle fans have more right to complain than Manure fans.


  4. Back on planet earth again. Points had covered up performances and even some NUFC fans like Wraith were saying we had turned a corner when we were obviously still a Bruce team with a midfield that makes sloths look lively (or as Gilly said as slow as snails). And they tackle about as well as snails as well given the evidence of them against a totally beatable Arsenal team.

    We have not turned a corner.

    We are a Bruce team.

    We will be playing for 17th again next season.

    Wraith and his cronies can talk for an hour and a half on The 3 Amigos every Friday about a takeover but it aint happening. Show me evidence FFS. They say every week they have heard stuff but cannot disclose their sources. And then repeat it the next week. What a fcn waste of time they are. I have decided to stop watching.

    The “Geordie Drunkard, I mean Dentist” says he has inside knowledge because he lives in the middle east. Does he speak Arabic? He is a joke. I certainly wouldnt want him working on my teeth on a Monday morning after his weekend benders that he broadcasts live on Wraith’s youtube.


  5. I was mad all week about so-called fans pretending we had turned a corner because of lucky points we had gained. We were absolutely shyte against Burnley and Liverpool but got lucky. Some acted like we deserved the results. We didnt. Those teams should have been out of sight by half time. All we showed was a tiny bit of resiliance and some individual skill for a few fleeting moments.

    Enough for Bruce to get his media Pals bleating his tune again and to shut the sycophant journos at The Chronic up for another week as they look for the spine they briefly found for a day or 2 after Brighton.


  6. kimtoon:
    JJ on 5 live saying the likes of Newcastle fans have more right to complain than Manure fans.

    Kim – he’s right!!. That shower today was a joke, yet we get ripped by pundits for unrealistic expectations.

    Total bullish!t and I’m bored to the back teeth of listening to Man Utd fans & Lpool fans now.

    Gary Neville has totally rewritten the original proposal and has a lot to say for himself on the very network that created this issue in the first place


  7. Sharpy17: Kim – he’s right!!.That shower today was a joke, yet we get ripped by pundits for unrealistic expectations.

    Total bullish!t and I’m bored to the back teeth of listening to Man Utd fans & Lpool fans now.

    Gary Neville has totally rewritten the original proposal and has a lot to say for himself on the very network that created this issue in the first place

    Spot on mate


  8. It was a total joke the steward retrieving that moron with his jeans falling down his arse’s trainer? I think that will be the meaningful moment of this whole fiasco. The one moment that defines this – good or bad. They let them in, the stewards and police do nothing and then later they have police and horses bringing order.

    It is as if the authorities and the club dont have a clue what they are doing 🙂

    How did they get in?


  9. Postponing the game was always the plan once those fans turned up. They were allowed into the ground without challenge and were allowed to roam while a handful of police turned up – strolled to them and ushered them back out of the ground without incident.

    It was all staged to be some big deal against this ESL. Funny how the players weren’t even in the ground.


  10. IF NOT THEN, THEN WHEN? Against Arsenal today?

    This is the worst Arsenal team in the history of the Premier League and we rolled over and let them tickle our tummy. Where were these big players coming back that would change things? Bruce the Excuse?

    We got lucky against – Burnley, Liverpool and West Ham. Even Spurs.

    We scored in like the 90th minute in most of these. Great, but did that mean we deserved the points as some ar$ehole NUFC fans were saying? We were outplayed for most of these games. It was a snatch and grab. We were flattered!

    And Bruce stands up there like there was a plan. The plan was to only be down 1 nil at half time and then desperately throw on attackers. He did it again today. This time it didnt work.


    Cabbage. Doubtfire. Bagpuss.


  11. Bruce said “we were not at the level we were at the last few weeks”.

    Rewriting history:

    We were crap against Burnley and somehow St Max got us a result.

    We conceded 22 shots against Liverpool and played well for 5 minutes.

    What LEVEL were we at in those game Doubtfire? Crap for 170 minutes of 180 minutes.

    West Ham wee let back into the game when they had 10 men. Spurs? We could have easily lost.

    Where is this new level we have reached you fcn cabbage headed baggpuss Doubtfire!!!


  12. Is the Sheffield manager’s name the most Yorkshire name in the hsitory of Yorkshire names?

    Paul Heckingbottom!

    Probably not.

    That would be:

    Geoffrey Heckingbottom-Boycott


  13. A JOKE!!!!


    Did they have Henri, Bergcamp, Van Persie, Viera? Even Pires or Overmars?

    No, they had Xhaka and Chambers FFS.

    Worst Arsenal team in PL history. Worst Arsenal manager ever and he still out-thought Bruce the Excuse.


  14. I will say again. YOU SHOULD ALL WATCH BRUCE’S AFTER-MATCH COMMENTS. He talks like we played Xavi-Iniesta-Messi Barcelona.


  15. AAARRRHHH… They were saving their in form players for Thursday and still we couldnt touch them. Aubamayang was on for match fitness FFS. He had malaria, he needs minutes for match fitness if they have any chance against Villareal.

    They passed around us – with that crap team!!!

    And if Bruce says the word “DELIGHTED” one more time I am going to write to the dictionary people to have it removed I am PLEASED to say.


  16. I am DELIGHTED that we only lost 2 nil and am not PLEASED at the red card. I thought I made a DELIGHTFUL substitution for Miggy that PLEASED my son Alex on social media. There was a DELIGHTFULLY PLEASING pass from one of the 11th placed teams’ (Arsenal) players in the PL that I thought was PLEASINGLY DELIGHTFUL. Especially since it was against us and I had set us up to defend from the get go.

    A good day over all though. Pleasingly Delightful for Arsenal fans.


  17. Eric – you said during the game what his excuses would be mate. The mad thing is he says them like he genuinely believes them too.

    He actually managed today to take our 3 most effective forwards in Wilson, ASM & Miggy and completely neutralise their threat. It’s some achievement really if he’d been set that as a challenge, you’d think it almost impossible – but he managed it alright.


  18. Calm Down, Calm Down, Calm Down. I say this would never happen at Anfield.You say we bricked the Man City and Real Madrid buses. You what!? Atchuuu, Heisel.


  19. The “cunning plan” might have worked if he had a plan. Probably to let Arsenal do what they do and play pretty little pattern football with no end result and then hit them on the break? Except we never tried to hit them on the break even though we have the players to do it.

    Is that Doubtfire’s fault or did the players just think they could relax? You could see the way it was headed at half time though so Bruce the Excuse should have tried something else. maybe not having the 2 slowest midfielders in the PL might have helped?

    Anybody who says Longstaff has played well in the last few games needs to have a word with themselves. You cannot carry 2 snails in a team. You need some action otherwise you will get overrun. By the worst Arsenal team in living memory FFS!!!!


  20. I cant believe I was actually looking forward to this game. I had seen how bad Arsenal were on Thursday (I watched it on the Spanish channel) and thought they would be looking ahead to next Thursday. I wasnt fooled by the pundits and some naive supporters thinking we had suddenly become a good team, but I thought, why not? This is not yer father’s Arsenal. There is no Henri or Bergkamp. Why not this time, just for once?

    It took about 2 minutes to remember we have a cabbage as a Manager. Another minute and I realised that Wraith and his gang were false equating points to performances and that I was right that we had been incredibly lucky in the last 4 games. Back to reality.

    But we are still staying up. We will be safe before the Fulham game and have more of the same to look forward to next year.

    I think I will support Man City. There are plenty of them Jonny Come Lately’s in the pub I used to go to before Covid.


  21. Whenever cabbage heed talks I expect him to start with… “m’lord I have a cunning plan” and produce a turnip …or maybe a cabbage…


  22. I am telling you!!!! There HAS been a narrative of equating points to performances last week. Wraith especially, which I didnt quite believe because I was warming to him a bit (even though they talk about this false takeover non-stop on his shows). A subtle message of saying Bruce might have been right that it was only about players and managers didnt matter, even though that implies that HE doesnt matter.

    If Bobby Robson or Brian Clough could not get our current players in the top half I would jump off the Tyne Bridge wearing a Sunderland ’til I Die scarf.


  23. I want to be clear that I am against a handful of clubs skimming the bulk of the money while smaller clubs struggle & some would end up going out of existence.

    I just don’t care about hearing fans of other clubs complaining about their owners being ball bags when we’ve had this for 15 years. I’m hearing Man Utd fans saying they have been complaining for 16 years – really?. I don’t remember many protests or fans staying away from Old Trafford. They are angered that they are taking money from the club – where were their complaints when they spent £80m on Maguire?. I do remember them kicking off over the money spent on Van de Beek like – but that was more because they hadn’t spent £110m on Sancho.

    I’m dead against a ESL, but my heart won’t bleed for these clubs fans – it doesn’t even go out to them. None of them seemed to give a sh!t about NUFC and our sh!t owner.

    We think it’s going to be difficult to shift Ashley – good luck getting rid of Roman or the Glaziers. I’m sure there is angelic trillionaires lining up just waiting for scousers, mancs & cockneys to tell them how to spend their hundreds of millions – and I’m sure everyone will agree & things will be hunky dory


  24. I am never letting myself get sucked in by a decent run of results again. Until the next time!!! 🙂 Anybody who read anything I have said on here in the last couple of weeks would have seen me doubting that points and performances were equivalent. But I thought Arse were so bad that we might just have a day when performance matched the point(s). How wrong I was.

    Actually, the performance matched the points (or lack of).



  25. Sharpy: it is difficult to take the Mancs seriously. If they found a pound coin on the pavement they would complain it wasnt a 2 pound coin.


  26. I love The Smiths but the Manc protests today remind me of Morrissey and especially “Heaven knows I am Miserable Now”. I was looking for a job and then I found a job and lord knows I am miserable now! Or Monty Python and the “what have the Roman’s ever done for us:? Sewers, heating, food etc…

    Glazers fck em. What have they ever done for us? How many titles with Alex? Fernandez, Pogba, Cavani, McGuire?

    Almost assured of Europa League final, fck that.

    2nd in Pl. fck that.

    Possible FA Cup, Nah!


  27. AND. It is pretty likely that every trophy is going to Manchester but that is still not enough 🙂

    Premier League – done

    2nd place – done

    League Cup – done

    FA Cup – close

    Europa League – almost

    Champions League – favourites


    You see Liam, dont pick up that pound coin because that is stupid. There might be a 2 pound coin sneaking under it, like. Surrept!tiously, like a wonderwall, whatever that is. Just walk by it and it will magically end up in your pocket along with the 2 pound coin. Blur… who are they? The wholem’90s were a blur to me. Anyway…

    So leave it. Even though we have already won one trophy we can complain. I know we are City fans but that doesnt matter.


  28. I can’t believe the game was postponed because the players wouldn’t be ready – are you kidding me??, they are professional athletes and they wouldn’t be ready???

    Total PR stunt imo.


  29. Manure fans just irked cause they play second fiddle to their noisy neighbours now, cannot accept that their real glory days died with Sir Alex stepping down and the amazing squad he had. These things go in cycles certain teams rule the roost for a while then fade away whilst another comes to the fore. Factor in more rich owners taking on previously uncompetitive clubs and making ground on the so called top 6 and they are in meltdown. Such are the levels of debt at these clubs that long term without continued CL appearances and top 4 spot finishes they face an uncertain future.
    You only have to look at how they snatch away the best players from lesser clubs to stop said clubs competing to see the fear factor.

    No club has a divine right to top 4, you get there on merit, just because you have been a powerhouse for years doesn’t mean it will continue for ever and as such all clubs should plan for any eventuality in that regard.
    Look at clubs like Leeds and Nottingham Forest, Once powerhouses themselves, how long it has taken Leeds to get back into the PL.
    Everton and Villa also have big history but are now also rans, we ourselves have had periods of success way back and more recently in the 90’s albeit we never won anything in the 90’s but did secure top 4 spots.

    Leicester was the turning point for many of the top 6. That title win that delighted all true football fans around the world and showed us what a little cash injection, ambition and team spirit can achieve really upset the apple cart. Apparently it went down like a lead balloon with certain club owners and I personally think that’s when more scrutiny started getting paid to future owners of clubs outside the ‘top six’. After all if little Leicester city can pee on our parade then………I’ll leave you to fill in the gaps.


  30. Oh and another thing, if that was Toon fans doing that yesterday resulting in a game getting cancelled, i reckon there would be major ramifications for the club. Huge fine and possible point deduction, yet you watch nothing will happen to them.


  31. A headline on Ed’s is that “Bruce Laments Sub-Par Performannce Against Arsenal”. I am going to say it again, that was a PAR performance. That is how we usually play. We cede possession and hope to get lucky. Our results have masked the terrible performances recently. It doesnt mean they werent terrible performances though it means St Max had a good 10 minutes against Burnley and Liverpool couldnt hit a barn door with a cow’s ass.

    I know I am repeating myself, but some fans fall for Bruce’s BS.That includes Wraith who should know better. We have been slightly better, but only by a tiny amount and our points have mainly come from the other team missing a host of chances and from luck – remember the 1st 2 goals against West Ham for example!!!


  32. I am totally of the belief that a scorleine completely changes some fans’, commentators, journos and especially Manager’s recollection of a game. We were battered by Liverpool but many now see it as a deserved draw. It was not. I watched the Brighton/Leeds game and the consensus seems to be that Brighton dominated. No they didn’t. It was even and if Leeds had had Bamford the outcome would probably have been different. The score colours people’s perceptions.

    That is why Bruce can get away with spouting the BS he does at the moment and even fans who have been around the block like Wraith believe it and pass it on. Sorry to mention Wraith again, but I have watched his channel and cant believe he is taken in so easily.


  33. Is he taken seriously though Eric, certainly not by me. A self publicist who writes books glorifying thuggery and gangsters.
    Loves the sound of his own voice that one.


  34. Our so called midfield is the major problem at NUFC (apart from Ashley, Charnley and Bruce of course). None of them are fit for purpose. Ritchie’s long past his best, Murphy has always been iffy and the two in Cm are so slow and rarely cross the half way line. Who are the attackers supposed to play with? Even Hayden is the master of the back pass, leaving Hendrick and Matty as the back up. They’re all dreadful and need to go. Willock is our best midfielder probably followed by young Anderson. It will be the same next season.
    Is this it Steve Bruce? After 2 years is this the best you can do? Probably so.
    Then there’s the big owner who now runs us like we’re a bloody charity shop! I have to stop.


  35. Article in The Mag pretty much echoing what I am saying about Bruce the Excuse. The funniest bit is that Brucie is saying we could have been 13th if we had won. That is the sum total of his ambition. fcn 13th. He said we went out to be on the front foot but the early goal stalled us. Wouldnt that make you want to press on????? No, in Bruce’s “tactics” it means you try to get to half time ONLY 1 goal down and then try to nick it in the last 10 minutes. It is Pardew reincarnated in a fatter and flabbier guise.

    I agree with georgio. Do we have a midfield? Molasses, snails and slugs are faster than Jonjo and Sean.


  36. Quite a ordinary performance. Looked like they know they’re safe and want holidays.

    As for protest at Man Utd, that is the kind of action we should have been taking for the last few years. They should be docked points but I haven’t seen the FA even talk about that.


  37. georgio:
    Our so called midfield is the major problem at NUFC (apart from Ashley, Charnley and Bruce of course). None of them are fit for purpose. Ritchie’s long past his best, Murphy has always been iffy and the two in Cm are so slow and rarely cross the half way line. Who are the attackers supposed to play with? Even Hayden is the master of the back pass, leaving Hendrick and Matty as the back up. They’re all dreadful and need to go. Willock is our best midfielder probably followed by young Anderson. It will be the same next season.
    Is this it Steve Bruce? After 2 years is this the best you can do? Probably so.
    Then there’s the big owner who now runs us like we’re a bloody charity shop! I have to stop.

    You dont have to stop georgio!!! We can all see what we are. A collection of some decent individuals let down by a Manager who doesnt have a clue and an owner who doesnt seem to care.

    Then there are the apologists. The pundits, the journos who defend the indefensible until it smacks them in the face. I am talking Merson or Mark Douglas (and Wraith). And then when we get a couple of LUCKY results they are straight back in Team Cabbage’s corner saying what a great job he has done to get us to 17th.

    Supermac was even very close to giving Bruce the Excuse some lurrve before the Arse. He is usually pretty curmudgeonly so I have no idea what games he has been watching.


  38. I am going to say it until I am blue in the face. We were not good against Burnley and Liverpool. We played OK for 10 minutes in each game and somehow lucked results. Is that what we are now? 80 minutes of defense and looking for a lucky draw to “accumulate points” as Bruce the Excuse would have it. Yes, Steve, that’s the point of a League you fool. Accumulation of points is the point. A cup is a knockout tournament. So, thanks for sharing.


  39. I have been a bit grumpy for the last few days. Mainly because I thought people (journos, fans , bloggers) were overplaying the hand Bruce had dealt them but also because I tought Arsenal were so clearly beatable and we rolled over and played dead – even with “our big players back” as the cabbage would say. One more time though – we did not play well in our last 4 games – we got lucky!!!


  40. We played half decently at Everton. Apart from that we’ve been rubbish in every other game! Every body looks better than us even Sheff Utd and Fulham.


  41. Aye georgio. Burnley outplayed us and some “fans” and Bruce act like it was a good game and a deserved win.


  42. Mike “look at me” Dean has given 8 red cards this year. Next highest Refs have 4. I dont care if Schar deserved it or not, it is Dean’s habit for reds that matters. And VAR is very unlikely to overturn a straight red.


  43. Watching WBA/Wolves. Looks like you have nice weather for the bank holiday. The only thing worse will be the scowl on BFAs face if the 1-1 holds. Will he resign to keep his record of never being relegated? Only 3 mins left for Mike Dean to give out a red.


  44. Things I hate about football:


    Fatboy Moss – slower than our midfield.

    Carra – that voice!!! Nails on a chalkboard sent him a letter for patent infringement.

    Keys and Gray – do I really need to explain.

    Jermaine Jenas: he just gets worse. Was a sh!t footballer elevated way above his level and now thinks he can tell the world how it should be played. 21 England caps FFS.

    Jonathan Wilson – Guardian writer and Mackem. Gets everything wrong. Will write 2,000 words slagging off a manager and then they will win the next game 5 nil. Wrote off Moyes at the start of this year. Did I say he is a Mackem 🙂

    The “Big 6”.

    The PL administrators.

    Boris Johnson pretending to care.


  45. In case anytbody reads The Guardian, I will tell you about Jonathan Wilson. He is a fount of knowledge on everything football. He knows all the facts but somehow cannot put them in the right order and come to the correct conclusion. He is Guitar George, he knows all the chords, but it’s strictly rhythm he doesnt want to make it cry or sing. Everything he says is wrong. Do the opposite and you will be OK.


  46. Pledge at 64,100 now. I think they are increasing at about 200 quid a day. Or 50 capuccinos at Starbucks. I looked on and their link is no longer there. I didnt want this to fail but it was a waste of time from day 1. You will see increases but that is because there are recurring debits. My guess has always been that people will cancel their debits at about 3 months as they see this going nowhere.

    At least some charities will benefit.


  47. Now I am hoping for a City/Chelsea CL final. Not because it will be all English, or Arab/Russian really, but because I think it will end the European Super League for a few years. They finally must realise that to subsidise Barca and Real Madrid was not in their interests. Even though Uefa is corrupt and there could be more money generated, these clubs are not in it for the money and keeping their rivals from making more should be their aim.

    And, as we have seen most of the money goes to players anyway who are already rich beyond their wildest dreams. Do they really meed another Ferari or a bigger yacht?

    An ESL without PSG, Bayern, Chelsea and City would be like a bunch of friendlies. They will probably try it anyway, but what is so “super” if Spurs and Arsenal are 2 of your top teams?

    I am thinking about it and there probably will be a split. The Italians and Spanish breaking from Uefa and perhaps bringing a couple of English teams with them. Liverpool and Man U? It should be interesting for a couple of years but these things always end up where they get back together.


  48. With a bit of a quick turnaround I think Bruce will rest Miggy. He hasnt been playing that well in recent games but that is mainly because he is being played out of position. Unfortunately, we will see the Donkey replace him.

    We cannot play with the 2 slowest midfielders in the PL together. I think Willock will replace Longstaff.

    The rest of the team will remain as at Arsenal. I am sure Bruce will set up again to only be 1 down at half time and try to nick a draw. He will fail. It will be a 8-0-2, with St Max and Wilson up top. Leicester will probably put 3 on St Max to shut him down and that will leave Wilson isolated again.

    If Vardy is on form I see Leicester getting 3. They really are our bogey team and they want that top 4. We dont do well against the pass and move teams. Witness Arsenal and Brighton and that is the way Brendan plays.

    I got a bit ahead of myself for Arsenal having withnessed their shambles against Villareal. I totally forgot for a week that we are managed by a cabbage.


    Murphy Fernandez Dummett Clark Ritchie

    Shelvey Willock

    Donkey Wilson St Max


  49. I am still mad at so many NUFC fans getting pundit!tis. It is a desease where you only look at the score or the highlights and assume that NUFC played well and deserved the result. That was so far from the truth against Burnley and Liverpool and still I heard from a lot that we had turned the corner, that Bruce was doing a better job and even that we had played well.

    I was watching the Wraith panel of about 6 NUFC fans and thinking – what games have you been watching. Not the same ones as me. Same with True Faith. This lot, to a man had us relegated after Brighton. I didnt. That was my lowest ebb and I still had us only 50/50 and that was immediately after the game. You see, what I had done is watch Fulham as well. Genius right 🙂 I knew they had a sh!t defense and only Brighton were worse in front of goal.


  50. Lots of talk about the young Celtic CB signing this summer.
    It’s a different league I know & Celtic haven’t been great this season, but the lad looks a decent player to be fair – he’d be a good signing I reckon.

    I know we need midfielders more, but we have some ageing CBs so it would be good to get some younger legs in there.


  51. I copied this lot from an article in The Mag. Interesting!

    New rules of engagement – Five suggested rules to save football

    Here are some suggestions to give an independent regulator something to regulate in relation to the governance of football clubs and ownership. It’s long overdue as the current rules aren’t fit for purpose and are being ignored.


    Owners cannot take profits from the club if the club is in debt. Debt must be serviced first.


    If no debt exists, the owners can take profits but that is limited to 10%(?) of the annual profit.


    A new ‘Governance’ share class to be issued by each football club, to be split 50/50 between owners and established fan groups.

    The new regulator would set the rules and structure of the new share class, based on the governance of the game, and the club. This would ensure the fans have an actual voice balanced against the owner managing the club.

    I’m borrowing this idea from Facebook, where Mark Zuckerburg only owns 28% of the company, but retains all the control as he owns all the ‘voting’ shares.


    Introduce a requirement for a minimum number of directors. I’ve heard Arsenal fans complaining they only have four directors? We famously have just the one, hardly fit for purpose for a multi million £££ business.

    Also maybe the regulator actually has a chair at the table at the Premier League level, in a non-exec role.


    The football club assets must be held within a single legal entity registered in the UK. That would prevent the club being split across 200 different legal entities and keep everything within the jurisdiction of UK company law.


  52. Georgio: I dont know who wrote that rubbish in The Mag but it aint going to happen. A football club is a private for profit entity and there is no way a Tory Govt is going to take away the ownership rights. This new commission will probably recommend a fan rep on the board as some sort of token gesture as they will have very little say/power. There is no way we go to the German model.

    I think the horse has bolted for PL clubs to joing a super league. City and Chelsea were last minute converts and I think they must know now that they were bullied into it and it was not in their interests. I think there will be some form of poison pill preventing the PL clubs from leaving but it is probably not even needed now that they have shown their hand.

    It is not the PL that needs reform anyway, it is Uefa. Why kill the PL golden goose? The big clubs moan that they bring in most of the money for TV but dont get their “fair” share. It is incredibly short sighted. The PL pie has grown massively so they are getting a share of a much bigger pie. Plus they pick up most of the marketing and sponsorship money. I think Liverpool signed some kit deal for like 600 million and we make 5 mil a year. God knows what Burnley make, probably 2?

    I still think Italy and Spain will force a breakaway creating a de facto Champions League South and North. They may even include Turkey and Portugal. This will be to force the hand of UEFA and I doubt any English teams will now join in, especially as I think there will be a poison pill created by this Govt.

    That’s my take. There will be a token “fan Director” created and there will be a split from Uefa which will ultimately be brought back together with the clubs having more say in how it is run and where the money goes.

    It is ultimately a play for where the new money from streaming goes and who gets what share of this new pie. It is also because Uefa is inefficient and corrupt so in a way you cannot blame the clubs for wanting to change it.

    I still think you have to be idiots to help your competitors as Chelsea and City would be doing, even if there was a 300 million carrot dangled in front of you. Let them clean their own houses. Isnt that the way capitalism is supposed to work and the likes of John Henry would not put up with outside interference in his main business.

    Uefa and Fifa are corrupt dinosaurs and need reforming. They wont change themselves, we have seen that. Every head they appoint suddenly becomes King and wants to protect his new kingdom. It is like the ring in Lord of the Rings. Something needs to be done. I am not sure what.


  53. When football fans are asked about what changes need to be made in governing structures they always come up with some pie-in-the-sky utopian vision. The German model was set up when the money wasnt like it is now. There is no going back to those times for the PL.

    It is like The Pledge. Great in theory, but their ideas will never happen. Good for the charities though.


  54. I agree Eric there’s some pie in the sky there but also some interesting ideas. Pay off the debt first is a good one and stops future Glasers who actually bought ManU with massive debt, and it’s still there.


  55. Has anybody noticed that Foden seems to have a pemanent frown? I dont think he is not having fun. I think it is his eybrows. And Jesus seems to have a permanent perplexed look. Again, I think that might be his eyebrows as well.


  56. georgio:
    I agree Eric there’s some pie in the sky there but also some interesting ideas. Pay off the debt first is a good one and stops future Glasers who actually bought ManU with massive debt, and it’s still there.

    Georgio, mate. I just dont see Boris’ Tory Party taking ownership rights away from Hedge Funds and Vulture Capitalists. If anything, they have demonstrated the oppposite and have given tax breaks and freebies to the same. All the Glazers or John Henry would have to do is to give 3 mil to the Tory Party and any reforms would be forgotten.

    The only “reform” I can see happening is a fan seat on the board which will be meaningless and tokenism. If I was Man U and the Govt said I had to appoint a fan I would just expand the board to 6 or 8 with my cronies so the fan member had virtually no say anyway.


  57. God, I am getting really cynical about changes in football governance. I think it has been Ashley and the takeovers that have made me this way. And what Keegan said. I question everything now and believe nothing. They are all a bunch of shysters out to line their own pockets.


  58. And carrying on my cynicism. I think The Pledge is totally well intentioned but wrong headed and doomed to failure.


  59. I dont understand why everybody is up in arms with the Glazers using debt financing to buy Man U. If you have a mortgage, that is not too disimilar. You put 20% down and the rest is debt. Or a car loan. The Glazers have seen their initial loan of $500 million pay for itself and the value of the club grow to like $3 Billion. They dont have any risk there.

    I see journos and some fans say it is a risky business model. NOT NOW! Maybe when 1st set up, but not now. It is just like buying a house in London in 1980 for 100k and now it is worth 500k. It was expensive at the time but now you have 400k in equity so there is absolutely no risk.


  60. Eric Sykes:
    I dont understand why everybody is up in arms with the Glazers using debt financing to buy Man U. If you have a mortgage, that is not too disimilar. You put 20% down and the rest is debt. Or a car loan. The Glazers have seen their initial loan of $500 million pay for itself and the value of the club grow to like $3 Billion. They dont have any risk there.

    I see journos and some fans say it is a risky business model. NOT NOW! Maybe when 1st set up, but not now. It is just like buying a house in London in 1980 for 100k and now it is worth 500k. It was expensive at the time but now you have 400k in equity sothere is absolutely no risk.

    Eric – since the Glaziers bought Man Utd there’s only City that have out spent them – including all the top Europe sides … over 700m much of it wasted imo but it’s hardly like they’ve held the club back like.


  61. Watching Chelsea v Real – good game and could well be an all English final.

    But I hate watching games where Rio is a pundit – he talks like he was the greatest CB ever to have played, who never made a mistake.


  62. I can see why Madrid are pushing for the ESL like – they were awful tonight & going backwards with key players ageing and set to leave


  63. Sharpy: I watched both CL semi-finals and they were OK games but the English teams were far better. You can see why Florentino Perez wanted that 350 million to boost Real Madrid, but also Barca who we know were already out. God knows what happens when Messi retires?

    I had to watch on the Spanish Channel. Doubt if they had a very big audience so the ESL may take a while to get started over here. I think it might have been on a ESPN stream that you have to pay for.

    I am not sure what Perez is talking about when he is saying “kids nowadays and their 15 minute attention spans”. People do not watch football in 15 minute bites, even over here. It is not like the NFL which seems specifically designed for TV and Ads with its stop/start format. Or basketball where you can pretty much ignore most of it and skip to the 4th quarter.

    I reckon it would take a while for a ESL to catch on. And if it was in China etc it would have to be in English, not Spanish because that is their 2nd language.

    I watched games in Thailand a couple of years ago. The commentary is in English and then they have Thais do a halftime show.


  64. Eric – I think the English teams were head and shoulders better than Madrid & PSG.
    Chelsea & City are teams. Good players put together and coached as a collective to out perform the opposition & win games.
    PSG & Madrid have gone out and bought players that will sell shirts. Top players that will win their leagues at a canter.

    I got the impression that Chelsea & City more ‘went along’ with the ESL rather than being the driving force behind it – and I think they pulled out of it first and without much drama.

    Pep will go down as a great manager & his teams have played some incredible football – but it should be remembered that he has spent round 1 billion in the transfer market. His management of Phil Foden has been first class to be fair to him, but that lad is an absolute freak!!. Pep can take as much credit for that as Fergie can for the class of 92 players.


  65. Leicester still aren’t guaranteed a top 4 spot yet so I see them coming at us hard tonight.
    I only see a convincing defeat tonight – but then I thought we’d beat Arsenal and were absolutely dog sh!t so maybe should stop with the prediction now 🤷🏼‍♂️😂


  66. Bruce was saying the players are exhaused because the seasons ran together and because of Covid. These are probably valid points, but from him they come across as yet more excuses because that’s all he has apart from a bit of gloating when we luck a few points.

    You think of someone like Harry Kane and how many games he has played. Spurs went to the final of The League Cup. They were in the Europa League. He plays every England international. How knackered mus he be then Steve?

    Sharpy, you were not alone by being fooled into thinking Arsenal would overlook us and be thinking about the Villareal return game, or thinking they might be as crap as they were in the that first leg. But you could give Bruce Man City or Chelsea and he would still set up 8-0-1-1 and probably bring in Donkey for De Bruyne.


  67. What’s annoying about Bruce is that his first instinct is to blame someone or something else. It’s hard to take him seriously. Most answers end with a BUT. We didn’t play well, but…

    Then comes the excuse. Whatever it might be. If we somehow nick a point like at Liverpool he will be pleased and delighted. I wonder if their players are tired? They have played a lot more games than ours.

    I am sure Covid was brutal but I think the only starters it affected were St Max and Lascelles. I think Agnew got it but that was probably a help rather than a hindrance.

    So, I thought about it for a few minutes, blaming Covid for our bad form is a bit of a stretch. It had much more to do with bad coaching and set ups. One week it is injuries, the next it is covid. And then it is “big players” missing. How did we do against Arsenal with our big players back Steve?


  68. Carrying on with the Bruce the Excuse theme…

    Bruce has his “big players” back but has set up the excuse today that that doesnt really matter, that it is all about Covid. I can see what you are doing you Fat Fck, you are trying to manage expectations for when we finish with 37 points. You will have had the squad you wanted but I think we will pick 1 point to finish the season but that will be enough to still be above Fulham.

    So, that’s losses against Leicester, Man City and Fulham and a draw at home to Sheffield. It should be interesting to see fans reaction at that last home game. 10,000.

    I think it would be funny if one of the fan groups handed out photocopies of a cabbage to hold up. The stewards would confiscate real cabbages.

    I hate being this negative but the football has been so bad it has driven me to this point. Very unlikely to change in the next 2 games anaarl.


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