Fulham 0-2 Newcastle: Mags end 2020/21 in 12th as Willock & Schar earn NUFC a few million

Another goal from Joe Willock and a late strike from Fabian Schar handed us a 2-0 win at Fulham on the final day of 2020/21 – a result that sees us end the season in 12th after results elsewhere all went our way.

Willock opened the scoring 23 minutes in after another brilliant driving run ended in a cool bottom-corner finish – a goal that equals Shearer’s record of seven goals on the spin – and Schar then converted from the spot five minutes from time.

The centre-back’s strike not only made sure of all three points, but also saw us leapfrog Wolves (previously 12th) on goal difference and move one more place up the Premier League table – a late swing that gains us a few million extra in merit payments.

It was a little like the Sheffield United game in that we didn’t play well, sat back after taking the lead and couldn’t have had too many complaints had we ended up drawing, however we took our chances unlike the home side, put bodies on the line at the back and benefited from the oppositions lack of cutting edge.

I honestly thought we were gone after that 3-0 defeat at Brighton just eight weeks ago, yet we’ve won five of our last eight games since, shot up to 12th and showed a refreshing blend of grit, togetherness and quality to end the season in style.

It’s not a finish that will see fans dancing in the street or daring to dream next season, but it’s most definitely one that sees Steve Bruce and the players deserve real credit. The joint 4th best finish of the Mike Ashley era – a stat that says more about the lack of ambition during the NUFC owners’ tenure than anything else.

Mr. Ashley was in the stands at Craven Cottage today, too. Hopefully it’s the last game of his 14-year reign and, if not, a match that reminded him how vital it is that we re-sign Joe Willock this summer!

Bruce made one change for this one, bringing in Sean Longstaff for the injured Joelinton – a move which saw Almiron push further up the pitch.

Krafth kept his place, despite Schar being back from a ban, and both Saint-Maximin and Dubravka started after overcoming knocks in our 1-0 win over Sheffield United in midweek.

The first half was fairly open in patches and placed at a decent tempo, however poor final ball was letting both sides down in the opening 15 minutes.

Saint-Maximin had our first big opening and fired his shot just wide, while Lookman did similar at the other end with a weak strike that didn’t test Dubravka.

We were lacking a focal points up top in Wilson and Joelinton’s absence, but that and the lack of quality in the final third soon evaporated and we took the lead. No striker? No problem, as that man Joe Willock popped up again with yet another goal.

I say ‘popped up’, yet this was anything but a late run into the box and finish close range finish, with him driving with the ball from his own half and smashing a loose ball into the bottom left corner!

Watch the goal below, with this his SEVENTH goal in his last seven games – meaning he’s now equalled a club record set by none other than Alan Shearer. His ridiculous form might end up working against us at this rate, but if there’s any chance of signing him on a permanent deal this summer we must take it – even if it means splashing 90% of our summer budget on the 21-year-old.

After that, there wasn’t much to report on for the remainder of the first 45 minutes, with the typically wasteful Fulham failing to register a single shot on target in the opening half.

As for us, Almiron had one decent effort saved by Rodek and Murphy a few bursts forward that came to nothing. There was the odd passage of decent football, however we were a two-man band in attack relying on ASM’s dribbling or Almiron’s pace in behind to make something happen from nowhere.

Nevertheless, we looked like a side committed to pick up a result that could see us finish as high as 12th if results went our way, with Dummett and Fernandez often being first to any inviting balls into the box and us throwing bodies on the line to keep Dubravka’s clean sheet intact.

Half time and we went in 1-0 up and sat in 13th as things stood, with teams above us at the start of the day like Palace, Southampton and Wolves all losing at the break.

After almost 60% of the ball in the first 45, Scott Parker’s side upped that to 70% in the second half and upped the tempo immediately.

Cavaleiro had a huge opportunity to make it 1-1 on the 55-minute mark but blazed over for one of the worst misses you’ll see all season in a moment that summed up Fulham’s struggles at Craven Cottage all season.

Saint-Maximin made way just after the hour mark for Dwight Gayle; and the striker had a huge chance to make it 2-0 just a few minutes after his introduction.

Ritchie swung in a brilliant cross and Gayle rose highest at the back post. It looked harder to miss, yet he couldn’t keep his header down. There’s been talk of a new three-year deal for the 30-year-old, but surely that’s only to protect his value so we can get a fee for him this summer? Let’s face it, he’s not worth keeping now he struggles to stay fit and rarely looks like scoring at this level.

Fulham continued to huff and puff and looked the better side in possession as we looked to protect our lead rather than put the game to bed, yet it never felt like the home side were about to score.

Five minutes on the clock and we were then awarded a chance to make it 2-0 from the spot, with Ritchie tripped by Tete after cutting inside the full-back in the box. VAR had a look, the decision stood and a surprise man stepped up to take it in Fabian Schar.

The Swiss star stepped up and cooly rolled the ball past Rodek to make sure of all three points with 88 minutes on the clock.

Not only did it seal the win, it meant that we’d just moved up to 12th in the table on goal difference should our scoreline stay the same and Wolves stay 1-2 down to Man Utd (we were level on points and level on goal difference but we’d scored more).

The full-time whistle went at Fulham and the Wolves score stayed the same, seeing us finish the season in 12th place – making us the best of the rest in that group of struggling bottom half sides.

Heres’ the final Premier League table and all 10 final day results, with it quite incredible that we finish two places behind Everton and one behind Villa – two sides who were still gunning for Europe just a few weeks ago!

Well played lads and well done for proving us wrong over the run in, Steve! He may not be the answer moving forward, but credit where credit’s due – we’ve not only stated up but ended the season impressively, setting the standard moving forward into 2021/22.

Now, let’s make use of that extra £10m-or-so earned from our 12th place finish and put it towards a permanent deal for Joe Willock!

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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.

58 thoughts on “Fulham 0-2 Newcastle: Mags end 2020/21 in 12th as Willock & Schar earn NUFC a few million

  1. 12th.

    I predicted 12th. Based only on alpabetical order.

    I am changing my name back to Mystic Eric.

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  2. I think Bruce is not a good manager but even I can see a few good things he does as I said to Sharpy the other day. It is funny to see The Mag and them saying Rafa was a God at NUFC. Always comparing Bruce to Rafa. He got us relegated with the best squad ever to be relegated.

    Rafa was a pretty shyte Manager for NUFC and anybody wanting him back after a takeover needs their head examined.

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  3. Eric:
    I think Bruce is not a good manager but even I can see a few good things he does as I said to Sharpy the other day. It is funny to see The Mag and them saying Rafa was a God at NUFC. Always comparing Bruce to Rafa. He got us relegated with the best squad ever to be relegated.

    Rafa was a pretty shyte Manager for NUFC and anybody wanting him back after a takeover needs their head examined.

    Eric – I don’t know that he was shyte but I don’t think he deserves all the praise he gets. He certainly didn’t achieve anything too flash with us – average at best & his name got him more kudos than his achievements imo. If it had been Pardew or McClaren I don’t think as many would have been won over for example.

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  4. If Bruce is kept on then I think it’s how well he’s backed from a bloke clearly desperate to sell the club.

    I think Bruce has the right formation now with decent enough players in most positions – but to kick on again & improve on our points tally & avoid a relegation battle for a change, we need to strengthen our squad.

    The difficulty will be if Ashley decides not to put into the transfer kitty.

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  5. Italy just won the Eurovision Song Contest. What a fantastic achievement in these times of Covid. Matches their empire.

    Paolo Maldini, Roberto Bagio, Allaseandro Del Piero – you should bow down to the tune of – bing, bang boop willy willy winka. It will be remembered for all time.

    I think the lyrics were, translated into English:

    What’s-the-matter-you
    Got-no-respect
    It’s-notta-so-bad
    Ahh-shuttuppa-ya-face

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  6. What Bruce does is he brags about himself and blames others.

    That’s why he is unlikeable. A blowhard, a bragger, a d!ck.

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  7. Is that all Eric?

    We were outplayed yet again but in a now familiar style scored in a fairly explosive manner.
    Maybe we can rise up to 11th next season. 😳

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  8. I went to see 12 Years a Slave in the cinema a couple of year ago. That’s what this season has felt like. It was 2 and a half hours of just depressing, horific stuf that ended with the main character getting his freedom. It still left me deflated because I couldnt forget the 1st 2 and a half hours. That is NUFC under Bruce. 12 Years a Slave.

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  9. Brucie says there are some people who should be eating humble pie about NUFC and, implied, him. You should stay away from pies in general you fat tw@t.

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  10. I got banned from The Guardian football comments sections for 3 months for saying about an article they had about Neville Southall – now we know who ate all the pies! He must be like 22 stone but is a nice guy they say. #FatShaming.

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  11. Ice: I am banned from Eds. The Harrisons eventually ban everybody. I argued with a couple of their regulars who are c@nts and are also banned now 🙂 I could go to The Mag but all they talk about is Rafa.

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  12. Rafa this, Rafa that. Rafa was pretty vrap at NUFC if you ask me. Relegated the best team to get relegated from the PL. Had 11 games. Rafa was pretty shyte at NUFC if you ask me and some treat him like a god.

    I am sick of Brucie taliking about the accumullation of points but he did get roughly the same as Rafa and Rafa’s football was only marginally better. But he is a god according to some and it was only the budget that held him back!!!! Some on The Mag say!!!! Like at Real Madrid and Napoli!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rafa was crap at NUFC. Got us relegated. Sold Armstrong and Toney.

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  13. I have listened to Wraith and Pals today and also True Faith NUFC.

    They all said, everybody said, on The Mag, on Eds, we would get relegated after Brighton.

    I didnt. They are a bunch of negative ninnies. That was my lowest point but I still didnt think we would be relegated. We always had a better team than Fulham. And every pundit was bigging up Parker when he is just a slimmer, better dressed and even more wrinkles on his brow version than Bruce.

    Fatty Bruce was exceptionally badly dressed yesterday.

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  14. Bruce showed his fat arse off to incredibly fat proportions yesterday. Well done. Have a pie.

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  15. Have several pies. And a bucket of ice cream. And some fudge. Have 13 pork pies and 3 gallons of ice cream you fat fck. Humble Pie, Fat Lad. We will never eat that where you are concerned.

    17th next year, I think.

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  16. OK. Just give the players pockets in their shorts and have them put tissues in them. In the days of covid, why are they snotting on the pitch?

    I have like 5 pairs of shorts and they all have pockets where I put tissues so I dont spit or snort on the ground.

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  17. Does anybody really think that if a 21 year old had scored in 7 games in a row for Arsenal that he would not be included in a 33 man England squad? He should be in the squad!

    As well as Joe did though, I would still pick Mount and Grealish ahead of him in the starting 11. So barring injuries he would probably sit on the bench anyway. Pity. He deserves the recognition.

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  18. The same person/people that chose St Max, Willock and Wilson also chose Joelinton and Hendrick. Strange that!

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  19. I dislike Rio Ferdinand intensely. He is making fun of Shearer again for choosing NUFC over MUFC. But he forgets what team NUFC had back then. What striker would not want to play with Ginola, Asprilla and Beardsley, even if Pedro was getting on a bit. Here’s the team without Shearer:

    Hislop

    Barton
    Philippe Abert
    Watson
    Berrisford

    Batty
    Rob Lee
    Beardsley

    Asprila
    Ginola
    Sir Les

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  20. So Graham Jones is joining the England coaching team 😳

    He’ll be off to Spuds as well I bet if Martinez ends up there next season

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  21. Looking at that team. It is so Keegan. Barton and Beresford were pretty much wingers and Lee and Beardsley were number 10s. So it was a 2 – 1 – 6 -1 formation.

    Watson Albert

    Batty

    Berisford Beardsley Lee Asprilla Barton Ginola

    Sir Les

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  22. Sharpy17:
    So Graham Jones is joining the England coaching team

    He’ll be off to Spuds as well I bet if Martinez ends up there next season

    Do you think Bruce had anything to do with Jones’s hiring? As I have said a few times the look of Steve’s face on the sideline during the first few games after Jones arrived says he was Manager-in-waiting.

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  23. We know Bruce had nothing to do with the Jones hiring. He is a liar and has proved it many times with his pleasingly pleased and delightedly delighted words.

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  24. I am delighted and pleased to say I am delightedly pleasured (Oooh Matron) that our season has finished. We were delightfully pleasing in some games, although not many. Everton. Leicester? They were pleasing. Were they delightful though? Compared to the rest of the dross I served up, then perhaps? I must say that 12th is an delightful pleasure.

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  25. Eric: Do you think Bruce had anything to do with Jones’s hiring? As I have said a few times the look of Steve’s face on the sideline during the first few games after Jones arrived says he was Manager-in-waiting.

    Eric – I do think Bruce hired Jones.

    I think there was likely a conversation with Charnley that went along the lines of – something needs to change coz the form you’re in at the moment, you and the Steve’s will get sacked.

    I think beyond that point Bruce went for Jones because he knew he & the Steve’s couldn’t turn it round between them.

    I still don’t buy into this thought that Jones is a world class coach that saved us – certainly he played his part though.
    But his CV doesn’t say world class & being called up to coach England means nowt when you look at who got the gig as manager 🤷🏼‍♂️.

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  26. The other reason I think he hired him rather than Jones being forced into him is our up turn in form.
    Such an enforced position as that would more likely have seen us impode and at least 1 of the Steve’s leave – but that didn’t happen.

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  27. What we need next season is to have more pleasurable delight even though I will not have Joe Willock to bail me out. Yes, that Joe Willock. The one I left on the bench.

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  28. Sharpy17: Eric – I do think Bruce hired Jones.

    I think there was likely a conversation with Charnley that went along the lines of – something needs to change coz the form you’re in at the moment, you and the Steve’s will get sacked.

    I think beyond that point Bruce went for Jones because he knew he & the Steve’s couldn’t turn it round between them.

    I still don’t buy into this thought that Jones is a world class coach that saved us – certainly he played his part though.
    But his CV doesn’t say world class & being called up to coach England means nowt when you look at who got the gig as manager .

    Agree about the manager of England. He was Boro Manager FFS. Who else was Boro and England? Yes, McClaren 🙂

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  29. Sharpy17:
    The other reason I think he hired him rather than Jones being forced into him is our up turn in form.
    Such an enforced position as that would more likely have seen us impode and at least 1 of the Steve’s leave – but that didn’t happen.

    “forced into him”!! Bruce! that is in my worst nightmares of my Steve Bruce thoughts.

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  30. Worst dresser in English Football – Steve Bruce

    2nd fattest fck. Steve Bruce. BFS is obviously 1st.

    Employs the most Steves – Harper, Clements, Agnew, himself.

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  31. Olly: I will give a few suggestions for articles.

    1. a season summary, trying not to dwell on Bruce which is why I wouldnt write one 🙂

    2. player ratings for the season. I have no idea what to rate Krafth at now? OK, a 6? he was shyte and then he wasnt.

    3. How old does Bruce look now?

    75?

    80?

    That picture in your last article seems to show a considerable aging of Brucie.

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  32. Player Ratings:

    Dubs – 8, a few mistakes for goals but overall outstanding.
    Darlow – same as Dubs. We would have had 30 points without him and Dubs.
    Dummett – 6, best tackler in the team
    Matty Longstaff – NA. Why wasnt he loaned out?
    Sean Longstaff – 4, I cannot decide if he is any good or not?
    Fraser – NA, not played and then injured.
    Lascelles – 4 and a half. He was OK now and again.
    Clark – same as Lascelles
    Carroll – hard to rate when he is only given 1 minute of playing time.
    Shelvey – an enigma, wrapped inside a puzzling riddle. Seems lazy but is probably just slow.

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  33. It’s a game of 2 halfs, so here is the 2nd;

    Donkey – minus 150 thousand.
    Ritchie – 7 we tried to sell him and then him and Willock bailed Bruce out.
    Willock – 10 what can you say when he equals Shearer’s scoring record and was a sub for a couple of those games?
    Lewis – 5. seem like he has talent and will get better.
    Gayle – 2, not the player I thought he was.
    Krafth – 5, finished the seaon well.
    Murphy – 6
    Almiron – 6
    Hendrick – 1, he looked good in the 1st game at WHam and then sucked big time.
    Wilson – 8 fast.
    St Max – 8, scary!!! we need him and Wilson to be fit together.

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  34. Manager’s Ratinings:

    Bruce – 4, His pundit Pals would have him at an 8. But we had the squad to stay up and he constantly made excuses about everything. I would have been pleased and delighted if we had a better season but now he can dwell on being 12 and 23 years in Management.

    Jones – 8, he must have made a difference because we had like a 20% win rate in the 20 games before he arrived. I think the Steves had got stale, if they were ever fresh to begin with.

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  35. Other season’s end ratings”

    Olly – a 10

    Other writers on here – also a 10

    Neil Harrison – an 8 if you will bleieve me. He has stopped just repeating what the Chronicle says like his dad did. It is the 80 year old morons on there that make it bad.

    Ryder – minus a million.

    Mark Douglass – minus 20. He went anti-Bruce for a day and then never said another word. Perhaps he was afraid of being banned?

    The Athletic – they wrote 1 good article but never really challenged Ashley of Bruce.

    Wraith – minus 200 million. Seemed to go pro-Bruce at the end of the season.

    Geordie Dentist – more of a gobshyte than Bruce (is that even possible?). Minus one million, billion, zillion and 60.

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  36. NUFC.com – a 10.

    The Mag – an 8, despite the comments section being dominated by Rafa talk. He left 2 years ago. Get over it FFS.

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  37. Well big changes going on in football.

    I think Zidane leaving Real will see him go to PSG – that could see Mbappe stay there to work with his French hero.

    PSG would then be willing to let Poch go – and he’ll go back to Spurs & that in turn could see Kane stay at least 1 more year.

    Levy would win the fans back immediately if he pulled that off.

    City would then go for Haaland instead & with him & Foden – they will dominate the league & Europe for the next 10 years.

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  38. The abuse Rashford got last night was a disgrace!!. Forget fighting the Glasier – their fans wanna be turning on these dirty cowards abusing the players!!. Good on Rashford for highlighting one of them as a f@cking teacher!!.

    Man Utd were awful last night & Ole is not a good manager at all imo – he got lucky this season with Lpools injuries & Frank having a stinker of a start at Chelsea.

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  39. Sharpy17:
    The abuse Rashford got last night was a disgrace!!. Forget fighting the Glasier – their fans wanna be turning on these dirty cowards abusing the players!!.Good on Rashford for highlighting one of them as a f@cking teacher!!.

    Man Utd were awful last night & Ole is not a good manager at all imo – he got lucky this season with Lpools injuries & Frank having a stinker of a start at Chelsea.

    Sharpy, that’s terrible, hope he loses his job, no example to set kids and disgusting on a human level .

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  40. I’ve seen a bit of talk linking us with Andros Townsend in a free this summer.

    I wouldn’t welcome him back personally. He pushed for the move to Palace when we went down when Rafa & the fans wanted him to stay and help get us back up. He showed no loyalty so why should we give him a final pay day for his twilight years.

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  41. Sharpy17:
    I’ve seen a bit of talk linking us with Andros Townsend in a free this summer.

    I wouldn’t welcome him back personally.He pushed for the move to Palace when we went down when Rafa & the fans wanted him to stay and help get us back up.He showed no loyalty so why should we give him a final pay day for his twilight years.

    you got it spot on mate

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  42. Talk of Oxlaide Chamberlain as well.

    Not for me. Overrated & injury prone imo – plus he’ll want a fortune in wages.

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  43. My prediction for the CL final is – I have no idea. Pep has won it before but their squads are pretty even. Tommy Tuchel is pretty intense but seems likable as well. I like him when he is interviewed. Like a merger of Klopp and Pep. He doesnt blame anybody else like a certain NUFC manager does.

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  44. Turns out City can’t buy every Trophy – Chelsea can buy some too 🤑🤑🤑.

    Let’s see how much Pep is handed in the summer to try again to buy that one then … good news for Kane tonight 👍🏻

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  45. Sharpy: Man City need Kane. Tuchel has figured them out. They play the little triangles and then do the pass wide thing before knocking it low into the box. They have brilliant players like De Bruyne and Foden but if they dont produce moments of magic they will sometimes fail.

    It was strange that Pep turned into Pulis/Allardyce for the last 20 minutes and had Walker do the long throw routine. He’s composed a team of midgets up front so that is unlikely to work. He didnt even send the taller defenders up for the throws, only the corners.

    Aguero looked off the pace as well and that was another gamble by Pep. he had hardly played him in months as Kun recovered. Still think he is a great Manager but I think Tuchel out managed him on this occasion.

    I think Pep messed up more than De Bruyne having to go off!

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  46. We also had the Sky bantersauruses here to commentate. Carra knows his stuff, but THAT VOICE!!!! They dont really tell you about what is happening and then just do the – am I funnier than the other pundit thing! They are all equally unfunny. When did they start to believe they all became commedians?

    Then there was the UK commentator. There is a thing now. Where they all need to tell you every single FACT they looked up on google and to jam it into their commentating.

    It was Ian Drury today and he said Pulisic was from Pennsylvania, USA about 50 times. I do know now he is the 1st American to win the CL, like I fcn care. Drury said that as well, about 50 times before Chelsea were even close to winning. It was a 1 nil game FFS.

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  47. Eric:
    Sharpy: Man City need Kane. Tuchel has figured them out. They play the little triangles and then do the pass wide thing before knocking it low into the box. Theyhave brilliant players like De Bruyne and Foden but if they dont produce moments of magic they will sometimes fail.

    It was strange that Pep turned into Pulis/Allardyce for the last 20 minutes and had Walker do the long throw routine. He’s composed a team of midgets up front so that is unlikely to work. He didnt even send the taller defenders up for the throws, only the corners.

    Aguero looked off the pace as well and that was another gamble by Pep. he had hardly played him in months as Kun recovered. Still think he is a great Manager but I think Tuchel out managed him on this occasion.

    I think Pep messed up more than De Bruyne having to go off!

    Eric – agree mate. Kane is everything Pep tried to turn Aguero into. He won’t just get the goals from Kane, it’s his assists when he drops off as well. It’s what they were missing last night.

    The only bit I enjoyed about last night was it was the England players that were stand out – thought the Chelsea boys in particular were outstanding. Kante was unreal as well mind you.

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  48. With the players Chelsea have I think we should take a punt on Batshuayi.
    I think he’s a far better striker than what we’ve seen so far & him & Wilson up front in the formation we play would be a good pairing I reckon.

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  49. I doubt Batshuayi would help to close the 10 point gap between us and 11th place or the 14 point gap to the top ten.
    He would possibly keep us at the top of the flops though.
    We should have taken a punt on Aguerro . We could probably have got him with an offer of a £7m sign on fee and a 2 year deal at £6m per year with an option of a further year.
    With Aguerro we could have had a good chance of getting those extra 15 points to break into the top ten.
    We could have even got his £20m wages back from the extra prize money won by finishing 7th or 8th in the next two seasons.

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  50. Sidekick:
    I doubt Batshuayi would help to close the 10 point gap between us and 11th place or the 14 point gap to the top ten.
    He would possibly keep us at the top of the flops though.
    We should have taken a punt on Aguerro .We could probably have got him with an offer of a £7m sign on fee and a 2 year deal at £6m per year with an option of a further year.
    With Aguerro we could have had a good chance of getting those extra 15 points to break into the top ten.
    We could have even got his £20m wages backfrom the extra prize money won by finishing 7th or 8thin the next two seasons.

    You’re probably right with Batshuayi assessment mate, but until Ashley leaves, that’s where we’re at sadly.

    Never in a million years would we get Aguero though – he’s going to Barca – even with the Saudis we wouldn’t be competing on that one.

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