Brighton (A) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

At one stage this week, it looked like Unai Emery would be either be sat in the dugout or watching this one from the stands, yet it’s now Eddie Howe who seems all set to become the new manager of Newcastle United.

No official announcement has arrived at the time of writing, with Graeme Jones keen to remind us in Friday’s presser that it wasn’t “set in stone” just yet, but it seems like our new owners have finally got their man.

It’s a shame he didn’t arrive sooner actually, as he’s picked up nine wins and four draws in 16 games against Brighton – who are statistically his favourite team to face as a manager!

So, an off-field boost appears to be imminent and we’ll have to hope that spurs the players on to impress the incoming manager at Brighton.

There’s going to come a point where this winless run has to stop or we’ll be as good as down. In fact, the Premier League history books tells us only Derby County have stayed up after failing to win any of their opening 11 games, with them surviving on 42 points in 2000/2001.

If that doesn’t tell the players how important this game at Brighton may be, perhaps nothing will!

Team news

Jones has confirmed that Paul Dummett is the only injured player at present, with Elliot Anderson fit again but highly unlikely to feature after starting the U23s 5-0 defeat to Southampton on Friday.

For the hosts, Danny Welbeck and Steven Alzate are long-term absentees, while giant defender Dan Burn and Irish attacker Aaron Connolly could face late fitness tests.

Predicted line ups

(5-3-2): Dubravka – Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie – Willock, Hayden, Almiron – Saint-Maximin, Wilson.

(3-4-1-2): Sanchez – Veltman, Duffy, Webster – Lamptey, Mwepu, Bissouma, Cucurella – Lallana – Trossard, Maupay.

Darlow’s not done a massive amount wrong, but he is a level below Dubravka in every department for me.

The fit-again Slovakian is a far better communicator, often barking out orders to organise his defence. He’s not exactly a ball playing goalkeeper, but it’s worth noting that Darlow’s distribution was pretty unconvincing when put under pressure against Chelsea.

At the back, it’s surely time for Fernandez to return. Perhaps an unpopular opinion, but Krafth has been more convincing than Clark in recent weeks, yet our lack of left-footed centre backs may see the Irish international keep his place.

I myself would like to see Schar return to the side – he’s the only central defender we have with quality on the ball – but reckon our only defensive change will see Fernandez return in Krafth’s place.

In midfield, Fraser has looked lost in this central role both Bruce and Jones continue to play him in; despite the fact he is and has always been a left winger!

With his anonymous displays against Palace and Chelsea in mind, I can see Almiron coming in to join a midfield three that operates behind a front two of Saint-Maximin and Wilson.

ASM has looked lacklustre and been largely uninvolved for a few weeks now, so we’ll need to see much more from him in this one – both on and off the ball.

Whatever happens, Jones needs to change things. His team selections have been poor, for me, since he became interim manager and our set up surprisingly negative based on the injection of life and fresh ideas he gave our side when he first arrived back in January.

Match prediction

Eddie Howe has a huge job on his hands no matter what happens in this one, however we should be gunning to give him the perfect arrival gift with a big result here.

Sadly, I don’t see us coming away with anything unless we are MUCH better than we’ve been in our last two since Jones took charge.

In truth, we were lucky to get a point at Palace and were abysmal against Chelsea, so a Brighton side who tend to smother teams at The Amex and give little away at the other end will be fancying themselves here.

I’m hoping we are a little more adventurous, not the sitting ducks we’ve been of late, and put in a huge effort to impress an onlooking Howe, but fear Potter’s Brighton will beat us fairly comfortably.

Prediction: Brighton 2-0 Newcastle

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.

74 thoughts on “Brighton (A) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

  1. Let’s face it, Jones is totally out of his depth. His team selections have been a joke and there were 2 alternative punchlines last week – the substitution debacle and what he said about Fernandez. He is a failed Championship manager where he was sacked for being 23rd of 24 teams.

    I will say it again, the press are not doing their jobs. They didnt even mention team selection and tactics in the press conference. He has led a charmed life at NUFC and even the fans heve left him alone, until very recently. He is the contant in this 10 game winless run.

    Fans complain about us not doing anything up front. Guess who is in charge of the attack? Yes, Jones. Bruce said it earlier this season, that the Steves are responsible for training the defense and Jones the attack. Good job Graeme! How often did we get out of our own half last week? And you have succeeded in making our most talented player look like he hasnt got a clue. And I dont mean Joelinton 🙂

    The sooner you leave the better. I dont care what relationship you THINK you have with the Bmth former coaches. They are after your job. You will not be Assistant Manager for much longer because Howe hs his own man for that job.

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  2. I am not even going to try to predict the team because keeping the same team for Chelsea was just so bizarre.

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  3. OK, I’ll pick the team I think we SHOULD play not the team I think Jones WILL play. It should be 4-3-3 and we need energy because the last few times we have played Brighton we have been chasing the ball. Also drop all the centre backs, they have all been crap. Have Miggy in midfield for his running, and, this will be a shock – play Donkey up front on the left. We are still going to hoof it because Brighton press and our players dont know what to do when faced with that. So may as well have a physical presense if we know we will hoof it. Just tell Wilson to stick close to him to get on the end of his headers or clean up when the ball bounces off Joe.

    Dubravka

    Manquillo Fernandez Schar Lewis

    Hayden Miggy Willock

    ASM Wilson Donkey

    This is sort of an anti-Jones team because he has shown he hasnt got a clue. So, that is 7 changes from the Chelsea starting lineup.

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  4. Armstrong scores a belter.

    Better get Howe signed up coz I am not sure how much longer Dean Smith will last.

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  5. Oh yeah, I forgot – there’s still football games to be played around this circus of a football club at the moment 🤦🏼‍♂️.

    I’ve been really impressed with Brighton under Potter. They were excellent last season as well – just struggled to put the ball in the back of the net. That’s not been a problem this season & whilst I don’t think they will be threatening the top 6 this season – they will also be well out of any kind of relegation battle (barring some injury crisis).

    I expect us to play with our backs to the walls again & having less than 30% possession again – and if that’s the case, I’ll be switching it off!!.

    I’m at a complete loss as to why there has been no announcement on Howe today – they’ve finally got a decent manager who has agreed to come in (albeit in principle). We should be grabbing him with both hands and forcing him to sign on!!.

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  6. Relegation battles are all about momentum & so far this season we & Norwich have had none.
    I don’t see Norwich’s fate changing at all – they may get a few more points but they will finish bottom imo.

    We could well get momentum going with the appointment of Howe & if he gets to bring 3-5 new players in January, that could be huge.

    I look at other teams and I could well see Burnley, Leeds, Villa, Watford and Brentford losing momentum and at the business end of the season – they all being in that relegation mix.

    There is every chance WE will still be in that mix too – but will be be top of that pile or still battling to keep out of those bottom spots.

    Injuries will be an issue for us, especially Wilson. I’d love to say Howe could manage it, but he was out an awful lot for him at Bmth so maybe not.

    It’s going to be a very precarious season I think – and the more I feel that way, the more I’m sure Howe is the better option to Fonseca or Favre based on where we are right now.

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  7. Eric – I think Armaz would have been a great signing for us – better than Gayle & I’d swap him for Almiron as well. I think he’d be a great partner for Wilson – not gonna happen now like 🤷🏼‍♂️.

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  8. Dean Smith had so much to say in defence of Bruce. Maybe he should have stopped and thought of the consequences of poor performances himself – that is ultimately why Bruce got sacked and not coz of fans – and it’s ultimately what will get Smith sacked.

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  9. Sharpy17:
    Eric – I think Armaz would have been a great signing for us – better than Gayle & I’d swap him for Almiron as well.I think he’d be a great partner for Wilson – not gonna happen now like .

    That was Armstrong’s 1st goal of the season although he did get them a penalty against us that Ward-Prowse put away. Any opinion on WP? We desperately need a set piece taker. There must be somebody in Portugal we could get for that?

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  10. I am hoping that tomorrow is the last I ever see of Graeme Jones. I am just so disappointed because the papers and certain blog sites built him up so high. They never questioed his credentials or whether he was going along with Bruce, which we know now he was. I know I am going on about him, just want to have another dig before the match.

    Just wait and see my reaction if he picks a similar team and tactics to last week. If I had a dog he would have to watch out 🙂

    With Howe and a new Assistant Manager I expect Jones to slip silently into the night, hopefully taking Charnley with him. Perhaps they could have a stag party at the cricket with Brucie.

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  11. Eric+Sykes: That was Armstrong’s 1st goal of the season although he did get them a penalty against us that Ward-Prowse put away. Any opinion on WP? We desperately need a set piece taker. There must be somebody in Portugal we could get for that?

    Eric – it may well be but there is only Salah & Toney who have scored more than Armaz this year & only by 1.
    I like JWP a lot. He’s a very good player – but my dream midfield partnership at the mo would be Declan Rice & Connor Gallagher.

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  12. Yeah, Rice is turning into the player a lot of the experts predicted. They were too early and overhyped him which is why I made fun of them on here. There have been so many players the experts loved and for one reason or another they didnt fulfil their potential. Joe Cole, although a good player, you would think was Messi the way they raved about him. Same with Jack Wilshere athough we will never know how much his injuries have hurt him. He has lost a yard of pace and that was what his game was all about, that initial burst. Nobody wants him anymore because they know he is done with that. Carlton Cole. There’s another.

    Its funny how a lot end up at West Ham. The Southern Journos all support West Ham and they wish their players to do well but really dont look objectively. Some do well, Lampard etc, some dont, Carlton Cole etc.

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  13. “Eddie Howe is evidently going to become the club’s manager this month but I don’t think that whets the appetite of the Newcastle fanbase. I like Eddie Howe as a manager, but I’m not sure he’s going to rock the boat with the players at his disposal.

    Paul Merson

    He really doesn’t get Newcastle fans at all does he.

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  14. I’ve been trying to get behind the Howe appointment but I heard last night Ashley was planning to sack Bruce and Howe was the chosen replacement.

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  15. Be happy with a draw today, Brighton are a good side and have a lot of pace with the likes of Lamptey and Maupay and I think we could really struggle. Need ASM, Wilson and our mids really on their game to protect our fragile defence.

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  16. Brighton are flying at the moment. If we play like we did in the last few games we will lose. Could even be 4-0. Not looking forward to this. 😔

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  17. georgio:
    I’ve been trying to get behind the Howe appointment but I heard last night Ashley was planning to sack Bruce and Howe was the chosen replacement.

    Georgio – don’t let that stop you mate. Howe is a good manager, but I think the reality is that the state Ashley has left the club in – this is a tough gig for anyone.

    I can’t get my head round this relegation clause though – don’t managers get sacked anytime? with or without a clause???.

    They’ve came in saying they want to unite the club & bring back the atmosphere – hardly uniting or backing your manager if you put a clause like that in like is it???.

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  18. KIMTOON:
    Be happy with a draw today, Brighton are a good side and have a lot of pace with the likes of Lamptey and Maupay and I think we could really struggle. Need ASM, Wilson and our mids really on their game to protect our fragile defence.

    Kim – we won’t match them for pace or workrate coz our players aren’t fit enough imo. So it’s got ‘park the bus’ and less than 30% possession written all over it.
    If they try the counter attack or long ball over the top, Brighton will lap that up with their big CBs.

    I think a bore draw is the best we can hope for coz I don’t see where we beat them if Jones goes the same way as the last 2 games.

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  19. Can’t see us getting anything today unfortunately. Well apart from a good battering. We will go there and sit ten men behind the ball and get torn a new one.

    Apparently the hold up with Howe is his back room staff. Everything agreed with him but still trying to get agreement with them. Same thing happened at Celtic…

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  20. Howe is supposed to be in the stands. Hopefuly he gives the teamtalk. He may also have some advice for Jones as Brighton play a lot like Howe;s Bournemouth.

    If we play the same way today then Jones will go down as the worst manager in NUFC history, worse than Ugly John Carver who at least had injuries as an excuse. Hoping for the best, expecting the worst!

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  21. This could end up as bad as Liverpool for Man U. Their possession number must be as bad as ours. At least against Liverpool they created chances, they have done nothing here. They are seriously playing like NUFC with defenders not wanting the ball and giving it away to City. But… they have Ronaldo, so they might get a consolation goal.

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  22. Eric+Sykes:
    Howe is supposed to be in the stands. Hopefuly he gives the teamtalk. He may also have some advice for Jones as Brighton play a lot like Howe;s Bournemouth.

    If we play the same way today then Jones will go down as the worst manager in NUFC history, worse than Ugly John Carver who at least had injuries as an excuse. Hoping for the best, expecting the worst!

    Eric – it’ll take more than a team talk mate. I bucket load of fitness & tactical coaching is required if we stand a chance.

    Hopefully it won’t take long to get his coaching staff on board & they can get started early in the international break – a good 2 weeks working with the players could see some immediate improvements 🤞🏼

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  23. According to the Mirror it’s on the verge of collapse as they can’t agree on his back room staff. 🤔

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  24. Stuart79:
    According to the Mirror it’s on the verge of collapse as they can’t agree on his back room staff. 🤔

    Stu – maybe he wants rid of Jones and they want to keep him?! 🤷🏼‍♂️

    The lad & his coaches are out of work – so it should be that bl00dy difficult to get done 🙄

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  25. They cannot be stupid enough to let this collapse because of backroom staff, can they? We are running out of other options with only Favre left. And what has the current backroom staff done? Put us in the awful position we are in with it being as much of a fault of the Steves and a Graeme as it was Brucie. I always thought Bruce was the main problem but he seems to have been one of many. And you can add Nickson to that – another penny pinching move by the Fatman which backfired because he was at least partially responsible for Donkey. When we bought him they said they had scouted him more than a dozen times.

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  26. Just hope that Howe doesnt walk away before the likely debacle at Brighton. They have been our bogey team for years and even more so recently. They are a small club but give us massive problems.

    City, Liverpool and Chelsea might have similar results but they are light years ahead of us. On the other hand, we should be competitive against Brighton.

    If we have another horror show I think that will stregnthen Howe’s hand although the rumour/gossip is that he walked away from Celtic because of the same staff issue. With them it was probably about loyalty and/or money. We have neither of those issues, so just get it done. If Jones has a contract then have him be throw-in coach FFS.

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  27. If you demote Jones to throw-in coach I think he would walk away sharpish. He would not be able to stand the humiliation every day and despite his disaster as Manager so far he still has a decent reputation and could get another job. He could talk his way out of it by saying he is not a Manager which he has done at NUFC, but that is a cop-out in my opinion. Some club would believe him though.

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  28. Gilly Toon:
    And manure lose again at OT… . Bye bye Ole … Bruce is waiting.

    That was terrible from Man U. 1 shot on target and City just teased them in 2nd half.

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  29. I still refuse to call Man U “United” even though I know why commentators do it with there being 2 clubs in Manchester. It used to annoy me a lot more than it does now 🙂

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  30. He’s kept Darlow and Ritchie (not a left back) and gone with the same 3 centre backs. Is Manquillo injured, because he has been one of our better players and is replaced with Murphy.

    Shelvey and Hayden seem like a slow midfield but I expect Miggy to help out. Must be saving Willock for Eddie? If I was in Jones’s position though I would play Willock. He cannot have another shellacking on his CV.

    If we lose this one and are bottom, there will be hell on about these selections.

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  31. Tyndall is employed at Sheff utd and it’s compo for him they can’t agree on apparently. Given he will be Howe’s assistant manager it’s a critical part of the deal.

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  32. No Fernandez on the bench either. He was ridiculed for his readoning last week and then does it again. We better get something out of this game or Jones will be chased out of town with pitchforks and torches.

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  33. I am watching the Palace game and I dont think I have ever seen anyone moan as much on a football field as Wilf Zaha.

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  34. Seriously, I am hoping for a miracle because that team is not set up to win. I just hope we get lucky and Brighton have an off day.

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  35. Howe & Tindall in the stands with Staveley – all papertalk about contracts collapsing. Looks nailed on there!!.

    First job – CBs coz Lascelles, Clark & Krafth arent good enough – if there’s time Ritchie as well 👍🏻

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  36. Sharpy17:
    Howe & Tindall in the stands with Staveley – all papertalk about contracts collapsing.Looks nailed on there!!.

    First job – CBs coz Lascelles, Clark & Krafth arent good enough – if there’s time Ritchie as well

    Agree mate

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  37. That’s the most ridiculous penalty I’ve ever seen given with a review as well man!!!!

    He danced the f&cking running man before he went down FFS!!!

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  38. Shocking, absolutely horrible horrible first half. 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬
    We are making Brighton look like Barcelona.

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  39. According to The Guardian we have had 38% possession which I suppose is an improvement. Ritchie again showing that he is not a fullback.

    Our possession has been at the back though, passing amongst the centre halfs. Have hardly been in Brighton’s half at all. In contrast, apart from the 1st 5 mins, when Brighton have the ball they pass it around in OUR half.

    Does anybody see us scoring 2 goals for the win? I think even a draw would mark Jones down as the worst Manager in NUFC history. Even Pards and Ugly John did not set us up to defend the whole game. They made bizarre player choices but not on the level of Jones.

    Glad to see we have a new 1st team coach/Assistant Manager sitting next to Howe and Staveley in the stands.

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  40. Whatever happens second half I make no apologies for being relentlessly critical of Jones in the last few weeks. Should have started earlier!!! But I thought it was mostly down to Bruce. Now we see it was the lot of them who were out of their depth (his mind, in Jones’s case with his team selections!).

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  41. And… if this is Jones’s audition to be on Howe’s staff then good luck! I think I am downgrading him from throw-in coach to 51 year old ballboy. Or maybe a Steward.

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  42. No attempts on target for NUFC on 60 mins.

    Get Shelvey off set pieces. He hits his floater corners from the right and too close to the goalie from the left.

    I am not sure if Wilson touched the ball. Not entirely his fault. Where is the service!!!

    Sorry to be so negative, but this is dire.

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  43. Better 2nd half. That point could turn out to be useful. Still hasnt changed my mind on Jones.

    We have never started a season before with 11 winless games and Jones has been there for all of them.

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  44. Well second half marginally better and point is better than nothing. But that Sanchez foul, clever. Outside the area, wilson would’ve scored. How idiotic to not have a go from the free kick? We are just so poor.

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  45. Well Howe & Tindall stayed to the end – so that’s a bonus!!. I worried they may have ran at half time & never looked back.

    I’m still not having that penalty. Contact yes, but not enough to make him go down like that – and to overturn his original decision it has to be a clear and obvious mistake.

    Much better second half and a much needed point. We are 5 points from Villa in 15th and 7 from Brentford – our next opponents. Win that one and we close that gap on the teams above us.

    I feel confident Howe can quickly work on our fitness & a style of play that will have us more on the front foot – like we were in the 2nd half.
    I think that will immediately engage the players, and hopefully see them play with more motivation & enthusiasm – it’s then whether the quality is there to convert that to wins 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼

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  46. Eric – I think it’s difficult to fairly judge Jones in the circumstances he’s found himself in this season so far. It’s been an absolute circus.

    He’s never claimed to be a main man – and has never thrown his hat in the ring, unlike Carver.

    I think if Jones stays on as a coach with Howe & Tindall, he could be very affective.

    I think Howe will have a structure to his training regime completely different to Bruce. It’s difficult to be a coach when your manager keeps giving the players so much time off.

    I’d be with you all the way if Jones had shown the arrogance of Carver, but I don’t feel he has and I think he still has a positive role to play for us 🤞🏼

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  47. Glad we got a point. Much better 2nd half but Brighton seemed to switch off like they thought they had the game won. Can go into the break with a Manager and a bit more heart. I would have been pretty down if we had lost today. We are still in trouble but our players are still fighting, even if some of the wrong players were picked 🙂

    There arent many going on international duty and most havent started much this season. Dubs and Schar are probably the ones we could do with having stay. Fraser, Krafth and Clark will probably not start the next game anyway. Is Miggy off to Paraguay again?

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  48. Sharpy: I dont think I have to think about Jones any more. If he stays on it will obviously be in a demished role. The Steves are definately gone. Please add Nickson and Charnley to that list.

    I dont think Charnley has been the worst for the club but he is an accountant at heart and not a negotiator or communicator which is what Ashley was asking him to do. Best get rid as a Managing Director because now we need someone to do the corporate and sponsorship deals. Charnley pretty much went along with what Ashley said and Sports Direct were our main deals. Didnt Fat Mike even farm out the catering to his pals?

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  49. I dont always like the corporate gobbledegook PR you get from clubs nowasdays but it is better than silence, or worse the Ashley self-serving rubbish we got from Bishop etc. whose company just happens to be owned by Fat Mike

    We also need our new oners and Manager to get back on good terms with the press. I dont see the point in riling them up. I would probably stop giving Luke Edwards the scoops as well, like Bruce did. Time for him to become anonymous again.

    The total stupidity of their PR can be summed up by Bruce turning on of all people Ryder and Kinnear calling Simon Bird a c#nt. That’s really not a good way to promote your team 🙂

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