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Discussion
One win from the Premier League... feels good to say that.

Of course that means we'll probably lose our last three league games and either squeeze over the line or screw up in the playoff's.
Gabby Agbonlahor popping up with his obligatory bi-annual goal at a most opportune moment.
Fulham are the best team in this division on their day. First time I've seen a team try to take us on at our own game and beat us. The football they play is glorious - the pace of movement and passing is simply wonderful. I'd pay to watch them.

Don't get me wrong, 4-1 probably flatters them a little, but there's no doubt they were worthy winners. They punished our mistakes ruthlessly and looked dangerous whilst playing the best football from an opposing side I've seen for a very long time. We didn't take our chances at the other end - I have a feeling that had Billing's header dropped in rather than just wide just before they made it 4 it would have been a very different story, but it didn't go in and that's all there is to it.

If we don't do it, I want it to be them. Great footballing team, sporting to a fault, and supported by some genuinely nice fans who it's hard to begrudge anything.
Well, it might not have been via the easy route, but Premier League promotion achieved. Thank fuck for that.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Derby County's points tally; we're coming for you



And yeah Fulham easily the best team in the division.
Congratulations Newcastle.

I have a feeling we will settle for a draw or deliberately roll over and die against Blackburn on Saturday so that Birmingham drop into the relegation zone. (Assuming that they lose to Huddersfield as expected)
So glad we've wrapped up promotion.

Now as much as I'd love to see us lift the Championship trophy for the second time in seven years, I cannae see Brighton slipping up.
Congratulations Newcastle.

I have a feeling we will settle for a draw or deliberately roll over and die against Blackburn on Saturday so that Birmingham drop into the relegation zone. (Assuming that they lose to Huddersfield as expected)


We probably still wouldn't beat you even if you play at 50%. But yeah please do your best to let us win! We've been so blunt going forward last few games you might have to kick it in your own net.

And I've got a bad feeling Birmingham will beat Huddersfield. Redknapp's first home game, Huddersfield's poor record v struggling teams, Huddersfield playing tonight so less rest, etc.
http://i45.tinypic.com/35jcvmr.png
We probably still wouldn't beat you even if you play at 50%. But yeah please do your best to let us win! We've been so blunt going forward last few games you might have to kick it in your own net.

And I've got a bad feeling Birmingham will beat Huddersfield. Redknapp's first home game, Huddersfield's poor record v struggling teams, Huddersfield playing tonight so less rest, etc.

The less rest thing won't matter. Can't imagine Birmingham will be able to lay a glove on us fitness wise. More to the point is that we now have two free hits before the end of the season. We're in the play-offs. We can make sure players are in top condition for the play-offs.

That said, I'd fucking love to send Birmingham into the bottom 3. After 2001 and their fans singing 'we'll never play you again' rather than the traditional 'we'll meet again' on relegation that entire club can go fuck itself. A very old score to settle.
Derby County's points tally; we're coming for you

I doubt that total's being broken for a long time, but in saying that, the squad as it currently is needs a lot of work to be PL ready.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

I doubt that total's being broken for a long time, but in saying that, the squad as it currently is needs a lot of work to be PL ready.


The potential of deducted points (depending what happens from this HMRC raid) might help you with that!
Sometimes you have to stand in the shadows; to see the light.

OYSTON OUT
The potential of deducted points (depending what happens from this HMRC raid) might help you with that!

That won't happen. Wrongdoing will be so far in the past by the time footballing authorities handle it, I think we can safely say that no points will be deducted, as it would disrupt the integrity of the competition. This will take 18 months to 2 years to sort out simply because fraud is a stupidly complex offence to prosecute, and it's only when criminal proceedings are over that the FA can begin its own proceedings.

That being said, Swindon were demoted in 1990 in identical circumstances. Having done my leg work (hence the edit) it seems that criminal proceedings came after the demotion and that the FL took action during criminal proceedings, which had started in November 1989. With it being West Ham involved, I suspect there might be an exemplary punishment meted out following the Tevez affair.

The FL do need to outline now what could happen. Sounds daft, but it might affect our team selection on Saturday. We have players who need resting, but if there's an advantage to finishing 3rd rather than 4th, all clubs need to know now.

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The potential of deducted points (depending what happens from this HMRC raid) might help you with that!

I mean, its never dull around Newcastle United, is it?

I'm still not entirely sure of the details, and it might not have helped the first I saw of it was a parody article. It did look pretty huge when I did get round to seeing the actual story, and there's no doubt it raises a shit stink. Although for now, I've seen the local Daily Mail reporter in the NE region has said Charnley was released without charge. It may well be that this is a long runner for a good while yet, but I wouldn't have thought it would lead to a points deduction this season. Depends on how far along HMRC are with this and how quick a hearing can happen as to where this ends up though.

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noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

York relegated from the Conference National! Even big Jon Parkin couldn't save them.

Nice team to start with in the Conference North next season in FM though...
Sometimes you have to stand in the shadows; to see the light.

OYSTON OUT
Devastated, missed far too many chances, not just this game but the whole season. Drawing would've been enough had Guiseley lost but just our luck they scored in the 90th just after Solihull hitting the bar at the other end.
Sorry to Blackburn. I don't like us making 10 changes any more than you do, believe me. I know why we've done it, but I don't like it.

Time for Hudson to go, mind. I'm convinced losing regular football has accelerated his decline, and it just gets shown up each time he's picked. Penalty and goal both his fault apparently.

Still 45 minutes, though, and against 10 men. As we've nothing riding on it I don't hold out hope for a rally, but they'll be nervous and we'll see more and more of the ball.
Oh God, please let Florist go down!
Sometimes you have to stand in the shadows; to see the light.

OYSTON OUT
Top 6 decided in the Championship, with Leeds missing out, Wigan down, Forest/Blackburn/Birmingham as the possible teams joining them.

I was neutral on that front, but Redknapp annoys me and I still think sacking Rowett for Zola was a whopper of a blunder, so I'm kinda hoping its Birmingham. But Blackburn or Forest is the always likelier on that front.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Mixed emotions. Lost today and were wowful away at Notts County. Still in the play-offs though. Hope we qualify for them, but don't want it at the same time as the Oyston's will try use it to vindicate their ownership and there will probably be an increase in attendance from those with no brain or heart.
Sometimes you have to stand in the shadows; to see the light.

OYSTON OUT
Losing 2-0 to 10 men with a whimper tells us an awful lot about those squad players called upon today. I'm really sorry for Blackburn and Forest, to be honest, although most fans will understand that we've done it to protect our first XI in what is ultimately a meaningless away game for us ahead of the play-offs. I remember when Barnsley played their kids in a game in 2001, went down 3-0 to our relegation rivals and I hoped we'd never do it.

That being said, protecting our own players for the play-offs is paramount and this has been underlined by Billing picking up what sounds like an ACL injury today - the second picked up by a Town player in a matter of weeks.

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Orient fans thought they'd got the game abandoned in the 86th minute, sneaky from the EFL to get everywhere report it as such and then when the fans have left to play the remaining minutes! Fair enough though imo, the game needed to come to a conclusion because Colchester stand an outside chance of the play-offs...unlike when we got our game abandoned against the dog botherers.
Sometimes you have to stand in the shadows; to see the light.

OYSTON OUT
Oh God, please let Florist go down!

This. Forest's appointment of Mark Warburton would prove to be a genius move.
Losing 2-0 to 10 men with a whimper tells us an awful lot about those squad players called upon today. I'm really sorry for Blackburn and Forest, to be honest,


Don't worry, you've got every right to do what you want with your squad of players. You've already achieved your target and if Wagner felt like today's team selection was best for you as a club then so be it. Just out of interest, do you think he'll do the same for the last game of the season?

We did what we had to do today (thanks Villa for being dreadful and some Villa fans for cheering us on) but still not confident for next week, Brentford away.
http://i45.tinypic.com/35jcvmr.png
Don't worry, you've got every right to do what you want with your squad of players. You've already achieved your target and if Wagner felt like today's team selection was best for you as a club then so be it. Just out of interest, do you think he'll do the same for the last game of the season?

We did what we had to do today (thanks Villa for being dreadful and some Villa fans for cheering us on) but still not confident for next week, Brentford away.

On one hand, I know. Most people in football would do the same in the circumstances. It may even have worked for us as fringe players wanted to prove a point - but apparently not. One or two of them will be going. Hudson and Whitehead will probably be retiring (though Whitehead has another year in him if you ask me), and Bunn and Lolley probably need to drop a level to get their mojo back - just not quite good enough consistently for us if we want to progress.

But on the other, I know what it's like to be on the other end of it. It's awful thinking another team has just given up when you're fighting for your lives. You as a club don't deserve it. I'd rather have rested players just next week because so much was riding on today for Birmingham. Particularly disappointing when they play 70 minutes with 10 (even if it sounds harsh - not seen it).

I do think we'll do the same next week. I even suspect young Jordan Williams and Regan Booty will make their debuts - 17 and 19 year old academy products. But there's nothing but jockeying in the play-offs at stake. Cardiff are safe. We're in the play-offs and it's our lookout if we want to sacrifice home advantage for having players fit (which makes perfect sense). Exactly the sort of game to experiment and rest players in, not this weekend.
Mixed emotions. Lost today and were wowful away at Notts County. Still in the play-offs though. Hope we qualify for them, but don't want it at the same time as the Oyston's will try use it to vindicate their ownership and there will probably be an increase in attendance from those with no brain or heart.


I feel for every Blackpool fan, so much that we joined in with your protest last season (for 10 minutes til we realised we were then 10 minutes away from the boozer). But every latics fan is hoping you win these playoffs. 9am start at Manchester bar in August, yes please!

We're pretty much gonna be alright next season though, lots of panic but we'll only lose a few. We'll lose Power, Morsy (if Barnsley stop being cheap about it), Burn and Powell if anyone gambles on him, but we've got an alright core now who are still young, too high paid to leave for another League One club and aren't good enough/injury free enough for Championship teams to pick them up. 100 points on the cards.
Rumour has it that the EFL is meeting tomorrow especially to discuss our 10 changes to make up a rule and fine us. Much as I didn't like us doing it, most people will see the sense behind us doing it and will disagree with any League involvement - especially as two other sides made a similar number of changes to us in games that I'm aware of this weekend (Wolves with 8 and Bradford with 9 - against a Rochdale side who could still have made the play-offs), and neither of those are apparently up for discussion.

I have to say if they do that it really is ridiculous. Team selection is a manager's prerogative. If he wants to rest his play-off first XI, he is actually entitled to do so. Might not be perfect, but we've actually earned that. If he wants to play the groundsman at left-back on Saturday, he's perfectly entitled to do that as well. So long as they're registered to play, it's none of the Football League's business who does play. Add to that the team selection against (in particular) Wigan in January (a game we won) and you have to ask what on earth the Football League are playing at. We have the most important games since 1972 coming up, our lookout is to ensure that players are fit and available. Nine of the players used played in both - some from the start, some as subs. We made 8 changes against Wigan from the previous game against Blackburn (and won 1-0). We also made 9 changes against Reading and Sheffield Wednesday and 10 against Newcastle. See below for teams v Wigan in January and from Saturday.

Team v Wigan: Ward, Cranie, Holmes-Dennis, Hudson, Stankovic, Billing (Whitehead), Mooy, Kachunga, Bunn (Lolley), Payne (Hefele), Wells

Team v Birmingham: Coleman, Smith, Holmes-Dennis (Wells), Cranie, Hudson (Scannell), Whitehead, Billing, Payne, Bunn (Mooy), Lolley, Quaner

In bold are players who featured in both - 5 started both games, 4 started one and appeared as a sub in the other. Ward, Coleman (both manager's selections for the game in question), Stankovic (injured for 2nd game), Kachunga (injured for 2nd game), Quaner (not signed for the first game) and Hefele (rested for second game) only appeared in one.

If the Football League take action, it will be a joke. I have sympathy for Blackburn and Forest. Having been on the other end of it, it feels like there's been a betrayal of trust. But in the end, we'd be getting punished because, frankly, Forest and Blackburn haven't won enough of their own games to not worry about our team selection - which had already shown that it was strong enough to beat Wigan and get a draw with Manchester City with very similar personnel.

Update: Bradford, who made 9 changes, bearing in mind they're playing in the play-offs on Thursday, have also been charged. This is absolutely ridiculous. Who had this bright idea? Days gone by, you got safe and you blooded youngsters without anyone batting an eyelid. Nowadays you rest and prepare your team as best you can and you get hammered for it. It's noticeable that Ipswich (9 changes) haven't been charged for their team v Rotherham, and neither have Wolves (8 changes) nor Brighton (6 changes).

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If he wants to play the groundsman at left-back on Saturday, he's perfectly entitled to do that as well. So long as they're registered to play, it's none of the Football League's business who does play.


Bang on the money.

I remember when Mick McCarthy, when at Wolves, made 10 changes for a midweek away game at United before playing Burnley (I think it was) at the weekend - which they won. They got done for the 'weakened team', if I remember correctly he said something like "who are the FA to decide what my strongest team is?". And he's right! Squad of players, use it however you please.

I'm getting tickets tomorrow for Brentford away on Sunday. Seriously early start with a midday kick off, and could be a wasted trip if we go down......we'll see.
http://i45.tinypic.com/35jcvmr.png
The EFL are a joke.

Very interested to see what they come up with our game on the weekend!

So far no Orient fans can by tickets.

Both sets of supporters have had enough with the way their clubs are run.
Sometimes you have to stand in the shadows; to see the light.

OYSTON OUT
Gentlemen, we can agree the FL has got its priorities all wrong - nothing new there, then. For what it's worth, I hope Blackburn do stay up ahead of Birmingham and Nottingham Forest. I'm already looking forward to the play-offs, making a raft of changes and then getting the League's knickers in a twist all over again
EFL looking into why Huddersfield made 10 changes at the weekend....are they not allowed to rest players for the playoffs? What a joke.
https://i.imgur.com/jkqweZW.png?1http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



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