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Number 1 Comments
Almost an old school thread this given most of the posts were still in 2014. Also quite something that back then, the vibe was "Anyone but Vettel & Red Bull" whereas now "Anyone but Hamilton & Mercedes" might be the common thought among neutrals.

Tbf 2019 had some pretty good races overall where Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull were often level pegging, McLaren and Renault even ran them close on some weekends, and Toro Rosso sneaking podiums. So it would be cool if that continues.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

I can see this being tied up at the CAS for ages.

I can also see a similar attempt to kick PSG out the Champions League, given I seem to recall similarly serious allegations were made by Football Leaks about their financial conduct. Whether it is acted on is another matter.
noir et blanc armée

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I'm still puzzled that a Newcastle fan decided the appropriate emotional response to our winner at Oxford on Tuesday - even if it was a great goal - was to drop his jeans and do a helicopter. Christ knows what he would've done if that was an FA Cup Final winning goal.
noir et blanc armée

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Can't say I'm impressed a Newcastle starting 11 not too dissimilar to our normal league 11 failed to beat a L1 side who hadn't won in 4 and were missing key players, with Oxford also having the better chances.

Still, given we've got very lucky in some recent PL games, we were probably due such a slap in the face.

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noir et blanc armée

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Just had a flick through the whole thing - season 1 in the Champs League, winning the Carabao Cup in season 2. Excellent start to proceedings.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

If Liverpool fail to win the league from this position, they're never going to win it. But I suspect given all the rest of them below are so dysfunctional that Liverpool can afford to let 2/3 games slip and nobody would emerge to make life more uncomfortable for them.
noir et blanc armée

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West Ham let Moyes go to "move to the next level" under Pellegrini, and have now sacked Pellegrini to potentially bring back Moyes... so that's gone well.

I know, meanwhile, its almost a cliché at this point to complain VAR is being used to take offside checks to ludicrous levels, but Christ alive this round of fixtures has taken the piss.
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The first knockout round:
Borussia Dortmund v Paris St-Germain
Real Madrid v Manchester City
Atalanta v Valencia
Atletico Madrid v Liverpool
Chelsea v Bayern Munich
Lyon v Juventus
Tottenham v RB Leipzig
Napoli v Barcelona
noir et blanc armée

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Having a second referendum without enacting the first, would have meant a leader making the unprecedented decision of being the first to ignore a democratic vote. The result was conclusive England overwhelmingly wants Brexit and you're Maths mean nothing. Labour were not standing as a Remain Party, some loyal Labour voters are still leavers and you have no clue how many. Boris got the second biggest vote in a UK Election ever in December a massive triumph. If the masses were as badly off as McDonnell (the main driver of the massacre Labour suffered) made out even with Brexit the Conservatives wouldn't have won.

There was a stat the other day suggesting the majority of potential Tory voters who would have voted Remain in any second referendum were still going to stick with the Tory party despite that party's pro-Brexit position, which I reckon is a haul that got them over the line in a lot of Remain-voting seats in the South but which could've made things more interesting in a referendum context. I never said I assumed it would win - I agree there were still a fair wedge of Labour voters that back Brexit, and there's still people who didn't vote that may still want to just to say they still believe in it. But I don't think it was impossible Remain could've won a second ballot, even with that angle of "denying democracy", which is a great one for attack ads. Its more that they didn't try to even force it - it was always "now is not the time" when voting on a deal vs Remain was even something supported by some Leave voters in focus groups.

Instead you get an election where the Remain vote split more, and it was unlikely to stand a chance - even less so as Corbyn and the Lib Dems have big-time baggage, and in a few seats got in each other way. The tightness indicates they might've had a shot, although it probably still would've been very difficult. But its irrelevant now.

On the basis we've had a vote that has changed the make up of the House of Commons to an undeniably more pro-Brexit Parliament, all we can say now is that if Brexit doesn't happen next month, something very odd will have taken place.

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noir et blanc armée

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Ole knows how to set up to defend, it's why he only managed a draw against an Emery team who was similarly cowardly.

Clearly. Their midfield was oddly passive when they played at St. James' Park, which is a game where I think they would've been expected to dominate the midfield space.
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Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

I'm pretty angry anti-Brexit MP's didn't fight harder for a second referendum, because the numbers indicated by this ballot look to me that it might have snuck a win - looking at the totals, the Tory vote is just under Labour/LD combined, and while it unquestionably would've been close when everyone else is in, it looks to me that's how it would play out. Obviously its hard to speculate, even with concrete numbers, but that's how I interpreted it, even if it probably would've been similar to the last one being split by less than 4%.

It was really fucking obvious the Remain vote was going to be divided into more options than a leave vote because they would just have the Tories at their beck and call and ready to pounce, and they fell for it. The Lib Dems pushed hard for this ballot in particular, thinking they were on to a win and it just blew up in their faces. I'm aware the SNP were - looks to me like they were ready to try and throw English Remainers under the bus to get independence.

So I think there's going to be resentment from this side for years, which is only going to increase from the Brexit side if it ends up being a disappointment/disaster.

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noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Huh... quite something Man United got beaten by West Ham, Bournemouth and Newcastle, then picked up back-to-back wins over both Spurs and Man City.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

It does seem to be a pretty intense sacking season, with Spurs, Arsenal and Watford (for a second time) all pulling the trigger in quick succession, Everton's manager under intense scrutiny and West Ham having probably been ready to follow had Pellegrini not got victory at Chelsea with a 33-year-old PL debutant formerly of MK Dons and Millwall in goal.

Maybe its just the time of year. Usually see a few dismissals in late autumn/early winter but the last few seasons haven't quite been so intense as this one felt.
Bruce is at the club he was made for. Lower Premier League is his level

Lower PL is indeed our level (sadly, for someone who can remember top 5 finishes when younger) but poor seasons in the PL with Hull and Sunderland, and a messy time at Villa did make me a bit twitchy.

The cynic in me could suggest some of these results are one we might've had with Benitez. But equally, we have responded very well to an atrocious display at Leicester. 3 wins against teams we've had an iffy record against along with a double comeback against Man City, off-colour MCFC finishing or otherwise.
noir et blanc armée

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Huh. Bruce is doing better than my low expectations suggested. Granted it helps him our defenders are stepping up where our attackers aren't, but still - take what one can get.

As for Liverpool-Man City, I'm not going to say that the title race is done, especially as Man City literally recovered from such a deficit last season, but its still going to be a very difficult recovery process. And that's even without them moaning VAR robbed them of a penalty seconds before goal number 1.
noir et blanc armée

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Bury have been officially expelled, while Bolton have been given a final deadline of 2 weeks from now.

What a complete fucking mess.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

With Bury yet to start, Bolton in increased danger of expulsion after their kids limped to a couple of 5-0 maulings and Coventry not playing at home, League One this season looks like a complete mess.

It looks to me that the EFL only seems to have tools to punish clubs rather than help ones in genuine peril, and it just ends up with a negative spiral. I accept serial rule-breakers need to face some form of penalty and its pretty obvious Bury & Bolton have ended up in the hands of some people who have no business in being involved as football club owners, but I'm not convinced they've been entirely helpful throughout this debacle.

EDIT: This was posted before Bolton's administrators put out a statement saying the takeover collapsed and the club is to be liquidated this week if it doesn't meet the new EFL deadline tomorrow. Its looking pretty fatal.

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noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Well... Norwich was a total disaster so my expectations for this were low, even if we have a half-decent record at Spurs. I'm holding judgement on whether its the start of Bruce proving himself - Steve McClaren won our last game at old WHL, for instance - but I think everyone needed that. Things had got to a dark place in recent weeks so a very good performance and result were necessary. I had expected that to be against a surprisingly dysfunctional Watford next week, but success is success.

Spurs surprised me. Considering their talents, they were really slow and ponderous, and after Eriksen had come on and proved he wasn't the answer alone, they just didn't seem to have any back-up options. Almost like they're thinking Kane alone is all they need up top. Again.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Its odd how, like 3 months ago, the Laporte handball would've got a free pass, with even Lloris admitting they didn't think it was a malicious use of the arms by the Man City player. It is technically correct in fairness. But I guess it doesn't do a lot to help Guardiola and co be happy with VAR, especially as its happened so soon after Spurs squeaked through with it in the Champions League barely 4 months ago. Very much get out of jail free as well given Spurs were very much second best.

Still least they got something to show for it. Newcastle do not look in a healthy place and with early games against Spurs and Liverpool, I'm already prepared it might get more difficult.

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noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Siewert has been fired, with dismissal coming pretty much straight after tonight's loss to Fulham.

Ultimately not a surprise if the above posts provide an indication. Might well have been a better bet to do it at the end of last season but them's the breaks..
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Hmmm... was out so missed TV coverage of the first half, where it sounded like we created a fair few chances and looked up for it. Then saw the second, when the Newcastle substitutes weren't thought out and lead to a completely shapeless look and it all just seemed to fizzle out in a sort of aimless blind panic. The embryo of something that could work is there but a lot of work is needed to be less cluttered going forward. Still think we'll struggle though.

As for the boycott some fans do for today and potentially future games, I can see why people would/wouldn't engage in such activities, but it feels like those the two parties are just more interested in arguing with each other, which is just not helpful. Maybe its a side-effect of the lack of power fans really have in such a scenario.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Ashley just wants a yes-man doesn't he, he'll even let them spend upwards of 80mil if they behave well enough.

£65M plus a possible loan fee for computer game favourite Jetro Willems... not far off.

Tbf McClaren got £80M or thereabouts spent on him in 2015/16... although that didn't exactly go well. Least Fulham last season means we're no longer got the biggest spenders to go down tag.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Seeing as it got rumoured pretty much every year after he left, I should've guessed Andy Carroll might've returned to Newcastle at some point or other.

Whether he's ever fit enough to play is another matter, naturally.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Bury's second game at Accrington Stanley has also been cancelled.

This doesn't make for a good omen if it gets to a "kick out or not to kick out" point. Especially with the owner already putting out a statement in response that starts with "BURY FOOTBALL CLUB HAVE BEEN TONIGHT DEALT A GRAVE INJUSTICE"
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

The Bury case has been spectacularly bad. It appears the owner got around the rules to take control of all the previous guy's shares for a nominal £1 fee without needing to show the EFL proof that he has the money to run the club, and by the look of it some 8 months on, still hasn't. Slagging off the players and saying they have "too many employees" straight after promotion and the then-players saying they weren't getting paid was bad enough but now rambling missives making reference to "THE INFAMOUS EFL STATEMENT" and the club's fixture suspension just makes him look like a clown.

I'm aware the previous owner spent unsustainable amounts of cash, which doesn't help at all, but it has got to a really bad way that we could be on the verge of an expulsion like what happened to Maidstone & Aldershot in the early 1990s. Even if that doesn't happen, the Fit & Proper Persons Test is going to need extreme revision because this might be the ultimate demonstration it doesn't work.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Just tried to watch some of the U19s on there, says it cannot be streamed due to rights restrictions. I guess it will be the same for these games

Imagine its a geographic thing, in that RTE only works if you live in Ireland.

Can happen - while on holiday in Spain last year, I found quite a few clips on YouTube that are region blocked in the UK from TV shows I like.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

So Newcastle weren't willing to spend something like £18M for Salomon Rondon but were willing to buy Joelinton for £35-40M despite him grabbing less than 10 Bundesliga goals last season... I feel like I'm missing some logic.

I mean, if it comes off, great, and I suppose the net cost is relatively low as its reinvesting the cash from the Ayoze Perez sale but this feels like an odd signing.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

I liked the Paddy Power video initially having a dark blue change kit with 110 Paddy Power logos on the front. That would've been bold to try out. Actual kit as is looks pretty nice.

Certainly better than Stevenage, which I'm guessing their fans wish by this point was a spoof.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

I think a lot of the big name saw a highly respected La Liga/Champions League winner in Benitez not getting anything out of Ashley and later say that he got little contact or support from on high and thought "Fuck that".

To me, it looks like the club has learned nothing from the Steve McClaren farce, of appointing a "Head Coach" happy to just be in the PL with a club with a big stadium and lots of fans, and spending big money purely to buy their own chosen players, such is stuff like the current heavy rumours of £35M for Joelinton, whose record for Hoffenheim looks pretty mediocre, yet refusing to pay WBA £16M for Rondon.

Bruce might have been OK if it was 2004, when I think he turned the job down, some 2 years before he got relegated with Birmingham. Does feel like the game has moved on though. If he does well, great, but I don't feel excited.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Looked real to me given they wore it yesterday, assuming the EFL/FA don't get involved - I didn't know there was a maximum sponsor size allowance on football shirts but on prominence alone, it looks beyond what's acceptable. Its bad enough that - and I counted this - something like 25 bookies sponsored teams or leagues last season without something so huge standing so proudly.

And yet oddly I didn't think of it as hideous as Stevenage's new Burger King kits.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Steve Bruce it is then

Looks like Newcastle are going down then this season!

Saw a quote from a popular NUFC fan site going "Perhaps they've got a manager with promotion to the top flight on his CV 1 year in advance"

I was expecting a downgrade from Benitez and downgrade is what we have, complete with the fact we have to pay Sheffield Wednesday about as much compensation we got for Pardew, and they might not end the story here either.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing