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Number 1 Comments
Leave it to Mike Ashley to bank over £120million for last season and still tell Benitez the policy is sell to buy.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Presuming the more expensive variant is player issue.

Still think the replica is overpriced anyway, not least given they'll be replacing it in a year.
noir et blanc armée

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Bit of an odd final, but I think France are fair value for tournament winner. Thought they half-arsed the group stage but they controlled all their knockout games, including today, very well.
noir et blanc armée

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Roberto Martinez in the World Cup semi-finals... bit of a leap forward from when he got fired by Everton two years ago shortly after a mauling by Sam Allardyce's Sunderland.
noir et blanc armée

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Huh England won a penalty shoot-out. That's new.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

England did alright yesterday, didn't they?

Meanwhile the end of Group B has been magnificently farcical. Makes the VAR trial... interesting.
noir et blanc armée

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Getting Boateng sent off and changing to 2 at the back seemed to be the cue for the most coherent football Germany have played all tournament. Also its a hell of a kick from Kroos at the end, and an utter kick in the pants for a Swedish side that had defended so well.
noir et blanc armée

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I was aware some Argentina fans weren't exactly looking forward to this after losing the World Cup Final and then 2 Copa Americas, but I doubt anyone anticipated such a messy rabble.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

I think we should probably just have a general World Cup thread.

On this game, France did get away with a pretty half-arsed performance. Something Argentina couldn't. Although quite impressive Germany seemed to put in more effort than both of them, and still lost, but that owed as much to a very impressive Mexican defence.
noir et blanc armée

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Its different but I kinda like it. Reminds me of Harchester United.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

If nothing else, last night's game was a lot more watchable and interesting than the non-event in the FA Cup last week.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

I'm not entirely sure what, if anything, Man United were trying to do yesterday. The penalty did tip the game because it meant they had to do something to respond, and they took too long to really get going.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Top 10 finish on our return to the PL is a very good return given some of the poor runs on the pitch and transfer-based politics off it. And I'm aware its on goal difference, partially helped by Chelsea effectively not bothering to take part in a good 3/4 of today's game, but its still an excellent reward.

Spurs v Leicester has to be one to seek out for later's highlights shows. Sounded hilariously absurd.

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noir et blanc armée

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I liked the Southampton fan who went on Trip Advisor and put up a semi-serious 1/5 review of the hotel that cancelled the team's booking. Made me chuckle.

But yeah. I think Huddersfield might get a point from one of their last 2 games, and even then, can equally see an increasingly toothless looking Swansea not picking up three points on the final day. So that race is probably run. Must be equally galling for them knowing Cardiff City are passing by in the opposite direction.
noir et blanc armée

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Championship final day seemed like a very exciting free-for-all. Fuck knows what it must've felt like for one of those with a team in the eye of the storm.

Also when I was idly wondering about promotion favourites, I don't think a Cardiff City team mainly composed of freebies and discards was a first choice up there. But credit for Warnock. He has a legion of detractors, but he is excellent at what he does.
noir et blanc armée

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I suppose in truth, my expectations were hurt by a summer window that promised more than it did. Maybe its a sign of not paying attention, I don't really think many of our summer arrivals have made that big an impact, although Murphy and Lejeune have had their moments. Dubravka and Kenedy in January have certainly been better acquisitions (although we've just about got away with Slimani for Mitrovic, which was definitely an error, and highlights someone better than Gayle is a summer must).

I was happy enough to scrape 17th given my natural pessimism, which is a mindset that carried on first when the form collapsed before Christmas, and then we drew our way through January and February. From that point, I'll take it. But I do agree that this conclusion to the season isn't good enough. Spurs and Chelsea have shown somewhat indifferent form, so I think we might get something off one of them, but they're not first choice games to snap out of this. I'm also aware a hangover can go on. It looks from the outside as though Stoke, WBA and Southampton all slept through the final part of last season and none of them have really woken up for this one.

Saying that, Burnley had a crap second half last season and are now Europa League bound, while Watford rarely win games in April/May but seem to dust themselves off quickly enough, so... who knows. Maybe predicting the future based on this period is a totally fucking pointless exercise.

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noir et blanc armée

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I'll be slightly more generous and say 7/10 for the black & whites, because we don't really have the most amazing squad, and the spring run that booked survival has been fantastic, but the run of form between Halloween and Christmas was soul crushingly shit, and the fact beating Arsenal has been the cue to slack off is disappointing.
noir et blanc armée

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Bloody nora West Brom, having been dead and buried since about January/February, could actually pull this off.

Well... provided Southampton and Swansea both fail to win another game this season.
noir et blanc armée

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Still feel its likeliest to be a straight fight between Southampton and Swansea, which means that the game between the two at the Liberty Stadium is potentially a "winner stays up" affair.

Not a done deal tbf, given West Ham's porous defence and Huddersfield's having the toughest fixture list. Don't think Stoke or WBA are getting out of it, while Brighton might well stay up with their current points total. But hey, I'm no prophet.

«This comment has been edited»
noir et blanc armée

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Well, its already confirmed that we're staying up... all that one can really say is a positive from the non-events at Goodison and then yesterday. Must be on a "reach 40 points then go on autopilot" vibe.


«This comment has been edited»
noir et blanc armée

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Its been a while since I checked the works of Nostradamus, but isn't Wenger quitting one of the harbingers of the apocalypse?

«This comment has been edited»
noir et blanc armée

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41 points, with a 13 point gap on the relegation zone and 5 to play... if we go down now something has gone horribly wrong. Newcastle have been excellent in the last two and a bit months, and its been a hell of a ride.

I thought Mustafi was poor in the Arsenal-Southampton game last week, so helpful for us he essentially again repeated his brain fades when it came to low crossing.
noir et blanc armée

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First instinct was penalty, if a soft one.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

West Brom are gone, and sacking Pardew as they did earlier is basically the PL equivalent of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, although if nothing else it gives his permanent successor enough time to assess who needs to go.

Stoke's defensive problems means I don't think they'll manage it, and that's even before Shaqiri apparently slagged off his teammates' quality, thus indicating dressing room tension. I don't think anyone of the 4 above is safe yet, although Swansea's form is probably good enough. If Huddersfield beat Brighton next week, that does alter the picture a little as the Seagulls have an appalling run-in.
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This genuinely might be the first time I've felt confident enough to say we'll be staying up.

Not that I can boast that quickly, given we're not over the line just yet, but I think the ball's in our court to wrap this up.
noir et blanc armée

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Aye, they really are awful and dire to watch too. Somehow they're not in the relegation zone (5 wins all season!) but their upcoming fixtures look tough so they could well be soon.

Still fancy Palace to get out of it. I thought they were virtually safe not long ago but there seems to be some life in them at least which is more you can say for Southampton.

In a further development, they have sacked their manager.

Most of their fans seem bemused and irritated that it didn't happen sooner, judging by relevant Twitter hashtags.
noir et blanc armée

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Is there much else to say about Carragher other than he's been a dingbat?
For a club who is known as a great spotter of talent why the hell haven't Southampton solved their striker problem in the summer, every season they seem to buy a striker in January and hope he hits the ground running, they got lucky last year with Gabbiadini but its well and truly backfired this year

Certainly, judging by his failure to score or really look like scoring, Guido Carillo is not the answer to their problems. But one would agree with Pellegrino's assessment that they gave up.

It might well be that because he's got them to the FA Cup Quarters, that's keeping him in post - maybe even moreso if they beat Wigan next week to reach the semis. But they have a terrible run-in and struggle to score, and in a straight fight, I'd have Palace as likelier to keep their heads above water at present.
noir et blanc armée

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Good day for the black and whites, and a pretty good performance. They looked more up for it and more assertive, and its good to see it worked in a key game.

Although granted it did help that Southampton were awful and spent most of the game looking like they couldn't be arsed. Had them down as a possible top 10 side in pre-season but its hard to see them staying up if they keep playing like that.
noir et blanc armée

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West Brom have had a poor enough campaign without their prep for this involving senior players allegedly stealing a taxi in Barcelona at 5am. The fuck is going on there?

«This comment has been edited»
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

I'll be honest, I wasn't anticipating that.

What a great performance & result that is.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing