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Number 1 Comments
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

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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.

«This comment has been edited»
noir et blanc armée

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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

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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.

«This comment has been edited»
noir et blanc armée

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Not happening - he just declared he's not interested in returning to management just yet. Also didn't buy the Mourinho rumour even before he said he wants more than just challenging for top 10 rather than trophies.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Benitez officially confirmed as leaving Newcastle when his deal expires on Sunday. Not a surprise. Its been faintly clear for a while Ashley didn't want to give him what he wanted even though he would've been willing to stay.

Roll on Mark Hughes, Gary Monk or some other downgrade and a season I'll be glad to see the back of.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

I presume for the next round of PL auctions that Amazon might try their luck for more if this initial burst is a success. But I don't really know how many people who don't already access to AP will wanna sign up just to see 2 rounds of games. And I say that aware Boxing Day is still a bit of a lucrative window.

Having looked at our fixtures, I'm bemused the PL is giving Newcastle a slightly different version of last season. Again tis a North London opponent at home on day 1 followed by a trip to a promoted side, plus 5 of the top 6 by the end of October, a bogey ground away day on Boxing Day, and away to Brighton followed by home to Liverpool as part of the season end. Feels oddly unimaginative. Though I guess the bigger issue is the continuing bemusement as to who's going to be running the joint given the questions over Rafa and Ashley that are still unanswered at this moment.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

The fixtures for the new season came out today, so seems appropriate to have this ready for 8 weeks time when it all goes off again.

Opening run:

Friday August 9
Liverpool v Norwich (Sky)

Saturday August 10
West Ham v Man City (BT Sport)
Bournemouth v Sheffield United
Burnley v Southampton
Crystal Palace v Everton
Leicester v Wolves
Watford v Brighton
Spurs v Aston Villa (Sky)

Sunday August 11
Newcastle v Arsenal (Sky)
Man Utd v Chelsea (Sky)

Its a hello to VAR and Amazon Prime for this season as well for the first time... could keep things interesting.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Didn't watch it but I did gather a tournament of some ludicrous games leading up to the final delivered a tournament decider that fell way short of expectations.

Still not sure about the handball, even if I'm aware VAR requires a harsher interpretation of the rules around it.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Mbappe is already packing his bags in anticipation of a move to the Toon.

Assuming we're still owned by MA, maybe when he's 35, available on a free and wants a final payday.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

My natural cynicism means I'm not expecting this week's "Newcastle takeover" rumour to go anywhere.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

I think a few people will look at the sequence in Jan-March with the draws against Leicester, West Ham, Man Utd and Everton, and point out a win in any one of those 4 would've got Liverpool the title. But even so, if someone else is not just winning every single game but almost metronome-like in picking up points every week, there's not much you can really do other than try to keep up.

Hell, when Newcastle beat City in January, I thought they would drop points at least one more time. 18 wins from 19, with that game in January as the only blot, is a fantastic run. They're just phenomenal at what they do and its something Liverpool would have needed to go near-unbeaten to top it. Though I bet some will still wonder "what if John Stones had been a few millimetres more behind the line".

Meanwhile, its something that Brighton have acted quickly. I like Hughton and I do agree its a bit mean that dismissal is the effective thanks for hauling them from a Championship relegation battle to back-to-back seasons in the Prem with a third in the diary and the FA Cup semis. But given there was 3 wins in 23, evidence none of the new signings were really working and signs the fans had turned, especially after the home surrenders to Bournemouth and Cardiff, I don't think a sacking was unexpected.

«This comment has been edited»
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Its something that Liverpool picked up a points total higher than any other PL winners apart from Man City last season and Man City this year. The well dones have to go to City tbf - 198 points in 2 PL seasons and over 200 goals is a phenomenal achievement.
noir et blanc armée

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Its extraordinary that we're in a position where we have to decide which of Liverpool and Spurs was the more improbable comeback. Ridiculous and highly entertaining week.
noir et blanc armée

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Especially when they had finished 5th the previous campaign.

They've a tough trip to Swindon this afternoon and I really can't see them picking up the result required.

Totally. Seems to not just be an L2 thing tbf - in League One, Scunthorpe, Southend and Plymouth all got top half finishes last year, with Scunny even in the play-offs, and all 3 were at the bottom end of the ridiculously tight drop battle, with Plymouth and Scunthorpe going down.

And indeed - they didn't get the result. Sol Campbell does deserve credit for somehow dragging a Macclesfield side looking destined for a swift return to non-league and in big financial trouble over the line, but its still crazy Notts County have fucked up so badly that they've got to that point.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Yeovil going after 16 years is mad enough, especially given how much it went to shit after the Championship and so quickly, but the very real prospect of Notts County dropping out after being Football League ever presents since the 1888-89 original is total lunacy.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Obviously its been a while since the last posts here but blimey there's been some utterly crazy games in the Champions League this season, even before the sheer lunacy Man City and Spurs came up with last night.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Trying to plug so many holes left by departing loanees was always going to cause teething problems

Surprised how they never got themselves out of that rut though

Maybe that's just it - I didn't realise they were that reliant on loanees in 2017-18 until I looked at their squad, and clearly the replacements weren't up to snuff.

Oddly I said at the start of the thread I thought they'd done better than Wolves. Which clearly shows I know nothing. But then maybe its just the case the Wolves manager had more of an idea of how to make a team out of his own big money signings, and none of Jokanovic, Ranieri or Parker did.

While I'm narked we lost yesterday, it does feel that the relegation battle could be over quickly. Cardiff's next two of Burnley and Brighton away feel for them like win or bust games.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

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