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Number 1 Comments
Sturridge has gone to West Brom on loan. Surprising one, but he should do well.

Apparently he turned down Newcastle to move there.

Figures.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

We did look in the game for the opening half hour, but didn't do enough with our pressing along with the odd woeful pass, then duly conceded two silly goals and that was it, really.

Meh. Suppose I'll live with it if we stay up. Would be nice to go beyond Round 4 in this tournament for once though.

«This comment has been edited»
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Might be hard for Dubravka to be get more caps for the Czech Republic given he's a Slovakian keeper. Faintly unremarkable an intent, mind. Although with any luck he won't be Sels flappy if he turns up.

I'm still not convinced anyone will be joining tbf.
noir et blanc armée

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If nothing else, the antics at Anfield seem to show some of the kinks in VAR use need working out a bit. Though its still premature IMO to be slagging it off as a game ruining invention.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

So that's now 14 goals in 12 against Newcastle for Aguero... least we don't have another league game against him this season barring an improbable January transfer.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

My own presumption was that Staveley was some form of middle manager for an enterprise, which seems to have been the thing with the Reubens that was in one of the Conn articles. It wouldn't surprise me if there's previous involvement, given I seem to recall hearing the Sheikhs who bought Manchester City were sniffing around Newcastle shortly before they bought them. Whether that's an urban legend... dunno.

Certainly I'm also aware of the previous attempt by Staveley to buy Liverpool that Benitez was involved in, although given the High Court essentially forced Hicks and Gillett to sell Liverpool, it wouldn't have been that big a surprise they would've been turned down regardless of whether she was genuine or not.

While I'm fairly confident Ashley will not be in charge in 5-10 years time, I'm not so sure it will be through this one. I don't necessarily think that its a sham, but the whole thing is a strange and far more convoluted affair than it needs to be. Certainly moreso than the time Ashley bought it, but then no due diligence happened while Hall was desperate to sell, and I guess its not going to be the same structure.

Maybe it's best just to shove it aside for the moment and revisit it in the spring or summer.
noir et blanc armée

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Its a bit of a weird signing all told, but meh. If you've got it I guess.

Wouldn't be surprised if Mourinho still found a way to complain about spending, though.

«This comment has been edited»
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Not to put too much on Staveley being the hope because in all truth I knew nothing about her before any of this, but what previous failures does she have? Only previous football thing I heard about with her possible involvement was being involved in the Man City takeover, which seems to have worked out well for them.

Bit vague that their company still seem to be saying the deal is on, but it seems likely that there was activity in October/November, then nothing since. If anything it feels reminiscent of Ashley's failed attempt to sell Newcastle after the first relegation in 2009.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Not even surprised we're stuck with Sports Direct for the time being.
noir et blanc armée

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Well... we didn't lose. That's about as good as yesterday gets.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Norwich or Chelsea away... not my first choice for Round Four.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Bet Everton must be pleased he turned Chelsea down on deadline day, didn't get fit to play another match, and then left for Chelsea anyway for £20m less.

Still something rather than losing on a free transfer, mind.
noir et blanc armée

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Bloody nora that's a hell of an achievement. Congratulations.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Clearly Mark Hughes' promise that Stoke would beat Newcastle after resting all their main attackers at Chelsea has aged well.

Not that we need to care. 3 points off a direct rival in this fight as part of 7 gained over this Christmas/NY period... rosier than it looked going into it after all those losses.

«This comment has been edited»
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

It genuinely sounds as though neither manager was that interested in winning the match. But it also puzzling that we're happy to give it a go away for some parts, but then play very inhibited in games at St. James' Park. Hopefully this may add up to Stoke being seen off on NYD, but they'll be presumably more up for it after their spanking by Chelsea.

The only real plus from yesterday was that it wasn't another defeat, and even that feels like its not enough given the late winners for Swansea and Bournemouth.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Missed the game but not entirely sure what to expect from such a scoreline or playing 5-4-1. Even if better teams with more belief that they could beat Man City have lost by bigger scorelines. Guess we'll also not know what would've happened if, by some bizarre case, the Shelvey kick-off wallop had gone straight in.

Wonder if anyone might actually have a go at City from the off in an upcoming game.
Saivet was apparently sent straight to the reserves - as was Doumbia.

Ah Thauvin. - Benitez sold a guy who's probably worth £50m for less than he bought Matt Ritchie or Jacob Murphy.

Tbf it looks that like the case with Payet and West Ham, Thauvin didn't want to leave Marseille in the first place and McClaren had already removed him once. Even if it wasn't all done before his re-loaning/permanent sale. Typical he's then turned into an elite level player... the 21st Century Jon Dahl Tomasson syndrome. Meh.

Did Doumbia do anything for us? Quite something that for the key game against Bournemouth that ended the McClaren era, Riviere got the nod instead.
noir et blanc armée

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£75million feels excessive.

Dunno if its helped Southampton to hold out and keep him there this season given he looked like he could not be bothered in his cameo this campaign for a team that has a poor looking forward line
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Saivet was apparently banished to the reserves by Rafa for two years....

And yeah I'm a bit skeptical about the injuries - looked to me that Benitez is stunting to try and 'prove a point'

I thought he'd already been put in the reserves before Benitez rocked up, then wanted to go back to France after the demotion as Thauvin and Cabella did, but only came back last summer because nobody wanted him. Its still a pleasing way to find the option is there. Whether or not he'll still be about when Hayden, Merino and Shelvey return... who knows.

I'm willing to guess some are exaggerated a bit, but not all. Some may be for fitness - there's a stupid quantity of games in December '17, for one - but I'd guess, for instance, you've got the isolated case of Mitrovic for something's being potentially exaggerated, given his red card run rate means he's not being trusted. But then I doubt in the long run it really achieves much - we don't really have a great squad anyway, so starving it further seems counterproductive.
Saying lucky not to go is an understatement. That he argued 3 matches was excessive is mind-blowing, though. Whilst there was less force than in the Tyrone Mings stamp last season, there was certainly more intent to cause harm and for that reason alone I'd argue the same length of ban. Violence in football is in a bubble, mind. A couple of years ago I recall a lad getting jailed for a punch on an opponent and quite rightly. Perhaps someone needs an example making of them just to remind others that, actually, they need to stay in line and behave themselves. Because we can't have players running around kicking others in the head while they're on the floor - it's an act of absolute cowardice. That's twice this season our keeper has been kicked deliberately in the head and thankfully this time the FA has been able to take action, but I've noticed a really nasty streak in this division that I've not seen in any others.

The incident with Simon Francis getting a yellow for kicking Kouyate in the face during the Bournemouth-West Ham game certainly looks like another to the group of these incidents in recent weeks. That looked a red (Kilbane's verdict of just a yellow.... no) but it seems absurd to just charge in like that given the risk associated it with it. Josh King reacting to a misplaced pass by raising an arm and accidentally punching Obiang in the face was almost comic, but I guess a different ref could be inclined to produce that card.

That game as a whole looked demented, mind. Not to mention coming with farcical refereeing... how the fuck that late Wilson goal stood is mystifying given he was offside and it went in off his arm.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Tbf I thought Saivet didn't get a great deal of chances in his half-season after arriving - think he only made two starts, one of which was a game at Everton where everyone was terrible. Although even then I'd imagine it would've been Merino and Hayden if they were available. Didn't even notice Lejeune was out of the squad altogether, but then I only found out the team news after kick off... fair one on Mitrovic.

Dunno if it'll lead to a pick up, mind, given that Manchester City is the next game. Still, there's always hope that we'll succeed where everyone has failed... well that or just pure delusion.
Austin should be off. Simple. A pre-meditated, cowardly, scummy attack on our goalkeeper leaving him down injured. Knew what he was doing. Kick straight to the face, looks like it's broken Lössl's nose.

Disgraceful. That's not a ban. That's a fucking prison sentence.

Is it karma that Austin duly got a hamstring injury and seems to be out for longer than a ban would've been for, or is it still the case he still should've gone? He was lucky not to go for that incident.

«This comment has been edited»
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

While not quite as comfortable as it could've been judging by the internet/Sky, a win for the first time in too fucking long is all good. Very nice as well to see Diame and Saivet do good things after all the half-arsed performances of the former and the latter's virtual anonymity.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

So, how long before City lose?

Can't help but think it'll be a while yet, but when it does, it'll probably happen to someone unexpected rather than a top side. Either that or Champions League becomes priority in the second half of the season and focus wanders a little bit on league games.

Its even more strange that none of these seem to have really put Fabian Delph under a great deal of pressure in his makeshift left-back role, but given the riches going forward, maybe they've just gone for the "attack is best form of defence" routine.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

I think I've genuinely forgotten what winning a game feels like.

Might as well just re-post this every week tbh. Even if I gather we weren't as terrible as we have been today.

A few weeks ago, I would've had West Ham as ideal next opponents, particularly at the London Stadium. 7 points from 3 games means I'm not so sure.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

I think I've genuinely forgotten what winning a game feels like.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

I mean, Pardew, Carver and McClaren each served up similarly patchy runs of form and got shit for it so it's certainly fair to ask if Benitez is currently performing below expectations, even accounting for having a weaker squad than those three predecessors.
Benteke taking the penalty off Milivojević in the last minute. Crazy.

You kind of knew that when Benteke insisted on having it, it wasn't going to go in. Potentially huge as well given that Palace's season had been beginning to pick up.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Well that was depressing and yet worryingly familiar at present.
noir et blanc armée

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Third Round draw is out, with a Merseyside Derby among the headline making ties.

Home to Luton for NUFC... could be interesting and more uncomfortable than preferred given how freely they score in their league, but it is still a League Two team.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Newcastle's lead was nice why it lasted.

I feel the same.

Regardless of the circumstances around our cheapskate squad and the takeover or not story, 1 point from 6 matches is shit form... Leicester and Everton in our next two are pretty big games.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

One or two Newcastle fans seem gutted we missed out on Joe Hart in the summer. Clearly West Ham are reaping the benefits of that one at the moment.
noir et blanc armée

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A point is definitely something I would taken at 2-0 down but Christ alive our defending from crosses has been appalling all season. Yedlin in particular has looked pretty terrible recently.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Don't think anyone who started that game was any good (subs are irrelevant because they all came on too late to do anything). I don't know if from the highlights the key factor was Watford playing well - except perhaps Gray, who should really have got 3 or more - or Newcastle being top-to-bottom garbage. Could well be both.

Seemed a bit of a weird day all round. Man Utd's goal was a bit of a joke, WBA taking a point from Spurs and arguably having better chances to win was a turn up for the books, and the referee in the Swansea v Bournemouth game was pretty bad.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing