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Number 1 Comments
Would it be too harsh to sack him after losing to Chelsea?

I guess if they were to, West Brom fans would argue it would be the fact they seemed to have taken their foot off the gas since hitting 40 points in the back half of last season, and then not got back into the swing of things for this season.

Probably not of great help for him that their next game is at Spurs.
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Blimey Pulis' defensive nous has fallen off a cliff so far this season.
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We're not in that bleak a position at the minute - fwiw, we have as many points or more than we had at this stage in each of our last 4 Premier League seasons, and with what is probably a weaker squad than in those campaigns. Plus that demotion 2 years ago is much more to do with McLaren being kept in post for too long, or indeed being appointed. Could even argue we could be looking at a rosier outlook had Gayle's goal been allowed - looked on to me, just.

Even accounting for that, I'm not gonna say its all rosy atm. I think our defence is relatively alright (Manquillo aside) but our attacking play is an issue, be it lack of energy in attack, or playing the wrong game with smaller strikers, or poor buys, or dropping in intensity after not scoring in the opening half hour. Its also certainly not assuring that Man U or a half-decent Watford is the pairing to start the cavalcade of games from now to FA Cup 3rd Round weekend.

As for other clubs, I genuinely don't see Dyche being Everton boss in the post-international break fixtures, seeing as Burnley look in a pretty rosy place atm. But then who knows. Although certainly the case for Billic still being in post is much harder to argue... fuck knows why Moyes is being suggested as a replacement, mind.
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Ah piss and shit.

Also not ideal given the fixture list is looking tougher from this point.
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Clark and Mbemba, maybe, but Merino was injured last night, Aarons seems to be injured half the time and I would argue we have better options than Colback. Mitrovic is the divided one given his hot headed acts of lunacy, although Shelvey was restored after his own idiotic behaviour against Spurs, and by scoring against West Ham before getting a needless ban, Mitrovic has done more than Gayle.

I'd argue that more than anything else, Perez's lightweight episodes and Diame being not very good means number 10 is a position to improve in January if we're rigidly sticking to 4-2-3-1. Assuming funds are available from whomever holds the reins at the point.
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Well that was dull.
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Why the fuck would Everton bring back Moyes?
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Clearly, something is in a state of collapse around there. But seriously - the fuck was that fan doing?
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I'm not entirely sure 2 relegations and several fan protests count as successful, but in fairness I do agree lots of takeovers at football clubs end up going to shit very quickly.
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Not really a surprise given the more sustained recent takeover talk. But as happened in 2009, we might need to wait and see if it actually happen. And indeed if they're an improvement.
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Newcastle's historically shit record at Southampton meant a point is something I would've taken before kick-off, but I didn't bank on leading twice, or Fraser Forster having an utterly dreadful game, or the Saints attack being pretty lethargic throughout. Still, its not a loss.

The penalty was a weird one - Lejeune did make contact with Long, so that alone isn't contentious, but there's a subtle kicking the ball out of play from Long before the contact that indicates more intent to get that as an advantage from a not-irredeemable situation. But then the referee made more erratic decisions, so... meh.
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My pessimistic nature meant I was sure Palace's first goal and/or points might come at St. James' next week... in hindsight goals today was probably more likely given how football usually works.
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Blimey that Joselu goal was ludicrously fortunate.
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Mightily underwhelming display, that. We weren't terrible defensively, and I did initially think Mbemba was fouled during the build-up to their goal, but we were poor offensively. Far too many shots on target that shouldn't have been.

Nevermind. We'll see if Liverpool's dodgy defence that'll have just come back from Moscow provides more returns.
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Missed the game but saw we picked up 3 wins in a row... again, maybe my pessimism was premature. I like this feeling.
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Considering Benitez's absence and more defensive injuries, I had low expectations but it was a good performance overall that probably deserved it. Swansea may not have looked great, but we did still do enough to pick the points up. Very nice to see both an early away win and a good back-to-back double.

Certainly, I can get used to seeing my pessimism disproved.
So Ritchie didn't get sent off why?

Guessing the fact he didn't make contact with Mawson helped. Tbf I did see some Newcastle fans on Twitter yesterday drawing a pairing between that an incident involving Huddersfield's Elias Kachunga and Mbemba a few weeks back. May help to get some consistent ideas out of the officials.

EDIT: Didn't realise Ritchie made slight contact with Mawson's arm... hmmmm. Again, consistency from the officials may well need to be made.

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Initially I thought it was a borderline yellow/red call, but a red is pretty justifiable.

Meanwhile, can De Boer really help it if his players are prepared to play wildly awful backpasses?
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Bet Barkley leaves on a free next summer anyway.
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Its Ashley-era Newcastle. I can't even pretend to be surprised anymore.
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Well... clearly the West Ham fans I read suggesting their team would provide an easy obstacle to overcome for teams in need of wins and goals turned to be correct.

Very satisfying to get off the mark after the misery this week has mainly been made up of.
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The rule needs changing as much as anything. I accept celebrations can be overdone to the point of aggravating opposition in certain contexts, particularly in derbies, but in this one, it feels wrong. Same with the shirts off rule.
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Chill your beans and enjoy the Premier League. 36 games to go.

Roll on the international break.
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Christ alive as if this season's start wasn't shit enough...

Incidentally why is the draw for the next round being done from Beijing at 4:30am UK time tomorrow morning?
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Don't think Merino-Hayden has even been the worst CM pairing Newcastle have put in the PL, let alone worst ever, although in truth it didn't play very well either (Merino wasn't awful, but still gets some marks taken off for letting Mooy get away before the winner). Diame coming on and passing straight to the ref was a definite downgrade further, mind.

It was a bit of a shit game all round, decided by the only real moment of quality and some inattentive marking. I think our bigger problem was going forward - just so lethargic for a counter-based strategy, when compared with the more streetwise and pacy feel to the tactics used when we won at Huddersfield in March.

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Hmmmm... like last week, did alright without threatening in the first half and fell to shit straight after half-time and didn't look like recovering. Which was understandable in the context of Shelvey's idiocy last week, but less so in this one.

Gonna be a bit of a chore of a season I fear.
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Our forward play has been really lethargic throughout.
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Because they've sold Lukaku and should still get reasonably big money for Barkley? - In fact if they get £35 for Barkley they will have a zero spend.

Although I've just seen Everton have signed Jose Baxter - that is surprising

Also that, but I think their owners are wealthy enough to afford this without such sales. Although I've heard Barkley's move might be on ice for the moment as he's injured his hamstring.

Baxter rejoining is weird, mind. They hopeful of a late resurgence where he massively belatedly matches his FM09 potential?
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The Premier League has been getting out of control since about 2014, but this year has taken the cake. Sigurdsson probably is worth that figure to Swansea because they wouldn't have stayed up without his goals and assists last season, but it is still outrageously over the top for Everton to fork that out. Feels weird to say Everton are overspending from wealthy owners, mind - got a bit used to Bill Kenwright saying they were skint or almost always having Barclays knocking at the door for repayments.

As for the Mags have signing Joselu, its a curious one that a not insubstantial quantity of Stoke fans seem to think he's their best striker given he's barely played for them and spent last year out on loan. But it still feels like we're continuing the weird cavalcade of "eh, might come good" signings that have already turned up this year, though least he seems to have joined for less than half the £12million figure banded around last week.
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There were a few positive signs, and I do wonder if Kane got away with one for the foul on Lejeune, but Shelvey has ultimately decided the game by behaving like an enormous bellend.
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I'd say Ruud Gullit with Rob Lee is the closer parallel than Souness-Bellamy. That was more a case of two abrasive personalities rubbing each other the wrong way over claims Bellamy refused to play out wide. Somewhat ironic given that's where Bellamy played a lot for Man City, Liverpool and Cardiff several years after departing St. James'.

Its an ugly business but it happens. More of a surprise of no Krul buyer, mind, although I'm guessing the injury problems and poor form since the mid point of 2013-14 don't help. I was assuming Saivet might creep in if Colback is sold, although it is likely someone else would just turn up if that happened. I thought Hanley had already left, which shows how little attention I was paying, Lazaar was a bit of a pointless signing, albeit kinda ok given it was from the "speculate to accumulate" school. The sell to buy ethos was the sympathy for Ashley, even if slightly eroded by then knowing he can be in a position to write huge cash for a property deal then saying "I'm not that wealthy" due to share dealings - values make it worth noting to take the words sceptically. Its a bit of a 1% problem to have.

Still, whatever. An extra striker given Gayle's dodgy hamstring, Mitrovic's lack of scoring and Murphy now playing for Nottingham Forest is the main thing. Don't think that's too much to ask for...
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