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Shola Comments
With Everton having a shite transfer window - and seemingly going backwards, Southampton seeming to have the same problems as last year - (7th is wide open - to aim for at least)

Anyway Newcastle are weird at the moment - Ritchie, Atsu, Lascelles, Hayden seems miles better in the Premier League than they did last year - Clark has stepped up and looks like a good Premier League defender, Mbemba and Elliott have came back in after barely featuring last year - And Merino is an absolutely ridiculously good signing.

We also seem more attacking than we did last year - which is weird
In what sense? Just because he doesn't connect? what sort of fucking rule is that?

No, because it wasn't as bad as Mane's - as evidenced by the referees decision.

Do you honestly believe anyone would be talking about Ritchie's challenge if Mane hadn't been sent off on Saturday? - No of course they wouldn't just like 99% of incidents like it.
So Ritchie didn't get sent off why?

Because it was nowhere near as bad as Mane's?
Replacing Gylfi and an injured Llorente with Sanches and Bony isn't too bad!

Whereas Newcastle just shifted people out on loan?

Well Newcastle signed five first teamers - and shifted out unwanted squad members.

Bony was completely wretched in a poor Stoke side - and Sanches seems to have dropped off a cliff. They both could come good. - But I would rather have last seasons two best performers.
Newcastle obviously weren't gonna sign someone tbf. Like no one has even been seriously linked.

Transfer window is mental. People saying Newcastle did worse than Swansea who sold they're two best players.
Always forget how fucking mental people are about transfers.

Also big fan of the 'need signings in early brigade' are the exact same people as they complaining that they're team aren't pushing through last minute panic buys.
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.

Did you manage to see it?

Very, very good win. Ritchie was absolutely outstanding a true leader today. But they were all very good. Joselu and Merino in particular.
We are bad defensively tbf.

Also note I said you would be complaining - not that I (or a reasonable person) would be. fwiw - I thought the Mounie one was a complete accident, Smith should have probably been booker - as that could have been very nasty if Mbemba didn't get out the way - and Kachunga should be given the benefit of the doubt - although Mbemba was bleeding from getting studded in the face. But howay - you're keeper was trying to deceive the ref in a bad way - Joselu completely went for the ball.

Also yeah Gayle should have been booked for diving - he Ritchie, Mitrovic and Shelvey are all prone to diving. Don't think any are as bad as Kachunga mind.

Also do them three game changing decisions include Kachunga diving for a penalty, or the guy fouling Mbemba in the build to the winner?

Agree completely about Benitez btw.

Anyway 3 from Brighton, Newcastle, Huddersfield, Palace and Swansea for me Clive,

Amazing that Burnley, Bournemouth (who look awful) and West Ham (with yer Dad as DoF) are 'safe' in my mind already is worrying.

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Warching the goal again - and it was really awful - incredibly unorganised.

Huddersfield only really have two men above the ball - both CB's have then went super wide - so we have four defenders marking two forwards - Ince (?) Then has a massive gap to run into - Hayden completely lets him go.

Merino is then standing there completely fecklessly meaning Manquillo has to pressure the ball - creating a big space - Merino then also goes but then doesn't track back. - Mooy then has a yard.

Huddersfield only have three men forward - we have eight back. they still managed to play through and score. - Even more worrying is the body language - We look like a team on a 20 game losing streak - who knew it was only a matter of time before they score - and we have no chance of getting back into the game,
That we were poor and thoroughly deserved the points underlines just how awful Newcastle were as an attacking force. They seem to be a side who get organised defensively, but then don't do any work in the week on actually scoring goals, relying on individuals doing stuff rather than having an actual plan. Then fall over, whinge a lot, fling themselves into poor tackles and complain when things don't go their way (I can think of an overrated one-footed diminutive Scotsman who fits the description perfectly). We won't get an easier three points this season - if we'd actually been at the races, we'd have taken them to pieces. As it was, we imposed our identity on one passage of play and scored an utterly glorious goal. 14 passes, 9 men involved, quick change of pace at the end and a sumptuous finish.

We're also bad defensively as well tbf - Huddersfield are just shite going forward. Not blaming the ref but let's not pretend you wouldn't have demanded Kachunga, Smith and Mounie all should have bent sent off. You're keeper is an absolutely wanker as well - He was absolutely pathetic trying to get Joselu sent off.

Also Huddersfield don't have an identity ffs. - You looked bad going forward - and bad at the back. - The goal would never have happened if Merino and Hayden didn't combine to make the world worst Premier League central midfield pairing.
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.

It's because of the excuses - we won't learn. Last week became all about Shelvey - and the underlying questions weren't even contemplated - today it seems to be all about blaming the ref.

Rather than what is Benitez' actual hope for this team. Gayle isn't involved - Ritchie doesn't support, Atsu looks no where near a consistent threat at this level. Huddersfield were bad and completely deserved the win. This week it will be all about Ashley's lack of transfers again - but it seems Benitez has spent £38m and hasn't really improved the side (with the exception of Lejeune) at all.
Is Draxler actually good? - Seems to be a FIFA type player - if you get what I mean - I'm sure there's loads of lads on Twitter with names likes Draxlerology and ManLikeDraxler - but his career seemed to stall in a big way. - Lacazette I reckon will be similar - didn't see Arsenal last week - so apologies if he was good - but I reckon Giroud will easily outscore him (or at least minutes by goal)
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.

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
Once we bring in Joselu and Kenedy - I think only Man Utd, Man City, Watford, Leicester and Huddersfield will have spent more than us net. I think we spent something like 4th most in the world in 15/16 as well.

Main worry is I can't see where any goals are going to come from;

Our tactics seem to rely on Dwight Gayle being Didier Drogba

Matt Ritchie isn't really an effective outlet, Atsu (who was great today) - still didn't really have any end product, Shlevey can't create as opposition will outwork him, the club doesn't really have a creative number 10. - Merino also looks like he will be too lightweight - but obviously early days on that one.

Newcastle need to release Shelvey. Sign an actual holding midfielder - to sit, put Colback into CM to hassle, and sign a creative midfielder to get the ball forward (maybe Ritchie or Merino can do this). - with Wingers actually pushed up - Murphy/Atsu/Aarons who need to just go for it - and get balls into the box/shoot/commit defenders.

Liability above the Championship. Banned far too often for completely stupid things. It's not like he's mistimed a tackle when on a booking - none of his red cards are ever for something that are just part and parcel of playing in the centre of the midfield. Were he 18 it'd be almost excusable, based on his age, but he's 25 and hasn't learned.

He was mostly shite in the Championship tbf.

Doesn't even try like 30% of the time.

Arsehole believes he deserves to be in the England squad - and seemingly wasn't really punished for being banned for racism last year.
It might well be it was exaggerated, but the Championship this time felt tougher than it did in 2009-10. Either that or back then we had a more street-wise squad with some proper buggers like Nolan, Smith, Barton, Butt, etc. I'm not as bothered as I could be though - either way, we still got up and had the added bonus of winning the league. Wasn't perfect, and we definitely underestimated it far too often, but we did what set out to do.

I'm aware a snippet has just been released of an interview Sky did with Mike Ashley that is to be in full broadcast on Sunday after the Spurs game. Says he's not as wealthy as people think due to most of the wealth being in Sports Direct shares, and that he can't afford a £200m cheque for Rafa to do what may. A fair bit of the reaction from non-NUFC fans on Twitter seemed negative, curiously. Don't think it helps a report was out in another newspaper the other day saying he signed a cheque for £200m towards the redevelopment of some London properties. And even then, I was broadly sympathetic to the fact it was sell to buy but our sell list has few takers.

Krul is a bit of a surprise. Thought he might get a look in rather than no squad number and being told to go away.

It felt harder because we were no where near as good. - And yeah Ashley doing a business deal is hardly comparable to effectively giving away money to a football club.

I have no sympathy for the sell to buy - it's mostly been Benitez' fault - Tim Krul is our longest serving player and has been effectively banned from the club, Saivet told to train with the reserves immediately, Lazaar was his signing, Likewise he signed Hanley, had one look at him before deciding to buy someone else. His first signing was a goalkeeper when we already had three plus a promising one.

And he seems a complete moron, when it comes to selling players - putting them in the reserves / not giving them squad numbers - makes it clear we have no leverage in the terms of a sale. Quite frankly if someone came in now and asked for any of these players on loan with no contribution or a free - we would be better of doing it for morale purposes.

It's Souness and Bellamy all over again.
I'm getting bored of the bulk of NUFC seasons descending into a perceived farce on at least 5 different levels before its even started. Maybe one year it'll run smoothly enough.

I'm aware we're in a sell-to-buy scenario by virtue of being lumped with several unwanted players that takes us above 25 players, and its not hard to imagine Ashley's coldness towards an out of control transfer market, which is fair because the market is truly deranged, but the market is just one where £19million for Andre Gray, for instance, is the going rate. It all feels like another in a long list of Ashley gambles - hardly assuring given a lot of Ashley's gambles end up going badly

Not that I can say my expectations are that high anyway, given we're new boys with a weaker squad than 2010 and arguably weaker than the one we went down with, although this lot probably give more of a toss. Survival is good enough an ambition, and in all probability, it looks probably good enough for that. Maybe even something slightly better than 4th-from-bottom, if only because last season, 8th to 17th was split by six points, which is almost comically compressed. Not that I can agree with the post above, given the alternative for RB is back to the horseshit like McClaren or Carver. And that wasn't any fucking fun the first time around.

I think Benitez has really overplayed the challenge. - He's a miracle worker for scraping the Championship - Hughton who was forced to sell 10x what he signed - won after a 100 point season. The next year the club finished 12th with terrible managers Chris Hughton and Alan Pardew in charge - and a £23m 'profit' on transfers.

Like can you fucking imagine if Shelvey played out of his skin for 6 months was flogged for £50m and was then given Jonathon Douglas on a free?

tbf I suspect Ashley doesn't really care about transfer fees - I think he'll let the club spend what it can without him putting in further money. TV rights and player sales are generating ridiculous cash - transfer fees and wages are generating a tremendous cash drain. - It doesn't really affect him if a shite full back costs £2m or £20m really. - Maybe that Justin Barnes bloke is doing something behind the scenes to put the brakes on.
Fucking hope Benitez leaves. Sick of him. - Constantly whingeing.

He's made it clear he's bigger than the club. He's been playing Newcastle since Day 1. Fuck him.

Wish Ashley would show some bollocks and get rid of Charnley and Benitez. And appoint people who will put Newcastle before themselves.

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I remember looking at Riviere's goal record before he signed and though it didn't look very good - I think most of his goals came at Ligue 2 and he'd never really done it in the top flight.

But yeah Manquillo, Atsu and Joselu are all clever signings because we benefit from 'decent' squad players now and then in two years time when we finally get rid of them for knockdown fees we can hear about how we've saved £xm on the wage budget. The Sunderland accounting system.
Don't know anyone that didn't have a rip roaring good time.

That lad who got knocked out with his head on the Union Jack pillow giving Tommy Robinson his photo opp probably didn't (And all the others who ran away)
If you ever want a giggle - its always good to look at fans reactions to shite signings.

Riviere was a brilliant addition just three short years ago

Also when does a shite player stop being a 'squad competition' and a 'solid backup' and it then becomes a 'relief' to get them off the wage bill.

Like we've just signed Manquillo for £4.5m and have given away Vurnon Anita, and are in the process of trying to give away Haidara and probably Lazaar and Gamez for knock down prices.

Obviously its fine to be exicted for the new season to see new players - but why does everyone have to fucking delude themselves every year?
Makes absolutely no sense to me why we release Anita and spend £4.5m on a replacement who is probably worse. - I haven't seen enough of him - but he's pretty much universally panned at Sunderland,

Anyway fair play to the Chronicle - Lejeune 'didn't put a foot wrong' - despite making a huge defensive error to gift them a goal. - Why do people feel the need to bullshit about new signings?


Yeah, PL football can fuck off - let's just get these lads together and have a class game of fives.

Although I think Ronaldinho could do with better team mates than Denilson and Seoul - Also not sure if Nakata is quite on the level of Henry and Totti.....

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Think the Premier League should be suspended until the transfer market stops being ridiculous.

A possible £22m combined on Jacob Murphy and Christian Atsu - is mind boggling. Let's sign Pablo Aimar, Ariel Ortega and Alvaro Recoba and have a nice kick about instead.
James Vaughan player for Everton - it's inevitable he'll go to Sunderland
I saw him play once for the reserves and thought he looked hopeless.
Like, maybe at least have the kid wear the Chelsea shirt?

Sunderland are absolutely miles bigger.