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Shola Comments
What did Scotland do in a past life then?
I think Drogba would struggle to score 10+ goals in this side with our tactics.

fwiw Mitrovic got 9 last time......
Benitez is taking us down. (again!)

Absolutely baffling not playing Merino against Palace and Southampton. - The way we're set up - he's the only one with enough ability to make something happen. Shelvey really isn't good enough.

Aarons has apparently been fit for weeks - and he can actually control a football.

Dyche 1-0 El Dyche

We'd be relegated already if we didn't have Merino.

Ritchie seems to refressed into being average, Shelvey offers nothing, Perez is lighweight, Joselu has no threat. Lejeune looks dodgy as well.

Clark, Mbemba, Merino, Colback, Mitrovic and Aarons need to be restored.
In fairness was Giggs not Man Utd assistant and Phil Neville.has coached at a couple of top clubs?
Still reckon Pickford is really overrated. Like he looks better at saves by being 5'3
Def wouldn't consider the season Keegan walked away or the one that led to Robson being sacked as good ones.

Sorry it was three good seasons in the 90's followed - but back then teams like Palace, Norwich, Villa and Forrest could compete at the top - now there is six good teams - it's a lot harder - Everton are obviously there and finding it very hard to breakthrough. - Even when we finished fifth - we probably wouldn't have done if Chelsea got knocked out of Europe - and Liverpool were awful that year.
It's not particularly successful - but we were absolutely rudderless before Ashley - and we probably won't be any better after him.

And what we had two good seasons in the decade before? - and two good seasons in the decade before that?

My point is takeovers never actually work - either the club is run in the exactly the same way it previously was, an owner is a 'maverick' who make impulsive decisions and pisses everyone off, Or an owner with big plans - who inevitably loses interest after no success and spiraling debts.

Plus Newcastle have had protests against every owner - and have spent more time in the second flight than the top flight - We were at the foot of the second tier in 1992

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Shepherd and Hall made millions out of Newcastle - Whilst paying themselves massive salaries and flogged their unprofitable businesses to the club.
That's the thing. Ashley is rightly hated, but some god awful owners have somehow found their way into English football in recent years and completely ruined clubs.

If you get good, sensible new owners with a bit of money, and keep Rafa, you'll be on the up.

Elsewhere, WBA 1-0 up at Leicester. Why did they give Shakespeare the job permanently.....

He's kept prices down reasonably down - and we'd be in a much worse state that if he never bought it (He was probably the only possible buyer in 2008 - because he didn't do proper due diligence)

Really can't see any sale happening - I think Ashley is still owed £159m - I think no will buy it at with that outstanding - and the fact Ashley has had to put out at a statements suggest no one is interested.

As an aside - has any takeover ever worked? Out of the clubs sold in the last decade Newcastle's was a success - Sunderland, Villa, Portsmouth, Coventry, Blackburn, Liverpool (Hicks), West Ham (Iceland), Fulham were brought to their knees by unsuccessful takeovers.

Liverpool (FSG), West Ham (Gold&Sullivan), Arsenal - haven't really kicked on - and I'm pretty sure they're fans are eager for a takeover.

And even the successful ones like Swansea and Palace have seen the owners become seen to be clueless and despised by the fans despite large success.

Leicester's owners never actually put that much money in, nor did Bournemouth's, and Southampton seem to have most of their success after Liebherr died. That Everton guy has put some money in - but without success so wouldn't be shocked if the fans started insisting he needs to sell up as they deserve better.

Chelsea and Man City are obviously different as they are built around buying legitimacy - and the football is secondary.
Amanda Stavely in the crowd.....No thanks
RIP Fat Controller
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.