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High hopes and aspirations! Newcastle v Blackpool match reflections.

Posted on April 11th, 2010 | 130 Comments |

Tangerine dreamers!
Tangerine dreamers!
I played a song recently for a mate who often goes to Newcastle games with me, though not the Blackpool game ironically. It was relevant because it was number one on his birthday back in 1991 and he’s just suffered the discomfort of turning 30. The song was “The One and Only” by Chesney Hawkes and it’s spun on ‘Old Skool’ nights in University and college dance-floors up and down the country.

It’s become a bit of a cult classic, as sh*t songs go, though unfortunately I’m old enough to remember it being released first-hand and to be honest I love it so bollocks to you all who hate it.

Anyway…, heading up to the Blackpool game on Saturday, with the sun bleaching down and a sea of black and white mixing in with the tangerine of the visitors, I couldn’t help but wonder about the words in the second verse of that song. Lowbrow though they may be to music snobs, the lines “High hopes and aspirations, and years above my station. Maybe but all this time I’ve tried to walk with dignity and pride”, hit home with a certain poignancy. Though I refrained from singing them out loud as I walked past the Strawberry…

It was one of those afternoons when I sensed that everything was going to be just about right. Perfect weather, the team in good form, home advantage and a Championship title to play for. The mood was vibrant, party-like and even though we’ve played it down due to unfair criticism in the press, there is optimism around the ground again. Talks of a mid-to-top half finish in the Premiership next year were on the lips of home supporters, they’re daring to believe again.

And there was more than that, there was pride. Where once we walked with as much dignity as possible during turbulent times of late, it was a restored pride on people’s face and in their strides. Promotion is in the bag, sealed before our game against Sheff Utd and celebrated with a home win. We can quietly go about the business of taking the title to finish things off nicely and hold our heads up proudly that we succeeded where many thought and some others hoped we’d fail.

Blackpool fans brought their own hopes and aspirations on Saturday and a bagful of pride with their near-3,000 support. They were here for a great day out and a special occasion which probably, as someone pointed out to me, says as much for the improvement in the city as it does for the lure of watching their team against the mighty Mags. The roles have reversed, where once Newcastle fans looked forward to a weekend trip to Blackpool, the opposite is now just as likely. The guy in the clown suit got some stick off Level 7 and I wasn’t a fan of the taunts but he played his part with decency. So too did that Stag who got thrown out of the corporate seats for stripping down to a G-string and bow tie.

They arrived, however, in buoyant and confident mood as a team with a run of four successive wins and the reputation of playing good football. But despite manager Ian Holloway’s pre-match front, his team struggled to gain a foothold early on and despite playing some genuinely attractive football, the damage was done with the first two Newcastle goals, I’ll save you reading what you probably already know but toonsy’s match report and the new highlights article will cover it, if you haven’t read about the game or seen the goals.

The first half scored flattered us really, as they had plenty of possession but without a cutting edge and as we’ve proved all season, particularly at home and since the turn of the year we’ll get goals from somewhere. So it was something of a relief when we came out guns blazing in the second half and gave it a right go for half an hour or so to put the game beyond doubt .

Hughton’s second change unsettled us a little and Blackpool fans got at least some reward for a thoroughly decent effort on their part. But even though we were a little iffy at times, a hit and miss display from their ‘keeper who managed to be both awful and awesome in equal measures throughout, a solid enough performance and the contrast between the teams in terms of creating and finishing on the day meant the outcome was rarely in doubt.

Special mentions should go to Coloccini who was brilliant once again at the back, Danny Guthrie who looks more fleet of foot and more capable and dangerous with every game. Also to Ryan Taylor for a great cross when he came on though unfortunately, it was one their left winger would have been proud of and went straight across our box to their right forward. I bet he could spend all night trying and failing to explain what he was aiming for.

Their fans gave as good as they got, once the wind was back in their sails after they got their consolation and the general consensus was that they were a group of proper football supporters, the like of which has been consistent for the most part this season. That’s the one thing I’m going to miss. And while we dream of European places and turning the mackems over, I hope for the likes of Blackpool, who’s play-off hopes are still alive, that their dreams of promotion are realised sooner rather than later.

How they faired – Harper 6, Simpson 6 (Ameobi 75), Coloccini 9, Williamson 8, Kadar 6 (Taylor 37), Routledge 7, Guthrie 9, Nolan 7 (Barton 69), Gutierrez 8, Carroll 7, Lovenkrands 5.

Subs – Krul, Taylor 5, Barton 6, Pancrate, Smith, Best, Ameobi 5.

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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130 Responses

  1. Cracking read, Bowburn.

    Your right about the fans. On the most part they have been excellent. Genuine fans who follow their club because that is the club they love, much like we do with Newcastle.

    My recent trip to Peterborough ranks up there with the very best of away trips. Everything about that day was fantastic and I really, genuinely hope they can bounce straight back to the Championship.

  2. jay jay:

    …completely off subject, but I’d really like to sellotape a 4pack of St. Ivel Blackcurrant yoghurt to Les fu<king Dennis's head, and hit it with a cricket bat.

    …but that's another story

  3. BBM that was a very good read mate and sounded as if you will have a slight warm feeling when you look back to this season in years to come. oh I liked the song lol

    Rodzilla how da hell are ye Lad are you still making the herb cakes ;)

    Jay Jay I would agree he needs a good slap :)

  4. …completely off subject, but I’d really like to sellotape a 4pack of St. Ivel Blackcurrant yoghurt to Les Dennis’s head,then hit it with a cricket bat and record the sound.
    …but that’s another story

  5. I do like reading what Rod has been up to overnight when I wake up in the morning :lol:

    I’ve missed it :)

  6. Toonsy, i’m gonna stop when you and stuart79 agree on something. Could be a while. Maybe you should meet up and say it with fists :)

  7. Not worth the petrol ;)

    On a serious note, we both agree the squad needs strengthening. Is that ok?

  8. Lreetlairds, fkn DIY man, scurge of my life. Been pumping coins inti this cavern for fawa yors. Kin bottomliss pit.

    …am cool like. Mi fawateeth end of the month, so trying te sort that anarl. @rse

  9. jay jay – I’m just trying to think along the lines of what we will actually spend rather than what the majority would like to see be spent.

  10. ….toonsy, nee question, we need to spend at least 20M in the Summer.

    I’m hoping Fatboy has a sale lined up. He must have, Shirley.

  11. Lads with the right attitude I hope mate, look at Pompey today, relegated and most of the players will be sold at the end of the season but they battled for every ball, it was good to see.

  12. Ryan Taylor has a throw in that isn’t far off what Delap can do. We really started to utilize it towards the end of last season but then we have stopped using it.

  13. But do you ever wonder how it came about? I mean Taylor held the record for a long throw so it was kind of known about. Delap’s just sort of came from nowhere. Do you reckon his former bosses feel short changed?

  14. I am not sure, Delap’s throw comes from his Javelin background, does it not?

    That would mean he has always had it – managers just never used it. Then again, he has always been relatively low league until Stoke got up so maybe he has always used it and no one ever heard?

  15. Great article BBM. Enjoyed reading it.
    Off topic, Congrats to Pompey for getting to the FA cup final.

  16. Big Dave – If your around, I thought barton played well when he came on against Blackpool.

    Forgot to mention it earlier ;)

  17. Chesney fookin Hawkes??????

    Just confirms everything I’ve thought about students for quite a while now LOL

    “Where’s your Buffy T-shirt? Thunderbirds is soooo last term”

  18. Good read Bowburn and it’s much in the music-themed style of another erstwhile Gruaniad/ Observer scribe – Laura Barton.

    Laura and Lousie Taylor are different though, Laura’s a Wigan gal and she writes without using a poisoned pen!

  19. There’s no way you can call that write up ‘music’ based.
    bowburn man,
    your shattering any hope i have for you right there mate. :)

  20. Well,’ it’s nice to see manu can’t beat blackburn & liverpool can’t beat fulham, oh & spuds can’t beat pompey.
    All when it REALLY counts.
    That kinda puts the prem into some kinda perspective right there like.
    Although i’m sure it’ll be all ‘explained’ away by the ‘pundits’ etc.
    Just goes to show that anything can ‘ACTUALLY’ happen.
    Bit like al those that claimed we would do nowt this season, inc. Shearer, lawrenson, hansen, Sir Les, you ame ’em……………
    …………………Wrong, wrong, wrong!
    I’m pretty sure EVERYONE claimed spuds would make the final, manu would beat ‘lowly’ blackburn etc.
    :)

  21. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    April 12, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Aye it probably explains the fact that the PL is getting more competitive with the teams in the bottom half improving.

    Also I don’t recall Shearer or Ferdinand saying we’ll do nowt this season.

    Shame on you for using them two to try and make a point – A moot one at that!

  22. Stuart,
    did you see football focus on sat?
    check it on iplayer, if they have it on there.
    Then you’ll see it said in all it’s glory.
    Shame on you.

    Or could it be that the the ‘top’ teams are getting worse, or just lose & draw sometimes?
    @pundits’ always go for ‘easy’ bets & like to ‘back’ the ‘winner’ & you & i know it.
    It’s just nice when it’s shown what they thought, after the fat buer’s sang like.
    :)

  23. Toonsy @46.

    I’m sure Laura B’d appreciate your comments though I’m not sure that Lousie T would!

  24. I definitely think the top teams are getting worse – you only have to look to Europe this season to see that.

    Man Utd’s golden generation are all on the verge of retirement and the new crop coming through just don’t measure up. Plus, no Rooney = no trophies.

    Chelsea = Pensioners.

    Liverpool are bordering between inconsistent and total sh!te. No Torres or Gerrard = nee idea!

    Arsenal don’t have enough experience and their squad is probably the weakest in terms of numbers (of first team players).

  25. The bottom of the table is pretty weak too in my opinion. Looks like there’ll be a whole host of teams that stay up with less than 40 points this season and that is pish poor in my eyes.

  26. The top PL teams are definitely falling behind the rest of Europe – You only have to look at who spent what in the summer. European teams well outspent the PL teams and it’s showing now.

    Still think the top 4 or 5 teams will finish in the top 4 or 5 though. Just replace Liverpool for Man City in the next few years.

  27. Ta TC,
    It really IS happening, isn’t it?
    :)
    & the ‘top’ 4 is becoming a top 4-5-6 or 7.
    The prem has been full of draws & losses this time round.

    Well done to fulham, stoke & brum for bucking the trend, making the ‘pundits’ look silly & showing what ‘teamwork’ can achieve.

  28. Yeah definitely CF.

    I agree with Stu (first time for everything) in that the top 3 or 4 will remain unchanged for a while – that is a bridge too far for most clubs these days.

    I’d definitely consider matching the progress of Fulham or Everton as a real success though, and honestly don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be able to achieve that – provided we give the manager time and a little bit of money.

  29. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    April 12, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Alot will depend on what happens this summer. I expect Chelsea to be big spenders and I also expect Arsenal to spend a fair bit of cash too.

    But the top 4 to be become the top 4,5,6 or 7 is a bit optimistic when you look at the gap between the top 3 and the rest.

    That will take some bridging if Chelsea and Arsenal spend and Man City will/have bull dozed their way into the top 4. I see that top 4 being there for a few years to come in all honesty.

  30. With y’there TC.
    :)
    Tell y’what though.
    It looks like manu need a clear out, their old boys are knackered & their recent buys look dodgy. Also their young ‘uns know how to win fouls & moan a lot, but aren’t that good at football.
    :) :)
    Chelsea will HAVE to buy BIG soon as all their players are getting past their use by date.
    Arsenal are in the best position, young ‘uns blooded now, but need a bit of experience.

  31. Buying loads of players all at once takes time to gel, so chelsea have a task to stay there. As do manu, though they do have the refs et al on their side, so should be ok.
    The ‘proper’ teams below should just carry on what they’re doing, building teams & then they can push on.

  32. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    April 12, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Are you really being serious with that comment? “Chelsea will have a task to stay in the top 4?”

    I despair, I really do. They have been in the top 4 for the last 7 years so I hardly think they’ll fall out of it by adding a few top quality players, to play alongside the likes of Lampard, Terry, Molouda, Cole, Anelka, Drogba and Essien. I reckon they have enough there to blend them in reasonably ok.

    I really wonder sometimes….

  33. Now, now Stuart.
    :)

    All i’m saying is:
    They are gonna have to spend on ready made players as plenty are getting long in the tooth.
    That takes time to gel & they expect to be top 4 now, so the pressures on like.
    They have been left wanting on several big occasions this term.
    I’m not suggesting their fall from grace is ‘nailed on’ or anything, but if you wanna read it that way, knock yer’self out dood.
    ‘pundits’ as well as plebs can get it wrong mate.
    :)

  34. Hasn’t the meercat said he won’t be bankrolling Chelsea anymore though? They always make a huge loss so not sure where they’ll get the funds from to spend big??

    I also can’t see Arsenal spending that big – maybe £20-30m. Anymore and I think Wenger will be told he has to sell first.

  35. Don’t see any chelsea bairns coming through, do you?
    But, they have bought ‘top-ness’ as they aren’t ‘big’.
    So i guess abramovich will seriously need to dust the old wallet down.
    :)

  36. TC,
    wenger will get a nose bleed if he spends any more than that.
    :)

    But a couple of ‘destroyers’ would do them the world of good.

    It’ll be interesting to see what manc spend, surely they can smell blood.

  37. what a cracking read, thx for that. whoever wrote it, really good.
    the comments about epl also a really good read, it does appear that the top 3 are loosin grng whilst top 12 are creeepin up. i for 1 have loved watchin fulham in europe, but yeah the champions is were its at. is this indicative of the recession finally impacting upon manure nd chelsea? it appears so.
    i reckon it’ll be a buyers mkt this summer, so i reckon were in a v good n healthy situation, economically. there r so many clubs whose fiscal situation will warrant some big players bein put up for sale, nd a surplus of sales = bargains to be had, if players r willing to take a wage dip to stay in epl, then we could be pleasantly suprised.
    i reckon fat man would be crazy not to invest 20 million this summer. 3-5 players should see us finish top half.
    also think ch should be given his chance as he’s worked for it nd deserves another shot in big league.
    cracking blog, cheers nd HWTL.
    heres something that should bring a smile
    http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=28202

  38. Is it OK to like The One and Only, if I also like Gimme Shelter by the Stones? That’s a decent balance, right? The former just being a by-product of my innocent youth.

    As for decent music, I love a good montage. Anyone seen this before? I have sat here like a little kid and watched it four times this morning, reminiscing about my football club. Good to be back in town and the sunshine is making me think of hot July/August pre-seasons and the first few games back against the big boys. Being a football supporter is class sometimes man eh?

  39. Morning gents, I’d love to see Collo get into the Argie world cup squad. With him and Jonas we would have another team to follow. They are probably favourites anyway with the players they have, most of the England based ones are top drawer and thats without knowing who all of the foreign based ones are.
    Yeah it’s true Chelsea have a poor squad now, they could only bring Ballack on as a sub at the weekend!! ;)
    As for ManU have you seen the quality of their kids, I know we like to think we have some gooduns but I’d swap for a couple of them given the chance. As for Arsenal they have been crippled with injuries this year. I still think there is two leagues (or 3 even) in the EPL and we will be doing well to be fighting out in the second one. Enough of my rubbish for now though :)

  40. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    April 12, 2010 at 12:08 pm
    Don’t see any chelsea bairns coming through, do you?

    Me either and they have spent millions upon millions on their youth system. That’s why I don’t think it’s realistic for us to be putting most of our eggs in that ‘youth system’ basket.

    Man City will probably spend another £100m this summer to push them into the top two.

    If Villa and Spurs don’t spend much either they will probably just stagnate,so there’s a chance for clubs beneath them to catch them up. But of course if they don’t invest either they will probably stagnate too – So we’ll probably just be left with the same league table for the next few years.

    Although if a ‘big club’ in great financial shape, who has just gained promotion and with a wealthy owner decides it’s time to invest when other clubs aren’t there could be a gate crashing on.

    Anyone know of a club that fits that bill?

  41. Incidently does anyone think Fat Freddie will be supplying the energy resource needed for his new venture. Probably has it in abundance from both ends. :)

  42. CLiNT, Van Aanholt werent a bad one, thing is there is even less scope for their kids to get games than ours, would bet that they have them though.

  43. Aye Stuart,
    i wouldn’t be depending on youth either.
    A steady ‘trickle’ won’t go a miss though, hey?
    spuds & villa are not all that, as this season has proved.

  44. I’ve always considered Bowburn to be a level-headed, tolerant, articulate person with values that I share….

    I mean even knackerdust can’t wind him up….

    But Chesney Hawkes?????

    Awww man!!

  45. CLiNT,

    I think it would be ridiculous to ignore the youth, but it needs to be built up over time and in the mean time unfortunately I think you have to invest in established players.

    toonsy, I know Lerner has said that, that’s why O’Neill is not happy, but Abromovich is resigned to the fact that Chelsea have an ageing squad and to win the Champions League (which is his only desire) he will have to open his wallet again. As for Ellis I heard Micky Horswill saying that he’s heard there will be about £30m for Bruce to invest in the summer – He is very close to Niall Quinn too so I imagine he’s not that far off the mark.

  46. Where did the ronaldo money go?
    :)

    Oh & jt, nice clip mate.
    We could do with a couple of new ‘hayf becks’ hey?
    :)

  47. like to see ch give young harris and airey a run out or they will never get a chance under ch next year.

  48. Aye Stuart,
    just NOT prima donnas, hey?
    & they’ll have to find £30m’s worth that wanna live & work in queerside first like.
    :)
    Though that could mean getting 30m players for a quid a pop like also.
    :)

  49. Real Radio Scotland currently belting out the one and only if anyone feels like double checking they cant stand it? :P haha

  50. CLiNT,

    Ashley has just got to trust Hughton and we have to hope Hughton has a better eye for a player than his predecessors.

    I think we will find out who wants to play for the club fir the right reason next season if we do have a 30k a week wage ceiling.

    Just hope we don’t start looking at poorer players because the ones we want can get better wages else where. That would end up costing us more in the future.

  51. clint – just glad some1 bothered to watch, nd leaving a ty, well ur very welcome. yeah ive found a wealth of old clipis so will drop them in when i get the chance, cant stop thinking of paul whitehouse, nd thats gotta make u smile. lol.

  52. Haha I’m at work and havent got control of the radio, thats all i’m saying like. I however could be considered as a member of the “student esque” appreciation of the song era, lol. I’ve got nowt against it. Not Real Radio’s biggest fan though. all 80’s.

  53. But Chesney Hawkes?????

    C’mon Bowburn, Gimme Shelter and Cheesey Hawkes just can’t sit together in a man’s (=male or female) musical tastes.

    Crikey, you’ll be telling us next you liked Clive Dunne’s Grandad alongised LA Woman?

  54. Y’right Stuart,
    At least CH has the team ethic ingrained in him, judging by his ‘trotski-ist’ leanings. :)
    More than any manager we’ve had in a long time.
    If they are prepared to go elsewhere for a bigger wage, so be it.
    No more mercenary wasters please, cos they are the ones that got us down this season. That ended up costing us, didn’t it?
    So it goes both ways.

  55. Stuart @ 86.

    The Chron had an article in which Nolan’s warning of the need to get players with the right temperament and the abililty to fit in with the current players.

    Makes perfect sense to me – the players do have their own network and reputations and attitudes are known.

    I’m not suggesting that the Committeh have a final say in player recruitment but listening to their views may just avert a disaster

  56. Aye, but I’m still not too sure what 30k a week gets you in the PL. Maybe just average players?

    I think R Taylor is on something similar so it would appear it doesn’t get you much.

  57. Aye Stuart,
    but……….
    ……………….I really do feel that there’s a chicane coming up for the prem, so it may not be as bad as we think.
    Also, there’s only speculation that that’s the top wage being offered by the club. If it’s in the press, then it must be taken with most of the ‘siberian salt mines’.
    Basically, we won’t know ’til it all kicks off again next season & the window closes.
    I know that leaves a long time for speculation & counter spec. A day in the press is an eternity, isn’t it?
    & you know how press, ‘pundits’ & the (dis)like, like to speculate about a little club like Newcastle, don’t you?
    Anyhoo,
    if their speculation & predictions on how this season would go are owt to go by, we should be ok.

  58. why isnt any young players on the bench anymore! and when we have been winning 3-4 never brings them on.

  59. Well CLiNT, we sure will see this summer.

    There is always the problem of Man City too – Will their ridiculous spree distort the market? Probably but only at the higher end and I have a little feeling that won’t effect us.

  60. Agreed CLiNT, by letting it be known what the clubs recruitment criteria are (no older than 26 and max wages @£20k) then I’d say that’s good management.

    It both manages expectations, avoids the potential chicane you’ve referred to and more to the point, attracts the players who really want to play for Necastle United.

    How many pups have we had earning £60k – £100k pw? Far too many for comfort I’d say and I think there’s been a hard lesson learned.

  61. I’m quite happy with the criteria that the club is reported to be operating within – i.e. age and salary limit. If they just up the level of player they’re going for… so from £1m to up to £5m transfer fee – then that will encompass plenty of appropriate players and keep out the Owens and Luques.

    The biggest factor is exactly what Nolan was on about: get the right PEOPLE who will fall in love with all things Toon and really add to the dressing room rather than disrupt it.

    And I think Clint is right about the chicane – ‘Toy’ clubs like Chelski and Citeh can only employ so many players, so expect several years of buyers’ market out there.

  62. Well Stuart,
    if manc continue to hoy good money after bad, i’m sure some of it will stick, but as you suggest, they’re competing with the biggest euro teams(or at least the most heavily leveraged ones)now. So i doubt anyone can compete with them when it comes to spending, so they’re anomalous really.
    But anyway, other teams have showed that you don’t have to waste money or ‘upset’ the team to be competitive this season. We have a team ethic going now & that needs to be built upon, with a handful of shrewd buys. If it is, & they’re all on the same page, who knows what can happen.
    I for one wouldn’t go predicting what NUFC does next, if you look up lottery in the dictionary, there’s a picture of SJP.

    Lesh,
    Please let’s have learned a valuable lesson, hey mate.

  63. On a different note, I’m aware that mathematically we could well claim the championship on Monday against Plymouth – and I’ll be there, the night before my birthday, with my wife.

    I almost don’t want to beat Reading tomorrow to make it more interesting.

    Almost.

  64. Whumpie says:
    April 12, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    In principle it’s a great idea, but where do the club go if players decide to go to other clubs for better wages?

    You will probably say well we’ll be better off without thwm then,and I would agree to a point – But where do we go if they keep saying that?

    Do we have to buy cheaper players who aren’t as good? Will that cost us ultimately the same as paying decent wages?

    It’s a really difficult juggling act, but I would hope there is a degree of flexibility in this business plan. If we find the next Messi but he signs for Sunderland instead of us because they would pay him £35k a week and we would only pay him £30k it will be kind of annoying would it not?

    DAon’t envy them to be honest, it’s not going to be too easy.

  65. Howay Whumps, do your very best!! I’ll be thumbing a ride down to the Smoke otherwise!! :)

  66. By the way, does it help my reputation that Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star is my favourite song of all time? Again, just a thing from my youth of course.

    Whadayamean it’s hindered it further?…

  67. Stuart.

    If players want to go elsewhere for better money then they don’t want to play fo us.

    Look at young Moses who opted for Wigan and he’s probably wondering what he’s let himself in for.

    All that glitters is not gold etc.

  68. Losing more and more respect for you by the sceond Bowburn.

    Carry on and you’ll be in the same drawer as Derek Lambs arse.

  69. Buggrit. Couldn’t even get them to answer the phone. Says on the auto-waffle that it’s only open to ST holders, members and people with 2 loyalty points. Then if you try to get through, the line goes dead.

    May invest £10 in a membership…

    I know it’s the last game of the season, but who’d a thunk it?

  70. Ohhhh Bowburn…… Buggles? Buggles?? Buggles???

    What next… you’ll be telling next us you watch X factor and voted for JedWard rather than candy floss Joe McEldrie?

  71. Whumps – The membership is £33 and we’ve considered it but I think you still need a loyalty point so it would be in vain. The two lads have got through but accents = epic fail. I still have faith mate, no pressure (ahem). They’ll pick up eventually.

  72. Ah. £33 for a membership of a team that plays in a shed lined with old railway sleepers??

    Guess I’ll try summat else, then. Like the redial button.

  73. lesh says:
    April 12, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Lets not hide the fact that money is what makes the world go round. Footballers like the rest of the population want to be as high paid as possible and will work for whoever will pay them the most.

    It’s human nature I’m afraid.

    What do we do I’m asking? Do we stick to our principles and possibly get left behind or do we find ways of competing financially?

    I would hope though that we can afford to match and better all but the top 5 or 6 teams in the PL.

    Just on our turnover and potential we should be in a better financial position to pay more and still be well run economicallY.

    Is that fair?

  74. YOur soo right about human nature and following the money but there are those who are nothing more than mercanaries who’ll do as little as poss for as much as they can get!

    All the more reason to have t’committeh input into player recruitment to make sure we’re not conned…..

    Won’t Get Fooled Again (that was for you Bowburn….. ) and I hope we’ve learned from previous mistakes

  75. Just have to hope that some tickets make it through to ‘general sale’.

    On the equally important subject of “credibility-buster songs”, I’d like to add my condemnation of all things Buggles, and suggest, at my peril:

    Come on Eileen.

    Liked the song. And the movie.

  76. Stuart,
    if a player would rather live in s*land for £5k a week more, they can have ’em.
    How many players would rather play in front of £50k at the Toon for a few sheckles a week less, quite a few i reckon.

  77. Whumps – defo on public sale, according to the website. Redial (* clap, clap, clap), Redial (* clap, clap, clap), Redial (* clap, clap, clap)…

  78. But of course you don’t Bowburn, nobody in there right mind watches it…. unless it’s academic interest of course.

    A man of your colibri would surely fall into the ‘academic interest’ group?

    Bowburn, you are clearly a man of surperior taste who’s winding us all up with references to Cheesy Hawkes and Buggles.

    Didn’t Cheesey Hawkes old man play in the Tremoloes? If he did, you can see where his inherited talent’s come from!!

  79. CLiNT,

    We’ll find out but as I said it’s human nature to go where the money is.

    I think the mercanary players of the past can be very easily identified by a good scouting network and doing some homework on the player.

    Sam Alladyce looks into a players family life, up bringing, injury record and then decides if their worth buying. We need dilligence like that and then we will know that if were spending £7m on a player or £1m we have the best possible chance of it working out.

    Even when we signed Nolan I remember Sir Bobby Robson asking Mike Ashley what the scout report said about the player, to which Ashley said we haven’t got one! Sir Bobby was astounded. He thought Nolan’s best years were behind him…

    We cannot be making signings on that basis again.

  80. Ah, who cares? Just want to enjoy these last few matches, then worry about it. Certainly won’t be taking much notice of players linked in the press.

    Got a nasty feeling we’ll have a hard time against Reading tomorrow. Praps snatch a draw?

  81. Whumpie – if you go through to the individual games, it has our’s as GS (General Sale).

  82. Fair point Stuart.
    Nolan ain’t a good eg though.
    He’s done alright for an over the hill midfielder like.
    Top scorer from midfield, player of the season, captain etc. Ain’t too shabby.

    But i know what y’mean.

  83. Bloody ticket line still just cuts off when you try to get through for that match. Will try summat else…