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The Mackem behind Newcastle United’s current success.

Posted on October 20th, 2011 | 86 Comments |

Richard Akenhead.
Richard Akenhead: Building superhuman Magpie machines.
When you look at Newcastle United’s great start to the Premier League campaign, it certainly isn’t due to some great tactical masterstroke. We have been playing the same old 4-4-2 with lots of endeavour down the flanks and a pretty high pace, much like many other Premiership teams.

However, one of the things which has been very noticable are the great fitness levels and work rate put in by the lads throughput the games, and a significant part of this may be due to a student from Northumbria University and his PhD research project, which has been part funded by Newcastle United.

Sunderland born Black Cat’s supporter, Richard Akenhead, is a PhD student at Northumbria University who has been using the latest technology including “GPS” (Global Positioning System) and miniture accelerometers to help build Steve Austin like superhuman football machines who can run faster and longer. The fruits of this work now seem to be showing, with both Newcastle’s midfield and defence currently being ranked as the most hard working in the Premiership in terms of distance covered during matches. Newcastle United midfielder, Yohan Cabaye was recently named as the most hard working player in the Premiership after covering a distance of 83.5km over our first seven games, or 128.9 metres per minute. Since the Tottenham game that figure is now 95.1 km according to the Premier League Index.

The Mackem genius said of the project on the Northumbria University website:

“Through GPS we can monitor the speed players are travelling, as well as the distance and direction they travel, how often they sprint and the density of high speed running to recovery.

“We’ll be investigating the type and duration of exercise during both training and games and the consequences that has for subsequent performance capacity.’

In other words, it gives the manager a more complete picture of what a player is capable of thorugh examining their performance, levels of fatigue and physiological reactions such as heart rate variabilty, which are measured in a 15 minute, battery of tests which are carried out before training sessions, During training sessions and games the players are monitored by a series of cameras using the aforemetioned GPS in a system which is more extensive than those used by other clubs, even large ones.

Going back to Akenhead himself, he also said of his resarch project:

“I’ve always wanted to carry out research that has a strong, practical focus.

“This research will have real world-wide application in elite sport in producing results and knowledge that will inform athletes and coaches as to the optimum interaction between training load and recovery, therefore preventing over-training as well as the decreased performance and increased risk of injury associated with it.’

Though the system was introduced slightly before his arrival in 2010, current manager, Alan Pardew, who is known to be a great fan of statistics and such, seems to have embraced the new technology with open arms. In a recent interview, Newcastle United defender, Steven Taylor spoke of current training sessions under the Silver Supremo:

“The manager is great, the sessions have been brilliant and he’s meticulous,”

“He likes his computer stuff, his projectors. We’ve got the heart rate monitors now, players do the body tests every day and he always looks at how much running a player is doing.”

“I remember one session we did I didn’t think we had done enough, but he said ‘Right, that’s enough’ and there was a guy on the sideline with an iPhone showing us how far we’d run. It’s modern technology – if it gives you an advantage you use it.”

“There’s no place to hide, though. You know about it if you’re not doing enough. I’m running on the spot afterwards to make sure my statistics are up there!”

“Everything is spot on. We do a lot of preparation work – everything is right.”

Which is great. However the bad news, as Akenhead suggests above, is that eventually this technology will be available to all elite clubs, and Sunderland.

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NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1055 articles on this blog.

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86 Responses

  1. Always impressed by your articles. So, Cabaye is the hardest working player in the PL? That’s why he’s always available for a pass.

  2. There are some clever people about but it all seems to be positive. I,m not so sure that the players are all that keen with all the instant results. I would say do we need a machine to tell us that Cabaye does the most running it seems pretty obvious to me.

  3. No age limit on these blogs (and I’m talking mental age!!)

    Interesting article. Hope they dont introduce this technology in the Civil Service!

  4. Interesting background worky – but does it work?
    I’m impressed with all the support & development we now have – but GPS on a footballer?

    I see simpson has put himself up for auction for £3m – suits me, pays for half of Pieters which is about right.

    Any way you can rid us of this battytwat ?

    HWTL

  5. Munich – are you still there?
    I see from this and another blog that some comments have riled you – rise above it mate. Your posts are some of the most interesting on here – insightful, sharp & witty – ignore any dross from anyone of less ability.

    This is a football site – not a massage parlor for inadequate egos.

    HWTL

  6. Great “banter” there Tonamy and Batty. If you haven’t got anything to say then why don’t you just shut up – my two year old could win an argument with you two.

  7. And Clint,

    why do you put up with Batty, all he ever does is try to cause a problem/argument and he is never funny, just a waste of time.

  8. batty,
    nice one mate.
    ;)

    GS,

    i’m a non-prejudicial, easy going, relaxed kinda dude mate.
    I try not to alienate anyone.

    ;)

  9. So,
    is this the most ‘famous’ mackem ever then?
    (the article)

    Do mackems gan to school, do they have schools in the village of the damned?

  10. I came to drink from the fount of knowledge – and find it poluted by inadequates pissing in it.
    I will totaly ignore all non-football comments.

  11. Oh, and Batty, I never correct spelling and grammar on the interweb, but I will make an exception for you.

    You use your when you mean you’re. Too when you mean to. And there when you mean their.

    It tells me that you are not very bright.

  12. Tonamy, look, I could care less about Batty or spelling, or your purile insults.

    Maybe what you and Batty were saying is classed as banter and I misunderstood. I doubt it though, as you were having a go at the writer of this blog.

    If you don’t like it then start your own blog up.

  13. Batty,

    How can Worky (w*nky as you say) possibly stab me in the back? I don’t even know him. I live in Chicago and he would need a big knife to reach here.

    Perhaps you lot have had issues in the past. I am thinking that is what you brought with your earlier posts.

    I have read the other blog where everyone is stroking each other’s ego and some should be on medication – I am talking to you Batty and Troy and Rodzilla.

  14. How man Munich Mag, I am getting myself into an internet fight here, Karma for me saying something to you.

  15. Batty @48, I thought I might say something like that when I was 12. Nah, even a 6 year old could think of something better.

  16. Batty:

    I always thought you were a cnut on that other site, but now you are proving you are a stupid cnut.

  17. GS says:
    October 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    “I have read the other blog where everyone is stroking each other’s ego and some should be on medication – I am talking to you Batty and Troy and Rodzilla.”

    The same can be said about ALL ‘blogs, forums etc etc.

  18. Batty:

    I am not a Yank, I am from Newcastle and probably was in the Leazes end before you were born. Fix the spelling: “I speak too” means “I speak as well”. As I said, my “too” year old has a better grasp of English than you.

  19. Taarabt for £7m ? alongside Cabaye in a diamond with Tiote behind & HBA in front – flanked by Marveaux with Ba up front.

    Krul
    Santon Saylor Collo Pieters
    Tiote
    Marveaux Cabaye Taarabt
    HBA
    Ba

    that is some footballing dream

    HWTL

  20. GS says:
    October 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    “Worky:

    You got rid of all the Batty stuff! Now I don’t make any sense.”

    Aye, sorry about that GS :lol:

    Should I remove all all your batty related comments too?

  21. Supermac says:
    October 20, 2011 at 10:52 am

    “Interesting background worky – but does it work?
    I’m impressed with all the support & development we now have – but GPS on a footballer?”

    I suppose it’s hard to say exactly how much it works supermac, but technology in sport, applied in the right way, has certainly given alot of sportsmen and women the edge in the past, along with nutrition and stuff like that. Also, the team certainly seems to have a good workrate at the moment, which is the reason why I did this piece now.

    It isn’t just GPS, but that is used alot in football and other sports already anyway, it’s one of the main reasons why they can analyse so many aspects of a game now on TV, ie where players move and whether balls are over the line etc etc. It also helps managers to analyse so much that they can improve both individual players and the team as a whole.

    But as I mentioned, there are also physiological tests too which can help to ensure that players don’t undertrain and fail to unlock their full potential, or overtrain and knack themselves out before the game.

  22. Interesting article and I spose it shows how football is evolving from a kickabout on a Saturday afternoon through leather boots and cloth caps to instant physiological studies performed on an iphone ?

    The kids today, they dont know they’re born !!! (Not quite sure what that means but it seems appropriate :) )

  23. Talking of developments in technology, which this isnt, have you seen this ?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2051393/Football-League-changes-mean-future-stars-sold-cheap.html

    Just heard on R5 that the Premier League gave the Football League a sharp armtwist up the back to force them to agree to a new method of valuing youth players developed by the smaller clubs.

    Instead of haggling between the two clubs and if they dont agree the matter gets resolved by arbitration, the Prem have forced the League to accept a deal where the selling club gets a straight £10k or so for every year the player has spent at the club.

    Which means they’ll earn even less for developing talent and the Prem clubs can spend less on their own academies because they can pick up youngsters for next to nothing.

    Fecking Scudamore and his bandits should be ashamed of themselves.

  24. “Scudamore’s organisation attempted to push clubs towards voting for it by withholding part of its annual solidarity payment to the Football League since the summer. Approximately £5.4m is passed over for youth development in the lower leagues.”

    Isn’t that called “extortion”?

  25. worky – my hand-held GPS is only accurate to 15m depending on how many satelites it picks up, OK for finding my way on the hills – but for off-side calls?

    Didn’t sam aradice go in for all that computerised player analysis – I spent too much time disliking him to worry wether such things worked or be impressed with his methods.
    You would expect it to come down to common sense & good diet suitable for a pro-athelete – but even now many players are too thick to even lay off the booze, as per last weeks warning to Andy Caroll.
    Still, whatever they are doing seems to be working – so more power to their elbows.

  26. workyticket says:

    “Isn’t that called “extortion”? Thats why I called him a bandit :)

    “Approximately £5.4m is passed over for youth development in the lower leagues.”

    and the Premier League gets approximately £1.5Bn every three years :(

  27. any one listened to BBC newcastle pardew was on.

    hes mentioned so far……

    Obertan is staying on the right and need to grow….and He(pardew)needs to persevere with him and give him experience as he has only got 15 prem games under his belt.

    hatem will be playing at the number 10 role, just in front of the striker.

    Harper or Elliot out on loan.(pardew doesn’t know which one yet)

    Simpson isn’t being sold. badly advised in court.

    ranger need to improve discipline he is 6th choice striker now. mentions him being in the news and the work he need to do to change.

    no word on any i’m coming strikers.

    big players being sold to man city, chelsea, man u, extremely possible as the inflate wages and make life difficult to hold onto player, so fan not to rule out future sales of big players.

    he can understand why fans arent happy with current sports direct logos around st. james. mentions our shirt deal is a 5th of that of liverpools and a fraction of that of the DHL training sponsor of Man u.

    Mike Ashley knows and understands why fans are angry and is doing everything possible to make sure mistake are reversed.

    Pardew also said Mike Ashley realizes that is was badly advised by inexperienced people he first brought into the club, admitting Wise, jimidy cricket etc weren’t good enough.
    the Carr, Beardsley, lamearse dream team is working amazingly and pardew thinks beardsleys’ is doing a fantastic job at st. james park and is giving the club amazing direction.

    i missed the first 15 minutes but he seemed very honest and frank. i didn’t expect that much honesty from him. he certainly doesn’t sound like a yes man but did by all means give an honest opinion.

    if anyone you getthe chance to listen to the recording let me know what you think?

    it seems like there is a lot going on at the club we can look forward to.

    and it seems that the success isn’t just down to Pardew but out fantastic Pedro.

  28. Supermac says:
    October 20, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    “worky – my hand-held GPS is only accurate to 15m depending on how many satelites it picks up, OK for finding my way on the hills – but for off-side calls?”

    Oh FFS! Aye supermac, you have a point and when I looked back on my comment it sounds a bit wrong.

    GPS is used to track player positioning and has been used to track ball positioning using a chip inside the ball in some ball sports, and it is much more accurate than your phone. But most ball tracking is done using stuff like video sequencing and other techniques using advanced software. It’s a complex subject using several different technologies and I dodn’t know why I got into it! :-)

  29. Stephen C says:

    “big players being sold to man city, chelsea, man u, extremely possible as the inflate wages and make life difficult to hold onto player, so fan not to rule out future sales of big players”

    Thats partly true but masks the fact that an AMBITIOUS CLUB could make a decent argument to the player involved to convince him that SJP is the place to be.

    Alternatively be aware of the players ambitions and plan to bring in a suitable replacement before they go. Rather like we did with Carroll…..oh wait we didnt did we :(

    Pardew also said Mike Ashley realises that he was badly advised by inexperienced people he first brought into the club, admitting Wise, jimidy cricket etc weren’t good enough.

    “The Carr, Beardsley, lamearse dream team is working amazingly and pardew thinks beardsleys’ is doing a fantastic job at st. james park and is giving the club amazing direction”

    Which is why he demoted him and gave him a job far far away from SJP :lol:

    Stephen C not knocking the messenger but Pardwho still talks corporate BS when he has to !

  30. It’s certainly a far cry from the days when the communal bath was filled (post game)with players holding a pint in one hand and a fag in the other, no don’t go there !

    Of course to-days athletes, whether professional or amateur employ the latest technology and medical means to improve their performances.
    BSA was a big fan of technology, employing cameras to show every step the player took on the field, looked something like a wool thread.
    These could be color coded for each player and the opposition, how they evaluated this info, i can only
    guess ?
    And we know for sure statistics are becoming a large part of the game, (hell we are being subjected to them on these very blogs) all very well and good, if it creates a better version of the game.
    However it leaves me cold, i’m more interested in the spectacle than how it was achieved.
    Here in the US one is constantly subjected to stats. in any discussion about sports, whether it’s era’s rbi’s, assists, td’s pass completions, believe me it’s all very boring.
    Now i’m not saying i’m against the use of modern methods of improving players performances in football, just don’t wanna hear about it, keep it on the training pitch.
    I don’t even wanna see the stats on games, possession, corners, cards, and the rest of that stuff, because it’s both meaningless for the most part and if you are unable to judge for ones-self, what took place, obviously you should find a sport where you can.
    My tude. is keep it in the training center, not really interested.

  31. You’re a phreaking Luddite Chuck thats what you are. :)

    PS Thats not a racist comment btw before we all jump to the keyboards

    now its rascist but

  32. chuck says:
    October 20, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    “Here in the US one is constantly subjected to stats.”

    Aye, that certainly seems to be true from what I’ve seen of American sports. Two old gadgies just chuntering on about stats non-stop until you start to lose the will to live!

  33. I’ll be in stats heaven this Sunday as we’re off to the Tampa Chicago game at Wembley :)

    Tell you what Chuck as long as they keep supplying the beers while you’re still in your seat that’ll do for me !

  34. Stephen C
    Interesting stuff,
    think you probably meant HBA, just “behind” the striker.

    Soh! have we now been officially informed that, yes in fact, we are a selling club.

    According to what Pardew stated (you know i mentioned he aughtta keep his mouth shut) we have no ambition other than buying cheap and selling for a profit, (the retailers mantra) and if we do well, then ok, but we will not compete with the big boys.

    Instead willing to hopefully get a top six to eight spot, profit being the main thing.

    Erm , at least that’s how i interpret it.
    The question is can we continue this conveyor belt system, of signing Europe’s top talent, who in turn will be sold on to bigger clubs ?

    And oh ! at least one other person “AndyMac” figured out the official line of Beardsly being promoted, was in fact a demotion, with Willie Donahie getting the promotion.
    Sorry if i spelled your name wrong Willie, but congratulations anyway !

  35. Andy Mac says:
    October 20, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    “I’ll be in stats heaven this Sunday as we’re off to the Tampa Chicago game at Wembley”

    I went to see the Dolphins v the Cowboys in Florida many years ago and I just don’t get it at all. I don’t know why they can’t just play games that are decent and British like the rest of the world. :-)

  36. Andy mac @ 46

    Which is why he demoted him and gave him a job far far away from SJP

    as far as i understand Pedro is still required to be at reserve games.

    and perosonaly i think i would rather have his current job that just be in charge of the reserves. he not only has a job of recruiting new reserve players but has to travel the world finding them and get back in time to watch them perfom.

    just checking off the register and noticing one player late every day (ranger) and having a kick around is no demotion in my opinion.

    i think the job he is doing now is amazing. our players in the next 5 or 4 years will be groomed by a born and bread geordie.

    if he is having so much input into the youth i.e. under 6-18 years olds now, judging by his productive approach in the youth team with players like samiobi improving far greater than i had seen him play previously, does that mean he might be jumping into the big job once the kids he groom at 10 and 11 turn 18 – 21? it would make sence to me.

    Pedro to be boss in 5 – 10 years? it would be too much risk. a fan favourite, a legend, knows the club and if the interview is anything to go by has a major part in our current squad.

    is it me or does any of you think beardsleys move is a promotion? i think this is a wanderfull opportunity for beardsley and NUFC to grow into a world class act.

    i know players who have been turned down by him, my nephew being one, and if my nephew wasn’t good enough his standards are far higher than we could expect.

    my nephew is one of the most sort after players in the non league, has played for cramlington juniors and the gillete select team(yes the shaving manufacturer, they select the best players from the county to create a supper team)
    me nephew was at the training ground for two days last season training with the reserves to be told they were cutting the numbers and weren’t recruiting. weather this was a gentle put down i don’t know, but i know all the coaches who have previously selected other players to NUFC, who have gone onto to be contracted at youth level have always nominated my nephew first. although my nephew doesn’t have height on his side i’m 5’6 and hes a little shorter.

    but on a different issue? is this a good time to call for a truce? can we start building some unity? although mike has admited to mistakes is doing something about them.

    the intveiw tonight has made me stop to think of the direction, the interveiw in my opinion was very honest and frank. pardew didnt doge any question thrown at him.

    i for one was shocked at the honesty of some of the answers.

    can we put the guntlet down for this behaviour to continue?

    can we opt for open up for mike and let him in and show him some support?

    i know one interview doesnt make a book but i think we need to ignore the enriques, carrols, bartons and nolans and look at what is going on? lacking ambition? im dubious. i genuinely think things are looking good. but like i said two days ago i do think things will change.

    but i enjoy being proved wrong, being proved wrong at NUFC means some happy happy times. and that can only be a good thing.

    what do you all think about the progress of Mike overall? what do you think of the way we have worked since returning to the Prem? was relagation that bad?

    i for one had a great time when we were relegated, the city on a whole was buzzing, not losing a home game all season, all be it in the championship, gave us the sense of victory. something we had not experienced in a long while.

    are we clouding our judgment for the sake of top flight football we missed for one season?

    things are improving all round and things are looking good in my opinion. for the first time in nearly a decade we can look to the developement squad for decent cover. two players since gasgoine have come through ameobi and carrol and now there is a waiting list.

    let me know if i’m wrong or have things improved?

  37. Andy Mac
    Yeah i have to say, it’s a bit more civilized going to a US stadium, where they deliver a cold beer to you, plus many stadiums have food that is actually edible.

    And actually, it’s far from a Luddite i am.
    Talking about change for the better.
    How many times does one see a pissed off manager give a post game rant about how his team go screwed by the officials ? (Mick McCarthy , when we lucked out against Wolves)

    Rugby union is one example a moribund FA should pay attention too.

    They introduced the sin -bin, much like pro ice Hockey, a better way of dealing with infringements, than the present system of yellow and red cards.

    Where punishment is on the spot and eliminates players from being banned from future games.

    Also their use of tv technology, immediately settles any disputed calls, and why not ?

    That is not to say regular officiating is taken out of the hands of the refs. a case of removing the human factor, no, tv replays apply to only those major game changing plays.

    Another rule that should be reversed to it’s original interpretation is the offside rule, which is both subjective and controversial.
    and often controversial.

    One more thing, this is a bit more controvesial

    A time clock !
    Where each half consists of thirty minutes of “actual” playing time.
    Where the clock stops anytime the ball is out of play, goal kicks , free kicks, injuries, throw ins, etc.
    This eliminates arbitrary extra time judgements and ensures every game is played for the prescribed amount of time.
    Not to everyones liking probably and for those who think they may be getting shortchanged, it’s seldom any EPL side plays a full thirty minutes per half excluding stoppages.
    Some Luddite !

  38. workyticket says:

    “I went to see the Dolphins v the Cowboys in Florida many years ago and I just don’t get it at all. I don’t know why they can’t just play games that are decent and British like the rest of the world. :-)”

    Aye I saw the Saints in New Orleans and the Eagles in Phildelphia and although I understood the game, rules etc I thought the atmosphere was lacking as opposed to a full blown English Football derby when its blood and thunder from start to finish just as it is at SJP nowadays ………….or maybe not ?

  39. Stephen C
    Sorry about you nephew, hey perhaps he will catch on with a side.
    As for him being on the short side, well all you gotta do is watch what short guys are capable of, how bout Messi and the rest of the forward/midfield lineup at Barca.

    My point as far as Beardley was concerned, was the spin from the club, attempting to make a demotion into a promotion, insulting to the average fan.

  40. well i was in California in july for a month and went to see a base ball game. the Angels were playing at home in the league so i trecked up to Anaheim so see them.

    the hospitality, although i did have what you could consider platinum club tickets,was unbelievable. i had my own personal waiter who kept topping me up. i had a menu to which to eat from. it was like being in the posh seats at the gateshead imax. i was well impressed.

    although one thing i did notice was the “lets make some Noise” graphics circulating around the ground at times. i kept thinking a celebrity had made an appearance when an impromptu “woo woo” made it around the ground only to realize the digital displays we use for advertisements were being used to ralleigh the crowd. although good hospitality vocals were false and prompted.

  41. American football ?
    Due to it’s stop and start nature, it can easily stretch to dead time being twice the length of the actual playing time.
    Which makes it ideal for tv with constant re-runs and commercials.
    A game of continuous motion such as Association Football
    (to differentiate) is the opposite, therefor not suitable for commercial tv.
    Actually i find US football quite boring, but then there are millions who disagree.

  42. Two things

    Chuck – some very good points about the game especially sin bins and time clocks. I’m not sure how much time is lost in an average half of football, maybe someone somewher can produce that stat ?

    Stephen C – admittedly we’re poles apart in our viewpoints regarding NUFC but surely even you can see that when Pardwho says “The Carr, Beardsley, lamearse dream team is working amazingly and pardew thinks beardsleys’ is doing a fantastic job at st. james park and is giving the club amazing direction” is bullshlt and patronising bullshlt at that ?

    In a way I’m pleased because I was told that Beardo wasnt the brightest tool in the box when it came to developing young players, remember he was accused of bullying juniors in the Academy during FFS’s reign, and tactically he leaves a lot to be desired.

    However bearing in mind that Fatman wanted Baerdo to become CH’s new assistant after Calderwood left, this is a major about turn by the Board prompted by Pardwho perhaps ?

  43. Stephen C says:
    October 20, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    “i know players who have been turned down by him, my nephew being one, and if my nephew wasn’t good enough his standards are far higher than we could expect.”

    Stephen, Beardsley himself was released by Newcastle United as a teenager. Later, Big Ron Manager let him go at Manchester United too. A little later down the line when Arthur Cox and Kevin Keegan were at the club and saw him, both of them were absolutely astonished and Keegan said to Cox in amazement “Where did you find him?” and the rest is history as they say. So you never know!

  44. As for EPL stadiums in general, Newcastle has great facilities, well actually all i know about are the posh seats, perhaps there are not so great facilities in some parts.
    But i find in general having visited many grounds in both the UK and Ireland, there’s a decided lack of consideration about public toilets, bars erc. and in general the food is awful.
    I recall a time at St James Park in the early fifties where people urinated where they could and the only thing available was a cup of watery tea or the disgusting bovril they sold,that’s if you could get close to where they were sold.
    This is almost sixty years on and some Stadiums have not changed that much.
    Perhaps if the fans were a bit more demanding the conditions might change.
    But in comparison to most US sports stadiums, the average UK stadium is primitive.

  45. Andy,

    i’m an gridiron fan too, easy to understand, kinda chess on legs.
    Explosive fun.

    chuck,
    sin bins, stop the clock etc. Let’s have that, i’ve been advocating that for years meself. Shit! We don’t even have any big screens yet, pathetic!

    Let’s hobble into the 20th century some time this century FFS, hey?
    Good call!

  46. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    October 20, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    “We don’t even have any big screens yet, pathetic!”

    Clint, Big screens turn passionate supporters into TV zombies. You can be a TV zombie at home.

  47. regarding statistics – what about cricket!

    they used to keep a set of wisden’s behind the bar of my local when I lived in southampton – someone would praise a current player, someone else say he was not as good as an old timer – then the bloody books would come out, pages of tables & stats quoted endlessly – as if just watching the grace of batsman’s strike could be recorded in a table.

    Sport is about the man on the day – fair enough use physios & dieticians to prepare him, but once he crosses that white line it’s his guts and skill that count, his fears that have to be overcome –

    – now that’s art – not science.

    who the hell wants to go to a match to watch science in action?
    the very unpredictability of sport is what captures the imagination! Who will win on saturday? if you want science ask the bookies and put you fiver down.
    If you want excitement, failure & triumph – go to the match!

    NUFC 3 Wigan 0

    HWTL

  48. worky,
    possibly,
    but it also would pressure refs if fans could see the replays etc.
    Pressure should be applied.

    & if people are happy to be tv zombies, who are we to stop ’em.
    ;)

  49. supermac,

    stats are good, more the merrier.

    It’s all part of sport.

    Those that don’t dig, don’t have to involve them selves.

  50. Chuck @66:

    You ever been to Wrigley Field? An iconic baseball stadium but like St. James’ in the 70’s. 8 dollars for an Old Style, candy floss as the main food item, iron gurders blocking your view and piss troughs (and that’s in the women’s “bathroom”).

    I don’t mind American Football but accept it for what it is: three hours of ads interupted by 12 minutes of throwing, catching and generally running around a bit.

    I saw a stat somewhere that there is literally 12 minutes of playing time in American Football when you take out the stops and starts and the fact that the clock starts running and they have 30 seconds to even do anything.

  51. Worky @39:

    No, they wound me up a bit. I don’t get what they get out of being like that, they’ve got the mentality of a kid who pulls the wings off a butterfly.

  52. yeah, ditch the big screens. Just give me proper video review of important events. Most of the time play has stopped anyways. Just think back to Seb Larson’s block. the refs deliberated for a minute. the commentators had the correct call in 5 seconds… literally.

  53. GS says:
    October 20, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    “Worky @39:

    No, they wound me up a bit. I don’t get what they get out of being like that,”

    batty just wants to impress his “mates” on the Toonsy’s blog GS. He’s always lying to them about how much he wins on the horses and stuff like that, and bragging about his exploits on here as if it makes him some kind of hard man. He’s as thick as shite and has no wit or charm whatsoever so he just uses what he has to get some attention.

  54. Robbie Elliot was a fitness and conditioning coach wasn’t he? Or is he still a fitness coach at Newcastle?

  55. Stadium wise, I’m not bothered about facilties and stuff like that for only 90 minutes. Apart from a good team and a good crowd obviously, I like stadiums with a very steep “rake” to them where everyone’s on top of each other, like they have in Spain sometimes. You can get a good view of the action wherever you are without having to watch a stupid big screen, and get a better atmosphere too if the crowds are up for it.

    I used to go and watch Rafa the Gaffer’s great Valencia team over at the Mestalla, which holds 55,000 people and isn’t fancy by any stretch of the imagination. I always wanted to take it home with me, plonk it on Barrack Road and stick 55,000 Geordies in there because it just has the right angles. Shame they’re knocking it down.

  56. Jimbob says:
    October 21, 2011 at 12:18 am

    “Robbie Elliot was a fitness and conditioning coach wasn’t he? Or is he still a fitness coach at Newcastle?”

    Aye he was Jimbob. I think he left when all the Ashley turmoil was gannin’ on a couple of years ago.

  57. Worky @76:

    apart from that you like him then!

    Did you see Silva and and Villa in the same team? That would have been something. Imagine adding Mata as well.

    Off to the pub.

    If you have a chance look up Brian Clough talking to John Motson on Youtube – it is bloody hilariuos.

  58. The other thing I don’t get is how it isn’t possible to have a normal conversation about something we care about (NUFC) without people trying to spoil it with infantile remarks.

    really off to the pub now.

  59. GS says:
    October 21, 2011 at 1:01 am

    “The other thing I don’t get is how it isn’t possible to have a normal conversation about something we care about (NUFC) without people trying to spoil it with infantile remarks.”

    GS, I think that the state of “Adulthood” is dying out in gemeral nowadays.

  60. er… a wreck for a week if I stayed out that late. Christ, it’s not even 10PM here and I can’t type fer sh!te.

  61. As I am in my 3rd childhood I am not qualified to judge whether or not the state of “Adulthood” is dying out – but from what I remember it wasn’t allways fun fun fun till my daddy took my T-Bird away.

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