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Time to forgive Mike Ashley?

Posted on October 6th, 2011 | 40 Comments |

Is it time Newcastle United fans forgave Mike Ashley?
Forgive him his sins?
Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has certainly presided over a good start to this 2011/2012 season, but how – if at all – does this alter our opinion of the man?

We’re over a 5th of the way through the season and sitting proudly in 4th position in the Premier League. Somewhere along the line something has gone right.

Whilst it’s right that the owner of a football club has to take the ultimate responsibility for failure, it’s also right that he receives the plaudits when things go well. So for getting us into 4th place at this juncture I have to say well done to Mike Ashley. It’s well done to the manager and the players too, but the over all architect is Ashley, so he should get the bulk of the kudos for things just as he received the bulk of the tongue-lashing when he got us relegated.

But hold your horses Hughy, I hear you saying, we’re only 7 games in, have arguably played ‘easier’ teams and a lot can wrong. True enough and then I’ll no doubt be back to stick the boot in with everyone else if it all goes pear-shaped.

But I like to live life in the moment and right now it’s pretty good for Toon supporters. Not only are we riding high but we also appear to have talent in reserve if Alan Pardew needs to change things around a bit.

Does this mean we should forgive Mike Ashley?

Ah, now that’s a different matter. I’m prepared to give him credit where it’s due but forgiveness is more of a long-term thing and he has a lot to make up for: hiring Keegan and thinking he’d just fall in line with Ashley’s idea of what a manager is, dismissing Keegan, getting us relegated, plastering St James’ Park with tacky Sports Direct signs, making us endure two ludicrous sales attempts etc. etc. and so on and so forth.

Forgiveness comes slowly and all I can say on that is that this season, so far, he’s heading in the right direction.

The real test of course will be how we finish the season. I don’t expect us to finish 4th of course but would like to think that 8th or 9th is within our grasp, with maybe an ambitious shot at 7th and if we finish anywhere around there I’ll consider the season a success.

Those of you who are regular readers of my rambling (and often pointless and tangential) articles will know that I can change my opinion with the wind. I just call it as I see it at the time and don’t hold to what I’d call prejudicial premises, which is why I’m happy to give Ashley plenty of credit at the moment. But I do look ahead too and harbour a certain caution about such things as long-term forgiveness because I think there are still a good many things to find out.

I’m also painfully aware that this is Newcastle United I’m talking about, where things have a habit of self-destructing, seemingly overnight sometimes. So even for one who changes his mind as frequently as I do, caution is sometimes the better part of valour.

But what do you think?

Have you opinions about Mike Ashley changed as a result of our good start this season?

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NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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40 Responses

  1. It’s amazing what a 7 game unbeaten run does to people. We still only have one point against a top 10 side this season.

  2. The reason those teams we played are NOT in the top ten is because they lost 3 points against us. let me see…

    QPR – would be 9th with 9 points
    Fulham would be in top ten with 10 points
    Wolves would be in top ten with 10 points
    Arsenal would be in top ten with an extra 2 points
    5under1and would be in top ten with 9 points

    Of course the maths are not so simple but i think i made my point.

    And not to mention Newcastle would be in the relegation zone.

    There is a saying about rose tinted glasses and i have to admit i might be wearing them but sometimes i think some blokes on here are wearing shit tinted glasses.

  3. @ John…sorry I dont mean to knock you as i see your point as well but…what i’m saying is we should be realistic and perhaps just look at things as they are.

    We are in a good position in the field and off it. Also financially (or so i’m told)….of course things could be better but it ain’t half bad is it.

    We can’t always be top of the league with a geordie hero in the Number 9 shirt scoring hatricks every game so i’m satisfied with how things are for the moment and Mike Ashley has something to do with that.

  4. Look guys; you can only play and and get results against the team who’s put out in front of you; which is exactly what newcastle are doing right now!

    Look at the games we lost and didnt win at home last season;

    Blackburn at homw; lost 1-2
    Blackpool at home; lost 0-2
    Stoke at home; lost 1-2
    Everton at home; lost 1-2
    Fulham at home; drew 0-0
    Wigan at home; drew 2-2
    Bolton at home; drew 1-1
    West brom at Home; drew 3-3

    IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO WE ARE PLAYING; ALL THAT MATTERS IS SECURING POINTS ON THE BOARD!

    Who’s to say when we play the so called bigger teams we won’t raise our game? We have a good solid defense now; a well balanced creative midfield with pace and two big guys up top who will work hard and score goals. Were not world beaters but so far were fully derserving of being in fourth after 7 games because thats where our results have placed us!

    Lets just enjoy it for a change; lets stop trying to look at things negatively; let’s get behind the team against tottenham and try to get another result!

    Pardew is doing a fantastic job; first class!

    At the min i am a very happy newcastle fan :-)

  5. The only way the judge MA is to go back to basics and read what he said when he took over.

    He set out a plan for a new way to run the club, and despite some cockups & painful mistakes he has in general stuck to that plan.

    I liked the plan when I saw it – we had to change or go under. In this he was right and there is nothing to forgive.

    I hated the cockups & mistakes – but I’m old enough to know that shit happens. He got this bit wrong but he knows it as well as we do, we have moved on, it’s history, forget it.

    I like the way the plan is now working – and I think we will get stronger & successful if we stick with it. In time he will get full credit for this.

    I also see that people are noticing what we are doing and are starting to suggest that we are a model for the successful club in the future. Welcome to the Geordie Revolution!

    HWTL

  6. Joe says:
    October 6, 2011 at 10:43 am

    “i think some blokes on here are wearing shit tinted glasses.”

    I’m a Geordie so I was born with shit tinted eyes Joe.

    We will reach Stalingrad at some stage.

  7. Excellent post Hugh

    Crucial to make the point that he is not forgiven for his multitude of sins, but it speaks well of all fans if we can accept that the fat man’s policy of young, hungry, cheap players replacing the overpaid and over-ego-ed is paying off.

    A long way to go for Ashley, sure, and personally I won’t ever actually like the guy. He’s crass, tacky, brutal and doesn’t give a shart about the fans, but he at least should get credit as the owner for finally identifying a coherent strategy, and for appointing Carr and Pardew. Whether the success of those two in their roles is down to luck or Ashley’s judgement we’ll never know, but he still deserves credit for it. Well said for posting what will seem like heresy to many fans, though I still think most fans are rational and can appreciate your argument.

    To change topic slightly though, the real revelation for me, as I’m sure it has been for many other fans, is Alan Pardew. I was deeply depressed at his appointment. Never impressed by him at West Ham or Reading, though I’d vaguely taken notice of the fact he had some exciting young players at Saints. I was so disheartened that no decent manager seemed to want to come to what should be one of the most exciting jobs in football, potential-wise.

    But… who would have ever predicted the unbelievable sense of team spirit that is blasting out of the club? Marveaux will sit and wait for a chance in the team? Jonas signs a new contract? Colo wants one too? Reserve players and exciting youth players busting a gut in training and in reserve games to get in the team, and with a smile on their faces????

    Where is Newcastle United FC, Pardew? What have you done with it?
    It looks increasingly like the club I loved and thought lost forever. Could this really be the start of a stable, happy club that players want to join, pundits and reporters praise for playing attractive football and fans can feel proud and excited by???

    Well, perhaps not quite yet but the signs are there. And for that Alan Pardew gets all of my credit. Such upheaval and publicly aired laundry. And not only is the team spirit not harmed, it seems to actually be enhanced. The glaring lack of depth of quality in the squad now seems to be a couple of tweaks away from a healthy, competitive, exciting squad. These are not things I ever envisaged at the Toon for any foreseeable time, and I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy.

    Anyway, credit to Ashley for some long overdue excellent business choices. And more importantly, credit to Pardew for a miraculous achievement against all expectations (mine, at least).

  8. Bobby’s Ghost says:
    October 6, 2011 at 11:10 am

    “but he at least should get credit as the owner for finally identifying a coherent strategy, and for appointing Carr and Pardew”

    It was Chris Hughton who appointed Graham Carr Bobby’s Ghost.

  9. @ Worky
    “I’m a Geordie so I was born with shit tinted eyes Joe.

    We will reach Stalingrad at some stage.”

    Hahaha spot on Worky. U must be right. Maybe I’m just having an “off” day and seeing roses hahaha. But I cant help it seeing my best mates are Liverpool and Arsenal fans. Ohh how nice it has been to rub it in their faces so far this season. I’ve been sending the liverpool fans emails with Goal stats between Ba/Best and Andy Carroll the last couple of weeks after every game and highliting the 35 mill pounds.

    Ah….we’ll probably be thrashed by the Spuds 4-0 and it will all come crashing down….but until then…cheer up lads.
    :)

  10. Oh and in case any of u think I’m being an $%^*& doing that to other clubs fans…well in my defence i’ve been getting the same from them the last 4 years….paybacks a bitch boys

  11. Cheers Worky, yeah I know but it all goes through the fat man doesn’t it? He has to say yes.

    I guess Hughton approaches him and says, “I’d like Alan Carr’s dad to be our chief scout”. Ashley could have said “No, I’ll hire my own trusted gobsh!tes thank you” like he did when the Wise/Jiminez show was at the club. Similarly he may have been advised by someone to appoint Pardew, or more likely he simply liked him the best of those he sounded out.

    I’m sure he probably only appointed both Hughton and Pardew because they were relatively cheap and (he thought) he could push them both around. Which he did. For a while. That saw off Hughton but Pardew seems to be walking a more effective line with Ashley, showing increasingly impressive signs of being his own man.

    Like I said, luck or judgement. I suspect mainly luck but still think he deserves the decisions to be acknowledged since they are currently looking very good. Like Hugh points out, he rightly took/is taking the majority of the flak when he made bad decisions, it only right that we applaud him for making the good ones. Even if he’s been lucky, they are amongst the most important decisions he could have made and they’re looking like paying off.

  12. Selling Carroll without a replacement was gambling with Premiership survival. For £35M that may have been a gamble worth taking.
    Going into a season with a squad that the manager admits does not offer him the options he wants is unforgivable – particularly after a £35M windfall!

    My biggest concern is defence. We tried to buy Neil Taylor “for the future. . . if Enrique stays or not.” We got Santon, but where’s the cover signing? Thankfully RTaylor’s doing better than anyone expected.
    Then let’s look at our centre halves. Colo and STaylor have been fantastic but two injuries/suspensions and we’ll be looking at Williamson and Perch. Happy?

  13. “Sh!t tinted glasses” that could become a classic addition to the English vocabulary, nice one Joe, hope it’s original to you.

    I don’t think there are any “easy” teams or games in the EPL. Every point won is a point earned. Fulham v QPR happenings are freak results that can happen to most clubs. We are where we are now because we deserve to be, just hope it continues.

    I’ve said many times tha Ashley will probably be offered the freedom of the city if he actually turned us into a very successful club, most fans will forget the bad stuff. IANAH or a IANAL (acronyms, work them out, ;) )

    But whether you love him or hate him you have to admit he has stuck to his (dodgy looking at times I admit) guns and it seems to be paying off.

    Glasses (not sh!t tinted ones) half full time?

  14. Bobby’s Ghost says:
    October 6, 2011 at 11:32 am

    “Cheers Worky, yeah I know but it all goes through the fat man doesn’t it? He has to say yes.”

    It’s just typical Ashley Bobby’s Ghost. Hughton brought in Carr, only to see himself get fired and Carr being put forward in the media to fans who were irate over Hughton’s sacking in an attempt to undermine Hughton’s role. How many other Chief Scouts get the same kind of attention at other clubs? And why do you think that a club the size of Newcastle United can’t attract any managers with a serious track record of success?

  15. Forgiveness would be a way to move on, yes. But if we ever wanna chalenge for anything again we, as fans, have to realize our own mistakes as well and move on for the good of the club. Hatred and boo’s towards the owner helps no one but our closest rivals and will make the players feel uneasy as were the case in our relegation season.

  16. I agree with a lot of what you say, Worky, and certainly the sentiment. I’m not an Ashley apologist at all. I want to make it very clear that I don’t trust him to tell the truth, to give a second thought to the fans other than how to fleece them, to fulfil his promises either to us or to Pardew, to invest any income from transfers, and a million other things.

    Did he push Carr to the fore? If that’s definitely the case I didn’t realise. However I don’t have a major problem with that. I do have a problem with how he treats people. It has affected every manager he’s employed. He lies to them, breaks promises and then lays the blame at their feet. He’s a horrible human being, that I never doubted, but so was Shepherd, McCaig and if truth be told, most rich businessmen. Hopefully though, as I suggested before, Pardew has worked out how to deal with him.

    If he did push Carr to the fans and the media it’s still highlighting the exceptional job Carr is doing, even if the motive is to deflect criticism. So I’m not really bothered about that. Doesn’t make a difference to the current team, has created a positive vibe about potential signings we haven’t heard of and aren’t that expensive, since we trust Carr’s judgment etc etc. In short, his motives may be shonky but we don’t have to like him, we just want to enjoy being Newcastle fans.

    Not many chief scouts do get the same attention, but some do. Damien Comolli does. He’s had a less successful hit-rate than Carr it seems to me (though I haven’t compared the figures). Couldn’t Carr simply be getting recognised as having identified some pretty astute signings with attitude to match skill, while fitting Ashley’s financial belt-tightening? Either way, what is the net result? I’d say it was another reason for fans to feel positive.

    Again, I have to stress that I think Ashley is a twunt of the highest order. I wouldn’t want to know him, and I don’t trust him on matters pertaining to his dealings with people (managers, fans, players, coaches etc). But, and it’s a big but, I do think that after the Keegan/Wise/Jiminez/Shearer sequence of events that was the worst low at the club for years, Ashley finally twigged when nobody wanted to buy the club that he was going to actually have to start treating the club seriously. Both as a financial concern and as a Premier League club (albeit Premier survival was probably his only bottom-line concern).

    He has made horrendous, stupid, malicious, childish and naive decisions since buying the club (beginning with buying the club without doing proper due diligence, I mean, talk about basic business practice!), but it seems to me that he now, whether by luck or judgment, seems to have hit upon a successful formula, at least for the time being. And surely he has enough business sense to keep on this path. He’ll screw us more in the future, I’m sure, selling some mainstay of the club, lying to the fans, or some other unsuspected horror of the kind we (hopefully) used to specialise in, but as long as we’re still bringing in/developing more quality than we’re letting go I’ll be happier than I ever thought possible under his ownership.

    That’s all I’m saying :-)

  17. John says:

    “It’s amazing what a 7 game unbeaten run does to people. We still only have one point against a top 10 side this season”

    Yep suddenly the Chronicle/Journal threads are all positive as well :) I take your point Joe and we still, imo, havent played anyone yet. If we’d had Bolton’s opening fixtures then god knows where we’d be and how much flak the management would be getting right now ?

    Time to assess how good we are is probably after November when the Mancs and Chelski have been and gone.

    As for forgiving Fatman what are we saying here ?

    Gambling with our Premiership survival as “me” says was OK ?
    Or adorning SJP with shlte is OK ?
    Hounding out Level 7 was OK ?
    Appointing Pardwho and Llambias ?

    but worst of all trying to claw back over £170m of alleged debt which will always prevent this club from moving forward with another buyer :(

    But then again you didnt expect me to say “Yes” did you ? :)

  18. “I take your point John” never likely to take Joe’s point. Except for the one where he says lets be realistic.

  19. Bobby’s Ghost says:
    October 6, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    “Did he push Carr to the fore? If that’s definitely the case I didn’t realise”

    Not Ashley personally perhaps Bobby, but the club’s Head of Media, Wendy Taylor, has been very busy in spinning events at the club to make Ashley and Llambias look good since her appointment in May of last year.

    Of course the club’s very good start to the season has helped immensely in recent days too, but the work has been gannin’ on since way before that, and still is.

  20. AndyMac says:

    “As for forgiving Fatman what are we saying here ?

    Gambling with our Premiership survival as “me” says was OK ?
    Or adorning SJP with shlte is OK ?
    Hounding out Level 7 was OK ?
    Appointing Pardwho and Llambias ?

    but worst of all trying to claw back over £170m of alleged debt which will always prevent this club from moving forward with another buyer ”

    AndyMac, I’m pretty sure that Hugh’s post is actually arguing that he shouldn’t be forgiven, at least not yet. The title of this article is deliberately provocative but he never argues the our current state earns him forgiveness, just the credit of some of his decisions.

    I very much do not forgive Ashley for his many sins, including all the ones you mention. Although I would still say that whatever Ashley’s motives/options when he appointed Pardew, he should still get the credit for having done so. Of course, Pardew deserves more credit for confounding expectation and creating a team and spirit that shows a lot of potential.

    In fact, I have a lot more grievances than the ones you mention, as do most fans I’m sure, but for what it’s worth I’ll address yours one by one

    Gambling with Prem survival. I really think this is tricky. You are quite right of course, and I strongly railed against the decision then. While I totally understand that £35m is too much to turn down I thought at the time that if we were relegated again due to lack or firepower we’d lose a lot more than £35m. So it was a gamble not worth taking from a fans perspective. It’s only through luck and a talented/hard-working bunch of players and coaching staff that it was a turned out with hindsight to be a positive decision. It was also an unforgivable thing to then lead Pardew to be so certain he could spend that £35m that he stuck his neck out and promised the fans.

    Don’t forgive, but do let it go. We’re ok at the moment. Let’s look forward and save our resentments of Ashley for things affecting us now or in the future. Such as…

    The tacky hoardings are disgusting. Get rid. Don’t forgive. Don’t forget.

    Hounding out level 7 was/is not ok. Don’t forgive. Don’t forget.

    Appointing Pardew and Llambias. As I think I’ve made clear, whatever his motives when he appointed Pardew, we’ll never know, and Pardew is doing fantastic work at the moment. Whatever the results so far, what impresses me is the unity and work-ethic of the players. Whatever results come our way, this is Pardew’s great and unexpected achievement. So I don’t hold a grievance against Ashley for Pardew. Llambias is a t0sser but he’s Ashley’s right-hand man so what do you expect?

    The big debate… is Ashley an asset-stripper who simply wants his money back or is he genuinely trying to get the club making a profit, then recouping his own money either through ongoing operating profit or through selling the club for a profit?
    As you probably guessed, I believe he’s simply too successful a businessman for it to be the former. Yes, I think any player is for sale under Ashley but I also think that he’ll replace or at least try to replace players that leave for cheaper ones. As long as he keeps employing Carr and trusting his judgement on their quality, I can accept that.

    John says:

    “It’s amazing what a 7 game unbeaten run does to people. We still only have one point against a top 10 side this season”

    True John, as are comments from people saying you can only beat what’s in front of you.

    My optimism isn’t that we are in fourth. I really don’t think we’ll be able to keep up our points return as we approach Christmas. But I do harbour faint hopes that we might be able to scrape a Europa place with some luck, final positions and cup-winners etc opening up a couple more qualification places and maybe an astute signing or two in Jan.

    And that is the point. Hope. I didn’t expect to have any while under Ashley’s regime.

    True, it is the spirit under Pardew, Carr’s eye for a player, the form of the new signings and the youngsters’ potential that I credit for my optimism, but the fact is the financial model seems to be working at this moment in time, and can’t we at least acknowledge that without being Ashley apologists or fair-weather fans? It may not last, but we all hope it does.

    Bottom line. Don’t like Ashley, never will. But hopefully I can stop hating him as much. He’s kept his mouth shut for a while. Yes he gets Llambias to spout some platitude or outright lies. But my argument (and that of the article I believe) is nothing to do with forgiveness but rather with credit due. I really do believe that the strategy he finally identified, to buy young and cheap, is the right one for the club. He may have been assisted my massive amounts of luck in stumbling across Pardew and Carr, but that’s the question… Does he deserve credit for any decisions that have contributed to our current position?

    My answer is yes, some, not all, and many by luck. But yes all the same. To say otherwise is surely to weaken the many other qenuine grievances we all have.

    Sorry my posts are always so long :-0

  21. I don’t see how some people can suggest we haven’t played any teams worth mentioning yet this season, when we’ve played:

    Arsenil – regular top 4 team & CL contenders,
    The Vile – regular top 6 team & played in Europe,
    Fulham – regular top 10 team & finalist in the Europa League last season,

    Yeah we’ve also played QPR who’ve spent well this summer after promotion, unlike we did..

    Wolves are a hard to beat team, only the top 6 usually get wins at their ground,

    Chicken Pluckers (Blackburn) have beaten us at home for many season so beating them at home for a change was something we needed to do…

    So to say we’ve not played anyone & aren’t justified in our position of 4th is complete bollox imo, we’ve played who we were tasked with & due to that, we’re sitting pretty, now if we can do what we did last season as well & consolidate our away form inline with our home form, I have no problem saying we’ll finish top 8 this season & maybe, just maybe a semi or final place in a cup, who knows :)

    As for it being down to Ashley, yeah he should be given some of the plaudits for getting the financies sorted but by far the majority of praise should go to Pardew, the coaches, scouts & the players for our current position.. well done guys :)

  22. @Worky

    That’s interesting about Wendy Taylor. I do vaguely remember reading something about her a while back but had forgotten all about her role.

    To be honest, if the Carr thing is her doing then she’s done a bang-up job so far IMO. I can’t remember such a quick turnaround in optimism. Of course a lot of this is to do with results so far and will take a hit when results go against us, but it’s not just that is it?

    Fans are excited by rumours of players we’ve never heard of that in years gone buy would have had us shouting “who the hell are they? Not good enough for the Toon” etc. This is due to the sense that Carr is one hell of a talent – (and attitude – ) spotter.

    For the first time since Bobby was here I am looking forward to games, to reading the reports and discussions and rumours. I simply did not expect it, and for that reason I probably have the passion of the zealot. But I’m not turning a blind-eye to Ashley’s past crimes, simply hoping I can forget about them and get on with enjoying following my team again, instead of fearing both matches, transfer windows and back-page stories.

  23. Matthew 6:14
    For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

    As for Ashley, if he wants forgiveness:
    Get rid of useless Derek, make St James’s more atmospheric. Get rid of them stupid signs, re-open the mines. Bring back the ships at Swan Hunter’s, make Geordies happy punters. Re-open the Spanish City, now that would be pretty. Turn Snickers back to Marathons,

  24. Toon69 said

    “As for it being down to Ashley, yeah he should be given some of the plaudits for getting the financies sorted but by far the majority of praise should go to Pardew, the coaches, scouts & the players for our current position.. well done guys”

    Absolutely agree. My entire argument in 1 sentence. Note to self: Keep it succinct :-)

  25. @Andy Mac if I didn’t know better I’d say u didnt like me :-)

    Back on the topic though, I don’t do forgiveness I leave that to me priest. Ashley screwed a lot of people including the fans. What I was trying to say was does it matter??? He’s obviously is gonna screw us over again at some point but I’m enjoying what we have now without spending time thinking about him and I’m hoping whatever screw up in the future doesn’t cost us on the field and the standings. Fat chance of that though.

    Damn look what you’ve done Andy Mac, you’ve dragged me to the dark side haha

  26. Bobby’s Ghost says:
    October 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    “@Worky

    That’s interesting about Wendy Taylor.”

    Actually Bobby, I’m probably being unfair there about Wendy Taylor. Ashley has worked with a number of Top PR companies in the past, and sacked a few too after events such has his Sports Direct flotation and “Keegangate”. They will be the ones who are pulling the strings while employees at the club do their bidding.

  27. I think Mike Ashley deserves great credit for the vision he has shown in making NUFC one of the most sought after clubs for young and upcoming talent.And he has done it in a prudent way that shows that just cos you dont pay silly money/wages you can still attract quality….its the way forward and many will now copy the way this club is run !!

  28. Do the fans who parade around with bedsheets or appear gormlessly on SKYsports news not shoulder some guilt for our demise? Are the fans who boo a team who are struggling or leave at half time when 4-0 down fickle fair-weather supporters? Are the fans who insist on standing no matter how they affect other long time fans from enjoying the game really part of the so-called Toon army or are they just selfish pratts who are more interested in slagging Ashley than watching quality football? If we’re quoting biblical references ‘Let him who is without sin cast the first stone’

  29. I’ve been on the receiving and giving end of criticism for poor performance. Forgiveness doesn’t really enter the equation unless the criticism is proven to be unfair.

    We owe a lot of our position right now to fortune, a soft early-season schedule and Krul’s unassisted heroics.

  30. ” I’m tired of staring through ‘shit-stained glass’, tired of staring up a superstars arse, i’ve got an arse, crap & a name, i’m still waiting for my 15 minutes fame…Patti smith, you’re napalm, you write with your hand, but it’s Rimbaud’s arm…”
    Crass 1977/78.

    :)

  31. We are just a few games into the season. While I’m enjoying seeing my team play well and compete, I think it’s perhaps premature to say whether our team is stronger or weaker than it was. Or, for that matter, to say if Mike Ashley’s gambles have paid off. The winter will be telling and the fixture congestion around Christmas is always a make or break time in the season. We have also been more lucky than good in our encounters thus far. Our unbeaten status masks some deficiencies in our squad.

  32. CLiNT, comment 37, nowt really new is there. Probably first said by some neanderthal, when he found some sand struck by lightning, lying in mammoth dung.

    Probable quote, “Ugh ugh, grunt, ugh grunt, aagh, grunt ugh” :)

  33. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    October 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    “Probable quote, “Ugh ugh, grunt, ugh grunt, aagh, grunt ugh”

    Didn’t Wayne Rooney say that recently Grumpy?

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