Season preview: What’s in store for Newcastle United this season?

Posted on August 15th, 2013 | 157 Comments |

NUFC Blog on metro.co.uk
NUFC Blog on metro.co.uk
As some of you may already know, I am currently the Newcastle United blogger for metro.co.uk, and my preview for Newcastle United’s 2013-14 season has now been published on my metro blog site. In it I was asked seven questions:

Hopes for the season?
Predicted finish?
Biggest worry for the season?
Key player this season?
One to watch (which up and coming could make their breakthrough)?
Best place for a pint?
Stand with the best atmosphere?

I answered them to the best of my ablity though I had to keep it down to around 500-600 words. Because of this I had to sacrifice a reasonably comprehensive guide to pre match drinking spots around St James’ Park and some of the more in-depth guff I wrote about our up and coming players in the end but never mind, I need to be kept under control sometimes anyway! I also don’t have a clue where we will finish at the end of the season as in the chaotic world of Newcastle United absoltutely anything can happen, apart, of course, from winning a trophy, but I had a stab at it anyway.

Hope you like it!

Premier League season preview: What’s in store for Newcastle United this season?

What are your thoughts about what lies on store for us in this coming season?

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

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157 Responses

  1. Couldn’t really argue with any of that Worky.
    Pardew is the biggest worry, By a country mile, Comments in today’s Chronicle don’t help, When he is saying Jonas is back to his best.
    Most of the fan base can see, He is a spent force, But it looks like Pardew has him as one of his starters, Which is part of the problem,.
    He does seem hell bent on pressing the self destruct, And he will have to get lucky early on, To keep his job IMO.

    Most will write off the City game, And rightly so.
    The answer to whether Pardew keeps his position will rest on the two home games, Against West Ham and Fulham.
    On paper they are games you should be targeting for three points.
    I have zero faith in Alan Pardew, And it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest, If he comes up short against Big Sam and Jol.
    It’s a simple as that for me, If he f**ks up those two home games, It’s only a matter of time, Before he’s down the road.
    If he cannot negotiate that early part, He is well and truly finished.

    Then after that you never know with Ashley, If he puts in Kinnear, As an interim, We’ll still struggle, And it could kill Joe in the process.
    If he puts someone like Poyet in, Then we might just turn it around.

    I’m going for us to do a little bit better than last Season, And we could finish between 10th or 12th, Providing there are no big dramas, And who the manager might be, If Pardew gets peddled.
    Stick with Pardew though, And there is a distinct possibility of relegation.

  2. Hows it going worky? The season is looming large and were all sh1ting ourselves but the obvious answer for hopes for the season is pardew doing a massive knee slide as we thrash the scum 11-0 but realistic hope is staying up. I decided to stay away from the blog during transfer mayhem because me mam told me if you dont have anything good to say dont say anything at all, and who could find anything good to say so far.
    Anyway mate I am looking forward to match banter and locking horns with a few of the other big opinions on here, keep up the good work.

  3. I have just read the metro blog, I take it your not very confident, Harris Vukic is definitely my one to watch on the field this season. Who is going to be the one to watch in court report! we seem to be clocking up a collection of offenders.

  4. sammy d says:
    August 15, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    “Hows it going worky? The season is looming large and were all sh1ting ourselves but the obvious answer for hopes for the season is pardew doing a massive knee slide as we thrash the scum 11-0 but realistic hope is staying up. I decided to stay away from the blog during transfer mayhem because me mam told me if you dont have anything good to say dont say anything at all, and who could find anything good to say so far….”

    Not too bad sammy, how are you?

    You should know by now that I don’t do any of that “it is understood that Newcastle United are plotting a daring swoop for…” transfer shite on here! :-)

    No disrespect to your mam at all but I’ve never agreed with that one. Just imagine the consequences if no one ever said anything bad about anything until it was too late.

    As for the “offenders” it seems that so many footballers have been falsely accused of rape and sexual assault it doesn’t even count anymore. As I’ve pointed out on these pages before, out of all of them, only one has ever actually been convicted of rape (and even that one was questionable), and only one has ever been convicted of sexual assault in the UK.

  5. Bit ironic is it not, Pardew bigging up Jonas and suddenly his name appears on the injured list. :)

  6. The top story on newsnow is “Newcastle close in on Fernadez”. Who, what, when?

    There is hardly any transfer gossip on here because nobody really believes it :) Chuck still wants to get it on with Jr. Hoilett though.

  7. GS says:
    August 15, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    “The top story on newsnow is “Newcastle close in on Fernadez”.”

    I haven’t seen “Plotting a daring swoop” as much in this transfer window. It’s gone from predatory hawk type lingo, as if the players are little lambs who are about to be snatched by an Eagle, back to more of an Interpol style, like they are major international criminals who are about to be arrested.

  8. I am good thanks worky, as for the “offenders” I wasnt refering to remy as I well know 90% of sex accusations against celebrities are completely unfounded (please do not include 70’s & 80’s family entertainers) I was refering to the motoring/fraud sh1t that our lads are clocking up.

  9. Still plugging away with Vuckic WT ? He’s a busted flush mate just like all the others who have come and gone through our academy. Spears, Tozer, Kadar and now JJ Hooper plus Inman by the looks of things. As you well know our academy struggled to get Cat 1 status at the first and second attempts while the Mackems and Boro sailed through first time.

    http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2896/premier-league/2012/06/27/3199826/newcastle-united-braced-for-academy-funding-setback

    How about doing a “Where are they now” article just to highlight the waste of hundreds of thousands of pounds of the clubs money ? :(

    PS Better layout though

  10. Joe hawkins says: “Stick with Pardew though, And there is a distinct possibility of relegation”

    Most of the Toon internet world know that I’m not his biggest fan. However there’s more than a “distinct possibility” we’ll go down this season if he’s still in charge at the end.

    I had us down for relegation last season having watched several clueless, inept performances against supposedly lesser opponents such as Wet Spam, Reading and Swansea.

    The influx of new talent bought him some time but it was noticeable how quickly team morale sapped after just a few games with all the new players raring to go ?

    One thing Pardwho aint is a motivator when the chips are down.

  11. We will swoop for a new signing soon along with the Palace Eagles, and the owls and thrushes, black birds, bluebirds and swans and assorted falcons, sea-eagles, ospreys, hawks, and other birds that teams nickname themselves as.

    I always wondered why the red and white stain on the universe were called black cats? Cockeroaches would be a better name. Black cats aren’t red and white and neither are cockeroaches.

  12. AndyMac says:
    August 15, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    “Most of the Toon internet world know that I’m not his biggest fan.”

    Full marks for understatement there, Andy. I nearly spat coffee all over my laptop when I read that!

  13. Worky, are you sure your a geordie drinking coffee at this time of night, or are you trying to sober up from this afternoon!

  14. sammy d says:
    August 15, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    “Worky, are you sure your a geordie drinking coffee at this time of night, or are you trying to sober up from this afternoon!”

    I’ve lived in London with all the soft southern coffee drinkers for a long time now, sammy. I’m pretty much teetotal on Doctor’s orders too.

  15. workyticket says:

    “Full marks for understatement there, Andy”

    Is it just me or are there any others out there who can recall some truly shite performances last season, particularly after the new boys had settled in, and reason that we’re in for more of the same with this clueless f@ckwit in charge ?

    He hasnt got loads of new players (fat lot of good it did last January anyway), he’s still fannying around with his stupid formations putting round pegs into square holes and worst of all he’s still full of himself ?

    So what’s changed ?????????

  16. GS

    Yeah I think Hoilett is a good player, got pace ,power, is versatile, can play behind the striker or on either wing and gets his goals, he is also in the second tier and probably available.
    I also like Sinclair, a winger who ticks most of the boxes, also very available.
    Why ? Should be obvious as the only real winger we have has been loaned out, go figure ?
    Why was Cisse not scoring last season ?
    Because he was isolated without any help alone up front and had we any wingers, instead of a slew of defensive midfielders, perhaps he may have seen more of the ball.
    Gosling, Bigirimana, Cabaye, Sissoko, Tiote and Anita, all DM’s
    With HBA, Gouffran, and Marveau, attacking midfielders and our only winger Ferguson on loan, I’m not counting Obertan, an enigma, who has pace and technique, but no footballing brain.
    And yeah, you might notice this side is unbalanced, time to do some trading I think.
    Problem is who to keep and who to trade, I believe Bigiriman, will develope into an excellent midfield enforcer, better than Tiote,
    I also believe Sissoko can become a Viera type player he has all of the skills and can run all day.
    Anita has not been given an opportunity to show what he is capable of, but it’s claimed by some he is too lightweight, so give the guy an opportunity, he’ll you don’t have to play the same eleven every week.
    Both Marveau and Gouffran are similar players, who add a touch of class and who I would keep.
    I had thought Gosling was a dead duck, but as the deal didn’t work out and he has got some game time seems to be playing well
    We could do with Alderweireld, who would along with aint ovanother RB, solidify the defence, as experienc has shown how injuries can effect a side.
    However as I said there is a problem with balance, that needs to be looked at.

    And don’t be surprised if Gomis re-appears on the scene, it ain’t over till it’s over!

  17. AndyMac says:
    August 15, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    “Is it just me or are there any others out there who can recall some truly shite performances last season,”

    Everyone can recall some truly shite performances, Andy, where people differ is on the causes. From everything I can see, all roads lead to Pardew in this respect and he is having a truly malignant influence on the club in several different ways, mostly through his abilty to deflect blame away from himself and on to other things.

  18. Chuck says:
    August 15, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    “had we any wingers,”

    Chuck, I suspect the reason you are saying that is because most of the ones we have are playing on their wrong foot. That’s why they aren’t playing like old fashioned wingers. The left footed Ferguson played on the left side, stayed closer to the line and banged in crosses rather than constantly cutting in. The only other one is Obertan, a right footed player who has played mostly on the right wing.

  19. AndyMac @13: never touch it. I was thinking of the Hull Tigers and then thought about how many times we are said to “swoop” for players, that’s all :) It then got me thinking about other clubs that “swoop”.

  20. Is it politically incorrect to call Pardew “the Special Needs One”?

    AndyMac @11: I hope you stay on here. I didn’t even see your comments in The Mail. I thought you would have at least have had a view on the Royal baby name?

  21. “Is it politically incorrect to call Pardew “the Special Needs One”?

    Aye that’ll do GS :)

    “I didn’t even see your comments in The Mail. I thought you would have at least have had a view on the Royal baby name?”

    Apparently they decided not to go with “Adolf” ?

  22. As far as our finish in the approaching season, the bookies have us odds on to finish in the top ten.
    And I suspect we will in spite of Pardew.
    It’s just a bit frustrating to see the potential of the club, being restricted by an owner who in the words of KK, “knows nothing about football” now that was six years ago and the slow learning curve continues.
    As for WONGA, a sick operation, that makes the MAFIA, look like some kinda benevolent organisation, all strictly within the law and thereby lies the problem.
    When you have a government that allows such extortionist , usary practices, that sez it all.
    Listening to the BBC program, it became apparent both they and spokespersons from the club, are at all times aware and on the defensive, even refusing to discuss the Cisse situation
    That and that famous local rag , which has been bought by both the club and WONGA, though the editor claims they retain the right to criticise WONGA if they see fi, just don’t hold your breath for that to ever happen.
    But looking at who Ashley has hooked up with since he took over, is a history of sleaze, Llambeezy, Pardew, Northern Rock, Virgin Money, now WONGA, birds of a feather.
    I would still like to know what the story is on Llambias ?

  23. Chuck, I would take the old Cosa nostra as owners, Over the “TAT KING”, Any day of the week!
    Imagine the sponsor on the front of the shirt, “Bada Bing” lol.

  24. If anyone wants a laugh, Or a full on breakdown, You should read some of the absolute sheeeite!, The silver con man is spouting, In “The Chronic”, This fine morn.

  25. One thing I have to wonder about is how we’re going to cope against West Ham. That’s a very early match for us to lose, and yet I can see Nolan and Carroll putting at least one of the nails in Pardiola’s coffin lid there. My prediction is for a 3-0 to the Hammers.

  26. Wouldn’t be at all surprised, though it appears he is intent on going back to route one football, BSA is astute enough to make it work (he should have signed Joey) as his sides were always disciplined and knew what to do, scoring a lot from set pieces.
    With Carroll and the new old fashioned winger from Pool to put the crosses in for him, an improved side,
    Though I doubt if the Hammers fans will be thrilled by the style of play.
    Another improved side, is Norwich, Hughton making some IMO astute buys within a probably fairly tight budget and looks good for survival.
    Then their are the Swansea’s and Southamptons, hell ! De Canio, has almost a completely new side, there are no guarantees, each game will be a struggle for points, considering the amount of money involved in retaining a place in the PL.

  27. Lee Ryder says:

    “Pardew is the man who must look calm and assured, not only sending out the right message to his players but also the scores of fans he and his team go into the new season representing.”

    Has Lee been watching the juniors “scores of fans”. Ars*hole.

    I’ll post the full article. Joe Hawkins is saying Pardsy is talking shite, Lee is his wingman.

  28. Chuck: you are probably right about Downing as he is not that bad of a player. However, he did have the distinction of not having a single goal or assist in a season for Liverpool. He was positively Jonas-esque :)

  29. More from Lee:

    “When asked if he could offer encouragement to the Toon Army, the former West Ham United and Charlton Athletic manager insisted that he still believes he can deliver a team that the Geordie faithful can be proud of.”

    Yes, Lee, he was manager at both clubs but was sacked for total incompetence. I will post what Wikipedia said about his time at Charlton as it is quite funny.

  30. Wikipedia on Alan Pardew’s time at Charlton. It doesn’t make for good reading if you are optimistic about our season:

    “Charlton Athletic

    Pardew’s absence from management lasted less than two weeks when he was appointed manager of Charlton Athletic on Christmas Eve 2006, signing a three-and-a-half year contract.[15] He took over with Charlton in 19th place in the Premier League, with just 12 points and a –20 goal difference, the lowest in the league. Although Charlton’s form improved under Pardew,[16] he was unable to keep Charlton up, resulting in the first relegation of his career, both as a player and manager.[17]

    Many expected Charlton to bounce back from relegation into the Premier League with signings such as Chris Iwelumo and Luke Varney in the 2007–08 season. But Charlton failed to mount a serious promotion challenge and finished the season in 11th. This put Pardew under pressure going into the 2008–09 season but Charlton started the season off well with victories over Reading and Swansea. However, Charlton’s form very quickly deteriorated and they were near the foot of the table after 8 games without a win. After an inept display in a 5–2 home defeat to Sheffield United hundreds of supporters remained for more than an hour to condemn their manager, chanting, “We want Pardew out” and “We want our club back” after Charlton had slipped into the Championship’s bottom three.[18][19] On 22 November 2008, Pardew parted company with Charlton by mutual consent.”

  31. GS says:
    August 16, 2013 at 11:31 am

    “Has Lee been watching the juniors “scores of fans”. Ars*hole.”

    Aye GS, I noticed that and thought “f**k me! Over twenty? Quickly followed by “what a shit writer, how the f**k did he get a gig as a chief sports correspondent?” I usually think that second bit when I read Ryder’s pieces though his Chronic partner in crime, Neil Cameron, is even worse! Pardon my French but I do think in profanities sometimes.

    Ryder’s definitely got some kind of pro Pardew, anti Joe aganda gannin’ on and being as shit as he is, he’s about as subtle as a brick in the face about it.

  32. GS, A similar scenario will unfold at this Club, No doubt about it!
    I see Darren Bent has signed for Fulham, On a years loan.
    There’s one of Pardew’s targets down the Gary Glitter, I wonder where they will turn now?

  33. Joe, Ryder’s been saying that Bent was on his knees “pleading” to team up with the man who managed him at Charlton with no evidence whatsoever. Bent’s also worked with Martin Jol before at Tottenham. If you were Bent, which former manager would you prefer?

  34. Worky, There’s no contest is there!, He’s worked with Pardew before, So it doesn’t say much for him.
    Earlier in the summer we were led to believe that Darren Bent, Was daft Pardew’s first choice, The way they putting it across.
    This line must be a hundred foot in height, Because Pardew and Co, Just cannot seem to get over it.
    I think Pardew will be snorting lines, By the time this window shuts.
    If i was a footballer there is no way i would work for Pricks like Ashley, Pardew etc!

  35. If I borrowed £1 from Wonga for 30 Days, I’d have to pay back £8.45.

    I always click on Wonga PPC ads ’cause they have to pay for it and loan sharks have to pay one of the highest rates. I think everyone should do it! :-)

  36. I doubt if Bent was ever a serious consideration for Necastle, his wages and age does not fit intothe Ashley mold.
    Though I believe he thought he had a chance of being signed by Newcastle, which he could see was possibly a way of reviving his career.
    But he was just a red herring in the Gomis and Remy saga (and by the way, that may not yet be over)
    In wondering about the Llambias affair, it’s my estimation of events, that following the fifth place season, Llambias was the guy behind the eight year stability on Tyneside contracts (the blind leading the blind)
    Then when ( admittedly through a lack of signings) the bottom fell out and we were struggling for survival (yet strangely enough doing quite well in Europe) which forced Ashley to fork out, actually not a lot of money, for five reinforcements.
    Naturally Ashley felt he was set up by Llambias who was no doubt an ally of Pardew, having been responsible for his recruitment, plus no doubt their had been friction between Pardew/Llambias and Carr over signing or not signing, certain players.
    Then came the inevitable call to Joe to find out what the real deal was (who else can he trust)
    The rest is history !

  37. Of course, a few things have changed, but their still remains that long term contract that has to be paid (what were they thinking?)
    Is Joe going to eventually replace Pardew, can they ease him out through making life so hard he will resign (no way, not for that kinda dosh)
    So Ashley is stuck between a rock and a hard place, just too clever for his own good, that and the fact if shirt sales are a bust , what then ?
    Though from listening to the BBC radio program, it appears the general public are obviously not concerned by the ethics of the matter, but only about how they look wearing a tatty shirt advertising a loanshark operation.

  38. Chuck, Your right in the fact he probably wasn’t on Ashley’s shopping list.
    There was no way Jabba was going to fork out for Bent, But i have no doubt “Walter Mitty” would have had him on his list.
    What he wants, And what he gets, Are totally different, As we have seen before.
    This prat is hung out to dry on a regular basis, And still acts the hard man!

  39. If people are daft enough to buy into any agenda that hack Lee Ryder, Has going on, You have either taken leave of your senses, Or your are a “Sky Sports Special”, Or what Stardust used to call a “Back Tooth Banjo Player”.
    If people start buying into a situation where Joe Kinnear is made a scapegoat, For Walter Mitty’s failings, To cover his fizzer, Then they deserve Ashley, And the whole stinking lot!

    You can just see it now, The team get beat at home by West Ham for instance, There will be cries of Kinnear out!, Instead of blaming that urchin Pardew!

  40. Anyway here’s my lineup for the Citeh game assuming we don’t sign Ronaldo or Messi in the meantime.

    *************************KRUL***********************
    *******YANGA-M’BIWA*********COLO**************
    DEBUCHY******************************SANTON
    ***********************TIOTE*************************
    **************CABAYE******SISSOKO************
    BE ARFA***********CISSE********GOUFFRAN

    MARVEAUX
    TAYLOR
    ANITA
    BIGIRIMANA
    GOALIE

  41. GS says:
    August 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    “Limited edition shirt, probably only 80 squids. Get one for me and Joe Hawkins Worky, I’ll send you my address to send postage paid, no COD like.”

    It’s called a “members” shirt, which is quite approprite really as you’d have to be a complete and utter “member” to wear a shirt with Wronga on it in public.

  42. Worky, I read your Metro article. Can’t help thinking your choice of Vukic is more in hope than anything else. wouldn’t surprise me if he does a Kadar and disappears into limbo land. I agree with Marveaux and Anita and would add as my 3rd choice Bigirama.

    I followed some of the links and was a bit surprised to see we may have been offered E’too, first I’d seen of that rumour.

    I doubt if it will happen but wouldn’t it be a pleasant surprise if Pardew has had a tactics transplant and has possibly had an honest look at his coaching shortcomings and was actually able get us playing some decent football. I’m not holding my breath however.

  43. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    August 16, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    “Worky, I read your Metro article. Can’t help thinking your choice of Vukic is more in hope than anything else.”

    He really was an excellent prospect, Grumpy, more so than Kadar and really did have a huge amount of potential. As I suggested in my piece though, he’s had some dreadful injuries at the most crucial stage in his development as a player which may have damaged that. I hope it hasn’t and that he can overcome what have been some terrible setbacks.

  44. GS, I read it before, Walter Mitty will be smarting from that one, So they were defo in for him.
    I reckon Bent was one of Alan’s top targets, It’s all the same, It was always going to fall on deaf ears, Where fat boy was concerned.
    He would have had to half his wages, Before fatty will have took the bait!
    These hopeless fecker’s will never learn, Ashley wants to get out of Professional Football, If he isn’t willing to pay the market value, For players.
    The cnut is trying to make it up, As he’s going along, And inventing his own rules, It’s not getting him anywhere though!

  45. If i was Suarez, I would have told “The Beaded Guru”, To go and f**k himself!
    What’s he got to be sorry for?, Even the Football is falling under the spell of Totalitarianism, And political Correctness, Has gone mad!
    Who does “The Glimmer Man” Rodgers, Think he is?

  46. I wouldn’t be surprised if the deal for Gomis goes straight through now, Complete with the original add on’s.

  47. Had a fight with the girlfriend. Why don’t women understand football and music? She did look up a live cricket channel for me though and I watched the 4th test live on an Indian link with sky commentary. It was great, especially the bit about the ghost in Lumley Castle and Warner having to go to his “mates” room coz he was scared.

    The problem is that I might have to explain not only cricket, but test cricket and Geoffrey Boycott, to a yank girl.

    I told her she can watch 20/20 and if she gets past that we can talk :)

  48. GS says:
    August 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    “The problem is that I might have to explain not only cricket, but test cricket and Geoffrey Boycott, to a yank girl.”

    A bloody obstinate, opinionated Yorkshireman who never gave up his wicket cheaply, GS (I’ve always liked him though). You could also explain that Yorkshire is a bit like Texas (bear with me!), ie it’s the biggest county in England and the people there can be a bit loudmouthed and opinionated. How’s that?

    Explaining Cricket to a Yank will be a bit of a job though. You’re on your own there!

    Finally, here’s a musical tribute to the old curmudgeon from the Dub Syndicate:

  49. Eto’o???!!! That almost cost me a monitor & keyboard, as I was having my coffee. You are aware of the sort of wages Anzhi was paying, right? Not a damn chance.

    GS-cricket is the one and only sport I can’t figure out from watching it. I’ve tried. I give up, just like I have on explaining American football to my wife.

    I’d rather try than read one more damn word about Suarez, Rooney or Bale though. F’in recycled bullshit.

  50. There is Bradman, there is Boycott, there is Mikey Holding (and Shane Warne). The 3 (4) best players of all time.

    You have to admire Boycott who had a strop on with the cricket authorities for 10 years and still cames back. The most opinionated, likes his mam Yorkshireman of all time. I think he is like great, just f@cking great.

  51. Let’s get this season started and Alan Pardew you can faark off. Geordies here, Geotdies there, Geordies every f@cking where:

  52. tunyc says:
    August 16, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    “GS-cricket is the one and only sport I can’t figure out from watching it.”

    Telt ye, GS, you just can’t explain it to these Septics, add in the the fact that she’s a Septic woman and you no chance whatsoever!

    GS says:
    August 16, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    “there is Mikey Holding”

    He had the best, most sinister and intimidating nickname of anyone in sport, “whispering death.”

    14 wickets in one match. His run up and his action was like poetry in motion:

    Michael Holding bowls the fastest over ever to Boycott, finally getting him with the sixth ball. Absolutely amazing fast bowling.

    Boycott on the sheer terror of facing Holding:

  53. tunyc: Cricket is easy.

    You go to the middle and you get in. But you might not be in because that takes a while and you might get out whilst getting in. Once in, you might get out. Or not, but you can hit it to the off or the on side. Nowadays, the off is sometimes on with a reverse sweep.

    Get it?

  54. My favourite Yorkshire man Freddie Truman.Loved the story of him in the West Indies.Runs in bowls and a loud appeal for LBW not given. Runs in again another loud appeal for LBW not given. Bowls again this time takes the middle stump out cartwheeling it down the pitch.Walking back says in his broad Yorkshire accent to the umpire “Nearly Bloody had him that time though”

  55. Tunyc, sorry mate, :) as I said I spotted this rumour by chance but didn’t take it as a serious one. Just thought I would mention it as a slight curiosity.

    He is probably going to Chelsea as they can afford what he will cost. Possibly had his best playing days anyway.

  56. Geoffrey was dropped by England whilst still in his prime for playing too slowly. I thought that was ridiculous at the time and he would have gone on to get shedloads more runs than he did end up with.

    Can’t remember if one of the selectors may have been a Pardew antecedent.

  57. Grumpy: he did take a big strop though, right? And said he wouldn’t play?

    “The batman’s Holding the batter’s Willey”

    Did that ever happen, or is it another urban legend?

  58. Hopes for the season? Pardew out
    Predicted finish? 12th
    Biggest worry for the season? remy or cisse long term injury and having to rely on shola
    Key player this season? Krul
    One to watch (which up and coming could make their breakthrough)? Marveaux

  59. Dokky, Marv is not up and coming, I think he is like 27!

    As Chucklebunny said, we shipped all of the up and comers out except for Worky’s perennially injured mate.

    Sammy’s the only one left. He only has a left foot though so Pardsey will put him on the right.

  60. GS says:
    August 16, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    “Sammy’s the only one left. He only has a left foot though so Pardsey will put him on the right.”

    There’s nothing wrong with that as such, but Pardew doesn’t seem to get the idea that the rest of his football is incongruent with the idea of having the wingers playing on the ‘wrong’ side. The team should be dominating midfield, playing most of the game in the opposition’s half, and pressing relentlessly when they lose the ball. With his considerable limitations, he’d probably be better off going back to basics and putting a left footed player like Benny or Marveaux on the left and a right footer on the right.

    And now, his solution is to use another striker and take another body out of midfield, but leave the wingers on the wrong side. He’s completely out of his depth.

  61. We’re relatively chocka with defensive midfielders, but I think that Hull might have done very well with Tom Huddlesone for £5 million, just like Norwich did with another Spurs reject, Bassong. Chuckie would have liked him too as he’s a defensive midfielder who can really spray the ball around and shoot well and he’s always moaning about Tiote for that.

  62. GS says:
    August 16, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    “The batman’s Holding the batter’s Willey”

    Did that ever happen, or is it another urban legend?”

    “The bowler’s Holding the batsman’s Willey”

    It was ‘Johnno’ Johnstone and it’s completely true, GS. I’ve heard it myself several times. They couldn’t commentate for minutes afterwards as they completely “corpsed” ie they couldn’t say anything for laughing. Or maybe that was when Jonathan Agnew told him that the batsman couldn’t get his leg over?

  63. tunyc

    Don’t pay much attention to these guys and their attempts to make cricket into something only Brits and their former colonials understand, it’s a fairly simple game in fact.
    The truth is baseball is actually more complicated and a more celebral game mainly in the sense it is much more tactical than cricket, though no doubt those who understand it only on a basic level may disagree.
    Though a friend of mine from NY who was transferred to London, became a big fan of cricket, for some strange reason.
    On the other hand I personally know quite a few Brits and Irish who have become quite fanatical about baseball.
    The put down of baseball is to compare it to a children’ game played in the UK called rounders,and there’s some likelihood that there may be truth in the claim it was the game from which baseball was developed, but that’s another discussion.
    And believe me you are not missiing much.
    If you really want to understand the game I would suggest you go on a weekend to watch any number of cricket games, played in such places as Flushing Meadows, where teams from Guyana, the West Indies, both India and Pakistan play, you may even come across some Brits.
    Find a friendly spectator and ask him to explain ( besides the obvious) what’s going on.

  64. tunic

    By the way being I have apart from The Guardian newspaper, been farly isolated ((no tv) and little news from what’s happening in the US, what’s the story on NBC’s. upcoming coverage of association football for the approaching season.
    Is it a pay for view system or just regular network tv. ?

  65. On reading back a few comments I see they have ( cricket fans) as usual reverted back to twelve year old schoolboy humor along with a contesting to see who can remember the most cricket hero’s, with the Australian Don Bradman sure to get a mention, though few on here are old enough to have seen him, apart from old film clips.
    On the other hand I can remember the 1959 Yankee side , blah blah blah !……

  66. Worky

    Oh sorry ! Yeah you are right I forgot to pencil in Iron Mike into the squad to play Citeh, guess I will have to take Colo’s name off the team sheet.

  67. @76 i know but he is just breaking into the 1st team really and how many other young players have we got? we seem to loan them all out to lower league teams where they are not ever going to top level football. Who would you say? bigi is useless campbell, ferguson, abeid, newton and tavernier on loan and all 21-22. If we get hammered on monday it’s going to be a long season but i would be ok with a 3-2 or 2-1 loss just show something for christ sake

  68. Chuck: it actually happened and is not really 12 year old boy humour for that reason.

    I was afflicted by the Chicago Cubs. I watched for years and recently gave up because I picked my poison. If I was going to be tortured by a team I decided it would be NUFC. If basesball was that celebral you wouldn’t have fans falling over the rails and dying.

  69. Chuck: NBC sports is not a pay channel but I think you have to have “expanded” basic to get it. It all starts tomorrow and they are showing games Saturday and Sunday pretty much wall to wall. They even have a game on regular NBC on Saturday. Then, Monday, our slaughter of(by) the Mancs is on.

    Fox is now doing the European games and FA cup. They reduced the price to $4 from $10 in Chicago.

    I know you lot get different cable in NYC but it is probably similar to here and you’ll be able to find the games.

  70. Worky: Molly Malone tells us the intricacies of welks and limpets but we can’t talk aboot such juvenile things as the real rounders :)

  71. Oh, and Chucky. Why are you expressing a strident opinion on a game that you admit you know next to nothing about?

  72. Away for a week so will miss the craic, I expect us to be top of the league with 9 points in the bag by the time I get back! Seriously, no not really. :)

  73. Chuckleheimer says:

    “Don’t pay much attention to these guys and their attempts to make cricket into something only Brits and their former colonials understand, it’s a fairly simple game in fact.
    The truth is baseball is actually more complicated and a more celebral game mainly in the sense it is much more tactical than cricket, though no doubt those who understand it only on a basic level may disagree.
    Though a friend of mine from NY who was transferred to London, became a big fan of cricket, for some strange reason.”

    You see, now I understand. You have no clue about cricket and that splains why you can’t understand real football either :)

    You make some sense now and again, but probably in the way of Monkeys writing Shakespeare, you stumble upon it because the Universe is infinite.

  74. And Chucky-boo-boo says:

    “If you really want to understand the game I would suggest you go on a weekend to watch any number of cricket games, played in such places as Flushing Meadows, where teams from Guyana, the West Indies, both India and Pakistan play, you may even come across some Brits.”

    The most condescending thing that anybody has ever said that NEVER played the f@cking game. Stick to your knitting you turgid tw@t and talk about things you know about, like fish. Yes fish.

  75. Chuckle-doodle-doo says:

    “On reading back a few comments I see they have ( cricket fans) as usual reverted back to twelve year old schoolboy humor along with a contesting to see who can remember the most cricket hero’s, with the Australian Don Bradman sure to get a mention, though few on here are old enough to have seen him, apart from old film clips.
    On the other hand I can remember the 1959 Yankee side , blah blah blah !……”

    Do I really need to comment on how much cockery this is? The fact he even refers to the 1959 Yankees gives him away.

    You are a yankdunkin’. A wank inside a yank, an unpleasant stain on Tony Blair and Cameron’s new Britain, via America.

  76. The actor Jason Alexander was slammed for calling Cricket gay!
    That’s just ridiculous coming from Baseball fans, Is there anyone gay, Who gets on this forum, For their opinion?

    I’m straight, But i have to say, Baseball comes across as more gay than Cricket.
    Big butch blokes spitting tobacco, Rubbing their nads, Tightly fitting uniforms, Especially around the jacksy.
    Even the bat is phallic shaped ffs.

    I reckon anyone who’s gay would be more turned on, Watching Baseball, Than Cricket!
    I’m even coming across gay, Talking about it lol.

  77. And actually I do understand cricket, even played it as a youngster, but can’t say I ever thought of it as more than a game that was played on weekends, on nice summer days.

    But yes association football would be my sport of choice, though not the only sport I watch, used to be a Ranger fan during the sixties and seventies, no FFS not Glasgow Rangers, New York Rangers.
    A Knicks and Yankee fan, not into US football, though I have tried, but just can’t get into it!
    Watch a bit of rugby,union mostly, though they show a certain amount of league games on US tv.

    Worky

    Who’s the. “WE” who invented association football, I thought it was the Scotch who also invented golf and ice bowling with brushes, plus dominated football in the early stages of the game.
    Maybe give you Cricket and Rugby, that’s it ?

  78. Chuck: the main game today is Swans and Man U at 12.30 eastern. They are showing it on NBC regular TV so you don’t even need cable and any bar in NYC can get it.

    I’m calm now Chuck :) just needed to go on a rant.

  79. Sorry Chuck, I overstepped the line @95. I’ll have a talk with Pards about it as he knows a thing or two about lines, and how not to get over them.

  80. Chuck says:
    August 17, 2013 at 11:44 am

    “Who’s the. “WE” who invented association football, I thought it was the Scotch who also invented golf and ice bowling with brushes, plus dominated football in the early stages of the game.”

    It’s the Scots, Chuck, the Scots get rather grumpy and aggessive if you refer to them as “Scotch,” which is an alcoholic drink made in Scotland with Malt or Grain.

    The Scots did develop Golf and Curling (or “ice bowling with brushes” as you refer to it) as we know them today. Having written that the idea of knocking a ball into a hole with a stick probably goes back much further to Roman times though it’s all a bit blurry. The Scots didn’t invent football though it’s all the same thing really and they played it very early too.

    No holds barred football between whole villages or towns goes back to the Middle Ages but the modern game as we know it today evolved within the English Public school system alongside Rugby.

  81. Chuck, I just help them out, When they are busy lol.
    Well, Like the old saying goes, “Don’t knock it, Until you’ve tried it”.

  82. The baseball uniforms are very camp and the Yanks are a load of big girl’s blouses who can’t play Rugby without putting on a load of pads and helmets first. :-)

  83. If the Village People released a new single, And brought out a video to go with it, As you do.
    It would look s**t if they were dressed in Cricket whites, And pads.
    If they were wearing Baseball kit, Then you would have to say, It wouldn’t look out of place, Along with a Cop, And a Native american etc

    Sorry lads, I rest my case on this one lol.

  84. One last thing on Chuck and cricket, he says:

    ” along with a contesting to see who can remember the most cricket hero’s, with the Australian Don Bradman sure to get a mention, though few on here are old enough to have seen him, apart from old film clips.”

    Bradman’s last test was 1948. Did you see him live 65 years ago? Did you take the steamer to Australia when you were 10? And there was a war going on during much of the latter stages of his career so I doubt if you saw Bradman live. Correct me if I am wrong.

  85. Worky

    You bite every time, i used the term scotch, which by the way is perfectly acceptable, guessing some smartass would question it’s use and I was right, check it out ?
    And scotch whiskey is made primarily from barley, you know “John Barleycorn”whiskey or
    whisky ?
    Do you know the difference?
    And though you claim association football,s origins come from English schools, it’s only a claim, in fact what has become the modern game has it’s primary source in Scotland, which developed and dominated it in it’s early stages.

    GS

    And no though he did play in England in the post war years, only a select few got to see him, but every boys hero at the time was Don Bradman and like most others I only vaguely remember news clips of a great batsman who had just about reached his sell by date.

    Joe

    Nah! But a rugby player would fit, wearing those tight short shorts, very camp!

  86. GS
    I have been in Europe since the beginning of June, living in an area without a tv or The Herald Tribune, that’s why I enquirer about the NBC tv deal.

  87. Backtracking Chuck @110? That’s not what you said, you were implying that us lot that hadn’t seen Bradman live (like you had) were somehow bringing up his name to make ourselves look more clever. Whereas your cricket rant sounded like this to me:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTc–4jz0GQ

    I am not “bird-dogging” you by the way. You just cant make nonsensical statements and not expect to be asked about them.

  88. Anyone else find themselves backing liverpool so that stoke stay low on points? Preparing myself for the new season already..

  89. Maze: I think Brendan is a pretty good coach but a bad man manager and a bit of a tw@t. He coached rings around Pardiola and I would be happy to have him as our manager. He is sort of like Craig Bellamy here, a tw@t, but a talented tw@t and our tw@t.

  90. Chuck says:
    August 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    “Worky

    You bite every time, i used the term scotch, which by the way is perfectly acceptable, guessing some smartass would question it’s use and I was right, check it out ?
    And scotch whiskey is made primarily from barley, you know “John Barleycorn”whiskey or
    whisky ?
    Do you know the difference?
    And though you claim association football,s origins come from English schools, it’s only a claim, in fact what has become the modern game has it’s primary source in Scotland, which developed and dominated it in it’s early stages.”

    Chuckles, Yes I do know the difference, you’re befuddled again I’m afraid. “Malt” in whisky refers to malted barley and if you think the Scots find it “perfectly acceptable” being referred to as “Scotch” try it at a Celtic game next time you’re over here. :-)

    As for the origins of modern football, it isn’t a “claim,” it’s historically verifiable fact.

    Where do you get all this stuff from? Did you piece it all together from the back of sugar packets mostly like Abe?

    ps Chuck, you can also have “Scotch Eggs” and “Scotch Mist” and the Scots themselves did refer to themselves as “Scotch” centuries ago, but not now and it doesn’t please them.

  91. season prediction has to be relegation with pardew. top 10 without and no major injuries that’s if pardew doesn’t get a lucky start to the season! if so we will sadly be stuck with with the silver supremo.
    still hopeful of one or two getting ‘over the line’
    surely they can’t be stupid enough to think having less players than last year is a good idea?

  92. GS

    Tell me where I implied I saw Don Bradman, go back and re read what I said.

    Worky,
    What are you saying, the malting of Barley is part of the whiskey/whisky making process,
    Yeah and ?
    However not all whiskey/whisky’s are made from barley.
    Plus only those scots /scotch, who don’t know any better they and certain Sassenachts who dont know what they are talking about object to the term scotch.
    As for those I might call scotch at a Celtic game, in the Glasgow venacular it is perfectly acceptable ,
    Plus I think you will find the majority are of Irish descent and don’t really give a damn.
    And read what I said, the modern game of association football as we know it was primarily developed by the Scotch, who dominated the early stages of footballs existence.

  93. Look I’m getting tired of this game, going to the pub to catch whatever game is being shown, in the meantime don’t forget to take your medication, boys!

  94. Chuck: I will let your words speak for you. I don’t think I misinterpreted what you said, but that is the problem with blogs ain’t it? You should go back and read your rant and see how p*ssy and condescending it was. No, I’ll save you the trouble:

    Here is what you said, just in case you had another senior moment:

    “tunyc

    Don’t pay much attention to these guys and their attempts to make cricket into something only Brits and their former colonials understand, it’s a fairly simple game in fact.
    The truth is baseball is actually more complicated and a more celebral game mainly in the sense it is much more tactical than cricket, though no doubt those who understand it only on a basic level may disagree.
    Though a friend of mine from NY who was transferred to London, became a big fan of cricket, for some strange reason.
    On the other hand I personally know quite a few Brits and Irish who have become quite fanatical about baseball.
    The put down of baseball is to compare it to a children’ game played in the UK called rounders,and there’s some likelihood that there may be truth in the claim it was the game from which baseball was developed, but that’s another discussion.
    And believe me you are not missiing much.
    If you really want to understand the game I would suggest you go on a weekend to watch any number of cricket games, played in such places as Flushing Meadows, where teams from Guyana, the West Indies, both India and Pakistan play, you may even come across some Brits.
    Find a friendly spectator and ask him to explain ( besides the obvious) what’s going on.”

  95. Oh God. Chuck says:

    “Look I’m getting tired of this game, going to the pub to catch whatever game is being shown, in the meantime don’t forget to take your medication, boys!”

    He tries the bully tactics and then f@cks off when he doesn’t have an answer. Stick to talking about fish old man, they don’t talk back.

  96. Urrggg Chuck: you are saying that we on here never saw Bradman except in black and white newsreels and by implication, you did see him live. You know, so don’t pretend.

    ” along with a contesting to see who can remember the most cricket hero’s, with the Australian Don Bradman sure to get a mention, though few on here are old enough to have seen him, apart from old film clips.”

  97. bifftoon says:
    August 17, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    “surely they can’t be stupid enough to think having less players than last year is a good idea?”

    The players aren’t the problem, bifftoon. Bringing in better players to improve the squad is fine, but it’s like we want to keep constantly keep churning thorough players hoping it will compensate for having a Silver nincompoop as a manager. It’s barking up the wrong tree. We need to get a better manager, then improve the squad until it can really challenge for Europe on a consistent basis.

    In hindsight, that 5th placed finish and those awards were actually a bad thing for Newcastle United as it gave Pardew some credibility like several nincompoops before him and will stretch this comedy out longer than it would have been otherwise.

  98. Worky: the Swans and Mancs game should be really interesting. The Prince of Denmark could give the spawn of Chucky a difficult game (not Chucky on here, I mean the puppet).

  99. GS says:
    August 17, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    “Worky: the Swans and Mancs game should be really interesting.”

    I’ll be watching it, GS. Did you watch David Brent vs Stoke? Mignolet had to save a penalty for Liverpool to win 1-0.

  100. Worky: Yes, it was a good game and Brent has them playing well (they beat us f@cking 6 nowt). I am doing wall to wall football, then Buddy Guy at Ravinia – an outdoor music fest in north suburbs of Chicago.

    The girlfriend seems happy now until she realizes I opened a bottle of wine at 10 am :)

  101. GS says:
    August 17, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    “then Buddy Guy at Ravinia – an outdoor music fest in north suburbs of Chicago.”

    Aye, I know he’s from that neck of the woods, Chicago blues and all that. Hope you have a nice time.

  102. Worky: Chuckleberry is right about these new managers but he is also wrong. He names 5 or 6 and 2 do OK.

    That’s so easy to do.

    I could name 6 old school managers like Hiddink, Mourihno, Ancelotti, Rafa, Heynckes, Klopp.

    They all have their own style and not this young and “modern football” game that Chuck is so fond of.

    We have a crap manager who f@cks up a good team. End of story. Bye Chuck, enjoy the beer because I am sure your “friends” will not enjoy the fish stories.

  103. Alan Pardew want’s to treasure that photo of him, With his manager’s award.
    That will be the closest that numpty will ever get to a trophy!
    Well it looks like it’s going to be a funny kind of Season, Il Duce’s revolution has got off to a flying start.
    I thought he was changing too much too fast, And they could suffer because of it.
    Arsenal getting humped by Sham Sabbath, I can clearly see now, That we are in fact following the “Arsenal Model”.
    Sell all your good players, And don’t replace them with anyone, Happy Days!
    Wenger was getting some stick of the gooners fans, They will not have enough players for a game of Five a side, Shortly.

  104. Who is that shortarse Routledge. I have seen him somewhere before? Did we sell him for 50p or something?

  105. The commentater said:

    “defensively, Swansea have not been challenged, apart from the two goals”

    No sh*t Sherlock

  106. Worky: thanks for the giant headshot of Pards. I am going to cut it out and scare children with it. One of the comments on Metro was castigating you for only including positive views from fans. They have never been on here :) Maybe it was AndyMac having a larf.

  107. GS says:
    August 17, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    “Worky: thanks for the giant headshot of Pards. I am going to cut it out and scare children with it.”

    I never realised it was so big when i plonked it in there. You should use a picture of Chuck for that.

  108. Caught most of the Villa vs arsenal game, looks like Lambert has done a decent job, but Arsene had better watch his ass, if this is the club Ashley intends to use as a model, then we are in trouble, a club with billionaires on the board who are tight as a drum, with only Asimov wanting to spend.
    No wonder they are the only top four club that win shit when it comes to silverware.

    Rodgers also won, where as Hughton and Martinez drew and Pochettino also won, that’s it for the managers I have racommended
    Unfortunately Worky’s hero The Prince of Darkness…..Oops! Sorry, The Prince of Denmark’s side got hammered by a resurgent Man. U.
    The Reference to the Prince of Darkness is in reference to the English
    auto electrical outfit Lucas, which I know about having owned a MGB rag top.
    Anyway all my recommended managers won, or at least drew, so I must know something, eh ?

  109. Cuck says:
    August 17, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    “Anyway all my recommended managers won, or at least drew, so I must know something, eh ?”

    Only what you’ve googled, as ever you old fraud.

  110. Chuck says:
    August 16, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    “…to make cricket into something only Brits and their former colonials understand”.

    As opposed to making Baseball into something only seppos and a handful of Cubans understand?

    Knob.

  111. A typical example of Pardews management style (playing people out of position) pencilling in Sissoko as a right winger for mondays game sgainst Citeh, I mean when did Arsene ever play Patrick Reveira as a winger.
    And playing HBA as a second striker which I have no problem with, but then including Jonas , who will it appears be fit, on left wing,
    I would prefer to see both Gouffran and Marveaux included (at least both are capable of scoring)
    My side would be, now Santon may be unfit.

    *******************KRUL*******************
    *********TAYLOR*****COLO*************
    DEBUCHY**************YANGA M’BIWA
    **************TIOTE***********************
    ********CABYE*****SiSSOKO***********
    BEN ARFA**CISSE**GOUFFRAN
    MARVEAUX
    SHOLA
    ANITA
    BIGIRIMANA
    GOALIE

    Which gives us at least four guys wh can score , plus backup for most.

  112. Darth

    It was never a case of comparing either game, untill it was done by someone other than myself.
    On the other hand baseball is the principal game in Japan, Taiwan, plus Korea has a decent side, not to mention the DR, Puerto Rico The Dutch West Indies, Mexico, and as you mentioned Cuba,
    Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatamala, Panama, Colombia, Venuzuela and some I may have missed.

    As for your accusation of how I only know things about football by googling, in fact I seldom use google, believing it to be somewhat of an insidious organisation, plus do you really believe with all of the remarks I have made on this blog concerning football, they we’re made by referring to google.
    And if you want to address something in my direction, leave out the personal insults, ok !

  113. Chuck says:
    August 18, 2013 at 12:37 am

    “in fact I seldom use google…”

    Yeah. Right.

    “And if you want to address something in my direction, leave out the personal insults, ok !”

    no !

  114. Chuck says:
    August 18, 2013 at 12:37 am

    “On the other hand baseball is the principal game in Japan, Taiwan, plus Korea has a decent side, not to mention the DR, Puerto Rico The Dutch West Indies, Mexico, and as you mentioned Cuba,Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatamala, Panama, Colombia, Venuzuela and some I may have missed.”

    Lol. Bollox.

  115. GS

    I”m surprised, buddy Guy eh !
    Great blues man, got a number of his CD’s.
    Just goes to show the misconceptions people have of each other, as I wouldn’t have thought that was your particular musical taste.

  116. Chuck: George Thorogood opened for him.

    But, Chuck says:

    “Rodgers also won, where as Hughton and Martinez drew and Pochettino also won, that’s it for the managers I have racommended
    Unfortunately Worky’s hero The Prince of Darkness…..Oops! Sorry, The Prince of Denmark’s side got hammered by a resurgent Man. U.
    The Reference to the Prince of Darkness is in reference to the English
    auto electrical outfit Lucas, which I know about having owned a MGB rag top.
    Anyway all my recommended managers won, or at least drew, so I must know something, eh ?”

    Yes, they’re all going to be solidly mid-table. You are a savant.

  117. Chuck says @80:

    “Don’t pay much attention to these guys and their attempts to make cricket into something only Brits and their former colonials understand, it’s a fairly simple game in fact.
    The truth is baseball is actually more complicated and a more celebral game mainly in the sense it is much more tactical than cricket, though no doubt those who understand it only on a basic level may disagree.”

    Chuck says @150:

    “It was never a case of comparing either game, until it was done by someone other than myself.”

    Chucksville: Read the thread and you will see you are making stuff up again. You are the one that compared the two :)

  118. Chuck says:

    “I”m surprised, buddy Guy eh !”

    Yeah, I saw ACDC at the mayfair 4 days before Bon Scott died and the first show the Stone Roses ever did in London (Camden, and they were late, the Manc c@nts).

  119. Barley & cricket & Scots – oh my!

    GS @ 139: Yogi Berra on the call, eh?

    Chuck @ 146: shit, they got Isaac Asimov on the board?!

    Anyway, sorry about the cricket stuff. I certainly didn’t mean to set off a debate on the relative “gay-ness,” of various sports…

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