Newcastle United Art Forum – The Shearer Statue

Alan Shearer statue

Looks like something out of a cereal packet

It isn’t very often that I venture off the highway of football to enter the arena of art criticism here on NUFC Blog, but this is one of those occaisions and I am actually more qualified. Having been a figurative artist, a designer and also an art dealer in a very modest sense, I hope I can give a reasonably informed opinion without getting too carried away.

As you might have guessed from the photo accompanying thus piece, my current musing has been inspired by the recent unveiling of the Alan Shearer sculpture. Named ‘Local Hero,’ it is the second by local self-taught sculptor, Tom Maley for Newcastle United. It follows Maley’s Bobby Robson tribute of 2012, though it was actually commissioned by former NUFC Chairman, Freddie Shepherd before that in 2007 at an alleged cost of around £250,000. There is almost certainly some kind of club politics behind the nine year delay in its unveiling but that is not what this story is about.

What it is about is that despite the huge cost, both this and the previous statue of Sir Bobby Robson have been of fairly low artistic merit. You can see this when you look at them in comparison to the earlier sculpture of another Newcastle United legend, Jackie Milburn from 1991. Sculpted by Susannah Robinson, it was commissioned at a cost of only £35,000 and paid for by readers of local newspaper, The Evening Chronicle three years after Milburn’s death. Even if it was done 8 years before the Shearer sculpture, that is a huge difference, especially when the latter ones are of a lower merit.

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Jackie Milburn statue

Jackie Milburn by Susannah Robinson.

Looking at Robinson’s Milburn piece, there’s a correct weight and balance in the body, there is life bursting out of it, a tension between motion and stillness which is missing from the others. One can see that it has been done from a live model, which really does make all the difference. It has real integrity, like Milburn himself. In comparison, Sir Bobby and Alan look more like huge versions of the kind of models you might have seen given away in a cereal packet when England were in the World Cup.

Though Mike Ashley and Freddie Shepherd are hardly renowned as art connoisseurs, ultimately it is the man or woman who pays the piper that calls the tune. My thoughts as I was writing the last sentence turned to Mohammed al Fayed’s statue of Michael Jackson at Fulham, so I suppose that things could be worse! If Mike Ashley has finally realised that he is no football expert and has left it to someone who is at last, I will also hope he realises that both he and Shepherd haven’t been art experts either, and that he brings one in to chose the sculptor who makes the next Newcastle United legend, whoever might be the subject. I wouldn’t bet on it though.

Jerry Springer style, I will offer one final thought on how Newcastle United represents its history. It’s great that one of the finest players in the club’s history has just been honoured, and that Sir Bobby was too. However, NUFC is a club which has over 120 years of history, and won all of its major trophies in other times. For what it’s worth, I think it is time to look beyond the 1990s and 2000s when the club honours its own in future. Milburn represented the 1950s and that was a start, but our most glorious period was undoubtedly way back in the 1900s with Colin Veitch, and the last time we won the League was in 1927 with Hughie Gallacher’s goals, yet the heroes of these older times are barely acknowledged today.

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141 Responses to “Newcastle United Art Forum – The Shearer Statue”

  1. 1
    avatar Nutmag says:

    Yes Worky what are you two doing down there when there’s lots of room up here.
    I have to agree with you both Bobby’s and Shearers statues leave me cold the one of Jackie Milburn as you say is in a different “league”. I must say I’m not a fan of this type of sculpture.
    Having lived in Folkestone in the sixties and seventies where there is a statue of William Harvey. I found a great deal of Folkestone residents could not tell you who William Harvey was.
    As for the football I think its to early to judge. Because it’s all about the time it takes Rafa to bring this squad together as its virtually a brand new collection of players. It is not about finding the best eleven but getting the whole squad to gel together to be inter changeable able to change game plans etc..
    I think we will see a gradual improvement.
    Onward and upward!

  2. 2
    avatar chuck says:

    You certainly got that right, talking bout the merit and cost of he two most recent sculptures, any high school kid with visions of becoming a sculpture couldda probably done a better job, simply for the cost of materials, they are that bad.

    Big game coming up against Villa, would be nice to see it, will check on Saturday to see if anyone is streaming it.

    Afraid my tv cable provider is about to be taken over and I cant get much in the way of future scheduling of games, ah well!

    I was disappointed to see so many of our best talent sold during the summer, but not surprised, guess Rafa had to unload those who could provide the recruitment money to replace what had become over time a shop window for continental players to advertise their wares and move on, hopefully to a bigger and wealthier club.

    The club had I am sure a crap reputation, certainly as far as management was concerned, in which case NUFC had set their standards and they were poor indeed, Ashley believing he could run the club on the cheap yet buy his way out of the relegation struggle.

    I’m not sure how many of the present squad could survive in the PL if promoted and money will have to be spent either way, the difference being there’s a hell of a lot more available as a member of the PL, and the natives will be restless and not so inclined to show up in such numbers, with a second season in the second tier.

    Then there’s the continuing saga of Ashley and SD, which will require a lot more of his time, hopefully at the same time financing Rafa.

    I’m wondering if in fact Ashley still sees NUFC as the adjunct to SD that he originally envisioned or now entertains the possibility of selling now that English football clubs have become so attractive to oversees buyers, with a few extra bob to spend, after all every billionaire appears to either own a pro sports franchise or be on the board/part owner.

    The projected century we are now living in, has been projected as the Asian or Eastern century and it’s only a matter of time before there will be bids made for NUFC and Ashley possibly has enough on his plate with SD, that it may only be a matter of time before the Ashley Saga comes to an end.

    Oh yeah! I forgot didn’t he promise to earn some silverware before he left, I for one am still awaiting that, but not with a lotta belief.

  3. 3
    avatar workyticket says:

    Nutmag, I saw a programme about Harvey on the telly once, and I was reminded of it more recently because I’m being treated at his old hospital, Barts, which is just across from St Paul’s Cathedral.

    One name I missed out of the story because I was thinking about players was “The Guv’nor,” Frank Watt. I would say he was far more important to the history of Newcastle United than Alan Shearer, Bobby Robson and Jackie Milburn put together, but where’s his statue?

    “Then there’s the continuing saga of Ashley and SD, which will require a lot more of his time, hopefully at the same time financing Rafa.”

    Chuck, even though Ashley has taken over as MD of Sports Direct now, he has always been the dictator there and that has always been his primary focus. He’s Mike Ashley, he spends his time where the money is. He’s tried to make it look like he’s a naive little boy who was didn’t know what was going on, but that was just BS fed to him by Keith Bishop, a fairy story to get him out of the shite with the MPs who were grilling him in the Houses of Parliament about being a dodgy boss.

  4. 4
    avatar chuck says:

    Well NUFC are back playing as usual. had they won to-day they would have gone top of the league, but blew it by conceding a goal in the 88th. minute, though Villa were pressing hard and were the better side in the second half.

    Though they did get a point outta the game.

    So much for premier league dreams !

  5. 5
    avatar workyticket says:

    I didn’t mind the goal, Chuck. We had enough chances to score a second at least, but the finishing wasn’t very good at all. Even our goal was scored by one of their players.

  6. 6
    avatar Nutmag says:

    The ghost of last seasons team keeps reappearing, even with so many new players we just can’t shake it off.
    Hope Barts are fixing you up Worky.

  7. 7
    avatar workyticket says:

    Nutmag says:
    September 24, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    “Hope Barts are fixing you up Worky.”

    Thanks Nutmag. They tried to do the same thing to my mother quite a few years ago in Teeside hospital and she died so I hope Bart’s make a better job of me this time. If I’m still here on wednesday, it means they haven’t killed me!

    With us dropping the two points, Hughton has now overtaken us to go third with his fourth victory in a row at Brighton.

  8. 8
    avatar chuck says:

    This is a serious season for Newcastle, if they don’t get promoted, things could get much worse, being it still takes mainly money.

    Plus another season in the second tier means a reduction of parachute payment and probably a reduction in attendance.

    it also appears the Rafa. honeymoon is over, in which case he may have to spend during the winter window, being this side is not as impressive as our last in the second tier under Hughton.(who incidentally is positioned above us in the league)

    Sorry Worky, hadn’t realized your medical condition was so serious And hope your upcoming surgery goes well, keep us posted.

  9. 9
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    September 25, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    “Sorry Worky, hadn’t realized your medical condition was so serious And hope your upcoming surgery goes well, keep us posted.”

    Thanks, Chuck. There are lots of people having worse things done than me, but the moral of that story (for people in the North East of England anyway) is don’t have a serious medical problem on Teesside, especially if you are older. My father had a stroke there as well. They didn’t even give him a scan and his nurse tried to cover it up as well when I found out.

  10. 10
    avatar chuck says:

    Worky,I suppose you were delighted to hear Corbyn has been confirmed as Party leader once more, hope this settles things with the ambitious Mr.Smith and the rest of the Blairites, being enough time and effort has already been wasted.

    Wish I had better political news from this side of the pond, but (as in Brexit),”populism” appears to be in vogue everywhere.

    Which means most people now realize they were/are getting screwed by the system and demand change, disregarding what it might bring about, globalism and neo-liberalism
    has run it’s course and has been rejected as a non workable system, (apart from the wealthy) the Bernie-istas have forced Hillary to the left, she promising to
    veto the latest US-Asian trade bill and it’s upcoming European counterpart.

    There is always a ray of hope, but as most UK voters of either side have now experienced and believe Brexit to be not quite as bad as projected, WAIT !

    In fact on the contrary, nothing has yet taken place, being he country was totally unprepared and no one has a clue as to what to do about it, stalling for time or some miracle.

    Talking about ignoring one of the worlds largest political and trading blocks in favor of some kind of independent association with Asia, Africa and The Americas, (which they already have)

    I mean this is the first crazy result of populism, supposedly based on anti-immigration, which believe it or not is essential to the UK’s future.

    With “The Donald” preaching from the same prayerbook as Uip

  11. 11
    avatar chuck says:

    UKIP.

    Though it’s unlikely he will be elected and believe it Hillary will be gone after four years.

    How did it happen that the UK could screw up so badly and we on this side of the pond could be stuck with two of the most unpopular and divisive figures, I guess it’s because of an angry electorate, who are tired of getting screwed,it’s called populism. but actually it’s a form of anarchism or those who despise their present system and are willing to accept anything, including the unknown, than to continue down the same old road.

  12. 12
    avatar chuck says:

    Worky,I suppose you were delighted to hear Corbyn has been confirmed as Party leader once more, hope this settles things with the ambitious Mr.Smith and the rest of the Blairites, being enough time and effort has already been wasted.

    Wish I had better political news from this side of the pond, but (as in Brexit),”populism” appears to be in vogue everywhere.

    Which means most people now realize they were/are getting screwed by the system and demand change, disregarding what it might bring about, globalism and neo-liberalism
    has run it’s course and has been rejected as a non workable system, (apart from the wealthy) the Bernie-istas have forced Hillary to the left, she promising to
    veto the latest US-Asian trade bill and it’s upcoming European counterpart.

    There is always a ray of hope, but as most UK voters of either side have now experienced and believe Brexit to be not quite as bad as projected, WAIT !

    In fact on the contrary, nothing has yet taken place, being he country was totally unprepared and no one has a clue as to what to do about it, stalling for time or some miracle.

    Talking about ignoring one of the worlds largest political and trading blocks in favor of some kind of independent association with Asia, Africa and The Americas, (which they already have)

    I mean this is the first crazy result of populism, supposedly based on anti-immigration, which believe it or not is essential to the UK’s future.

    With “The Donald” preaching from the same prayerbook as

  13. 13
    avatar chuck says:

    UKIP, racism and sectarianism and a vague agenda where white people are guaranteed jobs.

    Yes it all comes in various stripes and colors, forms of Neo Nazi’ism in Eastern Europe, with the same victims Racist and sectarianism plus a form of fascism in France, the same in Holland, certainly populism is a big part of to-days Spain, where ethnic regional differences are also prominent and poor Greece, who were just swept up by the EU and should never have been included, not having the ability to afford it.

    The EU, a squabbling group of diverse countries, who have slights and hatreds going back centuries, fine as an economic block, but pushed by the Franco/German leadership into an impossible one currency for all system with a central Bank and a European court, that few want or need.

    Who’s eventual plan is to become the United Sates of Europe, similar to the USA, aint gonna happen and should
    be satisfied with simply becoming a trading block and free travel area, but there are too many differences to becoming a single nation, which bring about unmanageable economies within each member state, face it when one compares the economies of both Germany and Greece, that becomes obvious.

    On the other hand the economic and political situation of the UK (if it lasts) will be closely watched by many during the exit process and will certainly have it’s effect, whether positive or negative we presently have no clue, but I would lean towards the latter.

    lets see!

  14. 14
    avatar workyticket says:

    As well as Corbyn, we have the Sanders the elder over here to fly the flag for vintage lefties. Bernie’s older brother Larry is the health spokesman with the Green Party and has lived here since 1968. He seems to have alot of lead in his pencil for someone in his eighties, and makes Corbyn look very young and inexperienced. He’s going to be fighting for David Cameron’s old seat in Oxfordshire. I used to know the Green Party’s drugs correspondent. He didn’t know very much about drugs at all. The Sanders brothers remind me of an old sitcom about a department store we had in the 70s called “Are you being served?.” The owners of the store were the “Grace Brothers.” There was “young” Mr Grace and “old” Mr Grace”, but even “young” Mr Grace was about 100. http://i43.tinypic.com/33w5v1c.jpg

    Chuck, the EU is awful as it is. It is a corrupt, bureaucratic nightmare. Quite alot of the EU would be unconstitutional and undemocratic over there, so the POTUS, or any other Americans who are supposed to believe in the Constitution can’t really lecture the UK about leaving. However, my MP is right, in the hands of Conservatives over here, Brexit will be even worse. It will be used to turn the UK into a sweatshop as workers’ rights and other things are even further damaged. Corbyn’s balanced view was right but he was crucified for it, a bit like another JC.

  15. 15
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck, forget football, the real big match is over there tonight, Clinton vs Trump. You said that the voters would see sense eventually, but it doesn’t look like it’s happening. It looks like Trump will win in the last straight, like the Brexiteers over here. I know you’re not very religious but you better start praying! :-)

  16. 16
    avatar chuck says:

    I watched the so called debate until I got so bored I fell asleep, what with “the Donald” on his best behavior and Hillary attempting to goad him with her self perceived superior knowledge, combined with that supercilious smile indicating a smugness that was obvious and annoying to all.

    I’m afraid her self image is one of her most annoying features and makes it obvious why she is disliked by so many and find it ridicules that both her old man “Slick Willy” and Obama both made the claim she was better prepared than themselves.

    Whereas “the Donald” with his “Il Duce” poses did little to enhance his chances, I have heard more interesting debates in my local.

    No, I doubt very much that “the Donald” can win, then again did Cameron believe that the Brexiteers would end his political life.

    Looking at the pair, who are actually vying for the job of running (in combination with the congress of course)( and don’t forget the corporations and Wall St.) the worlds most powerful nation, I have to wonder how and why it has come down to this, one a poor mans Mussolini versus an ex presidents wife filled with self expectation, who had been handed political positions through deals over time, which she barely succeeded in justifying.

    I mean come on, this is it…………

  17. 17
    avatar workyticket says:

    “No, I doubt very much that “the Donald” can win,”

    Wishful thinking, Chuck. Denial. :-) I’m sure that people said the same thing about Mussolini in the 20s (who you compared him with). I didn’t watch the debate as I had to get up for the hospital the morning after. I heard bits of it later though. There was something about what they would do about big cyber warfare attacks on the US, and Trump said that his 10 year old bairn was good on computers. If he can say things as stupid as that nearly all the time and still be neck and neck with Clinton, that really doesn’t bode well.

    Corbyn has definitely been having speech lessons, comparing the one he did at the Labour Party conference this year with the one from last year.

  18. 18
    avatar chuck says:

    Hey! were stuck with these two regardless, just as you guys are stuck with an unknown future and political chaos, with no one having a clue about where to go from this ridicules situation you find yourself in.

    Though I have nowt in a political sense against Corbyn, the man doesn’t exactly ooze charisma, nor is he an effective public speaker, though I believe he might be effective at putting people to sleep with his droning delivery.

    Unfortunately this is not the late forties when a personality like Atlee could lead the Labour Party.

    To-days world with it’s instant gratification followed by instant forgetfulness, where the public demand their leaders have a certain amount of charisma, regardless what comes out of their mouths, is what’s expected, personalities.

    It appears what Labour needs is someone to believe in, a personality, unfortunately that will never be Corbyn, resulting in years in the wilderness, certainly spouting the right stuff, but unless you are in power, what’s the point.

    With all of the problems we in both countries presently face, how in hell do the two contesting for the US presidency reduce their so called debate to personal attacks and is the possible introduction of grammar schools the most important thing in regard to the future of the UK, I think not.

    But it’s all grist for the media mills, most of which are more concerned about audience numbers that sell pampers and softer toilet tissue, than any reality.

    Yes it’s the job of government to create public distractions not much different to the Romans “bread and circuses” nothing much in the way of change.

  19. 19
    avatar chuck says:

    Getting back to the blogs intended use, I see we recently beat a fellow contender to bring the side to three points behind the top two clubs in the division.

    Hopefully this will continue, winning that is, though there’s no way this side can match the Hughton side imo.

    Rumors of bringing in holding midfielder James McCarthy from Everton sounds like a step in the right direction, still relatively young at 25, with plenty of experience and better than anything we have in that role, unless you prefer Tiote or our red haired card collector.

    Also the prospect of a return to the EPL of Ravel Morrison
    from Lazio, who IMO would be a coup, perhaps Rafa might have a word with him and possibly one or two more young prospects on the cusp of becoming real talents.

    Not to forget a couple of veteran players about to reach the final few seasons of successful careers, look at what Everton got from Barry over time.

    We are going to need both if we are successful in gaining promotion, as this present side would hardly last a season in the top flight nowadays and the money must be spent, being another season in the second tier could be a disaster for the club.

  20. 20
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck, settle down man, it’s Trump you should be worried about! The newish players Rafa’s bought are still settling in and things are ok so far. One of them scored a hat-trick the other night and I think he’s scored seven goals so far. We’ve been a bit erratic at times but that can happen with a new team.

  21. 21
    avatar chuck says:

    Don’t worry about Trump, there’s no way he’s gonna get the nod.

    Future debates will only result in a re-evaluation of him and his conflicting announcements and obvious ignorance of geography, history and the world outside the US.

    Not saying Hillary is that great either, face it anyone who visited a thousand countries in two days should at least know something about travel, I would hope.

    Nah! neither one is capable of being the head of state and had better hire a competent cabinet and personal advisers who understand how things work.

    Fortunately the future will be different, with the millennials becoming aware that there is the possibility that the two party system like globalization, is no longer workable and with the Sander-nistas having come so close, they will be back in spades four years from now.

    That is if Hillary is dumb enough to ignore their present demands.

  22. 22
    avatar chuck says:

    In the case of Brexit I would hope that the same system still applies, (taking bout the Civil Service), the”yes Minister” set up, as everyone should be aware that those who actually run countries are the Civil Services, whereas the elected parliament/congress have very little to do with the actual nuts and bolts of government and usually defer to the scribes to actually prepare the paperwork that they will end up signing.

    As for NUFC, I suppose Rafa. is doing the best he can within the strictures of his contract, I was never easy to get Ashley to spend and he has had to sell in order to buy.

    Though I don’t see many of his present signings as being anywhere near the quality of those sold, FFS one of our French bench sitters has now become a present star in the side “Gouffran”, plus I have no certainty they are capable of being promoted, whereas Hughtons side were a cast iron guarantee at the time.

    No the trials and tribulations of NUFC are far from over I believe and I just hope that the balance of profits from this summers blow out sale of players, will along with a few extra quid, will be spent to provide the quality needed to guarantee promotion and a side that can compete in the big money league.

    With Ravel Morrison and McCarthy a good beginning.

  23. 23
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck, Yes Minister was very well written and performed, and had a real kernel of truth in it about the civil service, but writer, Sir Anthony Jay was a right wing Tory who gave it a very Thatcherite message which was of the time. The message was that public servants were the enemy that was making Britain sclerotic and needed to be driven out. Big government was out, small government was in. Of course, you had a similar message over there with Reagan.

    “Don’t worry about Trump, there’s no way he’s gonna get the nod.”

    A classic case of denial, Chuck. As Jack Nicholson once said: “You can’t handle the truth!” I have a phrase for you which should send shivers down your spine (if you weren’t in denial), “differential turnout.” All those Trumpsters will be running down the polling station to cast their votes, but too many of the others might have leaden boots when it comes to voting for Hillary. It’s a known thing that Democrats are lazier at getting to the polls as it is without having Shillary as the candidate. I’m trying to wind you up a bit of course because it’s irresistable, but it’s still a very worrying factor.

  24. 24
    avatar workyticket says:

    “whereas Hughtons side were a cast iron guarantee at the time.”

    As I wrote at the time, not necessarily. Last time we were relegated, it wasn’t Newcastle and the rest, it was Newcastle, Middlesbrough, WBA and the rest. Middlesbrough had a side which should have dominated like ours, but look what happened to them. WBA were only slightly behind the two NE sides. So, it was three fighting for two automatic slots and it was the smoggies who made a complete hash of things. My first disagreement with Rafa was when he said that Hughton had it easier than him. I’m full of admiration for his analytical skills but I don’t think he put as much analysis into that one as I did!

  25. 25
    avatar chuck says:

    Yes there’s a kernel of truth in what you say about getting out the vote, fortunately it applies to both parties.

    However that’s not the real concern, which is that the third parties may siphon off enough votes from dissident Sandernistas and those who detest her on a personal level, which is not difficult.

    It could have been a golden opportunity for Bernie and his followers to demand certain changes in her platform, certainly they were successful in changing her mind in regard to the Asian trade pact, though she may deny it was their pressures rather than her re-evaluation, being she along with Bill have been champions of Globalization all along.

    What angers me about the debates are, they have been reduced to a bunch of personal character assassination attempts, no economics, whether home or international, very little on international politics and the Donald has yet to explain how he will make America great again, which is no more than the sound bite that many are relying on, I mean would you buy a used car from this guy?

    Yes I suppose due to it’s isolation combined with self image, most Americans are not well informed in an international sense, some continuing to equate communism with Satanism, even though it’s long gone, but they are certainly very aware in regard to local politics, that which effects their wallets.

    But I couldn’t see them actually elect someone like “the Donald” and unlike the Brits would never put themselves in a position like the UK with having to deal with Brexit, which will become more obvious as the full extent of the divorce becomes apparent.

    Small government has been the mantra of the Republican party always and whether you belive it to be better than big government it matters little, in some cases the public sector are better, in others the private sector.

    But governments in general have become superceded by the corporate systems of the world, whos wealth and interests
    they represent for the most part, having been bought and sold in the marketplace.

    As a result of which Cameron will now live the good life, not unlike Blair, as a member of any number of boardrooms
    even though both should be designated to the garbage cans of history, for their obvious failures.

    As for promotion, it’s difficult to say, looking at the lower section of the EPL one sees a lot of sides once associated with what once was the second and third divisions, I suppose we have become inured to seeing sides like Leeds and other former big clubs, being permanent members of a lower division, the fact that Watford and Bournemouth are currently playing on telly sez it all.

    It appears most people I talk to believe NUFC will be promoted, however i’m not that sure, whereas I was certainly confident during the Hughton season, but this side we now have, could and has to improve if we are to be promoted, Ashleys biggest yet mistake depends on his spending during the winter window, if he refuses to spend
    now, we could become the next Leeds.

  26. 26
    avatar workyticket says:

    There will be the ‘shy’ Trumpers as well. Lots of people will say “Oh no, I would never vote for Trump” then vote for him in the secrecy of the ballot.

    “and unlike the Brits would never put themselves in a position like the UK with having to deal with Brexit, which will become more obvious as the full extent of the divorce becomes apparent. ”

    Chuckles, I’ve already told you, Americans would think of the EU as undemocratic and unconstitutional, and they’d be right. It is a monster which holds democracy in contempt.

    “What angers me about the debates are, they have been reduced to a bunch of personal character assassination attempts, no economics, whether home or international, very little on international politics and the Donald has yet to explain how he will make America great again, which is no more than the sound bite that many are relying on, I mean would you buy a used car from this guy?”

    It isn’t just the current election in the US where politics have been trivialised and reduced to mere “gossip” and insults as a distraction, with serious issues deliberately avoided at all costs. In the last one here alot of it was about stuff like Ed Miliband having two kitchens in his house, which made him a bastard for some reason.

  27. 27
    avatar chuck says:

    Whatever happened to the system used in the UK during the late seventies, when spokesperson’s from each party were allotted an equal amount of free tv exposure, in order to voice the party’s platform for the coming election.

    Perhaps it may be something that more than one country could use in future, instead of a year or more of pre election rubbish dumped on the public as is the case in the US.

    I suppose the wisdom was, give each candidate enough time
    and exposure and it will become apparent who are the best candidates.

    Well I guess that has proven to be without merit , considering who we ended up with, two of the worst candidates available, that very few like in fact or even trust.

    How did that come about ?

    It’s partially the power of the two party system, (The System) that still has a great degree of control, who in turn are indebted to their funders, the bankers and corporations.

    Though the viability of a third party system has not escaped the electorate and the fact is, if Bernie Sanders was presently running as a third party candidate or anyone of any stature, then this approaching election would have looked a lot more interesting.

    However the System will not collapse, only give the appearance of becoming more open and democratic.

    And though I find the rubbish that comes out of “The Donald’s” mouth certainly without substance, Hillary the so called smart one, is even worse, recently claiming that the Milleniums, the youngsters that supported Bernie are those recent graduates, without real jobs (Coffee shop Barristas and such) living in their parents basements, a total put down of the voters she desperately needs

    I mean does she ever put her brain into gear before she mouths off, insulting the voters she desperately needs who may end up voting for the Greens, or not at all.

    Waddaya gonna do !

    Watched the Man. Citeh vs Spurs game to-day, not a great game of football, (the Liverpool vs Spurs was the best I have seen in the Epl this season) more of who was the better coach, which the final score gave to Pottechino, surprise

    Lookout for both Liverpool and Spurs, who are currently playing the best football in the EPL and what’s happening with Citeh, who until their recent visit to Celtic Park looked invincible, how about Ya Ya Ture and Company, plus now young de Bruyne missing, plus two full backs who are not that mobile anymore, you can bet there will be changes made.

    Well although I am not particularly happy with the quality of Newcastle it appears the bookies have given them the nod in regard to promotion and yeah they are struggling through by winning games ugly but regular, lets hope it becomes a habit.

    Though I do hope there are a couple of decent signings made during this next window, being the holidays should be an indicator of how well we are doing, but more importantly an indication of what we need to compete in the major league if promoted.

  28. 28
    avatar chuck says:

    Worky, Ed Miliband was no more than a much younger version of Corbyn, in regard to leadership qualities and personality, another guy that could put you to sleep and no doubt did.

    Boring is what they are, not in what they say, but in how they say it, there has to be a bit of theatrics in every great leader or rabble rouser, which unfortunately has bypassed the present Labour Party and until someone comes along with those qualities, Labour will remain in the wilderness.

    Which may be just as well, by the time The Tories have finished negotiating Brexit, the country will be in such a state that any party in opposition should walk in, I mean I hear certain people now believe Brexit may be a good thing and the UK can do well outside the EU zone,
    why I have no idea, what do they know, even the Tory negotiators have no clue nor their EU opponents, who may have even less, hopefully both sides can reach a final and equitable arrangement.

  29. 29
    avatar chuck says:

    That was Pochettino above.

  30. 30
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    October 2, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    “Worky, Ed Miliband was no more than a much younger version of Corbyn”

    Ed Miliband’s dad, Ralph, was a proper left socialist academic who was probably a big influence on Corbyn. Well you know how sons deliberately try to go the opposite way to their dad sometimes and Ed tried so hard to be the opposite, the slick, game show host style politician like Blair, and his brother, David. As you saw though, you could hardly find someone less suited to all that BS. Like him or not, you certainly couldn’t accuse Corbyn of that. He just is what he is whether you like him or not.

    Incidentally, I think that Ed’s brother was/is giving Hillary a bit after he lost to his brother and moved to your city to run International Rescue. A bit of revenge on Bill. Whenever she talks about him, she goes all gushy and her eyes start rolling around. There are rumours she’s going to give him an important job when she’s elected.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/nov/17/hillary-clinton-david-miliband-interview

    Chuck, when are they going to sort out all those terrible golf hooligans on your side of the pond? :-)

  31. 31
    avatar chuck says:

    Yes I am aware of who the Milibands are, clever blokes but not leaders, one a Blairite, the other more to the left.

    Unfortunately although both were young and appeared to be future leaders in a party that lacked and still does, any form of dynamism or appeal to to-days youthful voters.

    Unfortunately they failed to have the right stuff and are now no different than Cameron, in fact worse off.

    As for being a favorite of Hillary, being he is not a US citizen, it opens up nothing but some kind of advisory role, which may not be very popular with some here.

    But we are talking about Labour now, a party suffering from the inability to present to the voters who they are and what they represent, apart from a divided party much like that which caused the last great division within Labour.

    Yes even organized labor from which the party got it’s beginnings, is itself disorganized and unhelpful, more of a debating society than an organization bent on running the country.

    So who in their right mind would want to see such an obvious failed

  32. 32
    avatar chuck says:

    group unable to take advantage of a somewhat failed coalition government and in fact a Tory government which the electorate gave a total mandate to, so poor was Labors reputation.

    A four year period in which to get their act to-gether and at least appear united, meanwhile blaming the Tories for everything that goes wrong, being it will be a tough period of negotiations where doubtlessly the economy will suffer and anyone who believes different is obviously unaware of what’s happening.

    By then the country will be ready for change, regardless of who the opposition is, but it’s time that Labour reinvents it’self and comes up with a leader with the right suff, no more Millibands or Corbyns, please!

  33. 33
    avatar chuck says:

    Look you obviously haven’t been in the middle of a group of England supporters chanting Engerland! Engerland!

    No different from USA! USA!

    I dislike most forms of nationalism and detest all forms of
    Chauvinism and find it all a bit ridicules.

  34. 34
    avatar workyticket says:

    Apparently (I think it was in the Mail so it must be true), Hillary is going to fast track Miliband’s citizenship because she’s gagging for it (I said the last bit).

    Chuck, you’re just so jealous of my MP because he’s so magnetic to women. He always seems to be surrounded by them. He’s on his third Mrs Corbyn as well. He seems to be particularly irresistible when he wears his cream jacket.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/news/2016/07/21/Jeremy_Corbyn_arrives_to_launch_his_Labour_leadership_campaign_at_the_UCL_Institute_of_Edu-xlarge_trans++RKE64l0E0Q0XiQpjM7uwfJW60AGnkz4pNg7Qw4xtby0.jpg

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/09/14/10/2C4397A400000578-3233120-New_Labour_leader_Jeremy_Corbyn_yesterday_posed_for_photographs_-a-33_1442224438643.jpg

    I was thinking more of the four letter words hurled at our golfers. Lee Westwood remarked that he hadn’t been called a “turd” since he was 12. The “U-S-A” one is very sharp and aggressive. The “En-ger-land” one is annoying too, I know, but it’s more like a slow, despairing cry from drunken idiots.

  35. 35
    avatar chuck says:

    Guess your right, if the Daily Mail printed it!

    So it’s all about sex now ?

    If Corbyn was any blander he would fade into the background
    and I would assume it’s his harmless father/grandfatherly look that appeals to women.

    As for Newcastle United, hopefully the scouting system is going full blast, as now is the time to rebuild for the PL,
    being the winter window is not quite as active as is the summer window, plus it will allow those (if any) to bed into the side, a time to sign young and upcoming players, along with a couple of veterans.

  36. 36
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck, I would have thought that you’d be more pleased than most if the grandfatherly look is appealing! Yes, in hindsight I should apologise for bringing sex into the conversation in the context of Hillary Clinton and David Miliband. It was so obvious with her though when she was with him. She was as lascivious as Bill and that’s really saying something! I think that the American public should know that he’s Hillary’s Gigolo though if he does get an important job in Government over there.

    There are lots of new players who are bedding into the side as it is. I was reading about that lad we bought from Arsenal last time. Rafa knows what he’s doing.

  37. 37
    avatar chuck says:

    Cought some of the wouldbe VP’s debate before they like Hillary and the Donald put me to sleep once again.

    Yeah there was more substance in the subjects they debated, but as i stated earlier, i have often heard mores substantial arguments in my local, these are really the bottom of the barrel.

    They both made sure that their religious affiliations and the fact of how important that was in their lives.

    Certainly racism and religion still play a major role in US politics, through certain coded language, the republican wannabe VP suggesting that their was no racism involved in the large number of African Americans, recently killed by various police departments through-out the country.

    Which suggest’s that justice was done, how absurd is that and how could anyone make such a statement.

    Apparently both wannabe’s stressed their religious beliefs so much that it left the audience wondering if they were running for some kinda religious office than a political one, bringing to mind the separation of church and state embedded in the constitution.

    Although the US is the sanctuary of so many schismatic branches of not only christian religions but many that most people are unaware of, since it’s early founding by mostly those who claim to have been seeking a sanctuary from religious persecution.

    Personally i think they may have had a bit of land grabbing in mind.

    One thing for certain, in these here United States one can find just about every form of organised religions and political beliefs, but due to the political system that has existed from day one, they are all encompassed within the two parties, which are like tweedle dum and tweedle dee, also encompassing the entire spectrum of politics from extreme left to extreme right.

    Crazy you might say ?

    Fact is, it is and always has been controlled by the wealthy the Robber Barons and Bankers of the gilded age to the present Wall St. bankers and mega corporations.

    Keep all of those whack’os within the two party system and they remain in control, no coalitions or third parties to make things difficult for the K Street bag-men, just keep on paying the same old faces.

    Which is why Bernie Sanders and Trump have shaken up the system to such a degree, one will find traditional republicans voting for Hillary, being she is the only traditional member of the system left.

    So relax everyone for the time being, but be aware that the present US electorate have seen the possibilities of change and those radicalized Bernie and Donald followers will be back four years from now.

  38. 38
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    October 6, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    “Although the US is the sanctuary of so many schismatic branches of not only christian religions but many that most people are unaware of, since it’s early founding by mostly those who claim to have been seeking a sanctuary from religious persecution.”

    Well as I’ve mentioned on here before, the Pilgrim Fathers were like a 17th Century Christian Taliban. Never mind “persecuted” they were persecuters who executed Quakers just for being Quakers. I recall Reagan upping the ante of religion in politics, bringing in a so-called “moral majority” of evengelical wackos. However, I also remember that it was actually Carter who was the real evangelist good old boy.

    “Fact is, it is and always has been controlled by the wealthy the Robber Barons and Bankers of the gilded age to the present Wall St. bankers and mega corporations.”

    We had a chance to see that kind of environment emerging again more recently in Yeltsin’s Russia, a huge country which was a kind of “Wild East” snapped up by oligarchs after the fall of the old regime. A bit like the great roll out westwards over there where huge, corrupt fortunes were made.

  39. 39
    avatar chuck says:

    Yes the decendant’s of the early land grabbers continued to spread westward, where a vast forest’s existed from the east coast to the Mississippi river.

    They felled both tree’s and occupants alike, with equal disregard, it’s known by the term “manifest destiny”, as if it were the fulfillment of some god given right.

    Yep one of the worlds greatest land grabs !

    Of course there were legitimate purchases of land also involved, the Louisiana purchase and the so called Sewards folly, the purchase of Alaska from Russia, not that either Russia or France had any legitimate rights to the ownership of either property, other than might is right.

    If you have the time it’s an interesting read, talking about Mark Twain’s “The Gilded Age” covering a time period stretching from the post civil war era until the turn of the nineteenth century, it’s amazing how similar conditions were to the present.

    Yes! It’s all about striving for wealth, from the early so called puritans to to-days Koch’s and Walton’s, plus the worldwide corporate system and of course the banks, where so many ended up in jail for attempted robbery, when it’s actually the bank owners who should be in jail.

  40. 40
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    October 8, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    “If you have the time it’s an interesting read, talking about Mark Twain’s “The Gilded Age” covering a time period stretching from the post civil war era until the turn of the nineteenth century, it’s amazing how similar conditions were to the present.”

    I haven’t read the Gilded Age, Chuck, so I should give it a go. I know it’s a very famous book which gave its name to a whole period of American history. I’ve got a very big book on Thomas Paine to read though.

    I have some recommended reading for you too if you haven’t read it already. It’s Ida Tarbell’s “The History of Standard Oil,” written way back in 1904. It is one the greatest pieces of journalism in history, and is like the real history of America in microcosm.

    http://www.pagetutor.com/standard/cover.html

  41. 41
    avatar chuck says:

    Well it appears things are going as bad if not worse in the UK, vis a vie the US and Trump, who appears to have self destructed lately, with many of the republican party regulars refusing any support, other than those that see a possibility of jumping on a band wagon.

    Though the thought of a victorious Hillary is almost as nauseating.

    However bad they are, things appears worse in the UK.

    Rooney gets booed by the home fans at Wembly, where Engerland got a great 2-0 win against lowly Malta, recently beaten 5-1 by a poor Scottish side, who yesterday only managed to tie with another footballing giant Lithuania, which ended in a 1-1 tie.

    In cricket there was further bad news the England side having been beaten by Bangladesh.

    Then there’s the civil war taking place within the Labour party , with Corbyn firing whips and god only knows what else and the present situation certainly don’t present much of a future as long as he’s in charge.

    Then theirs the calamitous fall of the pound against the major currencies, dropping from an annual high of $1.54 agaist the $ to a recent $1.24, which is not unexpected, considering Mays insistence on a hard Brexit, despite pleas from UK industries.

    Hmm! I recall a time when the pound traded at fixed rate of
    $2.82, which by the late seventies had been reduced to $2.40 or so, ah well it will no doubt reduce the cost of British Exports, if they had much in the way of manufacturing left, unfortunately Maggie thatcher de- industrialized the country in the eighties, converting to a service based economy, with London as it’s center, though Brexit may have it’s effect on that also, strange the decisions being made these days, I mean does anyone really know what’s going on and exactly what does a hard Brexit actually mean ?

    I get the feeling that most Brit’s never liked the idea of it’s entanglement with the continent and are secretly relieved with this disengagement, despite the fact no one has any idea where it will leave them, I suppose most are relieved that they will not be overwhelmed by hordes of refugees and welfare cheats, instead of those they will need and be able to vet.

    Nowt like a bit of Xenophobia to solve things, eh ?

  42. 42
    avatar chuck says:

    Worky

    Sorry, forgot to enquire, I do hope your recent medical procedure was a success.

  43. 43
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck, the pound was over two dollars before the big crisis in 2008. It actually fell then by far more than it has now, by about half a dollar in no time. It went up again a bit but it never recovered what it lost since then.

    As I’ve already explained, dislike of the EU isn’t exclusively the preserve of right wing bigots, and as I’ve also explained, it is undemocratic and would be unconstitutional over there. I was with Corbyn, stay in, but only so we can declare war on the corrupt commissioners from the inside.

    David Cameron is right at the bottom with Anthony Eden and co in the list of worst Prime Ministers and we are left with a dreadful mess, but we’ll see.

    “Sorry, forgot to enquire, I do hope your recent medical procedure was a success.”

    Aye it seems to be going ok so far, Chuck. Thanks for asking.

  44. 44
    avatar chuck says:

    Well as you are doing well health wise that’s a positive in these times of gloom and doom, caused by our corrupt and not too bright leaders.

    Managed to stay awake while watching our two wannabe’s insult each other last night, why I don’t know, must be some morbid fascination I guess.

    One wonders what the young voters make of this present world and it’s leaders, considering the choices available, certainly the US millennials appeared to understand where their best interests lay, they being the main force behind the Bernie Sanders campaign.

    On looking back in time, to those years following WW2, when
    the likes of Harry Truman and the Atlee cabinet, were in power, there was hope for a brighter future, they and those maligned leaders attempting at the time, to throw off the yoke of colonialism.

    Unfortunately there’s a new form of colonialism, done through the international organization’s “The World Bank” and “IMF” and the once heroic anti colonialist leaders are a new breed, each of them on the payroll, with everything accomplished by the stroke of a pen.

    The present chaos we see is caused by those aware of the fact they are getting screwed by the old order and this new form of populism is a symptom, those subject to the booms and busts of modern day capitalism, who end up paying the price of a corrupt system, where the increasing wealth differential, between rich and poor is apparent to all.

    The chaotic term limits I project we are about to enter, will be a lesson to all, with a new and younger group of voters about to emerge all of whom will be aware of how corrupt these systems are and hopefully will have the leaders needed to make the necessary changes.

    Certainly the present day costs of third level education will be a major factor, as they were with the Bernie Sanders campaign and will become more important as young people realize they are the victims of both the college business systems and those who’s personal loans will keep them in a state of penury for the foreseeable future.

    In to-days world, third level education is not just for the wealthy few, but a necessity as the snowball of technology continues to roll and those countries who ignore this fact will find themselves less competitive and therefor poorer because of it.

    Yes it’s a constant struggle for most, with the enemy being
    the system we elect, a struggle between the have’s and have-nots and until the electorates of the majority of so called democracies become aware of where their best interests lie, then it’s business as usual.

  45. 45
    avatar chuck says:

    Something on football.

    I don’t get it!

    I mean why is Wayne Rooney still playing for both Man. U. and Engerland ?

    Is it not obvious that his legs are gone and is more of a liability than an asset, I mean who is running M.U., the way they treated Schweinsteiger (whoever thought he would be a good buy to begin with) is both disgusting and insulting, certainly when compared to the other liability which is Rooney.

    Time to call it a day my man, hell the best England center forward for decades had the decency to call it a day when his legs went, erm that;s Shearer in case you hadn’t figured it out.

  46. 46
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    October 10, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    “On looking back in time, to those years following WW2, when the likes of Harry Truman and the Atlee cabinet, were in power, there was hope for a brighter future, they and those maligned leaders attempting at the time, to throw off the yoke of colonialism.

    “Unfortunately there’s a new form of colonialism, done through the international organization’s “The World Bank” and “IMF” and the once heroic anti colonialist leaders are a new breed, each of them on the payroll, with everything accomplished by the stroke of a pen.”

    All those big things like the World Bank and the IMF came out of all that postwar optimistic new world stuff though, Chuck. I’m no economist but the so called “Nixon Shock” in 1971 seemed to change the world alot. Things started to go off well off key in the seventies and it was capped off with Thatcherism / Reaganism when people like Milton Friedman came to the fore.

    I saw the odd ‘highlight’ of that so called “debate.” All you can think is “what has happened to the world?”

    Well Rooney’s certainly picking up a few spelks off the bench nowadays. The England team can break any man. Remeber Ericsson and Capello before and after being England managers? Despite your caustic reporting on every sporting failure of England, sport has never been better over here in general. We were second in the Olympics, beating China which is a rabidly competitive nation of almost 1.5 billion. Lewis Hamilton has been the king of Grand Prix for the last few years. We dominate cycling and always win the Tour de France. Despite your joyful reporting on the English cricket team being beaten by Bangladesh the other day, we are actually pretty good at that too, and so on… I remember when England were hammered at cricket for the best part of two decades by Australia, but not now. We even have a top tennis player! England have overcome sporting demons in other areas, but can the football side learn from any of them? Will it ever catch up?

  47. 47
    avatar chuck says:

    The Olympic Games Hmmm !

    Obviously were targeted and financed by the public sector where money was pumped in, both in training aids and technology and any country willing to spend such amounts has to increase it’s medal counts.

    Sure it’s a boost to the average guy in the street to see his country gain so much success, but why the Olympics ?

    Now Cycling which was my favorite sport in he days of “Fausto Coppi” and “Loui Bobet”, when I remember building my own bike and still recall some of the specs. Scott frame, south of France handlebars with GB brakes simplex four speed gears with double chain wheel, 27×1/4″ wheels and hp tyres, Brooks B17 saddle, quite the machine, or so I thought.

    And yes all credit to the UK cycling teams and individual riders, who have been so impressive lately, though it yet remains to be seen whether it was done without a little help as in the case of Armstrong, but this success has also been aided largely by money well spent.

    As for Engerland success in football, I believe a large part of the problem has been those in charge, I mean who would have projected that the majority of top managers in the EPL would be imports, with the final blow of importing an American manager.

    Sure the EPL is the big money league, which has more to do with business than the skill’s of the game and there are numerous younger talents available, unfortunately those governing the game appear to know little about the game
    appointing the likes of BSA and others.

    They are also stuck in a time warp, with any suggestion of how to improve it being anathema, a shake up of the FA is long overdue, if the game is to progress.

    A number of changes are long overdue, elimination of the present card system, in exchange for a sin bin, revert the present crazy offside rule to it’s original form, use the available video in certain situations (in other words “get it right”) which will take little time, employ a winter break in the most severe weather conditions, which could be a good start, the governing bodies role is not to impede progress, but to enable improvement in the game.

    The managerial role has proven to be a poisoned chalice, with few willing to end their careers by accepting the role

  48. 48
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    October 11, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    “The Olympic Games Hmmm !

    “Obviously were targeted and financed by the public sector where money was pumped in, both in training aids and technology and any country willing to spend such amounts has to increase it’s medal counts. ”

    It isn’t quite as simple as that, Chuck. It isn’t public sector money. The National Lottery, set up by John Major’s government is a golden franchise which generates many billions, but it is a commercial franchise run by a private company who wins that franchise via a bidding process. Up until now it has been “Camelot”. In return for having this golden goose of a franchise which generates so much cash, Camelot have to donate a bit over a quarter of those billions to “good causes” including UK sport. As far as the UK sport funding for Team GB goes though, it isn’t as much as the US or China, but the money has been used with the kind of ruthless efficiency and winner takes all mentality you would expect in those two countries. In other words taking on the big guns at their own game. None of this wishy-washy, British “it’s the taking part that counts and we’re all winners really” stuff. If we had the same regime in the England football team, Wayne Rooney would have probably been taken out and shot by now!

    Having written all that, the Olympics doesn’t interest me really. I like football, cricket and motor racing. The thing the British have usually been the best at in my time is motor racing.

    To bring together English football angst and cycling, I used to have a friend called Dave who was a total cycling nut. He blew thousands on the nicest Peugeot racing frame I have ever seen (and it was secondhand!). You could pick it up with your little finger and hardly notice. It was incredibly light and well balanced. He’d only just built it up and had a ride or two on it when some frustrated moron kicked it into the shape of a boomerang the night Engerland went out of Euro 96.

  49. 49
    avatar chuck says:

    Bicycles !

    To days machines are so advanced over what was available in my day.

    Unfortunately, the price’s have become so expensive, certainly out of the reach of most, with their lightweight composite makeup, resulting in many bikes as expensive as certain cars.

    Who can afford such luxuries ?

    Unfortunately most sports to-day and in the recent past, were dominated by those taking performance enhancing drugs, especially those taking part in the various cycling tours, where big bucks were involved by various manufacturing companies, who had major interests in selling their products and I think you might find that the various tours are financed by those same manufacturers.

    Which raises the question, are the boats, bikes etc. used by British Olympians financed by the public or private sector and does it matter, it’s the total amounts garnered by the use of equipment or training facilities that matter, he who spends the most, garners the most medals, simple as that.

    Which is one of the reasons many lose interest in watching, especially track and field events, it’s probably also rife in many professional sports and I often wonder about pro. football, being there appears to be little in the way of checking other than random testing, which i’m sure Rio Ferdinand could probably enlighten us to some degree.

    Again it’s not as if Britain had suddenly become a nation of superior athletes, it has more to do with money spent, or like East Germany and other former soviet dominated eastern European countries during the cold war
    who directed a large amount of their wealth, to-wards
    Sport for propaganda purposes and it makes me wonder, why at this time in history the UK has seen fit to spend such unusual amounts and for what purpose.

  50. 50
    avatar chuck says:

    Kinda lost interest in Newcastle as a second tier side and certainly not impressed by any of those brought in by Rafa .

    If the side is lucky enough to become promoted, then Rafa. will have to sell big time in order to finance a side capable of competing in the PL.

    As I see it, the club carry a large number of players and rotation appears to be the idea, considering the number of games played.

    My question is who among this group are capable of competing in the PL and unless the scouting system can locate some hidden gems between now a next summer, I would think we would be up for a cup of coffee, then relegated again.

    I understand that a large squad in the perspiration league is probably a necessity but quality is what’s needed in the big money league, a few good prospects, along with some decent veterans, are badly needed in the next two windows, if we are to be promoted and hope to stay up.

    It appears from the present gates at St.James’ the fans are hungrier for football than ever and I believe “St. Rafa”. has everyone believing he can create miracles, lets see!

  51. 51
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    October 13, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    “Unfortunately most sports to-day and in the recent past, were dominated by those taking performance enhancing drugs, especially those taking part in the various cycling tours, where big bucks were involved by various manufacturing companies, who had major interests in selling their products and I think you might find that the various tours are financed by those same manufacturers.”

    Well, as food for thought, I don’t think it’s that simple at all. People like soldiers and sportspeople took big piles of drugs in the old days too, it’s just that nobody bothered, or drug testing was a different world to now. Actually, I’d even bet there were on far more drugs in the old days than they are now! Speed and Amyl Nitrite were common for a start (you should know all this more than I do, Chuck!). They had Crystal Meth and Cocaine in the old days as well, they used to give Crystal Meth to German soldiers during the war. There certainly wasn’t much concept of drug testing though, or that it was even cheating! The issue really started coming to the fore though when little East Germany started winning very big by turning women into men, and men into the Incredible Hulk in a highly obvious way.

    I’m no bike expert but the first top notch racing bike I remember from when I was very young in the 70s / 80s was the “Eddy Merckx”. I learned much later via my bike nut mate that this was actually an Italian ‘Colnago.’ I noticed that Colnagos seemed to have a certain mystique about them, like a Ferrari or a Maserati of the bike world. I used to cycle when I was a kid, I had a far more modest ‘Carlton’ racer but when I did some cycling again much later, I decided that I really have the arse for proper cycling!

    The Eddy Merckx bike:

    http://www.speedbicycles.ch/velo/388/eddy_merckx_molteni_colnago_mexico_1974.html

    For the last few years, the British cycling team have been banging on about the idea of “the aggregation of marginal gains.” Breaking down every single thing into its constituent parts like an engine, then looking at every single bit to see how you can improve it, even if it is only by the smallest thing, then putting it all back together again.

    http://jamesclear.com/marginal-gains

  52. 52
    avatar chuck says:

    Not only the British cycling teams, but many designated Olympic sports, were chosen and the same methods applied, this is where those marginal gains and medals came from, but it took money, not much different from the policies of the East Germans who did it through chemicals.
    My point!

    The bike looks a bit old fashioned even for the seventies, with a gear system that had gone wild, god knows how many rear wheel sprockets, plus a double chain wheel, fine if you were Eddy Merckx in the TDF but way over geared for the UK, or the average rider.

    I actually doubt if the great Eddy Merckx had anything more to do with the bike , than to allow his name to be used as a selling point, as well as those extra gears one would hardly have needed.

    But like to-days Smart phones, the more extras the more expensive.

  53. 53
    avatar workyticket says:

    Well I always preferred to be powered along the countryside in a nice comfy chair to balancing my arse on a razorblade for miles! I’m not lazy. I used to like walking alot.

    I’m not completely sure about this “marginal gains” stuff being some kind of complex, revolutionary new thing either unless I’m missing something. Sometimes things are so deceptively simple and obvious that people ignore them for too long though, and it doesn’t mean that they don’t work.

  54. 54
    avatar chuck says:

    Look, my point is, it’s not an accident that the UK won so many medals but the continuance of a policy that was instated before the London games, which would ensure the games were a success and hopefully bring a record number of medals, the Rio success was a result of those methods still in place, but don’t expect it to become a permanent thing, as interest and the amounts spent will no doubt wane.

    Another brilliant win for NUFC, actually JJ Shelvey appeared to have been involved in all three goals, though were talking Brentford here, not Spurs or Man. City, so don’t get carried away.

    Sure it looks as if Newcastle could find themselves in the PL next season, but they had better improve the present side, while there is still time, as competition there is a lot more difficult, than in the perspiration league, just take a look at Brentfords defensive efforts
    during each of the three goals, which sez it all.

  55. 55
    avatar workyticket says:

    Spare a thought for poor Derby County fans. They thought they’d got rid of McClaren, and now they’ve got him back! Poor buggers, you wouldn’t even wish that on Sunderland!

    Whenever I hear of Brentford I think of absolutely awful nylon bedding in the 70s and 80s. Spending the night between ‘Brentford Nylons’ sheets really was a horrible experience. It was awful against skin, you felt sweaty and clammy, and kept getting electric shocks that were like lightning bolts. The nighties were total firetraps. I hate to think how many women immolated themselves in them. After all, this was the era when almost everyone smoked.

  56. 56
    avatar chuck says:

    McClaren !

    Who would wish this guy on any club, the guy’s a loser who comes up with delusional excuses for being useless as a manager and god only knows why Derby was crazy enough to re-hire him, the players must be thinking,”there goes the season”.

  57. 57
    avatar chuck says:

    Brentford ?

    Now there’s a club everyone has heard of, but remains a side that few could definitely state which league they played in or where they were located.

    Actually I have walked around that area, close to Chiswick, where there are canals fed by a tributary and other waterways, quite attractive in fact, though I cant say where the football ground is or for that matter how successful the clubs history is.

    They appear to be the forgotten side, though I believe they may have once belonged to the old first division in the post war years, or had a good run in the cup or something.

    But surely they must be a reasonably decent side to play in the second tier and like Bornemouth,(and a few quid)have the opportunity to make it into the big time.

  58. 58
    avatar workyticket says:

    Well apart from deadly nylon wares, I tend to think of Brentford as a bloody big road going west (M4). The Duke of Northumberland also lives in Brentford when he isn’t in Alnwick Castle. http://www.syonpark.co.uk/

    chuck says:
    October 16, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    “But surely they must be a reasonably decent side to play in the second tier and like Bornemouth,(and a few quid)have the opportunity to make it into the big time.”

    People said the same things the last time we were relegated. As I pointed out several times though, there were two teams who should have given us a really good battle (despite reports to the contrary) and then the rest. Firstly there was Middlebrough who had a squad that should have been just as strong as ours. Then there was WBA who were a little bit behind the two north east teams but not too far. As we know in hindsight, Middlesbrough flopped and WBA did give us a battle, getting automatic promotion in second behind us. This time we have the best squad, but the other two relegated teams, Aston Villa, then Norwich aren’t too far behind us. Aston Villa are doing very badly and are near the bottom, but Norwich are top and are indeed giving us some real competition. Bournemouth should have struggled even the Championship, they had a very small league one / league two budget. However their achievement was huge, like Leicester in the Premier League last season.

    As a Nottingham Forest supporting friend of mine said the other day, Nottingham Forest are currently been taken over by a Yank consortium led by a chap called John Jay Moores, so they might start rising like a phoenix from the ashes this season, or not as the case may be.

  59. 59
    avatar chuck says:

    Yeah ! would be nice to see some of he former big sides now bogged down in the second tier for years, Leeds and Forest come to mind.

    As for Villa, I’m not so sure they will make it back to the PL this year, simply because of the competition, which is a lot tougher than many may realize, new owner or not.

    It certainly looks that both the US owners at Sunderland and (formerly) Villa, were to blame for the demise of both clubs, through a lack of funding and more importantly the same reason we are now a second tier side
    the hiring of poor (and cheap)top management, lets hope that Forest have better luck.

    Heading for lunch and the Liverpool vs MU. game, would like to watch to-morrows game, but not sure whether it will be shown, ah well, there’s always next season in the
    PL.

  60. 60
    avatar workyticket says:

    Well Sunderland were crap and getting relegated sometimes before Ellis Short. Ditto with Villa before Lerner with “Deadly” Doug Ellis, though they escaped relegation until recently. There was Hicks and Gillett at Liverpool and Old whiskers at Manchester United. Those new Yanks at Liverpool seem to be having a bash though.

    “As for Villa, I’m not so sure they will make it back to the PL this year, simply because of the competition, which is a lot tougher than many may realize, new owner or not.”

    Hang on Chuck! You were saying “But surely they must be a reasonably decent side to play in the second tier and like Bornemouth,(and a few quid)have the opportunity to make it into the big time.” a couple of comments ago? Is there no one who can give a big team like Newcastle or AV a game? Or is it tough competition?

  61. 61
    avatar workyticket says:

    Sheffield Wednesday is another sleeping giant like Leeds. They’ve done us a favour by beating the ‘Udders.’ That means we’re second instead of third.

  62. 62
    avatar chuck says:

    What i’m saying is the second tier is a long physical trek, where the old adage “More Perspiration than inspiration’ seems to fit perfectly.

    There seems to be some kinda belief by certain football fans that it has improved lately and is now competitive with certain Euro. top division leagues, which is the same rubbish I hear about the EPL.

    Well after watching two of the hopefuls play yesterday, with their top imported managers, the only thing I see is two leagues with more money than other Euro. leagues, being yesterdays game despite the top rated managers and big money players was awful.

    Great expectations but the end result was a poor and somewhat boring game, fortunately neither are presently involved in top European competition, being the top Spanish competition would have little problem with them.

    Neither side being able to string more than a few passes to-gether, their technique just not up to par, certainly when compared to “Barca’ or “RM”.

    Sure there’s more competition at both ends of the table, which IMO means there’s no one side that dominates the league, the way ‘MU.’ did and the fact there are clubs like Bournemouth, Burnley, Palace & Watford, all former lower league sides, making their presence known in the division, with wins over those at the other end of the league.

    Which tells me that even with all of to-days massive revenues, football has not improved or progressed to match those revenues and i’m going to forecast that no EPL side will win a Euro. Championship this season, though Spurs stand out as a well managed side, both as a team and a financial organization.

    And of course NUFC will be back in the EPL next season, but will have to improve a lot in order to survive with the current side, being they are no Leicester, not even close.

  63. 63
    avatar chuck says:

    Yeah, be nice to see Wednesday in the premier again, but there are still a lotta Leeds fans and Forest fans around from their glory days along with the perennial up and down sides like Norwich and Ipswich.

    However looks like Norwich will go up and hopefully we may see Chris Hughton finally make that transition with Brighton
    both he and Huddersfield playing tight defensive football.

    And why not, after all that’s where Hughton played at full back and was the defensive coach with Spurs for a number of years, at least they were never dumb enough to fire him.

  64. 64
    avatar chuck says:

    Another triumph for Rafa two zip with both goals from our ex palace striker, nice of Pardew to sell him to us, “Gail” actually I had never heard of the guy prior to his arrival, guess Rafa. knows where the talent is at, or we have a better scouting system.

  65. 65
    avatar workyticket says:

    11 goals in 12 games for Gayle so far. That’s like Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez etc… That’s great but I think that Rafa’s thinking more about a team than building a stable of Carr ‘bargains’ which might not fit together though. The transfer policy has certainly been turned on its head. Ten million on 27 year old Ritchie certainly wouldn’t have happened before.

    As for Hughton, well Newcastle are favourites for automatic promotion, which is what we want. But Aston Villa being crap so far possibly opens a window for him and Brighton. Even though he has improved the squad a bit, he’s still doing quite well just to get in the playoff places. He did very well indeed last season.

  66. 66
    avatar chuck says:

    Eh ! Though The Toon are presently dominating the second tier, they will have to improve a lot to compete in the PL.

    And yeah Rafa’s. plan appears to be one that will lead to promotion, however we have to also prepare for a vastly different schedule, against much better sides, if we are promoted.

    Which is for many newly promoted sides the most dangerous season, many lasting only that one season, then back to where they belong.

    Though i’m sure we are in good hands at present, what with Rafa in charge and our owner quoting he wants to earn some silverware before he leaves (yeah right) we should be safe enough.

    Though don’t quote me!

    The point i’m making is this present side is not good enough to compete in the EPL and will require money to be spent.

    In which case, lets see if Ashley meant what he said and allows Rafa. the funds to rebuild the side to be capable of competing when we are promoted.

  67. 67
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    October 19, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    “The point i’m making is this present side is not good enough to compete in the EPL and will require money to be spent.”

    Compete? It depends what you mean by compete, Chuck. Without a daft clot in charge, they could be a lower mid-table side who could punch above their weight with a manager like Benitez. Like say Watford or West Brom.

    On the subject of English teams against the Spanish giants in Europe, Guardiola’s Manchester City were giving Barcelona a real game for the first hour or so, until it all went totally ‘Pete Tong’ with the goalkeeper getting sent off.

  68. 68
    avatar workyticket says:

    I just watched a feature on Alan Pardew over here on ‘The Premier League Show.’ He’s like a different man to what he was at Noocarstle. He seems at peace now at Crystal Palace without having to do all the BS for Ashley. He was saying much the same as I was above about a team of Ashley and Carr’s French bargains that didn’t quite gel together rather than building a team. For once though it didn’t just sound like he was just making excuses for himself.

  69. 69
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck, from the little I know about American politics, I think it’s going to get quite nasty with the Trumpers. I can see his game with this “rigged election” business. He’s going to put bulldog style Trump vigilantes at the polls as “observers” trying to challenge and scare off the women who won’t vote for him, the ethnic minorities who won’t vote for him and so on. Then when he still loses, you going to have a load of very angry rednecks with assault rifles screaming “they took ma country!” and stuff like that. Even if it isn’t the start of the second civil war, you’re going to get really sick of hearing shouting idiots over the coming period. :-)

  70. 70
    avatar chuck says:

    Look, it’s the age of “the populist’s” those who project themselves as the voice of the underclasses, as opposed to the wealthy.

    Trump managed to rally certain Tea Party members, the unemployed rust belt come Appalachia and the racist deep south.

    Of course prior to pres. Johnsons civil rights legislation
    the deep south was known as the solid south, voting the straight Dem. line, being the Republicans were the party of Lincoln, now they vote the straight Rep. racist ticket, same policy different party.

    Populism is not yet apparent in the UK, only when one examines the reasons for Brexit occurring, a certain amount of xenophobia/racism, unemployment, regionalism, fear, the increasing divide between the poor working classes and the wealthy same symptoms, different countries.

    (see Newcastle the new fascist marching center and look at the pro brexit vote there)

    An obvious recruiting center for political (racism under the guise of Nationalism UKIP), no different to the Trump people, with slogans that have hidden meanings, Immigration/racism, etc.

    No doubt Hillary will win the election here big time, but she is certainly no bargain, she now believes her own press and what both Obama and Bill have said about her and how clever she is, really ! not my opinion, what I do know is she has this massive sense of entitlement and is more hawkish than Trump, which is scarey.

    Nah ! it’s a serious situation, so much so that the Washington establishment have joined forces to prevent a
    Trump election, first time in living memory, guess the republicans are concentrating on ensuring they control both houses.

    Check out the new fascist former Soviet Block in Eastern Europe, of which the Ukraine is an example, all based on thuggery, but proclaimed as nationalism, another form of
    populism.

    As for Brexit, the Foreign Secretary Boris has recently stated the UK can “have it’s cake and eat it” totally ignoring reality and the message sounds so good, that many are beginning to believe him, even though the evidence is there for all to see with the plunge in value of sterling, which has been labeled as a correction to the overvalued pound, yeah sure, if you believe that…… !

    I suppose things have been worse, but i’m not exactly jumping for joy at what we are about to face in the near future

  71. 71
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    October 20, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    “Populism is not yet apparent in the UK”

    There’s Farage (Dulwich College educated ex-City Trader) and Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson from Eton. Even Johnson was banging about how the peasants have been shafted by the “elites” during his Brexit adventure without any sense of irony at all.

    I said to you quite a few years ago now that some East European attitudes are stuck in the postwar period when Stalinism drew a veil over that part of the world.

    Aye, it’s strange how it’s turned around with Democrats, Republicans, race and all that. Wasn’t Al Gore’s dad KKK? I’ve read stuff about Truman joining them to get on in Democratic politics but it seems to be a bit of a moot point. Prejudice never makes sense though. Perhaps one of the most extreme examples from my own experience is when I’ve spoken to Africans down Hornsey way and one minute we’d be talking about racism, nodding our heads in agreement about how awful it is, then five minutes later they’d be talking about how gay people should be killed. I think that’s what Chomsky would call “cognitive dissonance.”

  72. 72
    avatar chuck says:

    Yes, we all have our idiosyncratic attitudes and prejudices many deeply ingrained from childhood, which are difficult to dislodge.

    Xenophobia, racism, homophobia, etc. all based on fear of the unfamiliar and it’s possible effect.

    Though we have come a long way in reforming laws that openly discriminated and punished such social behavior and certainly not before time.

    Many continue to rant against to-days “Political Correctness”, including myself at times and perhaps it can be taken a bit too far by some, however it remains a simple guide by which we can readjust some of our deeply ingrained prejudices.

    Well hopefully !

  73. 73
    avatar chuck says:

    And yes of course Farrage and UKIP are considered by some to be a form of populism, however they appear to be more like the fascist movement of Mosley during the thirties, substituting Islam for the Jews of that era.

    As opposed to say a Bernie Sanders, an out and out socialist, or a Donald Trump who no one knows who or what he represents, other than Donald trump and his message is solely that of an anti establishment (sure blame Washington for everything) candidate.

    Look I have nothing against populism or populist candidates, the establishment should be scared every so often, hopefully keeps them a bit more honest.

    Certainly in the manner of a “Hughey Long” or a “William Jennings Bryant” and even Bernie sanders, it’s good for democracy and may have some effect in changing the present corrupt Washington cartel from a tweedle dum tweedle dee two party system.

    That is if those same groups, the have not whites and other underclasses could realize, that the affluence of the rich depends on the beggaring of the poor and only if they use their vote to elect a party that would change both the tax laws to say a standard tax, throwing out the present incomparable tax tomes, where a Trump can go for a decade without paying a thin dime in taxes.

  74. 74
    avatar chuck says:

    Incomprehensible tax laws.

  75. 75
    avatar workyticket says:

    It’s political correctness gorn maaaaaad!

    Nietzche would describe the phenomenon of ‘PC’ as part of what he called a slave morality, as opposed to a master morality. The master morality is indifferent to that which is outside of it, and brutal, like we might be swatting a fly, but it is not resentful, we don’t resent the fly, just as the Greeks and the Romans didn’t resent their slaves. We are just indifferent because we see them as having litle importance, whereas the slave mentality is built on what Nietzche called “ressentiment.” Hitler thought he was noble, a master, THE master prophesied by Nietzche himself, but he was actually a slave of resentment, who harnessed the resentment of others.

    It’s a funny old world, Chuck. The so called “deep south” over there has been known for being as racist as hell and stuff like segregation, lynchings and so on, yet that is the part of America where black and white culture really fused to give us two of the main things modern American culture added to the world, Jazz in New Orleans and Rock and Roll in Memphis, rather than just a continuation of an older European tradition.

  76. 76
    avatar chuck says:

    Sure, when it comes to music, south of the Mason Dion line is where it’s at.

    The merging of so many different ethnic groups music, has brought about to-days cultural mix.

    I was listening to a Ghanian musician only last night, who if you were unaware of, could have been a southern blues singer, the so called Hill Billy’s with their Blue Grass music, those same Appalachian Scots -Irish and their Southern Irish Neighbors whose singing style is a direct continuation of the Irish “San Nos” (old style) tradition (an unaccompanied style) which can still be heard in most Country Music to-day (wailing)

    Strangely enough, it was the early German immigrants to Texas that gave Mexican music it’s modern day influences with the introduction of the accordion and those polka and waltz numbers.

    Of course that’s only the major influences, there are many more, certainly the Anglo Saxon versions and Spanish influences of the Afro-Caribbean, plus the French speaking Islands and Louisiana, all added their particular spices to the pot.

    Yes music and in general musicians, are interested in all forms of music and tend to borrow what they admire from those other ethnic musical forms, sometimes combining in a musical polyglot of styles, such as the now undefinable rock and roll, which has been copied throughout the world.

    I gotta laugh on saying that, being it brought to mind a scene in Tokyo, where I briefly caught in a Ginza night club, a band playing country music, dressed in plaid shirts and Stetsons and wailing just like down home.

    It was difficult to keep from laughing, as sometimes certain Asian interpretations of things western become
    stranger than reality.

  77. 77
    avatar chuck says:

    Excellent game earlier, talking bout the Citeh vsS’hampton
    game, two well balanced and well managed sides, as opposed to the game that followed, MU vs Chelsea, where Chelsea were by far the better organized side and had little difficulty with a star laden (read big money players), but disorganized side coached by the lately “not so special one”

    Who if he doesn’t get his act to-gether may very well become the late special one, as MU need to get into the champions league to satisfy the demands of their sponsors.

    There is presently no room for either players or managers who cannot produce, being the game is a serious business to-day and requires success, or at least the ability to compete at the top level.

    There was an interesting article recently on the possible revival of an Atlantic League idea, which would certainly contain both former Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers, who have expressed interest, being their present positions have become unsustainable, without a decent TV income.

    Other leagues in western Europe apparently are in the same boat and are looking at the possibility of forming a league, consisting of the top clubs of the various smaller leagues, which could be an attraction that might earn a decent contract with the TV moguls.

    Anything but the present unfair system that benefits those clubs and leagues who are fortunate enough to have contracts that pay unreasonable amounts to a select few, which benefits no one, being it has to be paid for and guess who pays ?

    Hopefully those clubs interested are fortunate enough to both form a league with a decent TV contract, that will eventually become competitive with to-days established systems and perhaps give a semblance of open competition.

    There is always the threats from the present corrupt FIFA and EUAFA, that they could be banned from competitions and international games, who cares and who actually has that much interest in those (mostly boring) games anyhow, presently considered by most fans to be an interruption in their regular leagues schedule.

    It will eventually take place, the forming of perhaps a top EU league, by those such as France and Italy, Belgium and others whose leagues have been relegated to providing players to the top English and Spanish sides, perhaps something formerly proposed along the lines of the group of fourteen, later eighteen and why not ?

  78. 78
    avatar workyticket says:

    It’s getting harder to witter on about the football now as it is getting harder to see all the games in full. I don’t know about over there, but it all seemed to start well with the first few games over here, but it hs gone downhill now. Besides Newcastle winning again though, our rivals for top of the league, Norwich lost as well. Hughton’s Brighton won as well so Brighton are second. I hope things are still like that at the end of the season.

    Considering they’re one of the big teams who should be winning all the time, Chelsea were having a problems with defence. Rather than being more defensive though, it seems that Conte decided to come out with all guns blazing and went for a Cruyffian 3-4-3 instead of 4-1-4-1. It certainly worked against Manchester United.

    Chuck, your solution just would just bring more elitism, not reduce it. You might say the Scottish League as a poor relation to the Premier League, but cutting Celtic and Rangers away would really damage what was left. It would be like the Welsh or Northern Irish League. It would further damage the grassroots of football in Scotland.

  79. 79
    avatar chuck says:

    The SPL would be better off without the ould enemies, at lest there would be some kind of parity, with those left behind, the natural place for the two would be in the EPL, having worked their way up from a lower status.

    However it appears that the FA are dead set against them ever becoming a part of the system as are other clubs who may be displaced by the two.

    The fact is as long as the Scots fans behave themselves, they could and probably would become a bigger draw than clubs like Bournemouth and other interlopers, the same thing applies to the old home Internationals, however as long as that approach appears to be permanently blocked, for whatever reasons, an Atlantic Division is an interesting alternative.

    After all there is a precedent for their entry, both Cardiff and Swansea being a part of English football, no?

  80. 80
    avatar chuck says:

    Plus I see no reason for it destroying the grass roots of Scottish football, as we are all aware of the reasons of the demise of football in the UK, to-days children have alternatives to playing football as a form of recreation.

  81. 81
    avatar chuck says:

    Hmmm !
    Looks like Newcastle are on their way to an other successful win, against Preston this time, being two up following the first 45 mins.

    I’m beginning to see why the appointment of Benitez was the perfect answer to the clubs problems and actually wonder where the suggestion of his appointment came from ?

    Whoever suggested making Rafa. manager and convinced Ashley to do so, should remain with the club, as the appointment has radically changed everything.

    For one thing he is both an attraction for players, being most of those signed, were aware of his reputation and wanted to play for him, it appears he is as expected leading the way to-wards a certain promotion and who doesn’t want to play at the top level.

    Also the fact he has restructured the entire club system, from youth to first team and it appears his knowledge of players is immense, hopefully bringing in those youngsters who could form the nucleus of a future first team side, plus bringing in some youthful signings good enough to compete in next seasons PL challenges, not to forget the likes of Murphy, who although he is still waiting for his opportunity, is still a great signing even at 33.

    Yes I have always been in favor of a number of veteran players in the side, who IMO create a certain stability and confidence in younger sides.

    On signing Rafa’s. praises one cannot forget the crowds the club are presently drawing, the numbers of which any top club in Europe would be happy to enjoy, plus the likelihood of finding available season tickets for the upcoming season, may not be easy, something that no doubt puts a smile on Ashley’s normally stoic look.

    Who knows, the club may be in for a renaissance, which is long overdue under Ashley’s control, yep it’s been a slow learning curve and hopefully he now realizes that it’s better he just signs the checks and leave the running of the club to someone who knows what he’s doing.

    Gotta say the future of the club looks bright and is reflected by the new fan attitude, some former critics of our owner now appearing happy that he is disinclined to sell.

    Hmmm…….

  82. 82
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    October 24, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    “After all there is a precedent for their entry, both Cardiff and Swansea being a part of English football, no?”

    No. When those teams were formed, there was no Welsh League to go in. I would rather immolate myself than discuss your dream for the old firm again though.

    Preston knocked out Bournemouth in the last round, and we hammered them 6-0! The opposition having a player sent off early helped but even so…

    highlights

    http://www.skysports.com/iframe/widget/video/15a2IwNzE6xAT9BZvR_kr_ors0oqJ-ZD#ooid=15a2IwNzE6xAT9BZvR_kr_ors0oqJ-ZD

  83. 83
    avatar chuck says:

    That video above (apparently not allowed in the US ?)

    Looking at the draw, Hull are not exactly setting the PL on fire and could be beatable, though I cant see Newcastle winning this crap cup, even though they are setting the pace in the second tier.

    I do recall a time when The FA Cup was almost on par with winning the first division championship and certainly in favor of retaining it as a competition, however it may not be such a bad idea to scrap the league cup, along with all friendly internationals, plus restrict the number of clubs in the UEFA cup, as I doubt if there is a hell of a lot of interest from the fans, concerning these games and it seems to drag on forever, exhausting most of those clubs competing and for what ?

    It also appears that Newcastle remained disinterested over the last ten years and by fielding sub par sides, managing to lose to second and third tier clubs purposely, apart from the decent run in the UAFA cup.

    Unfortunately we get few second tier games shown here, in which case it’s difficult to see how NUFC are developing
    under Rafa’s. guidance, hopefully that will change following promotion.

    Though I believe we are a few players short of being a PL side yet, lets see what and who Rafa. comes up with during the two upcoming windows of opportunity, certainly there’s reason to believe Newcastle will be an attraction for certain players, who may see an opportunity, now that Rafa. has shown what he can do with a club and the possibilities of playing for a decent side in the PL.

    Rather than the case of playing in the shop window and having the opportunity to be sold on, as was the case under the poor management we suffered through, with former cheap and bad management, plus a system where the chief scout had more influence than the actual manager himself.

  84. 84
    avatar chuck says:

    On checking out the latest election polls, it appears Hillary is out in front.

    However the name-calling and possible slanderous comments that replace any serious debate on any projected policies from either candidate, has reached a point where the election to possibly the most powerful position in the world has become both unbelievable and a sick joke.

    That either one of these two assholes could be competing for this role as the best qualified, is beyond comprehension and sez a hell of a lot more about the American electorate than anything else.

    Yes I know, who the hell wanted Brexit either, which makes it obvious that the electorates of both the UK & US, are sick and tired of basically having little voice as far as politics in either country are concerned and that this is a message to the system, that either change or those with the vote will replace them, which IMO is not a bad idea.

    Unfortunately, not with the likes of a con man like Trump, who doubtlessly would be a disaster, or Hillary a proven liar, who between herself and Bill, have amassed a fortune through dodgy deals and speeches (which are no more than a legalized form of graft) a couple who hadn’t a pot to piss in are now worth over two hundred million which by the end of Hillary’s term will be significantly increased no doubt.

    It appears Tony Blair has not only followed slick Willie’s policies in getting elected, but also his post presidential (getting rich) act, with no doubt Cameron about to follow suit.

    It’s no wonder that populism is the electorates drug of choice, though there are dangers involved in the case of people like Farage and Trump, but hopefully they will learn and find the right candidates to elect, though it could be difficult being the present systems in both countries (basically two party systems) control who becomes the party delegates.

    I’m hoping in four years, (now that Bernie Sanders has shown the way), that Elizabeth Warren will run against Hillary as twelve years of enriching the Clinton family is more than enough.

    Actually in the US it all depends on whether the electorate, (who are knowledgeable enough on a local basis), can overcome a hundred years of anti socialist propaganda from the wealthy and learn where their best interests lie, which is not dictated by such families as the Koch’s and Walton’s, plus the various banks and Wall St interests.

    It’s certainly a crazy world and getting crazier by the day, I guess all these present wars going on are just natures way of keeping some kind of control of a rapidly expanding population and perhaps Malthus’s theory will become fashionable again.

    Could it be that the present religious war between Sunni and Shia in the Arabian peninsula, supported by Iranians and Saudi’s, was brought about by US and European intervention and just where are all of the armaments coming from, that combined with the dramatic drop in oil prices certainly doesn’t hurt the auto. industry and both Boeing and BEA stocks are looking quite healthy, while the Saudi’s are now selling bond issues, who wouldda thunk it ?

    Yep ! crazy.

  85. 85
    avatar workyticket says:

    Trump is back in the race, Chuck. Just remember, in these polls there will be a few percent who will be guilty Trump voters who will be too ashamed to admit it, just like with the Conservatives over here at the last election when they did better than the polls expected and got an overall majority, albeit a small one. I must admit I didn’t know much about Elizabeth Warren. Apparently, she wants to give ‘seniors’ more money, so I can see why she gets your support.

    Going into the disputes between Sunni and Shia is like going into the disputes between Catholic and Protestant. Even if you just stick to the politics of the region, that’s complicated enough and if you think you have the answer, you probably don’t. You certainly won’t if you just follow the usual fantasies we are used to seeing in the news media, or just go back to September 11th, 2001. Conspiracy theorists give our leaders too much credit. They do many bad things in secret, but they are more like ‘Keystone cops’ than sinister masterminds. I notice you mention the Iranians and the Saudis, but you don’t mention Syria (a majority Sunni country ruled by Shiite Alawites) and the al-Assad dynasty. They had a huge role to play for decades before the current civil war, but it was kept under the radar for various reasons.

    “Actually in the US it all depends on whether the electorate, (who are knowledgeable enough on a local basis), can overcome a hundred years of anti socialist propaganda from the wealthy and learn where their best interests lie, which is not dictated by such families as the Koch’s and Walton’s, plus the various banks and Wall St interests.”

    I was watching Adam Curtis’s latest epic film, ‘Hypernormalisation’ on the TV the other day. According to him, a big precedent was New York in 1975. Middle class flight and the consequent loss of tax take was driving the city bankrupt. The city tried to save the day with a bond issue carried out in public. The banks then publically embarrassed the politicians by saying they would show up, then they didn’t show, making the city government look like fools. The bankers then took over the city on their terms, enforcing harsh austerity. The city appealed to the President, but he wasn’t interested. That’s a very rough sketch of Curtis’s view anyway, but you are the New York expert. According to Curtis, that was a, the precedent for bankers and managers taking over from politicians. But how does the logic of the market deal with things like the poor, with healthcare, with Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan?

    https://thoughtmaybe.com/hypernormalisation/

    The great American writer, John Steinbeck said in his book “America and Americans” (in a quote which is often misquoted):

    “I guess the trouble was that we didn’t have any self-admitted proletarians. Everyone was a temporarily embarrassed capitalist.”

    That’s the American dream, no-one will admit they are an opresssed member of the proletariat. No one is a tramp, everyone is a Trump who is just down on his or her luck at the moment.

  86. 86
    avatar workyticket says:

    Oh well, a much closer win against Preston this time but it’s another three points and Mitrovic is starting to get somewhere now. It was Hughton’s day today though. He certainly made a point to Norwich on how far they have progressed since they sacked him, by beating them 5-0!

  87. 87
    avatar chuck says:

    Yeah, I recall the early mid seventies where there was one garbage strike after another, when the Bronx was burning and many buildings were left abandoned.

    Though the famous headline in the tabloid “Daily News” read President sez “Drop dead New York’ it in fact was never uttered, but the NY tabloids are well known for invention.

    One of the best tv programs was called “The Bronx Is Burning”, which is the quintessential baseball movie, about the former bad boy player and manager of the ‘N.Y. Yankees’ you should check it out.

    Well truth is I was in London during the latter part of the seventies and decided to leave following the election of “that woman”, returning in late 1980., though I did travel back and forth each year.

    I must be one of the few who avoided being mugged during that period and made it a policy to never ride the subway after dark.

    The comparison with to-days NYC is unbelievable, no different from London, with gentrification taking place not only in the borough of Manhattan, but in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island, with only the Bronx and part of Harlem left affordable.

    The most recent addition to the subway system, the “second ave. line” will be completed in the coming year, which has spawned a massive building program, on the upper east side, erasing the old five story walkup buildings and in the process, destroy small businesses and replace the neighborhood with a more financially secure clientele.

    It appears NYC & London are where the rich now park their money, along with art and other appreciating but non taxable goods.

    I think I preferred the New York of the past, but not to worry, the next major recession will put every one on the same page, one cannot live with such massive debt indefinitely, the piper will have to be paid sometime.

  88. 88
    avatar chuck says:

    Oh ! there was a proletariat and a communist party at one time, however not unlike the UK and other countries it was
    destroyed during the cold war.

    There was also a strong Labor Movement, (the IWW more commonly known as “The Wobblies”) during the early twentieth century who were persecuted by the ‘barons of industry’, but that’s another story.

    As for the present wars taking place in the Arabian peninsula it can be defined in broad terms, to be between the Sunni and Shia, who both consider each other to be
    schismatic along with many other smaller groups “The Alawites” of northern Syria for instance and God only knows how many other breakaway groups, it’s the same thing that Christians fought their own wars (the thirty years war)over the same question and have possibly more forms of Christianity than Islam has of schismatic groups and many of both religions can be found right there within the “fertile crescent” to this day.

  89. 89
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    October 29, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    “I think I preferred the New York of the past, but not to worry, the next major recession will put every one on the same page, one cannot live with such massive debt indefinitely, the piper will have to be paid sometime.”

    The film I posted a link to went on to Trump and the huge tax break he got to “gentrify” New York. Of course, London was a bit of a mess back in the old days too, but I know exactly what you mean. Both New York and London had their (very) rough edges, but that’s where the culture and new ideas grow from. If you just have a city full of owner occupying rich people in places no one else can afford, you just end up with a bland city which has no culture. I don’t mean the art parked by the rich people your refer to, or £500 tickets for the Opera, but new culture which comes from the streets.

  90. 90
    avatar chuck says:

    Yea! I remember going to what was “The City Opera” right across from the ‘Met’., where I could get a ticket for the sixth circle for (prices varied) way under $50, of course it no longer exists, on the other hand I would have to take out a loan to attend the “Met”.

    Yes it’s expensive to stage an opera, but it appears that only the wealthy can afford such luxuries, along with other institutions like certain art museums, restaurants, etc.

    Problem is who pays for the infrastructure and services and general upkeep of living in New York, certainly not the Trumps of this world.

    And yes the race or mud slinging contest that the run for the Presidency has become reduced to, may be in doubt, with each candidate equally to blame, too bad Bernie didn’t get the nod, (but that’s another story) as the poles showed he would have decisely beaten Trump, which now leaves us a choice of the pan or the fire.

    What the political system has to realize is, it is endangered not just here in the US, but in many countries, which in itself is a danger, with the electorate not caring who they vote for (Brexit) as long as it is not a part of the present system,

    Populism rules!

  91. 91
    avatar chuck says:

    Looking at the present PL top sides, it becomes apparent that not only money, but management, plays a big role.

    Poor Moye’s (literally) now at Sunderland and struggling, a lack of funding playing a large part obviously, when he was at Everton he also lacked that extra few bucks that could have made a big difference, but the real difference is in management and yes i’m not forgetting additional funding from the new partnership or whatever it’s called.

    It seems that there has been an influx of ownership, with many clubs being bought by Asian owners and my understanding is a number of enquiries have been made in regard to NUFC, which supposedly have been rejected out of hand, it appears Mr. Ashley has intentions of showing the world that although he is a slow learner in regards to running a football club, he has now seen the light.

    Yes I have always thought of NUFC as the perfect club for someone to buy, great history (though not lately)terrific fans (fanatical in fact) an infrastructure that is among the best there is and recently a change of operational policies with one of the worlds best managers, who deserves the title Manger, rather than coach, tough he is that also.

    So the future has never appeared so bright and is reflected by the number of fans that show up for not only home games, but are being welcomed by a big increase in attendance at away clubs.

    In which case the relegation of NUFC has been a boon to the second tier, the question is, will the club be half as successful next season among the big boys, hopefully so and with Rafa. in charge why not.

  92. 92
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    October 30, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    “Yea! I remember going to what was “The City Opera” right across from the ‘Met’., where I could get a ticket for the sixth circle for (prices varied) way under $50, of course it no longer exists, on the other hand I would have to take out a loan to attend the “Met”.”

    We’re both at different ends, Chuck. You’re writing about the most high falutin’ culture being more affordable to the hoi polloi and I am writing about street culture, and also social issues and stuff like that. Of course, one can become another with time if you think of aritsts and others starving in the Paris garretts at the beginning of the 20th century, whose works now hang in the great galleries of the world and sell for many millions.

    “In which case the relegation of NUFC has been a boon to the second tier, the question is, will the club be half as successful next season among the big boys, hopefully so and with Rafa. in charge why not.”

    I think we could do alright in the Premier League again even as we are. As I’ve mentioned before, even as we are in the Championship, we could be survivors or lower mid table in the Premier League. Something like that. Add the Rafa factor and a bit of extra investment if we get promoted and we could be much better. As for the old days of the Champions League, that is such a huge hurdle now though.

  93. 93
    avatar chuck says:

    Nah ! It’s not the opera i miss, it’s Washington square park on Sundays, with the doo wop groups, the Puerto Rican domino game on the sidewalk, with the players drinking cold beers wrapped in brown paper bags, while listening to Tito Puente on the boom box, which is all gone, gentrified out of existence, that same ethnic mix and individuality, that you were on about which made London special.

    That individuality (and politic) that produced both the Punk and skinhead movements, while it was not uncommon during the London seventies to see Teddy boys with their drapes and wedge crape soled shoes, where did they get them from?

    Plus the explosion of music that took place, where did it all go wrong, cause “thats what i’m talkin bout”

    Unfortunately both cities have been gentrified out of existence, the results are a bunch of geeks constantly engrossed in reading the same old garbage on their smart pones and leading some kinda vicarious life style, where everyone is wearing the same bum-freezer suits and skinny jeans, with facial hair.

    no thanks!

  94. 94
    avatar chuck says:

    I’m not so sure that this present Newcastle side can compete, meaning they wouldn’t be candidates for a third drop, being there is some serious competition in the PL, where i have seen some very entertaining games of football, with many clubs showing speed, technique and tactical nous.

    The route of Preston proved to be only because they were a man down for part of the game, the repeat was fortunate for the Toon as the game could have easily gone the other way, look at the stats.

    In which case this present side will have to be vastly improved during the next two windows, just to avoid another relegation, as IMO there is still a major gap between the two divisions.

    The only re-assurance is that Rafa. is also well aware of that.

  95. 95
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck, I had a pair of Teddy Boy style “Brothel Creepers” once. Crepe soles are crap though because they’re just like solid blocks of stone on your feet. Sex Pistols manager, Malcolm McLaren used to sell Teddy Boy gear in the 70s. When I was a bairn, alot of the really awful pop bands of the early seventies still had a Teddy boy style to them. The was ‘Mud’ the ‘Rubettes’ and ‘Showaddywaddy’ that I can recall now. They were bloody awful.

    Quite alot of punk belongs to New York as well. The Ramones mastered the unpretentious, no-nonsense musical formula which inspired the nascent punk scene over here, and McClaren who I mentioned before was the manager of the New York Dolls before the Sex Pistols. It needed the British irony and situationist political edge which came from the UK though. In all those rough parts of 70s New York, they were too busy developing things like Disco and Hip Hop. I used to be quite interested in a chap called David Mancuso from New York, because like me, he was once an Antiques dealing hi-fi buff who came to the big city and ended up organising underground parties instead. He started modern dance-culture from his loft in SoHo though and I didn’t.

  96. 96
    avatar workyticket says:

    Gloom and doom, Chuck. We beat them twice with an aggregate of 7-0, and we are still top of the league.

  97. 97
    avatar chuck says:

    Actually I believe the earliest punk group I can remember
    The Ramones, came much later to that particular scene.

    My understanding of punk and it’s oddities was actually a youth protest, a political statement.

    By the time they came into existence, R&R had gone from the Beetles and Stones, to groups like The Moody Blues all dressed up and groomed fashionably and were moving towards disco.

    At that time here was a lot of unemployment of youth in the UK, which was considered an embarrassment, to be swept under the rug, which was taken as a challenge by
    those same youth’s, who’s answer was you wanna see ugly, which resulted in piercings and various colored mohawk’s.

    They took R/R back to the very basics, some could barely play a note, which they made up for with physicality and noise, eventually culminated into great bands like “The Clash” and no not the Sex Pistols, though they had a role they played.

    And yeah I remember the Ramones at CBGB’s in the Bowery, but were they anywhere as good as Joe Cocker and Leon Russell at The Fillmore East, nah! not even close!

    Actually I have no idea where music is at to-day, sure there are any number of venues in the city, but very little music that strikes a chord so to speak, I still catch the occasional jazz session’s and listen to a bit of east Texas Blues and other Dixie inspired music and hell I may be missing something, but I doubt it.

    Maybe you should go back and check the stats. of the Preston game and read the reports, my advice is don’t get carried away by the current league standings, our friend
    and ex manager from the first relegation “Mr. Hughton” is keeping in close touch and has shown he is a capable manager, even with a club like Brighton.
    So don’t go counting any eggs yet !

  98. 98
    avatar workyticket says:

    Those punks with the huge, brightly coloured mohawks were posers for the tourists, Chuck. I wasn’t old enough to be a real punk in 1976-7, but I’ve met a few of the original ones down here in London. I met Glen Matlock and Jamie Reid from the Sex Pistols. Jamie Reed was a Druid. The Roxy was London’s CBGBs. That was run by Andrew Czezowski. I met him many years after in the 90s as well when he run the Fridge in Brixton. My favourite punks were Johnny Rotten and Poly Styrene from X-Ray Spex. She used to scream like a child and pretend she couldn’t sing, but she was a proper, trained singer who had amazing power and projection in her voice which was very intense. Her songs were totally ahead of her time. She used to sing about things like plastic, disposable culture, the environment and genetic enginering in the 70s. She died in her early fifties, sadly.

  99. 99
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    November 1, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    “At that time here was a lot of unemployment of youth in the UK”

    People might have said that at the time, but it was a different time. Thatcher from 79 onwards taught the country what real unemployment was. She more than doubled it, or almost tripled it. It was a bad time all over. We’ve just been discussing the travails of your city in the 70s.

  100. 100
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck, just when you thought it was safe and Trump was down the plughole, he’s back, and at just the right time! Remember, he doesn’t even have to equal Hillary in the polls because Trump’s swivel eyed nutjobs are far more motivated than the lead footed, don’t like Hillary really voters she needs. You’re going to need something strong to calm your nerves over the next week! :-)

  101. 101
    avatar chuck says:

    Not really, you may have forgotten that I have constantly stated that I detest both equally, I would certainly have backed Bernie Sanders had he won the Democratic Party’s nomination, but to expect me to vote for a con-man or a liar with unrealistic expectations is an ask too far, in fact a stretch.

    If in fact she were to lose, it would be her arrogant expectations and body language, despite her constant screw-ups, combined with the fact had she not been Slick Willie’s old lady and handed the carpetbagger senatorial role as the representative for NY and possibly made a deal with Obama for the Sec.Of State job, where she visited ten million countries and succeeded in only creating chaos as in Libya.

    Well lets see what happens ?

    I see to-days football headlines are more concerned about whether a special dispensation will be granted by EUFA to allow the Scots and their ould enemy Engerland to wear some kind of political remembrance poppy symbol, which has been refused, though one MP has brought up the fact that on March of this year the Irish National side had worn some symbol in memory of the Easter Uprising of 1916 against British colonial hegemony, without a problem.

    Perhaps they should just do as the Irish did and wear whatever they want, whenever they want ?

    Then there was the report on Citeh beating Barcelona, conveniently leaving out the fact that Barcelona was without three of their regular first team and had soundly trounced Citeh, by a four to zip score not that long ago.

    The Special one appears to this point to have been as poor a choice as his Dutch predecessor, having lost the dressing room at Chelsea, he now seems to be loosing it at MU.

    In which case he has brought back from Siberia Schweinsteiger and who knows may give the clubs captain a start, especially when he is the most influential player in the dressing room, though I doubt at this time whether he can earn a top four spot, to pacify Chevrolet and the rest of the big money financers.

    Ah well!

    Hopefully they won’t come after Rafa. in the future, though i’m sure he may be on a number of clubs wanted lists.

  102. 102
    avatar workyticket says:

    Mere bravado, Chuckles. You’ll shite yourself if Trump wins, and start looking online for underground shelters in Greenland :-) You just prove my point though, ie she is so awful you (and many others) can’t even vote for her over Trump. Poor Bernie, but how could he lose to someone as bad as Hillary though?

    The one big Barcelona player I noticed missing was Iniesta. The big three up front were there. It was an excellent performance from Man City, though Barcelona dominated the possession the same way they do against teams who aren’t managed by Pep Guardiola, he outfoxed his old team even though he was playing a game which wasn’t natural to him, ie being without the ball for most of the time. That was impressive against Barcelona. They should have had a penalty as well.

  103. 103
    avatar chuck says:

    No it’s a matter of what’s become of most so called democracies, which are controlled by moneyed interest’s.

    Just another exercise in making the general electorate believe their vote actually has any effect on anything.

    I mean will things actually change in any sense, whether either ‘The Hillary” or “The Donald” are elected ?

    C’mon folks, the fact is the same moneyed interests will remain in control of the economy and the politics of the country involved.

    However these present circumstances need not continue in the UK, it’s up to the voting public, instead of voting for such ridiculous parties ike the neo-fascist UKIP, they might vote for the present Labor Party, who although at this time are both out of power and without any real leadership, are the only real alternative.

    Yeah, seems it’s gonna take a miracle to get the country outta the present screwed up situation (Brexit) voted for by the same people who are voting for Trump here in the US.

    Who are either expecting those well paid jobs to return
    and don’t understand the fact, economies are based on the cost of production, no matter from where in the world and we are all part of that system.

    It’s all about technology, he who invents and can manufacture high value added widgets rules, in which case the present government aught to make third level education affordable and available to all, instead of considering it a high quality third level education something to earn money from mainly third world countries.

  104. 104
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    November 3, 2016 at 6:27 am

    “they might vote for the present Labor Party, who although at this time are both out of power and without any real leadership, are the only real alternative.”

    You’re always having a go at my MP, Chuck. Unlike Bernie Sanders though, he has won his shot at the title by a huge margin, twice. He didn’t get beaten by a lousy, unpopular candidate who is mired in sleaze and has more ‘baggage’ than Heathrow and JFK put together. They were absolutely awful in the last election, had completely lost their way about what the Labour Party was supposed to be, and a big crisis was coming whoever won the leadership election.

    “Who are either expecting those well paid jobs to return
    and don’t understand the fact, economies are based on the cost of production, no matter from where in the world and we are all part of that system.”

    Economies go through a cycle if they climb up the scale. Look at Japan after the war. They started off as low wage, low cost producers of cheap and cheerful stuff which was reliable, becoming more and more hi-tech and premium over the years. The already wealthy countries can’t compete on cost of production, but they thrive on their advanced technology and design which no one else can do, like Rolls Royce jets or Boeing and Airbus planes, or little Switzerland with their fine watches and other very high quality precision engineering.

  105. 105
    avatar chuck says:

    Erm ! I guess South Korea is the exception to the rule then, with their technology lead in TV and smart phone technology and are now possibly the largest producers of ships plus rival the Japanese in the auto industry, quite a mixed bag and all since the end of the Korean war.

    Of course there’s Singapore where just about everything runs with the assistance of computers, a place that still had manually drawn rickshaws well into the 1950’s, prior to independence and it’s eventual separation from Malaysia.

    These are examples of countries which had or were introduced to a particular ethos that engendered a work ethic and resulted in their becoming competitive and first world countries, which have no problem in competing in a worldwide marketplace.

    The fact is some of what you described as the already wealthy countries are now producing goods for their former colonial bosses Like Range Rover, an Indian owned company, plus Tata steel and were it not for Japanese manufacturing (cars in Sunderland) where would those workers be.

    Swiss watches are not bought for their ability to keep time, but brand names, jewelry that sez, i’m rich.
    I have a Timex watch that is more exact than the worlds best chronometer, for an infinitesimal amount compared to my old Omega.

    And don’t forget who is about to build the latest nuclear power station in the UK, I believe that leaves only Rolls Royce engines and the Typhoon fighter (which is not exactly selling as expected) and of course the city of London real estate and the services of the city.

    Unfortunately since the loss of Empire and it’s captive markets, the cycle is one of de-industrialization, relying mainly on a service industry that could become seriously effected by Brexit, if it hasn’t already done so with the recent demise of sterling.

    Meanwhile your old Labour Party leader is trying to make points from May at speakers time, about taxes, kinda reminds one of Nero while Rome was burning, failing to get her to explain what the Tories are about to do about brexit and it appears the other parts of the UK are also in the same limbo situation, of not being aware of where things are going, possibly because no one knows ?

  106. 106
    avatar workyticket says:

    South Korea was like a smaller Japan ten years later. Japan took over the shipbuilding, then the South Koreans took over the shipbuilding and now their electrics are like the Japanese with Samsung as a new Sony, Matsushita or whatever. I know how the Government positively pushes world leading British companies into foreign takeovers. One of the last was Arm, who design the processors for all those smartphones made by the Chinese and the Koreans.

    I’m a mechanical watch loving fundamentalist, Chuck. Quartz watches disgust me and I would feel slovenly and cheap wearing one. And don’t even mention Apple watches which I wouldn’t be seen dead in. I’m currently wearing my Dad’s old Favre Leuba. It must be about 60 years old but it still goes like a dream. You should have kept your Omega.

  107. 107
    avatar chuck says:

    Actually I still have it, a gold model from the sixties, possibly one of the most attractive watches I have ever seen, slim and adorned with only the Omega name.

    However I consider it as a piece of jewelry only.

    And there is nothing wrong with to-days cheaply made Timex watches, they keep better time than the greatest chronometer ever made and is that not the rational for wearing a watch, timekeeping ?

  108. 108
    avatar chuck says:

    I see where the poppy saga has reached all the way to the top of the recent news, with the prime Minister and the future king attempting to make points by expressing their outrage and urging the side to ignore a ban that the English FA’s themselves are responsible for initiating.

    I find it quite humorous and in these troubled times to bring an issue like this, (digging up old animosities) and reminding the country that those same deaths were basically unnecessary and only a reminder of what is to be avoided in the future, and what was it all about anyway.

    One reason given was once the railroad systems were set in motion in Germany at the start of the war there was no
    going back, with other equally preposterous reasons, the whole episode should be forgotten and yes those millions of casualties in truth died for nothing.

  109. 109
    avatar workyticket says:

    My watch repair man is an old Italian-Swiss chap who used to work for Omega. I know alot of their simple dress watch styles from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. I particularly like the yellow gold with dark face ones in black or very dark chocolate. A high vibration mechanical movement which is well adjusted and looked after can be accurate enough, like a second a day if it’s something like a Zenith el Primero. Even if it’s a few seconds, what the hey! It’s a beautiful piece of handmade engineering on your wrist, not a throwaway piece of circuitry.

    Whether the poppy is “political” or not, could you imagine an American government giving in to FIFA against the memory of Americans who died in combat? Looking at it cynically, it’s instant brownie points with the electorate sticking up for our brave boys. Actually, the whole thing is not as British as it seems. Did you know that the whole poppy thing was started in America by a American woman called Moina Michael? She was inspired by the Canadian (John McCrae) who wrote “In Flanders Field.”

    The Germans behaved like beasts in the first world war too. Going all in to the First World War over the assassinantion of an Austro-Hungarian Archduke by a Serb was a bit of a hard sell over here, but then there was the “Rape of Belgium.” Many aspects of it were sensationalised at the time, with many an dodgy tale told (some with the aim of getting your lot involved in the war too) but they did lay waste to a neutral country, a bit like Kissinger in Cambodia and Laos in the end of the sixties / beginning of the seventies.

  110. 110
    avatar chuck says:

    Yeah ! we in the US started the poppy thing , but quickly abandoned it and yes the whole thing originated from McCrae’s poem.

    It was possibly the most ridicules war (though who knows most have been stupid and ridicules) one that some believe was instigated by Britain, who were concerned by the burgeoning Germany, who were considered a threat both economically and as an expanding colonial power.

    And of course the rape of Belgian (Including their nuns) was purely propaganda, but struck the right cord, being this was a war that was fought not just by armies, but had civilians involved, a total war, I mean does anyone believe the so called hun’s acted any different from the allies.

    Of course the terms following Germany’s surrender mostly on the insistence of the French, made it inevitable that it was only a pause until it was resumed as WW2, stupidity following stupidity.

    Though Woodrow Wilson attempted to placate both sides and was in favor of the proposed League of Nations, he was in general ignored.

    Bringing about the dissolution, disarmament and isolation of the US, whose weight in numbers ended the butchery.

    Certainly a good reason to forget that insane period of history, but we all have our days of remembrance, dedicated to the poor barstewards who were sacrificed by the idiot’s who governed, otherwise how would we manage to get anyone to join the armed forces if it was disclosed they mostly died in vain.

    Ah well, we have obviously not learned much from the war to end all wars, repeating the same thing over and over, not on such a massive scale perhaps, but more and more it’s now the innocent civilian’s who bear the brunt of it.

  111. 111
    avatar workyticket says:

    Look, Chuck, I know you have an agenda against everything British, but it was those damn Joymans I tell ya!

    The League of Nations happened too but once again, Hitler drove a coach and horses through that in the 30s, just Like Wilhelm II did through the treaty protecting Belgian neutrality. Their unshakable belief in their own superiority would make them overestimate themselves and underestimate the enemy, leading them into huge catastrophic blunders when they overreach themselves.

    Queen Victoria was known as the “Grandmama of Europe,” quite literally, as the Kings of three of the four main protagonists (with France being a Republic) were her Grandchildren. After she died there was no Grandmama to bang the crowned heads of Europe together the way she could.

    It was also a twilight of absolute monarchy. For the Tsar Nicholas’s and Kaiser Wilhelms who thought they could rule their countries absolutely merely by birthright the way their ancestors did. By the next world war, it was the age of the mad dictator.

    Oh well, another win for the lads, and another game I missed due to poor coverage. It’s hard to blather on about the football when you can’t see it apart from very meagre highlights. The stats suggested they dominated the game, even if it was just another one goal victory. Another win for Hughton as well.

  112. 112
    avatar chuck says:

    Not really, I just give a certain credence to differing opinions and when examined closely, the policies of Britain were that of a country that entered on either one side or the other as the balance of power, certainly within Europe.

    And for the most part as an act of self interest.

    And of course we are all aware that the burgeoning pre WW1 Germany had become a problem for such nations as France, Britain and Russia, no different from to day, who are about to dominate the EU through economic domination, apparently they have learned it’s easier take over by more subtle means.

    The Austrian-Hungarian Empire was a tottering giant, who had lost their reason for being and we all know what a handful the Balkans has been for both they and the Ottoman Turks, but to ignite such a bloodbath was insanity.

    As for Victoria visualized as banging the heads of the then leaders of empires, being she was directly a part of that blue blood line, might sell in the UK, but in reality it amounts to no more than another silly fable.

    It unfortunately for some, became the end of an era, dominated by a bloodline that stretched from the Urals to Ireland and saw the beginning of the end for colonialism
    and Royalty, oh yes it still exists and many defend it (Royalty) many countries having what has become known as Bicycle Royalty, but who unlike British royalty tend not to interfere with the running of the country or cost enormous amounts in upkeep, with the excuse a non political head of state is a good thing (would one consider either Elizabeth or her quaint son as ever having been non political) or that they earn their way by being seen as something antiquated but entertaining to tourists.

    Brexit and it’s irrational introduction will i’m afraid put the final nail in the coffin of what until shortly before WW2 had become the demise of one of the greatest Empires the world has experienced, the changes all occurring within a century, whoever said the more things change, the more they stay the same had to be joking, no !

  113. 113
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck, we didn’t want to get involved with mainland europe. What was important to Britain was the Navy and running the Empire. So long as the rest of europe didn’t interfere with that, that was ok. That’s gone now though, but there are still alot of Yanks like you who still seem to have a chip on your shoulder when it comes to the UK, so you tremble with excitement whenever you think that good old Blighty is going to sink into the sea.

  114. 114
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    September 30, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    “Don’t worry about Trump, there’s no way he’s gonna get the nod.”

    Well he’s certainly got the nod now, Chuckles!

    I hate to say this, but I called it right once again. As I predicted, differential turnout and shy Trumpers was the key, being ‘bigly’ in favour of the Donald. Even if he was behind in the polls, differential turnout was going to make up the difference. The Trumpers were all in their starting blocks ready to get to the polls, with too many of Shillary’s potential voters getting lead foot disease on polling day. You were probably right when you said that the Democrats should have fielded Sanders instead of Hillary. It was bonkers outside Trump Tower today. Don’t argue with any Trump supporters because even though they’ve won, it’s just seems to have made them even more angry, or “pissed” as you might say over there. They’re going to “drain the swamp” apparently.

  115. 115
    avatar Nutmag says:

    Well the world has taken a few turns since I was on here last (Sadly mostly backwards)
    Chuck must have taken to the hills as he does when it gets to hot in the Big Apple.
    I always try to look for positives in any situation. Sadly there seems to be very few at the moment.
    We do have a Socialist leading our labour party as it should be.
    Newcastle United seem to be getting it right and going in the right direction at long last.
    Bit of a short list of positives but Hey Ho! we live in hope.

  116. 116
    avatar workyticket says:

    Nutmag says:
    November 16, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    “I always try to look for positives in any situation.”

    Well you know you won’t get that from me and Chuck, Nutmag! He’ll probably be worrying the poor fish again, or chuntering at them.

    The Labour party might have a leader who is actually Labour, but too many working class people people have turned to the easy answers offered by Nationalism now, either of the Scottish kind or the UKIP kind. Not necessarily Corbyn’s fault, as the damage was done before he became leader, and those awful MPs didn’t help by launching a coup attempt. I don’t know if Bernie Sanders would have beaten Trump over there either. People feel impotent against power, so they pick on the few who are weaker than themselves instead, like refugees, the poor and the disabled.

    How’s the painting going? I still haven’t seen any yet.

  117. 117
    avatar workyticket says:

    How Casanova Pardew broke the heart of Kath the Tea Lady when he left.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p035nw02

  118. 118
    avatar chuck says:

    Sorry !
    Been outta town due to a death in the family, without my computer and even had I brought it, no time for anything other than taking care of business.

    Yeah the real tragedy was that it’s commonly understood that populists were the more likely to get the nod and who was more of a populist than Bernie, who the pollsters thought would have little trouble with “The Donald”.

    That and the rules concerning the Dem. Convention and allocated votes, were used by the Washington system to help eliminate Bernie, therefor the feet dragging by the
    Bernie-istas, who in certain cases may have voted for the opposition, having been insulted by Hillary, (so dumb she didn’t realize exactly what she had done)

    I have never seen such a pair of losers, than the two that the public were faced with and there was a certain amount of Schadenfreude on my part, just watching her following her rejection , for a role she no doubt believed she was destined for.

    Ah well, that only means, a far more qualified and better all rounder ‘Elizabeth Warren’ will have a clear path to the presidency in another four years, that is if there still remains a United States.

    But I guess living in ‘The City’ gives one a different
    picture, as opposed to what I saw recently in upstate NY, meaning almost as many pick-up trucks as cars and each one with a Trump sticker, I guess the working class are as pissed off here as the brexiteers were in the UK and finally decided to do something about it.

    It appears there’s a Republican president, and in both houses they have a majority, that leaves a lotta power in Trumps hands, (not seen since the late nineteen twenties) the word is he’s not going to be quite the
    dictator he spoke of, but his power is a bit scary, when one realizes how ignorant he is on many of the finer points of running the most powerful country in the world.

    Though he has promised to kill the Pacific Trade Bill, which may send a message to our so called Asian partners like Japan and the Philippines, to get in line or take care of their own defense, which could be the next furore, a self declared Brexit type move.

    Who the hell knows, there’s no precident for a guy like this and we will just have to take a wait and see attitude, though most unions fear the worst and there will be a general voiding of all good things initiated by Obama.

    But possibly an entertaining four years, of a sort .

  119. 119
    avatar workyticket says:

    I’m very sorry to hear that, Chuck. I lost my brother recently too when I was having that heart thing.

    Damaged goods. We had Blair and Thatcher over here, two very successful prime ministers (electorally anyway) who both ruled for over 10 years. However, after all the time for things to unravel, they left a highly toxic legacy which left both their respective parties languishing in the depths in terms of popularity for years. Well Hillary had the toxicity after many years in the limelight, but she never had the power. Blair is talking about a comeback, not in the “front line” but in the background pulling the strings, like some kind of Dr. Evil. They just don’t get it at all. They’re like Marie Antoinette.

    Have you ever heard of political triangulation, Chuck? It was Bill Clinton originally, and Blair. Well these Trumps and Farages have tried triangulating too, targeting poor folk who might be left in terms of politics, but socially Conservative. For instance, say a few words about saving old, manly industries in the deprived areas like steel, coal, fishing and making things, but no more dusky immigrants, and no more of this Gay and Feminist stuff thankyou very much. Over there you could throw in free guns for everybody too. It cuts through the left and the right.

    So we’ve lost at last. Once again I only saw highlghts though. Maybe he should have brought on Gayle on a bit earlier though? Did he get his teeth knocked out? Will the famous Rafa rotation policy come in for debate now we’ve lost one? I don’t know anymore because I can’t see the full games properly. Hughton won yet again though, so we have real pressure at the top with the Seagulls breathing down the necks of the Magpies.

  120. 120
    avatar chuck says:

    Perhaps Hughton’s persistence will spur on the Toon, fear can sometimes boost a teams performance, though at present it appears both sides are destined for the PL.

    Which is a hell of a lot better than looking at the next four years under this unknown (apart from being aware that the bully will definitely enrich himself) quantity.

    I have no doubt he will be a one term President, using the old adage, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”.

    It’s if nothing else, going to be an interesting time for all and if the world leaders are concerned, so they should be, being no one can project what he is capable of.

    Ah well! nothing a few more aircraft carriers and an increase in ballistic missiles (tip; buy RR and BEA systems)

    I guess Ms. May is going to ignore Trumps advice to make Farage foreign secretary or whatever, which is an indication of where this guys head is at.

    Yes siree ! it’s the age of the populist’s, no matter which end of the political spectrum they belong too.

    The difference in income between the halves and have not’s, increasing year by year is now the prime reason behind the Populist movement (that and a bit of racism and xenophobia) and when Trump fails to deliver on his promises, their will be another movement to replace it.

    The same in Europe, which following Brexit, may cause a further breakup of the Union, that and the fact the area is undergoing an enormous change in politics, with the European Union increasingly accepting a mixed bag of former eastern European states, some fascist and totally corrupt, others like the Basques and Catalans, (Scots?) attempting to leave their present situations, who the hell knows what may happen.

    I mean who would have thought we would have Trump as President or for the UK to Brexit the EU, just saying don’t discount anything.

  121. 121
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    November 28, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    “Perhaps Hughton’s persistence will spur on the Toon, fear can sometimes boost a teams performance, though at present it appears both sides are destined for the PL.”

    I wouldn’t say that Brighton are “destined” for the Premier League. They are much smaller and even being in contention is good for them, where more than that is expected from Newcastle with about three times the money. It’s a long way to the end of the season, and Aston Villa seem to be getting it together now for a charge on the top places after a really lousy start. We’ll see.

    chuck says:
    November 28, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    “I have no doubt he will be a one term President, using the old adage, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”.

    I’d just like to correct you there, Chuck. The correct version of the phrase you are searching for is:

    “I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says, ‘Fool me once, shame on … shame on you. Fool me… You can’t get fooled again!”

    Which reminds us that America has voted in a dangerous idiot before Trump, then they voted him for a second term even though he’d bollocksed up the world in his first four years.

  122. 122
    avatar chuck says:

    True ! but i’m just getting over Bush and you have to remind me of the awful judgement of the US electorate, in their choice of what appears to be the worst mistake of the millennium.

    Yes I get what they were voting for (mainly the continuing separation in wealth concentrated in the hands of the wealthy vs the rest, meaning Wall St and the banks and the fact they can hire the best politicians money can buy.

    So unfortunately they picked the wrong populist, as there are I guess more white ex middle class unemployed and Bernie wasn’t promising them any special deal over that which everyone else would get, guess there were more Tea Party people than anti Wall St. people out there.

    Plus the fact Bernie had to deal with Hillary and a corrupt Dem. party, possibly the most disliked person to run for any office (she was nothing special as a NY carpet-bagging senator, promising the world but delivering nada)

    Well I would like to see more parties involved, as a matter of fact there are a number of things wrong with the US political system and there’s no way The Donald could or would want to drain the Washington swamp that is the result of corruption.

    Yep ! gonna be an interesting four years, certainly the rest of the world had better be as concerned as I am, being no one really knows what this guy is capable of but it will become obvious over time that people will
    “get it” that “The King has no clothes” and hopefully it will be a short four years, without too much damage caused.

  123. 123
    avatar chuck says:

    Looking at Rafa’s signings, boy he is really going after some young prospects, which hopefully will come good for the future first team.

    Though I believe we may see a couple of decent signings in the upcoming window, to ensure we make it to the PL, that plus a few more during the summer, being I don’t believe this present side could compete in the PL.

    The scouting system should at present be fully employed and looking at some of the “for the future” signings which have been quite dispersed, a change from the Carr train journeys of the last few years.

    Which s I believe a good thing, being there’s a policy of one well respected manager in charge and conducting total operations, rather than people like Ashley, Carr and Pardew fighting for control of events, which landed us in the second tier.

    But though I am enjoying the fact NUFC appear to be promotion bound, with a large second tier squad, a large second tier squad unfortunately is not good enough to maintain a PL presence, therefor there has to be money spent during both windows.

  124. 124
    avatar workyticket says:

    So Trump is going to “drain the swamp” of the so called “elite,” that’s why he is appointing the richest administration in American history (by some distance) from places like Goldman Sachs, fellow billionaires and members of his own family. What do Trump fans make of that?

    Meanwhile in France, President Hollande has pulled out of the election, so it’s going to be a run off between a self confessed Thacherist and a National Front fascist. Happy days.

    chuck says:
    November 30, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    “Looking at Rafa’s signings, boy he is really going after some young prospects, which hopefully will come good for the future first team…”

    With the recent (inevitable) revelations about sexual abuse of young players, I think coaches and scouts might be slightly more reserved in future when it comes to discussing “up and coming” youngsters in case it makes them sound a bit noncey.

  125. 125
    avatar chuck says:

    Yep ! looks like the future will consist of hard core political party contenders, were back to a pre ww2 selection in Europe, with fascism becoming the flavor of the month and nationalism the new name for it.

    Or Racism/Xenophobia

    Few are satisfied with their heads of state or the parties they belong too, the rich are getting richer and like always the poor are taking a beating.

    The dumbest move yet was in selecting a billionaire as a representative of out of work American middle class, who’s jobs have gone south to Mexico’s northern borders,
    “The Maqueladoras’ spawned by NAFTA (one of Slick Willies
    Favorite trade deals) where US owners build factories on the Mexican side of the border, displacing US factories, yet selling their products manufactured for a small percentage of US costs, then shipped back across the border to the same outlets, nice work if you can get it!

    While Europe is chocking on rules and regulations and old enmities are becoming more apparent, perhaps they should concentrate on getting rid of a few rules and regs., instead of adding more.

    The US is no great fan of Brexit, though they realize the UK is still a strong partner militarily and a part of NATO
    which in turn is essential to Europes defense, but I don’t see Trump as a fan of the EU or it’s economic policies, which may bring about changes, as he has ended any hope of the trans pacific trade deal with Asian nations passing, strange being Hillary ended up promising to do the same thing, after being forced too by Bernie Sanders, to move a bit further to the left, that is.

    Who knows what we are in for during these next four or five years, I wouldn’t want to even guess…..
    but you can bet your ass it wont be an better than what already exists, so fasten your seat belt….

  126. 126
    avatar chuck says:

    It’s going to be interesting seeing exactly where Rafa is going with this side, sure they are leading the league and could be considered over-stacked with plyers, not all of which are PL quality however.

    I suppose he will go after one or two more, during the approaching window (I hope)being we cant have a whole new side starting in the PL after achieving promotion.

    A number of potential targets have been mentioned, though I would be surprised if we signed some of those mentioned and we have no real understanding of what Ashley’s intentions are, is he willing to spend, with a determination that the club will remain a PL club for the foreseeable future, or will he take a risk and spend less on the premise the side can survive, with the minimum of signings.

    After all the present side was funded from the big player sales during the summer window, so too can we help fund a PL quality side by selling off a good number of the present squad, and about future buys, can we keep whoever we are determined to buy quiet, it appears as soon as we mention any possible recruit, it turns out everyone is interested in the same player and the price automatically goes up, how bout playing it close to the vest.

  127. 127
    avatar chuck says:

    Soh ! with the unknowns about Brexit about to visit the British Government has decided that the answer is to invest around four hundred and fifty million quid in re-furnishing or at least investing that amount on Buck house.

    For one family with god only knows how many relatives, to be housed in more than one building Balmoral, Buck House, Sandringham etc, etc. while at the same time cutting the few penny’s of the poor, is a typical Tory style answer, “throw some money at it” let the poor pay for it, they wont know the difference.
    Hhopefully the shadow PM will take note of the fact and bring it to the publics attention, I guess nothings too good for the British public, because that’s exactly what they are about to get, nothing!
    While the moneyed interests (with the tax laws on their side, and one ex British island after another a safe tax avoidance haven) have it made.
    Ah well, people come , people go, little changes.

  128. 128
    avatar workyticket says:

    Well that game was a complete travesty of justice. If there was any justice, that referee would be hanged, drawn and quartered after that performance! I think I need to calm down before I reflect and pass comment on other weighty matters of the day.

  129. 129
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    December 2, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    “Soh ! with the unknowns about Brexit about to visit the British Government has decided that the answer is to invest around four hundred and fifty million quid in re-furnishing or at least investing that amount on Buck house.”

    Chuck, although there are some older Yanks like yourself who are still English hating rabid Republicans living in the 1700s, most Yanks (and others) seem to love ’em and hard nosed business is another way of looking at it, ie they cost hundreds of millions, but they also raise more hundreds of millions, especially when they knock out a new baby. It’s actually more like £350 million quid to rescue the Palace, and they bring in more than that. On a more democratic note, the Mother of all Parliaments is also a death trap, and it will cost far more than £350 million to fix that up. They’re all going to have to move out for years as well.

    “The US is no great fan of Brexit, though they realize the UK is still a strong partner militarily and a part of NATO
    which in turn is essential to Europes defense ”

    Like a stopped clock being right twice a day, Trump is right about some rich nations in Europe not pulling their weight in terms of NATO, namely Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden and others. One country who really does their weight despite great financial hardship in recent years is Greece.

    I don’t think there is much to discuss about that last travesty of a game except that we were better, but the referee was just determined that Newcastle were going to lose. We haven’t had the best of luck in the last few games.

  130. 130
    avatar chuck says:

    I’m surprised you still believe in that old shibboleth, that the royals bring in more dosh than they cost.

    It depends on from which source one gets their facts from.

    Namely that every penny spent (or a large majority of all revenue spent by tourists) is because of the royals, I mean how does one figure out just how much they bring in and of course the pro Monarchy groups tend to agree on a ridicules amount, with no facts to back up their statements other than some nonsensical amount they pluck out of the air.

    They live a charming life, oh ! but they have jobs don’t they ?

    Sure like showing up to cut ribbons on some project or as non active heads of various charities, usually the boys either pretend to be soldiers or sailors, even airmen, but in general the royals cost the country money and there are a good number of it’s citizens, who believe that the time for royals has long passed.

    Don’t they realize that leading the lavish lifestyles they do, while many are living in deprived areas, with little in the way of extra money, does not endear them to their vassals.

    Fortunately they travel around their former possessions as if they were still the heads of an Empire, but don’t have a royal yacht to carry them, having to fly like the rest of us, though they have the use of a whole train and helicopter from one place to the other throughout the UK.

    No they are not a great deal and they are a tough crowd when it comes to money and fight hard to preserve whatever they have, I much prefer the so called Bicycle Royals, who still have money but who don’t take themselves so seriously like this German crowd.

    Of course some defend them, with some dumb assed remarks such as, well it’s good to have a non political head of state, anyone who is aware of the royal family and considers them as non political, obviously wasn’t paying attention to their act.

    Ah well! they only cost each citizen a few penny’s each, to keep in the manner they have become used to, but better those combined few penny’s should be spent on something relative, like the NHS, or something similar, rather than providing a grandiose living style for on big family, who do very little in return.

  131. 131
    avatar workyticket says:

    Calm down Chuck! Soon as our glorious Queen is mentioned, you start having a fit and foaming at the mouth with rage.

    I was reading a thing about redistricting over there. It seems that the electoral discricts are so gerrymandered (currently in favour of the Republicans) that it’s about as democratic as an absolute monarchy anyway. Apparently though, the Democrats have another cunning plan in the pipeline to try and gerrymander the districts back in their favour when the next redistricting comes along. What’s the score with all that? The results, with the Republicans taking it all look all wrong from thousands of miles away, which is why I ended up reading about it in the first place.

  132. 132
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck, if it wasn’t for the Monarchy, we wouldn’t have the wit and wisdom of Prince Philip, the patron saint of embarrassing racist grandparents all over the world. He even managed to cause offence in the 70s, when almost everything was offensive.

    “Prince Philip quotes: Relive 90 classic gaffes to mark his 90th birthday”

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/prince-philip-quotes-relive-90-133848

    This is my one of my personal favourites: “People think there’s a rigid class system here, but dukes have even been known to marry chorus girls. Some have even married Americans.” :-)

  133. 133
    avatar chuck says:

    Only those dukes like Churchills father, and others who needed a bit of dosh to continue living beyond their means.

    Of which there were many heiresses during the gilded age, who were hunted down by those Europeans with little more than an empty title, which lasted until good king Edward was chosen by Mrs. Simpson, though Fergie was known to enjoy the high life, before she got the shove.

    And of course everyone is aware that Philip has to be watched carefully, before he insults people places and entire races, the result of most royals living in a world that has no clue about how Mr & Mrs. everyman live.

    Sure the media attempts to cover their arrogance which is only exceeded by their ignorance, or is it the other way around.

    I still think a republic is a better way to go and would be willing to help, by buying the first bicycle, face it Rolls Royce is now German, Jaguar Indian, trains are mostly continental or Asian and the Chinese are building, along with the French, the latest nuclear plant, lets hope they still make bicycles, obviously it will be strange to see the odd royal wheeling their bicycle out of Buck House or St. James’ (no not St James Park, the Palace)

    But I suppose the present population are supportive of the overindulgences of the royals and are willing to donate to that cause, god knows why.

    On the footballing front, looks like a couple of the London clubs, presently in trouble are interested in our Serbian striker, hell ! sell the guy, he has never shown the abilities he had while playing in the Dutch League, so sell him while we can perhaps recoup what was spent on him, as I doubt whether he will ever improve much.

  134. 134
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    December 4, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    “face it Rolls Royce is now German”

    That bit is not quite true, Chuck, I’ve said that before but you keep forgetting. Rolls Royce was originally cars, but that ended up as a small part of the company next to the aero engines, and maybe a bit neglected and behind the times. BMW bought the car bit, but the much larger part, the jets, are still British. Most of the rest, alas, is true.

    I think it depends on the Royal I suppose. The Queen has been Queen since the dawn of time, seemingly, but if there was a newer monarch who turned out to be unpopular, there would be probably be more chuntering and more talk about Republicanism.

  135. 135
    avatar Nutmag says:

    Never thought I’d be signing in to a football blog to discuss the Royal Family.
    First I am by no means a royalist!!
    I do think that Americans as much as others are obsessed by them. Its the same as their obsession with tv soaps and “Reality” Shows”. The Royals give them a real live “Reality Show” with a cast you couldn’t make up.
    Hell if dressing up standing out in all weathers to cheer one of them is your idea of fun and enjoyment go for it.
    Even for the money they have I wouldn’t have their lives.
    There are lots more very rich parasites that should be sorted out, that don’t give anybody any enjoyment.
    Back to football when are the powers that be going to wake up to the need for a better method of refereeing the game. One that does not back and benefit bad referees and the cheats that are ruining the game.
    As for Trump didn’t the Italians have a guy like him in the 1930s I wonder whatever happened to him?

  136. 136
    avatar workyticket says:

    Nutmag says:
    December 5, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    “Even for the money they have I wouldn’t have their lives.”

    Edward VII certainly seemed to have a fun time, Nutmag. Most people thought he would be an awful King when he eventually had to knuckle down to some work for the last decade of his life, but he really surprised them.

    “As for Trump didn’t the Italians have a guy like him in the 1930s I wonder whatever happened to him?”

    Mussolini had already been in power for a long time when all the other fascist dictators came along in the 30s. His rule went back to the early 1920s. He was all mouth and no trousers though because he didn’t have the armed forces to take on a proper power, he could only bully places like Abyssinia with his cannons and his first world war rifles. Trump’s army is a bit different though.

  137. 137
    avatar Nutmag says:

    Worky it was more Trumps Mussolini-esk poses I was referring to. Its world feeling of unrest that always throws up these Mussolini Hitler types and people think they are the answer and follow blindly.
    The human race is due a catastrophic awakening just who and where will it be triggered?
    This is all getting a bit heavy sorry.
    Think I’ll have some of my Xmas malt listen to some music and chill out.

  138. 138
    avatar chuck says:

    Apparently Trump is a bit of a self admitted Mussolini fan and tries hard to strike those poses he used on that famous balcony in Rome, folded arms and protruding Jaw.

    Also Benito had an interesting history, from socialist schoolmaster to being the creator of Fascism, which actually meant a man of the people to a dictator and the only positive thing most remember about him, was that he supposedly got the trains running on time.

    Though it has been claimed he drained the swampland south of Rome, thereby reducing Malaria, much the same as “The Donald’s” plan to clean up the swamp that is the US political capital.

    Something every country could use, just ask the commuters of south east England.

    Yes I agree Rolls Royce the Engine designer is still a part of the UK, however only as the maker of a few marine
    engines and those of the typhoon fighter (which they cant give away) or possibly the last attempt to remain a major aircraft manufacturer, being they are set to buy US built planes to be employed aboard the two new aircraft carriers, but being they have done so well recently in that great race, The Tour De France, i’m sure they will be making bicycles into the foreseeable future.

    Just as the Royals will be cutting ribbons and babies to earn their lavish lifestyles.

  139. 139
    avatar chuck says:

    Erm, “kissing babies” that is, though it must repel them to no end.

  140. 140
    avatar workyticket says:

    Aye, I know what you mean about Mussolini, Nutmag. It’s good to see that after a titanic struggle, an Austrian Jeremy Corbyn has finally beaten an Austrian Hitler (another one). It’s a bit like Monty Python’s ‘Mr Hilter’ sketch with the Austrian far right with the Hitlers, Haiders and Hofers. Why do they all begin with ‘H’ and end in ‘ER’?

    Chuck, Rolls Royce are owned by BAE systems, they make the planes. Rolls Royce jets like the Trent series are all over the world, on Airbus planes, Boeing planes and others. As for the Typhoon, that’s sold a few thousand. It’s made by a consortium of three including BAE and Airbus.

    Mussolini didn’t make the trains run on time, that was more a case of propaganda, where if you repeat something often enough, it becomes true. As they remarked on the British programme, ‘QI” once, Mussolini did make one train run on time though, the one that helped him to seize power.

  141. 141
    avatar chuck says:

    Yes ! that’s why I said “supposedly got the trains running on time”.

    As for the ‘Typhoon’, no doubt a decent air combat plane, but it has no real ground attack role, took too long to bring on line, which makes it a liability, apart from selling a reduced number to NATO countries, the attempted worldwide market rejected the Typhoon in favor of the French “Rafale”, with only a handful sold to Saudi and Oman.

    As for recent elections throughout Europe, it appears that Populism is definitely the flavor of the month, thank goodness the Austrians had the good sense to reject the far right candidate, but Poland and the former eastern block appear to be somewhat xenophobic and are looking back nostalgically at those dictators who appeared to keep things orderly.

    There is certainly (beginning with Brexit) a sense of disillusionment with the EU and replacing the more centrist politicians and parties, with what appears to be extremist parties , who are definitely Xenophobic and appear to look back on an era where strong leadership kept a firm grip on the state.

    I see a difficult future for the EU, the problem being, the attempt to have a single currency, plus a constitution longer than war and peace, it appears both those centrist governments Germany and France (both who have attempted to unify Europe via the Napolionic wars and the Two WW wars of the twentieth century)

    If left to be no more than an economic zone things in general I believe could have been more successful, but one currency, plus one set of armed forces and one set of laws, plus the loss of national borders is more than most could swallow, certainly if brexit is any guide, plus a little racism and xenophobia to add flavor

    There’s also a recent study on exactly who, voted for brexit and it’s quite interesting, not the generally excepted opinions of earlier poles.

    Yes 2017 should be one of the most interesting years.

    With people like Trump, who will have a tougher time than he believes, hopefully being checked and balanced by his own party, the same way they became the party of no during the Obama era.

    It will also be interesting to see which direction France will take, many expecting a turn to the right, whereas Angela in Germany is fairly safe but it’s doubtful if the French-German alliance could exist if Le Penn becomes the French Leader.

    Yes terrorism as it’s commonly called, will take it’s toll in Europe, as will the election of radical politicians, it appears just when one believes the world is becoming a healthier place, wars and inequality continue, not the all out world wars, but like that which is going on in Syria and throughout the Arabian peninsula, sponsored by schismatic religious nut cases, which may be good for BAE and it’s shareholders, at least they can get rid of their extra Typhoons.

    As for football, interesting to see that there are actually writers who are now praising our ex manager Chris Hughton, who has been so successful they can no longer ignore him, one in the face to racism.

    I got the feeling their may be a couple of decent signings during the approaching window and a few on their way, if either The Hammers or Pardew can come up with fifteen million or more for Mitrovic, sell him, being he will never repeat his numbers in the Dutch league.

    Why Benitez doesn’t play him, surely there are a few decent strikers around.

    Don’t know what were gonna do with our on loan guys, guess sell them too, but we have a sizeable squad, too many if anything, time to get rid of the non premier quality guys and concentrate the side with players who are not out of their league, the EPL.

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