Can Benitez still beat Hughton’s 102 point promotion record?

Posted on March 3rd, 2017 | 33 Comments |

Benitez and Hughton
Benitez and Hughton’s Tuesday evening showdown
I know similar comparisons have been made elsewhere between Benitez’s current Magpies team and Chris Hughton’s 2009-10 side. However, Tuesday evening’s game against Hughton’s Brighton has finally inspired me to throw in some of my own thoughts on the matter.

As we go into another crunch game against third placed Huddersfield with 34 games gone, Benitez’s team is currently one point ahead of where Hughton’s team were at the same stage with 73 to 72 (as you can see below).

2010 vs 2017 after 34 games
2010 vs 2017 after 34 games
On the other hand, although the scrupulous Spaniard is one point ahead, he will need a real barnstorming finish in the last dozen games to keep up the pace with Hughton’s heroes. This is because the 2009-10 side didn’t lose any of their last twelve games, winning 9 and drawing 3 to win the Championship with an eventual total of 102 points. As strong as the current Magpies are within the Championship, and with all his trophies, it would still be a real achievement for Benitez to match or better that. Of course, the whole point is winning promotion to the Premier League, and if you were thinking of having a bet on this year’s competition, you can bet on the winner of the Premier League here. Getting back to the Championship though, it is almost certain that Benitez won’t have to beat that, as the highest total required for automatic promotion since we were promoted in 2010 is the 89 required by Middlesbrough to win automatic promotion from second place last season. Whilst nothing is certain, looking at the likes of fourth placed Leeds and Saturday’s opponents, Huddersfield in third with 61 and 65 points respectively, it looks like a similar total might be required this season.

But what can we learn from looking more deeply? Well Hughton has been a bit more obstinate and harder to beat, both with Newcastle and Brighton. Hughton only lost four games in the entire 2009-10 season whereas the current Toon side have already lost 7. Even with Brighton, he has only lost 5, and that includes two defeats against Newcastle. He only lost 5 in the whole of last season too. No manager can win them all, but Hughton the former defender is great at digging out an ugly point when times are tough. He has already drawn twice as many times as Benitez this season (4-8), and he also drew 17 last season when he took the Seagulls to a third place play-off place.

Whilst Rafa has won a couple more than Hughton and scored 6 more goals so far, he has also conceeded 4 more goals and once again we must bear in mind Newcastle’s storming finish in 2009-10. Whilst the Benitez side has scored an average of 1.94 goals to the older side’s 1.76 at this stage, Hughton’s average was 1.96 goals per game by the end of the season.

Of course, nothing is certain yet and things can still go horribly wrong, but I don’t want to think about that here! Being optimistic and presumptuous instead, if Benitez is going to beat Hughton’s class of 2010, Toon fans will have a great final 12 games to look forward to. However, to keep a place in the top two automatic promotion places, it probably, almost certainly won’t be necessary for Benitez to match Hughton’s very high 102 point total, though I think that Benitez will still want to win the Championship, and secretly want to beat that target so long as it’s still possible. Here’s hoping that he does.

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

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33 Responses

  1. Yes of course Hughtons sides are more difficult to score against, after all his entire playing career was played as a defender, that and the fact he was in demand as a defensive coach at Spurs for a good number of years before being offered a first team coaching job at NUFC and subsequently inherited the head coaching job, following relegation.

    His qualities are exactly what is required from a Championship league side, scraping out a combination of wins and draws in a league that is more physical than the PL and plays eight additional league games.

    Another coach that has perhaps missed opportunities in the past and who’s abilities have only recently been reluctantly acknowledged.

    Certainly he was treated very shabby by both Ashley and his sidekick, Llambias, rewarding him for taking the club back to the PL, by firing him with the excuse we are looking for a bigger name, which turned out to be that abject failure Pardew, who had been recommended to Ashley by Llambias, the two having met in a Casino it appears.

    Ah well ! though Hughton who certainly should have been pissed by his treatment, remained quiet about the whole incident and quietly built a reputation for himself and is challenging for the ultimate goal of PL membership, with a small club with not a lot of cash to throw around.

    Hopefully he is successful and reaches his goal and the fact is noted by both Ashley and his thuggish underling Llambias, two football morons , who Kevin Keegan labeled as one knowing nothing about football and the other less.

  2. Well Hughton made me look like a right idiot! After losing to us, he lost 0-3 to a struggling Forest side last weekend so I won’t big him up again for a while! That, our win over them, and our triumph over the ‘Udders as well has made it a perfect week for the Magpies though so that’s ok. It’s Reading next and they’re also top five so if we beat them, that will be even better.

  3. Following the last two games (both more or less six pointers) against NUFC ‘s closest competitors ‘Brighton and Udder’sfield’ things looked a lot brighter for the Mag’s.

    However to-days scoreless outing reversed that trend and it looks as if the final automatic promotion could be tougher than expected.

    It’s obvious though, that we have one of the leagues best scorers in Gayle, looking at our goal difference, the problem being he is susceptible to injury and not always available.

    Sure buying Murphy was a brilliant piece of work by Rafa, as neither Mitrovic or Perez can be counted on, though we did fail to score to-day, which means we will have to spend on a reliable goal scorer if/when promoted.

    It now looks as if Mitrovic may be on his way out of St. James’ as he is not getting games for the side, indicating I venture to guess that Rafa. has little faith in his abilities.

    In which case his sale could help finance a decent replacement, though I doubt whether we can recoup his original cost, (another of Carr’s not so wonderful recommendations) but a decent striker should be our first and foremost requirement during the summer window, being we can’t rely on Gayle’s fitness .

    Hopefully unlike the winter window, we as a club will be better prepared to go into he market as soon as the window opens and better yet if we can arrange things prior to what happening as this summer market aught to be massive, or as Trump sez ‘Uge’.

    Though I just cant see Ashley springing for the likes of McCarthy or Townsend and having watched Everton play against Spurs it’s obvious at thirty five Barry has finally proven to be human, being his legs have gone, leaving McCarthy as his only replacement and unlikely to be sold.

    No doubt there will be plenty of rumors going about concerning who will go and who may be bought, but the fact is, we have to increase our level of talent for the PL, if we are to remain up.

    But having said that, it looks like a tough run in with certain clubs closing in to a top six or seven and we have to maintain our dominance and achieve at least a first or second place finish, as those play-offs are a tough way to get promoted.

  4. Well here we are with ten games to go and dare I say it cautiously optimistic about promotion. Which is really something as a Toon supporter .
    “But” and there has always has got to be a but!
    If we do return to our rightful place at the top table. The big nagging question that dampens any feeling of joy we may have is; what way will Mr Ashley swing? Back Rafa and allow him to continue rejuvenating and running the club as it should be. Or will he revert to type with his mean arsed failed business plans. Only time will tell in the mean time I will keep the “bubbly” on ice and remain subdued. Hope you’ve been well in my absence.

  5. This will no doubt be a nail-biter of a run in, to days debacle plus the general inability to win at home now becoming more worry-some.

    It appears Brighton is no longer a consideration with the emphasis now being placed on Uddersfield (does this mean we are conceding first place to Brighton)

    That plus the recent refusal of Ashley to spend during the recent window, plus the lack of communication between himself and Ashley, gives the hint that nothing has changed as far as Ashley is concerned.

    Yes it’s his money and his club, but for someone who knows jack about running a football club, why is it he appears to make decisions regarding the overall management, obviously listening to Carr’s advice, face it who else has his ear.

    The answer to NUFC’s problems is one of poor management, well some may say what’s wrong with Benitez, one of the worlds best managers ?

    Actually nothing, apart from the fact he is not allowed to manage, as god knows when he last heard from Ashley, the great communicator only talks to the two idiot’s Carr (who should either be fired or told who and where to scout by Benitez) or the other mouthpiece Chubby Charnley, who couldn’t make a deal to save his life.

    Yes senior management is the essential part of any corporations success story and we would be better off without these two yes men, considering their history at the club.

    Let Rafa. have a free hand at rebuilding and organizing the youth system, where at least their would be a man with a plan, instead of chaos as usual.

    I’m not suggesting Ashley spend like the Man U’s or Citeh, but it would be nice to have a top ten side, that could perhaps win a bit of silverware which no doubt would make the loyal fans happy, considering their consistent loyal support over the years.

    Instead we get nothing more than Ashley lite, which may very well result in Rafa. moving on to a club that recognizes his talent and there are plenty of them around.

    It’s obvious that Ashley only answers to pressure, the pressures of either the law or money ( certainly worked with his miss-dealings with Rangers and SD workers) and to a degree with the Geordie fans in regard to the selling of season tickets, which could work if only the fans were not so sheep like, time to break out the bed-sheets once more , before we lose Rafa. and the future of NUFC.

  6. Hi Nutmag. Long time. How’s the painting going?

    Well that last game has certainly put the cat among the pigeons when it comes to expectations of a ‘grandstand’ finish to the season like last time. I listened to the game on Radio London and it sounded awful. The commentator said that they didn’t look like the top team at all, and were just standing around and letting them get on with it for much of the game without trying to press the opposition and their possession figures were like Barcelona’s. The commentator might have had a bit of a Fulham bias as it was London radio but the bits I saw seemed to bear him out. Hughton’s Seagulls won as well so we’re only top by goal difference.

  7. Hi Worky painting is going really well. All my working life I was ruled by the clock, you know what its like in catering everything timed to come together at the same time and on time. Now I’m doing what I enjoy and at a leisurely pace just loving it.
    I have one fault and if you knew me you would understand, ” I’m easily side tracked to helping others” I’m hoping my two big distractions will be completed in the next couple of months and then true retirement and painting full time.
    Back to football the “But” I mentioned in my last post came in the Fulham game.
    I listened to the match on NUFC live. They commented at length on how Fulham looked like the league leaders playing at home and not the reverse.
    It wouldn’t be Newcastle if they didn’t throw a spanner in the works every so often.
    I think this will go to the wire and if it means the play offs we have no chance we haven’t the attitude for those type of matches.
    Doubts and doom creeping in again I’m afraid.

  8. Hi Nutmag, glad to hear it! One of my very first jobs was as a kitchen porter at a hotel in Harrogate. It was a bit of dog’s life. Pretty hard work and elbow deep in some disgusting, sloppy mess for much of the time! I think I’ve already told you about my brief spell as a counterfeit chef. I knew how to fry seafood in a nice crispy batter though because my mother had a fish and chip parlour in Whitby so I made prawns in batter my ‘signature’ dish and stuck with it! The place was eventually closed down and the CID were called in, that was nothing to do with my cooking though!

    Aye, I seem to recall that one of the Radio London commentators said the same thing about how it looked like the teams were the wrong way round.We all know what Newcastle teams can be like when it comes to the so called ‘crunch’ and the ‘vibes’ start to get to them. This is it now though with only nine games left.

  9. One cup of water + one cup of flour, add one tablespoon of baking powder,
    (the more baking powder the crispier) add any condiments or nonsense such as buttermilk, if you desire the batter to have a specific taste.
    Yes there are lots of variation on this theme , but equal measures of water and flour + baking powder and you cant go wrong, though be careful to ensure the fat is at least 350 deg. fht.
    Of course the use of lard in some peoples opinion improves the batter, as opposed to most oils, though a steady diet is not recommended.

    The one British meal that appeals to most non British visitors, understandably so, though one misses the large Icelandic cod cought pre Cod War years ago.

    Ain’t brain surgery !

  10. Yeah ! getting scary, with the side seemingly hearing footsteps behind them and possibly losing confidence during this most important run in.

    Even Rafa. appears less confident, too bad no quality players were added during the last window, why? I guess we will never know, but supposedly because we were doing so well it was assumed why buy now as we appear to be guaranteed promotion.

    Then of course someone had to make that decision, which would be Ashley, possibly on the advice of Carr, being Ashley had obviously not contacted either Rafa. or Charnley, both who were of the opinion they had the OK to bring in players, until informed otherwise.

    A lesson for Rafa. to remember, get it in writing or get the hell outta here, being you can only expect more of the same from Ashley and just when things appeared to be going well, the club topping the league, money in the bank from summer sales, youngsters brought in to strengthen the youth system and of course Rafa. in charge, or so he thought !

    Quite possible Rafa. is now awaiting the best offer that will allow him to get outta town and following his treatment during the last transfer window, can you blame him, hell we were extremely lucky to get him to take over this dysfunctional club, without giving him reason enough to quit.

    Ah well nothing new here and it’s unlikely to change as long as we have our present great leader as owner, perhaps there are some gulf rich Oligarchs or Asians, even Yanks, who would be willing to give him a profit and in turn show some ambition in both the market and in the general direction of winning some silverware, everything else being in place.

    The only good news being Wonga may be replaced by a different sponsor, which is where the business should be heading, acquiring more income from sponsorship deals, just look at the amount of earnings Man. U. bring in from sponsorships which dwarfs both EPL money and bums in seats.

    Ah well, seems there is little hope for this club as long as that great football brain ‘Ashley” continues to run things.

  11. “Ain’t brain surgery !”

    You say that Chuck but it’s hard to find the real thing sometimes nowadays, or it is down here in London. I used to work near to Marylebone and there’s a place up there on Lisson Grove that used to make fairly canny fish and chips which was very popular. Proper, traditional fish and chips are cooked in beef dripping. Too many places use drums of oil, don’t get the fish to seal properly and don’t have a clue nowadays. Then there there’s the big question, Cod or Haddock? But I suppose that’s a matter of personal taste. You need to whisk the hell out of the batter, the bubblier the better, and it should also be chilled, briefly but fairly well, maybe in a freezer. This gives it a better consistency when it’s frying. For perfection, putting the batter through soda syphon is a bloody good idea, if you have a soda syphon. Then of course, there’s the question of making it with beer, or not as the case may be.

    With the chips, Maris Piper potatoes are the usual for their starchiness. First of all you cook the inside at a slightly lower temp (about 260). They should be cooked through but not browned yet. Then you fry them again around about the temperature you said (350 f?) I would do 375. Finally, on the Cod Haddock debate I would say Cod for texture, but Haddock for flavour perhaps?

    If you’re ever in Whitby, the Magpie Cafe does proper fish and chips, or they did when I lived there anyway.

    I bow to Nutmag in this area though as he’s the professional.

    Frying fish and chips all day isn’t great though. You have to have a really good scrub and a long soak to get all that oilyness or fattyness out when the day is done.

    So the first ‘three parent babies’ in the UK are going to be Geordies made at the Newcastle Fertility Centre. If they are so world class at fiddling around with DNA, maybe they could breed a few super footballing Geordies there? They could get people like Peter Beardsley and Alan Shearer to pop in and leave a deposit!

  12. Nutmag, I would get more excited about your paintings, but you never show me any! I would be genuinely interested in seeing them one day. Do you have any good fish and chip tips?

  13. Yep ! have to agree, on the batter, however I only intended to mention the cup of water and flour plus baking soda as an easy to remember recipe and one can hardly go wrong in using it.

    And yeah, lard does improve both the taste and cooking process as does the twice fried chips, which when initially fried, encapsulates the outer part which is then chilled and refried, resulting in a crispier chip, though the type of potato is more important, personally I prefer the Idaho or Russet spud, which has a dry floury consistency, as opposed to a waxy type.

    Though I spent a few days on Tyne-side last summer and found few decent chippers, in which case I loaded up on Caster kippers and cod-fish cakes, delicious !

    As an aside talk about cute names, we have here in the West Village a chipper named ‘Assault and Battery’, which has a tea shop next to it named “Tea and Sympathy’ how cute is that, but neither hardly worth a visit unfortunately.

    As for football, appears the Mags are making hard work of it still, with a point a game.

    Which may not be good enough and send us into the play offs, a system based on earning more money for the league and totally unfair, being the difference between the first and fourth sides involved could be as many as ten points or more.

    Having played forty six games already, the added games are bullshit and the third place side should be automatically promoted, well that’s just my opinion, but i’m sure many would agree.

  14. ‘Assault and Battery’

    They’re terrible with those crappy wordplay names up there. Cheap barbers and hairdressers seem to be the worst. The last time I went for a barber’s haircut up there it was at a place called ‘Power Cut.’ For fish and chips, the most usual is ‘Fred’s Plaice’ or whatever the owner’s name followed by the name of the flat fish.

    That Magpie in Whitby has gone all posh. If you’re ever there and you just want a good old chippy try Fusco’s. We always called it Fuscos because it’s run by the Fuscos but it’s called Royal fisheries.They do nice fish and chips anyway and it’s on Baxtergate. Closer to Geordieland, there’s a nice place in Bishop Auckland called Beedles and one in South Shields called Colman’s. Apperently, there’s a very good one close to me in London called ‘Toffs’ which is in Muswell Hill but I haven’t been there yet. I only found out that it was very good very recently so I’ll pay them a visit soon.

    I believe we’ve agreed before about the playoff circus, though they can sell the final as the richest game on earth bearing in mind the financial difference between being and not being in the Premier League.

    As for Newcastle, these are nervous times now after the way they’ve played in the last few games.

  15. Do I have any fish and chip tips?
    I think you have covered quite a bit of it all ready from Chucks basic recipe if a little simplistic. There are so many variables in all the ingredients from modern bleached and messed about flours, liquid temperatures, etc is it flour to water or water to flour? Do you allow the batter to rest before use? and so on.
    In truth I have not cooked fish and chips in this way for many years, there is something really satisfying about having them from a good chippy.
    This to me is the answer, as in all cooking its the ability and experience to see and know if things are right as you do them. Get the basics correct and the tweaking comes later. I doubt very much if the Harry Ramsdens etc even make traditional batter most likely it is a bought in as a”dried batter mix”
    Don’t get me started on potato’s the super markets have a lot to answer for, two or three types of “whites” two or three types of “reds” and that’s it. The same with apples a couple of varieties of “red” a couple of “green” and a couple of “red green”
    We have lost so many really good varieties of potato’s and apples to this simplistic view.
    I did hear a “celebrity chef” on tv stating the greatest advance in catering over the last few years is the thrice cooked chips. I’ve been “blanching” chips for nearly 70years!!
    My personal taste is for cod to be lightly dusted in seasoned flour and lightly fried in butter (I tend towards the French and use butter a lot) although I do use Virgin olive oil for some things

  16. Nutmag says:
    March 20, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    “In truth I have not cooked fish and chips in this way for many years, there is something really satisfying about having them from a good chippy.”

    Same here. As for the blanching, I just thought that was old wisdom from the mists of time. There are so many chefs on tv and they have to make up so much bollocks to keep things moving along. I can (just) remember the days of Fanny Craddock and ‘Johnny.’ She was scary like the wicked witch of the West. Some of the concoctions she made looked bloody awful as well. One further thing I can remember is to lay the battered fish into the fat gently and don’t just ‘chuck’ it in (if you’ll excuse the pun).

    Aye, I went to the original Harry Ramsden’s in Guiseley a few times when I lived in Harrogate. I think it was the only one back then. They were nice enough but I wouldn’t say they were the best I’ve ever had.

    I have a friend who grows his own vegetables and they usually taste noticeably better than what you’d get in a supermarket, especially things like potatoes and strawberries.

  17. From to-days reports, we can finally relax having found a cheap bargain basement target in Scott Arfield, a Scot who plays for Burnley (but I guess at least two out of a hundred knew that already) he will apparently play for Canada against his birth country, which sez it all.

    He’s ls also close to the end of his contract at Burnley, which will mean he comes cheaper, wow what a co-incidence, not!

    Why do I mention this particular trade ?

    Because it is an indication of what’s to come, apparently Ashley has lost a few hundred million in regard to his regular business, meaning NUFC will have to cut it’s cloth accordingly, after all NUFC is only an adjunct to SD, even though they could be a stand alone business, showing profit from the sale of a number of players following last seasons demotion.

    I wonder when the NUFC fans will cop on to the fact, that there will never be a silver lining as long as Ashley owns the club, as the same old con
    appears to work year after year, the last being, he will stick with the club as long as it takes to win some silverware, yeah right !

    Apparently it’s business as usual, where that first class footballing trio of Carr, the Chubster and Ashley will pick a number of cheap targets that Benitez doesn’t want, which will be the end of him and once again we will end up with a Pardew/McClaren type loser happy enough to have a job.

    So forget Benitez, yeah it was an entertaining thought that he could rebuild the club from top to bottom, but the only bottom Ashley is interested in is the bottom line, being he has enough on his plate with major losses at SD.

    Ah well the more things change the more they stay the same, perhaps he can save a few bucks by buying a yearly pass from the French railroads, being it wont be long before Carr starts making his rounds to buy cheap youngsters that he can sell on, though having lost five million on the recent sale of Thauvin, perhaps he should think again.

    I just don’t get it, the kid was a guaranteed success and now has been picked to play for France and has had a great season at Marseilles, obviously a testament to our recent great managers, it’s no co-incidence the EPL is full of continental managers and we are about to lose one of the best, how’s that for running a club ?

  18. One last comment on cooking, it’s a well know fact that taste buds vary from person to person, therefore we tend to use the spices and coking methods that suit our taste.

    I have found that in the UK for instance meat is generally cooked to a cinder, whereas in the US it can be almost raw, the general idea should be somewhere in between, a seared outer part with hopefully a pinkish center.

    In which case one would order medium/well unless it’s brisket or those meats that are traditionally well done, goat, lamb and pork, plus of course those stew-like dishes that require it.

    What puts me off is to watch the average punter order and munch on a medium burger, which is served up almost raw in the center, which can be dangerous to ones health.

    Personally I eat very little red meat or the alternatives, preferring fish any day of the week, the problem with buying fish is the question of freshness, yes its easy to determine on viewing an entire fish, where one can look for the signs, eyes firmness of flesh etc. but how does one determine the freshness of fish already filleted, not so easy.

    As for cooking both types both fish and meats, I find meat is more forgiving whereas most fish require a little more attention, plus one should be able to IMO taste the fish, meaning a light hand with spices or other additives.

    Which brings to mind an evening meal with a bunch of well stewed friends one of whom eventually fell asleep and awoke while we were discussing how much to leave as a tip, his reaction was “don’t leave em a godddamn cent, that was the greasiest soup I ever tasted” we were puzzled until it became apparent he had drunk the bowl of drawn butter for his Lobster,
    must be a moral or perhaps a morel in that somewhere .

  19. Scott Arfield? Don’t know much about him. He doesn’t seem to be the type for Benitez though. It’s probably paper talk again. Everything is about promotion now and then we’ll see what happens.

    Back in the old days, quite alot of oldies my parents age would have steaks done to death, and veg would often get stewed to death as well. I don’t know about now though. I think the problem is more too many people eating packaged food. You can get stuff from all over the world now, but as Nutmag says, the variety of simple everydays things like potatoes and apples are going downhill. Alot of vegetables have been grown for appearence rather that flavour.

  20. Chuck Scott Arfield is just one name in a sea of names now, and there will be a lot more before the summer window. As always its a matter of wait and see.
    Caster kippers I once had quite a long discussion with someone you know Chuck. I don’t think Worky will thank me for mentioning him as you may go into “full rant”.
    Sir Evelyn Baring! He told me he had a friend in the RAF who would have them flown out to him when they could. He said there was nothing better for breakfast.
    I met him several times, it got to the stage where he would address me by my surname (Lucky Me)
    I didn’t know at that time what an evil man he was.
    Fresh fish its always “smell” fresh fish should have no smell or very little.
    I apply this to most things rather than “Use By Dates”. To my certain knowledge I have not poisoned anyone (Yet).
    Different varieties of potato’s can still be found but you have to know where to look.
    With apples its more difficult as whole orchards of different types were dug up to accommodate the super markets wants.
    I am now officially a Grumpy Old Man and have a whole list of things that get my goat.
    Thrice cooked chips, Pulled pork beef etc Lamb cooked in a fake mint. and lots more.
    I may get around to discussing art and painting at a later date.
    .

  21. Well yes and thank goodness that so many out of season vegetables are now available, due to refrigeration and before anyone condemns frozen vegetables, they are fine according to the powers that be.

    On moving to London in the late seventies the local greengrocer was amazed at my ignorance when I asked for out of season stuff, we in NY at the time being used to the availability of produce from California, Florida Mexico and the Caribbean, meaning one was stuck with spuds, turnips, cabbage, etc, not that there’s anything wrong with those vegies, but the lack of variety was apparent, even in Harrods food halls.

    It’s a totally different world these days, both with the variety of foods available and the renaissance of cooking that has London boasting some of the worlds finest restaurants, plus one has to only stroll down the isles of most supermarkets to realize the variety of foods now available.

    Yep ! the world has become amazingly homogeneous, when it comes to food (and other things of course) and we with three quarters of a century under our belts can still be amazed with the changes that have taken place in our lives, it’s a case of constant adjustment, where one constantly adapt’s, to changing circumstances and technology.
    Ah well !

    On the football front, rumors of signings are rife, though I doubt whether Ashley intends to spend heavily, which seems the fans expect, haven’t
    they learned anything about this man and his intentions by now.

    Sure it would be nice to see some decent talent brought in , Rafa. to stay and a top ten position in the EPL, the thing is we are not yet promoted and
    presently hearing footsteps as the gap narrows between a top eight in the second tier.

    Certainly Rafa was right in expanding the squad considering the number of games plus the amount of injuries in the more perspiration than inspiration league, though I would be surprised if there wasn’t an exodus of no longer required players, if in fact we are successful in our promotion bid.

    And i’m sure many fans present concerns are that Rafa. will decide there’s little future for him at the club, following the recent refusal to make any signings or even communicate with him, it’s a tight little circle, Ashley, Fatso and Rasputin/Carr and with them there goes the future of the club.

    I don’t know why Ashley doesn’t just hire Tony Pulis and have done with it
    as somehow or other he manages to survive in the PL each year, though I doubt if the fans would be happy about watching Pulis-ball, but then when did Ashley ever give a rats-ass about the fans, he being in an adversarial relationship since day one.

  22. Well nutmeg, I wasn’t sure exactly who your sir Eveln Baring was, but having looked him up, he’s a pretty disgusting piece of work, guilty no doubt of many atrocities committed during what the UK now calls the Kenyan Emergency, which in fact was mass incarceration,torture and murder of those seeking their freedom, where it’s possible that as many as150,000 could have died the official British figures are 11k to 13k,
    however there were no more than 32 settlers killed and under 2000 police and military casualties.
    Sir Evelyn was responsible as governor for introducing the death penalty for Mau Mau membership and whose short statement encapsulates his attitude
    “that violent shock was the only way of dealing with the mau mau”
    what a guy !

  23. chuck says:
    March 24, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    “Well yes and thank goodness that so many out of season vegetables are now available, due to refrigeration and before anyone condemns frozen vegetables, they are fine according to the powers that be.”

    In the last few years from what I’ve read about the world of fine dining (and Nutmag might correct me here), the trend has been the exact opposite, sourcing and foraging for very local ingredients which are in season. The trend was led by a very highly regarded restaurant in Denmark called ‘Noma,’ where they fanny around foraging for local wildflowers to cook and things like that. It’s been voted the best restaurant in the world for the last few years.

    There was post war rationing and some dire food in general over here back in the old days, but the posh who have been able to afford to shop in places like Harrods and Fortnums have always eaten well. I remember being dressed up like little Lord Fauntleroy and taken to the Savoy grill when I was a bairn. They used to have the most famous and influential chef there’s ever been, Aguste Escoffier or merely ‘L’Escoffier.’ He literally wrote the book on Haute Cuisine. When we write about dour, bland food, it’s the hoi polloi we’re talking about really.

    That aside, if there was a culinary map of western europe, you would have a big area in the north of northern, mostly Protestant, beer drinking ‘meat and potatoes’ countries like Germany, the UK and others. They had no time for messing about with food, it was too cold and they had work to do! On the other hand there are the warmer southern wine glugging countries like Italy, France, Spain and so on who tended to make a bit more of a fuss about what they shoved in their cakeholes. Of course, we live in a globalised world now and that has changed everything.

    In the US, and especially in New York there are people from all over the world cooking great food, but at heart it is still a Protestant meat and potatoes country whose most famous foodstuffs are German, named after the cities of Hamburg and Frankfurt.

    Nutmag, in relation to sell by dates, maybe it’s because we have a far more litigious society nowadays, or they know that you’ll throw it out and go and buy another one! Either way they are always very conservative. I’ve eaten stuff that’s well past its sell by date and I’m not quite dead yet!

    Returning to fish and chips, and mint sauce, I like a bit of real mint sauce with my mushy peas.

  24. Yes what you say has a degree of truth in it, however that was not my point, what I experienced during the late seventies while living on Walton St. only a short few blocks from Harrods back door and the supposedly fabulous food halls, was not much different from that provided by the local greengrocers and fact is the local barrow boys if asked could provide most of what one required.
    But in general most were restricted to what was available and in season.

    Yes everyone who has eaten a decent meal has heard of such places as Noma, The Michelin Guide is full of them, owners who pluck fresh produce from their gardens usually attached to their restaurant.

    These are not the same as Noma and it’s ilk, which is more of a place to be seen and so attentive to providing an experience that differs from the norm, they come and go, much like the so called new cuisine of a couple of decades ago, where one left the premises hungrier than when entering.

    Though I don’t intend to insinuate there is no place for such eateries, one has only to attempt to make reservations to see how popular or what it means for some to be able to say, yes we dined at “The Fat Duck” in Berkshire , etc.

    To put it as briefly as possible, I recall having to walk half way to Stamford Bridge along the Fulham Rd. just to find pasta sauces from an Italian deli, all vey commonplace in to-days supermarkets, that’s what I’m talking about.

    But I was referring to what was commonly available at that time, in comparison with to-days availability.

    As for what is eaten in the US, it seems you have a very stinted opinion of what is eaten here, with your remarks in regard to hamburgers and Frankfurters.

    This is a sub continent with as much variation as western Europe, from new England’s sea food varieties to good old southern “down home cookin’, Louisiana Cajun, Texas’ tex-mex, California’s mixture of cuisines from it’s Mexican influences, to Italian sea food in San Francisco’s bay area, look it’s no co-incidence that US based fast food industries have taken over the world and is enjoyed by all, including the hot dog and burgers you consume .

    No doubt the US is primarily a beef eating country, but then so are others that can afford to eat at the top of the food chain.

  25. Chuck, I’ve heard of Gumbo from the old French part of the US and Mexican food, but when people outside of there think about Yank food, it’s burgers, hot dogs, fried chicken etc. Fast food.

    The Fat Duck’s gimmick was the appliance of science, wheras Noma was like the reverse, going back to a primeval garden of Eden again and foraging for flowers to eat. It’s all very pretentious of course but I daresay they both make a very good living.

    This northern meat and potato food isn’t doing us any good nowadays. The fattest people in the world are Americans, then come the Germans and of course, the British have now joined the top table of obesity in a big way. Everybody’s getting diabetes as well.

    Say what you like about eating food which might have been grown on a huge farm 10,000 miles away, home grown food picked the same day usually tastes nicer, or it does in my experience.

  26. Yes of course , couldn’t agree more.

    The obesity problem is everywhere, certainly in most first world countries, some of which “fast food” can be blamed, not only the food involved but the sugar filled drinks that accompany the fat filled food.

    It’s high time people started to read food labels and educate themselves about their choices, I understand that many of to-days working people find it easier to eat ready made meals, few having any clue how to cook raw food.

    It’s simply a case of avoiding having to cook meals, apparently prior to the industrial revolution, when most were employed on farms, British cooking was rich in both ingredients and variety, but industrial employment with it’s long hours and restricted availability caused the average family to reduce their intakes and variety, both time and a reduced availability becoming the norm.

    To-day although most have not only the latest cooking technology and appliances along with a great variety of foods available, the question is who is available to cook, most wives having to work and everyone on different time schedules, it’s so much simpler to buy take out or visit your local fast food eatery.

    I recall a time when on Tyneside around five pm each working day there was a mass exodus from shipyards, armament plans coal mines and other heavy industrial plants, where a majority of those exiting rode bikes,
    at least getting some exercise, along with the physical demands of their jobs, compared with to-days physically undemanding occupations, though the gyms are packed to overflowing, with overweight chubsters.

    Of course during those times most families had a stay at home wife who cooked for the family seven days a week.

    I just don’t get it, but obviously it’s a combination of overeating and that includes the wrong foods, mostly processed foods, plus the overconsumption of sugar filled drinks, the increased size of portions available and just lack of control over eating habits.

    You mention Gumbo, of which there are various types, whos basic ingredient is Okra, combined with various rues, depending on which type one intends to be the main ingredient.
    Brought from Africa by slaves and now a major part of what has become “Creol Cuisine”.
    Africans having introduced many of what are considered “Down Home” cooking meals to the southern states being for the most part the cooks in many households.

    Resulting in a cuisine as different as Spnish cooking to the meat and potato’s of Germany are from The foods of New England to that of Alabams.

    One unassociated study made of the diets of the Irish prior to the great famine found, a diet of potato’s alone eaten by many Irish (eight million of them) (now back to a total of around six million, almost two hundred years later) produced healthier bigger and stronger individuals than their English counterparts, who had by then learned to eat white flour breads, a supposed step upwards due to an increase in personal wealth.

    The more things change the more they stay the same, I suppose, as we go through constant change, diet and otherwise.

  27. Chuck, here’s a world obesity map and there are a few surprises both ways. It isn’t necessarily just so called ‘first world countries’. You have to click between them as it separates them into men, women, boys and girls. The French go on about their food all the time, and yet they aren’t very fat. Japan’s a rich first world country but they aren’t fat either. Egyptians are though. They don’t look anything like the elegant figures in those old hieroglyphics any more! Remebering the fatties I’ve known, I don’t think they’ve really been fat through food, but more through drink! In my day when I was at school you might have A fat kid like Billy Bunter or ‘Roly’ from ‘Grange Hill,’ it was tradition. When I went to a boys prep school with about a hundred and odd bairns, there was two or three and I remember their names, but nowadays it seems to be lots of ’em outside the fried chicken shops.

    I’m not an okra fan at all. I don’t like vegetables masquerading as fruit and vice-versa. I’ve never been much of an aubergine fan either. I’ve had fried plantain with a fry up though.

  28. Yes not particularly good reading and somewhat ambiguous as to the reasons why some countries have more overweight and obese populations than others, it certainly is not an indication of wealth or availability of food unless you consider some of the constant famine stricken countries of the Saharan regions such as Ethiopia and their surrounding neighbors.

    It appears the Japanese are not only the healthiest, but live longer than the majority of nations, with their primarily diet of fish, though fast food outlets have been around for the last fifty years or more, I noticed few overweight Japanese.

    Okra eaten as a side is not the tastiest, but is essential in the making of gumbo, As I mentioned a dish who’s origins are in Africa, as are many of the dishes of the deep south.

    Fried plantains can be quite addictive, known in the Caribbean as ‘tostones’
    made from either green plantains or sweet (ripe) version.
    Not a fan of the ripe, but the green are easy to make and can be quite addictive.
    Simply remove the skins and slice on the bias, then place in hot oil for two minutes and remove to a paper towel, press them with a folded paper towel and to spread them, then re-add to the hot fat until crisp, drain and eat, usually accompanied by rice and beans and either fish or meat .

    Surely there must be (apart from Jamaican or Trinidadian, which are Indian influenced ) a Spanish Caribbean restaurant somewhere in London, to try.

    Of course much of the cooking styles of the deep south are of African origin, being they were the ones who did the cooking, as are many of the ingredients, such as turnip greens , mustard greens and a variety of beans and spices.

    What I have written about food in the continental US is only a small contribution to what is available and contrary to what some believe, it could be possibly the most innovative of nations when it comes to the amount of different ethnic foods available, plus the mixing of those foods to introduce new varieties is ongoing.

  29. Unfortunately some people judge the places they eat by the quantity not the quality they receive.
    I was in South Wales recently and taken by a local to his favourite eatery “A Carvery” (I hate carveries with a passion!) cold to luke warm beige “stuff” (I won’t call it food.) the place was packed. The plates of “stuff” I saw consumed was amazing as the meat is put on the plate first and the other beige stuff piled on top. this means it has to be eaten in layers That has got to be wrong in so many ways but its what some people think is great.
    There is a place in my local town that has a board outside declaring Breakfast £3-50 Large Breakfast £5-50 The Beast £7-50.
    With half the world starving the other half is eating as though it was a competition.
    That and a lack of exercise accounts for so many illnesses and the lack of fitness to cope with the simplest ailments.
    I was intending to write about quality vs quantity but got side tracked. I will have a go at quality later.

  30. On an unexpected visit to Tyneside last summer I spent two overnight’s there and being curious decided to look for anything that looked decent as far as dining was concerned.

    Perhaps there are some decent eateries there, unfortunately my experience couldn’t prove that, especially having walked around checking various menus decided to try a Chinese meal in the china-town area.

    A big mistake, tried one Chinese eatery, where the waiter began removing plates of food before anyone had indicated they were finished and when confronted began a lecture on how things were done there, a most argumentative individual who decided to carry on doing whatever the supposed policy was and simply insisted we behave according to house rules, it was unbelievable, yet the manager insisted on backing him.

    Of course his stupidity left him tip-less, but if this is any indication of how people run their business, the public would be well advised to avoid such eateries.

    Strange that there were no Sea-food restaurants and many of the spots were obviously imitation fast food type obvious belonging to chains. Outlets disguised as Italian or pseudo -French with inedible food and very small portions, the service was awful and servers in general mostly ignorant and disrespectful, with little in the way of oversight by management.

    Though there surely had to have been somewhere decent in the City, Ah well ! shouldda got a take out from Greggs I guess.

  31. I was wondering if any policy in regard to summer signings have been agreed upon by Rafa. and Ashley, the last time I read about it apparently neither had talked to one another, in months, it seems Ashley communicates to Rafa, through Chubby Charnley (I wonder how much is lost in the translation so to speak).

    Plus behind the scenes there is the whispering of Carr, who I imagine has the ear of Ashley, having brought a certain amount of players to the club, who in turn have helped the NUFC bottom line with their sell on fees.

    Though in general he has brought an equal number of duds, that lost money, the one player I just cant figure out is Thauvin, considering what he contributed before and after his term at St. James’ obviously a youngster with skills who was tracked at an early age, yet ended up having an awful time at Nufc, was it due to the poor management or did he just want desperately to get away from the club?

    We will never know I suppose, but one thing is certain, and that’s the fact of NUFC are to have any modicum of future success in the PL, then Rafa has to have a free hand, which I don’t see as long as Carr has Ashley’s ear .

  32. Chuck my local town has a eatery of every nationality known to man and I couldn’t recommend one of them. I tend to go out of town and gamble on “Pub Grub”. You can usually make an informed guess by the look of the outside. Aim for something between the one’s advertising sports on tv and those who regard themselves as a top restaurants. In between there are some “nuggets”
    Not such a one in my village it thinks its high end but its the opposite. In the past it has been run by an array of old comedy actors Melvin Hayes, one hit wonder pop stars Don Fardon (there is one for you to look up) the hit was Indian Reservation in the 70s I think.
    It is now run by an outfit that has a few similar “would be” restaurants they proudly state they source their ingredients locally, but not from the free range poultry farm only quarter of a mile from their door or any other farms near by. They are supplied by a wholesaler in town who I do suppose is local, even if his goods are not.
    Lots of things have improved in catering but it seems there are so many untrained or out of their depth people trying it on now I’m afraid

  33. Nutmag, I would have thought Melvin Hayes would have changed it into a curry house and call it ‘It ain’t ‘arf hot Mum!’ I think I’ve read about Don Fardon. It was a sadly rather typical tale of the old music industry on both sides of the Atlantic. He sold millions and got next to bugger all.

    One thing I hated the most in some less salubrious restaurants was meat injected with saline solution to make it bigger and heavier. You know it because it’s like rubber on your teeth and squeaks when you chew it. One of my favourite local restaurants is a proper Indian vegetarian restaurant close to me called Jai Krishna. ‘English’ Indian restaurants usually serve big, gut busting curries of varying quality, but this one serves things like Masala Dosa and lots of delicious little vegetarian treats. It’s cheap as well, as much a cafe as a restaurant. Places like that are definitely one of the plus points of living in a place like London or New York. You still get chain joints like ‘Nando’s’ all over the place though. I had a Caesar Salad in the local Nando’s with some friends once and it was shite.

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