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

Posted on March 3rd, 2017 | 93 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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93 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.

  34. Yes I agree, about the fact there are numerous small yet traditional eateries in many of the worlds larger cities and sometimes found in the most unlikely places.

    It can be difficult for them sourcing authentic ingredients found in national dishes, but if there is enough demand suppliers will always find a way to supply them.

    Of course there are the flavor’s of the month, mostly south east Asian eateries, Indonesian, Malasian, Thai and Vietnamese, with their alternatives to he standard Chinese menu’s that have been a staple since I can remember.

    And one can find Sushi joints on just about any block, though the quality varies from one to another.

    Mexican food is also quite common but it competes more on price than taste, plus cheap Margaritas.

    Of course the old but still excellent French and Italian restaurants maintain their position as first class, though for some reason Indian cooking has never caught on like in the UK.

    If it’s seafood your looking for, that old over 100 years in business ‘Grand Central Oyster Bar’ is recommended for a great lunch.

    And there are the usual pizzerias, good bad and indifferent everywhere, but only one traditional Jewish deli for that Corned Beef or Pastrami sandwich, “Katz” on the lower east side.

    Jamaican food, hot roti’s or Curried goat, being available with rice and peas, though I prefer the Trinidadian versions with their Indian influence’s.

    Of course the old Steak and chop houses are still popular and will remain so, most Americans still like their red meat and potato’s I’m afraid.

    And for the last couple of decades the local taverns have been serving lunches and early dining at the bar, things like Chicken wings, Hamburgers and other finger foods, it often feels more like sitting at a diner than a bar.

    Plus the once standard Greek coffee shop is becoming history along with the Jewish Deli’s and most diners, though the Korean steam table with it’s trays of various foods is alive and well, where you lode up your plastic container and take it to the checkout, where you pay by the weight.

    Yes it’s a constantly changing scenario, when it comes to food in the city and most tourists are amazed when confronted by the amounts of food available everywhere.

  35. Rumor has it that West Ham will make an offer to Benitez this summer and unless Ashley treats him with a bit of respect could very well lose him, which I fully expect.

    Not only the Hammers but there are other clubs who no doubt would like to have someone with his skills managing their side.

    But there appears that not much has changed at NUFC, Ashley still running things and treating his employees with no respect, that and hiring idiots in the top management positions, I mean who in his right mind would hire people like Carr, Charnley, McClaren, Llambias, Pardew, Etc.
    none of which should be involved in making any decisions about football.

    I mean where is that oil rich oligarch or Chinese billionaire who actually cares about football, not some jerk who uses the club as a free advertising
    for the sale of cheap tat, with expensive labels.

    Time for the bed sheet’s brigades, get him outta here.

  36. Well to-days the big leap for the UK, a leap into the darkness no doubt, former PM Cameron’s brilliant idea to allow a referendum, giving the UK’s voters the right to decide whether to leave the European community.

    Of course the canny Scot’s quickly sussed out where their interests lay and voted accordingly, as did the voters in the Norn Iron Statelet.

    Unfortunately there were those who knew better, the xenophobic English, whose reason was racist in nature as the main reason for a Brexit appears to be all about immigration .

    The Scots will of course demand a new referendum and will likely leave the union and there’s always the possibility the Norn Iron Statelet will revert to once again joining as part of Ireland, which had more sense.

    So what would become of both Wales and England, obviously a diminished population that would find it difficult to compete without the availability to trade as a member of a massive block of countries and who’s role in the world would itself be greatly diminished.

    From what we read it’s obvious the EU has a score to settle with the UK and intends to make negotiations difficult, a lesson to any future nation looking to withdraw from the block.

    So better tighten those belts the future appearing to be one of even more diminishing returns, which those who are still reaping the rewards of Thatchers de-industrialization program will testify to.

  37. “Unfortunately there were those who knew better, the xenophobic English, whose reason was racist in nature as the main reason for a Brexit appears to be all about immigration .”

    There you go again, Chuckles. If I had a choice between a Dollar for every English xenophobic racist, or a dollar for every Yank one, I know which I’d choose!

    The Scots have a deficit of over 10%, so that situation certainly isn’t as simple as you seem to think it is. It would be like another Greece. There would also be the strong objections from Spain if Scotland expected to just wave aside all the usual bureaucracy and got the red carpet treatment. This would be in case it gives the Basques and the Catalonians ideas. There’s alot of evidence to suggest that the vote would be similar to last time. Nicola Sturgeon is playing a game of brinkmanship

    The first time I ever saw a proper salt beef sandwich was the legendary salt beef sandwich in the Nosh Bar on Windmill Street in the middle of Soho. It used to look like this Sandwiches were usually a sad affair over here back in those days. The British Rail sandwiches were infamous. These were proper sandwiches that looked like the Empire State building though. My parents took me in there a few times when I was a bairn in our trips down to London. Interestingly, in Soho “nosh” also used to mean performing oral sex on a male! There are some strange shop names in London though. I don’t know if it’s still there but there but I remember a tailors in Brick lane called “Touching Cloth” which is also a slang expression for losing control of one’s bowels while dressed. I imagine some poor Bangladeshi guy who was naive enough to ask a British joker to suggest a good name for his tailor’s shop!

    I found a picture of Touching Cloth.

    I don’t about over there, but the Vietnamese are in charge of the Marijuana over here nowadays. It presents an ethical dilemma to the stoner over here similar to the misery caused by the Cocaine trade as they often traffic bairns over here as slaves to look after Skunk farms.

  38. “Nosh” a yidish expression, to eat, also commonly used by Londoners.

    The one memory from British Rail was the afternoon tea, with toasted tea-cakes, there’s something special about dining on a train don’t you think.

    Cought the PM’s speech to the commons last night, where the Scottish MP gave her a decent rebuttal, as did Corbyn, but as usual he was wishy washy, with little substance or venom.

    I still find it hard to believe the country is going slowly but surely down the tubes and they are their own executors, how could this happen ?

    Well if it’s being blamed on an objection to immigration, does that not indicate a form of racism and to now declare the UK to be an international trader is ridiculous, being who will replace the worlds largest trading block that they were so eager to join, it’s like putting lipstick on a pig.

    When things turn brown economically they could once again attempt to re-join the EU I suppose.

    As for Viet-nam, weed and opium have played a major role there for generations, it’s usually part of many a ritiree’s program, a couple of pipes a day, keeps the blues away, I have a nephew who has lived here for a couple of years and likes the life style and has no notion of returning.

    The Vietnamese are a smart race of people, who work hard and have come a long way since 1975,

    As for Scotland, they are not going to continue as a member of a sinking ship and with the recent discovery of a vast supply of oil, could live quite comfortably and no doubt would be more than welcome within the EU.

    Plus Scotland joined the UK it was not forced like Ireland and has the right to leave any time it pleases, not like the Basques or Catalans, who have been regions of Spain for centuries.

    So much for populism, both here in the US, where Trump is stumbling along, screwing things up by the day, the man has no clue, nor do the Republican party, the Party of ageing white men, whereas the Tories are hard at it attempting to put lipstick on a pig and dragging both the unwilling Scots and the Irish statelet with them.

    Sad really how the UK has gone from a once great Empire to attempting to hang onto what’s left, in such a short period of time.

  39. chuck says:
    March 30, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    “The one memory from British Rail was the afternoon tea, with toasted tea-cakes, there’s something special about dining on a train don’t you think.”

    You mean like a toasted current bun? If so that was a poor man’s afternoon tea. Afternoon Tea is usually dainty, crustless sandwiches with stuff like smoked salmon and cucumber in them, scones, jam, cream, and often a further selection of very dainty little cream cakes on a dainty little stand.

    I used to love the old trains with the six seater compartments, and big, chunky ‘Deltic’ engines at the front. The dedicated dining cars with the overbrilliantined old waiters, the thick linen tablecloths, the heavy silver nickel tea pots and so on.

    As I explained earlier, even with the oil, the salmon and the whisky, Scotland still has a large deficit at the moment. Even if the oil price rises, it is still an economy which is heavily reliant on the price of one commodity.

    On the subject of my MP, One very big thing to the left side of the Labour party and Corbyn is Blair’s changes to the way MPs are put forward, and also the way leaders are elected, with a requirement for them to be nominated by at least 20% of Labour MPs and MEPs (European MPs). Prospective MPs used to be selected by the local party. With Blair though, that changed and fully vetted, bouffant haired, Blair worshipping clones were parachuted in from head office. I say this because this issue could be decided at the next Labour Conference in late September. Even if Corbyn doesn’t last until the next election, if he gets the things I mentioned above changed, he will still have a legacy and be able to claim that he achieved something significant for democracy in the party.

    RIP Kath the Tea Lady. I think she had a crush on some of the managers. I saw a photo of her kissing Keegan once and she almost had her tongue down his throat! Pardew was her favourite though. She was always gushing about how wonderful he was.

  40. Ah rail journey’s I loved them in my military day’s catching the Talisman out of Kings Cross. “Lording” it with a meal and a half bottle of wine. Back then it seemed as though there was lots of “squaddie” travellers and had some real sessions in the buffet car with Matlots and other Squaddies I arrived at Newcastle in some sorry states but always happy and feeling no pain. Happy Days

  41. Of course there were special afternoon teas served on different lines, I was referring to the post war old independent LNER, which served the east coast run between Kings Cross and Queen St. station in Glasgow, which were pulled by steam trains that one had to remember to close the sliding small windows while transiting through tunnels, to avoid the carriage being filled by smoke, soot and cinders.

    Unfortunately traveling on to-days trains, one is fortunate to purchase a lousy cup of tea , never mind a full afternoon tea.

    I often wonder what happened to those great watercolor paintings from the carriages, the ones that gave the impression that all British resorts were as special as depicted, the scheme to fill Britains trains with visions of places like Whitley Bay were very well done and must have been churned out by the thousands.

    Also the London underground, which produced such great posters, surely not all were destroyed, is there not a museum somewhere that displays at least some of those beautiful old paintings and posters ?

    Well it’s only day two of Brexit and things don’t bode well for the UK, being there will be no joint agenda for both post and present Brexit , which it appears will cost the UK somewhere in the region of sixty billion $$$ and that’s just the exit fee, anything after that, The UK’s role as far as tariffs and customs fees for instant will be dealt with on a post exit basis.

    I often wonder why these circumstances were never brought to light or discussed prior to the referendum, as it now appears that the electorate were voting for the proverbial “pig in a poke” with the Brexiteers only reason for leaving was a form of xenophobia, common to the island and once they had got rid of ‘Johhny Foreigner’ things would be wonderful .

    I suppose many in Europe will be glad to see the end of the association, being Britain was at times over demandin and playing it’s traditional role in Europe as the balance of power, unfortunately now they are on their own, lets see how they make out as a world trader.

    But all is not lost, there’s always the possibility of becoming the fifty first state if necessary, either that or try to bring about some sort of English language trading block consisting of former English speaking Colonies, The US included, though I doubt it would work.

    I just don’t see the UK as a stand alone trading nation in this present world, plus the Scot’s are going to demand a new referendum on the subject of independence, on the basis they want to remain as a part of the EU, possibly resulting in a further diminishment of the UK, plus the Norn Iron statelet would do well to re-unite with Ireland if they understand where their best interests lie.

    That idiot Cameron has a lot to answer for.

  42. Chuck the Talisman was steam and LNER Kings Cross to Waverly station Edinburgh. I often though I would miss my stop at Newcastle and end up there. Glasgow is West coast line. I always caught the night train back from Newcastle when it came in from Edinburgh, I’d wait on the platform at the rear of the train, just before leaving they’d add two empty carriages. I’d get myself an empty compartment pull the blinds down and get my head down. Once around York I woke to find a pale gaunt vicar sitting opposite me that was really creepy!
    There will be a lot more to come out of brexit over the next weeks and months people don’t think things through to there ultimate conclusion and then are surprised and look for someone to blame. Its really themselves but Cameron has a lot to answer for he took incompetence to another level.
    Sturgeon on the other hand is a one trick pony like Farage the referendum is the only card she has to play.
    Its sometimes good to be old but I feel for future generations as they keep making the same mistakes.

  43. Yes going to Glasgow was normally from Euston Station, but the London North Eastern RR (LNER) was an alternative which I’m not sure one had to change at Waverly in Edinburgh apart from those traveling further north to say Dundee or Aberdeen, of course traveling by train to-day is IMO a mess, with constantly changing schedules, less comfortable trains and god forbid you depend on them to feed you.

    Ah well! progress I suppose, though I can still remember the crowded trains of early post war Britain, filled with soldiers and sailors alike, all carrying enormous kit bags which ended up as seats that filled most carriage passageways.

    Though I remember there was always a sense of adventure related to stations and trains, that no longer exists, travelling by train is not the most adventurous way of getting from one place to another, nor the quickest, especially when one observes the thousands pouring out of London’s Stations in the middle of their daily commute, no thanks.

    And certainly in the case of Brexit, I do feel sorry for those younger folk, who through the stupidity and selfishness on the part the country’s older generation, must suffer financially in the future, though what amazed me in general, was the fact little of the full ramifications of Brexit were made public, which in itself was a disgrace, plus the fact few took it upon themselves to enquire as to the consequences, which they are about to learn and very soon.

    But no I believe the Scots are quite right in asking for a second referenda in regard to leaving the UK, being they have little or no say in the matters concerning Brexit other than having voted unanimously against it, why should they now have to suffer the consequences of the English and Welsh electorate’s ignorance.

    As for Sturgeon, I find her representation of the Scottish people to be smart and being that no-one believed that Brexit would happen, certainly changes the circumstances of the previous referendum that rejected separation from the UK.

    Look if the country ( the Tory government) were stupid enough to allow the Brexit referendum and it’s result, it only appears that fairness should give the Scot’s the right to devolve from the UK, being they voted overwhelmingly to retain membership in the EU.

    Not that it could or would be automatically granted by the EU, though if that Scottish referendum is granted before a full Brexit (within the next two years) why would the EU then want to expel them, being they are already members, of course the same applies to the UK, should they find a way to avoid Brexit themselves.

    It’s not as if like the Irish Republic, which certain political situations require a referendum (instilled in their current constitution) like acceptance of the EU treaty, which next to no one had read apart from those who framed it, a constitution that rivals War and peace in length, which was rejected by the Irish people, which caused a panic and resulted in having a certain second referendum, which brought a certain amount of threats and arm twisting that got the desired result, the Irish being aware of their limitations and not wanting to belong to a block that could in fact make life difficult for them.

    It appears like the Irish, the Scots are only looking out for their own interests and the decision would be whether they remain as a member of that massive trading block, also known as the EU, or stick with a leap into the dark, alongside England and Wales via Brexit .

    In which case certainly remaining with the EU, sounds not only the better future, but a no brainer, unless one can find a better argument to Brexit.

  44. If Scotland had voted yes in their last referendum they would have been out of the EU anyway and had to re apply for membership. Sturgeon did not say much about that.

  45. 3 points is a relief, but Wigan aren’t the FA winners from a few years back, they have been in a mess and facing relegation to League One. It was the usual suspects scoring as well (Gayle and Ritchie) illustrating further how fragile things can be without them, especially the fragile Gayle. As much as the three points though, the other good news for both Newcastle and Brighton is that third place Huddersfield were beaten, and so were fourth placed Leeds.

    Just before my time really, but you used to be able to get a train from anywhere to everywhere until Beeching the Butcher came along with his axe. There used to be a little single track thing that stopped just outside my place in London a long time ago. Where the track used to be is a nature corridor now where people walk dogs, jog, ride their bicycles and so on. Down here, there were so many little ghost stations which were converted into other things, knocked down, fell into disrepair etc.

  46. Chuck, I used to see some some of the original old Art Deco style posters. Quite alot of those were regarded as rare and collectable in themselves, as for the original artwork, that was far more rare obviously. I’ve seen them in transport museums and design museums but once again, you rarely see the actual paintings.

    There’s a list of places where they hve collections towards the bottom of this page.

  47. Nutmag
    Yes we are all aware that had the Scots devolved from the UK, they would be outside of Europe, being they were part of Europe only as a member of the UK.

    But would that be the case if /when, the UK is about to devolve from Europe and there is an immediate successful second Scottish referendum on devolution from the UK, would membership to the EU then be retained, being they are already members (until the UK or what’s left of it, opt out) ?

    Apparently so, being Sturgeon has requested that referendum to take place prior to ‘total brexit’, (or within the two year negotiating period) when the waters are less opaque or it becomes clearer what the consequences are for Scotland, being they have little choice in the matter at present, as PM May herself is totally unaware of which direction the EU will take.

    Being such matters as Gibralter’s future have now become embroiled or added to the negotiation basket and perhaps the British former colony of Cyprus and the land grab of that Air Force base there and god knows what else is contemplated, being there will be a definite will to punish the UK, though the consequences of certain trade related rules that are in the best interest of the EU, will obviously be maintained.

    This is possibly the most complicated relationship ever developed and anyone expecting a total divorce taking place in less than five years, obviously has little idea of the complexity of what’s at stake, many of us may be dead and buried before it is worked out,

    My points are , why should a country like Scotland, one which joined forming the UK willingly, not have a say in all matters concerning themselves and why having joined willingly, do they now have to ask to devolve from such a union ?

    No doubt the Welsh have not even been considered (as usual) and are used to going along with whatever England decides for them.

    The Statelet of NI, created to protect those plantation English and Scottish settlers who displaced the native Irish and eventually ended up in a thirty year war over civil rights which still simmer’s

    Possibly the UK would be more than happy to see them devolve from the UK or rejoin the Irish Republic, considering subsidies now cost so much to the UK taxpayers, plus an enormous amount of EU subsidies to both farm and infrastructure could be lost.

    Of course any devolution from the UK may be welcomed by the Nationalist
    minority, but perhaps not, being there would be an immediate end to any UK subsidies and perhaps the Republic would not become so welcoming to take on any of such payments.

    The stupidity of Brexit and the Ignorance of the English and Welsh electorate is beyond belief. but there’s no turning back now, how could it have happened and what’s the answer, I guess just carry on regardless is the only answer, ah well !

  48. Well thanks Worky, that’s a very interesting list and I will try to take advantage of it this coming summer, which I intend to spend some time in London and Berlin, it certainly includes a lot more interesting group than I mentioned, especially the WW2 Soviet Propaganda posters, many of which I saw for sale in Union Square Park, here in NYC, featured on T-shirts.

    Yes I vaguely remember the closing of many of the UK’s rural RR lines, which was a shame IMO, though I did read lately about a reopening of a line which ran through the Cheviots or through those former small towns associated with knitting mills (Pringle) along Scotland’s southern borders regions.
    Also a recent reopening of a line from East Yorkshire to Cumbria supposedly very picturesque also.

    What do those RR buffs do to-day, the ones who were so common to so many RR stations throughout the country with their books full of engine ID numbers ?

    Its unfortunate that so many narrow guage RR’s have been torn up throughout some of the most picturesque rural regions of the UK and Ireland, think of what kind of a tourist attraction they could provide in this era of more cars and highways, certainly RR’s have lost out to to the mass manufacturing of cars, a more costly method of transportation and
    certainly more polluting, but money talks I guess !

    Strange that a once abandoned RR link, , “The Highline” here in NY has been turned into one of it’s tourist attractions a walk of perhaps one point five miles, from the old meat packing area on nyc’s west side to the thirties or from the West Village to Chelsea, has become a must for tourists, just look it up on line under ‘High line NYC’.

    Well as you mentioned, this obviously being a football related blog, the lads have been steadily churning out those low scoring wins and managing to hold onto first place, even with our frail little center forward, who needs to be wrapped in cotton, so good luck to them as they appear to be close to being promoted.

    Now that we will more than likely go up once again, we have to spend a decent amount of money, being inflation plus the rapidly increased millions of EPL payouts has caused a big increase in transfer fees, where someone costing four or five million now goes for twice that amount or more.

    It appears the Club is more interested in local players, those from both the UK and Ireland and have shown interest not only in local but players from serie A, and I was just wondering if that wasn’t outside Carr’s jurisdiction
    Being I can’t recall him ever going beyond France and the Netherlands.

    Hopefully Rafa. can have his way, fully backed by Ashley and go into the premiership loaded for bear, it’s what the fans want and following the loyalty they have shown over the last decade it’s what they deserve, so no more cheap-ass posturing, lets spend a few of those billions and all enjoy a great season, where a top six to ten spot would be perfectly acceptable.

  49. Lots of football to-day in both top leagues, Brighton sitting above United by a couple of points made this an important game, in this run in.

    I would say Huddersfield will end up fighting for the third spot and who knows how that will work out, it’s not as if those additional games were needed following a league total of forty six, which makes promotion so difficult, better to just promote the third club.

    I read rumors about a possibility that I have often written about, the defection of a number of wealthy clubs who may/would/could organize their own Super League, and there’s seldom smoke without fire.

    The two main organizations involved in running football FIFA & UEFA have in the past proved to be rotten to the core and most of individuals running those organizations should be incarcerated and I wonder why they aren’t.

    I’m sure that the English leagues and the FA are just as criminal, considering the amounts of money presently being spread around by the controlling TV moguls, in which case I couldn’t care less if their was a major re-alignment of top level football.

    At present the only tournament that draws any amount of viewers is the Euro- Championship, the FA cup has lost it’s importance and who cares about the rest, no-body, the only two tournaments that can attract an international audience are The Euro-championship and the World Cup .

    Friendly internationals are practice for national teams and barely fill half a stadium and end up as the basis for arguments between international managers who couldn’t care less about players fitness or injuries, as opposed to the club managers whose futures could be decided by such injuries incurred in these meaningless games.

    Hell wouldn’t the average fan like to see a higher level of football, played by the best sides in Europe, possibly divided into two divisions with the top sides of each playing against each other in a championship game and do away with all that crap of allowing shit sides , with away goals counting as more than home games etc. nonsence!

    We need less complications not more and I ask you who cares about the present early stages of the Euro’s.

    There’s plenty of changes needed in professional football, with Leagues like the English Premier league, poaching every other country’s players, simply because of how the TV oligarchs divide the world wide take with England garnering the Lions Share, even though they don’t contribute more than others.

    I’m for change, being we presently have an unfair system and we can’t
    rely on the present corrupt organizations who run them, I’m also in favor of watching the top clubs of Europe play against one another each season as opposed to the stupid system used to stage the European Championship, at the seasons close, that turn out to be the same sides year after year.

    What about the rest, the smaller sides, look everything is open to change, let them organize their own particular leagues on a similar basis, the only thing needed is a form of oversight which would oversee that corruption was kept to a minimum.

  50. The speculation grows by the day, that our neighbors twelve miles doon the coast will go down and as a result we may be able to sign their thirty odd year old striker, who continues to fill the onion bag on a regular basis, even getting a recent call for the national side.

    Now don’t depend on it happening, being Defoe it’s been claimed, has leaned to-wards playing out his career with the Hammers, in East London, where he originally began his football career.

    On the other hand, a dynamic duo like Defoe and United’s current pint sized scoring machine Dwight Gale could possibly form a tough partnership that could put a bit of fear into some EPL sides back lines.

    Though there’s the problem of wages and ages involved, which may be considered a step too far by Ashley, knowing he would get little or no profit from someone already well over the average retirement age, but it’s certainly something to think about.

    On the other hand there’s the possibility of acquiring the other Engerland striker Vardy, also rapidly approaching thirty years plus, though the fact is both strikers show little sign of slowing down.

    Rumor also has it that we could also replace the entire back line, apart from Clarke, who has so far had a decent season at St. James’, though Lascelles has the captains role and was for a while considered a hot property, what’s up there ?

    Anyhow the truth is we will probably end up going for the usual free agents and loans, from some of the top sides, who rather than stockpile them in the reserves look to clubs like the newly promoted, in order to have them get playing time in the EPL.

    Somehow I cant see Ashley springing for any big names, I suppose their will be one or two young continental players signed, future stars who will have decent sell on values, but no major names, it’s just not part of Ashley’s DNA unfortunately.

    The seasons end, if it does include promotion, will no doubt be a critical time period, as I forsee differences of opinion between Rafa. and our dear owner, about what you may say,” Money” what else, plus there’s the question of who decides on transfers, will Carr do what most scouts do at clubs, check out the various players nominated by Rafa. or will he continue in the role of DOF which he appears to have achieved and choose those with a decent sell on value, in order to please ‘The Boss’.

    If that’s the case it will be the end of Rafa, he’s too big a figure to put up with that type of treatment following his recent season leading the league and more or less guaranteeing promotion, plus there are lots of clubs who would be more than happy to have someone of his caliber as manager.

    But i’m willing to take a wait and see attitude .

  51. As far as deals are concerned this rapidly approaching window may be somewhat of a surprise, talking about the number of clubs who by not achieving much in the way of success, may be ready to clear out almost half of their current players.

    There are no guarantee’s for former top sides to get into to-days top four, with clubs like MU, and Arsenal looking as if they may be out of next years Championship, neither being in the top four, plus any club such as a freshly promoted NUFC , could find themselves lucky to make it into next seasons top ten.

    With new managers at Citeh and Chelsea , plus Mourinho struggling at MU, it’s obvious each will want his own players, the pressures are obvious when these guys are interviewed on tv, Mourinho blaming anyone but himself for the fact the club may lose a lot of sponsorship dollars by not living up to contractual agreements, which in turn makes the EPL with it’s big bucks, so desirable for those currently managing any but the biggest continental sides.

    Spurs lying second are one club that has impressed me using time and money to (not to mention their decent young manager) in rebuilding a side that had done little over the preceding years, but contested for the title this season, which could be NUFC a few years down the road, if Rafa. is given control and a certain amount of money to spend.

    And it’s pretty difficult to lose money in the EPL with it’s ever increasing revenues, plus with decent top management there’s plenty of TV revenue, plus a good amount from sponsorship deals, (though to use people like Charnley to make such deals, might be asking too much)

    In which case if Ashley is serious about NUFC becoming the next Spurs, it may behoove him to hire the right people that can make such business possible, instead of picking some inexperienced unknowns from the pool of workers who have achieved nowt over the last twenty years.

    Fact is you pay for cheap help, that’s what you get, I never saw a successful corporation that hired crap help, then become successful.

    I’m sure there will be a number of decent EPL players available, during the summer window and though the clubs will attempt to demand high prices, it’s inevitable that many will go for less than their projected worth.

    A few on loan future stars from the top clubs, who are not quite ready to displace their present top guys, but who need PL playing time, or those who just failed to hold down regular jobs and those who’s contracts are coming to a close, could end up playing on Tyneside, we know how cheap our ‘dear owner’ is, but with Rafa. at the helm, this may not be such a bad summer for the club, being many players would be happy enough with Rafa, who is a big attraction and someone who appears to see a decent future here on Tyneside .

  52. chuck says:
    April 8, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    “Erm ! who are Zon and El Gordo ?
    And who is responsible for the latin blogs and why ?”

    That’s me and Hugh. We designed a new WordPress template from scratch. That blog with the Latin on was a rough test site we did before we applied the new template to this site, hence they look quite similar. People just paste loads of Latin text into sites when designing them to see what they look like with lots of text on. It’s traditional. It’s nice of you to notice all the hard work we do for you the consumer, even if it is the first time you’ve ever noticed! :-)

  53. Thought so, I guess you may be the El Gordo of the two ?

    And yes I understand how tiresome it must be for you both, which makes me wonder why the hell you bother ?

    Either stop, or stop or complaining, on the other hand Ed’s comments appears to be picked up on a regular basis, most consisting of a catchy headline, but in general not worth reading.

    Sure it requires a bit of effort, but if y’all cant be bothered then why continue.

  54. Just a thought, perhaps you would consider hiring someone who understands Chinese (yeah I know, which dialect) instead of messing around with Latin, being the Premier League and most of the Championship may soon be dominated by Chinese owners, whether overseas Chinese or mainland.

    You will have a ready made blog, filled with the great British Independent Trading Nation ad’s. (post Brexit of course) lets see, there’s erm ? Nuclear Subs, Nah ! those are copies of the Yanks, we need state of the art stuff, planes tanks and missiles, hmm. I think they make better ones themselves .

    What else are the Brits good at again ?

    I would mention GCHQ but ain’t that considered spying ?
    You know spying on your friends and what is the total result of all the money spent by MI5 & 6, the CIA and The GRU., during the first cold war, a total waste I fear.

    Well perhaps we should lay off the adds., and concentrate on Football, the EPL to be precise as I’m sure Murdock has the money and the knowhow to be a big player in China, not like those Indian Cricket fans, who don’t have the dosh or the good taste (excepting Chopra of course) to realize that Football is quickly becoming the worlds largest sport , second only to Cricket.

    Hell forget about football and start a cricket blog, as footy blogs are a dime a dozen and i’m sure there’s lots of things the Indians would want to buy from the UK, just cant think of anything right now, well perhaps they could use two brand new ‘Aircraft Carriers” and some slightly used “nuke. subs’. instead of buying that crude but workable military hardware from the Ruskies.

    Well perhaps they may not have the readies for such big purchases, only the Saudi’s have that kinda dosh, they seem to be doing very well in their proxy war against Yemen a case of Typhoons vs fifty year old Russian rifles, just shows how well designed they were, amazing when one realizes they were stamped out for next to nowt, “erm that’s the Kalashnikov of course.

    Too bad the Saudi’s don’t play cricket or footie, well maybe not, being they could quite easily buy every club in the UK and we have to leave room for the Russian and Chinese as well as the few Yanks.

    Actually I was wondering when some oligarch or a mere billionaire would show up at St. James’ Park with a truck full of dosh, but then I remembered ‘Ashley Our Dear Leader’ has promised to stick around until the club won something, perhaps being relegated from the EPL three times in ten years might be considered some kinda record which is acceptable as winning something, nah! what was I thinking.

    Anyhow I think you should hire the Chinese guy, one never knows he may be in touch with the owner of Ali Baba or sumptin. who I hear is a big footie fan and if Chopra ain’t playing anymore hire him as the Blogs cricket
    statistician or something, now’t like a bit of professional knowledge like.

    But puhleez don’t abandon the use of latin, whadda you wanna do make it a dead language or somthing.

  55. I’m wondering whether I can catch the Leeds game on TV the morra,
    there’s a few illegal box’s in some of the local dives, probably some provider from the UK or Ireland, where it’s handy to catch games not shown by local cable outlets.

    Just reading we may bring in Shawcross a 29 year old Stoke defender, ok by me he’s known as a physical presence, summit we haven’t had for years, keep a few forwards heads up hopefully.

    See where the idiot Boris failed to get the group of seven to increase sanctions on the Russians, in order to ingratiate himself to big Bro. “The Donald” looks like a race between he and “The Donald”
    to see who can make the most political blunders, it could be good entertainment if it weren’t so serious.

    It’s a case of dealing with those that one doesn’t know whether they are being serious or can guess what their actual intent is, being the norms of diplomacy are either ignored or unknown to them.

    This new cold war is obviously a lot different from that of the fifties and sixties, when one would see a Khrushchev with a stupid looking hat and an ill fitting suit, perhaps pounding his shoe for emphasis on some UN podium.

    In those days things were different, with both sides separated and somewhat isolated from each other.

    To-days guys are part of the New World Order with technology and awareness, equally shared, where the US and The EU no longer dominate, though many in the west choose to believe it to still be the case .

    If you consider this to be nonsense, I suggest you check out Chomsky’s recent opinions on Trump, pushing the doomsday clock closer to the verge of midnight, in a recent interview at the university if Arizona.

    It’s a scary world, when you have people in charge who are possibly well meaning, but just don’t get it.

    Then there’s the latest statement gone viral, why doesn’t Scotland join with Canada, hell would they be any worse off than staying as an unwilling partner with the UK, I doubt it !

    And being Scotland willingly joined the UK, in fact forming it, why is it now necessary to beg permission to have a referenda on whether to remain, having recently seen a clear majority of Scots vote in favor of remaining as part of the EU, which was not the situation that existed during the first independence referendum.

    It’s clearly a case of both England and Wales both voting to leave the EU (a more momentous decision) that has changed the status quo, whereas Scotland which voted to remain and regardless of arguments both financially and politically would be better off controlling it’s oil and whiskey plus whatever EU subsidies or entitlements are available.

    And incidentally it could become an interesting point that The North East of England could do worse than join with the Scots, being they have more in common with them than a London dominated England which has following de-industrialization, been more or less left abandoned.

    Don’t bother arguing about oil , as recent discoveries have proven to be enormous, of course there will be fishing rights also, which will no doubt become a major sticking point during the upcoming Brexit discussions, as they would during any devolution talks.

    Two years to fulfill the breakaway talks, not gonna happen folks!

  56. Did you get to watch the game, Chuck? What a terrible ending! This isn’t ending in a glorious last lap like our last promotion campaign. We’re lucky that Huddersfield haven’t been dropping points as well. Brighton beat Wolves 2-0 so they’re four points ahead now. !

    I’ve gone off Chomsky, Chuck. Too many appearences on Putin’s propaganda channel has damaged his credibility in my book. The Jocks and the Geordies? I don’t think so. We Geordies can’t seem to stop referring to them as the ‘Scotch’ for a start and they really hate that so it’s bound to end it tears. The oil is off Shetland, so they should declare independence from Scotland and the UK and all live like Donald Trump in houses with gold doors, swimming pools and helicopter pads. They;re more like Vikings right up there anyway.

    So Trump’s actually getting some praise for lobbing a few missiles at the airfield that was allegedly used to launch a chemical attack. Actually though, it could be even more worrying if it’s true that what persuaded him to do it because his daughter tweeted that she has “heartbroken and outraged.”

  57. Nah ! the cable company I use was recently taken over and is in a state of organized chaos I’m afraid, the representatives know less than I do, which is less than nothing, (kinda like Ashley and football) and yeah I read where it’s possible to get a number of Championship games each season and I did catch one, but it ain’t worth the trouble, I can watch them playing in the EPL next season.

    So I headed to one of my local dives, where the Bartender couldn’t find what channel it was on, resulting in my watching a crap MU side tie with Anderlecht, ah well !

    Not to worry we will go up, i’m convinced.

    Nah it’s only the ignoramuses who believe the term Scotch to be unacceptable, a term which most Canadians of Scots descent actually call themselves.

    And there was a move quite recently in the Northeast by some geezer to have a referendum to consider just that, the North East becoming a part of Scotland, hey ! why not, they ain’t gonna get shit from London, why not be like the Norwegians use that oil money for the good of all, get on the bandwagon Geordies, before it’s too late.

    Chomsky hasn’t changed his attitude , a good defender of human rights and a frequent guest on Democracy Now, one of the few that I have any respect for, though it’s often difficult to listen to his soft spoken drone.

    Trump ? he scares the shit outta me and the doomsday clock has moved closer to midnight in the short period he has been in power, plus he must have scared the shit outta Chinese president Xi Jinping when they met, being his reaction was to try and calm both sides in an attempt to prevent anything untoward occurring on the Korean peninsula.

    I mean FFS why is the answer always to bomb the shit outta those who don’t comply with the big guys who have the big weapons and I see the Saudi’s are still bombing the shit outta Yemen, but nobody cares, well perhaps the Brits. can sell them more Typhoons and missiles, but kinda keep it quiet like.

  58. As we limp across the line to-wards the Big Money league, it becomes obvious that if we don’t rebuild this side with some EPL quality , it will be back to the second tier again, an elevator club.

    It’s been rumored we are looking at defenders McGuire at Hull and Shawcross at Stoke.

    Watched them both to-day, Shawcross purely defensive and puts himself about, McGuire, gets involved at both ends of the pitch, a much more involved player IMO and much younger.

    Willian Jose is a striker it was rumored the club was looking at, but being Everton are about to lose Lukaka, it’s been said they are willing to spend the twenty eight big ones being asked and face it Everton is a better side and more ambitious .

    They are also rumored to be interested in Southamptons “Van Dyke”, or Burnleys “Keane”, two top quality defenders.

    As for NUFC, I really cant think of one player worth hanging onto, which means unless our dear leader realizes that he has to spend or face another relegation season in the second tier and we already know he is unwilling to spend or he would have ensured promotion by buying during the winter window.

    This year out of the big money, hurts a lot in regard to earnings and another season in the second tier, could see all three former North East
    giants drop to becoming elevator sides, in which case it’s essential our dear leader spend, being it takes money to make money in to-days game.

    We really have no idea of what either Rafa. or Ashley ‘s intentions are, should we be promoted, but I hope we don’t go into the PL with this present side, which in my opinion is barely capable of promotion, which would result in an immediate drop back to the second tier .

  59. The game was on Sky over here, and hence there were some good quality streams on the internet.

    You were right about Virgil Van Dyk, Chuck when you said that Newcastle should have got him a while ago. When I was watching Dutch players he was at Celtic, but he did really well at Southampton last season. He’s a top defender now and out of our League. He’d be tens of milions and the big boys will be after him. As for Shawcross, he’s played for Stoke his whole career, which must be something like a decade now. Why are such crazy prices being bandied around for this Willan Jose? He’s been a journeyman striker so far who hasn’t exactly scored loads of goals. I certainly wouldn’t go in for £30 million on him or something silly like that. Koeman knows what he’s doing, but maybe this is just the papers talking shite again. Van Dijk has moved up into that £25 million+ world now. How do Southampton do it?

  60. chuck says:
    April 15, 2017 at 1:26 am

    “And there was a move quite recently in the Northeast by some geezer to have a referendum to consider just that, the North East becoming a part of Scotland, hey ! why not, they ain’t gonna get shit from London, why not be like the Norwegians use that oil money for the good of all, get on the bandwagon Geordies, before it’s too late.”

    Chuck, London subsidises the North East by quite a few billion every year, and other regions too. On the other hand, you can say alot of that’s the fault of Thatcher for ruining manufacturing around the regions and turning the countries economy into a huge banking and services mothership in London, making the rest of the country ever more reliant on it, and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland too. The NE breaking away from London now would be dafter than Brexit.

  61. If that’s the case can you tell me why May is refusing to grant the Scotch a referenda on a now entirely different set of circumstances, being there was no hope of a Brexit occurring during the first one.

    Yes it’s similar to what’s gone down for the existence of the UK, Scotland & Ireland providing both the Army and Navy bodies that made Britain Great.

    The Irish were aware and fought for independence, the Scotch figured being they volunteered they would get a better deal, yeah sure the first thing they got was The Highland Clearances, where crofters who had lived for generations were displaced by sheep at the will of the Lairds.

    Who now use the highlands for Grouse moors and live off government subsidies, as do the Royals, so much for the fact you don’t have a constitution, only a vague references to the almost a thousand year old Magna Carta.

    Now it’s a safe place hundreds of miles from London, to encamp the nuke subs, quite similar to the attempt to bury nuclear waste in the Cairngorm mountains, which was explained as entirely safe, yeah sure !

    Look London is a world City the top financial center and with enough dosh a wonderful city to live in, but following Brexit the UK if it still exists will become a cut price, low wage attempt at becoming a world trader , with whom I wonder ?

    Being it’s no Hong Kong or Singapore, city states who rely on technology and are nimble enough to change with current market demands.

    Everything now depend on what the UK can extract from the EU in regard to trade deals, during the divorce and from what I hear and see, there’s a lot of scores to settle with the UK, plus give warning to others who may attempt to exit in future.

    I mean how dumb an electorate do you have, it can only be matched by the fact the US could be foolish enough to elect someone like Trump, but on saying that you have Boris as Foreign Secretary who is equally adept at putting his foot in his mouth.

    In all honesty does anyone (considering it’s history) blame the Scotch if they were to devolve and remain/rejoin, the EU.

    No didn’t think so !

  62. “Being it’s no Hong Kong or Singapore, city states who rely on technology and are nimble enough to change with current market demands.”

    It is though, Chuck, it’s a world leader with technology all over. Going across the world, you have the axis of New York in the West, London in the middle, and Hong Kong and Shanghai in the East. Brexit could be really bad news for the City but somewhere like Paris or Frankfurt can’t just replace a London, a New York or a Hong Kong and Shanghai overnight. There’s the English language factor as well with all the old British colonies. Even you Americans, who rudely decided to leave the bosom of the Empire in the 1770s, still speak a language roughly based on English.

  63. We’ve lost the trophy now. Hughton’s finishing off with the Seagulls the way he did with us. Another win for them today as we getting embarrassed by Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich so Brighton are now seven points ahead. Old bendy nose has never beaten us until today and now we are looking down nervously at Reading and Huddersfield and avoiding the playoff lottery. And don’t start banging on about players we should have bought again, Chuck. We should have had enough. That’s one point out of the last nine. I’m as sick as a Parrot now.

  64. Oh dear! Oh dear! The wheels come off again. Funny I said to my friends (Supporters of various clubs) a few weeks ago who were banging on about how we were as good as promoted. My prediction was that by the time we played Barnsley we would need to win that game and we would fail. So being that the team lacks any maturity or leadership on the field, and could not win any big pressure match even if they were given a two goal start, we would also loose the play offs. We have all too often relied on luck this season and it seems it has run out.
    I’m pleased its Chris Hughtons Brighton that have shown that “maturity and will” that have done it, they deserve it we don’t.
    I feel sorry for Rafa and the fans but this team lacks the Alan Shearer, Gary Speed, Kevin Nolan type players. If indeed we do scrape through and make it into there Premier League there will have to be a massive rebuilding of the team to just survive one season. I can’t see Ashley going for the seasoned older experienced players this team needs. So one way or another its not going to be a joyful triumphant end of season that we thought it would be. But hell this is Newcastle United!!

  65. Calm down puleez !

    We will go up, though as the second place side, couldn’t have scripted it any better.

    (1) It gives ‘Chris Hughton’, the ultimate in Shadenfreude moments, should he decide to indulge in such emotions, somehow I don’t see him in that light, if he doesn’t then I will do it for him, considering how the man was treated, by that low life pairing.

    (2) Perhaps Ashley can learn something about the game of football and it’s undeterminable results, it’s not like putting lipstick on a pig, by sewing an expensive label onto rubbish garments, then increasing the price.

    (3) Operating a business like a football club the size of NUFC, requires a certain high level of top management, not a once in a while quick visit via helicopter, that’s if you have any concern for the millions involved.

    (4) Yes there’s the question of funding, which remains and should in the hands of the owner, but with a sound boardroom of professionals, that should be easily enough agreed upon.

    (5) At present we have Rafa. Benitez, a sound manager who has run many of Europe’s best and most famous clubs, but a chubby novice managing director who has made few actual deals, who could be replaced by a DOF, no not the head scout, who some consider the surreptitious DOF and having Ashley’s ear, but a professional with contacts and experience, in the buying and selling of football players.

    (6) Either get rid of Carr or let him scout, but only for those whom Rafa. is interested in, being we cant go on having two major figures buying players, that should be the decision of the manager alone.

    (7) If Ashley doesn’t agree then we can only expect more of the miss-management and lack of anything positive that we have evidenced over Ashley’s term as owner, which no-one wants.

  66. Nutmag, without Gayle they’re like Chuck, toothless! So much for Mitrovic as some kind of Serbian Alan Shearer. Carr’s reputation has certainly gone down a bit since the days of 8 year contracts.

  67. Never thought Mitrovic was much of a striker, yeah he’s decent in the air, but mainly an old fashioned English style center forward, who is also a bit of a bully and can’t be relied on.

    Carr ! you say, this guy could be the prime suspect as far as Ashley’s behavior is concerned, who else has his ear and if judged on his choices
    (face it if most acquisitions are not his, then who ‘s are they) apparently Pardew had little to say about who was brought in.

    That may be fine were he the DOF, but there has to be harmony between the two, if it were my choice I would fire him, giving complete authority to Benitez, scouts are a dime a dozen, but a good DOF, with contacts and the ability to get deals done are like hens teeth.

    From the latest gossip, it appears we will once again go cheaply, into the EPL, as those we have been associated with are mediocre at best.

    Crazy, being this next season, following promotion, will be critical as to what kind of side we are willing to pay for and will decide whether we, with the former NE giants Sunderland and Boro’ will be considered elevator clubs.

    Each season without the enormous pay out’s to EPL clubs, due to a lack of spending, is not a good business plan, money has to be invested to reap a return, “this aint the rag trade” !

  68. So what about a bid for the present on loan Janzaj, who’s contract is about to run out next year (he’s on thirty grand a week) on loan at Sunderland.

    Considered something of a disappointment and not considered a keeper by the great one, could be worth a try.

    From what I hear both Lascelles and Yedlin are both playing poorly and Mbemba’s not been impressive, a center-midfield pairing of Clarke and McGuire might be the answer, plus a decent pair of full backs.

    One thing Newcastle has always had was decent left wingers, apart from
    young Aarons who may be able to fill that role, if he ever gets fit, if not there’s Townsend, though I don’t really see him return and would rather see Saha arrive and/or Loic Remy, who I believe has plenty of goals left in him.

    I believe we can get McCarthy from Everton as they are about to spend heavily, he wouldn’t come cheap, but would be an excellent partner for
    Shelvey

    The only real success of Rafas. second tier picks has been Matt Richie we can hang onto him, the rest, well we have to hang onto some of them, but the next two windows should be a case of sell to buy and fill in the cracks with our youngsters.

  69. “From what I hear both Lascelles and Yedlin are both playing poorly”

    No argument whatsoever against Ipswich. They weren’t good

    It was swings and roundabouts for Lascelles against Leeds. He scored the goal, but he went AWOL when Woods scored the Leeds goal.

    Chuck, I suppose you’ve heard about the election here by now? It’s upset Corbyn with his schemes and plans. He wanted to push through his dream to get MP candidates selected in a more democratic way by their local parties (like they used to) rather than having bouffant haired Blairites foisted upon them from head office. He also wanted to change the requirements for electing the leaders as well, taking power back from the Parliamentary Labour Party and giving it back to the members. Even if he didn’t win a later election, or someone else took over before, that was going to be the Corbyn legacy that was worth fighting for, They won’t be any time for that now. The Conservatives are obviously big favourites but anything can happen nowadays in the two circuses on either side of the Atlantic.

  70. Making a slight return to my long ball studies (after quite a while), Swansea have gone right across the spectrum from the full tippy-tappy short passing game they used to play in the days of Rodgers, Laudrup etc. They are now long ball at 16.1 % when they used to be 10%. That’s in Pulis / Allardyce / Pardew at Newcastle country.

  71. I’m afraid I don’t have a lottta time for whatever party procedure’s may need changing, unfortunately Labour is in such a mess currently it will take a miracle to solve their problems, disunited and divided with old style Labour vs. those who remember the years in power with Blair.

    Unfortunately with time Labour has changed radically, no longer do most workers associate themselves with the working class and unionism, most associating with the middle class, ergo the Blairites and feel no sense of betrayal by voting for the Tories.

    Plus Mays snap election was a smart idea, that is for those who believe the Tories can Brexit without paying too high a price, plus it helps keep them in power.

    And yes you are right, politics are being run possibly with less organization than the average circus nowadays, on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Though Trump has a decent business degree from one of the country’s top schools, I doubt if he ever read a book voluntarily, covering history, geography or any subject taught in a decent Liberal Arts school, the man is totally disorganized, has still to make numerous appointments in his Government.

    One cannot trust what he sez on Monday being it will change on Tuesday.

    He’s just a con-man, who will leave office with a lot more money than when he was elected.

    It’s all a bit scary, the decisions he makes in regard to the military, I think he actually believes he has the power to conduct any kind of war he so decides, with or without the authority of Congress.

    This period of time is more frightening than at the height of the cold war with the Soviets, when one realizes who presently has their fingers on the nuclear buttons.

  72. Being this is supposedly a “Fitba” blog, as they say north of the border I thought I would drop some names.

    Jankinson the one cap wonder, no longer wanted at Arsenal, someone to match him could be Shaw, currently out of favor at MU, though I doubt he would be available, in addition on the back line would like to see McGuire from Burnley partner Clark @ center back .

    Shawcross / eh! ok and steady puts himself about also, but at close to thirty believe McGuire would be the better deal.

    Up front we have another Chelsea forward so far back on the list, we could probably get him on loan or even buy him, talkin bout Tammy Abraham, a 22 goal scorer on loan in the championship.

    Then there’s another out of favor MU player on loan at Sunderland Januzaj
    who could possibly fit in if he price is right.

    I still like McCarthy at Everton, would fit in well as a partner for Shelvey, is still comparatively young and has loads of experience.

    The signings suggested by the media, French, Portuguese, etc for around twenty or thirty big ones, just ain’t gonna happen, being Ashley is about to spend big time on entering the US market, buying Bobs Stores for over a hundred million I hear.

    But those above are for the most part decent players and possibly within Ashley’s range (cheap) sales could help a lot, but one cant sell until new players are brought in.

    Siggurdssen is another mentioned and would compliment as an attacking midfielder, though there will be competition from bigger clubs and again, would Ashley be willing to spend ?

    Another source could be Spurs, who it’s rumored are interested in Thauvin, could we make a deal there ?

  73. “no longer do most workers associate themselves with the working class and unionism”

    Aye, that’s why their rights have been progressively taken away from them, their wages are actually going down in real terms and they are generally treated like crap.

    Trump really is bonkers. I was listening to his speech about Italy, including his very close friendship with Pavarotti, though the way he was talking, he didn’t seem to realise that the portly tenor has been dead for ten years! Seriously Chuck, where’s the ‘Manchurian Candidate’ when you need him? Wasn’t it Frank Sinatra? I think the only one who could give the Donald a run for his money was another billionaire leader, Silvio Berlusconi. Italy isn’t the US and they don’t have a nuclear arsenal though.

    I like the way Trump’s American degree is called ‘BS Economics’ (short for ‘Bull Shit?’). It would be a ‘BSc’ over here. Didn’t Trump’s Missus lie about her degree or something like that?

    Aye, I’ve seen that Tammy Abraham on Championship highlights and I know he’s scored a few. A tall, lanky lad who’s built like Sammy Ameobi. I’ve just seen him on the highlights show this evening. With a name like that he sounds more like a female Country & Western singer than a big, powerful forward.

  74. The more we see of Trump’s act the scarier he becomes, it’s all right defending him by claiming he’s the peoples choice, but then you only have to look at who the electorate are.

    Yeah democracy is possibly the closest thing to ( the people’s choice) but simply by looking at Brexit and Trump, one realizes that in order for it to work, the electorate have to be somewhat educated and that was certainly not the case when examining the electorates choices in both the UK & US and could possibly happen in France in their upcoming general elections, if Le Pen prevails.

    What the f**k has happened with this crazy world we are living in, it gets crazier by the day, certainly there are more disgruntled voters than ever, who are desperate to retain or regain jobs and a lifestyle that has gone forever.

    And hoping that scam artists like Trump can change things, is certainly a forlorn hope , yeah he cancelled the Pacific trade pact, but the world is becoming more and more homogeneous a trend that is unstoppable, they would be better off concentrating on the Comparative differences in wealth
    between the top super wealthy and the poor within their countries, instead they make idiotic choices such as electing a fox to watch the hen house (Trump) and exiting possibly the worlds largest trading block, for a leap into the unknown, with Brixit.

    Hey, go figure!

  75. As the season in the Championship wends it weary way, more like Grays elegy than anything exciting and i’m positive we will become automatically promoted by Monday.

    Not quite the former season in the championship league, under Hughton, that appeared to be a cakewalk, but i’m sure most Geordie fans are happy enough to avoid any major stumble.

    It’s staying there that now becomes the question, (the EPL) meaning there has to be money well spent and a lot of it.

    The media has us buying what most fans expect, on loan future stars, (Tammy Abraham), a twenty odd goal scorer like our sick note striker Gayle and we appear to be leading the pack on this one.

    The rest are defenders and midfielders, mostly close to the end of their contracts or some other reason for being cheap, who are primarily from the UK or Ireland, which will hopefully keep Carr from wearing out the French rails seats this summer.

    We can only hope Rafa’s knowledge of players and managerial skills, enables us to end up with a competitive side for the EPL, being the amount of funding is essential for continued membership there.

  76. Managed to see to-days game on a sky box, possibly the third game I have watched all season and it was not pretty.

    Things looked uncertain following Prestons equalizer, through a fast break, following a non call for a penalty, which occurring in the Preston box.

    And it wasn’t a game that inspired the fans by any means, but a sending off for a hands penalty, (perhaps they should give the defender a trial in goal) plus a goal from the penalty that resulted, gave the game to United.

    Yes it’s easy to look good playing against ten men, but apart from Richie
    there were not many decent performances from the side.

    And here we are promoted to the big bucks league, where if this side is not improved, will be up for a cup of coffee and back.

    Ashley we understand is about to spend big time on expanding ‘SD” in the US, never an easy market for UK investors and may not believe it necessary to invest in his adjunct business NUFC, believing as in the past
    that they can survive without too much investment.

    Well that may be true in the rag trade, but football is a little different and this club, with it’s second tier winning lot, are in no way capable of surviving the top league and if not improved will like The Smoggies and Sunderland, end up where they started, making NUFC the third former big NE club to end up back in the second tier.

    So far I have yet to hear of a name that inspires me in regard to improving this side, if it’s cheap players we go after, the result will be a cheap side, incapable of competing, ffs wise up and give Rafa the money required to at least survive the season, then when Bobs Store’s are coining it as SD
    next year spend some more, being I’m sure Rafa’s patience may not survive Mkes cheap attitude.

    And where would we be then? exactly back in he second tier, without that heavy duty funding.

  77. Worky

    Just read an article from the newspaper ‘The Guardian’, written by that much admired journalist “wheys keys Louise” Taylor, who I believe is a Geordie and greatly admired by you.

    Thing is, many of her sentences were quite familiar to me, which led me to the conclusion, she may in fact be a secret .org reader, or more likely someone who rather than dig up information the old fashioned way, reads all of the football blogs or comments associated with NUFC in order to present someone else’s opinions.

    Nice to know someone other than yourself, Nutmag and possibly Hugh read the blog, I’m curious do you have the ability to register the number of hit’s received ?

  78. Soh ! a general election coming up, if I were the present Labour Party, which everyone understands is expected to lose heavily, then why not pick a platform which gives the public an opportunity to show a certain remorse in having voted pro-Brexit.

    In other words make it into a remorse vote, for those who having voted pro-Brexit and are now wish it to be understood they may in fact believe voting for May in may, may be the best policy, but only want the opportunity to show some kind of remorse for their Xenophobic selves, which should have no overall effect on the result other than in the numbers , which could indicate the belief that many now regret their choice and fear the results of Brexit.

    Actually this vote means little considering the much more important vote about to take place in France, where the first Neo-Fascist (thank you Benito and Francisco) party of “Marie Le Pen” running against the centrist
    “Manny Lecron”, well actually Madame Marie has just stepped down temporarily as leader of The National Front, I suppose looking for the votes of those ex communists from the rust belt of Northern France, the same permanently displaced workers who were responsible for electing Donald Trump in the US.

    The expression politics makes strange bed-fellows, certainly comes to mind, in this present crazy world.

    If elected, it’s my understanding that it’s LePen’s ambition to leave the EU
    like the UK, ( what would we call it Fraxit ) which could be considered a blow to Germany which has done so well as a member but where will that leave us all ?

    Could Germany hold it together the Union, without the UK-France, with to days return to nationalism throughout Europe, I believe not, the best could be some kind of trade block, forget the euro and a constitution that is so long that only the framers have read it, Europe is leaning to-wards nationalism and rejects the recent Franco-German amalgamation of nations, other than the Lets and Ukrainians concerned with living cheek to jowl with Russia.

    Europe has had it’s great attempt at a political union, just as eastern Europe combined with the Soviet’s and China had it’s communist experience, now it’s back to square one or heading that way, to-wards a narrow minded form of nationalism.

    Ah well !

  79. Oh ! forgot to mention “wheze keys Loise”, did mention that Qatari interests are sniffing around St. James’ Park, with plenty of petro dollars or dirhams or riyals, all very solid of course and hopefully with the purchase of NUFC could manage to turn the club into a rival for the worlds top sides.

    And that’s not all folks, Loise also mentioned besides the Qatari’s there are Chinese interests with loads of pounds, dollars etc. having sold most of the stuff one buys these days and have an overabundance of cash.

    Being Islamic Qatar may want to change the color of the stripes to Green and white, or the Chinese to red and white (red being considered a lucky color in China), if that’s the case all they have to do is go twelve miles on the light rail and they got a readymade club with the right colors ready willing and able, well perhaps not so able.

    So I guess we will have to settle for the Qatari’s , who by the way are the host venue for the world cup in 2022 which would fit in well with their plans to park a few petrol dollars in Newcastle.

  80. SJP raided in big tax fraud probe! When I used to take a close look at the accounts, Ashley didn’t pay any tax as they were deferred on previous losses.

    It’s a life of pain and suffering supporting the Magpies, but there is seldom a dull moment off the pitch (though there have been many dull moments on it!)

    Yes, there are people besides you and Nutmag who read the blog and we have statistics like most sites. We’ve had quite a few million unique page views since we started.

    Louise Taylor is a Mackem. She used to write for a Blunderland fanzine called ‘A Love Supreme’ though I don’t think there are many John Coltrane fans in Mackemland. I wrote an angry tirade about Louise Taylor on here which was extremely popular and certainly got around and was discussed. It was done in response to her tirade about bloggers like myself and others whom she derisively referred to as ‘blog standard.’ Her piece was called “Blog standard lies in the gutter” or something like that so I called mine “Louise Taylor lies in the gutter.” I don’t know for certain if she read it or not but she seemed to temper her writing somewhat after that. I do know that we’ve been followed on Twitter and Facebook by some important people in the game, but as a responsible webmaster, I won’t divulge who they are. Taylor writes pure drivel so I wouldn’t take much notice of what she says without solid evidence.

  81. Hmmm ! interesting.

    That is about the hit list, I often wondered who or if in fact anyone read it still, I certainly found it to be quite entertaining during the early stages where there were a number of entertaining contributors, but I was actually more interested in the present..

    Not that I really give a damn about Loise, or read the Guardian on line, though it’s my daily fix when i’m on your side of the pond, but once in a while when reading certain blogs I come across phrases that sound familiar, on the other hand anyone hip enough to listen to Coltrane has to have something going for them;

    You gotta give Joey an ‘A’ for effort, he’s just an entertaining rogue, more than I can say about the NUFC bean-counters, though I feel our chubby little yes man is probably the fall guy in the tax scheme.

    Hopefully nothing untoward will come out of this in regard to points deductions, which could effect promotion, nah !

  82. Something has emerged that it has something to do with all the French players, or the French player deals at Newcastle and West Ham. Remember how Ba went there for half a season before he came to us

    “which could effect promotion, nah !”

    Oh yes it could! Remember, clubs have had points knocked off and missed out on huge things for far less than tax fraud this is Newcastle so there’s always a sting in the tail waiting around the corner. That gadgie on Ed Harrison’s site who calls himself ‘Jail for Ashley’ should be getting excited now, his time might have finally come, like Nigel Farage with ‘Brexit.’ :-)

    “Actually this vote means little considering the much more important vote about to take place in France”

    The UK are the second biggest net contributors. We get a famous rebate but the French get even more back for making cheeses that smell like bad feet and stuff like that, so the UK should be an even bigger financial loss, though France and Germany is the spiritual home of the EU. Germany would be left to look after alot of hungry children like Hungary, Greece, Poland, Spain, Portugal, etc. I suppose it will be like the States with less Californias, New York / New Jerseys etc, and more Mississippis and Puerto Ricos.

  83. Here we go again another embarrassment on Ashley’s very long learning curve. I know its not down to him but his underlings (Yeh- Right)
    The list keeps on growing. The Keegan fiasco, Joe Kinnear (twice). the treatment of Houghton and Shearer, Thinking Pardew, McLaren, were the answer, Wonga etc etc.
    Either learn or leave please. There are a hell of a lot of Geordies and other Toon supporters that want a football club back. We don’t want to be on your learning curve any longer its to damned embarrassing.

  84. Charnley arrested. The teaboy’s bitten off more than he can chew now!

    I mentioned Demba Ba yesterday as a common factor with West Ham and Newcastle and he has been the other early name to come out in the news, or the deals for him as it’s all a bit vague at the moment.

    Nutmag, this might be heresy but I had a few ‘issues’ with Shearer as well as Ashley when Shearer was supposed to be ‘manager’ . Great as he was as a player, I didn’t like that charade with Iain Dowie.

  85. Shee- rah !

    A pundit in name only, with poor delivery a morose personality and lacks the ability to describe both the tactical and the more subtle plays involved

    Though one cannot deny his greatness as a goal scorer.

    And by the way the same thing applies to many ex-players, who have neither the personality or ability to do what’s required, explain the tactics employed and the subtleties of the game instead of constantly
    filling time describing the obvious .

    Like Trump’s promises to make America great again, Ashley has promised to remain as owner until we win summat, could be a long wait and those Qatari’s and Chinese sniffing around ain’t gonna wait forever.

    Though as long as we are in the big buck’s league, why worry, the problem remains it takes constant spending to avoid the drop and we have yet to see if our dear leader understands that.

    But that’s all in the past, now our dear leader has promised funds that will automatically recreate the club into a top ten quality side, how much we talking here ? at least a hundred million has been bandied about.

    With our chubby guy taking care of business (and paying the taxes) it’s gonna be a busy summer for him, he’s gotta sell the second tier guys and bring in a whole new PL bunch, no mean feat.

    With those Qatar’i and Chinese Oligarchs sniffing around for the right deal
    it’s gonna put Ashley under pressure, whether he ends up fighting relegation or becoming a successful top ten side.

    Of course our ace in the hole is Rafa., ( that’s for five million a year folks )and by giving him complete control, there is the possibility of achieving his goals (no pun intended) problem is they are both control freaks, which does not project a harmonious relationship between the pair, ah well , lets see !

  86. chuck says:
    April 27, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    “Shee- rah !”

    “A pundit in name only, with poor delivery a morose personality and lacks the ability to describe both the tactical and the more subtle plays involved”

    Yes he is a bit boring and wooden and he wasn’t a great coach, but he does understand the intricacies of the game, Chuck. Actually, I like him and Gullitt together. They seem to get on much better than they used to!

    I like ‘Wee’ Pat Nevin as pundit, but they seemed to have faded him out when they should have been fading him in. He is more intelligent and articulate than your average footballer and he has a good analytical brain.

    “Though as long as we are in the big buck’s league, why worry, the problem remains it takes constant spending to avoid the drop and we have yet to see if our dear leader understands that.”

    Leicester City winning the League for peanuts was pretty much unique in today’s climate but there’s teams like Bournemouth who get up and stay up on a budget, and without resorting to what Mourinho would call “19th Century football’ like Tony Pulis and Fat Sam.

  87. Yes it’s unfortunate those who ‘choose’ both play by play and color commenters, for the most part have little idea.

    Though I have listened to some terrific pairings, with play by play guys only identifying the player in possession as the ball travels around, where there’s only an interjection every once in a while by the color guy, to indicate something special taking place and time outs used to explain the overall tactical game from both sides or examine certain players abilities.

    The worst thing about English/British commentators is the general inability to pronounce foreign players names, especially the Spanish names which are the easiest of all, being they are both spelled and pronounced phonetically, ah well !

    The guy I cant stand is the Geordie color commentator for La Liga games, with his God awful accent combined with a need to over-exaggerate in an attempt to be more colorful.

    And as we go boldly forth into he transfer season, their looms the possibility of a quick takeover by Qatari interests we have been informed.

    Not exactly the Saudi’s but close, with possibly more dosh than the Citeh owners, how good does that sound, no wonder Ashley appears so agreeable to Rafa’s demands for transfer money, being he probably doesn’t expect to lay out one thin dime.
    Though I wouldn’t bet a plugged nickel on it happening, being Ashley plays his cards very close to the proverbial vest.

    Another interesting piece of news is the speculation of a return to St. James’ of our ex player Sissoko, now I understand he’s not welcome by certain fans, whatever their reasons, but I for one found him to be possibly our best player, a box to box type who can run for the full ninety minutes and with the right coaching, could end up as a real asset to the club, you dont usually get chosen for the French eleven, without reason, but I just don’t expect it to happen, being Spurs are not about to give him away.

    On the political front, it appears that north Korea has humiliated the US in this latest confrontation, with the ex head of exxon now secretary of state along with The Donald, having no clue what to do, I could certainly tell them, which is to to sign the Non Agression Pact that Kim Jong Un wants.
    I suppose that would be too humiliating, ah well, go figure it out guys but lets not resort to war, oh what am I saying, isn’t there still the continuation of the original war still effective and only a ceasefire in place, hmmmm !

    Things are getting crazier by the day.

  88. On making comparison’s between the 09-10 and 16-17 seasons, I would take Hughtons side, with it’s core of PL members any day over this lackluster bunch we have at present, face it who would get a game for any PL side out of this bunch.

    Yes our sick note little center forward is decent (when fit) and Clark has proven to be a decent central defender, I like Matt Ritchie, he plays his heart out every game, the rest eh! ‘fugedaboudit”, other than the goalies
    who only played ok.

    We need help, almost an entire side is needed and they wont come cheap, or perhaps they will, depends on how willing Ashley is to pay.

    As for Benitez, I though I caught a bit of criticism and a comparison, with a kind of pro Hughton and anti Rafa bias, plus the fact is, they were two different eras, the second tier it appears has improved according to many, but the main point is Hughton had a better side, being there was not exactly that many changes required, wheras Rafa claims he bought a second tier side and plenty of them and now needs to rebuild again for the Premier League.

    Look I don’t intend to criticize Hughton, being I have a lot of admiration for the guy and agree with Geordiedom, that he was treated badly by the club, but that doesn’t extend to him being a better coach than Rafa.

    Although he did do a tremendouse job with Brighton and only goes to show if those who show ability as managers or coaches are given the opportunity, we might not have the Guardiolas, Potchittinos, or Klopp’s, they wouldn’t be here in any case without the salaries being paid.

  89. Newcastle promoted, now Sunderland relegated. It would be Geordie dreamland if it wasn’t for the tax fraud probe hanging over the club, but this is Newcastle and theres always either a potential tragedy to worry about, either that or the tragedy is actually happening.

    Chuck, have you been reading Louise Taylor again? She’s worse than your mate Putin with her fake news. It’s ridiculous that Mackem harridan is writing about Newcastle United for the Guardian when I’m not.

    “The guy I cant stand is the Geordie color commentator for La Liga games, with his God awful accent combined with a need to over-exaggerate in an attempt to be more colorful.”

    Ah! You mean Ray Hudson, the poor man’s Sid Waddell. He had a bit part role for the Magpies when I was a bairn, then buggered off to your side of the pond to play there. Or something like that.

    “On making comparison’s between the 09-10 and 16-17 seasons, I would take Hughtons side,”

    A potential blog there, Chuck. I suspect you remember the good points of Hughton’s side, but forget some of the other bits over time. I suppose that Benitez never had any world class defenders like Mike Willamson though so you may have a point.

  90. Loise ? Nah! I just happened to read some of her stuff, from somewhere.
    and when reading came across some familiar phrases.

    Actually I don’t read The Guardian sports, as it appears to be a bone thrown to those at the bottom of the papers barrel, who even so maintain a superior attitude in regard to both the subject and readers, in which case making it a constant target for their supposed sharp witted remarks.

    Yeah that’s the guy Ray Hudson, who has adapted a lot of the Spanish Commentators idioms and phrases, which I find so annoying, especially those concerning goals, but good luck to him, it’s just his act I dislike and there are enough EPL color men who are equally bad.

    What happened to those great radio commenters of years ago (dead now I suppose) the ones who could bring games to life by their vivid descriptions, they and the horse racing and boxing commentators, who’s descriptions were always exiting and enjoyable, regardless of what actually took place.

    I suppose that’s why they always include volume controls.

  91. Contrary to some, I see no joy in the fact two of the three main northeastern clubs are about to be relegated, with only ourselves NUFC being promoted.

    Being the derby games were always looked forward too (apart from the thuggery involved at times, which was unbelievable, one guy arrested for punching a police horse, you couldn’t make this up.) and could come to an end unless those owners are willing to invest .

    Yes there will always be promotion and demotion, as it appears to maintain a certain level of football, however why three clubs instead of two, which was the case a number of years back, is there a demand for three sides and surely the club who now finish third should, without having to play in a separate competition, be the club promoted along with the second and first placed sides,

    These mini play-offs are basically unfair and justified only as extra drama and a few bob extra in the clubs pockets.

  92. I noticed Sheerah! has injected himself into NUFC club politics quite vociferously, giving his opinion on what is required to make the club a solid member of the big bucks league.

    His latest numbers on what it would cost reaching to the 150 million figure,
    someone should inform him, that the Qatari’s have yet to buy the club and even they would hesitate to spend that kinda bread.

    Of course he believes the club could recover a total of around 50 million from sales plus of second tier players plus the balance of thirty million from last seasons sales profit’s, perhaps we should give him Chubby Charnleys job, (now that he’s been arrested by HM Tax people) seems Sheerah knows more about the market than he did as a manager.

    As he blew his first attempt , I mean what was he thinking at the time, he and Quasimodo, they were actually worse than Carver and Stone FFS.

    Nah ! leave it to Rafa. what we need right now is a team designed for survival in the PL, not some ambitious spending spree, he did it in the second tier and can hopefully repeat it in the PL.

    It takes time to build a side (and money) which requires the right people directing the effort, a perfect example is Spurs, yeah they are not exactly there yet, but the way the club has gone about it’s business is exactly the system that should be employed at St. James’Park.

    But then Spurs are not an adjunct to any of Joe Lewis’ businesses, like NUFC are, no more than a free advertising board to Sports Direct, plus the spurs top management are just that, serious business people.

    Nah ! Ashley is going to have his hands full with his US launching of Sports Direct, costing a reported $150m. that any expectation of spending the same amount on NUFC is ridicules.

    What’s needed is a new owner and this could happen quicker than expected, being it would save Ashley money and infuse a bit more cash for the launching of SD-USA.

    There are rumors of both Chinese and Qatari’s waiting in the wings for the right deal, who if they buy, would expect big things from the club and could be the new broom that is badly needed at this club.

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