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Newcastle United still in trouble despite recent run

Posted on December 8th, 2018 | 39 Comments |

Rafa Benitez at SJP.
Rafa – Not out of the woods yet.
Newcastle United host Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Sunday aiming to keep themselves clear of the relegation zone.

The Magpies have lost just one of their last six league matches to lie 14th in the table, four points above the bottom three.

However, last weekend’s 3-0 drubbing at home to West Ham United highlighted that manager Rafa Benitez still has a big job on his hands.

Newcastle were much improved at Everton in midweek, deservedly picking up a point courtesy of a 1-1 draw.

After a run of six games without a win, losing five times in that sequence, Wolves pulled off a shock 2-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday. That result left them 12th in the table, six points ahead of Newcastle.

The home side are priced at 39/20 to win the game and you can learn more here about all the latest odds on the match.

Injuries and Suspensions.

Newcastle will welcome Matt Ritchie back from suspension this weekend, but they have now lost centre-back Fabian Schar to a one-match ban. A toe injury kept Kenedy out against Everton and he is doubtful for Sunday’s game.

Ruben Neves served a one-match ban in midweek and he is expected to return to the starting line-up despite the fact Wolves beat Chelsea in his absence.

Morgan Gibbs-White should retain his place up front after impressing against the Blues, but Jonny remains on the sidelines.

Previous Form.

Newcastle have held the upper hand over Wolves in recent years, losing just one of their last nine meetings in all competitions.

However, Wolves ran out 2-0 winners on their last league visit to St James’ Park back in September 2016 and it would be foolish to underestimate them this weekend.

Having climbed away from the drop zone in recent weeks it is vital that Newcastle keep picking up points over the next few games.

Upcoming fixtures against Huddersfield Town (A) and Fulham (H) both look winnable, but the Boxing Day trip to title-chasing Liverpool is a daunting proposition.

Subsequent matches against Watford (A) and Manchester United (H) also won’t be easy, but if Newcastle can enter the New Year further clear of the bottom three, they would have a decent platform to build on for the rest of the season.

Benitez’s side have done well to move off the bottom of the table, but they remain amongst at least seven sides who appear likely to be battling against relegation this term.

A healthy points return over the next few weeks would go a long way to easing some of the pressure around the club.

NUFCBlog Author: Frankly Various Frankly Various has written 27 articles on this blog.

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39 Responses

  1. After a tough start to the season, I think the next 3 games are crucial for us. Winning them could certainly (not to say we can’t be dragged back in) pull us out the relegation battle when it comes towards the end of the season and would be a great boost for the team and fans a like ready for the new year. However, to keep the momentum some key, proven players need to be acquired during the window. #toonarmy

  2. Worky just dropped in to wish you the very best in the new year.
    Don’t have a lot to do with NUFC these days while that “odious creature” still pulls the strings. Unfortunately at my age I’ll be gone before him. Only one of my grandchildren or indeed great grandchildren supported the Toon and he moved to France and is more interested in rugby union now. The creatures legacy will continue long after he has gone with future generations being lost.
    Lets hope something can be saved from his mess when and “if” he goes.

    Noticed Chucks absence which makes me fear the worst.

    Even the blogs are suffering from having a club with no hope or ambition. As much as the football I’ve missed your blog and the varied discussions we had.

    Sorry to be so negative but all the good things seem to be in the past with nothing much to look forward too where NUFC is concerned and don’t get me started on Brexit.
    Hope I’ve cheered you up!! lol

  3. Hi Nutmag, it is really good to hear from you again after all this time! I am also very sorry I didn’t reply to you sooner, I had a bit of a holiday from the blog over Christmas and the New Year until yesterday. I meant to reply after I put a blog up, but then I got a load of phone calls about fixing the plumbing in my kitchen, which has been flooding recently from the drains, which isn’t very nice!

    I was worried about Chuck as well, so I e.mailed him in June. He replied but I think he was travelling again and he was having problems logging in from his iPad. We were trying to work through it (with a little help from Hugh as well) and then he just stopped replying. I might try sending him another e.mail. I really hope he’s ok, even though he is an old curmudgeon who drives me potty and insults me, I do like him for some strange reason. I miss you as well when you don’t come on here, you don’t have to just discuss football!

    On the football, I have been a fan since the 1970s when I was a bairn, but I must admit I find it a test of endurance to watch the games nowadays, and do it out of a sense of duty. It’s the lack of goals more than anything right now.

  4. Yo ! fear not ! as I kinda felt a bit bored with NUFC and their scmuck of an owner..
    Anyhow seasons greeting’s to y’all, still got an interest in watching football, especially the championship teams and their run in, reminds me of the old first division style of play with a bit more technique, whereas the premier sides play a more predictable technique, from the back out, a bit “tika taka”possesion, a high defensive line and all employ the fast break, predictable and one that cancels out the old kick and rush style (a more exciting game that emphasized English football) and made it a more entertaining game.
    I was wondering how long it would take before English sides looked more like NBA Basketball teams, with a point guard bringing the ball up-court and everyone in place with highly organized set plays continually rotating
    .Effective and highly technical but also a bit boring and predictable.

    Their was an interesting article by of all people two American writers, an excerpt from a recently published book concerning the resignation of the former EPL guy Scudamore and the future of the EPL, published in “The “Guardians Long Read”, I think you would find interesting, concerns the possible threatened formation of a super league, the pressure coming from the likes of PSG, The Manchester teams, especially Citeh and those owned by massive money, who naturally demand more of the tv revenues, I predict big changes over the next few years.
    I would like to expound on the madness in both the US Congress and the UK Parliament instead I will direct you to another “Guardian Journal” article by the Irish writer “Fintan O’Toole” that I believe nailed the whole Brexit thing as no British writer has had the balls to admit too yet .namely the article “It was never about Europe, Brexit is a very British neurosis”

  5. Chuck! It’s good to see you back on here. So you’re sick of watching all the triangles then? What I’ve been sick of, up until the last game was sitting every week watching the Magpies and waiting for them to score. They did score three in the last game of course, but two of those came from a part-time defender who doesn’t usually play.

    We have a terrible government here, they’ve completely ruined everything and everything springs from that, including the current mess over Brexit. I’m no fan of the EU, they’re the same old neoliberal bastards that you have over there in abundance really, but the fact that it so hard to get out now tends to indicate that if it was left any longer, it would be impossible to extricate ourselves as the EU agglomerates into the United States of Europe.

  6. Yes I know this is primarily a football blog, but i’m pretty bored with the whole shebang. NUFC and Ashley.

    A crap side with a crap owner, going nowhere, except perhaps relegated to the championship, where I think they play a more entertaining game,

    BIG clubs can go play their boring possession tika taka football in some super league, being I prefer a bit of kick and run stuff, devoid of the constant diving, shirt pulling and other acts presently dominating the EPL.

    I have been following Brexit closely, I just find it hard to believe how the public are being treated, with absolutely no say in the matter and neither party showing any sense of purpose .

    It’s gonna be tough attempting to survive under WTO rules, better to stay within the EU as a member than adrift outside of the worlds largest economic community.

    Even though there are compromises that could make it worthwhile, leave the NI statelet within the EU customs zone would be a start, being demographics show their will be a nationalist majority in NI by the year 2022, which would inevitably evoke a call for vote of reunification,

    Unfortunately the quality of to-days parliamentarians leaves a lot to be desired
    that includes those of all parties.

    However to continue with basically nothing to offer and to leave a comfortable spot in the worlds largest market, will not be remembered with any form of respect from the electorate, as the country goes from the worlds largest Empire to what may become the pound store of the High St. in less than seventy five years, ah well !

  7. Chuck
    Sorry if I inferred you’d “Turned up your toes” “Popped your clogs”or “Snuffed it”
    It just seems I have lost a lot of friends just lately. Being of an certain age I have realized I know more people in the churchyard now than are not.
    Continuing with the age thing: I was at that young age and listening to my father and uncles talking about Hughie Gallacher and the likes, but was unable to go to SJP because of one man. The man had no interest in football his aims and ambitions lay elsewhere his name Adolf Hitler. He had to be got rid of before I could get my wish and see the Toon play.
    Funny here I am again in the same situation at end of my life as I was at the beginning one man stopping me going to SJP Unfortunately who will go first him or me?

    Parasites will only leave their hosts when their hosts don’t feed them any more!
    So its odds on I won’t be going back to SJP.
    Joe good to hear from you again, all we have to do now is get on the same thread l.o.l.
    I’m sure even if there is little joy or hope at the Toon these days we can still have a good natter on here as we used too back when this was by far the best blog!

  8. Nutmag,

    I don’t know much about it as I wasn’t there, but didn’t they have a wartime league in the days of Hitler? That’s why Jackie Milburn was ousted by Shearer as Newcastle’s highest goalscorer, Milburn still scored more, but his early ones were in the wartime league so they weren’t counted.

    I’ve been facing my own mortality in my fifties, the doctor at Barts told me that I’ve already had at least one heart attack, but being a daft Geordie, at the time I just brushed it off as a bad reaction to a new tablet I had taken that day.


    You know that I used to be a huge fan of the Johan Cruyff approach to football, but I must admit that I get rather bored with all the triangles nowadays too. Things have their time, reach their zenith, then start a descent into boredom.

    On Brexit, once David Cameron opened Pandora’s Box, it couldn’t be closed again. The whining remainers who want a second vote are very fanatical now, but many of them couldn’t even be bothered to walk down to the polling station to vote to remain when they had the chance in 2016. If we Brexit under this current Government, there will undoubtedly be some significant consequences. The Conservatives wanted a right wing Brexit where working people’s rights (and wages) are further eroded to the point where we are no better than livestock, and being one of THE most incompetent administrations in Parliamentary history, they have made a complete and utter mess of the negotiations. However, if they ignore the votes of over 17 million people who won the referendum, that will have its own consequences too.

    As for me, I’m torn like my MP, Jeremy Corbyn. Like him I don’t really like the EU, I think it is an undemocratic and neoliberal, but we have become so entwined with it through things like Maastricht and the Lisbon Treaty that it is going to be a nightmare to extricate ourselves from it, but, going back to Cruyff again, he once said that every disadvantage has its advantage.

  9. Worky
    The war time football from my sketchy childhood memory was more like reginal friendlies with very restrictive gates. The reason for me not seeing any of them was more the war itself and logistics. A visit to Newcastle was a twenty odd mile bus journey and not easy at that time.Then and I think more importantly my mother on a trip to Newcastle for something reported to be on sale which wasn’t readily available during the war was caught in an air raid. It was late at night by the time she got home with only a big bag of apples. I can understand her reluctance to see me and my dad spending a whole day at risk for a football game. I waited till the war was over and did that journey most Saturdays on an old bicycle in all weathers to see my hero’s. Not knowing then that these would be my halcyon days

  10. Aye, they do say that the past is a foreign country. My mother was 17 at the end of the war, she’d hardly ever been to school, and my dad was in the navy until 1946. I still have his papers and his medals. He was a tough little bugger but he was only 5’5″, so he was perfect for that job as the bunks on a war ship was no place for giants. He looked a bit like Harry Hill when I was a bairn. He used to talk about the war like it was one long holiday in places like Bombay and Calcutta, but sometimes, he did used to mention the more horrific parts too.

  11. One would think that a game between Citeh and Liverpool would be looked forward too, yet the games already played in my opinion were fairly boring, two sides attempting to employ the same tactical game over their opponents.

    yes you are right and in fact I have heard from many this season that games from the championship league are much more entertaining, in comparison with the football played by either of the above mentioned sides.

    I always thought that Arsene Wenger sides with their pretty angled passing along the sideline at midfield was a waste of time and his record though not entirely poor, was proof of the fact not only had he misinterpreted tika taka, but that the club then bestowed loads of praise on a manager who is still looking to manage a winning side.

    I believe his worth came as a yes man, not spending on the right players or miss- playing them, he could have be described as being the right man at the right time, not spending a great deal on players while the club were absorbing a big hit following the building of a brand new stadium.

    Of course the main force behind to days most popular style is now coaching at Citeh and it’s doubtful whether he can change.
    My attitude being for the sake of viewers and the clubs in general, this
    style has become both predictable and to a degree boring, perhaps with Bielsa and Leeds next season we may in fact see something of a change.

    Something new in how sides set up and with Bielsa who knows how his sides can effect change in a tactical sense.

    On looking around one see’s only continental or So. American managers,
    took em a long time to get rid of the old retreads, apart from Forest’s recent hiring of O’Neill, good luck with that, gonna need it, but if it signifies the end of people like O’Neill and Keane, so be it.

    One may think I am in favor of Kick and run football by reading the above, sorry i’m awaiting the development of a more practical and less
    predictable version of football and where better for it to develop than in the EPL, with it’s regime of top coaches, players and facilities (notice I have left out the officials) who are IMO responsible for many of the games problems, especially by ignoring the video replays.

    One has to be concerned by the sudden retirement of the head of the
    EPL Rich. Scudamore, who obviously sees troubled waters from such clubs as PSG, Juventus, Citeh, the clubs with owners who have unlimited funds and who want a decent return on their investment, being football is now big bucks plus the fact there have been re -occurring rumors of the possibility of a European super league.

    Scudamore who took over the EPL at a time when they actually paid tv stations to show EPL games and turned it into a league with revenues of 1.1b. pounds from many of those tv organizations they once paid.
    As for NUFC , I see nothing better than we have seen yet under our beloved owner, who will lose the best manager we have had since SBR
    for refusing to spend.
    The only answer to dumping or forcing a sale of the club is ‘a big ask’, a complete boycott would do it, apart from the fact there are too many NUFC addicts.


    a contract that earned them approcudamore, wo increased the leagues income from a division that paid people to watch their games, to one that last year



    epl’sthe EPL from a league that used to pay tv providers to show their games and earned almost nothing, to a super league with an income of 1.1billion quid


  12. I like watching Mohammed Salah though, he’s very good, I just get a bit bored with it all nowadays. The Formula One is the same, it’s as boring as well compared with how it used to be. What do you think about Trump and Venezuela then? I think what happens next is going to be the standard US formula, like Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua etc…

    I think you are forgetting that Wenger won alot of trophies, including three league titles, Seven FA Cups and seven Charity Shields. I think Arsene Wenger liked to patiently mould young players into his type of players over time, but as the money in football got bigger and bigger, the other big teams just became a circus with all the top players and it became harder and harder to compete in the league with Wenger’s approach. When he brought in Ozil and Sanchez that was a bit of a turning point.

    As for Bielsa the mad Professor, his teams are very methodical and tippy tappy too, but he’s certainly seems to be bringing a bit of excitement to the Championship with his tactics, his spying antics and his OCD. It looks like Leeds might be making a return to the highest level currently, but you never know what might happen with Bielsa, he walked out of Lazio before he even managed one game. He then went to Lille and lasted 19 games there.

  13. Yes Bielsa needs to stay at Leeds for a while, to prove how good a manager he is, it’s well known that unless given control he can up and quit.
    Not only he, but it’s also understood he requires players with a little more nous, being his tactics are known to be both complicated and therefor require a bit more brain power.

    Looks like Ashley has bought a couple of players, a Paraguyan forward who is supposedly very fast and has a goal scoring touch, the other a young defender from Monaco, who have become the best selling club in france, which this year alone sold some of the best talent in Europe.

  14. Chuck, I think the Paraguayan is more than a midfielder than a striker, we need a striker. In the parsimonious world of Mike Ashley where money has to be spent carefully, we definitely need a striker more than a defender. We haven’t been letting in loads of goals with a crap defence, we’ve been failing to score them with crap strikers so the defence can be tight and have a good game, and we still only get 0-0. It’s shite to watch as well.

  15. Well that was so disappointing after recent triumphs. I must admit that Benitez proved me wrong on Tuesday, holding back Fabian Schar for the Man City game, where he gave another excellent performance and we won against the odds. At Spurs, although they dominated the possession and so on (as Man City did), we held up well and counter-punched, but the game for us was encapsulated by two chances, Perez faffing around nervously when he had the goal in front of him, and Son being in a roughly similar position and just banging it into the net. They did do well on Tuesday but it’s so obvious that we need a better quality striker above everything else, this is especially true as we’re playing a counter attacking game where we’ll get one chance every now and again, and we need a real finisher to make the most of limited opportunities.

  16. Forward midfielder ? who can differentiate these days, what I have read is the guy’s both fast and has a nose for goal, about time now that Perez has proven to be nothing more than a spare tyre, and should be sold.

    The question is will Benitez quit or will two signings be enough to keep him around, why not where would he go, he has proved to be one of the best managers in the league.

    At an old primarily top division club, that with an owner who is ambitious could it would be nice to see what Rafa cold do with the kinda dosh the top six or perhaps sixteen PL sides have, with just about every club in both the PL and championship having owners with pounds to spare and I consider what Rafa has done with chump change to be exceptional, but unfortunately Ashley continues to hang around like a bad smell.

    Ah well !

  17. Aye, Ashley’s a even worse than Theresa May when it comes to hanging around like a ‘bad smell.’

    As for Benitez, though he did do better than he should have done last season in 10th, he’s only been holding his own this season so far bearing in mind what he has at his disposal. Then again, it was like that last season until they rallied towards the end.

  18. Yeah these two signings, young guys around the same age, old enough to be decent journeymen, yet not that well known we should be jumping for joy.
    Our forward// mid-fielder, appears to have a nose for goal , plus his acknowledged speed and decent left foot could give Perez something to be concerned about , being if he is successful he should fill that #10 spot behind Rondon.

    As for our left back/ come left wing back, who apparently has been used as a wing back at former clubs he, also has a turn of speed and will match up with our fast paced righ wing/back Yedlin who appears to be improving to give that extra needed speed on the fast break, which is used consistently by Rafa .

    If possible following survival in the PL, I would certainly reconsider in the offer from Fulham Cairns I believe for Shelvey, who in my opinion is unstable and worse injured a lot.
    it’s my hope that Benitez can keep his cool and stay with the club, it being IMO
    where he best needed and it would be nice to see a side with a bit of quality.
    and a competitive spirit, instead of a bunch of n name unwanted no-body’s.

  19. Chuck, if you were Benitez, would you stay?

    I must say though that looking at our last 2 seasons in the Premier League under Benitez, the team haven’t shown much ‘competitive spirit’ (as you put it) in the first two thirds or three quarters of the season. They seem to flirt with the bottom three for much of the season, then pull their socks up at the end where they lurch up the table and finally gain repectability. Even in the Championship, it looked like Hughton’s Brighton was going to win it with a far more modest group of players, it was only in the very last knockings of the season that we managed to snatch the trophy from the Seagulls.

  20. If I were Benitez would I stay ?, I certainly understand his willingness to improve the club, however as you may have noticed, we have an owner who cares little and spends accordingly.
    However I can see what attracts Rafa to the club, obviously it needs an overhaul and a completely new business model, in fact a new owner willing to spend an amount equal to that of a top ten PL club.

    And I believe Rafa could play a major role in the restructuring of the club, building from the youth ranks will like Monaco require a top level scouting system, plus good coaching, being I believe developing from within would suit the club, unlike say Citeh, who this season fired a whole defensive system and introduced a new set of defenders, great stuff if you can afford it, but who really can, being such wealthy clubs as PSG, Citeh, Juventus, etc having spent like drunken sailors are now looking to recover some of that money from higher revenues, it’s well known that the top EPL sides have a program in place to ensure they receive a good deal more than the lower placed sides, they just don’t have the votes to force it through.
    However I believe with Rafa in charge a new owner with ambition and a few bucks spent NUFC could rightfully claim their proper place, not as a side that
    rconstantly fights relegation , but one that competes for silverware.
    Though as long as Ashley remains as owner we can fogedaboudit !


  21. It could have been done back in the days of John Hall, but now, even if Ashley had a Scrooge like conversion and pumped £100s of millions into the club, it would still struggle to get in the top group. As I once mentioned in an old story, we were judged to be in top five in the world according to Deloitte once, above Barcelona! We didn’t win any trophies of course but still… It would be Europa League rather than the Champions League nowadays though. Even teams like Arsenal and Manchester United are ending up there now as it is just so competitive.

    I know you like the expression, Chuck, but I doubt I’ll ever see a drunken sailor spend as much as Man City!

  22. Unfortunately any discussion about present day NUFC must always revert to that well known “philanthropist” owner Ashley.
    Fact being with relatively modest amounts of investments in the transfer windows since Rafa’s arrival could have seen a whole different picture.
    Good teams are possible, if built with a belief and knowledge of the game.
    Rafa once stated he could manage a team on a limited budget. The vital thing being he needs the players of his choice to fill the roles in “His Team”.
    This means some players that don’t fit in or are unable to adapt must leave Hell even KK sold players like Andy Cole. I know it was a different time but Brian Clough didn’t build his teams with expensive stars. Yes I know he broke the £1m record for Trevor Frances The difference between the calibre of Rafa and the likes of Alan Pardew is frightening. I wouldn’t trust Pardew to buy a coffee.
    Selling Mitrovic has financially gone a long way in the cost of our new signing, a player Rafa things will fit and needs for one that did not.

    “Every penny” if only!!

  23. Look folks the EPL is currently all about money, it has the best players in general,, plays a less than boring style of football and ended up with earnings of 1.1b quid in tv revenues.

    All of which may be threatened by the wealthy clubs such as Citeh, PSG and, well you all know the names, also the top EPL clubs are threatening action and are attempting to cajole votes from the lower clubs to enable them to earn more from those same tv revenues, which as of now has been rejected.

    However those larger clubs now require a higher return on their investments
    and are threatening to initiate a new super league that would dominate Europe, even though retaliation from both FIFA & EUAFA by banning players from the world cup involved in those leagues has been threatened.

    Of course we are all aware how crooked both FIFA & UEFA are, plus players fortunate enough to play in such a league wouldn’t care as from a players point of view it’s also about money.

    On NUFC once a giant in both the First Division and EPL, with it’s tight fisted owner, has almost become an elevator side, were it not for the good management of both Hughton and Benitez.

    Time to get this “gadgie” outta here by employing a serious boycott, which the present fans will reject, being they are addicted to St. James’ and it’s sides no matter how bad, perhaps they should look back over the last ten years and
    realise the damage that has been done to this club and therefor once and for all time send this scrooge on his way.


  24. Chuck
    I agree 100% about boycott I haven’t been back since 08/09 season and that after 70 years of support.
    Tv cameras panning around an empty stadium would do more than all the banners, bed sheets and chants. Ashley knows this he also knows a few words to Sky News like “the club is for sale” or “we have four interested buyers” when protests are threatened and or its a transfer window. Again I say it your American saying “Never give a sucker an even break” it works every time for him.

  25. Yes of course a Boycott of St. James’ Park a complete or near complete boycott , the only weapon that could move Ashley.

    Not introduced by the ridicules bed sheet brigade, “though they deserve a certain amount of credit” for being active, being the rest of the fans are no more than sheep, unwilling to take a week off , even though that week may
    be the one that forces our dear leader to go in peace.

    Sure they show up week after week to watch a team of no names, whose main opponents are the bottom feeders of the EPL, better to have an owner who actually cares about winning as opposed to a cheapskate who makes a living via being Cheap.

    Ah well ! one of these days he will certainly leave, the sooner the better, but don’t rely on the fans to force it to happen, being they are no more than a bunch of sheep.

  26. Chuck, whilst we’re on the subject of revolution, I am reading a fairly epic biography of the United States’ greatest citizen, Thomas Paine at the moment. I am at the stage where Paine is settled in Philadelphia, ‘Common Sense’ has been published to rave reviews and recordbusting sales, and the idea of revolution and an American ‘Brexit’ all starts to ‘kick off’. It made me think about you and your views on the current Brexit. As you are a ‘Remainiac’ does this mean that you also disagreed with the US’s decision to face an isolated and uncertain future outside the largest trading block of the late 1700s? After all, it has all gone so disastrously in hindsight, you must surely want your side of the pond to return to the bosom of the old mother country?

  27. Look Thomas Paine is one of the few hero’s I have and played a major role in the founding of the US and it’s constitution, however one must remember who the revolutionaries were.

    For the most part Slave owners, which generated enormous wealth through slavery and relied on the Brits to supply their slave markets, there were also New England factory owners, but few moneyless individuals, though what they presented both as a political system, with a constitution and bill of rights had to be acceptable to the majority.

    I see very little in common between Brexit and the American Revolution, being most trade had taken place between the America & the Caribbean and of course Britain, plus the country then was in it’s infancy with plenty of land and raw materials, better to remain untaxed by some country an ocean away.

    It was the beginning of what has a common reference “our manifest destiny” which was a reference too the eventual purchases of the French claimed land west of the Mississippi, Alaska ,and of course the absorbing through force of the Spanish colonies of the west and southwest.

    Since then we have done pretty good, becoming the largest economy in the world and as a great trading nation, which has also in a military sense saved your ass on more than one occasion.
    And as far as a comparison with he former British Empire now a small nation off the coast of mainland Europe and that of the empire of late 1700’s, one was an empire the other now the remnants of one.

    It certainly doesn’t take a genius to project Britain’s future outside the worlds largest trading block, having to deal with WTO rules and regs. and attempting to become a greater Britain than it was within that trading block.

    As for your politicians, god help you, sure we got The Donald, but we also have full employment a healthy stock market and full employment, I get calls to see if I want to return to work on a daily basis.
    Plus he will be gone in a couple of years, a lesson to all voters, careful what you ask for.

    If the UK fails to get a decent deal from Brexit it may very well become the
    Dollar/pound store of the worlds markets, as opposed to the more successful former colonies such as Singapore or Hong Kong, which some have indicated would be an ambition.

  28. Hopefully an entertaining game to-day vs. Wolves, a top ten side who have spent their way into the PL by laying out over a hundred million quid, the answer to the question “what does it take to achieve success in football”
    Yeah both Wolves and the Magpies were dominant sides in the old first division and both had some success in the early post war years, the Toon during the early fifties and Wolves in he late fifties and early sixties.

    It’s nice to see the return to the top division of some of the one time decent first division sides and I am looking forward to seeing Bielsa’s Leeds next season, that’s if hopefully we are still PL member.

    15 minutes until k’off

  29. Not much of a game, though I cant say I blame Rafa, having to play that boring defensive game, with the hope of gaining a couple of goals through a fast break.

    Young Longstaff was impressive at times, plus our new striker looked decent in the few moments he got tp play, so look out for those two welcome additions.

    I was upset with the ref in the dying minutes who appeared desperate to give Wolves an opportunity to even the score by adding time to the game and ignoring what could easily be described as a free kick against our goalie.

    it appears that the present bunch of EPL refs. are terrible and whatever happened to checking many of their calls via the video tape, to ensure the ref was right, I believe that’s why it was introduced.

    Well gaining an away point from a decent side is nothing to sniff at, but we need points badly and can only hope there are worse sides than us who go down.

  30. That’s just ruined another week for me, 95th frigging minute!

    Of course, you are right about the so-called ‘Founding Fathers’ and their slaves, Chuck. As Samuel Johnson said of them: “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?” As for Paine, he was an Abolitionst with no slaves, but his abolitionism was rather half-hearted for someone whose canon was built so much on liberty and equality. Looking at it from another angle, your struggle for indpendence over there was part of a bigger struggle between the old enemies, the British and the French.

    The way people are carrying on about Brexit is ridiculous. We should have known really because of all the divisiveness kicked up by the Scottish referendum and that was in a country of only 5 million.

  31. Ah well, too late to do anything about the Wolves game, other than ban these terrible refs for a number of weeks where they could watch the game they just screwed up and perhaps it would induce them to ask to see the video tape in future, as most of us get many of the calls wrong ourselves and constantly change our minds on viewing the issue seen from a different perspective.

    It appears the magic number of points needed to survive in the top division (according to Rafa.) is around the high thirties, in which case we need to win quite a few games in the final run in.

    Hoever I was not really impressed by either the tactical or technical efforts of the Toon, we really need help if we are to be regular top ten side, the signing of two relatively young players is no doubt helpful, but it may take a lotta dosh to improve this side, to ensure there is no relegation struggle season after season.
    All of which depends on whether Benitez decides this is where he wants to be and of course until he and Ashley reach an agreement they can both live with,

    The other alternative looks something like the position Sunderland has found itself in, or grinding out games against championship sides who now have some money and each of them want to be he next Liecester or Wolves.

    Actually the decision is up-to our dear owner, who I wish would just sell the club.

  32. Chuck, even playing Championship would be a dream for Sunderland now, they’re still in League One. Now Ashley IS bad, make no mistake, but if he’s bad, how bad was Ellis Short? (He left a few months ago). Don’t say that going down to League One would be a good thing because that would get rid of Ashley too.

    We have a cheapskate team, but I’m quite optimistic, we need a hitman to go with our new playmaker, like Beardsley and Cole. The rest of the team aren’t Man City or Liverpool but they don’t let many goals in, it’s just that we can’t even score a goal a game on average and because of that, we’re always on the backfoot trying to play for a 0-0 draw or if we’re lucky, hold on to a one goal lead. It’s quite painful to watch 38 times a year as well.

  33. Yeah I realize that Sunderland are still struggling in the first division and we could quite easily end up being relegated once more, it all reflects the fact that Thatcher’s de-industrialization has had it’s effect on those formally industrial areas of The North, which following Thatchers policies became poorer and therefor couldn’t compete with areas of the country, London and the south coast being examples.
    It becomes obvious when one looks at the west midlands where a once decent group of clubs are now playing in the lower divisions, certainly that once strong group of Villa, WBA & Birmingham are more or less stuck there.
    It’s my belief that Rafa., has just about had it , as far as our dear leader is concerned, NUFC, has suffered from a lack of money for the last ten years and it’s certainly doubtful whether Rafa would be willing to live with the continual attempt to maintain a PL position, without the monitory changes required, including a renewal of the youth system or add the necessary players needed on an annual basis.

    My advice is get used to becoming a regular elevator side like WBA, or acquire a wealthy owner, or at least one who has the best interests of the club at heart.


  34. Chuckles, yes, Thatcher’s deindustrialisation of the North and Midlands had a terrible cost generally, however in football your hypothesis falls down when you consider that two of the worst places in ‘Thatcher’s Britain’ were Liverpool and Manchester, Aston Villa bobbed around in the Premier League, having peaks and troughs well into the 2000s as well.

    On the contrary, when Thatcher was ripping the heart out of Britain and unemployed people were all over the place, that was when English football was at its zenith and English clubs won the European Cup for fun, Nottingham Forest (twice), Liverpool (twice under Thatcher) and even Aston Villa!

  35. Well NUFC has had the misfortune to end up with a cheapskate owner, who’s whole life is a series of cheapskate moves and is unlikely to change, in which case the club will not change it’s policies.
    But that’s only one of the clubs problems, the now all powerful EPL, with it’s enormous tv revenues is about to come under attack, the wealthier sides demanding a larger share of the revenues, which the less wealthy sides hold the majority when it comes to a vote, there are other clubs, mainly top European sides who find themselves spending more than they are earning and realize the only alternative is to invent and operate a super league, which though the controlling bodies FIFA and EUAFA are against it, which tv providers wouldn’t want to have a European super League as their main moneymaker.
    Why did Scudamore the head of the EPL who did such a sterling job of bringing the EPL from a league that paid tv providers to show the leagues games, to one which now earns revenues of over a billion quid a year.

    Yes folks the future does not look bright, depending on how one looks at national leagues who may struggle as new alliance’s are put in place such as a super league consisting of the best sides in Europe, something possibly long overdue and there is also the alternative of other leagues to rival the super leagues.

    Ah impossible you say, look both major organizations both EUAFA and FIFA are corrupt and it’s time they were replaced, their only real threat against the establishment is to ban players from the newly established leagues would be to ban players from playing international football, which do you really think players who earn hundreds of thousands give a damn about playing in an international shirt, I think not !
    Yes football will, following that amazing run by the EPL under Scudamore in earnings want, in fact have to increase their earnings in order to pay the present outrageous wages payed to top players.

  36. Not the European Superleague again, Chuck, you’re obsessed with it! Even though the teams who will go in it will be big teams, it will be the end of teams being where they are through winning and merit, it will be by wealth as the teams won’t be relegated, hence it will no longer be a real competition, it will just be a charade. Some teams which are big teams that are used to winning now but just scrape into this superleague might have to get used to losing most of the time and coming bottom. It will be like a circus, I wouldn’t like it at all. I think you write about it constantly just to wind me up!

    This book I’m reading about Tom Paine is pretty good so far, it’s called ‘Tom Paine – A Political Life’ by John Keane and I’d recommend it if you haven’t read it already.

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