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Magpies Step Up Just in Time to Avoid Disaster

Posted on April 23rd, 2021 | 33 Comments |

Wilson, St.Maximin and Willock
Callum Wilson, Allan St.Maximin and Joe Willock
It’s hasn’t always been an easy watch this season, but a run of one defeat in seven games looks to have saved this campaign for Newcastle.

Bookmakers have pushed the Magpies as far out as 14/1 to go down, compared to 1/9 for a Fulham side suddenly in big trouble below them. While the job isn’t quite complete yet, Newcastle fans can breathe a little easier after several months of watching the team play toothless football on its way into a relegation fight.

Joe Willock twice provided big contributions in the April resurgence, scoring off the bench against both West Ham and Tottenham. Arsenal fans will wonder what might have been if Willock could have shown that form earlier in the season – Willock struggled to break into that Arsenal side before going out on loan. The Gunners themselves have failed to meet expectations in the league this campaign, but are still fancied favourites to see off Villareal in their two-legged semi-final according to the latest Europa League betting with Betfair. That tie sees them come up against old boss Unai Emery, who was sacked by Arsenal in 2019.

But Arsenal’s loss is Newcastle’s gain, as Willock’s timely goals have been one of the reasons that the Magpies have righted the ship late into the season. Elsewhere, first-team returns for big names Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin have suddenly given impetus to a side that looked to be sleepwalking to relegation. Saint-Maximin’s performance against Burnley showed what Newcastle have been missing for so much of the year. With the Frenchman in the team, Newcastle look lively and dangerous going forward; without him, they look lethargic.

There is reason for optimism, albeit quiet optimism around St. James’ Park for the first time since that opening day win against West Ham. Strangely enough, Newcastle have done the double over the Hammers this campaign despite starkly different fortunes at either end of the table, and the win in April came at the perfect time to push Steve Bruce’s side clear of the drop zone. Fulham, who at one time sat only two points behind Newcastle, now find themselves cut adrift at the bottom after their decent performances from early 2021 went missing in action in March and April.

For the first time, it almost feels like fans can start thinking about another season in the Premier League, and a summer transfer window where who Newcastle keep will be just as important as who they bring in. Keeping Wilson and Saint-Maximin, and then building around them, will be key in deciding where the ceiling is for this team next season. Wilson has hit ten goals in an injury-hit year that should have put him in contention for a place in the England squad this summer, and he remains Newcastle’s main goal-scoring outlet. Losing him would bode terribly for the next campaign, if not replaced – the options behind him have been less than inspiring this season.

Joelinton’s famous albatross of a six-year contract runs until 2025 and he hasn’t shown £40 million worth of progress yet. Does Miguel Almiron have the goals to start alongside Wilson and Saint-Maximin, or to be the main option if one of them left? Dwight Gayle and Andy Carroll have been options off the bench, but neither looks like the Premier League striker they once were. The recruitment team definitely have a lot on their hands this summer to get this squad younger, and, ideally, healthier.

But for now, at least, the most important thing is this: Newcastle aren’t going down.

Probably.

NUFCBlog Author: Frankly Various Frankly Various has written 58 articles on this blog.

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33 Responses

  1. Worky, replying on the new thread as per your request.

    No, we haven’t started eating our pets yet. We only eat turnips in Somerset, for breakfast, dinner and tea.

    On the football front, we’re having a nice little run in the Euros. I think it’ll continue with Denmark too. I suspect we’ll then meet Italy and that’s a trickier prospect.

  2. Watching the Spain v Italy game has discouraged me a bit. Both are good in different ways. Apparently, Gareth Southgate and the England team are all Marxists now according to GB News so maybe that’s why they played so well against Ukraine? Maybe Dialectical Materialism could take us all the way this time?

  3. That was tough on Spain last night, I thought.

    I’ve not seen GB News, but I’ve read it has been accused of being a Fox-lite.

    If it comes to it, I’d prefer Dialectical Materialism to penalties.

  4. It’s a matter of how much you value solid, pragmatic teams who can soak up pressure and win on the counterattack. Italy are still masters of that sort of thing.

    GB News was incredibly amateurish and very dark when I watched it, the sets are black and the lighting is awful. The call handlers and presenters obviously weren’t briefed about avoiding jokers claiming to have names like ‘Mike Hunt,’ ‘Mike Oxlong’ etc. Every other word seems to be ‘woke’, they just bang on about this ‘woke’ thing all the time. They’ve even declared a ‘War on Woke’ whatever that means?

  5. Yeah “The Catenaccio” or bolt the door, however ones side has to be leading for this system to work as designed.
    It appears you miss things constantly depending on what the news outlet say, for instance the most solid claim is Italian , success is a result of choosing a “no big stars eleven”
    And if it appears to most England fans they are as good as into the final think again, the Danes have always had great stars and have also had success as a national team.
    I’m not knocking England as one of these days they might win something , but first they need a manager, not some former mediocre player with no history as a manager, though I have never
    seen as many youthful players to choose from , naturally ignored by
    the powers that be, playing a defensive game until they’re last game which was their best game.
    Hopefully he will employ Grealish in to-days game, who has the ability to use his playmaker and goal-scoring abilities being without him they look their hapless selves, of course I have to mention being he is always one of the best players on the field Engerlands
    RB, imo one of the top players in the game.
    ‘Walker.’

  6. As for the quality of broadcasting, at least the Europeans do not constantly mispronounce names and places repeatedly.
    I believe I would rather listen to that famous play by play announcer “forgot his name “but with a broad Geordie accent, who does the Real Madrid announcing, who tries and to a degree succeeds in being humorous through his choice of language
    Whereas I’m a bit tired of listening too the regular bbc announcers, who overdo things by repeatedly telling us what we can see is obvious and interrupting the game constantly with stories of how they did things as players , c’mon guys it’s boring .
    And another problem is the ethos of this game invented in the UK, with the rule changes that constantly change, why ? they were good enough until the last couple of decades before pressures from across the channel, forced those changes, making it a non physical game entirely, with diving and cheating going on continuously.
    I believe it’s time for referees to take charge and prevent this ruining of what was once a semi-physical game from becoming one full of stoppages due to players constantly disputing calls, make better use of yellow cards may be a help.
    Eh ! there are plenty of things to complain about , due to the changes in personnel and the current style of play, which is all about possession, with some clubs taking a full five minutes , passing the ball around in their own end , before crossing the midway line, that and time wasting “The dreaded Catenaccio ”
    which could be instantly solved by using a time clock,
    Sure it’s an American invention used in most pro, sports and works
    perfectly well and most objections to this are ridicules, but better than watching a player about to be taken off slowly strolling to-wards the side-line, frustrating , sure, what I would like to understand is why all of the changes to the ethos of the game, which in my opinion are and have been nonsense.

  7. Chuckles, ‘Highly defensive structures with little attacking intent – which are colloquially often referred to as “anti-football” or “parking the bus” – are often arbitrarily and incorrectly labelled as Catenaccio, but this deviates from the original design of the system…’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catenaccio

    Italy may be capable of seeing out a game in a pragmatic fashion if they have to but they are certainly not ‘Catenaccio.’ Tippy tappy Spain can hog possession and make it look like they are dominating a game; many times they are because they’re still one of the top world teams but that style can be somewhat deceptive sometimes too.

  8. The other England players used to take the piss out of Gareth Southgate because he had ‘O’ levels.

    Chuck, rule changes aren’t a new thing. When I was born, substitutes weren’t allowed. Manchester City goalkeeper, Bert Trautmann once played a Cup final with a broken neck because of that rule. Football was definitely rougher in our day. I remember Johnny Giles from ‘Dirty Leeds’ giving Kevin Keegan a proper, full strength right hook in the mush right in front of the ref and only receiving a hesitant yellow card for it. He’d be banned for a season now. That’s just one example but it was quite normal back then.

  9. Even what’s permitted with tackling is completely different now.

    And whatever happened to obstruction? As far as I’m aware it’s down to the interpretation of what “in possession” means. That must have changed because free kicks use to be given for obstruction fairly regularly, but I can’t remember the last time I saw that happen.

    I can’t remember the last time I saw an indirect free kick either.

  10. Erm ! listen I have been a fan of football forever, watched NUFC for since the late forties until the late middle-fifties and had the good fortune
    of watching a side that won three FA cups, during a five year time period that wasn’t based solely on money.
    In other words a fan of some seventy years, who has seen changes
    (mostly inappropriate ) take place , but that’s not my point, what I ‘m trying to get across is the changing of an ethos, where deliberate fouling and diving is both acceptable and possibly practiced.
    I certainly object to the present values that have been imported by foreign players and prefer a certain amount of physical play, which took place without any objection and not always called.
    As for tikitaka Pep Guardiola football, which is already outdated and abandoned by the better coaches, but remind as a necessary evil with the current teams spending as much as four or five minutes to get the ball across the halfway line, due to what is known as possession, which is explained by the same nonsense, that one has to have possession in order to score.
    Just watch some of the top EPL sides and the new boy on the block
    Bielsa which is the future and one of the better coaches @Leicester who while coaching Swansea was a tika-taca fan , as was Arsenal, who played triangle passing in mid field for what reason we will never know, but all have abandoned that particular style, except NUFC, who only defend.
    Now as a fan you know how boring that is.
    And having a cheapskate for an owner, is not exactly a requirement
    or a crap manager (read CHEAP) who couldn’t manage a decent bowel movement, never mind a premier side side.
    At present I would just as well accept an owner who has good intentions about the club, it doesn’t have to be the Saudi’s , but I fail to see where it would hurt .
    Unless you are upset about Khassoggi, which I doubt !
    Don’t look for obstruction, when players are allowed to usher the ball out of play for corner kicks etc. now I cannot be assured that
    some of which are now obviously not called are official changes I have been unaware of, or simply no longer given and have to scratch my head concerning the offside rule, which has caused more confusion than any other rule and suggest a simple return to it’s original purpose.
    Indirect free kick’s stop looking, as no one is certain of that rule.
    Ah well that’s my bitch of the day.

  11. Worky
    ? what statement
    And yes everyone but you knew about the famous broken neck of Bert Troutmann and if you ever see a tape of the Man.Citeh vs.
    Nufc FA cup in the mid-fifties it was won by Nufc, due to a personal injury to a city player, due to there being no substitution at the time.
    Unfair ? sure !
    Perhaps the reason for indirect free kicks are so rare, it’s only a matter of rareness, but obviously we need to return to a positive
    condition in regard to the most abused call and in certain cases
    becomes a call which can be a game changer due to it being a
    situation used by the ref. of being offside but not interfering with play.in other words forcing referees to make calls that could be
    interpreted differently by others, not a healthy situation and not one that should continue and while I’m at it, whats the story on flag movements that have to be interpreted, like is it an offside or not
    In my opinion go back to the original offside rule, with there being no interpretation by likely idiots who don’t agree on most things.

  12. Chuck, I’m not sure footballing styles just become outdated. Some perhaps, but most just get used when the manager has a team that suits that style.

    Guardiola’s Barcelona suited tiki-taka because they had players that could skilfully execute that style. In many cases a manager might prefer to play in a particular way, but finds the team he’s inherited just aren’t adept at the style he wants, so he picks anther style. Or, if he has enough in transfer funds, goes about rebuilding the team to one than can play in his chosen style.

    I would hope a good manager would play the style that gets the best results for his team.

  13. Barcelona play the football they do because of the Dutch connection, they imported Ajax to beat Real Madrid, and then Europe. Tiki Taka was developed by Johan Cruyff at Barcelona in the late 80s. The Spanish method is really the Dutch method but it is part of Barcelona’s DNA now, and Spain’s too.

  14. Hugh
    So you believe only clubs with very good players can play the tica- taca short passing game and we at NUFC, do not have players of that quality ?
    It also appears you place no value on the fact that when Citeh played Swansea during their PL seasons they both played tica- taca , which was a statement that anyone could and should if they please play that style and at this time even Pep has rejected it as a preferred style.
    Obviously most managers will be looking at Bielsa, as being the most innovative of EPL managers , but few of them can make either head or tail of his policies .
    I know I can rant about a certain British ethos that was a big part of the game, prior to the massive importation of continental and South American players who in fact have changed the game from one that had a certain physicality to one that now accepts diving and other tricks (cheating) which may very well suit their nationality, to the detriment of the game its self.
    And Hugh, are you saying that our present manager only understands the defensive nature of football, therefor plays ten men behind the ball, being they don’t have the technical skills to play an attacking game ?
    I really don’t think so, it’s strictly about money, but perhaps you don’t get that !

  15. Chuck: “So you believe only clubs with very good players can play the tica-taca”

    No, never said that.

    Chuck: “are you saying that our present manager only understands the defensive nature of football, therefor plays ten men behind the ball, being they don’t have the technical skills to play an attacking game?’

    No, never said that either.

    First of all tiki-taka isn’t the only successful way to play football, not by a long shot. It’s one particular philosophy that may or may not work, depending on the players a team has and the opposition they’re playing. It’s neither superior nor inferior to any other style in and of itself. Just a few days ago the Italians prevailed against a team known to be proficient at tiki-taka.

    So it’s not about players being “good enough” to play that way. Some players might suit that style of football, others might not.

    I pointed out Guardiola and Barcelona because they were a team whose players did take to it and had some success with it. As far as I remember, Guardiola didn’t particularly like the tiki-taka moniker for the style he played, but it was a derivative of it if nothing else.

    Spain likewise have had some success with that style.

    But, as is plainly evident, many other styles of football are just as successful. And I’m sure you’ll appreciate that some players might be more adept at one style rather than another. It’s a manager’s job to find out what style suits his team.

    As it happens I’m not a massive fan of tiki-taka. It’s okay for about five minutes but then it gets a bit tedious. I prefer to watch more direct football.

  16. I really enjoyed it when Claudio Ranieri brought back much of the Arrigo Sacchi AC Milan style when he won the Premier League with Leicester. It was like a thin blue line where the defenders were virtually up the arse of the strikers. It caught the other teams cold. Sacchi was the same time as Cruyff’s Tiqui Taka, late 80s / 90s. It was a golden age.

  17. Hugh, as Pep Guardiola once said: “I loathe all that passing for the sake of it, Barca didn’t do tiki-taka! You have to pass the ball with a clear intention, with the aim of making it into the opposition’s goal” – Pep Guardiola.

    It didn’t used to be ‘tedious,’ though I see your point once it became all the rage and everyone was having a bash at it. It became a stale formula and players weren’t passing “the ball with a clear intention.” Some of the Spain teams played very sterile Tiki-taka. I think Chuck’s sweetheart, Bielsa, and Jorge Sampaoli (the current manager of Marseilles) are more in the spirit of Cruyff. They are all ‘clear intention.’

    Johan Cruyff’s Tactics Explained

  18. At its best with lots of goals it’s okay, but in general I find it tedious. I’d rather watch Keegan’s Newcastle or Klopp’s Liverpool or, as you mentioned, Ranieri’s Leicester.

    There were plenty other reasons to enjoy Guardiola’s Barcelona of course, such as the skills of Messi, Iniesta, Busquets, Alves, Villa etc.

    But, all things being equal, I’d prefer to watch another style of football.

  19. Oh ! going to saturate me with your knowledge of football eh ?
    Well lets just leave Worky out of the discussion, as I don’t really think of him as a football guy, why ?
    It ‘s obvious he never quits about his hero, whom I doubt he ever saw play The Dutchman he hails as someone, not because he ever saw him play , but the story of how he created a modern-day style of football, @ Barcelona, which is now near it’s end , commonly known as tica – taca, of course unlike your belief managers don’t
    play styles that suit their players, usually they take into account the basic style of the opposition and set up for it.
    And yes I don’t think we have much of a manager and I do believe he plays a purely defensive game for much of the ninety minutes,
    however we see very little in the way of attacking football or even breakaways, I just find it hard to believe anyone would be interested in watching such boring rubbish.
    And your statement about players means little at a club like NUFC
    who have withered on the lack money vine, due to a cheap owner with his own particular set of interests.

  20. Chuck, I have seen quite a few great players, but Cruyff wasn’t one of them, sadly. I wasn’t old enough to go gallivanting around watching European games when he was active as a player. He was the first player who got me interested in football as a tactical game when I was a 9/10 year old watching the 1974 world cup though. I wanted to understand why Rinus Michels’ Dutch side looked so different, and so much more exciting than the other teams.

    The one thing that helped me to understand football tactics better than anything else was one sentence by Cruyff. “If you have the ball you must make the field as big as possible, and if you don’t have the ball you must make it as small as possible.” Once you accept that fundamental, it makes things much more clear.

  21. Chuck: “managers don’t play styles that suit their players”

    Of course they do, Chuck. There’s no point lobbing long balls upfield on a regular basis if you don’t have someone who can hold it up. There’s no point putting in high corners if you don’t have someone who can head the ball. If you have a particularly talented right-back and a particularly talented right midfielder, then your game plan might attack from the right a lot. There’s no point playing to catch the opposition on the break if you don’t have players fast enough to make the most of it. Etc.

    Chuck: “usually they take into account the basic style of the opposition and set up for it”

    Yes they do, but most teams also have a general style that encompasses that; a pattern of preferred play that takes advantage of their strengths. That’s why it’s recognisable as such. That style will then be fine-tuned each game to exploit the weaknesses of the opposition.

    As a manager gets his feet under the table at a club, gets to know the players, brings in new players and lets others go, the style may evolve or even change completely. The same might happen if a new manager comes in. But most teams have a style that’s recognisably theirs for a succession of games.

  22. So, football isn’t coming home after all. I’ve always hated that bloody song and if we won they would have kept on playing it. I was bloody sick of them going on about missed penalties in the past too. We’ll always keep losing penalty shoot outs as long as they keep doing that.

    Hugh, there are pragmatic managers and there are ideologues. Alex Ferguson was a pragmatic manager, managers like Cruyff and Bielsa are ideologues who have a manifesto. That will affect their approach.

  23. Hey ! wasn’t a bad game to watch, though the early goal by England gave the crowd an expectation of a serious win, wasn’t in agreement with the side picked, as I suppose most had their reservations and I believe there would be a number of changes made to fit each of our three choices.
    As for the penalty kicking order, like most I couldn’t see the reason to include three newbies, though I believe the England manager made a poor choice, possibly believing we already had it won and possibly thought he would receive cheers, other than the jeers which he did receive
    Personally I don’t care for either manager @ Nufc or Engerlands
    and the fact that managers from the continent and other parts of the world dominate the game, especially the EPL.
    I’m beginning to feel the BBC, previously a News service one could rely on as being honest and trustworthy, is now turning into a spokes person for the UK, it certainly not the news service I once listened too on it’s overseas broadcasts.
    I mean what country in the world would call for an investigation of those who condemned the choices made, but that’s what is being asked of the police department, C’mon folks !
    Hey could be another fifty years before another opportunity arises , Oh
    OH ! forgot we have the World Cup soon, a tougher contest sure ! but then perhaps they will have enough sense as the present EPL clubs have shown and pay for a decent manager, being the Inventors of the game with the richest clubs it should be easy, it just appears that in most cases (like Brexit) the country and public just keep on making the wrong choices.
    Ah well !
    ]

  24. Chuck, I listen to the World Service after 1AM, the Tories seem to have left it alone. On the domestic service, ‘Today’ used to be the radio news programme of record in the UK, then they were strongarmed into appoiniting people like Michael Gove’s wife, Sarah Vine from the Daily Mail to run it and now it’s just awful. Ditto for the current affairs shows on the TV.

    Though you wouldn’t leave out a Messi or a Lewandowski, Selecting a team isn’t just about selecting the best 11 players, it’s about selecting the best team with the best set of qualities for a certain situation. With the possible exception of Scotland, I think that Southgate did a good job there. As for the penalties though, every fucking time the media, even the football pundits like Lineker and and Shearer who have been in the situation before perpetuate this stupid obsession with previous unsuccessful penalty shoot outs. If they’re interviewing Southgate it’s “About that penalty you missed in 1996…” If they interview the players it’s “Has the gaffer discussed that penalty he missed in 1996?” etc etc. They never fucking stop! Players might think they can brush it off, until they’re standing over the penalty spot in the penalty shoot out of an International final or semi final.

    I can’t argue with you about there being a dearth of great English football managers right now, especially overseas. It’s a long time since Terry Venables took over from Bobby Robson as the manager of Barcelona and John Toshack was appointed manager of Real Madrid a few years after. It’s more likely to be John Carver coaching in Cyprus or something like that nowadays. Eddie Howe performed miracles at Bournemouth even if they were relegated in the end. He turned down the Celtic job, but it seemed to do wonders for your old flame, Brendan Rodgers. I suppose he’s the top UK manager right now though the almost down and out David Moyes did a shockingly good job at West Ham last season when they came 6th.

  25. Worky
    Yeah I have to say I thought it was a decent game, entertaining enough and had a draw been acceptable , would have satisfied most fans.
    Yes there’s definitely a problem when it comes to the national coach of England that goes back beyond the days of using a select committee and look good in a blazer and tie.
    If I ave it right in the early stages of the World Cup, I believe England refused to take part, believing it to be beneath those, the founders of the game, of which Scotland wasn’t mentioned.
    I have to give a certain amount of credit to Moyes, who did well
    during his season there, but certainly don’t equate him with most of the EPL”s foreign coach/managers and believe Rodgers to be possibly the best of the home countries coach/managers.
    Also having a very good history , while managing Celtic.
    Perhaps the EPL and the rest of the leagues should have a center of excellence for coaches, as it appears the players are now up to speed, but held back by poor coaching, not by ability .
    Strange how people who have never watched a football game in their lives appear to be the most vociferous when it comes to decisions by the ref., though I thought the ref. himself let them play and as far as I could tell did a pretty good job of it, something seldom heard following most games.
    Ah well ! I thought England did well and could have won, but the little skipping movement and other practices don’t do anything to help and should be abandoned to a Shearer like blast in the general direction of the goal, which terrified most goalies.

  26. Chuck, sorry it took me so long to reply, I’ve been feeling like a bit of a cabbage for the last few days, which is probably the last 16 months catching up with me.

    It looks like dreams of many fans have taken a nasty knock with the news that arbitration on Ashley’s dispute with the Premier League has been adjourned until early 2022 due to ‘issues with the disclosure of evidence’ according to the club. I’ve had enough of all that, I’ve been following events across the river with ‘the Heed’. They had problems of their own with a Hong Kong owner and dodgy financial adviser who was running the club. They were run out of Dodge a while back and a fan led consortium have taken over with your old favourite, Mike Williamson, as manager. I hope they can do a Wimbledon.

    I know that Italy has a highly reknowned school of excellence for managers which trained the Italian football mafia, Trapattoni, Sacchi, Ancelotti, Conte, Ranieri etc… I was reading about some time ago:

    https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2706090-inside-italys-manager-school-where-conte-ancelotti-and-allegri-learned-to-win

    Maybe football has been seen more as an intellectual pursuit on the mainland of Europe? Though if it was, that has been changing as many UK universities do first and higher degrees in football stuff now.

  27. Anyone here in the US who is not sick and tired from watching sports programs on tv, must be somewhat insane. being we just had the “Stanley cup” finals, the basketball playoffs , somewhere in between in football (us) the soccer season mens college ball games women’s events leading to olympic places and of course the approaching World Cup and olympics, the Brit and Irish lions rugby @ S.Africa , all of course on track to making up for their recent losses, blamed on the Pandemic and it’s variations .
    Of course the politicians and the medical people are @ odds on when to open pro. sports and if the Japanese had any sense they would have cancelled the entire Olympic Games, however we are all aware that everyone in politics are afraid of what may be the economic damage from both Covid 19 and entirely opening the economy, personally I believe we involve ourselves in far too many sporting events.
    And the fact is Nufc may come out of this with the least damage
    being we know Ashley is not about to spend any kinda cash, which is being dedicated to at least a couple of big box stores, and that would be the last of “HIM’. hopefully.
    I suppose the bargaining has now reached a stage where most approaching deals are about to take place . which may be few in number but there will be some big numbers floating around, but when one then compares NUFC to the big guys with only ten million to throw around and the fact they will be once again starved of transfer amounts that are meaningful, or helpful.
    Therefor a delegate for relegation , poor and boring football makes one wonder why anyone goes to the games at all.
    I suppose it’s become just another serious habit , like smoking.

  28. Chuck, I know that you Yanks are all addicted to the ‘boob tube’ but watching sport on TV isn’t compulsory over there yet, or is it? My favourite sport used to be Formula 1, but now it’s just like a video game and it bores the hell out of me now, the screen is covered in data and pictures within pictures, radio messages and so on, the drivers are really boring and the cars sound like Hoovers compared to the old V8s, V10s and V12s.

    The Japanese, besides being known for their cautious nature (WW2 excepted of course), are the oldest people in the world by average age unless you count the tax dodging old fossils of Monaco. Hence, I can see your point but I haven’t watched any yet to be honest, as I implied in the first paragraph, I’m moving away from TV sport. I’ve watched Newcastle United games but the rest is fading away now. I would imagine that it’s been a bit more restrained than an almost full Wembley like the Euros?

  29. Yeah the count of different sports presently being shown on tv is ridicules, my tv cable provider shows millions of fifty to sixty years old shows, while there’s little rhyme or reason in regard to whats being shown when and where , however one really needs a certain amount of garbage that they can ignore as long as certain channels are still active.
    I’m not sure if the same rules apply to the international scene in regard to who broadcasts to whom and how the process is achieved.
    No I’m not attempting to revive or complain against the obvious attempt by the top six EPL sides and by others who remain unknown and who are obviously against the sale, or the reason as to why ?
    However any-time one reaches a situation like we are going through when we have no idea who, but someone or some group
    are doing a great job in voiding the sale and there is nowhere else to take the problem too, sounds very UN-democratic.
    A bit like the present governments deal-making abilities, with the UK agreeing and signing a deal with the EU, (hopefully I believe that the
    deal in joining the EU, wasn’t nearly so difficult ) then decide to
    change your mind or have a wriggle out clause already assigned to that role .
    Well the residents of the NI Statelet are getting restless and may in fact be looking at a declaration of independence, their best move by remaining within the EU and choose to become a part of the EU
    as a member of the Irish republic and EU.
    A very interesting history is presently being aired on the BBC News about the formation of the six county statelet, which was quite in-formative , in fact information (supposedly the truth) explains and
    to a degree ignores the fact by the time Britain had set up their little parliament , there was a civil war taking place in the twenty six counties, over whether the war of independence should continue or whether there would be a negotiated finale allowing GB to create this miss-state, which has been a pain in the ass for the UK and cost them a fortune.
    And I gotta laugh at the fact NI still maintain a shipyard where that once famous vessel was produced by sank on its Maiden Voyage.
    dumb is what dumb does.

  30. I’m watching more and YouTube and other online channels now. The other evening I was watching episodes of ‘Tex Ritter’s Ranch Party’ from the 50s, featuring stars such as Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Carl Perkins etc.

    The Northern Ireland problem isn’t unique, countries of the old Soviet Empire have similar problems with Russian immigrants who are still loyal to the old country and there are other examples. As for the Titanic, that wasn’t the ship’s fault, it was steering it right into a bloody huge iceberg that was the problem! It was the same with its Cunard rival, the Lusitania, it wasn’t Liverpool’s fault that it was topedoed by a German U-Boat neither. You’re an American and you seem to be far more worried about Brexit than I am. If you read some of these ‘Remainiacs’ in the newspapers, you’d think think that Armageddon had finally arrived but as I’ve said before, were not quite at the stage of eating our own pets to survive yet.

    Can we please move over to a new blog after this? otherwise we just stay on the same thread for years and it gets awkward after a while.