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This Looks LIke Newcastle´s Best Team For Stoke

9:40 am, Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 63 Comments

Now that we know that both Fabricio Coloccini and Chancel Mbemba will miss tonight´s game at Stoke and Saturday´s home game against Bournemouth – we´ll take another shot at what Newcastle´s best team could be for tonight´s game at the Britannia Stadium.

The manager has hinted he may drop some players and we suppose there is a likelihood that he could drop two of the stars – Moussa Sissoko and Gini Wijnaldum – who don´t always turn up at away games.


Jonjo Shelvey – will captain the side tonight

But we doubt that will happen and with Aleksandar Mitrovic fit again we think this is the probable line-up tonight.

Janmaat Taylor Lascelles Dummett
Sissoko Colback Shelvey (c) Townsend
Subs: Darlow Sterry Saivet de Jong Aarons Doumbia Perez

If Steve does drop Gini Wijnaldum he could replace him with the experienced Siem de Jong in the number 10 role – and if Moussa Sissoko is dropped it seems Rolando Aarons or Ayoze Perez could start in his place on the wing.

Now to the important stuff – what would your team be for tonight and who would be your captain?

How Will Newcastle Fare At Stoke City?

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Tags: Match Preview · Newcastle News · Poll · Prayer · Premier League

63 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rotonda heights // Mar 2, 2016 at 9:42 AM


    I must admit my heart dropped when simpson was appointed as I immediately thought it would dilute cathro’s influence and results and performances seem to bear this out.

    Ironcially there is a great manager (Nuno) who cathro was very successful with at Valencia who is available now and could have come in at the start of this 18 dy break, but sadly Charnley has probably never even heard of him

  • 2 Lilongwe Geordie // Mar 2, 2016 at 9:44 AM

    Lilongwe Geordie // Mar 2, 2016 at 9:43 AM

    I notice Ed has gone all quiet on the Charlie Austin stories, no goals since his Southampton debut, and now out injured for ‘several weeks’ with a hamstring injury.

    I see Afobe scored again last night, I’ve heard from a couple of people, and read a couple of reports alluding to the same thing, he was our number 1 strike target in January, but we were not aware of any other interest, so felt there was no rush to get the deal done. Shelvey was seen as more urgent at the time, so they concentrated all their efforts on that deal.

    When Bournemuth bid, the deal was completed very swiftly, and we didn’t react. Pretty shambolic if that is true, and embarrassing that the board can’t deal with 2 potential transfers at once.

  • 3 stuart no9 // Mar 2, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    stuart no9 // Mar 2, 2016 at 9:44 AM

    ED ,,,,,, just to remind you 50,000,fans USED to be an advantage. not anymore ./ look at our last 5 seasons , 50,000 fans mights as well 500 . thats how it is now im afraid

  • 4 Rotonda heights // Mar 2, 2016 at 9:48 AM

    7 of Ed’s team are Brit / R.O.I, not a Frenchman in sight.

    I’m not so sure it’s a case of those 2 mentioned not turning up away from SJP, it’s just the painfully ultra defensive option we take to play on the road which just totally nullifies their input.

  • 5 Lilongwe Geordie // Mar 2, 2016 at 9:50 AM

    Interesting that you mention Nuno. Nuno and Cathro met whilst doing one of their coaching badges together. Some of the people I spoke to said that the pair of them were like kindred spirits, and would often spent lunch and breaks apart from the rest of the group (either together, or sat alone).

    The more I look at it and the more first hand reports I hear on Cathro, the more I think that Cathro was not a McClaren appointment, much like Carver wasn’t a Pardew appointment. There doesn’t seem to be any logic behind the appointment, and Cathro’s influence seems to be fairly limited. As Jib pointed out yesterday (haven’t checked this mind) Cathro wasn’t in any of the photos of the team training sessions at La Manga.

  • 6 Rotonda heights // Mar 2, 2016 at 9:50 AM


    Kind of showcases the ineptitide of the over promoted teaboy or maybe it was unfair to put him in a position where he is so clearly inadequate.

  • 7 Lilongwe Geordie // Mar 2, 2016 at 9:51 AM

    Sissoko is French…..

  • 8 Goldmbemba // Mar 2, 2016 at 9:53 AM

    ‘the experienced Siem de Jong in the number 10 role’

    missing the best part of 2 years from your career places a bit of a dent on the term experienced.

    Id love de jong to come in and prove himself. not in this team though.

  • 9 The overrated Frenchman // Mar 2, 2016 at 9:57 AM

    Lilo, to be fair, Rotonda said “not a Frenchman in sight” which is likely a reference to the fact that Sissoko basically goes missing in away games, and we’ll be lucky to catch a glimpse of him tonight…

  • 10 Rotonda heights // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:01 AM


    If we can somehow stay up I hope for once there would be a genuine root and branch review of the season and that some proper names might emerge in an ongoing capacity, ie Nuno, Sampauli, Bielsa, Benitez, Viera etc and that we finally look beyond these shores.

    There is so much deadwood at all on and off field levels that need weeding out, ie Charnley, Carr, SM, Simpson, Beardsley, Watson and Saylor, Gouffran, Obertan, Marveaux, etc etc.

  • 11 Rotonda heights // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:02 AM


    Sorry I was reading the earlier bit where Ed speculated Sissoko possibly being dropped

  • 12 AncientC // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:04 AM

    I always thought Carver was Pardew’s choice. From the guardian after Carver’s appointment:

    Carver’s appointment completes Pardew’s backroom team, and the Newcastle manager expects the arrangement to be extended at the end of the season. “It was crucial for me that I brought in an assistant who I knew would work well with the current coaching team we have here,” said Pardew. “We’ve got a good solid set-up with some excellent staff and maintaining that stability is very important to me. John fitted the bill perfectly.

    “It’s a short-term deal at the moment in order that I can get to know John better and it gives us both the chance to see how the next four months pan out working together. That said, I’m very confident he’ll be a great addition to our coaching staff and hopefully, if things go well, we can make it a longer-term appointment come the summer.”

  • 13 Lilongwe Geordie // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:07 AM

    Ha, okay, I withdraw my comment!

    Sampaoli looks set to take the Boca Juniors job from what I have read. Bielsa would probably be my pick after Sampaoli out of the list you provide, but I’d be doubtful of the desire from within, and their ability to attract a manager of that ilk.

    Vieira is in the US now is he not? I imagine that he is cutting his teeth there before a big job comes along, although he could be a little put out Guardiola has come in, but I’d imagine that the current thinking at City is that if Vieira does well with their US club, he is the successor to Guardiola.

    Would Ashley want to weed it out if we stay up? Would he want to if we go down? I’ve got doubts on both. He has had plenty of opportunities to employ people better suited and qualified to all areas of the club. The fact he hasn’t suggests that maybe he doesn’t want to.

  • 14 Lilongwe Geordie // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    I prefer Overrated’s reasoning @9 as to why you said not a Frenchman in sight!

  • 15 stuart no9 // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:12 AM

    My gut feeling is , if we lose tonight ,macca is gone . I think even ashley might step in if the other cretins dont.
    Loosing £400M over the next 3 years is not going to appeal to him, so loosing AND another pathetic showing might just tip him., if im wrong, then he is here till the end of season after putting us down, which one is itgoing to be ???

  • 16 Essex Geordie Bill // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:13 AM

    The teams in the drop zone with us have done their best to put us in a good position, apart perhaps from Bournemouth but there is always someone who doesn’t follow the script.

    If the team can’t take advantage of the games in hand then we deserve to go down.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if Sissoko was mom tonight , probably score one and lay on another couple.

    I’ll probably go to see that Psychedelic exhibition at the V&A as well.

  • 17 Lilongwe Geordie // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:14 AM

    I don’t think he was, he wasn’t the first approached for the role, I think he was a few down the list. I’ve always thought that Carver was more an attempt from the board to try and manipulate the fan anger at removing Hughton by giving them someone who was closely linked to Sir Bobby Robson and the relative success during that period.

    I’ve had one person almost corroborate my thoughts, but I don’t have any evidence to suggest my speculation is true.

    Still, Pardew’s comments are not evidence. He was hardly going to come out and say that the board undermined him by bringing in an assistant he didn’t know and hadn’t worked with ever. Just like transfer windows where he would talk of the need for certain players and after they failed to arrive, he would say what an incredible squad he had, strong in all areas etc.

  • 18 lesh // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:16 AM


    You could field the world’s best against Stoke and even they’d be pi$$ed off with the coaching and lose!

  • 19 Jib // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    From Previous
    I wonder how many of the coaching squad were foisted on McClaren ?
    Steve Black was at NUFC with Keegan in the 90’s so Charnley would have known him.
    Ian Cathro just seemed to appear after his failed job interview at Rangers.
    There is a real feeling of over-egging the coacing pudding and the feeling is that players are getting confused esp in away matches.
    In general pro footy players are not the smartest of people so the guiding philosphy should be KISS – keep it simple stupid.


    The only pics of Cathro from La Manga seem to show him one on one with Anita.

  • 20 Essex Geordie Bill // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:17 AM


    I’d add Tuchel to that list, who is Stuttgarts manager not as I said the other night Borrusia’s.

    But then who checks out all of the facts before commenting.

  • 21 The overrated Frenchman // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    Lilo, what time is the game where you live? (just as a matter of interest)

  • 22 lesh // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:19 AM


    Wasn’t it the case that Carver had applied for a job at the Club and Pardew was offered the chance to see if he could work with him.

    Of course his answer was yes – probably because he was given little or no choice. If that was the case, you’re probably correct.

  • 23 AncientC // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    Lilongwe, Pardew stating:

    “It was crucial for me that I brought in an assistant”

    Is very indicative of Pardew having his say in who his assistant should be. That said, Pardew isnt known for being completely honest with his use of words.

  • 24 Lilongwe Geordie // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    9:45 kick off. We are only 2 hours ahead, and it will go back to 1hour when the clocks change.

    Steve Black also worked with McClaren at QPR, albeit briefly. Whether he was foisted on McClaren, or whether McClaren chose him I’m not sure, but there is certainly more connection there then Cathro.

    Cathro turned down Rangers, and a few other job offers according to people in football in Scotland. This was very much a big shock to most of them. I think most thoughts are that Cathro is next in line because of that.

    On a different conspiracy tangent, Cathro was allegedly number one choice for Rangers, Ashley, not happy with all that has gone on at Rangers, swoops in and offers him far more cash to come here and stick 2 fingers up to Rangers.

    I doubt that is what happened, I think the next in line is far more likely, but a different angle on a common theme, and given Ashley’s nature, would it be that much of a surprise.

  • 25 Lilongwe Geordie // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:27 AM

    Pardew also congratulated himself on getting the Cabella deal done and then once he left said he had no influence or involvement in transfers…..

    An ocean of salt to go with most manager comments to the media.

  • 26 Lilongwe Geordie // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:28 AM

    Tuchel is at Borussia, he took over last summer after leaving Stuggart.

    On the mixed coaching messages, I commented as much earlier on. A fractured coaching staff is going to cause Jekyll and Hyde performances in my opinion.

  • 27 Lindisfarne // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:31 AM

    Shtevie will not be sacked, imagine the paperwork generated and the 80 applicants to considered. Far better to advocate loyalty, the progress being made and keep supplying biscuits.

    The partnership between the HO and Simpson does seem stronger based on past history, I actually see him talking to Cathro more during the games althogh to no great benefit. At the start of the season, high intensity was the order of the day but then after 12 games a more practical approach more suited to the Captain was the order if the day. Perhaps this is when Cathro became more marginalised in favour of Simpsons methods that have proved equally unsuccessful.

  • 28 banjax // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    It has always been ‘THE’ problem at Newcastle – it’s called work rate intensity – otherwise known as hard graft from every single player. In the previous post the focus was quite rightly on the lack of hard work on the pitch by Newcastle’s players and a comparison drawn with Bournemouth and Leicester and Watford could be added to that analogy. Which for me is why the team Management are the failures at Newcastle have got to go. Look at Eddie Howe particularly and how he motivates his team to play with such high energy levels, closing down opponents quickly, putting pressure on opponents when not in possession. Imagine if Newcastle players played every week with that level of commitment and they are capable of playing to this high tempo. Which is why the problem in my view is the fault of McLaren and his coaches who are failing on a weekly basis to instil a culture of hard graft on the pitch and that is why they must go before it’s too late !

  • 29 BandB // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    It’s probably down to two from three now between us, Norwich and Sunderland.
    Swansea have Arsenal tonight, but then Norwich and Villa at home and Bournemouth away.
    If they take six points from those games its unlikely we will close on them, while a loss to Bournemouth would surely see the Cherries out of sight (if they aren’t already.)
    There are a fair few six pointers between our rivals to come, and these are all lose-lose scenarios for us. Someone gets the points.

    Norwich made a lot of chances and lost to an offside goal last night.
    Tonight we have to avoid going down to gutless defeat, or we will look like the team least equipped to escape.

  • 30 Lilongwe Geordie // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:38 AM

    I wouldn’t want to see McClaren sacked. He is still a good coach, and is still very capable of developing players. That he doesn’t quite manage when it comes to frontline duties is a very different thing.

    He is already on the ‘board’, so I would prefer to see him moved so that he was working in a Technical Director role. Improving youth setups, overseeing coaches and helping develop pathways through to the senior team that are individually suited to the player, rather than having a singular policy which isn’t always the best option.

  • 31 hibbitt // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    charnley gave carver the job pardue was not asked….. all to do with trying to keep the fans on board

  • 32 Lindisfarne // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    I can not see us dominating the game tonight, or being able to impose an attacking style of football as they are always very strong and physically rigid. We are going to have to defend well in two well organised banks and not let a huge gap appear behind the forwards, which has been the usual reality. If Gini, Sissoko and Mitro start the game we are done for based on past experience.

    I am still not sure who is available but I am looking for a more cohesive performance that shows they can play as a team, to both protect our goal and move up the field with a blend of individual ability and a realitic threat on goal. To me this is what is required rather than focusing on ‘consistency’.

  • 33 LGFUAD21 // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:48 AM


    I had the same though all season.

    I honestly though come January we’d have kickstarted and pushed on.

    Now I can’t see u staying up. 2 of us mackems and Norwich will go.

    Swansea new manager is great at keeping teams up and squeezing the most out of resources. He’s been in many relegation battles. So I think they are fine.

    I thibk steeve knows about football but he clearly can’t manage. Maybe if he was willing to stay in the boardroom as an advisor making way for a new manager to work with Cathro.

    Funnily enough. Simpsons teams have always been renowned for poor defending.

  • 34 G // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    I would like to see Aarons on the wing tonight, after the left back debacle I think hes earned it. I would also play a traditional 4 4 2 formation with Mitro providing the strengh and Cisse to disrupt the defence, with 2 wingers playing, rather than a winger and a near useless Sissoko on the other side, I think we could pin Stoke back in their own half. Macca will do what he usually does though and isolate a lone front man with little or no support.

  • 35 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Lilo, it was me who asked, yes. Thanks for that. If that’s what Cathro’s philosophy is then it matches my own.

    When we’ve been closing down from the front and pressing, it’s when we’ve played our best football this season.

    That is a good piece of knowledge to know.

    Cathro musn’t get any input whatsoever in away games then 😀

  • 36 Rotonda heights // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:50 AM

    essex at 16

    nearly spit my coffee out, very good last line lol!!

  • 37 Rotonda heights // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:54 AM

    Cathro hardly had a failed job interview with rangers, he turned them down. Cathro seems to have been shifted sideways to accommodate Simpson which is a very poor move as Cathro is very highly rated and alongside a good manager would floursh, whereas what Simpson brings to the table appears negligible.

    Oh well on a lighter note and a continued 2 fingers to a few certain individuals

  • 38 Essex Geordie Bill // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:57 AM


    Whoever he is charge of I think he’s possibly the best manager we could actually get.

  • 39 Rotonda heights // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:57 AM


    wish we had really tried for Tuchel, sadly i think he’s well out of reach now

  • 40 Lindisfarne // Mar 2, 2016 at 10:57 AM


    The Case of Curious Cathro.
    At first he did seem to be here as a possible successor but has hardly made, or been given the opportunity to make his mark. Rather than being a much needed replacement in the Academy maybe Simpson should be given that role next season, removing him from the equation with the first team.

  • 41 Rotonda heights // Mar 2, 2016 at 11:04 AM


    it was kind of hilarious the alleged 80 applicants, but yet we had to beg a failed championship manager who had previousy turned us down twice. YCMIU!

    I wonder if any of the inadequate management running this circus ever read any of these blogs or whether it’s like failing managers who stick their head in the sand and say they never read the newspapers. Maybe if they did (or could in some cases) they might get some kind of perspective.

  • 42 Rotonda heights // Mar 2, 2016 at 11:10 AM


    I think you have that spot on. SM just isn’t a tactician but his strengths lie elsewhere and so maybe retaining him in some capacity is the way to go, ie the one that JFK performed with such distinction, tact and diplomacy.

  • 43 Lilongwe Geordie // Mar 2, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    I’d prefer to see ties cut with Simpson to be perfectly honest, but I can’t see that happening whilst McClaren is in charge of the first team. He is the one person I really didn’t get on the new staff. He is a side step from Carver, and probably a slight upgrade on Stone.

    I said in the summer that the changes to coaching staff seemed a marginal upgrade, mainly because of Cathro and McClaren being good coaches. Black was an addition, but seems to have had little impact. Simpson and Schoenmaker weren’t improvements.

  • 44 Rotonda heights // Mar 2, 2016 at 11:14 AM


    Exactly, simpson’s coaching / managing career has yielded very uninspiring results and does not deserve the gig on any kind of merit. But hey ho this is NUFC where mediocrity always finds a home.

  • 45 Ron Knee // Mar 2, 2016 at 11:16 AM

    Townsend out?

  • 46 Jib // Mar 2, 2016 at 11:17 AM

    Rotonda @37
    You’re about 48 hours late with that post.
    Pardew did us a massive favour last night and but for a Borini fluke would have beaten the scum coming from behind.

  • 47 Jib // Mar 2, 2016 at 11:27 AM

    Banjax @28
    The first two weeks in December I thought McClaren had changed the team work ethic permanently for the better.

    Liverpool at home 2 – 0 followed by Spurs away 1 – 2 the team grafted their socks off .
    They worked as hard as any NUFC team I’ve ever seen , McClaren said they crawled off the pitch.

    Followed by Villa at home 1 -1 and Everton away 1- 0 – back to the bad old ways .

    No wonder McClaren says he’s frustrated.

  • 48 Rotonda heights // Mar 2, 2016 at 11:27 AM


    ”Macca will do what he usually does though and isolate a lone front man with little or no support.”

    This has generally been the problems with all of our last few managers. They simply don’t have or are reluctant to implement anything resembling plan B.

    They are neither proactive or reactive. They just twiddle their thumbs and repeat the same rhetoric every loss.

  • 49 Ron Knee // Mar 2, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    … and strike (motivating) despairing poses.

  • 50 Mag52 // Mar 2, 2016 at 11:31 AM


    Don’t expect Rotonda to give AP credit for anything, but anything.

    Catchy (previous post)

    ‘Leave the EU’ – at long last that’s something that you and I can totally agree on. Hallelujah !

  • 51 G // Mar 2, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    @48, I was more a fan of Bobby Robsons philosophy, never mind reacting to the oposition, make them react to you, and if you cant bamboozle them with skills, do it with pace. I pine for those days now.

  • 52 Rotonda heights // Mar 2, 2016 at 11:38 AM

    Now now Jib , just cos you got it wrong (surely not again) about cathro and rangers lol

    Didn’t realise there was a time limit on that report. 48 hours hmmm…when it was played last night. OK…..

    Hopefully CP will get dragged in to it too and if anything Sunderland are a better form team than CP at the minute, but then who isn’t.

  • 53 Lilongwe Geordie // Mar 2, 2016 at 11:46 AM

    I don’t want to see Palace go down (unless it is between us and them), good club, and a good ethos throughout. Also not fussed on laughing at Pardew.

    The bit of their bad run I’m enjoying is the noticeable silence from media and pundits after their crowing in November and December of Pardew for England/Man U/Chelsea and Steve Parish’s comment on not standing in Pardews way if Real Madrid came calling.

  • 54 JP...from The Rock // Mar 2, 2016 at 11:46 AM

    Sissoko has to be dropped. He is an awful passer of the ball that makes us lose all our build up play and constantly gifts possesion cuasing us to be on the defensive all the time.

  • 55 Rotonda heights // Mar 2, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    Mag 52

    It’s funny I thought you’d been very quiet of late, like a dinosaur slowly emerging from under a rock.

    Didn’t realise I needed to give credit to pardew, I thought he did that himself, the man has an ego the size of America.

    I’m amazed you can’t find it in yourself even now given the overwhelming evidence to say perhaps, you know what, Rotonda (and a few thousand others) had it right about AP all along.

    No, didn’t think so, whereas if AP had proved he wasn’t consistently inconsistent at every club he’s been at and had kept his honeymoon period going I would have said fair play I was wrong.

  • 56 BandB // Mar 2, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    I wonder if we will still be having these arguments when Ashley puts his daughter’s boyfriend in charge of first team affairs.

  • 57 Hail Wor Ashley // Mar 2, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    My team would be:

    Same back four and keeper with:


    Gotta try something new and drop those that don’t turn up for away games (Sissoko and Mitrovic).

  • 58 Hail Wor Ashley // Mar 2, 2016 at 12:02 PM

    Simposn appears to be John Carver light. The out-dated attack dog type.

  • 59 Novocastrian66 // Mar 2, 2016 at 12:08 PM

    Personally I would dump Sissoko, play Townsend on the right and Aarrons on the left.

  • 60 Jib // Mar 2, 2016 at 12:15 PM

    From a BBC interview with Cathro
    The Rangers connection?
    Such confidence was partly what attracted Rangers to Cathro during their search for a new manager.
    It had been suggested that his decision to leave Spain was informed by that interest but the former Dundee United youth coach is adamant that the initial contact and two informal meetings with Ibrox directors Paul Murray and John Gilligan only came after he had decided to return to Scotland.

    “I was interested in the uniqueness of the challenge,” he said. “And it would be foolish not to talk to them, but it may not have been the correct conditions for me to begin as a manager and perhaps they adopted a similar view.
    “It was a positive experience and I’d wish them well because they demonstrated that they were keen to really look at what caused the issues on the football side in the past and build something different.”

    That says to me that Rangers snubbed Cathro

  • 61 Tsunki // Mar 2, 2016 at 12:31 PM

    Those CB’s will have a torrid time and that midfield is hopelessly unbalanced. If we ever needed Tiote in a game this was it. Sissoko is not the great player some think, his passing is diabolical going forward. He’s got a lumbering run and can pace across the ground in long stretches but short play is like JP said, a gift to the opposition. People say Mitrovic is strong up front but he gives up too easy, from what I’ve seen Riviere is a better hold up player. Perhaps we should trust Cisse, he seems to pop up with goals when we need them with shelvey and Townsend in the side he might return to his old form.

  • 62 Tsunki // Mar 2, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    I’d go with novos wingers, and peg them back a bit.

  • 63 The next Mike Williamson // Mar 2, 2016 at 3:27 PM

    Charnley has to make a show of how important loyalty is because loyalty is all Charnley has in his a locker. its his loyalty that got him the job and it’s mike ashleys loyalty that is keeping him hanging on

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