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Howay The Lads!!

Why Spurs Unlikely To Be In Title Contention At Newcastle

10:17 am, Monday, May 2nd, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 150 Comments

Tottenham are in a very difficult position to catch Leicester City in the Premier League after The Foxes gained a valuable point at Old Trafford yesterday in the 1-1 draw.

Tottenham are now 8 points behind Leicester with three games to go, so they must win their game at Stamford Bridge tonight to stay in it.

If they only draw they are 7 points behind with two games to play.

And even if they win tonight they are still 5 points behind and will need to win both their remaining games and Leicester lose both of theirs – if Spurs are to win the Premier League title for the first time.

harry redknapp qpr

Harry Redknapp – former  QPR manager

Stranger things have happened for sure, but it´s very difficult for Spurs, although still not yet impossible.

Harry Redknapp has alluded to that in the Mail today when he was talking about former Tottenham player Andros Townsend and contrasting his fortunes at Newcastle to that of our other English signing in January,  Jonjo Shelvey.

This is what Harry has said:

When Andros Townsend joined Newcastle, I thought he could be the missing piece in the jigsaw that kept them up.

It hasn’t quite worked out like and there is a long way to go but that superb free-kick could be one of the biggest goals of his career.

He’s a talented boy and England fans know what he can do. He’s not always the most consistent but he has been so important for Rafa Benitez in recent weeks.

The same can’t be said for his fellow January joiner Jonjo Shelvey.

He has gone from captaining the side to making cameos from the bench. Newcastle are still my favorites to stay up but they must hope Chelsea win on Monday night.

The last thing they want is to face a Spurs team with something to play for on the final day.

In fact, as we mentioned Chelsea need only draw tonight and that would mean Tottenham cannot win the Premier League this season.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Prayer · Premier League · Press

150 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ibizatoon // May 2, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    Spurs have to win their next two before they meet us for this to even be a potential issue.

    Assuming Leicester don’t win against Everton as well.

    Spurs are a professional outfit and are a hard opposition, even if they wont still be going for the title. Hopefully it’s all done and dusted by the final game anyway, our safety that is.

    Everton have a big role to play at both ends of the table it seems. Play Leicester, Sunderland and then Norwich. Loss, win, win please Roberto.

  • 2 jayphoto // May 2, 2016 at 10:27 AM

    Be interesting if Townesend goes to the euros!
    Big favourite of Roys when he warming the spurs bench yet now hes tearing it up at Newcastle he’ll probably miss out.. Something to mull there

  • 3 jayphoto // May 2, 2016 at 10:35 AM

    Not surprised to see Lascelles doing well! Am surprised at how his leadership qualities have developed!
    Said in September, his aerial ability alone should have had him start as we lacked that and im willing to bet hes in the top 3 for heading in the league! Hes scored some important goals! For me 2016 is the year of the proper defender! Huth, Morgan, Lascelles…
    Guy on the radio compared how rafa is setting us up to Simeone. He Said so few teams these days actually know how to defend properly and too few managers know how to organise a defence without beconing a containing park the bus team which is why Leicester have been so successful and why Rafa is having such a big impact!
    Rafas got us so organised!

  • 4 BandB // May 2, 2016 at 10:38 AM


    Will another last day of the season escape prove hat Jail has been wrong about Ashley for years while his apologists have been vindicated?

    Just a thought 🙂

    This is no time for an Ashley bust-up.

  • 5 Jail for Ashley // May 2, 2016 at 10:38 AM

    I’m not having second thoughts on him as Rafa was forced on him and had we been in Stoke or WBA’s position we’d have had Mclaren for the next eight years. But I don’t see the point in boycotting games if he’s going to.back a top manager with funds. I’m not going to worry about him sh*tting on Rafa until he does, surely if he does though he must know that the next step would be bankruptcy.

  • 6 Ibizatoon // May 2, 2016 at 10:38 AM

    Jay…Very true. There is a big difference between being a defensive / negative manager and being a defensive / organised one.

    The formation is the same one that frustrated us so many times before, but formation only means so much. It’s the plan, determination, approach and execution that is different.

    What a difference a proper manager makes. Who’d have thought it?

  • 7 martoon // May 2, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    Jayphoto – His rivals are Sterling and Walcott who are hardly pulling up trees at the moment so he has a chance.

  • 8 Jib // May 2, 2016 at 10:45 AM


    Please don’t get shirty

    I am just trying to help

    You “2nd thoughts” translation is too literal.
    Jail understood it because he’s English.

    A Spaniard would be confused because segundos can mean seconds (60th of a minute) as well.

    A Spaniard would say “te lo arrepientes” (you will regret or repent it )

    I’m not trying to be a clever dicky just trying to assist you linguistically .

  • 9 Jail for Ashley // May 2, 2016 at 10:47 AM

    There’s normally always one surprise at the end, I hope he does go. Unless we go down, has an absolute blinder and leaves for 8M 🙁

  • 10 jayphoto // May 2, 2016 at 10:47 AM

    @ibiza – can see the work on the pitch too, the movement amazing amongst the back 4 and 2 centre mids is almost robotic in cohesion. Reminds me of American football.
    Crazy to think we’ve started anita, dummett, darlow and Cisse too…
    Chances are we’ll sign a gk rb, lb, cb, cm and cf if we stay up. Be quite exciting to see what Rafa can do with the right players for what he wants to do.
    Think you can pretty much guarentee we’ll see Krul, Janmaat and Cisse leave. Colo perhaps too. Taylor out of contract too so they’ll need to bring some in!

  • 11 Jail for Ashley // May 2, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    Did your Spanish waiter tell you that. I hope your drinking coffee, a bit early for the San Miguel.

  • 12 Jib // May 2, 2016 at 10:50 AM

    You could also use
    “tener mis dudas”
    To have doubts

  • 13 jayphoto // May 2, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    Can’t help thinking Armstrong would have been a use! By far our most mobile striker! Rafa has set us up like his liverpool side and expects a really mobile striker to run into channels. Armas young but he can run for days and really stretch teams.
    Only league 1 but hes done it this year in a poor team against seasoned pros trying to kick lumps out of him.

  • 14 Bambams // May 2, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    Surely we are due a break…

    A penalty to us or an opposition player sent off, an injury to Defoe…

    I know others have said it but why the hell did they not bring Rafa in earlier. We could all see for all of Mac’s efforts (not a bad bloke) we were lacking leadership and we were definitely going down under him.

    I can see SDJ scoring in one of our last two games, don’t know why but given his career with us has never taken off I just get this feeling we will be indebted to him.

    Football is a funny old game

  • 15 Ibizatoon // May 2, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    Jay…They’re playing for each other too. Great stuff.

    For once, I am not looking that far ahead at all.

    This could be the first time a real clean slate is provided for the club to build upon.

    Interested to know why you think Krul will be gone though?

  • 16 Jib // May 2, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    Be nice
    Cut back on the sarkiness
    Just trying to help

  • 17 Jail for Ashley // May 2, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    It’s not just about organisation it’s about getting them to believe that he is here to win things instead of McCarvew telling them they had to finish tenth, something the first one was decidedly better at than the following two.

  • 18 lesh // May 2, 2016 at 10:54 AM


    Jail, wrong? Never….

    But in any event, we’ll just have to wait and see.

    If all the positives fall into place, we might even hear calls for Ashley’s beatification never mind parole.

  • 19 martoon // May 2, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    My nagging worry is that Rafa keeps us up but then Ashley starts playing silly b*gg*rs with his constraints about transfers etc. Rafa says up yours and walks away to take the Spanish National job

  • 20 Jib // May 2, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    I posted this earlier

    This article is really interesting not because of it’s main content (which is interesting enough ) but the implications behind it.

    Valencias Argentinian left back Lucas Orban was pursued by the Toon in the winter window – instead he went on loan to Levante.

    This loan has been a nightmare for him , he has only played twice.

    Newcastle have renewed their interest for an outright purchase in June .

    What is REALLY interesting – it has been Rafa talking to the Mestalla about buying him !

    Read into that what you will ?

  • 21 Jail for Ashley // May 2, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    Just messing Jib.
    Que tengas un buen dia!

  • 22 BandB // May 2, 2016 at 11:00 AM


    This is no time for score settling around Ashley.
    This is a Dunkirk scenario, not a glowing victory.
    People already started with the “we have the basis of a top 10 team” malarkey.
    They did this last season, donning their rose tinted glasses to assess a team that had just set all sorts of records for footballing awfulness.
    Rafa, with one of the performances of his career, has turned us into a team just good enough to beat an out-of-form Palace at home.
    We need a lot of work. Even if all goes well, I think he’ll be offering us blood, sweat and tears before the end of the beginning dawns.
    Luckily Rafa knows that.

  • 23 sing in the corner // May 2, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    I would just like to say, despite generally not liking the tendency to use nicknames to make points…
    ‘McCarvew’ is just brilliant!

  • 24 martoon // May 2, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    Jib @20 – You could read that it Rafa is staying or you could read it that they used Rafa for his Spanish to save on a translator fee! 🙂

  • 25 Jib // May 2, 2016 at 11:03 AM

    I remember an interview when Rafa first come to us , the interviewer said something like “but Newcastle’s defensive record is rubbish”.

    Rafa said that the defense was the least of his worries as it would be the easiest to sort out .

    ..he just shrugged his shoulders , and said “it’s just a simple matter of organisation “.

  • 26 jayphoto // May 2, 2016 at 11:03 AM

    @ibiza – 1 year on his contract left, seemingly had gone stagnant before his injury and we currently Elliott and Darlow who are both proving to be able keepers aswell as Woodman who apparently is quite something.
    More so though that at every job hes had benitez has used a keeper with above average distribution. he seems to favour a keeper at home with the ball at his feet aswell as a keeper quick off his line! Probably all kruls weaknesses there

  • 27 Jib // May 2, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    Charnley’s Spanish is pretty good actually

  • 28 Ibizatoon // May 2, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    Jay…Fair points. Hadn’t realised he was about to enter the last year of his contract.

    Still, you’d have thought that Rafa could work on those areas of his game.

    Nice problem to have.

  • 29 Rotonda heights // May 2, 2016 at 11:06 AM


    Cheers, I was thinking of using dudas and you’re right it probably was too literal.

  • 30 Rotonda heights // May 2, 2016 at 11:08 AM


    i’m a bit surprised rafa didn’t bring his specialist goal keeping coach with him.

  • 31 Jail for Ashley // May 2, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    I think it’s Tsunkis creation, sums the three of them up in one word.

  • 32 Ibizatoon // May 2, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    Jail…Tbf, I think there are already several words that summed them three up.

  • 33 jayphoto // May 2, 2016 at 11:12 AM

    @rotonda – apparently the keeper coach we have is good? My personal guess is that certain members of rafas usual staff that are already contracted elsewhere didn’t want to come till the summer incase we went down and they were out of a job after 3 months?
    Wouldn’t surprise me to see some backroom additions if we stay up

  • 34 Jail for Ashley // May 2, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    I’m surprised to hear that Churners speaks Spanish as we’re not even sure that he speaks English, we only know he exists from that photo with him holding his mobile phone looking like he’s just followed through!

  • 35 jayphoto // May 2, 2016 at 11:17 AM

    @ibiza – reckon Krul might need a move himself?
    Whenever ive seen him live he seems to moan and complain the whole game, always looks miserable! Might just have one of those faces mind..
    I personally doubt he’ll sign a new deal which will mean the club will cash in, especially with who theyve got in reserve. All respect to krul but you could replace him with a la liga or bundesliga keeper thats younger and at least as good fairly cheaply

  • 36 sing in the corner // May 2, 2016 at 11:20 AM

    One of the (many) things I can’t fathom about the toon is how / why Ayoze has stagnated this season. And surprisingly he hasn’t really showed any signs of rejuvenation yet since Rafa landed.
    It was good to see Rafa putting an arm around him on the final whistle on Saturday, no doubt advising him to get his head up and square the ball to Townsend for a virtual tap in near the end, as someone else pointed out earlier.

  • 37 jayphoto // May 2, 2016 at 11:20 AM

    Also! Throwing it out there, the brother in law owns a company in Birmingham, fits all the air con in expensive properties etc and as such meets quite a few football related people! Reckons hes heard Benteke to newcastle is a goer for a big loss in what Liverpool paid if we stay up.

  • 38 hibbitt // May 2, 2016 at 11:24 AM


    charnley speaks fluent spanish
    often see him and colo on a thursday night in loch fyne

  • 39 jayphoto // May 2, 2016 at 11:25 AM

    Personally think perez isn’t quite as good as he’s sometimes made out to be.. He works hard, has good feet but he lacks passing and shooting ability. Both things he could work on. He’s still young but realistically he wouldn’t start for many Premier league sides and for me is better off the bench

  • 40 Blackley and Brownlie // May 2, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    Everyone’s opinion counts but I honestly don’t know where some people get them from. We have Veltman ready to replace Lascelles with Colo and this from Nufc-83 // May 2, 2016 at 8:18 AM

    “Bobby Mbabu was a CB by trade but could obv play fb. I don’t think he’s the future as he will never have the attacking capability required for a modern day full back.”

    No offence lads but these are typical of some of the things stated on this blog that old Blackas shakes his head at. And of course a lot of what Jib comes out with.

  • 41 banjax // May 2, 2016 at 11:31 AM

    Regardless of what happens at the end of the season, the one that should is Lee Charnley be sacked. If we had signed Rafa a few games earlier (say as little as 6) laughable as it sounds, we could have been finishing mid table. So there is no doubt in my mind that Charnley’s lack of decisiveness is completely to blame for our current position. So if I was Mike Ashley I would be crying at the amount my wasted dosh at the hands of this guy and sack him or better still sell the club and move on !

  • 42 Belfast // May 2, 2016 at 11:31 AM

    He’s also fluent in bullsheeeet Jail.

  • 43 Jail for Ashley // May 2, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    How do you know that, have you heard him speak or just hearsay, I wonder how he speaks another language he doesn’t seem nearly interesting enough.

  • 44 lesh // May 2, 2016 at 11:34 AM


  • 45 Jail for Ashley // May 2, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    Even after the Chelsea game would have done it. I’ve never heard so much claptrap on here as I did yesterday with Spoof saying about tye mess we were in before Churners took over.

  • 46 Munster Mag // May 2, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    Interesting comment someone (jayphoto?) said earlier, comparing rafa and simeone. I really rate simeone (he must be pleased!) but love strongly defensive teams. Some of the best italian club sides in the last 20 years would have been a real handful for the likes of barca today. Remember when A C Milan were in their pomp, great team.

  • 47 Munster Mag // May 2, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    Wud like to see athletico win it.

  • 48 lesh // May 2, 2016 at 11:40 AM


    I’ll try again!

    You make a worryingly reasonable assessment of Ashley playing silly beggars with Rafa. If we’re relegated your hypothesis becomes a real possibility with reduced revenues. We can but wait and see.

    I’d like to think that Ashley’s realised that his HC model doesn’t work and that ti succeed, then penny-pinching is counter productive.

    Let’s hope he’s had his Damascus road awakening.

  • 49 Jail for Ashley // May 2, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    Unfortunately I go away for three weeks on Wednesday and miss the run in. If we stay up do you think our cowardly curly coiffured captain should get the send off he deserves if he shows his face on the lap of.. on the lap!

  • 50 Blackley and Brownlie // May 2, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    And Spoof was saying yesterday Charnley’s the right man. Poor old Blackas. Lowers heed, shakes it, looks to the heavens, lowers heed, surveys room, rolls eyes, walks to kettle, mutters to himself …

  • 51 Blackley and Brownlie // May 2, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    I see you beat me to it.

  • 52 hibbitt // May 2, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    Jail for Ashley

    sat on the next table 2/3 times
    him and colo never shut up always in spanish
    we go once a month and have for a long time there always in

  • 53 BandB // May 2, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    I also agree.
    Nothing will count for anything unless Ashley has decided he is going to play the game.
    Let’s see what he does when he has 12 whole months before that pesky relegation issue comes round again.

  • 54 jayphoto // May 2, 2016 at 11:49 AM

    @munster – yea it was a guy on talksport, the spanish correspondent guy. Talked about how few teams these days build from the back forwards and how the art of being a good defensive side without conceding alot of possession, parking the bus and playing deep had been lost. Compared Rafa and Simeone because both create successful teams that score goals that are essentially built around the defensive movement. Arguably simeones athletico is like a new gen version of rafas valencia in many ways!
    Think the milan side with Baresi, etc would beat any side around today.

  • 55 Jail for Ashley // May 2, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    If Mashers pulls any dirty tricks in the summer I don’t know how he will sustain the air that all is well with 52K in the ground, ST sales were already 30% down and there are only so many Chinese students and Dutch stag do’s available to flog cheap tickets to. It must be having a huge impact on finances when your literally giving tickets away. If we go down he’s going to have to pull something special out the hat like charging SD 30M a year for advertising.

  • 56 hibbitt // May 2, 2016 at 12:01 PM

    the time to be talking about the what if’s is after the spurs game when we know were we are

    we can do this keep the faith

  • 57 Essex Geordie Bill // May 2, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    I don’t know if its already been said, but Rafa should have been bought in months ago.

    Lascelles is going to be one of the top centre halves in Europe I wouldn’t be surprised if Real Madrid put in a bid for him.

  • 58 BandB // May 2, 2016 at 12:06 PM


    It is time neither to be predicting business as usual or brave new worlds.
    Both are equally premature at the moment, and I hope both persuasions will accept that.

  • 59 Jib // May 2, 2016 at 12:20 PM

    “Essex Geordie Bill //I don’t know if its already been said, but Rafa should have been bought in months ago.”


    Not at all

    What an interesting thought !


  • 60 lesh // May 2, 2016 at 12:20 PM


    You going off again? The travel agents must rely on you to keep them afloat! Enjoy it.

    As far a Colo’s appearance in the thank you lap (note, not a lap of honour under the circumstances), bear in mind what the Liverpool fans said after the Palace match. Surely our fans should maintain that dignity and class by applauding every player.

    Assuming we avoid the drop, bear in mind that they’ve all played a part, soon good, some bad in am eventful season. Even Colo’s played the odd good game and that should be recognised.

    It’ll be the time to be big and avoid being negative.

  • 61 martoon // May 2, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    Jib & Hibbitt – Like JFA says I didn’t realise Charnley could actually speak let alone Spanish! 🙂
    We criticise the scouting a lot on here but it has to be said credit where it’s due to whoever scouted Darlow & Lascelles!

  • 62 lesh // May 2, 2016 at 12:24 PM


    Stop being a facetious twerp.

    Essex, like most of us is a mere mortal, not an all-seeing sage such as you.

  • 63 Mister Tuff // May 2, 2016 at 12:30 PM

    I see the Villa fans in the form of their protest group are issuing posters for a mass rally on Saturday and something in the ground on 74 minutes.
    Might be a nice little de-stabiliser for their team-so far “the planets” have aligned nicely for us – I hope this is another.

  • 64 hibbitt // May 2, 2016 at 12:31 PM


    dare i say it they were a Steve McClaren buy / recommendation not Carr

  • 65 lesh // May 2, 2016 at 12:32 PM


    Ever thought about adding another alias to your your posting options?

    Might Bubo be appropriate?

  • 66 lesh // May 2, 2016 at 12:34 PM


    My suggested name of Bubo was intended for Jib…. Not you sir. *blush*

  • 67 lesh // May 2, 2016 at 12:36 PM


    What’s the significance of 74 to Villa fans?

  • 68 Average_Contents // May 2, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    How’s that work then hibbit?

    They’d already been bought before shteve rocked up.

  • 69 Mister Tuff // May 2, 2016 at 12:54 PM

    Lesh – I did know but have forgotten was on the telly the other night – Hang on was it the year they were founded -1874. I will check and confirm.

  • 70 Mister Tuff // May 2, 2016 at 12:56 PM

    lesh – just Googled it – they were founded in 1874.

  • 71 jayphoto // May 2, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    Lascelles and Darlow were signed under Pardew so doubt they were mcclaren scouted??
    Tbf Darlow was a young english keeper with over 100 apps that had captained forest on occasion and Lascelles had been invited to train with england when he was younger such was how highly thought of he was. Im pretty sure Lascelles cost 7m too? Heard the combined total was 9m with darlow rated around 2m?
    Wasn’t impressive that we scouted them, it was impressive that we got Lascelles before anyone else as im pretty sure he had a move to spurs fall down tge window before

  • 72 Essex Geordie Bill // May 2, 2016 at 12:58 PM


    Mere mortal, how dare you sir, I shall swoop down from Olympus and and smite you with my wit and elucidation.

    I’m sure he has a sufficient IQ to realise I was being sardonic.

  • 73 Jib // May 2, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    Villa founded 1874
    “Out the door on 74” started in February when Garde was still there.
    So many walked out before 74 minutes that the whole thing fell flat.
    Looks like they are trying to revive it.

  • 74 Jib // May 2, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    Well said Essex
    Some people could do with a humour transplant on here.

  • 75 jayphoto // May 2, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Shocked villa aren’t protesting the 81st min but then most of their fans have left by then…
    Be a hugely toxic atmosphere, their last home game of the season, in a relegation season with no manager… Their fans were toxic when they were midtable…
    Fairly sure theyve lost 11 in a row too…
    They looked garbage at st James’! We were bad and they looked worse, saved by an unplayable pitch i thought that day!
    Their players are all focused on their next move! Iv photographed a few villa players mrs’ for mags and they’re all excited for their next move

  • 76 Essex Geordie Bill // May 2, 2016 at 1:03 PM

    I hope we do not have a repeat of the time we were chanting ‘going down, going down, going down’, and they replied with ‘so are we, so are we, so are we.’

    We went down and they didn’t!!

    This time they are but we don’t want to join them.

  • 77 Essex Geordie Bill // May 2, 2016 at 1:13 PM

    Can’t help feeling that Garde isn’t a bad manager, I think the Villa canker runs deeper than that.

    Although I wouldn’t like to us see try to prove he isn’t with us.

  • 78 Average_Contents // May 2, 2016 at 1:13 PM


    Exactly. They were bought the previous season before this so how on earth shteve brought/recommended them is beyond me.

  • 79 Essex Geordie Bill // May 2, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    I’ll pause to let someone else have a turn.

  • 80 hibbitt // May 2, 2016 at 1:14 PM


    sorry total got the story wrong my apologies

  • 81 Essex Geordie Bill // May 2, 2016 at 1:15 PM

    Oh! someone has. 🙂

  • 82 Bobbybee // May 2, 2016 at 1:18 PM

    Apart from 74 being the year they formed, 74th is where they may well be before they stop freefalling! 😉

    B&B, i also found the comment about Mbabu curios. Having watched the lad play for the academy, then the U21’s, he was always a right back who can play – with the same ability it must be said – at CB. In fact, i can only remember himplaying at CB once, when the U21 cb went off injured and Mbabu moved across. He’s definitely one for the future.

    Regards strikers who can get behind defences and run the channels, we already have a very good exponent of that art in Adam Armstrong. Can’t wait to see what Rafa can do with him – or more importantly how he gets the midfield to match their passing with his runs into the channels. Arma to explode for the Toon next season, regardless of which league we’re in. And until the maths tell me differently, that will be the PL. 😉

  • 83 Rotonda heights // May 2, 2016 at 1:20 PM

    we only know he exists from that photo with him holding his mobile phone looking like he’s just followed through!
    – – – – – – – – – –

    nearly spat my coffee out !!

  • 84 jayphoto // May 2, 2016 at 1:21 PM

    @essex – if you can understand/read french you’d hear alot of pundits and journos in france ripped garde apart alot at lyon and most said he would fail in england!
    Absolutely can’t handle stress, can’t deal with problem players etc, would ignore players when they voiced concerns in playground fashion not replying and walking off.
    In one season at lyon he lined up 25 different ways/formation in a season! Tactics were all over the place!
    Apparantly he is very knowledgeable about the game, was a gary neville like pundit and is credited for having a great eye for a player! But as a manager hes a car crash

  • 85 Bobbybee // May 2, 2016 at 1:25 PM

    Jay, and despite being a great pundit, we all know what happened to Neville when he put his money whete his mouth is. 😉

  • 86 Munster Mag // May 2, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    Jay yes that ac milan team would have looked after barca . Baresi was a master. Italy are usually the team i support at tournaments because ireland usually aint there. Argentina my second team. Italy – what a country 🙂

  • 87 Mister Tuff // May 2, 2016 at 1:30 PM

    Shock and horror – for once I have to agree with Jib Jibberish even though he is a clot a lot of the time.
    I can assure those concerned I have not bashed my head or had a seizure.
    Nothing at all the matter with a bit of humour – but it is really apparent that humour is a bit like “one mans meat is another mans’ poison”.
    It is especially so on the blog – where some on one side of the divide (blog wise) can laugh or be offended – depending on who makes the joke -or tries to make a joke.
    If their longstanding blog foe makes a joke – faux outrage is demonstrated.

    Also whilst the most concerning/important thing is our relegation battle at the moment I am really uneasy about the suggestion that future matters should be a taboo area. For bloggers discussing things on here what bloody difference does it make.

  • 88 Bobbybee // May 2, 2016 at 1:32 PM

    Munster, tell the truth you thug. You floow italy because their firm is so well dressed! 😉

  • 89 Bobbybee // May 2, 2016 at 1:33 PM

    Follow even! What a bummer when a spelling error ruins you smart assness, 😉

  • 90 Veltman // May 2, 2016 at 1:33 PM

    Blackley – You sometimes get too quick to judge on players on little shows.You are the same guy that slated Dummett as soon as he got little cameos in his earlys,saying he is awful,while currently doing good job at LB.Lascelles is improving and learning, that’s all we can say atm.The way he talked to journos doesn’t make him top notch yet.He still is error prone and untested well by opponent strikers or players.By his earlier cameo shows,he looked typical championship defender,nervous and panicking.Until lately a bit settled.But still it is the return of Mbemba that made the actual difference & calmness at the back.Las lacks experience and calmness,which is why I shouted for Colo.I know u hate Colo badly and may not be a good leader,but still is a better defender we have from the current squad.
    Despite being 34 or 35,he didn’t underperformed as most feared,including myself.Credit whenever it’s due to all,including Lascelles ,but
    You are just making Lascelles look like Nesta or Ramos!

  • 91 Bobbybee // May 2, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    Maybe Lascelles was nervous when he came here because he expected everyone to be so much better than him, being a PL team. Now he realises that everyone makes the same mistakes as he has, he no longer feels he has to prove anything and is just playing his own game. I think the main factor though is Rafa. Lascelles has grasped with both hands the opportunity to learn off one of the best and is taking in every little word Rafa utters. Certainly one of our most improved players regardless.

  • 92 Mashley u Batfastard & lambiarse u Cupid stunt // May 2, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    What a difference no Colo or Taylor it’s like our defence has gone from league 1 to top halve premier

  • 93 mindshaft // May 2, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    Funny people are saying Arma will set the prem / championship alight next season – he’s been stuck on 19 goals for months – seems league one teams have figured him out
    I think he’ll do okay but he’s not going to terrorise prem defences

  • 94 Bobbybee // May 2, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    Has anybody else seen this story that inter milan are wanting to sign Thauvin? The mind boggles. What a bonus it would be if we could get our money back on what can only be described as a strange bit of business. Or is it just another paper story? Comments?

  • 95 Mister Tuff // May 2, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    Off Topic.
    Shortlist for French Player of the Year.

    Hatem Ben Arfa (FRA/Nice)
    Lassana Diarra (FRA/Marseille)
    Angel Di Maria (ARG/PSG)
    Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SWE/PSG)

    Top top players there – for Benny to be on the shortlist – of that group of top players must mean he can play a bit of football himself.
    Love to see him win it and be at the Euros.

  • 96 Bobbybee // May 2, 2016 at 2:04 PM

    I’ve kinda followed Coventry’s progress whilst Arma’s been there. What actually happened was that Mowbray built his team around young loan players. Not his fault, but a lack of funds dictated this approach. In january and since, clubs called back their young players – the ones who were supplying Arma with through balls to match his runs. It’s no coincidence that the removal of these young players coincided with Coventry’s demise and Arma not carrying on scoring for fun. All strikers need supply lines. He’s still banging them in for England’s youth, which supports this. He’s still only 19, but given the right service, he will score goals at any level.

  • 97 Blackley and Brownlie // May 2, 2016 at 2:08 PM


    You have the wrong man. I’m never too quick to build a player up or too quick to write him off. No one mentioned Lascelles in the same breath as Nesta or Ramos. I just thought from the off that the lad shows bags of potential. He has got to do it over a full season before he’s arrived but he can do it.

    I can’t ever remember slating Dummett as a player, although I’ve said plenty that we need strengthening at LB, We still do but I wouldn’t be getting rid of Dummett, who can compete for a place.

  • 98 Blackley and Brownlie // May 2, 2016 at 2:13 PM

    As for Mbemba, I liked him from the off but I don’t have full confidence in him. He doesn’t look fully confident himself IMO. I don’t know why you think he is the difference. He is one in the oven and definitely got a lot to prove.

  • 99 JamesToon // May 2, 2016 at 2:13 PM

    So whats gonna happen to krul in the summer? we now have two top quality english keepers who have proved to be better when they have played?

  • 100 Bobbybee // May 2, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    Dummett is unfaily maligned imo. He’s still very young for one thing and will only improve with age. He’s actually been clocked as being one of the quickest players in the PL and his pace has certainly helped him contain players expected to run him ragged. He’s nowhere near the finished product, but he always comes off the field having left nothing behind.

  • 101 mindshaft // May 2, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    Darlow has a lot to learn , made a good save on sat quickly followed by a weak punch straight to a palace player – those selecting him as 1st choice keeper need to get back to Fifa

  • 102 mindshaft // May 2, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    Dummett is a decent defender , his distribution is very poor though – good hoof upfield seems to be his only option

  • 103 Bobbybee // May 2, 2016 at 2:20 PM

    James, not sure I’m ready to say they’re better than Krul. What is for certain, is that they’re playing behind a much better defence, one that is now well organised and fit for purpose, unlike the rabble Krul had to keep saving. We’re really lucky to have strength in depth in that position, but Krul has proved himself over a number of seasons when the defence was awful. Will be an interesting fight for the number one shirt and one that can only be a positive for the team.

  • 104 Bobbybee // May 2, 2016 at 2:23 PM

    Mindshaft, i agree his distribution needs to improve, but Rafa will instill that into him. Even so, better to launch it in some situations when you know you lack the skill to play it out. Still very young remember. Plenty for coaches to work with though.

  • 105 nufc786 // May 2, 2016 at 2:24 PM

    Blackley and Brownlie

    The good thing is though that both Mbemba and Lascelles are young and will only develop further and they can be part of our back line for years.

    If we stay up, perhaps Rafa may bring in an experienced CB to help aid Mbemba and Lascelles. Maybe he might even consider moving Dummett to CB aswell once we move Colo and Taylor on and spend some money on some quality Left Backs…

  • 106 Veltman // May 2, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    Not trying to have a dig at you.Just to clarify my point as how quick u get to judge players:

    Blackley and Brownlie// Jul 14, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    Regrettably, I have concluded that Dummett is pants.I’d like to thank myself for my canny observations and my kindness in sharing them with you.

  • 107 Bobbybee // May 2, 2016 at 2:30 PM

    Nufc786, Dummett has always looked a better prospect at CB when he’s played there imo. Good shout.

  • 108 Essex Geordie Bill // May 2, 2016 at 2:30 PM


    No I don’t speak French, I can just about manage English, my wife is the brains of this operation and she speaks fluent French. Unfortunately she isn’t a football fan so wouldn’t try to access that information.

    So I was totally unaware that he had such a poor reputation . I thought he had had some prior managerial experience and believe that some of the Toon fans were actually saying he’d be a good manager to get pre McClaren. Looks like we may have dodged a bullet there.

    Thanks for the info.

  • 109 Pitmatic // May 2, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    Spurs may yet need something at St. James’ to secure second place, even if the title has gone, so I don’t think we can rely on them not showing up on the last day. This whole idea of second guessing teams’ motivations is fraught with danger. I remember the Racing Post did an analysis years ago, looking at the results of teams with ‘something to play for’. There was no general statistical difference in their results, despite the fact that betting prices usually shorten for such teams (Sunderland were strong favourites to beat Stoke away at the weekend, weirdly). On this basis, our strongest chance of staying up probably lies with the weakness of Norwich and Sunderland, who are unlikely to win more than one game apiece if their form over the season is a guide.

  • 110 Essex Geordie Bill // May 2, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    I was wondering why Coventry had lost their form so dramatically, that explains it. Shame really that sort of circumstance can make manager look worse than he is.

  • 111 Hail Wor Ashley // May 2, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    What you want from a keeper is consistency and predictability. Elliot and to a lesser extent Darlow have produced solid 7/10 performances regularly with the odd outstanding game. Krul really declined in recent years, flapping at crosses, not making expected saves, atrocious distribution. On rare occasion he’d show glimpses of the keeper we thought he’d be with a MOTM performance, but not worth it for the number of times he let us down.

    Got a real job on his hands getting the no1 spot back. Can’t see any of them being happy to be a no3 beginning of next season, so big call to make for whoever is in charge.

  • 112 Bobbybee // May 2, 2016 at 2:37 PM

    Pitmatic, I too don’t agree with the argument that mid table teams are ‘already on the beach’. Stats don”t back it up. I am hoping however, that spurs may be deflated a bit having lost the league to Leicester. Any port in a storm! 😉

    Time to watch the Brighton game I believe. More later.

  • 113 Essex Geordie Bill // May 2, 2016 at 2:40 PM

    I think we need to get the Villa game out of the way before we start trying to forecast the state of Spurs players minds and which team will turn up.

    And yes we definitely need the other two to falter, at this moment they are more in control than we are.
    We wasted our game in hand lets hope they do likewise.

  • 114 Bobbybee // May 2, 2016 at 2:41 PM

    Bill, before i go. Aye, he’s had it stacked against him this season, but from what i can gather, a lot of coventry fans realise his hands are tied and despite being gutted that promotion slipped past them, i think they want him to stay. Shame, because Arma was on course to break 30, let alone 20 before their better players were called back to parent clubs.

  • 115 Essex Geordie Bill // May 2, 2016 at 2:43 PM

    As for Darlow punching balls away, that is the modern GK trend, a good GK seems to be able to get the ball where the opposition isn’t.

  • 116 JamesToon // May 2, 2016 at 2:47 PM

    The next two games we need to treat like Villa and Spurs will be up for it regardless. We need to take our chances and I’m not sure we want cisse starting up top, in the last 4 games didn’t he have 2 chances where he was offside but he virtually had open goals and just completely missed both of them. I say start Mitro to offer more in build up play and to bully the villa and Spurs defences, cisse is just way to easy to defend against, he only scores when he’s got a split second to react and it’s on a plate for him

  • 117 WWSBRD // May 2, 2016 at 2:54 PM

    people seem far too happy to send Krul on his way imo lad is still the best keeper on our books for me

  • 118 ilovetoon8788 // May 2, 2016 at 3:00 PM

    None of us can predict any of the results. We don’t know what scums will do. They may win a couple of their last 3 games even.

    What we all know is, it will go right down to the wire. I say we will need a draw or win at spurs depending on scums result.

  • 119 WWSBRD // May 2, 2016 at 3:11 PM

    As for the run in I don’t think Sunderland have it in them to beat Chelsea or Everton, their form is draws and losses, BFS is very worried about us and rightly so

    If we beat Villa I can see us being safe though even if we aren’t I don’t fear the Spurs game, am hopeful

  • 120 toon kk // May 2, 2016 at 3:15 PM

    It will go down to the last game of the season, where probably it will be out of our hands.
    Unfortunately I think we’ll go down with Norwich.

  • 121 Blackley and Brownlie // May 2, 2016 at 3:18 PM

    I like my good observation, no doubt written in a fit of pique. Dummett clearly wasn’t good enough for us AT THAT TIME for the season ahead. Our whole defence proved to be poor. I still think he needs competition. Haidara isn’t good enough at this time. Mbabu could be the real deal IMO. Awesome athletic physique. Great debut. Heaps of potential.

  • 122 WWSBRD // May 2, 2016 at 3:19 PM

    toon kk
    What makes u think Sunderland can beat Chelsea away or Everton at home?

  • 123 hibbitt // May 2, 2016 at 3:23 PM

    toon kk

    sorry to say mate but you will be happy if we go down
    so you can tell us all you told us so
    sad fu##er

  • 124 BandB // May 2, 2016 at 3:26 PM


    The young lads will have made it when they are keeping good Premier League quality defenders out of the team on merit, and not when they are in because there is no competition for the place.

  • 125 Bambams // May 2, 2016 at 3:27 PM

    Mackems have Chelsea and Everton at home

  • 126 TacoFlavoredKisses ForMyBen-arfa // May 2, 2016 at 3:29 PM

    Bambams // May 2, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    beyond due

    last time someone was sent off was december 2013!!!!
    how is that even possible????

    not to mention we are due a soft pen

  • 127 WWSBRD // May 2, 2016 at 3:32 PM

    Bot at home are they? My mistake

    toon kk
    What makes u think Sunderland can beat Chelsea and Everton at home?

  • 128 Bambams // May 2, 2016 at 3:35 PM


    Cheers for that, just shows you we don’t get many ‘rub of the greens’

    So many times I have been bewildered with decisions by the ref when players should of walked or we should of had a pen.

    Some say they even out during a season !

    I don’t think so.

  • 129 BandB // May 2, 2016 at 3:35 PM


    Allardyce may have been gambling on clean sheets bringing draws and draws being enough.

  • 130 TacoFlavoredKisses ForMyBen-arfa // May 2, 2016 at 3:40 PM

    Band B
    big fat sam and canaries had the same plan. THey dont go for the win, hope for the 1 point draw. that is why that stoke point was so huge. If they didnt get it AND assuming we beat villa, they would have needed 2 wins (after chelsea beat them). now they can stay up with 1 win and 1 draw if we beat vill and lose to spurs

  • 131 WWSBRD // May 2, 2016 at 3:40 PM

    100% that’s what he put his stock on and he’d of been right if we hadn’t brought in Rafa

  • 132 welshgeordie9 // May 2, 2016 at 3:41 PM

    I used to think I was indecisive, but now I’m not too sure.

  • 133 Bambams // May 2, 2016 at 3:42 PM

    I must admit I am not a lover of Cisse at the minute, I just don’t see him as a lone striker.

    So many times he spills passes that just allow the opposition to attack us again.

    Mitro still offers us more in my opinion.

    Cissoko should be missing for them and
    three points can be achieved. Just need all of them doing their jobs.

    Lascelles and Mbemba have improved the back four so much. Long may it continue.

  • 134 TacoFlavoredKisses ForMyBen-arfa // May 2, 2016 at 3:45 PM

    mitro MUST start, or even perez up top, and SDJ can be the late game sub. Sissoko might benefit from being dropped but its not happening. Need a big win to build confidence going into spurs game

  • 135 welshgeordie9 // May 2, 2016 at 3:45 PM

    Never tell your problems to anyone…20% don’t care and the other 80% are glad you have them…

    Ha ha ha

    I should be on stage

  • 136 hibbitt // May 2, 2016 at 3:49 PM

    TacoFlavoredKisses ForMyBen-arfa

    we just need a win nothing else matters

  • 137 BandB // May 2, 2016 at 3:50 PM


    I thought in March that 34 points was the maximum we would get under MClaren, and even that was a 1-20 shot after the way we folded to Bournemouth.
    They could still get three draws and be safe. But not if we beat Villa.

  • 138 BandB // May 2, 2016 at 3:53 PM


    You don’t need to tell us about your problems, hun.
    We can see them.

  • 139 Blackley and Brownlie // May 2, 2016 at 3:57 PM

    I’m sure folk could suggest the names of better strikers in the lower leagues than Cisse. It’s a bad job when he’s our best option.

  • 140 Mister Tuff // May 2, 2016 at 4:00 PM

    Welsh – we were discussing humour earlier on – this does not include your efforts -whilst valiant -do not induce a lip curl never mind a giggle.
    Please make way for the true gag specialists.

  • 141 cyprus // May 2, 2016 at 4:00 PM

    As spurs fans will tell you, even if they are out of the running they might still have second place to secure. For CL purposes and to finish above enemy.

  • 142 welshgeordie9 // May 2, 2016 at 4:00 PM


    And i suppose you could do better.

  • 143 welshgeordie9 // May 2, 2016 at 4:02 PM

    Mister Tuff

    Humour, what on this blog, you are having a laugh.

  • 144 Mister Tuff // May 2, 2016 at 4:04 PM

    Some folk may genuinely believe that we are going down – it might be an honest held belief/opinion.
    Cannot see why therefore this should lead to a person of that mindset to receive filthy abuse.
    Not warranted, no need for it.

  • 145 welshgeordie9 // May 2, 2016 at 4:04 PM

    Anyone watching the football on channel 5, England legends vs Germany.

  • 146 welshgeordie9 // May 2, 2016 at 4:05 PM

    We won’t go down, end of.

  • 147 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // May 2, 2016 at 4:09 PM

    I think if we get 39 points we will stay up it might even be 36 points will be enough for us

    Sunderland will not beat Chelsea they are back to full strength and will just have too much quality for them the way Sunderland absorbed attacks against Arsenal and Stoke in the first half of games will result in Chelsea’s better players finishing them off before half time if they play the same way

    Everton play better away from home in a game that Sunderland will need to come out and win I can see Lukaku destroying them

    Sunderland have had Allardyce all season and have still struggled to get the points to be safe they are not suddenly going to turn into Atletico Madrid in the next few games

  • 148 BandB // May 2, 2016 at 4:19 PM


    You made a remark about some debates being declared off limits earlier.
    I agree, and that’s not what I was suggesting.
    Only that we leave the polemics about the future to one side for now.
    For instance.
    I like raw veg…carrots, celery…. crudités.
    I’ve asked my kids to try them…nothing wrong with that.
    But they don’t think they’ll like them.
    I still make them and I occasionally encourage them to have a try instead of their crisps.
    But if they say no, I don’t lecture them, nag them, order them down from the table, confiscate their crisps. I never tell them they are stupid.
    I let it drop.
    I know they’ll eat celery and carrots cooked in a stew, so I know it is just a question of how they are served.
    We basically eat the same things, and it’s nothing to worry about.
    Let alone cause more stress when we already have enough on out plates.
    If I can stow my reservations for later, I’m sure others can.

  • 149 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // May 2, 2016 at 5:36 PM

    In Rafa we trust.

  • 150 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // May 2, 2016 at 5:37 PM

    Food analogy. You couldn’t make it up.

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