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Pundit – Newcastle Look Completely Different Under Benitez

8:35 am, Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 99 Comments

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright believes that Newcastle are now almost unrecognizable from the side that kept collapsing under former head coach Steve McClaren.

When Steve was finally sacked – far too late – we had only 24 points from 28 games played with McClaren still insisting he could save Newcastle from the drop – which he had been saying all season – he just needed more time.

And Wright thinks that if Rafa can save Newcastle, the turnaround on Tyneside would be even more important than the turnaround in that second half in Istanbul back in May, 2005.


Rafa Benitez – two games from glory?

This is what Ian Wright has said in The Sun as he made Rafa his  manager of the weekend:

“All of a sudden survival looks a very real prospect for Newcastle — and you have to take your hat off to Rafa Benitez for that.”

“Saturday’s priceless win over Crystal Palace hauled them out of the bottom three for the first time since February, and made it eight points from the last four games.”

“Or, to put it another way, nearly a quarter of the points they’ve managed all season in just over two weeks. Talk about making your mark — the Spaniard has certainly done that since arriving in mid-March.”

“The Toon have looked a totally different team since Benitez got hold of them, and the fans are just praying they didn’t wait too long before giving him a call.”

“I know they’re not out of the woods yet and Sunderland have a game in hand.”

“But with Villa next up, you wouldn’t back against Rafa completing a comeback even more important than that one in Istanbul with Liverpool.”

Rafa will be drumming it into his players this week to forget all about the hype that will be building up for the  game at Villa Park on Saturday – and he will have a game plan to win and get all 3 points.

Villa’s defense is hopeless and they have conceded 72 goals – 8 more than Newcastle – so we expect Newcastle to test Villa’s defense from the very first whistle on Saturday.

It’s another must win game for us – we hope the lads can get the job done.

Comments welcome.

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

99 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jib // May 3, 2016 at 8:37 AM

    Alan Pardew ( not noted for wit and repartee ) when asked about HippoHeeds comments said “prehistoric” which was quite good for him.

    Allardyce took over 0n 9th October when sunlun had 3 point from 8 games.

    They now have 32 points from 35 games
    24 more points from 27 games.


    He’s had 7 months and a window !

    They should have changed him with 10 games to go !

  • 2 job // May 3, 2016 at 8:38 AM

    Still think the pl will contrive to have us down was the scums penalty really a penalty

  • 3 job // May 3, 2016 at 8:41 AM

    Palarse ‘s certainly was not

  • 4 Bambams // May 3, 2016 at 8:45 AM

    Have a good watch of Sunderland when they play.

    I have really took an interest in how many free kicks they win. They are constantly over reacting to the slightest touch. It started for me when Fletcher almost threw himself into the stand from Colo shoulder when he was sent off.

    If anyone else has the many motd recordings stored have a look.

    Is it a skill or pure cheating.

    Seriously keep a watch on them when the slightest of touches sends them to the ground.


  • 5 jimmysmith // May 3, 2016 at 8:51 AM

    Yes, Fat Sams record throws some weight behind what I’ve long considered the reason why we ultimately have always had a good chance of salvaging our season at the death. Sunderland and Norwich are shithouse!

  • 6 Lilongwe Geordie // May 3, 2016 at 8:53 AM

    It is 29 points if your other figures are correct. 29 from 27 games, more than a point a game and in most seasons enough to keep a side up. Given the Sunderland squad, he hasn’t done too badly.

  • 7 jimmysmith // May 3, 2016 at 8:55 AM


  • 8 jimmysmith // May 3, 2016 at 8:56 AM

    Lil, what is Mbabu’s most natural position?

  • 9 Lilongwe Geordie // May 3, 2016 at 8:58 AM

    Didn’t see the game at the weekend as had other things going on. How was the game? An important result for us, shame Sunderland got the late penalty, but other than that not abad weekend at all for Newcastle.

    Next week could be interesting, ‘a mass release of energy’ from the Villa fans on 74 minutes, not entirely sure what that will be, but lets hope that it doesn’t prove to be a distraction for our players from what is another huge match for us.

  • 10 Lilongwe Geordie // May 3, 2016 at 9:00 AM

    Probably right back. That is where he played before joining us, and where he has been used most for all our teams. Although he looks very comfortable on the ball and given the ease with which he coped filling in at left back he could well develop into quite a good and intelligent defensive midfielder.

    Right back at the moment though.

  • 11 Jib // May 3, 2016 at 9:00 AM


    Reminds me of the standing joke when “diver” Klinsmann played for Spuds all those years ago.

    A guy was watching TH on MotD one Saturday night when he had to go for a scoot – he brushed the tv with his hip and Klinsmann fell over.

  • 12 job // May 3, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    Ashley are you watching Leicester celebrate take note and learn

  • 13 jimmysmith // May 3, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    We were well organised throughout but wound up too tight in the first period to really threaten. Then relaxed and opened up the play in the second, and did enough to deserve the win.

  • 14 Jib // May 3, 2016 at 9:05 AM

    Lilo you are right
    I took no of games from points- doh

  • 15 Jib // May 3, 2016 at 9:07 AM

    However 1 point a game when you only have 30 games left and only 3 points in the bag is only a total of 33.

  • 16 Lilongwe Geordie // May 3, 2016 at 9:10 AM

    Thanks, quite a few of the reports I’ve read said we were pretty poor in the first half, and Palace dominated midfield for most of the first 45. A lot of pressure on them at the moment, so no surprise that they are tightly wound.

    In all honesty, performances matter little at this stage, it would be nice to be the better side and win, but I’ll take scrappy 2 lots of scrappy 3 points over the next couple of weeks!

  • 17 jimmysmith // May 3, 2016 at 9:11 AM

    Mmmm. Ok, thanks. Somehow got the impression he was a CB, but yeah, he looks physically impressive, both powerful and athletic, as well as comfortable on the ball, so yes, the makings of a good fullback or defensive mid.

  • 18 Lilongwe Geordie // May 3, 2016 at 9:14 AM

    Yeah, but 1 point a game over a season is usually enough to keep you up. I wouldn’t be expecting any manager who had gone there to be doing a huge amount more so far. He still has 3 games to pick up points, and 2 of them are against sides that aren’t convincing anyone at the moment.

    Not praising him, but it is pretty even between the two of us for who will go down now, and if he keeps them up then he will have achieved his aims for the season. Wouldn’t be overly critical of his performance just yet is all I’m saying.

  • 19 Jib // May 3, 2016 at 9:18 AM

    Kevin is from Switzerland and transfermarkt is compiled in Switzerland – so this should be right !

  • 20 jimmysmith // May 3, 2016 at 9:20 AM

    Yeah, in the first half we struggled to handle Cabaye and the other lad in central mid, and also Bolasie. Cisse appeared very isolated up top, but we upped the tempo early in the second and finished the better side. Townsend was very good throughout, as was the defence.

  • 21 Jib // May 3, 2016 at 9:23 AM

    It just takes nicking the odd jammy win like against us at the stadium of shyte or Palace away on a cold Monday night and you’ve cracked it.
    His big problem is that he’s lost 11 games.

  • 22 BandB // May 3, 2016 at 9:27 AM

    I’m pleased we appointed a manager who commands respect as well as fear.
    Rafa has been able to inspire as well as galvanize players and fans alike.
    It is difficult to imagine Leicester winning the league had Pearson remained in charge. We at least have our next-step appointment already in place.
    Players and fans though need stay focussed on clearing the two hurdles still to jump, lest premature celebration creeps from one group into the other.

  • 23 Bambams // May 3, 2016 at 9:28 AM


    I have never mentioned it before but they know how to win a free kick.

    I know other teams/players will have dropped easily but it’s just showing now with Defoe and his reading of CB how to play for the tackle.

    No coincidence he made sure he was just inside the box when he took the pass.

    Teams can be relegated with the decision of a ref…its just so difficult for them at times.

  • 24 Jib // May 3, 2016 at 9:43 AM

    You say it’s hard for refs and I agree , but also for defenders.
    Colback got roundly abused on here for Riad Mahrez’ free kick on the right wing down at Leicester (Rafa’s first game) but the Algerian completely suckered Jack and the ref Craig Pawson.

  • 25 Lilongwe Geordie // May 3, 2016 at 9:44 AM

    Yeah, but most teams at the bottom need that. There aren’t many (any?) Sunderland players I’d take from their starting 11 into ours though, so based on that he has done reasonably with them. I agree, he has lost too many, but then so have all the teams down the bottom, and nicking lucky or hard earned wins is key to the survival hopes of any team in the relegation battle.

  • 26 Jib // May 3, 2016 at 9:52 AM


    The various comments on Leicester City’s fine effort.

    Knowing football supporters – there will be a few of the Foxes die-hard fanbase this morning feeling just a tad irked and ticked off at all of the bandwagon jumpers who have come out of the woodwork.

    They are probably watching TV this morning humming “where were you when we were crap ?” quietly to themselves.

  • 27 job // May 3, 2016 at 9:54 AM

    Oi oi bandb

  • 28 shaun83 // May 3, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    Sunderland getting that point against Stoke is a real sickener, could be vital. I know it’s gone and can only look at next game etc but still that’s a blow

  • 29 Charlie in the Gallowgate // May 3, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    We were poor first half – Palace played a spoiling game took time wasting to a new high first half to disrupt us (ref played 3 minutes xtra – no serious injuries to consider) and in our frustration played into their hands playing hoofball to to lone striker Cisse who is not cut out for the high ball game.
    Second half kept ball on the deck passed on the deck and ran at them –
    different team different game and got the result.

    Lets not blow all the hard work at Villa!!!!!!

  • 30 Charlie in the Gallowgate // May 3, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    This weekends games not included.

    Refereeing decisions are regularly the source of debate among fans, pundits, players and managers so this season a five-strong TEAMtalk panel will be passing judgement on every red card (or avoidance of one), every penalty and any other major incident every matchday.

    We’ll also keep a tally of the major decisions to go for and against each team in an attempt to settle the never-ending debate about whether certain clubs are favoured more than others by Premier League referees.

    Seasonal for and against

    Team For Against Total For/Against
    1. Liverpool Fourteen Six +8
    2.Leicester Seventeen Ten +7
    = Man United Nine Two +7
    = Man City Thirteen Six +7
    5. Aston Villa Seven Two +5
    6. Sunderland Nine Five +4
    7. Tottenham Eight Five +3
    8. Crystal Palace Seven Five +2
    9. Everton Four Four 0
    = Stoke Seven Seven 0
    11. Watford Six Seven -1
    12. Chelsea Nine Eleven -2
    13. Norwich Four Seven -3
    =West Brom Seven Ten -3
    15. Arsenal Ten Fourteen -4
    16. Southampton Seven Eleven -4
    18. Newcastle Five Ten -5
    18. Swansea Five Eleven -6
    19. Bournemouth Five Twelve -7
    20. West Ham Seven Eighteen -11

    Here’s the six incorrect decisions which could yet cost United their top-flight status:

    1. What should have been as 2-0 up rapidly becomes 6-1 down
    Manchester City 6-1 Newcastle United (October 3, 2015)

    In some ways, this offside call was as bad – if not worse – than the Aguero one at St James’ Park, yet it quickly got forgotten about as United collapsed to a 6-1 defeat having controlled the game until just before half-time.

    Aleksandar Mitrovic had put Newcastle ahead, and he slotted in a second after 25 minutes.

    Daryl Janmaat had advanced down the right, and played it across the face of goal to Mitrovic – who was stood at five yards behind the Dutchman when the ball was centred – and the Serbian had it in the back of Man City’s net once again.

    Incredibly, the offside flag was raised – and eventually Aguero netted five, and United capitulated.

    But if they had gone 2-0 up, things might have been very different.

    2. Handball or a clothesline – take your pick?
    Sunderland 3-0 Newcastle United (October 25, 2015)

    The first of two controversial incidents within the space of 30 seconds at the Stadium of Light back in October.

    With the scoreline at 0-0 after 44 minutes, Georginio Wijnaldum advanced into the box and flicked the ball around Lee Cattermole.

    Not only did the ball hit Cattermole’s arm – a handball could have been given, but would likely have been harsh – the Sunderland defender then almost clotheslined Wijnaldum as he prevented the Newcastle midfielder getting past him.

    The latter, certainly, should have been a penalty for Newcastle.

    3. The snowball effect
    Sunderland 3-0 Newcastle United (October 25, 2015)

    Referee Bobby Madley only compounded his mistake with another on Wearside.

    Immediately after Cattermole’s indiscretions went unpunished, Sunderland counter attacked, Steven Fletcher got in behind Fabricio Coloccini, and the Argentine knocked the Black Cats attacker down.

    It probably was a penalty by the letter of the law, and it was a stupid challenge, but it should not have been a red card.

    Madley allowed his poor decisions to snowball, and he dismissed Coloccini.

    The resultant penalty was scored, and eventually Newcastle lost 3-0 having thoroughly outplayed Sunderland when they had 11 men.

    Have NUFC been hard done by this season?
    500+ VOTES SO FAR

    Yes – referees have had some shockers
    No – it all evens itself out
    4. A small call, but it made a huge impact
    Newcastle United 0-1 Everton (December 26, 2015)

    As decisions go, whether a side should have been awarded a goal-kick or a corner would usually appear marginal.

    When that incorrectly-awarded corner then results in a 93rd-minute winner though, then controversy abounds.

    Against Everton on Boxing Day, Romelu Lukaku clearly got the final touch on the ball and Newcastle should have been given a goal-kick.

    Instead the Toffees won a corner, and Tom Cleverley eventually looped a winning header over Rob Elliot.

    You could argue Newcastle should still have defended the set-piece better, but there should never have been a corner in the first place.

    5. Penalty woes continue
    West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Newcastle United (December 28, 2015)

    When Mitrovic was not awarded a clear-cut penalty at The Hawthorns in December, Newcastle’s spot-kick drought at the time – which has now thankfully ended – stretched to 367 days.

    Right on the hour Mark, Mitrovic cut inside Jonny Evans in the box and went to hit a shot, before the Baggies defender clearly pulled the Serbian back.

    Mitrovic got an effort away while falling backwards, which was deflected behind for a corner, yet United were not given a spot-kick despite Evans’ obvious infringement.

    Eventually Darren Fletcher headed in a winning goal for the Baggies, but if Newcastle have been awarded their penalty, things could have turned out rather differently.

    6. One of the worst offside decisions in Premier League history?
    Newcastle United 1-1 Manchester City (April 19, 2016)

    When Aleksandar Kolarov whipped in his free-kick from the left-hand side, Aguero had been stood in an offside position for 30 seconds.

    Somehow though, assistant referee Dave Bryan did not raise his flag before or after the Argentine nodded Man City in front.

    The entirety of St James’ Park, Bryan aside, knew Aguero was offside.

  • 31 Lilongwe Geordie // May 3, 2016 at 10:38 AM

    Thanks, that is similar to the reports I read. I think I was probably watching the better football then by the sounds of it!

    Really important we keep our focus next week and don’t allow ourselves to be distracted by Villa’s protests and off field actions. Also pleased that the crowd (from what I have read) largely ignored the return of Pardew and focussed on backing the team.

  • 32 Tsunki // May 3, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    I agree we seem to have been one of the top teams for refs to make poor (and crucial as the season panned out) decisions against. But where free kicks and penalty awards are concerned, our almost total lack of movement up front has done more to stop us being awarded anything, more so than poor refereeing decisions imo.

  • 33 Tsunki // May 3, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    Villa don’t seem to have won a game since the Attlee government hit a rocky patch I really hope we aren’t the ones to break their curse.

  • 34 Ron Knee // May 3, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    We’re generally happy to oblige struggling teams!

  • 35 Tsunki // May 3, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    On the issue of Leicestershire “plastic fans” I don’t understand why any long term supporter would be irked at the influx of new interest. Do they not want their clubs fan base to grow, their side become more successful, to carry the impetus forward so they become established as a top flight team? Or would they prefer the so-so crowds they got a few divisions ago now they are in the premiership top team club?

    This is another of my gripes about the concept of plastic fans, they’re only plastic if they disappear again when things aren’t so rosy. That when they should whinge, cry, bitch, whimper, rhyme on and moan about them.

  • 36 Jib // May 3, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    Some folk will not like this!

    Former Newcastle United forward Faustino Asprilla has told Eurosport that the players are the ones who should be blamed for the club’s struggles this season, not controversial owner Mike Ashley.
    The Colombian said: “I know him [Ashley], I spoke to him and I met him. I always thought the problem is not the chairman or the owner. The problem, in my opinion, are always the players. He is doing everything he can to help the team, but they should be playing with more effort. I don’t think Newcastle’s problem is the owner.”

    “I think there are players who love this team. But I would like all the players play at a top level like I did. They should love that shirt and make sacrifices for the importance of that team.
    There are players that are not showing these feelings. Newcastle should be fighting for the title, not in relegation zone. I hope that next year they will find players who will fight.”

  • 37 Tsunki // May 3, 2016 at 10:54 AM

    I don’t want to predict a win as I’m sure it will place a spell of doom on us, but we could do with handing villa one of the worst beatings in living memory. The coup de grace to despatch them to the dungeon after their antics in our relegation year. I hope our supporters are in full and fitting song 🙂

  • 38 Charlie in the Gallowgate // May 3, 2016 at 10:54 AM

    Crowd were brilliant – Pardew most likely more miffed that he got no/little abuse and the adulation Rafa got.

    Very emotional the minutes clapping for the Hillsbrough 96 when the crowd broke into song ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ must admit – shed a few tears.

  • 39 Tsunki // May 3, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    Tino is probably after a job at the Toon some time 🙂 when Bobby gets wheeled out he could slide right in. He could do corporate days and entertain the executive boxes with his handgun skills.

  • 40 bettyswallocks // May 3, 2016 at 10:58 AM

    These plastic fans tend to melt away when the heat is turned up.

  • 41 bettyswallocks // May 3, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    BandB……….. I agree. It would be fitting to beat Villa and avoid relegation , see how they feel when the the tables are turned.

  • 42 Jail for Ashley // May 3, 2016 at 11:23 AM

    I wonder if Tino was questioned on the don’t do cups policy and what effect that has on players mentality, what his response would be.

  • 43 dok - the horrid colonial // May 3, 2016 at 11:38 AM

    gmorning all,

    be funny to see a certain bedsheet hanging up at villa park by our supporters this time:)

  • 44 WWSBRD // May 3, 2016 at 11:42 AM

    Someone should ask Tino why the players dont care anymore, stems from the owners lack of caring and what they are told in order to get them in our shirt imo

  • 45 WWSBRD // May 3, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    Just read some of the Mackem chatter on the Cabaye pen haha its pretty good fun not going to lie, especially when the pen is remarkably similar to the one Defoe scored against Stoke

  • 46 scout // May 3, 2016 at 12:24 PM

    Very strange odds for Saturday we are 8/13 to beat villa, honestly cant remember us being odds on in an away game ever. Also Chelsea are 11/8 to beat Sunderland are the bookies suggesting Chelsea wont try?

    It really is bizarre.

  • 47 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // May 3, 2016 at 12:51 PM


    It does worry me Sunderland have had all the luck recently but I would just love Chelsea to turn up with Hazard on top form and just spank them 3 or 4 nil

  • 48 Rotonda heights // May 3, 2016 at 12:54 PM


    sadly we were one of the very few teams not to beat villa at home. nothing’s ever a conclusion with us.

  • 49 Jail for Ashley // May 3, 2016 at 12:57 PM

    Can’t go getting worried about what we may or may not do against Villa. Easier said than done!

  • 50 scout // May 3, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    I wouldn’t wanna be on Newcastle at 8/13 although Chelsea at 11/8 is a price. If thats the start of the season its a 4/5 shot at the most.

  • 51 shaun83 // May 3, 2016 at 1:03 PM

    What’s all this talk of Rafa to Everton. Absolute disgrace that’s being raised now.

  • 52 one fine day // May 3, 2016 at 1:13 PM

    Have to say I could not give a sh@te what the loathsome Ian wright has to say on anything after his biased outbursts about newcastle fans trying to influence a referee during the arsenal home game .you could not make that up .
    Make years of performing at the library dropped his tolerance to what real noise is?
    On Leicester congrats , great for football n all that and I have noticed a lot of spanking new king power shirts popping up suddenly here in Sydney to the obvious demise of the chelsea and Man utd ones.
    Still have a feeling they will struggle big time next year for a lot of reasons
    Agents will get greedy and will start demanding crazy contracts for their premier winning charges and so the team togetherness will take a battering and Claudio ,whilst a top guy,struggled with the big ego type players.
    Every team they meet next year will quite rightly be “up” for them at every turn .
    Champions league will be a major distraction and having a bigger squad and rotating it will be a steep learning curve for them .
    Don’t get me wrong it’s fantastic when they have done and burst the noses of the school yard bullies but I would say enjoy it while it lasts lads .
    Anyway more importantly let’s get villa done in anyway possible and chelsea to bang in a performance like that second half last night and I can breath again

  • 53 one fine day // May 3, 2016 at 1:15 PM

    51shaun83 // May 3, 2016 at 1:03 PM
    Classic Manchester based press sh@t stirring mate

  • 54 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 1:15 PM

    Charlie, that was very interesting marra, well discovered. I don’t think anybody – fan or otherwise – who has followed us, can possibly deny we’ve had the rough end of a pineapple when it comes to penalties and bad decisions. We’ve suffered more than most and, of greater importance, they’ve been match changing decisions. Nice to see it in black n white though.

  • 55 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 1:25 PM

    Rotunda, we failed to beat villa when we should’ve done, but i don’t think the performances of late should be compared to what was happening then. Back then we would never have come back from a goal v city, or two v liverpool away. We had also never beaten swansea in the PL at home, but we whalloped them. What’s gone has gone imo and we now have a manager who won’t suffer fools gladly and will set up the team to beat what is, in fairness, a very poor villa team. Two games left, but let’s do it one at a time. Beat villa and see where we are then. Wonder what would happen if we needed a point to survive and spurs needed a point to guarantee second place? Curiosity, nothing more! 😉

  • 56 LGFUAD21 // May 3, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    Only saw the first half against Palace.

    Wasn’t comfortable but we werent living as dangerously as some were saying IMO.

    Great result.

    Villa could be a banana skin though. They nearly did Watford were it not for Deeney’s inspired 2 injury time goals.

    They have nothing to fear now they are gone and players are either playing for a move or to prove they deserve to stay.

    Navigate that with 3 points and we’ll be set up for a nail biting finally.

    We need some favours from teams big time and the Sunderland equalisers really was hard to take.

    Hopefully, the way Spurs acted last night shows they will be damaged by Leicester’s Title. They lost their heads, hopefully they’ll have nothing to play for.

  • 57 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 1:36 PM

    LGF… I said it after the game that we were never really troubled by Palace in the first half, and i was shocked to read those who thought we were. Nice to hear you agree with me and the others, having watched it in the cold light of day. You expect to have shots to save and the odd scramble, but that’s football surely? Overall, despite them being the slightly better team in the first half, we were hardly threatened. You say you’ve only watched the first half? Enjoy the second, particularly the goal – although assumedly you’ve seen that already! 😉

  • 58 Charlie in the Gallowgate // May 3, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    Cheers – makes interesting reading!!!!

  • 59 Moonraker15 // May 3, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    I honestly can’t imagine Rafa wanting away if we get relegated as he seems to Jane an emotional bond with the club and city and he must realise we fans love him. The problem might be the owner not wanting to pay his wage demands. They must realise that this is a once only chance to get a world class manager, and must keep him at all costs. I think even the Dullards must know he has to stay!

  • 60 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 1:41 PM

    Again, scouts have watched Villa all season – I’m sure they’ve seen enough already not to be swayed by a couple of last minute performances! 😉 This game is one we must win and one that is well within our capabilities to win. We should not be too concerned with them and just concentrating on what it takes to beat them imo. Their defence is particularly poor and I can see Townsend running them ragged. Bring it on! HTL!!!

  • 61 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 1:48 PM

    Moonraker, with you on this issue marra. I think he wants to stay also, just from what comes across in his interviews. He can get away with being loved by liverpool fans whilst he’s with us – especially after our rendition of YNWA – but would they still love him if he went to Everton? I think not!! 😉 I reckon he sees us as a chance to create something huge, from relegation certainties to trophy winners. If anyone can – Rafa can. 😉

  • 62 Lindisfarne // May 3, 2016 at 1:50 PM

    Wanted to go to the Villa game but could not get a ticket. Would have liked to have sung:
    “So long, fair well, auf wiedersehen, good bye.
    We’re glad your gone, of that we can not lie.”

  • 63 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    Lindi. 😉

  • 64 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    As somebody posted last night, villa should be happy if we stay up, rather than drag us down with them. If they want to bounce straight back, they’ll have a better chance if we’re not there – especially if Rafa stays! That said, villa have been self destructing for a while now and regardless, they’re probably not bright enough to take that into consideration. 😉

  • 65 SPRINGY // May 3, 2016 at 2:23 PM

    think ed was getting ahead of himself a few threads back when talking about spurs being weaker against us,that game will mean next to nothing if villa beat us and the mackems get any results in the those games they have….just concentrate on villa,one game at a time.

  • 66 Jail for Ashley // May 3, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    Never mind about Spurs needing to win, we proved against M City who had just destroyed Chelsea that we can play a bit. I think there’ll be fewer stag do’s and Chinese students there if we beat Villa and the noise levels will be ramped up.

  • 67 Munster Mag // May 3, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    Bobby i wud imagine rafa’s double sessions are to drill the team to how we defend, primarily. Sam is a real tool to mouth off about johnny foreigner managers. Makes him look so insular. I wud luv it…to borrow keegan…

  • 68 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    Springy, one game at a time it is marra. And that keeps going until we are mathematically relegated – if such a nightmare actually arises. Can we beat Villa? Why aye man! Ironically, if the mackems and norwich keep failing to win and preferably losing, the Spurs game could actually end up being meaningless. Now that would be a bonus! 😉

  • 69 Jail for Ashley // May 3, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    Saying that mind it’s members only sales to stop Spurs buying tickets in case they needed to win the league. …

  • 70 dok - the horrid colonial // May 3, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    bobby, is that a possible scenario? where the spurs game means nothing? I assume if SMB’s and Norwich lose this weekend and game in hand…

  • 71 SPRINGY // May 3, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    villa are playing better since there relegation by the look of things….could be a bit tricky if the players are thinking they are already safe,and as we know our players are prone lapses in concentration.

  • 72 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    Jail, the spurs game is only available to ST holders and members, so the stag do’s etc won’t get a look in. 😉

  • 73 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    Dok, yeah, if they lose their games in hand, we only need to beat villa to stay up. It is an unlikely scenario to be fair, but if they lose those games and we win at Villa, we’ll be four points ahead with one to play. It might appear unlikely, but it could occur. 😉

  • 74 dok - the horrid colonial // May 3, 2016 at 2:38 PM

    bobby ,

    yeah, just figured that out.. some idiot at work put decaf in the coffee pot, not thinking too clearly yet …

  • 75 dok - the horrid colonial // May 3, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    be a nervy next Saturday and next Wednesday day to say the least..

  • 76 Jail for Ashley // May 3, 2016 at 2:43 PM

    That’s a worry considering ST’s are 30% down and there aren’t any members anymore.

  • 77 SPRINGY // May 3, 2016 at 2:43 PM

    that would be a dream scenario,need chelsea,man utd, and everton to show up and be professional

  • 78 SPRINGY // May 3, 2016 at 2:45 PM

    and watford

  • 79 wolfshead@toon // May 3, 2016 at 2:48 PM

    leicester would never have won the prem if ashley was the owner vardy and mahrez would have been sold in january and if that didnt slow them down ranieri would have been replaced

  • 80 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 2:48 PM

    Talksport back on form. Apparently we are unhappy with Leicester winning the league BECAUSE we think we’re a big club and are devastated that we can’t win it. Where do they get it from? We’re buzzing they’ve won it early because it may have clipped spurs’ wings. Mind you, it is the two mikes, so serious football discussion is at a minimal! 😉

  • 81 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 2:50 PM

    Jail, really? So it won’t sell out then? Interesting theory. One that only time will tell.

  • 82 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 2:53 PM

    Dok, coffee minus caffeine? Is there really any point in that? 😉

    Springy, indeed it is a dream situation, but not one that can be ruled out completely, judging by the way HH has imploded. He has totally lost it and that might trickle down to his minions with luck. 😉

  • 83 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 2:55 PM

    Sheesh! CAN’T be ruled out. 😉

  • 84 SPRINGY // May 3, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    of course we are a bit jealous,but so is every other team in the league,they have been a breath of fresh air this season and its great to see a smaller side (in comparison to the usual suspects) show that a great work rate and team ethic can accomplish a lot,granted the usual suspects have not been at there best but still arsenal and spurs were unable to take that advantage,leicester did….that thing of “we are a big club” is always levelled at us,but a level headed toon fan knows different….media like to twist a knife in our side from time to time….coz if we are not making bad press for our selves its easier to believe anything thats said about newcastle.

  • 85 SPRINGY // May 3, 2016 at 3:00 PM

    have i missed something….has squashed face hippo been flapping his gums or something….whats been said?

  • 86 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 3:04 PM

    Springy, they just dislike us in general marra, so it’s water off a duck’s back. I think the dislike stems from a lack of understanding. We don’t support the Toon because we expect to win anything, rather than it’s in the blood. Win, lose or draw we keep turning up in our droves and that embarrasses other clubs, such as London’s biggest club, who stop going because 20 seasons of CL football isn’t good enough! 😉

  • 87 SPRINGY // May 3, 2016 at 3:07 PM

    arsenal fans might regret kicking off if the club pan wenger…they could struggle worse then now…laughable really to say they are struggling….nowt like gratitude…is the?

  • 88 BandB // May 3, 2016 at 3:07 PM

    Let’s demand they show up and be professional, while praying Spurs do the reverse when they play us 🙂

  • 89 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 3:12 PM

    Springy, aye, HH has been saying palace rolled over for one – as have mackens in general. They’re even saying Cabaye missed the pen on purpose ffs. Must have been because of the wonderfull friendly reception he received lmao! Now HH is blaming Rafa for our injury problems, saying the double training sessions are causing it. Failing to recognise that Rafa wasn’t here during most of them! I’m loving it watching the knacka implode. His only pathetic claim to fame is that he’s taken over half decent teams and managed to save them from relegation! Big deal. Now he’s in a real battle, he simply can’t handle it. 😉

  • 90 Jail for Ashley // May 3, 2016 at 3:12 PM

    I pray it is a sell out but don’t know how they’ll be manage to do it.

  • 91 SPRINGY // May 3, 2016 at 3:15 PM

    haha,plum…we’ve been top of the injury list near enough all season and last if i remember rightly.

  • 92 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 3:17 PM

    Springy, i have no idea why gooners want him out. They get football dished up the way it should be played week in, week in, week out. They get CL football season after season, but that ain’t good enough for them. They demand to win everything, every season. But then, so do manure and chelski, so at least one of them has to be disappointed. Yet they call us delusional. 😉

  • 93 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 3:22 PM

    Jail, even if it isn’t, we’ll have enough loyal fans there to make the difference. Unlucky on those who bailed out, but it was their choice. If they miss out now, that’s life. We know that those who do go on sunday week will be there because they still believe.

  • 94 Jail for Ashley // May 3, 2016 at 3:23 PM

    Via gogo will probably buy a lot of tickets

  • 95 Jail for Ashley // May 3, 2016 at 3:25 PM

    No Bobby,
    Wrong there are many that believe but aren’t members anymore!

  • 96 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 3:28 PM

    Jail, think about it marra. Better to only sell tickets to home fans who still turn up, than sell it to part timers who will willingly sell their seat to any spurs fan offering stupid money. That would result in trouble. Not sure that’s still an issue anyway, with spurs out of the title race, but i understood the policy. Any spurs fans who might have turned up in home sections would be ejected anyway – as has happened to us in the past – and this way, the tosser who sold his seat to an enemy would be outed. 😉

  • 97 BandB // May 3, 2016 at 3:29 PM

    I still believe in God Bobs.
    But I can’t pretend to be happy with the church has been run at the moment.
    I’d be a hypocrite to pretend I was.

  • 98 Bobbybee // May 3, 2016 at 3:32 PM

    Jail, they might believe now, but that ain’t the same. No sympathy for any so called fan who allowed their obsession with Ashley to overrule their love for the Toon. They chose to stop going, tough titties.

  • 99 BandB // May 3, 2016 at 3:33 PM

    No-ones asking for your sympathy Bobs.
    Though I do respect the choice you have made.

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