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  1. Contact or not, it's a clear dive by Richarlison. VAR should be checking every pen. It doesn't even slow the game down to check pen decisions. Korean defence all over the place. Brazil scored 4 from their first 5 shots I think, including the pen. Could get ugly.
  2. I don't see teams like Iran giving that space in behind. They'll sit deep. Foden is far more effective at playing through a tight, deep defence than Sterling is. If we score early then they'll have to come out and the space behind defenders will open up, which is more suited to players like Sterling and Rashford. Like you I'd go with Foden and Saka to begin with, but reckon Southgate will stick with Sterling.
  3. If we only make one signing in January, for big money, I think a Maddison/Trossard type signing would have a bigger impact than any other position. We have the best defensive record in the league but have at times struggled for creativity (Brighton, Wolves, Palace, Bournemouth). ASM is injury prone and who knows how long Almiron will keep up his Willock-style scoring streak. Yes Isak might work out wide, but as soon as Wilson's injured he's needed up top anyway. Maddison/Trossard give us lots of options and fret. We have Shelvey to come in to add to midfield competition. Yes he isn't a DM as such but he did very well under Howe last season.
  4. Fair points. The Saudi takeover is a symptom of a much, much bigger problem that you outline well there. The pundits you mention love to focus on it because it's a handy deflection from the corrupt and broken system which has rewarded them so handsomely. I'm sure we'll be hearing from them during the Qatar World Cup as they enjoy their slice of that pie as well. Call me a cynic, but if the Saudis weren't putting money in and we were harmlessly languishing around the relegation places, rival fans and pundits wouldn't care. People might say that's hypothetical, but look at Sheff United. 100% owned by a Saudi Prince since 2019, part owned by him since 2013. They even released their own 'Saudi' kit. No one talks about it and many don't even seem aware of it. I'd happily see the Saudis gone IF the whole cartel system with European money was demolished and a regulated, fairer, sustainable system put in place (what they could look like is another debate entirely). As it is, we and 13 other Premier League clubs find ourselves permanently caught up in a rigged system in which the only way to lay a glove on the "big six" is with massive outside investment. Even then, if you don't spend it wisely, it can all backfire because of FFP (look at Everton). As you rightly point out, without outside money, you can be run far better than Man U yet you'll never get near them. We may become part of that cartel, or we may not, but the system is just as broken either way. Getting the Saudis out of Newcastle does absolutely nothing to fix football. Incidentally, on the subject of FFP, it could have been and could yet be our undoing (let's see what other barriers are put in place by the big six), but so far it's done us a favour because the owners are being forced to come in and look at how they can grow the club sustainably.
  5. They didn't seem to be having any trouble striking commercial deals before Newcastle. They were already significant stakeholders in many of the world's biggest companies.
  6. Of course, which begs the question: if they're trying to sportswash and are failing, would that not suggest they'll have to switch plans or give up on their sportswashing plans by selling up? So far it looks like a massive own goal if sportswashing was the plan. Seems to me that public perception of Saudi Arabia, in England at least, is far worse now as a direct result of their takeover. Not only because of genuine concern highlighted by human rights organisations, but also because they threaten to upset the 'top 6', who are enormously powerful.
  7. ohmelads


    No midweek games and presumably fewer World Cup players than the "Top Six" presents us with a big opportunity if we can maintain momentum. They do have better squads than us to cope with all this as well, like. The January window is going to be massive and I think 1 big signing is the smart strategy. Not several players to disrupt the squad but a first team creative player. It sounds like we're after a top level signing undervalued because of their contract (Maddison, Tielemans, Trossard all linked in the rags). I have a feeling it'll be Maddison. When you think back to when we were after him and look at the two clubs' trajectories now, so much has changed. Add in his contract has run down another 6 months, plus his continued form, it all points to us going back in. We were patient with Botman and went straight back in and I have a feeling we're going to do the same.
  8. I don't see the problem being him leaving. He seems happy and we're going places. The problem will be his agent using this interest to demand a massive new contract which completely shatters our wage bill structure. He'll want top 4 wages and why not because that's what he'd get at these clubs. We'll have to pay it to keep him, and that then has a domino effect through the squad. It was inevitably going to happen, but we maybe didn't expect one of our signings to be this good so early on.
  9. I'm sure I read somewhere that Daz Eales was brought in for his left-field thinking? Yet in practically his first major interview he has jumped straight to the most obvious and most severe short term option of renaming the stadium. I find this worrying. At best I think he is lowballing us to get us talking about it before introducing something less unpalatable. It's also concerning that he keeps referencing his time at Atlanta, a club ("franchise"?) that is 8 years old, and was 0 years old when he got involved with it. No disrepect to anyone who follows them, and I get that's his most recent job on his CV, but what worked there is no justification for bulldozing key aspects of our club's identity and vast history. Atlanta were parachuted into the top and only division with no relegation and with large financial backing. The fact he is suggesting selling stadium rights means he wants to, otherwise why antagonise the fans by musing the idea in an interview? Where do you draw the line of what a club actually is? We may all have different answers to that, but I think most consider the most basic elements of a football club's identity to be its its location, history, colours, name, and home ground. The fanbase has become infinitely more diverse, and I think most embrace that provided those core elements remain. I look at Spurs stadium and I see a toilet seat. I look at Arsenal's ground and I think of an airline. Highbury had history and character. Is that worth 20m a year or whatever we might get (possibly less)? Time may come where we have no choice, but I don't want that to be the first go-to option. Eales should be exploring alternatives first.
  10. Think it's a far harder game than a few people here are making out. They look disjointed but they're getting results, they're at home and have better individual match winners than we do. We'll need to want it more, win the tactical battles, and take our chances when they come. The Brentford result was class but the scoreline flattered us based on open play. One was from a corner and two were forced howlers from them at the back because of our high press. We can't press that high away from home against much better teams or we'll get battered on the counter. I hope VAR behave but not expecting it.
  11. Cringe. By your logic, when we play shite, fans of lower league clubs shouldn't talk about it even amongst themselves.
  12. A "powerful message"? By changing the shirt colour tone slightly? Ridiculous. Hummel say "we do not wish to be visible", yet the logo's still there on the shirt, same size and position. When would we ever talk about Hummel? This is just a cynical marketing move.
  13. ohmelads


    It's like he is saying "I can't work with this type of player, no matter what he does. Sorry, he can't work with my system". It's his job to build the best team with the pool of talent we have. There's no chance he'll admit he's wrong now and call him up to the world cup for his 2nd cap. Going by Southgate's past quotes and how he's set the team up in tournaments with two defensive midfielders, I think he believes that the best way to win tournaments is to shithouse your way through it. Be hard to beat and hope you can nick a goal or win the shootout. To some extent, Italy did just that in Euro 2020, scraping through games against the better sides and winning the semis and final on penalties. Spain absolutely dominated them in the semis, but went out on pens. It was an Italy side that failed to quality for the world cup before it, and the world cup after it, but somehow they found a way through the three big games they had in Euro 2020. I feel Southgate sees that as the template for England. I hope he's right, but I'm not sure if Italy set out to do it that way. They played very good football in the group stage, and adapted when they needed to. We seem to set up negatively from the outset.
  14. ohmelads


    Think the praise he's had and the criticism are both fair. We haven't scored in 500 minutes now. He's picked 12 defenders in a squad lacking creativity, and sticks with the likes of Maguire and Grealish, who can't get a game and are low on confidence, but can't see any place in a big squad for someone like Maddison, who has been in top form for ages and brings attributes the team badly need. I get that you can't always just pick form players or you'd chop and change your XI every time, and you need players you trust to fit into a system. But what kind of message does it send to the group when you clearly have your favourites who have barely kicked a ball all season and walk into your team? I used to like the fact Southgate didn't let the media and fans dictate his selection, but by stubbornly sticking with the same group, it's now too late to call in players who deserve their chance because he "doesn't know them". Maddison for example has 1 cap for England.
  15. See the Chronicle claiming he basically destroyed the world 10K record "Nonetheless, Newcastle's talisman sharing an encouraging video running on the treadmill this morning. The 25-year-old was dripping with sweat as he posted a video of a 10.85km run in the impressive time of 27.44 minutes."
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