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On 23/04/2022 at 18:11, WillDanceForChocolate said:

Part 1 – The Player


Howe moved to the Bournemouth area as a child and was raised by a single mother in a close-knit family along with brothers and sisters (can’t recall how many exactly right now), one of whom is Steve Lovell (a half-brother), who also became a professional footballer.


He signed for the Cherries youth team and graduated to the first team where he was a classy ball playing centre back. In 90s England in the third tier, they were perhaps not the most valued commodity. I think his height counted against him as a defender but suspect if he was a player now he would be far more appreciated and would have moved up the divisions far quicker. It was a different game back then!


Still, his reading of the game, quick thinking and ability on the ball didn’t go completely unnoticed and he was called up to the England U21 squad and played a couple of matches for them at the Toulon tournament. It’s hard to express the kind of pride you feel at a club like ours when something like that happens. Normally anyone of any potential was sold the summer after they first showed promise and so we never got to see them represent the country whilst still in our colours. Add in the fact that the club was a financial basket case at the time (a legacy of the Redknapp era. I’m sure you’re all shocked by that), so the youth setup was as cheap and basic as it came. Those working in it did wonders with what they were given.


So yeah, as a die-hard AFCB fan it was a special moment to see him line up for England whilst still our player.


For whatever reason, he was never signed by a team further up until Uncle ‘Arry, then manager at second tier Portsmouth, stepped in and took him and another promising youngster we’d picked up from Arsenal, Richard Hughes in a double deal. Howe was valued at £400k, still a steal, and Hughes as £50k. I don’t know if Arsenal had a sell-on clause for Hughes and Harry did his old club a favour but it did seem a little lopsided.


To me it felt inevitable that Howe’s qualities would shine at a higher level where more football was played but disaster struck. In his debut Howe suffered a bad knee injury and was out for the season. The following season he came back but on the first match there he did his knee again and was again out for the season.


He was loaned back to us to get some fitness but you could see he wasn’t the same. All the promise of a higher level career looked like it may have passed him due to those injuries but maybe he could still do a job. Still, it was a pleasure to see him in an AFCB shirt again, even on loan.


Then something special happened. The club had bounced from one financial disaster to another, even when the legacy of Redknapp was gone part of the stadium was condemned and we had no choice to rebuild it which again put us heavily in debt. Essentially, we only signed players on free transfers but the club got wind that Portsmouth would let Eddie come back to us but wanted a token fee of £20k.


That’s money we didn’t have. However, the club chairman at that time engaged and posted on a fans forum like this one (now defunct and replaced by a different one so I can’t link to it) and told us we could get him back but we needed to raise the money.


I know there is this vision of what Bournemouth is like as an area but most fans are just normal people in normal jobs. There is wealth in the area but that’s often in the pockets of people who move there from other parts of the country. Your average AFCB fan is no more wealthy than fans of most other clubs, and had been putting coins in buckets to help the club survive for a number of years already.


Still the call went out and with £10 from one person, £50 from the next and £20 from the next the money started to climb. It was crowd-funding before crowd-funding was a thing. Kind of funny that, in a sense, it was real crowd funding. Anyway, it was known as Eddie-Share and between us the inhabitants of that fans forum managed to scrape together the £20k to re-sign him.


I tell you all this so you get a sense of how special he was to us. Not only did he come through our system, play for England whilst playing for us but we, the fans, raised the funds to sign him back. He was our player. The connection was something a little bit extra.


Eddie went on to play another 50-odd times for us and we were grateful to have him. There was missed potential there. A career that could have been. However, I was glad to see him back in the red and black but in the end the legacy of those injuries was too much and he retired young. About 29 or 30 if memory serves.


On 23/04/2022 at 18:12, WillDanceForChocolate said:

Part 2 – The Baby Faced Manager

I need to give a little background on what was happening at the club here. The aforementioned club Chairman had tried to resolve the club debts created by rebuilding the stadium by doing a sale-and-leaseback on the stadium. Sadly, it turned out he was better at crowd-funding than business since he didn’t realise we’d have to pay VAT on the sale so the club sold their only asset and still had a 7 figure debt.


In the end it got too much and we fell into administration again. This was at a time when the Football League was desperately trying to make example cases out of clubs that had financial difficulties and they really went after us with a vengeance. That season we got a 10 point deduction and went down on the last day of the season after a 0-0 away to Carlisle. The only positive from that season had been the emergence of a young talent from the youth team called Sam Vokes. Sold for a song that summer, much more in line with what usually happened with young players.


Then the Football League announced we’d start the next season on -17 points. The manager was sacked (possibly harshly since we were only relegated due to the points deduction) and Jimmy Quinn was appointed, a lower league long ball specialist of a manager. The thing is, we know who we are at AFCB. A small club in the lower tiers. The only thing we ever really demanded from our managers was they try to play football. Of course, you need to mix it up a bit in the lower leagues but generally our managers have always tried to pass the ball. Sometimes that’s a horrific thing to watch with footballers of that standard but that’s our identity. The fans hounded out Tony Pulis as the manager, his first managerial appointment (sorry about that, I guess we’re responsible for him) because of his style of football. So whilst the hierarchy thought Quinn was the man to battle us out of trouble, it was never a comfortable fit.


It went badly. Come the year end we’d only averaged a point a game and had looked utterly terrible. Fortunately, some other teams were doing badly so there was still hope but I can’t express how dark those days were. The worst football I’ve ever witnessed us play, with all joy and hope drained from the experience of watching. Quinn was sacked.


There was no money for a manager. Zero. So the club did the only thing they could and gave it to the youth team coach Eddie Howe. He was 31 and the brief was simple – if the club went down we’d go bust and cease to exist. No pressure.


Meanwhile, the ownership of the club was a muddy mess with various parties, none of whom had any money, vying to take control. I won’t go into all the comings and goings, just know that about six weeks later the club was in the hands of Eddie Mitchell.


Mitchell was a ‘colourful’ local builder who ran a company called Seven Developments. So named because his previous six companies all went under leaving suppliers in the lurch. The Mitchell-Howe relationship was one of the most uncomfortable combinations I’ve seen in football since they presented themselves in the complete opposite way. One calm and clear, seemingly wise beyond his young years. The other brash and bolshy, which would later cause problems.


Howe inherited his assistant from Jimmy Quinn as there was no money to sack him. Another former Cherry’s player, although only ever lower league quality, Jason Tindall came with the job. I guess you could call it a lucky break at a time we weren’t getting many of those.


The turnaround wasn’t instant, not by a long chalk but he did manage to pick up a few players on free transfers that changed the whole feeling around the club (sound familiar yet? Apart from the free transfer bit…).


At this point I want to point to the integrity he brings to a managers role. This isn’t something we were aware of at the time, but it did later come to light. I’ve not been short in pointing out how we had no money. Howe and Tindall identified they needed some help with strength and conditioning but there was no way to pay for someone. They discussed it and decided as a pair, if they were going to try and do this they would give it everything and so they dipped into their personal savings to hire a strength and conditioning coach.


Let’s remember at this point you’re talking about two guys who didn’t make much money from the game. They had young families and mortgages to pay but they still did it. They made that choice as it was the right one for the players for whom they were responsible. I damn well love that about the pair of them.


The results started to turn but the performances were from a different planet and, in the end, we survived. And as AFCB fans, we had some hope for the first time in a long time as Howe seemed to have something about him. That isn’t hindsight, just go back and read what was being said at the time.


The Football League were a little miffed that we didn’t get relegated as that was the obvious intention so we got hit with a transfer embargo for the next season. You might think it’s the usual paranoia from fans but let me share a little insight into how vindictive they were. We tried to sign a non-league player on a free that Howe and his team had identified as having great potential but the Football League refused. That player was Charlie Austin. Now we can see it as a sign of Howe’s ability to spot potential.


In fact, we had 20 pros on the books and weren’t allowed to sign anyone on a permanent deal or even on loan. That 20 included 3 keepers, one of which was a youngster who would likely not play that season. So we asked the Football League if we released a player, could we sign a replacement. The answer came back as yes and so that young keeper was released. Really harsh on him, but the club was desperate for outfield bodies.


We then went back to the Football League and told them who we wanted to sign and they said they’d changed their minds. Presumably because he would have been a bit good at League 2 level. The player in question was Steve Lovell, who I mentioned way back, Howe’s half brother. He was coming back from injury and was available for free but had done alright as a player in Scotland. When they refused to let us sign him, Lovell then offered to play for us for free as he wanted to help out his family and it would be a good shop window for him. No signing on fee, no wages. The Football League still said no, so there was a clear agenda there. It wasn’t related to the finances at all.


Meanwhile that season in League 2 also featured Notts County appointing Sven as their manager and signing Sol Campbell, amongst a lot of other (relatively) extravagant football spending. Hmm.


Anyway, back to Howe as that’s why you’re here. This is when he came into his own. The guy has done a lot for my club but I don’t think he will ever top what he achieved that season. We attacked that season, going for the wins with verve and flair. This was League 2 and we were trying to out-football teams that wanted to clog their way through the match. The mismatch in style on the pitch was sometimes hilarious.


46 matches when you have 19 players was a stretch though. Injuries quickly started to mount. We ended up having to get a note from the Headmaster of a local school so one of the kids attending there could play for us. That was Jayden Stockley, then 16 years old and now still playing in the football league. Yet another early sign of Howe’s ability to spot a player early.


It’s hard to convey the feelings that season brought about. I saw an AFC Bournemouth team start matches with essentially nobody on the bench and four of the starting eleven playing out of position. A central midfielder at right back, striker on the wing etc. Because there was nobody else. And yet you could see those players wanted to play for him and somehow we looked brilliant.


In the end the Football League relented as it started to look ridiculous, and we did get a couple of emergency loans since we were in danger of not being able to put out an XI. And somehow, we got promoted, finishing second behind that free-spending Notts County team.


I’m going to say it again. What Howe achieved that season was miraculous. We all knew he was something special by then. The commentary was ‘enjoy it whilst it lasts because he won’t be here for long’. Exciting and successful football in League 2 with a team that probably anyone else would have got relegated. I still shake my head about it.


There was something else we started to notice. Players were making huge improvements under him. Those who ‘had potential’ were suddenly looking like a players who ‘had it’. For example, since he joined, Brett Pitman had gone from youth team graduate who might one day score a few to a lethal hitman (at that level).


So we’re back in League One with Howe at the helm. Let’s be honest, that’s our level. I know who we are and I’ll support us regardless but it was a joyous feeling to be there again and to have a manager that had such a connection with the fans.


The Football League couldn’t punish us for a fourth season but they did manage to pull one more hit at us out of the bag. We were allowed to sign players again and so we picked up Marc Pugh on a free transfer from Hereford. As he was under 24 and the clubs couldn’t agree a fee it went to a tribunal.


We all know now how those work – the fee is not meant to be the transfer value of the player but instead related to the amount of time a club has spent developing the player set against the wider transfer costs at that time. There’s more to it but that’s the short version. Pugh had been in League 2 with Hereford for one season yet somehow the tribunal came up with a fee of £100k, way beyond what the club were expecting. Remember how I said the owner had no money? He flipped out at that.


Three games into the season, Brett Pitman was sold to Championship side Bristol City for about £800k to make up for this ‘loss’ and Howe was told there was no money to buy a replacement. So Eddie did what Eddie does and looked around the squad to see who he could repurpose. There was a 20 year old youth team graduate winger on the books called Josh McQuoid who had scored 1 goal in 52 league games for us. Howe made him the man to replace Pitman (about 32 goals in his previous 52 league games).


It looked barmy to us fans but McQuoid suddenly started scoring. He’d reached 9 goals in 17 league games in League One by mid-November, and AFCB were right up there in the promotion battle. Howe had us attacking teams and was shaping the squad into an image he wanted. It felt like the opposition didn’t quite know what to make of us as we were a ragtag bunch of players performing so far above their level it was crazy.


Enter Eddie Mitchell, club owner once again. Championship side Millwall thought they’d get a march on everyone else with this hot new striking talent who nobody had heard of a couple of months back and bought Josh McQuoid in November for £500k. Back then there was a loophole where you could sign a player on loan and then complete the deal when the window opened.


I know these numbers seem small fry to you, but the Pitman sale at the time was probably our biggest ever. Add to that, in a few months Howe had turned a player who hadn’t shown two much potential into a half a million pound player. It felt like the owner was seeing £££ signs on the pitch and wanted to cash in quick.


Once again Howe was told none of the money was available to buy a replacement and he had to manage with what he had. I know you thought Ashley was bad but…


It was a conundrum and this is again where you can see the vision of Howe. He considered all the options and then picked a guy from the youth team squad and started playing him as the striker. He was 17 or 18 at the time and had been signed after being released by the Southampton system but there was no big hype about him in the way close followers of a team know which youngsters may be coming through. He’d been on loan at Dorchester for his first ever senior matches when we recalled him and threw him into the cauldron of a League 1 promotion chase.


Wow, was he raw when he started playing for us. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who wondered if maybe Howe had made an error this time. Yet, even though the goals weren’t coming – he made some shocking misses in fact - Howe stuck to his guns as he felt this was the guy that could make the difference this season. Even if he really needed a couple of years development still, needs must.


That young striker is called Danny Ings. Easy to say now but I can tell you having seen him live at the time it was an incredible spot to say he could be the one to fill that gap.


Come January, we’re 3rd in the table and right in the shake up but Howe is now being chased by numerous clubs since he was making serious money from players nobody heard of and still getting results on the pitch.


Charlton definitely made him an offer. Also Crystal Palace, then struggling at the bottom of the Championship, made moves for him IIRC. The one he went for in the end was Burnley, who’d been relegated from the Premier League and needed to get a bunch of high earners off the books but also make a tilt at going back up.


There was a lot of talk about the breakdown in the relationship between Eddie Mitchell and Eddie Howe but I have to be realistic. Given the setup then, he was always going to move on to somewhere bigger.


On 23/04/2022 at 18:12, WillDanceForChocolate said:

Part 3 – The Burnley Interlude

Not too much Howe stuff here but some important info for what was to come.


Burnley fans have mostly been less than complimentary about his time there as the team were too defensively frail. Sometimes managers fit certain clubs and I guess he wasn’t for them.


His replacement at AFCB managed to keep the momentum going somewhat and we finished in the playoffs, going out on penalties after a 3-3 draw with Huddersfield. That summer the team was dismantled, with players sold left, right and centre as the owner took what value he could get. Danny Ings was sold to Howe at Burnley as he knew how good he might become.


Worth noting Howe also signed Charlie Austin for Burnley, although by then the fee was over £1 million.


With none of the money being made available for signings, and ‘our’ manager now out of the picture things turned toxic. Eddie Mitchell was discovering that whilst Howe might magic replacement players out of thin air, that wasn’t a normal thing in football and the new manager couldn’t do it. The atmosphere between Mitchell and the fans got quite rough. At one time Mitchell went on the pitch after a match, got hold of the PA mic and asked a fan from the crowd to come on the pitch and fight him. He also got banned from 5Live for repeatedly swearing on 606.


Talk about a crash after a high.


Then everything changed at AFCB, and this is where the Eddie Mitchell legacy gets complicated. I mentioned he had the a building firm. Well, he’d built and sold a house to a wealthy Russian in Sandbanks and started inviting him to games. This Russian had invested in a Russian club and a German one and was a huge fan of the exciting football that he’d watched being played under Eddie Howe. Despite Howe no longer being there, Mitchell managed to sell 50% of the club to him and he made money available for transfers.


Never had I felt such frustration. We had the manager and the money, but they’d missed each other by nine months. The club started throwing money around in the most random, scattergun fashion. You’re used to seeing bad signings that cost money. Every club has them. We weren’t used to seeing signings that cost money so what happened was so painful. I won’t bore you with the details but I could write thousands of words in this part.


The manager handed the poison chalice of following Howe was sacked and the job of galvanising this team of random signings was given to Paul Groves. The club finished midtable and continued the transfer profligacy that summer. This was by far the most expensive AFC Bournemouth team ever assembled. In fact, it almost definitely cost more than all the previous teams put together in all our history. By October, Groves had us in the relegation zone and, reportedly, Demin was less than impressed at how his money was being spent, at the boring football that was being served up and at the fact we were losing so much.


The decree was set. He wanted to see Eddie Howe style football again and Mitchell was instructed to bring him back ‘whatever it cost’.


Meanwhile, things weren’t going so well at Burnley. The fans had turned on him and Eddie was struggling to deal with personal tragedy. I mentioned before how close his family were and how his mother raised them all alone. Sadly, she had died and he felt he needed to be near to his brothers and sisters. So a deal was struck that suited all parties. Eddie dropped down a division into a relegation battle, Burnley moved on and found a manager that delivered the kind of football their fans wanted and AFC Bournemouth paid a reputed £1 million in compensation. Which was a mad amount, but as fans we didn’t care.


On 23/04/2022 at 18:12, WillDanceForChocolate said:

Part 4 – The Return of the King

You know how fickle fans can be? The change in atmosphere was incredible. The stadium that first game Howe was back was absolutely rocking. No matter we were in a battle at the bottom and were playing undefeated Tranmere. At least, they were undefeated until the end of that match as we ran out 3-1 winners.


It’s easy to say now, with hindsight, that some of the money that had been sprayed around had been spent well when you look at the careers of the players. I think that does a disservice to what Howe did for them since they looked terrible until he arrived back. He developed them. He saw their potential. He made them into what they became. Players who has a career drifting away, like Simon Francis, players who’d fallen into non-league and were hoping for a second chance, like Harry Arter, players who’d been released by a top club and were facing a lower league career, like Charlie Daniels, players deemed not good enough for the Championship by Brighton, like Tommy Elphick or Steve Cook. I’m not sure any of them would have ended up in the Premier League without Howe. And that’s just a selection.


On the subject of Elphick, he once gave an interview where he talked about speaking with some of the players still at AFCB under Howe after he left. He told them something along the lines of ‘Make the most of it whilst you’re there. I never had anything like that before I joined and I never saw anything like that anywhere else after I left. The way the training is done and the way you’re handled as a player is something else. Really, make the most of it’.


Momentum is a funny thing in football, and ours had just about-faced completely. We started winning and chasing down the teams above us. More than that, Howe’s team played this wonderful football to watch. It was a genuine pleasure. Back on the high again, after the fall.


It came to the last game of the season and the relegation team he’d taken over were now top of the table with a match to play. Sadly, we only managed to draw and something crazy happened in 2nd v 3rd. Brentford, in 3rd and needing a win, got a penalty in injury time which they needed to score to go up. They hit the bar, the ball went up the other end and Doncaster scored the winner to deny us the title. Football, eh? Still, Howe had taken us to the second tier for only the second time in our history.


That first season in the Championship was a learning curve. We still went after teams relentlessly attacking them but often got found out at the back. It was definitely a big step up and you could see he was still searching for a solution to the problem that had cost him at Burnley.


There was also another misstep from Howe. He went transfer shopping overseas, possibly for the first time, and broke our transfer record to sign Tokelo Rantie. TK was a big flop and, I think, one of the reasons why for a long time after Howe restricted the vast majority of his signings to players who had already played in English football.


In the January window, Howe signed Yann Kermorgant from fellow Championship team Charlton. He was in his 30s and their new owners wanted to sign young players with sell on value and not give multi-year contracts to older players. So we got him for a song and he was transformative for us.


Up until then, tactically Howe had been relatively rigid in his 4-4-2 style. There was obviously a lot more to it than that, but that was the base around everything was built. Yann fit that withdrawn striker role in the front 2 perfectly and we went from lower mid-table to a late run towards the play off places, just missing out.


That summer the coaching team sat down and tried to come up with a way of addressing the defensive issues that we were having in the second tier, and that Howe has faced at Burnley. The solution they came up with? Attack more.


They wanted to push the players even further onto the front foot in the belief it would pin the opposition back and make them more afraid to attack. Pretty brave for someone with defensive problems.


I should make an aside point here about Howe. He’s always been looking to learn from others. Early in his career, he asked then Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers if he could come and watch him work. That takes a certain humbleness and recognition of your faults to be able to do. Rodgers was, apparently, very generous with his time and with what he shared. Howe would also travel to other clubs in Europe to spend time with their managers. He definitely spent time in Spain and Italy but not with the teams you’d imagine. A quick hunt has just confirmed in Italy in 2015 he visited Empoli to watch their then manager Maurizio Sarri do his thing. The man never stops.


That summer, our main striker had a release clause which was triggered by Norwich (Lewis Grabban) and Howe used that money to replace him with a young guy that had played one decent season in League One – Callum Wilson.


To describe the season as champagne overlooks how nervy it was at times. The new approach was incredible to watch. When it clicked, we destroyed teams. 8-0 away to Birmingham, for example. But there were plenty of games where we simply couldn’t get it in the net and the opposition would take advantage of us having poured forward.


I think Howe recognised it wasn’t perfect but believed it was what gave us the best chance. Meanwhile, we were still a third tier club in the eyes of many of the opposition and they simply underestimated us, or rather Howe.


On 23/04/2022 at 18:12, WillDanceForChocolate said:

Part 5 – The End and Some Final Thoughts


I’m not sure how much value there is for you lot in my going on about the Premier League years. By now he was on the radar and you’ll be aware of many things. However, there were huge structural challenges in managing a club of our size in the Premier League which normally gets overlooked, and people are beyond harsh when they talk about his transfer record which when you really examine it was still pretty incredible when you consider he was signing players for bloody AFC Bournemouth. He was also having to, slowly but surely, replace a League One team with players that were genuine Premier League players.


The season we went down, many things conspired against him. Not least of which being that Scottish git. I wish you well as fans but as long as he’s on your books, it will always be through gritted teeth. At the same time we have to recognise he was looking exhausted. He’d kept us up for five seasons through the strength of his personality but his insistence of doing so much himself was starting to impact.


This is where you can do better with him. You have the facilities, the youth system, the coaching staff, the support staff. He doesn’t need to build everything from scratch, and then rebuild and expand it again two or three years later as the club gets bigger. I think, in the end, he needed help and we weren’t able to provide it for him. Or he didn’t know how to ask for it. Most likely a combination of the two.


I said right back at the start I needed to do this for cathartic reasons. To get him out of my system. The man changed the face of what it means to be an AFC Bournemouth fan. Before he too over, I never watched our matches with anything in mind beyond hoping we might get a season here or there in the second tier and maybe a giant killing in the cup sometime. That was cool, I wasn’t watching football for the glory. Now I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. I know we’re still a third tier club on holiday but, at the same time, everything has changed. It isn’t often one man gets to shift the perspective of a whole fan base but he did that.


For the naysayers who claim it was all down to Demin’s money, I just point back to that League 2 promotion. And the likely League 1 promotion if he hadn’t moved on to Burnley. It was mental.


Even after I’ve written this I still struggle to forgive the people in power who let him leave when, by accounts, he was prepared to stay. Ironically, the club Technical Director reportedly involved in that is Richard Hughes. The very same player signed by Portsmouth at the same time as him. Nobody can say for sure what happens behind the scenes at a club, but that’s the rumour that circulates.


So Newcastle fans. If you managed to wade through all that good on you. Please cherish Howe since we’ll never forget him. From the AFCB player representing England U21s to the player we signed with cash from our wallets through the manager that steam-rollered us through the divisions, both with spending money and without, he’s a legend to us.


Where the money comes from that he spends for you isn’t for me to comment on. I find it hard to feel any sympathy for clubs that screwed up the balance in English football in order to create a cartel for themselves that controls all the success then try to take the moral high ground when another club is suddenly enriched and can challenge them.


Handling the big personalities that arrive for big fees alongside delivering against the expectations of your owners will be the challenge in the next 12-18 months. He walked into a classic Howe ‘need to galvanise the team’ situation and has done a classic Howe job. Even if the success doesn’t come quick enough for your owners, I get the feeling he’s already done enough that the Burnley misstep will be overlooked and he’ll be a Premier League manager somewhere or other for many years to come. If it’s with you then that means you’re winning stuff. I’m more than happy to see that… if he moves Fraser on first.


Enjoy the ride. And look after him for us.


(if this doesn’t make sense in places or has terrible spelling/grammar then please be kind. It was written as a stream of consciousness and now it’s out of my system I don’t have it in me to go back and correct it)

Some read, these.

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31 minutes ago, Neil said:

Imagine being a Liverpool fan who waited at 4am to get picked up by a coach that never existed to scramble to Paris across the Channel to spend hours waiting to get in to not watch your team get beat, and your reward is getting tear gassed.


Chef's kiss.





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52 minutes ago, joeyt said:

Just heard them saying that The Queen dying could help them because it will speed up Stuarts return


They really are living in the 17th Century


From the mackem thread. Honestly appalling that this got no love

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10 hours ago, Shak said:

I have some theories and I hope you'll indulge me once more.


The first thing we need to look at is the heinous movement that took place yesterday, ultimately leading to the removal of our dear and faithful friend Troll.


Now some would doubtless speculate that I myself should bear some responsibility for this and while there are reasonable arguments to be made for such I don't think it points to me being a traitor. Naive? Maybe. Unhinged? Likely. But a traitor? Impossible.


Me loudly coming out to lead the movement to take down Troll doesn't make sense if I'm a traitor. As soon as he's revealed to be faithful it looks really bad for me and it would be stupid for me to put myself in that position.


Of course, it could be a double bluff. Would I go to that much trouble if I was a traitor? Absolutely. Have I in this case? No.


Of course, I can't prove any of this yet. I'll just have to ask you to trust me. I feel I've earned that.


What I do think we can look at is some of the first people that jumped on the bandwagon and made Troll the runaway leader yesterday.


That these three so readily jumped on such an obviously ludicrous theory seems suspect to me. Traitors will have known Troll was a faithful and would I'm sure have been thrilled to see an experienced and active faithful be banished so possibly quickly jumped on the chance?


In the case of Liquid AK, I believe he had backed up some of the theories previously and is quite active in the thread so less of a surprise. Troll did warn us about AK towards the end yesterday though, we should not forget.


Minhosa is suspicious as he talks about my post backing up his theory of Troll trying to lead the pack on conspiracy theories... yet Minhosa said nothing about these theories of his in the thread. He did vote for Troll both days though, perhaps a traitor looking to get rid of a strong player he knew to be faithful?


Interpolic happily hopping on board seems a shade out of character for him, does it not? Not highly suspicious per se but for someone I see as being quite cynical he's quite eager to accept such a fanciful theory IMO.


Also feel that this deserves a mention.



This came hot on the heels of Troll questioning Coco and was perhaps the action of a man realising that Troll was on to him and needed to be silenced?


Then there are some other curiosities.


I can't for the life of me figure out what Branko was doing yesterday with the Troll PM business, attempting to get IP out. On the face of it, it seems like a traitor move... however as time wore on it became more and more evident that Branko didn't really have a plan. Or at least not one that we could see. We're either dealing with someone so crafty that his motives can't be figured out or someone so utterly bereft of intellect that he himself has no idea what he's doing.


I also feel Beren has been suspiciously quiet. A few of the NFL fantasy football people have pointed out that I'm an obsessive lunatic and while I won't actually deny it I'll point out that Beren is the only other person who takes it anywhere near as seriously as I do. It does strike me that this game should be right up his alley as he's a cunning and devious fellow yet he seems very passive so far when I'd have expected him to be posting a lot. Of course, he may be busy with real life but who's to say?


Also think Froggy is a quieter than I expected. Plenty of posts in the thread, but not a lot of substance. Happy enough to let it pass him by, almost. Like Beren, I expected him to be far more active. He lacks the intelligence of Beren, obviously, but his great gift is that he's not aware of that and so I would have anticipated him being more forthcoming with theories and such.


I have some other minor thoughts but I don't want to seem verbose so I'll leave it there for now.


:lol: Every paragraph



Edited by Super Duper Branko Strupar

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  • 2 weeks later...


Just enjoyed of the most soothing/chucklesome five minutes of my life. He's some fucking boy, wor Mike.


Saw the ending coming a mile away, mind, just amazed it took four minutes for it to begin.

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44 minutes ago, Rich said:


Just enjoyed of the most soothing/chucklesome five minutes of my life. He's some fucking boy, wor Mike.


Saw the ending coming a mile away, mind, just amazed it took four minutes for it to begin.

[emoji38][emoji38] fucking brilliant. 

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