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  1. These were the pre-season questions, and their answers can be found here, Any follow up Qs you want me to ask?
  2. Gone Fishing Everton (a) 30/09/2013 It's that time again, I risked life and limb (my delicate feelings) to ask questions of the fans of the next club to host Newcastle. This time round it's the Toffeemen of Everton. One of England's glorious old clubs, with a history that rivals all but the biggest of the big guns (15 trophies, no less! 4 more trophies than we've got and one as recently as 18yrs ago ) and a support with a decent reputation for knowledge and balance. So to put that reputation to the test, I asked the good people of The Everton Forum to answer the questions below: You impressed a lot of people with the late dealings, which is the signing you are most pleased with? Walker - Has to be Lukaku. Some rumbled that we shouldn't be developing other teams youngsters but if he scores loads of goals and fires us higher than last season I won't care one bit. Floody – Lukaku on the basis that we have struggled to score goals and have therefore drawn too many games that we should have won Dom – Keeping Baines was our most important business of the window, he's obscenely good, so much of our play is created by him. He's special. Matty – Lukaku on loan probably. Buggrit Hall – Lukaku can hopefully become one hell of a striker for us but I think Barry will become a very important part of the team too. Squirrel – Lukaku easily jon – Lukaku. As has been said he's exactly the forward we've needed for so long. I know it's only a season long loan but still.. McLovin –Lukaku. Massive signing. We were crying out for goals last year. If he can repeat what he did at west brom we'd be delighted. Also Barry. Brings some much need experience into the middle and a calm head. Wasn't a fan by any means but impressed so far Dodge – Keeping Leighton Baines terryefc – keeping Baines.....but Barry has been excellent so far. Snoopjiggyjig – Really pleased with Lukaku on loan, but I think Gareth Barry will be a really important signing this season. He is always viewed as a slow, shit footballer, but he just links up play so well. Jimbo – Gotta be Lukaku, although only on loan - we've needed a decent striker for decades. He looks like he could really give us something to work with this season. No great surprises there then, Lukaku is a tremendous talent; the 6'3" Belgian powerhouse scored 17 goals for West Brom last term and was considered a pivotal reason that they did so well. It's madness to see a Chelsea side that's struggling up front to let such an on-form player go out on loan. Less said about Baines the better, a great fullback and arguably the best from a free kick in the League. I have nightmares about just how dry-bummed Debuchy is going to get. Given that, what's a realistic aim for your team this season? Walker - Challenge for Europe. People might be saying we've been overachieving for years and we have in money spent, but this season we've got the bloody good team we had last season and a better squad. No reason not to expect a decent finish around 6th. Floody – I thinks 6th is a realistic aim. Dom – Realistic aim would be 6th I think. Liverpool are still shite so we should be able to finish above them, the top 5 seems pretty impenetrable at the minute though. Matty – I'd hope that we could get at least to the semi-finals in the FA Cup or at least give the cup a go, and probably a top 7 finish. Buggrit Hall – The team is at least as good as last year so given the squad - and Martinez's tactical mentality I'd expect 6th-8th although winning the League Cup this year might be a little difficult! Squirrel – top 8 jon – Realistically I'll be happy to finish 8th or above this season. After 10 years of Moyes there's bound to be a few hiccups as we adapt to the new regime. Dodge – Probably 7th but would love another crack at Europe and the mad places the Europa League allows you to visit :-) terryefc – 5th or 6th Snoopjiggyjig – I think top half, although we should aim for Europe Jimbo – If the shite are pushing to win the league - then so should we. in reality - i can't see why we shouldn't push for 6th or a the FA cup. Everton have a new manager and have lost a key player in Fellaini, despite this the loyal fans still expect a European push. Can they do it? Sure why not? No club has a divine right to a league position (despite the red-flavoured scousers would have you believe). You'd expect a top 5 to include the Manchester Clubs, the North London Clubs and Chelsea too. That would have the two Merseyside clubs scrapping for the 6th spot with the likes of Swansea, West Brom and arguably teams like Villa and ourselves. I'd say that they're certainly stronger than that group, but whether that translates to the pitch is a different question. What if Lukaku is recalled at Christmas? What if Baines finally succumbs to the lure of Champions League football? What if Kenwright looks to save a bit more cash and turns the Gwladys end into a Lidl? 6th is a reasonable aim, but I think it may prove too much for Martinez in his first year in charge. Given that Moyes quickly turned Fellaini's head and Rodwell went to Manchester City the season before, just how confident are you of keeping your remaining outstanding players come January? Walker - Baines? I'm not so sure. Maybe. Barkley, couple of seasons and he'll be off. Floody – My only worry is that we keep Baines as he is so important to the team. Rarely gets injured, solid at the back, creates chances and vital at set pieces. I would not confident that he would not be tempted by a move to a Champions League team Dom – Very. Baines is ready to sign a new contract and Barkley doesn't seem the type to leave, with Gerrard in his ear to stay, I can't see him leaving. We said that about Rooney though. Matty – Fairly, Baines needs to be signed up on a long contract pronto, he's absolutely excellent. Buggrit Hall – Hopefully Barkley will stay for a few seasons at least the interesting one is whether or not Baines stays (or indeed signs a new deal). Squirrel – very can't see anyone leaving jan jon – Fellaini was always going to move on but I think he handled it professionally. Baines is the one to worry about in January; the talk of a new contract has died down a little which is a bit of a concern. McLovin – January very confident. In the summer. Not so much. There wasn't many that minded Roswell going. We got good money. Probably same could be said about Fellaini too Dodge – These days I'm never confident about that, kind of accept it and move on. terryefc – No worries...Felli was always gonna go to someone...I think we should be well placed by January so this should see everyone wanting to stay. If Madrid came in for Baines I wouldn't stand in his way but any other English team can do one. Snoopjiggyjig – Leighton Baines will be a struggle, I think he will go personally. Shame really as he is a star! I think we will keep hold of Ross Barkley for a few years. I can't see anyone else leaving of any use. Jimbo – I think Fellaini has sort of wanted to take the next step for a while and would have gone if an offer had been put in before. I think we have strong enough finances now so we don't have to sell. If we do sell, it'll be for the right money and to add to the strength of the team. Everton are in a similar, but not identical, position to ourselves. They know that if the massive clubs come sniffing around their players, there isn't much they can offer/promise/do to hold onto them. Baines has been on Manchester United's radar for ages and surely now that Moyes is there Leighton will find saying no even harder? The Everton fans all seem fairly pragmatic about the whole thing, and given they've lost star after star, you can understand why. After a fairly solid if unspectacular start, what do you think of Martinez, can he take you further than Moyes did? Walker - I think a lot of our fans were underwhelmed when he came in and that included myself, although a good pre-season and his media qualities really endeared himself to the fans. Now we're unbeaten in the league and looking good, just missing one too many chances and letting the odd sloppy goal in. Need Lukaku to take chances and the sloppy goals won't matter. Floody – Too early to judge yet. He inherited a solid defence which was always his problem at Wigan. I must admit I was disappointed with his weakened team selection in the League Cup game at Fulham. We are crying out for a trophy at Everton and this was a wasted opportunity to progress Dom – He's fantastic. No doubt in my mind he can take us further than Moyes did, he was tactically inept and far too negative to ever progress us futher than he did, his last 2 years he was holding us back. Matty – I feel he probably can if he's given the financial backing of the board, however Bill Kenwright is a tight bastard and the money we made from cashing in on Fellaini won't be seen again Buggrit Hall – Fulham aside I wouldn't call it an 'unspectacular' start to the season. Having never been a fan of Moyes's percentage football maybe the start, and style of play, of Martinez's reign might look better to me than it does to others. So long as Martinez has a pair when it comes to more higher pressure games then I'll be happy. Squirrel – err I don't think he will but fingers crossed jon – Well, he''s certainly more outwardly positive than Moyes. I think most fans were somewhat nonplussed at the appointment but he speaks well (if a bit long-winded) and there's been plenty of good signs in the opening few games. At times the play has been a bit too laboured but it's far too early to judge him. A solid enough start, as you say. McLovin – The jury is out. We'll wait and see. (But I'm not waiting another 11 years) Dodge – Juries still out, Given time, which he will need, he might even win us the League cup. Oh, hang on.... terryefc – Yes. He plays to win. Lovely style of football too. Snoopjiggyjig – So far so good imo. If he learns from his mistakes thats all we can hope for. He likes to play football in the right way and the defence is looking solid. Impressed with his dealings in the transfer window and he looks to "Get" the club. I just dont want him to be too nicey nicey Jimbo – I hope once it settles he'll be the fella to push us on. under moyes he sometimes didn't have the balls to make the step up (liverpool semi final, chelsea final, every game at OT, Anfield etc) Generally positive from the Blues, and it's understandable. Martinez has always been respected by football fans; he's genial, he plays an attacking brand of football that's easy on the eye, he's all foreign and exotic isn't he? Moyes has a 42% win rate, Martinez has 36.8%. Did Martinez save Wigan from relegation 3 years in a row? Or did Wigan save Martinez from relegation 3 years in a row? I like him and I hope he does well, he does play nice football and he is genial. I'm just not convinced he's do anything with Everton that Moyes didn't. Pardew tried to spur on the players by denegrating your club before a game, this backfired both on and off the pitch, but how long will you as fans hold it against Pardew or were his words simply unforgiveable? Walker - He's just always been an idiot in the media. Always saying stupid things, moaning when he's losing, coming up with rubbish. The 'We're in a different league to them now' comment just got us angry. Angry Evertonians are the best. Floody – I think most Everton fans will always hold it against him. We are often generous in giving teams credit if they come to Goodison and win in style but we know how to hold a grudge. See Clive Thomas (disallowed winning goal in semi-final), Rafa Benitez (calling Everton a small club early in his reign at Liverpool), Emlyn Hughes (for singing Everton are tragic at European cup home coming) for further details Dom – I'm not arsed what he said, It's not a matter of disliking him for one daft comment, more disliking him because he's a complete and utter gobshite. Do your fans even like him? He's a fucking blurt. Danny-efc – Pardew has always seemed to have it out for Everton, the fucking nonce. Matty – I am vastly indifferent to his existence to be honest. Buggrit Hall – As others have said in many different ways Pardew is a tit. Squirrel – pardew is a cunt.... Always jon – As others have said Pardew comes across as a bellend, reminds me a lot of Phil Brown. Tbh what he said about us didn't really bother me, it just showed him up for what he is. I don't think ours are the first set of fans who's noses he's put out of joint. McLovin – You won't find many positive words about pardew on an everton site. he seems like a bit of a know Dodge – Very poor comments to be honest, but because it was him I never paid too much attention as I think he's a bit of a knobhead. terryefc – He's a bit of a tit and probably won't be there at the end of the season anyway. Snoopjiggyjig – Pardew is a dick. We thought that before these comments. He has a Bendtner size ego! That really was a ridiculous statement though. People forget Everton have won as many titles as Spurs, Man City and Chelsea put together! (We just havent done it for a bloody long time) Jimbo – Pardew is a tit, regardless of what he's said. That's a yes, then. I suppose it's easy from this side of the fence to say that Everton fans shouldn't be so precious as it was obviously just an attempt to encourage our players and plant doubt in the minds of the opposition which went awry. It's easy to say they should just move on, but how did we feel when Ferguson said we were just a small club in the North East? Also, Pardew is that single uncle who comes to family parties and cracks on with the 18yr old lads' girlfriend. He's also the kind of guy that would ask to borrow porn. Realistically both our clubs are lightyears from winning the league, so what counts as success for Everton these days? Walker - A CUP. Floody – Winning a trophy. League Cup or FA Cup. I feel blessed as I am old enough to remember the league winning teams of the 80s and 69/70. I would rather win the FA cup than finish 4th. Dom – Success is and always has been trophies, it's been a sickening amount of time since our last, within the next few years we've got to win one of the cups. Or the champions league or the Ryder cup or the Ashes or fucking something. Matty – I'd really love to see us in Europe again, whether that be Europa League or the Champion's League, I just want a chance of silverware and a few good away days! Buggrit Hall – Pushing as close as possible to top four, holding our own against anyone in the league and winning a trophy or two would be good too. I'm of the belief that I'd give a lower league finish for the FA Cup any day of the week too. Squirrel – we need to win sommet as do you jon – Sucess is winning trophies; everything else is existing i.m.o. Relatively speaking if we did make Europe this season that would be more than I expect, so a success of sorts I suppose. McLovin – We want a trophy. And Europe Dodge – Europa league apparently would be success, I did enjoy our forays abroad I must admit and I think the Evertonians who went on the trips would count them as some of the best times watching the blues in the recent past. terryefc – These days...a European place would be a start. Snoopjiggyjig – Success for us is still winning the league. BUT, in terms of the moment and the current squad, pushing the top 4 and a cup. Jimbo – Silverware and getting back into Europe. Would give us something to build on. It's good to see so many fans resisting the shiny glamour (in the illusion sense of the word) of the Champions League in favour of genuine tangible success. Football is not balance sheets and breaking even, it's not celebrating the fact your team is going to haul themselves from Anderlecht, to Borisov, to Cluj! It's all about silverware and for clubs like ourselves and Everton, the greatest chance we have of lifting a pot are the domestic cups. Which is why it's so infuriating to see weakened sides taking the field. Sky, Talksport, and the other idiotmagnets would have you believe that all Newcastle fans are topless, beerbellied, deluded neanderthals (just as they would have us believe you're all bitter, jobless, tracky-wearing oiks) but what are your cliché-less opinions of Newcastle, of the club, the city and the people? Walker - Honestly, I've only just met one Newcastle fan and but he's one of those that's not really into football properly so haven't talked to him much about it. Never been to the city. I hate the way the media control football so I don't really have any stereotypes of your fans. Floody – I like Newcastle fans as I can remember the big away support that followed the club even when you were struggling. Only been to Newcastle once but found it a friendly place especially when you compare it to southern towns and cities. I think most fans think Newcastle supporters think that the club is bigger than it actually is bearing in mind it is over 50 years since you won anything and are a one club city Dom – I dislike you immensely. The delusion isn't a stereotype, it's dripping in every aspect of your city and club. Matty – You should all pack that Geordie Shore shite in right away. People from Newcastle on the whole that I've met have generally been sound. I have never visited the city however! Buggrit Hall – Same as fans of any club in the main they are normal people who can chat football amiably with you over a pint. There will of course be a minority who give 'their' club a bad name. As a club Newcastle have, and have 'had', potential to be a massive club but are being held back by boardroom shenanigans - bit like Everton really. Squirrel – boss night out jon – I know a few Geordies who live up this way and they're all decent people; no different to us really. Had a few good nights out in Newcastle but the odd spot of trouble too. Can happen in any city though. McLovin – Love the city. Also a great night out. Love the people. But slightly biased as mum was raised and went to school in wallsend Dodge – Newcastle is great, Northumberland is wonderful and I love the accent. NUFC seem to be in a bit of a mess looking in from the outside, if I was a fan I'd be pissed off with all the off the field crap, to be honest, the club are lucky to get the support they do. I like the fact your fans are not deluded, maybe sometimes like most of us you're guilty of expecting more than you get, and less than you deserve. terryefc – always liked Newcastle and their fans who I've always found to be realistic but passionate nonetheless. Pardew won't change my mind about that. Snoopjiggyjig – Newcastle on a nightout can be a nightmare of the most amazing night ever. Depends on which neanderthals are out. The fans are knowledgable and want what is best for the club. They have been treated really badly recently, but often think they are a much bigger club than they are in terms of history. Generally most Newcastle fans I know are decent football loving people. The club should do so much better than it does. The stadium should bring in the right resources to do well. Jimbo – City was absolutely brilliant when i went. got very smashed and full of boss easy women. I only know a few Newcastle fans personally - and they always seem to be insightful and equally as cynical as us Everton fans. As long as everyone stops telling me you're a massive club One or two aside, we're warmly regarded. Anecdotally a lot of other fans say that since relegation the average Newcastle fan has had more humility. I'm not sure if we were ever as deluded as Sky and that conveyor belt of mongs painted us, but at least the reality of the situation is becoming more prevalent. Stereotypes always fascinate me, I have to say the only clubs' fans who've ALL matched their stereotype are the Liverpool and sunderland fans I've met. I know Pre-Abramovic Chelsea fans, humble Manchester United fans, Arsenal fans who aren't just customers, Hell I even know an interesting Villa fan. But all the Liverpool fans have that weird victim complex, truly offended by everything, ashamed of nothing. Oh and the mackems... well what can you say? Under Mike Ashley, Newcastle's ambition appears to be survival and nothing more, given that, where do you see NUFC finishing this season? Walker - Mike Ashley is a tit. I think you'll be alright though, once you get a few good games together and other teams like Cardiff, Hull and Swansea drop off, you'll finish about 10th. Floody – I will go for halfway - 11th Dom – 10th. Ashley is a twat aswell. Matty –7-10th is where Newcastle should be finishing based on the ability of their squad, however, you're a pretty unpredictable club! Buggrit Hall – 12th-16th Squirrel – ran well top ten, if pardew gets carried away bottom half jon – Difficult one given the last few seasons. Probably somewhere 10th-12th. I'm honestly not sure. McLovin – Get remy and cisse scoring together anywhere between 8th and 15th Dodge – God knows, ask me around the start of May, just reckon 10th - 14th but you're certainly capable of better. terryefc – I don't think Pardew has what it takes so you won't be in top 8 - but even he shouldn't put you in relegation troubles. Snoopjiggyjig – Its a mess, Pardew, Ashley and Kinnear. With the players and resources at least mid table. I think you may struggle though. I thought you actually bought well in January. Sissoko could be a really good signing and Ben Arthur and Kebab are good players too. Jimbo – Think while you've got the circus behhind the scenes with JK and AP cocking around you'll be battling for midtable. any form of investment and managerial structure you'd be looking to push for europe again as the basis of the squad isn't far off at all. See, told you they were knowledgeable. All agree that we're stuck in midtable mediocrity, they see we've the players that could take us higher, but we're hamstrung by an average manager, a decrepit DoF and an ambition averse Owner. Newcastle have been in the papers for all the wrong reasons again, what's your take on the Kinnear debacle? Walker - Joke. Funny to watch from the outside. What's his obsession with Kinnear? Just madness. Floody – It is a mistake to bring somebody else in as it undermines the manager's authority. If it was someone like Pep Guardiola then maybe you could justify it but Joe Fuckin' Kinnear? It is lucky for Mike Ashley that Sunderland's bigger problems have taken the focus away from Newcastle recently. The transfer window was not exactly a glowing success for Kinnear or Pardew was it? Dom – You just couldn't make it up. The maniac has been out of football for how long? Not taking into account his still mindboggling stint as your manager. He's so out of touch with football, and reality in general, how the fuck can he have a job like that at any football club that don't get changed in a pub cellar? Your fans need to be causing murder over it, and so does Pardew the coward. Matty – I'm indifferent, Directors of Football exist at various clubs, however, his lack of seeming lack of knowledge and inability to pronounce players names would cause me a lot of concern if I was a Newcastle fan. Buggrit Hall – See the Pardew comment Squirrel – sad to see really, he is a joke jon – As others have said, it's a bit of a circus. Not sure what Ashley was thinking of bringing him in. McLovin – Odd. Just odd. Job for the boys. Seems to serve no purpose what so ever. And as much as I'm not a pardew fan, just seems to undermine his position. Dodge – Farcical - get rid of the clown. terryefc – ridiculous. I think he's been brought in as Ashley got cold feet over the 10 year contract to Pardew and wants a buffer or reason to boot him out if he has to. Snoopjiggyjig – It's like a struggle for power. Ashley wants Pardew out, but probably needs him to walk. Which is strange as they were good mates when he joined. I do feel sorry for Newcastle fans. He is worse than Kenwright. The only good thing he did was lower your wage bill and stop you spending ridiculous money on players! Jimbo – he guy's a clown. the whole process is an absolute circus from beginning to end. No issue with Newcastle or their fans, but it's hilarious to watch from the outside. So far nobody can see a positive to Joe's appointment. They're right though, if this were happening to West Ham it'd be hilarious. But it's not. It's happening to us. This is not a nightmare. We really are this fucked. What's your most memorable game against NUFC? Walker - Can't really remember any. I was at the game when Ben Arfa scored some wondergoal. Was watching when Shearer scored that volly/half-volley that gets replayed all the time on adverts. Floody – Everton 4 Newcastle 4 in the 1970s not long after Gordon Lee had taken over as manager after leaving Newcastle. Dom – When you twatted us 49-0 or whatever it was. That was horrible. Matty – 3-1 at Goodison, Hibbert own goal (last game of the 11/12 season), was sat with two mates who are Newcastle fans, was a good laugh. Buggrit Hall – Opening day of the 87/88 season at Goodison. Squirrel – nothing sticks out as memorable jon – There's two: The first game of the '88-'89 season when Harvey had signed Cottee, Nevin. McDonald & a few others. Cottee got a hat-trick & we were fantastic in a 4-0 victory; Boxing Day 1986 at St James, another 4-0 to Everton. Our most successful manager and squad ever. Happy times. McLovin – Cahill scored to make it 2-0 at goodison. All but guarenteed. 4th. Special mention for Baines free kick at st James last year Dodge – Got a few to be honest if you'll indulge me. Boxing day 1986 and a Trevor Steven inspired win on our way to the title, Tony Cottee at home the following season and then going to your place and getting jumped by a load of fellas with sombreros on because you had Mirandinha playing :-) think it ended 1-1 terryefc – I've wiped most recent games at your place from my mind - but there have been some cracking goals when we play you such as Baines free kick, Shearer's volley - but I remember seeing Alan Ball smash one in from 30 yards to beat you 1-0 at Goodison. Cottee's debut hat-trick was also unforgettable ! Snoopjiggyjig – I'll be honest, I block them from memory. Whether it's Shearer or Ben Arfa, it's normally a Newcastle wonder strike that wins it. Jimbo – Although we've had a few players ourselves who like this, I remember watching Alan Shearer look across and plant an elbow in David Weirs face. The ref gave nothing but a free kick. i remember being very young and absolutely furious about the ref not doing anything. Other than that, Bainesy's freekick was pretty special. Any Excuse http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKqBiCLO_88 Which Newcastle players would you like to see in your side? Walker - Ben Arfa or Krul. Krul is a bit of a tit but a decent goalkeeper I think. Floody – Ben Arfa impresses me - a goal scoring midfielder who always puts a shift in. Dom – Remy maybe. Cabaye. That's probably it. Matty – Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Remy (albeit, he's a loanee). Buggrit Hall – Ben Arfa and Cisse Squirrel – Ben arfa is a good player jon – Ben Arfa probably. Cisse would be a useful addition if he'd wear a shirt sponsored by a beer company. McLovin – I rate krul highly Dodge – Ben Arfa, quality player. terryefc – Yohan Cabaye or Coloccini. Remy is also top drawer. Snoopjiggyjig – Ben Arfa would be the main one. Sissoko could be decent too. I wouldn't actually take Cabaye, despite the thoughts of the media. We are quite strong there. I would probably have the majority of Everton players over Newcastle players. No offence. I think we have a strong squad at the moment. Jimbo – Cisse (on form), Ben Arfa (when fit), Cabaye (when not a twat), Coloccini The wee magician on the right is, rightfully, getting all the attention, but I was surprised few people mentioned Coloccini who I think would add a lot to Everton. Finally, what do you think the score will be? Walker - 2-1 I hope. Floody – With home advantage we should win but I think it will be a draw 2 – 2 Dom – 2-0 us. Lukaku and Mirallas. Matty – 2-1 to Everton. Buggrit Hall – 2-2 Squirrel – one one jon – Just had our first defeat so hopefully we can bounce straight back. I'm feeling a draw but I'll be positive & say 2-1 Everton. McLovin – 0-0 it's all I ever see when I go these days Dodge – 1-1 terryefc – 2-1 Blues Snoopjiggyjig – I have to say Newcastle will win, as everytime I predict we will, we always lose!!!!!! Jimbo – Heart says 2-0, head says 2-2 I'd like to thank everyone who answered the questions and wish them well in the league, after Monday. Monday nights games man, they can fuck off as well. It'll probably rain too. Comfortable 2-1 home win for Everton, another goal for Remy, but defensive frailties will bugger us again.
  3. Well after the international borefest, we're back to the proper stuff. Newcastle travel to the midlands to face a Villa side who've had a string of tough fixtures in the league and, while they managed to pick up three points from Arsenal on the first outing, those are the only points on the board so far. Thanks to the lads and lasses from AVilla Forum who have supplied their answers below. Pretty confident of taking all three points, with every single respondent predicting a home win. What's a realistic aim for your team this season? Pete101 - Top 10 AVSTU - I think an improvement on last season - without having to look over our shoulders at relegation like the past 2-3 seasons. A comfortable mid-table position has to be the aim. LoyalVillan - Improvement is the key, not only that but continued and sustained improvement...13th to 10th is a realistic target, however, i do think we will pull off some surprise results this year and our form (not results) so far this term have been very encouraging. AnneMc - To build on last season with an improved finish in the Premier League, steering clear of the relegation dogfight. A decent Cup run would be great too. Karl - I think we should be aiming for mid-table. Staying clear of the relegation fight first, and then simply just seeing how far we push ourselves up the table. FedUp1 - Top 12 Rob 92 - To improve on last season. Lambert inherited an absolute mess of a football club and it'll take time to fully rebuild it. Staying up last season gave us a good, solid platform to build on and I expect us to continue to progress. Responder - We should be aiming for the top half, after the top 7 teams it's all up for grabs. Have you strengthened sufficiently to achieve this? Pete101 – yes AVSTU -Yes and No. I believe we have added numbers which will hopefully include some real strength in depth. At times last season the players looked tired and the small squad showed. Jores Okore looks a quality signing already - reads the game so well. I still feel that we could of done with a no.10 but Lambert stating there wasn't one available that could fit into the current squad mold so I trust him - hopefully we will find a way of breaking down sides who will just sit back against us. LoyalVillan - Yes, we have a good solid core which has been added to so we have a little more depth and competition for places which should spur on the Lads to perform.....or be dropped. AnneMc - Seem to have added enough depth to avoid burnout should we go on a Cup run. Slightly surprised Lambert opted for another striker over a playmaker but trust he had his reasons. Karl - Hard to decide given that most of our signings are virtually unknown, but the experience and improvement the players made from last season should see us accomplish this. FedUp1 - yes, made some good signings and got rid of a few mercenaries Rob 92 - I think a lot of the work was done last season with so many younger lads getting a chance in the team. The experience they gained from all the ups and downs of the previous campaign will stand them in good stead this time around. I also feel an important part of the rebuilding process was the departures of Bent, Ireland and Bannan. Responder - We went through a few different systems and line-ups last season but we found the right one after Christmas. We had zero depth last season, we've signed pretty much unknown youth prospects again but Lamberts track record of signings so far is pretty fine so reasons to be confident. We have one of the better forward lines in the league and that's huge for the clubs in our section of the table. West Brom had a great season 2012/13, how do you feel about seeing your old enemy do so well? Pete101 - Impressed by job clark has done but think they will struggle, be nice to be looking down at the end of this season AVSTU -Old enemy? lol. It seems that the rest of the country believe there is a rivalry between us more than we actually do. Aston Villa and Birmingham are local rivals. West Brom are a club that hate Villa like most others in the Midlands. Villa fans will want to get one over on them because of the constant taunting over the past few years. Go back 2-3 years ago West Brom was just another localish game like Stoke and Wolves and their fans didn't make a sound - all of a sudden they have found their voices. LoyalVillan - Not really bothered about Baggies to be fair, some of the older heads still consider them a rival but the Unwashed from Small Heath are our true rivals and alway will be! AnneMc - You're confusing the Baggies with the blues. The Baggies aren't an old enemy. They did well last season, thanks in no small part to Lukaku. Karl - Never really cared about how other teams get on, only the Villa. Don't even see them as a Derby to be honest. FedUp1 - As others have said, WBA aren't really the old enemy, that accolade goes to a club in the Championship! As far as WBA go they did have a good season and it doesn't really bother me. I can see them struggling this season and they won't finish too far away from where they are now! Rob 92 - Finishing below West Brom bothered me as much as finishing below Man Utd, Swansea or Southampton, in other words, not at all. Responder - Genuinely completely unphased. It sounds arrogant, but West Brom are quite obsessive over us, up until Birmingham went into freefall they were who i'd have called the enemy (though Villa fans older than my 23 years will probably say West Brom are the oldest enemy). Knew Lukaku was going, knew they'd invest little to nothing despite being in a position of strength, and that's what's happened. We won't be looking up at them again I doubt. After a less than auspicious start but a strong finish to the 12/13 season, what did you think of Lambert's appointment and what do you think of him now? Pete101 - Think everyone on here will tell you we are happy with PL and think he is the perfect guy for the job AVSTU -I always wanted Paul Lambert - I felt he was the one. However, I would be lieing if I said I wasn't worried at times last season - his stubbornness at times seemed to of been his downfall but his vision paid off and I think most have brought into his vision. He hasn't set any targets like O'Neill did - he has simply stated the aim is improvement each season and he is trying to build for now and the future. Previous managers was all about the now and not the future and we paid the price for that. LoyalVillan - I actually was very excited by his arrival and have been behind him pretty much all the way, i think he may build a lasting legacy at Villa! AnneMc - Lambert has always emphasised that he needs time and fans are generally right behind him. He made some dubious decisions last season but I'm quietly confident that he's taking the club in the right direction. He's made some great signings, without breaking the bank. Karl - I was a bit sceptic over his appointment, not through any fault of his own, but simply because of our previous managerial choices. Although, I was a lot happier with his appointment than I would of been had Roberto Martinez come in FedUp1 - Wanted Lambert in from the start and I'm more than happy with the job he has done so far. Would really like us to secure him on a longer contract but nothing like 8 years! Rob 92 - I wouldn't want anyone else in charge of our team. He came in and had the balls to do exactly what was needed. Overpaid, under performing players were pushed out and young, hungry talent on lower wages came in and although it took time for them to find their feet, it all worked out okay in the end. His record in the transfer market is remarkable as he continues to find good players from all over the place and replacing Given with Guzan was nothing short of a master stroke after the previous regime allowed him to leave the club. As I said before, this is a long term project and we're nowhere near the finished article, but if you look at the state of the club now in comparison to when he came over it's pretty obvious that we're on the right track. Responder - He's got guts. Lerner proved even after tightening the purse strings that in an emergency SOS he would be there (Darren Bent under Houllier), Lambert stuck with his young unproven squad and our finish vindicated that. We played v.well from Feb onwards. A weaker man would have brought back Dunne, Warnock, Hutton. Experienced (or proven sht in my view) players, but he recognised that their commitment was non-existent and his faith was rewarded. Which of your players do you predict having a big season? Pete101 - Gabby, think the way England have snubbed him this week might put plenty of fire in his belly to prove the guy who likes to sit in the comfy seats wrong AVSTU -Without doubt Christian Benteke will want another season like last year. He has a World Cup next summer and he will want to get the nod ahead of Lukaku in the starting line up. I am also very impressed with Jores Okore's start to his Villa career. However, the one for me is Fabian Delph. He is finally living up to that early potential and he looks to have really matured mentally. LoyalVillan - Benteke is the obvious one but Gabby has found a new home on the left wing and is showing the form we wanted from him, Gabby will tear defences to shreds this year! Karl - I will stay away from the obvious and go for Ashley Westwood and Fabian Delph. I really rate Westwood, keeps thing simple in the middle and even under pressure seems to find some space to come away with the ball. Delph started to perform in the second half of last season and it looks to have continued into our early games this season. Doesn't seem as rash in the challenge and somehow seems to pick the ball up surrounded by two or three players and still be able to break forward. Does need to work on his final ball though. AnneMc - Benteke will have another good season as he looks to nail down a starting place for his national side. Agbonlahor's only going in one direction... Delph's improving all the time and this might, finally, be his year. Young Okore is one to watch. Can't forget about Guzan, who did so well last year and will be hoping to build on that. FedUp1 - Gabby looks to have found some form and I can see Benteke having another good season. It'll also be interesting to see how the new signings settle in. Rob 92 - Benteke will score a lot of goals, but that goes without saying. I personally think this is the season that Gabby Agbonlahor will show the form that he showed under MON and be a real talisman for us. Responder - Agbonlahor-Since the new year he's played best football of his career to date. Christian Benteke- No explanation needed, destined for the very top. Fabian Delph- Over the injuries, and growing into the much touted Leeds prophecy Which of your players do you expect to have a disappointing season? Pete101 - Shay given, cant see him playing a min in cup or lg AVSTU -In the first team I cant see any really disappointing. There are fringe players who are in the last chance saloon like Marc Albrighton and to be honest I wouldn't be surprised to see him released in the summer and end up at a Championship side next year. Shame really because he is Villa through and through but we cant afford to carry players who aren't good enough anymore. LoyalVillan - Hard to say as many of our players are still getting used to the EPL, but if i had to pick a player it will be Albrighton who is pretty much a one trick pony, this season is do or die for him i think. AnneMc - I remain unconvinced by Vlaar. If he doesn't make a big improvement soon, I suspect he may lose the armband. Karl - Not a fan of our captain, Ron Vlaar. Really hope he proves me wrong and has a great season but looks very suspect the majority of the time and I wouldn't even have him in the first choice eleven, never mind captain. FedUp1 - None I hope but I guess if I was to call out one I would say Alan Hutton Rob 92 - It's far too early to say. Although I'm sure Joe Bennett is still shte. Responder - Hard one to answer, I don't have a player in my mind who I think will under perform. I doubt Albrighton will get much game time, and I think Joe Bennett might pay for some of his dodgy performances last year It seems that Randy Lerner has changed tack; he is no longer putting millions into the club and now basically lets it fend for itself. Do you think you can be succesful within those limitations? Pete101 - With lambert at the helm yes AVSTU -The media have stated this - not the club. The money is still there. When the chairman took over he promised his managers would have £20million every summer transfer window and a % of any sales. This hasn't changed. He has however stated that the wage bill needs to be kept in check and this is the way most clubs are having to go with the new fair play rules kicking in next season. LoyalVillan - Randy Lerner is guilty of only one thing in my mind, and that is naivety, he trusted MON with the reigns of the Club and allowed him to buy whomever he wanted only not to play them! wages were out of control!! just before MON walked out there was a meeting between Lerner, Paul Faulkner (chief executive) and MON to discuss how to balance the wage bill against income.....apparently only 2 people around that table understood the need for this. Now Lerner seems to have found the right man for the Job and in Lambert he has a Manager who will work within the boundary's set out and understand the bigger picture. AnneMc - Randy has plenty of money and is trusting Lambert as opposed to letting the club 'fend for itself'. Wages are the issue, not transfer funds. Lambert has shown he has an eye for a bargain. I suppose it depends on your definition of successful. We won't be winning the league this year. Karl - I believe the money is there still, it is just more about using it wisely now. Of course, it could all backfire still but even if it did it wouldn't be a disaster for us unlike before. I think people have different opinions on the term 'successful' also. We finished 15th last season and were always fighting to stay up, lost to a League Two side over two games in one trophy and a Championship side in the other. Success could be deemed as bettering that this season. FedUp1 - We've been working hard to reduce the wage bill, which TBH was way out of control. This is almost complete. We have a manager that Lerner can trust again and I believe that if Lambert needs the money Lerner will supply it. Rob 92 - Absolutely and I think it's the reality for the rest of the league (outside of the top four) that we'll have to fend for ourselves and I think the faith we've shown in youth is the right way to go about things. It's a brick-by-brick approach, but I genuinely believe that in years to come we'll be a blueprint for other clubs when it comes to competing without breaking the bank. Aston Villa annoyed a lot of Newcastle fans when they had ready-made signs to celebrate our relegation. There had never been any enmity from ourselves in your direction but this classless display seems to suggest that your fansbase resented ours, what's the reasons for this? Pete101 - Think ur blowing up this way too much. AVSTU -Fish - as you know, you have been involved in quite heavy debates on our forums about this. Villa fans as a whole had no real hate towards your club or your fans. The banner's was displayed but a few people and then the whole Villa faithful was blamed for this. Newcastle fans then started hating us and giving us abuse so of course there is only so much we as a fanbase will take that so now there is a bit of a rivalry between the two sets of fans but is that a bad thing? It certainly adds to something on a match day doesn't it? LoyalVillan - The banners were uncalled for and i actually understand why the Toon dislike us so much now, but as other have said this was a minority and not the general feeling of the fans, i actually quite like Newcastle! but dont tell any one, i have a rep to maintain! AnneMc - There you go exaggerating again... Aston Villa didn't have 'ready made signs to celebrate' your relegation. A few Villa fans did. Think they were intended to be humorous. I understand why Newcastle fans were touchy about it but you blew it out of proportion and it's sad that you're still banging on about it years later. Karl - Been said by a few already. A few supporters made banners, not the entire Villa Park. Majority did celebrate over enthusiastically when it was confirmed you were down, and I make no excuses for them, but I'd expect the same had it been the other way. FedUp1 - Can't really believe the fuss that was made about this. My mrs loves Ant & Dec and thinks they're great in that " I'm a Newcastle Fan Get Kinnear Out Of Here! On a more serious note, its time to let it go. As others have said the banners were made by a few and not the whole Villa fanbase, most Villa fans think your lot are alreet. Rob 92 - I didn't make the banner so I have no idea. I personally couldn't care less about Newcastle. Responder - Ah, that Ant and Dec sign ruined what was a casually pleasant friendship. I was at the game in question. I don't think there was or is any resentment, we have little cause to resent you. I think the nature of lots of fans means that you'd have got a similar reaction from most grounds. Personally, I didn't join in as I imagine relegation is tragic, and I really understood your frustrations that year with the ridiculous Keegan treatment from the board earlier in the year. Newcastle though, for whatever reason, are quite a disliked club. You'll find that most neutrals seem to quite enjoy the running Geordie soap opera, and you must admit, you give so much material. Take it as a compliment, fans always want to see a big club go down, people wanted us to go down last season and many neutrals confused me by glorifying when we were in our worst moments. Newcastle is a huge club and will always have haters. Under Mike Ashley, Newcastle's ambition appears to be survival and nothing more, given that, where do you see NUFC finishing this season? Pete101 - The whole Kinnear thing looks messy, if this blows up early in season you could be fighting a dogfight back in the drop zone, but you do have a good enough squad to finish close to us mid table AVSTU -There is no doubt there is talent in the Newcastle setup but you wont need me to tell you that I don't believe your manager or your director of football are good enough. Pardew got lucky with that one season and somehow managed to get a stupid long term deal. I do seem similarities with this side as the one you got relegated with. Not in the case of talent as I believe the current crop are head and shoulders better but in players who seem more interested in their wages than fighting for the Newcastle cause. Only time will tell I guess. I expect you to finish in the bottom half of the table but should have enough to survive. LoyalVillan - You have a decent squad well capable of midtable and pushing for Europa spots, but the Kinnear arrival and clear disharmony between him and Pardew will affect the Players and leave you struggling i am afraid! AnneMc - You have lots of talented players and if Pardew gets them going you'll be fine but I suspect he may not be around to do that. Don't think you'll be relegated again (I'll not start making banners just yet...) but it might be a season to forget. Karl - I believe you have a good side, but can't see too much with the backroom problems at the club. I expect you to be within the bottom quarter. FedUp1 - I can see you really struggling until Ashley and Kinnear are out of your club. I'm confident that, unless things change dramatically, you'll finish a good few places below ourselves, so anything from 12th and below! Rob 92 - An uninspiring lower half finish. I don't think you'll go down, as there are far too many rubbish teams for that to happen to you. Unfortunately your owner is a knb, your director of football is a clown and your manager is incompetent. I'll say 14th. Responder - I fear for Newcastle. I think the way the club has been run is a complete joke, how that fat corpse Kinnear snuck back into the club I have no idea, he has no concept of modern football and him being in charge of transfers is easy enough explanation for lack of incomings. I gather Pardew is none-too-popular, but I think he's in a very difficult position at the moment. Your first eleven is quite good really, too good to be going down, but injuries could hit you hard. Keeping Cabaye was a big deal, and assuming Remy is not convicted for rape then he can hopefully do the work that Cisse really isn't very good at and lay the chances on for him. Bottom half, but safe. Ironically, I think your nearby friends Sunderland are in for a much tougher time with that utter clown they've hired. What's your most memorable game against NUFC? Pete101 - The day we sent yee down, hehe just kidding but the amount of talk about it this week hard to forget it AVSTU -I always remember the game which Lee Bowyer and Kieran Dyer got sent off for fighting each other. Not really the right reasons to remember a game for but never the less that is the kind of thing you don't see in football everyday. LoyalVillan - Fight of the Century between Lee "Animal" Bowyer and Kieran "Sicknote" Dyer, very shocking and the game will be remembered for the wrong reasons AnneMc - For all the wrong reasons, your 6-0 thrashing of us when you came back up. Am still in shock. Karl - Got to be the 3-0 at St. James' Park, or should I now say Sports Direct Arena (what was he thinking?!). We did play well that day, but the scrap between Bowyer and Dyer somewhat took that away from us. FedUp1 - That has to be the 3-0 win at your place when Dyer and Bowyer decided to press the self destruct button. Rob 92 - A difficult one... It's not exactly been a classic fixture over the years. I'll go for the game when your two players started scrapping with each other, for the lolz. Responder - What else could I pick, I was a teenage boy on my first trip to St James, I need say no more than 2 names. Kieran Dyer. Lee Bowyer. Newcastle have been in the papers for all the wrong reasons again, what's your take on the Kinnear debacle? Pete101 - A mess AVSTU -Anyone who knows anything about football can see this bloke is a complete joke. Your rivals are no doubt laughing at you despite the joker they have running their team and other clubs are looking on and watching the fans v club battle brewing up. I feel for your fans - You don't deserve this and I cant see why the hell Mike Ashley feels the need to have him anywhere near the club apart from them being friends. LoyalVillan - I heard his interview on Talksport before it was officially announced, the Guy is a Clown who has serious mental issues if he believes the crap he was spouting! i actually thought he had been at the cough medicine AnneMc - Where did you get him from? Take him back, quickly. He's like a sitcom character. Karl - As Villa fans we know what it is like being the laughing stock of the league, ours was more to do with our on field actions than off it though. To me, it simply looks like Ashley is regretting the ridiculous contract he gave Pardew and wants a resignation from the manager. Pardew would be stupid to do that though considering the pay off he would lose out on. Can see this turning quite bad for Newcastle fans if they don't sort it soon. FedUp1 - I don't understand some of the decisions that Ashley makes. From the outside looking in, it would appear that he is showing you who is boss and and he doesn't mind pissing you off along the way just to remind you. Rob 92 - It's one of those situations that is absolutely hilarious when it's not happening to your club. How is that man allowed anywhere near a professional football club? Responder - Baffling, amateur, and a slap in the face for your fans. Which Newcastle players would you like to see in your side? Pete101 - Cabaye and krul AVSTU -Ben Arfa, Cabaye - are both quality players who can single handedly win you a game and this is something Villa don't have. I just wonder how long you can keep hold of them. LoyalVillan - Ben Arfa, quality player who saved the points for you in the same fixture last season AnneMc - Ben Arfa would be top of my list. It was clear against Fulham recently how he can inspire a win and you looked lost without him at times last season. I would happily take Cabaye too. He is very quick-witted and has even quicker feet. He has great range to his passing and I like that he has a bit of 'bite' too. Karl - Cheick Tiote and Yoyan Cabeye are both quality players. Out of the two I feel Cabeye would add more as we are missing that bit of creativity in the middle of the park. Ben Arfa is a good player also, but he is a bit hit and miss. Can be special one game and go completely missing the next. FedUp1 - Cabaye Rob 92 - I wouldn't mind having Ben Arfa in the team. Responder - Easy, Cabaye and Coloccini. Finally, what do you think the score will be? Pete101 - 2:0 to villa AVSTU -I wont predict the score as I am very superstitious. Hopefully a home win and a exciting game. LoyalVillan - gonna be tough but i am "Hoping" for a 2-1 or 3-2 win, but as we are at home and if we are being true to form it may be a draw AnneMc - Think a narrow Villa win's on the cards. I'll go for 2-1. Karl - Hate predicting Villa games as my heart always says at least a 3-0 win, but my head kicks in and ridicules me over suggesting we would keep a clean sheet. 3-2 Villa. FedUp1 - There'll be goals in this and I can see us winning comfortably, 4-1 villa. Rob 92 - 2-1 Villa. Responder - I think our forward three will win it for us, Benteke often bails us out. A close hard fought 2-1. No result would shock me greatly.
  4. It's that time again. Big thanks to the lads at ToffeeTalk and GloryGlory for their answers and their welcome. I'd genuinely recommend popping over to both of those message boards. Obviously I’ve done my best to represent the balance of views from both sets of fans, but you can read all the answers here and here respectively. Apologies for the duff formatting this time round, but I'm staggeringly hungover. Horrifically hungover. Apocalyptically hungover... You get the message. Anyway, here are their answers and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I didn't enjoy writing it. What's a realistic aim for your team this season? Spurs fans are almost unanimous in their expectations, They all believe that 4th spot is the hope and the expectation. One or two may have said that a title shot isn’t out of their grasp, but they’re views don’t represent the vast majority. Everton fans are (understandably) a little more cautious, Martinez is certainly supported, but I don’t think they’re expecting him to produce the goods straight away. Onlyme: We have been in top 4 form for quite some time. Our total points last season was our best ever and gave top 4 every season since the EPL began. But Arsenal went on a phenomenal run and nicked top 4. Their results against Norwich and QPR sealed their and our fate. We are virtually unbeatable away from home. If we can get a home game system going I think we will seriously challenge for the title. Spursalot: Realistic? Depends heavily on the signings we make. Currently I would go challenging for top four. If we get one or two moves right in the transfer window I could see us ending up third, however I don't see us breaking the top two with our finite resources unless they fuck up significantly. Mumorn: I think fighting for top four like it has been the previous few years. It will be interesting though now that three of the top four sides have new managers whilst we have a manager now comfortable in his role and adding a few new players to what is already a very solid team. DubaiSpur: Top four, with a trophy of some sort: FA Cup, Carling Cup, whatever. It's been five years since our last trophy, and twenty-two years since our last FA Cup. If we are to stand a chance of keeping Bale, top four alone may not be enough. So we need to rectify that trophy problem. Gutter Boy: Challenge for, but not win, the title (probably finish 3rd) RadioFriendlyUnitShifter: What's a realistic aim for your team this season? To prove we were not and are not 'Moyes FC'. Tree13: Europa Cup qualification via 5th place in the league. We simply don't have the finances to finish higher because of the ridiculous sums being thrown around by Spurs, Chelsea, City and to a lesser extent United and Arsenal. On any given matchday, those first three have subs' benches that cost more than our entire squad, and that's a degree of depth we simply can't match. bainesontoast: Realistically I'd take a top half finish while qualifying for European football next season. Ideally it'd be the Champions League but starting from the 2014/15 season the Europa League will no longer be a joke competition thanks to their being Champions League football on offer to the winner. We have a new manager who is already enforcing a new style so achieving the above would be progress as far as I'm concerned, even if we finish lower in the league than last season. Ijjysmith: Hard to tell. New manager might be just what we needed after Moyes had got a bit stagnant, or on the flip side it may show we were over achieving after all. Either way finishing below where we did last season would be a disappointment to everyone. Cena: I think top 7 is realistic but it is going to be difficult as we do not know how Martinez will settle in. Definitely top 10 Where do your team need to strengthen to achieve this? With a misfiring Jelavic I was expecting the Everton fans to be clamouring for a striker, but the position that the majority want improved is Central Midfield. 47% of the respondents said that was the position they needed new blood in. Certainly Up front was a source of concern, at 29%, but it wasn’t the number 1 priority I expected. Spurs were more predictable in their calls for strengthening the strike force. Adebayor and Defoe, while clearly talented, don’t inspire a lot of faith from the Spurs fanbase. They definitely want a new striker with 61% naming it the place they want strengthened. This survey was put to the lads on Glory Glory before Bale made it clear he wants to leave, so while they are asking for a Winger it must be said that this was not to replace Bale, but to allow him to operate more centrally. Spursalot: Up Front and wide left. Sounds silly with Bale, but I don't think he'll play out left which leaves us a bit bare out there. Up front is easy, Adebayor can't be relied upon consistently and Defoe doesn't really add much. Jumpers: Our current squad can already achieve this, but regardless who we purchase Arsenal will also strengthen and I think the gap between us and them will widen in their favour. We really too heavily on one player. Kingdawson: Striker is the first priority and an inside forward to play alongside Bale is another priority (4-3-3) Mumorn: I think we need a striker capable of scoring at least 15+ league goals. As well as goals coming from elsewhere, hopefully Bale can play as good as he did last year on top of a great striker and we could see ourselves challenging higher than fourth place in my view. DubaiSpur: I think every man and his dog has said this already, but up front. We cannot go into a new season expecting the erratic Ade and declining Defoe pair to score many. Benteke seems a reasonable option, but I'm still holding out for Soldado. Darth Toffeeman: A big powerful CM (I doubt Gibson will remain injury free) and a No 10 (hopefully Barkley and Deulofeu can provide this. Azzurri: Would love a proper forward as I'm not sure Kone's up to it and we could do with a creative midfielder. Jacko93: I think we've strengthened the most important areas, by bringing in a bit of depth to the forward line. But can’t help but think we need something a little bit extra up there. If we keep all who are Everton players now, (except Heitinga can go) then 7th is easily achievable nigelcoyb: signs are Roberto has sussed it with kone and the lad from barca (Delboy) sharkey1001: We don't. Just don't sell Baines & Fellaini Which new Premier League players are you looking forward to seeing? The fans of both clubs are looking first and foremost at their own new boys, Paulinho and Deulofo for Spurs and Everton respectively. I was surprised that they didn’t really care about players from the other clubs, but perhaps that will come when the window closes? Mumorn: I'm looking forward to seeing how Paulinho can slot into our team. I'm also looking forward to seeing how some of the new strikers in the league do, the likes of Bony, Altidore and Wolfswinkel who have all been deadly the previous year or two in their leagues and players we may have had a punt at. Raoul Duke: Paulinho obviously, Liverpool have a couple of exciting new players, but I don't look forward to seeing Liverpool. DubaiSpur: Wilfried Bony looks like a great acquisition for Swansea, and I'd like to see how he fares. Same goes for Van Wolfswinkel at Norwich. Victor Wanyama is definitely one I'll be keeping an eye on, a real coup for Southampton. And it will be interesting to see if Jesus Navas adapts quickly to the Premier League with City. Mephitis: Paulinho and anybody else we may sign Ossie: Paulinho (obviously). van Wolfswinkel. Jesus Navas. Nathan Redmond. Wanyama. Wilfried Bony. RadioFriendlyUnitShifter: For us, I'm hoping Robles can usurp the perennially overrated Howard and I'm looking forward to seeing Kone in action as I rate him more than most seem to. Otherwise I generally wish other clubs nothing but misery, so I'll be hoping all the new exciting signings across the country bomb horribly. Especially Leroy Fer (as we almost signed him) and Bony (because our fans wanted to sign him, for some reason). Tree13: I'll admit to a morbid fascination in seeing what on earth Laudrup manages to squeeze out of Jonjo Shelvey. £5m for a Voldemort lookalike seems bonkers to me. Also, the mini-revolution at Carrow Road has got my attention: Redmond and Fer were both names discussed by many Everton fans. Mikeh72: As far as Everton are concerned, I can't wait to see Deulofeu. Outside of Everton, I'm expecting big things of Wilfried Bony this season, can't see him sticking around at Swansea Mawders: Only interested in Everton players Bryan: Can't think of any.. nigelcoyb: only are own - can't get interested in other mobs Which of your players do you predict having a big season? Spurs are looking to the new bow Paulinho to have a breakout first season and many are pinning their hopes on Sandro who had a cracking season cut short by injury last year. They’ve hopes for Bale to build on last year and he may well surpass the high standards he set, but it looks like he’ll be doing it in a different shade of white. Everton fans surprised me by having sly pops at Moyes, I had thought he was still much loved by them. Regardless of that they’re fairly unanimous in singling out Mirallas as the player they have highest hopes for this season. A few are expecting an impressive season for Ross Barkley too, the young midfielder was sent out on loan to Shef Wed and then briefly to Leeds last season. Scoring 4 goals for the Sheffield club in just 13 appearances and with the backing of his manager (who recently called him an “incredible football diamond”), a more attacking Everton side and a bit more experience behind him, it’s not hard to see why they’re excited. Mumorn: I think if he stays fit, Sandro will be very very crucial to our team. I'm hoping that Bale can have an even bigger season then he did last year, hopefully he can build on it and score even more as well as hopefully getting us to a cup final, it's been long overdue! DubaiSpur: I think Paulinho will surprise a lot of people with his ability to adapt quickly to the PL. He's got a bit of everything in his locker, and when added to his strength, power and pace, he is the archetypal Premier League central midfielder. With Dembele and Sandro alongside him being equally powerful, he could be a hit. Spursalot: Sandro. He was beasting last season until his knee went. If Sandro plays well then Dembele will also play well. Bale is the obvious one though. Onlyme: I am hoping Holtby can step up a gear. Same as will do for the others. I hope all our guys stay fit. Fit players returning are like new signings. Sandro and Kaboul. We have an excellent squad and I would be happy to keep all of our current players. billy iddo: Bale will go one further than last season sharkey1001: Ross Barkley - under a manager who can nurture talent unlike Moyes bainesontoast: I can a few of our attacking players improving with having the ball played to their feet more than Moyes allowed for. Coleman could have a huge season if Martinez goes down the route I think he will. RadioFriendlyUnitShifter: Ross Barkley. I think Martinez isn't afraid of youth like Moyes was, and so now is the time for our star talent to shine. Hopefully. Cena: I think Darron Gibson and Kevin Mirallas. Gibson has been outstanding and if Mirallas continues where he left off, we have a very very good player on our hands who could change draws into wins Ijjysmith: This should be Ross Barkley's breakout year. Which of your players do you expect to have a disappointing season? The Toffees aren’t holding much hope of Jelavic rediscovering his 2011/12 form, though quite a few seem nervous about how the new players will bed in. Azzurri saying “Maybe Deulofeu. Just think the Premier League might be too quick and physical for him.” Those not mentioning Jelavic or the new boys look to players who’ve been the foundations of their high league finishes; Distin, Jagielka, Howard and Pienaar. For Spurs it’s the fringe players that are causes for concern. A couple of the players put forward have already been moved on (Dempsey, Caulker), but it’s Adebayor, Defoe, Parker and their ilk that appear most often. Howard Webb: Don't think Adebayor fits the system Mudshark: All the usual suspects, if they're still with us: Defoe, Ade, Parker, etc. Spursalot: Lennon. I don't think he's going to have much of an impact. Partly due to how i think we'll set up, and party because he often starts brightly, and then just fades out. Gutter Boy: Any of Defoe, Parker or Huddlestone left at the club after deadline day. I also think Rose will fail to dislodge BAE, and Dempsey will fall behind Siggy in the pecking order Spitshine: Defoe, Dempsey billy iddo: Caulker Housequake: Jelavic if he stays, he's just a piss poor footballer and if he's not slotting there's no point in him being on the field. Tree13: There's going to be tears up front. I cannot envisage a scenario in which Jelavic and Kone BOTH have good seasons. I also think Pienaar is past his prime and may well fall off the cliff performance-wise this season. Mikeh72: I'd say Naismith or Gueye but nothing is expected of them anyway. Tim Howard has been rapidly declining in the last few years and I'd expect him to be replaced by Joel at some stage this season bainesontoast: Anyone who can't adapt quickly will be disappointing. I wouldn't like to name any names at this stage cause it's still early in pre season. Blue61: Hope I'm wrong, but Jelavic (if he's still here) nigelcoyb: Jags and Distin not hoofing will kill them Which fixtures do you immediately look for? Spurs are focussed on the enemies next door, with 46% of respondents picking Arsenal as the fixtures they look for first. After that it’s two other London clubs (West Ham and Chelsea), although interestingly, not one mentioned Fulham... perhaps Fulham are London’s Middlesbrough? The new clubs pop up again with Palace being mentioned marginally more than the other two, probably because it’s a game they’re likely to go to. Everton seem much more divided when it comes to the release of the Fixture list. While an understandably large number look across Stanley Park, quite a few look to the East and the two Manchester clubs. The reasons could be the Merseyside – Manchester rivalry, but given the Moyes factor at Man U, and the recent success Everton have had over the Blue side, it could be a more contemporary reason? The newly promoted sides get a mention and again we’re represented (more for the night out than anything. Mephitis: Gooners, Chelsea, West Ham at Home. Newly promoted clubs and anything within 100 miles of Leeds Away Mumorn: The North London Derby most definitely. It's the most exciting derby in the league in my view and always produces great games with a great atmosphere, I am glad we have it three games in even if it is away from home, that sort of result can really provide a great kick to the season. DubaiSpur: The North London Derby, first and foremost. They're our nearest challengers, and how we do against them provides a barometer for how likely we are to finish in the top four, late season collapses notwithstanding. ChickenBadge: Arsenal home, Arsenal away, opening day opponents, last day opponents. Boxing Day for some reason, though its ages since I've been able to get to that one! Oh, and who we are going to have to rearrange in May due to our FA Cup final appearance! Raoul Duke: Arsenal, Newcastle and Chelsea. Housequake: The derby of course, that's about it, I tend to look for difficult runs rather than any particular game, although City at home is up there considering we hand them a lesson year on year at Goodison. sharkey1001: LPool, Man U, promoted sides away Jags..class: Liverpool, this year also Man U so we can beat Moyes. Cena: Not just saying it because it is you, but Newcastle away, we always do a weekend up in Newcastle me and me mates, couldn't do it last season because it was a New Year game. Also, Villa & West Brom away as I love the Midlands away days and also West Ham away, love going there. Which away game are you looking forward to the Most/least? Arsenal and Liverpool obviously rank highly for Spurs and Everton fans, derby day fills every fan with that heady mixture of dread and delight. However, Moyes is a deciding feature for the Toffeemen in this question as well, with his name mentioned often and never warmly. Spurs look at their poor record at Stamford Bridge and search (through gritted teeth it seems) for their visit to SW6. The goal scorers in their last win there? Lineker and Howells in 1990. Quite a few fixtures seem to have a personal significance, while Newcastle United attract praise and scorn; we’re a good night out, but an unhappy hunting ground it seems. Oh and Stoke get a slating for the state of their city, their ground, their fans and their football once again. Mudshark: Don't go away much these days, since the club stopped laying on travel you could book with your ticket application. I like going to Craven Cottage, though. I hate Stamford Bridge. Mumorn: Chelsea at Stamford Bridge is the one I least look forward to. We simply don't win there and we've had great chances in the past few years, with Mourinho now there and remembering how damn good his home form was, I think it'll be even trickier. One I am looking forward too? North London Derby. That win over Arsenal away a few years back was just a superb moment and I'd LOVE for it to happen again. Gutter Boy: Most Arsenal, least West Ham/Stoke (I hate us playing rugby teams, though we are much better equipped now than traditionally). ChickenBadge: Most: Emirates. Even if the last 2 have been 2-5 defeats. Least: Stoke. Thugs from the top down, I am very relieved if we emerge with all players intact let alone 3 points. DubaiSpur: The games against Chelsea, United (hopefully weaker post-Ferguson) and Everton(post-Moyes) are also ones I'm looking forward to. Least: St.Mary's and Stamford Bridge. Chelsea always pull one over us at the Bridge, and I don't imagine that will change with Mourinho in charge. And Pochettino looks to be building a great team at St.Mary's, and his hard-pressing, quick moving side could pose us a lot of problems. Most: any 'easy' away game, to be honest: the promoted sides, lower mid-table sides, sides out of control, you get the gist. Cena: Most, Newcastle for the night out. Least, Liverpool, I hate derbies, horrible horrible days. bainesontoast: My favourite away game is Southampton. I love the trip down to the coast, especially if the weather is like it is now. Cardiff should be a good trip this season because it's a nice city. I'm not looking forward to Hull away (because it's Hull) or Arsenal (because our record against them is awful). Blue61: The most - Man Utd just to hear the crowd boo Moyes' substitutions. The least - always Stoke. Jacko93: Stoke least. Horrid place, with horrid fans, and you don't get cheered up by the football. Citeh most. Likely to be in corporate (booooooo) Tree13: Most: Carrow Road. My ex lives there and has kindly arranged some tickets. God willing I shall take her out after the game and sling one up her for old times' sake. Least: Anfield. The officiating always stinks. Darth Toffeeman: I would usually say Sunderland but they beat us last season. I suppose the 4 clubs Moyes never won at in the hope that Martinez can break that spell. Although at the same time I hate Derby games. Bring out the worst in me and we never get the rub of the green. What's your most memorable game against NUFC? There seems to be quite a mixed bag; Spurs fans remember the 5-0 hammering they gave us in 2012, and the 7-1 we gave them in 96, One did mention the 4-0 where Robert showed his true class and they get a special mention because I bloody loved that game , a few Everton fans remember the game where Cahill sealed 4th spot, a lot look at the recent fixtures some recall game with stand out moments from games like Shearer’s Volley, Nolan’s foul on Anichebe, Baines’ freekick etc. and some hark back to games from way back when. Mudshark: They're usually enjoyable games. Our recent 5-0 sticks in the mind, obviously, but so does the 7-1 drubbing we took from Keegan's side at St James's under Francis. The last time I visited SJP was back in the Francis era, just before Gross took over. We lost 1-0, I think, but we won the return match towards the end of the season in the run of games that included our 6-2 win at Selhurst, when I remember Gross standing on the touchline with a face like a spanked arse while Juergen Klinsmann ripped up his game plan to put an end to our relegation fears. Mumorn: The 5-0 win a few seasons back, That was Adebayors greatest game in a Spurs top too. I think he got 4 assists and a goal. We really shot out the blocks that day and considering we were against a team also fighting for a top four place it was a real incentive, although from that game we sort of dropped and fucked up a point gap. ChickenBadge: A cold night's 5-0 home win back in February 2012. At that moment in time Louis Saha was going to shoot us to the title before Harry left for the Euros... IGGHAC?: You beat us 1-0 at your place in the cup a few seasons ago (2005). Memorable to me because it’s the only time I’ve been to SJP and I’m still recovering from all the bloody stairs I had to walk up in the stadium and spending the trainjourney home sat on the floor of the train Jumpers: 4-2 win against Newcastle in 1994, but the thrashing Newcastle gave us when George Graham was in charge also sticks in my mind for all the wrong reasons billy iddo: Losing 4-0 at your place, Robert with two worldies and I think Shearer with a double also? - first time at St James, so sticks in my mind. Blue61: When Everton somehow won 1-0 at Goodison in 1985 after Gazza and Beardsley had completely played them off the park. One of the best away performances I've seen at Goodison without getting any reward. We won the league that year. Ijjysmith: There a few that stand out, but when Cahill sealed the Champions League spot against you that was special. Deloodid: the 2 games last season, when I thought we got the deserved winner late on, and you hit and hope up for the 2nd time of the game and scored. and Baines freekick at your place. RadioFriendlyUnitShifter: The two last season were corkers. We felt very hard done by in the 2-2, but then Baines scored THAT freekick in the other one. Darth Toffeeman: The 2 matches at Home in 94/95. Newcastle were a fabulous side then and I knew that day when we knocked you out of the cup it was our year. Also the 2-0 was one of the best games I saw under Royle. Newcastle have been in the papers for all the wrong reasons again, what's your take on the Kinnear debacle? Most fans of the London club are united in seeing this as a method of ousting Pardew, although DubaiSpur: swims against the current saying "I don't think it has anything to do with forcing Pardew out: If I remember correctly, he can be sacked with just one year's pay if he finishes lower than 13th or something. I do think it has a lot to do with Ashley trying to focus the fans' ire on why you won't do much business this window squarely on Kinnear's shoulders. He'll eventually sack him and hope that you lot will be satisfied that he removed the man 'solely responsible' for your lack of transfer activity. See, he does listen to the fans!" A couple of odd responses from the Everton fans to be honest, I mean, I know they hold an enmity towards us, so revelling in our misfortune would be understandable but there are some comments which just flat out don’t make sense to me. E.g. Eric Djemba-Djemba: Kopites of the North-East,(I have no clue what this means?) Mawders: Just epitomizes what everyone outside of Newcastle thinks of Newcastle, (I thought the Sky Sports/TalkSport lot thought we were deluded and arrogant, so I’m not sure how employing Kinnear fits that lazy cliché?) Jags..class: Not really bothered, to be honest I thought the Newcastle fans over reacted... (Over-reacted? The press has gone mental, but generally the reaction from Newcastle fans has been a collective face-palm) See what I mean? Weird, right? Anyway the others from both clubs either don’t care or they reflect the consensus opinion that it’s awful for Newcastle fans and they will eventually feel bad for us, but they have to stop laughing first. Oh and Everton loath Pardew Nigeyman: After a peaceful and tranquil 6 months with no major Dramas, Mike Ashley's alarm 'do something to surprise/annoy the Newcastle fans went off and he acted in spectacular fashion....feel sorry for you guys. Kingdawson: Extremely funny tbh. I genuinely think Ashley has done this in order to get Pardew out otherwise it makes no sense at all. Spursalot: If he'd come in and just knuckled down and tried to do his job it would have been alright. However the mouthing off and blatant lying in the media makes it laughable. Jumpers: Brendan Rodgers showed to the world he was a complete clown in Liverpool's documentary last season, but is a great manager who I think will have Liverpool in the top four in the next three seasons. Kinnear has come across as a clown but the proof is in the pudding and it's too early to judge whether he will be a success/failure or not. Mumorn: I haven't really been following PaulieMC: Mike Ashley is the only owner in the league I'd have Kenwright over. Ashley doesn't even pretend he's Arsed about the club's fans. He's embarrassed Newcastle with this Joe Kinnear appointment, it's clearly because he wants shot of Padrew without paying any of the massive compensation. Shame to see a club just embarrass itself and its fans so publicly and carelessly. (By the way, I got about 500 RTs for posting the joke about Yohan Cabaye's wife being called Donna haha.) Deloodid: doesn’t interest me to be honest, Cena: I just can't believe you have gone back for him. I know you didn't have a great season last year, but you were never going to do any worse. Now Kinnear is there, it seems to have created a bit of an uneasy feeling which could set you back. I don't for one minute think you'll get relegated or anything daft like that, but everything at Newcastle just seems really unsettled that you could struggle. Alternatively, it could have the opposite effect and you could have a great season, we'll see. RadioFriendlyUnitShifter: Hilarious. Seeing two titans of delusion in Pardew and Kinnear collide will be fantastic entertainment for us all. Ijjysmith: Without being nasty it's bloody funny. Not a fan of Pardew for obvious reasons, and I'm thoroughly enjoying a fat old bloke ruining your club a little bit more each day. Housequake: He's a cockney spiv who's more trouble than help, Ashley must have something on him, Jacko93: If it absolutely destroys Pardew, then I'm all for it. Darth Toffeeman: A total farce but funny because of your manager surely? Which Newcastle players would you like to see in your side? As with the Manchester clubs there was a lot of respect for Cabaye and Ben Arfa, yet tinged with concerns about their attitude from the Everton fans. Spursalot: On ability i would go with Cabaye or Sissoko. However in reality midfield in where we have strength in depth already. Mephitis: Gazza, Waddle, Ginolas…. Oh! Nobody in your current squad unfortunately. Soz ChickenBadge: Sissoko is a beast, rate Krul very highly (as second fiddle to Lloris - wow!) wouldn't say no to a goalscorer like Cissé. But you can keep anyone with a surname like Amoeba Nigeyman: Ben Arfa when playing is handy, D Santon looks a good prospect, and Cabaye is just Charmont Blue61: Not many to be honest. Ben Arfa perhaps, if he wasn't such a cocky, greedy get. nigelcoyb: Cabaye ... thought that lad Ranger had the makings till he turned into a rapist (always somethin' - think he could play with a padlock in his cock?) bainesontoast: I would have said Cabaye but I saw a side to him during the Cahill incident I wouldn't want at my club. He's a very good player but his attitude doesn't impress me. The same applies to Ben Arfa. Another very good player but he has attitude problems. I think both of those players would jump ship at Newcastle given the opportunity, they are only in it for themselves and not the club. I wouldn't want that sort of player at Everton. Azzurri: Cabaye can play but he's a bit of a snide. I also rate that Krul. Cisse would do a job for us better than anything we've got at the moment I think and I'd have Ben Arfa coming off the bench. Pardew winds up quite a few opposition managers, what's your take on him? Is he just playing games? Or is he an Average/Bad manager with a mouth? There were one or two who weren’t as damning, but most of the Spurs lot don’t rate him, some mention his arrogance when in front of a camera and there’s a general dislike for the Silver Fox. Everton fans hate him, I mean genuinely hate him. The “Different League “ comment seems to have ruffled a few feathers and it’s unlikely he’ll be welcome round for a bowl of Scouse anytime soon. Jumpers: I think he is a good Manager and he stands his ground. Spursalot: He's alright. I'd currently go with average, he had a good season to hit fifth and then was a bit unlucky last season with the number of injuries that occurred at the same time. Raoul Duke: Bad manager with a mouth. Can't stand the man. Self-centered, arrogant prick. Mumorn: I think he's an okay manager but if you want to move up to the next level you're going to have to replace him. Nigeyman: Went down in my estimations a lot last season...unlfucky with injuries but I found his excuses of Europa league(AVB DIDNT MOAN LOL) and injuries to be poor. With the talent at your disposal you should not have been sweating on survival away at qpr. Tree13: He is an average manager with a huge mouth and a stunning lack of perspective and awareness. Some of his remarks about Everton have been totally uncalled for. He does your club's reputation no favours whatsoever. And he appears to be rapidly turning orange. Ijjysmith: He's a nobhead mate. And I think you all know it too. Saying things like 'Newcastle are in a different league to Everton' and nearly getting relegated the next season does not show him in a good light. Also heard a lot of bad stories about him when he was down here with Saints Mikeh72: He's one of the least likeable people in football and needs a slap sharkey1001: He isnt a premier league manager - he is classless Cena: I'm sorry, but he is a massive twit. I don't know how you put up with someone so obnoxious. I'd walk in the sea if he ever became our manager. I really think you could do so much better. Some of the stuff he spouts - seriously, why do you put up with it? PaulieMC: Don't like him but I have sympathy for him over this Kinnear debacle. That comment about being in a "different league" was idiotic at the time and really came back to bite him on the arse as the season wore on. I think when he inevitably parts ways with Newcastle this season that he'll be lucky to walk straight another Premier League job, probably have to drop down to the Championship. Darth Toffeeman: He just comes across as an ungracious clown. I have still never forgotten him punching the air shouting after Bent equalised for Charlton in the 90th min, only for McFadden to go up the other end and score one of the best goals I have ever seen Where do you expect Newcastle to finish this season? I was expecting a lot more relegation predictions than we got here. More because of mandatory “Epic Bantz” than anything else, but it seems that Everton and Spurs are predicting a fairly average season for us. Jumpers: Momentum can be everything and last season Newcastle failed to find it, mainly due to injuries. This season I expect them to bounce back and be challenging top six. The competition in the mid-table area of the Premiership is the weakest it has been for years, probably the weakest since the Premiership began, so even if Newcastle have a poor season I can still see them finishing no lower than 8th. Plenty of easy points to pick up this season, just like last year. Mumorn: I think with your squad you are definitely capable of finishing in the top half, last season your team was blighted by injuries and if you can stay relatively free of those injuries as well as strengthening in a few positions that can quite easily happen. billy iddo: atm i have you down to finish a just above the relegation zone - think last seasons form will carry over and Kinnaer won't make it easier for the manager. you have a good enough squad to be comfortably mid table but with it being such a shambles behind the scenes it'll inevitability bring you down DubaiSpur: If you get a striker and a winger in, and revert to a more classic 4-4-2 with width and pace, you'd easily finish in the top ten. Maybe even as high as the top seven. But if you persist with this tactical muddling with a manager unsuited to it, 13th to 16th is about the best you can hope for. ChickenBadge: I'm afraid to say I think you will struggle. I think that you will find yourselves up against it to hold onto Cissé and Krul in particular if certain clubs come hunting. Villa will be a lot better, Cardiff will have a point to prove in their first season up. Norwich and Southampton are strengthening well and I think will be hard to be at home. To be fair though this is a bit worst case scenario... and I don't think you will drop. Hull will have learnt from their previous stay in the top flight but you ought to finish above them. Crystal Palace will be the whipping boys. And Sunderland will get an absolute mashing at the start of the season (have you seen their first ten home games???), Di Canio will be gone before Christmas.... and bragging rights will be well and truly yours back in the North East fellas Cena: If you make a few decent signings and keep Kinnear out of the press you could suprise again like you did a few years ago, a top 10 minimum, however I do worry if the circus around Kinnear and your club will harm you and you could have a similar year to last. If your home form improves from last year, you will be sound. bainesontoast: It depends on whether or not what's going on behind the scenes affects the squad. It seems like there is a lot of negative influences around at Newcastle and that it hinders your ambitions as a club. In terms of player quality, you should be a top half team but you won't get to see the quality if the heart isn't there. Housequake: Definitely the bottom half, I think even yourselves will be open enough to admit things are shaky at the minute, with Kinnear on board though you're bound to be entertaining though! Blue61: If they get off to a reasonable start, then mid table. If there's trouble within the camp, which I suspect there will be at some point, it could all turn sour, especially when Kinnear is the temporary manager. PaulieMC: Considering all the crp that's happened and likely to happen a top 12 finish would be a good achievement. I do think you'll finish higher than Sunderland though, DiCanio won't last long there.
  5. Well, what an unsurprising exercise in futility of that was. One guy says fuck off, the others fall about themselves, hooting with joy at (what one LAD describes as) a MAG being "comprehensively torn apart". Holy shitballs we need to spend more money on education. Anyway, the one lad who came on here and a mackem mate have provided answers. Bardsley and McClean look to return for them and while the former should slot straight in there's rumblings on wearside that McClean's not been performing to the high standards he set last season. I'd expect to see something like: Mignolet Bardsley O'Shea Cuellar Rose Johnson Colback Larsson McClean Sessegnon Fletcher Although that midfild looks a bit lightweight, so they might pull in Vaughan or Gardner? If we play the first choice defensive unit of Krul Simpson Colo Taylor Santon Tiote I can't see them troubled. I think Fletcher is in form, rather than being a great striker, still needs watching though. Coloccini's return makes our defense better by several orders of magnitude, so even if Anita or Williamson take the place of Simpson and Taylor I'd fancy a clean sheet. I personally want 4-3-3 with a midfield of Tiote, Cabaye and Jonas, HBS Ba and Cisse up front. But Ireckon it'll be 4-4-2 with HBA and Jonas out wide. If Cabaye and Tiote own the midfield and we stifle the supply to Fletcher, I think we can rely on the forwards to create against a fairly pedestrian defence. However, they're playing ok and have an on form striker, an on form 'keeper, and we're at their place and they'll be fired up by the various quotes from our side of things. It's a Derby, I've got no idea what's going to happen. Keep our heads, keep Fletcher isolated and we won't concede. At the other end of the pitch?
  6. Reading (A) 29/09/2012 Views from here on HobNob Apologies for the delay in getting this one up. I didn't get moderator approval in time to collate the answers myself and then I was at a wedding this weekend, so it was left in the capable hands of Brock Manson. Many thanks to him and to the Reading Fans that answered. I did manage to watch the highlights during the boring as fuck Father of Bride speech. Ba's 1st is an absolute gem. Other than that I can't comment on the game itself.
  7. Norwich (H) 23/09/2012 Views from here on Pink'un Welcoming bunch of lads on there, seem genuine football fans too; knowledge about other clubs, broader sense of whats going on in football too. Definitely no chip on their shoulder, unlike some others. I've personally got a soft spot for Norwich fans because of mates, and now the Hughton link. Consensus seems to be that we should be wary of Snodgrass. Holt hasn't scored this season so if he starts I'd be definitely be wary of the big man. However, unlike the last time we played Norwich during an injury crisis, the injuries aren't necessarily playing to their strengths. We were comprehensibly taken apart in aerial duels last time round. With Taylor and Williamson in the centre I think we should be confident of competing for headers on a much more even basis. It's still not clear which of our players are going to be available but given Pardiola isn't one to risk rushing back players I'd no be surprised to see a similar team that took to the field against Everton with Ba starting as a lone (but well supported) front man and Perch and Anita starting in their stronger positions. If Tiote and Cisse are back I'd hope it'd be something like this: I'm confident about this game, so I fully expect to draw and ruin a decent weekend's football yet.
  8. Everton (A) 17/09/2012 View from here on Grand Old Team Not fair to say that's necessarily representative as it's the only response, so I'll try and summarise what I've found from their match thread: Well, what an angry lot they are, got real enmity towards Newcastle, for whatever reason (probably that boring "who's a bigger club" stuff). Not seen a bunch of fans more desperate to beat us since the mackems Whipping themselves into a froth about Pardew, about Geordie Shore (while apparently being oblivious to the absolute weapons grades cathwords on Desperate Scousewives which is a similarly unrepresentative p.o.s. tv show), and seemingly they were more bothered about getting 3pts off us on the last day of the 11/12 season than finishing below us. Oh, they're still fans of the old "deluded mag" cliche too They're worried about Ba and Cisse and a few have mentioned HBA, Cabaye's been largely ignored and they're rightly glad Krul, Colo and Tiote are missing. As such most of them are predicting an absolute mauling and it's hard to argue when we're missing our 3 most key defensive players, playing average and struggling with fixture congestion, whilst they're performing well, buoyed by key players finding form earlier than usual and playing with a bit of swagger too. A comfortable 3-1 to them I reckon.
  9. Aston Villa (H) 02/09/2012 Views from here on Heroes & Villains (Soz for the delay, been drinking a lot)
  10. Chelsea (A) 25/08/2012 Views from here on CFC.net They're fairly confident about Saturday, worried about Ben Arfa and Cisse though. Seems to be the consensus that we'll be fresher than they will be.
  11. Tottenham (H) 17:30 18/08/2012 Views from here on Glory-Glory More pessimistic than I was expecting in terms of Saturday. They seem impressed with Sigurdsson already, also seem to be expecting more from Liverpool than we are.
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