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Renton

Which club got the better deal?

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Difficult one. Linky.

 

Having been lost a few times in the maze that is the Premier League, Graeme Souness is slap bang back where he started.

 

As he stares out across St James' Park tomorrow, he will perceive his old club Blackburn Rovers in opposition to his current charge Newcastle United.

 

It was on September 11, 2004 Souness, having accepted the coin from Freddy Shepherd, watched from on high as caretaker boss John Carver eeked out a 3-0 victory over those he had deserted.

 

Of the United squad that merry day seven are no longer in the care of Souness - Laurent Robert, Craig Bellamy, Jermaine Jenas, Andy O'Brien, and Aaron Hughes, who all played, and subs Patrick Kluivert and James Milner, the latter on a year's sabbatical at his Villa.

 

Carver has long since departed the scene too. How times have changed!

 

 

The truth of the matter, like it or not, is United are nearer a relegation battle than a European push - eight points from sixth top and only four points above Middlesbrough, who are on the very brink of the relegation pack.

 

 

No team, not even the stranded Sunderland, have lost more away matches than Newcastle's eight.

 

 

We may yet be thankful Sunderland, Birmingham and Portsmouth are so painfully poor!

 

 

Mark Hughes, over the same timespan as Souness, has taken Blackburn higher than Newcastle, hardly to the delight of the Toon's terrace brigade.

 

 

All of which begs comparison on who got the better deal.

 

 

Despite Alan Shearer helping Rovers to win the championship, Geordies consider theirs a bigger club, and therefore they ought to be higher in any pecking order. That is the pressure at Newcastle United.

 

 

It has not worked out as Souness would have liked.

 

 

There is no doubt injuries have bitten into a squad so thin as to be transparent - Michael Owen, Scott Parker, Steve Taylor, Kieron Dyer and Emre are among the thoroughbreds who have been stabled for a considerable time.

 

 

However, results have fallen well short not over a short period but over all of last season as well as this which leaves arguments flimsy. If half-a-dozen full internationals are fielded more should be expected than has been delivered.

 

 

This is when passion, energy and pattern of play become crucial, when managers and coaching staff have to coax performances from those around them. It has not happened.

 

 

Often, especially on their travels, Newcastle look limp, vaguely disinterested and lacking in moral backbone. That so much has been spent on so little!

 

 

A considerable amount of spice has been lost tomorrow with the absence of the volatile Bellamy.

 

 

`Lily' Savage of the blond flowing locks and same Welsh short fuse will have to suffice instead.

 

 

All will be concentrating on Shearer attempting to smash Wor Jackie's record on home soil, for which Souness will be mightily grateful.

 

 

A Shearer winner rather than one from Bellamy is much more appetising all round, but especially to a man who got very confrontational with a firebrand, in contrast to Bobby Robson who, after an inevitable verbal row, adopted a more subtle, forgiving, and arm-round-the-shoulder approach.

 

 

The trouble is United do not score a lot these days - 20 in 21 matches - because they do not create enough chances.

 

 

Shearer is starved of driven crosses from either wing and so his superior heading ability is wasted. He is often left stranded and forlorn.

 

 

Nobby Solano no longer operates wide to stretch play.

 

 

Instead, United have used Shearer as the lone target at 35 years of age, with Solano tucked in one side and Albert Luque the other.

 

 

It means overlapping full-backs have to come a long way to cross not from behind Shearer, which leaves him unable to put power in his headers, but in front of him at the byline.

 

 

United are crying out for a play-maker, a visionary who can put his foot on the ball and his head up, as well as wingers who get behind defences to hit the dead-ball line.

 

 

Even when all are fit, United are still short of genuine locksmiths.

 

 

So they will remain a pale imitation of what went before until the problem is solved and a creator imported.

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Often, especially on their travels, Newcastle look limp, vaguely disinterested and lacking in moral backbone.

 

Which is one of the major things that's always worried me about Souness. He only wants 'proper' players who are hardworking and honest but when we've got a team of them out we look shite. I still haven't changed my mind about Robert needing to go, my mind was made up with him under the latter stages of Robson's reign, but to win things you need a bit of flair...and we've got diddly shit of it (except maybe Dyer, but even then, it's once in a blue moon when he does turn it on).

Edited by sweetleftpeg

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The bit about us having no players that unlock defences.

 

We have Emre, Luque, and Solano, just we have noone to run onto their passes.

82421[/snapback]

 

Playing Solano narrow doesn't help either like!

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The bit about us having no players that unlock defences.

 

We have Emre, Luque, and Solano, just we have noone to run onto their passes.

82421[/snapback]

 

And by playing John Beck-style long ball football we make sure the midfield doesn't get the ball too often...

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The bit about us having no players that unlock defences.

 

We have Emre, Luque, and Solano, just we have noone to run onto their passes.

82421[/snapback]

 

And by playing John Beck-style long ball football we make sure the midfield doesn't get the ball too often...

82427[/snapback]

 

Aye. Probably the most boring team in the EPL.

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Often, especially on their travels, Newcastle look limp, vaguely disinterested and lacking in moral backbone.

 

Which is one of the major things that's always worried me about Souness. He only wants 'proper' players who are hardworking and honest but when we've got a team of them out we look shite. I still haven't changed my mind about Robert needing to go, my mind was made up with him under the latter stages of Robson's reign, but to win things you need a bit of flair...and we've got diddly shit of it (except maybe Dyer, but even then, it's once in a blue moon when he does turn it on).

82409[/snapback]

 

SLP -

 

On the one hand you're worried about these 'proper' players churning out shit. You acknowledge a team needs flair but then you go on to say you haven't changed your mind that Robert 'needed to go' because of his performances during the latter stages of Robson's reign as manager.

 

If you cast your mind back to the period you're talking about I think you might admit that there were some pretty poor performances from the whole team near the end of Robson's time. It's why he was sacked, man. FS could see he'd lost the players, not just Robert. Booting Robert out on this basis is using him as a scapegoat for the whole team under performing. It's why I wanted Robson out after we finished 3rd, I could see he was losing the players even then.

 

Anyway, no doubt we'll disagree on the last paragrah. What I would like to say as well though is that it's only time for a good player to go when an adequate replacement is brought in. This means it should be painfully obvious to everybody by now that Robert in fact didn't 'need to go'.

Edited by Howaythelads

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Solano is playing shite compared to last season at villa and is providing very little service to any front players.

Emre.....can't remember it's so long ago

Luque looks like a tart and Shearer got on the end of the only decent thing he's done that actually " unlocked" a defence.

Shearer's legs have gone but what do you expect from a 35 year old who should be played sparingly and not every minute of every game. Still our best option but as long as you have defenders who are incapable of doing anything but punting a long ball up the middle every f*****g time what more can we expect? At least when Shearer has the ball at his feet he can usually lay it off and use it constructively but very few are capable of playing a decent pass on the ground in the current team. Although Chopra has more pace than Shearer, none of the midfield or wide players..... who aren't actually wide players any more.....can offer him any service either.

 

At least ameobi looks like having a longterm injury, thank God, the only bright spot in the current crisis.

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The bit about us having no players that unlock defences.

 

We have Emre, Luque, and Solano, just we have noone to run onto their passes.

82421[/snapback]

 

And by playing John Beck-style long ball football we make sure the midfield doesn't get the ball too often...

82427[/snapback]

 

What concerns me about that comment is that some people want Martin O'Neill as manager :lol:

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If robert is a good player HTL, he didn't exactly demonstrate it at pompey where they were more than glad to see the back of him.

82434[/snapback]

 

Aye. Just like Solano is shit for us right now, but was player of the year for Villa. Aston Villa fans would say Solano is a good player, had he not previously played for Newcastle we'd all be thinking we got a right load of crap with that signing, wouldn't we?

 

How Robert failed to perform for Portsmouth has absolutely nowt to do with what he produced for Newcastle during his time here, and it is a fact he hasn't been properly replaced.

 

No good player should be discarded without adequate replacement. When a club allows good players to go without replacements, that club goes backward.

Edited by Howaythelads

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The bit about us having no players that unlock defences.

 

We have Emre, Luque, and Solano, just we have noone to run onto their passes.

82421[/snapback]

 

And by playing John Beck-style long ball football we make sure the midfield doesn't get the ball too often...

82427[/snapback]

 

What concerns me about that comment is that some people want Martin O'Neill as manager :lol:

82446[/snapback]

 

He's hyped up by the media.

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The bit about us having no players that unlock defences.

 

We have Emre, Luque, and Solano, just we have noone to run onto their passes.

82421[/snapback]

 

And by playing John Beck-style long ball football we make sure the midfield doesn't get the ball too often...

82427[/snapback]

 

What concerns me about that comment is that some people want Martin O'Neill as manager :mellow:

82446[/snapback]

 

He's hyped up by the media.

82471[/snapback]

 

You're agreeing with me on something???? :huh::lol:

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That's exactly what I was doing, FS, laughing that you still don't see it.

 

We had nowt on the left before Robert arrived and we've got nowt on the left now he's gone. Unlike you I have no favourite players, just a favourite club that I want to see packed with talented footballers. I've been aware of the limitations of Robert all along, I was frustrated by his lack of defensive ability just as much as anybody else, however, I believe he brought more than enough to the team in other ways to more than compensate for those areas in which he struggled. He makes goals and he scores goals and that's what wins matches.

 

Nowadays, your hero does very little and I couldn't care less how much he tries, anything he does manage is because it's on a plate for him. I think you'd be shocked at his lack of mobility should you manage to get to a match next time you're in the country. Shearer 'needed to go' 18 months or so ago for the team to move forward, with a change in style and a change in emphasis. He's been great for us but I've no time for sentimentality, Bellamy and Robert were the main and most potent attacking threats in the team and it should have been built around those players, with a replacement for Shearer after we finished 3rd. That didn't happen, these very good players have been booted out without adequate replacements and we're now reaping the rewards. Dross and a relegation dogfight. But you have a hero to worship, so no doubt you're happy.

 

Head in sand springs to mind, but then I do realise that some are happy with graft.

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The bit about us having no players that unlock defences.

 

We have Emre, Luque, and Solano, just we have noone to run onto their passes.

82421[/snapback]

 

And by playing John Beck-style long ball football we make sure the midfield doesn't get the ball too often...

82427[/snapback]

 

What concerns me about that comment is that some people want Martin O'Neill as manager :mellow:

82446[/snapback]

 

He's hyped up by the media.

82471[/snapback]

 

You're agreeing with me on something???? :huh::lol:

82559[/snapback]

 

I often agree with you, Craig. Tis you who goes out of your way to disagree with me at every opportunity.

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Blackburn fans must be pissing themselves and who can blame them? They were about to sack him until the Fat One came along and actually paid them to get rid of him. And look where we are now...

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Look at the table, the answer lies within.

82965[/snapback]

 

But remember the table doesn't contain columns for: injuries, luck, referees, injuries and the fact our players are proper and giving 100%. I think you'll find if the table did indeed include these factors that we would be sitting in 1st place and awaiting the title!

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I think this can be summed up by a simple sentence:

 

"We PAID them money for souness."

 

Thats like paying someone to come into your house and destroy the furnature. Then let them drive off in your car at the end (severece fee).

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I think this can be summed up by a simple sentence:

 

"We PAID them money for souness."

 

Thats like paying someone to come into your house and destroy the furnature. Then let them drive off in your car at the end (severece fee).

83023[/snapback]

 

Its a frightening thought isn't it! We actually went to Blackburn and basically said "No, don't sack the useless fucker, let us PAY you money to take him off your hands!"

 

Then we pay him a fortune to fuck the club up, and reward him for fucking us up by paying HIM compensation. For what he's done he should pay all the money from his time here back and more on top of that!

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I think this can be summed up by a simple sentence:

 

"We PAID them money for souness."

 

Thats like paying someone to come into your house and destroy the furnature. Then let them drive off in your car at the end (severece fee).

83023[/snapback]

 

Its a frightening thought isn't it! We actually went to Blackburn and basically said "No, don't sack the useless fucker, let us PAY you money to take him off your hands!"

 

Then we pay him a fortune to fuck the club up, and reward him for fucking us up by paying HIM compensation. For what he's done he should pay all the money from his time here back and more on top of that!

83026[/snapback]

 

Some people still don't blame Fat Fred though.... :(

 

The last in a catalogue of critical errors that Shepherd made during a 4 week period in late summer 2004 which IMO have all contributed to the club's downfall...

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I think this can be summed up by a simple sentence:

 

"We PAID them money for souness."

 

Thats like paying someone to come into your house and destroy the furnature. Then let them drive off in your car at the end (severece fee).

83023[/snapback]

 

Its a frightening thought isn't it! We actually went to Blackburn and basically said "No, don't sack the useless fucker, let us PAY you money to take him off your hands!"

 

Then we pay him a fortune to fuck the club up, and reward him for fucking us up by paying HIM compensation. For what he's done he should pay all the money from his time here back and more on top of that!

83026[/snapback]

 

Some people still don't blame Fat Fred though.... :(

 

The last in a catalogue of critical errors that Shepherd made during a 4 week period in late summer 2004 which IMO have all contributed to the club's downfall...

83113[/snapback]

 

Fat Fred has indeed made several massive mistakes.

 

Didn't sack Bobby close season and get top class manager in, then did sack him without a replacement ready. Actually wanted Steve Bruce, then finally chose Souness. The whole treatment of Bellamy and Robert in the media thus reducing their values when he knew we were selling, thats just simple bad business. And final mistakes, not sacking Souness after last season, and not sacking him at any number of points in this season.

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