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Curious as to which teams people think are likely to be pushing us. Norwich are probably most people's guess but they don't look much less shaky than either Huddersfield or Brighton.

 

Villa have also now won a couple on the trot, and while they're a long way from being a problem, I think they'll be resurgent from here.

 

The pessimist in me thinks we've overdue for a defeat soon which will see us sink back into the chasing pack again, but I reckon if we can keep our run going for another 5 games or so, we'll not be caught. I actually think that if we ended up in second place, I'd be genuinely disappointed.

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Our depth is the key.  The league is hard, games come around quickly with little recovery.  The winter is going to be hard and thats where we will see t'Uddersfield drop off.

Wensday have a decent owner and backs their gaffer, but they dont have the depth.

Norwich for the other Auto spot I think they have some quality. 

 

Villa, will the new manager 'bounce' last long?  Can they start to threaten?

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On paper Villa should threaten. I know we run them down a lot but they're good enough to challenge for playoffs IMO if they sort themselves out. That said, they're not exactly playing convincingly even if they have won a couple.

 

I genuinely think Norwich could miss an auto slot, they're mentally weak and keep throwing points away.

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Villa are shite, it's just new manager bounce. None of the other teams have any depth and we'll beat Norwich when we play them again. It's a race for 2nd really and quite honestly I hope it's not Norwich simply because some people (outside of NUFC fans I'm on about here, our lot are allowed to worry) had the utter fucking cheek of saying they had a better chance of going up than us.

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Villa are shite, it's just new manager bounce. None of the other teams have any depth and we'll beat Norwich when we play them again. It's a race for 2nd really and quite honestly I hope it's not Norwich simply because some people (outside of NUFC fans I'm on about here, our lot are allowed to worry) had the utter fucking cheek of saying they had a better chance of going up than us.

Not having this. We're only three points clear of Huddersfield and Brighton, whilst Norwich sit a point further back and it's not even Halloween yet man :lol:

 

I can see why there's overwhelming positivity, especially given our experience in 09/10 but ffs it's Newcastle United we're talking about here :lol:

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Not having this. We're only three points clear of Huddersfield and Brighton, whilst Norwich sit a point further back and it's not even Halloween yet man :lol:

 

I can see why there's overwhelming positivity, especially given our experience in 09/10 but ffs it's Newcastle United we're talking about here :lol:

They've got paper thin squads though, look at Huddersfields back ups and you're looking at League One quality players some of our back ups are better than their starters. Hudds have only won games by 1 goal and play an extremely aggressive pressing style, once the fixture pile up really starts to happen they'll drop off. It's always going to be hard to create any sort of big gap early on especially as squad depth hasn't become an issue yet. 

We've already played a lot of the better sides in the division and are already top, now we just have to keep howking the shite which is something Norwich, Huddersfield, Brighton and co have been tripping up over lately. In comparison McCarthy basically alluded to the fact Ipswich pretty much rolled over for us. 

 

I genuinely don't rate (and don't like) Norwich, so I'm always going to write them off as a contender for top spot over us. 

 

Aye we are Newcastle but we've got by far the best squad and manager in this division, we also have the most money available come January if we need anyone and are the biggest draw. I just cannot see teams like Huddersfield, whose fan base is over the fucking moon to be where they are atm, challenging us by they 30+ games played mark. The Premier League is a different story completely but in this division we really are that strong imo.

 

If you're genuinely worried about Huddersfield and Brighton both finishing above us then fair enough but I'm not worried at all about that now that I've seen how professional and competently Rafa is going about this division.

Edited by Howay
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I'm not really worried about anything tbh, it's just my natural caution when it comes to us. There's numerous things that could fuck us over iyam, were still shit at set plays and long term injuries to Lacelles and Mbemba would make us about as good as anyone else in the league at the back. Then there's just general loss of form and confidence. Am really enjoying the season, but it's not over for me.

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I'm not really worried about anything tbh, it's just my natural caution when it comes to us. There's numerous things that could fuck us over iyam, were still shit at set plays and long term injuries to Lacelles and Mbemba would make us about as good as anyone else in the league at the back. Then there's just general loss of form and confidence. Am really enjoying the season, but it's not over for me.

Aye I don't blame you. I don't rate our defence at all for what it's worth, however I also don't rate the effectiveness of the oppositions strikers too highly. I'm more just trying to enjoy this season and look at it as a Manchester United fan would have looked at seasons in the late 90's and early 2000's, in that I just expect us to roll teams over and us to win the league. My prediction is of course hinged on us not having some horrific injury crisis, but even then it'd have to be fairly significant with the depth we have (and buying power in Jan).

 

I jokingly have pops at Adios and Rayvin for their hesitation to get carried away but I fully understand it in all honesty as like you said before this is NUFC. I'm just enjoying going over the top a bit and I know me posting in such an arrogant fashion will rile up the mackems that are no doubt reading the forum.

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My thinking is pretty much the same as PaddockLad's.  I just expect something bad to happen sooner or later but I have to admit, at the moment though I can't see what it can be.  The size and quality of our squad and Rafa's rotation policy, make an injury crisis much more unlikely and I think it would take a hell of a lot of injuries to really impact us that much.  I suppose Shelvey is the only player who I don't really think we have a replacement for.  I think Diame could take over in the centre of midfield but he's clearly a very different type of player.  But aside from him we seem to have a good deal of cover for every position, to the point that even losing a couple of players in a position wouldn't harm us that much.  Just think if Gayle got injured, we have Mitro, Perez and Murphy to cover him.  If we lose Ritchie, we have Atsu or Yedlin who look like they could comfortably slot in without it costing us too much.  Add to that the funds we have available come January and it looks nothing to worry about at all.

 

Going back to the original question, I think Norwich will be right up there and probably go up automatically.  They seem to have a good manager and a much better squad than the rest of the league.  Brighton have been right up there the last few seasons and I can see no reason to think they won't be again this season.  I think Villa have left themselves a lot to do to try and challenge for automatic promotion but Bruce knows what he's doing at this level and they have a lot of firepower in their attack so I can see them getting into the play offs.  I do expect Huddersfield to drop off because of the size of their squad but I think they can stay in the play off mix and I agree with others who have mentioned Shef Wed.  No one else is looking particularly strong but every season you get some random team coming from nowhere and making a late charge up the league.  This season will probably be no exception but who it will be is anyones guess.

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Norwich will be promoted automatically, I fancy Huddersfield to stay around the play off positions, with Brighton, Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday.

 

Villa might make the Play Offs, but I think it'll be too soon for a lot of their delicate egos.

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My thinking is pretty much the same as PaddockLad's.  I just expect something bad to happen sooner or later but I have to admit, at the moment though I can't see what it can be.  The size and quality of our squad and Rafa's rotation policy, make an injury crisis much more unlikely and I think it would take a hell of a lot of injuries to really impact us that much. 

 

It'll be sometime next year when we start looking like something of a stable premiership team under Rafa when the biennial Ashley major fuck up occurs and we're back to square one. Probably over a transfer or something a la Keegan 

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It'll be sometime next year when we start looking like something of a stable premiership team under Rafa when the biennial Ashley major fuck up occurs and we're back to square one. Probably over a transfer or something a la Keegan 

 

well he did exactly that with hughton so you can't rule it out, but i'm starting to wonder (and hope) if the fat twat might have finally learned his lesson after a decade of fucking it up.

 

et's say everything clicks into place under rafa, we go up first of asking and he re-establishes us as a top 6 side. i'd like to think ashley would just leave it alone and let benitez continue to do his job. he's obviously got an agreement in place that his predecessors weren't able to negotiate. he calls the shots on and off the field.

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well he did exactly that with hughton so you can't rule it out, but i'm starting to wonder (and hope) if the fat twat might have finally learned his lesson after a decade of fucking it up.

 

et's say everything clicks into place under rafa, we go up first of asking and he re-establishes us as a top 6 side. i'd like to think ashley would just leave it alone and let benitez continue to do his job. he's obviously got an agreement in place that his predecessors weren't able to negotiate. he calls the shots on and off the field.

 

I'm obviously the last person to defend Ashley.  But we were still a loss making club last time we were promoted.  As we were when Keegan arrived.  

 

No matter how wrong Ashley was the way he went about things, he was on a manic drive to reduce costs and recoup as much as he could.  Which meant selling assets and buying cheap replacements.  I think Hughton has been too dignified to go into detail on why he was replaced, or maybe he doesn't know himself, but I think it was more to do with his contract renewal being due and deserving to double or treble his money and/or private conversations they'd had about assets like Carroll and what the reaction to a sale would have been.

 

In his defense, the club doesn't make a loss now, it makes massive profits (thanks to TV deals rather thjan Ashley's financial acumen) and he has always allowed the club to reinvest profits (eventually).

 

I have a hope that being in this position gives Ashley the opportunity to give a manager autonomy to manage a budget, rather than butting heads about harming the squad to make ends meet.

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Yeah, I think Ashley now accepts just about every decision he's made at the club has been terrible. He found himself with Rafa through sheer luck - it was Benitez's advisers who contacted Charnley - and was happy to hand over total control to someone with actual acumen. He's been trying to hand off for years now, but he's just picked the wrong people every time (Wise, Kinnear, Llambias, Charnley, the list goes on...).

 

Where I might be concerned is, like aimaad says, when we're back in the PL and Benitez wants budget to push on, while Ashley sees us as a comfortable midtable team already. Would Ashley keep stumping up the cash?

Edited by rogerbarton
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Yeah, I think Ashley now accepts just about every decision he's made at the club has been terrible. He found himself with Rafa through sheer luck - it was Benitez's advisers who contacted Charnley - and was happy to hand over total control to someone with actual acumen. He's been trying to hand off for years now, but he's just picked the wrong people every time (Wise, Kinnear, Llambias, Charnley, the list goes on...).

 

Where I might be concerned is, like aimaad says, when we're back in the PL and Benitez wants budget to push on, while Ashley sees us as a comfortable midtable team already. Would Ashley keep stumping up the cash?

 

Keep?

 

Ashley hasn't stumped up any cash since 2010.

 

You can categorically say that he won't allow the club to borrow or to make a loss in order to push on.  I thgink Rafa will be happy to work under that limitation though, because the income in the Premier League will be such that he has some folding money to play with.

 

When he had his issues with owners at Liverpool it was because they were picking the players on the limited budget, not because there was a limited budget.

 

Ashley has form on promising autonomy and then going back on it.  He just doesn't have the excuse of a loss making club to do that again.

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Dunno mind, I think Rafa taking the job has probably raised our stock with other managers. At least once we've been promoted it will have. I don't think we'll be looking anywhere near to the Pulises and Allardyces of the world. I reckon you could reasonably expect we could pull in a Koeman.

 

Just depends on whether or not we go up in the end.

 

Curious to think how the current team would handle the PL challenge mind.

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