Archive for September, 2012

A Thought or Two

Posted in NUFC on September 28, 2012 by tegtalk
Just a quick one from me as I am busy with Uni stuff and blah blah boring and you don’t care, but what an increasingly strange 12 months we have had. I’m confused

Pardew , Carr, Stone, Woodman and Carver have all penned new deals with the club for 8 years, and Dekka has come out and said possibly the most sensible thing we have heard from him ever, saying that time and consistency are what makes clubs great. Especially when you are working within a tightly controlled financial framework like we are. We kept ahold of our major players through the summer transfer window and despite all of our moaning and whinging, the players we have signed seem to be full of quality and fit right into the club. Add to that how much Santon has developed, the emergence of Mini T and  how James Perch has gone from zero to legend and the fact we are only, as my co-blogger Teg pointed out, 2 points adrift of last years total at the same time last season and still in Europe.

The club seem to know what it is doing and actually moving us forward on a platform for the future, not just the here and now.
Is this really Newcastle United?

PicardOk

Jean-Luc is a bit pensive, but agrees with me that things seem to be going the right way

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Have you had your plus sign today?

Posted in NUFC on September 26, 2012 by tegtalk

It’s been over a week and we have played three games since I put my thoughts down on the blog. I’m glad I waited. After the Villa game I was a bit downcast. We didn’t really show up and were probably lucky to get a draw.

Fast forward to the ramshackle old tin hut that is Goodison and Monday Night Football. I confess I couldn’t get to the game and watched it on Sky. Gary Neville continues to impress and is fast becoming the best football pundit on UK TV.

The first half was as bad as I’ve witnessed under Pardew. We were literally all over the place. I was happy with the team selection beforehand but baffled at his decision to play Marveaux right and HBA left. Baines and Pienaar ripped us to bits and we were lucky to be only 1 0 down at half time, although crucially we had two pretty good chances through Cisse and Anita so we had something to play for in the second half.

I think that second half may have given us a boost for the season. It wasn’t of Arsenal 4 4 proportions but we dug in, rode our luck (massively) and battled back to gain a hugely rewarding point. Obviously the introduction of an seriously pissed off Ba as a second half substitute concentrated the minds and he was excellent with two well taken goals.

More telling for me was Pardew’s tactical and personnel changes. Swapping Perch and Anita and putting Jonas to the right restricted their left hand side. Our manager knows what he’s doing.

Ba’s comments after the game were interesting as were his agent and brother making their mouths go. He obviously wants to play as a central striker and is apparently discussing a new contract with the revelation he could leave in January again rearing its head. I think the situation will be resolved. He is proving as vital and as deadly early this season as he did last. We’d be crackers to let him go unless we have someone his equal lined up but there aren’t many of them out there. Another interesting January awaits I guess.

Next up was Maritimo away and another chance to have a look at the squad players and Shola. Decent performance, probably should have won with encouraging showings from Rob Elliot and Gosling. Stand out for me was young Bigirimana. What a player this kid is going to be. He never wastes a pass and rattles into tackles without fear. He has jumped ahead of a lot of reserve midfield players in my opinion. The lad has seized his chance with determination and is receiving the plaudits he definitely deserves. He will be a regular first team player within two seasons if he continues to improve and impress.

Last Sunday was Norwich at home and a chance to thank Chris Hughton and then batter his side I thought. Chris will always have a special place in our hearts for rallying the lads in the Championship and then getting us promoted and delivering some fine performances along the way. He will never have to buy a pint in town for the 5 1 derby result alone.

The game went along the lines of a lot of our performances so far this season. Plenty of effort, some decent showings and our number 10 a joy to watch. His run and pass for Ba’s goal was demonstrative of the way he is playing this season. Cool, calm, innovative, determined and at times breathtaking. His start to the season has been the true highlight for me.

The game finished 1 0 because of the fine goal from Ba and a couple of excellent saves from our veteran keeper. I have to give some credit to Mike Williamson. He was excellent in the air in both boxes. However he was playing against a couple of Sunday league forwards and he has demonstrated many tines he can handle that type of striker

I can forgive the lads for wanting Cisse to take the penalty to get him off the mark for the season. The manager seems to have too, but I’m sure he won’t be on the next one. I’m also sure Pardew will use that to motivate Papiss to keep on going. Once he gets one he will go on a run of goals like he did last season. Form is temporary etc etc.

I have been laid up in bed with flu for the last couple of days and I heard this stat on Radio Newcastle last night. ‘This season we have played five games and have eight points. Last season, our best for many a year, after our first five games, we had nine points.’ That surprised me a little but after checking, I realised it was correct.

That led me to feeling a lot more positive about the next few games and the season as a whole. Tiote is back (as a couple of the Norwich lad’s shins will testify) and I believe that will see Cabaye back to form. As soon as Tiote took to the field on Sunday, Yohan played further forward and started probing and passing. His through ball for Demba at Everton alone showed the lad still has it in his locker. I’d take him off set pieces for a while like Al!

Tonight is the Capital One (jeeeez) Cup game at Old Trafford. It seems Coloccini will play and Simpson and Krul will resume training this week. They may not all be in contention for Reading this weekend but seem certain they will be in the squad when we play Man U for real on October the 7th.

That alone gives me a warm feeling inside. I’ve said previously our first 11 can take on anyone in this league especially at home and Man Utd will be coming to us not firing on all cylinders, a bit like last January.

It looks like both sides will field a mix of youth and experience in the game tonight. This is one of these games where I go into it relaxed. I’d love to see us win a cup. I would go to Wembley, cry, shout, scream, laugh and hug strangers and then do the same when they drove around town on the open-top bus but going to Old Trafford and winning is not something we do a helluva lot. A good game, a few goals, no injuries, no extra time and I will be happy. If we win we will probably get Chelsea or Arsenal in the next round. That’s not pessimism; it’s just what normally seems to happen!!!

So, no matter what happens tonight I am in a positive mood and I believe we will go to Reading (Danny Guthrie and the owners fit girlfriend and all) and win. That may take us into the top 6, where I reckon we will stay roundabouts for the rest of the season. Positive again!

A few more plus points before I sign off.

Steven Taylor has been solid this season so far and I just hope he remains fit.

Perch, when and where asked to play, has carried on his performances of last season and remains a great squad member.

Santon, as I hoped, has progressed and looks pretty unflappable defensively and his marauding runs are increasing game by game. I’d just like to see him let a rocket go now.

Onwards and upwards. United we remain

Teg.

PS. The title of this article comes from a line from a little known Prince Rodgers Nelson song called, yep you guessed it. ‘Positivity’

Balls to it

Posted in Uncategorized on September 14, 2012 by tegtalk

It seems important and influential blog posts written by people we know are like buses, 2 come along at once.

Again, is not really our thing, but its another message that needs to be out there.

Fellow Twitterer @2NarMe has written a frank but amusing account of his unpleasant encounter with testicular cancer

ObiWanCajone

Teg and Grim

Depression

Posted in Uncategorized on September 14, 2012 by tegtalk

This isnt our usual type of thing. At all. But a good friend of ours has smashed the world wide open with his blog on his battle with depression. Its simply a must read and we feel honour bound to reblog him, so we are doing.

Andrew Lawes or if you follow us on Twitter @LordGeord, Take a bow son, you moved the world, if only for a little while, and thats more than the rest of us get to do in a lifetime.

LawesLawesLawesLawes

Teg and Grim

The Walking Dead

Posted in Film and TV on September 13, 2012 by tegtalk
TV this time from me and as the new season is only a couple of weeks away I thought I would give The Walking Dead some blurb.  Now for me, this has been one of the best things on TV, if you haven’t seen it because you think its not your thing, I’m here to persuade you otherwise.
In a nutshell. Its based on, but not restricted by, a very successful comic by Robert Kirkman and its basically the never-ending story of a zombie apocalypse. The main protagonist is a Policeman called Rick Grimes, who wakes up after being shot in the line of duty in an abandoned hospital with the door to his room barred. From there on the tale follows his battle for survival and his quest to see if his family is still alive. Season One was under the creative control of  Frank Darabont, you may know some of his other work, The Shawshank Redemption and The Mist for starters, and though short, it was a solid showing. Some oddness happened after season One, and Darabont was relieved of his duties for reasons unknown  and Glenn Mazzara took the helm. Season 2 was a much longer affair, reaching 16 episodes and was a bit of a slow burner. Its actually much better watched in a box set than it was on TV., as you get a much better feeling for the pacing, but once you hit the second half of season 2. Well, it gets pretty intense and the feature length Finale is truly the single best episode of anything I have ever watched.

Almost certainly filmed on location in Sunderland outside the Cheesy Chip Shop

Bottom line here folks is this. Zombies, the end of the world as we know it and some devastatingly good SFX and gore on a mainstream network TV show. It was basically unimaginable and unpitchable at the time, but US Network AMC took a punt and brought it to our screens, and didn’t look back. It set the ratings calculators on fire, setting new highs for the network and for season premiere’s and finale’s.  And I’m off again, you don’t care about all this now, though, if you invest in the show, you might look back and realise what an impact it made and get an idea of what is expected for Season 3.
You think the show is about Zombies don’t you? Well its not. Its about people, people who are at their wits end and under some considerable duress. Its about going on a journey with these poor souls and seeing who makes it to the next stop on the way, its about the conversations with others who watch the show and asking “Would you have done that?” or “What would you do in that situation?”. Its about the shocks, the thrills, the spills, the moments where you forget to breathe and the moments when your jaw drops in sheer exasperation. This show delivers. Is it as sharp, clever and good as Boardwalk Empire or Breaking Bad?, maybe not, but it makes up for that in many other ways.
So there it is folks, Zombies on your tele screens. The Walking Dead Season 3 premieres on October the 14th, which just about gives you time to go out and rent the first two seasons, because trust me Season 3 is going to be something to behold and you need to be ready.
Incase you were wondering, should the zombies arrive, I’ll be in the pub. With a Shotgun. And a long pokey stick.
Grim
P.S Oh I forgot, there are webisodes on the Youtube that you may want to check out. A mini prequel to season 1.

Grim’s Grumble

Posted in NUFC on September 12, 2012 by tegtalk
Ranting………………
*warning, this is a bit of a rant, it may not be linear and will include swear words

Captain Picard is pretty angry, and a little disappointed.

Out of everything that has happened (or not) during the last few months only one thing really riled me. It wasn’t the idiots on the NUFC tag screaming for more money than we have to be spent, it wasn’t our inability to close a deal nor was it seeing clubs who we had the beating of last season sign players to turn their squad around. It was Alan Pardew coming out and saying he felt some of our players had their heads turned during the transfer window.
But Grim, why get so annoyed at that? you may well ask.
 Well heres my thinking on it. Tiote , Cabaye and the rest of the big hitters know they are important players for us. They also know that in hindsight we were very lucky to get them at the prices we paid for them. They would also know through Pardews public comments and more than probably private comments to the players in person, that it would only take a mega money bid to get us to consider releasing them. Which we obviously didn’t get. Thats not to say we didn’t get bids for them, but they were just that stupid speculative bids, much as we have done over the summer to other clubs. Personally if I was Yohan Cabaye and Arsenal had bid 8 million for me, I would have burst out laughing at the cheek of it and the same goes for Man United’s rumoured 13-15m bids for Tiote. What I want to know is how these heads have been turned by such bids? Did they think valuations were going to be met and they would be moved? did they fall victim to Skys marketing and think Jim White would be hanging  upside down from the ceiling, snorting coke of the blonde ones tits and anally receiving vodka screaming their names in a transfer frenzy?
Now I have vented a little I feel slightly better, but for Pardew to say heads got turned frankly is Bullshit. Its more likely that heads are a down a little because of the lack of transfer activity, Cabaye didn’t get his man crush in, Tiote well God knows what goes on in that brain, he possibly needs to stop thinking of Pickled Onions and remember its football time again and Tiote SMASH is the order of the day. As for Pappis Demba George Cisse, he’s not finding it as easy as he did last year and probably needs to be careful he doesn’t go the way Ba did last year when absolutely nothing went his way. If Pardew has resorted to 4-4-2 to accommodate Cisse and Ba both in their preferred positions then sorry but to quote Spock “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one”  Benny was also one of the mentioned ones when the head turning comment came up. Yet he has probably been our best player and without his goals we could be occupying Liverpools position in the doldrums way down in 18th place. Yes I know its only been 3 games, but 3 in the league 2 in Europe as well and we have not been anywhere close to anything resembling our best. Lets be honest we have been shite.
Or have we? Is it just the burden of expectation we have laced upon the team after last seasons success that has spoilt us?
As Teg said in his earlier article, these guys are professional footballers on more money than most of us make in a year, per week. They claim to have some of , if not the best of supporters in the country behind them, well they are right we are hands down and we give and give and give no matter what else is going on. They need to man up and get on with the job in hand and not be lamenting failed moves, bad summers or a dodgy kebab last Saturday night, they need to give us a little back.
Its only fair right?
Thoughts opinions and the odd bit of abuse always welcome.
Grim

Keep The Faith?

Posted in NUFC on September 12, 2012 by tegtalk

JBJ knows how to do it.In an article in The Journal today Alan Pardew has asked the fans to ‘keep the faith’. I always find these statements strange. I respect AP and am delighted with the job he is doing at our club but I always feel these platitudes ring hollow. What would we do? Cancel our season tickets and move en masse to the Etihad?

This questioning of fans dedication is annoying. You have the love for the club running through your veins from a very young age. I have stated previously that I have been attending St James’ Park from the age of four and have never even considered supporting another team, even through the dark days of the 70’s and 80’s, I never once thought “Newcastle are shite, Liverpool are winning everything, I must go buy a red shirt”

We haven’t started the season well but it is far from a disaster. Won 1, Drawn 1, Lost 1 is hardly the start to fear for relegation this season. But, we have not played well. I stated in my last article that I worried that us not signing someone late in the window would affect the players. They like us, have been promised all summer that “two or three” quality additions would come in. Were we lied to? Debatable with our current Managing Director.

I would rather believe that the players they wanted, they just couldn’t get. Foreign clubs know our buying policy and ergo our sell on policy. Maybe these clubs are pushing for ‘sell-on’ clauses now. We will never know. I still believe we will reassess where we are in January and if needed we will bring in a couple of players when the deal is more attractive to our owner.

Yesterday brought rumours of unrest in the camp. Players feel promises have been broken and they have gone in a bit of a huff. Our French midfielder seems to be the one the rumours are about. I can see Cabaye’s point. If the hierarchy have urged him to influence Debuchy to come here and that did not come to fruition, he will feel let down, understandably.

However, Cabaye was a major success last season (apart from a little dip in form around February/March) and a huge reason why we finished 5th. When he is playing well he is terrific. His vision, passing, movement, tackling and occasional goal have brought him adoration from our fans.

Was he promised that if a Champions League club came in for him he could go? Again who knows? For one I applaud the club if, as rumoured, Arsenal offered less than £10M for him. Mr Llambiass would realise that is a ridiculously low offer and quite rightly told them to do one.

Cabaye, however is a PROFESSIONAL Premier League footballer. He is paid handsomely to play in front of 50,000 plus fans every home game and he should get on with it. We have all probably been in jobs we don’t like but we get up, go to work and get on with it because the company we work for are paying us. If he really has lost faith in the club I am sure that will also be looked at in January.

I believe he needs to look at what happened with Tiote. The lad came in, knuckled down and established himself as a key element of the team and was rewarded with an improved deal and longer contract. Surely that is what Cabaye should be aiming for. He is entering his second season. The club have shown in the past loyalty and performances are rewarded with new contracts. If it is only about money, then if he performs he will be rewarded. If he wants to go to a CL club purely as a squad player? Well, that is madness.

Maybe these are all scurrilous rumours and he is simply suffering from a ‘ring-rustiness’ as a result of a long summer playing football and niggling little injuries. Personally, I want him to stay and get back to his best form so we can all sing his song and start winning games comfortably.

On writing my last article we had lost Ryan Taylor to long term injury and Simpson had sustained one during the Villa game. Now we appear to have lost Krul and Colo for a number of games.

GULP!!!!!

The folly of not signing at least one defender may come back to haunt us. Defensively now we look as though we will be playing untested players at this level. Hopefully Tiote comes back in for Everton and Anita plays right back. He covered there very well against Villa when Danny went off and I’m sure he will do a good job.

Wiliamson partnering Stevie T though? Get well soon Colo!!!

Harper should step in for Tim for a couple of games and should be ok against the teams we have coming up. Hopefully Krul’s injury isn’t serious and he only misses a couple of games.

Our Argentinean Spiderman gave a fantastic interview to the press this week about how hard he still works, how he is adapting his game and how he realises he may have to play in different positions as he gets older.

I have my issues with Jonas (his crossing for one) but as a PROFESSIONAL footballer the lad really gets it. Constantly working at his game and putting 100% in on the pitch. It is all we ask as fans. The manager obviously rates him, as he gets in the team in front of perceivably more talented footballers (Marveaux?) and he is named captain if Coloccini is out.

He has stayed in this country and signed a new deal when he could have probably moved to warmer climes and coasted through the rest of his career. I also hear how influential he is in the dressing room and the things he does away from the training ground to promote the football club he seems to love.

It is players like him that have always made me ‘keep the faith’.

Teg.

PS. If you aren’t sure why John Bon Jovi? Search their songs.