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Middleton, WI
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Agree with you about Obertan, Lee. I've always had a soft spot for him, because when he actually plays with some confidence, he's quite useful. And he always offers speed on the wing. Great point on Anita. Tiote looked quite rusty, which I guess isn't too surprising. Got caught dawdling on the ball at least twice that I can remember and doesn't have the mobility of Anita.
I won't shed any tears if Sissoko is sold -- provided, of course, that the profit is reinvested ... which is always a big if!
From Toon Army America: To get your seats in the unofficial NUFC fan section (section 235), call Kelvin with the Brewers at 414-902-4658.
It's Beaker's buddy, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew!
How dare Bob suggest such a thing! We should all just mindlessly converge on Dallas wearing Wonga gear and shell out money to get autographs from the Ligue 1 B-team All-Stars. Forget trying to have a nuanced discussion about any of this. Just pledge blind loyalty to NUFC for all eternity. ... It's a perfectly legitimate viewpoint for American NUFC fans to question their devotion to what's currently a mockery of a club. Just as it's a perfectly legitimate viewpoint for others to decide that they want to continue to support the club, regardless of all the nonsense occurring at the boardroom level.
Barret - I wouldn't say the blog is definitively done at this point, just on a bit of a hiatus. The reality is that the four of us have all had life situations crop up, which, when combined with apathy about the pathetic way the club is being run at the moment, has made it difficult to maintain the blog. We will see what the future holds.
If I had written this post after the Burnley game, my tone would be much less hopeful. I was hoping Carver would bring a slightly different approach, but he seems to be positioning himself as Pardew, part 2. Maybe that's what Ashley and Charnley want, who knows. That said, it still is just one game. I don't place much stock in how NUFC did under Carver during Pardew's suspension because Pardew was still the one in charge. This is really the first time Carver has had an opportunity to put his stamp on the team. Can't say I'd be real pleased if they give him the job on a permanent basis.
Shola also started in all four of those November wins.
Jones had a terrible game. Who knows what happens if Tiote's goal is allowed — maybe City ups its game in response and still wins — but it would have been nice to at least see. And Jones should have sent off Yanga-Mbiwa, no question about it. Matt, definitely agree with you that the pressing in the midfield has been huge. I guess I'd point out that one of the keys to the central midfield's resurgence this season has been Tiote returning from the dead and adding that physical presence. Not to mention having Sissoko tucking in from the right and adding a ball winner. Totally agree on the frontline, it looks stale. Pards needs some fresh blood in the attack.
Geordiepat: Keep in mind these are for the calendar year of 2013, not just the first half of this season. Cabaye and Colo are better players than Gouffran, there's no argument there, but you have to also include the second half of last season. Colo was injured for a large chunk of that time and also tried to leave for Argentina, while Cabaye wasn't at his best and was pretty dismal when given the captaincy. It's a really tough category to choose, just because of how most of NUFC's best players performed in the second half of 2012-13. If we were choosing just based on the first half of this season, I'd go with Cabaye. As for worst player, I think Cisse gets saved by his big goals in the second half of last season. I tend to be fairly critical of him, but I think he deserves some credit for those game winners.
Seconded, Derek. I hope the first comment is sarcastic, but I don't think it is. NUFC is in its second year back up in the PL and it's in seventh place through 19 games. That's pretty damn good. Pardew has done it on a tight budget, too. Get your head out of the clouds.
It will never happen, but I wouldn't mind seeing Vuckic in the hole in a 4-5-1 ...
So, all you guys ripping Bob's post, please answer this question for me: If Pardew had stuck with the 4-4-2 on Monday, would NUFC have won the game? Can you honestly say yes based on the first 61 minutes? Also, you appear to have missed the sentence where Bob says "Pardew is one hell of a manager." No one is arguing that he's done a great job. We all like Pardew. But this is a blog, and our opinion is that a formation that's not a 4-4-2 offers more tactical flexibility in the attack. Sometimes, putting two up front and trying to hammer a team in the mouth is the way to go. Other times, it's not. Monday wasn't one of those times.
Well, the player would have to play well in a much tougher league. Again, it's a gamble when you pay a high fee. NUFC wouldn't have been able to sell Colo for a profit after his first year at the club, even if it hadn't gotten relegated.
The point is if you pay £10 million for a player, he would have to play very well to allow NUFC to sell him for a profit. The higher the fee, the bigger the gamble in that regard.
Guthrie and Abeid are holding midfielders, while Corgnet is an attacking mid. Also, Guthrie is a free agent at the end of the season.
Just to clarify, I'm not coming at this from the standpoint that trophies aren't important. I just think it's interesting to discuss the tangible value of them and, in particular, the differences in how they're viewed by American and English fans.
I'll take Lovenkrands over your guy Nile Ranger any day. Useful squad player to have. Offers something different up top.
Let the record show that I totally disagree with my co-blogger on this one ...
You guys do remember that Ben Arfa has twice gone on strike to push through a transfer, don't you? I'm not defending Maiga, but if you're going to hold it against him, then you have to do the same to Ben Arfa.
I agree with you, M. I feel like I'm one of the few NUFC fans who thinks Lovenkrands is underrated, but a possession-oriented player like Marveaux would have been a better move. I'm guessing Pardew's thinking was Lovenkrands is a bit more seasoned when it comes to the EPL and, like you said, he was coming off a good performance in the Carling Cup. Rob - Not sure about the Spurs match yet.
Gabardine - I agree, Jonas could still be sold in January, although I think him signing an extension will dissuade other clubs from sniffing around him. I guess my point was this: It's a good sign of stability when your better players want to be at the club. And Jonas signing a new deal is an indication of that.
I don't think the fact that no one is willing to buy him out means that we have to praise him as an owner. And I think it's possible to critique him without resorting to petty insults, which is what we do. I agree that most fans do want to see money being tossed around. But I also think there are quite a few reasonable NUFC fans that aren't expecting that. They'd just like a bit more cash spent on the right players that fit into the club's overall plan. They want to see some enthusiasm from Ashley. But tossing in last-minute bids for players on deadline day doesn't indicate a well-thought-out plan.
Everyone's certainly entitled to their own opinion, but I don't get this regular job analogy people keep using about Barton. Would my boss be telling me this after I had spent part of my tenure at the company in jail? Would I have been one of the top earners at the company, only to be unproductive for my first three years? Ashley has dicked up plenty of decisions, but I don't think getting rid of Barton is one of them.
Andy - I don't see how it's wishful thinking for NUFC to already have a replacement lined up when the Enrique fee was agreed. This transfer has been hanging out there all summer, even if there wasn't previously a concrete offer. According to the Journal today, NUFC was interested in Pieters regardless of the Enrique situation - so why not bring him in before selling Enrique? It's not like they had to wait on the Enrique deal to fund a move for Pieters or anyone else. I agree that Enrique is overrated defensively. He tries to play his way out of trouble a bit too much for me. Jaeger - not a bad idea. Taylor has looked decent at RB in the past, although last season he wasn't good when he played there. Dave - Jonas would be terrifying. He looked shaky at LB in Kansas City against Kei Kamara.