With not much to talk about over the Summer the lads from the true faith podcast have jotted down some short thoughts on what’s happened over the last couple of weeks. I look at the new set of managers we’ll be hosting at SJP for the first time. Andy Bolland goes through Graeme Carr’s winners and losers and Michael Carling has some handy advice for our best friends south of the river about Burton away considering they were so keen for us to ‘enjoy’ it last season.
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Alex Hurst: New set of lads
This season a fair few managers will visit SJP for the first time. With this in mind I’ve had a quick look at what we can expect from the new managers in the league (or new to us anyway ).
Antio Conte: Chelsea
I like him. Did a great job with a pack of **** last season and managed to get rid of John ‘JT’ Terry after one season with minimum fuss. Rafa rates him and they went head to head in Italy for years. He manages a terrible club but we’ve all got bills to pay.
Frank Boer: Crystal Palace
In 2015 Lee Charnley rated both John Carver and Steve McClaren as a better bet. Obviously neither were but still, some burn. Palace are just a generally terrible club in my opinion for all the Pardew smugness and their M25 Ultras – go nuts at away games and the best away support (their own words) at all grounds SOUTH of Watford.
Craig Shakespeare: Leicester City
I wonder what Glenn Roeder is up to these days?
Josep Guardiola: Man City
The worlds most famous manager. Took one of the most expensively assembled teams in world football, spent £170m on them and dragged them heroically to third. He’s ridiculously moody and hates Sky (I think) and football journalists in general so I like him a bit more for that. His ‘happy new year’ patter was great television.
Mauricio Pellegrino: Southampton
Rafa’s first Liverpool signing and a man he counts as a friend. Maybe that will make our shoeing on the south coast easier to handle this season? Only joking, we’re going to win the football, we’re going to win the cup etc. Full marks for the name and the headlines about lemonade and fizzy water to come. Further marks awarded for Micky getting him mixed up with Manuel Pellegrini and therefore me thinking that the ‘f****g old c****’ (according to Pardew, not me) was the new Southampton manager for about a week. Check your sources people!
Paul Clement: Swansea City
Seems to be a bit of an odd one. An English manager who thinks tactically and doesn’t spend the season bemoaning the fact he’s being racially profiled for being British and his career limited as a result. There’s time yet though….
Marco Silva: Watford
Did a canny enough job with Watford but lost to David Moyes’ Sunderland in a must win game. The shame. Watford have broken their transfer record 4 times in four years so the owners are ambitious and will demand a top ten finish. Watford rarely sell out their 23,000 capacity ground. Their ambition makes me want to cry with envy.
Andrew Bolland: The good and bad of Graeme Carr’s time at NUFC
5. A controversial and divisive figure amongst Newcastle fans who just edges in ahead of Mathieu Debuchy in the list– who deserves and honourable mention after the stick I’ve received on social media for a comment made on this weeks True Faith Podcast. Moussa Sissoko arrived for a fee of 1.5 million in January 2013 and went on to make 118 appearances for the club scoring 11 goals. Much like a lot of Carrs signings Sissoko was plagued by inconsistent performances, at times he look unplayable other times he was anonymous. Thankfully for Newcastle he flirted with consistency enough under Rafa and in the French Euro 2016 side to convince Spurs to waste 30 million pounds on him last summer, ultimately helping to bank roll our charge back to the premier league. Cheers Mouss.
4. Hatem Ben Arfa
Another player who enjoyed a bit of controversy also makes the list. Hatem is one of the most naturally talented footballers to ever grace St James Park in my lifetime unfortunately the enigmatic character wasn’t entirely focused or professional for the entire of his Newcastle career. A bitter dispute with Alan Pardew would ultimately spell the end for Hatem allegedly turning up overweight for preseason training proved to be the final straw for a player who’d received special treatment as a result of his special talent. He became the poster boy for the anti-Pardew brigade with a banner hung from gallowgate depicting him as Che Guvara with the word Hope emblazoned across it. All that said there was some magical moments a wizard with ball best demonstrated by that goal against Bolton. A cult figure amongst some Hatem was an occasional bright spark in dark times.
3. Demba Ba
In my opinion the best striker we’ve had since Shearer… A natural finisher who made scoring goals look simply effortless at times. Ba had it all Strength, Technique, vision, good in the air, and was by no means slow. The catalyst for our surge up the table in 2011 his goals were critical, a joy to watch if only he could of stayed longer… and of course he score so many goals since Ramadan…
2. Cheick Tiote
Our tragically recently lost warrior may come as a surprise to some but Tiote was probably Graham Carrs first signing if we are to assume he didn’t sign Dan Gosling and Sol Campbell, and he nearly stayed for the duration of the Carr era. Tiote made 139 appearances for the club scoring one single goal, but what a goal it was. An iconic goal that will be remembered for generations the thunderbolt volley to complete the greatest comeback in our premier league history. The longest serving Carr recruit for the most part was one of the first names on the sheet through four Managers at Newcastle. Signed for 3.5 million pounds we got more than our money’s worth out of him. R.I.P Cheick Tiote.
1. Yohan Cabaye
Poster boy for all things that were great about Graham Carr in 2011. Pinched from Lille for a small fee in comparison to his talent, Cabaye became an instant fan favourite. His range of passing and free kick prowess delighted the St James faithful. Cabayes departure to PSG can most likely be highlighted as the moment Carrs reign began to deteriorate he was unable to replace the man who drew him plaudits and Newcastle began to sink further in to the abyss. What might have been had we convinced him to stay.
5. Remy Cabella
Signed for 8 million pounds, playing 31 times and scoring once. The one time France international wasn’t cut out for a cold night in Stoke, decent ability on the ball his flamboyant tricks weren’t enough to make up for his slight stature and inability to stay on his feet. A forgivable mistake isolated but this was one of many gambles for Carr that didn’t pay off.
4. Florian Thauvin
Similar in many respects to Cabella, clearly a very talented footballer but not ready for the Premier league physicality, failed to adjust to life in England and ultimately returned to France where he by all accounts is doing very well. A failure on Carrs to research the mentality of the player at 9.8 million pounds another costly gamble.
Another player who failed to adjust to life in England Crowned the air to Coloccinis throne couldn’t hack it in one night in Everton if memory serves lost his place to Mike Williamson and never won it back another costly error judgement.
2. Vurnon Anita
One of my least favourite players to ever wear a Newcastle shirt. I’ve never fully understood what it is Anita is supposed to have brought to the club, he was rubbish in midfield, rubbish on the wing, and couldn’t hold down a position at right back in the 2nd division. Allegedly Alan Pardew never wanted him and I don’t blame him. Anita was clearly undersized for English football – that’s not say small players can’t do well but they usually have to be good at football to make up for their lack of height where as big players (See Mike Williamson) can sometimes get away with it. Glad to see the sole signing of the summer we were supposed to kick on (2012) removed from the club at last and I for one won’t miss him. Sorry Vurn.
1. Steve Mclaren
Remarkably we went for Graham Carrs pal 3 times. Let that sink in. The mastermind behind our relegation from the premier league was approached on three separate occasions. A gross error of judgement that should of led to Carrs departure long before now. I’ve nothing else to say about this idiot other than it’s the biggest stain on Grahams somewhat mixed record…
Michael Carling: Enjoy Burton Away
A beginners guide to Burton away
In light of the new found respect and solidarity built over the last few years, Sunderland fans almost to a man sent us their best wishes for the forthcoming championship season over last summer. In particular they wanted to make sure we all enjoyed ourselves as much as possible at Burton away. I can only assume their focus was on Burton away as they are the smallest club with the smallest ground in the championship and they were concerned about our limited experience at such away days.
In light of their helpful nature over the previous twelve months I thought it would be good to write them a shirt guide to Burton away as a heartfelt thank you on behalf of all of us Mags. So, helpful Sunderland fans, my ten most important recommendations for Burton away:
- Don’t leave too late! It’s a long drive and the traffic can be horrible at times through the Midlands – wouldn’t want you to miss kick off.
- There’s a great pub around a ten minute walk into the industrial estate. They had arranged an outside bar with teles for us so we didn’t have to go inside for a beer! I’m sure they will do the same for you.
- The away stand is a terrace. Be very careful if you manage to score as people can get carried away when celebrating on a terrace and it could be dangerous
- Burton are a very physical team. Be prepared to be frustrated with their hefty challenges and route one football.
- It is a fairly new ground but provides an old school kind of atmosphere. Don’t be too shocked if it’s a hit loud for you.
- The toilets in the away end are not fit to serve 1500+ fans. Avoid at all costs (if you manage to sell that many tickets). Stewards were happy to let us out of the gate to piss in the bushes behind the stand.
- The stewards will also let you out of the gate to have a tab. Don’t smoke in the area immediately behind the stand – it is not allowed.
- The people of Burton are friendly and will be happy to talk to you about footy and the mags. Don’t be scared.
- The journey home feels longer than the journey down, even if you win. Prepare some games or activities for the car.
- Their manager is pretty good and would potentially consider the small step up from Burton to Sunderland. Don’t leave it too late (ed: He turned it down)
Have a safe trip Sunderland fans. All the best for the new season and make sure you enjoy Burton away.