Good Morning. While the lads are soaking up the sun, we're looking at a "wintry mix" here... I knew I should have been more gifted at sports.
Anyway-- the links today. It felt like there were more of them than there turned up being... it's not a tremendously packed links post as a consequence. A little bit of Brighton, a little bit of Transfer Madness, and we go on with life. Howay!
So, what was life like the last time Newcastle and Brighton faced off on the south coast? George Michael and Elton John were No 1 with "don’t let the sun go down on me," John Major was PM, few had heard of the worldwide web, a pint of lager cost you £1.40 and for most of us the height of modern technology was playing Tetris on Gameboy. Life also involved using telephones connected to the wall, having to go to libraries to indulge in information and a Super Sunday consisted of watching Elton Welsby present a ration of one live game per week!
This is a non-representative grab from a neat piece by Lee Ryder-- it's the most attention grabbing quote from the piece, perhaps. The rest is a reflection on the fortunes of the clubs since the last meeting which I found kind of neat.
"The FA Cup’s very important for this football club," said Pardew. "We want to do well in the cup. It’s a tough game – it’s going to be another tough away game – but at least we can build on our first-half performance. "We know we mustn’t switch off like we did in the second half (against Fulham)."
In another case of misleading headline writing, this one doesn't much discuss HBA being specifically backed to help beat Brighton or really discuss Brighton at all.
He said: "There’s only the big five clubs above us. Saying that we’re sixth but not surprised. We’ve had a great season and we’ve got some great players. "The club’s nice and stable now, so it’s going well. When people say ‘surprised’, no one is surprised because we know we’ve got some good players here."
emphasis mine [OSotP]
This quote amused me and I think gives us a peek into how the team views themselves. It would seem that they view themselves at least as being on level with Liverpool. I don't think that I can argue our presence in that general neighborhood, but sustaining this success over time will convert us from renting in the neighborhood to owning.
He said: "We've tried to be as honest (as possible). Certainly my philosophy in terms of the media and fans is to get the message out there of what’s going on. I don't like there to be surprises. "Unfortunately in the transfer market it’s very difficult because people then come in at the 11th hour. We've had big success in the transfer market just recently and other teams have noticed, it isn't lost on them. "So when we come in for a player suddenly another club gets interested and the prices start going up ... Suddenly we get into a bidding war. That's something we try to avoid."
I wouldn't be surprised to see a signing out of left field, but like the Cisse signing, I would think that it's likely that whomever comes in will be a name that we heard quite a while back that has just gone silent over January.
Should United pull off the signing of Zaha, the transfer window would be considered a success, with Papiss Cisse already onboard.
Umm... No. If we exit January without CB reinforcements, this window is NOT a success, and it becomes a frustration as it would have been two windows in a row with a very clear need that wasn't addressed.
Also, I have thoughts on the Zaha/Knockaert rumors that I'll try to put up a little later on.
Sources in Glasgow have indicated to the Chronicle a fee in the region of £2m has been agreed by both United and the Hoops and the move will now boil down to the 23-year-old goalkeeper agreeing terms with Neil Lennon’s side. United boss Alan Pardew and his players will return from a warm-weather training camp in Adeje in Tenerife tonight, but Celtic are keen to push the deal through. Lennon said: "We hope to get a deal sorted soon." Forster has made it clear to Newcastle he is not interested in staying on Tyneside unless there is first-team football on offer.
I would have thought that this would have been wrapped in the summer. Perhaps Celtic feel that if they leave it until then the goalkeeping picture could drastically change in the summer and they end up not keeping Fraser. I think that what happens on this situation could give us an idea of what the club think might happen in the summer. If Fraser is not sold on now, it opens the door on either a) worry about Krul's continued presence at the club, or b) some parts of the scenario that I put out on Monday could come true.