Greetings loyal readers! Welcome to Day Two of The Long Long Wait For Redemption. As I've come to expect, the news slows down just a touch here in the early part of this process, but I've mined and mined and come up with a fairly sizable group of news links for you this morning. As a special gift for your continued reading, I have found a bit of gold which amuses me mightily... in fact it makes me laugh just thinking about it. Follow the jump, read the links and if you can hang tough enough, I'll share at the veeeerrrryyyy end of the post. I think that's called a tease. Whatever. Jump. Read. Then laugh!
I Believe The Children Are Our Future
Londoner Hooper, signed from Sevenoaks in the summer of 2010, had hernia surgery in December. "It’s been very frustrating, but in order to get back to my normal ways, I had to have the operation," said Hooper. "The players were doing fine without me, but it’s great to be back, and I can’t wait for the next game. "All the boys get along well, and it’s great to play with them. It’s great to be at Newcastle. "The lads have helped me settle. I do like it up there. The aim within the camp is to win the Youth Cup and the league. We’re on track for both of them."
JJ Hooper is just one of several on the U18s that are looking more and more likely to make a splash on the big stage in the coming years... they are on course for a special season...
United’s youngsters are riding high at the top of the FA Academy League northern section and hold a four-point cushion over Barnsley. Striker Hooper, who hails from Greenwich, netted the dramatic winning goal in the FA Youth Cup fifth round to dump Queens Park Rangers out of the competition and set up a quarter-final date with Blackburn Rovers for Dave Watson’s boys. Hooper admitted confidence was brimming at United, and with the club now paying very careful attention to the youth development sections of the set-up, a trophy from either competition would underline the progress being made on Tyneside.
...in the form of a potential double.
It's (Not) The End Of The World As We Know It
Pardew is already looking forward to the home clash with Wolves, and said: "The most important thing in the Premier League is how you react. "We now have to react to the loss at Spurs. "We had three key midfielders missing, and when you play a team as good as Spurs, you need all of your best players. "We didn’t have that and we were punished for not having round pegs in round holes."
I think that the shocking thing about the loss at Tottenham is not that we lost, nor necessarily how we lost. The insistence of Alan Pardew to play James Perch at center mid ahead of actual professional center midfielders gives one pause to wonder if the squad is in even worse shape than what we had previously thought. We know we currently have negative depth at center back, are very thin on the wings and have only just recently taken a step forward up top (only to be pushed back with the loss of Leon Best). Center Mid was the one area that we had appreciable depth, at least on paper.
"I didn’t think (the season) would be as successful as it has been," admitted Ba, who as Newcastle’s 16-goal top-scorer has also confounded expectations. "You always work to be one of the best and that is what I am doing here – it is what I will continue to do. "Other teams are working to be the best too and maybe they have a bit more quality than us, but we’re doing very well. This season is ours – we just need to enjoy it."
We're going to see this narrative a lot between here and the rest of the season. Just because it is accurate isn't going to make it any less infuriating by the time the last match rolls around. Trying to control expectations is tough from the club's end... impossible really.
How Will I Know (If He's Really Gazza?)
The 23-year-old, a box-to-box player, could leave the Reebok Stadium, where he is under contract until 2015, at the end of the season if struggling Bolton are relegated. Owen Coyle’s side are second from bottom of the league, and a point adrift of safety. And a fire sale would be inevitable if the club lose their battle against relegation to the Championship. Coyle rates Davies, pictured, highly, and would be reluctant to lose the former Wolverhampton Wanderers player, who he has likened to Paul Gascoigne. "Mark’s style of play is a rare commodity," said Coyle. "There are not many midfielders around who can keep the ball like he does. "When Mark is at his best he drives forward and takes people on. The best example of that was Paul Gascoigne who could drive with the ball.
Mike Ashley flew into Newcastle on his Helicopter Of I'm Richer Than Thou Art™ to discuss the summer strategy for Newcastle United. Renewal of player contracts and new player recruitment were discussed. The first fruit from this meeting? Interest in another. effing. center. mid. I think that this may be the proverbial handwriting on the wall. So which is it? Tiote? Cabaye? Both?
No Song Here- Slightly Off-Topic But Interesting
As the clamour for cockney entertainer Harry Redknapp to become England’s football manager grows louder and louder, Newcastle Football Club owner and retailing entrepreneur Mike Ashley must be keeping all digits crossed that the Football Association does get the ‘People’s choice’ on side as soon as possible. Confirmation of his appointment would surely spark a resurgence of fan interest in the national team ahead of the European Championships in Poland and the Ukraine this summer.
What tangled webs we weave. For Mike Ashley it kind of goes like this:
1. Harry Redknapp takes England job
where ??? is the potential loss of Alan Pardew to Spurs. (Potential. Not saying it'll happen or that it's even a better chance that he goes than he stays) I think that we all know that MA's pockets come first, club second... so I know what he's rooting for even if it does ultimately trouble NUFC.
Didier Drogba and the Ivory Coast came up short yet again against Zambia on Sunday. How do their Golden Generation's failings compare to those of other countries?
I include this link because, following the conclusion of the ACON, I had wondered about the Ivory Coast in terms of "Golden Generation." Kevin McCauley (SBN, Cartilage Free Captain) compared Ivory Coast to other "Golden Generatons" of the past decade or so.
SYNTHETIC pitches may be the future of professional rugby, but some remain to be convinced until the longer-term effects are known. Gosforth RFC led the way four years ago with the installation of a third-generation (3G) surface at their Druid Park home and, despite encountering some initial scepticism, rugby’s amateur fraternity appear to have gradually warmed to the undoubted benefits. Sub-zero temperatures throughout the region saw Druid Park as the only venue able to host league rugby earlier this month, with the Callerton ground also coming to the rescue by staging the county President’s Development XV match when Billingham RFC’s grass pitch was frozen solid.
This is purely a Rugby League discussion at this point... but it is only a matter of time before it crosses over, I'm sure. Let the discussion begin!
And finally, THIS!
Andra spelare som kan bli aktuella är franske Mehdi Abeid, James Perch (oh no), Vukcic, eller möjligen att flytta in hårt arbetande Jonas. Backlinjen är dock inte speciellt svår att förutspå. Med Steven Taylor fortsatt skadad kommer Williamson få göra ...
I really have no idea what this says. I can figure out that it starts with the phrase "Other players who can"... past that, nothin. But really, you don't need to know what all of it says, do you?