Good Thursday! Today will be a necessarily quick run through a short set of links... I apologize ahead of time. As always, however, feel free to supplement with your own favorite stories (and comments) below!
News that I didn't get a chance to link in today includes Danny Guthrie still battling to be fit for the Swansea match tomorrow, Jacob Butterfield apparently drawing massive interest from Newcastle and much more. In today's links you will find James Perch!, Simmo, Agent Bruce and another piece on Newcastle and Europe.
James Perch exclusive interview - NUFC News - NUFC - JournalLive
"If someone makes contact with you, someone makes contact with you. That’s it. "He shouldn’t have done it really and I know deep down he’ll think ‘I shouldn’t have done that’ because it’s cost them at the end of the day. It’s his actions that have caused it. "There’s no need for all the talk really, you just need to look at the telly to see he’s in the wrong.
This is a pretty good read. It's a James Perch tour de force- covering topics from the Reina incident to being Perchinio.
Stats show Danny Simpson is league's top right-back - NUFC News - Newcastle United - ChronicleLive
TO say that Danny Simpson splits opinion in the eyes of Newcastle United fans would be an understatement. Some Toon fans have begged him to sign a new contract, while one Twitter troll warned him he would be "shot" if he didn’t leave Tyneside this summer. Much maligned by some sections of his own supporters – but described as a "revelation" by former England and Manchester United right-back Gary Neville – Simpson must wonder whether to laugh or cry sometimes.
Several comments on this one:
1) Lee is a little unnecessarily condescending toward internet commenters. I get that there are some bad eggs out there, but unlike apples, one bad one does not spoil the bunch. There are plenty of us out here that try to reason through and produce responsible opinions.
2) The numbers sure are impressive. They do not, however, support the premise that Simmo is the best right back in the PL. At the end of the day, the numbers are useful, but they do not cover very important considerations such as positional play and other non-quantifiable ideas. For instance, on the Vermaelen issue, if he was injured and could not track back... WHY THE HELL WAS HE FORWARD IN THE FIRST PLACE??????
I like Simmo. I think he's done a job for us. I think that this type of support is equally as knee jerk and dubious as the other side that want him gone, though.
Steve Bruce blames 'hatred' for Sunderland dismissal - ESPN Soccernet
"As a manager who has spent a lifetime in football I was prepared to take whatever come my way but for my closest relatives it was very different. Both my family and my wife's family are from Newcastle and they were deeply hurt and affected by what happened. "I had to batten down the hatches and lie low. I didn't go out to my local pub. I didn't want to invite abuse. "The media up there is something else as well. There is a mass scramble for news, a demand to write hundreds upon hundreds of words every day on Sunderland and Newcastle, and while I tried to accommodate everybody in the end the criticism even locally was relentless because the fans had to be fed. "The funny thing is that people in the rest of the country wouldn't understand. They would think it was all excuses. They don't know how North East football works, the intensity of it."
This was a pretty interesting read on the current climate in the Tyne-Wear derby. Not specifically Newcastle, but still... worth the read.
FIFA.com - Pardew sets Newcastle's sights on Europe
"We are ahead of schedule only because of the players and the application they've had. They're absolutely brilliant. They're a fantastic set of players and there's a fantastic camaraderie between them. "We've given them a tactical base but we're not based around one system. We've got two or three systems that we can turn to and the players bind to anything that we put in front of them, which is fantastic. It doesn't happen often at a football club so I'm very privileged to be working for these players."
There is not enough that can be said about this squad and their willingness to take on whatever role Alan Pardew asks of them. I have mocked the media "team spirit" card that is played consistently, but it really has had a positive effect on this year's results.