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CHN Mailbag: Ayoze Perez, Siem de Jong, Championship promotion, and prison fights

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And Pop-Tarts. But you already knew that.

Tom Pennington

Drew Hamm (@drewhamm5): When can we erect the Perez statue? Is now too soon, or should we wait until the team is back at St James' Park?

Alan Hoffmann: The Perez statue should go up pretty soon, if only then maybe he'll feel obligated to stay. "This clubs loves me as much as it does some old gates," he'll say, signing an eight year deal.

Callum Kane: Erect the statue when he gets unveiled as our number nine and is revealed to be the reincarnation of Alan Shearer. Or do it tomorrow and everyone will be happy.

Robert Bishop: I'm all about erecting statues following a run of good form, which is why I have a bust of Leon Best in my study. In all seriousness, though, it's really cool to have this kid on board, especially since he apparently could have gone several other places. It really is shocking that Alan Pardew stuck with Emmanuel Rivière as long as he did.

Alan Hoffmann (@AlanHoffmann): In the most over-the-top fashion, describe Perez's goal. Bonus points for making it erotic.

AH: In a spectacular display of football skill, Perez first unzipped the West Brom defense, and then slipped the ball into the net. With just the tiniest of a flick, he awoke the burning desires of the Toon Army, bringing about rousing cheers that climaxed into just chants of Perez's name, over and over again. When the whistle blew, Perez simply winked at his adoring audience, and the only thing they could do was collapse into an exhausted, sweaty, panting for air heap. "More?" They asked, shyly.

"Give me fifteen minutes."

(Ed. note:

)

CK: I don't think i'm exaggerating here when I say it was an absolute SHEARERRRRRRRRRR of a goal. But yeah it was the best goal ever. Apart from Cisse vs Chelsea.

RB:

Scott (@scottgrames): Is Siem de Jong made of glass?

AH: So, not saying that Siem de Jong is made out of glass, but "Siem de Jong injury" is the second thing that pops up when you search for him. His wikipedia page features the word "injury" six times (though one is for injury-time). He isn't exactly the sturdiest player around. This is a shame because, well, keep reading my answer to the next question.... (that's called a tease in the news writing business, folks. Free tip for ya).

CK: I cannot confirm or deny the rumours that Siem De Jong is made of glass. But if it is glass it's a lovely finish, kudos to whoever designed him.

RB: I'm just excited about what could be if and when he does return. I envision he and Moussa Sissoko trading off in some sort of forward destroyer role, taking the pressure off of Ayoze.

Robert Bishop (@BishopSBN): Where does de Jong fit in the formation when he comes back?

AH: I'd like to see de Jong take more of an attacking role. I think he, along with Jack Colback, could help push the ball forward. I think our midfield has done a nice job the last few games of breaking up attacks and disrupting possession for the other side, but there's just a missing link between them and the forwards. I'd like de Jong to be that.

CK: When he's back and fit again i'd try a few games back with the 4-3-3 we have been using, with De Jong leading the line as the number nine. Keep the midfield three of Abeid, Colback and Sissoko and move Perez out to the left wing and allow De Jong to create space and lay up plays for him. On the other wing you could have Obertan or preferably Aarons who could exploit space in the same way that Perez could.

RB: Like the others, I'd love to see de Jong take on some of the attacking responsibilities, but more than that I'm hopeful that he's the link between the front line, whether that's one guy or more, and the midfield. We've been sorely lacking such a guy since Yohan Cabaye left, and as I mentioned above, I think he and Sissoko would make a pretty good team. I'd also like to see our wingers playing a bit further up, so that Sammyobi/Aarons and Cabella/Obertan/Gouffran form a 4-3-3 around Ayoze/Cissé/Rivière. Sissoko, de Jong, and Colback/Tiote/Abeid make up the line behind them, with Sissoko and de Jong taking turns applying high pressure in defense.

This won't happen, because Pardew doesn't believe in team identity or consistent tactics. It will be interesting to see how his return (to be clear, we're talking about another six weeks or so) will actually be handled.

Ryan Sealock (@Ryan_Sealock): If Newcastle Brown Ale were to sponsor the kits again, how many would you buy?

AH: I would buy that kit as soon as I could. First off, it recalls the Entertainers a bit, so we connect to the portion of Newcastle's history where if we weren't going to win anything, it was still going to be a great time (and we'd qualify for Europe too!) And secondly, I can buy Newcastle here in the states. There's a few bars in northeastern Montana that carry it. If I wore a current Newcastle shirt, people would look at me funny because 1) I'd be wearing a soccer jersey in northeastern Montana, and 2) "What's a Wonga?" What a fun conversation that would be. "It's like Money Tree, only probably worse and only for British people!" Since people who don't know much about soccer would see it as a shirt for the sponsor and not the club, then I'd at least rather have a sponsor that I can purchase from here.

And besides, Newcastle Brown Ale is referenced in the song Coming Home Newcastle. They don't do that for Wonga. "I'm Coming Home Newcastle....I can't wait for pay day. So, I went down to Wonga and it cost an arm and leg." Not the same ring to it.

CK: I don't actually care about kits that much anymore so I wouldn't buy any. Although our green & blue number this season is pretty hot.

RB: Imagine a Mike Ashley owned team sponsored by a company whose advertising slogan is "No Bollocks." Not happening.

The answer is all of them, of course. The other answer is "Anybody but Wonga."

Alan Hoffmann (@AlanHoffmann): As Newcastle fans, do we want Boro back in the Prem (currently third)? Do we care?

AH: I'm not necessarily pulling for Middlesborough to make it back to the Prem, but it would be nice if one of the promoted teams came in to top flight with a derby attached. Like, do you get excited when you see Hull or Queen's Park Rangers, or Crystal Palace on the schedule? Not really. But, if it were a derby match, then you get a little excited. Plus, if the Mackems can stay up, we have three northeast clubs in top flight, which is great, because northeast football had taken kind of a beating over the last few years. That may be an odd stance for an American to have, granted, but there you have it.

On the flip side, should the Mackems go down, it'd be nice to have at least one derby.

It's not that I care if Boro gets into the Prem though. I maybe check the Championship table once a month. It's something that I think would be nice, but it won't upset me if it doesn't happen. Ask me again if they get in the Promotion Playoffs.

CK: (did not answer)

RB: It's important that Newcastle have a derby, and for that reason I'm a tiny bit glad that Sunderland escaped relegation last season. It would have been fun, no doubt, but it wouldn't be the same without them around. Introducing the Smoggies back into the Premier League mix would change that dynamic, though, because if either of them threaten to take the plunge, we can root for it unabashedly, since the other one will presumably still be around. The travel situation would be a bit improved as well.

Having said that, I'm not rooting for them, and I typically don't pick a horse until further along in the season. I'd like to see Fulham bounce back, but other than that, I'll root against southern teams like Bournemouth and Brighton so that the team won't have to make too many long trips.

Ryan Sealock (@Ryan_Sealock): Prison fight. Who do you take: Ravel Morrison or Nile Ranger?

AH: This is an excellent question, because whereas Nile Ranger is known for getting drunk and being stupid, to my knowledge, he has never been accused of threatening to throw acid in someone's face. So, Ravel Morrison has that going for him? However, Nile Ranger would probably take an awesome instagram picture of the fight if he won, so then I'd want him to win. Have you ever looked at Ranger's Instagram? Not for the faint of heart. Lots of porn memes. You may remember his Instagram from when he spelled out his name using money, while being accused of rape.

There are no real winners here, so we might as well get some neat photos to look at from it. Go go Nile Power Ranger.

CK: I'd take Ravel, Nile Ranger went to prison at 15, there's no way i'm messing with that dude.

RB: I have to admit that I'm a bit confused by the premise. Is this some sort of The Longest Yard situation, or is it more of a Jason Statham in Death Race affair? Or, am I in prison and hoping that one of these guys is on my side? It's an important distinction, because Ravel Morrison is a crafty dude. If I'm betting on these guys, give me the industrious one, the guy who will use whatever part of his environment that he can to gain a competitive advantage. I don't know why, but I'm envisioning Morrison as more of the Jason Bourne type here. On the other hand, if I can only have one of them to cover my back, there's no doubt that it's Nile Ranger. Dude is crazy, and folks don't want to mess with crazy.

Rachee (@adultcereal): Is this the best or worst idea and would you want to see it happen for the Premier League?

AH: I'm not a huge fan of this, if only because why would I want to eat my favorite club's logo? Similarly, I get weirded out by cakes that have pictures of people on them. Maybe I analyze things to much, but I see it as some weird wanting to cut up the people in the picture and eat them. I don't find it touching at all, I find it a tad bit creepy. So, I have no desire to eat a Pop Tart and chomp off the head of one of the sea horses.

CK: We get about five flavours of Pop Tarts over here so we wouldn't even see limited editions versions! But if it makes you guys happy I'd like you to have Premier League Pop Tarts.

RB: This looks like a really good idea on the surface. Why not add two awesome things together? Here's the problem: You don't just buy a Newcastle United box of Pop-Tarts. You buy a Premier League box of Pop-Tarts, and hope that you don't get a bunch of crap teams. Imagine opening a sleeve and getting Liverpool and Sunderland. Assuming a price point of $3.99 USD per box, you just threw away a whole dollar on Pop-Tarts that you can't enjoy. I can think of a whole lot of things I'd rather spend a dollar on. No, thank you.