Apologies for not having been here for over a week, but I’ve been heavily involved in a job in South Wales that had to be finished asap. Hence I’ve been working long hours and frankly, couldn’t be bothered in what’s been another daft international footy period.
I see England beat another no-hoper team in Kosovo and are apparently now ranked as one of the favourites to win the Euros.
What an absolute joke.
We will of course, fail as soon as we meet anyone decent and this gifting us an easy route, the same as the WC just insults my intelligence, as I’m sure it does yours.
So the proper footy restarts and it’s the Barcodes at home.
The press are doing their usual thing and trying to make something out of the Steve Bruce thing, with perhaps some players having issues, where they’d seriously like to get one over the ex-manager.
No doubt Bruce might want to get one over us too, particularly after the cabbage incident.
I’m sure he saw that as a major insult, but I doubt he’d hold it against the club or the fans, as he’s surely long in the tooth enough to know it comes with the territory.
However, while I think the background stuff won’t matter too much, I still see this as a very important game.
It’s one that we really, really ought to win and while if we don’t, it won’t be the end of the world (no single game is), it would be a major setback, confidence-wise, especially for us fans.
Squad news is that Jed Steer is out for a conservative 3-4 months.
Jack Grealish should be fit, although I note that Dean Smith said he thought that he was ready a couple of weeks ago, yet didn’t make it.
Strange, that, but perhaps suggests that Grealish is just itching to play and tries to underplay things.
Which is good, I suppose.
Jota and Kienan Davis are still out.
As for Newcastle, a certain Cieran Clark is touch and go, after a knock suffered playing for Ireland.
Lascelles is out until the new year.
Lejeune and Schar are back in training, but Matt Ritchie is definitely out.
I’ve never heard of any of those three and don’t give a toss either.
So what to think?
Well, surprisngly for Steve Bruce, Newcastle can hit you with a fast counter, but can also maintain it too, as witnessed by when they beat West Ham. They only had 31% possession, yet still managed 9 shots on goal.
Fortunately, I don’t think overall that we’re a team that are particularly vulnerable to the counter.
I might appear daft in saying that, but certainly it seems to me that we’re more vulnerable to sustained pressure on the defence.
It’s certainly what cost us the Liverpool game, for example.
Indeed, I’d say that us sitting back more and more as the game goes on, seems our biggest problem.
And that’s regardless of if the scientists say we aren’t overly-tired.
If that’s the case, we need to attack more, later in the game!
It seems we’re slight favourites and I think the best call is possibly a draw. I don’t think for one minute it’ll be a 0-0 or a 1-1 though.
In fact, I’m not going for a draw at all.
It wouldn’t be good enough.
We need to win this one and I’m going for a 3-1 win.
Because I think we’re capable of it.