Newcastle United 20-21: Decisively Better Than Morecambe

Joe D Reid

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This (bizarrely) used to be one of the better-trafficked Gazza threads back in the day when the forum was like 9 of us talking to the ether, so I'm going to fire one up for tradition's sake if nothing else. NUFC's offseason consisted of absorbing some of the more functional bits of Bournemouth. The moves were those of a team trying to keep the wheels on in the EPL until the club can be sold rather than those of a team looking to build anything over the long term--there are very few actual young players in the side other than the Longstaves.

Record signing Joelinton is now third-choice striker behind 27 y/o new boy Callum Wilson and extremely old boy Andy Carroll. So maybe it's best that they aren't trusting the scouts.

Regardless, following early round victories over Blackburn (1-0) and Morecambe (0-7; ouch babe), only fourth-tier Newport County stands between Newcastle and the quarterfinals of the League Cup. There will be at least two other winnable ping pong balls in the quarterfinal draw as well (Brentford/Fulham; Villa/Bristol/Stoke). So that plus a couple of well-timed COVID outbreaks could have us set for a trophy, right?
 

Joe D Reid

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Regardless, following early round victories over Blackburn (1-0) and Morecambe (0-7; ouch babe), only fourth-tier Newport County stands between Newcastle and the quarterfinals of the League Cup. There will be at least two other winnable ping pong balls in the quarterfinal draw as well (Brentford/Fulham; Villa/Bristol/Stoke). So that plus a couple of well-timed COVID outbreaks could have us set for a trophy, right?
As predicted, a resounding terrifying 1(4)-1(5) win over Newport on penalties in the League Cup. Bring on City, the smug bastards!
 

Joe D Reid

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NEHMIND CITY, I SEE YOU BRENTFORD (even though until the draw came out I thought you were bradford). #CarabgeordiebaoCup2020
 

Dummy Hoy

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Brentford is better than Bradford.

How we feeling about Brucey these days? He’s done better than I expected to be honest.
 

Joe D Reid

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Yeah, it's been the best-case scenario for the hiring. He still has no tactics, but the team plays hard. And for all of the various shitshows at the club/ownership level, there has been no chaos within the team--nobody is asking out, there have been zero intra-squad pintings despite the bubble, etc. My league cup hype train is mostly tongue-in-cheek, but it's noteworthy that they are even trying to win games in the cup because it means they are not actively terrified about staying up in the league.

EDIT: He gets extra points for this post-match quote after a Burnley player was reduced to kicking Allan Saint-Maximin up and down the field: "I’ve known Phil Bardsley since he was 12 so I’m not surprised he had a few kicks at Allan.”
 
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Tuff Ghost

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Some unfortunate reports out of Newcastle regarding the COVID situation as it pertains to Jamaal Lascelles and Allan Saint-Maximin. Both are suffering long-term effects of COVID-19. Hopefully, they both get back and are healthy soon, but it serves as yet another reminder that even peak-fitness, young athletes can be effected by this virus.
Both players, who have had lingering effects from the virus and have been unable to train with their team-mates in recent weeks, are now comfortable with the information being made public.
Steve Bruce, the head coach, said last week that two unnamed players had been suffering from "long-term COVID" symptoms.

Speaking generally, rather than about individuals, he said that among his squad, players had suffered, "vomiting, sores, mouth ulcers, no smell, no taste", as well as uncharacteristic fatigue.
The club was forced to close the training ground for 11 days earlier this month, on the advice of Public Health England North East, after what they described as a "significant increase" in positive COVID cases.

The Athletic understands that the number of positive cases within the first-team "bubble", which includes both players and staff, may have reached double figures.
https://theathletic.com/news/newcastle-saint-maximin-coronavirus-latest/wrIufkmtpB4uhttps://www.bbc.com/sport/football/55400922