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    by Published on 26-09-2016 07:23 PM

    The winner has a 24 hour deadline to confirm the tickets, or they will be given to another member.

    WIN: A pair of tickets to QPR v Reading - Saturday 15th October (15:05)

    This competition is free to enter.


    1. Everyone can enter this competition. Previous winners this season are excluded to give others a chance. However you will be back in play if no one claims the prize 24 hours later.
    2. Post anything in this thread to confirm your entry.
    3. All the names go into an electrical box and a random name will be selected.
    4. You must confirm the tickets within the 24 hour deadline, or the seats will be given to someone else.
    5. You can't change your seat location at the stadium.

    Below is the site we use to select the winner.


    Wednesday 12th October - 21:00.

    The winner will have 24 hours to claim the prize. If not then someone online on Thursday 13th October at 21:00 will win them.
    by Published on 22-09-2016 07:44 PM

    Ok so there aren't all the detailed stats that I usually use available for this match since it's not a league game and I'm not one to half-ar se anything with regards to stats so I'm going to avoid them totally today. Starting off with the result then, it's never nice losing but given the circumstances, the side we put out compared to the side they put out, I'm sure this is what the neutral would have expected. And I did some research into the Sunderland line up because I saw statements like "they didn't play a recognised striker". Well, Joel Asoro has scored 12 in 17 for the Swedish under 17's and is now in their under-21 squad. Here's a statement from Chronicle:

    Asoro, who has attracted the attention of some of European football’s biggest clubs, impressed during the club’s pre-season tour of France and will start his second successive game in the League Cup.
    So no, they didn't have an unknown striker, if you want to compare him to someone, think Tammy Abraham. Little to no experience at first team level prior to this season, but anyone who's seen him at any other level would tell you he's a special talent, from what I can see.

    Player Performance

    Ingram - 7: All round was great, really made some fantastic saves and his kicking was good. But he's brought down by the second goal which he should have done better with regards to the parrying of the ball. Keepers are taught to aim to the sides under all circumstances and unfortunately, not doing that cost us.

    Kakay - 8: Bright future this kid has. Looked great at most offensive parts of his game, from dribbling to crossing, his overlapping runs were an asset. Even defensively I thought he did extremely well, especially for his age and experience. Good in the air, a very solid tackle on him and generally read the game well, especially when we as a team were on point.

    Caulker - 6.5: Solid performance throughout, did little to nothing wrong and won a lot in positions you wouldn't expect him to.

    Lynch - 7.5: Very good start for him, showed a quality that we have been missing. He's got a great left foot on him and he's a huge aerial threat, as shown by his assist. Should be a regular alongside Caulker.

    Hamaleinen - 6: Very mixed bag for the youngster. Had some good defensive work initially but later on in the game, started coming into the middle too much to shrink the pitch, leaving Ndong (a £13.6 million record signing) with plenty of space out wide.

    Sandro - 7: Scored a very good goal and initially pulled off some good defensive work, but ran out of steam at the end of the first half in terms of defensive workrate. Needs to get up to speed but will be a good asset in rotation with Ariel this season (and hopefully not Henry)

    Cousins - 6: Giving him the base score that I'd give anyone because every good thing he did was balanced by an equally bad thing. Would win the ball then play a poor pass; make a run to the edge of their box before running out of ideas and refusing to shoot or play a through ball, instead taking too long and missing the opportunity. The worst part was his inability to play under pressure from anyone. Should be used in rotation with Luongo this season.

    Wszolek - 7: You can tell how valuable he is by the performance of the full backs when he was on their side. When he was right mid, Kakay had a great period where he attacked a lot and did a lot of damage, knowing he had this guy chasing everything behind him. When he was left side, Hamaleinen had a solid period where he didn't look under threat. We've yet to see his best offensively, but for the role we want our wingers to take in the side, he's probably the best one on evidence.

    Nasser - 5.5: Decent opening 15 and had ok spells throughout but looked lost in attacking mid and looked tired after 15 minutes. Only reason he isn't rated 5 is because of the corner which led to the goal and a few of his free kick deliveries. When his delivery beats the first man, you're almost guaranteed a good cross. But he's too inconsistent to have 90 minutes of football.

    Washington - 6: Ran a lot but with little intent. Almost did it just for the sake of running around. When he got the ball, he was alright, didn't really spark up. Covered a lot of ground in the final third in particular and went looking for the ball, but when he got it, he didn't create much with it. I respect the attitude but I don't think he's got the ability for anything above League 1 Level. I'd love to be proven wrong but it would have to be an immediate impact as he's (for me) used up all his "owed time" without doing much at all.

    Sylla - 6.5: Only similarity between him and Polter is in the aerial ability. his style is very different, he doesn't run like crazy, most likely isn't as fit as he needs to be to play consistently and regularly just yet for the full 90, perhaps once he gets to that level, he'll do more running, but I don't think he needs to. He wins a lot in the air but he needs to time his jumps better at times. He took a knock 35 minutes or so in and didn't have the impact he did prior to the knock.

    Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink - 7: I'm gonna rate the managerial performance based on what I saw and I'm going to do this more often after yesterday. Starting line up was about as good as we would have wanted yesterday given the need to rest Chery. 2 of the 3 substitutions were exactly what I would have done, but I would have taken Nasser off instead of Cousins and I would have done that earlier. Other than that, we had good fluidity and people saying we went to a 4231 in the second half, we were much more fluid than the players' starting positions suggested and that's what JFH has said he wanted to see. Yesterday we had 5 players attacking regularly (the attacking 4 and Kakay) and that kept them under pressure for most of the game. Once they took the lead, they looked comfortable because they could play more solidly in the middle and pass it around.
    by Published on 17-09-2016 02:46 PM

    Strong line up to be fair. Still no Beast who ain't even travelled.
    by Published on 13-09-2016 07:23 PM

    5 at the back tonight...

    I like JFH but really? And at home?
    by Published on 12-09-2016 06:20 PM

    I did say I was going to try and do this for every game and here's the second one of the season: QPR V Newcastle.

    Newcastle obviously second in the league table but a win from us would catapult us ahead of them (shocking to hear based on the feeling of the forum at the moment).

    Both us and Newcastle are likely to go in with a 4231, meaning the game is going to be slow paced and patient. This could benefit us if we rotate intelligently as we can end up pressing them into making mistakes. Here's the thing about football. The only way anyone ever scores a goal is through a mistake. That's an absolute fact, if a goal isn't scored through a mistake, it means the opposition wanted to concede and that's never true. Since we know goals are coming from mistakes, everyone likes to slow down the play so they don't make that mistake. But if you press, you'll force a mistake, and when a mistake happens, the only thing between us and a goal is our own ability as a team. When you've got 2 teams playing a 4231, this is even more prominent.

    Newcastle for example, will be playing a slow, calculated game. I know this because I've looked at the stats of it. They played 437 passes away at Derby last time out. Just for the purpose of comparison, Derby played 478. This will ultimately be irrelevant because Derby played a 442, but it does show the difference in pace of play. Now, of the 437 passes, Newcastle targeted the defensive third 107 times, and the final third only 123 times, with the remaining 250 targeting the mid third. Even more prominent, they hit 60 of those 107 passes into the defensive third backwards. So, that means that 24.5% of all their passes were played in their defensive third. Only 28.1% were played into the final third. Now, by comparison, Derby hit only 17.2% of their passes into their defensive third. 32% made it into the final third. If we want more comparison as the the pace Newcastle play at, we only have to look at ourselves. We played 431 passes at home against Blackburn. We played 21.6% of our passes within our defensive third and a phenomenal 37.4% in the final third. Think about that. All our fans are complaining about how boring our play is and how non penetrative it is, and yet we're playing a crazy amount of passes in the final third compared to Newcastle. My belief is simply the finishing isn't there just yet.

    Right, beyond that, let's take a look at the players to look out for.

    Five of the best

    1. Chancel Mbemba

    Their main man at the back, Chancel Mbemba is a phenomenal athlete with a developing defensive mind. Big and strong, with lightning pace, you'd think he has to have some weakness, but he's technically great as well, getting an 88.2% pass success from centre back this season. More impressive is the fact that only Grant Hanley in his one appearance this season has made more passes in a game than Chancel. However, as good as he is on the ground, his (relative) weakness comes in the air and whomever our striker is will need to be going up against him because they'd have another issue to deal with if they try and go for his centre back partner. I'll get onto him in a moment.

    2. Yoan Gouffran

    The left winger has made a strong start to the season, getting a goal and assist in 4 appearances. Wasn't consistent enough in the prem, but looks comfortable at this level, winning plenty in the air and contributing a lot defensively. However, he has yet to deliver an accurate cross this season. A strong shooter as well, Gouffran has already scored this season and has hit the post with an effort. We cannot afford to give him the space he needs to shoot. He likes to float in the midfield area as well, playing flick ons to players around him. Eliminating him from the game will be difficult, but necessary. Him coming into the starting 11 coincided with Newcastle's 4 match winning streak and with the quality of his performances, it's no surprise to see the team doing well.

    3. Isaac Hayden

    The youngster from arsenal has had a phenomenal start to the season, Looking like a real all round threat. Scoring a goal and getting an assist already this season, he's also had a great defensive role in the side, winning a lot of tackles and making interceptions. His size is something to worry about from set pieces and he'll certainly have a big involvement in the match. The only thing we can do to stop him is to really aggravate him. Get in his face and make him nervous. Force him to give away silly free kicks in dangerous positions and we might be able to take advantage.

    4. Jamaal Lascelles

    The Centre Back Partner, Lascelles has been described by scouts (according to the book "The Nowhere Men" as the best raw all rounder since Rio Ferdinand and watching him play this season, it's no surprise. This is a man built for football. Standing tall at 189cm, his passing is great, his play in the air is great, his focus is fantastic. He doesn't need to do much defensively because his positioning is so spot on. BUT, for us, this could be his weakness. He's only had to make 6 tackles this season in his 6 appearances. He's been dribbled past 2 times as well. Running at him and taking him on will really create issues for him, while attacking Mbemba in the air will do the same for him. Being aware of this combination is what will give us a great chance in the match.

    5. Matt Ritchie

    One of their big summer signings, Richie has been a superb addition to an already strong Newcastle side. His ball playing from the wing makes him a huge asset for the side. He doesn't need to run with the ball, because when he plays a pass or takes a shot, it usually creates problems. He likes to cut inside and take long shots, but putting him under pressure will lead to mistakes from his side, with him taking 2.5 unsuccessful first touches per game. The way around him is not giving him the space to play his passes. Force him to run with the ball and he can be tackled fairly easily. He's attempted 7 dribbles this season, being unsuccessful in 4 of them. That's something we need to take advantage of.

    An honourable mention goes to Alexander Mitrovic, who's expected to return to the starting 11. A strong, imposing and aggressive figure, he's a real danger in the box, but getting tight, playing aggressively on him and even giving away a few fouls in non threatening positions might get him to snap, and when mitrovic snaps, a card usually follows.

    Also consider that there may be some rotation on their part, they still have Ayoze Perez, Christian Atsu, Achraf Lazaar and Daryl Murphy who could get involved and have big games. This is our biggest challenge yet on paper.

    The team performance

    Newcastle like through balls. Playing through the defence and keeping it on the ground. Playing as high a line as we do, Caulker or Onuoha (depending on who plays centre back with Hall) will need to cover for Hall a lot more than usual. Giving away free kicks around the box is effectively suicide on our part, with Dwight Gayle likely to take one of those opportunities to score. But what can we do to get an advantage? Play it high, play it wide. It's really that simple. Newcastle's full back's haven't been great defensively this season and getting it to the wing gives us our best chances of scoring. Assuming Sylla starts because of the injury to Polter, Keeping it high will do the most damage to Newcastle's defence.

    Final Verdict

    Newcastle come here on the back of 4 consecutive victories and 3 consecutive clean sheets. Their away form is 2 wins and one loss. Our home record is Win, Loss, Draw. There have been under 2.5 goals in our last 3 games and there have been under 2.5 goals in their last 3 away games. My thoughts is that if there's a winner, they'll keep a clean sheet, but more likely I think is the 1 - 1 draw. In my opinion of course.

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