may be only 19 and still a little raw, but his energy, hunger, skill and desire seems second to none, compared to other strikers we've played this season. When I saw his goal against Wigan, I assumed he was left footed due to the composure and technique he used in the finish. Absolutely not. Going to be a massive signing for us I'm sure. Well done Coopie!
His individual performance against the scum. Don't forget this is a debut and in a massive derby match. Very, very good start for him.
This video is from when he was 17. Ahead of his time and with 2 more years under his belt since this, I think we could be in for some exciting times with this lad from now until the end of the season.
I haven't posted here for a while, so sorry if this annoys you, but i was debating with some of you about this previously, but I can't find the thread to repost in.
Here is a 5 hour film using clips of official hearings and a conference in Canada, 10 years after the event. Looks at NIST's and the 9/11 Commission's reports and asks questions about their validity. Not really up for arguing and abuse today, but thought you guys might like a look at this, as it really unpicks the official narrative and also some of the things people were arguing with me about ie. the molten steel, the eye witnesses who heard explosions (over 150 of them), the pancake effect on the floors, Thermite, blah blah blah.
Don't expect any breathtaking visuals and excitement, like some other documentaries. This is videos of the official hearings, but extremely interesting.
So I'm finally able to purchase my own season ticket, so have a couple of questions.
I always loved the North Bank as a kid and the only place that gives me anywhere near that feeling in The Liberty is the NE corner.
I have been trying out all stands and am really torn between three spots (now reduced to 2, as there are no seats left in one).
1) East - Half way line, back. I like this position, as it has a very good view of the field of play. Not too far from the singing, but maybe a little too far from the pitch. 2) East - NE corner. I like this because it's near the away fans, the atmosphere is better and it gives me a buzz from when I was younger. View isn't the best though and can't see passages of play very well, although close to our goal chances for one half. 3) West - right behind dugout. Now I wasn't too keen on this position when I first sat here, as it's quite low so you can't see the play very well, plus theres little or no singing, but I absolutely loved being able to hear what everyone was saying on the benches and being close to that action. (unfortunately, there's no ST left which are close enough the dugout for me, so this option is gone for this year).
My questions are...
a) Can you swap seats once you've purchased the ST if you don't like where you are? b) Are there any pros or cons that you guys think I should consider before choosing one of these areas?
SO I notice the African qualifiers have started already. I've never noticed any of the premier league players being released for qualifiers and they aren't usually the same time as our international breaks.
Not really fair to the players who play and get to the finals, only for Mane, Salah and co to take their places and hog the limelight is it?
Reason I say this is because of the Birch appointment, the way they've given him almost total control to enable him to build a, quite frankly, highly exciting backroom team and potential for our club.
OK, player signings have been slow and last years clearout was harsh, but it really seems like we are moving forward now.
I am extremely happy with the non playing staff we have acquired this year and although we are only looking at loans or free transfers in this transfer window, these non players are definitely not free or cheap. They are a mix of young and hungry, and experienced and knowledgeable.
Fuk me, this blew me away. Pep says that the way you play is more important than results... get that right and the results will come.
I know this is way ahead of our level, but we need to think in these ways. We need to not think about the result of that 90 minutes and think about the result of years in the future. Pep Guardiola is a genius. MUST WATCH!
I remember pointing out when we appointed him that he has been at various seminars and giving speeches to people doing their coaching badges, basically helping teach the new managers etc. about tactics and stuff. Jasper told me that it wasn't anything special, as they will ask just about anyone to do that and it wasn't because he had any special skills.
I don't know much about that type of thing, so I agreed that could be the case, but still thought there was more to it.
Then I read this new article from Margetson, who talks about the time Cooper was sent out to Russia to advise Southgate and the England coaching team on the Colombia match. (am match England won to take them to the World Cup quarter finals).
“Steve came out to Russia for last year’s World Cup finals and spent a week with the squad out there. He was helping to advise us and did an amazing presentation on opponents Colombia. “Steve’s reputation throughout the whole of the FA was, and still is, outstanding. When he came out and helped with the senior team in Russia the transition that he made from managing the under-17s was easy for him. "The presentation he gave to Gareth Southgate and the technical staff was first class.’’
Surely no-one can convince me this time that these things are just random. The FA must have been wanting him to advise and teach at these things because they new he had what it takes. Teaching and advising during the coaching badges training is one thing, but being flown out to Russia to advise the national team manager is a major deal and must show that he has some enviable expertise that many people can learn from.
Difficult decisions to be made. 12 players who are now into their final year. Some are on high wages and need to be flogged ASAP. Some have under-performed so may not get a new contract offer. Some may need to be signed up to keep their value. Some need to be signed up ASAP.
Here's what I think...
Jordan Ayew and Borja need no discussion. Flog the barstewards immediately please.
GKs Mulder and Nordfeldt: Not easy to decide here. They have both under-performed, but both have potential to become good keepers with our new coaching setup. I think maybe the best bet here is to see how they go this season and sign up the one who makes the biggest improvement (if that is significant) and release the other, or possibly both. This tactic is obviously steeped in danger, as if the player with 12 months left has heck of a season, they would be liable to leaving on a free instead of us being able to cash in on them. Can't really see that happening with these two fukers though.
Naughton: OK, so many fans have issues with KN. I think he's decent at this level. Reasonably versatile and seems willing to help out where needed. I'd give him a 1 year extension, depending on how much he's earning. I guess he will have to take a bit of a pay cut, which he may not be chuffed about and may alert other clubs. 1 year extension from me, but he'll probably leave on a free.
Dyer: Long term servant to the club. Good for the young players. Can still do a job, especially in this division. Again, would probably need to take a pay cut to sign new contract, but I think he's more likely to do so than others. 1 year extension with possibility of a coaching role at the end of it.
Routs: Clearly wants to stay and helped the club. Trev has said theres a possibility of him having a coaching role in future, so I'm sure he will stay, be it in a player role or not, if he struggles this season. I can see him doing well again and we'll need him to continue playing as long as possible. Probably not one to worry about in terms of having to get the offer done and dusted sooner rather than later, so not an issue. Depending on how he does this season, I would offer him another 1 year extension.
MVH: We need to sign this guy up ASAP. Another good season and there will definitely be more clubs looking at him in January. Whether it be to maximise what we can recoup for him if we sell, or just make sure he doesn't leave on a free, this is essential. I'm not sure what he's earning in wages, but I seem to remember it being pretty low. If we can get him to sign in line with our wage structure (probably make him among our top earners) I'd give him a longer contract to show how much we want him here. 3 year contract ASAP!
Carroll: Injury prone. Plenty of promise, but not much end product. Probably higher wages than most of the rest, so for these reasons I would not offer him a new contract. There is a risk he will have a good season and will then leave for free, but with all the inconsistencies, I think that's worth the risk and if he does have a good season it will benefit us this year and give him and us the chance of a new start next year. Good luck for this season Tom, but no contract from me. Cheers.
Young players: Dhanda should get an extension purely due to their promise I think. Obviously Cooper is an expert on the youngsters, so I'll trust his judgement, but I think he will get another chance to impress. 2 year extension on low wage. CBR has struggled to make an impact and I don't see as much promise here. Again, Cooper is the man who can see this better, but personally I wouldn't offer him a new contract and would release him when it ends, unless there is some significant progress this season.
Hopefully we can get a few new players in before the deadline is up, but let's suggest we don't sign anyone. What do we have and how well could they do?
I'm going to discard the names that are on "crippling" wages, as they will almost definitely be sold/loaned out.
It's known that Cooper prefers a 433 or 4141, so lets have a look.
GK Nordfeldt/Mulder/Benda Not too bad. Hopefully Benda will get his chance if the other two stutter, as predicted.
LB John/Grimes/Naughton/Govea Not ideal, but workable. Personally I'd prefer to see Naughton here with Govea getting some games.
RB Roberts/Naughton/U23 Not ideal either. Not sure we have a decent RB in the u23 ready for action? Could be workable, if Connor gets crocked Naughts could fill in and Govea/Grimes on the left for a bit.
CB MVH/Rodon/Harries/Cooper/Lewis As previously discussed, we are pretty well stocked here. Hopefully one of the u23s could make their mark if we get any injuries.
DM Grimes/Fulton/U23 As we know, Grimes excelled here last term. He will do the job. Not an ideal sub in Fulton, but he can do the job if needed. Not sure who the defensive u23 is?
CM Byers/Fulton/Carrol/Evans/U23 Byers and either of the other three here. I know Carroll has been shit recently, but he may just step up to the plate with a new manager etc. We also have Fulton and some decent prospects here. Think we should be OK.
10 Celina/Byers/McKay Happy that we have plenty of takers for this position.
Wings John/McKay/Routledge/Montero/Garrick/Dhanda/Asoro/Dyer I've put these all together, as most can and will switch from their preferred wing. Plenty here. Not bad.
ST McBurnie/Baston/Asoro/CBR/Routledge/Garrick Plenty to choose from here. I've kept Baston here, as there is a chance he won't go and could be a benefit to us.
So to round up. If we don't sign anyone, it's surely going to be a difficult season, however we do have numbers in all positions, apart from maybe fullbacks. I'm sure Jasper can tell us what we have coming through the academy in those positions. I still think we have the quality to do OK. Probably not challenge for top 6, but definitely stay up. Perfect chance for more of our young players to get a chance, and arguably in better circumstances, with the confidence of what their mates did last season and a proper young person's manager to guide them.
I would obviously like some signings, but I am still confident on a promising season with the squad we have. If we can finish mid table and get a good foundation to work on and some confidence in our u23s coming through, surely we can sort our finances out by next season and push on fully.
Like I said before, I'd be happy with a 20th place finish, beating the scum twice, blooding some new youngsters and seeing the players getting used to Cooper's approach and systems. It may not be the best outcome, but I reckon we shouldn't necessarily be judging results this season, rather progress.