Half Term Reports – Newcastle, Portsmouth, Stoke, Sunderland


newcastleNewcastle – 14th

Successful season so far? If maintaining the status of Newcastle as a joke club where nothing surprises you is success then they’ve had a super season. Keegan walks again, Ashley tries to sell but no one buys, twenty odd managers turn down the job before Joe Kinnear is revealed as new boss, numerous injuries, Owen transfer saga. Just another season at St. James’ Park.

Top player: Owen has recaptured form just as his contract runs out. Jonas Gutierrez has been a good signing who works hard but also provides creativity.

Flop player: Joey Barton. Who else?

January shopping list: Some defenders who can defend.

Dream scenario: Newcastle stay up, Sunderland get relegated.  

Realistic scenario: Newcastle stay up, Sunderland stay up.



portsmouthPortsmouth – 12th

Successful season so far? Less so than last year. Harry jumps ship, again. Huge debts means best player Diarra is sold and Johnson, Distin, James, Defoe and Crouch are all linked with moves away from Fratton Park. All the old players are a year older and slower. Tony Adams doing his best to snatch defeats from the jaws of victories.

Top player: Glen Johnson has been immense and has also scored the goal of the season. Peter Crouch has also been very good.

Flop player: Defoe started well but his mind is at his next club now. Sol Campbell is very, very slow these days.

January shopping list: Depends on who they sell really.

Dream scenario: All the top players stay and Harry Redknapp doesn’t poach anyone. Adams becomes as good a manager as he was a player. Someone rich buys the club. Top half finish.

Realistic scenario: Defoe is sold and maybe one or two others. Adams reinvests and gets enough points to finish mid-table.



stokeStoke – 18th

Successful season so far? It was, but they’ve no Plan B now that Plan A (Rory Delap’s throw) is injured. Some memorable wins, and the opposition’s (well Arsenal’s) complete inability to deal with long bullet throws into the box. Delap has screwed his shoulder and they’re without a win in six. Have dropped to 18th, which is maybe where they expected to be anyway. Only three points off mid-table.

Top player: Delap for his throw. Abdoulaye Faye has done pretty well too.

Flop player: Liam Lawrence injured himself when he tripped over his dog. I thought that could only happen in Football Manager.

January shopping list: A striker to score some goals. Some guile in midfield?

Dream scenario: Delap keeps them up.

Realistic scenario: Lack of goals sends them down.



sunderlandSunderland – 15th

Successful season so far? So-so. Keane resigned having signed over 100 players with a ratio of around one success for every five useless ex Man Utd/Celtic reserve players. Ricky Sbragia comes in, cheers everyone up, wins two games with four goals scored and then Sunderland revert to struggling.

Top player: Cisse was one of the successful Keane signings and has eight goals and a brilliant habit of staying offside. Malbranque has the most assists in the league and would have been useful at Spurs right now.

Flop player: Take your pick, there have been so many.

January shopping list: One good player, rather than seventeen average ones.

Dream scenario: Sunderland stay up, Newcastle get relegated.

Realistic scenario: Sunderland stay up, Newcastle stay up.




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