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Ok, I admit that I've failed somewhere before. But anyway welcome. Just a brief intro on what you should expect here:
1. Football. Not gonna post much of that any soon since season is over. :S
2. Anime, Games, etc. Just abt anything conceivable under the Japanese radar barring anything and everything Rule 34. Now that's illegal. Period. -.-;
3. Music. Everything to do with it is listed under the tab.
5. Unacceptable humour: Anything and everything is fair game here. As long as I don't get rounded up by the ISA. -.-'

6.
The Known World=Fantasy world building in process. I: Used to be glossary, now devoted to random rambling; II: Character Concepts; III: Lore.
7. der Wolf=my Fictionpress account under the moniker Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu. A Ranger's Tale is hosted under this page. :)
8. New section now upped. Maybe I should also gun for upping A Ranger's Tale here since I do have this funny feeling that traffic coming to here is way more than whatever I'll get in FP.

Statement of intent: Everything said here is a figment of personal opinion, be it me or anybody commenting. I try to be responsible, but my parents=/=parents of the world.

@Druid of Luhn: Crap. Should have remembered far earlier to give you the credit for your CSS text box code. :(

A/N: But sadly, it seems that your CSS text box code has now been halved efficiency wise. :(

That most important note I should have added: Any images posted in this blog are NOT my own stuff. I got them from Google image search, I don't earn any shit by being a thief and liar. Those responsible for the pictures, rest assured that you all are great artists in your own regards. Sadly, we all know what limited space means in terms of posting.

Latest Note: Changed alignment for my page widgets due to my worry that I can't centre align the thing.

Note on A Ranger's Tale: In case any complaining fella wants to have a legal case with me, let this be known that A Ranger's Tale is rated M by default. I've upped the swearing and somewhat a bit on the dark/gritty factor. You all have been warned, let no little boy and girl enter the forbidden realm.

Latest on ART: A Ranger's Tale now starting to kick back in gear. But I really hate the insanely fluctuating climate here in S'pore.

P.S: Oh, and one more thing. Vid below is yet another ideal OP for A Ranger's Tale.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Personal assessment of North East football thus far... (Part 2)

Foreword: Firstly, allow me to say no manager has ever baffled me like Alan Pardew himself for the past one season. You see, I didn't have a good opinion on his managerial abilities, but yet he somehow tore up the script and feed me with my own words last season. In fact, things might not being going that well this season thus far due to some reasons now quite obvious to me.

But firstly, let us enjoy a comic strip created by Boro-ly Yours
 

Production Studio: The internet
Consultant Studio: Google image search

Director: Kuok "that Sad Smoggie Bastard" Minghui
Producer: Mr Eric "politically incorrect" Soh

Cast:
The Hero - Alan Pardew
The Villain - Peter Kirkup
The Negotiator: Hatem Ben Arfa
The Troll: AV-B(eng)

So how should we view Alan Pardew's pedigree?
Firstly and foremost, the reason why I tend to dismiss him as a one season wonder no different to Rafa Benitez back during his years as Robo-Kop is due to what I've seen thus far on his CV. Nothing much impressive at first, but after you understand what happened to West Ham and Reading last time round, you'll feel like any sane SGB upon news of appointment being outed. Fast forward to end of last season and he's now the messiah of black and white. But if there's anything to go by, his immense success last season has only confirmed what I know about him so far:

That he's a good squad modifier, but a horrendously poor squad builder.

You don't need to be David Cameron himself to play the policy hand...
Firstly and foremost, modifying a squad and building a squad could be seen in the same mold, but only if we're talking about bolstering/reinforcing the squad. There are two ways of doing it given the kind of budget affordable to just about anyone stupid enough to take up this particular job. [1] One is to consider the depth as the highest priority while the other means eschewing quantity for quality. Or maybe I should put things in far more clear cut way: You'll really need to understand how to make everything out of nothing and sadly, Alan Pardew is no Emiya Shirou, let alone GAR-cher.

So how did Pardew modify Newcastle rather than building it? Isn't this about building upon whatever Chris Hughton had done positively thus far?
And herein lies the biggest bugbear. [2] The signings Pardew made were done upon the pretext of quality. To him, quality comes first before depth and this is basically why I still don't rate him that highly. In fact out of every currently active gaffer with the blood of North East running deep, I'll only be willing to recognise Martin O'Neill, Steve Bruce, Chris Hughton and Mogga himself as the highest bar of standard due to a good understanding on team balance.

So let us see for ourselves where did Pardew hit the sweet spot:

Talents 1 and 2: Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse. Regardless of questions asked on why the two can't score at the same time, Pardew really struck some major paydirt where those two blokes are concerned. Thus far, the main bulk of Geordie goals actually went through both feet of these two players and NOT Shola Ameobi himself. [3] Which is basically why a lot of Geordies are now complaining over this very Duracell Bunny Syndrome. [4] In fact, what Newcastle now needs the most are goals. That is before any possible collapse can happen upon the backline making a trip to the FICU. [5]

Talent 3: I tend to leave the best for the last and this one is no exception here. Yohan Cabaye has got to be the best playmaker plying his trade in the North East leagues and class beyond. In fact, Hatem Ben Arfa has never been the key man as in Newcastle can still survive a scare or two without him. But no Cabaye=the birds can't do anything. [6] And the worst case scenario has finally happened: Cabaye will be out until February.

So why this local Singaporean SSB is so impressed by a French angmoh SGB?
Firstly and foremost, I don't see any chance in hell for Yoann Gourcuff to make a comeback to the French international scene due to a certain 2010 épisode feuilles de chou frisé. [7] Initially, le Monsieur de Adversité had dictated Les Bleus to embark upon its very own mener en bateau. Thankfully for all the footballing purists [8], le décès de Les Bleus ended up becoming mere mythe football. And we should all thank Cabaye for filling into Gourcuff's boots. Granted Gourcuff is far more versatile than Cabaye, but if there's anything to go by so far, Cabaye's strength in passing the ball will mean that he might well be on his way in becoming le Paul Scholes de France should he keep upping his game.

Anyone watching his own healthy dose of football can AND will tell you how important such a player is in the modern game. Gone are the days where Pele was truly a prophet in front of goal rather than before the journalist press. If there's anything to go by, Franz "Der Kaiser" Beckenbauer is now the emperor of the current footballing era, whether we like it or not.

The birds can't lay any eggs without France=the birds can't build any nest without Côte d'Ivoire
The stats don't lie. Even though I rate Cabaye as Newcastle's very current best, that's only down to my personal preference. [9] There's nothing fashionable over Cheick Tioté. Yet, why Newcastle can be a force de la nature is down to a fairytale pairing christened La Belle et la Bête. If Cabaye is Le Barde, then Tioté is Le Soldat. If Cabaye is Le Aigle, then Tioté should be seen as Le Loup. Without that bestial half of the Tyneside axis, Newcastle have proven to be far more defensively prone with number of goals leaked being a major cause for concern. In fact, the only reason why some Geordies called him a liability was down his constant record of fouls. [10] But hey, guess what? Would any sane minded fan rather his own team smuggling in goals by a dozen?

And Steven Taylor got crocked (again!)
Same old problem, same old story. If there's anything far more harrowing than seeing the ghost of Anne Boleyn, it will be a repeat of last season's would-be Ragnarok. Mark my words, all you SGBs. Taylor's presence will be sorely missed. If there's anything consolation worthy, it will be that Colocinni is still running around hale and mighty. Last season was arguably much worse off due to Thor and Vidar gone bummer mode simultaneously. Now all the SGBs can really hope for is that Tioté won't get crocked. [11]

But surely Pards has some redeeming qualities?
While I can never laud him for being an able transfer dealer, I still have to take my hat off him. Firstly and foremost, a lot of people were like "bro u mad???" upon his agreement to take up the Newcastle job. The previous and current regime upstairs aren't exactly Steve Gibson's family members and a lot of potential candidates would rather play it safe than to risk an epileptic seizure along the touchline. Credit goes to Pardew for his decisiveness and it does come across to me that he had learnt quite a lot throughout all those toughest years. At the very least, I have nothing to fault when it comes to his man managing skills.

This could have very well be Pardew himself, so let's give him credit due.


Transfer Status: ICU
The logic is very simple. The mini crisis last season could have been avoided had Pardew started saying "okay, let's do the financial maths first" rather than going like " hey, so-and-so is a damned good player, let's ring his agent". This was further complicated by the fact that Mike Ashley isn't exactly a rich guy when it comes to transfer policy. Never mind whether it's down to actual cash flow problems despite his controversial status hijacked by Wonga. And as if the problem is merely an Ash-job...

“Chris Hughton would never have taken us where we want to be.
“That’s my decision by the way.”

“Chris can’t make decisions. If I am asking about a player, Ben Arfa? he says ‘I’m not sure, blah blah blah’.”
“With Chris, he couldn’t cope with where we are ­mentally. We are ­aggressive.”

“You need to be aggressive. I don’t want a manager below me who can’t argue.”
“You guys don’t ­understand how f****** ­horrible we can be.”

To be fair towards Derek Llambias, the only reason why shit got leaked through the anus was down to him forgetting to off his mic. And why I use such a crude term is down to me being a pseudo-North Easterner.

[“Chris Hughton would never have taken us where we want to be.
“That’s my decision by the way.”]

That red Fragarach: Erm, wait a sec... so who's holding the power upstairs now????

[“Chris can’t make decisions. If I am asking about a player, Ben Arfa? he says ‘I’m not sure, blah blah blah’.”]

That red Fragarach: No elaborations, counted as a strawman. Chris Hughton is an exceptional man manager and it truly shone during Newcastle's successful push back into top flight. You don't expect a burung kakak hitam-putih [12] to lead a dressing room possibly on the verge of voluntary mass exodus all the way. Remember this is all about a Championship team with Premiership players. [13] You can't expect your boss to come marching down onto the training grounds just to give an inspirational speech ala King Theoden style. That would have most likely caused a real life Riot of King's Landing instead. Therefore, someone in the Geordie crowd should ask how did the entire negotiation with Marseille go where Hatem Ben Arfa is concerned. Indeed Marseille is a big club in Ligue 1 and 1 Ben Arfa is worth far more than three Andy Carrolls put together. [14] Since I'm talking about Newcastle's first season post promotion, it's only natural that the loss of potential revenue incurred due to relegation had hurt the club massively. The TV money has gotten way too damned absurd even before Gordon Brown assumed office.

[“With Chris, he couldn’t cope with where we are ­mentally. We are ­aggressive.”
“You need to be aggressive. I don’t want a manager below me who can’t argue.”
“You guys don’t ­understand how f****** ­horrible we can be.”]

That red Fragarach: I'll have to break my own personal integrity by stating that the late Sir Bobby Robson must be rolling in his grave right now. [15]


[1]: If even Terry Venables can say "**** you" to Ashley's offer, you'd know things have hit rock bottom.


[2]: I can't believe our Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean actually used that word during a REACH forum dialogue session. O.O
[3]: Although there's a very "logical" reason behind the emergence of neo-Mackems.
[4]: Abbrev - DBS
[5]: Nothing vulgar here despite a F and an U at either end. It just stands for Footballing Intensive Care Unit.
[6]: 鸟不生蛋的球赛
[7]: Yes, I'm speaking French here. And the only reason why is that I've got an online French-English dictionary at hand. Hell will freeze over if I even dare to use terms like Tu es belle or Ik houd je van.
[8]: Apart from the English that is.
[9]: Hey, a football fan is still a football fan. Even Barca haters will most likely admit that they would never hate everything Nou Camp if only the Blaugrana and match officials can truly man up.
[10]: Yet I suspect Tioté is now a recognised folk hero because of a heroic attempt to twat Steven Fletcher.
[11]: Will Fletcher make his revenge come good? Watch this space, my fellow 3Bs.
[12]: Malay for black-and-white parrot. Not too sure if it's broken Malay though, but at least godsister no.2 should deserve a well mentioned note for teaching me the term burung kakak.
[13]: And on a hindsight, it saved Ashley a massive deal of further heckles because NO club within the top half of the Premiership rankings would be willing to fork out any kind of stupid money just to meet whatever amount of evaluation value for any players on offer.
[14]: I'd never imagine me saying this, but I'm on Llambias' side this time round although I still do find his language rather ungentlemanly.
[15]: To be fair, I'll never invoke examples of the dead unless I need to hammer across a certain message. Sir Bobby Robson was a good man who lived a good life for a good cause. T_T

P.S: Now that Newcastle has to challenge on the European front as well, Pardew really has to reach a make-or-break decision, i.e. the squad depth at his disposal is really damned screwed up man.