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Capitalism is dead. Long live capitalism.
at 12:27 18 Sep 2019

Quite literally a Big Read but this is a very interesting overview of where we are and where we might be heading - or at least probably should be heading.

And it's the sort of sensible, healthier capitalism that Corbyn, Sanders and the other "hard-core socialists" around Europe will likely help develop rather than being seen as "enemies of business". Economists like Stiglitz have been recommending similar for years but good to see this is more and more in the mainstream now.
When you delegitimise and marginalise critics then you're free to do this
at 21:12 10 Sep 2019

It would be good to hear criticism from all those Israel-supporting groups like the Tory leadership, the CFI and LFI who say they are actually working for a two-state solution ... oh I forgot. That's just lip service as they again stand idly by and do nothing about the latest in the long line of annexations that is destroying the viability of any future Palestinian state.

Whether it's arming and training the Saudis to kill Yemenis, trying to manipulate factional power for commercial gain or providing a shelter for the religious and nationalist right in Israel to operate with impunity, the UK establishment is a shameful enemy of the people of the Middle East.

Do we really want our country to be seen like this?
The Shrews game bodes very well for this season
at 09:26 2 Sep 2019

I thought we were pretty average for large spells on Saturday and the Shrews were unlucky not to score at least one.

But ...
1. We were pretty comfortable and the early two-goal cushion meant we didn't have to take the game to Shrewsbury.
2. I think we can play better as the season progresses and the first-choice team emerges
3. We were at a different level when we broke forward and attacked them at pace. Norwood is mobile and a good focus for the attack but Jackson deserves a lot of credit for really stretching defences this season.
4. And perhaps most importantly, this seems to be how automatic promotion sides mostly play (at least from looking at the Championship over the past couple of decades). The stronger teams don't blow sides away that often but they keep the opposition at arm's length and look to capitalise on mistakes or the odd flash of inspiration. That's a base level they can keep repeating game after game to get them over the line rather than relying on total football which will come and go with form. I've got no problem with the more direct style either - with Norwood and Jackson posing different questions of the defence, it's effective and it's repeatable.

On a side note, it's also apparent from the first 6 games how much League One defences will cough up chances and how the attacks won't punish you to anything like the same degree as the Championship. I thought that the standard would be closer to the Championship than the Championship is to the Prem but it seems those people who knew about League One were absolutely right: there is a fairly big drop-off. Hopefully this will be an ideal period to get a team working well together and bedding in our younger and newer players for a decent Championship season next year.

The future looks a little brighter.

This is good to hear from the head of Channel 4 News
at 14:26 23 Aug 2019

Hopefully, it can signal an actual change of direction for our media who have been frankly shocking and enabled this known liar to become Prime Minister. Maybe enough journalists can now see it's gone too far?

"What we all need to decide: what do we do when a known liar becomes our Prime Minister? I've talked to journalists from several television organisations about this issue. They said they would be loath to use that word 'liar'.

Remember when Andrew Marr told [former defence secretary] Penny Mordaunt her claim that the UK couldn't stop Turkey from joining the EU was 'strange'?

It was strange, but it was also untrue - a lie. Is it time for us to start using the L-word? I believe that we need to start calling politicians out as liars when they lie. If we continue to be so polite, how will our viewers know that politicians are lying?"

This has gone too far
at 15:18 16 Aug 2019

This guy is a nutter clearly but that's the space you're opening up when Islamophobia becomes as normalized as it has in public debate. Whether it's the unapologetically racist views of half the Conservative members re: Muslims or foreigners in general. Or the active demonization by populists of UKIP, the Brexit Party and the far-right in our media. And how about a Prime Minister who insults Muslims and ethnic minorities seemingly at will?
So Lankester pretty much out for the season then ...
at 10:27 13 Aug 2019

B@llocks! He was one of the players I was most looking forward to seeing this season.

5 months is a long time and even then it sounds as if they might have to take it easy to see if the problem really has gone away.

Let's hope for a speedy recovery and maybe a brief cameo at the end where he helps us cement promotion.
I'm no fan of Man U
at 19:31 11 Aug 2019

And I think Lampard is a nice guy.

But would be quite happy to see him fall on his @rse. I know we're living in a non-expert age but seems utterly ridiculous to give such an inexperienced manager and coach one of the biggest jobs in football.
This is going to be unpopular but we look a worse team with Judge
at 18:07 10 Aug 2019

Although it's important to add "at the moment" because if we were firing on all cylinders Judge would be a great player to have.

We seemed to be much more of a unit with Garbutt but looked all over the shop afterwards. Can't criticize the effort or willingness to attack but everything seemed a bit disconnected and random. Second half we regressed to last season's style of play when being direct and organized seems to be far more effective.
Style of play this season
at 11:30 5 Aug 2019

You can't read too much into one game, especially away from home and one where we took an early lead. But I thought we looked much more comfortable and dangerous playing on the counter attack than we did last season trying to go toe to toe in midfield and work our way through teams.

The big difference seems to be we didn't have a player like Norwood last season so we couldn't get the ball up to the forwards quickly and expect it to stick or be used that productively. I think he's going to be massively important for us this season even if he only scrapes into double figures himself.

The standard will be lower so I'm sure we can also do better than last season when we have a lot of possession. But if we're going to go up this season it'll be through taking the lead, protecting it and even extending it. And from that perspective, Saturday was very encouraging.

We just need to keep doing it.
Not sure I understand the maths around the targets Lambert wanted
at 12:18 2 Aug 2019

1. Either we had the money to look for them or we didn't.
2. If we did have a pot, is it that none of the deals could be brought in within the transfer and wages range we'd set out beforehand?
3. Why didn't we go for two and pay over the odds accepting the injury crisis had changed the situation?
4. Why didn't we sell Judge if numbers were a more pressing issue?

All feels a bit messy and unclear. But of course underneath it all we're seeing that money has got even tighter with relegation and the drop in revenue. And presumably tighter because we also spent far much more than we wanted to last season, both under Hurst and when Lambert came in.

There is no excuse for the lack of transfer activity if it's down to a lack of a cohesive strategy and communication between Evans and the footballing side of things. But if it's purely budgetary then we might need to get used to it. This is where we are.

Added to which ... while people say Evans should push the boat out, whenever he's done that we've gone backwards or at least weakened our long-term position. From Magilton to Keane, Jewell, Hurst and, based on last season, Lambert.
Good opinion piece here
at 12:10 27 Jul 2019

And feels a pretty accurate take on the current "power market".
Here's a question.
at 20:43 26 Jul 2019

Which other countries in the world would be better off with our politicians, political system and media?

I'm going for North Korea and a bunch of countries who are 50-100 years behind us for whatever reason. Then I got absolutely nothing.
Here's the problem with "Guilt by accusation"
at 15:49 26 Jul 2019

This whole thing became a self-evident truth for all those wanting to believe it. It fueled conspiracy theories about a paedophile elite, savage political attacks by Tom Watson, and ultimately victimized and tormented people who were on the face of it entirely innocent.

One can only imagine the pain it caused over several years to the accused and their families – and some like Leon Brittan even died before their name could be cleared.

So please be sure (and highly critical) of the evidence. And don't spread someone else's accusations as evidence in themselves.
I'm 50/50 on Judge
at 17:48 23 Jul 2019

He's a great little player and I loved his energy and the excitement whenever he got on the ball.

But ... watching him over the last 4-5 months of the season, he didn't actually contribute a massive amount in real terms. And his energy and always looking for the ball was cancelled out by us being a bit disorganised in possession and a bit gappy and exposed in defence.

I think a lot of that was the team around him not being good enough or confident enough and him trying to do too much on his own. So probably wouldn't be an ongoing problem given we'll be better matched in League One. But I don't think it would do some of our other and younger players any harm to be in a more structured, solid side because when they have found their feet in the side they've looked much better.

Obviously Judge is still an asset and I'm sure we can get a lot out of him this season. But a decent transfer fee and building our side more around the younger assets like Downes, Dozzell, Lankester etc. could offset that.
Will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights
at 13:01 23 Jul 2019

It'll help with the Dark Ages-theme
Good letter
at 00:07 10 Jul 2019

Sound familiar? If Germany struggles with this, what hope do we have with our much worse and less independent politics and media?

Panorama? Or Tunnel Vision?
at 11:44 7 Jul 2019

Well, this confirms my worst fears for Wednesday's Panorama exposé on Labour antisemitism.

At a time when we need balance and perspective to get past the narrative and look at facts, instead we've got a journalist who is one of the chief architects of that narrative ... he's already been accused of doing a Panorama hatchet job against Corbyn in 2015 as well as being repeatedly accused of having a pro-Israel and islamophobic stance in other stories.

That doesn't read well. And looks like the BBC will be doubling down on its generally pretty awful and non-factual reporting around this crisis.

The state of our politics and our media ...
Hope springs eternal
at 10:36 6 Jul 2019

Not even two months after the soul-sucking drain of last season finally came to an end, I'm now excited to see how Lambert's team gets on in a largely meaningless friendly in Germany.

This is a sickness, right?

Judge Judgement
at 11:06 5 Jul 2019

What do we think for this season? Left-sided wingerish, central attacking midfielder or the wandering role he had last season?

I loved his energy and involvement last season but really wasn't convinced by him in the free role. It didn't seem to help us find much structure or rhythm as a team IMO. And I think he himself ended up trying to do too much and losing his confidence and form.

If he could play a more left-sided role that would sort out that side of the pitch out AND give us better balance/more structure.

Either way, our season looks pretty dependent on making the best use of him.
Are we feeling it yet?
at 20:56 4 Jul 2019

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