Can I make a living from Football Index?

“This is literally what the index can offer. It’s like you are cheating to make money”

An intro.

Almost a year ago, I saw an advert on telly late at night with John Motson telling me about a football stock market where you can buy and sell shares in players for a profit. I was intrigued. The next day I had a look into it, asked a few questions and signed up sticking £50 in my account.

One of the first google searches I made was ‘Can I make a living from Football Index?’.

Now, this is an open question as what defines as ‘a living’? How much are we talking? Over what time period? Per month? Per annum? In fact, why would I even ask that question to begin with?

I already had a few contract roles in and around football as a performance analyst and scout with other bits and bobs and was looking for something else to add onto my bow of regular income.

Motty FI

I didn’t hold my breath that this stock market for footballers thing was like striking oil, but I was interested enough to give it a go given my years of casual gambling, especially on the Betfair Exchange, and it also seemed a little similar to fantasy football but for real money.

I was signed up to the initial ‘£500 refund in your first-week’ offer at the time and after a couple of days playing around with £50, I stuck in some more. My opening risk-free week wasn’t exactly groundbreaking but I had a clear choice once the time period was up. Stay with it, or sell up and get your money back.

I went back and forth for a bit and couldn’t make my mind up as to what to do, but in the end, I chose the former and decided to give it a proper go…and thank f*ck I did!

 

Who am I?

“…my all-time profit stood at just a hint over £10k at £10,087.58.”

Joining Football Index is one of the best things I have ever done. If you are reading this and haven’t signed up yet, then do it on this link here. You won’t regret it, I can promise you that. If you are already a trader, then you will probably agree with me. What a platform.

My background is I was a Performance Analyst for a few years, analysing games from around the world via WyScout with Bundesliga being my specialist league for a couple of seasons. I ended this in January this year.

I was also a Prediction Analyst for the same company, literally making predictions and getting paid for it. Again, Bundesliga was my specialist league with also League One in my safe hands. I finished my last league season with a 30% yield which was very healthy.

I have been a Premier League Match Operator for several years, gathering stats and data at PL matches from inside the stadium. This is the best job in the world. I won’t give this up in a hurry. I have also done some (in-depth!) scouting reports for lower league sides and done every coaching badge under the sun, with the B licence my last one.

I have been on FI since September 2018 and at the end of the 2018-19 season, my all-time profit stood at just a hint over £10k at £10,087.58. So, that’s ten grand made in around eight to nine months of signing up. This blew away all my expectations.

(the below image includes a cancelled withdrawal so trust me it was £10k, not £11.2k)

May FI Profit

What’s even more mind-blowing is that I am not a big roller. I am not a whale. I don’t have limitless amounts of gambling money to plough into this thing. Remember, I am a lad who googled if I could make a living out of it. Making £10k profit in say nine months was created from an investment of around £2.5k of my own money.

To make things even better I have been “free rolling” for some time now, which basically means I have withdrawn all of my initial investment and trading with nothing but profit. My net deposits at the end of the season stood at -£2,200. That’s (minus)£2.2k. Nothing but profit. Sweet.

 

What did I do?

“Now, this wasn’t anything special. To me it was obvious.”

So, how did I do it? Well, it wasn’t in the way you may think, which is why I have started this blog/diary that will show my ongoing trades on the index for the 2019-20 season. I am different from what you may have seen or heard at this point so I thought it would be good to show you.

Let me go straight off the bat and say I am not a long term trader. As in I don’t have long term holds. I don’t have any screenshots to show you of Sancho in my port with a 200% rise. I am not your man for that.

I have had occasions during my time on the index where players have risen whilst holding very nicely and very quickly, of course, but my point is I am not a “stamp collector” type. The three-year hold and beyond type. That isn’t what I am. I have settled on my own style and strategy after trying most of them in the book at some point.

In the past, I have ‘invested’ in a mixture of big fish like a Pogba, Messi or Ronaldo, to relative plankton (in price terms) like a Bruno Alves. These trades have brought me mixed success. So mixed that at some point I decided holding players for a long time isn’t for me.

One reason for this is I just don’t have the patience for it. I have admitted that to myself. It’s important to be honest with yourself on the index and holding players long term, in general, isn’t for me. So why pretend?

Because holding and building your portfolio is what the index is all about? Who says? Adam Cole? There are no rules. You don’t need a portfolio set for three years. That’s a choice, not a requirement. I have nothing against traders who do but I believe I can make more money focussing short term.

Pogba FI

Like I say, I have had some successful holds. One of my best was buying Pogba on Boxing Day, post-crash after the Mourinho sacking when he bagged himself a brace. I held him for a few months up until the share split in March, where I then sold.

Now, this wasn’t anything special. To me it was obvious. Everybody on the index should have done the same no matter your budget. Just because I don’t have a long term hold strategy in general, if I have the opportunity to make a good profit over a period of time longer than my usual, I may take it.

Now, this hold was for three months and in my head, that was a long term hold. This just shows it isn’t for me. Three months doesn’t even count as a hold to some folk. That’s a potential hold that is just getting started.

For me, I couldn’t wait to get out when I thought he had reached his peak and took great satisfaction in banking the profit into my account balance.

 

Why short term?

“…why would I bother with the latter? It doesn’t make sense to me.”

Why do I have such a need to get out of holds/trades you may be thinking? Accessibility.

During my time on the index I have gone through those moments where you see something happening, whether it be a big transfer story breaking, a manager (like Jose) getting sacked or someone scoring a brace or a hat trick and you have nothing in your account to use to get on the incoming rise.

This drove me mad. There was nothing worse for me than having my money tied up in holds that may be stagnant or worse yet at a loss, when I could be making a shed load on what is happening right here, right now in front of me. I almost vowed to myself to not be left in that position again.

As I have said, I am not a big cheese with loads of spare cash in my bank to deposit at any time I want. The money I had available was put in and I got it out again as soon as I could. I’m not interested in depositing any more. That’s done and I am a free roller from now on.

Another reason I don’t have long term holds is I realised I was making more money from short term and in-play trading. So this links in with needing access to as much funds as possible to react and buy into short term flips.

If I can make more money on a player scoring a brace in a match, than a player slowly rising over the course of a few months, or even weeks, why would I bother with the latter? It doesn’t make sense to me.

Gekko

All traders have strengths and weaknesses. They have pros and cons.

Some have lots of available money but don’t have the time to keep track, so they invest accordingly.

Some have lots of money but don’t have any real knowledge about football, so trade accordingly.

Some don’t have lots of money but do have football knowledge, so trade accordingly.

One of my strengths is I have a lot of time and access to live football matches, as well as the index itself. I try to use this strength to benefit me as much as I can. I do so to counter the weakness of not having a sh*t load of money to invest with.

It may be harder work for me to make a certain amount in a day, then for someone who doesn’t even bother to look at his port that often, but I am willing to do it and try to make it as worthwhile as possible.

Up to this point, I can say it has been a huge success and I am hoping to make it even better.

 

The goal and strategies

“The strategy is also low risk, which is another reason why I do it.”

This article is an intro into me and what I am planning to do for this season, which will be an ongoing record of my trades and the profits made in that time. With also a view on how much money it took to make such profits, which is important.

Any rich bloke with more money than sense can profit on the Index during this boom period but I like to show what the little guy can achieve on a relatively modest budget.

Whether I update and send out this blog on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis I haven’t decided yet. I will see how it unfolds naturally.

It’s also there to be used and discussed as an example for traders (or potential traders) for what can be achieved from having a strategy like mine.

What you need to know is I make the bulk of my money from the following:

  • Buying goalscorers/assisters asap. These may be particularly popular players, or players with a profitable spread compared to the in-play dividends just gained for e.g. a player scoring with already an assist (2p IPDs) with a 1p spread. Players participating in a pre-2pm deadline fixture who could win PB for the day etc.
  • Fixture buys leading up to certain favourable games ie a perceived “easy” fixture(s), potential IPD or PB players, early pre-2pm dividend deadline kick-offs, specific game weeks for e.g single game days, 5 game double game days etc. These are made ideally in good time and hold through the rise leading up to game day.
  • Line up announcements. Players that traders would be keen to buy based on starting a game. Like a wonderkid or a player usually on the bench who has a favourable price/spread like Origi near the end of last season for e.g.
  • Buying injury replacement players asap. A first-team player looks to have a serious injury so his direct or indirect replacement in that position may get significant game time or time in the squad. Cheap alternative or wonderkids especially.
  • Potential PB monsters. During a game day a player can be putting in a monster PB score, which can be an unexpected player or a repeat player showing they can be consistent throughout the season. This may be at half time or whenever it seems noticeable.

I also have other ways of making money such as IPO announcements (new players entering the market) which can be extremely profitable. Transfer stories during the correct part of the season. Managerial sackings or changes that may benefit a certain player. Plus others I am probably forgetting.

The above bullet points are mainly around game days and matches which is my bread and butter strategy on the index and what I will be focussing on for this blog/diary or whatever you wanna call it to show what can be achieved with a relatively small budget.

The strategy is also low risk, which is another reason why I do it. What can be safer than buying a player who has just tapped in his second goal of the game who has a very good spread and is mopping up the performance points as well as in-play divs?

Back to the future

Imagine you are in the bookies and you see this player score on the telly, you very quickly hand the next goalscorer slip to the person behind the counter, they take it, then pay you winnings for your trouble! This is literally what the index can offer. It’s like you are cheating to make money.

It sometimes feels like you can rewind time to back the next goalscorer and make money on him or like owning the sports book off Back To The Future. Seriously, making money on players AFTER they have scored still blows my mind. 

It’s crazy and something I picked up on almost immediately after I joined and studied match day trends…and that was before in-play divs even existed!

Back then certain players who scored were bought based on sentiment and seen as “in- form” for future performance or PB potential. With FI now paying traders IPD’s for owning these players at any time during the match day, it’s even less risky and more profitable!

 

What about Dividends?

“At the end of the day, the chances of your player being the number one performing man that day are slim…”

Some may notice I have hardly if at all, used the word dividends, not including In-Play Dividends of course. This is because I don’t really care about them. Or should I say I don’t really aim to win them. I see them as a bonus, nothing more.

If I do own a player going into a game day, then I may decide to keep him to see if he can put in a PB performance. This is maybe due to how I feel at the time. Maybe I am bored. Maybe I am super confident he is going to smash it. Who knows?

But this is not a solid strategy for me. I don’t chase dividends. Whether it be performance or media. I don’t really care.

At the end of the day, unless you own 90% of the index, the chances of your player being the number one performing man that day are slim. Especially on Treble game days with like 18 or so fixtures.  It’s nice if it happens but chances are he won’t so why bother chasing it?

Plus how much would you win in any case? 100 shares in Messi for a 5p win? Maybe 7p if he is the star man gets you a £7 win. That’s nice but is that worth having £500 tied up in him?

Messi Injured

And for how long? All season? What if he does his ACL? Fails a drug test and is banned? I owned Ronaldo in my early days so have felt the force of price shattering news. So in short, it’s not for me, Clive. Not any more. Been there and had the FI t-shirt burned.

Media Buzz isn’t really something I am interested in either. The usual suspects win most often like Pogba but again, given his price how many shares would I need to own to make it worthwhile? A lot is the answer. So given I don’t have long term holds I pretty much ignore it. Not my market so I won’t try to pretend it is.

Some traders despise this idea of “not caring about dividends” but these traders usually have huge ports and/or have a decent amount of shares in the main performance players & mop dividends up regularly. Making the 5p or so on offer, very profitable indeed.

Good luck to them. As mentioned earlier, all traders are different with strengths and weaknesses, pros and cons, what’s important is to trade accordingly to those. There is no right or wrong way, only your way. Whatever you feel is the best outcome for you.

 

So, can I make a living from Football Index?

“If I can make £2k a month from the Index I will be a happy man.”

In short, yes.

For me, I see it and use it as kind of a part-time job within itself. The regular income stacks up and giving I get in and get out quickly, having access to my profit in my account at my fingertips more often than not, I can take it out and bank it.

My profit of £10k last season was split into two parts: Pre-share split and post-share split.

Before the share split in March, I had an all-time profit of around £5k which was made over 6 months. This isn’t making a living in most cases. After the share split, I doubled that £5k in around 6 weeks. Doubled. Now that’s a spicy meatball.

That’s like making £4k a month in your job? A thousand pound a week. If you make that, fair play. The highest-paid job I ever had was £40k a year and that’s before tax.

I will say the amount gained at the end of last season was unique. Given my strategy, there were games on almost every day during that six week period and I milked the f*ck out of it more often than not. So I am not expecting those returns every month.

In fact, I will say I am targeting half that. If I can make £2k a month from the Index I will be a happy man. Is that “making a living”? I would say so. No taxes remember. 😀

 

Final word.

“This was gained with plenty of f*ck ups and mistakes. “

I have rattled on here for longer than planned, which is usually the case once I start typing, but the point of this article is to show you what I have done and what I am planning to do going forward.

You can take what I do as you wish. You can like it, you can hate it, you can find it interesting, you may not. You may take something from it and add it to your own strategy, you may not. Up to you.

The point of the blog is to show that there is more than one way to make money on Football Index.

There are lots of podcasts and articles out there which more or less all focus on holds and portfolios. I can’t say I have seen one that says, you don’t need a traditional portfolio to make money…

Well, in effect, this blog will do that.

Don’t get me wrong, there may be times where I decide to hold a player for a given length of time and I will give a reason for this. I may see it as very beneficial to drag it out as a hold. I’m not allergic to holds, I just don’t work to the “building a portfolio” mentality.

I have started the season with £6.7k in the index. At any given time I will have money tied into players on a “port” the rest will be in my account ready to use and access. This is key, on match days especially.

My total profit at this point after just under a year on the Index is £11,656.07p.

FI August Profit

This was gained with plenty of f*ck ups and mistakes. I am not perfect and always make good decisions or things always pull off. This is definitely not the case. I have had plenty of money slip through my fingers and flushed down the toilet, it will happen again.

My initial investment was £2.5k and I will NOT be depositing any more into the index. I will withdraw from time to time. I may withdraw regularly each month, kind of like a wage, haven’t decided yet.

This blog will mainly be about going in hard and fast and getting out with a profit. It will show you the profit made, or the losses as this is the index after all. It will also try and show you the money invested at the time to achieve such profit. See how it goes.

Follow me on Twitter @GingerPirlo_FI 

Enough said. Let’s do this.

To sign up to Football Index click this link and give it a go. You won’t regret it!

Rafa Benitez’ tactics against Chelsea were unacceptable

Newcastle’s approach to getting beat by Chelsea was pathetic.

Think I’m wrong? Ok, give me some actual evidence that it was correct. Find some and comment on this article below.

Here’s mine:

April 2018:

Newcastle 3-0 Chelsea. Newcastle set up in there usual formation of 4-4-2 and hammer Chelsea with a team full of their first team regulars.

The Newcastle team available to Rafa on Sunday had better players than the one last season. Shelvey was the only significant loss if his injury was actually real. We all know Lascelles’ wasn’t.

Ayoze+Perez

Last 5 PL matches at SJP:

Newcastle 3-0 Chelsea

Newcastle 2-2 Chelsea

Newcastle 2-1 Chelsea

Newcastle 2-0 Chelsea

Newcastle 3-2 Chelsea

More evidence? Ok. Chelsea under Sarri are only two games in and are trying to find their feet under his way of playing and philosophy.

Against Arsenal they were exposed defensively time and time and time again. Newcastle are capable of opening them up in the same way on their own pitch.

As soon as we went 1-0 down, Rafa suddenly switched his formation to 4-4-2 and we scored. Funny that. So, basically, Rafa wanted a 0-0 draw and thought we could hold out sitting back for 90 mins?

If your evidence is how much the Newcastle team cost compared to Chelsea, then explain how that made any difference in the previous 5 matches in the PL at SJP?

For Rafa Benitez to ignore all of the above and assume Chelsea are such a high-quality outfit that will no doubt whatsoever tear his team apart if he were to set up in the same manner he did in April, is seriously questionable.

As a Newcastle fan, I don’t like my team under any circumstances reducing itself to such defeatist pathetic tactics. But if we are up against Man City or Barcelona (one day) then I can accept it.

This was unacceptable.

The fact we lost leaves a very sour taste in the back of the throat.

If the next mid-table type team play Chelsea at home and beat them convincingly, it should embarrass Mr Benitez.

The Ginger Pirlo

Mike Ashley is a small-time, cheap, unambitious, pig-headed, clueless, stubborn fool

Mike Ashley has done a lot of things at Newcastle. Most of it inconceivable to a Newcastle fan. But his latest venture in making Rafa Benitez’ time on Tyneside untenable tops the lot.

The question is why is he doing what he is doing? Why is he blatantly refusing to support him and not making every effort to keep him here for years to come?

Some say it’s perhaps there is a possible sale of the club in the offing so for him to spend any money isn’t in his interest, nor is the future of the club. This is wide of the mark IMO.

Others say it’s because he refuses to allow a manager with one year left on his contract to spend money on players and then leave at the end of the year, which would then leave a scenario of a new manager wanting his own players. This is closer to the mark IMO.

But even this doesn’t really make sense as the ONLY way Rafa would sign a new deal is if the club back him. Not the other way round that Ashley wants it. If you sign a deal, then we will spend…promise. Despite our diabolical record of doing so. Rafa is not so stupid to lock himself into a no-win situation, again.

Mike Ashley is a stubborn clueless fool who only plays by his own rules based on the fact it has served him well in creating the UK’s biggest sports retailer, so in his head, why change?

Well isn’t it obvious why you should change? If you have the record Ashley has over the past 10 years as NUFC owner, whatever mindset you had must be torn up and start again, This should have been done years ago, never mind now.

If you have been making terrible mistakes and nonsense decisions time & time & time again, then at some point you basically give up trying to make decisions and let someone else do it.

That person should be Rafa Benitez. Ashley has a hard time trusting people. He tends to trust morons and con artists like Llambias, Jimenez, Kinnear, Wise etc. Which says a lot about his character.

Ashley should be feeding off Rafa and listening to his plans and be helping him build his project. The man clearly knows what he is doing. It’s obvious. Look at his career!

But no. Ashley refuses to be playing second fiddle to some Spanish manager who thinks he’s special. It’s his club so he calls the shots. Total ego-maniac moron. The lack of ambition inside the walls of the boardroom is frightening. Terrifying in fact.

Imagine having a manager whose last job was Real Madrid and has the trophies he has on his CV and not trust him to make signings when we were in the Championship not long ago?

Imagine not allowing him to do what he wants to do? Unthinkable to anyone with a brain. Or to anyone with true ambition. Charnley, Bishop and Barnes are not fit for purpose.

All men hired by Ashley are idiots and con men. This massive stain on Ashley’s character is the biggest issue NUFC have had and continued to have. We never have the right men in place where it counts.

We have a thoroughbred horse of a manager in the stable but his keeper doesn’t know how or even want to feed him and his trainer can’t be bothered to keep him fit. His owner nowhere to be seen and deprives him of what he needs. So will he fulfil his potential? Of course not.

Newcastle need a new owner. Once they do this will bring a new chairman, CEO etc and finally the manager can be able to do his job. There is only one way this happens and it’s if Ashley sells up.

Two things can create a sale. Someone comes along from no where and pays a fee Ashley can’t refuse or Ashley lowers his price and looks for a sale himself.

The fans have a job to force Ashley’s hand. A half empty stadium speaks volumes. Disrupt his Sports Direct stores, this will also send a message to him “directly”. The fans must try to force Ashley to sell as a random billionaire coming along has much chance of a Euromillions win for you or me.

The fans must do their part. To continue to just fill out the stadium and carry on regardless will do nothing. Rafa will leave in the summer and Ashley will remain to do whatever he wants.

Ashley is a small time, cheap, unambitious, pig-headed, clueless, stubborn fool. He must be removed for Newcastle to ever reach its potential. This is a fact.

The Ginger Pirlo

Newcastle Utd signing Asian players for purely commercial reasons?

Newcastle Utd are set to sign their second Asian player in a matter of weeks with Yoshinori Muto on his way to Tyneside from Japan to complete his medical. This follows the free transfer of Ki Sung-Yeung from Swansea.

This raises some questions of what is the sudden interest in Asian players, considering that before these signings Newcastle had never had an Asian player in their history? Ever.

Now I am not saying these aren’t good players and won’t do well for us. They might. However, if you take a look at our new shirt I think the main answer is staring us in the face.

As of last season, NUFC gained a new shirt sponsor from the awful Wonga debacle to the new and ‘funky’ Fun88bet.com who are an Asian online betting company. So I don’t think it really requires an investigation from Sherlock to work out where I sudden interest in Asian players has come from.

Now, I am not saying investing in Asian players to make moves into the Asian market is a bad thing, in fact I have been asking why Newcastle haven’t done this in the past as it’s easy money to be made with the right player on the books.

However, given our massive restraints in signing football players, especially ones that Rafa Benitez wants, if we are in anyway signing footballers for mainly commercial reasons to appease our main sponsor, then more serious questions need to be asked of this Ashley establishment.

I personally have analysed Bundesliga matches for two seasons as part of my job as a performance analyst and I can sum up what I have seen of Muto as; he is ok. Nothing special. So, to spend just under £10 million on him would be a massive punt on our part.

If Muto ends up being our only investment in the forward line come the start of the season then Lee Charnley deserves to be hauled up in front of parliament never mind a petition. Muto at best will serve as competition for Ayoze Perez in the no.10 position. He is not a prolific goalscorer by any stretch.

I am still of the belief that once Mitrovic is sold to Fulham we will bring in a No.9, most likely Rondon from West Brom but I will put nothing past our administration in leaving any sale until deadline day and we end up with no replacement.

However, sticking on point, Fun88 bet will be extremely happy with our two Asian signings and no doubt they will both be front and centre of all our commercial campaigns this season as they promote the bright blue Fun88 logo with pride.

It just so happens Keisuke Honda is available on a free transfer and reminded everyone of his quality in the World Cup so don’t be surprised if Charnley has made an enquiry to his agent.

I am just surprised he hasn’t brought in Southampton’s Maya Yoshida instead of Fabian Schar…

All hail Fun88.com. Bet now!

#DontTakeYourSeat #DontBuyTheShirt

Newcastle Utd are at a crossroads.

Ashley and Rafa have drawn their line in the sand on how this football club moves forward.

rafa-benitez-thumbs-up-promotion-newcastle-united-nufc-bw-650x400

On the side are the fans, they have a choice and must make a decision on which side of the line they want to be on.

Ashley side of the line is to carry on regardless, filling out the stadium and accepting lack of investment in the team.

Rafa’s side is to make a stand against this nonsense and refuse to accept it. This choice is the most obvious, however, is the most difficult to make. As it would require some harsh actions…

Ashley’s side of just carrying on regardless in this mindless fashion of sitting motionless in the back seat of a car as it rolls down a hill towards the edge of a cliff is pathetic.

Two things are set in stone in the current climate. Rafa Benitez WILL leave in the current state of play at the end of the season and there WILL be anger and uproar when it happens.

So my question is very straight forward. If we know both these things WILL happen, why wait? Why are 50,000+ people buying the new shirt, filling out the stadium and waiting for the inevitable?

What are they mindless, cowardly sheep?

I have witnessed and lived through every situation under Ashley in the past 10 years but I have to say this latest one is showing badly on the fans more than him.

We all know what Ashley is by now. A cheap, ignorant and unfathomable moron when it comes to his understanding of running a football club. He doesn’t know what he is doing.

He only understands a handful of things. A premier league team, with passionate supporters filling out a 53,000 seater stadium with his Sports Direct banners all over it promotes his baby.

That is it. That’s why he is here.

So fans must realise that they have it in their power to get rid of him? Surely?

If you want rid of Ashley then don’t fill out the stadium. It’s that simple. An empty stadium on a Premier League level embarrasses him. It embarrasses the logos surrounding the empty seats.

This embarrassment is the only message that will get through to him. Bed sheets spray painted with small cliche messages don’t get through to him.

He laughs at you. You know why? Because you paid him for the privilege of getting into the stadium and paying for your seat. He cares about your money, not your opinion.

The situation of Mike Ashley vs The People of Newcastle has come to a head now and it must be resolved. The fans have a direct choice.

Continue to fill out the stadium, sell out the £65 new kit and try to enjoy Rafa Benitez last season as manager before he waves goodbye for good.

Or

Kick up a fuss and refuse to take your seat or buy the new kit and make Ashley realise once and for all what he needs to do. He needs to go.

Once Ashley enters serious and genuine negotiations to sell the club, then the Toon Army can flock back into the stadium to support Rafa and his boys.

It’s short term pain for long term gain.

Newcastle fans have the power in their hands to end this nonsense and save the club from inevitable doom.

The only way forward is with Rafa. The only way to keep Rafa is if Ashley goes. The only way Ashley will go is if the one thing keeping him here is killed.

That one thing is passionate match day support to a worldwide audience that actively promotes his sweat shop. Stop this. Kill it and he will go.

Once he goes, the new owner will invest in the team and in Rafa and we will be free to reach our potential.

If Ashley stays, Rafa will leave and some average manager will come in and we will go round the same old wheel of misfortune all over again.

It’s your choice lads and lasses. Make it.

#DontTakeYourSeats #DontBuyTheShirt

Ginger Pirlo

(I’ve not stepped foot in St James nor bought a kit for 10 years now. It really isn’t that hard knowing it’s for the greater good)

Why Rafa taking over as Spain national boss makes sense

Fernando Hierro has left the Spanish football federation and with it leaves the Spain job open for a new manager and beginning.

Rafa Benitez name has been linked and dismissed by many as nothing but paper talk. However, when you consider it logically, it makes sense.

5eb10-rafa2bwave

Spain have been horrendous in the last two World Cups since becoming champions of the world in 2010. Dumped out in the group stage in 2014 and embarrassingly losing to Russia in 2018.

Defensively they were shocking and in attack they were several lacking in cutting edge as they pass, pass, passed the ball around side to side seemingly for the sheer sake of it.

Their midfield maestro’s of Xavi and Iniesta are now gone and Cesc Fabregas won’t be around come the next World Cup and wasn’t even picked in the squad for Russia.

What Spain need is a new generation and with it a new style. Tiki-taka looks like yesterday’s style and boringly out of date. They also don’t have the right players to do it.

When you have Diego Costa up front then passing the ball around for fun is not going to get the best out of him. Going slightly more direct is just what the doctor ordered.

They have young players like Asensio who is full of pace and full of running. Iago Aspas is in a similar mould. They need a manager who will carry the transition from purely possession based football to effective football. Rafa Benitez could be the perfect fit.

He will build their team from back to front and make sure they are defensively sound first and foremost. He will also pick and develop the players that will do the best job to do the end goal; win.

Rafa also has an incredible record in cup tournaments. Champions League, UEFA Cup, FA Cup & Italian Cup are on his CV. He knows how to win. Plus he is obviously one other thing. Spanish.

Not just Spanish but a boy from Madrid who would be nothing but proud to take control of his country. He cried tears of joy when appointed Real Madrid manager. He would do the same as Spanish national coach.

As a Toon fan, I clearly don’t want it to happen right now as he has a job to do building my club into something special. But if Mike Ashley messes him around over the next few weeks of the transfer window, it could be an offer to good to turn down.

Let’s hope Spain don’t ask…

Ginger Pirlo

Belgium should be sending Japan a thank you note.

When Japan left the World Cup they left a thank you note, in Russian I believe, for their hosts which received worldwide acclaim.

If Belgium end up lifting the World Cup trophy next week, then they should be sending their own thank you note to Japan.

In their last 16 match, the Japanese raced into a two goal lead which came from them taking advantage of Belgium’s lopsided system.

Martinez has insisted on playing a 3-4-3 formation with a right back on the right of a midfield four and an attacking winger on the left.

In theory, some people would say this gives you the best of both worlds. However, in reality it can also give you neither.

The Japanese took advantage of what seemed a blatant weakness in the Belgium fortress, in behind the fake wing backs.

Vast gaps were there for all to see and Japan took advantage like the rebel alliance blasting a couple of shots down a massive hole in the Death Star.

A clear weakness overlooked that would inevitably be there downfall to the right opponent. Luckily for Belgium, it was ‘only Japan’.

If that match played out like most anticipated and the Belgian red devils ran out 2-0 comfortable winners, then Martinez would very likely have stuck to his guns going into the Brazil game. As why would he change?

The 3-4-3 would no doubt have been absolutely demolished by the likes of Neymar and Willian, which would have made this quarter final a very different affair.

Not only would they have been weak without the ball but playing De Bruyne in a midfield two against the Brazilian three, would have also seen him stifled.

As it turns out, Martinez learned his lesson from Japan after a miracle comeback and plugged the gaps and free his biggest weapon.

Belgium were the clear better team last night and Martinez is being lauded a tactical master. Yet this Jedi may need to remember what has lead him to this moment.

When you consider how well they played in a 4-3-3 with his big hitters in better positions to play, you should be asking why he has insisted with the doomed 3-4-3 for his entire reign as Belgium boss.

Yet nobody will if they lift that trophy. It will all be forgotten. But I would be keen to stress to Martinez if I ever met him to insist he remembers the Japanese.

If it weren’t for them, Belgium could well be going home right now. I suggest Mr Martinez should be sending a thank you note of his own to Japan, perhaps in Russian would be apt.

Ginger Pirlo

Survival Sunday prediction

I am gonna look into my crystal ball and make a bold claim.

Now that the likes of Newcastle, Bournemouth are safe and I think Crystal Palace will comfortably stay up. This is what I think will happen in terms of the relegation battle:

Brighton and/or Huddersfield won’t get another point for the rest of the season. Their respected fixtures are quite honestly, rock hard (old term, thought I would use it) so will be stranded on 35 points. (I repeat at least one of them. maybe both)

Southampton will manage to get themselves a couple of wins and a draw in the coming weeks, most likely against Leicester away, Bournemouth at home and Swansea away. This would also put them on 35 points heading into Man City at home on the final day.

Now, Swansea are on 33 at the moment with Man City away, Chelsea at home and Bournemouth away. At best I think they can get a point or two from these games but it’s also likely they won’t get anything.

Then they have that Southampton game and given my prediction above, they will only draw this game at best and will be somewhere around the 35 point mark themselves heading into their final day showdown with Stoke (who I think will be already gone)

So, going into the last game of the season, we could have a situation where all four of these teams are sat on 35 points and we could have a goal difference decider on who gets dumped into the Championship. With all that being said here is who I think it will be:

15th – Swansea
16th – Huddersfield
17th – Southampton
18th – Brighton
19th – Stoke
20th – West Brom

Saints survive an onslaught from Man City and keep the score down to stay up on goal difference.

Sorry Brighton, but just like when you blew the Championship title last season, it could be last day heartbreak for you again from a seemingly comfortable position.

@TheGingerPirlo_

Brighton

Jose Mourinho is no longer The Special One. He is The Dull One

One thing that must be acknowledged is the Jose Mourinho we all knew and some fell in love with is gone.

The slick, arrogant, hungry young manager is long gone and is now a completely different animal. He is now a negative, dull, tired old shell of his former self.

The tipping point seems to be the Chelsea league win a few years ago. Even when he came back to Chelsea he looked tired and dull in his opening press conference.

He won the league in his 2nd season back so no one seemed to make much of this difference in persona. With this achievement, he seemed to be completely contempt and any remaining hunger left him completely.

An unbelievable relegation battle followed and inevitable sacking. He got the Man Utd job off reputation alone and in his first season finished outside the top 4.

This was covered up by the Europa League and League Cup triumphs which are not major trophies. Not in Man Utd’s world anyway.

He has been given an unreal amount of money to spend on players who at this stage have got his team results despite his overly negative and defensive tactics.

This Sevilla two-legged performances and results are showing his lack of quality as a manager. The 2nd leg last night was absolutely diabolical. Truly awful.

The team were suffocated through fear of losing an away goal. This comes from him. Nobody else. If you let the players go out by themselves, they would look to smash Sevilla.

To put this result into perspective, Leicester City beat this Sevilla team 2-0 this time last year to dump them out. This £400m Man Utd team never looked liked doing the same.

Being 2nd in the league this season is no achievement when you consider the money spent and being 16 points behind Man City without any realistic title challenge.

Jose Mourinho should be developing into a different type of manager at this stage. He is older but is he any wiser? Perhaps he is a different type of manager…an average one. A dull one.

So maybe that’s just it. The Special One has become The Dull One.

@ToonBano

 

Mitro is on fire and he is making Rafa look ridiculous

Just a word on the Mitrovic situation.

Mitro has not been given one league start all season. The one game he did start was in the League cup and scored. He mugged off Joe Hart in a Premier League game whilst scoring, elbowed someone and seemed shunned for it.

On fire

His (basically) replacement Joselu has been nothing short of terrible in front of goal this season. He had a 7 game spell where he started each game but scored in none of them. Yet Mitro was not brought in to end this nonsense.

Joselu has only 4 goals to his name in 20 appearances. One of those goals was the ridiculous ricochet against Liverpool and two were open goals. Mitro was only two goals behind despite no starts and a handful of appearances which were mainly 10 to 20-minute spell at the end of games.

Mitrovic has gone to Fulham on loan and has already bagged 5 in 4 games. He is actually Newcastle Utd’s top scorer with 7 goals…

Sheff Utd boss said the following after he tore their defence apart, “Mitro is too good for the Championship and should be playing for Newcastle. He is a £15m Premier League striker who is going to the World Cup.”

Whereas Joselu hasn’t started any of Newcastle’s last four games or had many minutes off the bench since ironically the 31st January, deadline day, where he missed a penalty and missed a massive chance against Burnley to seal all three points. We ended up dropping two points that day.

Rafa Benitez may be a lot of things. He may have a lot of trophies. But if Newcastle Utd are relegated this season by a point or two, than Rafa Benitez will be 100% responsible. 100%.

I want to make it this perfectly clear so everyone understands this.

It won’t be Ashley’s fault. It won’t be Lee Charnley. It won’t be Amanda Staveley. It will be Rafa’s. Ashley gave Rafa a shorthand this season, no doubt about it. Rafa moaned every week at the lack of quality to choose from and rightly so.

Useless

However, he has refused to select arguably our best all-round striker for the entire campaign, who no doubt would have scored and created more goals than Joselu and would have put more points on the board to have kept this club up.

Make no mistake about it. Don’t be confused. This is pretty much a cast iron fact

when you look at the young Serbian tearing up the Championship and dragging his country to the World Cup.

Rafa Benitez hasn’t properly explained his decision as to why he has made our clubs job a whole lot harder in trying to stay in this league. Quotes of ‘not working hard enough in training’ or ‘he doesn’t fit tactically’ are weak explanations to say the least.

Especially when you consider just how dire Joselu was and still is with his

supposed extra ability to run more in training and tactical efficiency. Plus speaking of tactics, I could go on about how Rafa’s over cautious approach in home games has also cost us this season but that’s for another day.

Bye and good luck

If we go down. Rafa will walk off into the sunset to a top job and restart a project for himself somewhere else, whereas it will be the Newcastle fans who are left to pick up and deal with the unimaginable sh**house he left behind.

Explaining himself isn’t even the start of it.

Mitro’s on fire and Newcastle don’t have a pot to p**s in. Work that one out. And people say beggars can’t be choosers.