The lads who record the Podcast for true faith are also pretty handy when it comes to the written word as well as the spoken variety. This week Alex Hurst sums up the major non-Newcastle United points of the weekend’s football.







Ronald Koeman


What a win for Southampton.  They went to Chelsea and came from behind to comfortably thrash the English ChampionsKoeman on their patch.  We’ve made Chelsea and Southampton look beatable at times this season but Southampton really seem to be getting ‘at it’ after a sluggish start.


The amazing thing about the Chelsea game was how powerful Southampton looked.  Matic (if only for 30 minutes), Terry, Cahill, Falcao, Ivanovic – big blokes with tonnes of experience at this level.  Southampton looked, faster, bigger and sharper.  That hasn’t happened by accident.  Is there a better target man than Graziano Pelle in England?  He blows hot and cold in front of goal but he’s consistently brilliant in at bringing team mates into play:  combining the presence of Kevin Davies with the touch of Mark Viduka.  What a player and what a signing.  Tadic looks like a fit, strong Hatem Ben Arfa at times with his ability to go past players like they’re not there. The whole team projects confidence, pace and power.


Koeman has consistently not ‘panicked’ when top players have left and after slowing down big time at the end of last season and a sluggish start this season Southampton (despite only losing one game) – Ronald Koeman and his team could be looking at mounting a serious Champions League challenge with Chelsea and Liverpool seemingly miles off the pace.


Manchester City


A last gasp (undeserved win) in Europe and now a 5 goal hammering of NUFC – Man City sit top of the league despite a shocking run of form over the past two weeks.  Not bad.  Forget about Aguero’s incredible achievement or even the win….the best bit of news for City wasn’t hammering relegation fodder but serious rivals Manchester United and Chelsea have proved they’re miles away from title contenders.  Arsenal won’t win the league.  It’s not in their DNA.  Injuries, lack of form and generally bottling big games will come to haunt Wenger’s men.  So who is there to challenge Man City to the title?


Their only challenge will be complacency as long as Aguero and Silva stay fit.


Alan Pardew


I’m no fan of Alan Pardew.  We all know what will happen eventually.


However you can’t dent leaving toxic NUFC was a hugely positive step in his career.  He seems to be happy in his job at Palace, a club that allow his massive ego to blossom.  The medium fish in the slightly more medium size pond.


Third in the Premier League in mid-October is certainly a fantastic start and Pardew has made the most of a kind fixture list.  Palace play with pace, power and plenty of ability.  A top 8 finish is on the cards.


Expect ‘small club’ NUFC to get plenty of mentions this season whenever Palace do well this season.


3 down



Brendan Rogers



Sacked in October before 10 games have been played.  Why didn’t it happen in the summer.  Why was a coaching staff sacked and re-appointed?  The whole situation with Rogers is a farce.  Personally I think he should have lost his job in the summer.  Millions spent and wasted, whoever was responsible for signing them.


Liverpool have picked up 4 points in their last 2 games, one of which was a reasonable point away from home in the derby.  I often try and analyse a managerial sacking by working out if the managers last game has any bearing.  If Liverpool had beaten Everton today, would Rogers have been sacked?  It’s hard to say.


Liverpool played some of the best football I have ever seen in the 13/14  season.  Even when they were bad – they were good.  The games where they annihilated Arsenal and Manchester United so convincingly was incredible viewing.  Yes Luis Suarez was mint but Rogers deserves tremendous credit for creating something so breath-taking.


Since the Chelsea game where Demba Ba reminded everyone he existed post-NUFC – there hasn’t been much.  Rogers failed in Europe in an easy group and failed to build on what he’d started.


You get the feeling this will have been Rogers’ biggest job in football.   He won nothing, failed at the highest level (CL) and leaves having spent big and achieved little.  You also get the feeling he may be back bigger and better in future.  A spell abroad could beckon and he could return a better manager.


Until then it will be a long way back for a manager many had hoped would fail since day 1.





6 managers in 4 years.  All of them appointed with NUFC coming up in the next two games.  The only club currently worse than NUFC is Sunderland.


Everyone knew Dick Advocaat wouldn’t work out.  How much of an impact he had last season only Sunderland fans properly know.  I watched Sunderland stink the place out v Everton and come away with a crucial 2 0 win.  They beat a disgraceful NUFC with a great goal and defeated a ten man Southampton.  Hardly the stuff to beg for the manager to stay for just a year.


You get the feeling Bryne and Short have literally no idea what they’re doing.  No clue.  At least Charnley and Carr know they’re working within Ashley’s terrible model.  You can see why they take the terrible, cost saving decisions they do.   Why appoint Paolo Di Canio who had never managed above League One?  Why appoint Gus Poyet when he had just been sacked by Brighton?  Dick Advocat wanted to retire.  He said this in public.  Yet Sunderland appointed him as manager for a year.  A year? It’s mental.


Sunderland are mental. And shit.  Steve Bruce was the last Sunderland manager to complete a season he started – and he was under serious pressure that season as well.


Ellis Short needs to appoint a manger that can remain in the job if the inevitable happens and they’re relegated – the next manager needs to build something long-term.  If not maybe Sunderland fans will wake up and realise their billionaire might even be worse than ours.



Louis Van Gaal


£330 million spent and a squad that dwarfes rivals Chelsea in terms of what it cost. Man Utd are never convincing and they’ve been battered by a team Olympiakos comfortably beat.


The man is a fraud.


ALEX HURST – Follow on @TFWeeklyPod