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Weekend round-up.

A couple of stories and bits of news floating around the papers and websites from the weekend which are worthing reporting on.
For those of you who want to reflect some more on Saturday's game at Newcastle, check the following match-report courtesy of Ben From Newcastle United blog blackandwhiteandreadallover.
Sad news for the club in that Helen Turner (aka Helen the bell-ringer) died last Friday. Plenty of tributes and such like are on the City website. I guess she will always be part of City folklore and the daft thing is you probably wouldn't even be allowed to take a bell into a Premiership ground these days.
Antoine Sibierski is reported to be being offered a new two-year contract with the club after 'impressing with recent performances', which has brought a predictable response from the message boards. Personally, I think Sibierski has struggled from being shunted around various positions (wide left, centre midfield and now striker) rather than any discernable lack of talent. However, having said that he is one of those players who will frustrate fans because he does come across as if he really isn't playing (or trying) half as well as he could be and certainly isn't the Bernarbia replacement that KK sold him to the fans as. But, I think he is a decent enough squad player and as we know, we have found it difficult to bring in an attacking midfield player throughout the summer.
One player who could be on his according to The Daily Mail is Ajax midfielder Steven Pienaar, who is out of contract in the summer and could be a target then or in the January window. From what I've seen of Ajax, he is a creative player in the style of a Berkovic or Bernarbia and scores plenty of goals, but may be on the light side for the rigours of the Premiership. Ajax are in Arsenal's Champions League group so I might follow that game with a bit of interest.
Stuart Pearce has attempted to lift the gloom of the past week by lauding the efforts of some of the younger members of the squad, praising Steven Ireland, Nedum Onouha and Lee Croft for their performances this season. A bit of psychology here from Pearce in that he may be attempting to get some of the more senior members of the squad to take responsibility for reviving our season.
And finally, David James has stated that he 'expects' to be part of Englands World Cup squad (assuming they qualify of course). After being torn apart by the media following the Denmark game, he was axed for the recent games at Wales and Northern Ireland and many assume his international career to be over. However, I think he will be part of the squad, albeit as back-up to Paul Robinson as Chris Kirkland has yet to play a game for England and Robert Green is not doing himself many favours in a struggling Norwich side.