The Qatar World Cup break interrupts Newcastle United’s season.
An ideal time to get a snapshot of the views of NUFC fans on how they think things are going.
So we sent several questions to various regular and irregular contributors to The Mag.
Next we have Simon Ritter:
More than 13 months since taking over, what do you now think about the debate surrounding the identity of Newcastle United’s owners?
Anyone bemoaning Sheihkover’s takeover is naive at best and a hypocritical and jealous little Toerag at worst.
The owners of Newcastle United have transformed the management.
Management has transformed the team.
Many of the players have transformed.
Newcastle United’s owners are a force for good in a city that can once again become a northern powerhouse.
Newcastle United third in the table, how do you feel?
Euphoric, delighted, high as a kite, over the moon, buzzed, excited, grateful. And just a little anxious.
Goal of the season (first choice and then second and third)?
better: Almiron’s goal at the Naming Rights Here stadium.
The way he battled Sessegnon, accelerated past Lenglet (the true mark of a player with speed to burn) and then drove the ball coolly under Lloris was first class. Miggy’s left foot is similar to Messi’s this season.
Second option: Willock v Chelsea at SJP.
A great line-up, from Trippier, JoeLinton and Miggy, followed by a sublime first strike from Little Joe. It took something special to overcome opponents determined to play for 0-0 and this was something special.
Third option: Miggy’s opening at St Mary’s.
Worth mentioning in the dispatches, if only for Maitland-Niles’ hilarious attempt to foul our Paraguayan Pelé instead of going for the ball. Remember, Maitland-Niles has five (5) caps for England. Awesome, Jeff.
A must-win game and the entire squad fit and available, which 11 would you pick?
Dad, father; Trippier, Botman, Schar, Burn; JoeLinton, Bruno G, Willock; Almiron, Wilson, Isak.
Subs: Darlow, Dummett, Targett, Lascelles, Anderson, ASM, Fraser, Shelvey.
Eddie Howe signings (Botman, Bruno, Burn, Isak, Pope, Targett, Trippier, Wood) from best to least best and explain why?
Trippier for his complete game, his leadership, his experience at home and abroad (Europe here we come!).
Bruno for the way he revived the team last season and leads us with a 22-23.
Papa because every good team needs a great goalkeeper.
Botman for its class and almost unlimited potential.
Burn for its versatility and telescopic legs.
Cardt for his work last season.
Isak because he could be something very special, if Anfield was a glimpse of his true ability.
Wood to fight non-stop when he often isolates in attack.
Which game did you enjoy the most this season?
Chelsea at home was suitably old-school for a beefy tackle-bred sixty-something and no quarter was asked or given. It reminded me of games from the mid 70’s. The atmosphere was great too.
If you could guarantee three NUFC players would spend the rest of the season available for every game, who would they be and in what order?
1 Wilson; 2 Trippier; 3 Joelinton
How big an advantage (if any) is likely to be for NUFC when the Premier League resumes at the end of December, given how many each of the ‘big seven’ have at the World Cup (16 Manchester City, 15 Manchester United, 12 Chelsea, 11 Tottenham, 10 Arsenal, 7 Liverpool, 5 Newcastle United)?
The biggest advantage will come from Eddie and his assistants working with the boys left behind, after they’ve had a well-deserved vacation. They have already made a massive change this season and need some time off.
Most of the other clubs’ players at the World Cup will finish before the semi-finals, but I doubt they will go straight back to their training ground. Our camp in Saudi Arabia could be a big boost.
If you’re being honest, before the start of the season, if you had to put your mortgage, rent… energy bill, where would you have predicted Newcastle to finish this season?
As the worst punter in the world, I declared before the Forest game that we would finish 5th this season. And it was roundly ridiculed, called delusional by fellow journos on this website, and several said we’d do well to finish in the top half. I’m just saying, like. . .
Same as above, but where do you now predict Newcastle to finish this season?
For consistency, I still say fifth.
Eddie Howe’s squad for the Palace League Cup tie, three days ahead of Chelsea in the Premier League, eight field changes. What did you think when you heard the team before kick-off and then what did you think after the win (on penalties!) over the team that Eddie had selected?
Eddie knows better.
Having seen the St Mary’s team, I did not disagree with their selection. You will never be subjected to chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing” this term.
Pope is capable of three games in seven days, as he showed in the penalty shootout and against Chelsea. This was the biggest non-change. By keeping most of the best players fresh for the Chelsea game, we were able to outplay and outplay them.
Your pick: England win the World Cup or Newcastle win the League Cup?
Newcastle win the League Cup. No contest, no argument. And I’ll have a good run in the FA Cup and the Europa League before England win the World Cup, if you ask.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how interested are you in this World Cup in Qatar?
two That’s far less interested than I am in the Worthing and District indoor bowls matches (available for selection).
Three words to describe Eddie Howe?
Baby-faced hard man.
In the next five years, who will be the four most dominant clubs in the Premier League?
Man City, Newcastle United, Liverpool, Arsenal.
The best (realistic) signing Newcastle United could make in January?