As Newcastle United enter the final stretch of this (hopefully) promotion campaign, we have asked some of our contributors about the past, present and future…
Brian Standen gives his thoughts:
How has the season panned out compared to what you expected before a ball was kicked?
As soon as Rafa confirmed he was staying, things have been as I expected,
I hoped we would be home and hosed by now but that will come.
How confident on a scale of 0-100% are you that Newcastle will get automatic promotion?
I am 100% confident promotion will be achieved.
How important has Rafa Benitez been to Newcastle standing top of the table?
Without Rafa there would be very little hope and a lot of hostility reborn against Mike Ashley.
What did you make of no signings in January?
No signings in January was disappointing.
If it’s due to Ashley it’s particularly so.
A vital game tomorrow and everybody fit, which 11 current NUFC players would you select?
Darlow, Yedlin, Dummett, Lascelles, Clark, Shelvey, Hayden, Ritchie, Atsu, Gayle, Murphy.
Some fans have concerns about the playing style under Rafa this season. Discuss.
I trust Rafa to pick and play how he wants.
His policy is working well, so no concerns.
How worried are you, if at all, that Rafa may have problems with Mike Ashley in the summer?
If he does, who could blame Rafa if he walks.
Which five Newcastle players would you keep to go into the Premier League?
Gayle, Shelvey, Ritchie, Lascelles, Krul – All are Premier League class.
Which five Newcastle first team squad players wouldn’t be able to hack it in the top tier?
Colback, Dummett, Gouffran, Anita, Murphy – This is their level.
If promoted, how many of the starting eleven next season would need to be new signings for you to be confident of no relegation worries?
At least six new players would be required to be good enough to slot straight in.
In order of importance, which positions would be needed to be strengthened if promoted?
Left-back, another creative midfield player, and two forwards.
Generally agreed that the atmosphere is usually poor at St James Park this season. What could be done to improve that – no limitation on how radical the proposals you’d suggest to fix it.
Simple, bring safe standing back to St James Park as per Celtic.
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles to [email protected])