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Newcastle United – The Celtic View

9 years ago

Each issue of the magazine we normally interview a fan of another club and get their outside perspective on Newcastle United and what is happening arounbd their club.

This Saturday the new issue of The Mag features an interview with the Editor of Celtic fans magazine ‘The Thunder’.

As it happens we totally overran in terms of space so what we couldn’t fit into the magazine we’ve brought you as an added extra on the website.

Interesting times in Scotland and a very interesting outside perspective on Newcastle United.

How good is Fraser Forster?

I think he’s a good, big keeper who’s come on leaps and bounds over the past few months (he saved a last-minute penalty in a 1-0 win over Hearts in December that seems to have given him a massive shot of confidence). He looks ungainly and can be a bit slow off his line but on the flip side he has a growing presence and is a surprisingly agile shot-stopper.

Our previous keeper, Artur Boruc, was an extrovert and a matchwinner, but he could also throw in the odd howler. Forster is the complete opposite – solid and unspectacular, though he’s becoming more imposing by the week and has dug us out a few holes lately. He’s had plenty of critics among our support but he’s really won them round this year.

What are your chances of keeping him permanently?

The loan deal apparently has an agreed fee and I’d be very surprised if we didn’t make that offer and get to speak to him about moving on a permanent basis. From his quotes it seems he’s keen to stay and I think he’s enjoying it up here. We’ve a young, exciting side that are progressing together and I doubt he’d give up being part of that and having a crack at the Champions League to sit on the bench at Newcastle. That said, money talks and if we don’t offer him what he can get at an English side then he might well see his career down south.

Could Celtic survive without a Rangers?

I think so, but then again I don’t think it’ll come to that – rangers will reform in one guise or another and worst case (or best, whichever way you look at it) would be back in the SPL, shorn of debt, within 4 seasons. No one complained when we were cut adrift from them and finishing 5th in the early 90s because they were able to financially dominate ourselves and other clubs. In fact, they sold Ibrox out every year they were winning the league with games to spare.

Contrary to media myth, we’re not two sides of the same coin and we don’t come as a package. We’re Celtic and although we might miss the derby matches, our passion is for our club, and that would be undiminished if rangers were to fold.

Will this season’s title win mean just as much as others despite it being handed on a plate with the points deduction?

Firstly, it’s our first title in 4 years so it’ll be great to have it. And secondly, it’s not been handed to us on a plate – rangers were deducted points because they were cheating: they’ve gained an unfair advantage on other teams by spending beyond their means. Their points deduction only addresses that, and guys like Jelavic (who they couldn’t afford and had to sell in January) were worth at least those 10 points.

In any case, we were 4 points clear of them when they went into administration and had won 15 games on the bounce. If you found a bookmaker offering anything on us winning the league you’d have done well. We thoroughly deserve this title and we’ll celebrate it like any other, despite what bitter rangers fans say.

Would you support Celtic and Rangers joining the English Premier League?

No, I’d be completely against it, though I’m maybe in a minority there. You don’t sell your history for a few quid and beyond that…

A lot of Newcastle/North East connections up there, did Kenny Dalglish spoil his reputation with Celtic fans after his ill-fated return with John Barnes?

I think fans of different generations will view Dalglish differently. I’m in my mid-20s so he was nearing retirement when I was born and I’ve no recollections of him as a player. All I know is he had a spell as a scout with rangers (which for me is basically giving a two’s up to our support) and then brought Barnes up in 1999, so my experiences of him are almost entirely negative but that’s balanced out with what he did as a player. Many older fans, who watched him through the 70s, still see him as a bit of a legend


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