What are your dreams and nightmares for the coming season.
We talked to two of The Mag’s top columnists, Pete McParlin and Colin Whittle, about their hopes AND fears for the coming season, do you agree with them?
What are your expectations for the coming season?
Pete: To finish top six or seven and have a good run in one of the cups, most likely the Europa League.
Colin: I would love to see a repeat of last season but deep inside suspect it may have been a one off. Realistically, I’d be happy if we can finish in the top eight. A cup run would be welcome but we seem to have put league success as our main priority and given the manager’s performance to date I wouldn’t take issue with him.
What would equal success and failure in the new season?
Pete: Success: Consolidating on last season (see first answer) – dare we hope for a trophy? Failure: Poor performances in all competitions and slipping back into mid-table.
Colin: Success – A repeat of last season’s position would be a major success and any cup run would get the blood flowing. I’m still a cup man at heart, mainly because the way football is going I don’t ever see us winning the league.
Which three Newcastle players do you see as the most important?
Colin: Colocinni – A defensive lynchpin who is the foundation for our success.
Cabaye – Absolute quality. A midfielder who is as good as any in the league.
Cisse – Every club needs a top goal scorer and last season he showed he was as good as anyone.
Would you take a Champions League place over winning a trophy?
Pete: No. Trophy every day of the week.
Colin: No – sorry I’m of an age where winning was the aim of the game. Don’t get me started on this issue.
What do you think about the transfer rumours & action this Summer, plus what do you think with players coming in before the window closes?
Pete: It seems that Debuchy aside, the transfer speculation has been mostly paper talk. It would have been nice to see a bit more activity than Anita on the incoming side, but to (so far) have held onto all our top players was for me always going to be the most important thing.
Colin: I take no notice of speculation but much prefer the club’s approach of recent times, no publicity until the deal is in the bag. I suspect there is brinkmanship going on at the moment. We’ve no doubt put offers in for players based on our valuation and we don’t get into ‘bartering’, so any deals are likely to go to the wire.
What would be your starting eleven with everybody fit and in what formation?
Colin: Krul, Simpson, S.Taylor, Colocinni, Santon, Ben Arfa, Tiote, Cabaye, Jonas, Ba and Cisse – 4/3/3 but flexible depending upon opposition.
Do you still worry that we will lose one of our elite players before the window closes?
Pete: Yes, but I’m more hopeful than in previous seasons that we’ll keep hold of all of them.
Colin: Yes, I’m amazed they are all here now. I hope they all stay as you don’t improve your team by selling your best players!