The season closed for Newcastle United on Sunday 13 May.
So what does everybody think about the past, present, and future for NUFC?
We have asked some of our regular/irregular writers to give us some feedback on a number of questions about the club, as yet another vital close season confronts us.
First up is contributor GToon:
Three words that describe your current mood regarding Newcastle United?
Expecting the worst.
What efforts should be made to keep last season’s loan players and what percentage likelihood do you think there is of Newcastle signing each of them this summer?
Definitely try and keep him and 100% expect it to happen once Sels has moved.
I’m unsure about him as he was injured a lot but if we could get him for £6-7m then maybe, about 25% chance of getting him back.
Great player, would love to see him stay but perhaps he did too well, so I think we will try for him but I give us 105 chance of him coming back.
Seven players (in order) that Newcastle definitely need to keep for next season?
The 2016/17 Newcastle United Accounts have belatedly been made public, the club claimed a ‘£90m loss’ whilst various football finance experts agreed it was actually a ‘real loss’ of under £20m. Discuss.
May I refer my learned friends to my first comment. All Ashley has done is set up the fans, manager and players for the seasonal disaster that is the transfer window
Or summer sale as Ashley would put it…
It’s almost as if him and Charnley are bragging about how badly they are running our club. So you can now imagine Ashley mulling over his two choices – either back Rafa and invest in the squad to make sure we don’t get relegated again, or sell a few players to get some money back and hope we don’t get relegated again.
I wonder which one he will choose! All of this is of course forgetting the TV money which apparently only other clubs are allowed to spend on players.
Does Mike Ashley really want Rafa Benitez to stay?
No. He couldn’t care less. If a stuffed doll resembling Marilyn Manson, wearing a Sunderland shirt, stockings and suspenders could keep us in the premier league, he’d employ him if he was cheaper than Rafa (as long as didn’t ask to sign anybody).
Joking aside, no he doesn’t care. He has one question. Will the manager keep us in the premier league. If the answer is yes, then keep him regardless of everything else. If the answer is no, then get a new manager (usually when it’s too late).
What do you think would be the minimum needed to convince Rafa to at least stay for the final year of his contract?
The minimum will be the promise that the money from players sales, that will no doubt happen, can be reinvested.
What do you think would be the minimum needed to convince Rafa to extend his contract this summer?
£50m without having to sell players.
Best pieces of skill from Newcastle players last season, what is your top three (in order)?
- Lascelles save off the line v Swansea away.
- Shelvey shot v Man City at home straight from kick off.
- Dubravka save v Barkley v Chelsea at home.
Shelvey had a shot from near the half way line too, that hit the bar I think, but I can’t remember who it was against.
Where do you think Newcastle would have ended up in the Premier League if:
Hadn’t signed Dubravka and Kenedy in January? 3rd from bottom
Had signed Dubravka but not Kenedy? 4th bottom
Had signed Kenedy but not Dubravka? 5th from bottom
As well as a decent transfer budget, Rafa Benitez has made clear that Newcastle have to also show ambition when it comes to the new training complex that was promised years ago, as well as investment in a fit for purpose Academy. How integral do you think these things are for both Rafa and the future f the club?
It’s vital if we want to convince decent players to join us at an early age for their football education. Having a decent ground is fine but we need to convince players they can improve with us. That work happens on the training pitch, in the gym, the canteen etc etc.
How relaxed are you at the minute in terms of everything turning out OK this summer?
I’m not relaxed at all, I’m more resigned to what will happen. Once bitten, twice shy. Eleven times bitten, very shy!
What do you make of everything that has happened at Sunderland and how do you think they will get on next season?
I think on the one hand it’s hilarious as I wish nothing but misery for their team and fans, but on the other hand, I realise the importance a successful football team can play in the north east so I’m sort of laughing but thinking it’s a shame at the same time. I think they will come back up (to the Championship next season (unfortunately)!
Of the current squad…
Definitely need to keep for next season:
Lascelles, Lejeune, Clark, Shelvey, Diame, Murphy, Perez, Richie and Dubravka.
Don’t mind if they stay but if decent offer comes in then sell:
Mitro, Gayle, Mbemba.
Need to be moved on:
Joselu, Manquillo, Aarons, Sels.
If Newcastle stuck with exact same squad of 2017/18 (not including the loan players), what would happen in 2018/19?
I think we would get relegated. Rafa would walk and our best players would leave but we’d probably make a profit, which is all a certain person is interested in, so it’s certainly not out of the question.
I would also add to this question and answer, that the one position I would certainly like to see strengthened is a goal scorer.
If we could get a decent forward who can hit the target we could really move forward. Not having such a player has cost us this year.