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Opinion

Looking forward to the day a crowbar is taken to those Sports Direct signs

2 months ago
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With two third of this Newcastle United season gone, we have asked a number of regular/irregular contributors to The Mag to answer a few questions.

Only 13 games to go and two points above the relegation zone, what do people think about where we are now?

Is Miguel Almiron the start of something better, or too little too late?

Writer Jamie Smith is first up…

Three words to describe how you feel as a Newcastle fans at this moment in time?

Frustrated, mistreated, handsome.

As things stand, are you going to go to home matches next season?

Er, yeah (cue outrage).

I’m in consideration of doing a Nexit but I have a 4 year old just getting into football, mates who I enjoy meeting up with and a busy life the match offers down time from.

The slim forlorn hope of Rafa being there, signing players he wants and even the possibility of a sale, is enough to make me want to continue protecting my vast pile of away points.

For Newcastle to be looking up and not just surviving, what kind of transfer activity needs to happen in the summer?

A transfer of the club from Michael Wallace Horace Tw.tburger Ashley to someone nice. Also, a quality wide man and Rondon signed up. plus one more strike option. For starters.

Can Newcastle United ever truly be able to look forward if Mike Ashley is still here?

No. There can be ups like the season we came 5th if all the planets align, but the only looking forward for a consistently brighter future, is looking forward to the day a crowbar is taken to those Sports Direct signs.

How confident are you that Newcastle will stay up this season?

75% – we’ve got a very reasonable run in from here on in.

I did the Chronicle’s predictor thing and some of them bast..ds around us have chickens coming home to roost, with some horrendous run-ins after a few weeks where they’ve all been playing each other and paving points about, while we played Man City and stuff.

Do you think Mike Ashley was seriously trying to sell the club this time?

No, because I think the price is deliberately extortionate to not legitimately attract buyers, giving him leverage to say he tried and claim there is no serious bidder. That’s what’s happened here for years, have you not noticed?

We asked fans whether Rafa should be expected to sign a new contract after the January transfer business Mike Ashley allowed, only 12% of Newcastle supporters said yes. Do you think it is enough and if not, what does Ashley need to do to convince Rafa?

If I was Rafa I’d walk away and I think Leicester will give him that clean break opportunity. Playing the fantasy game, I’d say Rafa needs to table 3-5 signings that are essential and say he’ll sign if two are within 2 weeks of window opening, along with some promises as to further guarantees. Also, I’d look short term if I was him, rolling contract or 2 years.

Which six current Newcastle players (not incl Almiron or loan players Kenedy and Rondon) would you choose to definitely keep as a base for next season?

Dubravka, Schar, Shelvey, Lejeune, Ritchie and Dummett.

Is signing Salomon Rondon on a permanent deal a no-brainer in the summer?

Sign this lad up then get someone to cross it to him.

Would you keep Dwight Gayle next season?

I wouldn’t rule it out, I think he could work with Rondon. A pacy striker is an option we’re missing and I can’t see us spending the sort of money to get better than him in that position.

If everybody was fit now, which 11 players in the current would you pick for a must win game?

Dubravka, Yedlin, Dummett, Fernandez, Lejeune, Schar, Shelvey, Ritchie, Perez, Almiron, Rondon

What are your views on the protests this season, anything at all you want to say, whether it is agreeing with them or not, the organisation, the effectiveness, the type of protests etc etc?

I agreed with all of the Magpie Group’s attempts and participated in all, and I have to say I’ve sorely lost faith in our fan base at their lack of mobilisation. The match in particular seems to be populated by sour faced old Normans who exceed non-participation with their sniping, apologist approach.

People getting sh.. for coming in late v West Ham was the low point and I think some people are just too weak-willed to see the point in a fight. Of course the keyboard warriors on Twitter only serve to muddy and confuse matters. I do think the groups got a couple of things wrong but striking out at well-intentioned attempts by your own fans to do whatever is within their power to advocate change, is the absolute pits.

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Liverpool fans seem to think Newcastle supporters would prefer them to win the title, rather than Man City or Spurs. Discuss.

Yeah, I would. I’ve spent a bit of time round Liverpool and had friends there etc so I may be a bit biased, but I’ve always felt there was a good atmosphere between the fans in trips to Anfield, reflected in the unholy alliance between Everton and the mackems.

However, even without this good grounding I think Liverpool fans have been a valuable and vociferous ally when media guttersludge attacks Rafa.

Also, I realise they’ve spent a bit but Liverpool’s growing perennially on the back of a consistently large fan base makes them a more genuine contender than Abu Dhabi City in my eyes. Spurs I’m not too offended by to be honest but as they’ll almost certainly bottle it, it’s not really worth considering.

The Newcastle United season so far…

Best game: Man City (H)

Worst game: West Ham (H)

Best moment: Beating City on the day Almiron signed, as cracks of hope emerged.

Worst moment: Watford in the cup for me. A genuinely crap, disheartening performance against a backdrop of no January signings, worrying League form and a missed opportunity in a reduced field in the FA Cup. I’m still smarting from it to be honest and this will only get worse if the maximum 2 remaining big six both fail to make the final.

Most impressive player: Fernandez has been brilliant.

Most disappointing player: Kenedy.

If anyone does this and doesn’t say Kenedy you need to bin off the interview, I’d put the question first as a sort of test for impostors, drunks and mackems.

I saw resigning him as a massive boost that gave hope for a brighter season and now I’m picking Perez ahead of him in my must win 11. Every time he enters the field I hope he’s snapped out of it but it seems it never will, I hope it’s not Newcastle done it to the poor lad.

Follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf

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