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Mike Ashley knee jerk reaction shows Newcastle United fan protests have had an effect

6 months ago

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 Brian Standen is next up…

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

Disappointed Ashley here (still)

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

I will still go next season as it stands, obviously be a lot happier if we had new owners but simple fact is I am not going to let HIM stop me doing what I want to do.

That said, if Rafa were to leave I would seriously reconsider this, the thought of a Pardew, Steve Bruce etc. would be the last straw.

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

I don’t know why he does not invest because it is the only way to grow a business, but you have to invest in the right way, and the simple fact is that the bread and butter are the players on the pitch.

In defence I believe we are fine, with a solid GK and good choices and cover across the back.

In midfield, depending on how the team sets out, a creative midfielder would be good. That said, in Longstaff and Shelvey I think we have that, I have a feeling Shelvey will depart however, will Almiron feature in midfield? Time will tell.

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

We can always look forward no matter who is in charge, but the simple answer is, there will be little if any progression as a club if he remains. There have been so many lies told by him, it’s only about four years since he said we would be aiming for top four and trying to win one of the cups, we then promptly got relegated. I think the best we can expect is mid-table mediocrity.

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

With Rafa at the helm we won’t go down this season, so 100% confident of survival, get Wolves out the way and plenty points available.

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

Good question. I think he would sell in a heartbeat if somebody came up with his asking price, but we only hear speculation about this price, £300 million seems to be the figure but you can be sure there will be a whole host of caveats attached to benefit him.

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?

For the record, I think Rafa will stay, or is that just hope? The obvious answer to this question is Ashley needs to back Rafa and let him buy the players he sees fit to take NUFC into the top 8.

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?

Martin Dubravka, Florian Lejeune, Fabian Schar, Jamaal Lascelles, Federico Fernandez, Sean Longstaff.

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

Absolute No-Brainer. He brings a physical presence that we need, is also very skilful and a good reader of the game. People will say Mitrovic was similar, that’s as maybe, but this guy plays with a smile on his face, holds the ball up better than Mitrovic, and wins balls in the air regularly. He also has a better temperament and is very unlikely to collect cards.

Would you keep Dwight Gayle next season?

Just my opinion but only as a squad player, his level is the championship and if we are to progress then we need players in who are a little better. That said, if there is the likely no investment then yes you have to keep him.

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

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lejeune, Lascelles, Schar, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey Longstaff, Rondon, Almiron

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.?

Despite what people think, I am all for them.

Given the knee jerk appearance of Mike Ashley on Sky before Christmas, I would say they are having an effect. The Man City game was a perfect example of what I like to see, a balance between letting the owner know what we think for all to hear and raw passion following the team. It is fact that the team was visibly lifted by the support.

I love the flag displays at the ground but it would take it to a new level if some Anti-Ashley flags were unfurled, ok it may sour things for the flags groups but be a great show of defiance.

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

I have little interest in other teams unless we are playing them. I am not keen on any of the three teams mentioned, nor Chelsea or Man Utd to be fair, however, if I had to pick a team I would prob opt for Man City, but I can’t even say why. You’re talking to someone who does not support England in the World Cup. Unless it’s black and white I actually don’t care.

The Newcastle United season so far…

Best game – Very easy, Man City at home.

Worst game – For me Wolves at home, 94th minute sucker punch that we did not deserve.

Best moment – Full-time v Man City, so my heart could simmer down to just a panic.

Worst moment – Reliving the appalling decision the referee at Man Utd when we are winning 2-0, not only does he not see it’s a penalty, he then gives a goal-kick.

Most impressive player – For me, any of the back three plus Rondon.

Most disappointing player – No-brainer, and got no idea why he is so bad, but Kenedy.


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