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Opinion

Mike Ashley has had an approval rating of 0% for a decade so I do wonder if any of this makes a difference?

4 weeks ago
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Steve Bruce has been Newcastle United Head Coach these past four months.

Whilst Mike Ashley is now in the 13th season of his NUFC reign.

So what is the state of play for Newcastle fans at St James Park?

With the (third of the season already!) international break giving us all time to reflect, we have asked some of our regular/irregular contributors a few questions…

Next up is Davey Hat Trick:

Do you think Newcastle’s front three have it in them to regularly score enough goals between them?

I do – none of them are the finished article and it is a risk playing three comparative Premier League novices up top, but they do more right than wrong for me, and they’ll get there. They just need to keep their heads up

Is Steve Bruce part of the problem or part of the solution? Discuss.

Well, if the problem is the owner, then any manager he appointed would be part of the problem.

If the solution is avoiding relegation again, then he may just manage it.

I had us down for relegation when Steve Bruce arrived, but – fair’s fair – he’s doing OK.

With everybody fit, what would be your starting 11 and what formation?

It would depend on whether we were playing Norwich (yes I know) or Man City, but a 5-4-1 / 5-2-3 combo featuring the below would be my selection.

Dubravka

Yedlin, Schar, Lejeune, Fernandez, Willens

M Longstaff, Hayden

Almiron, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin

Bench: Elliot, Clark, Dummett, Shelvey, S Longstaff, Ritchie, Gayle.

Not a huge fan of Lascelles. Carroll looks shot to me

Do you think Mike Ashley has ever seriously tried to sell the club previously and do you think he is genuine now about trying to sell it?

“Seriously tried to sell” is a bit unfair on him. He doesn’t seem desperate to get shot of the club but I think he’d listen to a serious offer (£300m+ and a plan). Thus far, I don’t think he’s had one.

Some fans tend to see this as evidence he’ll never sell but none of us know what goes on behind the scenes. In the medium-term, I’m resigned to Mike Ashley being in charge

Are you still going to matches and how do you feel about fans staying away, is all resistance futile or do fans have to try and do something?

I gave up my Season Ticket this season. I’ve taken free tickets a couple of times when mates haven’t been able to go, so it’s not a full-on boycott. But I’m comfortable with my decision.

It’s not my business to tell other fans what to do but I would say that going to the match doesn’t mean you support Mike Ashley. He’s had an approval rating of 0% for a decade – and he knows it – so I do wonder if any of this makes a difference.

How do you see the season going from here?

I’m not exactly brimming with optimism but I feel more positive than I did when Steve Bruce squeezed into the dugout for the first time.

Right now, I think we’ll end up where we started – a few places above the relegation zone. But don’t quote me! 5th round of the FA cup at best.

How would you describe being a Newcastle fan at the moment?

Up and down. Probably more down than up. We’ve won points we shouldn’t have and lost points we shouldn’t have, so it changes on a weekly basis.

I’ve re-calibrated my expectations of the club over the last decade.

There was a time when we were a threat at the top end of the table, and finishing (say) 13th was considered a failure. Now it’s an achievement. So I guess I’ve become desensitised to mediocrity…

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