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‘Newcastle fans in Limbo but not in League One. Well not yet anyway’

12 months ago

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

Mike Ashley is now in the 13th season of his Newcastle United reign.

Whilst Steve Bruce has been NUFC Head Coach these past four months.

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 David Punton:

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

The jury’s out.

On current evidence they’re a promising front three who can get in behind teams with their pace but the goals are too thin on the ground.

That said, I want the glass to be half full, so I’m hoping they can add the all important goals. If they do it could be very exciting because Almiron, ASM and Joelinton all have great promise. The latter of the three is the one we need to be patient with. He did well against Bournemouth as the game went on but there is a sense he still has a lot to learn about leading the line for NUFC in the Premier League. Rondon made it look easy and it’s not.

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

Guess what – the jury’s out on this one too.

Bruce was an underwhelming appointment and I think we all worry he comes up short tactically. The season started bad and there were some shambolic displays and yet he’s managed to coax some decent displays from the players. His strength seems to be his man management. The players clearly like him.

Results will dictate his future and I see him a bit like Alan Pardew, in the sense that I’m not blown away by Bruce but I hope he can find a way to do well. It’s a honeymoon period, of sorts, thus far. In answer to the question – he’s not part of the problem yet, but maybe he isn’t the solution in the longer term.

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

We clearly need to stick with three centre backs and the attacking wing-backs.

Dubravka, Willems, Lascelles, Schar, Clark, Yedlin, Hayden, S. Longstaff, Saint-Maximin, Almiron, Joelinton.

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?

It’s hard to work out what’s fact and fiction here.

I think he has had genuine interest but nobody has met the required terms to proceed with a change of ownership. I have always maintained he will sell the club if he gets the right offer that he wants. Anything below that and it’s no deal.

Some of the alleged interested parties look less monied than him, it gives me no pleasure to say we may have to stick for now.

Newcastle United remains with vast amounts of untapped potential that the right owners could unleash. For now the giant is dozing.

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?

Fans are entitled to vote with their feet, to attend games or not, nobody on either side of he fence should criticise the opposing views. I’m currently not going to games at St James Park due to the ownership of the football club.

How do you see the season going from here?

The worry is that there could be some sort of slump. It usually happens in and around Xmas.

A few more wins and we could actually pull well clear of the relegation battle but it’s never that straightforward. We seem to have a very good chance of staying up though and I didn’t think I’d say that. Being out of that bottom three by the festive period is critical. Any chance of an FA Cup run?

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

In Limbo.

It could be worse but it could all be so much better.

The club needs a fresh start with a new owner. Until that happens we’re stuck in this state of Limbo that has existed for a long time and was sort of put on hold when Benitez was working his magic. But hey Newcastle fans, at least we’re not in league one. Well not yet anyway.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton


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