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My top 10 fantasy Newcastle United father’s day presents

7 days ago
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The time of year for Newcastle United father’s day presents.

So, what did you get this morning?

Booze, cheese, chocolates if you were lucky…socks, boxers, Lynx giftset if not so lucky.

I got a decent card and ended up with a foot in both camps, when it came to the lucky and unlucky options listed above.

However, it got me thinking, what do I really want?

What would really get me going when it comes to my wishes coming true on father’s day?

My top 10 fantasy Newcastle United father’s day presents:

Newcastle United to be competitive in the years ahead.

I’m not particularly hung up on actually winning trophies, it would be a nice bonus if we did do that but it doesn’t define me as a fan. I just want to see us up there in the top six or seven or whatever, able to give anybody a game and be competitive. No longer just about surviving and crawling along to the next season as we experienced in 14+ years of Mike Ashley.

Kevin Keegan to have a role at the club now Mike Ashley has gone. Whatever he wants to do, however little or often he wants, every contribution he’d make would be a significant bonus. An ambassador role or whatever, anything he is happy doing.

King Kev has been simply the best in my lifetime and I want him to continue that at Newcastle United, now that my kids can appreciate him as well.

European football.

Not talking about expecting Champions League every season, though I wouldn’t say no.

Bottom line, European away trips are the very best and so often, it is the unexpected ones that prove to be the very best.

Yes going to Real Madrid or Bayern Munich would be class in the Champions League BUT experience tells me that a Europa League visit to some club I have barely heard of, in some random country, may turn out to be even better.

Playing football the right way.

Steve Bruce took us to the real depths. Yes, Rafa Benitez was functional and not the greatest to watch at times, but at least there was a plan AND when he had the personnel (Miggy Almiron arriving) then he did try to be more attacking. Under Bruce it was literally just everybody in defence and then give the ball to ASM and hope he will do something.

Understandably, Eddie Howe simply had to find a way to avoid relegation. Known as a manager who likes to focus on attacking football, in the short-term last season he instead formed a plan where the focus was more on sorting the defensive side, whilst also carrying a decent attacking threat. The facts speak for themselves, only two of the final 20 PL matches saw NUFC conceded more than one goal in a game, plus 38 points in the second half of the season averaging 2.00 points per match.

However, the final home match of the season points to where Eddie Howe really wants to go. With the pressure off, Howe’s Newcastle United absolutely dominated Arsenal from the first whistle, it ended up 2-0 but even Mikel Arteta admitted Newcastle deserved to win by far more goals. More of the same please this coming season!

Bruno Guimaraes for life.

If you could look into the future and see Bruno staying at Newcastle United for the rest of his playing career, then I think you could be assured that things have gone pretty well.

He is a top class player and to keep him long-term, Newcastle United need to match his ability and ambition.

Otherwise, the reality is that he would undoubtedly need to move on at some point and fulfil his potential elsewhere.

St James Park expansion.

None of us want to move BUT bottom line is that we need a bigger stadium to enable as many Newcastle fans as possible to enjoy this new ear of hope.

I indeed just hope that the new owners are able to grab back that land opposite the Gallowgate that Mike Ashley sold for personal profit. That land for me holds the key to the ability to significantly get our capacity up without leaving St James Park.

Sir John Hall and Freddie Shepherd had plans drawn up for a 60,000 capacity, when they bought the land back in the day for that express purpose, at some time in the future.

I think realistic to think that if that land can be utilised, it could see St James Park potentially at 65,000+ as a capacity. When you have a club averaging 51,000+ in the second tier even under Mike Ashley, just because Rafa staying gave us some hope, then 65,000 should be the very lowest of our expectations when it comes to just how many fans we could potentially have, wanting to pay to watch their team every other week.

Keeping feet on the ground.

I hope our fanbase never ends up like so many others.

Success twisting their mindsets, coming to believe that only winning trophies is acceptable.

More away tickets.

I know this would also mean fewer Newcastle fans at St James Park in the future in certain matches BUT this is desperately needed in my opinion.

So many stadiums getting so much bigger in the Premier League and yet away fans guaranteed only 3,000 away tickets, even less if the capacity is less than 30,000 (Premier League rules saying at least 10% of capacity under 30,000 has to be given to away fans).

It is crazy that with so many stadiums now 50,000 / 60,000+, that away fans still only get 3,000 tickets.

Away trips are class and as many fans as possible should be able to enjoy them.

Long-term building blocks

Yes, we all want the best possible signings to be made in this transfer window BUT just as (more?) importantly, the long-term health of the club is paramount.

We all watched on helpless as Mike Ashley ran the club into the ground, not even feeling obliged to keep St James Park clean. The new owners giving it a good wash very shortly after getting the keys.

Great to hear that a new training complex is a big part of the plans and a short-term major upgrade to the current facilities happening this summer in the meantime. Along with investment in the academy and women’s team amongst many other areas of the club, the future looking good.

United.

Mike Ashley deliberately caused division and friction, both amongst the NUFC fanbase itself and in the wider sense.

However, what we all want is everybody pushing in the same direction – fans, owners, coaching staff, players, the city, the region.

Together we can all create something really special here.

Happy father’s day!

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