This all leads me to think Newcastle United could win the FA Cup and Europa League this season
With this October 2023 international break we wanted to get a Newcastle United fan snapshot of opinion.
The idea is to get a range of views of what various Mag writers / NUFC fans think about what has happened / is happening at Newcastle United.
So we have sent various regular / irregular contributors sets of questions, including some the same as others, some different.
Next up is Rex N:
Three words to describe how you currently feel as a Newcastle fan?
I am showing my age – “Over the moon (Barry)”.
A must win game and the whole squad fit and available, which 11 would you select?
I am one for tinkering and horses for courses. There are some tough choices and rotation suits the number of games that we will have this season, hopefully well over 50. However, given the confines of the question:
Trippier Botman Schar Burn
Bruno Joelinton Longstaff
Almiron Isak Gordon
Is this a season for prioritising cup competitions over the Premier League?
Another tough one and I am going to meander here.
We won the Fairs Cup in (19)69. This is the 69th year of UEFA competitions. The FA Cup final is 69 years after we last won it.
I have this notion that we will win the FA Cup and the successor of the Fairs Cup, the Europa League. If we do that we are in the Champions League again next season and in the ideal place to invest so, given my gut instincts, two cups would do us nicely.
How wrong did you get it on Anthony Gordon… or did you get it right?
A really talented lad who is our new Craig Bellamy. You hate him if he is playing against you but love it if he is on your team. Yes, I got it right.
What would you now see as success this season?
It’s an either / or.
A European cup or maintaining our place in the top five. It’s a sad fact that Champions League qualification is the best way to grow as a club, at least within the constraints of Profit and Sustainability (FFP).
Predict the top eight in the Premier League (in order).
The five most important Newcastle players this season (in order)?
The most important person has got to be Eddie, the man who showed against Sheffield United that he has created a team that can score from anywhere. Come to think of it, that happened against PSG too, so the collective is more important than the individuals, says he covering his back, but sticking to the question:
The clean sheet king, Pope
The ultimate professional, Trippier
The mean machine, Isak
Football’s answer to Hector Villa-Lobos, the Brazilian composer, conductor and multi-talented artist, Bruno
A shame he is Dutch and not from Gibraltar, The Rock, Botman
Dortmund home, Man Utd away, Arsenal home – In order of importance (first, second, third) which would you most like to win?
Which one makes the biggest statement?
Given that we could haver a shot at either of the top two UEFA competitions, Dortmund as number one, Arsenal makes the Premier League statement as number two. If push comes to shove, were we to lose to Man U, ten Hag can have a stay of execution, which could be in our interests for this season. Yes, I know that the League Cup has been the launchpad for managerial success elsewhere so Man U number three.
Having said that, we’ll win them all anyway.
What do you think should happen with VAR, what changes or get rid of altogether?
Given recent incidents, it has come to light how amateurish the management of VAR is in football, especially compared to Rugby Union. Rugby led the way with radio communications between officials and then TMO. There are also lessons to be learned from cricket.
As spectators, we have to get used to the clock being stopped. The referee must be clear about what he is asking or if the VAR team intervenes, then that should be available to supporters. As for the “clear and obvious” thing, have the “umpire’s call” for offsides, with a margin for error. Does a fingernail offside make a difference?
The other big thing from cricket is the review request from the players. The team captain should be allowed two in each half. If the request is vexatious, they lose it. If there is a reversed or borderline decision, they keep it.
It may slow the game down but on the other hand, breaks in play mean we can keep the press for longer and with more intensity.
Given bias in decisions in the past, the caveat should be introduced that the Septic Six are not allowed to benefit from a VAR decision until the 2033-34 season.
Would you like to draw Sunderland in the FA Cup this season (we can’t play them in the Premier League, Champions League or Carabao Cup…)?
To quote the famous Doncaster born philosopher, “I would love it, just love it” to meet Sunderland at Wembley.
The best birthday present I gave my son was tickets to the “cheer up Stevie Bruce” 5-1. My daughter’s birthday is the week after the FA Cup final. I owe her one.
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