Three words to sum up what has happened at Newcastle United this season so far
An ideal time in the heart of the festive season to get a snapshot of views from Newcastle United fans on how they think things are going.
So we sent out various questions to a small number of regular / irregular contributors to The Mag.
Here we have Tony Mallabar:
What would be a perfect NUFC Christmas present to unwrap?
I don’t buy any kind of club replica merchandise. So my best NUFC present would see us win this season’s FA Cup.
I am 54 now and I can definitely hear that particular clock ticking.
Two of our away squad “The two Bris”, have both recently had major issues with their health, so that’s brought that scenario sharply into focus.
In 2023, what have been your three best Newcastle United moments?
Number one has to be beating PSG 4-1 at home and also walking back through town afterwards with thousands of young uns on the streets celebrating, made me also realise that it’s probably time for a new 80,000 seater ground.
AC Milan away was always the one ground I wanted to visit and it certainly lived up to everything I’d imagined. Remember Jacob Murphys smile when the teams were being presented, we’ll that was me up in the Gods when hearing the Champions League music…
Brighton at home in the 4-1 victory.
It was a nervy 2-1 lead we took into injury time but two quick goals by wor Callum and Bruno nearly had the East Stand roof off. What a racket.
In January, NUFC play Sunderland in the FA Cup, plus PL matches v Liverpool, Man City and Villa. Would you take defeat to the Mackems if it guaranteed three PL wins in January?
I am not really a fan of these either / or questions so I am not really bothered either way…
Only joking, smash the mackems into oblivion, putting out our strongest team along the way.
I just hope the Geordies in the squad hammer it home to our foreign lads how much this means to us the fans.
If you could guarantee five NUFC players to be fit for the rest of the season (including all those currently unavailable), who would you choose?
Sven Botman, Wor Callum, Bruno, Muckle Joe and young Mileycastle, because if young Lewis has a run of games till the end of the season and progresses like he’s doing, then I can honestly say with the right offer back from AC Milan, we’ve seen the last of Tonali in a black and white shirt.
Would you have a problem dressing up in a red and white Santa outfit if asked to?
If you could invite three current Newcastle United players to yours for a social gathering at Christmas, who would you invite and why?
Anthony Gordon – first of all to apologise for doubting him and the recruitment team, I got it wrong. About his signature. But I would also ask him to stop rolling around every time he gets an innocuous tap to the ankle.
Matt Ritchie. Just to ask him what was it like having FCB as your boss and did the players ever speak about it and was there any players deputation to someone higher up the food chain when Bruce was appointed.
Miguel Almiron, because according to young Dan Numbers, every time he gets possession I shout “Get miggy with it.”
If you could invite three past Newcastle United players and/or managers around to yours for a social gathering at Christmas, who would you invite and why?
My all time favourite player Peter Beardsley.
I’d also invite Tino Asprilla to see if he brought some of his country’s second most famous export to keep the party going.
Assuming you don’t think that position has been reached already, what would it take for you to think Newcastle United needed to consider replacing Eddie Howe?
When the takeover happened, I was 100% behind Rafa getting the gig back at the time.
However, fair play to NGE (Nice Guy Eddie). When he come in I was a bit underwhelmed, but he’s taken us on to a place where I genuinely wouldn’t thank you for a Pep, or God forbid, a Klopp.
If you were granted three New Year’s wishes (apart from the obvious of winning something!) to come true in 2024…
First wish is we could redevelop SJP into an 80,000 capacity stadium, with me keeping my best seat in the house in the East Stand.
Second wish, put me in charge of sorting the ticket office out, years ago someone asked me how did the folk who work in managing the box office get their job. Answer to that was, fail your interview at one of fat Mike’s tat shops and voila, you’ve gotta job working for NUFC box office.
Third wish, on Champions League nights can we please have the return of the burger van outside the East Stand (a knaa, first world problems and all that).
Your New Year’s resolution that is Newcastle United related…?
Win this season’s FA Cup.
Do you think this FA Cup derby match will make you wish for more derbies to return in years to come, or never to happen again?
As a fan, Derby days are brilliant… if you are on the winning side.
Hopefully we tw.t them on 6th of January.
Realistically, we are on an upwards trajectory and as for the dark side, the best they can hope for is becoming a Norwich type club, competing irregularly in the Premier League but staying solvent enough to compete in the Championship.
I often see mackems posting on social media that the live rent free in Mags’ heads. Well they certainly live rent free in this Mag’s head, as they cannot now afford the rent to be in the same digs as us.
Mind the gap Sunlun FC.
Win the FA Cup or League Cup sometime in the next five years AND finish between 8th and 10th in each of these five seasons, or win nothing AND finish between 2nd and 4th in every one of these five seasons?
As we’ve found out, playing competitive football on four fronts is really hard.
FFP restrictions are keeping us back but with the renewed interest from Barcelona and Real Madrid about a European Super League, it shows that in maybe 5 / 10 years, English clubs will be the dominant force across Europe.
Three words to sum up what has happened this season so far?
Lots of injuries.
What are your favourite ever past Newcastle United Christmas time moments / memories. Could be any kind of memories – matches, presents, whatever?
One memory of a a Christmas holiday fixture came after Xmas 87. When on New Year’s Eve we had an away match versus Tottenham, which we went by coach to.
I remember at the match it absolutely tipped down and we got beat 2-0 without registering a single shot. Getting drenched on the march back to the coaches and sitting in our soaking clothes all the way home.
At that time my mam and dad would host a New Year’s Eve party for our neighbours and I remember walking through the front door soaking, with one of our neighbours looking at me drenched and asking where had i been to get like that, “Spurs away I replied”, only for the guests to all burst out laughing at me, when I could have been inside, warm, eating and drinking.
My mam took me to one side to console me and said, why do you have to go and watch that useless team of yours every week, why didn’t I just meet a nice lass and stop putting myself through this. Nar mam it’s Newcastle United for me.
Actually I’d wished I’d listened to 18 year old me (two divorces later and all that).
Anyway, merry Xmas and a black and white new year.
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