The Newcastle United pre-season is all but gone.
We are asking various regular / irregular Mag writers a number of questions ahead of this 2022/23 Premier League season,
The idea to get a wide range of views ahead of this Newcastle United campaign.
A snapshot of what various fans are thinking about, what might lie ahead of us all…as well as reflecting on various other NUFC issues.
Next up we have Simon Ritter answering a few…
For Newcastle United and the 2022/23 season, what are your hopes?
A bit modest, perhaps, but I want to see a continuation of the improvement on and off the pitch that’s been evident since the takeover and the arrival of Steady Eddie. He did a top job last season and the signings this summer have increased my optimism.
Yes, we still look a bit light in the scoring department but I hope and trust that will be fixed before the summer window shuts. If not, I hope Almiron will be transformed in the way Joelinton has been since the new year. The pre-season action, particularly last weekend, boosted my belief that we are on the right path. I hope we can qualify for one of the three European competitions.
For Newcastle United and the 2022/23 season, what are your expectations?
Expectation is usually different from hope but, at the risk of being called delusional, I expect a top-five finish to put the icing on a season of progressive, attacking football built on the foundation of a strong defence. We now have two top-quality keepers, an embarrassment of riches at centre-back, an England international capable of playing on either the left or the right at full-back and a player in Matt Targett who I believe will prove he is excellent value.
The prospect of watching Joelinton play in his rightful position for a full season is exciting, though not quite as thrilling as the thought of Bruno G dominating overhyped midfielders from the so-called Big Six (or whatever the number is, after Man Utd’s hilarious and apparently unstoppable decline). I expect ASM to run defences ragged and to improve his assists/goals stats. And I expect the atmosphere at St James’ Park to be as memorable as any in my lifetime (63 and counting).
For Newcastle United and the 2022/23 season, what are your worst fears?
An injury crisis, though Eddie has done enough already to reassure me he can manage most emergencies.
Elliot Anderson is, in the words of Mick Jagger, “a gas, gas, gas” but can he cope with the cynical treatment certain to be dished out if he gets a run in the Premier League? The opposition he faced for Bristol Rovers would certainly have been physically challenging, so perhaps I’m wrong to worry. Perhaps he has the footballing nous to avoid the potentially career-ending challenges. I don’t fear we will lose the dream team of Howe and Tindall . . . they have convinced me they are decent people (as well as excellent coaches) who will respect their contracts and be loyal to the cause.
If somebody asks you whether you are concerned about having Saudi Arabian ownership, what is your reply?
My reply would be: “You can go and do one!” For a devout atheist, I have a surprising knowledge of the parables. One of them says first take the beam out of your own eye, then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Romans 2:1). You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on another. For on whatever grounds you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. On second thoughts, I’d just tell them to do one!
Show me the owner of a big football club who claims the moral high ground and I’ll show you a hypocrite, a liar, a cheat, a charlatan, a sociopath and a scumbag. Just for starters.
What do you think Newcastle’s first choice eleven will be next season (put ‘new signing’ if you think Eddie Howe will sign a first choice player for that position in remainder of window)?
Pope, Trippier, Targett, Botman, Burn, Bruno, Joelinton, Anderson, ASM, Wilson, New Signing
What is the minimum capacity Newcastle United need moving forward and what is the ideal capacity for the future?
Building work usually takes longer and costs a lot more than the estimates, so I don’t expect any increase (apart from a marginal benefit by installing safe standing) any time soon. Extend and update it once a generation. Make it 70,000 within five years and I’ll be a happy bunny.
If you had to put your mortgage/energy bill on it, where would you predict Newcastle United to finish in each of the next five seasons?
What is your prediction for the final 2022/23 Premier League table, which positions all 20 clubs will end the season?
2 Man City
5 Newcastle United
7 Aston Villa
8 West Ham
9 Man Utd
10 Crystal Palace
11 Leicester City
17 Nottingham Forest
18 Leeds United
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