Friday, 4 March 2016

Rival Lines: Toon Bano says Newcastle won't sack McClaren

Rival Lines
Match Preview: Newcastle Utd v AFCB
Blogger Interview: Toon Bano
Twitter: @ToonBano

Toon Bano is a Newcastle Utd fan blog written by Ginger Pirlo as he likes to be called. He is not afraid to shout out about his beloved team and this Toon Army man is a bit closer to home than you might think!

CC: From what I understand you are a Toon fan and blogger that lives in Bournemouth. Is that an easy situation and if you had a second team would it be AFCB?

Yeah, I haven't lived in Newcastle for a long while so I'm more then used to being away from the Toon. Bournemouth are without doubt my second team. Ever since I moved here a few years ago I went to go watch them and the way Eddie Howe has them play is phenomenal. I have been hooked ever since. The girlfriend is a Cherries fan also which helps. We were there on promotion night last season and have been at every home game this season. I am lucky enough to have a job as a Football Stats Operator for all Bournemouth and Southampton home game, so I get to see how the Cherries play week in week out. [Ed - hope he does not feed Mr McClaren with too much info on the Cherries!]

CC: Steve McClaren wanted the fans to wait 10 games before they judged him, so are you surprised or disappointed that he is still at Newcastle after 27 games?

Surprised? No. Lee Charnley our chief exec won't sack him, even if we go down. Him and Mike Ashley have this 'stability' mentality to keep the manager no matter what. [Ed - Others might disagree] Pardew should have been sacked a long time ago, but even head butting a player still didn't get him sacked. Disappointed? I'm not disappointed he is still here, but I am disappointed in what he has done with the team this season. I fully expected us to be a well coached team with a strong philosophy and strategy towards the way we play. I haven't seen anything like that from McClaren. No Toon fan could tell you what 'kind of team' we are. Apart from probably a poor one.

CC: While the £21m offer for Saido Berahino did not entice WBA this January, do you feel that it is money saved when you consider the Saints picked up Charlie Austin for £4m?

Well it's too early to say if it was money saved. If we go down, then obviously it wasn't. If we stay up, then I think paying that amount of money for a player like Berahino is way too much. Charlie Austin is an absolute steal. Eddie has to explain to us all why he didn't at least try to bring him in. He is head and shoulders above Glenn Murray for example. [Ed- It was not through a lack of trying.]

CC: What is the best thing about being a Newcastle blogger?

Getting to say whatever I want, about whatever I want and having even the smallest influence on a fellow fans outlook on the team. I get plenty of stick from some quarters which always makes me laugh but lots of agreements as well. Whenever I get time to do it, which isn't much these days having two jobs and coaching a team, I do love it.

CC: Jonjo Shelvey has made a good start at Newcastle. Is he a better player than you expected having seen him for a few games now in a white and black shirt?

He is to be honest. When you look at the Liverpool team he left a couple of years ago, he is exactly what they are missing. His passing is very good but he needs to watch his attitude. He can spit his dummy out and go missing in games. Hopefully he will grow up in a black and white shirt for years to come.

CC: Newcastle have not lost at St James' Park this year so is there more hope now about the possibility of staying up?

Not really. I don't look at little stats like that to judge whether we will or won't stay up, it's all about the performances. Which overall have been pretty dire apart from the one game against West Brom. Even in that game we scraped over the line, which sums our team up to be honest. We just don't score enough goals. How we didn't sign a striker (Doumbia doesn't exactly count given his lack of fitness) is beyond me and all Toon fans.

CC: If the Cherries score against Newcastle on Saturday that will be 51 goals that the Toon Army has let in this season so has McClaren done anything to improve the defensive side of the team that you can see?

Not that I can see. We signed Mbemba in the summer who is a good signing for us but much like the way the team play overall, I can't tell you 'how' we defend as a team. We don't really press nor drop off. We don't necessarily play a high line, our full backs tend to get forward but so does every team. McClaren will always have doubts over his ability as a manager, but I am even doubting him as a coach now from what I've seen this year.

CC: Is Georginhio Wijnaldum an exceptional player playing in an average (I'm trying to be kind) Newcastle Utd side?

Most definetly. Well at home he is exceptional. Away from home he may as well be on the bench for the impact he makes. All I can hope for is we stay up, sign a decent striker and defender in the summer and have a much better campaign next season. Otherwise he will do what Cabaye, Demba Ba etc did and find a much better team to play for. Thank you for being kind by the way. I'll take average...

CC: Which three sides are going down? I imagine you might have a Black Cat in there!

Villa are doomed. Hopefully Sunderland won't pull off an escape act again. Then I think Norwich. My worst nightmare is Newcastle and Bournemouth in a head to head fight for survival on the last day of the season. I'm hoping both will be safe and sound by then. Watch out for Palace being dragged into mind you...Pardew loves a winless run end a season.

CC: How important is this game against the Cherries for Newcastle's season and your score prediction please?

Huge. If we lose against the Cherries we will struggle to pick up the points we need to survive given
our fixtures. I think Bournemouth will get enough even if they lose. I'm going for a draw though, 2-2.

Thanks ToonBano. I really hope that the Cherries are not sweating on Newcastle's result on the last day of the season when we are away at Old Trafford! I kind of agree that Villa and Norwich will find it had to escape the drop but I am glad I don't live in the Northeast as Newcastle and Sunderland have a lot of work to do. I know a lot of our fans are making the trip up to the Toon to not only see the game but to experience the atmosphere and stadium. This one will be like a cup final!

ToonBano has some great articles on it including a battering of Jamie Carragher, Gary Neville and Co, plus some strikers who they could have looked at to improve their standing in the table - And yes Mario Balotelli is among them.

Competition time - Guess the minute of the Last goal!

I am just keeping you on your toes by changing the competition this week to ask you in what minute do you think the last goal will go in for either team during the game between Newcastle Utd and AFC Bournemouth?

Tweet the minute to @Peter Bell19 to win an AFCB key ring with screwdriver end fittings - I rather like that prize! If no one guesses the exact minute we will go with the closest guess and if we have more than one correct answer we will draw the winner from the hat. Good luck!

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