Friday, 9 November 2018

Rival Lines: Newcastle United - 'No hope, no belief!'

Rival Lines
Match Preview: Newcastle Utd v AFCB
Blogger Interview: The MAG
Twitter: @NUFCTheMag

THE MAG
This week I had a chat with a Newcastle fan called Jonathan Drape-Comyn who works for the MAG. Newcastle have had a poor start to the seasons and Rafa Benitez has been under pressure. Still, a first home win last game against Watford should have given the Toon something to smile about. Playing Bournemouth next might not have been their pick of teams to play, but Newcastle have always managed to have a go against Bournemouth and the Cherries may find this game tougher than many others with the Toon army behind the home side.

CC: Can you see some light now that Newcastle have their first win?

TM:
No, not really. I don’t mean to come across all doom and gloom but light at the end of the tunnel would have to involve Mike Ashley leaving the club and I don’t see that coming any time soon.


As a fan base I think it is fair to say we are somewhat divided at the moment, and for fans like me, results on the pitch are not the most important thing presently.

CC: What worked better against Watford do you think - was having RondΓ³n up front a help as a target man?

TM: I am not sure anything worked better to be honest. We should have been three or four nil down at half time! We played far better in the previous week at home to Brighton. On that occasion, they scored with their only chance. We scored with our only chance against Watford.

That’s football for you! Swings and roundabouts.

CC: Would you be happy with a 17th place finish?


TM: Yes, but if I was offered getting relegated in return for Mike Ashley leaving the club I would snap your hand off.

CC: How well is Matt Ritchie playing at the moment?


TM: Rafa gets the absolute maximum out of him, and likewise Ritchie gives his maximum out on the pitch. I wont pretend to know what he was like against Bournemouth, but for Newcastle he guarantees you 7/10 performance every week. He may lack quality or end product at times but that is a problem with the squad as a whole and not just Matt Ritchie.

CC: Who would you say has been Newcastle's best player so far this season?

TM: Well, we haven’t been very good have we? Federico Fernandez has been a brilliant signing and I think all of the fans are very happy with him. For me though, Jonjo Shelvey always looks like our biggest threat.

The odds are slimming on Newcastle picking up points regardless of what squad they put out, but if Shelvey isn’t playing then I don’t see us having much hope at all.

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CC: Do you feel like teams like Bournemouth have overtaken Newcastle United in some respects?

TM: Yes, in every single respect actually. I cant think of a respect where Bournemouth haven’t overtaken Newcastle to be honest. Capacity? Historical Success? There’s two but I can’t think of many more.

Bournemouth appear to be a club with more ambition, a better team, a better ownership, a happier fan-base, better facilities, young players either coming through or picking them up from lower leagues etc. Also, your style of football is something to be envious of too, as well as having a young English manager.

CC: What kind of signings are needed in January, how many, and do you think Mike Ashley will give Benitez the funds to buy anyone?


TM: A left back, right back, centre midfielder, a winger, a number 10 and a striker. Will Rafa get one of those? I doubt it.

CC: Are there any players with injuries who you think will miss this game?

TM: Florian Lejeune is out for the whole season which was a big miss at the time but Fernandez has stepped up and is doing well.

Muto, Lascelles and Shelvey went off injured against Watford. As I said before, I would still hope we could something without the first two of those players, but with no Shelvey I would worry.

CC: How do you think will Newcastle line up against Bournemouth

TM: The same as Rafa always does (4-2-3-1).
Dubravka
Yedlin, Schar, Fernandez, Dummett (assuming Lascelles is injured)
Diame, Shelvey
Ritchie, Perez, Kenedy
Rondon


CC: Is this a game you can feel confident about?

TM: Not at all. I don’t feel confident about any Newcastle games at the moment. If we drew Sunderland in the cup, I probably wouldn’t be confident about that! That is the way Mike Ashley has most fans today.

No belief, no hope!

CC: Well a big thanks to Johnathan who is certainly a suffering Newcastle United fan. I don't know if most Newcastle fans are more despondent that they won't get anywhere while Mike Ashley is the owner or that Sunderland fans are probably happier than them even if they are playing in League One! Still, football goes on and there is a game on Saturday to be won. The MAG has an update on the injuries for their players ahead of the game. Enjoy the game.

Chimes to Camera AFCB 1 v 2 Man Utd


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Send in your score predictions for Newcastle Utd v AFCB to Cherry Chimes on Twitter to @CherryChimes to be in with a chance of winning. We will pick a winner from those who send in the correct score. Send in your predictions before 12am on Saturday.

In other news, Shaun Cooper has moved up to U21 manager at AFCB

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