Premier League Previews: Newcastle
What are you most excited about heading into the new season?
As a Newcastle fan, you don't get many chances to get exciting. Our owner doesn’t normally spend large sums of cash on any one player, but it’s been slightly different this year. Obviously Rafa has left the club and moved to China, but despite his departure – along with top scorers, Rondon and Perez – we still have some things to get excited about on Tyneside.
We’ve brought in two players who are full of potential in Joelinton and Saint Maximin, so I’m intrigued to see what they can do in the Prem. Both have lightning speed and an attacking mindset, and with the January addition of Almiron, our front three could be a real danger to any opposition defence.
What worries you ahead of the new season?
My main concerns going into the 2019/20 campaign are the depth of our squad, and the raw, unknown talent of our new signings.
It could be sink or swim for any new addition to this team. The new managerial team is under huge pressure too – they have the task of filling Rafa's boots after all!
What have you made of your club’s transfer activity this summer?
We’ve lost two key players from last season – both of which had a huge impact on the majority of our games – but we’ve replaced them, so we’ll need to wait and see what Joelinton and Saint Maximin can deliver.
We’ve also bought Jetro Willems, who’s been a United target for a number of seasons now – he’s another welcomed addition in an area of the pitch which has needed upgrading for some time.
What unpopular opinion do you have about your team going into the season?
I don't think the season will be as bad as some people are expecting – our team is strong enough to compete around the middle of the table. Many people have banked on Newcastle grabbing one of the relegation spots, but I’m quietly optimistic.
Who would win if your squad had a WWE Royal Rumble style fight?
Lascelles, hands down. We've all read the stories of how our captain isn't afraid to let players know when they aren't pulling their weight on the training field, with one stand-out incident leading to Jamaal chinning fellow team mate, Diame!
He's a powerhouse in defence. A typical old-school British defender who is ready to defend any team mate when going head-to-head with an opposition player. He has my vote all day long.
Where do you think your team will realistically finish in the Premier League?
I think we'll be OK… another steady season. We most likely won't see the defensive displays we saw under Rafa, which made us extremely hard to beat, but I still think we'll be alright.
A respectable 14th under Steve Bruce for me, which, under Newcastle's current ownership, is better than expected.
The bare minimum is 17th. Mike Ashley will take that all season long, but let's try and remove the stigma Newcastle fans are branded with – we don't expect a top five finish, not even top ten. We've fallen massively over the last decade, so anything around mid-table is a success, as much as that pains me to say.