The Qatar World Cup break interrupting this Newcastle United season.
An ideal time to get a snapshot of views from NUFC fans on how they think things are going.
So we sent out various questions to a number of regular / irregular contributors to The Mag.
First up we have GToon:
Over 13 months now since the takeover, what are your thoughts now on the debate that surrounds the identity of the Newcastle United owners?
I support them 100%.
No if, no buts, no questions.
BTW the debate only exists in the southern based media and amongst the fans of the teams we are now edging out of the top six. There is no debate amongst our fans.
Newcastle United third in the table, how are you feeling?
I’ve named two of our guinea pigs “Toon” and “Toon” (well they look the same anyway), my two dogs are now called Tessa Toon and Toffee Toon, I’m having my first tattoo at age 55 of our 80s NUFC round badge and I’m going to add black stripes to my white garage door.
Quite happy you could say.
Player of the season so far (top choice and then second and third)?
First is Bruno, as nearly everything we do goes through him. His tenacity and passing ability and vision are outstanding. He loves our club and drives us forward.
Second is Pope, as he has made some fantastic saves and gives the defence the confidence to play with a bit more freedom than in previous seasons. The fact he is playing so well affects the opposing team as they know he is no “dodgy keeper”.
Third is Miggy, as he has set the place alight the last few games. It’s great to see the way he is enjoying his game and having a huge impact on results. I think Eddie is getting the best out of him.
The three most improved players this season (in order)?
First is Longstaff, he has improved massively. He is much more forward thinking and is playing with confidence. He is covering huge areas every game and is making some excellent decisions under pressure.
Second is Schar, he has rebuilt his career as a ball playing centre half from a player who looked like he was past it under the previous “manager”. He’s back to his best. He just needs to watch his hamstring issues and stay fit.
Third is Joe7, he’d walk into any team in the league on his current form. If he could be a bit more clinical in front of goal he would be moving towards the complete midfielder.
All improvements in these three players are down to Eddie and his team.
A must win game and the whole squad fit and available, which 11 would you select?
Pope, Tripper, Schar, Botman, Burn, Longstaff, Bruno, Joe7, Miggy, Wilson, ASM.
Willock and Murphy are close and I haven’t seen enough of Isak to include him.
Best atmosphere at a match this season?
Man City at home.
I thought the game as a whole was excellent and included some fantastic performances but I think the crowd loved the fact they had a glimpse of the future when we went 3-1 up against the champions and also when we wouldn’t give up when it went 3-3.
The makings of an exciting team that are very hard to beat.
How big an advantage (if any) is it likely to be for NUFC when the Premier League kicks off again in late December, considering how many each of the ‘big seven’ have at the World Cup (16 Manchester City, 15 Manchester United, 12 Chelsea, 11 Tottenham, 10 Arsenal, 7 Liverpool, 5 Newcastle United)?
I’m not sure it will be an advantage to us at all, as it will give some of the teams who haven’t hit the ground running the chance to refocus. I think the advantage we might have is some of that lot still playing in Europe.
Has the ‘big six’ already become a ‘big seven’?
I think so.
We have hit a couple of them while they weren’t expecting it. Chelsea are going through a transition period as are manyoo and LiVARpool.
Tottenham have no idea how to play the game thanks to their manager who likes to defend at home instead of attacking. Citeh and Arsenal are doing well but the others are certainly beatable and replaceable.
Eddie Howe’s selection for the Palace League Cup game, three days before Chelsea in the Premier League, eight outfield changes. What did you think when you heard the team before kick-off, then what were your thoughts after the win (on penalties!) on the team Eddie had selected?
I think Eddie is very fair with the players. They all need to be involved and it is a team game that stretches beyond 11 players.
I thought it would be a tough game as Palace are a decent side and we had a tough game against them in the league. I think Eddie picked the right team as he’d know Palace would do something similar.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how interested are you in England at the World Cup?
10 in terms of hoping our players come back unscathed and 0 in terms of hoping England do well.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how interested are you in this Qatar World Cup?
7. I like football and I want to see how they cope in the heat.
Three words to describe Newcastle United now?
Unstoppable upward momentum
Would you rather win the League Cup or finish top four and qualify for Champions League?
League Cup, as the top four thing is just made up.
Qualifying for European football is ok to a point but half the time it causes squad rotation issues and problems in the league when the fixtures are changed to Thursday / Sunday for example.
If we won a cup it would be the first domestic trophy in close to 70 years. The atmosphere in Newcastle would be incredible. The place would take off. That is something I want to see and be a part of.
I want to just get in the car with my kids, drive 250 miles knowing the place will be going crazy when we get there. Just to be able to say I saw my team win something. Wow!
Best (realistic) signing Newcastle United could make in January?
I think Eddie now has a very good player in every position. I think now it’s maybe a case of adding real quality to the squad.
It’s about adding something that we don’t already have. Maddison for me.