Around The Block - Aaron RamsdaleOct 2
Newcastle Fan’s Premier League Season Preview
After a year marred by off-the-field speculation around takeover bids, The Magpies will be hoping to break into the top 10 this campaign.
Ahead of a brand new season of Premier League football on BT Sport, we spoke to fans of each and every team about their expectations for what lies ahead over the next nine months.
We had some dreadful performances last season so I’d just like to see us avoid another relegation battle.
All Newcastle supporters like to see entertaining football but we haven’t seen that for a while. My main hope is that Steve Bruce gives more young players a chance this season.
We’ve got a very good youngster called Elliot Anderson who played a couple of times off the bench but then got injured.
It would be great if we gave him, and other youngsters, a chance to take the game to the opposition rather than persist with this negative, nervous style of play.
I don’t think there was one game in the Premier League last season where we had more possession than the other team! Against teams like Man City that’s fine but not against teams like Brighton.
I’ve got some hope that Graeme Jones’ influence might begin to bear fruit. He was part of Gareth Southgate's coaching squad at Euro 2020 and is very highly regarded in the game.
I can’t say I’m particularly looking forward to the season. Fear and anxiety has become the norm under Mike Ashley's leadership and I worry it will be much the same as last season.
If we have a bad start I worry the players could lose confidence and fans will quickly get on their backs... Bruce was lucky there were no supporters last season in a way.
In terms of the team, I feel a bit sorry for Joelinton. He’s just not a goalscorer. If everyone watching at home can see it then why can’t the management?
There's always concerns about Callum Wilson's fitness and his ability to stay injury-free for the whole season.
I worry about Allan Saint-Maximin going. He’s been one of our only shining lights for a while now and I wouldn’t be surprised if Ashley decided to cash in.
But most of all I seriously fear the drop. When Sunderland got relegated they dropped into the second tier and then just went into freefall. We have bounced back twice from relegation but I’m not sure we’d be as lucky a third time.
Most important player
Allan Saint-Maximin. He can be frustrating sometimes but at least he has a go and tries to drive into the opposition box.
My only criticism is his final ball is a bit wayward but he’s still learning the game.
If he stays and he's able to link up with the likes of Miguel Almiron and Callum Wilson then we might have a chance of staying up.
But my concern is if Wilson gets injured then where will the goals come from?
Matty Longstaff. He's got a bit of everything: pace, vision... the only thing he lacks is confidence.
He needs to be given a run in the team to let him find his feet and hopefully he will get that from Graeme Jones because I’ve got no faith in the rest of the coaching staff!
I’d like to see Bruce commit to him and give him some game time to show what he can do.
What I’ve missed the most
Not a lot, to be honest with you!
Too often the atmosphere at St James' Park was unbearably toxic when fans were allowed to attend games.
Even my favourite bar's gone! I used to meet up with friends at the same pub each week for a pint before the game but that pub is closed now because of Covid.
Despite all that, I have to say I am looking forward to being back in the stadium - but I can’t say I'm tingling with anticipation!
I'm just hopeful that there will be three worse teams than us!
I've been impressed with Brentford under Thomas Frank so we need the likes of Watford, Norwich and Brighton to struggle again.
It wouldn’t surprise me if we just wallow in the bottom three but I’m hoping for 17th.
You’d hope the experience of a relegation battle last season will serve the players well, but it also might just have ground them down.