Continuing with our fan previews, Ed Harrison from The Newcastle United Blog discusses all things geordie.
Scott: How did you rate 2012-2013 for your club?
Ed: We had a very poor season and finished 5th bottom in the league table, although we reached the quarter finals of the Europa League and went out to a good Benfica side. But after finishing 5th the season before it was a huge disappointment.
Scott: Who was your best player?
Ed: The Newcastle caption – Argentine International Fabricio – and he was out
for a couple of months from February and we struggled – but he came back
for the last three games and we looked much more solid at the back and got
four points. Colo was also voted Player of the Season on the Newcastle United Blog.
Scott: Which player are you expecting most important in 2013-2014?
Ed: When French International Yohan Cabaye is on song Newcastle do well, and he has had a disappointing second half of last season but he’s looked back to his best in pre-season – Yohan is very important to Newcastle and is our major play-maker in the middle of the park.
Scott: If you could take one United player, who would it be?
Ed: Wayne Rooney.
Scott: Are you pleased Fergie’s retired?
Ed: He was a fabulous manager and as Alan Pardew said – his retirement may give the rest of of us a chance.
Scott: Where do you think your club will finish this season?
Ed: In the top eight and maybe in 7th place, but we may not be good enough to qualify for Europe – which is our goal from now on.
Scott: Where do you think United will finish?
Ed: It’s between Chelsea and Manchester United – but it wouldn’t surprise me if new manager David Moyes has the Red Devils winning the league next year – he’s an excellent manager.
Scott: What do you think about the decision to give Pardew such a long contract?
Ed: Good – but as soon as he signed it we went into decline – but I think he’s a good manager and very good with the players – and I hope he will do very well again next season – fingers crossed.
Scott: Where did it go wrong last season after such a strong campaign the year before?
Ed: It was Europe and we just didn’t have the squad in terms of numbers and we sustained lots of injuries too – to our top players like Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Tim Krul, Yohan Cabaye and Ben Arfa – we didn’t have the squad depth to handle that. Hopefully we have learned from the experience.
Scott: What do you think of Obertan?
Ed: When he’s on song he’s a good player – but the Frenchman is just not consistent enough and is a fringe player now at Newcastle, and he may even be sold this summer.