Newcastle Up Next
A trip to St James' Park, that's just what this weekend called for!
With thanks to TNMW of Talk of The Tyne.
1) Is the season going as you expected and what has been the highlight and lowlight so far?
The season hasn't settled down yet but we're a good side which hasn't hit top form at all. We're still in a competitive position and once the next win comes, I expect us to kick on. Highlights, the Spurs home win was an improvement on last year but I suppose the official name change back to St James' Park means the media have to call it by the name that we did anyway.
2) Are you pleased with the transfer dealings of the club?
A difficult question to answer truthfully. On one hand we expected to buy a couple of quality squad players to enable us to rotate up front and at the back but the way in which our owner doesn't get bullied into paying inflated prices has to be admired. One of our targets, Matheu Debuchy had his price changed by his club, so we backed off. I expect us to go back in or him in January as well as buy one or two more.
3) Where do you see your current weaknesses this season? Any clues for the game will be greatly appreciated :-)
Our weakness is strength in depth at the back but if our first XI plays next week then I'll be happy.
4) Who will be your key dangerman?
Take your pick from Ba, a fired up returning Cisse, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Jonas Gutierrez.
5) Who is your star signing of the summer?
We didn't really buy anyone of note. A couple of youngsters with Gael Bigiramana a star of the future along with Romain Amalfitano. I suppose the highest profile signing was Vurnon Anita from Ajax but there was no big news conference or parading of a trophy signing like years ago.
The biggest statement we made was keeping hold of our blue chip brigade.
6) Where do you see Albion finishing this season?
I see WBA finishing in the 2nd tier. The positions between 8th and 14th. probably near the top of this tier. Although I'm wise enough to know that there is always a surprise team and it may be them. Still early days.
7) What do you think of the appointment of Steve Clarke to what is his first management job?
At first I thought that he was a cert to be the first man sacked but he's had a good start so far. Obviously he will be judged on results but ultimately any crisis's that crop up may be harder to deal with due to the lack of experience and the fans may be quick to shout for his head. I don't really know how the fans feel about him, so ignore this claim if I'm way off the mark.
8) If you could take one of our players, who would it be and why?
I know he's not yours but it would have to be Lukaku. He would be excellent feeding off the passes of Cabaye.
9) Who do you see as our main threat?
Lukaku and Shane Long mainly because it's a game where the pressure is off and between them they've scored a few goals already.
10) What weaknesses in our team do you think you'll be looking to exploit?
All over the pitch to be honest. I'm not saying that WBA are weak in any area but we are the home team with a 50,000 plus crowd. Our pace, power and will to crack on after the derby draw should see us in good stead.
11) Finally, a prediction please fellow football fan...
Last year's game was a strange one and our side will be reminded about it all week in training as we should have been better. Our defence has been strengthened with the return of our keeper and first choice central defence pairing. Tim Krul, Coloccini and Steven Taylor and Papis Cisse will be chomping at the bit to be involved.
I can't see anything but a home win, although know that surprises do happen.
3-1 to NUFC, soz mate.
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