Welcome, a very merry TFFmas from all of us here at the blog. As we head into the holiday season, there is plenty to look forward to both on the pitch and off it and we are looking forward to the month ahead. This December we will be running the 25 Days of TFFmas, every day up until the big day we will be we are publishing Christmas wishlists from members of our team for what they would like their club to get for Christmas.
On day 17, we spoke to TFF Newcastle writer Joe Buck about his Christmas wishlist for Newcastle. We have in fact already spoken to TFF Newcastle Manager Jack Pattison, find out if they agree or if they’ll be some inner conflict by clicking here.
Newcastle are a club on the way back. Last season they suffered the pain of relegation, paying the ultimate price for years of stagnation. The club were unable to prevent their gradual decline and to make things worse, their relegation was confirmed by their arch-rivals Sunderland beating Everton. There is little doubt in the footballing community that if Rafa Benitez was appointed earlier they would have survived. However, it was not to be and Rafa’s renaissance was too late. Newcastle then set to work rebuilding their squad, Wijnaldum, Sissoko and Cisse plus other big money flops were shipped out and fresh faces including proven Championship quality players were brought in such as Matt Ritchie, Mo Diame and Dwight Gayle, incredibly, their net spend was +£29m. After an early blip, two defeats in the first two matches, Newcastle hit their stride and haven’t looked back since. They put together a nine-game unbeaten run in the league and sit at the top of the Championship destined to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking. They also had a good run in the EFL Cup, although they will be disappointed to go out 3-1 on penalties to Hull in the quarter-finals after pushing them so hard throughout the 120 minutes. While in the FA Cup they begin this year’s adventure with a tricky away tie against Birmingham.
Wish 1- A new Number 10
Newcastle may sit top of the Championship but one area they could improve is consistency of team selection. Newcastle’s squad is so packed that Rafa Benitez is forced into a policy of constant rotation or he risks having serious unrest in the dressing room. This season, the likes of Ayoze Perez, Mo Diame and Dwight Gayle have all played in the number 10 role, however, “We need a player who can score and create goals as Diame and Perez simply aren’t doing it enough and are going missing in games. Maybe Frank Lampard would be that man to come from MLS to play under Rafa.”
Wish 2- Newcastle to get the credit they deserve
It is certainly true that because of their good run this season, Newcastle have attracted their fair share of critics from other Championship fans. Above all, the nearly £60m spent has drawn claims that the club are buying the league. This is despite the fact that the sales of Sissoko, Wijnaldum and Townsend more than made up for the club’s outlay over the summer. “Championship fans claim we are buying the league even though we made £30million profit in the summer. Stop whining and give us some credit for storming the league please.”
Wish 3- Rafa to stay forever
Based on Jack Pattison’s answers, this clearly is a popular wish amongst the Geordie faithful. “Rafa will retire. No one wants to see that. He has transformed 52,000 grown men into boy band style fans as we all follow this man (God). He is the best thing to happen to the whole club this millennium and a great things are ahead for this huge club.”
Do you agree with this list?
Follow us on Twitter @OfficialTFF and while you’re at it, give Joe a follow @16joebuck. You can also find us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/thefootballforecast) and Instagram (thefootballforecast). Feel free to message us on any platform and let us know your thoughts!
Thank you to Joe Buck for contributing today, we’ll see you tomorrow for another member and another wishlist!