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 20, we spoke to Andrew Cliff, a Newcastle fan and, much like Jack Pattison earlier in the series, we’re unsure what they need, to be honest!
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: Win the league
“We need to get back to where we belong in the Premier League and, although promotion is the main task, winning the league would make the season a little bit sweeter. Considering the team we have and the strength of the league, our only real rivals are Brighton. However, I feel like we have the squad and the manager to take up back up.”
Wish 2: Unlimited transfer budget
“Not so much anymore, but usually, Newcastle don’t spend the amount that we need to either on squad depth or quality. In order to make this a reality, I would love our club to get an unlimited transfer budget. This will solve the problem as we would be able to bring anyone to the club who is interested in joining.”
Wish 3: Expand the ground
“We pretty much sell out our ground week after week and, even then, there’s still no atmosphere. In order to increase this, I think the club needs to expand St James’ Park to get the atmosphere back. If we expand the ground then more fans will come hopefully generating more atmosphere and we’d have a much larger capacity. It would make this year a very special Christmas.”
Do you agree with this list?
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Thank you to Andrew Cliff for contributing today, we’ll see you tomorrow for another member and another wishlist!