The Opposition Opinion – Cardiff (A) – “We aren’t as unattractive to the eye as some think..”

Following our opening day defeat to Spurs. the ‘Opposition Opinion’ is back once again this week, with us getting some thoughts from Wales ahead of today’s trip to newly promoted Cardiff

As ever, we are looking to bring you a view from the other side before this week’s game, interviewing an opposing fan to gain their opinions on NUFC, some insights into their own side and their thoughts on of our upcoming match.

This week we’ve been speaking to Cardiff fan Barry Murphy (@BMurphy1981) , with him having the following to say ahead of their first home game of the 2018/19 Premier League season:

Q1 – What short of shape are you guys in coming into this game? Are you happy with your summer and your opening day performance away at Bournemouth?

“Our summer started with 4 early signings, all from the championship which didn’t worry me as they all had good reputations.

“We then waited til dealine day to add 2 midfielders, one being Harry Arter who I’m very pleased with.



“Bournemouth was always going to be tough as they are now established PL quality and we had 3 first teamer’s out.

“We should be nearer full strength for the Newcastle game and will have a near sell out crowd behind us.

“Our home form will be the key this season…”

Q2) You mention that you had three first teamer’s out of last weekend’s game at Bournemouth. Who were they and what will they give you on their return?

“Striker Kenneth Zohore who will have more of a presence upfront. We played Bobby Reid up top last Saturday who is maybe best suited playing off a big striker.

“Loanee Harry Arter couldn’t play as we played his parent club. He will add premiership experience and comes with a very good reputation.

“Also, Aron Gunnarson who adds plenty of steel to the midfield. 

“Gunnarson & Arter being ruled out meant we had to play Sol Bamba in midfield. He is a centre back..at best!”

Q3) After a few years in the Championship, there’ll be quite a few NUFC fans who aren’t too familiar with your side and your style of play. With this in mind, what are your strengths and weaknesses both as a team and individually?

“Our “direct” style of play has been well documented but we aren’t as unattractive to the eye as some people think. However…set pieces are a big strength along with the danger we possess out wide.

“Captain Sean Morrison is a huge leader, Junior Hoilett out wide is a danger and new boy Murphy from Norwich has looked a real talent in pre-season.

“As for “worst” players, thats a matter of opinion. However my “unpopular” view is that Sol Bamba is not good enough to play centre back in the premiership. He gets pulled out of position far too much for my liking.”

“Predicted XI – (4-2-3-1) – Etheridge – Peltier,  Morrison, Bamba, Bennett – Arter, Ralls – Hoilett, Reid, Murphy – Zohore.”

Q4) Interesting that you mention Josh Murphy as someone who’s really impressed in pre-season. We signed his brother Jacob from Norwich for £10m last summer, but he really struggled on his first year in the Premier League. He wasn’t given too many chances, but he looked like a rabbit in the headlights and still VERY raw when given the chance. What is it that’s impressed you so much about Josh?

“He has genuine pace and an eye for goal which stands him in good stead for the Premiership. He scored five goals in pre-season and was our best player over the summer friendlies.

“Pre-season friendlies are a different ball game to Premier league football though so time will tell.

“Norwich fans did say he can be inconsistent so…”

Q5) What do you make of the Newcastle side you’ll be facing today? Is there any players you’re wary of and any you feel Cardiff can get at?

“I watched the game against Spurs on Saturday and was impressed.

“You looked good going forward but do think our wingers can cause problems for your full backs.

“Our right back Peltier struggles against pace so Kenedy could enjoy himself!”

“Shelvey pulls the strings in midfield but ill never give him positive comments due to his Sw*nsea links!

“Lascelles is genuine quality and a good leader, Rondon always led the line well for West Brom and Matt Richie is a constant danger out wide – I’ve always been a fan of his.”

Q6) I heard bad things about your opening day display at Bournemouth. You will of course be trying to put that right today, but do you think the hope and fears from home fans on your first home game back will be a big help or a potential hinderance?

“I think we took 45 mins to settle but then had chances 2nd half to equalise before they scored their second.

“To be fair to this team, they reacted well to pressure last season and we’ll still have that spirit.

“One thing i learned from last time in the premiership however, is once you go a goal behind, its not easy to get back into it..”

“The fans will be electric though. The atmosphere should be superb.”

Q7) What sort of game do you think it’ll be and how do you see it panning out? Score prediction?

“It will be physical but we will use our wide men as much as possible.

“We need early points on the board and I feel quite confident of pinching a late 2-1 victory.

“Wouldn’t be surprised to see all goals coming from set pieces or crosses out wide.

“I’d take a draw just to get a point in the board!”

Q8) And finally, how do you see both sides faring over the season? Predictions for rough league position?

“I’d be happy with 17th. It’ll be tough but i don’t fear anyone outside of last seasons top 6.

“I don’t see us being in anything other than a relegation dog fight but we will all be happy with surviving any way we can.

“As for Newcastle, I see a similar sort of season to last year – if not slightly worse after a lack of spending. 

“If Ashley had invested more in the summer then Rafa could really have done something this season.

“Predictions – Cardiff 17th. Newcastle 15th. “

Another interesting read, with it seeming as though Cardiff might be right at both on and off the pitch ahead of their first home game back after five years away.

A big thanks to Barry for taking some time this week to speak with us this week!

Next up will be the thoughts of a Chelsea fan ahead of their trip to St James’ Park next Sunday.

HWTL!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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