After Sunday’s superb 1-0 victory at Swansea we are back again with the ‘Opposition Opinion’ ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Stoke.
Here we are looking to bring you a view from the other side before each and every game across the season, interviewing an opposing fan to gain their thoughts on NUFC, some insights into their club and their feelings ahead of our upcoming game.
This week we’ve been speaking to Stoke fan Andy, who’s had the following to say ahead of this Saturday’s clash at St. James’ Park:
1) What have you made of your performances so far this season? Interested to know what sort of shape you’re feel Stoke are in coming into this one.
“Traditionally we’ve been really slow starters, but this season, aside from the loss to Everton on the opening day, we’ve looked dangerous and switched on.
“A lot of noise was made from the supporters when Marko Arnautovic left for West Ham, but his replacement, Maxim Choupo-Moting, has been immense up front and on the wing, scoring a brace against Manchester United at the weekend.
“Jése, the other attacking signing we made, has also added a real flair to our attacking options and also scored the winner against Arsenal.
“Darren Fletcher has come across from West Brom and been huge in the midfield. His impression on the club was reflected by him being given the Captain’s arm band on Saturday with Shawcross out injured.
“There was a lot of doom and gloom on the Stoke supporter forums before the season, but on the field this team is arguably the strongest we’ve ever had in the Premier League era.”
2) What do you make of Newcastle’s current side? Who do you perceive to be a threat & is there any weak links in our team that you feel you could exploit?
“I can see Joselu putting at least one past Butland just to show Mark just how much talent he really has!.
“One player that has really impressed me is your young captain Jamaal Lascelles. I think being given the responsibility as captain, especially leading a side that earned promotion, which at such a young age can either make-or-break a career, but he has embraced it.
“I hope you guys can keep hold of him and really build a side around him just like we have with Ryan Shawcross.
“I can’t find any glaring weaknesses in the Newcastle side, you have been scoring goals at a reasonable rate, and been miserly in defence aside from a blip against Tottenham, who will likely be a top 4 team come seasons end.”
3) Likewise, who do you feel are your strengths & weaknesses in the Stoke side – any players to watch out for on Sunday?
“We really bolstered our defence in the transfer period with the signings of Kurt Zouma, Bruno Martins Indi and Kevin Wimmer, and Jack Butland is in “England’s Number 1” form at the moment so we have been pretty solid at the back.
“Likewise, the addition of Choupo-Moting and Jése has really spiced up our forward line.
“We look much more dangerous and creative up front, and they’re only getting better as they get used to the pace of the league and start to gel with the team.”
4) How do you see the match panning out? Score Prediction?
“Recently games between Stoke and Newcastle have been fairly close. The last time we met in the Premier League it took a long range strike from Shaqiri to break the deadlock but before that there were two draws.
“So in complete contrast to that, given our new attacking line and with Joselu having a point to prove, I think the goals will be flowing.
“2-2 for me, and we’ll be happy with an away point.”
5) How do you see both sides faring over the season? Predictions for rough league position?
“I think both of us have line-ups that should keep us clear of a relegation battle.
“I’d like to think Stoke can push for a place in Europe at some point with our new firepower, but realistically I am hoping we can beat our best ever finish of 9th.”
“As for Newcastle I can see you finishing around the same as us, in the middle of the table but hopefully one place behind!”
6) We signed Joselu from you boys over the summer – he’s made a decent impression so far & grabbed a goal on his home doubt against West Ham. What did you make of him during his time at Stoke?
“A lot of Stoke supporters, myself included, were quite sour about Hughes moving him on because we thought he had shown talent despite limited opportunities.
“I personally would have preferred if we held onto him and let him have a string of games to really show us what he could do but I guess the gaffer had other ideas.
“Joss’s winner against Everton a couple of seasons ago was outstanding, but unfortunately he was never really given a run in the team and was starved of opportunities.
“You’ve picked up a great lad and I’m made up for him that he’s getting a decent crack at it.”
An interesting insight ahead of this weekend’s game. We thank Andy for his time, whose given us a taste of what to expect from tomorrow’s opponents, as well as some intruiging opinions on NUFC.
Next week we’ll be bringing you the thoughts of a Brighton fan ahead of our trip to The Amex a week on Sunday.
For now though, let’s hope for a good result tomorrow – HWTL!