The ‘Opposition Opinion’ is back once again this week, with us getting the thoughts of a Man Utd fan ahead of our trip to Old Trafford tonight.
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 Man Utd fan Tim Pearce, with him having the following to say ahead of today’s game:
“We’re in a right mess in fairness!
“Mourinho was once known as a charismatic character and expert tactician but he constantly seems frustrated and defensive when he speaks and his approach seems outdated. I can’t help but feels he’s losing the dressing room too, with Pogba and others looking uninterested and out of form.
“Our work rate has been poor and our attacking threat pretty non existent at times given how good our players are.
“Even defensively we don’t look as good – with us shipping 3 at West Ham in our last league game – and that’s worrying given it’s something Mourinho has often got right.
“We’ve not won a home game since the opening day of the season and have scored just once in our last two in the league at Old Trafford.
“He needs to go. If he doesn’t win this game, he will..and a part of me wants that to happen to we can move on from him.”
Q2) Who are the strengths and weaknesses in your current side? Any ones to watch our for?
“Our strengths should be obvious, but they really aren’t when you watch us..and that sums us up right now.
“The fact that Fellaini seems like one of our biggest threats right now says everything you need to know!”
“Mourinho doesn’t get the best out of Martial or Rashford, yet they’re two exciting young players who have the ability and pace to tear any defence apart. If they play, you may have a problem.
“Pogba needs to pull his socks up. We know how good he can be when he wants to be, but he’s far too casual and turns up when he fancies. When he’s good we tend to be good too, but it’s hard to rely on that happening..and that’s not right when he’s an £80m player!.
“Bailly is by far our best centre-back, but one of our weaknesses is who’ll partner him. Smalling, Lindelof and Jones all worry me. De Gea is top class, but you don’t need me to tell you that. The best goalkeeper in the world by a long way.”
Q3) Who do you see as the strengths and weaknesses in Newcastle’s side?
“I don’t rate that many players in your side, but Benitez’s tactical nous makes up for that.
“Shelvey is brilliant on his day, but he doesn’t seem to have much to work with.
“Perez is overrated, Joselu would struggle to get in most Championship sides and Kenedy seems like a bit of a flash in the pan.
“Ritchie’s work rate always impresses me, as does Yedlin’s pace, but I think we’ll get a lot of joy down their side if Martial or Rashford are going at them.
“Lascelles is quality and Lejeune looked very good to me too when we got beaten at your place last season, so you must be missing him at the back.”
Q4) What sort of game do you think it’ll be and how do you see it panning out? Score prediction?
“We don’t play with nearly enough intensity.
“We’ve been ponderous and predictable at home which makes us pretty easy to defend against.
“That said, I think it may be a case of attack vs defence if some of your recent games are anything to go by. I saw you play Chelsea a few weeks ago and you didn’t even look interested in getting forward.
“For that reason, I’m not that worried about us conceding, so it’ll be 0-0 or 1-0 to us I’d say. The former prediction would get Mourinho sacked, the latter may keep him in a job for one more week..”
Q5) How do you see both sides faring over the season? Predictions for rough league position?
“I can’t lie, I’m not even sure we’ll get in the top 4 at this rate..and missing out on that and Champions League football would be an absolute disaster.
“I’ll say 5th for us if things don’t change quickly.
“As I’ve said, I don’t think you’ve got nearly enough going forward to seriously compete in this league, but Benitez is a top class manager and he’ll see you over the line.
“I saw a few fans claiming he needs to go…my response to that is be careful what you wish for! You won’t get better than him and you’d be relegated by April without him.
“I fancy you to finish 16th.”
A big thanks to Tim for taking some time this week to speak with us this week.
Next up will be the thoughts of a Brighton fan ahead of what promises to be a huge game at St James’ Park in two weeks time.