The ‘Opposition Opinion’ is back once again this week, with us getting the thoughts of a Southampton fan ahead of our trip to St Mary’s today.
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 Saints fan Andrew Metzelaar (@AndrewMetzelaar), with him having the following to say ahead of today’s crucial game on the south coast:
Q1 – What have you made of your start to the new season and What short of shape are you guys in coming into this game?
‘Out start to the season has been awful – despite not being in the relegation zone we have played poorly and have not won any game the games we should have done.
‘We defended better last week but we can’t seem to defend well and attack well in the same game.’
Q2) – I saw a stat saying you’d won just ONCE in the league at St Mary’s since November 2017. Why do you struggle so much at home?
‘I have no idea why we struggle so much at home.
‘It seems we had a poor run of games a couple of years ago and the crowd has now turned mostly negative. This I think affects the players and we end up panicking during the game itself.’
Q3) – Who are the strengths and weaknesses in your current side? Any ‘ones to watch’ (for good or for bad) that most NUFC fans wouldn’t know about from watching you on Match of the Day?
‘Our strength is our goalkeeper, McCarthy and Hojbjerg in midfield – they have both been stand out performers for awhile now.
‘Our weak links in my opinion are our wingers (Redmond and Elyounoussi) and our centre backs who can’t win anything in the air!’
Q4) – Which players do you see as the strengths and weaknesses in Newcastle’s side?
‘For Newcastle I believe your Dubravka is fairly decent and you have a couple of good striking options – I like the look of that Muto, he has good movement and I think he will get better.
‘Weak link I’m not too sure about. If I was saying anyone I would say Ciaran Clark but not sure if he’s a starter.’
Q5) – What sort of game do you think it’ll be and how do you see it panning out? Score prediction?
‘I think it will be a nervy game.
‘I can see saints going 1-0 up through possibly Ings but then bottling it as normal in the last 10 minutes or so.
‘I think we will control the game (we nearly always do) but not be clinical enough.’
Q6) – With is currently bottom of the pile, we’re already hoping there’s three worse than us come May next year. Do you think you could go down? Which three sides do you see being relegated?
‘We could definitely go down. After playing Newcastle we have a run of tough fixtures and could easily be cut adrift by the new year.
‘I can see Huddersfield, Cardiff and either us or Newcastle relegated.’
Q7) – If you could sign one player from this NUFC side, who would you like to see Mark Hughes go for?
‘I believe we could do with a big target man similar to what Lambert used to be for us, so would like somebody like Rondon, or even Joselu just to bring that different option.’
Q8) – Finally, if you had our two squads to choose from and were asked to pick the best possible side, what would you starting 11 be?
‘I think the best 11 would be McCarthy, Bertrand, Vestergaard, Lacelles, Yedlin, Hojbjerg, Shelvey, Kenedy, Redmond, Ings, Muto.
‘A good mix of both teams as we are both fairly poor as one team.’
A big thanks to Andrew for taking some time this week to speak with us this week.
Based on his prediction that it could be either Southampton or Newcastle that joins Cardiff and Huddersfield in getting relegated, this really does show what a massive game this could turn out to be.
Next up will be the thoughts of a Watford fan ahead of next weekend’s game at St James’ Park.