Interview with Vital Newcastle
It is always good to interact with out fellow site Editors on Vital Football, we here at Vital Blackburn are more than happy to do so.
This is what Ross Molyneux, the site editor of Vital Newcastle, had to say in response to the questions put to him by Vital Blackburn ahead of the meeting with Newcastle United at St James` Park on Saturday:
I think it would be fair to say that this season has never really got going for you, why is this?
Look at any interview with Glenn Roeder and he'll blame injuries but there's a lot more to it than that. Half way through, after drawing 2-2 at SJP with Man Utd I was reasonably happy with Roeder. However since that game it's been one step forward, three steps back. I'll come to why I really think it's gone wrong further on.
I would suggest injuries haven't helped but you've still often been able to field a side that contained many players boasting transfer fees approaching, if not in double figures in millions! But whom have you missed the most due to injury?
England's Michael Owen has been a massive miss. Whack on 20 goals and a bit of a cutting edge and we'd have been sizing up a decent season at this point. Without him and depending on a youngster in his first season in English football it was always going to be a fire-fighting job.
Things ALWAYS take time to build, but is Glenn Roeder going to be able to do this, is he the right man for Newcastle?
A resounding 'No'. I think he lacks motivational ability, is incapable of dropping big names and egos to shape a team, is totally in Shepherd's pocket and doesn't have anywhere near 50% confidence from the fans, let alone the 100% needed to succeed.
Roeder has spent some BIG money, but not always got the best quality (without being harsh) but who is the best player he has signed both this season and in general?
I think it's a massive myth that Roeder has had a lot of money to sign players. Martins for £10m and Duff for £5m have been his only two cash signings. For us that's pocket change after the £50m Souness threw around like a man with no arms in the same period as manager.
Martins has had a great first season and his goals have kept us up. Definitely value for money and his resale value has risen. They're already linking him as David Villa's replacement at Valencia.
In the same period he's also sold Faye, Boumsong and Chopra and done without Shearer's and England's Michael Owen's wages plus we've had his injury compo money. I don't think he's too far off breaking even to be quite honest. Sibierski has also done really well for a freebie.
What about the worst player he's signed, again both this season and in general?
Duff's been shocking but his worst is Oliver Bernard. We've not actually seen him yet - I think he's dead and they've hidden the body until his contract expires in the summer.
Staying on the subject of Managers, what did you think of Graeme Souness?
Without you having to star out all the expletives - he was like a human wrecking ball smashing into the club. He's set us back 5 years. Say no more than three words? Luque, Bellamy, Boumsong. Sums up his contribution to the club.
Which player(s) do you think Newcastle need to be wary of this weekend?
Bentley, Pedersen and McCarthy stand out but I think Roberts will cause our defence some serious issues. He did when he was at Wigan.
What about us, which player(s) should we watch out for?
Anyone will say England's Michael Owen but I don't think he'll be sharp enough to trouble Samba and Nelsen after his injury just yet (wait until he plays Brazil and Estonia. Look out for Milner - he's been in good form this season.
I ask most this, as I like to find out how people really view Rovers now! Do you think the "brutal, rugby league, beat 'em up" tag Rovers have (or had?) is fair?
Fairweather. I can't understand the fact you've won the Premier League and the League Cup in just over the last decade and you seem to play in front of 10,000 empty seats every week then you look at us and we've won nothing while I've been alive yet we get 52,000 and are expanding to 60,000. Puzzling.
There seems to be a lot less bother with Rovers' physicality with Robbie Savage and Lucas Neill not turning out every week. Another myth overblown by the press, just like us wanting to lose 4-3 rather than win 1-0.
Which Rovers player(s) would you MOST and LEAST like to see in a Newcastle shirt?
Most - Ryan Nelsen, given our constant problems at the back. I think him and Taylor would do well.
Least - Shabani Nonda - Mr Offside himself. Has looked pony this season.
What about the Newcastle player(s) you would happily give to Rovers if you could, and the one(s) you would least like to see leave for Ewood Park?
Most - Kieron Dyer. I hate the little scrote and all he stands for. The club cancer.
Least - Shay Given - a true legend who gives us 10 points a season at least.
One looking at the immediate future now, what changes do you see happening at St James' Park this summer?
Roeder leaving after Watford, Allardyce coming in, rows with Bolton over compo, a massive reshape at the back and the backroom, some of the overpaid egos getting shipped out and the basis for a top six finish next season laid in place. Terry Mac will be using his training cones for 'tramp football' posts down the Benton job centre.
Suddenly though I wake up and see a monotone Roeder press conference about how we'll beat everyone this season, just before losing to Sunderland in our first game. Watch Shepherd scrabbling about for a new boss before appointing Bryan Robson 1 hour before the August transfer window closes. He's a Geordie ye knaa…
You did us 3-1 at Ewood Park earlier in the season so last, but by no means least what is your match prediction for the encounter this time?
A surprisingly open 2-2 draw. Count on Roberts to notch at some stage if you like a punt.
Thanks to Ross for his honest and quality replies.
Keep a look out for my answers to Ross' questions shortly. They will appear on Vital Newcastle soon…
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