Fan Focus: Newcastle

by Kevin Coleman

Today we speak to Paul Zon, Newcastle fan and man behind fan website NUFCblog.org.

What is your greatest hope for the season ahead
That Alan Pardew takes a vow of silence.
And your biggest fear
Selling more key players like Enrique and Barton late in the transfer window, then not finding any adequate replacements.
Thoughts on the club’s summer transfer business
Mixed. I think that we have bought some very good players overall, however we have lost a key one, a Captain, in Nolan and may be losing more before the end of the window.

Who’ll be your most important player this season

Possibly Hatem Ben Arfa. Coloccini’s been a very good defender and is now our new Captain, so possibly him too if he rises to the challenge and Joey Barton if he plays like he did last season rather than just playing out his contract.
And who’s the fan favourite
Joey Barton won the fan’s player of the year on our ‘blog and others for last season, Jose Enrique won the year before but I’m unsure of both now, especially Enrique if he really is desperate to leave. Hatem Ben Arfa seems set to be a fan favourite even though he’s hardly played for the club so far because of his skill and also what happened to him last season too.

Anyone new who we should keep an eye out for

I know I keep mentioning him but Hatem Ben Arfa and the other new signings ie Cabaye, Marveaux and Ba could be interesting too from what I’ve seen of them. Of younger players breaking thrugh, possibly Haris Vuckic if he’s put his injury woes behind him too and he gets a chance. Mehdi Abeid and Shane Ferguson could be another long shot from the youngsters too.

The player you’d pay his taxi fee to his new club

I can’t think of any.
Who do you want to beat most this season?
Silly question for a Newcastle fan, Sunderland of course! ;-)

Opposition players you admire and you despise?

There are lots that I admire, but I’ll say Carlos Tevez as a player, even though he may be moving overseas next season because I always thought he’d be great world player ever since I saw him at the 2004 Olympics. Just in case he does, I’ll also say another Manchester City player, Yaya Toure, because his balance of defensive and attacking midfield skills a rare thing in one player and even though he’s very highly regarded, I still think that he’s underestimated.
Nigel de Jong for his cynical and nasty scissor tackle on Ben Arfa along with other incidents like his Kung Fu kick in the World Cup final, breaking Stuart Holden’s leg etc. I know there’s a bit of a Man City theme developing here!
Have you got the right manager, and what advice would you give him?
I think that Alan Pardew is the perfect manager for the current owner, however I feel that his limitations as a manager at the highest level are obvious and have already been exposed at clubs such as West Ham and Charlton Athletic.
Please stop talking!

And finally, where will you finish?

Ahhh! This is Newcastle so anything could happen, so, I’ll sit on the fence and say mid table.

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