Newcastle United visit Elland Road on Saturday in one of three games left for Leeds to save their Premier League status – and we spoke to Geordie Boot Boys lead writer James Rutherford about Eddie Howe’s impressive side.
The Toon, of course, are flying high and look good for Champions league qualification in what has been a very impressive 22-23 season. We discussed Big Sam, Tyler Adams links to Newcastle and his thoughts about Saturday.
Are you confident Newcastle can stay in third? Favourites for Saturday?
I wouldn’t say confident, but it is certainly in our hands. It depends how we handle the Leeds and Leicester, two sides fighting for survival. Third or fourth, it doesn’t matter. As long as we’re in the Champions League next season.
In all honesty, no. I’m not confident about the trip to Elland Road. We haven’t done well in the early KO. Allardyce factor makes it even more of a conundrum. Depends how we manage the crowd, we did it brilliantly at Everton.
Who’s been your best player this season?
Player of the season is a difficult one, as we have had so many standout performers. I’m going to say Joelinton (who is said to be a doubt this weekend), who has continued to excel in the middle whilst also impressing out wide.
Howe has relied on his versatility a lot, and he has enjoyed his best ever season in front of goal – which says a lot about the days when he was a faltering lone striker wearing the number nine, Rutherford continued.
What happens this summer? Newcastle linked with Tyler Adams…
This summer totally depends on whether or not we qualify for the Champions League. If we do, it could be extremely exciting. There are a lot of reports that we will splash the cash if we finish in the top four.
As for Tyler Adams, he’s a player I like and was really impressed with at St James’ Park earlier in the season. However, it would be a real surprise to see him move to Newcastle ahead of next season.
How long does Eddie Howe have in charge at SJP?
Hopefully Howe is here for a very long time. The perfect fit. We could easily go and get a massive name, but that is not what we need. He’s created a real ‘us against the world’ mentality. Fans and players have bought into it.
Thoughts on your old manager Big Sam, as outsider looking in?
In fairness to Allardyce, his tenure at Newcastle ended prematurely, which Mike Ashley did admit. He didn’t get long enough to show what he was truly capable of – although the pay off he got meant he probably didn’t care.
Mad appointment. He’s already started with the usual Big Sam schtick in the media. I find it unbearable, regardless of his time on Tyneside. If he keeps Leeds up, he will tell you it was his genius. If you go down, it won’t be his fault.