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Summer Break – Newcastle United

It has become something of a received wisdom within the present day that the mainstream media exist as the pinnacle of what is possible in sports journalism. Whilst it is not in our interest to reject this assumption, here at A Team of John O’Sheas we believe that some of the most perceptive insight regarding the top teams in the country comes from the fans themselves.

In the course of this podcast series, we will be bringing together some of the most influential fans from across the Premier League to give you the low-down on the teams that they watch week in, week out. We’ll look back over the season just gone, try to get a handle on the transfer activity that rumbles on through the summer months, and look forwards to the next season which, as always, seems to creep up on us with ever increasing speed.

In this episode, we’re heading up to the North East to the only remaining Premier League team in the area. With both Middlesbrough and Sunderland falling out of the division last season, Newcastle United passed them on the way back up having spend time doing penance in the Championship following a woeful season the year earlier. Despite managing to hold onto their manager, Rafael Benitez, Newcastle made harder work of the Championship than they might have liked, only topping the table as a result of Brighton failing to win on the final day: an achievement only made less impressive on the realisation that the club spent a massive £57 million in the summer transfer window before the season began. This summer, the Magpies’ spending antics have been somewhat more muted, with only a smattering of players brought in from markets around Europe. The question is: will this be enough for the club to make a solid return to the Premier League? Or will there be some yo-yoing before they get there?

Joining us on the show today is a well-known face in the world of Newcastle United fandom: Emil Franchi. A devoted Toon fan who has followed the club through thick and thin, he also writes for the fanzine “Black, White and Daft”. When he’s not following Newcastle, he works as a DJ for Rather Good Radio where he has developed a wonderful radio voice which breaks through on occasion in the course of this episode.

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