Never have I gone into a new football season with such apathy for Newcastle United. I should be excited and looking forward to getting back to SJP after 18 months of fans famine. As I write, we have made no permanent or loan signings. Do we only have one plan? If we don’t manage to back Joe Willock what are our options? Why are we leaving it so late in the transfer market once again? Has Mike Ashley washed his hands of the club (again?) So many questions remain unanswered to date.

Where will NUFC finish?

15th at best. If we can keep Wilson and ASM fit, then we should be fine. How uninspiring of me! If not, we could be in one hell of a relegation scrap.

Who will be NUFC’s stand-out performer?

For excitement, thrills and spills, ASM stands out by a country mile. BUT… my dark horse for top man this season is Jacob Murphy. In his refined role of RWB, he offered us so much towards the back end of the season, and I’d love him to kick on this term.

Will Bruce see the season out?

In Tubby Johnson’s eyes, Bruce is doing what it says on the tin. Safely tucked in 12th last season and a few extra million in the required prize pot sees Ashley a happy man. The fans, however, see it a tad differently. Why should we just be happy to survive? Is Bruce complicit as one of the Ashley stooges? (Well, we know the answer to this!). If we start well and keep our talisman fit, he’ll last the season. Bruce’s tactical (sic) nous, approach to games and general shithouse demeanour means that if we get off to a poor start, then very quickly the fans will not be silenced. It’ll then be down to him to do the honourable thing, pack his bags and piss off into the sunset. If I had to stake my reputation on it, I suggest he’ll be out on his chubby behind.

Who will be Premier League champions?

If Manchester City sign Kane and Grealish, then they should regain the title. They need a striker, that’s obvious. With another striker on board, I can see Chelsea challenging. Manchester United are spending money like water, and they shouldn’t be ruled out.

1 – Manchester City

2 – Chelsea

3 – Manchester United

4 – Liverpool

Who will be relegated?

20th – Norwich: Too leaky defensively and not enough goals. Selling Buendia could be their downfall.

19th – Watford: Another Yo-Yo club. Not enough quality to survive

18th – Crystal Palace: Mistake to hire Vieira, and a huge re-build with so many players out of contract

Paul Karter @peekeekay