How do you even begin to try and talk about the current situation at Newcastle United at the moment?
It’s baffling but yet clear, laughable but yet not funny, unfathomable but yet predictable.
To put it bluntly, it’s quite frankly fucking disgusting.
To be a fly on the wall within the inner discussions behind the scenes at St James’ is something all fans wish they could be right now. Not just to find out exactly what is going on and not having to read the amount of speculation floating around but mainly to hear what justification is being giving for the actions of these sly and devious bandits.
Again, Newcastle United has become the laughing stock of the country. Some fans from other clubs get it. They sympathise with what is going on, others only mock. They use that lazy stereotype that all Newcastle fans are fickle and think they should be signing the best players and playing in the Champions League and challenging for the league. 98% of Newcastle fans don’t think like that.
Unfortunately, the 2% that do always seem to do them interviews on Sky Sports News and have Twitter accounts which they relentlessly tweet from. As the banner at St James’ said ‘We don’t demand a team that wins, we demand a team that tries’. Under Rafa Benitez we have exactly that.
We have a togetherness.
We have a bond.
We are United.
Who would of ever thought, 2 and a half seasons after Rafa walked into Newcastle that we would still be suffering from Groundhog Day. A manager of his calibre was quite clearly given promises and assurances of how things would happen if he stayed at the club following relegation. At first, they were backed up. He got us promoted. More promises were made. They weren’t delivered. One year later, we are still in exactly the same position. That speaks volumes for the type of man Rafa Benitez is. His sense of responsibility to the supporters and the people of Newcastle is amazing. I can’t think of many other men that would of went through this for Newcastle. Maybe only Sir Bobby. Kevin Keegan couldn’t do it, he tried but it even got the better of him.
What got the better of him? Well that would be Mike Ashley and his Merry Men. The ones that exist in a parallel universe. Not like Robin Hood who would steal from the rich to give to the poor. This bunch steal from the poor and give fuck all away. Like a bunch of bad Tories.
I’m not going to go into all the things they have done wrong. I’ve given the Chronicle and it’s reporters plenty of stick in the past but Mark Douglas produced a superb article summing up all of the issues with Mike Ashley which you should all read.
So why do we find ourselves in this exact same position again this summer. Well that would be Mike and the Merry Men again. But, in slight contradiction to what I said earlier, I’m going to speculate on the reason why. For me, I think it’s one of two reasons:
I’m noting this as an option while I still have a shred of optimism left in me. Are they not signing players for decent money on decent contracts because they want the club to look more attractive to a potential buyer? It would make sense in a way. However, a team scrapping at the bottom end of the table in threat of relegation is not an attractive option. Old saying; speculate to accumulate.
Rafa Benitez’s Contract
I don’t think it takes a genius to work out that the current situation is related to this. A massive game of hardball being played between the owner and the manager. The owner wants commitment before releasing funds. The manager wants commitment before signing the contract. An inch isn’t being given on either side so it’s stalemate. I would never blame the manager for this due to the history of broken promises and lack of ambition.
Can you imagine Rafa trying to sign a player now. The first question they are going to ask is whether he is going to be here for the duration of their contract. They don’t want to sign a long term deal to be playing for the calibre of manager we have had in the past. They are signing for the club to play for Rafa Benitez.
The trouble with Mike Ashley is he doesn’t learn lessons and he doesn’t like anybody telling him what to do. He does things his way in business and if it doesn’t go his way he reacts badly. He isn’t going to back down. He’s rich enough to follow through in this way too. So why hire a manager of the quality of Rafa then? A manager who has never failed. But a manager who has his own ways of doing things and is not the ‘yes man’ type we have had since Chris Hughton was peddled. This relationship was never going to be rosy. His gamble that the quality of Rafa alone will keep Newcastle in the Premier League is a risky one but one he is obviously prepared to take.
But this is football. This isn’t business. It doesn’t work the same. The buy low, sell high ethos doesn’t work in football. For Newcastle to ever be a success then Mike needs to change or leave. Simple as that.
His way of divide and conquer will not work while Newcastle have Rafa. The fans will never turn against him because he tells them the truth. He doesn’t peddle the corporate bullshit of Pardew or McClaren.
Mike and his Merry Men are like a disease. A terminal illness. Newcastle United is infected with this disease. Like when a family member is suffering with an illness, you support them. You love them. You try and help them as much as possible. Rafa is like the Doctor. Trying to cure the illness. But this illness is a rare strain. One which doesn’t just infect one person, it also infects everybody around it too. We as fans all have this illness too. We are poisoned by this man.
In a variation of the aforementioned banner ‘We don’t demand an owner that spends, we demand an owner with ambition’;
We don’t want to stand still either.
Move forward or fuck off.