Another season, another run of disappointments.
What a fortnight. Dangled a carrot of hope, crushed as we limped out of the premiership and then we all turned to each other to ask ‘where has this been all season’, as the Newcastle players completely demolished an inept Spurs side in the final, meaningless game of the season.
I had said jokingly before the Spurs game that it would be just like our lot to go out and hammer Spurs…but I never thought they actually would. Many of us have suggested there was some shop window incentive; I just think the players don’t react well when there is expectation or when there isn’t a big game to get hyped for.
If the fans are left with this impression it is because that is what has been evident all season.
Pulling out two points from Man City and Liverpool that we had no right to, given our run of form, and then failing to beat one of the worst sides in premier League history in Aston Villa.
If the Newcastle players can’t motivate themselves for the less glamorous games then it doesn’t bode well heading into games away at the likes of Ipswich, Brentford and Preston does it?
Despite various differences of opinion around these parts in terms of which Newcastle players to get rid of and which to keep, I think the one thing all of us agree on now is that Rafa needs to stay. Whatever it takes in terms of budget, staff and control, Mike Ashley needs to loosen the reins and allow this guy to give us the best shot at coming straight back up.
The last time we went down we spent nothing. We gave an untried manager the hot seat and it all came good, Ashley cannot think the same slice of luck is coming this time around surely. There needs to be a clean out of dead wood and some experience and bottle injected into the side.
I expect the likes of Wijnaldum, Sissoko and Janmaat to head the queue at the door looking to move on, hopefully Cisse, Coloccini and a few others will join them. They have been the poorest of the poor for the simple reason that they HAVE the talent and failed to use it because they have such poor attitudes.
The likes of Dummett may come in for some stick now and again but the one thing he does is give his all every game and never shirks his responsibility. That is the backbone we need to build on for next season.
It will also be interesting to see what happens with Andros Townsend in particular, given his form and England call-up, clubs will be interested but there are positive noises about him staying…that can only be good if he does. He is the sort of player you can build promotion on the back of if he can get support and maintain his commitment down there.
Lascelles and Mbemba offer a good partnership which can only get better but there are new faces required to bolster a defence that needs to be tough next season.
All in all, great news that Rafa is considering staying, I will keep my fingers and toes crossed for the news we all want to hear. If Carr goes (as has been mentioned) then I can only applaud Ashley for finally seeing the light and jettisoning that waste of space.
Time will tell if we can start to look forward to next season, or if it is all just a smokescreen to maintain season ticket numbers ahead of the new campaign. As with everything at this club, you never can tell!