So here we go, the Rafa Benitez revolution has started and I  have said it so many times before – I absolutely trust in what he is doing, along with the overwhelming majority of Newcastle fans that I speak to.

I truly believe the likes of Sissoko will go, but I also very much believe that he will stick to the press quoted price tags…..and why not?

Andros Townsend bailed out because he has a clause in his contract, Shelvey no doubt has something similar in his contract, but the one thing Tufty and Penfold got right was ensuring other supposedly bigger signings had no such clauses inserted!

That said, I do believe we will lose Sissoko, Winladum and as it looks like a right back is coming in, possibly Janmaat as well. All good players but in the case of the first two mentioned they go missing too often, and as for Janmaat, a really good player but often suffered from a Steven Taylor type of rashness.

So what have we bought in?

I have to be honest and say that I knew nothing about the goalkeeper, I was not even sure we needed one, but Rafa knows best. Dwight Gayle, he had a few In front of him at Crystal Palace but I am convinced that under Rafa he will prove to be a very shrewd signing., welcome indeed!

Matt Ritchie excites me, Eddie Howe has made no secret of the fact he wanted to keep him at Bournemouth, but he has seen the bigger picture and wanted a bigger stage, he now has one and over the next few years he could become a huge SJP favourite. He has the ability to go past a full back on either side, a canny shot on him, ability to pick out a decent pass and a good work ethic. Ok, I admit I am building him up to be another Messi and of course he is not, but he will do for me!

Elsewhere ‘Gallowgate Flags’ (Newcastle fans group using crowd funding to produce NUFC flags)  is interesting me and it would seem the club is also very keen on the idea. Combining that with the now sold out unofficial singing section (Strawberry Corner) that is extending further into the Gallowgate, then SJP might just be a better place this coming season. I for one can’t wait to both see and hear these excellent initiatives, well done to all involved.

It would seem the club is at last under Mike Ashley recognising that the Newcastle fans are actually an integral part of the club, not that I am crediting Ashley in any way shape or form, I feel it is simply the feel good factor that the Rafa revolution has created.

Pre-season is now almost upon us and while I would have liked to have gone to Dublin or Belgium, I will have to settle for a Tuesday evening trip to Southend – canny easy as I am conveniently working close by on that date. Mind I will have to keep a low profile should a certain Mr Ranger still be there, hope he does not bear grudges from a few years back…..

So what else is happening…well we are out of Europe, no not the Brexit vote, just the fact Roy’s boys could not beat Iceland (I wonder  how they would have got on against Tesco or Asda…). Woy then walked and now I wait with little interest who the next manager will be…….just Leave Rafa alone!

Given the style of non-football England play, it is definitely a job more for the likes of him from down the road than for anyone with a real footballing ethic. Hump and clatter football……there is a job for you Big Sam.

That said I would rather you carried on inflicting your own brand of miserableness on our friends from down the road. Ask any West Ham fans what they think of you, for that matter ask us, the biggest job you ever had and you were completely out your depth as ‘you don’t know what your doing’ regularly echoed around SJP. Despite what has happened since, I for one thank Ashley for peddling you.

Nine days until the first pre-season fixture and for once, this twisted bitter middle-aged cynic is full of optimism.

Even better, for once this is not deluded blind loyalty but a genuine feel good factor because one man made a decision that surprised most of us and  lifted our defiant despair from relegation, to what 99% of us feel now.

I now await the 1% of doom and gloom merchants to pounce on my words.

Happy Summer to us all.

NUFC Art Prints -