This time last year, my beloved Newcastle United had a manager who was not up to the job and was struggling to manage a team – who with the size of our support, our reputation and our stadium, should be a top eight club.

Fast forward to December 2016 and we have a world class manager and a team of players who have togetherness, determined to get us back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Never in our lifetime have we seen such regular fifty thousand Championship home crowd. The Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest games are sold out over the Christmas period and that is down to the feel good factor which is back on Tyneside and it is great to see.

There is still a long way to go but I am delighted that as a Newcastle United fan I can sleep a lot easier at night now, with the owner and managing director allowing Rafa to make the football decisions at the club.

No longer do we have the interference and dithering which allowed top players to slip through our fingers, or excuses that we failed to get players over the line.

Ritchie, Gayle, Clark and Atsu have been great additions and Lazaar and Gamez have looked good when called upon. With the promise of further funds available in January, things are looking on the up..

Long may it continue and thank you to Rafa and the players for bringing respectability back to the club.

Last season was just a huge disaster from start to finish, lurching from crisis to outright devastation.

This season, if it were to be summed in one word, it is, recovery.

Rafa Personalised Gifts  - shop.themag.co.uk