Let’s be honest, that was a disgrace.

And let’s be equally honest, when Pardew, Carver and McClaren did exactly the same as Rafa Benitez over the past six years they got absolutely crucified for it.

There’s a worrying degree of double standards on show this season and a certain willingness from Newcastle fans to turn a blind eye to some managerial decisions, that would have had the previous incumbents getting serious stick.

Although I disagree with throwing a game, which is what the whole club did on Saturday, for the Holy Grail of promotion to the Premier League, I do accept it’s understandable, to an extent. I’m not a total Luddite.

However, I go with the ‘winning games wins more games’ viewpoint. That team at Oxford was never, ever going to win. It’s alright playing a team like Birmingham City, who were even more desperate to lose than we were. When you’re away to a League One team though, with a large and loud crowd behind them, you have to put up a half decent team.

There’s team rotation and there’s mutilation. This was like the team Pardew put out away at Brighton when we got hammered. Sels is totally useless. He cost us the League Cup match at Hull and that rotation policy started our slump through December. This match could do the same. I hope not because I’m not sure we could fend off the chasing pack if it’s prolonged.

Rafa Benitez has to accept criticism. My main complaint though, is that if the manager is going to put out such a team, it should be made very clear in advance so that the fans are not stitched up financially and shown such  arrogant contempt by the club. Then we would all know where we stand and, although we might not agree with it, at least we would not need to be up for the game.

The fans had bought those tickets in good faith and are devoid of criticism from superior know-alls who say ‘well, they knew what might happen’. Guess what, they might have actually thought we’d at least try and win! I know! Who’d have thought that!!?!

This match has brought back some very familiar and unpleasant feelings from the past six years. Unfortunately, Benitez is tainted by this and needs to make sure we put together a decent run to pay back the fans for this shambles.

If he has the power we’ve been told he has, then he needs to make sure some players are brought in by the end of this transfer window. It would be a major gamble to say we don’t need anyone. If  yesterday has shown us anything, it’s that the squad depth is not that deep. He is obviously a step up from all our managers since Sir Bobby Robson but he’s not infallible. He’s not God, or the Messiah. That was Keegan and even he got criticism!

Benitez is a Football Man and should be above the nonsense of yesterday. Now he needs to make sure the fans are treated properly. They were badly let down and only promotion will make this justified.

I don’t think we should be as complacent about achieving that goal as the club and it has to be honestly said, the manager has been yesterday. The fans deserve better.

Despite what many in the media think, we do not have a sense of entitlement. However, we are entitled to respect from our own club. Refunds are in order as a show of goodwill.

(Articles welcome from all Newcastle fans for publication on The Mag – send to [email protected])