It was 30 years ago when 9 1/2 weeks hit the film screens, a ‘raunchy’ movie featuring Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger.
Three decades later, Newcastle United are set for a remake of that 80s hit, though the starring roles this time have Lee Charnley as the ‘lead’ and Steve McClaren & Rafa Benitez vying for joint top billing.
Thankfully Lee Charnley is not believed to have any access to ice cubes but on the other hand his (lack of) acting has so far been painful to watch.
Actually, he appears to be more suited to the silent movie era, as even Mike Ashley has more speaking parts than Newcastle United’s MD.
It is widely claimed that negotiations have taken place over the last couple of days to try and make Rafa Benitez the new Newcastle manager, the reports may be widespread but facts/quotes are pretty much non-existent in backing the story up.
Somebody, no doubt Ashley’s spin doctor, Keith Bishop, is feeding ‘info’ to journalists, but whether that is to warm up fans in advance of a change really happening, or simply to make it appear that they are serious about appointing a credible manager, is obviously just guesswork (the same as 99.9% of what the media are saying.
Things became even more farcical when the press then carried a line saying that negotiations with Rafa Benitez were not being carried out by Lee Charnley but an intermediary (body double?), as though any of us would have honestly thought that in reality he actually did anything as high level as that, rather than being the stooge/Aunt Sally we’ve all come to know and ‘love’.
Wednesday saw the latest bizarre scenes played out in public, as the club (obviously) told Sky Sports that a crunch meeting was to be held at St James Park between the current co-stars, Charnley and McClaren.
This much awaited scene was trailered all day by Sky Sports and the rest of the media, only for Steve McClaren to fluff his lines and drive home instead after training.
Attempting to salvage the ‘credibility’ of their story, the media then claimed that the meeting hadn’t taken place but the co-stars had talked on the phone AND the meeting was only deleayed by 24 hours. Nothing like dragging out a good storyline…
Thursday morning sees no concrete quotes or information yet again, just claims that hurdles to be overcome between Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United are issues such as length of contract, ability to bring in his own backroom staff and a quite radical idea of being able to choose which players are bought and sold.
We could all have written up those as the reasons for any story about a potential credible manager that would be approached, particularly the ability to buy the players you want (against Bournemouth, only 2 of the 9 signings made ‘under’ Steve McClaren started the game – Mitro, Saivet, Doumbia all on bench).
Bottom line is we are all now five days past the latest defeat and only four days…until the next one, with no visible action as yet.
If you want to be really brutally honest, we are now 26 days past the hammering at Chelsea when Steve McClaren should have been instantly dismissed and a new manager brought in. Rather than two more feeble defeats and (allegedly) acting now.
We are only 9 1/2 weeks (66 days) away from the final curtain coming down on Newcastle United’s season and never mind one ice cube, Lee Charnley (or whoever it is really making the decisions) needs a whole sackful of them stuck down his boxers to spark him into life and replace McClaren with somebody capable of inspiring our shirkers.
This current cast of characters are without doubt taking us into the Championship and keeping the status quo is no option at all.