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Running on empty

5 years ago

I don’t know about you but I feel like I have had all enthusiasm, hope, belief…drained out of me long ago.

Like all Newcastle fans I was given a lift by the appointment of Rafa Benitez but even that is proving a very short-lived  new manager ‘bounce’.

Yes I still think we have more chance of staying up with Rafa in charge – but that isn’t difficult when he replaced somebody who was taking us to the Championship without a doubt.

The first two games under Benitez have been an improvement but sadly there are limits to what any manager can do.

Aston Villa fans may disagree but Remi Garde has definitely improved their team but the players are still useless and were doomed, even if the ghosts of Paisley, Shankley and Stein collectively tried to save them.

Newcastle United’s players may not be quite as woeful as Villa’s but the gap isn’t very big.

The matches against Leicester and Sunderland reminded us yet again of two things: this team can’t keep a clean sheet and struggles to score goals in any match.

Coming back to comparisons with Aston Villa, they are the only team to score fewer goals than Newcastle so far, plus they are the one club to concede more than Newcastle. So reality says that the only Premier League team worse than Newcastle after almost eight months of the season is Aston Villa.

For a long time this season I have seen nothing but disaster on the way for all Newcastle fans, the hope that the August signings would be enough to turn things around disappeared around Halloween time.

Putting faith in the January signings to make that difference has also quickly headed south: two of them are already deemed not good enough to get in the team, Shelvey had done ok but sadly reminded us just how terrible the rest of the midfield is in comparison, then sadly Andros Townsend not surprisingly has struggled with fitness issues after not playing a full Premier League match for two years.

To compound my feeling of ‘running on empty’ in terms of how I feel at the moment about NUFC, no sooner had Rafa Benitez signed than it was made clear that both he and the club had a get out clause if relegation happens.

To be honest I would have been more than happy to accept relegation if it had came with a guarantee that Rafa Benitez would still be here in the Championship.

It would have meant Newcastle having the best manager in the second tier and the fact he was willing to commit, would surely also have meant he had cast-iron guarantees that Mike Ashley was going to start running the club properly in terms of the manager having power and also financial backing to bounce straight back.

If relegation happens and then Rafa leaves, just who on earth would take the job? Especially as I would then have no doubt that Ashley will be reverting to a Pardew/Carver/McClaren type – somebody desperate for a job and willing to take it with no power  to properly influence things.

I have seen Newcastle with far worse teams than the current one (though that isn’t to say this lot aren’t rubbish because they are) but at least you were more in ignorance and you accepted that previous owners didn’t have the cash to make the changes needed.

The major misery I feel now is solely down to the fact that this current disaster looming is so unnecessary, the cash was there after the failure to invest in previous windows and all that was needed was to employ a proper manager and trust him to bring in players – whilst at the same time kicking Carr and Charnley out of the door.

I still hope survival is possible but watching the lack of urgency and commitment from so many players for the first hour of the derby, how can you expect them to rouse themselves for other games when they couldn’t do it then with fifty thousand fans expecting them to give it their all?

The feeling I have is that obviously Ashley wanted to stay in the Premier League for the free worldwide SD advertising and the TV cash – but now we are sliding into the Championship I see us becoming managerless very quickly and a fire sale of the players others are willing to buy.

His public utterances last week looked calculated to inflict more misery on Newcastle fans, stating he wouldn’t leave but giving no kind of positive messages such as if the worst happens then determined to fight the way back, try and get everybody pulling together.

Instead – the money is all gone because you (Newcastle fans) demanded it was spent and potential relegation isn’t his fault.

All we want is that club/team that tries to be the best it can be, rather than Newcastle fans played for fools once more.



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