Is it just me, or does every other football fan around the country seem to have an agenda with Newcastle United?
If this last week of madness has taught me anything, it’s that no non-Newcastle fan can stand seeing those in black-and-white fuelled with any form of optimism or excitement.
We’re always told by others that we aren’t a “big club” anymore, we’re always scoffed at for our supposed deluded desires for Champions League football year-in, year-out.
Around this time each season, Arsenal begin their annual wobble and fans of the Gunners grow frustrated with Arsene Wenger. Each and every time, you read several comments or opinion pieces from fans and pundits alike, offering their support and sympathy for the growing unrest among Arsenal supporters.
Whenever Arsenal fans demand more from their side sat 3rd in the league, they have a point. Whenever Newcastle fans demand more from an incompetent manager and a bone idol squad, we’re unreasonable.
After the humbling defeat against AFC Bournemouth, it seemed that the end of Steve McClaren’s reign was all set to be confirmed. The media was awash with news of his imminent sacking, and lists of potential candidates to replace the ex-England boss.
Rafa Benitez was a name that was mentioned more than others, and the thought of Rafa taking over on Tyneside was one that Newcastle fans were excited by, but, none of them realistically saw it happening.
But, as the speculation grew, Newcastle fans begin to dream that it could actually happen.
And, wouldn’t you know it, as soon as we made the slightest peep discussing the possibility of the idea, we’re mocked once again for our delusion.
Social media was suddenly awash with comments of fans from other clubs (particularly Sunderland) slating us. “Deluded mags thinking they can get Benitez is the biggest crease I’ve ever heard! Oh aye, from Madrid to Newcastle” was a personal favourite that I saw from a Sunderland fan who has since, unsurprisingly, deleted the tweet.
Come Friday afternoon, the dream came true and Rafael Benitez was appointed as manager of Newcastle United.
So what was the overall neutral response of the appointment? Were there congratulations to the club for an impressive and ambitious appointment? Any acknowledgement that the capture proved Newcastle to have the allure of a top club?
There was on a very miniscule scale – but the majority of fans opted against doing the unthinkable and giving the “deluded Mags” some praise.
All of a sudden, the Champions League-winning Benitez who was too good for little old Newcastle was now being labeled as the man “sacked from every job he’s had” or the man with “no experience of relegation battles”. We can’t win, can we?
Whenever the side is losing games and the club appears to be a mess, we’re mocked.
But, on the off chance we do something productive, something most other Premier League clubs would be commended for, we’re quickly told to quieten down and know our place.
I’ve never been one to care about the opinions of other fans on my team, but it’s been worth well more than a laugh watching the meltdown unfold, particularly from those just down the road.
For us not being a big club, the past week didn’t half kick up a storm on Twitter!
I’m not sure if Rafa will keep us up, it is more than fair to think that the damage could already be done. But we’ve now undoubtedly got a much better chance of survival under a manager with the quality of Benitez.
One thing is for certain, Sunday afternoon is looking like being one hell of a spectacle!
You can follow the author on Twitter @RhysMelhuish22