Things can turn around pretty quickly in football. It happens all the time. In the spring we saw a gloating Wearside, contrasted by a Tyneside in mourning for the loss of its Premier League wings.
Fast forward six months and it’s a welcome and entirely different scenario. There is a feel good factor back at Newcastle United and long may that continue.
All that Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley need to do is allow Rafa Benitez to crack on with the job. Don’t interfere, be up front with him about the budget, and allow him to strengthen the areas of the team that he wants to, within the resources that are available.
If they can do that, and so far I see continued evidence that the club really has gone back to a more traditional approach, then the fans will be happier, the players will be happier and success should follow.
Vital momentum has been seized and it’s all down to Benitez.
We’re now on the run towards Xmas and what I like to call the second chunk of the season. Some key games lie ahead. From what I’ve witnessed so far, we have enough ability to remain in the top two. Keep up the good work.
Big trouble in little China?
Talk of Chinese interest in Newcastle United certainly got tongues wagging the other week.
The Telegraph brought us news of far eastern businessman keen to buy the club from Mike Ashley close to the end of last season. Apparently there was an offer and this was rebuffed by the Sports Direct billionaire. He currently doesn’t want to sell, unless he gets an eye watering offer.
In the NUFC madness I was amazed to see so many fans taking to social media to declare that Ashley needed to remain as the incumbent owner. Short memories, anyone?
Maybe he should stay for now. Foreign ownership is always a risk, but I can’t help but think if a good offer comes in we need to champion his departure. After all those years asking him to get out of our club, some now want him to remain. Incredible. The Rafa effect has even made Mike Ashley palatable.
Levitating on the Gallowgate end
I watched with interest a video blog by a young Burnley fan who attended the Norwich game. Yes, that Norwich game. The lad was at university here and he took his camera phone to capture the SJP experience. What unfolded was astonishing.
The pace of the comeback from 1-3 to Newcastle 4 Norwich 3 was not something I’ll forget in a hurry. From my seat at the back of the Gallowgate I levitated off the floor when the fourth went in, almost rupturing my voice box as my sweater was torn off and thrown high into the air. It was a moment of sheer joy. The healing powers of football right there. Games like that amaze me, I genuinely felt like I had floated a few inches from the concrete. The adrenalin kept me up til 2am and the next day at work was a total write off as I could only keep reliving Gayle’s heroics. The croaky voice lasted a good week, so maybe goal celebrating needs to be risk assessed!
I missed the infamous 4-4 against Arsenal in 2011 so I’d have to say that was my best St James Park moment since the 5-1 against the mackems. Cheers, Rafa.
Many streamed away early from that Newcastle 4 Norwich 3 game, I was very nearly one of them until a change of heart. Phew.
Being a good Christian
Our Ghanaian loanee, Mr Atsu, is proving to be a little gem of a player. I really like his style. He’s direct, has bags of pace, and he’s not afraid to have a crack at the goal. He’s hit the woodwork umpteen times and bagged us three precious point at Rotherham.
He’ll have a job ousting Matt Ritchie, but what a fantastic option for United to have at their disposal. I think he’ll be a key player later in the season and I’d like to see him signed permanently. It will hinge on whether or not we get promoted and he was coy when asked about staying by the local media. We’re happy to have him here though, and if he can play his part in a successful season then he’d be a fool not to stick around.
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