Newcastle fans fighting imaginary enemy
I’ve noticed a particularly strange reaction of Newcastle fans this season.
At various times since this campaign kicked off, the latest being on Saturday, it has manifested itself.
What it consists of, is some Newcastle supporters acting all outraged, because of how other Newcastle fans have reacted in an over the top manner to a downturn in our fortunes in the Championship.
The trouble is, this is an imaginary enemy, there isn’t a body of opinion of any size who doubts Rafa Benitez’ strategy this season.
What the outraged want to believe, is that there are thousands of Toon fans calling into question Rafa’s integrity and thinking the Spaniard doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing when it comes to team selection and especially, rotation.
They don’t exist.
Taking online and social media, you are always going to find some dissenting voices but that doesn’t a groundswell make. Some are always going to swim against the flow in an attempt to attract attention.
You also have to accept that somebody saying Rafa got it wrong on Saturday, doesn’t equal a traitor.
You are still actually allowed to have an opinion on how both the manager and his players perform. Just because we have a manager at last, in the ilk of KK and Sir Bobby, after so many idiots, doesn’t mean their decisions aren’t up for debate.
I think Rafa did take his changes too far against Blackburn and especially trading three members of the back four was too many. Although saying that, it was the abysmal performances of Mitrovic and Perez at the other end of the pitch that most hampered the team.
I also couldn’t understand the position Rafa took with the substitutions, apart from being forced to replace the injured Gamez, the United boss only gave Dwight Gayle the final five minutes.
Surely with the team struggling to create and the fact that he has three games in such quick succession, should have seen a couple of changes with at least 20 or so minutes left, to both freshen it up against Blackburn and save legs for the games against Forest and Hull to come.
Rafa Benitez has often said he has put together a squad to specifically get Newcastle out of this division, with then the secondary position of what those players could possibly achieve after that.
The same with his tactics and team selection strategy in this league, the idea being to put Newcastle in the right position after 46 games, not the result in any single particular one.
We had forgotten what it was like to be united behind a manager, with only the Chris Hughton era that was cut short and the flitting spells from Shearer and Keegan, as the only times in the days of Mike Ashley when people trusted the person in charge.
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