Sweet Mary and Joseph! Another year is being wound up. The space age sounding 2016 is going tits up, out of business, brown bread – tatty bye. Good riddance!

It will be an ex-year, past tense and is to be replaced tomorrow night by the terrifyingly intergalactic sounding 2017.

Aye, as you imbibe another beaker of Bishops Finger whilst Jools Holland rattles the Hootenanny bones – the New Year is being squeezed oot by the Mrs. of old Father time at Midnight.

It’s the time to look forward and under Mike Ashley I didn’t think looking forward to anything was possible ever again. Dwelling on memories of the good times that got fuzzier and further away by the pint and the hour.

That was until Newcastle United made possibly the best signing this club will ever make – RAFA BENITEZ. Not exactly a newsflash peeps – but it’s true!

Regardless of the home blips it’s obvious where we are heading and that we are in safe hands. Rafa ain’t going to drop the ball. We couldn’t be in safer hands than if Peter Schmeichel had been bitten by the same Radioactive spider as Peter Parker.

Under Steve McClaren, we were heading one way like some novice kayaker’s heading for Niagara Falls with a pair of speedos and a nose peg. Never any doubt we would end up going over the edge and being dashed on the Championship rocks.

It’s a minor miracle the way Rafa has salvaged the beleaguered and instilled belief into the lads which had previously evaporated under the heat of the national spotlight.

Reassuring to know that Newcastle United now have strategic plans for the club on and off the pitch at all levels. We all know that before the great man’s arrival, any plan had been lost with the plot long ago!

We have every right to remain sceptical whilst Ashley owns the club but the fact Rafa is here, (hopefully) means the perennial tide of misery is turning for good. About bliddy time!

I can only foresee great things for this club under his wing. He’ll attract players who’d likely in recent times would’ve have dropped the shoulder and swerved the black and white madhouse for the powerhouses of Stoke, Swansea or Southampton.

We will never have it all our own way, either in this league or the next. That’s life, that’s football. Get a grip on that stress ball you got in secret Santa and squeeze it!

When we do get up, and make no mistake about that we will – Rafa has the nous, knowledge and contacts to ruffle some feathers up in filthy piggy bank league.

Nobody knows for sure how this season will pan out but I’d not put our destiny in any other’s hands – would you? Nee chance!

For that reason alone, it’s grinding my gears that people are hoying the baby out with the bath water after the Sheff Weds game. Probably the most disappointing performance under Rafa definitely – but some of the criticism is just plain daft. Scratch that, it’s mental.

Relegation form was the cry from one punter! Must be reading the league table upside down whilst strolling the grounds of Broadmoor.

Perversely, we’re currently a better away team than we are at home, compare that to recent times when we would win an away game every time Halley’s Comet was passing on it’s 76 year cycle and we were becoming as equally impotent at home.

Apart from Wolves, we’ve never been beaten by more than one goal and always been in it. Aye Boxing day was a sickener and true we could have lost by more, it’ll just take some tweaks here and there to sort.

Whether those tweaks are at the club yet or not is a different matter, if Rafa needs someone in – he’ll get them. And compared to the famine in previous windows under Ashley, transfer time has been like a veritable feast the last couple and we’ve still ended up in profit after selling a few heartless jokers for mega bucks.

Next year is going to be a great year for us. Embrace it, enjoy it, live it.

I honestly think we will win comfortably against Forest, the lads and management will be angry after the last showing and by the power of Greyskull we owe these buggers one tonight!

Hopefully the atmosphere will have an edge, rather than being flatter than a Findus crispy pancake in Ashley’s back pocket.

Have that extra pint of Pernod tonight and sleep in your front garden – win, lose or draw!

Happy New Year!

You can follow the author on Twitter @JamieSwan1