Newcastle fans have now had a whole decade of life under the ownership of Mike Ashley.
The fifth place finish of 2011/12 has constantly been used by the media to bash supporters who dare to suggest this 10 year spell has been anything but a disaster.
Well, just look at these stats below and we can see just what a task Rafa Benitez has on his hands, to pull the club out of a desperate era of massive underachievement.
The best way to measure the success, or otherwise, of the Ashley years is to judge it against what other clubs have done in the same time period.
In this decade under Mike Ashley, Newcastle United have (disgracefully) managed to be relegated twice.
So on the positive side, how many top nine finishes in the Premier League have there been?
Premier League Top 9 finishes in last 10 seasons (incl current 2016/17 table):
10 Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd
9 Chelsea, Man City, Tottenham
4 Aston Villa, Southampton
3 Fulham, Stoke
2 Swansea, West Brom, West Ham
1 Birmingham, Blackburn, Leicester, Newcastle United, Portsmouth
It becomes quite a shocking state of affairs when you measure Newcastle’s performance against others…
No surprise to see the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United as permanent fixtures in the top nine, with another three clubs who have missed only one season in the Premier League upper reaches.
However, when you see Everton showing the ambition and consistency to have finished top nine in eight of these last 10 seasons, then it does really show up the shocking way Newcastle has been run by Mike Ashley. I don’t think there are any Newcastle fans who would see the blue half of Merseyside as a bigger club that NUFC.
It arguably gets worse though, when you see Villa and Southampton with four top nine finishes, similarly with three each for Fulham and Stoke.
Newcastle are down there with the likes of Birmingham, Blackburn and Portsmouth who have all bombed after managing just a single top nine finish in the top tier.
To anybody who still claims Newcastle fans are ‘too demanding’, then they are really having a laugh.
Hopefully, Rafa Benitez will now be able to lead us out of what has so far been a dismal decade of football life under Mike Ashley.
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])