As I am writing this at the foot of The Cheviot, Rafa Benitez, the most talented manager Newcastle United have had since Sir Bobby Robson, is still in charge of our team.
I hope when I hit send, and the phone finds a signal, he still is.
Does Mike Ashley hate us, the fans?
He has ended any hope of expanding St James Park (by doing his own personal development on land opposite the Gallowgate, taking advantage of a long lease on the land that was owned by NUFC when he bought it).
Whereas we used to bring players to Tyneside and show them this immense structure constantly being added too, meaning they could sign knowing this club was trying to go places.
Ashley has chased out two club legends in Kevin Keegan and Jonas Gutierrez, being proved in court just what kind of person he is and indeed, the way that his companies operate.
The club’s owner will only spend if disaster is close by…and I fear it is once again.
The two negative arguments I hear the most about Rafa Benitez are that:
He is a CV manager, only interested in feathering his cap and looking good.
The other is that he won’t budge while he is being paid.
Firstly, Rafa Benitez proved the first argument wrong in my eyes by sticking with us when with only 10 matches to go he couldn’t stop the rot and repair the massive damage already done, staying on to manage Newcastle United in the second tier.
Secondly, what if Mike Ashley’s interference means that Rafa can’t realistically do his job, just like Kevin Keegan before him?
As for that second argument/point, maybe it will be a case of (just like Keegan) Rafa detailing all the information he needs, to ensure yet another court defeat (on the grounds of constructive dismissal?) for Mike Ashley.
I hope that Mike Ashley isn’t going to break my heart but the signs don’t look good.
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