Guessing most of you come from similar backgrounds to me, growing up supporting Newcastle United and playing football every day before, during, and after school, dreaming of playing one day for NUFC.

When it came to playing football with your mates, whether at school or out of it, the same ritual usually entailed.

For some it was the ultimate humiliation.

Two would be nominated and everybody else lined  up against the wall, with the teams being chosen .

Taking turns, the two ‘captains’ would pick a player, from the very good, down to the good, then the decent, then the not very good, before you reached the humiliation if one of the no-hopers.

It was the fairest way and meant you usually got a pretty level playing field, ensuring two teams who were more or less of the same standard and a decent game.

Which brings us to Newcastle United and the present day.

Rafa Benitez is being asked to do the impossible.

Contrary to what Mike Ashley says, neither Rafa or the fans are expecting to compete transfer wise with Manchester City and certain other clubs.

Instead, we all simply want Newcastle United to have a go.

This summer has been a disaster and it is all down to Mike Ashley.

Rafa Benitez doesn’t choose to bring in Manquillo for £4m, Joselu for £5m and believe they are as good as what other Premier League clubs are buying.

The fact is, all of the potential signings have been lined up against the wall and the other 19 clubs have been taking their turns at picking signings, with Rafa Benitez having to sit it out.

Obviously you have certain clubs shopping at different levels and  players who are unobtainable for most Premier League clubs.

However, Rafa should have been allowed to enter the game at a far higher level, where the choices of players is far beyond what he has been allowed to go for.

Sometimes the underdogs can win, sometimes money doesn’t always dictate.

Realistically though, failing to compete in the transfer market leads to almost certain failure on the pitch.

If you want to win the lottery you have to buy a ticket, even if you are only hoping to win a tenner, never mind the jackpot.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • Paul Patterson

    The trouble is Lee Charnley has been doing the picking and the players that are up against the wall he hasn’t a clue about with regards to ability, so always goes for the kid who can’t kick a ball to save his life and eats all the sweets . .

    • wesley Burden

      Really do u think rafa would stand for that no a man good at maths picking your players for you rafa picks who he wants and hes got them look we missed out on 2 players both joined west ham 1 got sent of in first game and the other has pickrd the ball out of the net six times in 2 games money doest buy u success

      • Guest 2

        Jeez, come on! In what walk of life would anyone as inept as Charnley not be fired by his superior? If the MD really reports to Rafa then Rafa is running the club – and we sure as hell know that’s not true either.

  • Jezza

    “This summer has been a disaster and it is all down to Mike Ashley.”

    That is an absolutely perfect summary of Newcastle’s transfer business during the current window.

    • Guest 2

      This (NUFC) decade has been a disaster and it’s all down to Ashley!

  • ash1001

    This is beginning to look like Graham Carr all over again this time its Spanish ‘Second Raters’ instead of French, on good length contracts with little sell on value, we cannot blame Rafa so it must be Charnley or Ashley – forgot its Rafa that has the final say, or is it?

    If Rafa has this allegiance to the fans its time he put his cards firmly on the table, and waited for a reaction from Ashley , if non is forthcoming then Rafa if you jump ship no ones going to blame you, because we the fans will be following not far behind.

    Just a point Rafa, why not play Tim Krul in goal tomorrow, you have made your judgement on reports presumably, lets see him in action. He was good and hopefully he still is if the club want 5 million for him.

  • mentalman

    i’m going to continue with my alleged agenda to constantly defend MA but a lot of people are claiming that rafa isn’t picking the players who we are buying. So why if he’s not picking them is he still at the club?

    He could have easily walked away after last january or even at the end of the season or as soon as it became clear that what he had agreed with the board wasn’t happening. If he was having players forced on him he could walk away and take the club to a tribunal like KK did.

    A manager of Rafa’s reputation could easily leave our club and probably walk into a better paid job so why is he hanging around when he’s being abused by the board.

    i think its more a case of Rafa has identified every player we have bought so far, they may not be his first choice but they were on a list of players he has wanted.

    • TheNutJob

      he wanted Lacoste & ended up with an Everlast T-shirt, take it or leave it bonnie lad says Jabba.

  • Rich Lawson

    Yes,I want them to have a go and play something like the first team (no shop window boys) against Forest and show we still have the ambition to win a Cup ?

  • Leazes Ender

    I see Ashley has splashed some of that cash he hasn’t got….. on Debenhams….. its a high street retailer.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Last month the Snide also increased his stake in French connection & Game Digital

      • Paul Patterson

        I also suspect that he also switched from Adidas to Puma, because he doesn’t get along with them (and Nike).

        • mentalman

          probably more likely adidas wanted to concentrate on clubs who compete

  • Steve Pearce

    Dean – the only thing that should be up against the wall is Mike Ashley!

    12 hollow points would reduce that fat [email protected] to jelly and rid us of him forever. Indeed wasn’t there a rumour going around that somebody was going to take a contract out on him a few years ago? If the guy’s still around I’ll stick the first tenner in to get the ball rolling!