Well, I do not think Thursday, or this summer overall, turned out as any Newcastle fans had hoped – but maybe, at least deep down, this at least comes as no surprise.
With the happiness of promotion and the backing Rafa received last summer, we let ourselves be deceived into thinking that maybe, just maybe, things had finally changed
However, January should have given us all pause for thought in our excitement. Rafa wanted reinforcements for the second half of the campaign and nothing arrived. The squad was gambled on and pulled through – but it was a risk. That same risk is being taken now.
From all indications, the plan Rafa laid out to Ashley at the beginning of the summer was detailed, well thought out, and, most importantly, realistic. He was not asking to compete with Manchester City or Chelsea, but rather with Bournemouth and Swansea.
Did we have less money because we missed payments last year? Yes – but not spending money now risks the same thing happening again next year.
Pundits and rivals often claim that Newcastle fans are unrealistic, but the majority of us understand where we are right now, but also know that Rafa is the man to lead the club to a place where it can challenge at the top. If Tottenham can do it, there is no reason we can’t too.
While a £20m statement signing would have been wonderful, the most important thing was that Rafa was backed to the very best of the club’s capabilities. And this is the most concerning thing, not that this only didn’t happen, but that he was told it would and those promises were not backed up.
We all know the frustrations but I feel most of us are wondering what do we do now? Boycott?
With 40,000 season tickets sold, does this even make sense? Two years ago this made sense. We had (still have) ownership that doesn’t care, management that was incompetent, and a squad that was indifferent. A large percentage of the players from two years ago didn’t deserve to have 52,000 screaming voices roaring them on.
I do not get that feeling from this team. The players we have now, I believe, may lose games based on talent and skill, but not on graft and effort. And you know Rafa has a plan because he…always has a plan.
If the squad puts in the same effort week in, week out that they showed against West Ham then they deserve our support. Especially because there will be times when it can help turn defeat into victory.
So how to show Ashley the displeasure, the anger?
I have no idea how well it could work or how much difference it would make, but what about boycotting the STUFF?
I’m sure we all have a shirt or three, we all have scarves, track-tops, hats and coats. Do we need anymore right now?
Turn that club shop into a ghost town. Eat before and after the game, do you really need that half-time snack? And, I know this will be the hardest, skip the beer. Have an extra before the game, have another after.
I have no idea how much this would affect the bottom line but done in large enough numbers it could make a statement.
It should come with an understanding, if Rafa comes to you in January and says I need A, B and C, and he gets it then we will be back buying the second half the season.
It is a huge ask…but show us that you care even a little bit as much as we do.
Just an idea.
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])