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Opinion

Newcastle United fans now facing reality

3 years ago
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The morning after the night before, another transfer window has slammed shut and ended in disappointment for Newcastle United fans.

In May, everyone knew what was required from the club to get this club competitive in the Premier League after gaining promotion from the Championship. yet here we are almost four months later still lacking in key areas. From delight to despair in such a short space of time – tales of the expected with this regime.

I remember being sat in the stand as we beat Barnsley 3-0, elated that we’d done it, under a manager we all liked and respected. In the here and now we couldn’t be at a worse position. That seems to be the point, under Mike Ashley ANY positive is quickly snuffed out, any hope quickly jettisoned in favour of turmoil and uncertainty.

The positives?

There simply are none. As good a player as Florian Lejeune looks (a tidy player who it seems will make the back four tighter), he has been fatally undermined by the lack of reinforcements around him and even his transfer took an eternity to pull through.

Keeping hold of Christian Atsu is good and new signing Jacob Murphy gives us two good young lads to come through on both wings, but it’s all potential, it’s all for the future. It’s all part of Mike Ashley’s often talked about ‘plan’. The three year ‘plan’, the five year ‘plan’. Well what happens if the ‘plan’ fails in the first year? Then you’re up the creek without a paddle and the ‘plan’ ends up costing you an absolute fortune.

People have often said that Mike Ashley is a great businessman. Who am I to argue?

Well I’m going to. Which astute businessman gambles with the profitability and success of a business time and time again, ends up losing multi millions of pounds and doesn’t learn?

Only an idiot would deliberately knack a football club in the fashion that Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley have done this summer. Put simply, this window has been transfer suicide and these two have been pulling the trigger and sticking the knife in on the club and Rafa Benitez in particular. Laughing on Sky TV three weeks ago simply goes to show (if more proof were needed) that the owner can’t be trusted and simply doesn’t have the club’s interests in mind at all.

This transfer window we have seen our own club deliberately weaken itself.

Tim Krul has gone out and strengthened Brighton’s goalkeeping position, this is also a position that the manager highlighted as one he deemed not good enough for the Premier League.

The club knew at the end of last season that the left-back position needed strengthening and then knew for the last two weeks or more that we’d be without our ONLY left-back until November. We had the chance to sign Southampton’s third choice left back and refused to pay the loan fee. Madness!

‘Every penny’? – My backside! Beggars belief.

What about our so-called rivals in our now obvious relegation fight?

The group of teams we have to surpass isn’t a small one, it’s quite large…Huddersfield, Bournemouth, West Brom, Watford, Crystal Palace, Stoke City, Burnley, Swansea and Brighton’s spend hasn’t been staggering, the only amazing thing is that ours has been so low in comparison.

Swansea (who we play next) signed Renato Sanches, a hot prospect from Bayern Munich, they even re-signed Wilfried Bony to give them a goal threat.

Imagine if Bony had been announced as a Newcastle player, at least that would’ve been something. Instead we have a hot-headed maniac (banned for a month), an injury prone striker unwilling to overstretch himself and a Stoke City reject. No offence to Joselu, I wish the lad well, but it’s hardly a feast of goals we’re going to be witnessing – not in the rough and tumble of Premier League football, and it certainly won’t have been the first choice of Rafa Benitez.

Crystal Palace went out and paid £26m for defender Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool. Stoke financed defender Kevin Wimmer for £18m. That’s the market we are in and if you don’t even try to compete in it, you won’t survive.

It seems that any Newacstle player was once again up for sale as the transfer window edged towards its conclusion, with reports of Dwight Gayle being flogged if the right buyer came in. Aleksandar Mitrovic was up for sale the whole summer, if the club had a suitable replacement in place? Personally, I don’t think a replacement was ever part of the club’s plans either way.

The players going out have reduced the wages significantly – which I’m sure was all part of the ‘plan’, yet we’re stuck with the likes of Jack Colback, Mo Diame, Henri Saivet, Massadio Haidara and Jesus Gamez for heaven’s sake.

The flash sales under the nose of Kevin Keegan in 2008 mirror the squad frailties of 2017. Just like when players were sold against Kevin’s wishes and his transfer list was thrown in the bin, Rafa has found out that in Mike Ashley lightning can strike twice, or three, or four times in the case of the supporters.

What did you say in ‘that’ interview Mike? You don’t want to go through another relegation again? Well brace yourself son because you may just be about to go through another one in nine months time.

What else did you say Mike? You can’t compete with Manchester City, can’t write cheques for £200m? How about £30m or 40m? Heck £20m would be a start, you know, the same £20m that our ACTUAL rivals are spending, not Manchester City.

On the subject of Rafa, if he left I’d wish him well and thank him for taking on trying to manage this asylum, sadly undermined by those in charge and lied to again and again. You weren’t the first to be shafted and you won’t be the last, join the ranks of Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer, Jonas Gutierrez, Ryan Taylor and Chris Hughton, respectable people who were bombed out with total disrespect.

Finally, to Mike, not that you’ll care, I will continue to want the best for Newcastle United, but if events over the last ten years have told us supporters anything, it’s that this is well and truly your club now Ashley, make with it what you will, because many of us are at the point of no return.

If I get offered the chance to go to a game in future then I will but there is no point in continuing the charade that is your ownership of this club. This is no longer a competitive football club and hasn’t been for some time, from deliberate attempts to get knocked out of the cups at the earliest possible time (a much publicised club policy) and the unwillingness to back anyone with hard cash, to get the club fighting with mid-table mediocrity at best.

Once again we come back to ‘that’ interview.

“Maybe this year we could look for mid-table this season, and maybe make the cups a priority this season. Get ourselves safe and then go for a cup. Either cup. And the dream would always be qualifying for the Champions League, that’s what it is for me, simple.”

Actions speak louder than words. Next time, just shut up and keep quiet as it’s not worth listening to a single word that comes out of your mouth. Every man and his dog warned you and your muppet of a Managing Director this time, and the last time, and the time before that.

Champions League? Stick with trying to win the Championship Mike, because when Rafa walks (if he hasn’t by the time we play Swansea) then that’s the direction we will be going.

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

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