Well how are we all, been a while since I penned anything about Newcastle United, I managed to make myself a guest of our magnificent NHS, but happily it was more painful than serious!
Anyway, the important matters, the football, where is the doom and gloom normally associated with this club?
Let me tell you where it is, it has gone into hibernation. Of course, as long as Mike Ashley exists, doom and gloom will never be far away, but the negative of Mike Ashley is more than compensated right now, by the positivity associated with one Rafa Benitez.
Despite the disappointment of the transfer window, there is no doubt that Rafa has a squad that is fully with him, the discipline and team spirit is there to see, in short – going it watch the match has become a pleasure again.
Rafa also has the crowd fully onside and Gallowgate Flags with the latest offering (magnificent by the way) are certainly doing their bit, the rest of the ground is slowly but surely also picking up the baton.
On the playing side, the squad may not have the numbers of many of our rivals, but there is competition for every shirt and that can only be good. It is churlish for players to get criticism – I read a lot about Perez not being up to it, however, if Rafa thinks he is, then that should be enough for us all.
We can now go into every game knowing we can win – under previous managers we went into games with a lot more wishful hope than expectation. The banner that appeared about three years ago said it all: ‘We don’t demand a team that wins, we demand a club that tries’, or words to that effect, well we certainly have that now.
To ice this cake it would be good if a takeover is in the offing, maybe it is, wouldn’t it be a perfect Christmas if this was to happen. There is a lot of smoke and mirrors in and around NE1 so maybe just maybe things are happening on that score.
A quick word on Freddie Shepherd and his sad passing. For sure he made a few quid out of NUFC, but ultimately he was a fan and he tried, his method may have left us financially unstable and rich pickings for Ashley, but like us he wanted on-field success, alas it wasn’t to be. Condolences to his family and friends.
I said before that for every negative there is a positive, for that read Black N White and Red N White, our friends from Sunderland keeping the Tyneside cheer at high levels by their own footballing brand of ineptitude. Each chaotic performance played out to an ever dwindling band of loyal followers, the mugs and t shirts emblazoned with 6 in a row now long since confined to the realms of history!
Seeing them party into the night when a toothless Everton side went through the motions at the Stadium of Light, as we were sent to the Championship just 17 months ago…
I have to finish by mentioning Sunday’s game. Yes for all Liverpool huffed and puffed they did indeed look quite ordinary – is Jurgen Klopp that good a manager? Time will tell but Rafa gave a masterclass in comparison.
Happy days indeed.