A lot of Newcastle fans were keen to say as this season developed, that all they/we ‘demand’, is a ‘team that tries’.
The Newcastle team bouncing back to narrow defeats by Spurs and Tottenham to win three in a row against West Ham, Swansea and Stoke.
Defeat to Brighton was disappointing but bouncing back with draws in difficult matches against Liverpool and Southampton, reinforced the idea that both as a team and as individuals, supporters were more than happy with the side.
Disappointing, even though narrow, defeats to Burnley and Bournemouth, followed by conceding four at Old Trafford, have tipped the balance the other way for some.
It is only a very small minority who boo or go over the top with comments – but the wider view does support the absolute fact that Newcastle fans don’t only ‘demand a team that tries’.
Step forward José Luis Sanmartín Mato.
Nobody could embody more the ethic of trying as hard as you can. However, he does prove that old adage wrong of ‘the harder you try the luckier you get’.
He tries his heart out, never stops running, but Joselu isn’t very good.
No normal/decent person would slag off the likes of the Spaniard off for his shortcomings, after all it isn’t his fault that he isn’t a Premier League level first choice striker. Much like Shefki Kuqi, Bobby Shinton, Antoine Sibierski, Tony Cunningham, and many other substandard strikers we have seen down the years.
Bottom line is that effort will only get you so far, Newcastle need quality, especially when it comes to key players in the attacking positions.
Newcastle United and Rafa Benitez have been left well short by Mike Ashley when it comes to quality this season.
Whilst today’s visitors were paying £30m for Andre Gray and Richarlison to strengthen their forward line, Rafa was allowed £5m to bring in Joselu to lead the line, as injury/confidence issues surrounded Dwight Gayle.
What we all really want/need of course, and is essential, is to have a ‘club that tries’.
It summed up just what a challenge Rafa Benitez faced under Mike Ashley, when the owner blocked him even bringing in loan players in January, then once again blocked deals Rafa had lined up for the summer window opening. These including of course the loan signing of Tammy Abraham which the manager had set up, before having to turn to a cut price Joselu purchase.
Rafa Benitez said himself this summer that the vast majority of the time the team with the best players wins, that managers can only do so much if they don’t have the necessary quality. Hard work from players and their manager does have a limit on how effective it can be when it comes to results.
We are still looking forward to the day when we have a club that tries and hopefully we can now see that time approaching with Newcastle United takeover talk all consuming.