Well everyone, let me start by wishing all Newcastle fans a happy and healthy 2018.
Having said that, in recent games I have found myself getting involved in arguments with fellow Newcastle fans about Rafa, even at half-time while queuing for a beer!
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but to hear somebody say Rafa should be sacked because of his recent record, is in my eyes ridiculous. Hearing people comparing him to Pardew, John Carver etc…again, it’s incredible.
If anyone could name a better manager who is available, and more so, would be prepared to come to Newcastle, then I’m all ears. FACT – Rafa is a world-class manager and given the right funds could easily turn Newcastle into a team capable of challenging the so-called big four.
I really don’t understand the mentality of fans unhappy with Rafa.
Anyway, back to the on field matters, and while Brighton was disappointing, a seven point return from four games is more than acceptable. Rafa is rotating the squad and while some are unhappy with it, players have looked jaded at times.
The next premier league game is Swansea at home, and it’s another chance to kick on, I know the Brighton game was similar, but the players mostly will be rested a little so hopefully we can get the three points and move further up the league.
This Saturday it’s yet another chance to rekindle our romance with the FA Cup, a very winnable game against an in form lower league Luton Town should see us progress to the next round. However, make no mistake, a fired up Luton backed by almost 8,000 fans will be hard and no pushovers.
I’m looking forward to this one, it has been a long time since such a vast away support has descended on Newcastle and I hope they enjoy their visit, if ultimately leaving disappointed. The FA Cup used to be the pinnacle of every football season but in recent seasons various factors have contributed toward trying to devalue it, for me though I really hope we can put a run together.
Luton Town are an interesting club, I seem to remember them banning away fans back in the early 80s, Kenilworth Road was one of my lest favourite away trips so hopefully it won’t come to that.
A quick word on the Man City game and the comments by various sources, if we had nicked a point the whole tactical thing would have been justified, we didn’t and the vultures circled. OK, Brighton did not help, but the two away performances justified everything, not that Rafa needs any justification.
Away from SJP and our friends from down the road again bought further joy to Tyneside as they followed their away success at Notts Forest with a crushing home defeat to relegation rivals Barnsley, I really fear for them – in a sarcastic sort of way – because if they do go down they could well collapse and burn financially.
Also away from SJP and it’s amusing and annoying in equal measures, to hear the Chelsea manager Antonio Conte bleat on about too many games over the festive period and how his players get tired. Yes, the same manager who has over 30 players out on loan at the moment, shut up you fool and get on with your fight for second place.
What will 2018 bring?
My hope is for us to ease to safety well before the end of the season, an interest in the FA Cup after February, and for Amanda Staveley to finally make an offer acceptable to Mike Ashley.