As Newcastle fans we don’t ask for much.

We aren’t Manchester United supporters complaining because they are only a poor second in the Premier League.

We aren’t Arsenal fans wondering at the injustice of not having won a trophy since May 2017 (well, apart from the Community Shield in August…).

We aren’t Manchester City supporters who can’t even be bothered to turn up for a Cup semi-final at home – only 35,746 turning up last night as Bristol City supporters made up 7,680 of the 43,426 attendance, which itself was some twelve thousand under capacity.

As Newcastle fans we speak about trophies as some kind of surreal concept, we think that they do exist but don’t seriously ever expect to win one.

Instead we just turn up at matches hoping for at least one of two things.

These are fun and pride, usually at least one of them will be more than enough to keep us going, the two together and we are really happy bunnies.

Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson were those rarities, they both knew what Newcastle was all about AND they delivered an awful lot of fun on the pitch.

Great football to watch much of the time when each was in charge and they also inspired pride, whenever they spoke you listened, packed pubs after matches would be hushed into silence within seconds as KK and Sir Bobby came on the TV screens, Newcastle fans hanging on their every word.

Newcastle supporters also spot a wrong un a mile off and even in that season when NUFC fluked fifth place under Alan Pardew, fans still never really took to him. They loved the wins and some of the performances, bottom line was that many matches were decided by the odd brilliant goal, as Ba, Ben Arfa, Cabaye and Cisse all really peaked in terms of being match winners.

The post-match interviews were still largely embarrassing as Pardew couldn’t even spell class never mind exhibit it. The lies were shocking, especially then when everything was falling apart, as Alan Pardew was willing to say anything on behalf of Mike Ashley, no matter how ridiculous it made himself look.

This is of course before we then get to headbutting opposition players and calling an opposing manager a c… when facing Manchester City with Pellegrini in charge.

Steve McClaren was a bit of a ‘Pardew lite’ without the aggression/abuse, whilst we had John Carver offering to fight his club’s own fans. What a time to be alive.

Chris Hughton was somebody who kind of gave us a mild form of Keegan and Robson, maybe with proper (any?) support from Mike Ashley he could have given us much more. Despite next to no funds, Hughton gave us plenty of pride and fun, organising the team to get instant promotion at a canter and then comfortably in PL mid-table after wins such as the 1-0 away at Arsenal and a 5-1 Halloween hammering of the Mackems and 6-0 revenge on Aston Villa.

Managers such as Souness and Allardyce should never have been allowed within a million miles of our football club, arrogant and self-absorbed, they were shameless in taking huge payouts after doing their best to ruin the club.

As for Mike Ashley, maybe the appointment that best summed him up was JFK, a total embarrassment having him employed not once but twice.

Actually I take that back, easy to forget with everything that followed, that Dennis Wise was made the most powerful man at Newcastle United. That’s right, the hated Dennis Wise brought in to undermine Kevin Keegan.

Apart from managers, the catalogue of other crimes committed by Ashley at NUFC is hard to believe…

Renaming St James Park (for nothing, in favour of his own tat shop), taking on Wonga as sponsors, the treatment of club legends such as Shearer and Keegan, the stadium just one gaudy billboard for SD (with no revenue for NUFC), the discrimination case brought by cancer victim Jonas Gutierrez, and so on.

When Rafa Benitez approached Newcastle United after McClaren’s departure it was very bizarre.

After leaving Real Madrid he was willing to make his next stop Newcastle United, a club that looked certainties to be relegated, famous for all the wrong reasons under Mike Ashley, but he saw the potential…

His arrival instantly gave Newcastle fans a little bit of pride back, a world class manager who could see what their club was potentially capable of.

Even in the 10 games he had left that relegation season, he massively built on that first boost he gave supporters.

Once he got his feet under the table and realised what he had in his squad, Rafa put together a six match unbeaten run that just failed to bring safety, that run of games including matches against Manchester City (went one down but came back to draw), Liverpool (went two goals down but came back to draw)and Tottenham.

That Spurs match on the final day was remarkable for so many reasons.

Fifty thousand Newcastle fans turned up determined to convince Rafa Benitez that he should stay at the club despite going into the Championship.

He then masterminded a 5-1 demolition of the visitors despite Mitrovic reducing the Magpies to 10 men when the score was only 2-1.

If you had turned up to St James Park that day, you would never have guessed by the actions of the Newcastle fans that it was their club who were already relegated, rather than being the one who had been title challengers all season and had already qualified for the Champions League.

The supporters had belief, as well as pride in their club, which was all down to Rafa Benitez. We also had fun that day, a lot of it.

Since then it has been more pragmatic under Rafa, maybe not that much fun as it has been a more workmanlike job of ensuring promotion and now trying to ensure safety from relegation.

The pride though has been a constant in how Rafa Benitez has gone about the job despite the disgraceful undermining of him by Mike Ashley and his minions.

An incredible 51,000+ average at St James Park in the second tier was purely down to the manager staying at the club, the same this season with over 40,000 season tickets sold and almost every game sold out, as well as every away ticket.

There have also been glimpses of fun and a suggestion that with better quality players, the entertainment level will rise as well.

Against clubs where Newcastle can be competitive they have played good football against the likes of West Ham and Stoke, both home and away in each case.

In matches between clubs in the bottom half of the table, Rafa and Newcastle are easily top when it comes to wins and points.

Newcastle fans have got their pride back just so long as Rafa Benitez is here and that pride is actually even bigger because supporters recognise just how badly the manager is being let down by Mike Ashley.

It is the good old story of good on one side, evil on the other, darkness or light.

Newcastle fans now have the anxious wait to see if it will be Rafa Benitez or Mike Ashley that leaves the club and decides our fate.

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  • Soldier

    Rafa`s a top manager but look back over the last years & apart from being relegated we`ve survived with managers who couldn`t lace Rafa`s boots & that`s all Ashley wants, survival, he has no intention of taking the club forward and Rafa is wasting his time here as Ashley will never change

    • nufcslf

      He even said so this time and is still taking the p*ss. Total rsole.

  • Paul Patterson

    We will only move on as a club when this owner sods off..

  • FatParosite

    Just like the watered down beer you can buy from the cynical terrace fast food holes, our expectations, ambition & gumption to put things right are watered down too. I blame the pathetic fans who stomach the pitiful state we are in and their sanctimonious cat calling of those who protest by not going. You are squarely to blame, you soulless sheep of the Gallowgate. You have nothing to lose but your Wonga shirt…

    • anyobrien

      Good effort bah bah bah.
      Ho and by the way I haven’t had a Newcastle shirts since I was 15…1986 I believe… Toddle pip

    • nufcslf

      Here here. I do want to see those that do go turn on the fat c** t. It would get world wide attention from televised matches. I couldn’t go, I would be escorted out if I did. I’m happy enough watching matches and not letting it ruin my weekend anymore. Simply turn it off at the end and it is like it never happened.

  • Peaky Magpie

    Still all quiet on the Fatso front,must still be unpacking & doing his washing from his hols ! Fat c**t !

    • anyobrien

      Hope the fat [email protected] has food poison

      • Mitros gotta start

        If he caught flesh eating disease the fat slug would still have 10 years to live

        • nufcslf

          Too many layers to get through to do any damage.

    • TheFatController

      Still trying to finish that ‘first coffee back from the airport’ out of his SD mug…?

    • Phil

      Not even he is tight enough to wash and reuse his mankini! Surely that has to go the distance!

      • Peaky Magpie

        😂😂That is an image that would frighten the s**t out of Freddy Krueger

        • Phil

          I hope he stayed in a private villa to avoid innocent members of the public having their eyes burned by the sight of his keg.

          🍻 Here’s to another 10 years!! 😥

    • nufcslf

      Very well put.

  • TheFatController

    Very accurate assessment. ‘Pardew Lite – without the aggression/abuse’ had me laughing.

    One thing that Ashley is a hypocrite over is his attitude to PCP’s relegation clauses.

    They allegedly make him angry, but surely if the anger is around a belief that either
    a) we won’t be relegated so it offends him or
    b) if we get relegated under PCP ownership this season that’s their look out in his opinion,

    Then he’s either
    a) guaranteed the second payment when we stay up or
    b) not entitled to extra money if he isn’t selling a stable PL status club.

    That’s why he annoys me, he wants everything his way, even when reality is screaming facts in his face that don’t match his wishes. Strange case of denial.

  • S.G.M.

    Someone will have to explain to me why Ashley employed Benitez.

    • TheFatController

      To keep us up in a desperate situation?

      Bit the bullet on employing a manager who doesn’t need the club as much as the club needs him?

    • Leazes

      A. To window dress the club for a sale that never happened
      B. To avert imminent relegation that another massive underspend had caused
      C. To string the fans along by giving them hope.
      D. All of the above.

      Next question

      Explain to me why Ashley employed Charnley?

      A. To undermine managers
      B. To select players from the lower end of lists
      C. To hide under a rock for ten years.
      D. All of the above

      Next question

      Explain to me why Ashley employed Keith Bishop PR?

      A. To enforce the wall of silence around the regime
      B. To sell the Club.
      C. To make a video which says ‘I’m going nowhere’
      D. To do Frank Spencer impersonations.

      • Cockneytrev

        I agree with all of the above, except the sale, I think he’s ever intended to sell the club,, it’s too much of a cash cow,, if I’m wrong I’ll stand corrected,,

  • Toonrobbybobson

    If Rafa leaves and the sale doesnt go through im taking action. Im not going until mile Ashley is gone. Im fed up with an ambitionless club. The fans and the city dont deserve it. Hes a cancer. We have to do something to be rid of it.

    • Cockneytrev

      Unfortunately it will take the 40,000 season ticket holders to join you, I can never see that happen,,
      Everyone has a different breaking point, I reached mine with the skips full of Sir Bobbys photos,,,

      • nufcslf

        Totally agree and a lot of those 40,000 aren’t even real football supporters. Just go because it is the trendy thing to do and the rest is all corporate filth. The numbers won’t drop that much and nothing will be said. Cashley should have been run out when he forced KK to walk. This is when I gave up on him. Any change will be a God send and hopefully the fresh start needed. Can’t see it happening any time soon unfortunately.

    • Mitros gotta start

      Mile ashley?…..hope he is better than fat mike

  • Rich Lawson

    Presumably another season of dashed hopes,lies,misery and a relegation battle ’til the last day !

  • Coble’s Return

    I accept that the discussions around the sale have to be conducted in confidence, but it would kill the club to put out a statement every couple of weeks or so to confirm that the negotiations are still on going and to give some idea of when they might conclude. It is not even that Ashley gives us no hope – he actually drains what hope there is.

    • Mitros gotta start

      Yes….if any talks were happening

  • kingfisher

    Do all these constant, arguments, legal cases, trials and tribulations, bad press etc. etc go on at any other club, or have we got the monopoly of constantly shooting ourselves in the foot ?

    • FatParosite

      We’ve been aiming at it since the Pirate told us to…..