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Opinion

Newcastle fans ignoring the big fat Elephant in the room

12 months ago
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I don’t want to burst any balloons…but I must admit I am failing to get carried along with the wave of positivity many Newcastle fans seem to be experiencing.

At the actual matches it is a different story, for the 90 minutes I have really enjoyed both the Man Utd and Southampton matches, especially after only three wins at St James Park all season before that.

Even the away matches at Bournemouth and Palace had a lot of up points, taking the lead in both games, Newcastle were good in the first half at Selhurst Park and then it was only the last 15 minutes or so that let them down at Bournemouth. The defeat at Liverpool was expected and just damage limitation.

The positivity that I can’t join in with, is any real hope/expectation that there is anything beyond enjoying these last few matches.

Clearly things haven’t improved behind the scenes, Rafa Benitez using the break in Spain to brief journalists, saying that things have to change if Newcastle are ever going to get away from the cycle of failure under Mike Ashley.

Whilst we have more hope of avoiding relegation and the football has been better, I see it just undermined yet again by Mike Ashley.

He is that big fat elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about.

There are only 48 days now until the end of the season and then in under four weeks after that, the Summer transfer window opens.

Any normal club will be forward planning, especially after the last three transfer windows where Rafa Benitez was undermined and the squad left well short of what the manager wanted.

The Chronicle recently reported that their information is that nothing will happen until the season ends and then Mike Ashley may hold talks on a new contract for Rafa Benitez and transfer budgets.

We have seen it all before.

It always seems with Mike Ashley, that it is just a case of saying we’ll get through to the end of the season and then see what we do then, what we (he) can get away with.

I can see things happening very quickly once the season ends but it is very much a case of hope for the best but fear the worst.

I feel a bit like I am on a great holiday but know that when I get back home the reality is that I am still losing my job.

Rafa Benitez is the ultimate professional and he has shown that he keeps it together during a season and despite the lack of backing in these past three transfer windows, he simply gets back on with the job once they are over.

This summer feels different.

I can’t believe he will put up with being messed about for a fourth transfer window in a row, promises not kept.

Rather than the end of the season, Mike Ashley in the meantime has to make clear to his manager that things are going to change – either by selling the club or running things in a far different way.

When you wonder just how ridiculous Ashley can be and think surely he won’t risk losing Rafa Benitez, you only have to remember the total failure to try and build on that fifth place finish in 2011/12. Surely no other club owner would have acted like he did?

Rafa Benitez does still give us hope but Mike Ashley’s shadow still falls over him.
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