‘It’s the hope that I can’t stand’
Nobody said it was going to be easy supporting Newcastle United.
If anyone did, then they are a liar.
Like every other football fan we have our ups and down but these 11 years under Mike Ashley are surely ridiculous beyond words.
To have an owner who has no interest in the club ever achieving anything on the pitch, apart from trying to survive in the Premier League on the lowest budget possible.
Ashley even having a stated club policy at Newcastle United of not trying in the cup competitions for so many years.
The problem is, that even under his ownership, moments have still come along when you have suddenly got hope that things are going to change, that rapid progress is possible once again.
We had it with Kevin Keegan replacing Sam Allardyce, only for Mike Ashley to undermine KK with Dennis Wise and quickly force out the Newcastle United legend.
Chris Hughton working miracles and winning the Championship title on 102 points despite no financial backing and many players sold, then getting into mid-table in the Premier League with once again next to no financial backing from Ashley, only to be sacked mid-season and NUFC’s best player instantly sold and not replaced in January 2011.
Even when by some miracle things came together and Newcastle ended up fifth in 2011/12 under Pardew, Mike Ashley refused to build on that by strengthening the squad, with almost a relegation instantly following that fifth place.
Now we have possibly the biggest one of all.
Despite Newcastle being already all but down, Rafa Benitez arrived in March 2016 as he said he could see the potential longer-term.
Given money to spend (but still making a £40m profit…) in his first transfer window of Summer 2016, Rafa won instant promotion as champions.
The last three transfer windows have seen a laughably low level of ‘support’ for the manager from the owner, yet still Rafa Benitez has ensured Premier League safety with half a dozen or so games still remaining.
What happens next is the big question.
It all seems so straightforward to fans as to what should happen BUT these 11 years of Ashley have shown us how dangerous it is to hope for common sense.
I saw a couple of articles on The Mag about this summer’s transfer window and how tight things are going to be.
It is now only 99 days until the summer transfer window ends and so much to do.
In 43 days the World Cup finals kick off and that is when I am targeting.
My hopes are that by then…
Rafa Benitez will have signed an extended contract.
If that happens, then I am assuming we will also have positive public statements from the manager confirming air tight guarantees that he will be properly backed.
Both Martin Dubravka and Kenedy quickly signed up on permanent deal.
At least two, hopefully three, other new first team players also signed by that point.
That is all I hope, and expect, to happen by the time 14 June comes around and I can then sit back and enjoy the World Cup.
I live in hope.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]