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Opinion

Newcastle United once again fatally fail to seize the moment

12 months ago
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On Saturday 7 April, Newcastle United beat Leicester City and reached 38 points, and effectively confirmed there was no chance of relegation.

On Sunday 15 April, NUFC won 2-1 at home against Arsenal and moved onto 41 points, meaning that beyond all reasonable doubt they had reached their safety target.

It was the victory over Manchester United that was the real turning point, that 1-0 win now over 11 weeks ago.

Newcastle never really looking back after that point, with the defeat at Liverpool predictable and not knocking Rafa and his team off their stride.

Consecutive home wins against relegation rivals Southampton and Huddersfield had put United on 35 points with still seven games remaining.

That win against Huddersfield was 31 days ago, a point when certainly Mike Ashley would know where the club was going to be next season and start planning accordingly.

Either get on with selling the club and let somebody else have as much time as possible to prepare for next season, or get on with it yourself.

If we are still going to be stuck with Ashley then one big sign of good intent should have been easy to achieve and quickly be made public.

The fact that there is still no news of a Rafa Benitez extended contract, is not great news.

A club that is hopefully looking to try and make great strides in the right direction, should have had the finger ready on the button, then 100% press it once that victory over Arsenal happened, taking Newcastle beyond that 40 points mark.

Imagine the positivity running through the whole club and fanbase, if in the days after that victory, we had seen a big press conference with a smiling Rafa Benitez talking about his plans for the future and that everything was now agreed and in place, to back him in taking Newcastle back to where the supporters, and Rafa himself, believe the club should be.

Everybody would have been buzzing and the run of positive results would surely have continued.

I’m convinced that it would have been a point at the very least at Everton and definitely a win against West Brom, St James Park would have been rocking. Newcastle would have either been in eighth already or at least still favourites to finish there with a game in hand.

Instead, we had two dismal low key and low energy defeats, without even scoring a goal.

It is like the season has pretty much ground to a halt and along with that, much of the positivity brought by the recent performances and results.

It isn’t that it is impossible for things to still turn out alright but it just feels for me like so many of these years under Mike Ashley and moments when he could have grasped the opportunity to take the club forward.

It now looks like he has once again priced the club way above its real worth, ensuring no sale.

So will he once again risk losing this manager and having a stable club on the up once again?

Could he really be that stupid…?

Under Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson we saw just how powerful the momentum can be once the club starts moving in the right direction, if left to get on with it and realistic backing, who knows what Rafa could achieve.
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