It is just over two months since Newcastle United beat Arsenal.
That completed a sequence of five wins and a draw from seven games, with only the defeat at Anfield really messing with the stats.
Actually, the drawn game was the one at Bournemouth when Newcastle were two up with only 10 or so minutes to go, so that run of form could have looked even better.
The five wins included victories over both Man Utd and Arsenal, as well as away at Leicester.
A massive bonus as well, was that Newcastle were actually playing some really good football, the wins over Leicester and Man Utd were achieved by pressing the opposition, whilst against Arsenal the second half also saw Newcastle getting to grips with a better quality team and looking the better side.
The talk amongst fans at that point was a case of adding two and two and two and two and two…and getting a perfect 10.
Firstly, the current form and results suggested better times ahead, with even a possible eighth place finish.
Secondly, surely as well as Dubravka’s already agreed £4m permanent fee, Rafa would be backed to also add Kenedy, who had so energised the team.
Thirdly, with only a year to go on his deal and having achieved promotion as champions & 10th in the Premier League, Rafa Benitez must be so appreciated by Mike Ashley, that even this owner would be desperate to please him and get the manager signed up on an extension.
Fourthly, as well as Dubravka and Kenedy, this summer there would be another three or four first team signings added.
Fifthly, with Rafa’s penchant for getting players in early, Ashley would give him the backing and freedom to get quickly on with the job in hand.
I still can’t believe that here we are almost 10 weeks after that win over Arsenal and we are in this position.
I defy anybody to claim that back in mid-April they could have predicted just how badly we all feel now.
It is like somebody is on purpose crushing all of our hopes and getting great enjoyment in doing so.
I wonder who that could be…
I love Newcastle United but as they say, there is often a very small divide between love and hate, and at this point I truly hate Newcastle United.
I have never seen us win a trophy and whilst I would love to see it, it doesn’t really annoy me that much.
However, when there is a situation that comes along where Newcastle United have a chance to really push on, and we don’t, it really does my head in.
We had such a brilliant opportunity after partly fluking that fifth place finish in 2011/12. Only Vurnon Anita was bought in summer 2012…and Newcastle ended up fighting relegation throughout the season, only making it safe when winning the final away game at QPR.
Then to a lesser extent in 2013/14, despite not a single player bought in summer 2013, the team were buzzing for much of the first half of that season. Imagine if Mike Ashley had persuaded Loic Remy to sign a permanent deal that January and gone after one or two other better quality players, it could have persuaded Cabaye to stay and then…instead Cabaye was sold, nobody bought, the season collapsed.
Now in summer 2018, Mike Ashley had Rafa Benitez knock on his door and volunteer his services in March 2016 and he is set to waste yet another golden chance.
Snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory.
If we’d signed a couple of decent players by now I couldn’t have cared a less about the season ticket rises, even though they are totally uncalled for, but to do that as well, surely Mike Ashley is just laughing in our faces.
I don’t pretend to have the answers on what to do about a problem like Ashley but my spirits are so low at the minute, I won’t be renewing my season ticket and will wait and see. Any encouragement and I will get it but if necessary I will even just wait and decide whether to go to matches week by week.