Like most of you, Newcastle United is never far from my thoughts.

I did kid myself I could switch off for the duration of the World Cup but even when watching the matches, which I am really enjoying, I still can’t help wondering whether that Iranian left-back could do a job for NUFC.

Each day I check, just in case, as to whether we are supposedly close to signing anybody.

Obviously it hasn’t been the most active transfer window so far and it is hard to know what to think.

I am always interested in reading the views from fans on The Mag, even if I don’t always agree with what people are saying.

I always fancied writing something myself and now I have got over the line, I thought I’d give you my thoughts on the transfer window.

First of all, I have to say I am definitely amongst those Newcastle supporters who would usually be regarded as more optimistic than the rest.

Even when a couple of goals down with five minutes left, I will still be shouting and encouraging the players – believing we can still get something, as many season ticket holders around me in the East Stand are heading towards the exits.

I find it easier to deal with the trials and tribulations of following Newcastle United doing it this way, believing something good could happen at any moment. Definitely better anyway, than those who get trapped in almost willing something bad to happen, just so their negativity/misery can be proved to have been well-placed.

However, I have to say, this current transfer window is trying even my patience.

It was an excellent article by Dean Wilkins on The Mag this morning that really grabbed my attention, pointing out Rafa’s total silence this summer is very much like summer 2017 when he eventually went public with Ashley letting him down and breaking ‘promises’ on transfer. As that article pointed out, transfers took a while to get going in summer 2016 but we did have Rafa keep telling us in the media that there was no cause to worry and transfers being worked on.

Despite me being a born optimist, I am finding it very very difficult to have good thoughts about Newcastle United.

After his frustrations of the last three windows, if Rafa Benitez had half decent transfer cash to spend this summer then surely he would have had early transfer targets lined up and already signed and sealed.

Why would he be waiting and signing nobody so far, it just doesn’t make sense.

The thought that we are waiting on targets with the intention of then outbidding other Premier League clubs, is just something I can’t imagine.

The media say time and again how much preparation work Rafa does and how meticulous he is, so I have no doubt he would have been ready and waiting to pounce quickly on transfer targets.

It is 10 or 11 weeks since fans and manager knew we would be in the Premier League next season, so you have to think that from that point, all Benitez was thinking of, was how to make the team/squad better.

The players are back for pre-season in 11 days time and then shortly after that will be away for pre-season training camp and team-bonding in Ireland, 100% he would have wanted three or four new players minimum by that point surely.

Even though we have got a shockingly bad fixture list in August and September, if we had already banked a few decent signings I would already be thinking bring on Tottenham and the rest. The way things stand now though, I am actually dreading it.

Even as a born optimist, I knew last season we massively carried our luck in that February/March run of form, Kenedy making a big difference as well, a player who could hurt the opposition and always trying to run at them and make something happen. Newcastle had looked very ponderous and predictable up until the Brazilian came in.

I haven’t given up and I do think only a better quality striker, along with at least a number 10 and/or left winger, would get my spirits bubbling away once again.

I would say I am currently living on a knife edge, when it comes to myself and my usual optimism about Newcastle United.

Even one credible ambitious signing would convince many of us that things are going to be still ok.

We know we won’t be getting surefire superstars but the minimum we do need is some signings that give us hope.

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  • Fireman Sam

    The fact that Mike Ashley completely refuses to allow the club to invest the money it has generated in one or two quality signings, shows his total lack of ambition. Mike Ashley sees us as eternal relegation scrapers, handicapped in a false position for a club that is being used to subsidise his business empire.

    • SuperDesHamilton

      Fatty is an asset stripper, remember selling Carroll for £35 mil UPFRONT & replacing him with Kuqi

      • Kneebotherm8

        Par for the course with Fatboy.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Terrible if true.

        Carroll went, Kuqi filled a gap for a few months and then we bought Cabaye, Ba, Marveaux, cisse and Obertan. Now Obertan didn’t work out but we ended up with a much better side.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      OK Fireman, where has it been stated that “Ashley completely refuses to allow the club to invest the money it has generated”. He’s stated at the start of last summer, the club can invest the money it has generated but no more loans. It may not be what you want to hear but it’s fairly clear.

      The club is not handicapped in that it is being used to subsidise his business empire, quite the opposite in fact.

      • Danimal

        It’s not generating nearly enough due to the appalling way it is run (into the ground).

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Really, it’s been run reletively profitably since 2010 but for the last Championship season.

          • Danimal

            It may well make a small profit (or wipe its nose as Pardew would have said) but something’s got to give. After 11 years of apparently getting the finances in order, we have one of the best supported clubs in the land, constantly struggling to compete with comparable and much smaller clubs. We are also to believe that the wages to turnover ratio has now spiralled out of control. Surely the ‘contracting out’ (hiving off) of commercial activity severely limits the money that can be generated. It is being generated of course but it’s arriving in someone else’s account.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Outsourced income is profitable where it’s been anything but in the past

          • Danimal

            So we’re the only club in the PL that is incapable of making profit from commercial activity such as catering, merchandise, corporate events, sponsorship and advertising? It’s just bad luck that we can’t do it while everyone else can. It’s the postcode, the way the wind is blowing, the bloody horoscopes…or maybe it’s because your hero Mr Zero Hours is poisoning the club. By the way, it’s well acknowledged that under Freddie Fletcher this club maximised income and in recent years has been the only PL club with a decreasing commercial income. Great work Ashley. Thanks so much.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Many other clubs do the same, why do it yourself when someone else is better at it.

            Freddie Fletcher has long since left, well before Fat Freddy was found out. I met with Freddie Fletcher talking about the licence arrangements with Adidas and he said they had problems back then with catering because the ground is close to the town with, let’s face it, far better options than at a football ground

          • Danimal

            Yes I’m well aware the late Freddie Fletcher has “left”. Yeah, all those other PL clubs are wasting their time trying to hire out corporate facilities when they could follow our example and downsize. Eventually they’ll all realise that our unique approach is the way forward.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            He’d long since left before work Mike got the gig

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            You don’t seem to understand the concept of outsourcing

          • Danimal

            I’m fine with the concept thanks. I’m not fine with our club performing well below its potential. You obviously admire this man as a person and the way he goes about his business. Each to their own.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I don’t think you understand the concept at all. Why do you keep going on about corporate income being lower?

          • Danimal

            It is well documented that our commercial activity has fallen off the pace. Corporate entertainment is only one part of that. I don’t keep going on about it, I touched on some other areas too. If you think everything in the garden is rosy, then good for you. Enjoy.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            “It is well documented that our commercial activity has fallen off the pace. ” By who? It’s been mentioned by some ill-informed blogger and repeated by half-wits on forums like this.

            If an revenue stream is out sourced, the club will see the revenue reduce but also costs will fall. The money received is all profit. When we did our own catering, we sold the burgers, pies and coffee ourselves but we also paid for the raw materuals, staff etc. We ran the risk of making a loss as well as profit. There are obvious pit-falls in running a catering outfit where the business only operates once every two weeks so why not get an expert catering company to pay for the privilege of trying to make a profit but guarantee the income stream for the club.

          • Chuck D

            It’s relatively and that statement is b*llox!

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            It is but it isn’t

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Optimistic after 11 year of Fatso,
    Oh dear, it seems some people are all to ready to accept the mediocre & that`s exactly what you`ll get as long as he`s here.
    Keegan`s statement of over a decade ago still rings true, he knew exactly what sort of Scumbag the owner is

    • Dillon Tovak

      My favourite Jabba the hut quote is “you’re my type of scum”
      That’s most likely the way our Jabba greets his cronies, Penfold, Pards, Wise, Kinnear etc

  • East Durham Mag

    It’s not so much optimistic about NUFC as more pessemistic about Fatty and Penfold and the way the regime run the club.

  • Kneebotherm8

    If Benitez is forced out,then hopefully it’s only halfwits like 👻🏇 that carry on supporting the regime at this football club.

    • Peaky

      Nobody has seen nor heard anything from Rafa for a month now…..I hope he’s not in the foundations of a new SD somewhere….

      • TheNutJob

        along with Jezza

        • Peaky

          Just a thought but….are Rafa & Jezza the same person….

          • TheNutJob

            😂😂😂😂😂

          • Peaky

            When Jezza returns from his sabbatical we are going to get bombarded with 3 months worth of “I told you so’s”…..

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I hope not, Jezza is a lying fantasist.

      • Big Hairy Man

        Maybe Ashley has eaten him.

        • Peaky

          Rafa paella washed down with a nice Rioja…..or more likely in Fatty’s case 22 pints of San Miguel…..

          • Big Hairy Man

            Then a puke in the fireplace.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    We will spend fifty million plus. Think the problem is that when go for players the price doubles and we have to make sure we get value for money. When Ashley gave McClaren seventy million to spend we actually bought good players they were just mismanaged that was the problem. Keep the faith the signings will flow. Glad you stay to the end of the matches. Still remember the day half the fans left on the final day of the season against Wolves when Bobby Robson was manager and we finished fifth and did a lap of honour. Makes me laugh when fans call on us to build a bigger stadium when the hard core is probably thirty thousand at best.

    • TheNutJob

      can`t wait, i really excited

    • Big Hairy Man

      We will only spend £50m+ if we sell £60m+. Everyone knows Fatty’s modus operandi after a decade of underinvestment.

      • Wezza147

        Yep that is the way he operates. Since our net spend under Ashley is 32M and the 126M TV money has fell into the MASH black hole we will have to sell to buy, we’re poor after all remember from the conveniently late 90M ‘loss’

        • Peaky

          “MASH black hole”….like that 👍👍

          • Big Hairy Man

            Once something goes in it never returns.

        • Geordieguy

          The books were late because they were undercooked. And the black hole is Michael fatley’s @rse

    • SuperDesHamilton

      it seems Newcastle are the only club in world football that has this problem

  • Leazes.

    Bennett….there’s another one from the South West of England… can I Introduce you to uncle Tom Cobley….. all together now

    Tom Pearce, Tom Pearce, lend me your grey mare
    All along, down along, out along lee.
    For I want to go down to Widecombe Fair
    Wi’ Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Dean Wilkins, Jackie Smithfield
    Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon,…an uncle Tom Cobley an all….

    • Peaky

      😂😂😂

      • TheNutJob

        what`s he on the day
        😂😂😂
        🍷🍹🍷🍹

        • Leazes.

          Tea and Coffee….this is just the oddest site!

          • TheNutJob

            Brandy in the coffee ?

          • Leazes.

            Nah just half a demerara sugar

          • TheNutJob

            😃.

          • Peaky

            In the same cup ??? Now that is odd….

        • Peaky

          Tennants Super with Jim Beam chasers…..

          • TheNutJob

            he`s on tea,

  • TheNutJob

    another goal for CR7, my bet`s looking good

  • TheNutJob

    having read the ronnie gill yesterday & today, total spend is £105m already
    😂😂😂

  • Peaky

    Chapman & Jenas…..what a pair of fuc*ing twa*s…….

    • TheNutJob

      dislike both of them, Jermaine Genius is leazes fav pundit
      😁😁

      • Peaky

        Putin should keep them there and send them to Siberia along with the Nevilles’ & slimy Frank.

      • SuperDesHamilton

        I watched the 03/04 premier league years on sky sports & every single goal we conceded started with Jenas being robbed of the ball…thought it was the players around hims fault he won nothing 🤔

        • Peaky

          Looking at him earlier I can only assume there’s no barbers in Moscow than can cut his hair….

  • TheNutJob

    Spanish papers reporting Mikel`s on his way home to Spain for 12m euro`s

    • SuperDesHamilton

      No one is anywhere near the ability of Busquests or will be, a rate him that highly. But we’ll sell merino & bring in some scrub on loan from Stoke

      • TheNutJob

        nobody can touch Busquets but in 3 yrs this kid will make his fee look like a quid & be in the Spanish team

        • SuperDesHamilton

          we’ll get 20 mil & spend 3 on a loan for an injured player & Monkseaton will say it was needed to balance the books of non existent debt

          • TheNutJob

            Papers in Spain says 12m euro`s

        • Stephen

          Couldn’t agree more.
          The best young footballer at Newcastle since Gaza’s.

          • TheNutJob

            rumour has it he`s going, it`s a disgrace

    • Geordieguy

      Let’s hope it isn’t true . Alright he didn’t play that much because of shelvey and diame but he could be a top player of the future . But this is such a basket case of a club you always fear the worst . Short term penny pinching is their MO

  • kingfisher

    I don’t honestly know why Rafa is still here. I used to believe that he knew that the takeover was going to happen and that’s the reason why he stuck around. I think the chances are that the next big news story will not be Newcastle signing somebody but Rafa telling Ashley to lick ’em and stick ’em. And who could blame him ?

    • Wezza147

      If we sell Lascelles from under him I’m sure he will be away. Rafa is professional, unlike the owner and cronies and seems he wants to see this year out and maybe then talk about renewing next season maybe. One thing is for sure though. Ashley will never change. This club is going nowhere under him and money is the only priority, the football a distant second.

      • Peaky

        Don’t think OUR club or the football is a distant second anymore Wezza….way way down his pecking order…the money yes,without a doubt…..the fact remains the devious fat piece of 💩 hates us as much as we hate him….if that’s possible.

        • TheNutJob

          Fatty now use`s an Apache attack helicopter for the likes of Jamaal, gets him to London quicker

          • Peaky

            I bet he checks eBay every day to see if there’s any Stealth Bombers up for sale…

    • Peaky

      Couldn’t agree more……and still walk away with his head held high.

      • kingfisher

        Exactly Peaky.No one could blame him if he walked away, and as you say, he could hold his head up high.If the takeover doesn’t happen and we don’t sign the players required to at least compete, then what possible reason could he have to stay when he could have the pick of some of the top European clubs? very strange !
        TheNut Job reckons it could be about money (see my reply)

    • TheNutJob

      he has 6 million reasons to see out his contract or he`d be off

      • kingfisher

        Although you could be right,I’m not sure if he’s money orientated Nutty.He must be a millionaire by now, and as he gave £1000 to each of the families affected by the Hillsborough disaster (£96,000) I think he’s a man who puts principals before profit.

        • Damon Horner

          I reckon the principles bit is right. He has a contract, an agreement (a promise) and unlike the owner he’ll commit to it. No doubt lining up his next club later in the season from next summer.

          • kingfisher

            Yes, you could be right Damon.A bit like Sir Bob when we approached him when he was at Barcelona and he would’nt break his contract.Good men with high principles and morals.

  • TheNutJob

    Pedro must be at least as good as Alan Titchmarsh by now lads
    😂😂

    • Peaky

      Divvent want to start any rumours like but didn’t he disappear about the same time as Mandy ????
      😳😳

      • TheNutJob

        aye

  • TheNutJob

    for all you ex pats Newcastle`s summer exhibition starts on Friday for 10 weeks.

    • Peaky

      Wor Lass will be expecting you & Moose to put him up if he comes over for that…
      😂😂
      🇫🇷 🇫🇷

      • TheNutJob

        😂😂
        🐸🐸🐸🐸

  • kingfisher

    A friend used to say that we all think we are all football managers and football is all about opinions.Obviously everyone on this site has differing opinions on Ashleys running of the club,from it’s Ashleys fault for not giving Rafa enough funds, to it’s Rafas fault for making some bad buys,etc etc,but at the end of the day the simple fact is that while all our rivals are strengthening,we as usual are p*****g about,treating one of the greatest Managers we have had with contempt and we have not signed the required number of players who everyone knows we need.
    We have one of the highest attendances in Europe,a great fan base,a great stadium and a great Manager, and the situation we continually find ourselves in year after year i.e false promises, lies and low budget signings, is down to one man, and one man only :ASHLEY
    As long as he’s here we will never,ever achieve the success that we all crave.

    • TheFatController

      True.

      I wouldn’t mind but when I hear people say we are doing ok under Ashley and going places, they are forgetting that he himself told us we weren’t unless he could sell us to someone’s wealthier.

      It takes some sort of blind loyalty or trolling to back someone with strong belief in him, when he himself has already stated he knows he can’t bring success !

  • Peaky

    Total travesty there’s nee Hoss in that Spain first eleven….

    • TheNutJob

      i fink Wrighty`s a top geezer pundit though

      • Peaky

        Bilic makes me laugh….he couldn’t give a flying fu*k and looks as though he wishes he was somewhere else…

        • TheNutJob

          hear Keane he wanted to do Iran`s manager in.
          😂😂😂

        • TheNutJob

          me dad calls him slavering Bilic & says the Arabs never win cos they`ve all got flat feet
          😂😂

      • Geordieguy

        Yeah so thoughtful calm insightful and intelligent . He’s the Oracle of football and no mistake

      • Geordieguy

        If he gets more than a balloon and a lollipop from itv then he’s being overpaid

  • Peaky

    Newsflash….Rafa has been told by 🐷 & 🤓 that he has an unlimited budget and can sign anyone he wants from the World Cup………France 98’….

    • TheNutJob

      good Zidane
      😵😵
      Penfold`s on the phone now

      • Duh

        Guivarch

        • TheNutJob

          NO

          • Duh

            Another toon legend…

          • Kneebotherm8

            Leg End..

    • Kneebotherm8

      😂😂

  • TheNutJob

    Rafa must be at his wits end, dropping a dime last year on Penfold to HMRC didn`t work, so nowt will
    😂😂😂

  • paul mclaughlan

    Michael are you from Middlesbrough?

    • Leazes.

      They don’t usually answer do they? The Mag is a 3 Man show pretending to be bigger by drawing in Mark’s mates in media to write the odd article.

      No he’s from Newcastle and his name is Simon van der Velde….. same writing…..same outlook (run it up the flag and I’ll satuite it) same ‘positivity’ and statements of ‘optimism’ as just about every character he creates using names from the South West Corner of Britain.

      • paul mclaughlan

        Hahaha. I’ve a cousin through marriage called Michael Bennett. He’s from the land of smog. But his dad is a Walker lad and Michael supports the toon.

  • Scott Robinson

    I was ever an optimistic pessimist when it came to following the Black n’ Whites as it is a bit like following the Scotland national team! Hopeless loyalty, but a hope never likely to be fulfilled when you look at what we always actually have. If anyone watched the BBC prog about the 1978 Scotland visit to Argentina, that just about sums up my life following NUFC.

    Scotland thought (Ally McLeod convinced them) they could win the World Cup and they did have some great players from Dagleish to Souness, so every daft Scotsman to a man thought they could win it as they were told it was the best national squad to ever leave the UK. Then they get trounced by Peru and draw with the mighty Iran. The Scots fans in Argentina threaten to lynch the team as they get on the team bus, but turn up for the Holland game and suddenly 3-1 up with that great Archie Gemmel goal. Pessimism turns to the thought again of winning the World Cup, then Holland score and reality hits home. The impossible dream.

    If you haven’t seen it watch it on BBC I Player. Watching the kick abouts in flares and long hair in 1978 was a reminder of what street football was like in towns all over the North east. The passion of the Scots fans. The dream of winning the World Cup and selling your shop to pay for the travel to follow your dream. Those who took two plane flights and then realised they still had to travel 5000 miles by bus to get to Argentina. The lads who painted a ship on the journey to pay for their fare. The Scotland team hotel which was worse than Byker 1978 and what the players had to suffer!

    There was a Leeds lad on a website who said his greatest memory of loyal football fans was to see the marauding Newcastle fans come to Eland Road in the 70’s and it was like Scotland fans turning up at Wembley for the England match and a complete invasion. Those of a certain age will see ourselves in the daft Scots fans even if it was only the delusion of 1974 and a trip to Wembley. Those younger should watch it anyway.

    • Kneebotherm8

      I watched it last night…….well worth watching………..recommended..

  • Brian Standen

    Great first article. Sums up how a lot of us are feeling

  • Mrkgw

    The regime continue to suck the life out of our club. Bit by bit, they filter any bit of goodness away and worst of it is that we supporters put up with it. ASHLEY OUT!

  • Waxi

    I for one have stopped looking at the papers as they are full of [email protected] with the usual line a transfer is edging closer we are about to bid and it will happen soon. Click bait the lot of it as only fatty knows what the manager can spend and we all know it will not be anywhere near what we need to spend. The fat controller got it spot on as Ashley himself states we can’t compete yet he ups his price for the club what a greedy bloke he is when you think what he gained out of NUFC. Rafa will be away at the end of next season IMO and then the [email protected] will hit the fan and the protests will kick off again as we are going nowhere under MA.

    • Mirandinha9

      I disagree, we are going places under Cashley. We’ll be relegated for the third time during his tenure..

      • Duh

        That’s Sunderland you’re thinking of

    • Duh

      People have to stop getting preoccupied by signings, that’s rafa’s job.

      If he does not get what he expects, I think we will all know about it and that’s the time to get worried and kick off about it.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        the Die is cast,
        he has no chance of getting the players he wants

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    There`s a good chance Rafa will go into next season with a squad no better that the one he has now.
    what if he doesn`t get Kenedy or someone of his standard on loan,
    what if we sustain injuries to Dubravka, Lascelles or Jonjo, Who replaces them.
    Benitez performed a miracle last year due mainly down to 2 loan deals & very little injuries to key players.
    i`d say at this moment in time it`s 50/50 on being relegated again

    • Peaky

      Not sure about Cardiff but Wolves & Fulham will both outspend us and that’s not to mention the likes of Brighton,Huddersfield,Burnley etc etc….

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Won`t take much doing outspending Newcastle

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    I wonder what happened to the Blonde & her Fakeover,
    now that was a very Curious Case indeed, here today gone tomorrow,
    just like Nufc`s money !

    • FatParosite

      Don’t worry she will be paraded in the media by backdoor Bishop should someone come knocking for Rafa…. Just to keep those who are hard of thinking amused while stripping continues.