Welcome to summer transfer deadline day.
Or, as we officially call it in Newcastle Upon Tyne….Thursday.
In some nine hours time the window will slam shut at 5pm today.
Newcastle fans left once again looking back at the wreckage of another Mike Ashley transfer window.
A bit like a Blue Peter project, Rafa Benitez then expected to make a Premier League top half team out of a couple of cereal boxes, some string and a lot of imagination and inspiration.
Can I take you back 116 days, to St James Park.
Newcastle fall behind to a Lacazette goal on 14 minutes, Arsenal dominant.
However, yet again Rafa’s team showed themselves more than a sum of their parts, surprising pretty much everybody when not only pulling it back to 1-1 with a Perez goal on 29 minutes, but then Ritchie scoring the winner on 68 minutes and the Magpies finishing the game well on top – creating chances and looking by far the better side.
Quite remarkable, as on the day Arsenal had two strikers on the pitch who each cost roughly the same as Newcastle’s entire starting eleven.
That match was also when Newcastle United became totally safe from relegation, reaching 41 points with still a month and five games in hand. An unbelievable performance from Rafa and his players, considering the lack of investment allowed by Mike Ashley.
I remember in the pub (pubs!) after the match, all the talk was of the opportunities that now lay ahead.
A world class manager, brilliant momentum, an extra month now available to plan as Newcastle knew they were preparing for the Premier League once again and not the Championship.
Moving forward 116 days and it feels as though it was a dream, the polar opposite of the nightmare that has transpired.
It was taken as read that an early offer would be going in to buy Kenedy, a player who had excelled in his loan spell but who Chelsea were never going to play, a player who if signed up could be a cornerstone of foundations for the coming years.
With money not having been spent last season and a minimal net spend, even Mike Ashley would see that there was an open goal waiting…
Kenedy signed on loan once again, which is temporary relief, but the message clearly that there is no long-term aim of any ambition and/or convincing Rafa Benitez to stay.
We stand here today with a transfer deadline day profit in this window so far of almost £30m and yet scratching around for loans and/or cheap untried kids from abroad, as Rafa Benitez still wants at least two extra defenders as a minimum.
It seemed laughable back in April to consider we might not break the 13 year old club transfer record and now it seems only laughable that we ever thought that.
Although saying that, Newcastle have of course beat that Michael Owen £16m, though yet again it is a sale price that has beaten that figure, Mitrovic sod for £22m (could rise to £27m), following Carroll £35m, Cabaye £20m, Sissoko £30m and Wijnaldum £25m out of the door.
Rather than buying Kenedy and other players for £16m+, Rafa hasn’t even been allowed to spend £10m on a player, Yoshinori Muto (£9.5m) the biggest splash.
Elsewhere, Rafa having to rely on loans, frees and bargain priced buys.
Welcome to transfer deadline day, you should be fine just so long as you expect absolutely nothing positive to happen, then if we get another loan, free, or bargain buy in, you can think of it as a bonus…