I have seen any number of fans saying that if ever there was a season where it was understandable that Newcastle United don’t take the cups seriously, it is this one.
Personally, I don’t think they could be more wrong.
This is a season where Newcastle should be throwing everything at a trophy, especially the League Cup, starting tonight at Forest.
Rafa Benitez is in the final season of his three year deal and clearly has no intention of staying, unless Mike Ashley sells up or has a sever bang on the head that causes him to run the club in a completely alien way to what we’ve seen in these past 11 years.
As far as I can see, at the minute there is zero chance of either of those two things happening.
So what are we left with?
Well, for me we should be utilising to the maximum this final season with the best manager we are going to have in the remainder of Ashley’s ownership, whether that proves to be one year or thirty.
So what is the point of this struggling on trying to stay in the Premier League, where survival is the only aim?
Surely if Ashley was ever going to show some ambition and allow realistic transfer spending, it would be this season with a World class manager in place.
He has no interest in trying to win anything, winning for Mike Ashley equals Newcastle staying in the Premier League with the least possible money spent, ensuring PL revenues and most importantly, worldwide TV exposure for his retail empire.
I would love to see Rafa just throw everything at the cups.
For example, why has nobody at all spoken about the sheer futility of saving players for the Manchester City match at the expense of tonight at Forest?
Fair enough if players are injured, then leave them out but if somebody can only play one or the other match, let them help us get through to round three of this cup.
We are going to get beat by Man City whatever team we put out, so why not put the best team out to win tonight, plus there is a two week gap after Saturday anyway.
If Newcastle won tonight and then got a kind home draw in round three, if you get through that you are then only two wins away from a two-legged semi-final.
There is no fear now surely of the Championship, surely the fear of Mike Ashley still owning the club for years to come is far more scary.
If we did go down, at least we could attack every game and try to win.
If we came straight back up then great but if NUFC stayed in the Championship, then so what. If might convince Ashley that the game is up.
I’ll leave you with this punchline.
If the unthinkable happened and Rafa Benitez did lead Newcastle to a trophy, we have this promise from 2015.
Mike Ashley declaring that he wouldn’t leave until Newcastle United won something.
Well, what greater motivation could there be for Rafa, the players and fans, to really try and win this League Cup?
Mike Ashley – 24 May 2015:
“The only positive is that we have got the club on a very sound financial footing.
“We are able to spend relatively and punch above our weight now with the current situation the club finds itself in.
“(The plan is) Definitely to win something.
“By the way, I shall not be selling it (Newcastle United) until I do.
“(The club is not for sale) not at any price.
“When I say win something…
“If we ever get in the position that we get a Champions League place that also qualifies as winning something.
“To be categorically clear, I’m not going anywhere until we win something.”