It’s not exactly a barrel of laughs for Newcastle fans at the moment.
One point from twelve so far, in the relegation zone heading into the international break, with the cherry on the top being some of the least attractive football to watch that you could (not) hope to see.
A potent mix that should surely see supporters calling for the manager’s head.
Yet, you would struggle to find any/many Newcastle fans who would seriously criticise Rafa Benitez, never mind demand that he be sacked.
This is very confusing and disappointing for neutrals, especially bitter rival supporters and experts/pundits.
The natural default for football fans when things go wrong is to call for a change of manager, yet the opposite is true at St James Park.
Instead of the Newcastle fans getting angry, it is those who are desperate to see NUFC fail, who are the ones getting upset, which says it all really.
There is a kind of siege mentality that has built up between Rafa Benitez and the supporters, along with the playing squad to an extent.
It is the kind of thing that you would only usually find at a small club that is massively trying to punch above its weight, possibly Nigel Clough and the journey he has had with Burton Albion being a good example.
Newcastle United are not a small club, no matter what Mike Ashley and his minions do to try and persuade people otherwise, yet we do find ourselves in a position where NUFC are having to try and punch above their weight due to a significant failure to properly invest in the squad.
So much so that success this season would be hanging onto a place in the Premier League.
This really bewilders neutrals and frustrates our enemies, the supposedly deluded Newcastle fans who are claimed to expect to be automatically challenging for the top four and title, instead being relieved if Newcastle can survive this season.
Of course, the supporters aren’t happy with this situation, but they are understanding of the position Rafa Benitez finds himself in with his squad.
The football is horrendous to watch at times and it isn’t being disloyal to Rafa to say this. We know that trying to scrape the odd point here and there against the better teams, as well as ensuring no major damage to the goal difference, could prove crucial come the end of the season.
In fact if we are honest, most of last season Newcastle’s football was a struggle to watch, the flat atmosphere at so many games at St James Park reflecting that.
However, we understood that staying up was vital, stage two in Rafa rebuilding the team/club.
First promotion as champions, then a safe (10th a bonus) finish after getting back up and with limited transfer funds to play with, then this season it would be pressing the button and the team/club going forward again. Key signings to come in at realistic price tags for this modern era, not Man City level prices but the money you need to spend to bring in at least one real quality goalscorer and creative player, as well as the other less stellar signings that were also needed. Signings that would help produce more attractive football and give the team a chance of progressing further.
This is where Rafa and the club have really hit a dead end and no matter how much our enemies want Newcastle fans to point the finger at Rafa Benitez, we all know it is down to Mike Ashley.
The state of the club now, if Rafa Benitez left for whatever reason, there is quite literally nothing else left that would remain to keep it from falling apart.
That is why Newcastle fans are saying enough is enough when it comes to the overall direction under Mike Ashley, we can cope with poor football and current struggles but you can’t carry on forever without any tangible hope of better to come.