Things aren’t great at Newcastle United.
You might have noticed.
A club rotten from the top down, with only really the continuing presence (for the time being) of Rafa Benitez stopping the whole thing for imploding.
Difficult to know where to start with what Mike Ashley is, or isn’t doing, at Newcastle United.
A refusal to allow proper investment in the first team squad.
A refusal to allow proper investment in the state of the art training complex that was promised five years ago.
A refusal to allow proper investment in the Academy, Mike Ashley declaring (via the recent NUFC Fans Forum minutes) that he believes it is a waste of time because no guarantee it will produce first team players.
No proper professional team in place to try and grow the club off the pitch, particularly in terms of commercial revenue.
The thing is of course, if the first of these four things is done properly, then nobody really cares about the other three things.
The first team winning football matches is the be all and end all but when you are not doing that…
Which brings me to the Newcastle United question I heard/saw asked this week, which really brought home to me how bad things are now at the club.
The Chronicle were asking Newcastle fans the question: Who should be higher in the pecking order, Christian Atsu or Jacob Murphy?
This to me is the equivalent of being asked to choose whether you’d like to be hit in the face with a hammer or a brick.
No disrespect to either of the two players, or indeed a fair few of our squad, but I would be just as happy having an empty space on the bench.
The pair of them came on at Old Trafford and as usual did absolutely nothing, apart from weaken the team severely.
A bit like February to April this year when we watched that run of games taking NUFC to safety, Newcastle United have just about got a first team but absolutely no strength in depth. Only really at centre-back is there any decision to be made if everybody was fit – I would be happy with any two of Fernandez, Lejeune and Lascelles playing.
It is shocking the depths Mike Ashley has taken us to, when the local newspaper is desperately looking around for a story and feels compelled to ask you for a preference on Atsu or Murphy?
Yet because of such a serious failure to back Rafa Benitez, the manager is left with this level of players, Manquillo and Hayden included also, who end up getting in the team if there are any injuries.
It is a massive challenge for our first eleven to stay up this season but if there are four or five injuries in key positions then it will be a definite hopeless case, unless of course Mike Ashley finally backs Rafa Benitez in January…