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Opinion

Siege mentality at Newcastle United has a limited shelf life

1 month ago
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After 25 matches last season, Newcastle United found themselves with 24 points and one point above the relegation zone with 13 games remaining.

After 25 matches this season, Newcastle United find themselves with 24 points and two points above the relegation zone with 13 games remaining.

Nobody can honestly say there has been progress.

However, despite this, the Newcastle fans have stuck by Rafa Benitez and his players.

The crowds at St James Park have remained above the fifty thousand mark on average.

The reason why though only the Manchester United match has been a sellout so far is all down to Mike Ashley, as he refused to allow any net investment in the team and actually insisted on a £20m+ profit being made instead.

The cherry on the top of this bad tasting icing was that the owner put ticket prices up all around St James Park, some season ticket holders having to pay over 20% more than the previous season.

The supporters sticking by Rafa and his players has certainly been nothing to do with the quality of football or entertainment value.

Newcastle fans had to wait until November for the first win of the season and it wasn’t until the 19 January when Rafa’s team picked up their third home win of the campaign.

Goals have yet again been in short supply as there was a total failure to put proper resources into the attacking third, despite selling Mitro for £22m (rising to £27m), Rafa restricted toa £2m loan on Rondon as a replacement for him AND Gayle.

Last season Newcastle scored 39 goals in 38 games.

This season Newcastle have managed 21 in 25 games.

Since returning to the Premier League that is only 60 goals in 63 matches.

Yet the fans have stuck with it, there has even been great pride shown in the ability and commitment of the team to grind out results, or even low scoring defeats to top teams.

However, this siege mentality can only have a limited lifespan.

Newcastle have only conceded 80 goals in these 63 PL matches so far but without hope of better times ahead, that can’t keep these levels of support up.

The hatred of Mike Ashley has been enough to turn thousands away already and so many more are only clinging on in the hope that things will change for the better.

A gutsy survival campaign last season on minimal spend was accepted up to a point.

This season has been a shocker in terms of the continuing lack of investment and resultant lack of quality and entertainment.

Newcastle fans need hope and whilst Almiron is a welcome arrival, he doesn’t even take spending into a net investment for this season, Ashley still making a small profit on deals in and out this past year.

New owners, Rafa staying, investment in the team, would mean guaranteed full houses next season, in fact any two of the three would do so.

Newcastle fans now need something of substance to stay after these two seasons.

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