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Opinion

Bank Holiday Blues

2 months ago
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Coming down off the back of a Bank Holiday is never easy.

I know I should be grateful for the bonus day off work and the fact it is only a four day working week to follow.

However, after three days off work ‘relaxing’, going back to the grind is a total pain.

Add in Newcastle United and it has been a complete nightmare this time.

I loved Saturday.

Yes we may have lost to Liverpool but the team and fans were class.

Nothing to play for and yet…everything to play for.

Rafa Benitez, his/our players and the fans themselves, every match is one to take pride in. It being a bonus that the eyes of the World were on us and it being a vital game in helping to decide the Premier League title.

Yes Liverpool might have been missing a player or two and had taken a knock in losing 3-0 in Barcelona BUT the team that they did put out on the pitch cost them ten times as much as the 11 Newcastle started with, plus I’d argue we were weakened more by the injuries to Almiron, Lejeune and Longstaff.

Despite that, NUFC more than held their own, no way did we deserve to lose.

The scousers scored three goals from only four efforts on target and I think if the defence had been at the kind of highs we have seen for much of the season, all three goals could have been prevented.

Add in hitting the woodwork and the ridiculous linesman on that free-kick that led to the winner.

Stepping back for a moment, it is all a bit mad just how much enthusiasm you can generate at St James Park based on very little. The presence and professionalism of Rafa Benitez allied to instilling desire and commitment, as well as discipline, in the team.

It isn’t like we have seen loads of goals or great football this season, or indeed for pretty much all of Mike Ashley’s 12 years, give or take that 2011/12 season.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry last night watching Manchester City.

I swear, is somebody had watched our game on Saturday and Man City’s against Leicester, they would never guess it was the Mancs and not Newcastle that needed to win to more or less seal the PL title, as well as take a massive step towards winning a domestic treble.

Although I suppose it was noteworthy last night that there weren’t the usual thousands of empty seats at the Etihad/Emptihad.

Sitting here after my day back at work, the Bank Holiday Blues are overwhelming me.

Football is my main escape from the pressures and stresses of work, family and everything else.

In these three seasons under Rafa we have got out of the Championship and scraped over the 40 points these two Premier League seasons. Yes the Newcastle fans can see just what could be possible if the manager was treated with some respect by the owner, given a decent budget, then allowed to get on with the job.

We aren’t demanding trophies, just to not waste the golden opportunity Rafa Benitez has given us. A quality manager who believes he can deliver much of Newcastle’s potential even with Mike Ashley as owner.

Rafa has somehow managed to bring a halt to the club simply being seen as a laughing stock, a miracle in itself.

If Ashley forces Rafa Benitez out of the club, there won’t be riots on the streets. Instead it will be a signal for thousands and thousands of fans that this is all just pointless. They will walk away and find something else to do with their time and money.

Like them, I will still get the Bank Holiday Blues, but no longer will they include Newcastle United. This is Mike Ashley’s very last opportunity to prevent the total meltdown that he has promised for over a decade.

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