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“We Want You To Go. We Want You To Goooooo. Rafa Benitez, We Want You To Go…”

3 years ago

Long time listener, first time caller…

“We Want You To Go. We Want You To Goooooo. Rafa Benitez, We Want You To Go…”

For all the same reasons we’d want Rafa to stay.

Having fully digested the Liverpool match, I’m convinced it’s the only way forward for Newcastle United Football Club.

Forget languishing mid-table; with the odd result against a top 6 team; with the knowledge we have a squad who wear the black and white stripes with honor and pride; with an unlikely cup run (don’t make me laugh…). This team needs to go doon [down]. And it needs to stay there. Until the day that it’s no longer “cost effective” for Big Fat Mike Ashley to hold hostage our beloved club as a profitable “asset”. We deserve better. And so does Wor Rafa.

I watched Saturday’s match with a great deal of joy and satisfaction. For stretches, I thought the team was brilliant. They rode their luck; got stuck in; and dared (at times) to venture forward and attack one of the most expensive, expansive teams in Europe. And they did so with the backing of 52,000 odd Geordies (the ones who didn’t sell their seats to Scousers on the secondary market). It was the stuff of dreams. Or better yet, the stuff of days gone by. Of the “cup specialist” squads at the turn of the 20th century (any readers old enough… alive enough, to remember them?); of a European conquest in ’69; a “3-1 down, 4-3 up” near miss in ’74; Keegan and Peter “Peta” Beardsley; Gascoigne and Waddle; “The Entertainers”; Wor Al’s back to back FA Cup final failures; even Alan Pardew’s 5th place overachievers in ’11-’12 (“we was unlucky”). I’m leaving some out. Perhaps there’s a season or stretch of matches that readers fondly remember. The first match with a parent. Or a child. But you get my point. Ours is a special club. Because it’s ours.

But it will never be ours again until Big Fat Mike Ashley leaves. And Rafa Benitez knows that. Rafa is the best of what the game of football has to offer. He’s a worker. He takes immense pride in that work. He’s also a teacher. My favorite moments of him as the manager have been during post-match, after a good result, when he takes to the pitch with his players, and you can find him giving both praise and instruction. Because the job is never done. There’s another match next week; next month; next year. “We’ll be playing them again soon…” How did we ever get so lucky?

And yet, how are we so cursed? Rafa Benitez knows how to manage a football club. He knows the game. He knows what players can do; how to motivate and improve the players he has. And he knows what he lacks. He’s not always right. He can’t “get through” to everyone. But his “misses” are few and far between. And I’ve been hard pressed to find a player in the squad (either who was here when he took the reins or who he bought) who has not improved under his tutelage. Hyperbole aside, he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to this football club. And Big Fat Mike Ashley is the worst.

Big Fat Mike Ashley is greedy. He’s dull. A quick buck artist. The opposite of a visionary [checks for antonyms of “visionary”]. He’s everything Rafa Benitez is not. But he’s the owner of Newcastle United Football Club. And he will be until the day he’s no longer able to suck every pence and pound from it. Rafa Benitez knows it. And every black and white blooded supporter knows it, too.

So, goodbye Rafa. You deserve better. You deserve a hierarchy that supports your vision and imagination. You deserve the right to have a go at the riches, silverware, and immortality this game has on offer. You deserve better than Big Fat Mike Ashley. Of course, Toon supporters do, as well.

That’s why we need a “yes man” (preferably English) manager. A squad of adequately paid, overachieving, over the hill footballers. Let’s get relegated. Let’s stay there. And let’s just give up… And not care. Let’s make it financially unfeasible for Big Fat Mike Ashley to stay.

Let’s all suffer a little more. Then, just maybe, we can start to heal.



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