A ray of sunshine at Newcastle United or the calm before the storm?
This is a summer that is sure to stick in the memory.
Not for any positive reasons of course.
It isn’t exactly the Newcastle United equivalent of that 1976 summer of sunshine that UK residents enjoyed over 40 years ago (was that really so long ago…?).
For Newcastle fans, this summer has been like the equivalent of venturing through one of those ghost train rides at the fair where they have people dressed up who step out of hiding, you never know when the next horror/shock is going to come but you know for sure it is coming very soon.
It is now exactly 10 weeks since that 4-0 win at Craven Cottage, which represented pretty much all the positives from last season.
The 2018/19 campaign wasn’t a stellar season for Newcastle fans but it was one where Rafa Benitez once again held a sure and steady course, even when up against it, his talent and experience meant the Spaniard didn’t panic, ensuring a safe season on the back of a disciplined defensive line which meant that goals against record that only two clubs outside the top four could better (just as was the case in 2017/18).
More surprising was seeing Jonjo Shelvey getting only his second ever Premier League goal for Newcastle since signing three and a half years earlier.
Fast forwarding these 10 weeks and yesterday Shelvey was pivotal in the win over West Ham at the Premier League Asia Trophy.
Newcastle United fans left wondering whether Saturday was a ray of sunshine or the calm before the storm?
After the 1-0 win, Jonjo Shelvey claimed that replacing Rafa Benitez could actually work out best for Newcastle United…
After all the misery of this summer and indeed an embarrassingly bad 4-0 hammering by Wolves only three days earlier, Newcastle fans should of course be allowed to dream of better.
Winning a friendly against a very poor and weakened Hammers side doesn’t tell us that much but at least it does mean we can wonder that if a lot of other things are put right in these next three weeks, just maybe the club is capable of pulling back from the cliff edge.
With Mike Ashley’s wilful neglect and seemingly an intent this summer on doing everything he can to ruin the club, fair to say that many fans feel that it is best to just get over that cliff edge as soon as possible because the only way Ashley will leave is when the club is most definitely on the rocks.
Whatever we all think though about the politics of the situation, it is very difficult to want anything but a win for NUFC once a game kicks off.
However, to be sitting here with only 18 days until the transfer deadline and not a single signing so far, points to an awful lot of defeats unless there is significant belated investment and an awful lot of luck.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]