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Last week it felt like a death, this week it’s the funeral…

3 years ago

I have to give credit to a random anonymous Newcastle United fan on social media for that one (‘Last week it felt like a death, this week it’s the funeral’) but it pretty much sums up where I feel a vast majority of the Geordie public are now.

A week has passed and the club’s shock announcement that Rafa Benitez would not be continuing as manager, doesn’t seem to be anywhere nearer sinking in. If anything, the feeling has got worse.

My knee jerk response to that devastating news, which sent unexpected shockwaves across Tyneside, was that this is Mike Ashley’s last cruel dig at the Geordie faithful, before he hands over the keys to our UAE based saviours.

I was sure that within days the sale would be announced and Rafa would be welcomed back by our new owners and the adoring fans.

Instead, one week later we sit and read Rafa’s heartfelt goodbye to all of us who’ve loved him for the past three and a half years. Alongside that is George Caulkin’s exclusive chat with Rafa who confirms, not only his mutual love for us, but that his next stop is China.

As crazy as it sounds, it feels like when you’ve just had an unexpected break up and you’re sitting across the room looking at your ex beginning a new chapter with someone else. You know they’re better off, but you can’t help but feel angry, disappointed, upset. There may be many out there who could replace them but you know that things will never be the same.

It would have perhaps have been easier if Rafa had decided to leave himself.

However, the fact it was a decision made by the club, announced in the way they did, that makes the pill so much harder to swallow.

Even the prospect of possibly having new owners doesn’t seem to be enough to turn around the immense disappointment that we feel right now. Especially given that it is tainted with the distinct possibility that either the whole takeover is a fabrication of Mike Ashley’s PR department, or that it could scuppered by the man himself.

What happens over the next three or four days is going to be indicative of how we can all start to process our loss.

Should the Bin Zayed Group release the statement they are rumoured to be due to make, then we may be given a glimmer of hope that we can fall in love again.

If not though and the club unveil one of the many underwhelming names being touted as a potential new manager, then I’m afraid we’re all going to have a very hard job moving on.


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