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Opinion

What the media are (deliberately?) missing is that Rafa Benitez gave Newcastle fans hope

1 week ago
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The newspapers and neutrals have been depressingly predictable.

When it comes to discussing Newcastle United they can’t even get the debate right, never mind ask the right questions.

Far too willing to accept the Mike Ashley PR messages, rather than peel away the very thin layer that covers up what should really be talked about.

What the media are (deliberately?) missing is that Rafa Benitez gave fans hope.

Rather than their daft agenda of the debate being solely about whether Steve Bruce can get as many points as Rafa did last season.

The problem is that when the media talk about Bruce matching/bettering Benitez, they take it down to the most basic level possible, so plenty of journalists have focused on comparing this season’s opening results to last season.

Bizarrely, for some journalists that means they are talking of Steve Bruce even being already almost ahead of the game, having four points from four matches compared to the three points from 10 Premier League games that Rafa’s team started last season with.

Is there a greater misuse of statistics? As always you can get them to mean anything when concentrating on such a small sample.

The previous season saw Rafa’s players accumulate 14 points in the opening 2017/18 ten games BUT it still ended in a pretty much season-long relegation season.

Bottom line is that the way Mike Ashley runs the club, relegation will always be a worry.

Indeed, of the 12 seasons Mike Ashley has owned the club, there have only been maybe four or so that have featured comfortable Premier League seasons, without any real fear of going down.

Mike Ashley only lives season to season with his brand of ownership but Newcastle fans see beyond that. We don’t/won’t judge the management issue solely on how many points and whether or not NUFC stay up this season.

The Newcastle supporters are gutted about Rafa’s departure because he had given hope beyond what happens this week, this month, this season.

The Spaniard wanted to set solid foundations, to be convinced to stay on he needed the promise of backing to transform the infrastructure, to have proper funding for the Academy and Training ground, as well as a breakthrough summer in terms of radically transforming and improving the first team squad.

After having to carve out Premier League survival two seasons in a row despite severe austerity measures from above, the time was right for that giant leap forward. A top class manager at last getting the proper backing and freedom to start the transformation of Newcastle United from top to bottom.

It wasn’t about trying to survive another season in the Premier League.

However, that is what we have regressed to yet again.

The Rafalution is over and Mike Ashley is back to his preferred option of a patsy Head Coach in charge of only training and team selection, whilst any long-term planning yet again is ignored.

Fans are left once again simply wondering how long this team will survive in the Premier League and how long the new Head Coach can last before the inevitable parting of the ways.

How different things could and should have been.

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