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Opinion

When the penny drops that just maybe the key person at Newcastle United is the manager

1 year ago
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An interesting few days for the media who cover Newcastle United.

Obviously there must have been a bit of a glitch, a time delay in them catching on to what NUFC fans were saying months ago.

The Brighton game being a bit of a trigger, a new low that meant the journalists had to face reality.

Even the club’s pet local paper is joining in, so things must be bad!

The Chronicle very belatedly now asking some of the questions/issues that the rest of have had at the forefront of our minds since long before the season kicked off.

You know the worm is turning when even Steve Bruce’s best mate, Luke Edwards at The Telegraph, is now expressing concern as to Newcastle’s season, although he is still steering well clear from criticising the head coach.

All journalists like to back the winner and I think after that worst shambles so far on Saturday, they didn’t need to get their crystal balls out to imagine what is likely to happen next.

So second best against an average Brighton at home, so easy did they pass through our lines, it was like 1970 Brazil v Brucie’s bins.

To now have a run of games against Leicester, Man Utd, Chelsea, Wolves and West Ham, the journos are getting their fingers out and counting up the likely points, no doubt wondering if they will need to go past their first hand for the 11 game points total.

Up to this point, if you openly criticised Steve Bruce and the rest of Mike Ashley’s circus that has brought us to this shambles, you would likely be attacked with two things. Namely, Rafa Benitez only got three points in his first 10 games last season and what are you talking about, we beat Champions League runners up Tottenham.

Spurs are on a run of two wins in their last nine Premier League games, five in their last 18. Newcastle have given Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea and Tottenham good games and/or beat them in the two Rafa PL seasons, they aren’t all that good. Liverpool and Man City are on a whole different level but that is it.

The win at Tottenham is held up as some great tactical triumph but it has been like pretty much every other game this season, defending almost non-stop but on that occasion we got the goal and Spurs were feeble in their attacking ideas (and despite a strong side out they have lost to Colchester on Tuesday night in the League Cup).

As for that reference to Rafa’s first 10 games last season, you have to be really desperate to be taking any comfort from that when confronted by the current mess.

Rafa was having to rely on the likes of Joselu and Muto whilst Rondon got fully fit. Once he did get fit we never really looked back in terms of feeling confident of eventual safety.

Contrast that with our £40m superstar having started every game and if you’re honest, Newcastle could easily be sitting here with no points, as Watford and Brighton were certainly better on the days when they faced Newcastle.

I feel sorry for Joelinton. I haven’t got a clue who insisted that he was a £40m striker (Rafa told Ashley that Joelinton was worth £20m at the very most) and neither indeed do the journalists, although at least they are starting to ask the question.

Instead of following the club propaganda, they are now wondering exactly who at the club made that valuation and decided he was such a must-have this summer. Bottom line is that Newcastle needed two reliable goalscorers to replace Rondon and Perez, plus two high quality wing-backs, instead Ashley and whoever’s great plan was to spend the vast majority of the money available on somebody whose best season was scoring eight goals in the Austrian league, a striker who is never fit to start and two budget wing-backs on the cheap who are nowhere near good enough.

I understand that unlike us fans, newspapers/journalists have to at times give new people the benefit of the doubt but when they were all saying, with varying levels of enthusiasm, that Steve Bruce’s CV justified getting the job, it was laughable.

It was the same when back in the day Graeme Souness arrived, or Pardew, or Carver, or JFK, or McClaren, none of them should have even been considered.

The amusing thing for me is that fans aren’t saying Steve Bruce should be sacked. Instead the feeling is that it is all a bit pointless because Mike Ashley would employ somebody just as bad, or even worse.

The journalists have finally realised as well that fans have had enough and a serious number are going to stay away from the matches until something radically changes, which appears to all focus on Mike Ashley selling up.

Yes you will get more Newcastle fans going to say the Man Utd game and the crowd bolstered by neutrals and Man Utd fans in the home areas BUT the spell is broken and doubtful any match will sell out this season, as things stand.

This club has stepped off a cliff this summer and only now are certain parts of the media realising that we are all but certainly on a headlong rush to the rocks below.

So many journalists willing to go along with the club PR that was trying to tell us that Rafa Benitez was no big deal, that indeed even Steve Bruce could be better, with more entertaining football and better results.

Gullible fools the lot of them, too willing to ingratiate themselves with Mike Ashley and his minions such as Lee Charnley.

The fans called it as they saw it this summer and saw it for the disaster that it was.

For Ashley to want to get rid of Rafa Benitez and replace him with Steve Bruce should have been ridiculed across the board.

The thing is, whilst we might not have seen our team win anything, down the years we have seen some great managers right through to useless ones, the same with players. We know quality when we see it and we also recognise the ones who will never be good enough.

Sometimes things just don’t work out for whatever reason with the odd manager/player but when it comes to the likes of Rafa Benitez and Steve Bruce, we instantly knew where their natural place was.

Nothing  in these past 10 weeks suggests otherwise.

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