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What has happened at Wolves is a lesson for Newcastle United

1 year ago

Imagine if as a Newcastle fan at the end of May 2017, you had declared you wished you supported Wolves?

Rafa Benitez had just led Newcastle United instantly back to the Premier League.

A staggering average home crowd of over 51,000 in the second tier for the Magpies.

A top class manager and a massive fanbase right behind him, with even realistic investment this was a club that once again was on the up, momentum and confidence building.

What could possibly go wrong?

Meanwhile, Wolves had just finishing 15th.

Crowds as low as seventeen thousand (lowest of the season 17,156 v Wigan.

The end of May seeing them appoint what would be their fourth manager in 10 months, including an interim one.

That summer of 2016 proved pivotal for both clubs.

Fosun International bought Wolves whilst sadly Mike Ashley stayed at St James Park and refused to properly back Rafa Benitez.

That next season (2017/18) Nuno got the backing from the new owners at Wolves and they went up as champions, whilst Rafa used his experience and expertise to guide Newcastle to early safety, finishing 10th in the table against the odds as he was given minimal backing.

On promotion, Nuno was given the right backing in summer 2018 to ensure that momentum and confidence of promotion as champions was built on.

Wolves going on to finish seventh, with now full houses of 31,000+ pretty much every week and plans to enlarge Molineux. They got to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and qualified for the Europa League.

Nuno further backed in the transfer market in summer 2019, star loan striker Jimenez secured on a permanent transfer for £34m and loan midfielder also tied up thanks to a £16m permanent transfer fee. A net spend of around £84m to keep the club moving forward under a respected manager.

Over at Newcastle, Rafa was forced to make a £20m+ profit on transfers in summer 2018 and thus guaranteed to face another relegation battle.

Once again he overcame the odds, got Newcastle early safety and even got them playing some great football. Despite a serious lack of backing in the transfer market, over the final 28 games of last season Newcastle had the eighth best form and over the last 16 games they had the fifth best form.

Mike Ashley reacted to this by forcing Rafa Benitez out of the club and not allowing any bid to be made to buy player of the season Salomon Rondon, the striker scoring 11 PL goals and getting seven assists, despite arriving unfit and with no pre-season, taking time to get fit.

The NUFC owner forcing through a return to having a patsy head coach only there to train and pick the team, with Ashley and associates picking which players to sign.

Wolves are probably not going to win the Premier League, they may well win nothing…BUT they are going to try their very best to do so and at the same time grow their club as much as possible.

Their fans are looking forward to their fifth European trip of the season already on Thursday in Bratislava, with at least one more guaranteed in Portugal at Braga.

Newcastle fans aren’t deluded, they just want our club to have a go and do their best like Wolves are doing.

A bit of a European adventure, maybe an FA Cup run to the semis (In 12 years of Ashley we haven’t won more than one FA Cup game in any season) and as far up the Premier League as possible.

We can only dream.


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