A lot to talk about, isn’t there. Over the past few days I’ve seen people criticise Ashley, Charnley, Carr, Benitez, Townsend, Allardyce, Sky Sports, John Hall, Goufrann and true faith for NUFC not signing a player in January. It’s been smashing to see so many old names who enjoyed berating other fans for crimes such as ‘going to the match’. Welcome back lads, it must have been murder these past few months while most have been content with their lot.
Straight to it though; Rafa Benitez leaving Newcastle United could be the end for the club as we know it. In reality the club could be promoted without Rafa Benitez. It’s a good squad. The long term ability of the club to compete at the top end of the Premier League would be damaged as no coach of the same calibre would work with us, but the club might survive. There’s no way the club could be as successful but it could survive. What it won’t survive is Mike Ashley making ‘football decisions’. He came on live television two years ago and told us those days were over. If he resumes control of ‘footballing matters’ then the club will not survive it. It’s a personal opinion. Maybe I’m wrong. The appointment of Joe Kinnear twice was akin to Excite passing on the chance to buy Google. Placing Dennis Wise ahead of Kevin Keegan was as bad as Apple firing Steve Jobs (presuming Ashley is more familiar with those areas of failure). That Newcastle United aren’t playing in a lower division is miracle after his calamitous stewardship of the club before he saw sense. If he is back making football decisions with a scout, the club is done.
However. I am not happy with the decision of Rafa Benitez to publicly make clear his frustrations on Tuesday. There was no call for it. No one has benefited. We are talking about politics again, hierarchy and panic. He has sent the Newcastle United related internet into meltdown. If he has grievances I would prefer them to be aired privately. If he is frustrated being paid an alleged £5 million a year to manage at this level but not given two more players, I feel and share his frustration having just paid for transport, tickets and accommodation in Brighton. A game live on television but a game myself and thousands of others will attend in person at huge expense as we believe in him and this football club under him. If he sees his future away from the club due to being lied to, mislead or just conned by Mike Ashley then he has my understanding and most likely thousands of others. There was no need for Wednesday though. No need.
I should be moaning about the home support, the referee or the overreaction today and preaching unity as we face a massive game on Saturday. Instead Benitez has clouded the issue and it becomes more difficult for me to answer his call to arms in the knowledge that the hours I put in on Saturday with flags, getting behind the team, writing and podcasting about Newcastle United (which regardless of those who dislike it, is enjoyed by a reasonable number of people.) If he is to leave at the end of the season, or god forbid before then the impact would be the same without three months of worry, speculation and (heightened) hysteria.
Me and thousands of others are trying. Filling away ends, being positive, going to games, flag displays, getting behind the lads at games (even though we’re in a huge minority). What’s the point if as he didn’t get one or two players and all of sudden he’s taking on Mike Ashley in public. Who wins? I absolutely love Rafa Benitez. I want him to be manager here, with all of the control for years to come. I agree with him on the atmosphere at games and the fans needing to back the team. He’s made it more difficult for me though. Maybe I’m the only one, but a little bit of me has detatched itself from the club since Wednesday, and if there are others like me he has made a mistake.
United played well second half after being dreadful first half. We were shocking first half against Rotherham as well. Derby are a solid side at the level. I want to see Isaac Hayden with the ball in the box in the first half on Saturday. I want to our fullbacks pushing up from the first whistle. We sat back too much at home in the first half against sides. Goufrann upfront gave the side more balance and Ritchie gave the left side an actual attacking threat when moved out there and Sammy Amoebi went wide. Perez played better in the second half. I’m not a fan of his but sang his name as he left the pitch on Saturday. That’s what supporters are supposed to do.
Derby got a great win on Tuesday at Ipswich, a side in free fall. Before that they lost at Leeds and Norwich without scoring. I expect United to improve and win the game.
United by two goals. Someone from the club needs to clarify what the hell is going on.
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