It’s been pointed out many times that when we were relegated seven years ago we had players like Steve Harper, Kevin Nolan, Steven Taylor, Jose Enrique, Joey Barton, Nicky Butt and others pledge their futures to Newcastle and helped us get out of the Championship at the first attempt.
On the other hand some of the bigger names at Newcastle left the club that summer and couldn’t get out of the door quickly enough – those players who interestingly hadn’t exactly pulled their weight that season.
Rafa Benitez – manager of Newcastle United
In the end everything turned out very well and the lads fought like crazy to get us promoted from the Championship at the first attempt with a great 102 points.
In the same way this summer a number of players have already pledged their futures to Newcastle, but some of our bigger stars – notably Gini Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko – seem to want to leave the club.
There’s simply no loyalty for Newcastle from these two players and yes – we know there’s not much of it left these days at the top levels of football.
It’s no coincidence these two were two of our biggest failures last season – but there were others too.
And to be fair – Gini was our best player in the first half of the season, but he tailed off badly in the second half.
Both players disappeared too many times in games when the going got tough – especially away from home.
One of the unpleasant things clubs have to put up with they are relegated is that other clubs come in for your players and expect to be able to get good deals.
You become second class citizens for a while in the football world.
We have no real problem if we lose Gini and Moussa this summer, although we’d like them to stay and pledge themselves to the club.
But if they don’t do that then we should only let them leave on two conditions.
One is that we get huge fees for them – £20M for Moussa and £30M for Gini sounds good.
And the second thing is that we replace them before the end of the summer transfer window.
If they want to leave then so be it.
Former striker Mick Quinn has a very good positive piece in the Chronicle today saying that while it’s heart-breaking we are down in the second division, it’s also an opportune time for everyone associated with Newcastle United to get right behind the club.
We need to be pulling in the same direction – and that includes the club, Rafa Benitez, the coaches, the players, the fans and the media too.
It even seems the club are trying to do their part by lowering season ticket prices appropriately, offering some good deals and not laying any of the non-playing staff off.
Newcastle need to be United – now more than ever.
Howay The Lads!!