You could see how the pundits would just have loved to see Newcastle labor in the Championship this season and if that wasn’t clear at the start of the season then it was after our first two games – two defeats.
They went crazy about those two losses – such fantastic joy.
And it seems we are finishing the season in the same way we started it – wobbling.
Of course after the two defeats in August we went on a 6 game winning streak and at the half way stage we were in great shape.
Rafa Benitez – wants to win trophies at Newcastle – the big ones
But then these last 8 games with only two wins has lost us points to Brighton – they got 21 points versus our nine and we will not win the Championship.
Of course pundits are saying (and will say) it will be a complete failure if Newcastle go up in second place.
What have these people been smoking recently?
We were unlucky to go down last may but we did and Rafa’s first phase when he signed a three year deal was to get Newcastle back in the big money of the Premier League.
5 points in our last three games and less than that by the number of points Huddersfield drop in their last four games will see us finish in second place.
So if the Terriers lose at Fulham on saturday we need two points to be promoted from our last three games.
Yes it would have been better if we could have gone up as Champions – we expected to – and then we could boast to everybody who would listen.
But we’ll forgo that little bit of joy to get back to the Premier League at the first attempt and into around £140M a season in money from the league and it’s a lot higher than the £7M each Championship club receives from the Championship.
We want to be back in the big time and we will be back in the big time.
It may be good news for the pundits that we have not won the league – Brighton will be the Champions – but hey – its’ still a huge success – just ask Villa and Norwich fans – their clubs will not reach the playoffs.
The national journalists (certainly not our local journalists) will try to make this negative for Newcastle, but once we are promoted we’re back with the bog boys – so forget it.
We will be delighted if we can now finish second after a major wobble that followed the two fantastic successive away wins at Brighton and Huddersfield.
Once we nail promotion things will become really exciting.
And it’s hard to criticize Rafa – most managers of his caliber wouldn’t risk their good name in a lower division – he’s shown tremendous courage to do that at Newcastle and gets no credit for it.
That’s why it’s such an unusual thing having a manager of the caliber of Rafa in the lower divisions in England.
Roberto Di Matteo – another manager who has won a European trophy (with Chelsea) did start the season at Aston Villa, but failed rather quickly and was replaced by Geordie Steve Bruce.
But we’ve said it before – the more successful you are in whatever field you are in the more criticism you get and Rafa is therefore very used to it.
If you don’t want to be criticized make sure sure you are not too successful in your job.
And when Rafa talked about winning trophies at Newcastle United he wasn’t talking about the Championship.