With the international break upon us, these are not the best of times for Newcastle United.
Those pre-season fears that the lack of spending in the summer transfer window were realised and there is a dark cloud hovering over us.
Here at Vital Newcastle, we’ve plucked three concerns out of several we have, concerns that could affect the long-term future of our fine club:
1 – The ownership of the club is the major obstacle that is preventing our on-field development. If Mike Ashley wants to sell the club then let’s get it sorted, it’s dragged on for far too long and the bitter atmosphere it has created has been to the detriment of our fine club. Other Premier League clubs have changed hands, deals have been done and hands have been shaken. But, our proposed sale seems as far away as ever.
2 – The continuation of Rafael Benitez in his managerial role, beyond the end of this season, is something that concerns the support. Rafa has worked wonders on a limited budget and, last season, not only ensured the club retained its top-flight status but finished in a very respectable tenth position. Unless the problem highlighted in item 1 is addressed, the bitter atmosphere will, we feel, almost certainly see the Spaniard leave when his current contract expires in May.
3 – One point from the opening four games isn’t the start that the support were hoping for. Only West Ham, with four defeats from four games, are in a more perilous state than us. Our concern is that if the rot isn’t stopped quickly and the side doesn’t get a few results under the belts, then you get involved in a situation whereby whatever you try you get trapped in the relegation zone. It’s a situation we’ve experienced before and it is not an enjoyable feeling.