As Newcastle fans, optimism was rightly pretty high back in January, but the latest bad news to come out of St. James’ Park doesn’t suggest that anything good is forthcoming. Indeed, according to Lee Ryder, speaking on the Chronicle Live’s Everything is Black and White podcast (via the Chronicle Live, 10:32), Rafael Benitez is not close to securing fresh terms at St. James’ Park.
Why is this bad news for Newcastle? Well, of course, losing Benitez would be a huge blow for the Magpies, as they’d struggle to make an impact without the talented Spaniard leading the way. He’s masterfully got the team out of some rather deep holes during his tenure, and things could have gone very differently without him.
However, beyond that, this news seems to hint that Newcastle, and more specifically Mike Ashley, haven’t actually changed. The arrival of Miguel Almiron was a huge boost for the Magpies, and the record-signing seemed to indicate a changing tide at St. James’ Park.
With the news that the Magpies still aren’t’ willing to give Benitez what he wants, though, the decision to splash the cash seems to have, once again, been done with a short-term vision in mind. The club are only ever looking to keep stable for the next six months. First it was about keeping Benitez until the end of the season, and now the club seem to be only keen to keep him on for another year.
There’s no sense of longevity at the club, and we’ve been here before. The lack of longevity will only end one way. Things are stable for now, but one wrong turn and they’ll dive – as they did when the club were last relegated.
At Newcastle, it seems like nothing changes.