Keeping The Faith In Rafa
Football is all about opinions, they are what make the game interesting at times. In other instances they can create tension, anger and complete bemusement in how people see things in a completely different way to all logic.
This is probably more exaggerated here at Newcastle with the varying expanse of opinion and with that a clear gap between the ages.
The likes of me have seen the many stages of the roller coaster with the pinnacle being in touching distance of the premier league title and the various cup final stutters to the lows of near relegation to division 3 in 1992 and the umpteen horrible stages of the Mike Ashley tenure.
A tenure that stripped at the soul and the whole point of trying to enjoy the football that had us hooked like an addict looking for a fix that just wasn't there.
The many managers over the years with some being completely devoid of any successful plan with one or two others hitting a lucky streak that created a false scenario here. A scenario that will have clouded the judgement over some of our younger fans that have known nowt but the Ashley years.
With Rafa Benitez here, it has brought a professionalism not seen since the days of Sir Bobby Robson and Kevin Keegan but unlike them, Rafa hasn't been awarded the riches to get the best players he can attract into working his system.
It's this system that is attracting some of the comments that have got my goat and it's these comments that certain people have made that are without substance or respect of a manager who has to be afforded the choice to pick his own players.
It was well documented by the whole of the fan base that we were going to struggle this season with many of us saying that we were a minimum of three quality players short in being able to compete with the top ten.
In fact, many said we were a relegation team in waiting but Rafa has compounded these thoughts so quickly that even gaining a draw away to the likes of Southampton had people frustrated that we should have got more.
This past week has seen results go the other way in that it is now the manager's choice of personnel that is getting the blame but the truth is that results are a borderline thing in this season for us and not once have we been completely outplayed in such a manner that we could truly blame anyone or anything.
We are in games until the end and analysing the game afterwards shows that things could so easily have went the other way, win, lose or draw.
Benitez has faith in his system and no matter how many people want to complain or pick fault with it, it is a long cry from the Pardew and McClaren headless chicken ones. With proper investment made in the playing side and better personnel in the system, we will do better. I have complete faith in that.
However there will always be a minority who believe in the Sky experts or the other clueless sorts that clog up the media in their various forms that their opinion will change with the wind but contrary to any rubbish being spouted recently, there has been no change of tact from the paying supporter in their support of Rafa. He gets 100%.
There was no booing from the fans towards the team on Saturday but against yet another clueless set of officials that we always seem to get dished up as they walked off. Ive no doubt that if we keep the faith in Rafa that we'll be rewarded but he has to be given a chance with proper investment in the side to compete in a changing market.
As it is, Rafa has the team built on the foundations of 2007 and all the finance that brought but every other team is ten years ahead. In that comparison, he's not doing too badly.