Tyne & weary: the last straw for Newcastle fans

“I wanted to stay, one hundred per cent,” an emotional Rafa Benítez told George Caulkin of The Times on 1 July, the day after his contract at Newcastle United had expired and not been renewed. “If those in charge had my ambition, I would still be there.” Instead, the Champions League-winner joined ambitious Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang. After several weeks of characteristic lethargy, Newcastle replaced him with Championship play-offs-winner Steve Bruce. Lack of ambition is typical at Newcastle under owner Mike Ashley, but even by his standards, this has been an atrocious summer.

Read the full story in the September 2019 issue of When Saturday Comes.

Published by Paul Brown

Writes about football, history, true adventure. The Guardian, Four Four Two, When Saturday Comes, The Blizzard, Longreads, Deadspin, etc. Latest book: The Ruhleben Football Association. Twitter: @paulbrownUK