Newcastle owner Mike Ashley appeared at his first Magpies game since 2017 on Saturday.
It was 18 months since the last time Ashley had watched the club he owns, and the performance on the pitch made it the perfect day for him to show up.
Rafa Benitez’s side played out a 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace, struggling to put the Eagles under any sort of pressure.
Performance was a big message to Ashley
Newcastle should always go into a game with Crystal Palace thinking they can get a win.
That’s no disrespect to Palace, but they’re a club of similar standard to Newcastle right now, so it should always be a competitive game.
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Sadly, Newcastle were unable to really lay a glove on Roy Hodgson’s side on Saturday. Instead they had to rely on their defensive capabilities yet again.
Newcastle were toothless going forward, lacking quality in offensive areas. Rondon struggled in the first half, while Joselu had to feed off scraps in the second.
Supporters are really piling the pressure on Ashley, refusing to relent in their protests against his ownership of the club. Once again, money wasn’t invested this summer, and the team is suffering as a result.
Ashley’s penny pinching was clear for all to see on Saturday, with Newcastle looking unable to actually win the game against Palace. The Sports Direct owner saw with his own eyes what he’s done to the club.
While he saw the damage he’s done, does he want to rectify it?
Benitez is doing all he can with his hands tied behind his back. Sadly, his contract is set to expire next summer. Either Benitez or Ashley will leave surely, as they can no longer coexist. If you’re a manager of Benitez’s talents, why would you want to work under such restrain?
Saturday was a timely reminder to Ashley that what he’s done to the club is far from good enough, and the fans are no longer going to stand for it.