Since Rafa Benitez left Newcastle and went to Dalian Yifang in the Chinese Super League, pundits have been lining up to take a swipe at the Spaniard over the move.

Simon Jordan had a go in a talkSPORT rant, and a freelance BBC journalist also made an uninformed comment on social media, and both received an angry backlash from fans.

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Tony Cascarino is the latest name to launch an attack on Benitez, and any negative comments towards their former manager, is seen by many fans as a stunt to publicly laud Mike Ashley.

Cynical supporters will claim it is a concerted PR effort from Ashley and Keith Bishop, to spin the conversation, painting Ashley as the hard done to hero who tried everything to keep his man, and portray Rafa as the bad guy.

It is hard not to see it in that light, with past history of Dennis Wise, among others, coming out from the woodwork to paint a lop-sided picture of Ashley and the situation at the club.

Newcastle fans continue to side with Rafa

But while it might work on many fans outside the region, who know little about the soap opera that is Newcastle United, it will never change the opinions of those who have a vested interest in the club.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

So every ‘expert’ that comments on what a great job Ashley has done, or how deluded Toon fans are, or how selfish and greedy Rafa has been, ends up inundated with comments from fans, who will not let them steer the narrative away from the true story.

Cascarino’s claims have been no exception. Here are a few of the reactions from Twitter:

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