It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Newcastle United were meant to be going into their first game of the new league season today – a tricky clash against a newly revitalised Arsenal – with a new owner in the boardroom and a certain bespectacled Spaniard in the dugout. A summer that promised so much has returned so little, and rather than pipe dreams of old-rich Sheikhs and Rafa Benitez on the sideline, the Magpies have been given another year of Mike Ashley’s ownership and the altogether less impressive Steve Bruce. Benitez, for his part, has moved on to China, and a lucrative job opportunity that doesn’t come with half as much stress as his previous employment. Lee Charnley, managing director of the Toon Army, has spoken out to suggest that it was money that motivated the Spaniard’s departure, as reported by the Chronicle. Benitez claims that it was a lack of ambition from the board that finally broke his patience, as reported by the same outlet. Perhaps the truth will never properly come out, but no matter what you believe, you have to admit that Benitez has handled himself with grace and dignity throughout a summer of turmoil. And he showed his class again on Sunday when he took to Twitter to wish the Toon Army good luck for the season ahead. That faint noise in the distance is the sound of 50,000 Geordies sobbing their hearts out.
Nothing but Newcastle have gathered some of the best tweets below: