It is fair to say that Newcastle United have not had the brightest of starts to this Premier League campaign.
Rafael Benitez’s men are yet to win a single league game, sitting in the relegation zone with just two points as a result.
The Magpies have had to play Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United in quick succession, though that is not the only thing Benitez is likely to point to when assessing the club’s poor run of form.
The Spaniard was unable to get certain targets through the door with owner Mike Ashley unwilling to fork out during the most recent transfer window, something that has become a regular occurrence under his unpopular regime at St. James’ Park.
Ultimately, Benitez and Ashley quite clearly have different visions regarding the club. And while the former is right to be discontent with the lack of transfer activity during the summer, it is a theme he may have to accept unless a change of ownership does finally occur.
It is not an ideal situation for Benitez, but it is one that his next Premier League opponent can relate to. Brighton boss Chris Hughton also had to deal with the Ashley circus during his time in the St. James’ Park dugout.
Hughton, though, like Benitez, was still able to lead Newcastle to Premier League promotion following their relegation to the Championship back in the 2008/09 season despite the chaotic environment at the club.
The 59-year-old, of course, was eventually sacked — unfairly — by Ashley. But, overall, his time at Newcastle was still a fairly positive one where he was able to build and maintain a bond with supporters and get on with business in very volatile conditions.
With nothing likely to change at Newcastle as long as Ashley remains at the helm, Hughton’s example is one that Benitez must follow to save the club’s season.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!