There is no update on the progress of the talks between Rafa and Ashley to report in reality. We’ve been told the next set of discussions might be by phone from Chez Benitez on the Wirral and whatever bridges Ashley and Charnley hide under. The longer this goes on the more worrying it gets but there are Mags (and I’m one) who would prefer Rafa to leave the club completely than allow his heart to rule his head and end up as some form of Pardew+ model of manager at the club. Don’t do it Rafa!

FOOTBALL FOR SALE! 

After completing a unique domestic treble yesterday by torturing Watford 6 zip in the FA Cup Final, Pep Guardiola seemed to get the lip on after being asked about investigations into Man City breaking the Financial Fair Play rules – click here for Sam Wallace’s piece in The Telegraph. Its somewhat laughable that anyone would seriously attempt to defend Man City’s spending in recent years which is on the level of their city rivals Manchester United, who happen to be probably the biggest sports brand in the world whilst the Sky Blues can barely sell out their stadium. Guardiola is without doubt the best coach in the world, they are a magnificently run operation with a fantastic team to watch for the football alone. But Man City aren’t operating on a level playing field – as Watford discovered to their cost yesterday. Jonathan Wilson, former street seller for Sunderland’s fanzine A Love Supreme has another interesting piece on The Guardian website chewing over yesterday’s Wembley procession – click here

SMACKED ARSE AWARD 2019 

Still with Man City and you have to say it takes a special kind of nutter to have some kind of rolling-eyed conspiracy theory you want to give vent to on the day your club completes a historic treble and you are at the FA Cup Final as your team is rolling all over poor Watford. I don’t think many of us would be arsed about what some people paid to write all sorts of drivel about football said about my team if we were running away with every piece of silverware in the English game. Anyway, you can read more about it here and you’ll be access the footage as well. Tin foil hats to be handed out next season at The Etihad.

STATE OF THE NATION 

While football in the PL is slapping itself on the back about getting four of its clubs into the finals of the Champions League and the Europa League (not one of Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham or Liverpool is either owned or managed by a UK or Irish citizen) Gareth Southgate, the waist-coated, beardy nice-guy England manager has somewhat uttered a sobering note about the real state of our game – mainly the absence of English players in the PL and thus you’d have to say in serious contention for selection for the Three Lions. This is the real state of English football rather than the triumph of global marketing which the Premier League excels at – click here Does anyone even pretend to kid on the Premier League will help improve the England team?

IN THE PINK 

As you know now in this digital world you can spend every waking hour reading about football and probably Newcastle United if you put your mind to it. As I think you’ll agree, a lot of is shite mind whether produced by er, professionals (cough) or frothing mouthed fans. But there is some really good stuff as well if you know where to look. General football fanzine The Pink made the decision to bin-off its hard-copy publication and move everything on-line some time ago almost simultaneously to the point where we relaunched our hard-copy title (which is going extremely well, thanks for asking) but they are still producing some really good content. This is a great piece about Newcastle United’s Fairs Cup winning Dane Benny Arentoft by a lad called Gary Thacker. Click here to get at the piece – as you’ll see there is more stuff in there about United and enough to keep you out of mischief.

Thanks for reading.

TRUE FAITH – NEWCASTLE UNITED FANZINE