In three days' time, Newcastle kick off their Premier League season. Last year's memorable, largely enjoyable and ultimately glorious Championship campaign, and Rafael Benitez's key role in that triumph and in the "resurrection" of the club, has been celebrated in Martin Hardy's third book Rafa's Way, which I've recently reviewed for The Two Unfortunates.
Sadly, though, all that's already a distant memory, after a summer of increasing frustration and uncertainty. Perhaps acknowledging the fact that the book's confident, optimistic predictions are looking rather premature, Hardy has just written a much gloomier and more troubling piece for the Independent. Here's hoping that Rafa gets what he wants - and needs. The alternative (that he doesn't, and that he walks out) doesn't bear thinking about.