It seems like a lifetime ago since Newcastle United's emphatic 0-4 win at Craven Cottage, against Fulham. That victory left a feeling of belief, a belief that Rafael Benitez would extend his stay as manager.
Twenty-three days later, Newcastle are in a mess, not knowing what direction in which to head. It is sad that nobody is surprised by the rumbles of uncertainty that flow down the corridors of St. James' Park. Uncertainty, it's a word that can sum Mike Ashley's time as owner of the club up perfectly.
As it stands, Newcastle head into the new season without a manager, with Rafael Benitez's contract coming to an end at the end of the month. Not only will the club be manager-less, player of the season Salomon Rondon's measly price tag of £16M, appears to be a step to far for Ashley.
There have been numerous takeover reports yet again, which have caused a distraction from the most important job, extending Benitez's contract. The deafening silence coming from the club, says it all. In fact, Benitez has not been mentioned on the club's website since the final day win against Fulham.
A man of Benitez's standing should be treated with the respect he deserves. Instead, the Spaniard is getting a familiar silent treatment from Ashley, similar to the treatment of Alan Shearer all those years ago.
Whether Newcastle can finally rid themselves of a man who has managed to transform the club, from one challenging the top seven each year to one fighting relegation remains to be seen. Even with new owners, it is as clear as day the club need Benitez at the helm.
The former Liverpool manager has worked miracles on a shoestring budget, during his time on Tyneside. Supporters will be dreaming of what he can achieve with a much bigger budget.
It's in the interests of both the club and Ashley, that it's finally sold. Ashley doesn't know how to run a football club, it is not like any of his other businesses. Perhaps, Ashley could have managed better at another club, somewhere where everything did not revolve around how well the team were doing. That's what makes Newcastle United so unique. Unfortunately for everyone involved, Ashley never understood that.
Newcastle United will undoubtedly sore, if they are taken over by someone with the drive and ambition the club deserves. The club is without a doubt a sleeping giant, it is foolish to think otherwise.
Newcastle fans deserve to have clarity on the managerial situation at the club. Fans have become accustomed to being left in the dark over the club's decision making. Ashley should realize, a club without fans is nothing, soulless and empty. It is absolutely outrageous that the club are yet to make a decision over Benitez's future. Once again the club are falling behind in terms of its preparations for a new season.
While other clubs continue to move forward, Newcastle United continue to move backwards into the abyss.