Well, they say it's the hope that kills you.
On Monday, the very worst was confirmed with the news that
Credit to Rafa’s capacity for romance to risk his considerable reputation on that flapping perianal fistula of a club. A wonderful manager.— Pete Donaldson (@petedonaldson) June 24, 2019
With Rafa officially out of the picture now and the takeover beginning to look like just another mirage in the desert, things are Sunderland Til I Die-bleak again at St James' Park.
'Announce Mbappe' has turned into 'Oh God, please not Avram Grant?!'
Here's the fallout and more from one of the darker days in Newcastle's modern history.
Next in Line
So how do you replace a manager like Rafa Benitez?
Telegraph Sport claim Mike Ashley has already been 'made aware' of a host of interested names, as the club
Mourinho Dream Ticket? No Shortlist
The report claims, "sources insist no serious thought has been given to Benítez’s successor and no shortlist compiled. There had been confidence that Benítez would sign a one-year contract extension."
At the end of the article they chuck Laurent Blanc and David Moyes in there as possible candidates - as if those two men are in any way peers.
Slow Boat to China?
Meanwhile Rafa is already considering a move to China, with the Mirror among others suggesting he has an offer of 12m a year (nice work if you can get it) to take the helm at Dalian Yifang in the Super League.
Should he take up the rather generous proposal, Benitez would be re-united with his former Napoli charge Marek Hamsik who joined Dalian in February.
Dalian aren't having a great time of it in the CSL and sit in 11 after 14 games, despite the presence of Hamsik and Arsenal target Yannick Carrasco.
The Mirror also adds Benitez would be interested in re-taking the wheel at Chelsea. However, with Frank Lampard but a whisker away from official confirmation that seems about as likely as that idiot who punched that horse once being made the new Toon boss.
Here's a list of a few words and phrases Wor Alan has used to describe Rafa's exit in the first four paragraphs of his column for the Sun:
- Desperately sad
- Massive blow
He's not best pleased. Later on in the piece he claims, "f