Former Scottish international and long time pundit Andy Gray has suggested that Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has 'played' the fans into opposing Magpies owner Mike Ashley.
Speaking to his current employer, Gray told beIN SPORTS: "You have to be very careful because Newcastle fans have an expectancy maybe beyond what they should have.
"Yet they still think they are entitled to whatever Mike Ashley has got, whatever his millions are. I think Mike Ashley has done a really good job with them, they finished tenth last year.
"I heard last year that Mike Ashley was ridiculous [because] he didn’t give Rafa enough money; they were this, they were that, they finished tenth.
The former Aston Villa man suggests that the expectation of those in the north east are far too high, and they have to accept quality players don't want to represent them. However, he also (falsely) claimed that Ashley gave Benitez £110m last season to spend on players - when in reality the club had a net spend of £46m during the 2017/18 campaign.
"It’s a difficult place to attract the very best players because most of the foreign players that come to the UK want to play in London, Manchester or Liverpool,
"They don’t want to play in the North East of England. So it’s difficult to attract the very best players up there."
NUFC spend an average £1.7m a season at Sports Direct and £2.6m a season on new players.— Chris Holt #IfRafaGoesWeGo (@bigchrisholt) August 18, 2018
Gray finished up his tirade saying that Magpies' support need to get real with themselves, realising that qualification for European competition is near impossible. He also suggested that any sort of domestic cup silverware would be a phenomenal achievement.
“If they finish between sixth and tenth most years and win a cup or have a cup run unless they do a Leicester and surprise us all, I think that’s where they are."