The appointment of Steve McClaren is a move which has split the opinion amongst the Newcastle faithful.
Some see the appointment as a safe bet with a reasonably respectable coach, others see the appointment as one being awash with blandness and mediocrity – something that fans are sick and tired of the ownership of this club continuously trying to enforce.
(To feature like Rhys, send in your articles for our website to [email protected] – all views those of the author etc etc)
Others are prepared to wait until the transfer window unfolds and the 2015/16 season kicks off before making any significant calls of judgment.
I probably fit more into the latter category. I’m not excited by the appointment, far from it. Especially in consideration of the optimism I felt when Patrick Vieira’s name was being mentioned.
I do though believe it’s not as bad a move as many seem to think. The one thing I’m hoping for with McClaren is that he can get the best out of what I believe to be a decent squad, that was last year playing anything but to their potential.
He’s had his failings in management. England and Wolfsburg the most notable. But he’s also done some very impressive things.
At the ‘Boro his tenure probably wasn’t respected as much until the alarming decline they suffered since his exit. The League Cup trophy and UEFA Cup final appearance aren’t to be sniffed at, especially for a club like Middlesbrough.
But it will be argued that he should have been at those levels given the investments he was permitted to make under Steve Gibson.
I’ve met a few Middlesbrough fans at University and they are all confident he will succeed at Newcastle.
Many will look at how he lost his job at a Championship side and wonder why should he be given a crack at Newcastle United?
The alarming decline of Derby County in the second half of last season is a cause for concern but in 2013/14, they were robbed of a Premier League place by QPR in the Championship Play-Off after battering the Hoops pillar to post. Last year they controlled the division, until McClaren’s name was touted as a Pardew replacement.
Again, an argument will be that he turned us down at the back end of last season when we were in deep, deep trouble. Why should we want him now?
They are arguments I all either agree or sympathise with, but I’m putting any solid opinions away until I see the footballing side we become under him.
Myself and my friend who I go to games with, both said we’d renew our season tickets…unless John Carver got the job full-time. If the same level of dire football and pointless existence as a club continues, next year really will be my last year as a season ticket holder until drastic changes are made.
I’ve nothing against the guy (John Carver) by the way, it’s not his fault that he was given his dream job which was always going to be way, way, way out of his depth.
It’s somewhat of a shame he didn’t succeed but as it turned out, Carver had the passion, and literally nothing else.
I think back to his first game after Alan Pardew left for Crystal Palace, at home to Burnley on New Year’s Day. I watched on as we knocked the ball around, thinking ‘hang on, maybe this could work out’.
We scored from a corner to go 1-0 up, Colback netted a raker to make it 2-1. The first 45 minutes of that game actually made me think that Carver could actually do alright!
But in the second half of the game those thoughts were slammed away, as we were played off the park and looked unable to string 2 forward passes together.
At home. To Burnley.
Carver flirted with possible success in his early months, he temporarily took the shackles off Remy Cabella who went on to have his two best games for the club away at Chelsea and Hull, and in some ways he even looked an improvement on Alan Pardew (which to be fair, wasn’t hard).
But the fans were never really on his side, we wanted an actual experienced, invigorative manager/coach to come in and take us forward.
Then came the 9 defeats out of 10, (8 of which consecutive) and support for Carver was non-existent.
Now the reins fall to Steve McClaren. I have some hope that he can succeed, but not much. For the fans to really get behind this club again, hands will have to go in pockets. Bringing in Charlie Austin would be a promising start.
I’m tired of us being a pointless football club. Maybe Steve can change that, but then again, maybe not. Let’s wait and see.
You can follow the author on Twitter @RhysMelhuish22