It is 24 days ago that Steve McClaren was unveiled to the waiting press at St James Park.
There waiting to greet him were the massed ranks of journalists, to ask all the questions that the fans were desperate to hear the new manager/head coach answer.
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Well that is kind of what happened but instead there was only one newspaper journalist invited for a staged interview controlled by Newcastle United.
NUFC’s latest preferred media partner after The Sun refused to get into bed with Mike Ashley – step forward The Mirror and their local football journalist Simon Bird.
Bird emerged from this exclusive meeting and started his exclusive behind closed doors piece with:
‘McClaren, who has also been appointed to the St. James Park board, has demanded quick signings to allow players to bed in this summer’
When he met the new Newcastle Head Coach there was still 60 days to go until Newcastle kicked off their Premier League season, now there are 36 days.
Simon Bird also announced that through his new exclusive sources at Newcastle United he knew that Charlie Austin was a ‘Done Deal’ and would sign in the ‘next week’….
The fact that the club misleads even their ‘preferred media partner’ surely tells us everything.
Two days ago we saw Mike Ashley’s latest PR gimmick to distract from his shambolic running of the club and the abject failure to compete for signings.
Steve McClaren allowing his name to be put to a feeble attempt at justifying why the ‘quick’ signings hadn’t been made, the email supposedly giving fans exclusive info that a coaching team had been appointed, all of whom had been announced by reporters across the various newspapers a week beforehand.
In this email Steve McClaren/Newcastle’s PR department stated:
‘I know the anticipation is out there and you want to see new players coming through the door immediately. That is natural. For me as Head Coach, however, it is so important that the right players come through the door. However long that takes, I want to make sure that we have just the type of people who can come in and force us forward.’
It may not be time to panic but anybody who isn’t concerned that not a single player has been signed, is a fool.
Newcastle were proved to be the worst team in the Premier League in the final five months of the season and just like when he was with England, McClaren isn’t going to turn our current lot into world beaters…or even certainties to stay up.
The players fly off to America in a week’s time and when they return there will be just over two weeks unti the first match against Southampton.
Again, you are a fool if you don’t think that it is important to get new players in as soon as possible, especially when they are needed in the key positions of centre-back and centre-forward.
You need at least one (hopefully two) central defenders to come in and you need them on that plane to America, to work in training and the friendly matches to organise the defence into a fluid unit.
Not the shambles that conceded 63 goals last season, more than any other apart from QPR, and which can’t even defend a corner/free-kick.
Likewise, you need your new striker(s) in at the earliest possible time because your preparation work is all about how to get the ball in the most efficient way to your main goalscorer(s). The spine of the team is what it is all about and stopping and scoring goals is the name of the game.
We are promised another email in the coming week and I’m already dreading the excuses that will pour out of that one.
The following week no doubt we will all get a postcard from America saying that Steve can’t believe how good Gabriel Obertan and Mike Williamson look in training.
The more things change the more they are looking the same.