I would like to start by saying that Newcastle United is fast becoming a disgrace, not only is it killing the spirit of the fans but it is proving itself to not only be an affront to the league but to English football as a whole.
Everything we have done is wrong.
We have gone about our recruitment in a terrible manner and over the last 15 months we have spent about £80m and have nothing at all to show for it, we are no better now than we were before we spent that money. In fact we are worse if anything.
We have bought foolishly and without the proper planning, the only good signings out of the bunch seem to be Janmaat and Perez, the rest have either been not good enough or injury prone (De jong).
Honestly, we could have spent only £15m (Mbemba, Ayoze and Janmaat), not £80m, and not look any worse.
Not only that but we have made the wrong appointment of manager, and I’m not saying that as a dig at Steve McClaren, but we have mainly signed continental players, players who have been brought up in a different culture to McClaren and who from early indications are not gelling with him.
Our transfer policy and McClaren just don’t go well together, it’s not a good fit and even worse than that, from early indications McClaren is trying to play in a very different way to what Pardew did.
Now you are probably thinking, well yes but we all hated how Pardew had the team playing and that’s true, although under McClaren the squad seems to be even worse going forward (although better defensively), but the thing that the change in style indicated is a lack of a club philosophy.
Throughout the levels at a club there should be a way of playing, a style that all age groups adopt, that they are brought up in, in effect meaning that our young players are specialised to play their roles in our team.
From everything I have seen, football clubs that have a consistent footballing philosophy have more youngsters come through, because it’s easier to go from team to team and perform and the players know their roles very well, which allows them to play at their best.
The club has burnt all goodwill with fans due to terrible investment, poor football and years of ambivalence in cups, not to mention some of the worst PR in the league (although at least that is improving).
We can’t even manage to fix our perpetual injury problem that we have had for a good 4 years, and I have to ask why our injury issues are so bad.
Do we have poor training methods? Poor facilities? Crap club doctors?
Things could improve at Newcastle, it doesn’t even take a new owner. It just takes a new direction from the owner, a new chief executive with a long-term plan to create a self-sustaining, entertaining and functioning Newcastle United.
The club is going backwards, even if we somehow stay up the issues will remain, without change throughout the organisation, without a long-term and structural change, we will go nowhere.
What we need is a managing director who has a key transfer plan, who sees the weak points in the team and spends money wisely on players that complement each other and suit the style that the club is aiming for. That certainly was not done this summer or the summer before.
A manager needs to brought in who suits the style that the club are aiming for and suits the players, who can motivate the players working for him and can develop those on the fringes.
We need a succession plan for that manager, i- house succession if possible and it is, with coaches managing the under 1’s, moving onto the under 21s and then shadowing the manager as an assistant.
Not only that, but we need a succession policy for the players, youngsters should be brought through, tutored by those in front of them in the pecking order and learning their trade from both coaches and mentors.
When the time comes they move to favoured loan clubs such as Gateshead (youth loans so they can still train here as 16-18 year old players), Carlisle and Hartlepool.
Our signings should not be judged on age, but om what they can bring to the team. Resale value is nice but not every player can be based on the selling price if they do well, because without the right players complementing them they won’t do well.
Without the right strategic approach to football you cannot hope to have success.
Newcastle’s strategy has been wrong for years, and not only does that harm the results and alienates the fans, but it harms the financials, it harms the brand value and it ultimately leads to the death of a once great club.
These are dark days for Newcastle United, but we could be so much more than we are now. We should be so much more.
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