Over the last 24 months a steady decline has occurred with the performances at Newcastle United and sadly, I don’t think they have bottomed out yet.

Despite yesterday’s 6-1 drubbing, I don’t feel that this is the lowest we can sink. The only thing that has stopped us from witnessing this sort of battering on a more regular basis is that I’m not sure opposing teams realise just how much we are there for the taking.

I bet if Jose Mourinho was to repeat Chelsea’s recent game at St James’ Park, he’d instruct his team to go at us from kick-off and that is what teams will now do.

It took a goal and a bit of huff and puff from Newcastle to wake Manchester City up and then as soon as they equalised, that was that.

However, it was the manner of the subsequent capitulation that should serve as the biggest wake up call. I’ve said recently that this side could go down and after watching the opening eight minutes of that second half, I’d put us down as racing certainties for the drop.

Blame lies at everyone’s door.

From Mike Ashley, to Lee Charnley, through Graham Carr and Steve McClaren, although you have to have an element of sympathy for Steve as he’s walked into a right mess, caused by the other three. A mess that could take a few years to sort out, not just a few transfer windows.

There were problems in the summer that needed addressing and some were. Chancel Mbemba is a good addition to the back four, but he should have been bought a partner, not just lumbered with the clown he currently plays alongside.

Which brings us to our ill-named ‘Captain’.

He doesn’t have ANY of the characteristics that a centre back should possess. He’s not dominant in the air, he’s no good with players running at him, he gets turned far too easily, he turns his back on players and the ball, he’s not quick and as far as being a captain – he doesn’t lead by authority as mice can squeak louder than him, so he must lead by example.

There lies the problem – his example is atrocious and the other players must be feeding off it. I wasn’t that big on Alan Shearer as captain, as I do prefer the captain to be a centre back or in the midfield, but can you imagine Alan standing for the comedy showings from some players at this club?

Look around the squad: Sissoko has downed tools, Tiote hasn’t been seen for a year and Cisse doesn’t care. These are big players, big players that just aren’t interested in what they are doing, some even think that they should be playing Champions League football! Delusions of grandeur, eh Moussa.

The aforementioned four players MUST be jettisoned in January if this club is to stay up – they are dragging the club into the Championship at an alarming rate of knots.

Sell them, pay their contracts up, loan them out, whatever, but they can’t be allowed to stay at the club let alone be part of a match day squad, for if they do, it’s going to cost Mike Ashley over £100m come May next year.

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