Huge fan base, sizeable transfer spend, big wage bill but poor return – Is Newcastle United’s number up?
The future looks bleak. Our fans are hurting after another bruising weekend, only made worse by Sunderland’s victory at the Palace.
There is no apparent sense of purpose or collective effort at the club and all we get are platitudes from the manager:
“We’ve had a big setback, but that wasn’t us, that was nowhere near good enough. All we can do is lick our wounds and work hard and make sure we’re better next week.”
…..And what are you going to do specifically to make it better Steve?
Newcastle United have also got an invisible owner who does not seem to understand the world of football and at times seems to despise rather than care about the club. He trusts an indecisive MD and a chief scout whose credibility is now overdrawn.
To most fans, as the face of the club, Steve McClaren is living on borrowed time. Yet the impression from the top is that all will be well, simply by trusting in Steve.
So it’s business as usual, with Steve ‘Titanic’ McClaren given all the time in the world as he attempts to turn the stricken ship round.
A few vital statistics suggest he has not got what it takes nor those running the club.
Much has been said and written about our recent poor performances, including a punishing analysis by the respected Sky Team of Gary and Jamie and a withering assessment of Steve McClaren’s capabilities by The Beeb’s Garth Crooks:
“At the moment Newcastle look like a spent force and Steve McClaren is out of his depth.”
While other managers get on with the job, it seems right to put some hard facts out there.
So Lone Magpie has turned his attention to our recent and forthcoming opponents to see if good old stats give any clues to our continuing poor run. The Newcastle numbers just don’t add up…..
Let’s start with the Managers.
Steve was appointed on 10th June, though he had plenty of time to prepare himself for his new role. After repeated denials and deflections he was on his way up the A1.
Alan Pardew had the advantage of being appointed on the second January but had to hit the ground running and play the hand he was dealt; Palace were in 18th place when he joined and finished 10th, which is where they are now. That ego will need some massaging so he will be up for it this weekend.
Claudio, who is sitting atop the league, joined Leicester 27 days after Steve McClaren, so some allowance should be made for his inferior preparation time!
Finally, ‘Big Sam’ didn’t join Sunderland until 9th October, has played 5 and won 2, including our sixth consecutive defeat at Sunderland’s hands. Bet he wishes he could play Steve and Al every week.
That’s all well and good you might say but who has the strongest squad?
Well let’s start with the high flyers, Leicester ; their starting eleven on Saturday cost just over £20m plus 3 undisclosed fees, so let’s be generous and say £25m in total.
What about Palace in 10th place? Their team cost just over £40m with an undisclosed deal for Bolasie a few years back, so let’s make their total value £42m.
Fourth from bottom and sinking fast, how do we compare? Our illustrious eleven cost £65m and we had three subs on the bench who cost a combined £28m.
The Mackems cost £29m and I estimate Defoe’s swap at £5m, to make it £34m in total.
Grim reading for Big Mike’s accountants.
Graham Carr to take note, Jamie Vardy cost £1 million and our net spend in the last transfer window was the fifth highest in Europe.
Just for good measure, here are some crowd numbers. We don’t want Steve using lack of support as an excuse.
Last season we averaged 50,539, compared with 43,157 for Sunderland, 31,693 for Leicester and 24,421 for Palace.
These stats put the Toon ahead of PSG, Atletico Madrid, Juventus and AC Milan, not to mention Chelsea, and Liverpool. As you might expect you have to go a long way down the attendance league table before you find a club without a trophy in almost living memory.
A myth exploded
Finally, on a different kind of number; I really hated the Allardyce regime and style of play.
Also, I kept wondering why he’s called Big Sam. at 1.91 metres tall he is the same height as Arsene Wenger. However, ‘Big Arse’ just doesn’t sound right.
No worries, the new Klopp on the block stands at 1.93 so Big Sam will soon be history.
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