Steve McClaren has now said that he believe the first 90 days at Newcastle are the most important.
The Head Coach says that it has taken this period of time to work out who his best team is and that now everybody knows who the first eleven is going to be ‘bar one or two’.
An article on The Mag this week made more or less exactly the same point, the only difference being that it was outlining the fact that Newcastle United’s first team was obvious because there are no other realistic options, no competition for places.
With McClaren clearly feeling he can’t trust Florian Thauvin (yet?) in the Premier League, with Rolando Aarons knackered as always and Siem de Jong not able to get up to Premier League fitness levels, who else would/could you play?
On the bigger picture, Steve McClaren compares Newcastle United with turning a big ship around, making those kinds of comparisons can put you on dodgy ground, or rather maybe choppy waters.
Raising the Titanic or sinking ship might be what pops into many people’s minds and the fact that Newcastle turned in theor worst Premier League performance of the season at Bournemouth, despite the very welcome three points, means we are all still waiting to see if it will be calm waters ahead…
A win against in-form Leicester could be a sign of full steam ahead, let’s hope so.
“We feel like we are turning a big ship, in terms of we are trying to turn things around…and it’s slow. It is slow but you can see it, I can see it, I see it every day.
“They are a good bunch of players and they have got good talent, they work hard. We are turning it around and I’m seeing good things but it is a big job.
“It is going to take a while to turn it around, some people say a transition and all this and all that but I think the first 90 days are key.
“We have been trying a lot of things in those first 90 days and I think, in the last four or five weeks, we have settled.
“I think the windows (international breaks) have been good for us, as we have looked, reviewed, settled.
“After the last one we looked and said…‘right, Chelsea and Man City, we have looked at the team for those two games and we have seen enough’.
“We have stuck with that since and we have kind of settled down – before people didn’t know the pecking order but now they roughly know and we all roughly know, what the team is going to be bar one or two.
“And what we want to do eventually is you can roughly say that after 65 minutes they are going to make that change.
“We are nowhere near that at the present moment but that is where we want to get to.
“For 95 minutes we want to know what our options and alternatives are and that these are the players who can change this and that.
“It is about defining a player’s job and his role and we are finding that pecking order – it is about settling into that.”