We need to talk about Steve, oh we really do.
We have been told by media outlets this week that NUFC won’t be panicking and that Steve McClaren’s position as the manager is not under any threat.
This seems a sensible line to tread, right? Let’s not go down the road of chopping and changing the head coach like our near neighbours seem to do every five minutes. Let’s have some stability and some continuity at our often chaotic football club.
McClaren will need more time, and that extends beyond the ten game marker he foolishly laid down in August, making himself a hostage to fortune.
Where Alan Pardew was hounded by unhappy fans, in my view a partial side effect of the faithful being unable to do anything directly about Mr Ashley’s tenure, the current incumbent has faced little supporter hostility thus far.
Despite all of this, and amid a relatively supportive local media, my own fears are growing rapidly that Steve McClaren is not the right man to lead Newcastle United, and I take no pleasure from having to write this and I hope that I’m proven wrong.
I have visions of Lee Charnley patting himself on the back last summer, thinking it was a good appointment. A clever move when bigger names and more respected coaches, leaders of men, would have jumped at the chance.
I suspect they also patted themselves on the back after rewarding Mac with his apparent seat on the board of directors. It all looked very rosy as we rolled through the summer and into the new season.
Dangers lurked for sure, not least the fact that Mac had failed at Derby after a good start, but I took a balanced view and put that to one side. I gave it all a chance to work. I trust that it still can, though scepticism grows with every passing game.
Now, as the Christmas lights start to switch on, we find a manager and a group of players who have managed just two wins all season.
Mac has the defence playing almost as badly as they were under John Carver. Up front he’s failing to get much of a tune out of what looks on paper a really tasty forward line up.
I’m not convinced that Steve McClaren can turn this ship around and over the next few games I can see the patience of Newcastle fans wearing thin.
Whatever he’s doing on the training ground and in that dressing room, it is not really turning into anything tangibly positive out on the pitch. That public humiliation by Leicester City was an absolute horror show. It had a stench of relegation.
If McClaren cannot get that lot clear of the bottom three by the time we all sit down to our Christmas dinners, then can we rightly refute this notion of ‘not panicking’ and ‘sticking to the plan’?
From what I can see the plan isn’t working.
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