An email to Steve McClaren

Dear Steve,

I understand that Newcastle United is maybe not the easiest or nicest place to coach or manage. . . well let’s be honest, you do not manage so much as you coach, and most of the time Paul Simpson is in the technical area while you sit on your arse on the bench.  I like to sit just as much as anybody else (hell, I’m American), I understand the need to be actively inactive; you could at some point walk around the technical area and direct/coach players. . . that is what you are paid to do.

I have been a Newcastle United fan for a while now, much to the chagrin of a lot of my friends that are typical American English Premier League fans (Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal etc.). I am mocked for my choice in team, but I love the fans of this club (probably more than the players say they love the fans), I love the history, and most of all I love the city as it reminds me of my hometown, Baltimore City.

I am not going to be as hard on you as some might be (other than the fact that you really should get your ass off the bench), believe me, I understand you are playing with a deck that is short of more than a few face cards. There is a proverb in the north east that you might want to listen to though, ‘Shy Bairns Get Nowt’. It really is true, and the formation/tactics employed by you for this club are shy.

I know, there are A LOT of reasons for playing the formation we do — I can’t fault you for your fears in relation to our defence and goalkeeper situation since Tim Krul went down while on international duty.

The two CDMs playing is something we will always hate you for though, mainly because you are screwing over the positioning of other members of the squad. I also understand that playing one CDM right now is almost out of the question, as Colback, Anita, and even Tiote (he used to be one of my favourite players, just a sheer bruiser with that tough Ivory Coast/African style of play — it transfers wonderfully into the EPL) are simply not good enough to play alone in the that role.

It is time though to drop one of them though Steve, and with Anita injured you might as well roll out a new formation now, and if it does not work then you roll back the old one when he comes back. I also understand the need for them as they hold when either Gini or Janmaat float to the middle, or marshal down the right side respectively.

Perez is a fish out of water in the CAM role, as much as Gini is out of his depth on the left wing. Perez will forever be a striker, albeit he cannot play up there alone.

I understand that Thauvin has failed to impress, but he is a “fleet-footed winger” as they say, Gini is a creative CAM. Most of our goals come from when Gini has floated into the centre, not when he is raining crosses from the wing. Perez does not have the passing vision required for the CAM role, and he probably never will — he has been a striker the bulk of his career and he’ll never connect with Mitrovic the way he is supposed to.

Gini will though, in his natural position (you know the one that he rolled through Holland in), and Thauvin will be in a winger position on the left, and hell Perez could play up top, giving a nice contrast to the physical style of Mitrovic (kind of like Cisse and Ba just a couple of years ago before that all went sour).

steve mcclaren

When you went down 1-0 at the Hawthorns it also took you ten minutes to change into a more attacking formation, you are either going to lose or draw with 14 minutes plus stoppage time, we want you to go for broke.

Steve, trust in ‘Shy Bairns Get Nowt’ — It really is true, and is almost etched into the culture of the north east. These northern cities are hard, working-class, punch first places.

The people of north east England, from what I understand, are some of the toughest sons of bitches you’ll ever meet, which is why I love the city and the club. They don’t show up to games when it is freezing without shirts on because they aren’t tough.

You can’t control the players coming in, or going out: trust me, that is not lost on any fan as Mike Ashley continues to destroy the soul of the club we love. I do not expect you to fix the club and the ownership — that’s a tall task.

January beckons though, shy leader, and you need to come up with something quick. I understand that doing what I am suggesting leaves you little to nothing on the bench, other than maybe De Jong and Mbabu.

Newcastle fans would rather die by the sword, than live by the shield; that is to say, we’d rather attack than defend (something your captain just whined about too).

I’m just asking you to believe in what we are saying, the way you expect us to believe the bullshit e-mail letters from Lee Charnley, yourself, and other cronies.

We’ve stayed as positive as we can (being in the relegation zone), showed up in droves to St. James Park, and sang our songs.

Learn from the culture of the city and region McClaren, get off your fat arse and into the technical area, and remember, ‘SHY BAIRNS GET NOWT’.

Live as you Die — Long May Ye Ride.

Ethan Fugate

Concerned Newcastle Fan

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