Saturday 28 November, Newcastle United exited Selhurst Park after an embarrassing 5-1 thrashing, but not before Steve McClaren faced the media.
Having previously deflected criticism by saying wait and see where we are after 10 games, then that becoming 12 matches…McClaren extended the settling in period even further.
That Crystal Palace debacle was the fourteenth Premier League game of the season (though Steve McClaren mistakenly thought it was the thirteenth) and Steve McClaren said “If we’re at this place with 13 games to go then I’ll start getting a bit worried.”
28 November 2015
“We knew it was going to be tough. We said we’d know after 10 or 12 games where we’d be – we’re in a relegation fight. 13 games gone, 25 to go.
“If we’re at this place with 13 games to go then I’ll start getting a bit worried. But there’s enough time and I think there’s enough in that dressing room.”
At that point in time (28 November), with 14 games played, the bottom of the Premier League looked like this (number of points before each team):
5 Aston Villa
As you can see, Newcastle weren’t actually in the relegation zone at that point, although they were only one point and one place above it, so no wonder fans were concerned.
Newcastle United are now at the 23 match point, with 15 games to go, only two more until we reach the Steve McClaren ‘time to start worrying’ point if we are still in trouble…
The bottom of the Premier League now looking like this:
28 West Brom
13 Aston Villa
If you take West Brom out of the equation, the exact same eight teams are in the bottom eight as were there 11 matches ago. Suggesting that it is very likely that those very same teams will also be fighting it out come May.
Newcastle are actually worse off now than they were when Steve McClaren made that 28 November statement.
Even if Newcastle won their next two games against Everton (H) and West Brom (A), it is possible they might still be in the bottom three with those 13 matches to go.
The chances of them winning both those games aren’t exactly high either…
The only consistent thing about this season is that it has been really bad, with only the odd glimpses of something better, such as first half against West Ham and the last half hour at Tottenham.
Steve McClaren says a team that is in and around the relegation zone with only 13 games to go is in trouble and a cause for worry.
Let’s hope he is knocking on Lee Charnley’s door tomorrow and pointing out the reality that is staring all of us in the face.
Seven days of the transfer window remaining and failure to act now is just unthinkable.
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