Charlie Nicholas has come up with an insult which is about as low as you can go get.

The player turned pundit has claimed that Newcastle’s players are showing similarities to Aston Villa and are close to giving up.

Charlie Nicholas says that the Villa players stopped listening to manager Remi Garde and downed tools and that Steve McClaren is nearing the same kind of point with the Newcastle first team.

The former Arsenal player reckons that when the Newcastle Head Coach got tough to try and get a reaction, the players didn’t respond, only to then a few weeks later put in a performance.

Nicholas’ underlying message appears to be that McClaren has little or no impact on how the team play week to week and they turn up when they feel like it.

The United boss has talked of consistency being one of the biggest things missing this season but with only six wins in 26 Premier League outings, it is hardly a case of win one lose one is it?

The home form is hardly great with 17 points from 13 matches but seven points from 13 away games is abysmal – Steve McClaren has gone over the top in talking about how great the trip to La Manga has been and what positives the squad can take from it.

However, if the net outcome is the same kind of performance and result at Stoke as is usual in away games these days, then you will really have to question whether after 27 league matches, Steve McClaren has the players onboard.

Charlie Nicholas talking to Sky Sports:

 “Steve McClaren got no reaction after he played the bad cop and told a few home truths.

“Then about three weeks later, they did get a reaction.

“You think ‘what has changed?’ – but then it falls back into line and you have to question ‘are they listening’?

“It is now like the Villa players who aren’t listening to Remi Garde – they have decided ‘that is it’ and Steve (McClaren) is getting close to that…”