Well Valentine’s Day has passed (Happy Birthday King Kev) and there’s still no love to be found at Newcastle United.
If Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley have any desire to remain as owner/directors of a Premier League club, it’s quite clear which two contracts need tearing up at Newcastle United.
Evidence is quite overwhelming on two people. One who has overseen long-term decline season after season and another who hasn’t so much as prolonged the slide, so much as increased the gradient of decent.
Firstly, Captain (ironic chuckle) Coloccini. It’s no coincidence that five years of consistently bad defensive records have had Fabricio Coloccini’s fingerprints all over them.
51 goals were shipped in 2011/12
68 were rifled in, in 2012/13
59 in 2013/14
63 last season
49 in 26 so far this campaign….
At the weekend, the curly haired one was afforded a five yard head start on Chelsea’s Diego Costa and still wound up losing the race. Put simply, since the fifth place finish of 2012 (the last time we outscored our goals against column) his legs have gone.
He’s not alone. Rob Elliott has come in and actually looked a better all round goalkeeper than Tim Krul (who’d have predicted that?) but his performances have bucked a trend.
We simply don’t have any decent full-backs at the club, instead we have a winger at left back and a right back that regularly goes AWOL. Only Chancel Mbemba shows anything like defensive maturity and sadly, partnering him with the often poor Steven Taylor, is our ONLY sensible option.
It would take something for this side to end up with a worse defensive record than we had in 2012/13 where teams seemed to rack up massive winning margins on a weekly basis, but it’s only 19 goals short with 12 games to go. If you’re conceding 60+ goals in a season, there’s only one way you’re going to go and that’s down.
The other person who should be dispensed with is Steve ‘Judge me after how many games’ McClaren.
The positivity (some may say pig-headedness) coming from this man is astounding. Every week we are treated to pearls of wisdom that range from the blindingly obvious to the blindingly ignorant. Defeat after defeat is brushed aside with ‘We must regroup’, ‘We’ll be fine if we keep performing like that’, ‘You can’t fault the team, effort and organisation’, ‘We didn’t get what we deserved’, ‘We were unlucky’ and ‘It will turn around’.
Sorry Steve but it won’t, because it hasn’t ‘turn(ed) around’.
We’ve been in the bottom five all season and despite what he says we ‘deserve’ to be there. After the opening day of the season, the highest position we’ve been in is 15th and that was after two wins in a row in mid-December. That isn’t co-incidence or me trying to manipulate statistics, it’s FACT!
Another couple of facts, are that we only had 10 points on the board going into December last year, 17 by Boxing Day and by the time we next play (over two months later) we only have 24. That’s less than a point a game. A harsh defeat for Leicester away at Arsenal on Sunday doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be top of the league and by the same token, IF we somehow manage to beat Stoke when we return from two weeks off on 2 March, that wouldn’t mean we don’t deserve to be in relegation trouble.
And talking of our little enforced break- whose bright idea was it to go to La Manga in the middle of February and when was it decided?
Was it a plan all along? How did the club know we were going to be knocked out of that FA Cup thingy we were meant to be trying in? I can’t for the life of me think that spending a week in the heat of Spain will prepare a set of under-performing players for cold March fixtures up and down the country. I know where would be more suitable for the poor little cherubs, Tynemouth beach.
It’s all by the by, we know from history that the powers that be at this club haven’t a single clue how to sort problems out. It’s heads in sand time in the hope that by May 15th we will still be a Premier League club.
I don’t believe Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley have even contemplated replacing the Manager/Head Coach, never mind speculating on who they might turn to as a saviour.
I would personally approach David Moyes. He’d get the defence (somewhere close) to being sorted in the short-term, he’d be able to work to a budget (no transfer window), I’m sure he’d bring that ‘New Manager Bounce’ effect as let’s be fair he couldn’t deflate us any further.
But the main reason I say get David Moyes in is an important one.
I’m sure he’d see us as a long-term project, whether that’s improving a perennially useless Premier League side, or a promotion chasing Championship one.
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