He may not think it but Steve McClaren has had an unbelievably easy ride at Newcastle United.
Any other club and there would have been serious questions asked long before now and pressure piled on McClaren from both inside and outside the club.
However, after agreeing to become another yes man for Mike Ashley, in the Alan Pardew mode, this means the chances of being sacked, despite a season long fight against relegation, were much reduced as where else would the NUFC owner find somebody to agree to such a limited role inside a Premier League club?
Outside the club, supporters are so beaten down after years of Ashley’s ownership that their expectations are so limited, whilst the relief at the departure of Pardew and Carver meant the new man was always going to enjoy a far too long soft honeymoon period. These factors combined, meant Newcastle fans generally think, up to a point, what’s the point of getting rid of McClaren as we’ll just end up with somebody else like him or Pardew.
As for the press; with preferred media partners giving out positive spin it has diluted much criticism, whilst the local press are so desperate for access that they tend to give events at Newcastle United the real kid gloves treatment.
However, The Mail have blown things open ahead of Bournemouth with a set of really damaging accusations, primarily aimed at Steve McClaren, but which obviously also lays open the ridiculous way Mike Ashley runs the club.
Amongst the claims/accusations by The Mail are that:
Steve McClaren played Chancel Mbemba at Everton despite medical concerns that he shouldn’t play, the defender ending up limping off and now long-term injured having already missed over a month.
They also claim that McClaren has basically lost the dressing room and many ‘senior players’ don’t understand why the Head Coach hasn’t been sacked already, with the perception being that he is likely to get the push if the team lose against Bournemouth. Something which could create a very dodgy situation, similar to what happened with Mourinho and Chelsea, where the Newcastle players will know that victory against Bournemouth will keep McClaren in a job despite them allegedly wanting him out.
It is also reported that there is so little faith in some the training ground (recovery) sessions that some of the players are organising their own get togethers, without permission, away from the club’s training base.
The Mail also claim that there is tension between members of the coaching staff with the view from the club management being some of them aren’t up to the job.
They also repeat allegations they made earlier in the season, claiming there are still problems between Steve Black and head of fitness Alessandro Schoenmaker, the two of them arguing over the nature of Newcastle’s training methods and the number of injuries affecting the squad.
To try and address these issues about the backroom staff and the threat of relegation, The Mail report that McClaren organised a secret meeting of his coaching team down in Yarm, where the Head Coach lives.
There are also claims made surrounding Fabricio Coloccini, with The Mail saying there are doubts over the severity of the Argentine’s injury. Coloccini allegedly not being happy that McClaren was talking up Jonjo Shelvey’s captaincy qualities, whilst not showing the same confidence in his own.
Andros Townsend is the latest to pick up an injury seemingly outside of the matchday scenario, with The Mail revealing that it is a hamstring problem that kept the winger out of the Stoke match and potentially Bournemouth as well.
As for Steve McClaren and Newcastle United, it is hard to see how things could get any worse if he was replaced, the latest negative tactics at Stoke and waiting until injury time for the first serious attempt at goal – simply reminding us that there is little/no chance of him changing his ways.
As for who would replace him, that is a different question and fear of who comes next shouldn’t prevent his departure.
As for the players…they are at least as much at fault as Steve McClaren, so about time they started taking responsibility, regardless of which idiot is in charge.