After a weekend of no action from Newcastle United and the possibility of the club falling deeper into trouble Spurs, Leicester and West Ham all provided favorable results against the teams at the bottom of the table.
The reality is that Newcastle United are still in desperate trouble at the bottom of the league and the next few weeks are absolutely vital for premier league survival. If things don’t improve for Newcastle United against Stoke City, Bournemouth and Sunderland in the coming weeks then surely Mike Ashley is going to start worrying about the club’s status in the premier league next season and make a change.
As the winter transfer window has closed, there is only one change that can be made that may impact the outcome of the season and save Newcastle from relegation and that is a change of the manager/head coach. Ashley may be reluctant to do this after what happened in the season Newcastle were relegated, the club panicked and chopped and changed the manager in a desperate attempt to save their skins.
All Newcastle fans are desperately hoping that things can turn around and the club can pick up the points required to pull away from the bottom three. The fact is though the team is desperately underperforming after McClaren has had a lot of money spent on players and in the latest window the money was spent on players he reportedly requested and wanted.
Yet there is still an alarming problem with conceding goals and this hasn’t been addressed, which is simply criminal. The statistics don’t lie and Newcastle’s defensive record in recent seasons is simply woeful. Teams who concede lots of goals end up getting relegated, it is that simple, and nobody has conceded as many over recent seasons as Newcastle.
I have said it before. the team will never be able to build a stable platform from a back four whilst the current captain Coloccini in place. Yes he has some good games where he looks an excellent defender but these games are followed by shambolic and embarrassing episodes like the performance witnessed at Chelsea. He is also meant to be the leader and the organiser at the back which he is simply not capable of doing. Coloccini should have been replaced as centre back and captain in the summer or in January, but he wasn’t, and that is now looking like a dangerous gamble.
A manager is paid to identify problems in the team and fix them, Steve McClaren has simply failed to do this in my opinion and if results don’t improve, this decision alone is enough to warrant him being replaced as manager/head coach.
So the only option available to Ashley now is a management change, if it does happen then a manager with experience of the league is a must in most people’s eyes in order to avoid a Pepe Mel (West Brom lucky to survive it) episode.
Brendan Rodgers, David Moyes or Harry Redknapp would be the names that come to mind in regard to availability and previous successes in the league.
Mike Ashley also seems to like British managers and so far he hasn’t looked abroad for a manager/head coach – but Rafa Benitez would also be highly fancied among the bookmakers if a change was to be made.
Would any of the mentioned managers come to Newcastle in the perilous situation they find themselves in? Maybe a risk too far for men like Rodgers and Moyes, as they are both young British managers who will surely be presented with future opportunities to rebuild their tarnished reputations in a situation less chaotic than Newcastle United. Redknapp however is in the twilight of his managerial career and may look at Newcastle as one final throw of the dice with a big club.
Mike Ashley has proven that he is now prepared to spend money on the team and he has also proven in the last window that he is prepared to listen to what the manager wants. This is maybe too little too late but at least it is happening now and I believe these managers would be far more likely to take over now, than say in the previous summer when Newcastle were rigidly sticking to their transfer philosophy. It may mean Graham Carr leaving the club, or having to relinquish some control over future transfers, or change his role completely, but I think that can be achieved.
Brendan Rodgers for me is a little bit of a younger version of Steve McClaren, apparently he is a good coach with good ideas and is well liked by the players.
He plays good possession based football, however like McClaren he also constantly pulls out the positive spin on everything in an attempt to take away from poor performances. His teams have also struggled defensively so I am not sure he is the man to fix that particularly problem of ours over an eight to ten game period, if it can of course be fixed without bringing in new personnel.
For the defensive reason alone this is why Moyes would appeal to many fans, he built an excellent defensive unit at Everton which Martinez has now gone and broken.
Moyes also has an impressive talent of identifying good young British players for very reasonable fees when given the opportunity to bring his own players in (Jagielka, Baines, Lescott, Stones and Coleman) to name a few.
However, his last two jobs have been far from convincing under extremely difficult conditions. Could a move back to the north of England suit a man who after a nice break looks ready to get back into football?
The other question would be if Newcastle were to survive under Moyes would the fans then be happy watching defensive 4-5-1 football next season and beyond in an attempt to consolidate in the division. This may include our own version of Leon Osman playing in behind a lone front man (maybe Jack Colback) as that is what they will get with Moyes as manager and it isn’t always that much fun to watch, just ask West Brom fans about premier league security.
If it is entertaining football and a jolt in the arm that is required to get underperforming players playing again then the club need to look no further than Harry Redknapp. Ashley likes Arry and previously tried to get him into the club, the offer was declined due to location more than anything else apparently.
So now would Redknapp be willing to leave his lovely house on the south coast with his wife Sandra and his two lovely dogs? Could a compromise be reached like it was with Gullit where he lived in Amsterdam but had a flat in Newcastle?
Harry Redknapp is of course not a fans’ favourite with many up in Newcastle after his Demba Ba comments and the Loic Remy saga but could he be the man to breathe some new life into this set of skilled but underperforming players?
QPR was a disaster for him but that job seems to be a poisoned chalice for everybody who has decided to take it on.
Apart from that, his record in the premier league is very good and he knows a good player, he also generally plays good attacking football with wingers and creative midfield players which the fans at Newcastle would enjoy.
The other option available is just to stay with Steve McClaren and trust him and his coaching staff to get us out of this mess through hard work on the training ground, which we can presume started last week in La Manga.
Home form will be the key but the team simply has to start picking up some points away and this all starts with clean sheets which look unlikely away from home under the current set up.
I think the club though will stick with McClaren even if the team doesn’t get the results required against Stoke, Bournemouth and Sunderland. Either way, it is going to be a nervous next twelve games for all Newcastle United fans as this looks like it will go down to the wire.
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