When Steve McClaren was appointed at the start of the season, I admit I wanted to look at the positives.

While I wanted us to go for Klopp, Benitez or Unai Emery, I thought McClaren’s experience abroad, his improvement of Derby (yes I know there was an alarming drop in form at the end but they were nowhere near promotion for years beforehand) and his solid reputation as a good coach made me think, and hope, that he could improve the players we had.

This has obviously not been the case and I think most people agree he should have went after the 5-1 defeat to Chelsea. I have wanted Steve McClaren to succeed as he came across as a decent man and I don’t like to see a manager be hounded without good reason. To be fair he has not helped himself recently with his post-match comments – to praise the Stoke performance was an insult to everyone’s intelligence.

If McClaren does go then we need someone with a presence, an aura. Obviously what we need and what Mike Ashley and his cohorts want are normally two different things, so this is simply me writing from a sane point of view.

If the club do not go all out for Benitez then we must ask questions why. Yes, he may well knock us back, yes most people in football would probably expect him to. Fine. I understand, we are in the bottom three with 10 games left and have struggled in recent years – but you still have to ask him the question. If you genuinely want to maximise the club’s potential it is what you would do.

I am wary of David Moyes. At Everton he was steely, determined and someone you wouldn’t cross. At Man Utd he looked terrified, a rabbit in the headlights. The impression I get from his spell in Spain was that he was underwhelming. I know he did not learn the language… why not?

To me he has looked like a broken man since Man Utd and during a television interview with him only last month, he stated that because he had a 6 year deal at Old Trafford he “didn’t think there was any rush to do anything.” I’m sorry, what?? Such talk is very different from the man I thought he was at Everton and I fear he would have little influence here.

With regards to Nigel Pearson, whatever you think of him he is a presence and doesn’t suffer fools. While his Leicester side last season were at the bottom for a long time, they were genuinely playing good football and were unlucky to lose at times. Obviously results came in the end and it was an amazing turn around. He will know about the pressures of such situations and what is required. Long-term I’m not sure. He’s supposed to be into sports science – Sam Allardyce warning I know – but Leicester’s injury record was very good

Whatever happens,  we need to scrap the blueprint which Lee Charnley talked about before hiring McClaren and the manager must have final say on who comes in. Why on earth have we brought Doumbia in on loan, yet not played him, when the whole reason for his purchase was because we’ve been struggling so badly – and still are – for goals!

Does Steve McClaren not rate him?  If not then why was he allowed to sign for us?

The same goes for Saviet – for me Jack Colback is not good enough, so what was the point in bringing in the Frenchman if McClaren was going to continue playing the Geordie?

Whoever is the manager, will say a lot about whether that blueprint stays intact and how serious they are about maximising the club’s potential.