You don’t sink the Titanic and then be allowed free rein to captain her sister ship (The Olympic by the way) through the same iceberg infested waters, without making adjustments to compensate for past mistakes. But at Newcastle United, failure seems to be acceptable, if not encouraged.
The signs were there on many occasions this season alone….
Limiting the club’s chances by appointing a serial failure in Steve McClaren.
Hampering the team’s chance to move on and build leadership by not replacing Captain Coloccini.
Putting faith in a striker that had no Premier League experience and expecting him to score for fun.
Not strengthening key positions such as left back and finally replacing Yohan Cabaye and Demba Ba.
Allowing the team to embark on a dismal start to the season whereby the first win was on 18th October.
Allowing results against Norwich (6-2) and Bournemouth (1-0) to paper over massive cracks.
Letting games like Watford (1-2) Crystal Palace (1-5) Aston Villa (1-1) and West Brom (0-1) to go unchecked.
All of that was BEFORE the turn of the year, sequences of games were passing us by and we weren’t winning any of them. A draw away at Man United or wins at home to Liverpool and away at Spurs is worth nothing if you’re losing to the teams around you.
Yet still the alarm bells rang, performances didn’t improve and more time was lost. The folly of allowing Steve McClaren to bluff his players and superiors into thinking everything was rosy in the garden game after game, moreover being allowed to spend money in January (if you believe he was in charge of that) was a missed opportunity.
It was the chance to make a change and allow someone a lot more time to rescue a not so lost cause. Rafa Benitez was actually available in the first week in January and that would’ve given him ample time to start a perfectly viable rescue mission.
But STILL the powers that be persisted. Another window of opportunity presented itself in mid-February after a 5-1 hammering down at Stamford Bridge, where it was clear nothing had been learned since the start of the season.
A totally pointless trip away to La Manga was arranged to provide the team with vital ‘bonding’ and ‘warm weather’ training, but soon it was clear that this pointless exercise was to be mirrored by the pointless return from the two games that followed.
Defeats against Stoke away and Bournemouth at home were a damning indictment of the approach that this club has adopted over the ownership of Mike Ashley and the Directorship of Lee Charnley.
More time had been wasted and no manager can come in and wave a magic wand.
Rafa Benitez has apparently presented Alexandar Mitrovic with a proper striking coach and his reward was goals against the mackems and Norwich, unfortunately too little too late, it should’ve been months earlier.
Forget employing the motivational powers of Steve Black (chuckle, chuckle) you can’t motivate the chronically morose and allowing the charade of Steve McClaren’s reign to continue after New Year, was as foolish and negligent as it was in appointing him in the first place and it will prove costly to supporters as well as the club owner.
On to the immediate present, or fantasy land as I call it.
If we are to survive, we need to beat (not draw) BEAT Swansea City, Crystal Palace AND Aston Villa and then get all three points off one of Man City, Liverpool or Spurs. Do that and we have a chance depending on results elsewhere. Like I said, it’s fantasy land, but that’s the position we now find ourselves in.
Then comes the future, which begins in the Championship in August, whereby many a player will have taken their leave and upped sticks to pastures new, not wishing to dirty their boots in the lower leagues, which is exactly where they should be.
Individually, the vast majority of these players are weak, delusional disgraces. The word ‘team’ simply doesn’t apply. Too many players have been at this club too long and for too much money and for what? To turn round and run for the hills and forget about the fans of Newcastle United just because their ‘efforts’ weren’t good enough?
I’m sure there will be words along the lines of ‘We need to bounce back for the fans’, ‘We haven’t been good enough’ and ‘We owe it to the fans to get promotion’- Don’t you bloody dare!
In a word- CHARLATANS!