Steve Claridge has really laid into Steve McClaren for Newcastle United’s impending relegation.

Just as no normal person would blame Alan Shearer for failing to perform miracles with the mess of 2009, likewise nobody should point the finger at Rafa Benitez is Newcastle go down this week, the Spaniard getting 10 matches to sort things, only two more than Shearer did seven years ago.

Early last month (11 April), Steve Claridge had this to say about what Steve McClaren had managed to do at Newcastle this season:

“Said the other day that (2008/09 Newcastle United) squad was the best to ever be relegated.

“Well this will supersede that – this (Newcastle 2015/16) is the best squad to go down.

“How they have found themselves in the position – actually beggars belief. You look at the quality of players there….you have to look at the manager – I’m sorry, you just have to look at Steve McClaren.

Since those quotes in early April, Rafa Benitez has produced a five match unbeaten run with nine points from a possible 15 but it just shows the mess he inherited, that this looks too little too late.

The 10 games not enough to undo the damage that Mike Ashley and his minions, especially Steve McClaren, have caused.

Steve Claridge speaking on Radio 5 Live on Monday night:

“Mike Ashley gave  the money to sign players and there is only one man responsible…Steve McClaren.

“It is an incredible under achievement.

“How he managed to get this side into the bottom three…?

“There was a lack of belief, a lack of focus amongst the players, obviously a lack of belief in what Steve McClaren was doing.”