Steve McClaren has been talking about the problems that led to Newcastle’s relegation.
The former United Head Coach says that when he was at St James Park, Mike Ashley only allowed players under the age of 25 to be bought in.
After just surviving relegation on the final day of the 2014/15 season, Newcastle bought a 19 year old (Toney), two 20 year olds (Mbemba and Mitrovic), a 22 year old (Thauvin) and a 24 year old (Wijnaldum), all from weaker leagues.
Then in the January 2016 window, Newcastle recruited 23 year old Shelvey, 24 year old Townsend and 25 year old Saivet, whilst what looked like a 53 year old Doumbia arrived on loan.
Steve McClaren says that this ‘restricted the recruitment process’ and Newcastle ended up failing by then not bringing in enough quality strikers and centre-backs.
However, he hopes and thinks Rafa Benitez will have the freedom to control the transfer process.
Steve McClaren speaking to BBC Radio Five Live:
“I am frustrated with my time at Newcastle and especially with the way it ended.
“I went in with my eyes open and I knew the situation I was getting myself into, but the mistake I made was that I compromised too much.
“You have to go in and lead and manage. I compromised too much especially early on, instead of saying, ‘we need this, we need this, we need this’.
“They have gone down because we conceded too many goals and didn’t recruit centre-backs, and we didn’t recruit enough strikers, we had injuries and bad luck and the main thing is the mentality.
“The mentality of the team was that they would play well against top teams, but they couldn’t win the games they should have won against the lower teams.
“They have decided to go with Rafa Benitez and I hope they’ve allowed him control of everything – most importantly he can control recruitment and maybe change the policy of the time, which was only recruiting players under 25 and I think that restricted the recruitment process.
“You need experience and that wasn’t possible, I think with Rafa being in there he will be allowed to take control.”