Checking my e-mails yesterday (Friday – article received Sat morning before Chelsea match) was the usual mix of 500 free spins, non-existent coupons for Aldi, and solutions to erectile dysfunction.
However, one other e-mail sat in the inbox, awaiting a trash or move decision like our flat number nine hovering in the wrong place for a cross that will never arrive. It was from Lee Charnley.
I had already heard the bulk of the e-mail on the way home from work, but I still read it.
After all, this communication with fans was apparently what I had always wanted, and Lee Charnley was delivering. Thanks. And I heard Steve McClaren’s reaction, and that’s when irritation became annoyance.
It’s interesting to see that the club are disappointed with the start to the season. Don’t think we can argue with that one.
Apparently they are ‘identifying the problems’ but are ‘not in the business of apportioning blame.’
Well, thousands of people across the region have identified several problems, and didn’t need to be paid a fortune to do it. There is no pace, no creativity, and no one to score goals from the chances we don’t create.
I’m actually glad there will not be ‘panic’ and that the club will not be making ‘rash decisions’. If it was up to me after the Watford match, there’d be a queue of ex-Newcastle United footballers walking around the streets of the city with the word shame written on their faces in the mud of the training pitch they clearly need to work on. I’d enjoy it, but it probably wouldn’t help.
But Lee Charnley went on to hope that we will get behind the team. News flash: We were never in front of it.
We want them to get it right even more than you do. You’re right that we have invested ‘emotionally’. ‘Emotionally’ is becoming ‘bloody sick’. Jermaine Jenas, who lived in a goldfish bowl at the Hoppings, or so is my understanding, has the answer to this problem, and it’s an answer that has been staring the club in the face: try really, really hard in the first fifteen minutes and the crowd will love you.
Ok. That’s ‘getting behind the team’ solved.
Now, I’m taking a deep breath. I’m thinking happy thoughts and unicorns in Newcastle strips blowing bubbles of peace before I get to The Annoyance… Steve McClaren tried to play down the crisis. He argued that he has had to make changes, as our win record was so poor. He’s right. It was dreadful. Appalling.
He pointed out that we only stayed up on the last day of the season, so something had to change. With you on that one, Steve. No arguments here. But then he utterly gasted my flabber by telling us that some people are resistant to change.
No, Mr McClaren. There isn’t a Newcastle United fan on the planet who would say that we shouldn’t have changed. We didn’t have the players last year, so we changed some of them.
We changed manager/coach/ head coach/person with the toughest job in football. What hasn’t changed? We played to an utterly hopeless strategy last year, creating not a lot, and converting less. Yet here we are again. Again.
Steve McClaren then went on to point out that he and the club have a meeting after every match, so a meeting after a match isn’t unusual. But how can there be a gloss after losing to Sheffield Wednesday reserves?
How could the meeting possibly have been routine, other than repeating the question, what went wrong?
I appreciate that he can’t sit there and say, yeah, I’ve been told we have to start winning or else. But I think we’d all appreciate if he acknowledged the need for urgency. Not a rash decision; urgency. Like, fifteen minutes of it.
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