Robbie Savage questions why Ashley appointed McClaren and names ideal replacement
The usually irritating Robbie Savage has given an excellent but savage appraisal of Newcastle United and Steve McClaren.
Savage says that at the moment it looks as though Newcastle have spent over £50m and managed to become an even worse team under the new Head Coach, as compared to the one that avoided relegation on the final day of last season.
The media pundit wonders how Ashley believed Steve McClaren was the best man for the job, after failing in the Championship at Derby County.
Where Robbie Savage does get it wrong is when he says it must be the first time a manager as walked into a bigger job straight after failing at his last one.
Newcastle fans know better of course, as Alan Pardew was given the Newcastle job after being sacked by then third tier Southampton.
Savage questions the player recruitment, the coaching, the lack of English players, the limited local (Geordie) influence in the squad and the lack of leaders.
Here are some of the highlights from the piece by Robbie Savage in The Mirror:
‘After spending £52million in the summer transfer window, Newcastle have arguably achieved the unlikely feat of becoming a worse side under new boss Steve McClaren.
I know McClaren only took over in the summer, and that he wants fans to judge them after 10 games, but for many Toon supporters six matches have been enough to reach a firm conclusion.
In my opinion, they are a poor team with no leaders on the pitch, no English core in McClaren’s first-choice XI, virtually no Geordie local heroes in the squad and no identity.
Instead of paying £13m or so for Aleksandar Mitrovic, who did not take long to live down to his reputation for having a volatile temperament, why did Newcastle not meet QPR’s £15m valuation for proven Premier League goal-scorer Charlie Austin?
If Austin had signed and then banged in a couple of early goals, he’d already be a folk hero on Tyneside – revered in the same way that Alan Shearer, Andy Cole and Mick Quinn became legends in the famous No 9 shirt.
But if you were a Newcastle fan and you bought a replica shirt from the club shop today, whose name and number would you have printed on the back?
The brutal truth is that Newcastle United are now just a transit lounge for unproven imports, passing through St James’ Park while they wait for better offers from bigger clubs.
This time, it’s McClaren and his coaching team who are in the firing line. Don’t just blame Ashley – he gave the new manager £52m to spend and he’s got little to show for it.
To be honest, I would question Ashley’s judgement in appointing a manager who got the sack at Derby for blowing promotion to the Premier League two years running.
It may be the first time I’ve seen a manager move straight on to a bigger job when he has failed in his previous one.
That £52m should have gone on three or four proven quantities who understand what Newcastle means to the people on Tyneside, not used for speculative punts on foreign players who think it’s funny to turn up for home games in a tuxedo.
It was amusing the first time, but the joke wore off a long time ago.
I doubt Newcastle will similarly sack McClaren, because there are not many obvious alternatives out there. Jurgen Klopp would be a good fit, but I’m not sure they would be able to get him.
Something drastic has got to change though, because a massive club with wonderfully loyal supporters is heading for the cliff-edge and they can’t find the handbrake.’
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