It would be an understatement to say Newcastle United have started the season poorly and Steve McClaren is coming under increasing pressure as his team selection, tactics and man-management are all being scrutinised.
A lot of fans called for change in the wake of Alan Pardew’s departure and the abysmal end to last season…and a change we have got.
For at least a couple of seasons now, we have struggled with a squad incapable of making any real progress in domestic competitions and more often than not flirting with relegation.
To change that, in my opinion, takes investment, of which we have had some but nowhere near enough…..’yet’, a new philosophy in terms of playing style and direction, as well as both patience and time.
Steve McClaren’s record, when given time, speaks for itself.
He has a 46.06% win average across all clubs, over 54% when at Deby, 63% and 48% when at Twente and even 50% when in charge of England. He only had 24 games at Wolfsburg and 13 at Forrest. In 571 games he has lost only 172 as a manager. Calls for his head are premature to say the least.
We still have a squad full of players who are not good enough, nor are they in McClaren’s long-term plans, he’s been left to deal with it and needs to be given the opportunity to do so.
For example Obertan, Marveaux, Gouffran, Williamson etc etc. Most of whom are responsible for the club’s failings over the last few seasons and lack interest, desire and the quality needed to play for our club – they could prove me wrong but I doubt it.
Work has begun to transform the squad with the outlay on new players in the summer, which I believe will be further increased in January with one or two more, along with a few outgoings.
To change the whole ethos at a football club does not happen overnight and clubs that repeatedly change manager, more often than not fail due to not being given the time to implement the broad and vast array of changes necessary.
I, for one, did not think Newcastle would make much progress at all this season and felt we would be safer than last season, which for me was enough of a progression in terms of what the current management are attempting to change.
The focus of the team at present relies heavily on Mitrovic’s contribution in terms of holding the ball up and bringing others into play.
Give the team a month or so with Mitrovic playing regularly and I feel we will start to see things coming on nicely.
Yes we’ve had a tough start but that’s no excuse for some of the displays and the players have to take the brunt of the responsibility, most of them probably already know where their futures lie.
With tough games coming up, things aren’t going to get any easier for us to stomach but we need to back the change so many of us have called for.
The season is still in its infancy and if we are still in the bottom three come February, I will be surprised to say the least.
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