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Was it really better before Steve McClaren?

6 years ago

After this weekend’s mauling it has become a fairly regular sight to see fans declaring ‘the grass isn’t always greener’ and ‘Newcastle fans are learning what a good manager Alan Pardew is’…which has become a source of great annoyance to me.

What’s worse is the number of Newcastle fans who seem to be spreading this message. I have seen Newcastle fans declaring that it was awful how Newcastle fans treated Pardew. I just don’t get how fans can revel in the pain of people they should show kinship with.

But let’s not divide the support, let’s just deal with some facts.

Under Steve McClaren we are sat bottom and have failed to win a match after his first eight league games in charge. This is undoubtedly awful and I am certainly no McClaren fan. In an earlier article on The Mag, I clearly stated I was opposed to his appointment.

But was it better under Pardew? Would we be doing better with him in charge? Well only last season after eight games, we were in the relegation zone under his management and only got our first win in that eighth game. True, we weren’t bottom, but we had only played three top eight sides and only one of the top four clubs, whereas we’ve played six top eight sides and that includes all four of the top four clubs. A tough run.

We also went a run of one win in 14 matches in 2014 under Alan Pardew, so he’s certainly capable of this sort of run. He also had us finish the second lowest position in our Premier League history, yes one place lower than we finished last season with Carver managing for half a season.

We can ignore the headbutts, shoves and swearing right now, though I find it incredible how easily forgotten this seems to be.

You can blame transfers and say that McClaren got to spend £50m this summer but we spent £35m last year too and that didn’t give us any improvement on performances.

As for our 6-1 loss, well no manager has more heavy defeats in our history than Alan Pardew. In his last year in charge we saw no less than five defeats of 4-0, as well as three losses of five goals or more in his time here.

The issue with the club isn’t McClaren, it isn’t Pardew, and it certainly isn’t the fans who stick by this club way more than it deserves right now.

It is how we’re being run by those above. Replacing the manager we hired after he was sacked by a League 1 club, with a manager who had just been sacked by a Championship club, is not the sort of progress I want to see.

I’m not one to call for McClaren to be sacked, nor am I someone who is desperate for him to be given more time…but let’s not rewrite history and pretend that Alan Pardew was a great manager for us or anyone else.

Dan has his own blog which you can visit at and you can follow him on Twitter @nufcbase

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