Newcastle United: A fake club
Inspired by a comment that somebody left on The Mag asking for Steve McClaren to start ‘acting like a proper manager’, I began to think about why things are not done properly at Newcastle United, and the answer is in the comment.
Unlike many other clubs we do not have a proper manager, we have a failed coach.
Despite the public assertions about McClaren being on the board, it is clear that he has absolutely no power over anything of any meaning, other than selecting a team from the players which he has either inherited, or have been forced upon him.
The prime example of this being Thauvin; the manager publicly asserts that he is looking to add to the defence, the club sign a lightweight winger and gift a new contract to a bloke who doesn’t want to be here, and is at least two seasons past his sell by date.
This falseness doesn’t stop in the dugout though, we also have a fake chairman. Unlike most other multi-million pound companies who employ professional executives with qualifications and a track record of managing large organisations, we promote Lee Charnley for no other apparent reason than the owner seems to like him.
The bloke makes a big deal about communicating, then doesn’t communicate, cancels meetings, refuses to speak to the fans or the press and issues occasional clichéd statements about moving the club forward with no definitive plan. And it doesn’t stop there…
The chief scout, much lauded when he bought in Cabaye, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse, has also been found out. The number of woeful signings and abject failures now far outweighs the distant memory of the fleeting success stories, and given the strict framework he has to work with as a slight mitigating factor, he continues to flounder in between bargain basement and untapped potential, failing to unearth any gems of note since Ayoze Perez.
On the pitch we have a fake captain, a leader who doesn’t lead either vocally or by example. Arguably the captain has been the worst performer of the lot this season, yet a sterling effort at Old Trafford suggests that much of the issue is mentality and attitude rather than ability, like so many others in the squad he probably could cut it, he just doesn’t want to.
The club has not helped his cause in a number of ways, firstly by actually giving him a new contract, secondly by allowing him to retain the captaincy, and thirdly by continuing to put him in the team when he so clearly is not fit to be on the pitch.
Then there are the statements and emails issued in his name, but probably not from his mouth or pen, more clichés and platitudes delivered with stunning insincerity of action.
All over the pitch we have fake footballers attempting to do a passable impression of professionals, and failing.
Central defenders masquerading as full backs, central midfield players impersonating wingers and a certain highly regarded (in his own mind) French international seen doing the ‘dad run’ when attempting (ha!) to win back possession.
In the stands we have plastic fans, people on a day out attracted by the cheap tickets, and those who refuse to break the habit of paying for a product despite its unbelievable poor quality.
They see the damage to the club with a better view than most, they know where the responsibility lies and they are asked to help, but they refuse because their seat is comfy, their routine is set, their money is paid and their apathy is complete.
The atmosphere is dead, the once electric atmosphere is now comparable to a cold, wet flannel. Every televised game is an embarrassment to the club as row after row of quiet grumbling and yawns have replaced the passion which once inhabited the famous old ground.
This isn’t a football club, it’s an advert made to resemble a football club. Those aren’t players and coaches, they’re actors who failed drama school. That isn’t a board of directors, it’s a fan club for a billionaire with a fragile ego.
What was here is gone, bought out, sold off and replaced with a cheap replica, if the dissolution continues we can all expect the stadium to eventually be replaced with a bouncy castle and a miniature golf course.
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