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Where is the vision?

5 years ago

While Newcastle United looked back on track yesterday with a solid three points and some good performances, yet again it was obvious that our squad has been built with absolutely no strategy.

The knives have been out for Lee Charnley and Graham Carr due to the lack of signings but they must also be blamed for the total lack of structure in the squad.

It’s pretty simple. You need two players for each position and a youth team player to back up. All successful teams have always done this and yet we continue to fail here.

It is the board’s responsibility to make this work, so even with the changes of manager in the past couple of years this responsibility falls firmly at the feet of these two men.

When looking at the youth team then, it was great to see three youngsters on the bench yesterday, but why wasn’t one of them playing left-back?

Aarons got away with basically playing on the left of midfield, but it was obvious that when at left-back nobody wanted to pass to him, and the one challenge he did put in very nearly gave away a penalty.

Surely you should be able to find a left-back somewhere? The whole point of ‘development football’ is that they are developed to play.

That then comes on to the excuse that the players had not even been on the bench and it is a risk to drop them straight in. Why? We are not in the days of three subs anymore.

Against Everton it was obvious that he didn’t feel Taylor or Doumbia were ready to play, so why do we not rotate a young player on the bench each week to give them experience.

The weeks and months of Obertan and Gouffran on the bench and then you get to this point and the youngsters lack match day experience. It is a joke.

This inability to plan beyond day to day is something which will never see us progress. Having local lads on the bench brings the club closer to the fans, it gives young players hope, it gives them real experience and it means that you have a real squad – rather than just a first team and youth team.

Steve McClaren is supposed to be this great coach, he saw youth transition through the ranks at Man Utd and Boro, yet he has totally forgotten the basics at Newcastle United?

Is there anyone in the club who is actually looking at the long-term strategy and making sure it is adhered to. We know the answer is no, but it is shambolic.

Newcastle United remain a rudderless ship. Even if McClaren can steady things in the coming weeks and get us to safety, we are going to be starting next season on the back foot. There is no vision in the club. No direction from the board.

It has been said many times before but we need a football brain on the board to start to develop something for the longer term. Charnley is a joker, Carr is totally focussed on bringing in saleable assets to the club and Moncur is a ghost of Christmas past.

While there may need to be a fix in the manager’s position in coming weeks, it is only in the boardroom that we will have a real impact for change.

There needs to be someone who understands football, who has an interest in the area, who has experience of youth development and who isn’t going to be scared to pressure a manager to consider the longer term rather than simply week by week as we stand now. Currently our youth system is a total waste of time as yesterday proved.

There are plenty out there from the likes of Glenn Roeder or Neil McDonald who have experience of the club at all levels, to name just two. I am not suggesting a Director of Football, just a couple of people who know the game, to be involved and have a say at board level.

This current board simply does not work and our club needs to have a group of football minds leading it, who are not so close to the training ground that they can’t see the wood for the trees.

Knowing my luck we’ll have Joe Kinnear and Dennis Wise back and then I’ll be regretting it!

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