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Steve McClaren explains how his master plan was ruined at Newcastle United

8 years ago

We all knew that the problems at St James Park didn’t start and end with Steve McClaren but appointing him, was like throwing petrol on the already blazing fire.

Sacked far too late in March, Steve McClaren had already guaranteed relegation, with 10 games far too little for Rafa Benitez to make the best of a very bad job he had been left with.

Bizarrely though, Steve McClaren is still claiming that everything would have turned out ok if only he had been given more time.

It sends a shiver down your spine to even consider for a second how worried you’d be now, if McClaren was still in charge and we were relying on him to get us out of the Championship.

Steve McClaren complains now about the transfer process and says that wrong players were bought and not enough of the right players – but he can’t have it all ways.

He sat there and told us all how happy he was with his signings and how good the squad was, so he can’t turn around now and claim the total opposite.

His most bizarre claim though is that he was only given two of the three transfer windows he felt he needed to turn the squad around.

Exactly how, if Steve McClaren and the same transfer process was still in place, would things have turned around if another transfer window had seen the likes of McClaren, Carr and Charnley decide where another £50m was spent?

In the crucial match against Aston Villa, the last one Newcastle played before relegation was confirmed, this is what Rafa Benitez felt was his strongest possible side to avert disaster:

Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Mbemba, Dummett, Tiote, Colback, Townsend, Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Cisse

That side contained only three of the nine signings made in the two transfer windows whilst Steve McClaren was in charge.

Mitrovic and Shelvey substitutes, whilst Doumbia and Saivet couldn’t even make the bench.

The other two signings were even further away from being suitable to be involved in the relegation fight, Thauvin and Toney not good enough to make the squad and so sent out on loan.

Steve McClaren has claimed that Newcastle United was a club that he ‘always wanted to manage’, well he was never somebody that I ever wanted to manage our club, that is for sure.

McClaren says that due to the dodgy Newcastle defence, the team ‘had to score a lot of goals to win games’, which then begs the question as to why he then set up the team so negatively. Game after game he put the team out in a formation that was clearly trying not to concede the first goal, rather than trying to score it.

Steve McClaren talking to Sky Sports:

“It is a fantastic club and I always wanted to manage it.

“What I didn’t do, and probably what Rafa needs to do, is to take control – and be given control of the whole situation, and especially the football side. That is my one regret that I didn’t have that.

“Also,  I didn’t really have time, we said that it would take three windows (to turn things around).

“We had two and I don’t think we recruited the right players in the right positions, otherwise we wouldn’t have conceded so many goals.

“We only had one striker and poor Mitrovic on his own for the majority of the season…we needed back-up for him, so we didn’t score enough goals.

“We always had to score a lot of goals to win games and I thought because of the past history with Alan Pardew, that I would be given time – unfortunately I wasn’t.”


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