Listening to Steve McClaren you’d think he was never at Newcastle United
When Steve McClaren speaks about Newcastle United last season, you would think he’d been one of the spectators and not the main man at the club.
He talks as though everything that happened, particularly the relegation, was something that he didn’t have any influence/control over.
Speaking on Friday night during Sky Sports’ coverage of the game at Craven Cottage, Steve McClaren says that Newcastle have made the changes this summer that they should have done a year earlier.
In particular he points to how daft it was to recruit players only if they were under 25 and to have a head coach instead of a manager.
If these things were so obviously wrong/disastrous, why didn’t Steve McClaren refuse to take the job on such ridiculous terms and/or fight for change once he was in the club? Rather than doing as Alan Pardew did and talk about how everything was great within the club as he oversaw the relegation to the Championship?
Steve McClaren also raved about Jamaal Lascelles and how he will make a great Captain, saying he knew all about him because he had him at Forest and talking about his qualities.
If he did rate Lascelles then why on earth did he not give him a chance with Coloccini and Taylor both so shocking?
In McClaren’s entire time at St James Park, he only gave Jamaal Lascelles the following Premier League starts:
Away defeat at Watford in an ill-fated three/five man defence when he played the former Forest player with Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini.
The only other starts for Lascelles came in McClaren’s final two games before he was sacked, the defender playing alongside Steven Taylor against both Stoke and Bournemouth but only because there were no other options! Both Coloccini and Mbemba out injured.
If McClaren had any class/dignity he would have respectfully turned down Sky’s offer to give his opinion on Newcastle United – he is not qualified to give it!
“They (Newcastle United) have been relegated but they’ve adapted and made the changes they should have made last summer.
“Rafa Benitez has come in and been given full control, he isn’t a Head Coach he is a manager.
“It was also essential to clear the decks and bring in people who care.
“Eight players have come in who have experience of this league (ED: It is actually only five of the eight), whereas we brought in players a year ago who weren’t used to this league.
“Last summer we were only able to bring in players that were 25 and under but now he has brought in eight new players and leaders.
“There is a new captain and Jamaal Lascelles is a captain who cares, he really developed and showed how much he cared at the back end of last season.
“I knew him from Forest – I had him there, big and strong, quite mobile and athletic.
“He progressed through the year and all of a sudden from nowhere he became a leader which was something we never really had.
“He used to come after the senior players and foreign players in training if he thought they weren’t putting it in, which did cause some conflict – but it was something that we needed at the time because we had a very quiet and very passive dressing room.
“It was a very quiet dressing room. As soon as he did it once or twice, players started to come back at him and we needed that conflict.
“At 24 (ED: Lascelles is actually 22) to be Newcastle’s captain is a very big responsibility, the expectation is enormous but I think he can handle it.”
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