Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


This has all the hallmarks of the Steve McClaren era

2 years ago

Oh dear, this is already starting to look like it’s going to be a long season for Newcastle United and we are only two games in.

It would be foolish to say we are in crisis and should be preparing for relegation after just two games…but the warning signs are there in black and white, both metaphorically and literally, after the debacle at Carrow Road.

Even I had us down to get something against Norwich so to get stuffed 3-1 was a shock. I must come clean and say that I had a moment of optimism last week and predicted a win. Safe to say I won’t be doing that again any time soon.

There has been talk on The Mag this week of a need to remain positive and I agree that negativity for negativity’s sake is pointless. But being Positive?

I REALLY don’t feel that people can be seeing the way things are with full 20:20 vision if their attitude is to remain ‘positive’. You can look at this team and it’s leadership through black and white spectacles and accentuate the positives all you like – but to do so would be ignoring bare faced facts.

In short, this is a disaster in the making and we are witnessing a car crash in ultra slow motion. Nobody can say that they didn’t see this season coming as it had ‘catastrophe’ written all over it.

From the minute that it became clear that Rafa Benitez wasn’t staying, this club had mapped it’s course to a season of struggle UNLESS they went and spent some money and appointed a competent replacement. The club have done the former to a point, although I have severe reservations of the quality of the squad even after the supposed £60m+ spending, but in hiring Steve Bruce they have negated any progress that could possibly have been achieved.

The manager/head coach is simply not up to it. The stability the team had last season under Benitez and his coaching staff has (after first glimpses) been eroded and the personnel has been replaced with a combination of Laurel and Hardy and the Chuckle Brothers. They have been tasked with getting this club to Premier League safety when all the evidence suggests that it is way, way beyond them as football coaches.

Their CVs are the opposite of what you would look for in hiring a Newcastle manager/coach to build on what their predecessor managed to achieve and with less money. You can’t just start throwing money around (relative speaking compared to the recent past) and expect any old coaching team to get the best out of what materialises.

The three Steves? The three Stooges more like.

Bruce came out last week and stated that he had a conversation with Lee Charnley and said that he must have spent more money this latest transfer window than he had done over his entire career before coming to the club (ED: Which was 100% untrue, Bruce spent far more even just when he was at Sunderland). Well why doesn’t that surprise me? Someone simply not qualified to be in the job in the first place and someone merely overjoyed just to be there, while bigging up the situation and the regime.

Oh, has he mentioned that he’s a Geordie yet? So What?! John Carver was another one who couldn’t believe his luck that he was given the chance to fill the role and I don’t remember that ending well.

Alan Shearer is a Geordie and he realised that management wasn’t for him, especially after getting his fingers burnt by the current owner and his regime. This is the same Alan Shearer that told his mate Bruce not to take the job. Can Steve Bruce really be that big of a bumbling idiot? It appears so.

In the meantime IF we are to avoid what I’m billing as a certain relegation, we need to find at least 30 points from somewhere to even get close. Once again, hoping that there are three teams worse than we are isn’t going to be easy and I’ve formed an opinion that we MUST score first if we are to hold any hope of getting a positive result in games this season, as we aren’t mentally resolute as we were under Rafa Benitez.

We also now don’t have the coaching or tactical ability at the club to affect change when we go behind. Put simply, if the opposition score two goals, we’re as good as finished.

This has all the hallmarks of the Steve McClaren era where the direction from the sidelines was nil and only time will tell if results follow the same path. I’ve said elsewhere that McClaren was at least afforded a semi decent (if limited) set of players to manage/coach but that wally (with the brolly) wasn’t good enough to get the best out of them on a frequent enough basis.

In that regard we’ve gone backwards with the man in the dugout and I can’t say the squad is as well serviced either. I certainly fear for where the goals are going to come from to get Bruce out of this and if the defence is going to be as leaky as it looks at present, then prepare for some hammerings.

After ending up in such a ragged and disjointed state at the end of the game against one of the most average Arsenal sides to visit St James’ in many a year and to be comprehensively outplayed by a newly promoted Norwich, the alarm bells should be sounding and if, as I suspect we get nothing off Spurs and Liverpool away and Watford at home, then they should be deafening in a few weeks time.


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2022 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks