It was a compete and utter nightmare after we had beaten Aston Villa 1-0 on the last day of February, and were on 35 points in 11th place and presumably safe from relegation, but that didn’t turn out to be the case and in the next eight games we lost them all.
After that eight successive defeat at Leicester, when we were torn apart by a team lower than us in the league table, an emergency meeting was held by Lee Charnley and we tried to get Steve McClaren at the club for the last three games, but he refused to come and so we stuck with John Carver.
Steve McClaren – top coach can get the best out of existing squad
Luckily we got 4 points in those last three games with a massive 3 points against West Ham in our final game in front of a sold out St. James’ Park.
And that,in a strange way, made it a positive end to the season – because we were still a Premier League side – and the feeling was that we should never let that happen again.
Mike Ashley also came out before the game and spoke for the first time in eight years, and what he said seemed quite positive, but Newcastle now face a difficult summer to strengthen their squad.
Players would be a lot more willing to come to Newcastle if we had finished in the top ten last season, but we have now been fighting relegation for two of the last three seasons, so some top players will think twice before they sign on at Newcastle.
Actions have consequences and an eight game losing streak which got a lot of publicity in England, will make it more difficult for the club this summer – that’s a fact.
It was always going to be a difficult window for Newcastle and we have to do our very best to get five or six new players in.
The good news is that a lot of the players who were simply hopeless under John Carver are a lot better than what they showed in the second half of the season.
We put that down to a very large extent to the very poor leadership skills of John Carver and his almost non-existent man-management skills, and John making that last half of the season all about himself.
Both John Carver and Steve Stone were officially fired one day before Steve McClaren was appointed – so the decks were cleared for the former England manager.
Steve McClaren is a much better coach than John Carver ever will be, and McClaren also has excellent leadership skills and terrific man-management skills.
We’ve already seen that in action with Steve calling some of our senior players as soon as he got the job on Tyneside.
So the probability is that Steve and his coaching staff – once they come in – will be able to get a lot more out of the players we already have, than Carver was able to in the second half of last season.
But we still need maybe five new players brought in, but it could take most of the summer to get them through the door, and that will be unfortunate.
But Newcastle still have time (and money) to bring those players in this summer – and we now have a coach who is recognized as being one of the best.
That’s good news in itself.