Steve McClaren’s Big Mistake In Pre-Season

There were always questions about whether Fabricio Coloccini even wanted to stay at Newcastle in the summer when he didn’t play one minute in pre-season and there were constant rumors that he was destined to join former manager Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace.

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Steve McClaren – head in hands  
It doesn’t give fans any confidence to see Steve doing this

It looks like that was accurate and that he was being offered a three-year deal at Palace with his current contract running out next June on Tyneside and most fans thinking that would be the end of his Newcastle career.

But just days before our first game at home to Southampton McClaren made a big deal of saying that Coloccini had been given a one-year extension to his contract and he would be staying on as captain of the side.

That meant that we would not bring in another center-back in the summer since Colo as captain would presumably have to play in the side.

With Newcastle having conceded a massive 17 goals in our first eight games that now seems to be a huge mistake McClaren made.

What’s been alarming with the Newcastle side this season is they have collapsed far too many times and that points to a number of things – one is a lack of leadership.

Coloccini has played well only in patches and doesn’t seem to have strong leadership qualities on the pitch – especially when things are not going well which is when leadership really counts.

Newcastle will almost certainly bring in another center back in January – maybe Joel Matip of Schalke – but by then we will be half way through the season and our defense looks no better than over the last three seasons.

It’s looking like a huge mistake that Newcastle didn’t bring in another center-back last summer and Colo is also lacking as the leader of the side.

And with Haidara and Dummett being prone to injuries we could have also used another left back coming in.

Why we let Davide Santon leave in January for Inter-Milan we have no idea – it was another poor  decision by Lee Charnley, probably influenced by John Carver at the time.

Lee said it was an opportunity Newcastle had to take because it wouldn’t have been there last summer – was that code for another  opportunity to make money?

We just hope things can be turned around before January – we have 11 games and 33 points to play for before the new year rolls around and new reinforcements can arrive.

Comments welcome.