Is This What’s Going Wrong At Newcastle?

A committee has always decided which players come into the club ever since Mike Ashley bought the club back in the summer of 2007, so the players that were brought in after Steve McClaren was appointed as head coach were already coming in – whoever the head coach was.

While John Carver was running the club he knew of the players that Newcastle were after and it seems the four senior players who were brought in were ones on the target list when John was running the club.

steve mcclaren

Steve McClaren – has to turn it around

He’s admitted that in comments he has made recently:

“The players they’ve bought were coming in whether I was the manager, Steve McClaren was the manager or you were the manager.”

“When I was there, I was watching Aleksandar Mitrovic and Georginio Wijnaldum. I knew they were targets already.”

“There’s a system in place of how they do their business, and a boss can only succeed if they go into the club understanding what it’s all about.”

“I didn’t have a problem with it. But Steve might, because he’s new to it.”

Newcastle are being run the way continental clubs are run but one of the differences Newcastle have is they have had only had English managers – with Steve McClaren being the latest.

The others were Sam Allardyce, Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear (OK he was born in Dublin), Alan Shearer,  Chris Hughton,  Alan Pardew and Steve McClaren.

English managers (or head coaches) are not used to this way of operating and generally like to choose their won players – and this is one of the reasons Alan Pardew was so frustrated near the end when it seemed that Graham Carr was the man choosing the players coming in.

Pardew wanted players who could produce immediately whereas Graham was following the Ashley Principle of buying younger players whose value would increase on Tyneside.

Steve McClaren even admitted that it had already been decided that Cabella would be used as part-exchange bait to bring in Thauvin this summer.

It seemed to us McClaren was number one choice from the start because he would work within the existing structure and knew Graham Carr and maybe that was more important than his past record – which was not good.

So McClaren had no say in the incoming players – and Alan Shearer recently wondered if Steve had got the players he wanted.

The answer is only if the four who came in were those he liked because it was already decided.

Notice that some managers – like Jurgen Klopp – wont accept a head coach position unless they have their say on the transfers – and a number of English managers are like that too.

Klopp is reported to be balking on the Liverpool job unless he gets that control, although the latest news today is that he is close to accepting the position.

The way Newcastle have collapsed ever since Alan Pardew was banned for headbutting a Hull City player back last year on March 1st is worrying and there’s something very wrong with the club.

Here’s what’s happened in the performances of Newcastle since that March 1st incident last year:

  • Newcastle lost seven of their last eight games in season 2013-2014
  • Newcastle got just four points from the first seven games last season
  • We finished last season with one point in 10 successive league games before winning our final game against West Ham
  • Newcastle started this season with one of the worst spells ever,  getting just 3 points in the first eight games – all draws

And why Alan Pardew is doing so well at Crystal Palace we don’t really know, but he does have full say on which players they will sign – that was one of the big reasons he joined Palace.

So maybe that’s what’s wrong with Newcastle – there’s a disconnect between the players Graham Carr brings in and what is really needed to improve the side.

It would be very useful if the powers that be at Newcastle try to nail down what the real problem is.

Maybe we should have a continental manager who is more used to the way the club is being run – maybe something like Frank de Boer?

And our injuries are as bad as ever and we have 12 players out injured at the moment and top the Premier League Injury table – and have five more injured players than second-placed Everton.

That doesn’t help either.

If Steve McClaren cannot turn this around he will have to be replaced – there’s really no alternative.

But that may not be the silver bullet we hope for – because it could get very messy as players have to get used to new ways of playing under a new head coach.

And who will Lee Charnley choose this time – and what happens to Steve’s coaching staff?

Comments welcome.