We have had outr worst start to the season since 1898 and if we don’t improve some in the next three games it could be the worst start to a season in our history.
But even with that background we are still surprised that Steve McClaren seems to have given up on the targets that were set for him this season – a top eight Premier league finish and to win one of the cups – that would now have to be the FA Cup since we lost to Sheffield Wednesday at home in the League Cup..
Steve McClaren – given up on targets
This is what Steve McClaren has said to the press:
“At the present moment, being in the top eight is miles away.” “The most important thing – and this is probably true for 10 or 11 of the clubs in the league – is to get to 40 points.”
“That’s where we’re at.” “When I was at Middlesbrough we used to have a massive party whenever we got to 40 points. Whether that was in November, March, April, whenever – Harry (coach Steve Harrison) would say, “Right, we’re having a party now.”
“It’s all about getting to that 40-point mark, then you can think about other things. Especially this year (with the new TV deal), that has to be the absolute priority. That’s the focus.”
“If someone said to me now, “You’ll have 40 points by mid-April”, I’d take it. That’s just the perspective of where we are.”
“I think people would think I’d gone absolutely daft and crazy if I was sitting here now saying we’d turn that down.”
“I think I’m judged every week, and I’ll be judged again on Sunday night,’ he said. ‘You’re judged every day and in every game. I’m not saying judge me after 10, 11, 12 games.”
“But I guess I would say, if you’re going to throw things at me, judge me at the end of the season.”
It was always judge me after 10 games and then yesterday in Steve’s press conference he said judge me after 10 to 12 games.
Now it’s judge me at the end of the season – but that’s silly becasue what happens if we are releagted at the end of the season?
And with all due respect to Middlesbrough fans everywhere, there’s a big difference between expectations of Newcastle fans and those of Middlesbrough fans.
It’s great they are doing so well in the Championship and hopefully they will be back in the Premier League next season – hope we are still there at that time.
There’s a lot I don’t like about the comments coming from McClaren above – what will his players think?
It’s far too early to give up on 8th place in the league and as an example of that – last year at around this time we had 4 points from the first seven games.
But then five games later we were 5th top after winning five league games in a row and we had 19 points from 12 games.
If we do the same thing in the next five games we will have 18 points from 13 games which isn’t too bad and last season after 13 games and 18 points we would have been in 9th place.
That’s pretty close to 8th place -which is the target for this season.
So we think Steve essentially saying that he has given up on his targets at this stage of the season and would take 40 points by mid-April now is a (big) mistake.
It’s an error of judegement becasue we have only gone through 21% of the season so far – it shows a lack of confidence.
We cannot believe that Lee Charnley or Mike Ashley will be too happy that Steve has gone public with this.
What do you think?