David James has talked about Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren today and he´s said Newcastle can avoid relegation if Steve McClaren sticks at doing what he´s very good at – as a coach.
When Steve was appointed as the head coach at Newcastle in early June players came out of the woodwork to say how great he was as a coach, but his record in management did not reflect that – and that was a cause for concern.
David James played 231 times for Liverpool and a number of other clubs after that – notably 158 times for Portsmouth.
David played for England 53 times and was in the England team during McClaren´s disastrous 16 month reign as England manager from May of 2006.
Steve McClaren – top class coach but not top manager
David was therefore in a position to comment on McClaren because he played for England when Steve was the top coach to England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and then was Steve was the England manager himself.
This is what 45 year-old David James has said in the Express:
“If you looked at Tim Krul as the reason Newcastle haven’t gone down in recent seasons then the answer would lean towards ‘yes’ – relegation for Newcastle this season.”
“I think with Steve McClaren, from my experience with England he was one of the best coaches I have ever worked with, he was just so good. It made sense how Manchester United were so good from his time there.”
“He went away and was a manager for a few years at Middlesbrough and then came back as England boss in 2006, and was very different.”
“I have not been at Newcastle but the side of him as a manager isn’t as strong as him as a coach.”
“If he was to be a coach, more so than manager, he is more than capable of getting Newcastle out of that position and doing well.”
“And then the necessity of the goalkeeper being top drawer is lessened because the team are performing much better.”
Newcastle went out of their way to say they were appointing a head coach to replace Alan Pardew earlier this year.
Steve´s a top coach so maybe they thought well that´s it – he will become very successful at Newcastle because he´s going to be a coach – but it hasn´t turned out that way – so far.
What is worrying about Steve is his record as a manager and it´s not good – and he has shown very little to suggest he can be successful at Newcastle.
Maybe it´s the extra responsibility of management that makes Steve into a mediocre manager even though he is one of the best as a coach?
And maybe David James could have gone into more detail on why Steve was not good as a manager for England – apart from the results – which were hopeless.
As far as we know Steve takes the training at Newcastle so he is doing most of the coaching of the players – and that´s his strength.
What do you think?