Alan Pardew was the big problem at Newcastle – so after he left things would be a lot better and not only that but John Carver – who had been assistant manager at Newcastle for five years under the great Sir Bobby Robson and for almost four years under Alan Pardew – would finally be given his chance.
That was roughly the status at the beginning of this year.
After Alan´s final game in charge – a 3-2 home win against Everton at home we were in 9th place with 26 points from half the season – 19 games played – so no danger of relegation either.
Mike Ashley – this is the man who must change things
That´s if he really does want success on Tyneside
Since Pardew left we have managed a league win only five times in 32 league games this year for a win average of only 15.6% and a loss rate (19 defeats) of 59.3%.
Alan Pardew´s record had a win rate close to 40% in his four years on Tyneside – 185 games played, won 71 drew 41 and lost 73 for a win rate of 38.4% and a loss rate of 39.5%.
It´s not been good this year with Steve McClaren not doing too much better than John Carver – who was an unmitigated disaster at Newcastle in multiple ways – including his press conferences which brought great embarrassment to the club more than once.
Alan Pardew has gone and it was time for Alan to move on for his own career – and also for the sake of Newcastle – because he had run his time at the club and everything was stale.
After a fantastic first 18 months in charge starting in December of 2010, in which he took us to 5th place and back in Europe, the final few years were troubling at best for the Londoner.
So it wasn’t Alan Pardew who was the big problem at Newcastle – so who is it?
We doubt whether any manager – be it David Moyes, Brendan Rodgers or even Sir Alex Ferguson could be successful in the way the manager (yes – it should be head coach – let’s change that back to manager) is so restrained at Newcastle.
Graham Carr chooses the players to be brought in at the club and that being so – how can the manager be responsible for the results when he doesn´t even control who comes in?
The grand experiment of having the Managing Director, Chief Scout and Manager as the triumvirate that leads Newcastle has failed miserably and will fail under any manager – whoever they are.
In fact good managers wouldn’t touch Newcastle at the moment unless the system is changed and it needs to be changed to give the manager more control and which players comes into the club.
Whether that´s a couple of 30 year-olds because of their experience and the team needs more experience – or a couple of 18 year-olds because of their enormous promise should all be the manager´s decision.
Otherwise, it´s hard to hold him responsible for the squad and the results on the field.
We hold Lee Charnley and Graham Carr responsible for the pitiful squad we have in place because before last summer we brought in precious few players in the preceding windows and last January´s transfer deals were unbelievable for their incompetence.
But they are doing what Mike Ashley wants them to do.
Mike wants to bring in younger players who will give Newcastle a big profit over a couple of years when they can be sold to bigger clubs for much more than we paid for them.
There’s nothing wrong with that – but we can’t do that all the time because we will never build up a good side.
We have never built a good side in the eight years Ashley has been in charge except for 2011-2012, and that team was quickly disbanded for profits.
Steve McClaren has now quickly realized he has only limited power on Tyneside and he seems to be doing the right thing – he wants things to change.
But how much chance has he of getting Lee Charnley and Graham Car to change their modus operandi?
Not much – especially when they look up and see who their boss is – Mike Ashley.
It´s a critical time at Newcastle because if Steve McClaren can bring in the players he wants in January – Steve can still change things around and we could still recover to have a decent enough season.
At this stage and where we are in the league table that would be the success scenario for the rest of the season.
If McClaren doesn’t get his way in January then we will remain stuck in the mud – well at least until Mike Ashley decides his adventure as a football club owner is over – and that´s unlikely to happen anytime soon.
It would be much easier if Ashley changes the way he runs the club so we can indeed have some sustained success.
As we said a couple of days ago if things don´t work then most sensible business people look to change it – so it does work – but not at Newcastle United Football Club.
What does that tell you about those who are leading the club?