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Why Steve McClaren Is Not Suited To Newcastle United

2:28 pm, Sunday, November 29th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 130 Comments

It wasn’t exactly a popular appointment at Newcastle to hire Steve McClaren as manager and it looked more like Steve was more than willing to come in and manage under all the restrictions the Newcastle manager (or head coach) has placed on him because of the way the club is run under owner Mike Ashley.

It as also surprising that Newcastle still went after McClaren in June after he was apparently the first choice in January after Alan Pardew left – but he had just been fired by Championship club Derby County.

steve mcclaren - cheslea had just equalized

Steve McClaren – things not going well

How many other Premier League clubs would have done that?


The Times chief football writer  Henry Winter has written in the Sunday Supplement that Steve McClaren is not suited to be manager of such an iconic club as Newcastle United.

And Henry thinks McClaren is less than convincing in his TV interviews after the games.

What we don’t like seeing is Steve with his head in hands on the touchline – what message does that send to his players?

Certainly not a manager in control of things.

This is what Winter has written today:

“He has the presence and aurora to be a No 2, we saw that at Manchester United,” “But I just don’t think for a club of that stature and emotional identity with the fans that he has the stature to be manager.”

“You hear him criticising the players and speaking afterwards and he is not convincing – the greatest managers are at their most impressive and most quotable in defeat.”

“We saw with England that when the heat was on he couldn’t deal with it. Man management is key, I don’t think McClaren has that. The dressing room has individuals who need bringing into line.”

“Coloccini should be leading the dressing room,” “He should be saying ‘whatever we think about McClaren, we have a duty to the people who pay us good money and to the Newcastle fans, who give everything each week to have pride in the team’.”

“They are not doing it. I would look at Coloccini as much as McClaren.”

Coloccini is not the appropriate captain to have at the club and if Steve wants to fix problems he should take the captaincy away from the Argentine this week.

And against Liverpool at home next Sunday he has to make some changes in the starting line-up such as starting Kevin Mbabu at left back in place of Paul Dummett, who has struggled in the last three games.

Surely we have players who can play better and with more pride and passion than the eleven who started the game yesterday.

Steve cannot suffer many more defeats before we think Mike Ashley might have to ask.

But if Steve is fired will he leave the decision for who to appoint as the new manager to Lee Charnley who has hired John Carver and Steve – who have both been disastrous appointments?

Newcastle can still recover this season – but there is not much leeway – and the club needs to start doing the things right for a change.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Leadership · Management · Other News · Premier League

130 responses so far ↓

  • 1 JamesToon // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:30 PM

    i agree with nezza’s point a few threads ago, a couple of weeks ago v stoke/chelsea/sunderland/norwich even though we didn’t get the results we would of liked bar norwich, i actually enjoyed some of the football we played and loved mitro and gini’s passion against norwich and chelsea, there were reasons to be optimistic. ever since the bournemouth game, that all just disappeared in a blink of an eye. Is it because of the likes of coloccini and sissoko being told they are gonna be sold in january? Have some of the players fallen out with each other?

    Yet another year goes by and yet again we are in disarray.

    When are we gonna start competing where we should be competing.

    When are we gonna start having seasons where we get pleasure from watching our team and there isn’t a crisis.

  • 2 Ibizatoon // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:31 PM

    If only we’d seen it coming…

  • 3 Ron Knee // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:32 PM


    Such a shock!

  • 4 toonking // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:32 PM

    anyone have an idea who are those players?

    From the pic on twitter, curlywirly and ginger haired man are easy to see.

  • 5 Transfer Sage // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:35 PM

    I’d tell you what I’d do for the next game if I was McClaren.

    I’m remove Colo from the squad as an example, even if just for the one game. Make a point of it.

    I’d sit Sissoko down and ask him if he wants to play for France in the summer and if he does he needs to pull his finger out or he’ll be in the same boat as Colo.

    I’d give the captaincy to young Perez, say he is the one showing some passion and pride in the shirt, follow this example.

    I’d play a narrow midfield of colback, sissoko, wijnaldum and de jong. Tell colback to hold and have the rest play in front.

    Get Mitro and Perez up top. Mitro might be better with perez and de jong floating around him winning 2nd balls.

  • 6 sing in the corner // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    From last thread….
    Well lads n lasses, dunno about you but even with 25 games still to go the ‘R’ word is nagging away at the back if my mind now. We are in no way equipped to deal with life in the Championship. There isn’t enough fight in our hapless squad to deal with it. What do we do about it first? I know I keep banging on about it but the captain simply must be removed. We don’t have a ready made leader to replace him but it’s beyond that now – the players are following his example and shrugging their shoulders.
    It’s like lancing a boil. He has to made an example of. No more promoting / rewarding failure or you will ultimately get what you deserve – a squad of blokes who are very good at failing.
    Wij or De Jong would be my makeshift choices..until we try and sign someone to lead and inspire in the dreaded window.
    Hammer me by all means,but give realistic alternatives. We have to do something or we’re gone.

  • 7 cyprus // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    Totally disagree with that logic. We go to the championship, we lose value he sells.

    So, the club is destroyed, worthless and he sells us dirt cheap to… whom.

    No, Steve was a wrong appointment, so was Black and the 12 year old, but more so, CARR. Pardew was wrong, but with better players he’s doing ok.

    Our players ain’t good enpugh from back to front. Janm is terrible as is Dummett and colo is past it. I could go on to the top. Special crapness lately, Wiji.

  • 8 Ketsbaia9 // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:37 PM

    The only decent players we have are:


    All the rest aren’t good enough. Can’t believe we sold Abeid and Santon.

    Ben Arfa should’ve been kept.

    Colback is miles worser than Abeid.

  • 9 Transfer Sage // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:39 PM


    In what way is the club destroyed by being the in the championship? Of course the club is better in the prem league but people seem to think there is no football outside the top division. I’ve seen much better football in the championship than from us this year.

    Yes we could sell to somebody worse but that is the same if we stay in the premier league, there have been some terrible owners take over clubs in the top flight as well.

    I don’t want us to go down, just saying it might not be the worst outcome.

    At the minute we are terrible to watch and have been for years.

  • 10 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:40 PM

    Fully agree with that, take the brakes off and try and get some service to the forwards
    De Jong, may or may not be suited to the league, but we’ll never know until we actually give him minutes on the pitch

    We saw from him last season he has the quality, and him and Gini could be a lethal partnership and we’ve seen Mitro and Perez work well when the service is there

  • 11 Jail for Ashley // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:42 PM

    Every decision they seem to make is as baffling as the last, it’s like they sit and think of the most logical thing to do then do the complete polar opposite.

  • 12 banjax // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:43 PM

    November 29, 2015
    In the same way Liverpool brought in Klopp mid season and Leicester brought in Ranieri, it was a result of a decisive board who were not happy with the manager and his ability to get the best out of the players at his disposal – the rest of the tale is history. Newcastle’s inability to be ready to react to our dire situation is well documented and this time the board are going to cost us relegation. Mike Ashley admitted earlier on Sky that he’d made mistakes. Well let me tell you Bud you’ve still got a lot more to learn which is very surprising considering you are a Billionaire. You don’t get to be a Billionaire by being stupid and there is no doubt Mike Ashley is successful in his retail and property investment business’s. So how come he’s thick as two short planks when it comes to the running of NUFC ? After Kevin Keegan resigned ( and he was so right to do it) because of the ‘continental’ style of taking the manager out of player decisions and instead having scouts and directors of football like Dennis Wise call the shots and buying young players under 26 years with no premier league experience, that is where the rot started. I’m sure M A is aware of the money at stake and how much his pockets will be hit if or when we are relegated, so why is he acting like a rabbit in the headlights ? Only he can answer that question. But he must know the club needs radical surgery to its management and players and by putting it off until tomorrow means there will be no tomorrow !

  • 13 Transfer Sage // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:44 PM


    I remember why De jong first came and in those initial game he seemed to have a few nice link ups with Perez, both clever players. Mitro being a battering ram in there too could prove useful as an outball.

    Whether it would work or not I don’t know, but it surely is worth a try.

    I can’t understand why he isn’t trying his hardest to get Aarons fit and to get his pace into the side.

  • 14 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    On Match of The Day, Gary Lineker:

    “I suppose in many ways, Newcastle are a bit farcical almost..?”

    Danny Murphy:

    “Well yeah, which surprises me so much because when I worked with Steve (McClaren) he was tactically very aware, when he was Sven’s number two with England and they (Newcastle) look all over the place.

    “I do agree with him (McClaren) partly, in that you have to show some attitude and desire to defend properly.

    “Simple loss of the ball (for Palace’s second goal) in midfield (by Colback), which isn’t the end of the world because the back four is in an ok position, but what happens next is just ridiculous.

    “No one is talking, Coloccini goes to ground for no reason, Anita has a swing at it and then Janmaat…he actually turns his back on Bolasie shooting. I mean, show some bravery, show some desire.

    “The lack of leadership in the back four…I have to say as well the midfield aren’t helping.

    “I think they have got real problems because I don’t see any strength in depth in the squad, that they can replace the players with, who are playing so badly.”

    Gary Lineker:

    “Fancy your weekly rant…”
    Danny Murphy (to Shearer):

    “Stay calm”
    Alan Shearer:

    “It’s very difficult to sum up Newcastle’s plight in 30 seconds but I am going to try.

    “You cannot coach players who don’t want to be coached, who are not good enough.

    “They have got too many Monday to Friday players, good in training but don’t want to perform on a Saturday

    “From the manager’s point of view, I don’t see a plan. I didn’t see a plan 3 weeks ago at Bournemouth I didn’t see a plan last week against Leicester and I certainly did not see a plan today to stop the opposition.

    “Recruitment, the guys in charge of recruiting players have got away with it for such a long time now at Newcastle because the players they have signed are just not good enough, simple.

    “Apart from that…it’s great.”

  • 15 Ron Knee // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:48 PM


    It’s interesting that two of last season’s relegated clubs are in the top five of the Championship.

  • 16 toonluvva // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:49 PM


    Einstein described insanity as doing the same thing over and over again whilst expecting a different result.

    This January transfer window we will have the same person recruiting the same sort of players, the cheques being signed by the same MD and the whole lot being coached by the same man.

    Nothing will change, except our league status, until there is a root and branch change. That will not happen. Mr Ashley may well invest heavily in an attempt to preserve his shop window for SD, all to no avail.

    I’m sorry to say the writings on the wall. And it says in RELEGATION.

  • 17 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:50 PM

    It’s baffling no changes have been made at all

    De Jong, fit and determined to prove his worth by insisting on playing for the u21’s, fair play great attitude
    Marv’s back and apparently not only fit but has been told he’ll be given a chance to prove his worth

    Selling Abied as Kets has pointed out was a ridiculous decision because he would of been a fantastic option this season

  • 18 Transfer Sage // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:51 PM


    I never understand the obsession with buying foreign players but then appointing a british manager.

    Surely we should be looking to a foreign manager with links to some of the leagues we buy from so he might have a rough idea on the character of some of these players and their true ability.

  • 19 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:52 PM

    A board that includes the manager is not going to make the decision to sack the manager, especially when they’d have to admit they f*^ked up by appointing him

  • 20 Transfer Sage // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:54 PM


    I don’t think our lads would have the fight for it. If they can’t get themselves fired up to play the premier league teams we have no hope of them turning up consistently in the championship.


    I was not a huge Abeid fan, I thought he was steady away though and better than Anita. It was mad to sell him though when we don’t have great options for the central role given that Tiote is usually injured, Colback gets a few bans and we use Wijnaldum/Sissoko out wide

  • 21 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:54 PM

    Fully agree, as mentioned earlier apart from a KK cameo we’ve endured the majority of a 10 year period suffering at the hands of bog standard pre historic British managers/coaches

    More of the same is most certainly not the answer

  • 22 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:58 PM

    Personally thought Abied had the potential to turn into a solid if unspectacular player, still young and looked on par if not slightly better than the likes of Anita and Colback and had surpassed the current Tiote

    But like Santon, it’s a player gone and not replaced

  • 23 toonking // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:59 PM


    championship football isn’t going to impact a current newcastle united team very negatively at all.

    a premier league team need to have quality players, a great spirit and a decent appearance to top class players who might want a move but right now non of that is happening. decent goals and entertaining football can be done in the championship and as a team who’s usually base on premier league football that should be more common.

    We’re probably already viewed as a club less valuable to most owners because they know nothing about football and usually go on stats which in newcastle is generally poor, we’ve not won a trophy for decades, we’re not a general champion league team, at this day in age cash from a fan size is nothing when you’ve got a gigantic PL TV deal and as some say we’re a team based in the north east which is considered a bad area to some.

  • 24 Ron Knee // Nov 29, 2015 at 2:59 PM


    I meant PL clubs don’t necessarily fall through the trapdoor into League One. Of course, knowing our shower of sh*** ……

  • 25 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:00 PM

    Have to say after Haidara’s performance’s i was thrilled at Dummy returning……pls bring back Ryan Taylor!

  • 26 toonluvva // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:01 PM

    Banjax @ 12

    Mr Ashley is indeed a billionaire. This I believe becasue of two things.

    1, He understands the retail sector very well.

    2. Within SD he has appointed and rewarded staff who know what they are doing.

    In football in general and NUFC in particular, he has knows nothing about football, which to his credit he admits, but much worse, he has not been able to identify and appoint people to lead NUFC. (LLambias, Wise, Kinnear etc)

    The sad fact is that the club is moribund. We will not progress until Mr Ashley has a major change of heart. Just hoping that we MIGHT just garner enough points to wriggle free of the bottom three is not enough. If he wants the huge rewards from being a PL side, we need to have a management team capable of ddelivering on a consistent basis.

  • 27 Ibizatoon // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:02 PM

    Are there really any fans out there that actually believe Ashley is trying to find the right people to make us a successful football club and can they explain, based on what we’ve seen, why they think that?

    The only half logical reason I can think of disecting the levels of blame is with the idea that Ashley has the desire and or ability to do any better? If not, surely whatever route you go down leads to the same failures?

    This isn’t about the idea of the clubs model – We know it’s used elsewhere, this question is about Ashley, and his version of said model.

  • 28 Ibizatoon // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:08 PM

    As for SDs success – It’s simple. He sells knocked down goods at knocked down prices. There is no illusion of top quality, or entertainment. It truly is a case of you get what you pay for. There is no emotion to the product, if you don’t want it, you don’t buy it.

    Now, over in the footballing world, product and entertainment are vital components, so is emotional attachment. Ashley plays on the latter to compensate for the former.

    SD promises nothing but low prices, he can deliver that, no problem.

  • 29 Transfer Sage // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:10 PM


    I think that Ashley just wants us to sit in the league, nothing more really.

    The problem with that is you get teams who want to better themselves and really strive to improve. I think that as there is more money in the league every club is now able to buy some quality and as such every club has a match winner, just those further down the league have less of them and ones who are less consistent.

    We even have them, Sissoko or Wijnaldum are dangerous on their day.

    Ashley seems to be getting caught out, by not really kicking on each year and just stagnating we are in effect moving backwards and we are seeing it’s more difficult for us to survive each year.

    I just don’t think Ashley wants to restructure the club top to bottom, which he’d need to do to get the problems sorted.

  • 30 Jail for Ashley // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:18 PM

    That season we finished fifth ended us as any type of force, the plan was laid bare and exposed for what it was, if only Pardew had walked then we might be a bit closer to getting rid of the fat controller

  • 31 Ron Knee // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:19 PM


    Ashley’s an enigma. We read that he’s loyal to his trusted lieutenants so could it be cronyism that prevents him from sacking Charnley?

    I imagine – or at least hope – that Charmless will be put through the wringer the next time they speak.

  • 32 Ibizatoon // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:20 PM

    Transfer…I’d find it hard to disagree with your opener. It would appear he’d prefer we didn’t go down, but I’m not convinced he cares too much about relegation, otherwise he’d more pro-active in times of need.

    If only staff, players and fans were content to strive for an easy life, and would just take the gambles gone wrong on the chin.

  • 33 Ibizatoon // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:25 PM

    Ron…Of course it’s only a guess, but for me, he’s loyal to those who tick certain boxes. Mainly those who won’t challenge him, or those who deal with people who do.

    Take away the PR talk (top 8 / winning something / new state of the art training facilities / etc etc) what is the clubs remit? What are these people hired for and to achieve what in what timeline? It’s all just a charade.

    Where I see it becoming an issue for Ashley again is if he’s being asked to dip in to his own pocket.

  • 34 Ron Knee // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:26 PM

    Enter Andy Carroll.

    Pulis can’t afford the price of a suit, apparently.

  • 35 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:28 PM

    @CraigHope_DM: NUFC UPDATE: McClaren is safe for now but that could change should Ashley fear relegation amid concerns over boss

    I’m confused I’m certain SMC confirmed were already in a relegation battle

  • 36 Ibizatoon // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:34 PM

    tads…Don’t be confused. The word “could” was used.

    Ashley “could” piss off or Ashley “could” do the right thing.

    Could, could, could…doesn’t.

  • 37 Ron Knee // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:42 PM


    I’m not sure I agree about Ashley not caring about relegation. By spending £50 million in the summer surely he hoped to keep the club ticking along in the PL?

  • 38 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:43 PM

    Tbh i was confused as to why the f**k this bloke is claiming he knows what goes on behind the scenes
    We all know that absolutely no action will be taken, the board won’t sack McClaren, he’s part of the board and so is his mate Carr

    Ashley doesn’t have the interest to sack the board

    We are stuck in the same cycle we have been for the last 4 years

    It’s worth remembering at this time McClarens record is on par with Pardews 2014 record and Pardew walked…

  • 39 oldbobaycliffe // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:43 PM

    would ashley employ someone who had been sacked as a failure run sports direct yet he has done it twice at nufc.both managers were sacked for failure in a lower league than us.just doesn,t make sense the only reason can be cos,their cheap.a good manager who could get the team higher up the league would more than cover the extra cost of his wages.

  • 40 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:44 PM

    In the summer he spent the funds we’d acquired through past transfer fees
    If we get relegated he’d have to spend out of his own pocket

    Huge difference

  • 41 toonking // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:46 PM

    ibitza 28

    nice point

    I sometimes describe the running and ownership of a general shop owning buissess totally opposite to that of a footballing buissness.
    The fans of the shopping world generally like cheap bargains and can try an item before it’s bought. the general population will have a greater number below the average income that above average and top quality goods will be generally too expensive and whilst the demand for jobs makes it easier to give people cheap wages like 0 hour contracts.

    In the footballing world each and every one of those are total opposite. fans of the footballing world like the players who’ll require larger transfers prices and bigger wage bills. Footballers will be bought before being tried and all these increasing TV deals allow players to demand bigger wages and if a team doesn’t give him them they’ll risk losing him.

  • 42 Ibizatoon // Nov 29, 2015 at 3:51 PM

    Ron…I did say “cares too much”. I’m sure he’d prefer to be in the PL. Rather than focus on what he thought would be enough for the summer, what did he, or those he employs, do when we were facing relegation in the face last year? Nothing, except blame and emotionally blackmail the fans.

    £50m had to be spent for many reasons. The squad clearly needed money spending, the whole footballing world knew we had a stockpile of cash and he needed to try and convince fans this was a new day at NUFC. People priase the clubs work over the summer, i still think they did the bare minimum that was required…it still wasn’t enough, as they didn’t actually address the issues.

    Tads…It’s also worth remembering that the ‘board’ were happy with what Pardew had achhieved and we’re surprised he left.

    What problem?

    Oldboy…A better manager, will have higher ambitions and will question the clubs plan to achieve them. It can’t be financial, as you say, what we’d pay in higher wages should be made up by better league placing.

    It’s funny how money goes out the window when it’s a question of someone stirring the pot.

    Hatem? Barton? However, if you have someone who lacks ability, but is willing to play the game, say like Obertan, then there is a place within the club.

    Decisions are not made for sporting reasons.

  • 43 Ron Knee // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:03 PM


    The Bare Minimum rules at SJP. We all know that.

    Ashley had a fright last summer, hence the TV PR stunt and more money than usual spent on new players. Few believed his talk about ‘making our own luck’.

    All he wants is mid-table mediocrity in the PL for the minimum outlay.

  • 44 toonking // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:07 PM


    i’m a bit puzzled when you say macs run is on par with pardew in 2014.
    it as in the full year 2014?
    He definately had a better run in the first half of last season than mac has had this season we’d have been relegated if you put macs current run along side that of charver.

    2012/13 was the one i’d put on par with the current mac run and suprisingly we decided to keep hold of him all that season and relied upon panic buys how he wasn’t sacked that season i don’t know and not know that just makes it all the more worrying weather or not this wolly will be sacked.

  • 45 Ibizatoon // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:08 PM

    Ron…What was it that gave him a fright though? Pending relegation or that fans were starting to find a unified voice?

    We’d been staring at relegation for a while, and at the time of the interview, there was nothing Ashley could do.

    It was a PR exercise to rein in fans, nothing to do with relegation, imo.

  • 46 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:09 PM

    Unfortunately for Cashley there’s no such thing as minimum outlay any more due to the new TV deal
    Spend or go down, it’s that simple now

    And what achievements Pardew made! He’s an absolute legend here now……..well that’s what Pardew will tell you anyway

  • 47 solano38 // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:09 PM

    If McClaren isn’t sacked by tomorrow, that means he’ll be given the next two games (which have got defeat written all over them). He should then be sacked. If not, he’ll be given to after the transfer window, by which time we’ll be definitively screwed.

  • 48 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:10 PM

    The whole of 2014

  • 49 lochinvar // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:12 PM

    Just watched the British Davies Cup Team and Andy Murray win with passion.
    I saw the Ryder Cup team win with passion.
    Lewis Hamilton drives with passion.

    The passion has gone at NUFC
    SJP has been franchised
    The strip has been cheapened and Wonga’d
    The fans are on sedatitives.

    Was Ashley at the Training ground today – don’t be daft.
    He should be – the players wages should be docked and given to local charities for Christmas.
    McLaren should be shown the Way Out.

    Storm the Bastille otherwise nothing changes.

  • 50 Ibizatoon // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:12 PM

    Tads…But it sadly isn’t just Pardew…

    And that is the problem.

    Too many have simply accepted Ashleys ways and seem resigned to making the best of what we’ve got. Why?

    Only one person wants people to think Ashley is impenetrable, and that’s the man himself.

    Anyway, I’m about to finish my cycle and am starting to bore myself, so can only imagine what others think.

    Sun’s out, and so am I 🙂

  • 51 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:16 PM

    “It’s not about systems. It’s not about tactics. It’s about attitude.”

    Steve McClaren. Premier League manager. 28th November 2015.

    Inspirational Buck passing right there Schteveo

  • 52 hibbitt // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:21 PM

    lochinvar my mate recons ashleys lot puts sedative in the beer that why the crowds so quiet …..make’s you think with some of the zombies that seat round me

  • 53 lesh // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:25 PM


    I used to work in a place where some of the decisions were baffling to day the least.

    Like you, I used to say that it’s though the powers that be had considered situations and best options – then went for the worst!

    So, as Ashley and his cronies at SJP are making such poor decisions, it would appear that there’s a school of management which encourages that arse-first philosophy!

    Which business school is that I wonder? Harvard, Yale, Cranfield or the South Hylton Primary!

  • 54 Slank // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:28 PM

    Toonarmydownsouth @ 35

    We are in a relegation fight. It’s what many pundits had predicted but which many fans (myself included) had discounted in part due to the £50 million spent on transfers and the new coaching team. Who now thinks that Ian Cathro is still the dogs gonades ?

    The often mentioned mantra from last season was that we would start winning games once he stopped playing Williamson, Saylor, Ameobi, Rivière, Obertan, Gouffran and Cabella. Well they no longer play apart from Gouffran’s fleeting appearances.

    It was also said that buying international class players would strengthen the team and we would start winning games. Few if any questioned the credentials of Mitrovic, Wijnaldum and Mbemba. Fans did question Thauvan’s appointment but he has hardly featured so can’t really be blamed for the recent performances.

    The players we wanted rid of were rid of. The coaching staff we wanted removed were removed. The players we wanted bought were bought. So where do we go now ?

  • 55 catchy in norway // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:33 PM

    i still think he is a good coach,, alas though the players have seemed to give up, and for this mac should go, then ship sissoko and colo out now,, both are clowns

  • 56 andrew84 // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:33 PM

    As far as I see it, the very first thing that needs to change is the captaincy.

    If Coloccini retains the armband for the Liverpool game (let alone makes the starting 11), that will tell you all you need to know about McClaren.

    Just my opinion like.

  • 57 Ron Knee // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:34 PM


    But we didn’t get rid of Coloccini. Who wanted to keep him?

  • 58 andrew84 // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:35 PM

    Ron Knee

    That’d be Mike Ashley. His ‘plus 1’ at dinner parties.

  • 59 Slank // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:36 PM

    Ron @ 57

    True but life is not perfect !

  • 60 lesh // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:36 PM


    Sacking McClaren’d be in Charnley’s remit as McC reports to him.

    But, sacking Penfold’d be Ashley’s call but that ain’t gonna happen – too much face lost.

    However, if Ashley had any sense, he’d be lining up a new and football savvy MD and appoint Charnley to a different role such as Director of Special Projects – the euphemistic title for a role with no responsibility!

  • 61 hibbitt // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:37 PM

    slank you missed the biggest problems off your list….COLOCCINI still being at the club still being captain still being on the pitch in a black & white shirt never should have got a new contract

  • 62 Klatoon // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:37 PM

    forget training, extra gym/weights sessions for the squad, it was ridiculous how easily and often our players were brushed off yesterday. Only Mitro and Lascelles can stand their ground…dont get me started on Sissoko, built like a tank with a pea for heart

  • 63 Ron Knee // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:39 PM


    I know that. I’m a Newcastle supporter!

  • 64 Slank // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:41 PM

    Hibbitt @ 61

    As I said to Ron, life is not perfect.

    Can the inclusion of one player in a team cause the team to play so badly so frequently ?

  • 65 andrew84 // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:48 PM


    Yes I think he can, if that one player is the captain. The player that the other 10 men should respect and look up to, and take instructions from.

    Coloccini never says a word.

  • 66 hibbitt // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:48 PM

    slank………..he’s not just one player he’s the club captain so yes it can ………no good having a mute coward as a leader no good at all

  • 67 Ibizatoon // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    Sun’s gone in…inconsiderate so and so.

    Slank…What is it you’re suggesting? That the fans have got what they want?

    “The often mentioned mantra” was mentioned often by a few.

    “Mitrovic, Wijnaldum and Mbemba” have been a few of the better things about this season, but all 3 are young and adapting to a new league. Too little to make an impact on what was already a finished squad.

    “The coaching staff we wanted removed were removed.” Yes, but they weren’t replaced with what the fans wanted, so what’s the point you’re making?

    “So where do we go now?” For starters the club could stop half arsing the things they do. They could add leadership from top to bottom, rather than dismantle it.

    We don’t have leadership, anyone to pull it all together. That wasn’t addressed in the summer and is a fundamental issue.

    The inclusion of one player has sent out the message that really, nothing has changed. So, yes, it can make a difference. Quite clearly.

  • 68 nufconceandfuturekings // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    But it’s not just about Steve McClaren, is it? Yes, naive choice by the club but, then, many, many strange choices emanate from Newcastle United. We all know who needs to go first. Charnley and Carr must be held responsible. Sacking McClaren – which is likely, of course – will be akin to the rat catcher coming in to tackle an infestation by getting rid of one rat. Apologies for that particular analogy to Steve [nothing against the guy] and to rats [got everything against Charnley and Carr]. Also, bargain basement business ethos does not a successful football club make. And now the chickens are settling in to roost. I could go on. You’ll be relieved I will not. So, instead, once sentence. We’re down.

  • 69 SPRINGY // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:56 PM

    ron knee
    you asked who wanted to keep colo?…the answer is the players…coz they have it so easy with him as captain

  • 70 Ron Knee // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:56 PM


    This is the far, far future you’re referring to, I assume!

  • 71 sparky55 // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:56 PM

    Stupid thing is…if any manager on the planet had say 5 games to save his job with our squad…not one of them would have picked coloccini.

    Maclaren must know his job is on the line so why on earth is he picking him

    it doesn’t make any sense

  • 72 lochinvar // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:58 PM

    Hibbit and others
    So right
    If you have a weak link in any team you can try to coach, protect and grow that link to be stronger.
    But if that link is meant to be the leader and doesn’t lead by example and doesn’t encourage those around them then who is going to follow.

  • 73 yorkymag // Nov 29, 2015 at 4:59 PM

    I am hearing rumours that only 7 players turned up for training today
    The rest refused to go in anyone confirm this

  • 74 nufconceandfuturekings // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:00 PM

    Ron Knee; no, that’s far, far, far, far, far, far future, my friend!!

  • 75 Slank // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:04 PM

    Ibiza @ 67

    What I’m saying is that there have been wholesale changes much of which fully supported by the fans but on the field of play little seems to have changed.

    The exceptions to the changes wanted by the fans were Colocinni and Ashley. Carr and Charnley didn’t get a lot of stick especially when they were in the process of buying players. McClaren got a mixed reception. Cathro was almost universally welcomed.

    So I say again, where do we go from here ?

  • 76 hibbitt // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:04 PM

    sparky55……other then he has a contract that says if he’s fit he has to play would coloccini’s best mate charnley be daft enough to do that of course he could

  • 77 Lindisfarne // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:04 PM

  • 78 Lindisfarne // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:05 PM

  • 79 Ketsbaia9 // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:06 PM

    If we still had Raylor, we’d be higher up the table.

  • 80 SPRINGY // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:07 PM

    the fact colo has’nt been dropped could be that the players are to close/friendly to him and dropping him would make the players get a lip on….stupid i no!…but what other reason?…. unless the players who can come in for him are so bad he’s the best option!….colo gettin injured could be the best option to force something to happen without the players gettin a lip on if that is the case….not wishing any player ill but it would change things

  • 81 hibbitt // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:07 PM

    slank………..only one way mate DOWN

  • 82 sing in the corner // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:08 PM

    Regarding the Colo issue, we just have to bite the bullet and go for it. Arm round Lascelles’ shoulder, back him, tell him he’s in and will get a decent run in the side. He’s fitter / more athletic, quicker and undoubtably better in the air than you know who so what’s there to lose? Shake it up, chance to start again for some of our underwhelming players, under a different skipper.

  • 83 Jib // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:11 PM

    Fat Sam’s autobiography is quite illuminating.

    In it he says that when Ashley first bought the club he was convinced by mutual contacts that Harry Redknapp would take the job .
    So in response to elements in the crowd he got Chris Mort to sack Allardyce .
    Then at the last moment Harry’s missus decided she wanted to stay on the South coast.
    So Ashley brought in Keegan to appease those same fan elements.

    Since Keegan did his (predictable) dummy spit it has been downhill ever since.

    I don’t believe for a moment that Ashley wishes anything but the best for the club but is constantly let down by his lack of any decent contacts in the game.

    If the loathsome Llambias hadn’t replaced Chris Mort , Chris Hughton (my personal favourite ) would probably still be with us and grown with job.

  • 84 Ibizatoon // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:12 PM

    Slank…From where I’m sitting, a lot of that support was down to many people simply being relieved they didn’t decide to give Carver another go.

    You say wholesale changes, I’d say cosmetic changes.

    To judge fan opinion on McClaren, go back to last January when Ed ran polls on the subject.

    Cathro did gain some excitement, as he’s young and well though of. He however, is only part of a team and not the one calling the shots.

    Carr and particularly Charnley came under great fan scrutiny from memory. What you’re talking about is fans reaction after the decision had been made to keep them.

    I can’t answer for anyone else. I was happy with the summer puchases, but wanted more. I also said at the time, perhaps then wasn’t the right time to start this quality over quantity procedure sp strictly. The squad needed a major overhaul. Bringing in 3 young players and allowing one of our few remaining leaders (Jonas) to leave was never addressing the issues.

    So, where do we go now?

    It’s hard to say when we’re not told what is going on. There is no accountability anywhere, so it’s guesswork. What I’d do? I’d start again, but I’d need to know the actual current state of play.

    The easiest starting point would be to strip Colo of the captaincy as he’s clearly not up to it. See if that can galvanise any of the current squad.

    For me, talking about where we go from here is all a bit pointless, as you know where I think our problems stem and there is only one cure for that.

  • 85 Slank // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:12 PM

    Hibbitt @ 61

    It’s looking increasingly likely, sadly.

    I liked the interview recently with Alladyce who said something along the lines that the solution was simple ‘stop the other team scoring, you get a point and sometimes you get lucky and nick a win’.

    None of this fancy stuff. Just a shut up shop. Not pretty but very effective.

  • 86 hibbitt // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:13 PM

    any one else hearing Mc stayed in london last night with charnley ????

  • 87 Ron Knee // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:15 PM


    I hope Coloccini is watching the Liverpool/Swansea match. Despite a poor run of results, Swansea are giving everything they’ve got.

  • 88 Ibizatoon // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:16 PM

    Jib…Let’s cut to the chase, why is it that Keegan (predicatbaly) spat his dummy out?

    Was it for no reason? Or was he lied to and underminded?

    Another question, do you have any insight in to why Mort left, to allow that loathsome Llambias to come in?

    One other question, why is it that Hughton was fired?

  • 89 yorkymag // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:16 PM

    Don’t know where he was but he was not seen at Bentton

  • 90 reilly // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:26 PM

    hasnt mort already came out and says it was him who suggest to ashley it was time for a change in manager.
    plus mort was only here on the short term as he wanted to get back to his law firm

  • 91 Ron Knee // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:26 PM


    Is that true about Coloccini’s contract? Incredible if so.

  • 92 catchy in norway // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:29 PM

  • 93 SPRINGY // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:32 PM

    ron knee
    hope that macca has had enough and has the bottle to make changes…..they might not be right…they might not work but do something.. as this faith he’s showing to the shower of shite thats playing at the minute is crippling the club…not just to the defence but the midfield, its to light it needs more height strength…and de jong tho probs not exactly at his best sharpness needs to be tried.

  • 94 Slank // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:35 PM

    Ibiza @ 84

    I know I have looked back to what hapenned in the summer which in many respects won’t change things now.

    Looking forward I agree with you that McClaren (as I doubt he’s going anywhere else) should drop Colo. This puts down a marker that no one is guaranteed a start.

    The formation of the team should revert to 4-3-3 as our midfield keeps getting overrun. Regrettably (as I like him but) Perez has to drop out to make way for a third player in midfield. For Liverpool I would play:

    Janmaat – Mbemba – Dummitt – Mbabu
    Sissoko- De Jong – Colback – Gini

  • 95 Jib // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:39 PM

    The only thing that Youtube rant shows me is that the True Geordie was one of the anonymous cowards behind

  • 96 hibbitt // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:39 PM

    sorry ron that was just my take on it he just looks undroppable

  • 97 SPRINGY // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:41 PM

    from the look of it colo is not the only one who appears to be undroppable

  • 98 hibbitt // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:45 PM

    jib ……just emailed your coward comment to true geordie you should be hearing from him soon

  • 99 Jib // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:47 PM

    Hibbitt I’m sure he reads this blog.
    That’s why I posted it

  • 100 SPRINGY // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:50 PM

    i’ve always thought that taking mbemba out of the cb position would severely weaken the defence but if he played in front of the defence in a holding role might give the defence a little more cover…ano he plays this position for his country….just a thought…..views on this lads??

  • 101 Jib // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:54 PM

    There has been a few away games where SM should have swallowed his pride and done an Allardyce and gone for the draw and nick what we could , he was quite happy to do it against Man U why not other clubs ?

  • 102 lesh // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:56 PM


    If Mc stayed in london last night with Charnley, that’s nice, they deserve some space.

    Dark lights, sweet music, a candle-lit dinner…….

    Ahhhhhh, so, so romantic and it’s clear that Charnley knows how to treat a girl. Errr, hang on

  • 103 JAMSHA // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:57 PM

    Just Get Ashley Out————PROBLEM SOLVED

  • 104 GeordieTwo // Nov 29, 2015 at 5:58 PM

    As I’ve said previously it isn’t all negative. I did like the way we went about the pre-game handshakes.

  • 105 GeordieTwo // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:00 PM

    And to repeat myself yet again what is an owner anyway? Just a reeking bag of honey badger droppings left in the sun too long and then stored in a cupboard for a couple of months. Harrumph….

  • 106 lochinvar // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:03 PM

    This is what Henry Winter has written today:
    His wording is somewhat unfortunate for those us with a toilet humour.
    “He (McLaren ) has the presence and aurora to be a No 2,……” .really ?

  • 107 GeordieTwo // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:10 PM

    I think Steve should retire now and open a small chutney shop in Soho.

  • 108 lochinvar // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:13 PM

    Hibbitt and lesh@102
    I hear That after dinner McLaren and Charnley took it a west end show. Their choice was appropriate.
    Les Miserables.

  • 109 GeordieTwo // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:18 PM

    We clearly have a very concerned owner who is in tune with his beloved supporters. So as your Senior Official Club Journo I’m going to give him a chance to explain things to us.
    G2: Mike things aren’t going so well right now. What do you think the main problem is?
    Mike: Look you little pimple on the bum of humanity or whatever your name is there is nothing wrong with this club. I have said we will get it right eventually. I have put money into the club. I have hired top, top people to run things. What more do you scabby lot want?
    G2: Well Mike most of us want more than 2 wins in 14 games. Some of us think that we have players in the squad who are shirkers. Many say Colo isn’t a captain and can barely trot around the pitch. I could go on but you look like you’re bored Mike.
    Mike: piss off and tell the other supporters to piss off as well. I’m still getting a lot of decent advertising out of this and profits have never been better.
    G2: Possibly someone should take Mike away now? He’s beginning to foam at the mouth.
    Well there you have it mates. Right from the bag of honey badger droppings himself.

  • 110 andrew84 // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:23 PM

    I’d be willing to bet my wages that some of the more vocal Pardew sympathisers on here were actually just as fed up as the ones who wanted him out, but now that he’s enjoying a degree of success at Palace it’s more convenient to join in the bashing of the PardewOut mob/rabble/crew/brigade/shower, that they themselves looked up to…..

  • 111 GeordieTwo // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:24 PM

    Generally speaking 19th place seems about right for us. We’ve shipped 30 goals already. Possibly we could top 80 by the end of the season. We wouldn’t know good defending if it fell on us. Our midfield is in disarray and we don’t have a single in form striker. And we have Steve with his head in his hands on the sidelines. No wonder Mike doesn’t show up to the matches anymore….

  • 112 LGFUAD21 // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:28 PM

    We may be in a funny position having steve on the board but also steve did resign from Forrest and Twente in the past when things were not going well.

    I reckon he’d resign again if this continues.

    Carr needs to go. As does Charnley. He’s a lawyer not an md.

  • 113 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:30 PM

    Ed…I am not sure but I seem to remember your poll suggested the appointment of McClaren was very popular indeed?

    …someone correct me if I am wrong?

    I seem to remember I was less than impressed with the appointment and the keeping of Charmless!

  • 114 GeordieTwo // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:34 PM

    McLaren was finally accepted by the supporters because nobody better would come to us jesper mate. We are where managers go to die. A kind of elephant’s graveyard. The bones of old managers are still lying about in the dressing room. Thanks to Ashley we are the permanent laughing stock of English football.

  • 115 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:38 PM

    For you Ed… 😉

  • 116 LGFUAD21 // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:40 PM

    I was personally all for mclaren after his Derby spell.

    I thought he had something and he gets rave reviews from former players.

    But clearly he is not motivating these players, he’s not coaching them and improving them as well as our overall game. Some of our players are better than they are showing in my opinion.

    Crucially and this is where I lose patience with the man. He’s also getting it tactically wrong in so many obvious ways. To the point that us fans can see it but he can’t.

    Dummet at lb against some of the leagues most dangerous wingers, gini on the wing. Letting our midfield constantly be over run. And not strapping janmaat into his supposed right back position.

  • 117 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:40 PM

    Maybe this explains why Shearer only focuses on the players:

  • 118 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:43 PM

    This one is good as well. Much indicate the majority thought McClaren was a great appointment:

  • 119 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:44 PM

    GT…there’s nothing to back that claim up mate. It’s just a poor excuse to accept a poor appointment;

  • 120 toonking // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:47 PM

    andrew i was one not so negative about pardew and didn’t see the point in him leaving and i’m still like that now, I always said during them days we’d not see this great manager and the players were a bad bunch, pardew himself was quite simply a world class manager as far as cashley managers go, mid table typein the general footballing world but world class in the puppet cashley world.

    i’m still glad he’s gone mind because now fans can see for there own eyes where all this mess lies, it seems to have meant a serious risk of relegation but in my eyes that’s no worse as we’re only keen on stars of the future and don’t keep them when they show it. We’ll still get entertainment in the champion ship and will still get some young future stars coming even if they are just 1 year loans.

  • 121 GeordieTwo // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:49 PM

    Possibly jesper mate. We can’t get a decent manager to come for obvious reasons. If Ashley sells up things might change. If not we’ll be looking at more of the same. I’m not sure how Ashley will respond to a second relegation. Most of these players will desert us in a second so no quick climb back up to the Prem this time. Ashley has driven us into the ground. Nobody understands him at all. He refuses to admit he doesn’t understand how to run a football club and everything that follows is a foregone conclusion Suck it up and sell up Mike.

  • 122 andrew84 // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:54 PM

    Fair points well made there toonking.

  • 123 lochinvar // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:55 PM

    Clarence Seedorf: Premier League job would be ‘an honour’

    By Chris Bevan
    BBC Sport
    Dutch legend Clarence Seedorf says he is ready to return to management and it would be “an honour” to finally come to the Premier League.
    The 39-year-old former AC Milan boss has been linked with Newcastle and Championship side QPR in recent weeks.
    Seedorf told BBC Sport: “England and I have a particular story – I was close to going to play there many times.
    “It never happened, so as a coach it would be great to experience English football and fans on a weekly basis.”
    In a wide-ranging interview, Seedorf discussed the prospects of Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez at Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid respectively, as well as his own future coaching plans.
    Seedorf, the only player to win the Champions League with three different clubs, was also reportedly close to the Galatasaray manager’s job before Mustafa Denizli was appointed this month and is viewed as a potential successor to Danny Blind as Dutch coach.
    “If there is a good project I would be happy to consider it,” Seedorf said. “There are a lot of rumours about my next job but to be linked with important clubs is a nice feeling and it is always better to have options than to not have options at all.”
    Seedorf’s time in charge at Milan in 2014 was perceived to be unsuccessful because it only lasted five months, but his average of 1.84 points per game would have secured a Champions League place over the course of the 2013-14 season.
    ‘My philosophy is organised attacking football’

    Was he in London last night for dinner with Charnley and McLaren ?
    Charley resigns.
    McLaren gets Director of Football.
    Seedorf gets Head Coach

    Could be interesting

  • 124 Mister Tuff // Nov 29, 2015 at 6:58 PM

    Nothing wrong with a bit of Pardew bashing – good for the soul.

  • 125 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Nov 29, 2015 at 7:05 PM

    LGFUAD…it takes charecter to admit when one is wrong! I respect that mate 😉

  • 126 GeordieTwo // Nov 29, 2015 at 7:09 PM

    A new manager coming would be all about control. Who would come with no control over incoming and a sorry excuse for a squad? We need a massive clearout and then bring in 6 or 7 players who can handle the Prem. Clear out Colo, Gouffran, De Jong, Dummett, Cisse, Tiote, and Saylor. Bring in a few experienced players in their late 20’s who can handle the league. It would cost a small fortune but otherwise we are definitely going down.

  • 127 usmagpie // Nov 29, 2015 at 7:10 PM

    I watched the Liverpool game today and when you see bad passing and not so good shooting they always put the camera on the Klopp, this is the difference between Klopp and McHAIRLOSS. Klopp would stand there ( Yes he stands most of the game talking to his players unlike SM that sits there) and encourage his players always with a smile on his face as he understands that encouragement works better and not sitting with your head in your hands. This is why SM will not change anything at Newcastle, 6 games ago the season starts here, 6 games later we are in a relegation battle. We honestly as a club cannot wait for him to figure things out. He has the next three games I have heard to turn this around, ok so lets look at two of them. Liverpool and Spurs, we need a new manager now that can be given the next three to four weeks to look at his players and see if he has the magic to get the most out of them. After this period of time he can assess which ones need to leave and which ones can stay. Then he can go into the transfer window and get the players he needs to change the fortunes of Newcastle Untied. I wish we would have gotten Klopp he seems like a good manager and his players seem to want to die for him and the club. If we wait for the next three weeks to fire SM then the new manager will not have enough time to assess what he has to do to make things right. Any other club in the Prem would have fire SM weeks ago, so who in the club is going to stand up and make the decision before its to late?

  • 128 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Nov 29, 2015 at 7:11 PM

    It’s vey delusional to say Pardew is world class!

    …it’s very difficult to take that statement serious!

  • 129 James RS // Nov 29, 2015 at 7:18 PM

    True words from Henry Winter and Charnley is also to blame

  • 130 GeordieTwo // Nov 29, 2015 at 7:29 PM

    Spot on usmagpie @127. Sunderland have started to get their house in order with Big Sam. Bournemouth keep pecking away and getting points. It’s only us and Villa who are hopeless right now. That can’t continue for much longer or we are going down. It could be over by Christmas the way we’re playing. If we lose 4 of the next 5 and draw or lose against Villa we are done like dinner. That would be 10 or 11 points from 19 games.

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