Even though he was nowhere near Newcastle fanss´ choice of a new manager when Steve McClaren arrived in June there was some positive vibes about Newcastle and the fans seemed willing to support Steve and give him a chance.
We had only just survived a terrible second half of the season under John Carver and we had survived – if only just – but now we had a chance to put things right – and that nonsense of last season wouldn´t happen again.
You learn from your mistakes.
Let´s rephrase that – smart people learn from their mistakes otherwise history repeats itself.
Fabricio Coloccini – having a poor season – no leadership
And there were some decent buys made in the summer and over £52M was the biggest outlay of transfer funds in our history – so there was a certain expectancy from Newcastle fans.
But who would have thought in early December we would be second bottom of the league in what is the worst start in Newcastle’s long history and 4 points worse than our start in our relegation season seven years ago.
It´s 10 points from 14 games and some terrible performance – but none worse than the last two when some Newcastle players didn´t seem to want to be playing.
Iconic former stars like Alan Shearer have come out blasted the players – and blasted the transfer strategy that has never worked in the past to build a top team – but the powers that be stick with it.
But when you look back in hindsight over what happened in the summer the single biggest mistake Steve made was to rely on and put his trust in Fabricio Coloccini and also give him a one-year extension to his contract.
McClaren made a huge thing of it in the week before our first game against Southampton.
And Coloccini had not played one minute of pre-season football in the summer, but he was still paired with new signing Chancel Mbemba in central defense against the Saints.
Coloccini has blown hot and cold throughout the season – and mostly (very) cold in the last couple of games.
He just doesn´t seem to have the necessary leadership skills at a time when we need somebody with the spirit, verve and drive of a Kevin Nolan to shake players out of their sleep.
McClaren´s faith in Coloccini also meant we didn´t bring in a top center-back to replace him last summer – and Steve will probably be regretting that now since our defense is simply hopeless.
We were linked with a number of good center-backs over the summer including Joel Matip of Schalke and he would have cost less than the £12M we shelled out for Florian Thauvin – one of Graham Carr´s favorite players.
The Newcastle defense is not good enough for the Premier League and we´ve conceded 30 goals in 14 games – on track to concede 81 goals this season.
We have averaged conceding 63 goals over the last three seasons – one of the worst defensive records of any club in the Premier League.
So why haven´t we fixed that problem?
Graham Carr brings in the players and there seems little to no consultation with the manager on who he wants or needs.
That´s one big reason Alan Pardew left the club rather hastily late last year and he has full control at Crystal Palace and he´s doing extremely well this season.
That should be a hint to the powers that be at Newcastle, but they may not listen.
They want to be right about what they are doing and seemingly will not allow anything like facts to get in the way of what they are doing.
That stupidity could see Newcastle relegated in May and let´s hope we don´t see more young players in January who could be good for us in a couple of years,
We need experienced players now if we are going to survive.