When you are managing something and especially when you are leading people, it’s always necessary to be positive and upbeat about things – but you also have to be down to earth and realistic too.
If you are too positive all the time – like John Carver was as one example last season – you get to be seen as a pollyanna when everything is great all the time – and we all know that’s not true.
So if you in trouble you have to say that – but also talk about how to get out of the situation – that’s being both realistic and positive too.
Steve McClaren at Aston Villa
Some of Steve McClaren’s comments yesterday verge on bring overly positive about a number of things and he made one or two strange comments to the press.
There’s no doubt that Steve is now under pressure after collecting just one point from the last three games – which were all winnable games for us against average side – especially after we had just beaten Liverpool and Tottenham.
This is some of what Steve said yesterday:
“Believe me, under the surface, I am paddling like mad,” “But we have a little bit more information than everyone else. We know what we have got and what we are trying to do.”
“We feel as if we are getting there after a tough start. That is the first half of the season gone. 2015 is about to end — good. We cannot wait for the next year.”
“It would worry me if they weren’t giving attitude, effort, weren’t being bright around the place, weren’t playing as committed as they were, weren’t creating chances as we are, playing the football that we are.”
“We are just not getting the results from that. That will have to turn, that will have to change and, with 19 games to go, we will have to do it very quickly..”
“I’m quite a realist. I do know what’s happening and I try not to pull the wool over too many people’s eyes. I’m very positive with this group and this squad. I always have been.”
“We had a tough start, but since then we have collected points and shown we can compete with anyone on our day.”
It’s just that it’s not too many times that it is our day. and it becomes a (very) hard sell over time when you keep saying the team is playing well but we are just not getting the results we deserve.
And we have no idea what Steve really means by I try not to pull the wool over too many people’s eyes – but it’s probably tongue in cheek.
Steve has to show the likes of Mike Ashley that he knows what he’s doing and better things are on the horizon.
But on the other hand, we’ve been waiting for better things to come all this season – especially after last season’s absolute and complete nightmare.
Steve will be given time to put things right, but we don’t think Mike Ashley will wait and stick with him if it looks like we are going down.
Ashley will most likely bring somebody else in to attempt to preserve our Premier League status if at all possible.
Whether that happens or not depends on the results and maybe on how we do in the four games in January against Arsenal, Manchester United, West Ham and Watford – all top eight clubs at the moment.
So the way we have been playing this season – very well against the good clubs – we could even do OK in January.
But the sad truth is that Newcastle have plummeted as a club over the last two years and smaller clubs are now doing so much better than us – and they are also above us in the Premier League.
Who would have thought that Leicester City, Crystal Palace, West Ham, Watford and Stoke City would be in the top eight going into 2016?