Steve McClaren has become very adept at explaining in some detail the reasons why Newcastle have lost a game – and that’s because he has lost over half the games in the league this season – 14 of 26 and so he’s had a lot of practice at it.
That’s a 54% loss rate and with only six games won a 23% win rate – and at any other club he would have been fired by now.
We remember famously one of the times we were taken apart this season away from home at Manchester City when Steve said we played very well except for the 20 minutes when we conceded 6 goals.
And yesterday at Chelsea we were 3-0 down after only 17 minutes and we were wondering how many Chelsea would score before the break – maybe eight?
It was simply a shambolic display from a gutless Newcastle side and the players should be ashamed of their efforts yesterday – there were too many bottlers in black and white shirts yesterday at Stamford Bridge.
And McClaren is the head coach and he has to take the responsibility (call it blame if you like) for that display.
Steve McClaren reacts to yet another defeat
McClaren was asked if he was embarrassed by Newcastle’s more than inept display yesterday – and he went into some detail – as follows:
“You are so focused on the game and thinking about the way we started and what to do at 3-0, you want to come out for the second half with a bit of pride.”
“During the game and at half-time all the anger, disappointment and frustration has already been expelled.” “Now, in the cold light of day we have to be calm and reflective.”
“We have to know that there are 12 games to go.” “I am not upbeat about this performance or result at all. I have to be upbeat about what I’ve got in the dressing room.”
“With 12 games to go they have to show they are capable of doing that.” “The break is a good thing.”
“We said that before the game. We were over-exposed as well because it was Steven Taylor’s second game in seven months and Rolando Aarons is a winger playing at left-back.”
“So we have had defensive problems and injuries.” “We hope that three or four will come back. It is a good 18-day period to get them back.”
“Players that we have signed and players coming in we need to get fitter.” “It is a good opportunity to regroup and get organised.”
“It’s very simple, games can be won or lost in the first 20 minutes or the last 20 minutes.” “This week we lost in the first 20 minutes and were 3-0 down.”
“The majority of goals were self-inflicted in terms of not dealing with the ball or their press. We knew they’d come out and do it.”
“Chelsea worked it perfectly and you could see they wanted to go for it and get the game won by half-time.”
“They did that and so it’s very difficult. It is hard to come back from 3-0 down.” “We have to say then, do we go for it or do we not?”
“I think at half-time we said we’d go for it in the first 10 or 15 minutes, which we did.” “Then the fourth goal went in and really killed us. That’s what can happen when you come here.”
“We can reflect on that and know that how we start games needs to be better away from home.”
We are not going to hold our breath that everything will be good at Stoke City in our next game.
We had 10 days to prepare for the Everton game and we were a disaster at Goodison and we had a full week to prepare for Chelsea and you have to wonder what the heck the players and coaching staff were up to last week?
The truth is Steve McClaren is taking Newcastle down and if there is not some decisive action taken in the next couple of days by Mike Ashley the distinct likelihood is Newcastle will become a Championship club next season.
And if Steve McClaren is still the manager don’t expect he’s capable in any way of bringing Newcastle straight back up like the great Chris Hughton did seven years ago.