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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Former Player Argues The Case Against McClaren

9:42 am, Friday, February 26th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 9 Comments

When Steve McClaren was appointed to manage Newcastle last season – just a few days after he had been sacked by Derby County – all we heard from former players like Michael Owen was that Steve was a great coach and good to work with on the playing field.

But our take at the time was that if he was such a good coach why didn’t he have a much better record than he has as a manager, after he has been fired by clubs like Wolfsburg, Nottingham Forest and last year at Derby County?

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Oliver Bernard – McClaren a good coach but not good manager

There is a lot more to being a manager than just being a good coach on the playing field – and it has to do with man-management and decision-making about the team and changes to be made during a game from the sidelines – amongst other things.

Former left back Olivier Bernard details what he thinks McClaren lacks as a manager – even though he admits Steve is a good coach.

Here’s some of what Olivier had to say yesterday:

I think what Newcastle are missing at the moment is a manager. They have opted to go for someone who is a very good coach and you can see that he has improved things on that score.

At times the team are playing decent football and the overall quality of their performances has probably stepped up since last season.

But their decision-making is as bad as it has been for a few years, and I think that’s where someone who is a manager – maybe a man-manager – comes into it.

I think McClaren is a first-class coach but I have doubts over the other things. Too many of the same mistakes are happening to be happy with the progression this season.

It’s relatively easy to be a coach, but it’s much harder to manage really, really well. A lot of other clubs would have changed by now.

Newcastle are taking a big gamble in sticking with it.

Steve would have been fired at any other Premier League club this season with his record and as the games go by there will be less and less inclination for those in charge at Newcastle to fire McClaren – and that’s where we think the real danger lies.

We could be struggling near the end of the season, because we continue to keep collapsing away from home – in other words the last 12 games are much like the first 26 – where we have picked up only 24 points – the lowest ever at this stage of a season.

But if we do survive Newcastle must review the disasters of this season and look to see what went wrong and correct them before spending another £80M in transfers this summer.

The truth that is damning to Steve McClaren is that we have spent £81M in the transfer market – more than any other Premier League club – and we have nothing to show for it in our results this season.

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Should Newcastle Fire McClaren Now?

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What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Poll · Prayer · Premier League · Press

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Toon_Tom // Feb 26, 2016 at 9:49 AM


  • 2 Jib // Feb 26, 2016 at 9:56 AM

    Sour Grapes
    Bernard has been excluded by the club for getting too close the the Francophones and fomenting dissent.

  • 3 Jib // Feb 26, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    Why do you disbelieve Charnley whe he said the loss of Pardew was a bolt out of the blue ?
    It was to everyone else !!

  • 4 Blackley and Brownlie // Feb 26, 2016 at 10:06 AM

    Makerel’s biggest trouble is that he has no one to score goals regularly, an out and out goalscorer, and a shit defence. But he is culpable just as Pardew was because neither saw it coming. It’s their job to see it. The fans did. They’re not getting paid tens of thousands of pounds a week.

  • 5 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Feb 26, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    Someone has been number crunching referees and have come up with which referee is the best or worst for each club…

    Hero: Kevin Friend (12 games, +0.708)

    Worryingly, something appears to have gone awry in Newcastle’s relationship with Kevin Friend. Not since a 4-1 victory at Hull in March 2014 have the Geordies had a positive result under the Bristol-born official. Before that, they enjoyed nine straight wins.

    Villain: Mike Jones (18 games, -0.585)

    Jones was dropped from Premier League duty after a 2-0 home defeat to Manchester City in January 2014, a stormy clash notable for Cheick Tiote’s disallowed goal. Since then, the Geordies have endured five defeats and a frustrating 3-3 draw at home to Crystal Palace

  • 6 Veltman // Feb 26, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    Sorry for the late reply..
    I have read some of your posts.You are a good value.Though not much to talk about lately re the club because the club become a mess and we hardly had any excitement on the pitch.
    I barely read the articles these days.As soon as I log in,I’ll jump straight in to the comment section to find out who said who and what.
    It becomes like survival on the blog.Hope it gets settled now and everyone concentrates on the football and guys like you will come to the blog regularly to express your thoughts.

  • 7 AncientC // Feb 26, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    Things will look a lot different if we beat Stoke, should that happen:

    The side would have a 50% win rate since Shelvey signed, who has been the type of player this side has massively missed.

    That 50% win rate would be 3 wins in 6 games. 2 of the losses coming away to Everton and Chelsea – games the side were expected to lose; although the manner of those defeats were embarrassing.

    On the Shelvey/Cabaye comparisons, Shelvey is two years younger than Cabaye when he was signed. Cabaye was good in his first full season, then stopped and stuttered along, until playing well again after coming back of strike to play for a move away from the club. Distance must make the heart grow fonder, as I remember Cabaye having some horrible games, as many bad as good, and when Cabaye was bad, he was truly harrowing.

    The Stoke game is a big sink or swim fixture imo. Bournemouth will throw the kitchen sink at us again, if we go into that game on the back of a loss, they will finish off what they started last time. On that note, time for McClaren to show that potential that Alex Ferguson could see in him, or lose to Stoke and take an early retirement.

  • 8 AncientC // Feb 26, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    Why do people pop up saying they used to blog yada yada, but don’t anymore because of arguments. If you don’t want to get involved in arguments, nobody is forcing you to. Different people have different ideas and agendas. Nobody is being stopped from communing over football topics, ignore posts you do not enjoy at will, not so difficult.

    If we all decided to regress from the blog because of a few posts we didn’t like, we would all contribute to its downfall, and no more blog.

  • 9 BandB // Feb 26, 2016 at 10:48 AM


    I haven’t seem anyone have a go at you, yet you are constantly complaining about it as if they were.
    Are you complaining on “someone else’s” behalf?
    As long as “people” keep popping up to complain about “blog detectives”, trying to create a meme that they are the problem, then those people will fall under suspicion because it’s a trick we are all familiar with now.
    Ed banned these “people’ because they were making his life a misery. Other bloggers didn’t ban them.

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