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?
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.
What do you think?