Newcastle certainly have the players to escape relegation for a second season running, but the head coach Steve McClaren has been unable to get much out of what is now a good squad with some good players in it.
Certainly our squad is a lot stronger than the other sides fighting against relegation and £82M investment this season has ensured that – even if some of the buys turned out to be poor ones.
We have another four players in from the January transfer window, but whether McClaren can turn things around and get the best out of his players in the remaining 12 games we have serious doubts.
Yes – it really has been that bad
In fact since the January transfer window closed we have played three games – looked great at home in the great win against West Brom and looked absolutely abysmal in our two away games at Everton and Chelsea.
Performances like that with games starting to run out would get the manager sacked at any other Premier League club.
That’s given how important it is to stay in the top league with all the big money – £8.3B in TV rights (with a big B) over the next three years about to kick-in during the summer.
But this is Newcastle, who have become the club who never sack their manager – however pathetic the results are – the club only wants stability.
But what is the good of stability and no knee-jerk reactions if the head coach is not up to the job?
That only leads to relegation.
We’re not objecting to Steve as a person – he’s a good man – it’s his results we are objecting to.
That’s the polar opposite of how things were in the Freddy Shepherd era when managers got a year or a little more to start showing good results otherwise they were fired.
Managers like Kenny Dalglish, Ruud Gullit, Graeme Souness and Glenn Roeder lasted less than 18 months in charge during the ten years Freddy Shepherd was the Chairman, but the current lot running the club allowed us to get perilously close to relegation last season when they kept the inept John Carver in the job until the bitter end.
Carver went 10 games in a row with just one point and then we beat West Ham in that last game to survive.
The same thing could happen this season, as Lee Charnley and company seem to have decided to keep their trust in McClaren whatever happens.
We sacked Sir Bobby Robson in 2004 because he didn’t have us in the top four (we finished fifth that season) and twelve years later we wont sack a manager who has kept us in the bottom four all season long.
It’s ridiculous and shows how the standards of the club have dropped precipitously over that time-frame.
Rather we are now told how well the team has played and how great the football was – and that there were some good performances all over the pitch – and that’s when we lost at Watford!
Senior management has to be ruthless when an organization is in serious trouble, and few would doubt Newcastle are now in serious trouble.
But we see none of that resolve within the Newcastle United Football Club – and that could turn out be the main reason we are relegated in May – that’s our big concern.
And don’t believe the Board when they say Newcastle are not in a crisis – that’s nonsense – they got us into this position – so that’s why they are in denial about it all.
They put us there.
In three words – it’s not good.