McClaren Gets It Wrong On Why Newcastle Relegated

Rafa Benitez took four games to sort things out at Newcastle and then he went the final six games with three wins and three draws that included the hammering of 2nd top Spurs 5-1 on the last day of the season – they finished 3rd top.

Steve McClaren has been interviewed today and said the usual things – that we didn’t have good enough center-backs and strikers –  and while that’s true that’s not the main reason we were relegated.

The main reason was Steve himself, who got nowhere near getting the best out of the players he had available – and we cannot forget the £80M we spent on new players either.

steve mcclaren stoke 123

A familiar pose from Steve McClaren while at Newcastle

There were many other things wrong at Newcastle – yes – but we should never have been relegated last season with the squad we had.

There were a lot more weaker squads than Newcastle had and that’s the truth.

McClaren messed up as badly last season with decent players in the Newcastle squad as he did when he managed England back in 2007.

This is what Steve McClaren told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek:

“I’m frustrated with my time at Newcastle and especially with the way it ended.” “I went in with my eyes open and I knew the situation I was getting myself into, but the mistake I made was that I compromised too much.”

“You have to go in and lead and manage. I compromised too much especially early on, instead of saying, ‘we need this, we need this, we need this’.”

“They’ve gone down because we conceded too many goals and didn’t recruit centre-backs, and we didn’t recruit enough strikers, we had injuries and bad luck and the main thing is the mentality.”

“The mentality of the team was that they would play well against top teams, but they couldn’t win the games they should have won against the lower teams.”

“They’ve decided to go with Rafa Benitez and I hope they’ve allowed him control of everything.. most importantly he can control recruitment and maybe change the policy of the time,”

“That was only recruiting players under 25 and I think that restricted the recruitment process.”

“You need experience and that wasn’t possible, and I think with Rafa being in there he will be allowed to take control.’

Newcastle fans are frustrated with the time he spent at Newcastle too, mainly because he was simply not good enough to manage a club like Newcastle, and he also didn’t have a strong enough personality.

The reason we didn’t recruit center-backs was that he decided to give Fabricio Coloccini a one year contract extension.

We had already brought in Mbemba – so that’s the reason we didn’t bring in another center-back – Colo had to play as the captain.

There’s one difference between McClaren and Benitez – Rafa wouldn’t take the job unless he had the control he knew he needed to make Newcastle successful.

McClaren was just happy to get the Newcastle job, after he had failed and been only just been fired at second division Derby County.

Why he was even offered the job by Lee Charnley is still not clear to us – he was certainly not the perfect coach for Newcastle.

Rafa just been fired from Real Madrid who went on to win the Champions League for a record 11th time last month.

That’s the difference between being a journeyman coach and a world-class coach and this seems like Steve’s first attempt to re-write history on what happened at Newcastle last season.

It falls short of the truth.

Here are the two league records of the Newcastle managers last season.

Steve McClaren.

Premier LeaguePlayedWonDrawnLostGFGAGDPoints

Rafa Benitez.

Premier LeaguePlayedWonDrawnLostGFGAGDPoints

Comments welcome.

109 comments so far

  • lesh

    Jun 12, 2016 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #1

    Mr Tuff

    Didn’t realise you’d be an animal lover.

    What with Ed’s Milo and Jibs Chihuahua we seem to be a group of dog lovers.

    There must be other types of pet out there – I’ve got a one-eyed goldfish called Billy.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 12, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #2

    It’s no good Mclaren saying he should have done this or that, he signed the dotted line after agreeing not to put obstacles in their way and if that meant giving Collocini a new deal rather than spending 10M on a new CB then that’s the way it was going to be, he never said we need this or we need that because he wasn’t allowed to. If they were so determined to land him why didn’t he demand assurances from the off, because he was absolutely desperate to manage in the PL at any cost.

  • expatmag

    Jun 12, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #3


    I got two border collies…..Shearer and Bellers

  • AncientC

    Jun 12, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #4

    Not forgetting the season starting after 12 (or was it 13) games and losing 20 points because Krul got injured.

  • expatmag

    Jun 12, 2016 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #5


    Aaahhh….good excuse….fickle north eastern weather. Works every time

  • lesh

    Jun 12, 2016 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #6


    You’re right of course in that McLaren was compromised by the then current transfer policy he went along with. But he was unable to get more out of the players he had available to him.

    Whether he could have done better had he had access to other players is an unknown – we can but speculate.

    However, he is looking for a new job and as such, he’s not going to market himself as a failure so we couldn’t really expect him to say he wasn’t up to the task.

    Anyway, it’s history and maybe his failure and the resultant relegation was a blessing that gave Ashley the wake-up call he needed…….. I hope!

  • Jib

    Jun 12, 2016 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #7

    I’ve got a one-eyed trouser snake called Goliath.

  • lesh

    Jun 12, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #8


    A formidable pairing – especially with the nature of the Borders. Do they get on or do their names provide the answer?

  • lesh

    Jun 12, 2016 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #9


    Goliath eh? Don’t be a Boa!

  • Jib

    Jun 12, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #10

    I think McClaren was always coming.

    If he’d come from a newly promoted Derby , he could have demanded , and got, much more power.

    Derby’s shite second half of the season and SM’s subsequent sacking , critically weakened his position .

  • G

    Jun 12, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #11

    A cat called bollocks

  • expatmag

    Jun 12, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #12


    Good mates but like the originals, Bellers is a few years younger and Shearer, being older wiser and bigger, put Bellers in his place when he gets over frisky

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jun 12, 2016 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #13

    some goal by modrich

  • Jib

    Jun 12, 2016 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #14

    Sundays were always like this when I was a kid.
    Boring as hell.
    Cannot wait for the window to open and all the crap to start !

  • Jib

    Jun 12, 2016 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #15

    Well done Steven Harper.
    He managed to get 21 weeks wages out of the scum without having to play for them once !
    That’s after having a testimonial at NUFC nearly 3 years ago !

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Jun 12, 2016 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #16

    Makro is suggesting he could have put his foot down and possibly got his way. Obviously the club was crying out for leadership. So why didn’t he provide it? On Makro’s own tacit admission, he lacks leadership skills. Ergo, he is, like we all said, not a manager but a coach; a second rate one at that.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Jun 12, 2016 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #17

    Jib @14
    Is Songs of Praise on later? Is that what you’re saying?

  • giimps

    Jun 12, 2016 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #18

    I have 2 mini dachshunds called shnurg and daxter, both as mad as a box of frogs and will defend their corner against anything, dog, human, or warg.
    Mcwally was spineless and tactically inept……not good bedfellows for the leader of men.

  • lesh

    Jun 12, 2016 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #19


    I’m surprised you’re not ay the big street party in the Mall – or maybe you’ll be attending the more private party Her Maj’s hosting later on?

  • Back Door Man

    Jun 12, 2016 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #20

    Wally the Johnnie contines to deploy a limited repertoire of familiar but hopelessly inadequate excuses for his failure.  Manuel, with the same players averaged 1.3 points per game with Wally trailing at 0.85 (according to the Man’s tables above) … says it all really!

    Silence might have been his best strategy.

  • Back Door Man

    Jun 12, 2016 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #21

    continues even.

  • lesh

    Jun 12, 2016 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #22


    Might pay to keep quiet about your Dachshunds and their tenacity. Rafa’s looking for quality signings and they may have the qualities he’s looking for.

  • Mister Tuff

    Jun 12, 2016 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #23

    Aye – Jib ‘ll be on later saying he was at Buck Palace with Betty and managed to get a couple of racing tips from her after she’d had a few gins and he slipped her a crisp tenner.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Jun 12, 2016 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #24


    Jib later gets his a monkey back by spilling the beans to Nicholas Witchell and Jenny Bond.

  • Jib

    Jun 12, 2016 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #25

    Worst mass shooting in USA history in Orlando this a.m.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Jun 12, 2016 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #26

    England and Russia could Be disqualified from tournament if violence continues

  • Ron Knee

    Jun 12, 2016 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #28

    Orlando shooting: grist to Trump’s mill.

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Jun 12, 2016 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #29

    How long did it take for mcclaren to realise we needed strengthen to our centre backs & strikers. He seems to realise now when the season is finished & we are relegated. No wonder he wasn’t the right man for the job.

    Everybody was screaming out for him to strengthen these two positions, he goes out & buys one centre back mbemba, 1 striker mitrovic, & all the rest is midfielders.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jun 12, 2016 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #30

    Mclaren is such a shitebag in so many games last season his tactics and team selections where left wanting !

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 12, 2016 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #31

    He didn’t buy anyone, all the players were planned months in advance, it looks like he had very little say as a leading board member.

  • clinath@ed

    Jun 12, 2016 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #32

    He only had to say NO.
    In his own words, he new exactly what he was walking into. Got no sympathy for him at all.

  • Lindisfarne

    Jun 12, 2016 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #33

    Wally McBrolly was a huge mistake, as much as the decision making if the other three Board members. From supposedly 80 candidates they employ this joker at the third time of asking and they still retain their positions.

  • Wayayman

    Jun 12, 2016 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #34

    Right at the start of this interview in 5live, MacLaren was asked about the England game and if he agreed with the subs made. He said that he always remembers his first game in Holland where they were 1-0 up with 15 to go. He said he didn’t know what to do so he asked his assistants who advised him to put another attack minded player on instead of a defensive one in order to give the tiring oppo something to worry about.
    Thats him admitting he didn’t have a clue tactically. unbelievable how he’s robbed a living these years.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 12, 2016 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #35

    No sympathy whatsoever. He had no intentions of joining us if he had have got Derby promoted, he must have known completely it was an impossible task yet he was so desperate to manage in the PL he was prepared to relegate us to achieve his goal, I hope he never manages in the top flight again!

  • clinath@ed

    Jun 12, 2016 at 4:56 PM

    Comment #36

    That’s one wish that may come true Jail 😉

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 12, 2016 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #37

    We have to actually be thankful for his ineptitude, had he have guided us to 12th-17th he have been here again next season with the same ridiculous policies in place and more misery.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jun 12, 2016 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #38

    Its also mental seeing Shane Ferguson start at left back in the euros wouldn’t say he was ever an outstanding talent but surely would have been useful to come in at left back rather than play right footed midfielders out of position which ended up costing us points !

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 12, 2016 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #39

    I’m not sure if he’s good enough as he is often on the bench for Milwall and I think NI are seriously short of options but it does make you wonder if decisions on players coming and going has been called correctly.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jun 12, 2016 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #40


    What I would say is based on the games that I saw him play for Newcastle he always looked half decent and never let us down although just when it seemed he was putting a run together he would get injured …. the story of all of our youngsters in the last decade !!

    He got assists in 4 games in a row and then was never picked by Pardew after one game where it looked like players were not passing too him think it was Stoke or Fulham away?

    Yeah but you are right it would be interesting to see how some of the young ones that got chucked would have developed with a proper plan in place under good coaches


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