The Brutal Honesty Offered Up By Coach Ian Cathro – I Failed

Rafa Benitez kept only two of Steve McClaren’s coaches at the club when he came in after McClaren had finally been fired on March 11th – the day that Rafa was introduced as the new Newcastle manager.

Those were Ian Cathro – the highly rated young coach who only turns 30 a week tomorrow – and goalkeeping coach Simon Smith.

Ian had been assistant manager at Portuguese club Rio Ave and also the assistant manager at Spanish club Valencia before Steve McClaren hired him last summer.

ian cathro newcastel assistant coach

Ian Cathro – Newcastle’s assistant coach

We don’t hear too much from Ian, but he has given an interview today and he is brutally honest and open about what happened last season.

Ian says it was painful and is  still painful to him and that it was his first failure ion coaching.

This is what Ian has said:

“The overriding feeling is painful.” “The only thing that ran right through the season was failure, on everybody’s part.”

“The only thing that invokes is disappointment and, primarily, pain.” “It forces you into a different type of reflection.”

“We deserved to go down, no doubt about that. We consistently failed.” “I’d be completely false if I said it was a good experience.”

“I can’t see that yet.” “I’d accept in a period of time that might change because I’ll have seen the value in it,  but not at the moment.”

“There were a lot of situations I hadn’t lived through because I’d been in technical teams who had been successful.”

“In everything that I’ve done it’s my first failure. I have to accept that and deal with it.” “It needs to be fixed.”

“It definitely adds to the pain.” “The football club means so much to people and it’s got incredible potential.”

“When I think about the Newcastle I remember as a kid, they were challenging for honors.” “Kevin Keegan’s team was one that invokes an emotional response from you.”

“They were loved and people lived their lives through them.” “To be part of a failure like that cuts deep.”

“There was massive uncertainty when Steve was sacked.” “It is a side of the business which I thought I understood, but you can’t until you’re involved in it.”

“When Steve left it was quite surreal.”  “I was at home in Dundee when I got a call to get to the ground within a couple of hours.”

“That was tight!”   “But right from the off there was a strong message and conviction in everything that the  new manager did.”

“It is a side of the business which I thought I understood, but you can’t until you’re involved in it.”

It’s not often that you hear somebody be so honest about how they were culpable in what was a complete and utter disaster for Newcastle United.

If Ian can tell the unmitigated truth like that he will not go too far wrong in life – that’s for sure.

Hopefully in time Ian will see that even though it was a terrible thing to go through and he failed – it will make him into a better coach.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

But Ian cannot see that yet, but the Scot comes over as somebody who cares deeply about things and especially about the plight of Newcastle fans.

The good news is that he’s now under a world-class manager in Rafa Benitez, who he can learn from – that’s one good thing.

And Rafa seems determined to build Newcastle into a great side again and that will make up for a lot of the nonsense fans have had to go through ever since Sir Bobby Robson was sacked a very long and painful 12 years ago.

There could even be some real success at Newcastle which Ian Cathro can be part of over the next few years, with the emphasis on “few”.

Let’s hope that’s the case.

Comments welcome.

13 comments so far

  • Rafa Revolution

    Jul 3, 2016 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #1

    Good luck to the lad, hope he can flourish under Rafa

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Jul 3, 2016 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #2

    He cant be so hard on himself. Hes only a young guy still learning his trade. If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off & try again.

  • Jib

    Jul 3, 2016 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #3

    Belgian site claiming Rafa has offered Alvaro Arbeloa a 3 year contract and he is mulling it over,

  • welshgeordie9

    Jul 3, 2016 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #4

    Read a story this morning about a guy been following Matt Ritchies career for a good few years and he said Newcastle fans are in for a treat this season.

  • welshgeordie9

    Jul 3, 2016 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #5

    Mitrovic and Gayle up front will be like having Shearer and Bellamy.

    Can’t frigging wait.

  • giimps

    Jul 3, 2016 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #6

    I’m wondering now why pen fold won’t give an interview like that…..”yes mr journalist, I have failed at the very highest level in managing a football club, I came through the ranks from tea boy to managing director ,now rafa is here I can go get some self respect back…… is that one lump or two?”

  • welshgeordie9

    Jul 3, 2016 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #7


    Hope that’s story true, according to some reports we could sign someone tomorrow but nothing’s been said today.

  • JamesToon

    Jul 3, 2016 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #8


    don’t get your hopes up about seeing them both up front, rafa will probably stick to his 4-2-3-1

  • Mister Tuff

    Jul 3, 2016 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #9

    Could be a good week ahead.
    Couple of more players signed.
    Taffies to get knocked out of Euros.
    Misery Guts Andy Murray to get knocked out of Wimbledon.
    Tony Bliar (Champagne Socialist) to get done for war crimes.

  • giimps

    Jul 3, 2016 at 4:35 PM

    Comment #10

    I’m not sure we will need 2holding midfielders every game in the championship, he could change formations to give more emphasis on attack in the games we are likely to dominate.
    I think it will be a case of every game on its merits, so hopefully some games he may have a back 5 and 2 waves of attack, down the flanks, supported by an advancing midfielder and the 1or2 strikers…..Aaron’s, Ritchie and gayle just behind mitrovic ,shelvey or Dejong pulling the strings and tiote /saivet /colback sitting back.
    that would be a very good attCking formation, pace trickery and power, covered by a decent defence and gk

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 3, 2016 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #11

    AC Milan are in for him as well, so unless we’re going to offer him silly money…

  • AndyMac

    Jul 3, 2016 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #12

    I read the quotes from Cathro in the chron before I saw Ed’s version so had to check the text again just to be sure.

    What Cathro said, according to the article, was “In everything that I’ve done it’s my first failure” which, not to be pedantic, is not quite the same as saying “I failed”

    As giimps suggested it would be better if some of these people, players management and owner actually admitted they’d failed.

    Failed the fans, the club and the city !

  • Nufc-83

    Jul 3, 2016 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #13

    If it was me I would play a 442 with Krul or Sels in goal. Back four of jaanmat Mbemba lascelles and dummet (would like a new lb and rb if jaanmat goes obv). Ritchie coldback shelvey and Aaron’s in midfield with gayle and mitro up top rotated with Armstrong and Perez.


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