Steve McClaren Tells Rafa Benitez What He Needs To Do

If you ask any Newcastle fan a question – who was the one man most  for responsible for Newcastle’s relegation last season – they will tell you in two words – Steve McClaren.

The head coach who oversaw the worst stretch of 26 games Newcastle have ever suffered in the Premier League – just 24 points – and that led to our demise and relegation.

Steve McClaren +Manchester+City+v+Newcastle+tQgYvl4Xmfpl

Steve McClaren – a typical pose last season

So to see Steve on Sky Sports last night was first of all surprising – what credibility can this man possibly have left after his England disaster and now the Newcastle disaster?

But then to hear him tell Rafa who he needs to sign is even more comical and totally ironic.

But that’s what happened and maybe non Newcastle fans thinks that’s OK?

This is what Steve told Sky Sports after the game:

“There is still three weeks of the transfer market to go and I think they will be looking into that because they looked a striker short of being a good team.”

As it turns out both Ayoze Perez and Dwight Gayle had poor games last night and seemed to lack the physical presence up front.

To have both of them in the front three seems a luxury we cannot afford in the Championship.

Aleksandar Mitrovic will be back before the end of August after his four match ban – so he will add some physical prowess and heading ability up front and that’s good.

But that will not be enough – and yes – we do need another striker, which is what Rafa is after – but he needs to be a big guy who can offer some height, power up and heading ability up front.

We had very little thrust last night in the final third and it all came from one man – Matt Ritchie – who was Newcastle’s best player by far.

It was a poor performance overall and things need to improve – but we expect them to under Rafa Benitez.

We still have 45 games left to put things right and there’s still 135 points to play for.

That makes me feel a lot better.


Comments welcome.

20 comments so far

  • Mackems are from MORDOR!

    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #1

    Has a point, then again my milkman knows that who doesn’t follow football.
    Hooe for Steve yet on the job front, delivers a good semi skimmed you know…

  • jimmysmith

    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #2

    Probably true though, Gayle, Armstrong and Perez are very similar. Rivierre really must be out of the picture, i.e. not putting then away in training, because he’s the type of player we need to compete with Mitrovic. Fast, powerful, and with good movement.

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #3

    So says the man who got us relegated. Must be right then.

  • toontaff2

    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #4

    Whilst care in the community is usually a good thing, surely McBrolly and Real Madrid bound Sissokooko are so far gone they need sectioning.

  • Oleg G

    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #5

    About Sissoko:

    I don’t care if we don’t go up because he is not a player in the team.


    His disrespect for the team and his teammates and the fans is too much.
    He should be fined and thye should put him to play with the academy.

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #6

    I thought steve was very good on the tv from what i saw. He gently hammered ashley for buying under 25s and management by committee. Mind u we need far more than a striker. And the striker will need running power and aerial threat. Rafa needs to wake up ti the fact that the team last night, set up as he did, will drop too many points to win this league. There are big issues there. And in fairness he has been given carte blanche to buy loads of players. Im sure other managers would love to have some of his players. Who have Derby got today? I think they have all the ingrediants to do extremely well this season

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #7

    Has there ever been a player so in love with himself as sissoko the fraud? Maybe pierre van hooydunk ( sorry for spelling!)

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #8

    It was funny when Holloway said that he’d have to get brolly from McClaren from the sprinkler. He took it in good jest.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #9

    Munster, Rafa is hardly sleeping for him to have to wake up. Unlike previous berks, he’ll change things up that aren’t working so well. New players have come in as well, so expecting it to click and be tip-top after one game without teething problems is a bit unrealistic don’t you think?

    Football isn’t easy and with someone 6ft 6″, there’s always a random threat of a goal from nothing, albeit Lascelles should have done miles better.

    These things happen.

  • FollowFollow

    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #10

    We’re waiting on the Moussa money to knock it out of the park with a killer striker.

    I’m worried on last night’s showing that we have good championship players but not the two or three that are a cut above this level to make sure other teams can’t live with us.

  • giimps

    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #11

    IMHO, we were crying out for a fit Siem dejong last night, he is the no10 we need, he keeps the ball moving quickly and is a forward thinker who looks up for the pass to make before he receives the ball.
    Him, gayle/arma Aaron’s and Ritchie is the perfect front 4, Shelvey and Diameter as the deep midfielders and you wouldn’t need a big Cf ,quick incisive passes in behind the ir defence. For any of the front players, switch Aaron’s and Ritchie so they are on their favoured feet in front of goal as crosses are no good.
    It’s just a pity Siem is made of sparkles and rice paper as he is what we need

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #12

    Lets start hoping we can get a powerful mobile striker and left winger soon. But the sideways football and rafa’s love of playing a guy like anita on the wing because he loves defensive solidity has to stop. Aarons is going to have to up his game because i am not sure rafa will look to him. If we can get the 2-3 players we need, i can see arma doing well, but also gayle. I have said from ages back that 442 may suit us well this year. But last night was sobering and raised a lot of questions.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #13


    Last night was a reality check we needed –
    and it came at a good time with nearly three weeks of the transfer window left.

    So now – we have three weeks to go out and purchase a strong physical centre forward and a winger

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #14

    giimps, Siem’s positioning is usually pretty good, filling the space in dangerous forward areas and linking play. It was definitely crying out for that yesterday, especially with Perez being far too below par. It’s just a shame with De Jong’s injuries.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #15

    Nice to see Armstrong biting in and looking sharp. I hope to see him get some get time. Pace and finishing is always a big plus.

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #16

    Partly true laurent. But the lack of defender on the post and what looked like zonal marking when that huge player was around made little sense tactically. Another question might be if we are lacking leaders when a 22 yr old gets the job? I have no doubt we will do plenty of damage to some teams but the team is diminutive in parts and needs diame (great signing rafa) shelvey and a left winger and mitro firing. Mitro could solve a lot of our problems but the big question is whether rafa rates him

  • ArtyH

    Aug 6, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #17

    Was really baffled to see the ” Wally ” on SS1 and his ” Wisdom ” was peerless. LOL’s, even my cat could see we need a decent striker. Perez is to weak for the EFL he falls over at the slightest of touches, the ref’s in this league are not going to help either as was plainly seen last night. Lets get things into perspective though, its only the first game, and away too, with a lot to work on, and a lot will have been learned, and the nerves would have been a factor also. We looked disjointed, and for the goal, last season Anita would have been on the post to knock the ball away, no blame to him, just pointing it out. They all looked lost on that corner and the big lad was totally unopposed > goal, and we never looked like scoring from open play IMHO. The ref had a shocker or was it all planned? Why oh why is there no 4th or 5th official with instant replay to make the game honest and above board like it is in Rugby? This aspect is ruining the game for me and it has gone on for far to long, its totally unacceptable!

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 6, 2016 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #18

    Last night simply didn’t work, it was one of those games all teams suffer but we do have the players and manager to bounce back. Before even thinking of sending Arma out on loan he deserves a start to prove he should stay. Neither Gayle nor Perez impressed and the kid looked sharper than both when he came on. I would start him on Saturday and see how it goes. Diame is also a must for Saturday. Wasn’t too happy with the shot Selz allowed to bounce back off him either – that could easily have been 2-0 on another day.
    Still, plenty time to strengthen, but pulling names off FIFA doesn’t help. We’re a Championship club now and can’t expect top top players to be willing to join us. Knockaert has to be worth paying for, but still unsure who the ideal striker would be – without being silly. No need to panic though, plenty time to put it right – starting on Saturday.

  • benjohnsen

    Aug 6, 2016 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #19

    I have to say Armstrong surprised me with his ability to keep the ball in his possession high up the pitch. Please start him the next time. Shelvey also brought experience in that midfield.

  • WLtoon

    Aug 6, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #20

    I know it was the first game of the season and some of our new signings did,nt play but last nights showing was worrying, especially when you consider Fulham nearly went down last season and that was with their 2 main strikers still at the club.
    Fulham are a side widely tipped to struggle again this season so where does that leave us.?
    Everyone watching last night must be wandering what all the fuss was about.
    7/4 for the title. Really ?


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