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 – 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.