Most Newcastle fans put the blame (responsibility) for our relegation at the feet of head coach Steve McClaren because the squad we had last year was certainly not one of the worst three in the Premier League and especially after we spent around £80M on players through the season.
This view was supported by Rafa Benitez coming in and after the first four games when we lost three, he had Newcastle playing almost like a top six side with three wins and three draws and it was the same squad.
That culminated in Newcastle beating Spurs at home 5-1 in the final game of the season with Spurs sitting in second place before that game and dropping to 3rd place below north London rivals Arsenal with the defeat.
Ian Holloway – Sky Sports pundit
And since Managing Director Lee Charnley appointed McClaren after he was fired at Derby County a year last May, Lee has to take responsibility for that choice and then leaving it far too late before he fired Steve in early March.
At any other club Steve McClaren would have been fired long before Christmas after starting the league with just 3 points from the first 8 league games – our worst start ever in the PL.
We were rock bottom of the league below Sunderland and Aston Villa after we were embarrassingly hammered 6-1 at Stamford Bridge on October 3rd.
But that view of who was responsible is not shared by Sky Sports pundit and former Blackpool manager Ian Holloway who lays the blame fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the Newcastle players.
This is what Ian has said today on Sky Sports:
“If Benitez didn’t decide to stay then a blame culture would have started to develop within the fan base.”
“But all the blame from them is seemingly pointed at Steve McClaren rather than Benitez, which is helping the atmosphere.”
“That is an easy cop out though, to blame the previous manager.”
“In my opinion the blame lies solely with the players that took the club down – some of them failed to show up last season.”
“The bad habits of last season are behind them now. A swift return to the Premier League looks on the cards.”
It’s interesting that Derby County rehired Steve McClaren yesterday to be their new manager after former Newcastle coach Nigel Pearson was fired from the job last Saturday.
What logic Derby used to reach the decision to rehire Steve after his disastrous showing at Newcastle is beyond us.
What do you think?