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Sky Pundit Points Finger At Who Responsible For Relegation

5:12 pm, Thursday, October 13th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 54 Comments

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.

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What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Other News · Poll · Premier League

54 responses so far ↓

  • 1 WWSBRD // Oct 13, 2016 at 5:26 PM

    Yeah am just gonna ignore the Cheryl talk haha poor lass

    I see ur point mate and I agree he will come in again at some point but right now it wouldn’t be rotating Darlow it’d be dropping him and not for footballing reasons I can’t see that happening tbh but who knows

  • 2 Bobbybee // Oct 13, 2016 at 5:27 PM

    Rafa bingo for what it’s worth.


    Anita Lascelles Clark Dummett

    Colback Shelvey

    Ritchie Diame The Gouff


    Not my personal choice, but then who’s is?

  • 3 WWSBRD // Oct 13, 2016 at 5:28 PM

    Holloway there is more than 1 thing to blame McClaren is certainly in the mix

  • 4 WWSBRD // Oct 13, 2016 at 5:29 PM

    Same team as mine I think

  • 5 stripes1009 // Oct 13, 2016 at 5:30 PM

    Wonder what ‘odds’ l’ll get for Derby being relegated…..?

  • 6 MadisonToon // Oct 13, 2016 at 5:32 PM


    You bring up a really good distinction. What do you think is the difference between rotating and dropping?

    To me, dropping is when someone played poorly and is not started the next game because of it.

    Rotating is when there are multiple players for a single spot who all play some fraction of the games not due to the previous starters performance.

    If those are the definitions, my argument for Sels coming in would be rotation since it wouldn’t be based on Darlow’s performances (which have been good). However, if you’re working off different definitions of rotation and dropping then maybe you would see this as dropping – which is why I wonder what other’s thoughts are on those two.

    I have a feeling this will be a season-long debate on why someone is in for a given game.

  • 7 Bobbybee // Oct 13, 2016 at 5:36 PM

    WWSBRD, there are two sayings that cover that situation. 1, is great minds think alike. 2 is fools seldom differ. Let’s go with the former eh? 🙂

  • 8 WWSBRD // Oct 13, 2016 at 5:39 PM

    I agree with that on every position barring keeper mate, I don’t see that as a rotation spot because they don’t fatigue as much

    Sels got 9/10 games before being dropped (I don’t think he was rotated I think he was replaced) and to stick him back in now tells Darlow ur not going to get a chance to be number 1 (which he earned at shot at after last season imo) regardless of ur performances which I really hope doesn’t happen because I like Darlow

  • 9 MadisonToon // Oct 13, 2016 at 5:43 PM


    I think keeper could definitely be the exception to the rule. The problem is that we are going to have three potential #1s when Elliot is fully fit again. I just don’t see how we can keep them all happy. Maybe introducing some amount of rotation early in the season (i.e. now) before Elliot is back will be able to keep them all happy longer as game time decreases with the inclusion of Elliot into the picture.

    Maybe we’ll end up with a clear starter, but if Rafa wants to go the rotation route, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Sels in goal against Brentford.

  • 10 WWSBRD // Oct 13, 2016 at 5:49 PM

    I’d say I fall into both camps but aye we will go with the former haha

    Again mate u might be right but in this team I don’t think u can judge a keeper on a game here or there I’d say they need a good run before u can see where they are at, Sels has had his now and clearly needs time to adapt, Darlow is getting his chance atm

    As for Elliott personally I don’t see him as anything other than covering injuries so him being back fit doesn’t come into my thinking

  • 11 Rotonda heights // Oct 13, 2016 at 5:51 PM

    SMm may eventually crack it if he ever learns it’s 3 points for a win, only 1 for a draw.

  • 12 Bobbybee // Oct 13, 2016 at 5:52 PM

    Not sure rotation includes keepers myself. You can’t keep changing keepers after all. Sels had something like nine games or whatever so I imagine – disasters aside – Darlow will be given something similar himself. Sels thinks he’s the best. Darlow thinks he should be No1. Only one way to find out who’s best – FIGHT!!! 🙂

  • 13 Harley // Oct 13, 2016 at 5:55 PM

    Holloway is in such awe of Rafa he’s tipped us to get beat on Saturday???

  • 14 Average_Contents // Oct 13, 2016 at 5:56 PM

    My confirmed Rafa Bingo Lineup.


    Yedlin Lascelles Mbemba Dummett

    Hayden Shelvey

    Ritchie Gayle Gouffran


    Pretty please rafa. Think that team would destroy Brentford tbh and I wanna see Gayle and Mitro together from the start.

    Gayle would be slightly further forward playing off Mitro but couldn’t be arsed moving him in my little team 🙂

    If not Gayle then Perez like at QPR.


  • 15 Bobbybee // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:00 PM

    Stripes, increase your odds by making it a double with the mackems mate. You won’t get great odds for the mackems, but it will significantly increase your payout and, let’s be honest, it’s a canny safe bet. 🙂

  • 16 MadisonToon // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:08 PM

    Bobby and WWSBRD

    I agree that keeper is a tricky one to rotate – looking forward to see how/if it happens. Regardless, I think we should give Brentford a nice hiding and look forward to it.

  • 17 WWSBRD // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:16 PM

    Oh aye mate was just curious of u putting Sels in not saying it’s wrong or anything just a discussion piece really

    I think it’ll be a 2-0 win for us

  • 18 Bobbybee // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:18 PM

    Maddison, all that really matters is beating Brentford, regardless of who’s in goal. Can we beat them? Why aye. We’ve got two complete teams, either of which is capable of beating anybody else in this league, so the odds are we should win. 2-0 I’m going with.

  • 19 Bobbybee // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:19 PM

    WWSBRD – again we agree, this time on the score. Spooky. 🙂

  • 20 firebug666 // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:20 PM

    Confirmed Rafa Bingo Line up:






  • 21 Bobbybee // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:23 PM

    2-0 win, not with.

  • 22 Bobbybee // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:24 PM

    Firebug, you getting inside info again mate? 🙂

  • 23 MadisonToon // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:24 PM

    I have a feeling it’ll be another strong showing and we’ll end up 4-0 winners. Might be 3-0 but if we have Gayle on at the end of the match, we’ll probably grab another on the counter – if it’s Mitro up top then we’re unlikely to get too many swift counterattacking threats.

  • 24 Bobbybee // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:27 PM

    Actually, I’m not sure what I mean. Whatever it is, we win 2-0 and get three points. 🙂

  • 25 Bobbybee // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:34 PM

    Maddison, hope you’re right matey, another entertaining day out in line for us if you are. We do appear solid at the back, despite conceding three v Norwich – a screamer, penalty and huge deflection. Here’s to another clean sheet.

  • 26 WWSBRD // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:35 PM

    Haha I get to everyone eventually, like a cult leader

  • 27 Ibizatoon // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:38 PM

    Yo…Blog King / Cult Leader…I was close. Not much difference really 🙂

  • 28 Bobbybee // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:40 PM

    WWSBRD, mmm, as long as I don’t have to give up all my worldly possessions, because nobody is getting their mitts on my ST. 🙂

  • 29 WWSBRD // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:54 PM

    Haha I operate more in the shadows than a kingship would allow

    Ull never become a trancedended member with that attitude ?

  • 30 Essex Geordie Bill // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:56 PM

    Bobby, WWBRSD

    Well I am going to join the great minds, simpletons club and post the same team. In fact I’v been really lazy and just copied and posted yours Bobby. 🙂

    I see your copying and pasting is working OK now. 🙂


    Anita Lascelles Clark Dummett

    Colback Shelvey

    Ritchie Diame The Gouff


  • 31 Bobbybee // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:58 PM

    WWSBRD, not sure I want a trancended member to be honest. That’s something else nobody is getting their mitts on! 🙂

  • 32 Essex Geordie Bill // Oct 13, 2016 at 6:59 PM

    Oops, Forgot to say

    Bobby, WWBRSD

    Well I am going to join the great minds, simpletons club and post the same team. In fact I’v been really lazy and just copied and posted yours Bobby. ?

    I see your copying and pasting is working OK now. ?

    Jail Raf’s Bingo


    Anita Lascelles Clark Dummett

    Colback Shelvey

    Ritchie Diame The Gouff


  • 33 Bobbybee // Oct 13, 2016 at 7:04 PM

    Bill, if we win do we get five points each or are they split amongst us? 🙂 And yes, jib’s idiot proof instruction video lived up to its name. There’ll be no stopping me now. Although, if I do copy something, I’ll confess immediately and not leave myself wide open to plagiarism charges.

  • 34 Bobbybee // Oct 13, 2016 at 7:06 PM

    Time slip Bill? 🙂

  • 35 WWSBRD // Oct 13, 2016 at 7:13 PM

    Haha fair plays, sorry was an odd tangent I was watching a doc on Scientology and it went to my head

    Welcome to the club, we shall all share the points

  • 36 Bobbybee // Oct 13, 2016 at 7:17 PM

    Anyway, got something to do for a couple of hours so might catcha later.

  • 37 Essex Geordie Bill // Oct 13, 2016 at 7:19 PM


    I forgot to put Jail Rafa’s Bingo which would have probably bu&&ered my entry.


    The Ron Hubbard fan club. A very strange bunch.

  • 38 Ron Knee // Oct 13, 2016 at 7:55 PM

    “US singer Bob Dylan has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, becoming the first songwriter to win the prestigious award.”

    Well, well, well!

  • 39 Essex Geordie Bill // Oct 13, 2016 at 8:48 PM


    Yes, I suppose you could say, ‘That the times they are a changing’

  • 40 Essex Geordie Bill // Oct 13, 2016 at 8:49 PM

    Every body is saving their commenting for Saturday!!

  • 41 ShirebrookToon // Oct 13, 2016 at 9:06 PM

    Is it Saturday yet

  • 42 Bobbybee // Oct 13, 2016 at 9:20 PM

    It can be shirebrook. Just tap your heels together…

  • 43 Legolas // Oct 13, 2016 at 9:54 PM

    Confirmed Rafa Bingo:


    Anita Lascelles Clark Dummett

    Colback Shelvey

    Ritchie Perez Gouffran


  • 44 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 13, 2016 at 10:33 PM

    I’d like to see Sels back in, primarily because of his distribution. 80% of a keepers work is done with their feet apparently. Guardiola seems to agree with Rafa that a continental style sweeper keeper has real merit, and so I’d like to see Sels given every chance to make his claims. He’s also agile, tall, and a top shot stopper. He’s flapped at a few, but his record is still quite outstanding, while Darlow is young and capable, and has time on his side. He can afford to wait.

  • 45 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 13, 2016 at 11:26 PM

    I don’t think Ian has been paying quite enough attention.

  • 46 Essex Geordie Bill // Oct 14, 2016 at 12:26 AM

    Hooray, It’s Saturday……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….On Mars

  • 47 Essex Geordie Bill // Oct 14, 2016 at 12:27 AM

    That didn’t work very well. 🙂

  • 48 The overrated Frenchman // Oct 14, 2016 at 2:12 AM

    Average@14 has picked the right team.

  • 49 cyprus // Oct 14, 2016 at 5:59 AM

    Ian has a point. Managers get all the blame and all the credit. But there’s only so much they can do. On the pitch, it’s up to the players.

    So, managers share some of the blame but not all. Scouts, especially if you spend the most money in Europe, in a window, must shoulder a great deal as well.

    And the players? Of course, but sometimes they’re just not good enough. Which brings us to cups. We talk as if we could win these things if only we changed our priorities. Well, not true. We haven’t been good enough is closer to the truth.

  • 50 cyprus // Oct 14, 2016 at 6:02 AM

    Distribution is icing on the cake. Protecting your goal is by far more important.

  • 51 cyprus // Oct 14, 2016 at 6:05 AM

    We only want you to try is of course just a silly slogan.

    Be assured, if you try and consistently lose you’ll hear about it.

    Unfortunately, it’s a results business. Effort alone isn’t rewarded in points.

  • 52 Jib // Oct 14, 2016 at 6:24 AM

    Probably the single biggest factor in the Championship being so much tougher than the last time NUFC visited it is the proliferation of continental managers.
    Of the eleven teams played so far by the Toon (in the league )
    Fulham – Slavisa Jokanovic
    Hudersfield – David Wagner
    Reading – Jaap Stam
    Bristol City – Lee Johnson
    Brighton – Chris Hughton
    Derby County – Nigel Pearson
    QPR – Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink
    Wolves – Walter Zenga
    Villa – Roberto Di Matteo
    Norwich – Alex Neil
    Rotherham – Alan Stubbs

    Only five had British managers.

    This brings so much different thinking to our game that you need a manager with vast European experience and nous to navigate this particular minefield.

    The reason Jail’s Rafa bingo is so bloody difficult is that Benitez , in order to steer his way through the Championship , has to keep other managers guessing while at the same time trying to brief his players on the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses.

    Rafa’s assistant , the basque Mikel Antia played as a defender for Rafa at Real Madrid in the 90’s.
    He worked for 4 years at the Quatari Aspire Academy and is tasked (as well as defensive coaching duties) with furnishing the players with as much information as possible about their opponents.
    In simple terms Rafa’s strategy (his tactics are changeable) is to know as much as he can about his opponent while keeping that opponent guessing as much as possible.

  • 53 Jib // Oct 14, 2016 at 6:48 AM

    Rumour has it that Klinsmann played Yedlin as a striker against New Zealand !
    Anyone see it ?

  • 54 Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith // Oct 14, 2016 at 7:04 AM

    Well, I’m not convinced by this idea that Darlow is the “safer” keeper, and so Sels is a liability. Not convinced at all. Darlow is good, Sels quite possibly better, as far as I can tell.

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