After suffering yet another painful home defeat last time out at St. James’ Park – this time at the hands of Claudio Ranieri’s increasingly impressive Leicester City outfit – Steve McClaren once again faces his upcoming managerial duties with Newcastle United under a cloud of intense pressure.
Although the Magpies have in-fact shown glimpses of promise throughout the 2015/16 campaign so far, overall this season has simply proven one to forget for the former Three Lions boss on Tynseide. His team look short of ideas up-top, clearly unimposing in the middle of the park, and dangerously vulnerable at the back.
In light of such an obvious recipe for disaster for the St. James’ Park faithful to endure this term, many Newcastle fans have understandably called for the untimely termination of Steve McClaren’s role at their club.
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Put in no uncertain terms, he ultimately fails to present himself as a confident character with enough quality about him to save his side this season.
However, even though the 54-year-old English tactician may no longer deserve to hold down his current position with the Magpies, there are nonetheless several major reasons why Steve McClaren will NOT be sacked by the Newcastle United hierarchy this term.
It may seem like a somewhat absurd notion considering the club’s current position, just outside the Premier League’s lowly relegation zone, but perhaps the current issues on Tyneside cannot exclusively go down as the new manager’s fault.
McClaren ultimately inherited a team that had suffered from a severe lack of investment during the end of Alan Pardew’s reign and that of the ill-fated John Carver – so the 2015/16 campaign was seemingly always going to prove difficult one way or another.
Graham Carr – Newcastle United’s chief scout partially in charge of recruitment behind the scenes at St. James’ – may also need to take some responsibility for the recent calamities to afflict the Magpies faithful, for although Newcastle were once known for sourcing quality players for a fraction of their value just a few short seasons ago, those days have sadly obliterated into nothingness across the modern era.
Today, Newcastle’s transfer policy has been nothing short of ill-conceived.
Both Georginio Wijnaldum and Chancel Mbemba have been promising at times this season, but players such as Davide Santon and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa should have never been sold without sourcing a couple of adequate replacements to step up in their place.
The likes of Vurnon Anita and Florian Thauvin simply look too weak to make it in the Premier League – and if the club really wanted to spend big on a recognised front-man this summer – why then did they move for the vastly unreliable and obviously inexperienced 21-year-old figure of Aleksandar Mitrovic? Surely now was not the time for gambles on Tyneside.
Yet whilst the club’s recent poor form admittedly may not be all of the former Middlesbrough boss’ making, McClaren has hardly looked like a man worthy of changing the fortunes of the St. James’ faithful since he first stepped foot in the North East.
The 54-year-old has routinely failed to get the best out of some of his most important assets, he has so far portrayed a man somewhat out of his depth back among the English top-flight, and many of the Magpies players have been allowed to operate in the same disinterested fashion that almost got the club relegated last season.
Although he honestly does try to employ a more entertaining style of football than that achieved by Alan Pardew at St. James’, the results have been far from satisfying.
However, does that mean McClaren will be sacked before the culmination of the current campaign? Perhaps not…
Mike Ashley clearly hired the former England manager because he was desperate, wouldn’t challenge the recognised hierarchy at the club, and certainly wouldn’t have been picked up by any other side Premier League side.
He was therefore a truly cheap and cheerful appointment. Through his sheer lack of investment in the past, Ashley has proven himself to care very little about the fate of Newcastle United on the pitch, just as long as they remain in the top-flight.
In his eyes, McClaren still represents the ideal choice – as did the strange appointment of Alan Pardew five years earlier. There are arguably three worse teams below them in the league table right now, and because the ex-Derby, Nottingham Forrest, Wolfsburg and FC Twente tactician seemingly goes down as yet another ‘yes-man’ on Tyneside, Steve McClaren will likely remain in his current position for at least the rest of the season.
Such is the way for the St. James’ faithful as long as Mike Ashley remains in charge of their club…