NUFC skipper Jamaal Lascelles has revealed some telling home truths about former manager Steve McClaren – admitting that the ex-NUFC boss was once overruled by his players when he asked them to get off the team bus and go for a walk!
Given their characters and style, it’s easy to see why Steve would not carry the same sort of authority as Rafa Benitez does, but some of this from the NUFC skipper really does sum up how McClaren was A) not respected and B) not strong enough to lead NUFC.
Here’s a snippet from his interview with Ian Ladyman from the Mail, with Ian sharing what the skipper told him about the United dressing room during his early days at the club:
‘Two seasons ago, the Newcastle dressing room Lascelles walked into was a shambles. On one occasion when McClaren asked his players to get off the team bus for a walk, they simply said no.’
Lascelles then expanded on this, admitting that players showed dissent to McClaren, stating that ‘players’ head were all over the place’ back then:
“The players’ heads were all over the place back then,’ he recalled.
“Yes, it (dissent) was there. Completely. It was bad. Steve is obviously a well-respected manager but there is only so much you can do when you have 20 players refusing to do things and not taking anything seriously.”
Thank goodness we don’t have this sort of thing to contend with in our squad right now is all I can say. You won’t find this going on under Benitez’s watch, however it does help that we now have a good bunch of lads in our squad. You get the feeling the same could not be said about some of our ex-players when you read some of Jamaal’s comments just there.
Finally, the skipper then took a bit of a pop at McClaren, recalling the time where Steve brought him on at left-back on his full debut for the club in a 6-1 drubbing at Manchester City:
“He sent me on as left back against City away,’
“I had never played that position before and was marking Jesus Navas. So thanks for that, Steve…”
No wonder he struggled to get the players on his side when making such strange decisions like this!