Winter Trips Result In Poor Form!!

Fresh from a 5-1 drubbing at Chelsea and dropping back into the relegation zone, Newcastle head into an 18-day break before their next fixture. Having won only 6 games in 26 since he took over, the Grin Reaper Steve McClaren will shockingly be given even more time to turn the team’s form around – starting with a ‘training camp’ in Spain. But what can the fans expect from such a trip?

This will be the third season in a row that the Magpies have gone abroad for a ‘winter training camp’. Every time the club packs up for one of these warm weather camps, the media and fans alike voice their opinion that it looks like the club is off for a jolly when they should be rolling their sleeves up instead. I can’t help but notice these trips always seem to coincide with most other clubs around us playing in the next round of domestic cups, which we almost invariably get dumped out of in the earliest rounds. I don’t like to buy into or start conspiracy theories, but I have to ask if it is a club strategy to exit the Cups early in order to spend time abroad doing club and Sports Direct advertising? Are we sacrificing ambition for a quick buck again? It just seems odd to keep going away to places like Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the middle of our fixture list, which is primarily played in the rain, wind and cold. How does warm weather training prepare us for our forthcoming away fixture at Stoke for example?

Lets look at how the previous two warm weather camps have gone, beginning with Alan Pardew’s charges visiting Abu Dhabi. We had just gone out of the FA Cup in the 3rd Round and Pardew had this to say; “It was scheduled in to give us a lift for the fourth round of the FA Cup, we used to do something similar when I was at Crystal Palace. It was already booked before we lost to Cardiff. Fans need to know that. The players deserve a bit of sun, but they’re not getting a break because we’ve penciled in hard work.” We had started the season quite strong, but exited the Cups early and then went on a run of 4 defeats in 5 leading up to this trip. I’m not sure that form warrants the players deserving a trip. However if the club is going to sell these trips as an opportunity for team bonding, working on fitness & conditioning and getting injured players back, then I’d expect the team’s form to pick up on their return.

This is what Pardew said on the team’s return prior to facing Norwich;”We had planned it before our cup exit because we thought it would give us a nice boost for our fourth round tie but that unfortunately didn’t happen. What it has given us is a boost in terms of a bit of sun on our backs. It has boosted everybody’s character and personality and given us an appetite to try and chase a Europa League place, or even a Champions League place.” We did not challenge for the Champion’s League, or the Europa League. Instead – we finished 10th. The boost the trip gave us was nothing of the sort. We lost 3 of the next 5 games, picking up only 4 points out of 15. In total for the rest of the season, we picked up 14 points from 48. Well that did not work out did it?

The following season saw John Carver take the team to Dubai. Again we had no Cups to play for having been dumped out of the FA Cup by Leicester. The team had picked up 1 point from 9 and lost 3 out of 4 games in the run up to this trip. Again, not really a squad deserving a trip away. But did form pick up upon their return? Well the immediate reaction was winning 5 points out of 12. Not exactly a success. We would slide from relative safety to relegation fodder, narrowly avoiding the drop on the last day of the season. In fact we only won 2 fixtures out of 15 following that trip.

So here we are in 2016, this time going to Spain having been dumped unceremoniously out of the Cups at an early stage yet again, stuck in the relegation zone and with 5 of our next 7 fixtures away from home. Given that out away form has not been poor, but abysmal – with the wrong tactics, wrong line ups and wrong attitude employed on every occasion – what is Steve McClaren trying to achieve? What is the club trying to achieve? I repeat – we are travelling to Stoke City for our next game, in almost certain cold conditions. What is a warm weather camp going to do to help the players prepare for this fixture?

This is what the Grin Reaper has to say; ”It’s definitely not a jolly. We could have gone to warmer climates and more luxurious places. It is a training camp and we believe there is a lot of work and preparation to be done. There are players coming back, we need work and togetherness because after the Chelsea game from Stoke onwards it’s game after game. It’s the most critical part of the season when you are coming into the last 10. We are in a position where we are still in that battle to climb up the league and get away from the bottom three.”

Newcastle face Norwegian outfit Lillestrom in a game at the La Manga camp.

McClaren said: “We also needed a game. It’s difficult to find one here because everybody else is playing and if they aren’t they need a rest. So it’s an ideal opportunity to arrange a game behind closed doors.”

Do the Grin Reaper’s words sound familiar? If we need game time, then get a friendly arranged on our own patch, in the cold – where we will playing our next few competitive games? The club does not seem to appreciate the negative perception that these trips have with fans. Given our form following and leading up to these trips on other seasons, the fact we have been dumped out of the Cups yet again – it does look like a jolly and I’m not inclined to believe that the players deserve it or that it will do us any good. 5 games from 7 away from home coming up. Is there any hope for us? Nope. We have lost our last 5 away games on the bounce, conceding 13 and scoring only 2. This trip is a bad idea. So is allowing Steve McClaren to be on the plane.

About Shamrock

Like everyone here, support Newcastle United. Not the easiest side to feel good about at times, but it's our side!

191 thoughts on “Winter Trips Result In Poor Form!!

  1. SHAM Batty still drops me the odd word,don’t really know why he isn’t coming on at the moment but know he’s spending a lot of time with the grandkids

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  2. Come to think of it, Charnley and Co. got what they advertised for – a head coach. Now we are left without a Manager and it shows.

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  3. ERIC there good and bad managers SM isn’t either,that why top managers cost money they can get a lot more from players and players themselves want to play from them that’s the difference

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  4. McClaren thinks like a coach. Remember when he sat in the Directors box so he could get a better view of the game? He changed but it showed his detachment and mindset. He didn’t think it was his job to motivate and direct but rather, make notes. Ferguson never delegated matchday control but Steve started that way. Similarly, on Saturday, Steve’s first instinct after the first goal was to run down the tunnel to look at the monitor and dissect the play. He should have been urging the team on, directing their movements not worrying about what had just taken place.

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  5. I thought Olly Bernard’s summary of the team and manager, in tonight’s chronicle is pretty accurate.
    Surely if we get beat at Stoke then the club have to act.

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  6. Does anybody seriously expect us to take even a point at Stoke? What are we waiting for? He should have been sacked every week since at least the beginning of December. Why are the club giving him 18 days that could have been time well spent by a new manager?

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  7. I see Cisse has declared himself fit and says he cant wait too get playing again . So how about a front two of him and Mitro and back too playing 442 ? I am no great fan of cisse but he can score goals and we are drinking in the last chance saloon ,12 too go and we need wins , i think 5 wins 3 draws will be enough

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  8. By the time we play Stoke…

    We will have 3 fit number 9s – Cisse, Mitrovic, Doumbia
    We will have 3 fit number 10s – Wijnaldum, Perez, de Jong
    We will have 3 fit wingers – Sissoko, Townsend, Aarons
    We will have 3 fit defensive mids – Colback, Tiote, Saivet
    We will have 5 fit centre halfs – Coloccini, Taylor, Mbemba, Dummett, Lascelles

    How many excuses will McClaren have left?

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  9. Axel 15 points gets us to 39. That’s 5 wins or 4 wins and 3 draws. Probably enough but you never know.

    However, since we only have 6 wins in 26 we might be in trouble.

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  10. ERIC i see us beating Norwich , Villa , Bournmouth and the scum but only with a new manager . I can see us getting hammered again at stoke and that being McGrinner’s last game . Where we get the last few points would be anyones guess but it all hinges on a new manager being in place .

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  11. Eric – I was telling you we were in trouble for a couple of weeks. All of a sudden we have to be winning 1 in 2.5 games when currently our win rate is 1 every 4.5! How does a teams form change so quickly? It will be some training camp if this happens! Only with a new manager bounce do I believe we will survive. Pressure will be too much on our home games for us to win them all against the lower teams.

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  12. Axel – My fear is we get beat by Stoke as normal and then scramble a win against Bournemouth. How further on would we really be?

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  13. I don’t see us beating the Scum. They always show they want it more. That game is not about ability. It’s about desire and our lot as a collective dint give a damn about the region or the shirt.

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  14. Stuart: I knew we were in trouble. All I was doing was questioning your assertion that we needed to be in League winning form to survive.

    I see Stevie Taylor has kept his gob shut this week 🙂 No more talk about “fruit and veg” down there etc.

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  15. It is actually quite bad. Taylor runs his mouth when he had absolutely nothing to do because of the way the opposition set up and then runs away when he is part of a capitulation and one of the worst defensive displays in memory.

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  16. Well to be fair, Eric, if Arsenal or Spurs win more than 40% of their remaining games they’ll win the league in sure.

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  17. I think any managerial change in 2 weeks will be too late. It’s now or never if we want to turn it around. I said a while back it’s between us and Norwich, but now Sunderland have woken up and have their customary 3 points to take off us yet, so I’d say it’s between us, Norwich and Scum for 2 relegation places. Bearing in mind 5 of our next 7 are away, and we have lost our last 5 away – it does not look good. Especially with the Grin Reaper still in charge for at least one, maybe 2 of those games. It’s Gina be a very rough ride to the seasons end and I’d only give us a 40% chance of survival personally.

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  18. Most of the time when we get hammered it is because we were chasing the game. On Saturday it was because everyone bar Elliot was sh!t.

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  19. Look at our goal difference. It’s abysmal. Even if we manage to match a Swansea or Bournemouth in the run in, they stay up because we will never match their goal difference.

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  20. Not true Stuart. You need to take more than 2 points per game. 40% is 4.8 wins, but lets round to 5. That is 15 points. Assume they draw all of the rest and that is another 7. That comes to 1.88 points per game which will not be enough.

    They probably need 6 wins which is 50%.

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  21. STUART thats my biggest fear , i really hope that Stoke hammer us so Ashley sacks him straight after that game . Lets face it we are going too stoke with him as coach and thats another missed chance that the idiots running the club have failed to grab . They had a great chance too sack him and find a replacement and give him the chance too train the Squad with 18 days between Chelsea and stoke

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  22. I don’t see Colback being fit for Stoke. He’s bound to come back from Spain sunburnt with his skin isn’t he?! 😳 😆

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  23. Newsflash from Stuart: the team that wins the league will need to win between 41% and 100% of their remaining games.

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  24. Fans need to take the matter into their own hands, stand outside the ground with a banner saying ‘mcclaren out’ It’s our club force Ashley into bypassing charnley and co and getting a proven premiership manager like Moyes or Rodgers in. No masses of fans have called for Mcclarens sacking yet in the stands after or during matches and next match is weeks away so needs to be done outside the ground, now! We mess about with this muppet mcclaren and go down and we lose big time the tv deal and all the money spent and it’s not as hard and gritty a team with big characters like last time we went down to be able to pop straight back up, championship is a hard league with work horses. Why he was ever appointed I don’t know, I knew he’d be a disaster and he is, any other club in any other league would of sacked him by now with that loss and win rate %, even forest and Derby sacked him, they need to get over their stubbornness and pride not to be proved wrong that he’s the wrong man after they tried three times to get him and just put there hands up be counted but now rectify and get the right man while they still have time. He needs sacking now it’s ideal while no games on. Fans need to take this in your hands. I live in Oz these days and just fuming with what Mcclaren and the board are doing. Ashley had given them money they’ve not had for years and they have made some rediculous signings and a few good, imagine that £80 million had been given to a decent manager we’d be in a far better position than this. We go down we will be the biggest laughing stock in football with Mcclaren smug grin as the front cover on all the papers and media, joke, act now before it’s too late.

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  25. Stuart: sorry mate but you are stuck on NUFC needing Champions form to stay up when it is not true. 38 has been enough the last few seasons but lets say 39. That is another 15 points which is 1.25 per game.

    That is less than a mid-table team averages throughout the season. Mid table is about 48 points which is 1.26 per game.

    We have a mid-table squad and a relegation Manager.

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  26. What about;
    Stuart Pearce until the end of the season. Knows the club and has experience at the highest level.

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  27. OzzieToon, The fans won’t do it, ye gods they were applauding them at the end of the Chelsea match 😯 Honestly we just don’t have the get up and go like other fans do. Look how many Pool fans left the match in protest at ticket prices, could you see our lot doing it in them sort of numbers? Too passive by far our lot.

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  28. Ozzie I agree. That’s exactly what is required. For some reason our fans just don’t have the appetite or leadership for intelligent, directed and meaningful protest. Pretty good at trying to punch horses though…. 😕

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  29. Our boycott last season made a difference to the at the club is ran so something similar will do the trick. After all, don’t they say it’s the fans who get managers the sack? Once the fans turn on a manager it’s hard for the club to stick with them. We need load action!

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  30. Ice@137 😆

    Sharpy@177…He won’t be getting sunburnt in Spain, snow, galeforce winds and rain, -12c temps in places. Not that cold where they’ll be going but still…. 3c here when I got up.
    Hopefully they’ll have **** weather 😈

    Troy@157 Yeah he was pretty much bang on.
    I fear if they don’t act this week which looks unlikely then they won’t act at all regardless of any results that happen from now on 🙁

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