The only people associated with Newcastle United that seem surprised by the side’s recent abysmal form and Steve McClaren’s ineptitudes are the people in control.
That’s what the past 72 hours of silence since the Bournemouth debacle suggests to me. Charnley and co were totally unprepared for this eventuality.
They assumed that McClaren’s men would manage a total of at least 3 points from the games against The Potters and The Cherries. To come out of those matches with nothing would be totally unacceptable…now that it has happened, the Newcastle hierarchy are scrambling around in the shadows as they leave a bewildered McClaren to supervise meaningless training sessions as they try to persuade a more competent manager to take over and save us from relegation.
The thing I find most disturbing about this is that most Newcastle fans, like me, would have been quite ready to show Steve the door following the 5-1 defeat to Pardew’s Palace at the end of November and have playfully been lining up suitable successors since.
Yet, Charnley however, seems to have been taken totally off guard. And having realised that to allow McClaren to continue would result in almost certain relegation, has spent four days brokering a deal with his replacement before relieving the poor bloke of his duties.
It’s another bizarre period in the Ashley era for Newcastle but the latest rumours Wednesday night suggest that we have approached Rafa Benitez and could possibly have him in place before the weekend.
Quite why they didn’t just sack McClaren on Mothering Sunday and openly go about their recruitment procedure is a bit of a mystery and makes a mockery of this new open and honest approach with the fans which has seen us all receive those cringe worthy emails from club staff telling us how hard they are working behind the scenes.
More cloak and dagger stuff it is as Moncur, Charnley and Carr jumped on a train to York in order to discuss McClaren’s future, or lack of it.
It’s not all doom and gloom though as finally Newcastle target a manager with proven pedigree. During the Ashley era we have seen plenty of uninspiring appointments right from JFK, through Pardew (sacked by Southampton), Carver (the best in the league) and lastly The Wally (sacked by Derby).
Benitez (Sacked by Real Madrid but former Champion’s League and UEFA Cup winner) is a much more ambitious appointment and one which certainly backs up the money spent in the past two windows that shows finally Newcastle are at least trying to move forwards.