The Dutchman also stated that Rafa Benitez came in ‘too late’ to save us from the drop, criticising McClaren for not being loud enough – suggesting that he didn’t show enough authority and had a ‘lot of things missing’ as a manager, despite being a ‘great guy’ and a ‘good coach’.
Here’s what the right-back said when speaking to Dutch outlet AD during his spell away with Holland on international duty:
“(He is) a great guy, a good coach on the pitch, but as a manager there were a lot of things missing”
“He could have been louder, and more able to make his mark on certain things.
“(He is) an excellent coach on the pitch, who happens to be a manager.”
He then said the following when asked about his successor, Rafa Benitez:
“A good manager, who came in too late to save Newcastle”
This says a lot about why we struggled under McClaren.
We had a lot of players whose attitude and commitment to the club was questionable at the time (Sissoko, Coloccini, Wijnaldum and Janmaant himself), and that required a strong manager; something McClaren was clearly not.
He came in and attempted to get us playing good football, but he quickly abandoned that attacking and passing style after a few shaky results. How can the players buy into his philosophy if the manager himself doesn’t seem to have faith in it?
Not only that, he looked lost, defeatist and absolutely all over the place in times of struggle. He’d exude anything but confidence from the sidelines, often looking in a state of panic or total confusion, yet post-game he’d be painfully jovial and full of smiles in defeat.
As Janmaat says, Rafa really did come in too late to save us that season. There was plenty other deep-rooted issues around at Newcastle at the time (and there still is), but McClaren’s damage was already done.