McClaren farce makes Newcastle's problems look straight forward

By Lee Ryder on Nov 22, 07 10:16 AM

It was always going to be a shambles.

And it isn't often that this Newcastle United blog strays to international football.

But with our own manager Sam Allardyce now on the FA's shortlist to take over how can you ignore a farce that makes Newcastle United's problems look straight forward?

And should Michael Owen remain a Newcastle United player - and I know there aren't many who would put their house on it - surely a summer of rest for a player bombarded by injuries sustained on international duty can only be a good thing?

But let's try to pick up the pieces from last night.

Steve McClaren - once in the frame for the Newcastle United manager's position - was handed a second chance by Israel to qualify for Euro 2008 and then went on to blow it at Wembley in spectacular style.

The game was played on a pitch which still had visible markings from an NFL game ludicriously played out just three weeks earlier - as gridiron players from both Miami Dolphins and New York Giants hacked the pitch to pieces - and England were woeful.

Yeah, yeah they battled back to 2-2 but by then most people with a brain knew they had the capablilities to throw it all away again and they did just that.

A man with an umbrella and a cup of tea on the sidelines was in charge of a country that once won the World Cup.

Big Sam had already been tipped to come in and take over the job before the Croatia farce kicked in.

But now his name being bandied about once again can only cause unrest in the Toon camp whether fans are for or against Allardyce.

You could not make it up.

It means that we have to sit like muppets and watch the rest of Europe show us how to play football next summer.

But it isn't all bad news.

It means that the "once every two years brigade" brand of football fan won't be out in force with their England replica shirts and crocodile tears when we go out on penalties.

It means that you won't see them dodgy car flags on the back of people's cars who are usually in Tescos at 3pm on most Saturdays during the regular season.

Anyway back to more pressing matters at Newcastle Big Sam now has less than 48 hours to find a back four to take on Liverpool - a Liverpool team that will contain wounded soldiers such as Peter Crouch and Steven Gerrard.

Yet I get the feeling that many Geordies would have taken three points from the Liverpool game ahead of qualification for Austria and Switzerland anyway.

And while that choice was never available when the dust settles, the harsh reality for United is that Liverpool - after the Pompey debacle - is now a must win or at least a don't lose fixture.

Football, great innit?


Paul Patterson said:

If you appoint a manager who has gone through the monotonous system that the F.A have in place, with all the coaching badges and all the gravy train visits to different parts of the world to obtain these qualifications, then you will get a monotonous team with no inspiration or spark- basically a robotic side with no character, doesn’t that description sum up Steve McClaren pretty well?

The worry is Newcastle have appointed someone who has gone down the exact route McClaren has meandered down- Allardyce is a product of the coaching badge set-up.

The hope upon hope is that anyone taking these (Mandatory) courses is that- unlike robots- the individual in question breaks their programming when they get onto the training pitch and actually gives the side inspiration and a third dimension.

Steve McClaren just cruised onto the pitch and took his coaching manual with him, in the past (Certainly with Middlesborough) he appointed psychologists, consulted his colleague Bill Beswick, who apparently told him what to say in interviews and once met Tony Blair to discuss how to handle the media.

Last night at Wembley McClaren was an exact opposite of his opponent- Slaven Bilic, who was up and down, pointing this way and cajoling the other, jumping up and down, displaying human emotions is the basic description of it. Steve McClaren on the other hand was tucked under his brolly sipping mineral water- I ask you, has anyone ever seen a manager under a brolly on the touchline before, one word comes to mind- Ponce!

The whole image of Steve McClaren is exactly that- An Image- portraying to be something that your not, hence the script writers doing his press conferences for him, he even had major work done in his time at ’Boro- on his teeth! There are psychologists putting things into his and the players heads and chief ringleader of image- David Beckham (99th cap and hoping for a 100th- well not if I were in charge)

Over the years we’ve had Wag culture, and basically style over substance, that sums up McClaren most of all, it’s actually easy to feel sorry for him, because he was doomed from the start- nobody saw him as a successful manager- a lucky one maybe- everyone predicted this sort of messy end, although most thought of qualification at least.

I’ve said in recent posts the way forward is play youth, regardless of results, get them playing entertaining football* with a purpose and over a long period of time, learning from error‘s and with a pacey, creative gusto.
*(Entertainment isn’t in McClaren’s vocabulary- he even admitted that, he also said publicly that the ‘Boro fans need educating- Ha, we know that Steve, but it’s Ok for fans to insult other fans)

Well that’s it, rant over, I didn’t even delve into tactics or under performing players, or even the too many overseas players in the Premier League issue, or even the injuries, there’s simply no point, the crux of the matter is, the manager isn’t good enough and the system isn’t good enough- so who’s next you ask? The media will be clamouring for Jose or O’Neill, maybe even Scolari, but the F.A needs to change or nobody will suceed.


Pablo Limerl said:

As a NUFC season ticket holder and occasional England game attender, I love it when the country gets behind the team, there is nothing worse than snobbish fans who denigrate other fans who are just happy to be part of the whole celebration of enjoying a european or world tournament. We're all the same, so relax, we missed out this time because we weren't good enough, that includes the manager and players.

Richard said:

"Sam Allardyce now on the FA's shortlist" lets hope so. Then Newcastle can appoint someone who knows how to win game!

micepie said:

I feel like it's almost a good thing that England didn't qualify. Better to start afresh than stumble along. It just goes to show, though, that given a lot of great players to choose from England have still been mostly awful for a long time. A manager to inspire the talent we have is what's needed.

I don't think BSA will be asked and I doubt he'd take it anyway. The work has only just begun at the Toon.

phil matues said:

Give allardyce the england job,as a man I like him....But if I am being totally honest I dont like the style of football we are playing.Newcastle fans like to see good football and we are not seeing it now,and dont tell me that winning football does not happen playing like that.Aresnal and MU have been doing it for years!!!

blogger1 said:

Just read a blogg with a bit of a slagging off in lancashire telegraph paul salmon football blog - , nothing nasty, but have a look, fair comment or what?

Phil said:

Excellent post - Paul Patterson. May I add one huge failing of English football, and that is the lack of good junior football for kids. No offence to the North east volunteers, but the "mini-soccer leagues and youth tournaments are nowhere near as well developed as those in Toronto, Ontario! I have coached in both countries, and there is an amazing lack of youth football in England. There are international tournaments in Canada and the States that attract 400 + teams (Canada does not have the senior infrastructure, however). The potential is far greater in England. Far too much money in England is given to a few players with contracts that are garanteed regardless of performance. Can you imagine a factory floor sweeper who was garanteed his (meagre) pay for 4 years, whether or not he did a crap job, or didn't show up? For many of today's "stars" they should be taught about Jackie Milburn who turned up with his boots in a paper bag, and scored six! We need to develop local talent like him, once again.

jackie w said:

An ugly night for English football and i hate to say it but we deserved what we got. Its a sorry state of afairs when the only bloke who looked like doing anything plays for LA Galaxy.But Every cloud has a silver lining , ours could be Sam taking the job, wishfull thinking ...Jackie

john Gilroy said:

The present England team has looked good enough since before the last world cup. Supposed world class players, don't make me laugh. Perhaps McClaren should take part of the blame but he is not on the pitch. Unfortunately this bunch of muppets believe that because they are paid fantastic wages, they must be world class. Well as has been shown for the last couple of years, they are not.

Phil said:

Couldn't agree more with Paul Patterson. The F.A. can shift the blame onto its own appointed coach, Maclaren, but why did they give him a FOUR year contract? Why do they have to follow up the huge finacial waste with Sven Goran Erikson, which saw them paying him his huge salary long after he had been fired, with another hugely wasteful appointment? It will cost them 2.5 million in salary for Maclaren, plus his replacement's salary, not to mention the loss of an estimated 24 million from not participating in the European Nations' Cup. It's time the arrogant bunch at the F.A. were held accountable for being worse than useless!

Ronnie Lambert said:

Can't better Paul's succinct comments but ' the manual ' is the cause of not only dour English football, but the world's. Today everyone has this manual, that's why little Andorra held off Russia for so long, and Israel beat them. In the days before the manual, top teams like England would hammer teams like Luxemburg 8-0 or whatever, and top strikers like Supermac would score 5 goals. Now the manual has meticulously pointed out every angle of every inch of ground to be cut off from attacking teams so that ordinary but highly fit players can deaden the once beautiful flare of individuality. That's why only managers with Keegan's vision of how the game should be played, and players like Gazza can be the only salvation of this once beautiful sport. Sadly, I can't see it ever occuring again unless someone like the F.A. get video's of past masters like Pele, Cruyff, Gazza and all the old great dribblers and put it into the school sports curriculum. Even revert to the old positioning of 2-3-5....I can dream, can't I ?

Mal said:

What really annoys me about the McClaren situation is why on earth did the FA have to give him a 4 year contract? He was never first choice anyway and didn't anyone think of putting a 'get out' clause in after say 2 years. He is yet another manager being well rewarded for failure.
By the way I have a better chance than Sam of getting the job - he hasn't an earthly. Give it to Harry Rednapp I say - at least we wouldn't get any verbal rubbish and silly tactics. He is seriously under-rated.

bonnielad said:

now that steve maclaren has gone we can only hope that big sam takes his spot.paul patterson put it in a nutshell england were outhused by an energetic and enthusiastic team with supposedly nil to play for.perhaps united should go for their manager to instill something that seems to be lacking ...passion in the black and white shirt.

Peter Harper said:

The UEFA coaching badge is mandatory to be able to coach in the Premier League so I am afraid we cannot get away from it.The problem in England is that we are predisposed with running being the major part of our training rather than practising with the ball.
A team built around youth is total pie in the sky and will never happen.After two or three ignominious defeats there would be no fans in the ground.Youth is admirable but must always be allied to experience-and here lies our problem at the moment with the huge number of foreign players in the Premier League effectively stunting the progress of our younger English players.We need to limit the number of foreign first team players-Italy do it by agreement with all of the clubs-Why can't we do the same?
Germany recently has had Klinsmann,Voeller and at the moment Oliver Bierhoff ( all excellent former internationals) as the team coach and have been very successful.It is about time we did the same and first on the list is Alan Shearer.He has everything including the most important-PASSION-a love of his country.The thought is mouth watering.
On the other hand the thought of McClaren-esque Allardyce being England manager brings shivers of fear to the spine-because we know first hand at Newcastle what a waste of space Big Sam is.

desmond said:

ok people stop dreaming ..he's staying with us....
"I am contracted to Newcastle United and from my point of view, that contract needs to be honoured," he said.

"I am not in a position like I was at my old club where the chairman openly extended the invitation for me to go for the position. I am not in that position now."

Asked if he was ruling himself out, he replied: "Yes."

so let's concentrate on the liverpool game...this is what Big Sam Bull-S-ed...

"I have experienced how to beat Liverpool at my previous club. This is a different club and a different bunch of players, but we can approach it in similar ways and do similar things to nullify a very talented and powerful team."

yay!!! we are gonna see a match with many goalssssssssss

Duncan Baines said:

I agree about McClaren's contract being too generous when he was in such a weak bargaing position when he got appointed. It is like when we gave Souness (and his hangers' on) that fat contract when at the time we got him he was about to be sacked by Blackburn and would definitely have come to us for less!

Anonymous said:

A complete shake-up required. Sack the manager who not only seems to be tactically inept, but who also lacks the ability to instil any genuine passion and enthusiasm into his players as he is too pre-occupied with systems and formations! McClaren or Allardyce - take your pick. The only difference is that the latter seems better at ******** his players (and we know how well that works from our time with Sourness!). The Croatian manager showed how it could and should be done!

Depressing quote about today's game posted by Desmond:
"I have experienced how to beat Liverpool at my previous club. This is a different club and a different bunch of players, but we can approach it in similar ways and do similar things to nullify a very talented and powerful team."
I shouldn't have to feel like this BEFORE a game! Ho hum.

Gordon Wilkinson said:

Surely the time has now come for Big Sam to go.We now have a talented squad,but sadly they look lost on the park.This I feel is all down to his naive tactics and habit of playing certain players out of position.Is the man blind or just plain stubborn? Taking the attitude that "its my way or nothing"
I'm sorry Sam but your way is not our's.He would be better suited in the England job as they are both LOSERS.
Bring in Wor Kev and Shearer and let the Magic begin!!!!
I'm quite sure with Mike Ashleys backing King Kev would not only get our title as "The Entertainers" but with Ashleys backing would go all the way this time...
Anyway we live in hope

Mike Ploog said:

Yeah, but then again, Ashley wears an Alan Smith shirt, so what does he know?

Andre said:

Only one thing to say: Send for Jose


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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