“We know you can’t win anything with a bad defence. That’s one thing we’re trying to address.”
Those were Steve McClaren’s words in early August before a ball was kicked this season.
McClaren, let’s be honest, has a bad defence at Newcastle United.
The statistics tell their own story. It’s the second-worst back four in the country.
Only second-from-bottom Sunderland have conceded more goals than Newcastle, who prop up the Premier League with eight games played.
United seemingly took a welcome step forward against Chelsea last weekend, but the team undoubtedly took two or more steps back in the second half against Manchester City yesterday.
For 13 minutes, McClaren’s side – who had led thanks to Aleksandar Mitrovic’s first goal for the club – were a shambles.
Yes, five-goal Sergio Aguero is a world-class striker, but the marking was atrocious in the 6-1 defeat.
In the same interview McClaren was asked if the club was looking to sign another defender.
He said: “We’re always on the lookout – we’re always open to that.
“We’ve got the personnel, but we’re always searching for better. It’s one big area we’re looking at.”
Newcastle, clearly, didn’t look hard enough.