Top-eight ambition was laughable – Steve McClaren is no better than Alan Pardew

Steve McClaren
Steve McClaren

Finally, all three points stay on Tyneside.

As the weekend grew closer and closer I started to feel that little bit more anxious the more I thought about how disastrous another defeat could be for United.

Thankfully. Aleksandar Mitrovic came to the rescue and secured a crucial victory in the “must win” game against Tony Pulis’ West Bromich Albion, who have now been clawed right back into the relegation scrap.

Going into the game, I think many Newcastle fans (myself included) had already prepared themselves for the worst – and who can blame us after the shocking displays we all endured against Watford and Everton?

All seemed lost, the fans looked more than embarrassed, the team looked disjointed and the manager was walking on thin ice which was cracking beneath his feet as each Premier League minute ticked by.

Luckily for him, a strong team display from start to finish handed him another game in charge as we continue to aim for survival; a polar opposite to the top eight ambition stated at the start of the season.

It’s laughable really, thinking that a top eight place could be achieved after the calamitous no show the season prior, but that certainly doesn’t mean that a relegation fight should have been expected.

The club spent big in the summer, maybe not in all key areas but the investment was there from Mike Ashley; leaving it in the hands of managing director Lee Charnley to spend wisely on both players and appointing a capable manager.

But were we all let down by the managerial appointment? Was that the final missing piece in the jigsaw which if completed would see us end our trophy drought? Could a different manager have brought back regular European football to Tyneside, or am I just being a little harsh on Steve McClaren?

Only time will tell, but if Newcastle drop into the relegation zone yet again then surely Ashley and Charnley have to seriously think about pulling the plug early on McClaren’s reign as head coach.

McClaren seems like a decent bloke but is he really that much of an improvement on Alan Pardew?

At this moment in time, results would suggest he isn’t.

GallowgateShots.com is a South Tyneside based Newcastle United fan website