With Newcastle, by their own manager’s admission, “close to a crisis”, it’s now time for Steve McClaren to focus on going back to basics at St James’s Park.
The betting suggests that his time could soon be up in the North East, but I think it’s too early to speculate on that just yet.
I wouldn’t say he is on borrowed time, but certainly the fact is that they’ve had almost the worst start they could have had. And with the fixtures coming up that they have, it could get even worse for them.
In the short term I can’t see any way that he turns it around because of the fixtures that they have got coming up. But there is a long, long way to go.
We’re still in September, and no team has ever been relegated in September.
While they haven’t won some of the games that you would have expected them to, and with a tricky few weeks coming up, they have a respite period where they need to go back to ensure there is some organisation in the ranks and that they do the basic things right.
He’s done it before, he knows how to get teams organised at the back and make them difficult to beat, and he’s going to have to do that again.
It’s very difficult when a club is on the slide and you are a new manager coming in to try and stop it.
Steve’s probably going to get the blame for it, but the slide started from the minute that they got rid of Alan Pardew and it’s just a continuation of that.
He’s probably been caught in between what Newcastle fans expect and what he can actually deliver.
At the moment, I think fans themselves would settle for a couple of clean sheets and looking organised and then take it from there.
Pressure is felt up and down the league
He’s not the only manager to feel the heat from their club’s fans and the press with Dick Advocaat and Brendan Rodgers’ positions also being called into question.
The Premier League money next year is more than it’s ever been, it’s mammoth, so clubs cannot afford not to be in the division.
They know that, and that’s why there’s added pressure.
Brendan Rodgers is obviously a bit different, with no one expecting Liverpool to continue to struggle in the bottom half of the table, but the Reds will not be happy with where they are.
After Brendan’s first year, Liverpool couldn’t have envisaged for one minute that they would be in this position.
They had Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge firing on all cylinders, Steven Gerrard leading the troops on the pitch and everything was rosy with the club on the way up.
And now, probably by his own admission, Rodgers is being accused of not spending the Suarez money as wisely as it could have been.
That has caused him a few problems, and we have seen that he is under pressure during every single game that they play in.
The players are not playing with the same freedom they had in his first season, every mistake seems to get punished now.
Dick Advocaat is probably out of the three of them that is under the least amount of pressure in terms of facing the sack.
He is probably thinking “Well, I’ve given it my best shot. At the end of the day I was going to retire at the end of last season. I want it to work as best as I possibly can.” But if it doesn’t work, I can see him being someone that walks away having tried his best, if he feels he can’t turn it around.
He’s the one that’s in the least danger of facing the sack for me.
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