Newcastle and McClaren: The Perfect Marriage?
September 15, 2015
If you cast your minds back to 1996, you will remember that the year started with a cavalier Newcastle United side that seemed almost certain to win the Premier League crown. A staggering 12 points clear of second placed Manchester United in January, the Magpies were playing with incredible abandon and a swagger that threatened to change the way in which football was played in the UK.
History tells us that the year ended very differently, however, as Newcastle choked under relentless pressure for Sir Alex Ferguson’s United side and ultimately finished in a disappointing second place. Amid managerial meltdowns and defensive calamities, the team has struggled to scale these heights since and continue to struggle as an ailing Premier League team.
Can McClaren build a bright new Era at Newcastle?
In the last eight years, St. James’ Park has become a graveyard for managers and ambition, while the club flirted with a second relegation in six years at the end of last year. Former England manager Steve McClaren is the latest incumbent to take up the challenge at the club, with his primary goal being to end eight years of turbulence and fan unrest under the ownership of the controversial Mike Ashley. This is an ambitious goal, and one that will require both time and patience if it is to be achieved.
Despite established managers such as Sam Allardyce having failed to achieve success at St. James’ Park, however, there is genuine optimism that McClaren can inspire success at the Magpies. His appointment was largely celebrated by the club’s notoriously demanding fans, despite the struggles that he endured when managing England and more recent at Nottingham Forest and Derby County. This is testament to McClaren’s advanced coaching ability, and his reputation for empowering players to indulge their natural games.
Will McClaren Achieve success at St. James’ Park?
It is still exceptionally early to determine whether or not McClaren will be a success at Newcastle, although the club has taken just two points from its opening five league games. He certainly has the experience and ability to lead a top, Premier League club, while can also point to league success in Holland and a League Cup victory with Middlesbrough as proof of his enduring quality as a coach.
Ultimately, however, the jury will remain out for the foreseeable future. If McClaren can harness his natural skills and ability, however, he will be well placed to launch a bright new era at St. James’ Park.