Back in the summer of 2015, Newcastle United confirmed that Steve McClaren had taken over the vacant managerial position at St James’ Park.
The 57-year-old took over the North East giants following John Carver’s short spell in charge of the Magpies, in which time the latter just about led the club to Premier League safety in 2014/15 finishing 15th in the division, just four points clear of the bottom three.
But with that campaign proving to be a struggle under the Englishman, the Newcastle hierarchy plumped for the experienced McClaren to lead the club into the 2015/16 season, a decision which was met with fury by a lot of Magpies supporters on Twitter…
@NUFC Complete joke. The club is totally disconnected from its fans. Boring boring boring
— Roger Walton (@RogWalton) June 10, 2015
@NUFC as unambitious as usual. Mediocrity forever.
— Nick Williams (@Geordie_Nick) June 10, 2015
— Alan Blake (@papageordy) June 10, 2015
@NUFC Anyone convinced he’s right for the job??? Jury’s out
— graham neal (@grahamneal1959) June 10, 2015
@NUFC couldn’t get Derby up but gets toon Job.
— Robert Turp (@RobTurp) June 10, 2015
@NUFC not for me, we need new approach.
— jim johnston (@jimjohnston1951) June 10, 2015
@NUFC I’m not going back enough is enough.
— Glen Lockwood (@GlenLockwood) June 10, 2015
And with the former Middlesbrough and England manager failing to really get to grips with the role at St James’ Park, and eventually losing his job later on that season after a pretty poor run of results, those Newcastle fans were spot on to fume at a shocking club decision.
Ultimately, McClaren was relieved of his duties at Championship outfit Derby County just a matter of weeks before taking over at Newcastle, with the 57-year-old overseeing quite the slump at Pride Park to end up leading his side to an eighth place finish in the second tier – this all after looking good for at least a play-off spot come the end of the season.
As such, there were already a few raised eyebrows when he somehow managed to make the step up to the Premier League in earning the Newcastle job back in June 2015, but it soon become very clear that he was not the man for the task given he failed to win any of his opening eight Premier League games in charge of the Magpies.
Yes, a 6-2 victory over Norwich City did pave the way for a few more victories in the run up to Christmas in 2015, including impressive wins over Liverpool and Tottenham in December that year, but the North East giants were languishing in the bottom three for much of the campaign under McClaren’s watch – it simply wasn’t good enough.
And while he somewhat surprisingly retained his job despite three successive defeats between Christmas and New Year, just two further victories in nine league games after that forced owner Mike Ashley and the club’s hierarchy into the inevitable, eventually parting with McClaren in March 2016 off the back of five defeats in their previous six matches.
Ultimately, leaving that decision as late as they did, even if they did manage to appoint Rafa Benitez as his successor, cost Newcastle dear as they ended up losing their Premier League status that term – but given Benitez led the club to three wins and three draws in their last six games, it certainly wasn’t his doing.
Instead, the club persevered too long with 57-year-old McClaren despite a pretty wretched season with very few bright sparks under the Englishman – a situation many of the above supporters saw coming upon his appointment as boss in the summer of 2015.
Overall though, it’s pretty clear that the club made a shocking decision opting for McClaren after Carver, as although it paved the way for Benitez to take over, it also paved the way for a second relegation in just seven years.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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