MATCH PREVIEW: Newcastle United v AFC Bournemouth, St James’ Park, 5/Mar/16, KO: 3pm, Premier League.

by • March 3, 2016 • Match previewsComments (15)2856

I didn’t watch it on Wednesday. I didn’t watch the highlights.  I’m not as angry as most of you.  It was United away, under McClaren, so it was a defeat.  It’s literally a waste of everyone’s time.  1,600 went to Stoke on a Wednesday night.  Everyone knows we’d get beat.  18 days in the making Wednesday was.  It’s getting too much for many.

This is worse than 2009.  It’s worse than the dark days of John Carver’s reign last year.  It’s worse because there is no end in sight.  You know what I’m going to say.  That Lee Charnley and Graeme Carr’s fate most likely rests with the future of Steve McClaren.  So they won’t sack him, even if he keeps us up.  If we go down, they’ll probably go anyway – just with pay outs.  Is it in the best interest, financially, of everyone on the ‘football board (apart from Moncur) for Newcastle United to be relegated?  It’s a strange question to ask.  I don’t have an answer but an outsider looking if someone told you the club was ‘trying to get relegated’ it will have made more sense than the statement than Newcastle United ‘try and win away games under Steve McClaren.’

United’s last seven away games saw defeats at West Brom, Arsenal, Watford, Watford, Everton, Chelsea, Stoke.  Goals BournemouthBossscored: 1.  Goals against: 14.  With a record like that United should just piss out of the league and come back when they’re willing to take it seriously.  One goal in seven games?  A waste of everyone’s time. It’s bad for the competition. Is this the sum of the efforts of a back room staff, a playing squad and a manager.  Is this the BEST they can do.  The absolute pinnacle of their ability.  The same side that won at a Spurs side favourite for the title?  A Spurs side only other title favourites Leicester City have beaten at home?  What is going on?

I’m going to re-iterate something I’ve said a few times in these previews and regularly on the podcast I do.  Newcastle United have an issue away from home.  Last season only QPR were a worse away side than us away from home. They are literally the worst run club in the top two leagues.  So to address this problem, away from home, Chanrley and Carr brought in Steve McClaren,  who’s away form at the highest level with Wolfsburg, England, Forest and Middelsborough was a joke.  I will repeat the questions I’ve previously asked.  Was Lee Charnley aware that the club he leads was the second worst away side in the Premier League last season?  If so was how was Steve McClaren was the answer to this problem?  Why was Steve McClaren the only man interviewed for the Newcastle United job made vacant from 30.12.14?  Why was he still given the job after being sacked by Derby County for taking them from the top of the Championship to outside of the play off places in just 3 months?  Why did the club risk relegation waiting specifically for Steve McClaren?  What was it that McClaren offered Newcastle United over all other managers out there looking for work? What was it the club saw in Steve McClaren that no other manager, in or out of employment at the time, could offer?  Finally, why is Steve McClaren still in a job after accruing 24 points from 27 games despite being backed financially in one season more than any other Newcastle United manager in history?

Part of the answer to that question is our home form.  Since defeat to Leicester in November we have lost one of seven TFBadgehome games, and that was to Everton in the 93rd minute.  The home performances have been largely good since the start of December.  We still don’t score enough, but we create chances.  NUFC at home are a different proposition to the embarrassment they serve up away from home.    More of the same needed.  I think even if we beat an inform Bournemouth on Saturday we’ll still be relegated.  I’m happy to be proved wrong.  Fail to win and lose on Saturday, then it’s finished.  If McLaren should lose this game then there is no possible way he will be able to continue in his role, despite everything written above.   A draw isn’t enough.  Sunderland head to a Southampton side who’ve lost twice in a week.  Norwich play Swansea.  I back Sunderland and Norwich to pick up at least a point this weekend, possibly more.

The game after Bournemouth is the derby.  That’s such a car crash waiting to happen I don’t want to think about it, for a number of reasons.  This game is simply a must win. It’s Bournemouth (capacity 11,500) at home.  I love Bournemouth this season. They’re everything we’re not.  They head into a game at St James’ Park, in front of 50,000 and an expensively assembled squad – as favourites.  That’s not right.

Bournemouth won their derby 2 0 this week.  They’ll be sky high. They play with confidence and like to attack.  Hopefully we’ll be able to exploit this.  This season they’ve won at West Ham, Chelsea, West Brom and Palace.  Not bad, but it is there home form that sees them sitting 8 points above us in the league.   United supposedly have Cisse, Colo & Townsend to come back into the team.  All need to start.  I’ve no idea what Tiote is. Again.  Perez and Aarons need to feature more.  The best thing I can say about the weekend is it’s a 3PM Kick off, on a Saturday at home.  I get the feeling there’ll be plenty more of those next season.


Shlevey and Colback to pick up bookings, earning them a two match ban which keep them out of the home derby.

2-1 United – as we just have to.

ALEX HURST – Follow Alex on @tfalex1892 


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15 Responses to MATCH PREVIEW: Newcastle United v AFC Bournemouth, St James’ Park, 5/Mar/16, KO: 3pm, Premier League.

  1. Rich says:

    As always a bang on assessment. The only disagreement i have is that i genuinely don’t care if we get beat Saturday. There i said it. Is the BPL all it is cracked up to be? Why do we support the club and what do we currently get out of it? I’m scratching my head at the moment because i get nothing. What’s the point? If we stay up do we look forward to yet another season like this and all the others before (with one season exception!)? Nah, we go down, maybe for an extended period, Ashley does one and we can reclaim our club, assuming no trillionaire is willing to buy us. Only then will we restore pride and learn what it is like to be a proper supporter again. On an even more depessing note we are 4th in the total number of days spent at the top of the EPL since its inception. Different times…..

  2. Laurent Robert says:

    I keep reading in this blog about McClaren having a bad away record, throughout his career, but its not clear to me where you are getting this from? I am mystified as to how you reached this conclusion? This notion doesn’t stand up to scrutiny at all.

    Middlesborough’s away record in his 5 years there were 10th, 16th, 11th, 7th and 11th best away record in the PL respectively. Aside from his second season, their away form was very good for a club like Boro in the top flight. It goes without saying his away form solid at Twente; solid enough for two top two finishes. At the time of his sacking at Wolfsburg they had the 13th best away record in the Bundesliga which is perhaps below par, but does it really suggest anything more than a difficult settling in period? In his two seasons at Derby they had the 3rd and 6th best away records, which is excellent for a mid-budget club.

    Our away problem predates McClaren. People like Charnley survive because people lump everything on head coaches, who have only a limited effect on a team’s fortunes.

    • Anton says:

      I don’t completely agree with True Faith on McLaren’s away record issues; however, it is fair to say that (with the exception of Twente) he has not really been pulling trees throughout his career.

      There is a bigger problem with our Schteve and his away form: evolution is merciless.
      The Premiership has changed a lot in the last 10-15 years: in them old days, a successful mid-table coach (McClaren was the poster boy for this) merely had to provide stability and a settled plan of action. Put 9 men behind the ball and kick it to the big man away from home; put 8 men behind the ball and kick it to the 2 big men at home. You never changed the plan and you avoided changing your first 11. Mid table glory ensued.

      Fast forward to 2016: Swansea play away vs Arsenal. They set up for a draw as a best case scenario; but they smell blood… so a formation change and a couple of substitutions later, they go home with 3 points. This was not a smash and grab; this is a coach reacting to a developing situation.
      Our Schteve does not do reacting. You know exactly what you’re going to get week in, week out . And up to now, we’ve been relatively lucky with a half-decent home form against like minded opposition (see Pulis). This can change very, very soon. Other managers know what we’re about and will react accordingly. Bournemouth this weekend is going to be a fascinating game for all sorts of reasons.

  3. mike says:

    no one has mentioned the players in all this mess. If they cared had pride and guts then they would put in a shift. I don’t see this at all its all hot air before games about supporters getting behind them etc…they don’t care.

  4. Pat Hughes says:

    The players have had a bit of stick from me over the years and you’re right about having no pride or guts. How many times have we seen them perform really well one match and then the same players wander around like clueless dopes the next. That has always baffled me – is it because they’re grumpy about something, bad man-management, disagree with training tactics etc. Who knows but it’s a huge lack of professionalism. They’re paid well and ‘office gossip’ etc shouldn’t have any bearing on how they play. As for SM his best days may have been in the past but he still seems to set-up and play in a past era. The game is different now in many ways, does he really take into account form of opposition, individual foibles of some refs and give the players some freedom to adopt a plan B? SM seems to put his blinkers on, stick to the same old style and let the opposition read us like a book.

  5. Peter Ward says:

    Until Ashley goes together with all his minions, Charnley, Carr, Montcur et al nothing will change. McLaren was the wrong choice, totally unconvincing and out of his depth. I hope we stay up but expected to lose at Stoke and will we win on Saturday against a team that is a minnow by comparison. No insult intended but really ! Can we ever get rid of Ashley, described (Sports Direct) as a ‘scar on British industry’ by the Institute of Directors of all people. Ashley could have been a legend on Tyneside but can you honestly say he’s done anything right since he bought the club? This the man who sacked Chris Hughton. Why? Was it because of his political views? Ashley is a curse on football as well as business. Looking at the ownership of Premier clubs however who can say a change would bring nirvana.?

  6. Peter Shearer says:

    I respect all those that still think team selection,tactics,the support given to the players actually matter. In my view, all of that is a complete irrelevance. Our club is rotten, through and through and will be until Ashley goes. The players are indeed partly at fault, but unlike us, they do not see NUFC as the “be all and end all”. The club is not set up to succeed, so they do only what they have to, to get a move to a “bigger” club. Despite his attempts to push the blame elsewhere, Ashley is single-handedly to blame for all of this. Others are just bit players in the wider scheme of things. Any new manager, that would agree to join us, would be no different.

    I accept that some people think relegation will be a disaster, but I still believe that however far we fall to get rid of Ashley, is a price worth paying. As others have argued, there is actually nothing about the current set-up that is worthy of support. Many are still trapped by their loyalty, but we need to see a bigger picture to re-claim our club. The only way to handle Ashley is to put your “support” on hold until he has finished his game, and then we re-build from there. I appreciate many still disagree-but I have to keep trying!

    • Ed Ward says:

      ‘It has been catastrophic for everybody. I’ve lost my money and I’ve made terrible decisions’
      M Ashley 2009

  7. Tomb says:

    I’m optimistic only in the sense that I think Sunderland and Norwich will get beat this weekend. Its not looking like we will need anywhere near the 40 points people are predicting, just as well really. I think you could toss a coin on the result for us on Saturday but a draw may well have us out of the bottom 3. I agree that we deserve to go down but will probably be saved by other sides.

  8. SteveP says:

    There’s just the small matter of Leicester away on Monday 14th between tomorrow’s game and the Derby

  9. David Finlinson says:

    I live and work in the UAE self imposed exile if you like and I have never missed a Toon game in all of my years here, but I was buggered if I was going to stop up until 2am, to watch the Stoke game, because I knew we were going to get beat?
    As a previous post mention the club is rotten from the top to the bottom and the danger of some saying relegation might be the answer to clean the club out?? Well maybe not because we could go into free fall (Leeds etc.) We had limited success with the last boycott, not enough stayed away? Empty stadium on match day and a complete blockage of barrack road??

  10. Allan says:

    The problem is Mc claren is still in the job because no MANAGER is his right mind would take on the job . Ashley and cronies = we buy and sell players you Mr ???????? have to work with them .