This post was originally a comment here. Reader Stewmanji has given me permission to move it over as a stand alone piece.
The whole system is broken.
1) The players have no reason to fear playing poorly. With such a threadbare roster, few have any legitimate fear of getting benched. Even if they do, they’re still collecting a pay check each week. And if we get relegated, so what? Most of the major players will be sold off by the club to offload salaries or picked up by other clubs who feel they deserve to stay at the highest level.
2) The players have no reason to play better. The club’s policy of investing just enough to maintain 1st flight status is finally coming home to roost. How are players supposed to consistently perform at a high level when the openly-stated attitude is one of mediocrity. We don’t want to win any cups, we admit that we only want to finish in the top half.
When that is your stated vision as a club, you invite an attitude of apathy. Just enough is good enough and in a league where failure is severely punished, this is what you get.
3) The writing was on the wall for this season when McClaren was hired. You have a coach who didn’t want to come in when offered the job with a few games to go last year when our situation was dire. He wanted to wait and see how things could play out rather than risk joining a sinking ship. While I can’t blame him on some levels, does that really strike you as a man confident in his abilities to resurrect this mess of a team?
In his last 34 games across both Derby and Newcastle his record is:
7 wins (21%)
12 draws (35%)
14 losses (44%)
That’s 33 points from a possible 102.
With all that said, I’m not excusing anyone. Everyone in the organization from the top on down is to blame for this mess. The problem is that this isn’t a real sports team.
It’s a financial organization that just happens to participate in the business venture known as soccer. Until the focus shifts from the bottom line to the results on the field, nothing is going to change.
I for one welcome relegation. As painful as it will be, it’s the only hope we have to see any changes of substance within the organization, and sadly, that won’t happen until Mike Ashley is gone. The continual failure to appoint a manager of real substance/change won’t come under this man. Who would want to work under their restrictions and narrow minded view of how a proper sports team should be run.
Call me a bad fan all you want, but until major changes are made I’m done investing my emotions in this club. The writing is on the wall. Sure, we may make a great escape this year, but so what? So we can do it all again next year? No thanks.
I apologize for the rant…this club could be so much more and it’s incredibly frustrating to watch them bathe in mediocrity while expecting fans to just take it week after week.