Newcastle appear just as oblivious to the danger of relegation as 2015… the club reeks of having not learnt any lessons from their previous failures
- Sportsmail wrote that Newcastle were sleepwalking towards relegation in 2015
- No-one inside the club was awake to the threat, including boss Steve McClaren
- Four years have passed but Newcastle appear just as oblivious to demotion
- The club are in real trouble because teams who don’t score will not win games
In December of 2015, Sportsmail wrote that Newcastle United were sleepwalking towards the Championship. Come May, they were relegated.
The point then was that no-one inside the club was awake to the threat of going down – be that the deluded manager Steve McClaren, the players or the board.
Four years on and you suspect they are just as oblivious to the danger of demotion. They shouldn’t be.
Newcastle currently appear just as oblivious to the danger of relegation as their 2015 failure
Why? Teams who don’t score goals don’t win games. Teams who don’t win games are in trouble. Newcastle are in trouble.
This reality has been coming since the first weekend of the season, only to be delayed by a series of head-scratching victories that arrived more by luck than design.
While those beyond Tyneside were hoodwinked by results, supporters and seasoned observers knew that it would not last.
Amid a subsequent run of one win in 10, Saturday’s stalemate was a fourth straight match without a goal, equalling an unwanted Premier League record set by McClaren’s ill-fated vintage.
Some on Tyneside were hoodwinked by results but seasoned supporters knew it would not last
And here is the concern – this was the best they have played since before Christmas. That, though, was still not enough for those who booed on full-time.
Later, as they watched Watford beat Liverpool in the pubs around St James’ Park and the gap to safety shrink to five points, talk turned to relegation. They know what is smells like, and this is beginning to reek of a club who have not learnt any lessons from previous failures.
How, between head coach Steve Bruce, chief scout Steve Nickson, managing director Lee Charnley and owner Mike Ashley they deemed that signing a striker in January was unnecessary, stinks of negligence or incompetence, or perhaps both.
Bruce declared there was no point in bringing in a forward no better than what he had. He was repeatedly reminded that he had nothing to start with, given that his only fit option was £40million flop Joelinton, now six months without a league goal.
Bruce declared there was no point in bringing in another forward despite Joelinton’s struggles
Since January, it should be noted, they have not scored. Joelinton, meanwhile, has now been shifted to what would appear permanent residence on the left wing.
If Bruce believed that was his best position all along, to not then bring in a replacement striker is a shocking misjudgement.
But Newcastle thought they were okay, happily drifting towards presumed safety on the back of what they failed to recognise as unsustainable form.
Sleepwalking, you might call it.
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