A regional Sunday newspaper has called for a football manager’s sacking after an “abject” defeat left his club facing the prospect of relegation from England’s top division.
The Newcastle-based Sunday sun ran a back page editorial yesterday urging Newcastle United to “act now” on Steve McClaren’s future, following his side’s 3-1 defeat against Bournemouth on Saturday.
The result means United lie 19th out of 20 in the Premier League table, with just 10 games left to save themselves from relegation.
The editorial, pictured below, ran under the headline ‘You’re taking us down’, and described McClaren as “a decent man in the wrong job at the wrong time.”
It reads: “After a surrender every bit as abject as the scoreline suggests, desperate Newcastle United are on the brink of missing out on the most lucrative season in the history of the Premier League. Next year, finishing bottom might be worth £100m.
“It is not the time to go down – and the impact could be felt at (the club’s stadium) St James’ Park for years to come. That should focus minds as the powers-that-be ponder leaving Steve McClaren in charge.
“The manner of defeat against Bournemouth was the sort of result that demands action. Tactics, system and personnel were not good enough – and McClaren has to carry the can for that.”
Both McClaren and United have had an uneasy relationship with the Sun and its Trinity Mirror sister titles, The Chronicle and The Journal, in recent years – with the newspapers having been banned by the club for nearly 14 months from October 2013.
The ban was lifted in December 2014, but regional press journalists were among those barred from a press conference in June last year announcing McClaren’s appointment as manager.
Yesterday’s editorial concludes: “The McClaren experiment has seen the players change, signings come in and countless formations and systems tried. Nothing has worked: they still remain 19th and St James’ Park turned yesterday.
“United’s predicament might seem lost but it is not: a late leveller at Southampton means there is still barely a cigarette paper between them and the other teams at the bottom. More than that, they have four of their rivals still to play.
“But McClaren does not look like the man to get them out of the mess they’re in. A good man who has tried his best, the huge job of turning around a failing club has proved beyond him. Newcastle have no other choice but to act now.”