This summer was supposed to be one of change for Newcastle United and their fans. Former-England boss Steve McClaren arrived as boss and so did new players.
Much-maligned owner Mike Ashley promised to make transfer funds available this summer and to be fair he did.
However, last night’s 2-0 defeat at West Ham means the Magpies have yet to pick-up a win in the Premier League this season in their first five games.
For the Toon Army it is seems a now familiar story of their team producing poor performances, especially away from home where they have now failed to score in seven out of their last eight league games.
It now seems a case of different boss, same results for the Magpies this season. The side from the north east have once again struggled for results under their new boss. In fact they have scored the least goals of any team in the top-flight this season, finding the net just twice.
Newcastle fans have been calling for Mike Ashley to invest in players and the Magpies spent £46.2million on players this summer, which was the second highest net spend in the top-flight this summer.
Newcastle brought in Georginio Wijnaldum, Chancel Mbemba, Florin Thauvin and Aleksandar Mitrovic. All four of the players had blossoming reputations in their former leagues, but none can claim they have been a major success in their early Magpies career.
Mitrovic arrived as a player with a big reputation and he had reportedly been tracked by some of Europe’s biggest clubs. It was regarded as something as a coup for Newcastle to have signed him.
However, Mitrovic only turns 21 tomorrow, so he is very young and raw. He has undisputed promise, but he also has a very combustible temperament. The biggest impressive he has made so far this season was on Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin, which earned him a red card and a three-match ban.
The youngster has the potential to be a very good player and if he manages to be disciplined then he could be a fantastic asset to Newcastle. It may be some time till we see the best of Aleksandar Mitrovic though.
Wijnaldum made a bright start on his debut for the Magpies, but has not continued in a similar vein in recent weeks. The Dutch international was another player supposedly tracked by top European clubs.
Mbemba is another player who seems to have potential, but the jury is still out on the 21-year-old. The Congo international’s career on Tyneside started with bizarre claims that he had three different birthdates. It seems that bone tests confirmed that he is in fact 21 years-old.
Florin Thauvin arrived in the north east as yet another player with immense potential. At 22-years-old he has been compared to French international star Franck Ribery by some, with pace and close control his main attributes.
Newcastle has looked poor in attack, so the youngster will need to start showing his supposed ability in the near future.
To be fair when Steve McClaren arrived at Newcastle he inherited a team that was devoid of quality, creativity and confidence. Any manager would have found it hard to turn the team’s performances around in the first five games of the Premier League season.
McClaren now has a job on his hands raising the team and fans morale off the floor, after another poor night at the office for the boys in black and white.
There are few calling for McClaren’s head and after John Carver’s completely inept impression of a head coach, I am sure the Toon Army will give the former-Middlesbrough boss some time at least to turn around the team’s fortunes.
McClaren has a mixed managerial record and he definitely was not a universal choice for Newcastle fans, so he needs to start proving to the clubs fans that he can turn things around on Tyneside.
The second half of last season for Newcastle was absolutely turgid. This season has not started in a much better manner for the Magpies. The clubs fans will have been hoping to avoid a relegation battle after last season’s disappointment.
The Magpies are currently odds of 9/4 to be relegated from the Premier League this season. They must improve in the near future if they are to avoid another close shave with the Championship.
It is early days in the Premier League season, but the early signs do not suggest that Newcastle are in for anything but another season struggling against the drop to the Championship.
Can Steve McClaren turn things around at Newcastle?