In one respect, there’s no reason to panic at Newcastle United. The club was not expected to compete for a Top Six place this season and had a very difficult run of fixtures to start the season.
The Magpies also have a new manager in Steve McClaren and a bevy of new faces from the summer transfer window. Aleksandar Mitrovic, Florian Thauvin, Chancel Mbemba and Giorginio Wijnaldum are among the new buys who’ve played through the Magpies’ last-place start to the season.
And there could be more new faces come January, especially given the loss of No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Krul, who McClaren said is good for “18-20 points a year”. That’s a lot of points for a keeper. A-lot-a-lot.
It certainly means something for McClaren to mention January after plenty of spending this summer. Not much “we’ll come together” or “there’s lot of quality here”, something we heard in August.
From the BBC:
“January has become a very important window for us,” said manager Steve McClaren. “There’s a lot of work in background and in one respect we are working towards that.”
The Magpies have drawn Southampton, Manchester United and Chelsea, results that would’ve been gleefully accepted at the start of the season.
They’ve also lost to Manchester City and Arsenal, which would’ve been understood (City score line not withstanding), and are beginning a run of matches that includes Norwich City, Stoke City and Bournemouth.
This is not to mention a massive derby with fellow miserable side Sunderland, one that could make or break McClaren’s early rep on Tyneside.
Changes should be coming in January, yes, but they’ll need to start now.