Former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer has warned that a change of attitude and leadership is needed in order for the club to get out of its current slump.
The Geordies have had a dreadful 2015/16 Premier League campaign so far, finding themselves in the relegation zone with just 24 points from 28 games.
Following Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Bournemouth , which was their third in a row, Shearer claims changes are need throughout the club, from the manager Steve MacClaren down to the players on the pitch.
“McClaren is in massive trouble. He has to take his fair share of the blame, but the whole club is a mess from top to bottom,” Shearer told the BBC’s Match of the Day.
“We’ve seen statements from the chief executive to the fitness coach saying how fit all the players are, we’ve seen statements from the manager, the captain and the players saying they’re backing the manager.
“The team lacks character and leaders, and when you’ve got a £15million striker on the bench that can’t score goals and is sat on the bench that tells you where the problems lie, everywhere.
“There is no statement of intent on the pitch where it really matters.”
Fellow pundit Martin Keown packed no punches in his assessment of McLaren’s abilities.
“I think McClaren is an excellent coach but not a manager,” said the former Arsenal defender.
“He looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights.
“With managers like David Moyes, Brendan Rodgers and Rafael Benitez around, he’s in trouble.”