McClaren Determined To Correct One Of Pardew's Biggest Newcastle Mistakes

McClaren isn't thinking about appointing one captain - he wants 11.

Steve McClaren's appointment as Newcastle United boss in June was supposed to herald a complete break from the previous regime. No more Steve Stone. No more John Carver. And no more Alan Pardew. Things at St James' Park were to work differently and the club would be completely rebuilt from within. And McClaren has now revealed that it is arguably his predecessor's biggest mistake at St James' Park that he is determined to rectify as soon as possible: the lack of leadership at Newcastle.
Fabricio Coloccini's Toon future is unclear and there has been much debate about who exactly the Argentine would hand the NUFC captain's armband over to should he reunite with Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace. Jack Colback perhaps? The Geordie midfielder been entrusted with the responsibility of skippering the side on three occasions during the pre-season campaign and is popular on the terraces. What about Daryl Janmaat, who was captain against Sheffield United? Interestingly, in a poll last week, Newcastle supporters voted for Janmaat (36%) over Colback (28%) as their choice to be the club's next skipper. Other candidates include former Eredivisie-winning captains Siem de Jong and Georginio Wijnaldum, goalkeeper Tim Krul, Geordie defender Steven Taylor, or even the likes of Cheick Tiote and Moussa Sissoko. Yet it is not one man who McClaren is looking for - in fact, the Magpies head coach insists he is targeting sending "11 captains" out on to the field in every game Newcastle United play.
Speaking to The Chronicle after Newcastle' 2-2 draw against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Sunday, McClaren explained:
"I am just throwing that (the armband) around at the moment. "I can understand captains in cricket and in rugby but I want 11 captains out there - I want them all wearing an armband and being leaders. "We have developed a (senior) leadership group since I've been here and the ones that are taking the armband are part of that group. "I just want them to show their seniority on the field. I want 11 (captains) out there - not one."
Although not entirely Pardew's fault, the leadership team built up under Chris Hughton's time in charge was unceremoniously dismantled during the now Palace boss' tenure on Tyneside.
The likes of Kevin Nolan, Steve Harper, Joey Barton and Alan Smith were Hughton's leaders in the dressing room - and they helped develop a team atmosphere that inspired the Magpies to promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking in 2009-10. Yet during the Pardew era, gradually one by one these players were sold and responsibility was handed over to Coloccini. In all honesty, the burden has weighed too heavy on the Argentine defender's shoulders in recent seasons and McClaren surely realises that. Instead, should Coloccini depart - or even if he remains on Tyneside - every single name mentioned as a potential future captain would seemingly form part of McClaren's leadership team. There would be one skipper who would physically wear the captain's armband and would be the overarching general if you like - but the responsibility would lie with each and every individual player. Rather than autocracy, this would be a case of collective responsibility. A core leadership team ensuring the ludicrous number of suspensions totted up by the Magpies in 2014-15 would not be repeated again this season. To put it bluntly: Leadership, responsibility and accountability were three traits which Alan Pardew's Newcastle United sorely lacked at times. Steve McClaren is determined to ensure that his Newcastle United side are not guilty of the same character flaws going forward. For all the latest NUFC News, Views and Transfers make sure to follow on Twitter and Facebook.
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NUFC editor for History graduate (University of Edinburgh) and NCTJ-trained journalist. I love sports, hopelessly following Newcastle United and Newcastle Falcons. My pastimes include watching and attending sports matches religiously, reading spy books and sampling ales.