Notoriously never-say-sack (unless the outgoing manager can be paid off cheaply) Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is reportedly that fed up with Steve McClaren, he will give the balding boss the boot and a goodbye pay check if the Toon lose to Bournemouth this weekend.
Having inked a three-year deal in the summer and, inexplicably been appointed a Magpies board member, the former England coach will doubtless be due a hefty compensation package were the club to fire him this weekend, but this isn’t the only reason why they’d be mad to do it now.
Newcastle are evens to be relegated this season, but binning McClaren at this stage in no way enhances their survival prospects.
They host the Cherries, who they’ve already beaten once this season, having won their previous pair of matches at St James’ Park, but even if they do lose, a change in the dugout isn’t required.
At present, they share a points tally with Norwich City and north east nemeses Sunderland, but with a game-in-hand on their rivals, all isn’t lost if they’re beaten by Bournemouth.
In addition to their far-from-hopeless league standing, the fates of rivals to make managerial changes post-March 1st in previous seasons should be enough to stay the executioner’s axe.
Those stationed in the relegation zone who swapped bosses after the first day of the third month were relegated.
Both Reading and Hull attempted to freshen up their respective backroom teams in March of 2013/14 and 2009/10 respectively, but ultimately finished the campaign in the same position – 19th – as they were when the P45s were handed out.
Those who swapped manager in March or later and survived did so from a position above the relegation zone.
Seasoned escape artists Sunderland achieved it twice, first in 2012/13 and then again in 2014/15, following a precedent set by Fulham in 2006/07, who got rid of Chris Coleman in April in favour of Lawrie Sanchez.
Based on these results, if Newcastle are intent on sacking McClaren, they’d be better off doing so if the Magpies beat Bournemouth.