Pundit Paul Merson has told Sky Sports that he thinks Newcastle should have sacked manager Steve McClaren straight after the 3-1 defeat to Bournemouth over a week ago.
The Magpies chose to sack McClaren on Friday morning, and just hours later, Rafael Benitez was appointed as his replacement ahead of tonight's trip to face Leicester City.
Newcastle's managerial situation was in a state of flux throughout last week, as many expected McClaren to be gone straight after the 3-1 home defeat to Bournemouth on the 5th of March.
However, the days ticked on with speculation surrounding McClaren's future but with no clear decision being made, as the former England boss was forced to play a waiting game whilst Newcastle pursued a deal for ex-Liverpool boss Benitez.
McClaren was put out of his misery on Friday, leaving St. James' Park after less than a year in charge and only seven wins in 31 games, having arrived at the club last summer following his departure from Championship side Derby County.
Now, pundit Paul Merson has told Sky Sports that he thought the Bournemouth performance was a 'shambles', and Newcastle should have sacked McClaren at 6pm on the 5th of March, directly after the defeat to Bournemouth.
Merson added that he felt Newcastle were 'disrespectful' towards McClaren in making him wait throughout last week for a decision, citing that McClaren would still be manager now if Benitez had turned down the job.
"It's so disrespectful," said Merson. "If he was going to go, he should have gone at 6pm last Saturday after the Bournemouth game, which was a shambles - they got absolutely ripped apart. The man's been England manager, he's a respected coach, he's a good coach, he's a good man. You don't treat people like that."
"They just kept him hanging and hanging. If Benitez didn't come, he'd still be manager now, so they were just waiting and waiting and waiting. For a club like that, it's poor. It's really really poor and disrespectful to Steve McClaren," he added.
Do you think Newcastle were disrespectful to McClaren?