Coaching Staff Taking Shape – Includes Top Fitness Guru

There’s a report in the Shields Gazette today that Steve McClaren wants to bring his former Derby County assistant manager, 48 year-old Paul Simpson, to his coaching staff at Newcastle, to be his assistant manager.

And the report suggests that means that old boy Lee Clark will not be joining the coaching staff at Newcastle.

paul simpson and steve mccalren derby

Paul Simpson with McClaren at Derby

Steve Round was also in the running to be the assistant manager, and he’s been a part-time coach at Derby since January, and Round was Steve’s assistant manager at Middlesbrough for six years – so it looks like he may miss out too.

Paul Simpson is under contract at Derby County, but not surprisingly he is said to be very keen to join Steve on Tyneside.

Simpson has some management experience having managed at Rochdale, Carlisle United, Preston North End, Shrewsbury Town, Stockport County and Northwich Victoria, before joining Derby with McClaren two years ago as the assistant manager.

And the other (very) good news is being reported in the Mirror, that fitness and conditioning guru and motivational speaker Steve Black is also ready to join Steve McClaren at Newcastle.

Hopefully Black can help prevent all the injuries we keep getting, and our players also need some inspiration after going through the second half of the season when a lot of them didn’t seem to want to play – so bad were their performances.

Steve was born in Newcastle and attended St.Cuthberts Grammar School.

And more good news is that Black has a very good relationship with Charlie Austin having worked with Harry Redknapp at QPR.

Newcastle are after Charlie as our number one target right now, and it’s understood if Black joins Newcastle that would be a huge draw for Austin, and it’s said to be one of the reasons he’s willing to sign for Newcastle, according to today’s Chronicle.

steve black 1

Steve Black – conditioning guru – motivational speaker – Geordie

Harry Redknapp said that Steve Black had a huge impact at QPR in many ways, and it would be a bit of a coup for McClaren and for Newcastle if we can get him to Newcastle – his home town club.

Steve Black coached England Rugby player Jonny Wilkinson, who has said this about the Geordie guru:

“It is difficult to narrow down what Blackie’s strengths are because there are no weaknesses.”

“His class is his ridiculous knowledge, his thirst for gaining more and his ability to apply it all to an athlete.”

“Blackie treats everybody as an individual and has always found the best way to help me to get better,  just by being myself.”

It seems Steve McClaren is going to have a very good back-room staff at Newcastle.

Sounds (very) good to us.

Comments welcome.

157 comments so far

  • Lee Dodd

    Jun 11, 2015 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #1

    All Looking good so farr !!! Great Season Ahead I hope !!!

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Jun 11, 2015 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #2

    If your a fitness coach looking for a top job would you welcome a reference from Johnny Wilkinson?

  • Slank

    Jun 11, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #3



    How do you know he isn’t progressive and forward thinking ?

    You are right he isn’t young at 54 but is age that important ? .

    The ages for managers in the top ten Premiership positions show a wide age range:
    Mourino is 52
    Pellegrini is 61
    Wenger is 65
    LVG is 63
    Rodgers is 42
    Koeman is 52
    Monk is 36
    Hughes is 51
    Pardew is 53.

  • Canny in Canberra

    Jun 11, 2015 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #4

    Can’t be bad. We all saw first hand how bad the play is when the head space ain’t right.. Wow go us!! I’m loving this like!

  • Slank

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #5


    ‘Steve was born in Newcastle and attended St.Cuthberts Grammar School… ‘

    Given that Carver and Stone were local lads it surely isn’t such a good thing anymore to advertise the fact that he was born in Newcastle. In fact some may say this is a hindrance. This is like the stories about Lee Clark.

    People should be appointed on merit and not on association with the North East.

  • Geremi's Prosthetic Leg Fund

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #6

    Need to do better than Paul Simpson. His CV is less inspiring than Carvers and has no top flight experience. I’d like to see Muelensteen or Round over him.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #7

    From last

    Still think there were better out there, but i don’t think he is the dinosaur some seem to think he is. I think he IS forward thinking, maybe has a touch of the ‘progressive’ in him. Not over awed, but not devistated either.

  • Slank

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #8

    YouCouldn’tMakeItUp @ 7

    I agree.

    Some have said that Vieira is progressive, forward thinking and young but given that he has never been a head coach / manager and therefore never tested only his age is the accurate part of the statement.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #9

    Blacky was at the falcons for a while, and they were a very strongly motivated side at the time. Sir Jonny of Wilkinsonshire owes him a lot (as he says). If rocks up at NUFC then it can only be good.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #10

    If HE rocks up….*

  • Canny in Canberra

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #11

    There’s no guarantee with anyone that might have come on board. Remember what gull it did for Chelsea and then came to us and flopped. Every club is different. And different each year depending on the current squad. Given the turmoil we’ve been in of late I’m glad we’ve moved up a level from JC. How many remains to be seen. I just can’t wait for the season to start now so we can see if this is gonna be the resurrection we all hoping for.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #12


    I was one of those who gave Pardew time, so, goven that SM is clearly a better option than him, i have to give him his chance too.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #13


  • BoyDoneGood

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #14

    [Reposted from last thread – one of Ed’s quickies]

    Not many posted yet – the Bull with the Bowler Hat and Stan Anderson – reminds me of Gomez and Fester. No sign of Morticia?

    However, there are lots of accolades for McClaren, but we know his career hasn’t been uniform success. I mentioned Moyse and Rogers as comparisons – both excellent managers, but Moyse bombed at Man U and Rogers isn’t living up to expectations at Liverpool. Moyse + Man U was like Gullit + Shearer half a dozen times over. An established squad is a minefield of egos, and a new coach has a problem – even a Moyse or a van Gaal. Rogers inherited Suarez, an individual genius who doesn’t play Rogers’ natural game, Gerrard (a master or the long pass over the top – not a Rogers tactic), the developing ego of Sterling, and so on – not as big a problem as Man U, but still difficult for a coach to mould to his own style.

    So, in my view, McClaren has the best possible start: a squad in transition; 15th place – plenty of room at the top; not a single player with the justification or the credibility to play the prima donna. This should become a McClaren team within months, and personally I think top 8 in the new season is clearly on (assuming the kind of buying we expect – actually Mr Claremont’s well-reasoned £35M or so a few threads back was a good illustration of the art of the possible; but let’s add in Charlie Austin and make it 50 or so). And, at last, a good cup run, please!

  • ToonFromLeeds

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #15

    Will Steve Black sort our problems tho?


    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #17

    Perez for 15 mill? Id probably take that

  • Canny in Canberra

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #18

    Here’s the first test then. If they sell Perez we’ll know newts changed because we don’t need the money. Just be MA chasing the money again

  • Chris

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #19

    “Will Steve Black sort our problems tho?”

    Sounds like he could:

    “The glue that held the Lions together”

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #20

    No point selling Perez for that give him a year or 2 under Steve Macs guidance and he will be a 30 or a 40 million pound player !!!

  • hibbit

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #21

    Mc is very well thought of as a coach a lot saying the best they have worked with as a manager the jury is still out just let him do what he does best get a top DoF the staff he needs and lets give him a chance just pray he hits the floor running or the honeymoon will soon be over

  • Big Archie

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #22

    Have we seen this before somewhere?

    July 2013 – Faye Downey hired as fitness coach – helped the England rugby team prepare for the last two World Cups, worked with Leicester Tigers and London Irish, and trained British athletes before the Athens Olympics in 2004. She also coaches teenage British tennis player Oliver Golding.

    July 2014 – Dave Billows – Newcastle’s new fitness coach is the best in the business and will turn Newcastle United’s fitness fortunes around, says champion boxer Tony Bellew.

    June 2015 – And the other (very) good news is being reported in the Mirror, that fitness and conditioning guru and motivational speaker Steve Black is also ready to join Steve McClaren at Newcastle.

    Our last 2 “specialists” have overseen the worst starts to a season injury wise that I can remember.
    Lets see what Steve Black can do

  • Slank

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #23

    If it is Steve Black lets hope he isn’t given responsibility for spot kicks as he need three points and not a conversion.

  • Magpie Season

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #25

    Football is the only sport I follow. Maybe my knowledge on football has dwindled by limiting my focus only on my Newcastle United & the Premier League, but I have never heard the term ‘conditioning guru’ in football.

    Nevertheless, if that means rid of our current physio Derek Wright, I am glad upon hearing this news. Hopefully, the innumerable injuries players have suffered in training, without playing a match through suspension or returning to fitness, will abate significantly.

  • Magpie Season

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #26


    Ferguson & Luis Aragones (won Euro 2008 with Spain) were well into their 70s.

  • Magpie Season

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #27


    Include a sell-on clause, & I wouldn’t mind that either.

  • Slank

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #28

    Big Archie @ 22

    In general the best way to reduce the time a player need to recuperate and get back to playing is if the team are playing well and winning.

    A fitness coach can’t really prevent injuries during the course of a game.

    Statistics have shown that players recuperate quicker in teams that are playing well and more importantly winning their matches. This is possibly something to do with a placebo effect not wanting to be out of the limelight, receiving accolades and plaudits from fans, team mates and the media.

  • stuart no9

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #29

    people seem pretty quick too accept £15m for perez ( if is true) rather than lookm at the bigger picture .
    It seems people are getting into the ashley idea of making a quick profit rather than keep him and try and build a team up rather than selling our best players .
    People need to realise you cant have success chopping and changing players coz they might get a few bob for them . If SM is asgood as everyone thinks he is , keep him and lets get a team together.

  • ToonFromLeeds

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #30

    IMO it would be pointless to sell Ayoze

  • DicBDownUnder

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #31

    If Austin is signed by next week, and we start shifting the stragglers out, Colo, Willo, Obertan, Marvs etc. Then I will have a glimmer of optimism for next season. All good and well we have finally got the sacked manager of a lower league team to join us, but I still don’t see any signings that will make a difference ON THE PITCH. And if come the end of the transfer window, I hear ”the line” mentioned, I will personally shaft SM with my fist and ”work his mouth like a puppet”

  • Slank

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #32

    Magpie Season @ 26

    I believe Sir Bobby came to us when he was 66.

    How many grumbled that he was too old, not many if any I would guess.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #33

    15m for ayoze. I’d taxi him to Manchester or arsenal for that amount.

    But only problem with that in Newcastle is…

    We don’t invest back. It probably goes back into Ashley pocket.

  • Slank

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #34

    Perez, based on his performances and his attitude, is a gem.

    Players like him don’t come along very often, certainly not for the price we paid.

    It would be madness to sell him.

  • beermonkey

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #35


    look here and see who back has worked with

  • DicBDownUnder

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #36

    Stuart No9 totally agree. His first season and he improved so much. Imagine what he will be like with decent coaching and playing in a team with proper service to the front men. Why sell now just for a few million. He’s a match winner and a game changer.

  • JP...from The Rock

    Jun 11, 2015 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #37

    Derek Wright – We need to get rid of this physio once and for all! We have been suffering the most injuries than any other team for years, I bet it coincides with the amount of years Wright has been with us!

  • roblee7

    Jun 11, 2015 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #38

    Anyone else hoping McLaren can tempt Will Hughes from Derby?

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 11, 2015 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #39

    Wright has been with the club for around 30 years now. He was the main physio under Keegan when we had very few injuries.

  • roblee7

    Jun 11, 2015 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #40

    Thing with Perez if he doesn’t have a good season next season, his value will fall drastically. Same with Harry Kane, I think anyone would be mad to pay 30-40mil plus for a guy who’s had one good season. I may be wrong, and he has been immense, but I think next season he will struggle. I hope not as he has the potential to be England’s main man (Shearer-esque)


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