The Newcastle United Blog

News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Howay The Lads!!

McClaren – This Is Top Of Our Recruitment Drive This Summer

10:25 pm, Monday, June 15th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 45 Comments

Newcastle still have to bring in our first signing of the summer, but Steve McClaren is doing a good job of communicating what he wants to do at Newcastle to the fans.

Steve has talked today in the Mirror and he says he’s had a long talk with Chief Scout Graham Carr,  and Steve wants players with character, which is an important element of Newcastle’s recruitment drive this summer.

steve mcClaren NUFC

Steve McClaren – wants players with character

It seems that Steve is talking directly to the fans as he tries to tell them what he’s trying to do, and while Newcastle were always supposed to concentrate and do background checks on character that didn’t always work out for players we have brought into the club.

This is what McClaren has said:

“There is expectation here and 52,000 fans demand a performance, to do that we need characters and I have had a long chat with Graham Carr – top of the formula in terms of recruitment is character, everything starts with that.”

“I have worked abroad and with foreign players, I had foreigners at Middlesbrough. It doesn’t matter where they are from if they have character – that’s what we have to recruit.“  “We can’t stand still in football, we can’t just say we will make these players better.”

“If you stand still you go backwards.”  “It is a unique club and sometimes good players go to a big club and the shirt is too big for them, they can’t deliver.”

That last line is a well known statement in the business world – if you are not moving forward then you are going backwards – and that’s so you never rest on your laurels, because if you do you go downhill and rather quickly too.

We saw an example of that at Newcastle in the summer of 2012, when we had just finished in 5th place and Mike Ashley decided not to strengthen the side in terms of either number or skills, and we brought in just one senior player – Vurnon Anita.

Newcastle struggled against relegation when we were also in the Europa League that season, and we just didn’t have a big enough or a good enough squad.

In the following January transfer window we brought in five Frenchmen – four of them in the week following our 2-1 defeat at home to Reading, but we should have brought those players in during the previous summer.

Newcastle only just avoided relegation in May of 2013, so that’s what Steve’s talking about,  and of course he’s absolutely right.

Come to think of it maybe that’s a message for his boss Mike Ashley?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Recruitment · Scouting Network · Transfer News and Rumours · Transfer Target

45 responses so far ↓

  • 1 toonheroes // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:30 PM

    WoW I timed that well.

  • 2 firebug666 // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:31 PM

    “If you stand still you go backwards.”


  • 3 firebug666 // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:32 PM

    I’m off to my cot soon too, have to be up at 6am.

  • 4 BigB75 // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:34 PM

    At least we are getting something off the club as far communications goes!. even if it is all BS!! Steve is doing a lot of talking, hope he gets the support to back it up!

  • 5 toonheroes // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:34 PM

    Sweet dreams

  • 6 BigB75 // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:35 PM

    GD nite TH.

  • 7 toonicle // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:36 PM

    Lots of talk from Steve, but would like to see something real in terms of this building they keep mentioning. Lots of other Prem teams have signed or are signing our supposed targets…

  • 8 GeordieTwo // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:38 PM

    Highway to Hell
    We’re on the Highway to Hell!
    I can’t get that song out of my mind for some reason.

  • 9 GeordieTwo // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:38 PM

    Stay wild and wooly firebug.

  • 10 BigB75 // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:41 PM

    “living easy, living Free”!!!

    great tune G2

  • 11 GeordieTwo // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:41 PM

    Oh we’re going to back up alright BigB mate. We’re gonna back right on up outta there! We lowball, we back up. We sneak another one in under the door and then we hide down the street. That’s how we do business. It’s right out of The Book.

  • 12 ToonFromLeeds // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:42 PM

    G2 is the highway to hell the A19?

  • 13 Krul To Be Kind // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:44 PM

    Gotta say guys I’m a long time reader of the blog but haven’t posted for a while really, there used to be some great debates and then it went even toxic in here! I am an avid fan and I enjoy a good debate and it looks like it’s coming back! I’m still on a buzz because of the first time in years we look like we might actually be going in the right direction with the sacking of carver and stone (bless them????) we might actually get entertained without their archaic attitudes?

  • 14 BigB75 // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:45 PM

    i ‘don’t know if you all have LAYWAY in GB, but here; stateside when you can not afford to buy a item you can put it on LAYWAY program. You pay on it every week until you paid it off. That is the way Fat MIke wants to buy players.. it seems it sometimes!

  • 15 GeordieTwo // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:46 PM

    You’ve missed a lot BigB. You missed squishy shoes. You missed The Theory of Low Bids. You missed ranting. You missed raving. You missed Ashley exposing himself on live network television. Where have you been?

  • 16 BigB75 // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:47 PM

    Hope Steve is not digging himself a hole. With all this Communication…….maybe to China!!!

  • 17 GeordieTwo // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:47 PM

    It might be TFL mate. That’s in the book as well.

  • 18 JamesToon // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:48 PM

    Deulofeu going for less than £5m to Everton jeez….

  • 19 BigB75 // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:48 PM

    Man lot’s going on…sorry G2 crazy at work today… I’ve been trying to catch up… love the shoes!

  • 20 GeordieTwo // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:49 PM

    They have Hire Purchase in Britain BigB mate. Or at least they used to long ago. Now we just have the Theory of Low Bids. So much simpler. You never end up paying for anything. It’s magical.

  • 21 ToonFromLeeds // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:50 PM

    Heres hoping

  • 22 ToonFromLeeds // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:51 PM

    The magical mystery world of Newcastle United

  • 23 BigB75 // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:51 PM

    SO, that’s been the secret to the hole operation.


    sounds like a great movie script. Maybe part 2 to the Wolf of wall street. Starting Fat mike and his MINI “lee” ME.

  • 24 Tsunki // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:52 PM

    I think we should have less of Steve telling us good words about the nothing happening show, and some more true exclusives about our new found ambitions from our preferred media partners. Daily ” it’s got to be true we paid a fortune for it” Mirror and of course Sky, “Believe in Ashley”.

  • 25 Average_Contents // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:53 PM

    Don’t fall for it lads.

    What he meant to say was -top of the formula is cheapness, anything after that is a brucey bonus.

  • 26 BigB75 // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:53 PM

    G2 @ 20.. you are a funny guy!… man i guess with all the BS that they feed us we need a good sense of humor!

  • 27 BigB75 // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:56 PM

    AC it’s getting almost to point where you can predict what will happen before they even state anything!

    Hold on, i thing we are at the point!… it’s actually really sad when you thing of what it could be.

  • 28 BigB75 // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:57 PM


  • 29 BeeGuy // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:58 PM

    Character you want? Bring back Barton & Ranger!

  • 30 ToonFromLeeds // Jun 15, 2015 at 10:59 PM

    Jesse Lingard?

  • 31 Tsunki // Jun 15, 2015 at 11:00 PM

    Think about it, why don’t governments have “preferred media partners?” nobody’s thought of that have they? Oh they have? Oh.

  • 32 BigB75 // Jun 15, 2015 at 11:01 PM

    I think with the proper board NUFC could be a top 6 club, and with a little luck once in awhile we could be in the TOP 4. Just wish that the Lord of the jungle could understand that!

  • 33 Mr Magpie // Jun 15, 2015 at 11:07 PM

    Mcclaren keeps on talking about character in players that i am wondering if he has shot down a lot of the previous transfer targets & they are now being reevaluated so that the characters suit what Mcclaren wants.

    On the Bas Dost debate, having watched a bit of German football last season via tv he is a player that needs service but his movement, anticipation, timing & finishing are excellent. If the system is utilised to make the most of his strengths he could get you 20+ goals in a season & maybe even some from set pieces!

    If Mcclaren plays a similar formation, style & system to what he did at Derby playing to Dosts Strenghts then Dost would be playing the role that Martin played at Derby.

    Derby played some excellent football, were by far the best team in the championship in the first half of the season before injuries struck & Martin scored 38 goals in 88 appearances in that time.

  • 34 Canny in Canberra // Jun 15, 2015 at 11:08 PM

    TFL @ 22
    Interesting that 0 was mid table. Obviously a few people still unconvinced. Not that I’m 100% convinced myself just trying to give this new lad the benefit of the doubt. I worry though that even if SM means what he says and is being honest about what he wants, the regime can still put the mockers on it should they wish.

  • 35 Toon Tang // Jun 15, 2015 at 11:11 PM

    Photo looks like its been taken on the beach with the stand added after.

  • 36 Sazzer // Jun 15, 2015 at 11:13 PM

    This kind of character?

  • 37 Belfast // Jun 15, 2015 at 11:14 PM

    He’s still in Creete Toon tang. It’s a stitch up.

  • 38 ToonFromLeeds // Jun 15, 2015 at 11:15 PM

    Gone from top 8 to top 10 according to Newcastle’s media partner.

  • 39 ToonFromLeeds // Jun 15, 2015 at 11:16 PM

    Some people obviously thinking to past Canny

  • 40 Belfast // Jun 15, 2015 at 11:16 PM

    If you look closely enough you can see the blue flag

  • 41 ToonFromLeeds // Jun 15, 2015 at 11:19 PM

    what pic is this Belfast?

  • 42 Toon Tang // Jun 15, 2015 at 11:20 PM

    Wouldn’t surprise me one bit Belfast hahaah

  • 43 Belfast // Jun 15, 2015 at 11:22 PM

    McClaren on the beach at the top of page

  • 44 ToonFromLeeds // Jun 15, 2015 at 11:22 PM

    Hahaha, he does look a bit warm

  • 45 Sazzer // Jun 15, 2015 at 11:25 PM

    You can’t fault the players and managers that left us. if they think the grass is greener elsewhere, after looking at that image of SJP.

previous post: Saints To Beat Newcastle To International Striker

next post: Steve McClaren Wants Manchester United Attacking Midfielder