McClaren – We’ve Learned About The Players

It will have been a tough going for our players over the last ten days in America, what with all the training, the moving around to three different destinations in what for them would be long trips in very hot weather.

But there’s also a huge positive about the trip, and that is the lads and the coaches will have got to know each other a lot better, and that will be great for team spirit and togetherness in the squad, which was missing during the second half of last season.

steve mcclaren

Steve McClaren – needed to get to know the players

Unfortunately we did pick up some injuries on the tour, and Curtis Good and Manu Riviere were injured and it seems Coloccini has also been carrying an Achilles problem – and that’s a bad time for Colo not to even be playing, following his poor form last season.

This is what Steve told the local press after the game:

“When you come on these trips, 10 or 11 days is always very tough. The last two were very tough, and I think you saw that in the first half.”

“There was a good response in the second half. We’re only fresh into pre-season a few weeks ago.”

“We needed to get to know the players, and there’s no better way to get to know the players than when you come on tour and travel for 10 or 11 days together.”

“The staff have been fantastic. They made it so easy. Just to come away with no serious injuries, I’m so pleased with that.”

“You’re never close enough and you never have enough preparation time for the new season.”

Things looked bad after 70 minutes when we went down 4-1 but the one really positive thing about this trip is Rolando Aarons – and he scored a fabulous goal last night.

In fact he scored two in a minute after 75 minutes and he made the first goal,  when he simply waltzed around the full-back on the left after six minutes, and laid one on to Wijnaldum – who doesn’t miss those.

Mitrovic will be rubbing his hands when he sees how good this 19 year-old old is at setting up chances – Rolando’s not bad at scoring goals either.

Here’s the pre-season schedule.

Fri 10th July (8:00 pm)Gateshead
International StadiumW 1-0
Tue 14th July (8:00 pm CT - 2:00 am Wed Newcastle time)Club Atlas
Miller Park, MilwaukeeL 2-1
Sat 18th July (8:00 pm PT - 4:00 am Sun Newcastle time)Sacramento RepublicBonney Field, SacramentoW 1-0
Tue 21st July (7.30 pm PT - 3:30 am Wed Newcastle time)Portland Timbers
Providence Park, PortlandL 4-3
Sun 26th July (1:00 pm)
Sheffield United
Bramall LaneD 2-2
Wed 29th July (7:45 pm)
York City
Bootham CrescentL 2-1
Sat 1st August (3:00 pm)
Borussia Mönchengladbach
St. James' ParkL 1-0

One funny thing last night my wife Madeline pointed out was the weather forecast in Raleigh is that we have a cold spell coming through,  and so the temperature will drop – today’s high is only expected to be 91 degrees Fahrenheit – according to the weatherman.


Yesterday it was close to 100 degrees.

10 comments so far

  • pawl250

    Jul 22, 2015 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #1

    My midfield in 4-2-3-1 would be

    Wijnaldum – Tiote
    Sissoko – De Jong – Aarons

    Anita – Colback
    Obertan – Perez – Cabella

    Wijnaldums best place is that of a centre midfield player. If he placed out wide you will end up doing what Pardew did to Sissoko and wreck his game.

    Sissoko is more suited to the right now having played and adapting though it totally messed his centre midfield play up.

    De Jong is born to run the centre midfield behind the main striker.

    I think the only question or role open for choice is Tiote, Anita or Colback to place alongside Wijnaldum.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jul 22, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #2

    Pawl…I believe the reason why Chelsea plays with two defensive midfielders is because their wide men are on the offense.

    It’s to balance it out and because Chelsea is set up defensively. We are not a Chelsea kind of football team. We are probably a cheap version of Swansea and Arsenal

  • JDdubai

    Jul 22, 2015 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #3

    would agree with that pawl.

    Holding midfielder and CBs the only question marks for the starting 11 at least.

    Hopefully this tour has confirmed to McClaren 3 things:
    1. Aarons contract needs sorting ASAP
    2. We need 2 CBs this summer, not just the one
    3. The team needs a leader – a shout and them, no-nonsense guy, most probably the 2nd new CB.

  • Jib

    Jul 22, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #4

    McClaren was livid that Portland put out an U23 side . A touch of the Fcuk youse about this game altho he’s hardly going to say so.
    On happier news
    Chancel Mbemba is getting his visa in Paris today
    It’s a done deal for €11million !!!
    He’ll be here Thursday

  • Ibizatoon

    Jul 22, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #5

    Bobby (From a few threads ago)…Apologies, got sidetracked.

    A little touchy? It was just a little joke. I didn’t say we wouldn’t be getting anymore players. I fully expect / encourage us to keep going.

    Let’s be really clear as to avoid any future misunderstandings.

    No one is claiming we are or have ever been the “BEST”.

    Calling people “cry babies” is hardly encouraging reasonable debate. People are on here expressing their opinion on the club and what it needs to do to progress.

    The fact things have been worse is simply a terrible way in which to judge our current position / prospects.

    “If we won the league cup, you lot would whine it wasn’t the FA cup. It’s pathetic.”

    Not sure who the “we” are, but no, I would not, and don’t think many others would either. What is pathetic is your comment.

    Shall we try again another time? Perhaps try a less sugary cereal in the morning.

  • Munster Mag

    Jul 22, 2015 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #6

    Pawl, Sissoko was never qualified to play central midfield. He gets away with it for France but has better players . He cant be a holding player because he cant tackle. I have never trusted his attitude either and was calling him a fraud a few years ago now. opefully he can improve his crossing and be used on right. I woukd rather go “all out” for a top class centre back than 2-3 cover players and hope our fitness regime improves.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jul 22, 2015 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #7

    Yeah, apology accepted. No problems. I still want a winger or a wide forward brought in, as well as defensive reinforcements. We have a number of players who can play out wide, but none who are genuine wingers and proven in the position. The way McClaren likes to set his side up means that these are key roles. I’d much prefer Berahinho to Austin at this stage.

    Everything won’t be done in one window, which is why I think that Mbemba will be used as cover at right back, unless we can get a cheapish prospect in. An organiser is more pressing for me as he can improve everyone. An organiser at centre half, and we can still have reasonable defence even if we have to switch Mbemba out to full back.

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Jul 22, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #8

    People need to calm down about this game. It was only a friendly. Yes I questions the line up, mainly the defence with bigi, satka, Fergie aarons. & Janmaat playin in the centre when he came on.

    But the thing people are forgettin is it was a friendly against a team a division down. It’s a chance to see who can make the mark out of the youngsters. If you don’t try them, u will never find out who will. Fergie is the only one of them I would have said before the game won’t make it, I haven’t changed my mind.

    Remember, there is no chance McClaren would have used that defence in the premiership. Our first choice is bad enough in premiership. No point sayin we will never make top six or we will be relegated. We can’t judge a season on one friendly game.

  • Bobbybee

    Jul 22, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #9

    Ibiza, sorry i missed the joke, but all i was seeing at the time was red mist! I lost it and have subsequently apologised. That said, some people will never be happy and you only need to read some of the comments to know that. Sadly, it’s an undeniable fact. Trust me, ‘cry babies’ was as gentle as i could get lol. Once again, allow me to apologise for any offence. I just don’t get the negativity when Macca is doing his level best to change eight years of underfunding.

  • Altamullan

    Jul 22, 2015 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #10

    I can’t help thinking, with no good evidence, that Cisse is off. He looks disengaged. Mitrovic will be no.9 (was 45 prev) De Jong lined up as a no10 (ish) midfield link. Think we will need an additional striker if so, though amount of outlay/priority depends on whether Mc going to (sometimes at least) play two up front.


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