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Howay The Lads!!

McClaren Praises His Magnificent Back Room Staff

10:23 am, Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 147 Comments

It’s obvious that Steve McClaren oozes leadership in everything he does, and he gets people right behind him as he leads the way to make Newcastle into a great club again, who challenge for honors again in England.

That’s what leadership is all about – selling your vision and your methods of achieving it – and have people follow you and participate in making it all real – because you cannot do it all by yourself.

Paul simpson Steve McClaren

Paul Simpson and Steve McClaren in conference

From what we are starting to hear from the players, the training sessions are something to see and hopefully Steve will have an open training session soon so fans – and the youngsters on their school break – can go and see them in  action.

There are of course a lot of things that are needed to support a 25 man squad on tour and back in Newcastle too.

Steve today has gone out of his way to praise the backroom staff at Newcastle:

“We don’t realise the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes.” “The staff from day one have been absolutely magnificent.”

“They’ve taken on board what we have been doing.” “The work they do behind the scenes to make it so smooth for the players, we take for granted.”

“But there’s a lot of work.” “The medical team, the masseurs, the kit men and the coaches make it an easier trip.”

“I have to credit the players and staff.”

Steve McClaren is raising the tone and the standards at Newcastle, and tomorrow he will meet Aleksandar Mitrovic and (hopefully) Chancel Mbemba, as the two new players who have arrived at Newcastle in the last four days.

It will be good to hear what the head coach has to say.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Medical · Other News · Pre-season · Tour

147 responses so far ↓

  • 1 swemag // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:24 AM

    Ashley what?!

  • 2 archaeomag // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:28 AM

    I am optimistic that with all this extra coaching and tactical input that we will eventually be able to score from a corner at least once this season, that would be a tremendous achievement which would help define the whole season. .

  • 3 Bambams // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    Just beat the mackems. ….

  • 4 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:33 AM

    SM had praised his team, and, unlike percy, he did it without “paying tribute to himself”!

  • 5 toon22 // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:34 AM

    Would be nice for us to not just lump it to Willo at the back post,we did this even when he wasnt playing.

  • 6 Altamullan // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:39 AM

    I’ve just been researching about Rudiger (Stuttgart CB, and German international). He does look ideal, but we’ve been linked for a year or so, so not sure if he fits the surprise/under the radar bracket. Would love it if he was next eight figure signing.

  • 7 nut meg // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:41 AM

    You beat me to it,almost word for word. lol

  • 8 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:42 AM


    Looks like i just nut megged nut meg 😀


    “Stiffy for the arse”… never thought of it like that. Thanks for the dubious image 😀

  • 9 sparky55 // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    Stuart No 9 from a few strings ago….shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh 🙂

  • 10 croftus5678 // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:44 AM

    could do with a tasty right winger to replace sissoko imo as even obertan did better than him against portland.

  • 11 2_goal_tino // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:45 AM

    Archaeo- hopefully not just create chances from set pieces but also be able to actually stop conceeding from every corner.

  • 12 Whumpie // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:47 AM

    Doom-monger alert!

    Sorry, but right now I feel like the kid shouting about the naked Emperor.

    I’m not saying that the club won’t go on to do what’s actually needed – BUT THEY HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING LIKE IT YET!

    Yesterday morning we played without a single recognised centre-back. Not because the gaffer wanted to try other players in different positions, but because HE DIDN’T HAVE ANY CENTRE BACKS!

    We shipped four goals against a youth version of a USA club!

    To me all this still feels a bit like a con. Ashley’s surprise speech, a couple of marquee signings (well, by Ashley’s standards) and suddenly blogs are full of praises for the revolution.

    “So here’s to the new boss; he’s the same as the old boss”

    I hope we get Mbemba. But even then we’ll struggle next season unless we get another THREE defenders.

    Top eight is a pipedream right now – let alone “winning something”. This club has a long way to go before I think it’s doing anything more than staving off a fan revolt and aiming for more mid-table advertising for Ashley’s chav shops.

    Come on NUFC – prove me wrong!

  • 13 Magpie Season // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:50 AM


    1 goal in 150 appearances. Sure would be nice not to.

  • 14 Rotonda heights // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:52 AM


    don’t kill the mood mate. The sun is shining, just go with the flow

    If rudiger comes I don’t know what I’d do!!!!!

  • 15 cyprus // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    Cheer up mate.
    There’ll be plenty of setbacks, so we’ll all get our chance to complain. For now, this has to be our best window ever (check the numbers if you doubt that).
    Wonder who we’ll be playing first round CL…

  • 16 nut meg // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:54 AM

    Aye you at that bonny lad, a dip of the shoulder,a nut meg and WHOOSH…you were gone…well played he said shaking his head.

  • 17 Offkey // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:58 AM

    Whumpie – I think you’re right to a certain extent. I dont know the exact figures but I think we’re just spending money we have raised through player sales, cutting back the squad e.g. loaning players and saving wages etc. I see investment in players from the club but no investment in the club.

  • 18 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 23, 2015 at 10:59 AM

    Nut meg

    To be fair, we were probably not the only ones thinking it.

  • 19 cyprus // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM

    This is what I wrote more than a month ago:

    “cyprus // Jun 27, 2015 at 2:47 PM

    Buy 5 or 6 of these ‘maybe’ players. By all means. But,
    2 marquee signings as well are needed.”

    Half of that is done, maybe we’ll get 3 top players and 1 or 2 ‘maybes’. I mean, that was the ideal and we’re pretty ok on that count.

  • 20 barkel // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:01 AM


    cheer up mate, THE SEASON HASN’T STARTED YET, we still have a clean sheet and a big fat zero in the losses column.

    sure WE HAVEN’T GOTTEN A NEW CB/LB/RB yet but we have made a couple of good signings, 3rd & 4th most expensive players we’ve ever bought too.

    WE DO HAVE a new coaching team so that’s a plus, they’ve got crazy ideas like, TRAINING WITH A FOOTBALL.

    There’s still time to enjoy a few more rumours and possible reinforcements. WE WILL DEFINITELY sign one more player.

    No need upsetting yourself until at least 9th of August.

  • 21 Bambams // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:01 AM


    Fella we still have time, however I share your worries !

    I still think we will get another striker AND another CB however I think the club have already ‘agreed’ terms with our targets they are just playing cat and mouse with their current clubs to get the price down.

    A lad from down south I met two weeks ago is a QPR fan and he was adamant Austin is Toon bound just waiting for QPR to realise in the last few days in window to take our offer rather than lose millions .

    It’s got credence. ..It’s the Newcastle way.

    Don’t panic Mr Mannering. ….

    Well not yet !

  • 22 Jail for Ashley // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:03 AM

    Well said on Willo on the previous thread.

  • 23 switch365 // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:06 AM

    New CB’s this window Mbemba and Rüdiger would be not just a step up, but a giant leap up in ability from Colo and Willo.
    Though I must admit I would rather have us go all out to get Abdennour, even forsaking any further additions this window.
    Get them bedded-in and then add 1 or 2 to aid in the big push in Jan.
    You’ve got to think that McClaren has long term targets which are simply out of reach until he turns this club around.
    We can’t match the big boys in pulling power without CL, but we can begin closing the gap.

  • 24 archaeomag // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:06 AM

    Maybe it marks a return to ” as long as we score more than the opposition ….”

  • 25 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:09 AM

    Jack Harper joins Brighton, one to keep an eye on next season. Has great potential if it is nurtured properly, and too many Galactico’s in the way at Real Madrid. Good move for the lad.

    Any news on that kid Callum Douglas that was on trial? Did we sign him, or send him back to Spain?

  • 26 Blofal // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:09 AM

    I was worried a few weeks ago before we had signed anybody.

    But Wijnaldum and Mitrovic are two top players and Mbemba is reportedly a very good centre back too.

    On top of that we are still reportedly going hard for Austin and Thauvin whilst still lining up bids for Rudiger and Matip.

    And both the Chronicle a week ago and now McClaren have said we would be surprised at who else we are targeting that the media has not picked up on. Rumoured to be a marquee signing (possibly Shaquiri).

    I admit to now having hope. But we’ll see.

  • 27 Whumpie // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:12 AM

    Fair enough – but all I’m saying is that we’re celebrating WAY too early. We’ve spent just, what? £27M? In THREE windows? On TWO players?

    That’s still absolutely pathetic for a club that claims to be aiming to win something. My concern is that Ashley is playing the Toon Army like a fiddle right now. We’ll see Mbemba and perhaps a couple of other £2-3M punts and go up against mid-table teams who have been building steadily for years.

    So while I’m very buzzed about our newbies, I am annoyed at some of the headlines… like “Ashley’s May Be Right – Newcastle Starting To Make Their Own Luck”.

    Did you know that the word “gullible” isn’t in the dictionary?

  • 28 Whumpie // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:13 AM

    (For what it’s worth I’m trying hard to suppress excitement at the idea that we will see those other players. If we do, I’ll be bouncing off the walls…)

  • 29 Blofal // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:15 AM

    I know this is childish but just imagine…

    Janmaat – Rudiger – Mbemba – Haidara

    Bench: Austin, Perez, DeJong, Dummet, Tiote, Coloccini, Darlow

  • 30 Jail for Ashley // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:18 AM

    Perfectly plausible and affordable.

  • 31 Whumpie // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:19 AM

    Blofal – now THAT is a nice 11 🙂

  • 32 Whumpie // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:20 AM

    What’s Rudiger expected to cost?

  • 33 Jail for Ashley // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:22 AM

    No Anita, I think I’d have him instead of Colback. And whose your captain there..

  • 34 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    Rudiger missed a large part of last season injured I think, was it a knee problem? I know he is going to miss the start of the season after a knee op, is it to correct the previous issue?

    Anyway, if we do sign him, Mark Kopfler has a ready made song for them to play over the tannoy!

  • 35 Altamullan // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    Apparently Ashley started his own business as he could never quite get a job offer. A forthcoming biography ( by Roger Mellie…) includes the following reminiscence of his first interview.
    Interviewer: Tell me about your bad points Michael what is your worst quality?
    MA: honesty
    Interviewer: Come-come ( it was a long time ago…) I don’t think that qualifies as a bad point.
    MA: I don’t give a f**k about what you think!

  • 36 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:23 AM


  • 37 jayphoto // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    We won’t sign a better player in this window than Mbemba. Seems to have everything. Widely regarded by a lot of Journos as the best player in Belgium last year over mitrovic, tielemens and Praet.
    Looked a player in the champions league

  • 38 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:24 AM

    Replace Sissoko and we are cooking. Maybe Haidara too, although I think he will get better in time.

  • 39 barkel // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:24 AM


    Fair point, there is a bit of over excitement but would you prefer to go back to the way the blog was in April/May?

    Do you think the club are going to spend 12-15million on a player like Austin to have him on the bench? I like your optimism but I can’t really see it happening

  • 40 Jail for Ashley // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:25 AM

    Competition for places, what a strange thought.

  • 41 Mr Magpie // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:28 AM


    Mr Magpie // Jul 22, 2015 at 10:30 PM

    Just a thought but if we are looking at players off the radar what about players from Valencia like (centre back) Mustafi, (winger)Feghouli, (striker) Paco or (left back) Gaya.

    Cathro will know all about them from his time as assistant manager & him not leaving on bad terms with Nuno still being Valencia manager means the relationship with the club should still be good.

  • 42 Blofal // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:28 AM


    Don’t really care who is captain this season to be honest. If Wijnaldum has a good season I’d make him captain after a year. Maybe Janmaat this year.

    I’d maybe bump Dummett off the bench for Anita as he is also capable of filling in at full back and is very versatile. Colback’s true position is as a LM and with better players around him I think he will do well.

    There is also Cabella not on that bench but he is going to be out until Xmas by the sounds.

  • 43 Blofal // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:29 AM


    Reports said we put in a bid of $9m pounds for Rudiger early on in the window but it was rejected.

  • 44 Terry // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:30 AM

    Keep hearing Anita’s name in people’s teams,is this based on that last game against W ham cod I can’t think of many instances when he done anything.

  • 45 Terry // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:32 AM

    Cos not cod (just fishing)

  • 46 Blofal // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:32 AM


    Yes I do. But if we do we’ll likely sell Cisse.

    The problem wiith Mitrovic is he will take a while to adapt to the Premier League. Austin won’t. So although that team I posted looks lovely.. Austin would be starting until Mitrovic gets up to speed.

    The point is it gives us options. We can always play 2 up front if the situation warrants. Then we also have Perex and De Jong if we need.

  • 47 ted // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:33 AM

    Joao Moutinho, medical tomorrow!

  • 48 Bambams // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:34 AM


    Is mbemba that good fella ?

    I had not even heard of him until last week. I have looked on DennisWiseTUBE but it’s hard to judge.

    Suitable for the Prem League ?

  • 49 Altamullan // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:35 AM

    Partially Terry, and general sense that SMc will play a formation more suited to his strengths.

  • 50 Jail for Ashley // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:38 AM

    I think we could well see Cisse as a man on a mission with his place under threat, it was a travesty the way Pardew was allowed/forced to pander to Demba Ba’s wishes.

  • 51 ShirebrookToon // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:39 AM


    Get these three then some young future stars

  • 52 Laurent Robert 32 // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:41 AM

    The players must be like kids in a sweet shop with actual tactics and coaching. Funny hearing players already speak of the wealth of new coaching which is going on. I.e. “We’re not used to this…”

  • 53 Ian Toon // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:44 AM

    For many years Mike Ashley felt that what you wanted from a manager was to avoid spending a lot of money on transfers. He has long felt that most transfers fail and merely waste finances that would be better spent on players’ wages. Wenger was always mentioned as a better manager than Benitez/Dalglish or Allardyce in part because less of his budget is spent on transfer fees. Cabaye and Carroll were frequently the subject of his message. He frequently made the point to
    the erstwhile Pardew that he didn’t believe that winning football matches was just about having better players than the opposition. He invariably chose Chelsea at SJP to support his claim.
    As many have long suspected he long saw football just like any other business where it’s not just about employing the best designers and production staff. But organisation, building and motivating a working team. That’s what makes a difference.
    So what was Mike Ashley’s road to Damascus moment. I am told it was whilst he was flying to and from Phoenix, Arizona and he was chatting over a few hours about Soccernomics. Apparently he has for some months willing chatted to anyone prepared to listen all about football phenomena.
    I am not sure it does make sense but what do I know!

  • 54 ShirebrookToon // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:45 AM

    Think the days of hoof and hope are a distant memory

  • 55 Terry // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:46 AM

    Altamullen , just think of we are really turning the page we should be getting rid of all the dead wood who were the problem last season and I include Anita in that,but if Mac can improve him then fair enough

  • 56 switch365 // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:47 AM

    Janmaat – Rudiger – Mbemba – Sandro
    —————–de Jong

    Bench – Darlo, Saylor, Sissoko, Anita, Colback, Perez, Cabella

    Alex Sandro £14m – Porto
    Andriy Yarmolenko – £16m – Dynamo Kiev

  • 57 Jail for Ashley // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:47 AM

    Did Pards tell you that in spec savers ?

  • 58 jayphoto // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:48 AM

    @Bambams – Personally only watched up on him in the champions league but read up on him a lot since we were linked too.
    In Belgium he is seen as the best defender they’ve had in their league since Kompany. He’s quick, very very quick, very strong and has a big leap for being relatively short for a CB. His passing is like a centre midfielder, can dribble and bring the ball out of defence too. Is also comfortable playing anywhere across the back 4
    His attitude and work rate is meant to be spot on too.
    Effectively he’s a champions league standard player, im guessing if there wasn’t questions on his age and if he was a slight bit taller he’d have gone to a top 4 side.
    Negatives – doesn’t organise a defence, is quite quiet, isn’t a leader. Effectively he needs to play alongside an organiser as he’s very much a focus on his own job player rather than a leader and a motivator. Very similar in that respect to many African players though

  • 59 Ian Toon // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:48 AM

    Willing should be Willingly.

  • 60 Jail for Ashley // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:49 AM

    Mikeys Damascus moment came when ST holders started sending theirs back with letters of disgust!

  • 61 lesh // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:50 AM


    Who’s Ashley?

  • 62 bills-son // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:51 AM

    The slagging Willo gets is way over the top.

    Whilst he should not be a first choice CB he has put in plenty of solid performances for us but he suffers most from the diabolical lack of cover provided previously by our powder puff midfield.

    John Terry and Rio Ferdinand in their prime would have been all over the place with a mix of Anita, Colback and Sissoko defending centre midfield. Tiote is the only one in our squad who is genuinely aggressive and can outmuscle the 6’+ CM’s that many other teams have.

    If McClaren hasn’t already identified our CM weakness I’ll be amazed. That position might just be where the big surprise signing might be.

  • 63 Bambams // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:51 AM


    Cheers for that fella really appreciate it…..

    You should become a scout !

  • 64 jayphoto // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:56 AM

    I wonder if we’re looking at Bilal Ould-Chikh? At McClarens prev club where he has a great relationship with the owner. Only has a year left on his deal.
    Him on the right and Aarons on the left in years to come and off the bench would be amazing

  • 65 Mister Tuff // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:56 AM

    Ian Toon – master multiple you posed the question :-
    “I am not sure it does make sense but what do I know!”

    Mmmm well let me answer ………NOWT.

  • 66 Jail for Ashley // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:56 AM

    Did John Carver ever make a public apology to Willo after his accusation.

  • 67 swemag // Jul 23, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    lesh, no idea, some fat guy I’ve seen in the stands at St James’ I think.

  • 68 jayphoto // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:00 PM

    @Bambams – nah to be honest most of the stuff I know comes from reading. Just lucky enough to speak a couple languages etc so can read more than some.
    I watch the dutch and French leagues as work in Dam and Paris a fair bit but on Mbemba all I’m going on is champions league and words of journalists.
    Read a decent interview with the scout who scouted Mbemba in Congo that got me excited! Was scouted by the same guy that discovered George Weah and he reckoned Mbemba could be better

  • 69 Terry // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:02 PM

    Don’t think Williamson is unfairly criticised I just think lower division football is where he should be.Everyone has their place in life and that’s his

  • 70 Ian Toon // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:04 PM

    bills- fair point. Chelsea are helped by frequently having two DM’s as well.

  • 71 jayphoto // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:04 PM

    @bambams in regards to scouting, might be worth mentioning I was calling for us to sign Riviere on this blog 3-4 seasons ago. (In France I always follow St Ettiene)
    I honestly thought Riviere would be a success so maybe my judgement is flawed 🙂
    In my defense at A.S.S.E Riviere played wide of a front 3, same as he did at Toulouse. He never played as a target man lone striker anywhere so not sure why Pardew played him there.

  • 72 Altamullan // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:10 PM

    I was clammering for Galtier to come ( lost a bit of money on it too). Did you ever think it was on? How do you think he would have done?

  • 73 deeps // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:10 PM

    Transfers: Anderlecht Defender Chancel Mbemba Due for Newcastle Medical Within 24 Hours; Clubs Have Agreed £8M Fee – (via

  • 74 Bambams // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:10 PM

    Riviere looked decent when legging up the left hand side. I am unsure of him still, possibly a couple of goals could set him off.

    Wonder if mbemba could play alongside Dijk at Celtic. He is a beast of a CB .

    Cheers for the craic fella

  • 75 Ian Toon // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:12 PM

    Lilongwe – From last night. To further support my point on multi functional players. Last season at Liverpool Sterling was played as a wing back and is now mentioned as working in tandem with Kolarov at Man City. It just helps to play with a higher calibre of player.

  • 76 Bambams // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    I have tried to refrain from sticking this on as our surprise target…..But that Shaqiri is some player.

    We used to hear ‘ GINOLA….FERDINAND….GOAL



    What a signing he would be !

  • 77 jayphoto // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:19 PM

    @Altamullan – I think Newcastle fans would have hated Galtier. In style he plays a lot like Pardew. 4-2-3-1, very deep, containment football with very fast counter attacks. Its not the prettiest team to watch. Galtiers plan is always go in at Half time level and then try to win in the last 30 minutes. I don’t think he will ever leave france though, maybe will be the future Marseille manager and after that I guess he’d have his eye on the national team.
    Quite like Gourvennec but not really a fan of French managers. Even Blanc and Deschamps I wouldn’t have wanted

  • 78 Altamullan // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:21 PM

    Nice one Jay. Glad I didn’t get my wish!

  • 79 croftus5678 // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    so…..anyone for jose enrique ? would be a huge improvement for us imo and still only 29 and very very cheap.

  • 80 jayphoto // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    @BamBams – watched the celtic game last night, Van Dijk looks a player doesn’t he! His passing range, vision and comfort on the ball looked midfielderesque. Was surprised how quick he is too!
    Was only an Icelandic team, has he done well against bigger champions league teams??
    Celtic, van dijk aside looked awful. Cifti upfront looks like the worst striker ive watched in a long long time

  • 81 Ian Toon // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:25 PM

    I am undecided about Anita. He has lacked the physicality required in a combative EPL – but his pass and move style and his talk of a change in direction at the club augurs well.

  • 82 Jail for Ashley // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:30 PM

    I would have Enrique back but I think he burned his bridges here, I bet he’s still having cold sweats about his time in goal here.

  • 83 Carryingcoals // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:33 PM

    Afternoon gents, I’ve started doing some blogging again.

    Not convinced at all by what Ashley is up to, put some thoughts together here for anyone interested…

    Blog on Mike Ashley and his investment ‘promise’. Are #nufc fans being fooled?

  • 84 Tsunki // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:33 PM

    Why are we still posting ( er…Ashley Out! btw) team sheets with Colback in? I thought this was a progress thing?

  • 85 Whumpie // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:37 PM

    Maybe I missed it but have we discussed the new style of play on here? To me it looks like an improvement in style, but it’s been too ponderous and error-prone in the friendlies to work in the PL.

    BUT that was on awful pitches with rusty players so it may come right. Still – is anyone worried that we’ve just not got the squad for that kind of play?

  • 86 Tsunki // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:38 PM

    Jail, that was a rare and beautiful day. The old boys had a torrid time. ‘We’re in the top 6’ rang out loudly and hilariously as we willed the team on to score one past the stand- in keeps. They moaned and complained and got nowhere. Fantastic.

    Having said that, in his day I’ve watched Enrique shepherd some decent players like lambs, even doing a few cutbacks and turns on them to get the ball upfield meaningfully. Be nice to see those days again.

  • 87 corkypants // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:41 PM

    Anita is a brilliant player trust me, he is different to our other centre mids and has never been utilised due to our old style of play under pardew and carver.

    Granted he is not the most physical but he rats out apponents and intercepts passes very well, if you watch him when he plays when he recieves the ball he is always in loads of space which as a art in itself in the position he plays, also his short passing is bang on.

    In the right team, a team that likes to keep the ball(thinking steve mc at derby) he will be perfect and we will see why he was astar at ajax

  • 88 Tsunki // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:42 PM

    Whumpie we might have to give it time. We will turn up for the southampton game with a new and possibly awkward shape. It could take months before we’re cooking on gas. I hope everybody isn’t buying into this squad coming out of the traps sprinting up the league, we’ve done all this before – look at the team sheets many were slurping and drooling over last year – Riviere, Cabella, sissoko….. mmmmmmm…..nice!

  • 89 Tsunki // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:43 PM

    Corky – spot on. Not a Pardew player like Willo .

  • 90 croftus5678 // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:44 PM

    @83 tsunki

    imo colback brings hard work/passion and is very effective in his defending and attacking !

    he would still be one of the first names on the teamsheet for me as you know you 99 times out of 100 get a performance from him

  • 91 Whumpie // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:45 PM

    Carryingcoals @82 – that’s a really good article and pretty much says it how I see it. But more eloquently 🙂

  • 92 martoon // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:46 PM

    bills-son @61 – I completely agree – Williamson is not as bad as some make out on here. Yes he lacks speed but if you watch him closely at the games his positioning is pretty good and he gets in some timely interceptions and he organises the defence more than the so called captain Colo. Sure his passing is shocking but all he has to do is give the ball to somebody who can pass!

  • 93 Altamullan // Jul 23, 2015 at 12:56 PM

    Crystal ball time…
    Reckon we scored less than 15 league goals from MFD last season. Sissoko the most with 4. I’m guessing 34 this season, with Wijnaldum, Colback, Aarons, and Sissoko/replacement getting more than 5 each.

    CFs: 14 goals for Mitrovic and 14 for Cisse/replacement

  • 94 Altamullan // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:10 PM

    Also will guess 10 for Perez, 4 each for Janmaat and Mbemba, and a couple for Haidara.

  • 95 mindshaft // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    Agree the slating willo gets is unjustified , he’s a squad player who due to injuries to Saylor and lack of signings has been pushed into battle
    He did okay when needed and we finished 5th, the whole team were largely sh!te last season – I’d prob keep him as 3rd choice until one of the young ins is ready ( he’s cheap as chips in wages )

    Will be interesting to see who can actually play mclarens possession football after years of hoof ball

  • 96 mindshaft // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    Toon in for Banega and moutinho – to be honest I don’t watch much European footy – any good ?

  • 97 scottoon // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    I am still a bit surprised at the extent of the vitriol for Sissoko. He is taking more stick than Obertan on here. If there are those that think (hope?) that Squidward can come around in the right set up, then surely we have to think that Sissoko can again come good. When the lad is on form he is nearly unplayable. He was immense in the early season last year and then did as just about everyone did and tailed off badly.

    It is true he cant tackle but I don’t see anyone suggesting he will be our CDM. Yaya isn’t exactly a great tackler either but is a terror with the ball going forward. Man City recognized this and bought the likes of Fernando and Fernandinho to play the holding role so Yaya could get forward more. I still think Socks can be a huge asset for us especially with the right people around him… a healthy and fit De Jong, and Gini.

  • 98 Toonfan8 // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:26 PM

    Bringing in Mbemba and Rudiger is must for me, S.Taylor,Lascelles and Willo as next choices as they are all homegrown and together are on lesser salary than Collo, so sell Collo. Try Rudiger, Thauvin in…and that should be it this window:
    AM:De Jong,Aarons,Cabella,THAUVIN,Obertan,Marveaux
    thats 28man squad with 3GK, Woodman,Kemen and Armstrong as a young players…
    sell: Collocini,Gouffran,Vuckic,Ferguson,Elliot
    on loan:S.Ameobi,Good,Satka,Bigirimana
    so it leaves us with health squad with 10 homegrown players which is enough, young with lof of potential…lot of variations

  • 99 Rotonda heights // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:29 PM


    banega and moutinho would be unreal

  • 100 Tsunki // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:31 PM

    Croftus ok but hard work is only good with a product at the end of it. To me he’s like a kid digging a hole on the beach and the sides continually cave in. Colback is a sideways player, I suppose his forté is coming on with a couple of goals cushion to break up and frustrate the opposing mid.

  • 101 Rotonda heights // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:33 PM


    ” Wonder if mbemba could play alongside Dijk at Celtic”
    – – – –

    rather it was at nufc!!! boom boom

  • 102 scottoon // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:33 PM

    Odd….there hasn’t been a shout for Tranquillo Barnetta of late.

  • 103 Rotonda heights // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:36 PM


    ” $9m pounds for Rudiger”
    – – – – – –

    which is it???

  • 104 Altamullan // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:37 PM

    A lot of formation options in there for SMc to try. Do you think Sissoko is away if Thauvin comes?

  • 105 martoon // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:38 PM

    Any sign of Mbemba for his medical?

  • 106 Toonfan8 // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:40 PM

    I forgot Sissoko there 😀 no, I think he is AM option and will be here this season…so thats 29 players…sure Kemen,Armstrong can go on loan too

  • 107 Toonfan8 // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:44 PM

    Moutinho and Banega are both great players, but we need CB and winger, we have enough options at CM…and we brought Wijnaldum, which is certain starter…

  • 108 beefman13 // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:44 PM

    Of course protection from the midfield is essential for your defense, but from crosses and corners our defense is awful and Williamson for such a tall kid is a shocker, im sorry but he has been here long enough along with Hollywood Saylor and not even as back up as they always seems to get back in the team, let them go down to the championship were they should be. we have to move on from the deadwood if we are indeed ready to start pulling the extra heavy cart filled with cash!?

  • 109 ITUNDERASHELL // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:45 PM

    Corky, i agree on Anita.

    Pardew was a real drain on the talented players in our squad. We will be playing possession footy from now on and all players will be accessed in their natural positions to see if they will fit into the model, if not, bye bye.
    If Anita has two class and pacy centre halfs behind him they can support Anita further up the pitch without fear of a ball over the top or between them and the defensive midfielder with Colo and Williamson not being able to get back.

  • 110 ITUNDERASHELL // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:47 PM

    If both centre backs are comfortable on the ball and can break forward then the opposition’s midfielders are in trouble.

  • 111 Graeme // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:51 PM

    IT Under – and thats where the trouble should be – with the opposition!!

  • 112 ITUNDERASHELL // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:53 PM

    Really looking forward to the link play between Arons, de Jong, Wijnaldum and Mitrovic. If Mbember is not a natural leader it is vital we purchase one with those qualities, of the right age and if it was me, one year left on their contract.

  • 113 Terry // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:54 PM

    You Can’t keep saying these last few years has been garbage but then some would keep Williamson as back up and gouffran,Anita, for squad players.They Along with others were the problem.Move On.

  • 114 ITUNDERASHELL // Jul 23, 2015 at 1:57 PM

    Dead right Graeme.

    Can someone please teach Cisse how to stay on side for Christ sake. Tie a bloody rope to him in training and yank him back if he is drifting of on his 7th bride crap.

  • 115 2_goal_tino // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:00 PM

    Terry – of course you can. One of the major areas that we have failed over the past few years is not just a lack in quality but more importantly a lack in depth. Remember that both last season and the season before there were stages where, when everyone was fit, we were actually pretty decent showing form which would get us 6-8th. The issues arose when we had injuries and suspensions with full-backs playing at CB, central midfielders at full-back and a 18 year old goalkeeper destined to play his career out in League 2 having to play 5 games.

    The players you mentioned may not be fit to be first teamers but they are infinitely better than the alternative which is to play players out of position or bring in youth players who will never make it.

  • 116 Yellow Belly // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:02 PM

    Bills-son is right but also

    The problem with last year is that is that Pardew tried to play possession football but the team played slow possession. The opposition said a big thank you because it gave them time to re-organise and put the banks of 4 in place, a wall that we could not break down. We had no movement or anyone with the ability to unlock the defence. Our defensive midfielder did not protect the defence. With the best defenders in the world we would of still have been bad. Our only hope last year was Sissoko to bulldozer his way through

    McClaren wants to play free flowing possession football, what’s the difference? Not a lot but good coaching and a few extra faces. Our defence was not to blame for last year it was the whole team, Pardew and Carver.

    Mitrovic should hopefully have more movement than Cisse and score more but I doubt he will unlock defences unless we have other players to draw markers away to give him space. Wijnaldum will add quality to the heart of the midfield to get possession and keep possession and exploit space but not create space. Similar for de Jong he is a link that can use his intelligence to exploit space but not create it.

    The only player we have that can create space is Aarons other than that our only hope is the full backs bombing on.

    We desperately need a good winger to finish the puzzle that can take players on create space by drawing defenders and ignite the crowd.

    The only worry I have is the team is lacking English players whom naturally play the English/PL way.

  • 117 Jail for Ashley // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:03 PM

    I think people who stick up for Willo like myself do so because it’s not his fault that penny pinching has seen him more often than not as first choice CB. He’s always given 100% and seems like an honest professional, Carver was a shithouse for saying what he said while excusing Collocini and Sissoko for more deliberate sendings off.

  • 118 Terry // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:07 PM

    2 goal Tino. Agreed,but if Ashley is serious about this there is an alternative.Get better players in.

  • 119 Tsunki // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:07 PM

    Actually Colo isn’t that bad at breaking play forward, but with Willo by his side it would have been suicidal to do that alone. Willo could not receive the ball from Tim unless there was a 25 yard blast radius of no other opposition player near him. Even then his first instinct is to look up and pretend he’s picked somebody out, then Thump a 50/50 ball up to their defenders for our forwards to get the back of their heads caved in.

    I remember actually watching through fingers for 10 seconds that seemed like an hour as Williamson was closed down just about the edge of the 25 yard and he span and span and nobody helped him. Somehow they didn’t score but the whole ground including away support groaned as one man. A terrifying football nightmare I don’t want to revisit, Ta very much.

  • 120 Bambams // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:09 PM

    I will set them up fella….

    Very funny

  • 121 Toonfan8 // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:10 PM

    2 goal Tino
    absolutely agree with you
    you are true mate, but maybee that is why it takes 3 windows to SM to build a great team/squad…if this window will be 5 in, Wijnaldum,Mitrovic,Mbemba and hopefully Rudiger and Thauvin…in winter another 2-3 players and next summer another 5 of this calibre, we will have really good team, one that will excite

  • 122 pawl250 // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:12 PM

    Mbemba in

    Sign up another right back and a centre back. Would be enough for me. Would love Austin but do not think he would come now Mitrovic is here, would certainly seel Cisse in place of him.

    Current Squad:-

    ———————– Krul
    Janmaat – Mbemba – Coloccini – Haidara
    ———— Wjnaldum – Tiote
    Sissoko ———- De Jong ——— Aarons
    ——————— Mitrovic

    1. Darlow
    2. Dummett
    3. STaylor
    4. Colback
    5. Cabella
    6. Perez
    7. Cisse

    1. Woodman
    2. Williamson
    3. Lascelles
    4. Anita
    5. Abeid
    6. Gouffran
    7. Obertan
    8. Riviere

    As I said another right back, centre back and think we are sorted wouldn’t mind a couple more but am not greedy. So many picky people on here wanting an entire new team or the likes of a player like Wijnaldum quality on the bench, it just does not happen in Newcastle! Thing is half the players mentioned will probably flop in the PL.

  • 123 Bambams // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:14 PM

    Jayphoto (sorry for delay been cutting lawn)

    Aye fella van Dijk looks very composed. I agree the standard of opposition is not brilliant but he is also a Dutch international and has he got pace.

    I think lack of pace has cost us so many goals (both ends of the pitch) and to have him and mbemba would -I think ….Be a great partnership.

    Cheers fella

  • 124 Jail for Ashley // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:16 PM

    We’ll see if a new era is on the way if we’re doing ik in January.

  • 125 Altamullan // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:16 PM

    Agree Scott, re Sissoko on his day. My lad does a cracking Sissoko dribble, it’s his stock move and it makes me smile every time. Also Sissoko is probably the player most likely to attract a sizeable fee (Cisse & Tiote too). Similar to the Anita debate, I think the perceived quality of the player is strongly linked to how and where you play them (as well as psychological factors that might change over time). If SMc has a role for Sissoko that’s a good fit (and his head is still here) then great. If not or he’s not sure/ then new broom time and bring in somebody who is a specialist at what you’re after, or can more easily be shaped to be. I do like him, but would wish him well (and the other two real assets) if an alternative came along who was a better fit for SMc.

  • 126 martoon // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:18 PM

    Jail for Ashley @116 – Very well put. Nobody is saying Williamson is world class and should be in the England team (at least I hope not 😀 ). Just that for what he cost he does an adequate job but of course there is always room for an upgrade.

  • 127 Bambams // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:18 PM

    Gents I would still prefer a new CB to replace Colo.
    Not having a go at him and he has been a good player but he has lost that positional skill which made up for his lack of height and pace.

    In his last year, can’t see ash letting him run down his last 12 months on his wages for him to walk away on a free.

    Pards rumoured to be after him, going to play him on the left wing by all accounts. ….

  • 128 beefman13 // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    Jail, no question, Willo gives 100 per cent, effort is not enough imo, he has been here far to long, Saylor is always crocked and we have to clear the decks altogether, i agree though MA has should have brought in adequate players in the time Willo has been here, but did not, even though Mbiwa looked very promising , he just could not hack it, Colo has had his time as well but a year left on the big contract he isnt going anywhere till next year when he prob goes back home.

    MA says we now make our own luck, luck and time for Willow and Saylor has surely gone, it bloody has to if we are to move on.

  • 129 Jail for Ashley // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:22 PM

    If we stregthen again to push on rather than write the season off again !

  • 130 Terry // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:22 PM

    Maybe it’ just me remembering how many times last season did I say before games “if gouffran and Williamson start we lose”.Would like to know the answer to that actually

  • 131 Mister Tuff // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:23 PM

    yellow belly – sissoko bulldozing his way through is probably the best descriptive of his play that I’ve heard.
    It for me describes to a tee his play. Sometimes he gets through and sometimes he doesn’t. It is more to do with his power than skill.
    I should point out that Bordeaux fans thought he was a 50/50 player – an equal amount of good games and poor games so I’m not sure he has much more in his locker.

  • 132 Jail for Ashley // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:24 PM

    It was against Norwich 1-0 I was in the Gallowgate and it was excruciating!

  • 133 Terry // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:27 PM

    Beefman13 My thoughts exactly

  • 134 JamesToon // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:27 PM

    Yellow belly

    I really do not believe pardew tried to play possession football here, he had short stints of doing that in 13/14 season for a few games, but that was it. There was no consistency in pardew’s style imo, one week we’d play long ball the next we pass it slowly across the back line but still resort to hoofing it. Him and carver/stone are very inept at coaching technical football as we’ve seen and been told by the players…

  • 135 Jail for Ashley // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:28 PM

    I agree but we won’t be buying three CBs and I’d have Willo over STaylor because of his appalling injury record.

  • 136 Jail for Ashley // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:30 PM

    You should aim your vitriol at those who allowed such players to be first choice, at least they try. Obertroon on the other hand….

  • 137 nightfa11 // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:34 PM

    surely all these roumors cant be true..

    janmaat rudiger mbemba haidara
    winjaldum banega (+moutinho?!)
    thauvin sdj aarons

    7 players with no epl experience in first XI (i also counted in SDJ)

    so our squad would be:

    GK: krul, darlow, elliot
    D: janmaat, haiadara, dummet, mbemba, colo, taylor, wili, lescalles, rudiger
    M: tiote, abeid, sissoko, winjaldum, vuckic, colback, anita, moutinho, banega, marveaux, cabella, obertan, aarons, thauvin, sdj, bigi
    A: mitro, perez, goufraan, rivi, armstron, pappis

    thats 34 players – for a team which is obssesed with balancing the books, im surprised we havent sold anyone yet..cos ATM we already have 30 first team players..

  • 138 Terry // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:37 PM

    You can only give players so many chances.Not that we had much choice but the same cbs since the championship is bordering on insane

  • 139 manni // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:38 PM

    Rudiger has a knee injury which will keep him out upto 4 weeks supposedly , sustained in pre season,which id be surprised Newcastle would try and sign before he makes a recovery

  • 140 hibbit // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:38 PM

    i think the 3 new players are good buys and look very promising but we all need to hope they hit the ground running we could kick off against the saints with 5/6 new players who have not played in the prem that could be a problem it makes it so important to get a CB has played in the prem and is a leader

  • 141 Graeme // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:39 PM

    Jail, without a doubt mate. In a choice between Willo and sick-note, then its Willo every time. He isnt the best and we have known it for a long time, BUT – he never gives less than 100%, is rarely injured and never gives in.
    That his best is no longer good enough isnt his fault, as the team improves, but its better than the 8 – 10 games you will get from Saylor every year.

  • 142 pawl250 // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:44 PM

    We won’t even sniff at Moutinho or Banega.

    We need a centre back (Mbemba), a right back, then probably another centre back, then a winger.

    Pretty much makes us a solid team.

    Rudiger was injury prone last season, and Abednnour could not even hold his place in Monaco team (whether that be by injury unsure) so how he commands a 15m fee I do not know. I would much prefer to get a strong player in like Van Dijk personally, and he is pretty quick. But he will compliment the supposed quickness of Mbemba.

    Central midfield is out strongest position with Tiote, Sissoko, Wijnaldum, De Jong, Anita, Colback, Abeid and Bigirmana all being able to play the role.

    Strikers we have Mitrovic, Cisse, Perez, Riviere and Arsmtrong. Again if we play 1 striker, we are covered pretty well and if all goes to plan Riviere should not even get on the pitch as a starting 11 player this season. Unless he manages to do the complete opposite to last season, because he was awful.

  • 143 lochinvar // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    Mwemba and Van Dijik would bully and scare the sh!t out of most attackers and therefore other teams forwards hesitancy would allow us to break up their attacking play and increase our ability to clear the ball and set up our own attacks. Percentages then in our favour for once.
    What’s more Tim Krul could scream at them and Jannmaat in Dutch which would motivate their efforts. Maybe Hadeira should go to night school to learn Dutch !

  • 144 Sack Llambias // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:48 PM

    Ashley is true to his word –
    Appointing a Coach/ Manager and investing in the team.

    Accounts for the year to 30 June 2014

    Ownership Mike Ashley owns Newcastle United via his company, MASH Holdings Limited, registered in the UK.

    Turnover 7th highest, £130m (up from £96m in 2013)

    Gate and matchday £26m

    TV and broadcasting £78m

    Commercial activities £26m

    Wage bill 7th highest, £78m (up from £62m in 2013)

    Wages as proportion of turnover 60%

    Profit before tax £19m (up from £10m in 2012)

    Net debt £95m

    Interest payable £0.19m

    Highest-paid director Unnamed, £106,793 (Lee Charnley was the managing director)

    State they’re in

    There are two ways of looking at Newcastle’s financial picture it is incomparably healthier than the over-borrowed operation he took over in 2007; money was spent on wages, he has £129m loans interest-free which he did not reduce. Protesting fans see the £19m profit, £39m banked, and ubiquitous free Sports Direct advertising as evidence that Ashley sees the club as a cash cow.

    Newcastle maintain this is unfair and have promised to invest this summer – as well as appoint a manager. The figures show the money is there.

  • 145 nightfa11 // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:48 PM


    valencia officials said we offered 9 mio pounds for banega..

  • 146 Jail for Ashley // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:49 PM

    I think it’s definitely time Armstrong got sent out on loan, giving him five minutes every now and then is doing nothing for his goals per game ratio.

  • 147 Sazzer // Jul 23, 2015 at 2:53 PM

    Lol I mentioned Moutinho on here yesterday and today he’s been a twitter rumour. Salary, age and competition against it happening. Even if Monaco is looking to sell for a reasonable fee this summer.

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