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Howay The Lads!!

McClaren Can Bring Out The Best In Some Fringe Players

9:16 am, Friday, July 24th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 87 Comments

In the last few games of the season we thought Vurnon Anita played very well for Newcastle, and in that last game he was almost Newcastle’s best player, although that fantastic performance by Jonas Gutierrez in his final game for the club won him our Man of the Match award.

Good players play well when it matters,  so it will be interesting to see how Vurnon plays under new head coach Steve McClaren.

vurnon anita challenges former captin kevin nolan

Vurnon Anita – had excellent game against West Ham

Vurnon is an excellent professional,  but has been on the fringes of the side since he was signed from Ajax for €8.5M,  which was around £6.7M back in the summer of 2012.

McClaren knows how to handle Dutch players from his two stints at FC Twente,  and apparently thinks highly of Vurnon, because he knew of him when he was at Ajax, where he even played left back for one full season.

The lads are all safely back from the US tour now,  and Vurnon has been interviewed in the Chronicle today and had this to say:

“We have to start the new season the way we ended last year with the win over West Ham. We have to start again in the same way.”

“From the beginning we have to start just like that. We saw that day that we had everybody behind us, which is going to make a big difference.”

“That last game was important for myself and the team because we wanted to stay up. We gave everything. We want it like that in every game.”

With the experienced players like Vurnon, Jack Colback, Gini Wijnaldum, Siem de Jong, Moussa Sissoko and Cheick Tiote in the squad we seem well off for central midfielders.

But we will probably sell one of either Sissoko and Tiote, and if we do we would need to bring in another top central midfielder to replace whoever goes.

Maybe 25 year-old Dutch International Leroy Fer of QPR would be a candidate if that happens?

Steve McClaren and his coaching team are top-notch, and we look forward to some of our fringe players – like Vurnon Anita as one good example – coming through for the team next season.

Vurnon has played 95 times for Newcastle with a couple of goals over the last three seasons.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Newcastle News · Pre-season · Premier League · Vurnon Anita

87 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:23 AM

    Dani Koks, former Ajax youth midfielder, who is on trail with the TOON for a one week, but some 17 days after it was first reported, the player is making headlines with the Newcastle U21s during their preseason tour in Holland

  • 2 Mister Tuff // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:28 AM

    If Spurs are offering 18 million we should sell Sissoko. He is very inconsistent throughout a season. The money could be well invested in somenone better.

  • 3 Bobbybee // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:32 AM

    If spurs make the first move, it could actually start a bidding war according to sources on newsnow, with Arsenal and even Chelsea being interested. If that occurs then the option for cash plus player goes into a much better place. The possibilities become eye watering. One of Chelsea’s youngsters – Ake for instance – plus cash to reinvest. We need to seriously assess the possibilities. The ball is entirely in our court as selling isn’t a real necessity, so we hold the upper hand. This could prove a really shrewd piece of business if we play it right.

  • 4 Toonfan8 // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:33 AM

    I would let Sissoko go, but we have to bring adequate replacement Shaqiri/Thauvin also Fer is better than Sissoko for me…and CB and we will have great window

  • 5 Slank // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:33 AM

    Charlie @ 1

    In the recent 4-3 victory over Vitesse Arnhem Koks (Trialist !) scored.

    Anybody know why Trialists can’t be named ?

  • 6 lowickmag12 // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:34 AM

    I like Anita good player,and McClaren will get the best out of him. As for Sissoko get rid of him asap. Not good enough imo

  • 7 overtheline // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:35 AM

    Tottenham is not an upward move to a CL side.
    If we are to be top 6-8 then we may well be above Spuds

  • 8 Slank // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:36 AM

    I wonder whether Marveaux, when he gets fit, would get a new lease of life under McClaren as he has a lot of skill but lacked commitment under Pardew.

  • 9 carl // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:36 AM

    Spoken like an accountant to balance the books. Without Tiote featuring we could usefully employ Socks and his bludgeoning style
    which upsets the best of sides. We need to look at the bigger picture and a squad for a season of cup runs and a top ten finish.

  • 10 cyprus // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:39 AM

    Spurs have traditionally fished our very best players and they invariably knw what they’re doing. I don’t doubt them this year either. I can see Sissoko (our best player last year) breezing past our players and scoring goals and becoming players player of the year.

    So, Mike (or whoever) please ignore some comments on this blog 🙂 and show your resolve! When I refer to future CL football, Sissoko is an intricate part of the plan. Don’t sell, even at 18 mil!!


  • 11 carl // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:39 AM

    Pardew always suggested that Marve went missing when the going got
    tough. Really a lightweight and whilst we need to still replace Cabaye and his creativity it’s not with him.

  • 12 Slank // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    Anybody know how our squad now breaks down as per the Premiership limits ? I must be close to or over our limit as we haven’t sold anyone.

  • 13 Slank // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    * It must be*

  • 14 carl // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    Socks is not Gazza but he’s much better than many suggest in my opinion.

  • 15 murvar // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    It’s wrong to think of Anita as a “fringe” player. Football’s a squad game and Anita is very much part of the matchday 16 and has been throughout his time here. Satka is a fringe player; so are Good and Ferguson.

    I’d happily see Sissoko clear off. Disinterested and appears for about 10 minutes per game on average. Some games he simply disappears altogether.

  • 16 carl // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    I don’t see Anita being higher on the team sheet.

  • 17 richyg01 // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:44 AM

    Sell Sissoko, buy Austin. Simple.

  • 18 Slank // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:44 AM

    carl @ 10

    ‘…Really a lightweight …’

    Many people were saying the same about Anita not so long ago.

  • 19 Slank // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:48 AM

    murvar @ 14

    Totally agree about Anita.

    Many would argue that he is a more suitable player in midfield in the way that McClaren wants the team to play than either Colback, Tiote and definitely Abeid.

  • 20 swemag // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:50 AM

    Anita did some changes to his game or at least from what I have seen he is a lot closer to the action and always seems to get in close to opposing players and intercept or at least disturb their build up play the last few games.

    If that is him playing when Pardew is not around then he is one of the first on the team sheet as he can also handle the ball and rarely misses a pass.

    But it is a bit early to say that after 3-4 games.

  • 21 carl // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:51 AM

    Anita still has it all to do for me. You need to judge a player over an extended run. He’s still to produce his Ajax form and movement. That was not helped by slow build up or by passing with long ball.

  • 22 swemag // Jul 24, 2015 at 9:53 AM

    Actually, Anita does what Tiote does without blowing up the opposing players and taking yellow cards.

    Cleaner. Better. Not losing the ball which is always dangerous for a defensive mid.

  • 23 Rotonda heights // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:02 AM

    sell sissoko buy rudiger / abdennour

  • 24 croftus5678 // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:02 AM

    i struggle with anita has he never looks like he’s effecting anything ! he’s a tidy little player when it comes to 5 yard passes from one side to the other and he seems to have energy to run around a lot but to me it doesnt look like he puts a lot of tackles in !

    can people tell me what his job is ?
    he def does not contribute to the attack so i’m guessing he should be in the tiote dm role ?

  • 25 croftus5678 // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:05 AM

    @22 rotonda

    agree 18mil for sissoko is a good deal for a lad on the fringes of our first team now imo and is very inconsistant and not a winger !

    also seems he’s no dm like he was when we first bought him and its confused him to being a jack of all trades master of none.

  • 26 Munster Mag // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:08 AM

    carl, I dont agree – I think Anita is a nice footballer and will get an awful lot of game time under Steve. Yes he lacks power, but he is quite quick, versatile, neat and tidy. Tiote is / was great fun for a while and he intimidates players a little, but he is a yellow card collector and a poor passer. Re Sissoko, if we can line up 1-2 good players then i would let him go, but only on that basis, and on the basis that all the money is used on replacemengts. The local media is saying there is no substance in the story. BTW if we get 18 mill for him i would be amazed. Part of the sale price is based on what the club paid for him. I am not sure we would even get 15. More like 12-14 IMO. Its funny now, how people are saying he is central midfielder, when may were saying we got it wrong by not playing him there. I dont think he was ever a central midfielder , at best on RHS of a 3. He’s a hard player to assess but I was never a big fan of his. Initially I thought we had a new Viera 🙁 . I reckon right wing for him or bust, given we have Wiji now aswell.

  • 27 carl // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:08 AM

    Tiote hasn’t done much of anything on the field for far too long.
    My point was that whilst silky finesse is welcomed we also need to match teams physicality / muscle in midfield. It’s a big season for a number of players. Good to see competition for places.

  • 28 Munster Mag // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:10 AM

    Croftus – its hard to say what he is. I called him a fraud a couple of years ago on here. He is a poor tackler but a serious athlete. Not a great passer either and motivation varies a lot over the course of a season. I think best used as a sub against tired legs.

  • 29 carl // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:10 AM

    Munster- I agree with the Anita qualities you mention. That has to translate into consistent performance.

  • 30 overtheline // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    Anita is a really intelligent player who needs like minded people around him to really flourish. You can’t pass and move to a static colleague who is out of position anyway.
    He’s pretty good with the chipped ball forward too – so not just short passes.
    He doesn’t pick up yellow cards every other game either. I think he’ll feature a lot and he is def not a fringe player

  • 31 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:18 AM

    Sissoko doesn’t offer muscle in midfield. He doesn’t challenge or track players. He is 6ft standing, 4ft jumping when the ball is in the air.

    He didn’t make a single tackle as captain in the centre of midfield in the derby at the Stadium of light last season – incredible feat.

    According to the statistics provided by squawka – I think they use opta – he attempted less tackles than Cabella won last season!!

    The only place he fits in at SJP now is on the right of the attacking trio, and I’d prefer to see Perez in there and/or bring in a genuine wide forward/winger for the role. Wijnaldum is equally comfortable driving the team forward and couples that with on ball ability.

    Anyway, it would appear that there isn’t any bid at all and it is more likely his agent desperately trying to drum up interest for a player that nobody wants.

  • 32 JP...from The Rock // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:19 AM

    For that kind of money I would sell but for nothing less. He is a constant threat to the opposition with his sheer strength and pace. But he does not offer that much more and is rather limited. If we sell we need to replace him ASAP as like it or not but Sissoko is an important cog in the team. The only player we have similar to him is Wijnaldum and that was meant to be Cabaye’s replacement not his.

    So if we do sell I woul,want us to go for a skillfull player that can pick a pass, has pace and a great shot in him. Oh and one that can be a threat from set-pieces too as we seriously lack on that department.

    The problem though that is easier said than done. But Shaquiri would be a good shout but is rather small and good easily be rather lightweight in the EPL.

  • 33 croftus5678 // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:19 AM

    @for those comparing anita & tiote

    i’m no fan of either tbh as tiote imo gets too many cards and is liable to leave us with 10 men and anita has very little effect imo.

    can side by side stats but it’s intresting how tiote has a lot more passes than anita does with the same % of success.

  • 34 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    Anita is a very intelligent player, and could be crucial to our play if we require the full backs to push on. I’ve watched his movement quite a lot, and he is very good at covering gaps left when our defenders push forward. Neat and tidy on the ball, and comfortable if we are to continue with centre halves dropping wide and a midfielder dropping in when the keeper has it.

    Colback can do the same role, but is nowhere near as intelligent. Tiote offers far more physicality, but doesn’t have the intelligence or the passing game. If we can bring in a physical and dominant centre half, then I think losing Tiote’s physicality is compensated for, and it allows better options on the ball.

  • 35 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:25 AM

    Shaquiri is short, but I wouldn’t rule out his physicality. He is the same height as Alexis Sanchez, and has a similar frame and build. I think he would be a great signing. Clearly nowhere as good as Sanchez mind.

    If we got him for £12 while shifting Sissoko out for £18 we would be laughing!

  • 36 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:27 AM

    I think if we keep Colback, Tiote, Anita, Wijnaldum, De Jong as our main first team midfielders we have plenty to rotate, particularly with potentially Abeid, Kemen and Bigi all on the fringes of that.

  • 37 Slank // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    Charlie @ 1

    An update about our Trialist (Dani Koks). He scored twice in our 2-1 win over FC Utrecht on Thursday.

    Is this another Dutch signing, could well be if he keeps on scoring ?

  • 38 ilovetoon8788 // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:32 AM

    Quite sick of sissoko. He has played so many games last season without care or passion. And always talking up on a move elsewhere.

    Good riddance and if 18m figure is correct, great piece of business. Provided we use the money to get a world class centre back to partner chancel..

  • 39 magscar // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:32 AM

    on previous thread – perhaps Walcott is the surprise player press have mentioned?? 🙂

    On Sissoko I think he has a few drawbacks not least a disinterested attitude when he is most needed.As someone else mentioned he did at first look like the new Viera but he has never progressed. Coaching may be at fault but attitude comes from within.

    Are Spurs or Liverpool likely to provide CL football he craves anytime soon? He won’t want to sit on the bench given his comments re Euro 2016 so would he want to go now?

    IMO best position with us seems to have been on right despite most of us seeing him as a box to box CM player initially. A lot depends on what other transfer targets we have as if does go then we need other(s) in but who fit in McClaren’s team strategies better. Lot of good calls on here about possible replacements (direct or otherwise) and for the first time in a long while it appears if we want to sell we can do from a position of strength and call the tune for a change

  • 40 LewSpi v2.0 // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    Anita will be one of our most important players next year. Finally got players around him that are on his wavelength. One of the first names on SteveyMacs team sheet in my opinion.

  • 41 LewSpi v2.0 // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:39 AM


    Walcott is my favourite player, in the world.

    Boy we can dream.

  • 42 WWSBRD // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:41 AM

    Walcott won’t come to NUFC

  • 43 Offkey // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:41 AM

    The thing with Sissoko is that we all know how good he can be with his bursting runs, he was consistently our best player. However, he has got lost along the way, imo his heads been turned like Cabaye. Whilst he may not go out on strike like Cabaye, he seems to be somewhat absent recently.

  • 44 Slank // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:41 AM

    magscar @ 38

    I think the problem most of us have with Sissoko is that because of his size we initially thought, not unreasonably, that he was another Viera or Yaya Toure.

    He clearly hasn’t got the bottle of Viera and Toure and as such isn’t really suited to a central midfield role. Playing on the wing is probably his best position.

  • 45 magscar // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:42 AM

    Agree with the positive comments re Anita and feel he was never settled in the Pardew and Carver playing style. Another example of the disconnect between Pardew and Carr on what the team required?

    Given the growing Dutch influence and the apparent style McClaren wants us to play and with his Dutch experience then Anita won’t get a better platform to show whether or not he can become an influential player in PL for us.

  • 46 croftus5678 // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    well we almost got mitrovic and mbemba for the price of a sissoko i’d say thats a great deal !

    we also have wijnaldum/siem/colback/tiote then anita/abied/bigi/vukic so i really dont think we will miss him… all.

    also on the right wing obertan who replaced sissoko did a hell of a lot more effective job than sissoko ! and that was obertan !!!! shows how much we need a proper rw

  • 47 Offkey // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    However, saying that, there have been many players of ours who have not seemed to be performing correctly for a long time.

  • 48 Offkey // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:45 AM

    Anita chasing down an opposition corner always pleases me……again, he has more to show I think.

  • 49 LewSpi v2.0 // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:47 AM

    Don’t know if anyone has posted this?

    @FrenchFtWeekly: L’Equipe report Aymen Abdennour’s entourage are in Barcelona to discuss a possible Barca switch. Transfer & loan back to ASM most likely.

  • 50 ToonAndy // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    I disagree with you all about Anita. I don’t think he’s as good of a player as you are making out. He plays it too simple for me, he’s fast and can close people down but never strong in the tackle, his vision for spreading the ball to wingers is terrible and when he does find a winger in space a lot of the time his passes go astray. He can’t shoot. Obviously can win an air duel. He had a good season or two for Ajax, where in that league it’s very difficult to make a CM/DM look poor, as the whole team is finding space and moving the ball around well. Cabbage was 10x the player and we’re still very much missing our cabaye style player. Can score goals, works very hard, excellent vision, excellent range of passing, can win a challenge, very intelligent footballing brain and brings a boost to the team…. Hence the links with Moutinhio/Banega. We are DESPERATELY missing this kind of play maker.

    To be honest (I know most will disagree) I would sell Anita and sissoko. Players like bigi and Abeid Much more potential.

    I’d sell, willo, goufran, Anita, sissoko, Ferguson, rivière etc and bring in 1CB (after Mbemba) (Rudiger/Abdennour/Matip/Van Dijk), a LB, creative Mid , winger (can play either flank just as good) (Shaquiri/Mertens) and another Forward (Austin/Berinhio) … Then my friends, we would have something to become excited about.

  • 51 WWSBRD // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    I don’t agree Sissoko has been our best player most touted in the papers but on the pitch he has been average to poor for me

  • 52 magscar // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:51 AM


    Agreed. Never seen such a powerful athlete become as lightweight on the ball. Did come through challenges at times but usually seemed to be more luck than skill.

    Still not certain whether its is simply a combination of one to one coaching and some of Black’s renowned psychology that is required to unleash the player he ought to be?

    Very disappointing.

  • 53 BandB // Jul 24, 2015 at 10:55 AM

    What happened to that extended deadline for renewing season tickets?
    Wasn’t it was July 19?
    They’ve been on full general sale in all areas of the ground now for some little time.

  • 54 lesh // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:03 AM

    What chance of a biggish bid for Austin and Fer?

    Qpr’ll probably need the money and maybe £20m might secure them both.

  • 55 BandB // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:05 AM

    An actual authenticated bid of £18m might well “test our resolve” on Sissoko.

  • 56 magscar // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:08 AM


    I see what you are saying but I don’t think he is a Cabaye type player and plays a DM role differently to Tiote.

    We now need to have DCM to complement DeJong and Gini style and I think he deserves a chance to demonstrate what he can do in a set up more conducive to his abilities. He is best at breaking up midfield play terrier like (rather than a bulldog/alsatian style of Tiote ) and giving short passes. He now has players around him to carry the ball and make key passes so could blossom.

    Tiote did initially keep his game simple but increasingly tried to play a bit and hit stray passes and was caught in possession too often.

    I suspect key to McClaren’s style will be quick passing and not dwelling on the ball but still keeping possession and Colback and Anita can each bring something to that alongside Gini .

    This is another reason why I can’t see Williamson fitting in as whilst he can make short passes reasonably well his one touch and speed of thought just isn’t there.

  • 57 Sav // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:12 AM

    Moussa has got something special. If MacLaren can find a solid role for him it could be worth more than any new signing.

  • 58 geordie157 // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:12 AM

    If Spurs are serious about Sissoko, i wouldn’t mind us trying to get Ben Davies as part of the deal.

    Haidara is likely to get injured at some point this season, Davies has picked up injuries too but he’s a better all round player. Then Dummett can be 3rd choice and focus more on being cb cover.

    To be honest i’d do a straight swap for Davies and Townsend. Even though there are a lot of Townsend haters on here!!

  • 59 ted // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:12 AM

    Sissoko,will be sold and Newcastle will sign Austin, Fer, Matip Thauvin or Draxler. Dani Koks, who’s on trial from Ajax, is going to be a star player for Newcastle United, in the future.

  • 60 Rotonda heights // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:18 AM


    would rather have the money for a top cb. townsend’s stats for actual end product are shocking.

  • 61 Slank // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:18 AM

    magscar @ 55

    I too suspect that the key to McClaren’s style will be quick passing and not dwelling on the ball which is precisely what Tiote doesn’t do. He is forever dwelling on the ball and pirouetting around in circles. Perhaps this is why he wasn’t a favourite with McClaren in Holland ?

  • 62 ToonAndy // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:19 AM

    Sell Sissoko and Anita, bring in Motinhio and Pjanic…. That may not be too realistic lol

  • 63 JDdubai // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:19 AM

    Lesh 53

    Think QPR will be harder to deal with now they have 20% of Sterling’s transfer fee.

    Can we not send Willo out on loan to Rangers or will that be more insulting than the commercial deal Ashley made for himself there?

  • 64 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:22 AM

    If Spurs were to give us Townsend as part of the Sissoko deal, I’d want around £30million in cash plus Townsend. If it is straight cash I’d take anything over £15million.

  • 65 JDdubai // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    On a sepreate note

    Just how long will Diaby’s medical take at West Brom?????????????

    “So Mr Diaby, if you can just step on the treadmill and…SNAP….well there’s the cruciate gone again, ok just get back down and we’ll get you off to h….SNAP….yep there goes the ankle as well”

  • 66 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:24 AM

    I think this window should be about upgrading the fringe players, moving on those who doesnt give us at least 30 games a season, evalueting contractual players (last season) and building on the quality we have.

    Sissoko should be kept I think!

  • 67 JamesToon // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:26 AM


    Straight swap Davies and Townsend for Sissoko very good shout!

    Then all we need is 1 centre half from Van Dijk/Matip/Rudiger/Abdennour

    And 1 striker from:

  • 68 magscar // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:28 AM


    Oddly I believe it was McClaren that recommended Carr take a look at Tiote back then. Perhaps he thought perfect for PL and other clubs apparently did at first as he was linked with top 4. Think our style and ponderous play made him overplay a bit. till have a soft spot for him but think we are moving on. Not sure if Bigi and Abeid are cutting it yet although I did have high hopes for both.

    On others mentioning Townsend I think he flatters to deceive but is more direct than say Obertan.

  • 69 Toon-Prodigy // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:31 AM

    No bids in for Sissy according to the Chronny

  • 70 Slank // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:32 AM


    Yes it was McClaren who alerted Carr and surely it doesn’t bode well for Tiote knowing that his new manager has already sold him once before.

  • 71 magscar // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:38 AM


    Problem with Sissoko playing 30 games a season might be that he can’t get in side if we can bring in a top rightsided player as some are suggesting. Just can’t see him getting a lot of time in CM as things stand.

    Knowing when to move a player on to the overall benefit of a club is as important as transfers in.

    Sissoko wants first team football next season especially and he may see his prospects increasingly diminishing. Ironically would that and the new coaching set up totally bring out the player in there at last 🙂

  • 72 nut meg // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:39 AM

    Townsend & Obertan are pretty much the same only Townsend runs with the ball & Obertan runs without the ball.The end product is basically the same….absolute sh*te and neither can cross a ball so WHY would anybody want to spend good money on Townsend when people already give Obertan so much stick ??

  • 73 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:40 AM

    To get De Jong and Wijnaldum in the same team, this is the only formation I can think of:

    ——-Wijnaldum—-De Jong


    Young forward line too!!

  • 74 2_goal_tino // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:41 AM

    @ 5 – Slank – Trialists aren’t named because usually they are free agents, clubs don’t want to alert other clubs that they are interested or if they have done really well in a game because someome may come in and steel them. Say a trialist is named and then scores a hat-trick…other clubs could be interested.

  • 75 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:42 AM

    To be fair, Obertan was our second best player vs Portland 2. His crossing was fairly decent, a decent squad player.

  • 76 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:46 AM

    Strong bench aswell as a strong line up:


  • 77 Terry // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:46 AM

    Love to be proved wrong about Anita because we need all the help we can get but I don’t share others enthusiasm about a player who had many chances last season and didn’t take most of them no matter what formation

  • 78 cyprus // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:48 AM


    Listen to me mate. Sissoko is CENTRAL to our CL drive. Think this way: if (if) a bid that size is put in, either they are fools and don’t know diddly about football, or they see what you, I, the French national team, etc. sees….

    If you want to sell some players, I got a nice long list. My people can meet your people.

  • 79 toon22 // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:49 AM

    To be fair Messi would have struggled with us last season.

  • 80 expatmag // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:52 AM

    Off topic, here in Melbourne, Real Madrid are giving Shitty an absolute shallacking…….3-0 just before half time at the MCG……..95,000 in attendance

  • 81 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:53 AM

    Naa, Anita now has a coach who is wanting to play possession football, this is something Anita is clearly comfortable doing. Hoofball wasn’t his thing, that’s for sure. It seems McClaren is signing players who can play the game the way he wants, Wijnaldum and Mitrovic are both capable. Anita didn’t really have players around him who knew how to play his style, they were all coached terribly, I know that because of how much they struggle to pass the ball quickly when almost every team we face, seemingly regardless of league, can just knock it about fine. Anita will thrive in a team that play football properly, knowing he has players and a coach who can get the best out of the players who couldn’t pass a ball before. I believe we will see the best of Anita this season, especially now that we have a proper ‘head coach’ in!

  • 82 cyprus // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:53 AM

    True, toon22. We’d be saying he’s too small, relies on his left too much, doesn’t score (he wouldn’t have till he scored a ton at his new club, Barca), too soft a tackler. And we’d also be saying he shouldn’t be playing left back (that’s where we would’ve played him).

  • 83 magscar // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:56 AM


    I think his chances were too fleeting and in a struggling side without a discernible style of play regardless of the apparent formation. As I have said the current coaching and preponderance of Dutch players give him the best platform he has had since arriving to show what he can bring to the side.

    If it doesn’t work then I think he as well as McClaren will be looking for his next move if not in Jan the next summer.

    On wider point of fringe players if they are experienced not many settle for odd substitute appearances and keeping a squad happy is another skill modern managers need. Our reputed interest in cups ( and whisper it even Europa) might assist as we could put out more experienced sides in a cup run. Time will tell.

    Suspect Perez and possibly Aarons will be used sparingly and brought on gradually for their development unless needs must as last season.

  • 84 cyprus // Jul 24, 2015 at 11:57 AM

    Expat, 95,000? Wow, impressive.

  • 85 nut meg // Jul 24, 2015 at 12:00 PM

    That’s the way I see it also.Short sharpe controlled passing football from the back. Get the ball quickly to SDJ & GW who will be our main providers to the more forward players.

  • 86 magscar // Jul 24, 2015 at 12:01 PM


    You seem surprised 🙂 . City (and that other Manchester team !) haven’t performed wonders in CL against the best sides.

    Sides in general from the self acclaimed best league in the world have been struggling in latter stages for a while now. Spanish and German sides have been doing better.

  • 87 Terry // Jul 24, 2015 at 12:08 PM

    Time will tell regarding Anita,I just think maybe some people may be using that last game v West Ham where he played well as a yardstick and is fresh in their minds instead of the bigger picture but I hope I’m proved wrong

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