Newcastle Legend Praises Two Very Good Signings


Philippe Albert played for Newcastle in the Kevin Keegan era and was on Tyneside from 1994 through 1999 when the center-back played 109 times for the Magpies with 8 goals and he is still revered by fans at Newcastle.

Philippe is now a pundit on Belgian TV and knows all about Aleksandar Mitrovic and Chancel Mbemba after watching them a number of times over the last two years as part of his job.

Phillipe Albert today_2014

Philippe Albert today

In short he thinks Newcastle have made a great double signing of the players, who made their home debuts in the 61st minute in the narrow 1-0 defeat yesterday against Borussia Monchengladbach at St. James’ Park.

This is what the now 47 year-old said in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Sun today:

“I think Steve McClaren has made two very good signings.” “I have watched both as a TV pundit for the last few years so I know them very well from their last couple of seasons with Anderlecht.”

“They are two young players with a good mentality and are positive on the pitch.” “Newcastle fans deserve them because they will do very well.”

“If I could say something to them it would be to give 100% every game.” “If you do that even when the team lose the fans will be positive with you on Tyneside.”

“That is how Newcastle fans see the game of football.” “They want to see quality players of course, but it’s no good having quality if you don’t give 100%.”

“If you do that even when the team lose the fans will be positive with you on Tyneside.” “That is how Newcastle fans see the game of football.

“It will be positive for everybody.” “They will have to behave on and off the field too.” “If they give everything they have they won’t have a problem with anybody.”

“If Mitrovic gets the goals he will be a success because they lacked that last season.”

“In Newcastle the fans want to see the team giving their all, if you lose, then lose 3-2 or 4-3, not like last season when they were well beaten and that wasn’t the case.”

Both of our new players were stars in the Belgian League,  but they will need a little bit of time to adjust to the physical rigors of the English Premier League.

But for £21M in total they look to be excellent buys, and have been brought in to fix the problem positions for Newcastle – center-forward and center-back.

We look forward to Chancel stopping the goals and Aleksandar scoring the goals next season – starting against Southampton a week today

What do you think?

Comments welcome.


169 comments so far

  • toon kk

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #1

    I hope people think hard before buying season tickets, there will be an awful lot of dross to watch through out the course of the season.

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  • Tsunki

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #2

    Ashley Out!

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  • Tsunki

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #3

    Bit of a Fat Prince now ha ha he obviously has acquired a love for Greggs.

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  • murvar

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #4

    Well thanks for that bright and cheery note toon kk. Have a wonderful day.

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  • mickalfas

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #5

    Hopefully with us making our own luck ,we’ll secure EPL safety before the last game!

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  • cyprus

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #6

    Dummet should be a decent back up, never in first 11 or even 18, when we are all set. Back 4 picks itself with Colo Mbemba in the middle. Brains brawn.

    Sissoko, Colback and Perez are all tops, they should be in the core 18 who will be regularly played if we want CL. Hope you are reading Steve.

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  • Tsunki

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #7

    Just spreading a little morning sunshine murvar 🙂

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  • hibbit

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #8

    cyprus colo heads not in newcastle long gone

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  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #9

    That’s why if colo stays I can still see him being a very good sweeper behind MBemba and Lascelles in a back 3 with 2 overlapping and back tracking wing backs, 2 hard working midfield players and a fluent front 3 of Perez, Miitro and Aarons..

    Willo and saylor are always an accident waiting to happen, ie saylor’s error yesterday which led to the goal and both of them are so slow when anyone runs at them on the deck.

    Colback must be taken off set piece duty as he really, with those, and in open play doesn’t create anything. Anita is getting better and keeps things moving.

    If sissoko goes we do have perez and for cisse mitro and …? Still not sold on austin at that price especially when the need for a Rutiger / Abdennour etc is so intense.

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  • cyprus

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #10

    We’ll secure EPL safety after the first game 😉

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  • Jeff from Benwell

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #11

    Tsunki
    It’s drink
    Phillipe recently lost his dad

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  • LGFUAD21

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #12

    I definitely think that some players need to be a bit more diplomatic about the current status of the club.

    McC has had a big job to do this summer.

    Tactically Pardew was an odd one who set the team up in a very old fashioned way with a coaching set up that focussed more on fitness than style and skill.

    Steve has not only had to change the culture at the club, which anyone who’s ever worked in any managerial role will know is no easy task. People don’t like change. Particularly when we have a squad that has had 5 years settled under Pardew’s ways.

    We cannot expect instant results. And yes pre season has been poor but I think it will take time for McClaren to mould the team he wants.

    We all know we need more players in to plug deficiencies in the team. But at the same time you cannot deny we are not stronger. Mitrovic, Gini and Mbemba have come in not as replacements but as additions therefore making us stronger.

    There are clear signs of our players looking after the ball a bit more and showing better technical ability in the ball.

    We do still have a leaky defence and we lack the ability to make incisions in the final third.

    I think missing out on Ayew will be a real miss. He’s done well in pre season for swansea and wee are in dire need of a winger.

    I am not on board with the colo out brigade but it worries me that he hasn’t featured all pre season. The same goes for tiote. I think both can play roles.

    We do however need to stop playing Williamson. Saylor made some errors yesterday but even he was outclassing Willo when on the ball.

    One thing we need to consider though, is that we were not in a bad position until Pardew left. While it does alarm me that we haven’t addressed the obvious weaknesses in the team (creativity and defence) we must also remember that our defence was makeshift if that for the second half with Janmaat at cb and Colback at lb.

    based on what I’ve seen I’d set the team up as this.

    Krul
    Janmaat Mbemba Saylor Haidara
    Anita Gini
    Moussa De Jong Aarons
    Mitrovic/Cisse

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  • cyprus

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #13

    Colo gone? Sorry, abroad, not following these days…

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  • toon kk

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #14

    Murvar
    your welcome mate, I’m sure good old Steve will have our team playing like Barca in no time.

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  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #15

    Would be quite happy with Dunk

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  • hibbit

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #16

    rotonda 2 cb with not prem game between them if we have to i would play colo in front of them not perfect but use him to our advantage

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  • LGFUAD21

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #17

    Rotonda

    I don’t think Anita is getting better. He’s just finally being allowed to play his game.

    He has impressed me most in pre season.

    The key flaws for us I believe are.

    A lack of power/creativity/goal threat on the wings. Maybe Aarons can produce but it’s a risk. And I think a winger is priority over Austin because we can’t do shhhh with another decent striker without giving them some players to work with.

    Defence – don’t really need to say more.

    defensive cover in midfield.
    All the tiote haters should look at our results with and without tiote in the team. He can be ugly to watch at times but it’s short sighted to just think “we conceded therefor our defenders suck” we are exposing our Cbs more than other clubs would.

    Someone mentioned colo as a dm which could be a good shout. He’s comfortable enough on the ball pass it around and most importantly he has a fantastic read of the game. BUT I’m not sure he has the legs, stamina to do it.

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  • Jib

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #18

    I think Colo and Tiote were being held back for the Soton game

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  • Tsunki

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #19

    I can’t see Steve being happy with his selection availability for back four. Look who he has that’s fit. I think he will have a job on his hands with the first three months games. If he can organise them to do shut-outs, which the King never did, then I’ll be impressed.

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  • toon kk

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #20

    I wonder if Steve can see the players that shouldn’t be any where near a premier league pitch, ie Williamson and or erm half of our squad.
    The club should never have been run so far down it could take several years to recover from.

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  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #21

    Lifeguard (sorry just easier to remember)

    I would suggest that after the joyless misery imposed by AP, carver, stone and woodman for the last 4 years, the more technical players we have would be very receptive to change.

    Actually passing and moving and using a ball in training must be music to their ears!

    We were not bottom 6 but we were in another very poor run, everton game apart, before AP left.

    Also I would say the new 3 are definite starters / replacements, not mere additions.

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  • mickalfas

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #22

    Jib
    Hope you’re right about Tiote, if he can get back to previous form,he’ll be a great asset ,IF!

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  • Magpie Season

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #23

    If the West Ham link to Austin has any merit, I foresee many rumours of Andy Carroll returning here.

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  • Magpie Season

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #24

    Rotonda,

    I thought Woodman was the exception out of those 4, him being a good coach.

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  • Jib

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #25

    Mickalfas
    Watching NUFCtv , Tiote seems to be fine , he’s training with the squad , not separately , and seems to be moving freely enough.

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  • bladeuser

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #26

    ASHLEY OUT

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  • toon kk

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #27

    We haven’t a bad first team if everyone plays to their potential, apart from our defence and lack of pace oh and creative play not to mention no game changers on the bench.

    Im just feeling at bit p—d off with pre season, had last season written all over it, mainly the same player’s I suppose.
    Let’s hope we see some more quality come in.

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  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #28

    that’s why i’d play colo as sweeper in a 343 or 352. Reads it well, could bring it out and be insurance behind lascelles and mbemba while they bed in.

    Some people seem to have written lascelles off already. How’s he going to get any experience if he’s not played.

    We all well know willo’s and saylor’s deficiencies so why not take a chance with someone who with the right coaching could come good rather than persist with 2 serial failures who may have experience but at their age are sadly never going to improve.

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  • kilcline

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #29

    Sell sissoko for £23m
    Sell Cissw for £7m
    Sell Colo for £3m
    Sell Williamson for a bag of footballs
    Get rid of riverie, obertan, Ferguson

    Matip or Rudiger for £10m
    Byram for £5m
    Behranio for £17m

    Colback back up left back at best, headless chicken. Anita to lightweight for prem I would flog him too. Tiote and kemen as Dms

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  • Chawne

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #30

    I am looking forward to the season, it will be a slow process incorporating the new playstyle and moving enough players in/out to challenge the top 7 sides. So far i like what i have seen with the little time SM has had. Hopefully a few fortunate results can go our way early on, wouldn’t mind a break from the doom sayers.

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  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #31

    magpie season

    You wouldn’t think so if you’ve seen the way krul had regressed horribly. Yesterday his distribution already seemed better.

    Elliot was nealy as fat as Woodman snr and Alnwick was savagely under and unprepared.

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  • Tsunki

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #32

    it’s noticeable the difference in style from a Pardew team though. In the end we were a pretty makeshift team against BMG and they were needs to take forward, not frightened of opposing players proximity, allowed to pass it about a bit because we didn’t (wisely) knacker ourselves closing them down, which I am 100% certain we will be doing against Southampton. Also, even with Williamson in defence we had Tim rolling or tapping it out to his defence, they weren’t panicking about opposition proximity, some nice passing through them, the ball bring moved to and fro across the field ( especially tiring for the opposition) just the usual suspects with their final ball and lead footed touch at crucial moments.. ( **cough* obertan….sissoko..** cough*)… still, a lot better than watching a Carvew side.

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  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 2, 2015 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #33

    Kilcline

    Agree with all, except anita. still think he has a chance when used properly, which i think shteeve will.

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  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 2, 2015 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #34

    Rotond
    Yeah Krul’s distribution was a lot lot better yesterday full backs midfield getting into position to receive pass outs – have got to have been working on it – hope fully he/they don’t revert to hoofball when the season s starts.

    Going to be a tough 8 opening games – could be at the bottom – got to be patient.

    As for team for Sunday I think we have got to start with Perez somewhere – watching yesterday in the cameo he played his link-up with midfield, De Jong and Mitrovic was very good and has the art of drifting into spaces/dropping off players to pick the ball up. Going to be star in the future whoever he plays for

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  • Magpie Season

    Aug 2, 2015 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #35

    Rotonda,

    Yeah Elliot did get fat. Seems like he was the one about to give birth instead of his wife last season.

    It can’t have been because of Woodman though that Krul stagnated. He has not even approached his peak yet. But Woodman has been here since long time ago, when Krul was in top form & got the player of the month award.

    But I think the old Manchester United goalkeeping coach, Eric Steele I think, if he were to come in as a replacement that would be a bonus.

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  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 2, 2015 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #36

    PS
    Don’t like the new blue and white kit – just a bloody advert for Wonga

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  • firebug666

    Aug 2, 2015 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #37

    After watching that display yesterday, I have little confidence in us doing anything different to last season.

    We might keep the ball more, but we still do nothing with it, and I know it’s early days and two of our signings need to get up to speed, but for me this looks like another survival season.

    We are still making sill mistakes at the back, and we are still giving the ball away far to much.

    We do look better going forward, but we still have no end product.

    We left ourselves exposed at the back a few times yesterday, and if we do that in the premiership we will get punished.

    In my opinion, with this team and style of play we will finish in the bottom half of the table.

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  • toon kk

    Aug 2, 2015 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #38

    I think Riverie could come good with a bit more game time.

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  • Slank

    Aug 2, 2015 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #39

    LGFUAD21

    That looks like a formation that McClaren could play against Southampton:

    I would say that the only certainties to start are:
    Krul, Janmaat, Haidara, Gini, Moussa, Aarons and Cisse.

    Mbemba and Mitrovic – They are not up to speed for a competitive Premiership match but could be subs in the second half. Mitrovic could give their two tired centre backs a right run around.

    Colo – If fit he could play but I think McClaren will stick with Williamson and Saylor.

    Colback or Anita – I think Gini will play having had training and game time already. In the last few games it is quite obvious what Anita’s role is which he does well and is ideally suited to it.

    De Jong – McClaren could surprise us and drop De Jong but bring him in as a sub in the second half. The match could start with Gini, Colback and Anita.

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  • Magpie Season

    Aug 2, 2015 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #40

    kilcline,

    23 million for Sissoko? Yes please.

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