Former Newcastle Great Upbeat On Newcastle

Rob Lee has written in his column in the Chronicle today, that’s he’s upbeat on Newcastle for the coming season, following the signing three good players so far for £35M – but Rob – like a lot of fans – think we still need more players brought through the door before September rolls around.

In the past Rob has often been accused of bring too negative and he admits to that, but he’s quietly optimistic we can do well in Steve McClaren’s first season in charge at Newcastle.

rob lee

Rob Lee – a fit looking Rob Lee

This is some of what he has written in his Chronicle column:

“I’m quietly optimistic about Newcastle United, right now.” Yes, you read that right!” I’ve been accused in the past of being all doom and gloom about my old club, although you have to admit there hasn’t been a lot to get excited about for a few years.”

“But as the new Premier League season approaches, I’m more upbeat about Newcastle’s chances than I have been in a long while.” I’m not getting carried away.” There’s still a bit to do and a long way to go.”

“However, the signs so far this summer look good.”

“Steve McClaren might not have been every fan’s first choice but United needed a coach and there aren’t many about better than him.” He had a career blip with England, and then towards the end of last season with Derby County.”

“But in between time, he took himself off abroad, tested himself and rebuilt his reputation.” He’s proven himself a fine coach, and he’s someone I’ve always admired.” You can guarantee Newcastle will be more organised now.”

“Whether McClaren can get them playing more attractively, with more emphasis on attack, only time will tell.”

Steve McClaren mentioned last night on BBC radio that Mike Ashley has taken more of  a background role at the club, and certainly we seem to be doing well this summer in attracting good talent to the club.

If Mike Ashley’s role now is to allocate the money for every transfer window,  as he said during his Sky Sports interview in May, and he gives Newcastle a major portion of the profits to spend on new players, we could do well in future years.

It also looks like Newcastle are also prepared to spend in January, given how we do in the first half of the season.

Comments welcome.

90 comments so far

  • Thump

    Aug 5, 2015 at 10:24 PM

    Comment #1

    I swear Rob Lee’s face is getting bigger and bigger.

  • SUTTY1978

    Aug 5, 2015 at 10:28 PM

    Comment #2

    Sissoko’s wide play suits setting up CM, he’S quite intelligent at picking out midfielders arriving late into the box or to the edge of the box. He set Cabaye up with countless chances. After Cabs left we didn’t have anyone arriving in those positions. Expect him and Wijnaldum to link quite well

  • corkypants

    Aug 5, 2015 at 10:31 PM

    Comment #3

    Thump i was jist thinking the same thing about rob lees massive face!!!!

  • Our Toon

    Aug 5, 2015 at 10:38 PM

    Comment #4

    As much as most believe Colback and Anita are ready made replacements for Tiote the truth is they are very different to what he offers. Time after time midfielders score against us and it’s because Anita and Colback don’t track the runners they are busy pressing them instead especially Colback, opposition teams play triangles around him and then punish us with the space he leaves. It’s why in all the preseason games we were punished by midfielders and will continue to get done in league games.

    For all the ranting of shite defenders which we have can someone explain why more midfielders score against us than forwards?

  • Spotlight Kid

    Aug 5, 2015 at 10:47 PM

    Comment #5


    Insightful stuff.

  • Mister Tuff

    Aug 5, 2015 at 11:02 PM

    Comment #6

    I see that Channel 4 have been banned from tomorrows press conference. Apparently the media have to submit their questions in advance (didn’t know that). C4 said they wanted to asked about the media being banned so the club banned them.
    I had thought all this mularkey had ended but clearly not.
    Might be because of the C4 Dispatches programme.

  • lochinvar

    Aug 5, 2015 at 11:15 PM

    Comment #7

    Celtic still have two qualifying ages to play before the main part of the Champions League is reached, their next game will be against one of these teams.
    Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
    Partizan Belgrade (Serbia)
    Malmo (Sweden)
    Skenderbeu Korce (Albania)
    Astana (Kazakhstan)

    Van Dijk is I think on record as saying that he will try to help get Celtic into the play off stages. That success or failure may determine when and who he then ends up playing for next. Newcastle should sign him – Colo only has the legs for part of this season and will I suspect be gone by next season. Plan ahead is called for.

  • soundoid

    Aug 5, 2015 at 11:18 PM

    Comment #8

    I’ve worked doing press conferences for the last 12 years or so and it’s pretty standard to submit your questions before the conference. Usually they just won’t field a question from you if it’s going to be difficult. The banning of certain portions of the media are unusual to say the least and in political circles would be deemed media suicide.

  • Graeme

    Aug 5, 2015 at 11:21 PM

    Comment #9

    Mr Tuff – SD have agreed a deal to spend 300-400k more on advertising per year with Mirror Group, they get their logo all over the training center for a reduced fee.

    It is being slagged by most of the press as an assault on the “Freedom of the Press” to report subjectively, whatever they want. NUFC only want good news projected, non f the warts and all!!!

  • beermonkey

    Aug 5, 2015 at 11:22 PM

    Comment #10


    chan4 don’t have a football show
    wonder what there making now

  • Mister Tuff

    Aug 5, 2015 at 11:34 PM

    Comment #11

    Graeme/Beer – thought that with the arrival of Wally all this stuff might have stopped. He appears to be relatively upfront and seems to want to be more open.
    But clearly there are other forces at play at SJP.

  • soundoid

    Aug 5, 2015 at 11:47 PM

    Comment #12

    Yeah Mike Ashley, and I don’t think Steve is up for biting the hand that feeds him quite yet. The Media thing is a farce they need a new Director of communications fast or this will get out of hand.

  • JackButler

    Aug 5, 2015 at 11:55 PM

    Comment #13

    I am optimistic about the coming season, but I’d be far more optimistic if we signed a few more players

  • Tsunki

    Aug 6, 2015 at 12:29 AM

    Comment #14

    Ashley Out!

  • Tsunki

    Aug 6, 2015 at 12:38 AM

    Comment #15

    I’ve said it before and no doubt I’ll say it again. it’s nice to catch the odd waves of optimism and surf the swell of Stevie Macs’ brave new Toon vision, but just keep in mind the reality of the situation – it’s still Fat Man Ash Pan and his sycophantic goons running the stall. Expect to be pulled toward disappointment at any moment.

  • Toon-Prodigy

    Aug 6, 2015 at 12:41 AM

    Comment #16

    See Messi having a go at Mapou last night against Roma in a friendly? Rung his neck.

    Can’t seem to find the challenge only Messi getting a hold of him bahh!

  • Our Toon

    Aug 6, 2015 at 1:12 AM

    Comment #17

    Mister Tuff

    All I see is the same old NUFC under MA. Like all companies that realise the tide is turning against them they opt for the best solution of rebranding to ensure punters return. By doing this it gives them time to say look we’ve changed when in all reality it’s built on the same foundations as the company/regime it took over. Ashley has made changes to make it look like things are different but look closer and all that’s changed is the faces that tell us the same stuff we’ve heard over the past 9 years.

    3 key signings were a must no matter what happened this summer, but still leaves us woefully short. 4 players left for 3 to come in so far, MYM, Santon, Gutierriez, Raylor. We will probably sign 1 more. Things like behaviour towards media etc all indicate nothing has changed, we’ve spent a few million more on good calibre of players but the TV deal also increased massively so the fees we’ve paid out are standard increase.

    Anyway those who are optimistic I hope you remain so, I’ll sit tight until I see some real change though

  • Mister Tuff

    Aug 6, 2015 at 1:26 AM

    Comment #18

    Our Toon – like quite a few I am not cautiously optimistic but probably hopefully optimistic. Didn’t want Wally really but he’s making all the right noises and has assembled what I think is a very decent backroom staff. Added to that all players are saying things now are different -suggests they were wrong previously.
    The defence is still rubbish -needs sorting.
    We always seem to make forward steps and then cock things up or there is a major gaffe.
    Really hard to gauge where we are now -changes in manager/coach, new players, new style, shocking pre season preparations.
    Sunday will show us a bit – I think we may get beat but hope not.
    Tubbs is still the puppet master though -the money spent so far is not a present from Tubbs it was in the bank and there to be spent anyway.
    Answers to questions will be on Sunday.

  • Our Toon

    Aug 6, 2015 at 1:50 AM

    Comment #19

    Mister Tuff

    On the pitch and McClaren etc is all positive I’m not going to say that’s still the same. Behind the scenes is where I feel things haven’t changed, the way the media is dealt with, any bad press and it’s automatic ban.

    The way we can only work on 1 deal at a time, no multi – tasking. Leaving the squad short in certain areas, ensuring we do the bare minimum in the transfer market to ensure safety. McClaren can only do so much though

  • ilovetoon8788

    Aug 6, 2015 at 1:55 AM

    Comment #20

    All we need is an injury or 2 in defence and our season will take a nosedive.

  • Toon-Prodigy

    Aug 6, 2015 at 2:49 AM

    Comment #21

    Or a player sale or two in January if they can’t sell this window.

    The job of head coach/managers job is always made doubly difficult at NUFC because of the board.

    We have a history of making our situation worse and derailing campaigns where the top coach has to pick up the pieces.

  • Reyantoon

    Aug 6, 2015 at 4:28 AM

    Comment #22

    While i’m happy whoever comes in,i’m also happy with the current squad.I think all the injured players are back.Mark Douglas claimed couple of days ago that he was told Newcastle will make another big signing between now and end of the current transfer window.I will be happy if that is a cdf,a mf or a wgr.I also agree with the claim they only sign if the right players are available because we don’t want to see another flop.The starting elevens against Bmg were good.If colo,mbemba and Tiote are fit,i will slot them straight in.Obertan looked great last time out,so deserves a start at left wing.we will have plenty options on the bench too,so… hope McLaren ‘ll use them wisely.First game is always important to have bright season!!

  • jimmysmith

    Aug 6, 2015 at 4:31 AM

    Comment #23

    Very good pundit on Newcastle Rob Lee. Thoughtful plain dealer. Once played footy against him when he was playing for Charlton Athletic, then of the old first division, before sky invented football and when they toured Aussie on an end of season jolly. We kicked lumps out of them, and they took it philosophically, even in good spirit and won 3-2 in driving North Queensland rain.

  • Our Toon

    Aug 6, 2015 at 4:34 AM

    Comment #24

    Obertan always looks good in preseason, always has done. It’s competitive games where he has a problem

  • Santon03

    Aug 6, 2015 at 4:55 AM

    Comment #25

    Many people thinks we should go for Xherdan, I don’t think we will sign him, and I hope we don’t.
    I watched Inter games and he didn’t really create much. He likes to cut inside then shoot from distance rather than crossing, that’s probably why he didn’t play much.
    If we are going to sign a player from Inter, I would recommend Nagatomo, he can play lb/rb/rw/lw. His crosses are good and he has tendancy to pop out from nowhere to score goals and he is very quick. He scored more goals and made more assists than Xherdan, and he is a WB.
    Another we should consider is Santon 😛

  • will die for the toon army

    Aug 6, 2015 at 5:09 AM

    Comment #26

    I think our transfer window is done our squad looks crowded. You say we have quantity not quality but I can go with wat I have now. Top 10 can be achieved. The big question is can Wijnaldum and De Jong play on e same team.

  • Santon03

    Aug 6, 2015 at 5:12 AM

    Comment #27

    will die

    according to SM interview, yes they can.
    Moenchen game, Gini played alongside Collback and SDJ in front of them.

  • jimmysmith

    Aug 6, 2015 at 5:50 AM

    Comment #28

    Yeah, I think that’s the way we’ll line up on Sunday. Colback holding. Wijnaldum box to box, De Jong in the hole, most likely behind Cisse, Sissoko on the right and perhaps Obertan on the left, at least until Aarons or Cabella usurp him you’d imagine inevtably. Taylor alongside Mbemba, until Colo is match fit, if he doesn’t start in the place of one or the other. Tiote to go toe to toe with Colback for the holding role when fit, and probably win, forcing Colback into a more covering role.

  • Santon03

    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:16 AM

    Comment #29

    we will have great long distance shooters in the team, good free kicks. Not sure about who will take corners, SDJ didn’t take corners at Ajax, probably Gini.

  • nut meg

    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:16 AM

    Comment #30

    Final Position 9th
    Total Points 53
    F.A. Cup 5th Rd
    L.Cup 5th Rd
    1st Team Signings 5
    Ist Team Leavers 3
    Top scorer Mitrovic
    T.S. Goals scored 13

  • Ron Knee

    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:21 AM

    Comment #31

    Final position in league: 14th
    Number of points in league: 44
    League Cup round: 3rd
    FA Cup round: 4th
    Number of 1st team signings this season: 4
    Number of 1st team leaving this season: 4
    Top goal scorer: Mitrovic
    Number of goals for top goal scorer: 11

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:29 AM

    Comment #32

    Final Position 13th
    Total Points 47
    F.A. Cup 4th Rd
    L.Cup QF
    1st Team Signings 4
    Ist Team Leavers 2
    Top scorer Cisse
    T.S. Goals scored 12

    Could be tougher choosing the starting eleven for Sunday

  • hibbit

    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:29 AM

    Comment #33

    is there any news on the mbemba visa the longer he is out out of the uk the less chance he will play on sunday……. i still think we will start with taylor and willo only 2 with any game time

  • Ron Knee

    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:35 AM

    Comment #34

    Didn’t he have to leave the UK this week to apply for his visa?

  • Santon03

    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:37 AM

    Comment #35

    Mbemba already played against Moenchen at SJP.

  • Santon03

    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:39 AM

    Comment #36

    he still doesn’t have work permit?

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:41 AM

    Comment #37

    F**in hell never mined West ham getting Wembley Stadium for nowt
    they are getting the us the Tax Payer to pay for the maintenance and policing of the ground

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:41 AM

    Comment #38

    The board said mistakes were made…the gave us a new manager and his own backroom staff!

    That part was a good move, but it does address why those mistakes were made and it seems we are willing to make ’em all over again.

    I don’t believe Wally was the right choice – don’t think he’s a great manager. The backroom staff is the good part – the saving grace maybe!

    What can Wally bring to this great club…better football I would hope, but that will probably be it. I am still not convinced of the big changes between Pardew and Wally (little more possession based football, same formation and the reluctance to stray from core of what he think is our best 11 😉 )

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:43 AM

    Comment #39

    *does not address

  • hibbit

    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:46 AM

    Comment #40

    ron he was due a meeting in brussles at 2pm yesterday to apply…….. thougnt one of the papers might of pick it up……… he cannot re enter the uk without it


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