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Is This Newcastle’s Best Team For Southampton?

1:50 pm, Saturday, August 8th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 50 Comments

Steve McClaren has a number of decisions to make for tomorrow’s game against Southampton, about which players he will start in the game.

The head coach could even start the same team that started last Saturday’s game against Borussia Monchengladbach – in fact he probably will start the same side.

Fabricio Coloccini

Fabricio Coloccini – could start tomorrow

This is the side that Steve McClaren started last Saturday in a 4-2-3-1 formation:

Janmaat Williamson Taylor Haidara
Colback Anita
Sissoko Wijnaldum Obertan

The main players who are pressing for a start tomorrow are Coloccini, Mbemba, Aarons, de Jong and Mitrovic

This is the side we would like to see Steve start tomorrow:

Janmaat Coloccini (c)  Taylor Haidara
Colback Anita
Sissoko Wijnaldum de Jong
Subs: Darlow  Mbemba Williamson Aarons Obertan Perez Cisse

That still leaves Mbemba out, but it will be dodgy to start both Mbemba and Coloccini together in central defense, with both having played very little in pre-season.

In fact Colo hasn’t played at all, but the 33 year-old Argentine is experienced enough and presumably now fit enough to come straight into the side and be captain for the first game of the season.

What team would you start tomorrow?

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Tags: Match Preview · Newcastle News · Poll · Pre-season · Premier League

50 responses so far ↓

  • 1 GEORDIE69 // Aug 8, 2015 at 1:51 PM

    Errrr no it is not! Simple Ed.

  • 2 WWSBRD // Aug 8, 2015 at 1:54 PM

    de Jong on the wing? Errrrrm no

  • 3 Bambams // Aug 8, 2015 at 1:55 PM

    Has Mbemba got his permit ?

    Anyone know for definite

  • 4 Thump // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:00 PM

    No it isn’t, Ed. Aarons for SDJ and you might have a point.

    @Bambams: Yeah he has. McClaren said he was in contention for Southampton.

  • 5 will die for the toon army // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:03 PM

    Pardew is a tool failed to motivate e team he had good players at disposal and still failed he is either dum or not adjustable. All he was looking for was sympathy from the fans and public which we didnt give him.

  • 6 nufconceandfuturekings // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:04 PM

    Most importantly, congratulations to you, Dr Ed, re your latest cancer check up.

    Now, let me see…

    Bagloads to pre-season optimism and joie de vivre – check.
    Lager and wine chilling nicely – for mere quaffing as opposed to Xmas time match days as a heart and soul analgesic – check.
    Belief in bucketloads and never say die attitude pre season – check.
    Ample supplies of eternal and foolish optimism to get me through next 10 months – check.
    Howay the lads.

  • 7 Slank // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:04 PM

    Mister Tuff

    ‘…that was Manny Burgo – a true hardman- ex heavyweight boxer.. ‘

    Whether it was true or not I don’t know, as I suppose you never dared ask him, but a few customers of the Jungle found themselves being ejected from the said establishment and ending up in the Tyne.

    I was talking to a taxi driver who said he once saw Manny carrying to two full beer kegs.

  • 8 JackButler // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:04 PM

    I would play Obertan as you get effort but nothing else from the lad and I really don’t want to see two holding midfielders playing at the same time so for me it’s either or when it comes to Anita and Coldback.

    Personally I’d go with a 4-1 4-1 with Coldback holding behind Sissoko, de Jong, Wini, Aarons with Cisse/ Mitrovic up front

  • 9 Geremi's Prosthetic Leg Fund // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:06 PM

    Mitrovic has to start. Cisse is so unreliable and has no presence, Mitrovic is strong, ambitious and confident. Let him loose and when he tires out then turn to Cisse.

    Mbemba has played more football than Colocinni and deserves the start in my opinion. If Williamson and Taylor start we’ve lost, simple as that.

  • 10 Bambams // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:06 PM

    Cheers Thump

  • 11 Shadow_Shearer // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:10 PM

    I would go with

    Janmaat s.taylor colo Haidara
    Sissoko anita
    Obertan wijnaldum aarons

    Obertan would only get the nod over perez cause I feel perez is still an apprentice, & arrons is more ready. This could be disputed, but it’s my team for tomorrow.

    possible changes I could make if needed

    Cisse on mitrovic off of we need a goal.
    perez if I want to bring to replace a winger.
    De jong on & wijnaldum shifted on to one of the wings.
    colback in the defence mid, which can also give sissoko a more advance position like wings or AMC.
    Mbemba would be introduced at some point hopefully for taylor.

  • 12 Slank // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:11 PM

    I would prefer to see Aarons on the wing instead of De Jong. If De Jong does play I expect Janmaat and especially Haidara to get forward quickly to supply the crosses.

    Janmaat Coloccini (c) Taylor Haidara
    Colback Anita
    Sissoko Wijnaldum de Jong

  • 13 nufcrich21 // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:14 PM

    Janmaat Colo mbemba haidara
    Tiote or colback
    Sissoko gini De jong Aarons
    cisse or mitrovic

    That would be my team in a 4 1 4 1 formation. It’s really hard but I think we need to play De jong and whnaldum in the same team personally. Im not fused that mbemba hasn’t had game time as the rest of our centre backs are woeful

  • 14 Ron Knee // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:16 PM

    Can we assume that Gouffran won’t get a look in tomorrow?

  • 15 JackButler // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:18 PM

    I understand the need to play two holding mids against the likes of Arsenal etc etc but outside of the top five teams we need to play with one and impress our game more and to do that we need creativity on the pitch.

    First game of the season and Ashley Young is up to his old tricks already by getting another pro booked by diving

  • 16 Sliema // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    Janmaat – Colo – Taylor/Mbemba* – Haidara
    Socks – Colback
    Perez – Wijnaldum – Aarons

    *depends how Mbemba’s match fitness is looking.

    I wouldn’t play Anita. As much as Shtevie would like to get his passing game going with a technical player like Anita, we just can’t carry him against a team like Soton who are already up to speed and into their competstive season further than us. He’s just too small and weak and he’ll get the ball taken from him all day.

    Peeps seam to have forgotten about Perez? Yeh he didn’t score bagsful in the end last season but he was the only one coming out of most games with any positives and given his age and potential he deserves a run in the side.

  • 17 TacoFlavoredKisses ForMyBen-arfa // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    Janmaat Mbemba Lac Haidara
    Sissoko anita
    SDJ wijnaldum aarons

  • 18 nufcrich21 // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    Does anyone else not believe this 4 2 3 1 formation is woeful it has never worked. Play to our strengths which is our midfield.. best defence is attack keep the team on the back foot and the defending does itself. I’d pack the midfield or play 4-3-3 think when we play 4-3-3 we have always done well in the past

  • 19 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    I would like to see a 4-3-3 tomorrow with a midfield of:

    Sissoko – Wij – Anita

    Front three of:

    Siem – Mitro – Aarons

    No more 4-2-3-1 please.

  • 20 Tsunki // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:23 PM

    1/ good news Ed
    2/ rubbish team
    3/ Ashley Out!

  • 21 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:23 PM

    —Janmaat Mbemba Colo Haidara
    ——————— —Wijnaldum
    —–Sissoko De Jong Aarons

  • 22 WWSBRD // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:23 PM

    Sissoko suddenly back in CM for everyone? Have we forgotten how ineffectual he is there? Also hasn’t played there under McClaren

    I don’t think people are taking this blog seriously anymore with there lineups

  • 23 WWSBRD // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:25 PM

    These not there

  • 24 hibbit // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:25 PM

    sliema….. what about colo fitness never kick a ball in preseason……..willo and taylor will start

  • 25 JackButler // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:27 PM


    Colo will start, SM has more or less said as much, it’s just a question of who plays along side him and I think Saylor will get the nod

  • 26 Shadow_Shearer // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:30 PM

    @ nufcrich21

    There is very little difference between 4231 & 433. Only difference is the AMC plays deeper role in 433, more suited to a box to box imo. Wijnaldum or sissoko could play that role. De jong is more suited to the AMC role in 4231

  • 27 Sliema // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:31 PM


    Colo is going to start whether we like it or not. I’d take Colo over Willo even if he broke his spine in the warm up. Please let us never see that man in our shirt again.

  • 28 hibbit // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:34 PM

    jack still not sure about that colo has not kicked a ball since may the other 2 have the shirts i could be wrong but i think he will stick with willo and taylor at lest to start

  • 29 Bambams // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:35 PM

    —Janmaat Mbemba Lascelles Haidara
    ——————— —Wijnaldum
    —–Sissoko De Jong Aarons

    Colo hasn’t played anytime….
    Let’s get them in and start partnerships.
    Wini and SDJ if fit must always start

  • 30 JackButler // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:37 PM


    He said about Colo that although he hasn’t played, he’s trained well and that sometimes to best way to gain fitness is to simply play the player.

    If there’s any surprise at the back it will be that Mbemba starts but I think that’s unlikely tbh

  • 31 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:38 PM

    Man Ure were very lucky

  • 32 Bambams // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:39 PM

    —Janmaat Mbemba Lascelles Haidara
    ——————— —Wijnaldum
    —–Sissoko De Jong Aarons
    ——————-Mitrovic Perez/cisse

    Changed AGAIN….
    We are at home, need wins so would play either Cisse or Perez one in either half alongside Mitrovic

  • 33 hibbit // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:39 PM

    sliema willo is the only play we have had an offer on and we refused it so we are going to see more of him i dont know what the club see in him but they dont want to sell

  • 34 JamesToon // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:41 PM

    absolutely buzzing for the game tomorrow, but just hope williamson doesn’t start!

  • 35 Mag52 // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:48 PM

    Jail.(previous post)

    So you think Ashley has changed for the better ?
    If not, then the deception is being continued by SM isn’t it, or by anyone who takes on the job under Ashley surely ?
    Pardew, like McClaren, are both employed to do a job. A job they love and are well paid to do. Pardew stuck it for four years under the restrictions placed on the manager from above. It’ll be interesting, unless Ashley really has changed, to see how long SM will put up with it.

  • 36 JDdubai // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:48 PM

    I remember Soton last season, Pelle was all over Dummett and Colo. Think we need Saylor in there somewhere to try to stand up to Pelle – obvs Willo not considered and could be a rough start for Mbemba without a full pre-season.

    Would go with


    SDJ to be introduced, likewise Cisse if Mitrovic tires.
    Mbemba to come on at some point to get minutes under his belt.

  • 37 nufcrich21 // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:49 PM


    Have to say I disagree with you on that. Playing two holding midfielders destroys your attack. Anita and colback always sit back. I hate that we play two DM, but we have to because our centre backs are that poor. Hopefully mbemba May be the answer. Still think we need a shawcross type CB.

    If we could get tiote back to his best we would have our own matic.

  • 38 JDdubai // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:49 PM

    I remember Soton last season, Pelle was all over Dummett and Colo. Think we need Saylor in there somewhere to try to stand up to Pelle – obvs Willo not considered and could be a rough start for Mbemba without a full pre-season.

    Would go with


    SDJ to be introduced, likewise Cisse if Mitrovic tires.
    Mbemba to come on at some point to get minutes under his belt.

    By september id drop Wini back with Anita and have SDJ as the 10, at home anyway, probably leave as above for away games.

  • 39 will die for the toon army // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:50 PM

    We have a very short team we might concede from corners and free kicks.

  • 40 catchy in norway // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:50 PM

    sorry guys, but i have to question anyone who has Obertan in the squad, the guy has been at our club nor for some time and offered us nothing other than pace with no end product, and by that i mean, yes he has set up a goal or 2, but not even a fraction of what he should have done from the positions he has been in, add to that the fact he is very poor with his defensive help of the full back on either side, no he is an all round shocking player.

    looking forward to tomorrow 🙂

    anyone see the Mnau game there, pretty lucky if you ask me, they will not finish 4th or above that at all

  • 41 catchy in norway // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:51 PM


    id be looking at that starting line up

  • 42 rossc // Aug 8, 2015 at 2:57 PM

    I know that it is highly unlikely to happen today, but i think we could benefit a lot by playing Colo as a holding defensive midfielder.

    —Janmaat Mbemba Taylor Handara
    ———Wijnaldum —— Anita——–
    —–——Sissoko —— Aarons/Perez
    ————— Mitrovic/Cisse

  • 43 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Aug 8, 2015 at 3:11 PM

    Yo…and I don’t think this club takes it serious with these managers they appoint!

    You know before Sissoko came to the UK we funktioned just fine in central mid 😉

  • 44 scout // Aug 8, 2015 at 3:33 PM

    Have you been on the aeroplane glue Ed?

  • 45 bobby mango // Aug 8, 2015 at 4:02 PM

    Not the line up is like. Absolute joke

  • 46 AndyMac // Aug 8, 2015 at 4:46 PM

    SM is allegedly keen to work with the double six strategy, with an attacking MF combining with a DM. Colback and Anita are two similar types of player so Wijnaldum is a better choice to partner Colback. Width from Aarons and Perez and De Jong just behind Mitrovic. I’m not sure De Jong has recovered his form but only playing time will tell ?

  • 47 scubydu // Aug 8, 2015 at 4:47 PM

    janmatt mbemba dummet haidara
    Socks wini djong aarons
    Mitro perez
    cannot fail all attack

  • 48 MassiveG // Aug 8, 2015 at 6:20 PM

    Ed’s got it wildly wrong – think he will have faith in Mbemba. Mac likes Tiote and rightly so but not quite ready. Oddly i think he’ll have barons on the bench. Lots seem to have Perez but he did well but he can’t be relied on as a starter yet. Good bench option. Lots also seem to think you can just take De Jong out to make room for Wijno but Siem is one of the best three players in our club with Janmaat and Wijno. Has to play.

    Wijno Colback
    Sissoko-De Jong-Cabella

  • 49 blacksmith // Aug 8, 2015 at 6:21 PM

    This would be my team to start off the season:

    Janmaat Mbemba Taylor Haidara
    —Wijnaldum —— Sissoko ——

    I think Taylor should get the start and can be replaced by Colo later on. Taylor adds some height to the back line.

    Colback at DMF who can add energy and passing. Anita is also an option here.

    Wijnaldum would be the more creative midfield outlet pushing forward. Sissoko would be the athletic ball winning and adding a runs from deep positions.

    Ayoze could add some flair on the right or cut in to partner Mitro. Wijn or Sissoko could be pushed wide.
    Aarons would stay wide and provide crosses in.

    Mitro can lead the line with his power and distribution.

    Obertan can add some pace out wide later in games to run at tired defenders.
    Tiote could be a defensive pivot in midfield late on to hold a lead.
    De Jong could replace Wijn in midfield and Wijn could go wide to add more creativity.
    Papiss can score off the bench. De Jong could also slot in up front.

  • 50 mkhalaf // Aug 9, 2015 at 7:47 AM


    Janmaat Colo Saylor Haidara

    Colback wignaldum

    Sissoko aarons
    De Jong


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