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Howay The Lads!!

Newcastle Were Excellent For Those First 75 Minutes

7:47 pm, Sunday, August 9th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 179 Comments

It was difficult to know what to expect today from a Newcastle side that hadn’t played together before today.

Steve McClaren made a brave decision before the game to start both Coloccini and Mbemba in the heart of the defense, and it paid off,  and the two showed they could form a very good partnership – once they have played a few more games together.

Chancel Mbemba looked excellent on his debut. and so did the sublime Gini Wijnaldum.

steve mcclaren home to saints

Steve McClaren on the touchline today

Both players did really well, given that had very little play in pre-season – Colo had none – and Mbemba played about 30 minutes last Saturday against Borussia Monchengladbach.

But we looked weak against high centers coming in – which is how Southampton got both their goals.

But it’s also the job of the full-backs (and others) to stop those crosses coming in and both were from the right win – so that’s an area the side can improve on.

This is what Steve McClaren said after the game:

“I didn’t quite know what to expect because it’s been a short pre-season,” “The only really decent game was Borussia Monchengladbach last week, and even that was a nice, gentle pace.

“Southampton looked like they’d played more competitive games than us, which they have because of the Europa League, but while I didn’t really know what to expect from us, I’m absolutely delighted with what I saw.

“For 75 minutes, the team were excellent. We didn’t play smart after that, but fatigue played a part. The game had everything.”   “Jack Colback made a great block to get us the point.”

“Have we learned anything? We’ve learned so much. Can we get better? Most definitely.” “Once we get up to our fitness levels as the weeks go on, this is certainly something to build on.” “Not just the team – the squad as well.”

“I don’t like conceding goals like that.” “Pelle was always a danger, and it was a terrific header from him, but we didn’t do enough to stop the cross or mark in the box to put him off.”

“The second goal was probably even more disappointing than the first. It’s given us something to work on, but then we always thought there would be.”

We were surprised Newcastle were so good, but some of the lads did tire towards the end of the game,  and if any side was going to win it late – it was Southampton.

But this was so much better than the tripe served up last season by John Carver and company – this was a different class completely.

And as we suspected Steve McClaren will be able to get the best out of a number of Newcastle’s players – like Coloccini and Vurnon Anita to name two.

Cheick Tiote could also have a good season under Steve McClaren,  who knows him well from their two seasons together at FC Twente.

And after Vurnon Anita was stretchered off in the second half and replaced by Cheick, Steve McClaren had good news on the Dutchman:

“Vurnon is OK and he’s walking around normally. We will assess it this week.”

Southampton should do well again this season, although they do have the Europa League and with all the game they will have to play that could be difficult for them.

Steve McClaren is said to have had a long meeting with owner Mike Ashley before the game – so hopefully we will now have the three players lined up to sign before September 1st.


All we needed today to make it perfect was a win,  but we just couldn’t hold out – but those 90 minutes will help a lot of our players, and we will be a lot more match fit at Swansea next Saturday.That’s another tough game for us, but we did manage a 2-2 draw there last season.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Injuries · Interview · Premier League · Press Conference

179 responses so far ↓

  • 1 anthc // Aug 9, 2015 at 7:51 PM

    Tiote needs to trim down and get fit. He was blowing out his backside after 10 mins. Appreciate he’s allegedly been injured since January but he’s nowhere near fit enough for first team. I personally think he will be away along with cisse who showed a drastic improvement today. Amazing what a bit competition for places can do.

  • 2 the white tino // Aug 9, 2015 at 7:52 PM

    I think I got the mean (average) pretty much spot on with my prediction, let’s hope we right

  • 3 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:00 PM

    Well Ed, I gave you time to get all your articles out of the way before posting Blackley’s observations from Bar 1892. I should’ve known better.

    Forgot to mention Obertan. Decent performance.

    What does De Jong do? Reminds me too much of his brother. Little, if any, impact. How much longer before he shows us? I’m growing impatient.

  • 4 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:00 PM

    Another racist Leicester player

  • 5 DAVEMAC // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:03 PM

    Ed I dont know what game you and Mr. McLaren were watching but it was not the same one as me. Defensively we were terrible , Coloccini was so slow I could have beat him and I am just under 70. How the manager can say we were excellent for 75 minutes is beyond me, one great goal and one fluke from a deflection coupled with two terrible defensive goals by the opposition cant be classed as good. To say we tired late in the match is appalling from a manager, it is the first game of the season and they should not talking about getting there fitness up to the required standard that should be there now and to talk about tiring is a very lame excuse for not being prepared correctly for the kick off. Another long hard season unless we make another two or three good signings

  • 6 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:03 PM

    I didn’t think Cisse had one of his better games overall but he came up with the goods. If you think he looked better, I suspect it’s more to do with the fact he’s now injury free.

  • 7 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:06 PM

    We can’t afford to go through the season with Colo. He is a liability. He’s so slow and weak. It worries me that Makro is backing him so much. Major error of managerial judgment IMO.

  • 8 AndyMac // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:09 PM

    “Once we get up to our fitness levels as the weeks go on, this is certainly something to build on.”

    Soz but isnt that what you’re supposed to do with your staff before the season starts ? Southampton lasted the 90 !

  • 9 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:10 PM

    It set alarm bells ringing for me when I heard the lads were training with the ball throughout pre-season. They need to do plenty of running – enough that they’re ready to vomit. Or else you start to flag in the last 20 minutes. We were hanging on in the end.

  • 10 cestriasteve // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:16 PM

    For what it’s worth he is my feedback on the game:

    Left hand side in the first half dreadful Haidria first touch terrible.
    obertan woeful
    Widi and Sissoko very good first half, tired 2nd half.

    Game changed after Anita went off, don’t know why we lost our shape.

    Collo and Co. Can’t head the ball this season, again.

    Kruls distribution and command of the box poor.

  • 11 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:16 PM

    Colback and Anita were not creative enough. Makro was going mad with Colback for not getting his head up and switching play. Anita hit too many stray balls.

    I said we need a dozen in and a dozen out. Last year’s faces, with the exception of Sissoko and Janmaat, didn’t look fresh enough. I’d rather have seen Perez come on rather than De Jong.

  • 12 bobby mango // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:20 PM

    To say we are excellent is an exaggeration. We looked pretty blunt in attack compared to Southampton, they always looked dangerous. We were saved by a couple of offsides and Mane could have scored a couple.

    I’m encouraged by mcclaren and his staff though. I don’t think their heads will drop like they did last season.
    Mcclaren has been critical of the preseason schedule and I believe they will continue to improve.

    That said we are short. The left side was vulnerable. Dummett may be better than Hairdryer defensively but I’d much rather see an experienced lb who can help with the organisation. A bit of pace to cover colo will be necessary.

    Annoyed Colo is staying but going on mcclaren’s reasoning on keeping him we have to have faith in that. I think his experience can help Mbemba and they could be a decent pairing.

  • 13 toon kk // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:25 PM

    I’m a lot more optimistic than I was about this season, but the last 20mins reminded me of what we often revert to.
    Not sure what to expect from Mit yet, a bull in a China shop comes to mind, along with a few red cards

  • 14 Klatoon // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:27 PM

    thought it would take some time but SM has already changed the team dynamic. Very few long balls today, CB’s going out wide to receive from krul and also Anita dropping between them to receive it shows how integral he will be this season. If only we had more threat down the LW (Aarons/perez). Tiote was shocking to be honest, not just fitness wise but also how easily and often he was caught in possesion.

  • 15 LGFUAD21 // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:28 PM

    Some people need to lighten up.

    Today we were much inproved over last season. Southampton would’ve dominates the team of last season.

    The ball work has made us more patient, smarter and comfortable on the ball.

    We created more chances than we did in the average game last season.

    Anyone that thinks training means running players around until they puke is a dinosaur that needs to go back the the 70s.

    Pardew used to do fitness intense training and we ended up with a team with no clue how to play the game, create, unlock defences or manage a game. It’s thinking like that which has the England team such a shambles. Run, run, run. Doesn’t matter what you do with the ball as long as you are running.

    Match fitness will come. Teams that are 100% there by day 1 often burn out and fall away. Even Mourinho said you want your team to build up so they hit top gear just before Christmas.

    Some righty miserable sods on here. Do t know why they bother supporting the team because it will never match their expectations.

    What did Colo do so bad that Mbemba didn’t.

    For the first goal Colo was well positioned. It was Mbemba who should’ve picked up Pelle.

  • 16 Klatoon // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:30 PM

    Everyone getting on Haidaras back needs to reflect on sotons new RB Cedric Soares.And hes supposed to be decent too!

  • 17 LGFUAD21 // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:31 PM

    Colo is staying because he is the best defender we had.

    He would’ve gotten in the soton team today ahead of Yoshida.

    I hate seeing dummet at left back. He gets caught up field. has a cross on a par with haidaras.

    He has this tendency to turn in on himself, get trapped and hoof it b

  • 18 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:31 PM

    I agree with everything you just said

  • 19 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:32 PM

    Klatoon You are right if Soares hadn’t be substituted he’d have been sent off

  • 20 OneAlanShearer // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:34 PM

    So taking stock after 1 match.
    Players like Krul and cisse have raised their game which is encouraging.
    Mbemba and Wijnaldum look quality improvements.
    Colo is either short of match fitness or finished. We still need another centre back.
    Haidara is still better going forward than back, we need a better left back.
    Anita looks an improved player.
    Tiote looks well short of match fitness. We need a better defensive midfielder who can pass.
    Sdj has no pace and we need a pacey Winger who can cross and take a free kick.
    We could do with another striker.

    Over to you schteve.

  • 21 metaloverlord // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:35 PM

    I thought we played some of the best football I have seen us play in the last year and a half. No Williamson playing so no aimless lumping the ball towards the corner flag, Mbemba looks like a player, his pace will pull us out of the Timothy White so many times this season. Wijnaldum will be a major player for us when he fully gets up to speed with the Premier League. He wanted a second too long at times but he will learn. Good to see Cisse fit again, even if his 2nd touch is still a tackle he was in the right place at the right time again. Mitrovic looks strong as an ox, just needs to learn how to tackle. How anyone can criticise McClaren after one competitive match is beyond me, especially after the tripe we were served up for the last 5 months of last season.

  • 22 toon kk // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:35 PM

    Alot of people pull Obertan down but tbh we all know he’s not world class and never will be, but he was an engine today, we need pace he provides it. When Pards went on that 6 win stretch Ober and Aarons were the key to getting us forward.

  • 23 GEORDIE69 // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:36 PM

    I have lived and breathed every breath of Newcastle United since 1984, probably more than most! One thing that really winds me up is our fans. Why are you as stupid to think that one season and three signings later we should be hammering Southampton? You are exactly what makes me a shamed to be a Geordie! If any of you deluded people fancy meeting up then let me know! I will drop my mobile number . You seriously need a reality check and a little wake up call.

  • 24 Small World // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:46 PM

    In addition to the comments posted so far, I’d like to add that it was good to see Sissoko play for both halves of the game and not put in another of his 45 minute peformances. If only he could pass he would be the absolutely top class player he thinks he is.

  • 25 JackButler // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:54 PM

    Some of the reactions on here are laughable, we have one game after a pathetically organised pre season and people are talking about “alarm bells going off” “this player is rubbish” etc etc etc

    We are a mid table side at best, if people think we are gonna rip up the league cause of a few million investment or a new manager you’re only fooling yourself.

    And compared to last season joke,today was a hell of a lot better in every area

  • 26 Small World // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:54 PM

    Also note to Steve Mac: As we’re going to keep Colo, go out and buy a real man mountain of a new centre half and move move the curly haired on into a defensive midfield role. I reckon he’d do a job.

  • 27 MikkyD // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:54 PM

    Haidara is a good back up but never a first choice defender because he can’t… we need to find a new left back as good as Enrique was.

  • 28 Small World // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:55 PM

    JackButler // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:54 PM


  • 29 martoon // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:57 PM


    Evening lads I quite enjoyed the match today – quite a good game and we showed potential for the season.

    Anyway to predictions – I got 98 predictions and I’ve taken the mean of the results (mode for top goal scorer)which gives us an average score of:-
    Final position in League: 10
    Final no. of points: 53
    League Cup round: 5 (quarter final)
    FA cup round: 5 (last 16)
    No of 1st team signings this season: 5
    No of 1st team leaving this season: 3
    Top goal scorer: Mitrovic
    No of goals for top scorer: 15

    A few optimists think we’ll win the league cup and/or FA cup. Mitrovic was the overwhelming choice for top goal scorer ranging from 10 to 28 goals! A handful went for Cisse and a couple for Perez and Wjinaldum. A couple of jokers went for Austin and Riviere 🙂

  • 30 9 // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:58 PM

    OK, boys: 2 unchallenged headers, 2-1 up and stop playing, this is in fact a useless result. If you can’t win your home matches (despite scoring 2 goals) you ain’t gonna win anything. Oh how I hated the last 20 minutes.
    We have all been calling for a commanding centre half for, approx, 3 years. Spend the cash and get him in.
    I’m so disappointed in my club’s result. HWTL

  • 31 doofa the loofa // Aug 9, 2015 at 8:59 PM

    So just to clarify… are you after a bust up or you after getting laid please??

  • 32 VanBasten // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:01 PM

    @ GEORDIE69. Well said!

    I’m also getting fed up to hear all the negative comments. It seems like it is much easier to criticize than to praise someone. I watched the game and I thought that the team played well considering what they went through last season and this being the first game with many players still not 100% match fit. Also the new players need to settle. Also, we can’t forget that Southampton was the surprise team of last season and has proven that they are really a good team that can beat anyone on their best day.

    Stop focusing on the negative and try to see the positive. There were a lot of positive things to take from the game and yet not many can bring themselves to write about that. I wonder why? I personally think that the same people will always complain, no matter how well the team plays or how many wins they rack up. You can’t shake off bad habits overnight….

  • 33 OneAlanShearer // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:02 PM

    Far from thinking we will rip up the league I am concerned as we have so many weaknesses in the side it lacks balance. We need
    Another centre back, left back, defensive midfielder who can act as a playmaker, a winger who can cross and take a free kick and a striker.

    Sdj’s lack of pace and Mitrovic’s make me think we need more.

    I always start off optimistic but the good points in the side ate offset by a lot of poor points. If southampton can build a side and Swansea so can we.

  • 34 JackButler // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:02 PM


    We didn’t stop playing at 2-1 up, when Anita left the field through injury Tiote came on and we sat deeper as we no longer had the link play.

    It will take weeks/months for SM to address the major issues that have taken root over the past three or four years

  • 35 JackButler // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:08 PM


    We are building a side, but there is no way we are gonna do it in one window. All the clubs we want to chase down have been investing for years season after season while we’ve limped from season to season spending the bare minimum.

    There are years of neglect to rectify and it will take years to do that

  • 36 9 // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:13 PM

    Hi Jack,
    I wasn’t at the game, listening to BBC commentary from my home 300 miles away. Their commentary has always seemed pretty fair to me. Pat Nevin said we fell back as soon as we put the new centre forward on, so that’s my take on it, plus the fact that the next 15-20 minutes of commentary were completely asbout Soton attcking. It sounded as though there was only one team in the last 15 minutes, whereas the commentary had been pretty supportive of our attempts up till then. Good luck to our new manager (coach?) but what a disappointment.

  • 37 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:14 PM

    It took Southampton about 3 or 4 months to start to be able to play the way Pochettino wanted when he took over from Adkins we have had a poorly organised pre season that was sorted by Carver with players who have been coached terribly for 4 or 5 years it will take some time before we are perfect !

    The signs were encouraging we were dominating them for large portions of the game and there was some slick passing moves with 1 touch passing

    There was also no long balls even when we went a goal down if that was Pardew in charge we would have been hoofing it to Cisse after about 10 minutes in

    Was just good to be entertained and see us having a go at home against a team that we are competing with tired of watching us just let teams come to St James’s with the points

    Swansea will be tough next week especially if Tiote has to play he was terrible !

  • 38 overtheline // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:15 PM

    Excellent stuff Martoon !

    We all know the problems with the defence and where their weakness lies. FBs covering and trying to cut out crosses might help but we do need jumpers. Dunno where they’re coming from as we ain’t gonna sign another CB

  • 39 will die for the toon army // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:17 PM


    Say the same for Chelsea and Arsenal. Dont speak $h&t coz u have to.

  • 40 will die for the toon army // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:20 PM


    Southampton has played 2 competitive games already. NUFC got exhausted towards the end of the game.

  • 41 jane // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:21 PM

    “A couple of jokers went for Austin and Riviere”

    I will be the only one laughing if we sign him!

  • 42 9 // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:22 PM


  • 43 JackButler // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:23 PM


    Hi mate, watched the game and as soon as Anita went off we sat back and allowed Southampton come on to us, not intentionally, but Tiote is no visionary and limited in his passing range.

    Anita was excellent while he played as he linked everything up and without him we sat deeper and that’s how Mitovic was isolated.

    It was a good game though and a big improvement on last season, where we would have not only lost, but lost by some way as Southampton are a very good side

  • 44 Irishmag // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:23 PM

    Anyone think we should give Lascelles a chance?? Showed good qualities at forest and is a big lad which is what we need..can’t be much worse than Colo tbh

  • 45 check the toastie // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:24 PM

    Abeid should have been on the bench instead of Tiote, he was really bad and has been awful for a long time.

    Was a cracking game and the difference in the football served up today than over the past 8years was noticeable. Its hopefully going to be a canny year.

    Make no bones about it lads, there are no easy games in this league.

    Collo is clearly a concern, but I have to say De Jong puzzles me, reckon he would look good in a dominant team, ala Berbatov but a passenger when we are under the cash, Aarons and Perez have already proven they offer more.

    Atmosphere was good, enjoyed the day.

  • 46 9 // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:26 PM

    C’mon, boys:
    “NUFC got tired….” Are you for real? This is unbelievable garbage. Why on earth would 11 professionals ( 3 of whwich have only been on for half an hour or less) get “tired” in their very first match?? Are you missing something? Or am I missing something? To me, this is the most unbelievable excuse in the world!

  • 47 JackButler // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:29 PM


    There is a massive difference between being fit and being match fit. Every player, every manager/coach will tell you it takes three or four games for all players to become match fit.

    The only sides that truly looked up to speed this weekend are the ones that have been playing Europa qualifiers

  • 48 Belfast // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:30 PM

    Basically our left back can’t defend. Which is usually a problem if you’re not playing for Barcelona.

    Enrique is available on loan apparently. If we aren’t interested it’s criminal.

    He’ll probably go to West Brom and there will be shouts of why didn’t we sign Enrique on loan all season. *Mystic Belfast*

  • 49 Belfast // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:33 PM

    The blog fountain of knowledge Aka Tequila has been pointing this out about our left back for about two years to be fair.

    He’ll probably be along at some point to crow about it.

  • 50 9 // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:33 PM

    By the way, I’ve just now read Ed’s original comment, that the new boy Mbemba was “excellent”. I remember Pat Nevin pointing out that he was 5’11” and “couldn’t compete” in the air with Soton’s forwards (hence the first goal?). Who is right?

  • 51 JackButler // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:35 PM

    The first goal came when Pella split Colo and Mbemba, there was no challenge on him in the air or in the ground

  • 52 will die for the toon army // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:38 PM


    Wait and watch the replay then judge. People who say Colo had a bad game r crazy. The two goals were both Janmatt and Mbembaz fault.

    Janmatt was one of the worst players on pitch.

  • 53 beermonkey // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:41 PM

    has there been any news on anita

  • 54 9 // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:43 PM

    Thank you for your reply. I can’t match your call that “EVERY manager/coach will tell you” because I don’t know any. I do know, however, that all commentators I have read are dissing the Europs League for putting too many demands on players (which I have never believed) so that seems to go against your view (though I concede it is now very early in the season, so might not be quite what they are all rabitting on against). I personally loved NUFC in the Europa League, maybe I’m stupid, but my visit to Benfica was a real highlight. Anyway, NUFC claiming to be tired is just unprofessional/shocking/idiotic, as far as my grasp of commonsense goes. (Yes, I know WHU won)

  • 55 Belfast // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:43 PM

    Stoke are making some quality signings these days like. Despite Liverpools win I still think Rodgers will be the first manager sacked this season.

  • 56 totsy // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:46 PM

    jesus, some of you need to lighten up, its the first game of the season against a strong side and we held our own to the point where we could have won. take your negativity elsewhere because it only breeds more negativity, something the club and fans could probably do with a break from.

  • 57 will die for the toon army // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:47 PM


    Mcca said he is walking well. He will b accessed tomorrow

  • 58 geordielad880 // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:47 PM

    all the players were not tired, it was our pacey players thats legs had gone, sissoko, wijnaldum, obertan and colback were the only 2 that lasted the 90 still running, i would have brought s.taylor on for anita, and switched colo to holding midfield, and aarons on for sissoko, perez for wijnadum

  • 59 beermonkey // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:50 PM

    will die for the toon


  • 60 check the toastie // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:51 PM

    This blog is full of plums, childish brats, if you went to the ground today and came out unhappy you should pack it in.

    We are going in the right direction, but we most certainly need a 6ft 4inch plus centre back to play with Mbemba. His new name is Des, he is like a cultured Des Walker, end up at Barcelona the lad, Rolls Royce footballer. Great signing, but Collo has lost a lot.

    Super footballer but legs have gone.

  • 61 OneAlanShearer // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:52 PM

    Jack Butler – the problem with their plan is 2 fold for me.
    1.if they build over a number of windows the layers that do well are going to be in demand. Under Ashley that likely means a sale….and we start again.
    2. The sides around us are passing us make no bones about it by investing and balancing the sides quickly. Our biggest imbalance is our defence and the supply to our attackers. A couple of key injuries and we are exposed.

    I don’t expect 2 players in every position in this window. I do hope we can plug the main gaps though. A centre back, a winger who can cross and a creative strike with pace.

  • 62 will die for the toon army // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:52 PM

    Mitrovic shld start wen the team is on fire rather than bring him on wen sissoko is out of steam.

    Dummett shld come back soon not impressed by Haidara.

    @9 I miss Europa too more times to see my team play is good for me.

  • 63 9 // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:54 PM

    I’m not negative. I’m positive. I believe we can and should win matches, especially home mathes.

  • 64 geordielad880 // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:54 PM

    after anita went of i would have went:-




  • 65 check the toastie // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:54 PM

    This Collo to midfield stuff should stop, he’s knackered at centre back never mind the engine room. Totally different skills.

    Anita is very important currently, him Colback and Wini where pretty good as a unit.

  • 66 geordielad880 // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:56 PM

    infront of the back four is not the engine room mate, pirlo played there all his career, he covers about 200m a game, its about ability to read a game, and that is something collocini is good at

  • 67 jane // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:57 PM

    “we most certainly need a 6ft 4inch plus centre back to play with Mbemba”

    don’t we have one?

  • 68 geordielad880 // Aug 9, 2015 at 9:58 PM

    we will have to change things against swansea, they will tear us apart, were really impressive against chelsea, stop sigs and shelvey and you have a chance, they create everything

  • 69 geordielad880 // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:00 PM

    matip is the CB they want to sign, but miles off on price, he fits the bill, tall, strong, decent pace, i dont think we will get another defender, maybe a striker, we are desperate for a CB and RB, and i would say LB also, dont rate haidara at all, shocking positioning, gets turned so easy, and cant tackle

  • 70 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:00 PM

    I hope we are keeping Abeid he should have been brought in rather than Tiote as he can actually pass the ball and has some pace !

    A couple of times watching the game on telly Tiote looks huge ! Like a slower Sissoko in build !

    Still got a really thin squad if Haidara or Janmaat are out we have no one fit currently who can step in

  • 71 will die for the toon army // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:03 PM

    CB is a must and back up RB. We dont need a winger and striker it will b wastage of money.

  • 72 OneAlanShearer // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:04 PM

    I’m just concerned we keep up the momentum. Great players don’t stick around if you don’t and we do have some to build on.

    Far from spoilt brat syndrome. I don’t expect us to be be playing in the champions league or Europe , I’d be surprised if we make 10th place.

  • 73 Noel Worst // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:06 PM

    If only we could sign Enrique, erase the past bad blood and somehow restore him to the age he was when he first signed for us. Exactly what we need. Funny whilst he was here we had the exact same problem at the other side with Simpson.

  • 74 martoon // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:07 PM

    jane @41 – Sorry no offence intended – it just amused me choosing a player from another team – despite the rumours however you could have the last laugh yet 🙂

    Whether we like it or not we did tire towards the end – it was probably the USA trip that did for us. Mac himself said it did us no favours but he can’t be blamed as it was arranged long before he started.

  • 75 9 // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:07 PM

    Sorry, once again, to contradict Ed, but again, looking at his lead comment, he says we did well to draw at home to a very strong Soton. I strongly disagree, so I took a look at last year’s results. The facts tell me that, last year, a “very strong” Southampton played 19 away matches ( of course) winning 7, drawing 2, and losing 10. So an average side would win at home to Soton. This is my disappointment: I don’t expect my team to be the heap of rubbish Mr Carver managed, I expect my team to be a very decent Premier League side. Failing to clich a home win, despite leading, to Soton does not cut it, sorry. To be clear, my team should finish 8th unless it it badly manged (ho ho) or well managed – in which case we can expect to finish higher than 8th. A home draw to Soton is, frankly, disappointing.

  • 76 will die for the toon army // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:07 PM

    Colo I will never play Midfield so never put him there.

    @9 from wat we had last season this is a big improvement.

  • 77 Belfast // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:07 PM

    Common sense should prevail and it should happen Noel Worst.

    Ok it probably won’t but it’s a damm good idea.

  • 78 OneAlanShearer // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:08 PM

    Exactly check on Colo being a dm his legs have gone in fact they went 2 seasons ago.
    Haidara and Dummett should be squad players no first choice left back we are exposed every game as a result.

    I’m happy we have bought 3 battling quality players I just don’t want to lose them quickly because we lose games unnecessarily due to flawed players.

  • 79 will die for the toon army // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:12 PM


    I want us to finish top 8 but I control my spoilt brat syndrome. Last season almost killed me.

  • 80 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:13 PM

    We need a CB but we also need a winger

    tbf despite some of the hatred being spewed Coloccini played well in parts, once he’s upto full fitness and given time to gel, him and Mbemba will be a good cb partnership. Mbemba is mighty in the air but there was no communication between the defence and the gk, once everything gels the defending will be better. Plus Krul needs to be more authoritative and come out for more crosses.

  • 81 davis_toons // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:14 PM

    @15 good analysis

    My eyes are on SDJ..what can he offer as a no.10. creatively or goals?

  • 82 Belfast // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:15 PM

    Think it’s about time we had another Austin article.

    What price is he today?

  • 83 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:16 PM

    Colback and Anita were very good today, after a few understated seasons with Anita, McClaren seems to have found Anita’s niche and playing him where he plays best

  • 84 9 // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:16 PM

    C’mon, boys: we all know Colo’s best days are behind him. For goodeness sake, we have needed a commanding centre half in our squad/team for 3 years.
    We have the money. We seem prepared to spend money, now, so why hasn’t it happened|? Is it going to happen (doesn’t look like)? If not: why on earth not? (Can I refer again to 2 unchallenged headers today?)

  • 85 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:17 PM

    he’s evens to sign for Spurs, 3/1 Everton and 5/1 to sign for us

  • 86 will die for the toon army // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:17 PM


    I think we lose games as a team once we play well our players will go on market. Ba Remy Cabaye Carroll Enrique

    Wen u play shit no one will come for ur players. Are u experiencing it this transfer. Its like we have no players to sell.

  • 87 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:18 PM

    You cannot blame Colo for Pelle goal because Pelle split Mbemba and Janmaat

  • 88 Sazzer // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:19 PM

    The important thing was to see improvement and I’m happy that McClaren went with Mbemba and Colo as CB:s.

    Carver and Pardew would have most likely put Mbemba on the bench.

    McClaren has done some wierd things in pre-season but today most of it was gone. Reasonable starting eleven and subs — combined with professionalism off the pitch.

    McClaren wasn’t my first choice but most of the things he and the club has done so far since Carver left has been worth supporting.

  • 89 will die for the toon army // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:21 PM

    De jong has lost it . Not impressed yet with him.He looks like a white Shola

  • 90 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:22 PM

    Siem looks too slow for PL

  • 91 Noel Worst // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:24 PM

    De Jong has lost it? Wh….wh…whaaaat? Based on? Face almost contorted to Joe Kinnears scrotum in confusion. Baffling the comments on here at times.

  • 92 Sazzer // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:25 PM

    I still think Ashley and Charnley need deliver a few more players before end of window to fulfill what they promised.

  • 93 Noel Worst // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:25 PM

    “Too slow for the PL.”.

    Jeez, people still say stuff like that?

  • 94 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:26 PM

    He is, given choice of Gini or Siem in the number 10 slot, gini wins 10/10

  • 95 will die for the toon army // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:29 PM

    We shld stop leaving in e past with De Jong. He shld get on the pitch and perform.

  • 96 Moonraker15 // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:30 PM

    FFS negative stuff that we all know about ie defensive! but please, there are more positives than negatives and the fans, me included showed it in the ground today.

    That Southampton team are weeks ahead in terms of match fitness because of Europa league, but we dominated for long periods and still have Mitrovic, Aarons,(who should’ve been in for Obertan) de Jong, Ayoze and Dummett to come in!

  • 97 overtheline // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:30 PM

    Anyone who think’s Ajax ex captain is in the same class as Shola needs their heid examinin’

  • 98 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:30 PM

    Pre-season is all about hard work. What’s wrong with running till you’re almost sick in order to get a high fitness base for the start of the season? Have you ever played and done it and do you know how much better you feel for it?

    If you think Colo is good enough … I’ll wager he’ll either duck out with an injury or he’ll be dropped before long. He’s a shambles.

    Sorry if you don’t like hearing honest criticism of your heroes. I’m not going to blow smoke up arses. I’d rather tell it how it is.

  • 99 will die for the toon army // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:36 PM

    Ajax ex captain hasnt impressed yet. He reminds of Marvuex I cried out for Marvuex to perform till I gave up jst like luuk De Jong and Albert Luque.

  • 100 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:46 PM

    Wijnaldum has shown in one game what class he possesses. I’ve never seen him before but you immediately see it. I’ve yet to see what De Jong offers. If he’s class, he’s doing a good job of hiding it.

  • 101 nufc1993 // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:51 PM

    Strongest starting 11?


    Janmaat coloccini mbemba dummet


    Sissoko Wijnaldum Obertan



  • 102 jane // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:52 PM

    De Jong only played 10 minutes tho and last season played 4 times coming on as sub in 3. early days?

  • 103 jimmysmith // Aug 9, 2015 at 10:57 PM

    Collo is class, but there does seem a tendency to bottle it under persistent pressure. But we are talking when pressure has mounted for long periods with the problems and causes having not been addressed by the coaching set up and club, and when many players have bottled it before him. Colback for example, appears a more resilient character, but on balance, and if the side is well prepared, Collo is most likely still one of our greatest assets.

  • 104 davis_toons // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:02 PM
    Look at 3.35 for the 2nd goal which disappoint the HC the most.

    Long was jumper…Janmaat maybe could have tried harder..

  • 105 9 // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:04 PM

    Good grief! MOTD2 clearly shows the 2 goals we leaked. Why do’t we see the NEED to sign a tall, commanding CH?

  • 106 jimmysmith // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:05 PM

    I still have high hopes for De Jong, but they are waning a little You don’t play for Holland as a creative attacking mid, and captain Ajax if you don’t have real attributes, but he has shown nothing so far and at this stage its hard to see where he slots in, and he is relatively slow and that can’t be a good thing in this league, and can he play in the same team as Wiji, who looks much more impressive physically, and who appears to play in the same position.

  • 107 welshgeordie9 // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:08 PM

    I wish some muppets would stop moaning about the players especially de dong he’s been out for a long time what do expect him to do run around the pitch like usain bolt.

  • 108 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:09 PM

    To all the Colo bashers……

    You cannot blame Colo for either goal conceded

  • 109 Tsunki // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:10 PM

    Well 2-2 that means I was right twice ha ha.

    Lot of prophets on here after just one game. Funny.

  • 110 beermonkey // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:11 PM

    how nice to be able to watch motd and not be ashamed of the way we played

  • 111 welshgeordie9 // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:12 PM

    1st game of the season for crying out loud, two best teams this weekend are swans and West Ham, Liverpool were crap today, Arsenal were poor today, Chelsea and Man Utd were poor yesterday.

  • 112 OneAlanShearer // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:13 PM

    Seeing the first goal again from another angle on Motd there is no defender on earth that could have stopped that. The ball looped in at pace onto his head perfectly. Mbemba would have needed to have been 12ft tall to stop that.

    The more I think about this match the more I’m encouraged. I still hope we sign 3 more but the way Mcclaren has us playing I can see us doing well.

  • 113 davis_toons // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:15 PM

    “If he’s class, he’s doing a good job of hiding it.”

    haha…im more of a forgiving sort..i’m willing to give him the time (By Jan will be a good time doesnt it?) he needed to settle and get into the Fast and Furious English game.

    In this League, you will need to possess either one of this Speed, Strength or Technic and The Last will be the Adaptability and Confidence of oneself.

    Once you lost it. You will be the next Fernando Torres.

    As the song goes..I am watching you ..ah lalala long..long long..DE JONG..

  • 114 Munster Mag // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:17 PM

    Lots of reasons to be cheerful. I have doubted sissoko massively but the new set up will help him. But some home truths from munster mag:
    1. Not sure we can say janmaat is a secure defender. Elements of santon about him in the air.
    2. Colo as captain is a worry. He peaked years ago and i doubt mbemba and him will be strong enough or tall enough. Yet captaincy copper fastens his place. I wudnt mind if he had a class big man beside him but mbemba aint that.
    3. Mbemba didnt look as good as journos said. At fault badly for first goal. Reserving judgement on him big time.

    But gini…how did man u miss him. What a talent.

  • 115 Belfast // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:18 PM

    What a ball by Obertan by the way

    McClaren definitely needs to shave that little triangle of his head though.

  • 116 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:18 PM

    Watch Southampton’s first goal. The first to go AWOL is Colo. It leaves them with 3 on 2. Mbembe gets caught in two minds. That said, it was such a good leap from Pelle, I don’t think anyone would have defended it. We had to stop the cross or the keeper had to anticipate it and claim it.

    Janmaat should’ve been much stronger for the second.

  • 117 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:21 PM

    You can’t blame Mbembe gor the first goal. It was a hell of a leap. Watch Colo go AWOL – he wasn’t to blame but it didn’t help.

  • 118 magpiesi // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:23 PM

    De Jong is not fast running etc but his vision is properly the best in the squad he has a eye for a pass either a chip,flick or shot he thinks quicker than any other player in our squad.

    The saints are a good team a few games and fitness levels better than ours so overall a good result if we didn’t lose Anita today Dejong would of been a bit better as Tiote was well off the pace today and when he came on the link up play wasn’t as good as the first hour.

  • 119 Toon-Prodigy // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:24 PM

    We need height in that box, any sort of ball comes in we are in ruins. Coaching in the short term will not solve it and will cost.

    It was a decent game today, nothing special, just an opener.

    People thinking it was a build on last season, give it a rest eh? The only reason it was because we had everyone fit. Great bench. Check that through John Carvers spell.

    If you had of give Pardew/any manager these new signings we would of seen the same. What Steve has in store will take atleast 10 games to see it’s early days.

    Nice to see a manager backed though right now. But, i know there is still time for this regime to derail for the love of money.

  • 120 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:32 PM

    I highly doubt if Pardew was manager we would have seen the same, line up would have been different. We would have been hammered if Pardew was manager

  • 121 Munster Mag // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:34 PM

    Sadly de jongs efforts reinforce my views of him

  • 122 123 Dummet Time // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:36 PM


  • 123 Toon-Prodigy // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:37 PM


    Im concerned on De Jong. Fitness wise I don’t think he will make it in the Prem.

    I know it’s early but he looks scared to bust a gut to me.

  • 124 Our Toon // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:38 PM

    A decent result considering Southampton are much fitter than us, look at what West Ham did to Arsenal today. The teams in the Europa League are ahead in terms of match sharpness.

    I think we played ok, Haidara was awful. Obertan isn’t much better yet both got assists. Time after time Haidara let Tadic on his left foot to put crosses in, does he not know Tadic only has a left foot? Obertan keeps it simple and safe, doesn’t like to take defenders on, doesn’t like using his pace. Excellent cross for the 2nd goal though but anonymous throughout.

    Tiote is miles off the pace and looked it wheb he came on but still did well considering he’s not played since January, Anita can’t pass forward and anytime he does he loses the ball, got outbattled in midfield, Colback was more impressive but Mane could and should have punished us at least 3 times. Another case of these 2 not tracking midfield runners.

    Colo and Mbemba will take time to form a partnership but they did well considering they’ve never played together amd have probably had a couple of training sessions together. Overall it was decent stuff but we are majorly weak down the left

  • 125 Our Toon // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:41 PM

    Toon Prodigy

    SDJ along with the others thay came off the bench struggled to make an impact on the game today but he’s not someone who busts a gut. The guy is a class act, he’s barely played 180 mins and you’ve pretty much written him off

  • 126 brklyngeordie // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:44 PM

    I see the first goal against seems to be a topic of debate I for one think Mbemba could have done better in the sense of being closer to Pelle to make him uncomfortable not that he could have got higher then him..

    Also bit surprised that more of us aren’t upset about 2 PK’s that could have been given for us if not both def the 1 where Colo pulled off the strikers control in box Yoshida definitely hit w/ hand

  • 127 Widowmaker // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:44 PM

    Can’t stop feeling pity for Colo. we would have conceded more without his offside traps.

    On the other hand, Obertan had a great game? Great my axse, he was great going forward but reaponsoble for the cross that lead to the goals conceded.

  • 128 Menelauos // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:52 PM

    Once we get Mbemba a decent centre back partner. You will see how much better he plays, if you watch the game back, see his positioning and where he’s looking, he spent 90 minutes trying to keep an eye on the player Collo was marking incase he had to turn back and pick up the pieces. I’d be satisfied we are a top half table team with one big commanding centre half, along with a creatve striker with pace who can also play on the wing. I don’t know why were not in for that Adama lad or N’Jie, both fit Cashleys philosophy and shouldn’t be massively over priced.

  • 129 davis_toons // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:54 PM

    Blackley and Brownlie look at 0.04 of the video for the 1st goal .. and watch what happen next..

    1. Haridia signalling to Colo to step in as he is leaving his Man
    2. Colo goes forwards to the Man
    3. And Haidara goes forward to cut/ stop the crosses..
    4. Meanwhile you can see that Mbemba signalling to Janmaat on the 2 Soto guys behind him.

    5. The cross comes in and its a 3 on 3. (Video 0:10)

    Colo with one soton at his back
    Mbembe with one at his back
    Janmaat with one at his back

    Where did the Ball drop? Ans: Right behind Mbembe.

    Colo AWOL? Be Fair Bro.

  • 130 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:56 PM

    Having seen the highlights on tv, I don’t think any of the shouts were worthy of a penalty.

  • 131 Belfast // Aug 9, 2015 at 11:58 PM

    Davis Are you Coloccini? 😀

  • 132 Pardews Priceless Bulls#*t // Aug 10, 2015 at 12:00 AM

    @toon prodigy
    He is more worried about busting a lung mate

  • 133 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 10, 2015 at 12:02 AM

    Where’s the video?

    On Motd I see Colo going AWOL, losing track of his man. Mbemba sees this and slightly hedges his bets in case Colo’s man gets it.

  • 134 davis_toons // Aug 10, 2015 at 12:10 AM

    hahaaha….You must be Jonas bro know me well.

    Down the other end Fabricio Coloccini‘s volleyed effort made contact with Maya Yoshida‘s arm in the box from point-blank range but the referee waved the shout off.

    NO video to show for that hand.

  • 135 davis_toons // Aug 10, 2015 at 12:12 AM

    The Video @103 bro. I’m out ..good luck to our team

  • 136 Our Toon // Aug 10, 2015 at 12:13 AM


    Defo Mbemba fault he gave Pelle to much space but a really good cross by Soares for them. Don’t see how Colo is culpable for the first goal. As a back 4 when the full back pushes out the rest move along to close the space between each other. It’s the first rule you learn as a defender, working as a team. Haidara makes a piss poor effort in closing the cross down Colo pushes in closer to Haidara to block the space and Mbemba loses his man.

    Janmaat messed up for the 2nd goal along with Haidara again who allowed tadic to cross with his left foot. Janmaat at fault again v Southampton….deja vu

  • 137 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 10, 2015 at 12:29 AM

    I agree with you davis

  • 138 Hannibal // Aug 10, 2015 at 1:25 AM

    If we could just make the left hand side of the team as strong as the right it could be a good season. A pacey left winger with a left foot would be nice.

  • 139 Toon-Prodigy // Aug 10, 2015 at 1:34 AM

    An uprade on Haidara is the one.

    It was evident pre-season, still is..

    He will be ripped to bits in this league?

    I can’t believe the club thinks this lad is ready.

  • 140 Toon-Prodigy // Aug 10, 2015 at 1:40 AM


    I hope De Jong comes through, just having the brain isn’t good enough for this level.

    If he can’t hit his full fitness he will not be good enough. So important for this League.

  • 141 ilovetoon8788 // Aug 10, 2015 at 3:21 AM

    At the moment De jong is not going to get ahead of wiji who is a level higher than him.

    De jong is a good player provided the system is built for him. Right now we are playing with system with focus on the flanks.

    De jong may not be good enough for mcclaren. He a quality player but he looks too weak to be a force in the epl.

  • 142 Reyantoon // Aug 10, 2015 at 3:47 AM

    People saw our weakness differently.I wanted to say many things but since that was our first official game of the season,the less say the better.For me i blame Krul for the first goal.The cross from the right hand side was high ball,so krul could have come out and catch or punch the ball.Instead,he chose to stay in his goal line and watch Mbemba out-jumped by huge lad Pelle.Plus the direction of the crossed ball was near to krul’s goal,so again definitely could have catched it or punch it.I think krul still has that timing problem and is not the same Gk since he came back from that shoulder injury.
    The second goal was more of Janmaat’s fault-
    out-jumped by short lad Shane Long.But yet again krul could have done better.Overall,
    The only players who were poor yesterday are Janmaat and Haidara.Haidara looked good and sharp against B.Mglad last week,but he looked lost and confused yesterday.So did Janmaat.
    Obertan had great game again,we have to give credit whenever appropriate.That’s why he played the whole 90min.The most flattering highlight of the game was we came back and responded brilliantly.Plus cracking headed goal by Wijnaldum,something we haven’t saw for a while.Hope to see more of that kind of sensational goal during the season.Southamp’n
    also played well.They looked dangerous everytime going forward.Overall,Disappointed to conceed late in the game but at the end of the day,a draw is fair result!!

  • 143 Santon03 // Aug 10, 2015 at 4:47 AM

    From the 1st game, the problem area is LB.
    If you watched the game then you’ll notice that his passes and crosses rarely passed his marker. Hopefully he will improve.
    Good 1st game, Soton is strong team. Considering many big teams fail to shine in their 1st game, I’m happy with the result.
    Chelsea drew at home, Arsenal lose at home, Mutd won by own goal.

  • 144 Santon03 // Aug 10, 2015 at 5:01 AM

    I think Obertan is better on the right side rather than left wing. If Dummet is not fit for next game, I would rather have Gouffran than Haidara as LB. I don’t understand why people rate Haidara better than Santon. I hope we get Santon back (not because I’m his fan) he can play RB as well as LW and RW, either Santon or Nagatomo.
    Next game:
    Obertan———-Sissoko (FR)———Aarons

    Tiote, SDJ, Perez as sub.

  • 145 Sydney Toon // Aug 10, 2015 at 5:19 AM

    I agree with a number on here that this was the first game, gruelling pre season schedule and that the performace was better than last season.
    The Pre-Season also included many players who were being watched as to whether they would stay or leave the club. Further, it is a completely new style of play across the board.
    Defensively, we looked more composed with the ball, allowing Anita and Colback time and space to shift forward with the ball. In terms of positioning, this will get better, have to remember Mbemba has only played 20mins and Colo for a week in training. They will need a bit more time but there is definitely a lot of positives to take from it.
    Midfield – Wow what a difference a high class player like Gini can make to our midfield. He linked well, passed well and dropped back to make it a midfield 3. His timing in the box is also a class above. Sissoko was fantastic and Obertan was a surprise for me but he did his job.
    Our style looked quite controlled, we held onto the ball and this will take some getting used to of the fans.

    Overall, we could definitely do with a creative spark in central midfield, Colback was good but we need a Cabaye like player. I was impressed with Anita. Defensively, we could look at another Left Back, but I think Haidara just needs a good long stint and he will get better.

    A number of positives, some issues to iron out but it will take 4-6 games for the team to be on the same page. If we can get a win and a draw or two against the big teams, it would be a good start to build on. Confidence is key, they were better but a heavy loss could make things difficult for McClaren and Co. Based off today, I think we could be a chance of Top 10 for sure, along with a good cup run – much will depend on the draw on that one!

  • 146 Santon03 // Aug 10, 2015 at 5:19 AM

    Does anyone notice when we have the ball the formation became 3-4-3 or is it just me?
    When we have the ball either Anita or Colback switched into sweeper role while 2 full backs pushing forward. We always have at least 3 players inside the box when in the position to cross.

  • 147 Santon03 // Aug 10, 2015 at 5:25 AM


    Definitely a lot of positive in the 1st game, I always believe we have a good squad, it was just miss managed. I don’t think we need Cabaye type, Gini could play that role with SDJ in front of him. I think we will see them playing together next game due to Anita injured and Tiote not 100%.

  • 148 Santon03 // Aug 10, 2015 at 5:30 AM

    One more thing I like about our 1st game is Colback yellow card against Mane.
    Pull then drag him, still not down then kick him lol

  • 149 expatmag // Aug 10, 2015 at 5:44 AM

    I have to laugh at idiots like Blackley and Brownlie who expect instant

  • 150 expatmag // Aug 10, 2015 at 5:54 AM

    I have to laugh at idiots like Blackley and Brownlie who expect instant success.

    First of all, it was a much improved performance on what we have been used to in the past and several new and existing players feeling their way after little or no pre season unlike a very good opposition who had already had competitive match practice.

    There were issues which can only be expected after the upheaval the club has been through in the last 3 months.


    I read with interest your comments on how McLaren was shouting at Colback to switch play. I suppose you heard that from your season ticket seat during the game.

    Even from the comfort of my own armchair here in Melbourne, the commentators said the exact same quote, word for word.

    You are either a complete liar about your season ticket or maybe you couldnt get to this game?????

  • 151 calvinzolamakongo // Aug 10, 2015 at 6:33 AM

    I was at the game yesterday loads of positives but the 2nd goal was poor we let them have the ball for a straight 10 mins without pressing I’d say and the janmaat and gets beaten by Shane long back post I would off been a massive 3 pts if we held on but Der something to build on ….we defended corners well we need to just work on defending and shutting down crosses….positives mbemba looks amazing for his age and for me after that game he has already settled in the PL no nonsense strong and can play a the ball and very quick….Anita was quality apart from 1 or 2 stray passes his new role is clear to link the defence and midfeild and at times was the deepest player ….colback didn’t do much apart from the block at the end,very poor tbh never really a option first half ……haidaira attacking us quality defense wise he settled second half part the partnership of him and ober didn’t seem to work no communication …and also think the reason why we didn’t Nick it at the end is because we lost are shape when sissoko decided to play central instead of on the right so it left jamaat isolated on and off the ball on attacks but other than that sissoko was class I was unlucky not to get a assist for Gigi right at the start ….looking forward to this season hopefully we can get that optimism back where we think we can beat any team outside the top six and always give the top 6 a game at home

  • 152 Average_Contents // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:04 AM


    Fair point but….
    I find it slightly disturbing that you’d know what JFK’s nutsack could potentially resemble unless of course….nar forget it :*)

  • 153 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:07 AM

    Couldn’t watch the game as I had 6 of my U12 academy players at U14 National team trials so I went to help them.

    From reading through the comments, the commentary on FlashScore and looking at some of the stats for the match it is pretty tough to work out how it went. It seemed like we were hanging on towards the end, and they were far more threatening going forward. As expected, Anita is crucial to how McClaren will play. Sissoko seems to have had a decent game, but he really needs to improve his basics, such as passing. Same goes for Janmaat yesterday as well.

    Watched the goals, and Colo is definitely not at fault, Mbemba is marking Pelle, but he gets between Janmaat and Mbemba with neither offering a challenge. Haidara doesn’t close down quick enough, and Obertan should have been tracking him, not following the ball. A lot of players making basic errors there which would point to a lack of leadership and organisation (Colo) as well. In other words, a collective blame.

    Still, pleasing to see Gini do well, Sissoko looks to have realised he has to put the effort in and did so to good effect in the first half in particular. Also good to come back from behind even if we couldn’t hold on.

    Early days, and encouraging signs. But still a few holes in personnel throughout the squad – a leader in the centre of defence and some creative width being the key ones for me.

  • 154 Average_Contents // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:08 AM

    On the match.

    Didn’t get to see it as I was working and haven’t yet seen the highlights properly (just a quick glimpse of the goals) so can’t really comment tbh.

    Obviously I will not be using the blog as a gauge lol.

    Later all, have fun.

  • 155 Sir Braveheart // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:08 AM

    I think we should be asking just one question at this stage of the season:

    Is it an improvement on last year?

    Right now thats all that matters. The pre season was shockingly organised, far too much travelling and the wrong sort of games. Since the pre season schedule was something Carver signed off on I’m not laying that one at McClarens door. He’s done the best with what he has.

    We’re a mod table team right now. To get challenging for a cup or top 6 is going to take at least one more season. Thats the facts. How about we all exercise a little patience?

    Was it an improvement on last year? If your answer is yes then we’re heading the right way. It baffles me why people can’t be satisfied with that.

  • 156 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:16 AM


    This is what I posted yesterday
    Just got in from match
    Overall much better performance and what a difference at the back when Krul has the ball centre halfs go wide to pick up the pass Anita drops into centre half pos to pick up the ball full backs bomb on – A BREATH OF FRESH AIR to see us playing out from the back.
    My MOM was Anita in defensive midfield – always wanted the ball kept it simple with passes moved into space to pick ball up and got in a couple of challenges. Thought Colback did OK but when on the ball wanted one/two extra touches before passing.
    New lads Mbemba and Wijnaldum were class.

    Think we would of won if Anita had not got injured as Tiote looked miles off the pace when he came on and huge spaces appeared in front of defence.

    All-in-All a much better performance than most in the last two years

  • 157 Bambams // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:17 AM

    I might be targeted here but I can’t remember the last time Krul came out for a cross.

    He is a tall lad and whether I am forgetting several incidents that he has done this….

    Just can’t recall him striding out and taking the ball two feet above the strikers head. We need this now and again


  • 158 Ron Knee // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:19 AM

    I agree it was a distinct improvement on last season, with GW an excellent signing. However, the glaring deficiencies in our defence should have been addressed before the season started.

    With the tough fixtures ahead three points, rather than one, would have been very useful!

  • 159 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:27 AM

    Ron Knee,
    Yes, with the fixtures ahead then we could have done with a win out of these opening 2 games really. We could still do that against Swansea, but it won’t be easy. They looked decent against Chelsea on Saturday.

    Nything less than 3 points against Swans and we need to beat both West Ham and Watford. We don’t want to leave ourselves an uphill battle after 8 games.

    Points against Saints, Swans, the Hammers and Watford are going to be key. Anything from City, United, Chelsea and Arsenal has to be viewed as a bonus.

  • 160 calvinzolamakongo // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:27 AM

    Exactly charlie

  • 161 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:28 AM

    Can’t wait till next weeks match now so I actually get to watch and see them play for myself.

  • 162 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:30 AM

    Great start for Arma at Coventry as well. Two very good finishes from him.

  • 163 Ron Knee // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:32 AM

    It was frustrating yesterday because we really looked like taking the three points. Anita’s injury meant we lost momentum and the match turned in Soton’s favour.

    But at least we weren’t embarrassingly bad like last season.

  • 164 Ian Toon // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:35 AM

    I thought we played well for the first 65 minutes then tired badly and started giving the ball away too much. Despite the inability to defend crosses into the box we played some attractive pass/ move football at pace which was a marked improvement on much of last season.
    Mbeba and Wijnaldium looked quality signings, although Wij noticeably tired in the second half. Colback was full of energy and with the full backs getting forward a lot both he and Anita covered Saint attacks when our moves broke down. We looked well organised and the link play was good. Colback linked very well with Sissoko and Wiji who were effective as a mobile unit . Sissoko looked full of running interchanging into the middle at times whilst Obertan showed that he should not be written off by the usual suspects, just yet- his centre for the Wiji goal was superbly executed and of the highest technique. The wide play was a marked improvement on last season. It was also good to see such a strong bench for a change.
    Haidara got forward well but his defensive work at this level just isn’t good enough. A combination of him and Dummet would be ideal. We need a left back and another CB – Colloquial will get better with an improvement in overall fitness but he was not as dominate as Mb and he allowed the two CB ‘s to be split for the first Saints goal. Colo clearly short of match fitness will get better hopefully but we need defenders as we show an inability to defend.
    As the team tired we then started hitting long balls forward. Or was it just because Mitrovic had been introduced. We had certainly played at a faster pace than for most of last season. But noticeably we started hitting longer balls rather than pass our way forward.

  • 165 toonincheek // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:35 AM

    Based on performances at the weekend, ManU, Chelsea and Arsenal are relegation candidates.

  • 166 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:37 AM

    Ron Knee,
    Yeah, Anita looked in the friendlies like he would be integral. The biggest issue here is Tiote always takes time to get up to speed when coming back from injury. If he is to be back up, which I fully expect under McClaren – it is how McClaren used him at Twente – then we could be in trouble. I don’t see him getting up to pace if he isn’t starting regularly which means each time he comes on we concede ground.

    I think we would be best of replacing him if this is to be his role, with someone more mobile and with greater technical ability. If Anita is injured it wouldn’t surprise me to see Gini drop deeper alongside Colback and SDJ start in the hole.

  • 167 hibbit // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:39 AM

    i was at the game yesterday and loved it………..massive improvement yes….. still problems yes…. main problem for me no leader /organiser we don’t have a mouth on the pitch no one taking responsibility

  • 168 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:41 AM

    On the SDJ debate, he offers us a different type of creativity. At the minute we are very reliant on roses into the box, despite having maybe 2 genuine out and out wingers. According to Opta we didn’t play a single through ball yesterday to get in behind the defence. SDJ has the ability and intelligence to pick out those passes.

  • 169 toonincheek // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:45 AM

    Who would prefer to see Abeid on the bench rather than Tiote?

    He could cover for both Colback and Anita.

  • 170 toon kk // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:47 AM

    We need pace and more pace

  • 171 calvinzolamakongo // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:48 AM

    Just amazed at how good mbemba was we got a hell of a but their

  • 172 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:48 AM

    Is Abeid still here? He as having a medical in Germany last I heard, but then had been offline for a few days and never heard anymore on it. Did it fall through? In which case he may not be fit, or has he left?

  • 173 Ian Toon // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:49 AM

    Lilongwe- It was an entertaining game and as the squad gets fitter augurs well for a good season.
    Unrelated- we do have a small number of fans at the game and elsewhere who are not prepared to give Colback the credit he deserves simply because he played for the great unwashed. He was a toon fan as a kid but we didn’t come a calling and the mackems did. He had agreed to sign for us in the February, before he did. He was our best player yesterday in my opinion along with Sissoko and Wiji until he noticeably tired.
    Any chance of some of your academy players being good enough to join the toon or to come over to see life at SJP under a sponsorship scheme- local charity etc.

  • 174 calvinzolamakongo // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:54 AM

    Also one thing i noticed being close to krul second half is how vocal he is but yes would like to see him challenge for crosses like tge likes of begovic when at stoke

  • 175 Ron Knee // Aug 10, 2015 at 7:58 AM

    Tiote is definitely not up to speed, but nor is SDJ. Perhaps if Perez had been brought on instead of Siem we would have posed more threat in the final 15 minutes.

  • 176 toonbrother // Aug 10, 2015 at 8:05 AM

    Alan Pardew did a number on newcastle
    He masterfully suckered Mclaren into giving Colo a new contract by pretending to be interested in him

    NO CLUB in iits right mind would go after colocinni

    this is a player with whom Newcastle has been relegated once and narrowly escaped relegation 3 times

    A player who has been a key part of too many defensive collapses to mention

    Mark my words whilst colocinni remains a starter, we will not win a single game

    Mclaren’s reign will turn to a nightmare very quickly indeed

  • 177 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 10, 2015 at 8:06 AM

    An old friend of mine runs some youth football in the UK, and he is keen on trying to raise some cash with the academy raising the rest to bring a squad of players over to play in a kids tournament. Would be great for them but is probably a year at least down the line. We have the small issue of none of them having passports to deal with, which could take 6 months to sort out on its own.

    In a 5 years we want to be bringing them to play in Europe at least every couple of years, but that is a fair way down the road yet. If any of my Under 12’s get selected for the U14’s then they will be heading to play in Sweden next year (that is at least the plan, although I expect it to fall through as the money disappears somewhere between now and then while with the FA).

    They wouldn’t be able to join the Toon due to Malawi’s low national ranking, we will be looking at the Greek leagues, Scandinavian etc to try and get players on the pathway to European football though.

    On Colback, I think he is decent. He isn’t a top level player, and probably never will be. But he is functional and has decent all round ability. Most people seem to think he was the best player for us yesterday, and that isn’t a huge surprise, he was comfortably our best midfielder last season.

  • 178 firebug666 // Aug 10, 2015 at 8:12 AM

    First game of the season and we got a draw instead of getting beat.

    I was very pleased as I said we would lose.

    I don’t see the point in starting to single out player for criticism after just one game. our makeshift defence was just that makeshift, Coloccini (no minutes) and Mbemba (28 minutes) before being asked to play together in a competitive match.

    I thought the whole team played very well for the most part, and would have loved to see Aarons come on for Obertan and torture their RB.

    We could have and maybe should have put the match to bed, but I have no complaints over this result.

    Mitrovic will be a handfull, when he gets up to speed, but now other clubs will be aware of his aggression and looking for fouls when ever he is near them.

    We want a solid aggressive attacker, but he does not need to build a reputation as a hard man.

  • 179 cyprus // Aug 10, 2015 at 8:19 AM

    ‘9’, man,
    You didn’t watch the game yet have so much to say! Actually, there’s much to be critical about (e.g. how we completely lost our shape i the last 2′), but hey, it was the first game and we dominated Soton in the first 60. Remember, last year we should ‘ve lost in double digits against them.

    quick passing, running without the ball, stinging counters, Wiji very good. My pet hate (Ober) was decent, Anita is a changed player. Him going off is a reasonable explanation of why we kind of collapsed. Colback and Sissoko were amazing, as was Krul too.

    Save of the season and counter of the season in less than a minute.

    Negatives: SDJ looks out of his depth. Tiote not in shape. Mitro will need time, maybe. Tiredness: how come? Need a CF and CB. Jan and Mbemba could’ve saved those headers or at least make it harder; didn’t Krul used to come out more?

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