Newcastle’s Simple New Strategy – Score Lots Of Goals

We’ve seen Newcastle try to play good attacking football since Steve McClaren took over the side, and his appointment no doubt helped to attract good players like Wijnaldum, Mitrovic and Mbemba to the club this summer.

McClaren’s philosophy is to play the ball from defense into attack quickly, as we saw when Newcastle scored the second goal on Sunday, with Cisse playing the ball quickly forward to Gabby Obertan, who put in a terrific right wing cross for Wijnaldum to brilliantly head the ball home – that was an excellent goal from Newcastle.

steve mcclaren paul simpson on Sunday - saints

McClaren and Simpson on Sunday

Assistant coach Paul Simpson was doing some of the interview duties yesterday, as Steve McClaren was in Stockton celebrating his son Josh getting 4 A levels, and qualifying to go to Northumbria University in Newcastle to study psychology starting soon.

Paul Simpson  talked about how Newcastle want to play under McClaren:

“We’ve got some very, very talented players. The philosophy will be to play football.” “We don’t want to take stupid risks, but if it’s on to play, we want to play.”

“We also want to attack, and when we get in that final third, we don’t want to be pretty-pretty, tappy-tappy football.”

“We need to get balls in the box, get bodies in the box and score goals.” “We prided ourselves on the work we did at Derby County when we were very high scorers in the division in both seasons.”

“We’ve got to try to rise to that challenge at this next level in the Premier League, which is going to be tough.”

“But we’ve got to be in a position where we can get enough goals to achieve what we want to do this season.”

“The players have been superb – absolutely fantastic.” “They’re coming in with a smile on their face and doing everything we’ve asked of them.”

“At the end of the season when we missed out on the play-offs at Derby, it was difficult.” “Then all of a sudden things changed.” “Steve lost his job and we came into here.

“It’s a great opportunity. We’re going to do everything we can to make it a success.”

It seems that the strategy is to get forward quickly from defense, and when we get in the box not to mess around (like a certain team in London who play in red and white often do),  but to get the ball in the back of the net as quickly as possible.

If we can get a good defense together, and we can also start to score some goals we should do quite well this season.

That’s the hope.

Howay The Lads!!

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Swansea?

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Comments welcome.

144 comments so far

  • one fine day

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #1

    Jesus. Who voted for a win ?
    I am going/ draw 1.1
    Please give Perez sand Aaron’s a half each
    Swansea are well set up organised but genuine pace will be our best chance

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #2

    Ashley Out!

  • jimmysmith

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #3


  • pawl250

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #4

    Ok have not posted all week, mainly due to the office internet in my workplace being down, and truth be told I have more important things to do in my personal time now I have a 8 month old bairn……

    That said. Sunday. I was actually at the match watched it all unfold. This is what I took away from it.

    Anita – This guy has really improved and impressed me, even against opposition towards the end of last season he was one of our better players. I do not think he was given a fair crack of whip when Pardew was manager but if he plays like he did Sunday he will be a great player for us this season. Early days though, we all know some players can have a few good matches so lets wait and see if he can consistently keep the level of performance up for us.

    I do think the game changed when he left the pitch, which brings me to my next point – Tiote, who was simply AWFUL. It had nothing to do with match fitness, he was just so poor. It was the basics he was poor at. His passing was shocking, he was charging out of position leaving gaps in our midfield for Southampton to exploit. Going the other way, he was equally as bad, if not worse. He slowed the general play down, not passing the ball first time and in doing so made it difficult for players that were introduced later (De Jong, Mitrovic) to even get into the game. He was our worst player by far on Sunday, which says something.

    Mbemba looked solid (even when he was not fully match fit – Hibbit) and Coloccini did well until final stages when maybe he should have left the pitch for Taylor if he could not handle the pace, which is understandable given the amount of game time in pre season. Yet as I said before the game, only way to get match fit is to play games, so he would have only benefited from a full 90 mins. I would happily see our season with Mbemba and Colo at the back, they seemed solid enough, apart from the 1st goal. Lets be realistic though, it was their first game as a partnership so hopefully that will only improve with time. We do look a tad weak in the air, but not many teams have the height Southampton do in and around the box and we managed to cope.

    Haidara, ok the first half he was awful, UNTIL his assist. He did grow into the game and I think he was one of our better players going on towards the end of the match. Hopefully he has more games based on his 2nd half opposed to his first half.

    Obertan. Seriously not sure how this guy made it in our team. He is lazy, he cannot pass, despite the goal assist which in fairness was a great cross, but lets be honest his ball contention was awful. He did seem to put more effort it but compared to Sissoko on the opposite wing Southampton were happy for us to play it down whichever side Obertan was on. He has blistering pace and he simply will not use it, only when he was actually forced to use it with Cisses ball infront of him it was effective. When he has the ball to his feet he is such a poor dribbler that all the pace is ineffective and rendered pointless. Certainly someone I would change for our next game, especially with his defensive duties, Swansea will have a field day.

    As for the team itself, we played well and at times looked the better team, playing passing football aswell. If McClaren continues this way he will win alot of supporters over from the past hoof ball tactics. I do think we could do with a couple more signings, but ultimately I am optimistic for the new season, based on 1 game. Please note I am basing it off one competitive game and this could all change this weekend, but we did look like a solid unit for a change.

    My team for Swansea would be:-

    Janmaat – Mbemba – Coloccini – Haidara
    Sissoko – Wijnaldum – Anita – Colback – Aarons

    Darlow, Taylor, Dummett, Cabella, De Jong, Perez, Mitrovic

  • will die for the toon army

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #5

    I dont think Aarons and Perez are playing. Its going to be a defensive game.
    Tiote, De Jong and Mitrovic to come on.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #6

    Have another one !

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #7

    will die
    McLaren the new Keegan…
    I don’t think we will defend – because we don’t have the players to defend.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if we start with the same team as last week if all fit.

  • midweek weekend

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #8

    So true I can see a very high scoring game definitely one for both teams to score, just hopefully we get the result, difficult game no question

  • Moonraker15

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #9

    Haha Dwight Gayle has been Pardew’d. First of many I would think!

  • toonincheek

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #10

    Jail –

    toonbother has changed the bet into the “first five games”, not the next five.
    So I think Watford is not included?

  • pawl250

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #11

    Will die for Toon –

    You are probably right, the selection is my opinion. I personally think we will either lose or draw this weekend as I do actually think Swansea are the contenders to the top 6-7, like Southampton were last year.

    That said I put offensive players on the bench as we will most likely be chasing the game. I hope I am wrong.

    I also lost alot of confidence in Tiote. I just do not think he is suited to our style of play under SM. He is too much of a bull, rushing into the opposing players and leaves our defense with holes right infront of them. Anita had the level head and discipline to sit back and create more protection for our defence.

    If you had not noticed, we were playing very similar to how Liverpool play under Rogers. Coloccini and Mbemba were moving out wide and Anita was sitting in the middle at the back taking the ball and playing it out. Tiote did not fill that role when he came on, and I honestly think he allowed Southampton to move up the pitch and create the pressure leading to the second goal.

    If you asked me at the start of the season I would have snapped your hand off to take 2 points in 2 games, given it was Southampton and Swansea. Our first games always looked difficult on paper, hopefully the lads surprise us with more points, and more performances like last week were we actually played the ball on the deck and looked somewhat dangerous going forward.

  • one fine day

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #12

    Err what you said
    Rare I read through a whole post and find nothing yo disagree with .
    Unlike like you I watched on fox sports in Australia. But same conclusions .
    Amazing though how anyone I talk to here ( Liverpool , arsenal even chelsea fans) really still rate tiote ….
    If only I was in control of transfers I’d feel I was selling them a touchscreen but charging for a Maserati
    Anita is a key this season yo think how he was almost finished under Pardue is criminal

  • one fine day

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #13

    Spell correct how the f@@k does Mazda translate to touchscreen?

  • anthc

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #14

    Interesting that Dwight gayle is up for grabs. I remember that lad causing us all sorts of problems with his pace and I’m sure he notched against us. Personally I would take a punt on him he’s better than obertan and scores goals in a poor palace team.

  • will die for the toon army

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #15

    My team for Swansea:
    Darlow, Taylor, Tiote, Perez, Obertan, De Jong, Mitrovic

  • one fine day

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #16


    Oh toonbrother he’s the love of life,
    Oh toonbrother did he shag your wife?
    Oh toon brother do you want curly hair toooooo?
    Oh toon brother he’s the love of your life …. Repeat until bored

  • pawl250

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #17

    One Fine Day

    Tiote for me has always been average since maybe his second season onwards. He had a great first season when he kept everything simple and was disciplined to an extent to protect the back four. Really he went downhill after his Arsenal equalising goal.

    Now he likes to receive the ball and hold it. He then warrants unnecessary pressure and starts spinning in circles hoping his strength will prevail. He ALWAYS (if he is on the pitch long enough) has a long range shot wasting possession trying to relive that moment.

    He is too slow, he is injury prone, red card prone, he goes to the AFCN to seemingly sit on the bench these days, his passing is not great and he leaves our defence unprotected by charging around like a bull in a china shop.

    I think the best word for Tiote is – average. At best.

    If we managed to sell him for the quoted 8m-10m we were reading earlier in the window I would snap whoevers hand off and see him on his way. I mean the talk of him going to Arsenal is laughable, as you actually have to know how to pass to even be looked at.

    I was slated this time last year saying he would be welcome to leave. Very Overrated.

  • jamesnufc86

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #18


    Colback ——- Sissoko

    Wijnaldum———-De Jong————–Aarons


  • pawl250

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #19

    Will Die

    I picked the same team (starting 11), without the fancy formation.

    4-5-1 could easily move into 4-2-3-1, and arguably would play like that anyway.

  • cyprus

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #20

    How comes people like Colo, SDJ, Mbemba should be given time, but Tiote must be tops the minute he comes on? Just wondering.

    For me, SDJ was the WOM (worst of match): miles from any ball, when he did get it it was promptly taken off his feet. But, really, we do need to give him time.

    In my mind, if we want a draw or a win, we must play Anita, Aarons, Perez, Cabella (second half). Also Cisse could make room for Riviere if he’s ineffective.

    If played, MOM will be the forgotten star, Cabella.

  • pawl250

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #21


    Wijnaldum is not a wide player, and Sissoko is awful in the centre of the pitch, he proved last season he simply does not have the gumption or determination to fit in the middle. And to play him in the centre against Swansea would be inviting pressure on our back four.

    I would love De Jong to start more games, but I think Swansea is not the game that would suit him. He requires to chase the ball more which is why I went for more of a high energy midfield who would be willing to chase the ball.

    I have no quarrels whether we go with Cisse or Mitrovic, but Cisse scored so for me whilst he scores he stays on the pitch, a high confidence Cisse is a dangerous Cisse. Likewise if he stops scoring he should replaced and someone else is given a chance to do what he is not.

  • cyprus

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #22

    Oh, and I’ve noticed, when people ‘gang up’ on their baldy playmaker, he is prone to errors AND frustrated red coloured fouls.

    Reading, Steve?

  • cyprus

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #23

    Forgot about Mitro.

    30′ Cisse, if ineffective, 30′ Mitro alongside Riviere. Mitro looks like he needs someone near by, opening up holes. Riviere could do that, and maybe take a crack too.

  • cyprus

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #24

    Last 30′, kitchen sink to overturn the result and win it 🙂

  • one fine day

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #25

    I remember being devo when in the season we finished 5 the hearing he was off to the arse
    But since then has become a different player and his comments about his team. Being ” shit ” and being on twitter wearing an old arsenal kit did it for me.
    Do one ?
    If we get ££ 8 mil I will fly back and drive him there
    Colback may not be as talented but he had heart will leave nothing on the pitch and always looks like he can grab a goal which as you say a drifting hopefully 40 harder from tiote offers S.F.A

  • jimmysmith

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #26

    Tote along with Collocini is our most accomplished player. He’s 29, so should be in his prime. McClaren will be using him and giving him every opportunity to play a significant role. It’s up to him to adapt, but its a moot point to wonder if he’ll play or should play.

  • one fine day

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #27

    Is riverie even fit ?

  • pawl250

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #28


    Bit harsh judging De Jong on the 10 mins he was on the pitch.

    Likewise Mitrovic, who could have easily been seen as just as bad.

    Do not understand the comment about MOM and Cabella in all honesty. He was one of our most consistent worst performers last year.

    I am not saying we should write him off, but the starting midfield, arguably other than Obertan played well against Southampton. Why change it?

    My only change in midfield if any would be Aarons > Obertan to add more energy and maintain the pace, or I should say add pace with a purpose of actually getting past the opposing players.

    Colo is not a bad player. Lets be honest people on here really like to be dramatic. He would walk into most teams defence outside the top 6 maybe 7. I do not see the issue. People saying he has lost pace or what not just like at players like Terry, Mertsacker, Skrtel who have no pace and yet would be considered some of the better defenders in the PL.

    A defenders best ability is his mind. The ability to read the game is 10x more important than height or pace. People get hung up on Fifa and think to be a good defender you need pace when it simply is not true.

  • Jib

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #29

    I hope the players have been briefed about about Jonjo Shelvey and Jack Cork , they were fearsome against Chelsea.
    Such a hard game this , to have to play so early in McClaren’s tenure.
    Pawls comparison to Rodgers setup is interesting as even before he made it I was thinking we should deal with this game like Liverpool played Stoke last week.
    I hope the midfielders have been practising their long range screamers a la Coutinho.
    One thing in our favour is Swansea’s undoubted respect almost bordering on fear of Pappis Cisse.

  • one fine day

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #30

    Ok let’s be honest here who would take a pap cisse mitrovic for the season ? Over mitrovic n Austin ?

  • cyprus

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #31

    Fair points above. Except maybe the one rearding Cabella. With a different HC (this one), if played correctly, he’ll shine. My point regarding SDJ was to illustrate the fact that Tiote is crucified having been out so long. If Tiote is Shxx, then so is Tiote. Which is unfair, for both.

    Not sure if Riviere is fit, tbh.

  • cyprus

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #32

    …so is SDJ, sorry.

  • will die for the toon army

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #33

    I think Tiote’s role this season is to come and kill off games 10-15 mins to go.

    The one thing that inpressed me with Mccalren he is looking to make squad not a team. Let he hop every one will know his role and fulfill it.

    If Mcca is looking at 18 to 20 players that means some players are going to be Multi purpose.

    GK: (3) Krul, Darlow, Elliott.
    FB: (3) Janmatt, Dummett, Haidara
    With Mbemba and Anita ready to slot there wen needed.
    CB: (4) Colo, Mbemba, Taylor, Lasceles.
    Janmatt and Dummett to slot there wen needed.
    CM: (3) Anita, Colback, Tiote
    Sissoko and Wijnaldum to slot there wen needed.
    CAM: (2) Wijanldum and De Jong.
    Sissoko and Cabella to slot there wen needed.
    WF: (5) Sissoko, Perez, Aarons, Obertan, Cabella
    Rivere and Wijnaldum to slot there wen needed.
    CF: (3) Mitrovic, Cisse, Rivere
    Perez to slot in wen needed.

    Still I add up to 23 players except if Under 21s arenot included we become 19 players.

  • one fine day

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #34

    My reason is that last season when he did play even with poor support and obviously carrying a knee injury he still seemed to get a good ratio of goals per game
    I would still look at Austin but make it clear if he really wants to come then him and his agents need to make it happen and he has to earn the number nine shirt not f@@ king expect it .

  • pawl250

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #35

    One Fine Day

    I would take Austin over Cisse personally. He is less injury prone, scored more goals in his 1 PL season than Cisse has in more attempts, and he is younger and English so means we do not lose him for a month of a season when he goes to AFCN although that is a moot point this year.

    Cisse however is a very similar player and I do not mind sticking with him and Mitrovic this season.

    For me though if I had a choice I would prefer Austin over Cisse. Thats my opinion.

  • cyprus

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #36

    Mitro and Austin? Two slow CF’s?

    No if we are still buying, would like a sharp small CF. I have a suspicion we may actually have him on our books, given time: Spanish dude.


    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #37

    one fine day
    Can’t we have all 3?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 14, 2015 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #38

    I think Riverie will benefit the team most on the treatment table.

  • toon kk

    Aug 14, 2015 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #39

    Swansea will pass us off the pitch if we don’t turn up

  • Ian Toon

    Aug 14, 2015 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #40

    paw- You can read to much into early season games. That said Sunday’s was noticeable by the lack of quality in both defences.
    You were fairly dismissive of Obertan’s contribution – pretty much enforced by your non selection tomorrow.
    Cedric Soames was outstanding in an attacking sense for the Saints in the first half and behind most of their better movement but he struggled to contain Obertan and his steering pace. That contributed to him being booked and subbed at half time – I would suggest that in no small measure because of Obertan’s counter play it became high risk for him to get forward. Macca alluded to this post match.


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