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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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McClaren Delighted With Performance And Result

5:23 pm, Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 13 Comments

It was a gutsy performance today from a stubborn and courageous Newcastle side at Old Trafford,  and after being completely on the back foot for the first 20 minutes of the game – which was much like last Saturday’s game at Swansea – the lads improved and showed some threat going forward before half time came.

But Manchester United were in the ascendancy in the second half,  and but for some excellent defending from the likes of Tim Krul and Fabricio Coloccini, we could have easily lost this game.

But after Vurnon Anita kicked the ball off the line in stoppage time,  we had a three man breakaway and Florian Thauvin only just missed connecting with Cisse’s shot to score  – that could have won the game for us.

florian thauvin shaw

Florian Thauvin challenges Luke Shaw

But it was nonetheless an impressive performance from Newcastle, and fans would have seen an improvement from last Saturday, although the game was poised just before halt time much as it was last week – before Daryl Janmaat was sent off.

This is what Steve McClaren said after the game today:

“I want it to do a lot for our confidence. It’s difficult when you are new and you come in. We have made a lot of signings and we want to bed them in.”  “That’s only Colo’s third game and the same for Mbemba. They can only get fitter and better.”

“It is difficult to turn it around but you need performances and you need results.”  “Today I hope, I hope – and I will try to hammer it into them – that they will take confidence and belief from that, and go on because I think this team can get better.”

“I am delighted with the performance and the result. Surviving the first 20 minutes was the key to the game and 0-0 at half-time always gave us a chance.” “We always know that after Europe that Saturday game can be difficult. You have to score in the first 20 minutes after a European game and it always gives you a chance.”

“We seemed determined to give them that but we survived and grew into the game.” “With more belief and better football we could have won the game. We had a good attitude, discipline, all the things you need to get a result away from home – especially here at Old Trafford.

“Once you get that you get a bit of luck and we had that too.”

There were good performances all around,  and Aleksandar Mitrovic ran his socks off for the cause, and hit the crossbar with a great header in the first half – and he gave a disciplined performance today – he looked (very) good.

Florian Thauvin came on for Obertan after 69 minutes and immediately showed his skill as he beat Shaw down the line with a deft lowering of his shoulder – and I nearly fell off my chair.

This lad can certainly cross the ball  – and he almost scored on his Newcastle debut in stoppage time.

The defense proved to people like myself that maybe we are not as bad in defense as we think – and Fabricio Coloccini had one of those majestic games where he was simply superb in his defending and his reading of the game.

All the back four played well, and Tim Krul was near his best in goal with a string of excellent saves.

And Steven Taylor blocked a number of shots and also had a good game – and we’d be very surprised if Steve McClaren changes the defense for the visit of Arsenal next Saturday.

It was a good day for Newcastle United today.

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13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 toonbrother // Aug 22, 2015 at 5:25 PM

    @49 CypriotDelight
    Because our PRIMARY problem is our dreadful defence
    OUR 3 WORST DEFENSIVE RECORDS IN 22 years of premier league football came last season, 2012/2013 season and 2007/08 season
    During that time we’ve cycled through Santon, Beye, Bassong, Enrique, Taylor, Raylor, Perch, Simpson, Williamson, Mbiwa, Haidara, Ferguson, Dummet, Janmaat, Debuchy etc.

    Please Ask yourself who has the constant in all of those teams?
    Here’s a hint
    He’s The player who masks his horrific defensive flaws with (admittedly very good) possession play
    The player who has pulled the wool over the eyes of fans with his champagne passses blinding them to the fact we concede cheap goals like Ayew’s last week ONLY when he plays

    Trust me
    Get rid of colo and we’ll be a top 5 team guaranteed!!!

  • 2 CypriotDelight // Aug 22, 2015 at 5:33 PM

    Toonbrother, I know our defence is shocking and Colo isn’t the best defender but I truly believe he had a good game today. I thought I saw him put in decisive blocks and tackles at good times. I know u r not a fan of his (understatement) but he can not be to blame for everything…

    When Colback plays iffy back passes that go to the opposition that puts massive pressure on the defence. When players lose the ball in the opposition half and we r committed that does the same. This happened today numerous times yet we kept a clean sheet!

    I want a top defence too and I was surprised that he stayed and retained captaincy but all I am saying is that he is not to blame for everything!

  • 3 snowdone // Aug 22, 2015 at 5:47 PM

    Don’t be defensive with your remarks about TB. His opinion about Colo is just that, his. We have not had a great centre back for years. It cost us the title in the 90s. Even Woody was too injury prone. However, a fit Colo with an up to speed Mbemba shows promise.

  • 4 Graeme // Aug 22, 2015 at 5:50 PM

    Even I voted Colo for MOM – it was his best performance in the past 18 months from him.

  • 5 JackButler // Aug 22, 2015 at 5:51 PM

    Get rid of one player and we go from mid table at best to top five???

    And youre not a WUM!!!

  • 6 geordiesteve520 // Aug 22, 2015 at 6:20 PM

    Bloody hell toonbrother get off your sodding soapbox; you’re a zealot and nothing that anyone says will alter your blinkered viewpoint. Just love it we all know your stance so just don’t mention it again because you’re just coming back with the same old rhetoric and it’s boring now.

  • 7 geordiesteve520 // Aug 22, 2015 at 6:21 PM


  • 8 mikeyconcon // Aug 22, 2015 at 6:29 PM

    Coloccini was top class today. If he can do that consistently and gets used to playing with Mbemba we might have a half decent defense. Still thought Haidara was a bit weak defensively today but he is a good player and still young, Hopefully gets a good run of games which he hasn’t really had in his career with us so far. Mitrovic, Perez, Mbemba – all really good today. We need to get Wijnaldum on the ball more. He faded a lot. Happy with the point though. Away at Old Trafford was never gonna be easy. Just wish Thauvin’s stud had touched that cross from Cisse in injury time!

  • 9 Bradley // Aug 22, 2015 at 7:04 PM

    Sell willo and cisse, sign austin in this transfer window!! Proven BPL goal scorer.
    Go for abdennour and willems in the January transfer window depending on how our defence play in the first half of he season, maybe sell tiote and sign a top class defensive midfielder?

  • 10 benjohnsen // Aug 22, 2015 at 7:22 PM

    @Toonbrother – Of the players you mentioned, only Coloccini has kept a high standard over several years. He has had a couple of bad seasons now the last 3 years, but so has the team as a whole.

    Most of the other players you mention has not been found good enough for top flight football. Bassong went to Tottenham where he had one good season before falling out. Enrique has never been a success in Liverpool. Some of the others play in Championship. The only exception is Debuchy who went to Arsenal, however, himself was at fault for a lot of goals at Newcastle.

    In 2012, Coloccini was named on the team of the year in Premier League, which only Shay Given (two times), Shearer and Dyer (one time each) has managed before him since 2000.

    I agree that Coloccini has become slow, but he is still very good at reading the game when in form. You should also take into consideration the fact that Newcastle as a team lost its central line in Coloccini, Cabaye and Demba Ba. That central line has never been replaced and we never replaced Cabaye which always was a threat for the opposition. When you are no threat going forward, the other teams can throw everything they got at you. That makes it hard for any defender, because there is only so much you can do.

    Hopefully, with the arrivals of some exciting new players, Newcastle can become a threat once more going forward and ease of some of the work for our defenders.

    If you can see that football is a team sport, you will also understand that the defence is not one player’s fault, it is a consequence of team effort.

  • 11 KevinLee // Aug 22, 2015 at 8:32 PM


  • 12 Premiership Manager // Aug 23, 2015 at 1:00 AM

    Some people write a load of bollox and know little about football. It’s a team game, from goal to goal and today was the best we have played for some time. After we soaked up the pressure you could see the confidence in the team growing on the pitch.

    Its easy to blame the defense however put yourself in s defenders position, you know if the mid field lose possession, you’ll be under the kosh however you also know that because we have no creative players if we go one down it will open the flood gates because nobody is supporting the forwards as they are too busy trying to break down the attacks of the opposition.

    That was then and now we have a new manager, who was Ferguson’s understudy, has had success on the continent and in the UK but failed like every other manager with the exception of Robson at international level.

    The attitude of the team is changing. I’d have got shot of Colo, Anita, Obertan and several others but under McClaren we are starting to look half decent and some of the players look like new signings. Even Obertan is getting stuck in and to see him making tackles is something I never thought I’d see. Taylor looked the fittest I’ve seen him and although we could still do with another LB/CB I couldn’t fault today’s performance.

    Haidara was the only real weak link but he is young and has potential but like many of the younger players he needs first team football if he is to develop.

    Those who want to get rid of Cisse need to have a reality check. If he gets the service he will score but like the rest of the team he needs confidence and if we continue to improve it will come and so will the goals.

    We have some good attacking midfielders, not sure if Sissoko will be staying however if we manage to keep him it will be a bonus.

    If we can pick up a few results over the next few weeks and get 7 points from the next 4 games we’ll have done well and will be able to build as the fixtures get easier.

    It takes time to build a team especially if you bring in more than 3 or 4 players so hopefully the team will build on todays performance and we’ll put a good run together before xmas

  • 13 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 23, 2015 at 1:04 AM

    Anita was ok I thought. One of his better games to be fair.

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