We’ve always said that the best coaches get the very best out of the players they have available, and they do it in different ways – but it’s all about having good man-management skills – and getting the players to place their trust in you.
Steve McClaren seems to have those skills in abundance and a good example of that is how he has handled the Coloccini affair this summer.
What a terrific shot this is at the end of the game
Our two best players yesterday with Coloccini outstanding
Coloccini missed all of pre-season with an (apparent) Achilles injury, but he didn’t seem to be an integral part of the group, and although he traveled on the American tour he didn’t play and was never interviewed.
Steve McClaren has said that Colo was basically on his way out of the club when he arrived, until he intervened.
And not only did he manage to persuade the Argentine to stay at Newcastle, but gave him another year on his contract, which now has two years to run.
This is what McClaren has said about the Colo affair:
“There was a point in the summer where we thought Coloccini might well be going. Most definitely.”
“There were offers on the table, but the club has done great to address that situation and keep him.” “We said, ‘Sort him out, and get him back on board’.”
“They’ve done that, and deep down, I think he always wanted to finish his career at Newcastle.”
“I’m pleased he performed like he did.” “There’s been a lot of talk about signings this summer, but for me, that Coloccini was the best one.”
“We looked around at various defenders when his position was in doubt, but we quickly decided that none of them matched up.”
“I quickly said, ‘Look, we need to get him back on board’ and the club has done that.” “I think his relationship with the club and the seven years he’d already had here were important.”
“He’s got a real affinity with the club, and I think he just wanted to finish his career here.” “Why not?”
“We’ve come in, and he’s probably had a little look at how we’ve been operating in the first three or four weeks too.”
“He’s obviously been happy with what he’s seen, but it was also about the club rewarding him, and that’s what they’ve done.”
McClaren believes in Coloccini, and when he signed him to a new deal just days before our first game it was likely he would even start the game against the Saints even though he hadn’t played a minute in pre-season.
And he did start alongside new signing Mbemba and they played well together
McClaren said he believed in Colo and his leadership abilities, and it’s starting to pay off with Coloccini putting in a monumental display for the team yesterday when we got a great and unexpected 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.
As a manager you usually get what you expect from people, and Steve expects Colo to be a top player and a leader for Newcastle.
And that’s certainly what he got from the Argentine yesterday.
Long may it continue.