McClaren Reveals The Best Signing At Newcastle This Summer

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.

tim krul and fab coloccini at end of game

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.

Comments welcome.

43 comments so far

  • Sliema

    Aug 23, 2015 at 11:23 PM

    Comment #1

    Two words:
    brother, toon

    in no particular order.

  • ZIPPIE57

    Aug 23, 2015 at 11:27 PM

    Comment #2

    Great performance, epic photo, but no doubt the thread will be full of negative comments and snipes .
    well done Collo outstanding and brave performance, Janmatt please take note

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 23, 2015 at 11:31 PM

    Comment #3

    Would be interesting to see him deployed as a sweeper given his passing skills and ability to read the game. Whatever about that, taylor certainly opened some eyes. No new centre halves now .

  • Tsunki

    Aug 23, 2015 at 11:32 PM

    Comment #4

    No negativity from me.

    Ashley Out!

  • JamesToon

    Aug 23, 2015 at 11:41 PM

    Comment #5

    Top signing would be Wanyama who wants out at saints. As if he’d come here though

  • beefman13

    Aug 23, 2015 at 11:43 PM

    Comment #6

    Sorry Mr Mclaren am not havin Colo being our best signing, the fella has been woeful for such a long time he cannot i repeat cannot defend a cross or corner, i made him motm yesterday and maybe for the first time in over a year since that has happened, ki am certainly not getting carried away with fact in the last min he was beaten to a header as easy as ever and they nearly scored.

    I dont want to be negative about a battling performance as Saturdays no doubt was, but concerning Colo that is the first decent game for a long long time. And Mclaren smacks of Pardew with that statement.


    Aug 23, 2015 at 11:48 PM

    Comment #7

    2 more signg needed 1 quality cb n a LW

  • switch365

    Aug 23, 2015 at 11:53 PM

    Comment #8

    1 performance does not herald a change, just as 1 swallow does not make a summer.

    Colo was pretty poor against both Southampton and Swansea, so claiming he is the best signing is ridiculous.
    Especially given his performances on a regular basis for the past 3-4 years.

  • beefman13

    Aug 24, 2015 at 12:01 AM

    Comment #9

    Dummet or Haidara
    Abdendour, if only, suppose Saylor otherwise.
    COLO, yes sitting in front of those two
    Perez or Aarons

    Im not the biggest fan of a capable Colback or Anita.

    This team gives us so many attacking options with pace, and yes Colo was tried in midfield a few years ago for an odd game and did not do that much, but he is good on the ground with the ball, i just feel he is limited at centre half as he cant jump whatsoever, but would be very good imo in a hole between the centre halfs and Wijnaldum and Sissoko.

    Not a hope in hell really i know, but thats what i would like to see.

  • Our Toon

    Aug 24, 2015 at 12:02 AM

    Comment #10

    The only thing saturday proved from a defensive stand point is Anita and Colback don’t offer the support or the protection to the defence. Colo gets alot of stick and sometimes rightly so, but all the goals conceded so far this season none have been his fault.

    Pelle and Long goals had nothing to do with Colo.

    Gomis goal came from Colback getting done by Shelvey, and Janmaat kept Gomis onside, Gomis also runs off Mbemba to get behind Colo.

    Ayew goal, Colo is marking Gomis, the 2 central midfielders allow Ayew to run from deep and they don’t track the run, Colo could have put a better challange in on Ayew but ultimately he wasn’t to blame. Come next week when others make mistakes Colo will get the blame.

  • Our Toon

    Aug 24, 2015 at 12:09 AM

    Comment #11

    On a separate note isn’t it refreshing to see a fella named Mahrez at Leicester playing really well, a wide man who can go either way, score goals….beats his man with ease and is very ball greedy as he always looks to shoot and doesn’t look to pass to team mates or track back either. Remind you of anyone?

    Yet his manager loves him and so do the fans of that club.

  • jimmysmith

    Aug 24, 2015 at 12:23 AM

    Comment #12

    McClaren might still be a little giddy over the way we battled on so admirably. He certainly was right into it on the sidelines, and he has to talk up his players, and in particular his leaders, confidence being so key to footballers. Collo was very good though, and you suspect, he and others, most notably Sissoko, do have an awful lot more to offer in a buoyant side.

  • Magpie Season

    Aug 24, 2015 at 1:39 AM

    Comment #13

    lol I just found out that Bellerin is Arsenal’s first choice RB, taking over Debuchy.

    I knew last season Debuchy missed most of the season as he was injured on 2 separate occasions but he hasn’t been able to reclaim his place.

  • Magpie Season

    Aug 24, 2015 at 1:40 AM

    Comment #14

    “Gabriel Obertan could be heading back to France, with Caen and Lille chasing the Newcastle winger…”

    – Football365.

  • Magpie Season

    Aug 24, 2015 at 1:42 AM

    Comment #15

    Our Toon,

    Jesus Navas yesterday. Could have played Aguero right in front of the goal. Instead he waited for 30 seconds & shot himself straight at Howard’s face.

    Wait, are you referring to someone from our squad?

  • Our Toon

    Aug 24, 2015 at 1:43 AM

    Comment #16

    Magpie season

    I don’t see why that is funny, Bellerin has progressed more than Arsenal thought he would, the young lad looks class but what do you expect….he’s a product of the barca youth system. I hold no ill will to those who better to better themselves by moving from us to a club playing at a higher level and winning things.

    Debuchy left us, he won a FA Cup winners medal, quite ironic he won the very competition we couldn’t wait to get knocked out of when he was here.

  • Our Toon

    Aug 24, 2015 at 1:47 AM

    Comment #17

    Magpie season

    I dont understand what point you are making on Navas.

    Navas didn’t want to shoot but Aguero couldn’t find the space needed as he was covered off by players, the closer Navas got to the goal and Howard the more he panicked. By the time he got the shot off he could have cut it back to Aguero but he waited to score the goal himself!!

  • We are the mags

    Aug 24, 2015 at 2:05 AM

    Comment #18

    I think colo payed great yesterday its just consistency and if fast balls are played through with the striker running onto it, he just aint fast enough, we need a big strong CB good in the air and pacey, move colo in front of the back 4 with tiote, tiote for breaking down play and being a pain whilst colo can spread the ball as he has great passing skills and vision a bit like that Italian blokey whats his name is it pirlo, put colback on the left wing as he has a great engine and just drop balloon knapper to the reserves, so 1 new CB please nufc, H.W.T.L

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Aug 24, 2015 at 2:05 AM

    Comment #19

    Our Toon@11 – are you thinking Albert Luque?

  • Sliema

    Aug 24, 2015 at 2:23 AM

    Comment #20

    Magpie Season

    Bellerin would keep most RBs in the league out of their team, he’s already very good and will be a class above Debuchy very soon… and ask you pointed out he has been out injured, how on earth could Wenger drop him the way he is playing?

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 24, 2015 at 3:55 AM

    Comment #21

    We tried Colo in midfield (in front of the back two) and to no success.

    We do need at times a Anchorman, someone who can safeguard the defense and personally I don’t see either of Tiote or Colback doing that.

    As for having a deeplying playmaker (Pirlo reference) then I am perfectly fine with Anita. Our concern is Callback and Anita don’t fit well together and we get over run in midfield.

    A solution could be 3 in mid, but then I am still a bit concerned. Tiote for me is not the answer. Sissoko played more defensive at Toulouse maybe a midfield of him, Anita and Wijnaldum could work.

    Colo did well at back against Manure and I wasn’t really concerned about that; the concern is he might not even last 30 games and then it’s back to Willo or Saylor. We still don’t have a backup for Janmaat and that means Mbembe could be used there.

    It’s all a bit of a worry I think.

  • Blofal

    Aug 24, 2015 at 5:25 AM

    Comment #22

    For me McClaren hasn’t put a foot wrong yet. Pardew obviously was not a very good man manager. The number of players that declined under him was far more than what he improved.

    I still believe he killed the best part of Cisse’s career by playing him on the wing.

    He did the same with Demba Ba who would have none of it and jumped ship.

    Santon had a lot of potential but never got even close. And once he was left with Carver in charge he couldn’t leave quick enough.

    Gutierrez was told to leave… when his last few performances and passion are what ended up keeping us in the Premier League.

    Anita couldn’t get a look in under Pardew. Sissoko had a brilliant debut and promptly dropped off. You could see all the players getting frustrated with the long ball tactics to the point that there was reportedly an argument between Coloccini and Pardew in the dressing room.

    McClaren has formed his tactics to conform to the players’ strengths and plays them in the positions that suit them. Pardew used to pick the best players and try and squeeze them onto the field.

    I was totally against McClaren coming in. But I can see what he is trying to do. I can see that he dictated in his contract that he be on the board and have a hand in how the club is run. I can see the players starting to care about the club again. I was wrong. McClaren appears to be just what we needed.

    Well done to all those involved in putting pressure on the club to spend and move forward (though I do feel sorry for Pardew.. that amount of pressure I wouldn’t wish upon anyone). It has worked. And I think with McClaren on the board it will continue. As long as we have a team like we did against Man Ure that tries their heart out i’m not fussed too much about results.

    For McClarens first season even if we finish 15th.. that is fine… as long as we have given it a red hot go, tried hard and tried in the cups. If we can keep this squad together we have some top young players. Two seasons from now we will have a very good team.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 24, 2015 at 5:27 AM

    Comment #23

    On another note it will be interesting to see some other combinations against Northampton. It will give SM better options in the long run.

  • Santon03

    Aug 24, 2015 at 5:41 AM

    Comment #24


    I agree with you completely. It is still work in progress but we can already see the difference.
    Most notable difference is Anita, he even got into national team, it would be just a dream for him if pardew still here.
    He won the ball so many times against MU and he hardly lost the ball, actually I can’t remember when he gave the ball away.
    Another one is Gouffran, he would have played every matches by now under pardew. I think he will be sold or loaned out.
    Other than our defensive players, I’m glad that Perez got a chance and what a performance he showed against MU, other than going forward he made some excellent defensive works.
    Hopefully we will see 4-4-2 against Northampton:

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 24, 2015 at 5:45 AM

    Comment #25

    I get your sentiment Blofal!

    I couldn’t be more happy than Pardew’s gone – regardless of whether everything was his fault or not. It was the worse football in my time supporting this club!

    On SM! He will never be my choice but I wanted to give him the change (after sulking for a while) because with him came a promise of a 4-3-3 and a different kind of football.

    The pre-season has been a disaster and we are still stuck in a 4-2-3-1 formation with the same flaws as under Pardew. I will give SM some time so I haven’t been as vocal as I would normally be, but so far it has not been a promising start by SM and his coaching team (I am not talking about points)

  • JDdubai

    Aug 24, 2015 at 5:48 AM

    Comment #26

    Ourtoon @10

    Im not in the toonbrother camp of slating Colo for no reason but i still think saying none of the goals we conceded were his fault isnt accurate.

    Take the Pelle goal, if you watch just as the cross comes in Colo lets the guy next to him run off him and into the box, he doesnt stick with him. Mbemba sees this and edges towards the centre and away from Pelle as he can see the danger, then cant get back quick enough to stop Pelles header. If Colo tracks his man, or is indeed closer to the other CB, then Mbemba can compete with Pelle on the cross.

    Its not just a case of who is marking who.

    But im not all doom and gloom on Colo, even though i think extending his contract was a mistake and not recruiting a 6″4 beast to partnet Mbemba also was a mistake.

  • Ron Knee

    Aug 24, 2015 at 6:01 AM

    Comment #27

    Morning Jesper
    It’s right to give McClaren more time. He’s a new coach with a new coaching staff. He’s inherited a team that could neither defend nor attack. He’s had to integrate four new players into a team of under-performers. Quite a challenge.

    I’d like to see some more points (two from a possible nine!) but I’m not sure if we’ll get anything against Arsenal.

  • hibbit

    Aug 24, 2015 at 6:37 AM

    Comment #28

    ron i set a target 8 points from the first 8 games i am going to stick with that i still think those first 8 would have been a difficult start for most clubs plus all the reasons you list just added to Mc problems

  • Ron Knee

    Aug 24, 2015 at 6:41 AM

    Comment #29

    A realistic target. I think we’re going to find all matches pretty tough this season. And we need more signings this window.

  • lochinvar

    Aug 24, 2015 at 6:44 AM

    Comment #30

    Ashley on the move again – what’s he up to now ?
    Plans for a hotel, retail and housing complex in the shadow of St James’ Park have collapsed after Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley decided to develop the land at the St. James Metro site himself.
    Around 500 construction jobs would have been created as part of a £47m mixed-use development earmarked for the car park next to St James’ Metro station.
    Gateshead-based Tolent Construction were poised to submit plans which would have included a hotel, 50 residential apartments, 700-bed student accommodation and shops, as well as surrounding landscaping.
    But the firm suffered “a bitter blow” when it was told that Mr Ashley – who has moved into property development in London – had his own plans.

  • sparky55

    Aug 24, 2015 at 6:49 AM

    Comment #31


    Which games do you see us winning then?

  • Blofal

    Aug 24, 2015 at 6:55 AM

    Comment #32

    Jesper 4-2-3-1 is very flexible and often morphs into a 4-3-3 in attack. That is why most sides play it now.

    Check it out…,-soccer.html

  • ilovetoon8788

    Aug 24, 2015 at 7:10 AM

    Comment #33

    It’s very hard to say our defence is good and colo is great based on 1 match at Manchester. Colo did brilliant but it has to be noted that we practically played 10 men behind ball all game. We had no intention to even hit on the counter.

    The challenge and indication of colo and our defence will come in more open games.

  • davis_toons

    Aug 24, 2015 at 7:18 AM

    Comment #34

    @22 Blofal

    Totally agreed.

    Especially when our cash are limited…we need to get the best out of the better players, steady the ship, get 1-2 more good/ top quality players and build on.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 24, 2015 at 7:21 AM

    Comment #35

    Morning Ron…the gunners game will be difficult no doubt, but the mighty Arsenal have shown that even they can fall hard 🙂

    If we are to get point in these games we need more than just an heroic defense! I am still hoping for a signing more or two lol

  • mickalfas

    Aug 24, 2015 at 7:22 AM

    Comment #36

    Going off the headline ,im guessing we’re not getting new CB’s in then ,shame !!
    We definitely need 1 if not 2!!

  • welshgeordie9

    Aug 24, 2015 at 7:45 AM

    Comment #37

    No defenders or forwards will be coming in unless 1 or 2 in each area leaves.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 24, 2015 at 7:46 AM

    Comment #38

    Blofal…it can also just end up in a frustrated 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1 with widemen suffering fatigue.

    I would argue any day of the week that those two formations are very different.

    We have an isolated forward and wingers acting as wingbacks. The should be inside forwards or playmaking wingers. It’s not potato potahto to me 😉

  • Ian Toon

    Aug 24, 2015 at 7:47 AM

    Comment #39

    Last but not least – A sound defence and the Toon aren’t used in conjunction very often.
    Macca has a good record at Old Trafford and he showed he knows how to set up his defence. The Mitrovic header will remain memorable and not only because the ManU keeper wasn’t in the same postcode ( Zip Code)- for our American fans/ cousins.
    But let’s also remember in telling the story that the cross was from Mbemba.
    It was also good to see Krul back to his best and with improved kicking..
    Small beginnings but Stevie Fist-pumps did OK and it was good to see someone in a toon shirt attacking the ball in our box. With his injury record and a history of faulty decision making who honestly knows how long this can last. Is it too much to think that he might have a good season and then be offered a new contract.!!.
    It has only been 3 games but has the tide changed at SJP?
    I’d like another CB and ST before the window closes. But maybe more importantly we’ve changed the squad mentality. Arsenal at SJP will be a good test of that.
    Bring it on.

  • sing in the corner

    Aug 24, 2015 at 7:50 AM

    Comment #40

    I suppose its easy to become a victim of micro analysis in this tech age we live in. In defensive situations individual errors are easily highlighted repeatedly to make a point. There’s rarely any balance though – that person making their point will not stop. rewind and analyse the great positioning, awareness and simple happy knack of getting in the right place to make a telling but non-pretty block, interception or hack clear. More power to Colo by the way. I have been among his biggest critics, based upon his deteriorating displays over the last 1-2 years, apparent attitude and his frustrating captaincy style. Benefit of the doubt – maybe SM’s coaching and a change of personnel is starting to work for him. But more of the same now then please Colo…


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