McClaren – These Three Players Were Immaculate For Us

If you look at the way we played against Swansea last weekend, and the way Newcastle played yesterday against Manchester United at Old Trafford,  you could see the remarkable progress in the way Newcastle defended.

Granted that both games started off almost the same way, with Newcastle under tremendous pressure for the first 20 minutes, and we did go a goal behind against Swansea, and then Daryl Janmaat got himself sent off and that was the game.

But yesterday we didn’t concede,  and we saw some tremendous performances at the back, as we kept a clean sheet for the first time this season.

coloccini tackles memphis

Fabricio Coloccini tackles Memphis Depay yesterday

Coloccini and Steven Taylor were simply terrific in central defense, and Steven is almost certain to keep his place against Arsenal for the game next Saturday, and Daryl Janmaat could find himself on the bench for that game with the defense playing so well yesterday.

There had been talk all week long among fans that our defense is still not good enough. and it was a really impressive defensive performance yesterday with crosses being blocked, shots being blocked and the defense playing like their lives depended on not conceding.

Steve McClaren seemed to go crazy on the touchline during those final 10 minutes of the game,  as he tried to direct Newcastle not to concede – and he had this to say after the game:

“I think you saw out there Coloccini was the leader.” “But from one to 11 and the subs you have to defend well and you have to do your job.”

“Concentration is the key thing because I’ve been there when you lose it and you lose the game at the end.”

“We kept our focus and could have won it the end.” “I thought Colo and Taylor and Tim Krul were excellent, they were immaculate.”

“They kept us in the game in the first 20 minutes and the last 10 minutes.” “You have to defend well and they showed their experience.”

Coloccini has been criticized a lot by Newcastle fans for what happened last season under John Carver, when we seemed to lack any leadership – but he was simply immense yesterday and maybe he’s going to have a good season under new boss Steve McClaren.

We didn’t win – although with a couple of minutes of added time to go we had that three on one break and really should have scored, but it was the gutsy performance that was so good.

It was the type of performance that Geordie fans love – all fight, guts, passion and courage and as Manchester United players became frustrated as the time slipped by, it looked like we could even do it.

And do it we did with most fans almost ecstatic at an unexpected point – but what a courageous display so early in the reign of Steve McClaren.

Now we have to produce the same against Arsenal next Saturday, and maybe get our first league win.

There cannot be a let-down against Arsenal next Saturday that we suffered against Swansea, after we had played so well against Southampton.

Consistency now is key for Newcastle as we try to pick up some wins.

Howay The Lads!!

19 comments so far

  • OneAlanShearer

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:18 AM

    Comment #1

    Despite the fact the defense played so well I wouldn’t play our 3 best centre backs at the same time. Janmaat had a poor game previously granted but he is a good right back he just came up against a very good winger that day. I would play saylor and Willo in the cup with Haidara and Janmaat against Northampton. But return to Janmaat Mbemba Colo Haidara for arsenal. I still hold a faint hope we will get more defensive recruits in this window…such a glaring hole in the squad.

  • Slank

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:20 AM

    Comment #2

    My take on the players:

    Krul: Excellent. Back to his best. Will give confidence to the back four.

    Mbemba: Worthy stand in. Very athletic. Better than Janmaat ?

    Taylor: Strong and committed. Combines well with Colo. Better than Mbemba ?

    Colo: Captains performance. Assured and commanding. MOTM. Fortunate no ManU centre forward ?

    Haidara: Excellent going forward. Still learning his defensive duties.

    Anita: Very industrious. Never gave up. Ninety minute engine. Harried and hassled all match.

    Colback: Also very industrious and also a ninety minute engine. Is Tiote better ?

    Gini: Real class act. Extremely quick and easily outpaced his opponents. Very good link up play. Will score goals.

    Obertan: Hot and cold. Very inconsistent. Don’t see him as first choice.

    Perez: Never stopped. Worked extremely hard. Always looks a goal threat as he is more a number 10 than a winger. He would thrive in a 4-4-2 formation alongside Mitrovic.

    Mitrovic: A power house. Worked hard and effective in his defensive duties. Excellent hold up play and a player we have missed since Shearer hung up his boots. Will cause quite a few centre backs problems.

    Subs: McClaren timing and choice was spot on:
    Tiote: Did what he does best and breaks the play up.
    Cisse: Kept their defence occupied and nearly laid on the winning goal for Thauvin.
    Thauvin: Looks like he has skills, pace and an excellent left foot. Has to be on the left wing.

  • OneAlanShearer

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:20 AM

    Comment #3

    Why is it certain fans on twitter have the arogance to say Wijnaldum and thauvin shouldn’t be at nufc. I know some true mufc fans and they wouldn’t say that. Absolute arrogance. Only the top 4 are allowed class players.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:20 AM

    Comment #4

    There would have been a lot less pressure when defending if we’d not been as respectful in letting them have the ball for so long. I hope this will change over time, but the last-ditch defending was still very good.

    The best defending is when we have the ball, not stopping their attacks.

    I was looking forward to seeing Thauvin play, although he doesn’t look as lightning fast as people have said. Much like people said about Cabella, who was a bit above average pace at best I thought.

    Enrique and Debuchy quickened up to what they were like when they first arrived, so hopefully that will happen with Thauvin. Looking forward to seeing his trickery as well.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:21 AM

    Comment #5

    Lets just hope we’ll still bring in a CB!

  • corkypants

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:21 AM

    Comment #6

    I think Anita has been excellent also from the end of last season he has really picked up, he deserves his place in that holland squad. tim krul was much improved against man u also he was coming to punch and collect balls something must of been said to him all in all we are going in the right direction and i couldnt be happier.


  • Slank

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:29 AM

    Comment #7

    OneAlanShearer @ 1

    The criticism from the fans last season was the club never took the cup games seriously. Therefore, why play the second fiddles against Northampton ?

    Surely the more the first team play together the more effective they will become. My team for Northampton:

    Janmaat – Mbemba – Colo – Haidara
    Anita – Colback
    Sissoko – Gini – Thauvin

    Depending upon how we perform I would introduce:
    Tiote for Colback
    De Jong for Gini
    Aarons for Thauvin

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #8

    Slank…seeing as we have other options for Obertan I think our weakest link is the Colback/Tiote position.

    If we look at our games so far we get over run in midfield and the defense has to soak up the pressure. They kept the ball out of the goal yesterday BUT…

    The central defense is still a worry…we shouldn’t be fooled by that performance. It was more heroic than great. I know this can start a discussion (we all have a different perspective on things).

    AS for Perez I think a 4-3-3 will answer your question. It could also sort out the midfield granted I think we will need to upgrade Colback/Tiote.

    But that’s for another window I think.

  • Jib

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:32 AM

    Comment #9


    I still hold a faint hope we will get more defensive recruits in this window…such a glaring hole in the squad.

    This is the neggers current nonsense.

    You mention six defenders and don’t even mention Dummett Lascelles Good Satka Sterry Mbabu Gillesphey Ferguson.
    Both Anita and Colback are excellent fullbacks when needed

    That makes 16 defenders

    How many do you want ?

  • will die for the toon army

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:32 AM

    Comment #10

    Looking at the possible line ups :
    4- 2 – 3 – 1
    …………………… . .Krul
    Janmatt … . Mbemba……Colo ……. Dummett
    ………………. . Anita………… . . Colback
    Sissoko…………… Wijnaldum …………Thauvin
    ………………………… Mitrovic
    Every one in his favourite position . I put Dummett coz I dont know Thauvinz defensive side.
    Haidara played well coz Perez really helped him . so needs a WF that really helps him . But If
    Thauvin is good defensively then I throw back Haidara coz I need a crosser for Mitrovic .
    4- 2 – 3 – 1
    …………………… . .Krul
    Janmatt ……. Mbemba… . . Colo ……… Haidara
    …………… Wijnaldum ……… .Colback
    Thauvin…………… Sissoko …………… . Perez
    ………………………… Mitrovic
    Pull back yo accommodate Perez and I start Haidara coz I know Perez is good defensively .
    Wijnaldum is box to box midfielder .
    3- 5 – 1 – 1
    ……………………………….. Krul
    …………… Mbemba……. Taylor. ……Colo
    …………………. .Anita …………… Colback
    Janmatt …………… . . Wijnaldum . …………. . Thauvin
    ……………………………. Mitrovic
    Bring in Taylor to try with the Aerial threat

  • OneAlanShearer

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:34 AM

    Comment #11

    Against arsenal our centre backs will face pace and height. If we keep a clean sheet in that match I will be amazed…A real test. I fear for us against their passing game. I would go 451 not 4231 against them. We need to close them down quickly and pack the midfield. Mitrovic has to start again. Midfield of:


    Janmaat Mbemba Colo haidara

    Sissoko Wijnaldum tiote perez thauvin


  • Nufc-83

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:35 AM

    Comment #12

    Slank my take on your player comments:

    Krul: Back to his best but is his best good enough? Distribution and commanding of the area is extremely weak and possibly a reason we are so bad at defending high balls into the box. For me not the world class keeper people seem to think he is although great shot stopper.

    Mbemba: More credit needed as after the first 20 mins he was outsanding. Although should never be replacing Jaanmat as going forward (apart from cross to mitro) he was very poor but not his fault he is a CB.

    Haidara: You got this completely wrong. Going forward he was shocking in terms of delivery into the box but defensivly he was solid. He needs a lot of work and we should have an established LB while he develops.

    Coldback/Anita: fair comments but we are desperate for a cm who can pass the ball more than 10yds and switch the play quickly into space. One of these needs replacing ASAP with a cabaye type of player who can ping a ball.

    Obertan: hot and cold try just cold he was hiding from the ball and never made himself open unless he had to. Was a disgrace of a performance and he should have his contract ripped up in front of him.

    Perez was oustadning both defensively and going forward and was the only player turning the united players and relieving pressure.

    Overall you got most correct 🙂

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:38 AM

    Comment #13

    Lovely being here in ireland yesterday. As u may know, this place is teeming with man u fans so unlike newcastle city
    centre u can walk around with a jersey on and irritate the bastards 🙂

  • OneAlanShearer

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:41 AM

    Comment #14

    Jib – that is exactly how Ashley thinks. Just because they are called defenders it doesn’t make them either ready or good enough. We need to improve our starting back 4. Saylor and Colo had one good match against an out of form short arse centre back. We have no cover at right back…satka and stereo are not ready. Dummett I rate as cover or even starting left back granted. Colo is slow. We need a quality centre back. Ideally a left back who can defend and come forward. Lascelles is not ready. Ferguson Is out on loan. Good is constantly injured. If I added myself and you as defenders in that list it wouldn’t make us good enough either. It’s about quality not quantity.

  • OneAlanShearer

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #15

    Centre forward even

  • will die for the toon army

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #16

    Team for Northampton:
    Janmatt. ……..Willo……….Taylor………Dummett
    Thauvin…………….De Jong………………..Aarons
    Krul, Colo, Anita, Perez, Wijnaldum, Mitrovic, Lasceles

  • geordieboy83

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #17

    Team vs Northampton
    Aarons———–de Jong ——- thauvin

    Kemen for tiote
    Perez for beast
    Roberts for thauvin would be my subs depending how match plays out

  • calvinzolamakongo

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:51 AM

    Comment #18

    Haidara was quality just needs to be calm with his crosses beat darmain to the line everytime

  • Jib

    Aug 23, 2015 at 8:08 PM

    Comment #19



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