The Newcastle United Blog

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

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Banner created by Reilly - one of our readers
Howay The Lads!!

McClaren On Why Players Need More Than Fire In Their Bellies

12:03 am, Monday, August 31st, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 52 Comments

Steve McClaren has said he will talk to Aleksandar Mitrovic about his red card this week, as he had talked to Daryl Janmaat after his red card at Swansea two weeks ago.

Steve will also address the topic with the first team squad.

aleksandar mitrovic recieved red card

Aleksandar Mitrovic receives red after only 16 minutes

However, the three match ban will not change his transfer plans – but hopefully if there was anything going on to let Papiss Cisse leave the club before Tuesday night, that will not happen now,  even though Papiss Cisse is not happy at not starting.

This is what Steve told the local press after the game on Saturday:

¨We’ve just got to get that ice in their head in certain situations and be a bit more sensible instead.¨

“We’ve got good staff here and we’ll deal with it. The players will also. It’s something Mitrovic has to look at.¨

“We talked also with Daryl Janmaat about it after his red at Swansea City, and we’ll talk with the group about it.¨

“It’s going out there with fire in your belly and ice in your head, that’s what we want. We don’t want to lose that fire.¨

“If we do, the crowd will be down to 20,000. That’s what they want to see and they’ve seen it on Saturday.¨

¨We’ve just got to get that ice in their head in certain situations and be a bit more sensible instead.¨

“I just thought it was harsh, even the yellows.”

McClaren said that 20 year-old Mitrovic tried to speak to him about the incident after the game, but the Serbian seemed to still be in a daze about being sent off.

Steve McClaren will decide whether to appeal the red card, but there’s almost zero chance the FA would overturn the decision.

Once the head coach has looked at the video of how Mitrovic was ¨over the top¨ in his challenge on Coquelin, there will probably be no official appeal from Newcastle.

That’s even though two in three fans think it should not have been a red card.

Should Mitrovic Have Been Sent Off For Foul On Coquelin?

Loading ... Loading ...

Who Was Newcastle's Best Player Against Arsenal?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Comments welcome.

Tags: Aleksandar Mitrovic · Newcastle News · Poll

52 responses so far ↓

  • 1 JackButler // Aug 31, 2015 at 12:08 AM

    Dont know about having ice in their heads SM you need to put brains in a few of them

  • 2 ilovetoon8788 // Aug 31, 2015 at 1:03 AM

    Losing Cisse with no replacement is disaster. He’s the only proven goalscorer we have who will guarantee 12-15 goals.

  • 3 lesh // Aug 31, 2015 at 1:06 AM

    When reading McClaren’s comments, they remind me of Carver’s.

    Do our managers work from a script?

  • 4 lesh // Aug 31, 2015 at 1:09 AM

    You’re a hard man Jack B

  • 5 NYMAG // Aug 31, 2015 at 1:34 AM

    8 times out of 10 that challenge when viewed in REAL TIME is not a red card. Zero intent, his eyes was on the ball.

  • 6 WestOzMag // Aug 31, 2015 at 1:35 AM

    50 mill spent 2nd bottom Jog on!

  • 7 Toon-Prodigy // Aug 31, 2015 at 4:29 AM

    I’v got a good feeling with the next 3 games, think we will pick up some decent points. We will do Watford and Chelsea at home, west Ham I’d take a draw.

  • 8 toonaus // Aug 31, 2015 at 4:46 AM

    Man why do newcastle sign players that spend the whole year out or have a temper and dont play much as a result of that reckless temper. Waste of transfer funds only see a slight improvement in the team would have been better of buying austin then a guy who will be suspended most of the season. All we bought were bench warmers.

  • 9 Santon03 // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:13 AM

    There are a lot more nasty challenges against us that only get yellow for example Wigan’s Mccarthy on Haidara which is definitely leg breaking challenge only got yellow. Cockuelin really made a meal of it even Thauvin’s challenge on him which he rolled around then went straight back up when Thauvin said something to him.
    If Arsenal players did exactly the same challenge as Mitro, I doubt they will get red especially that early in the game.
    Mitro’s red card could be a blessing in disguise for Perez or Cisse.

  • 10 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:23 AM

    I still think the important thing is to hold the Refs / FA accountable if transparency is not restored and the same standards is not applied to everyone.

    I would consider taking this to the EU. For me it has nothing to do with the Mitro challenge – it’s s small part of the problem we face with football.

    I might not think it was a red card, but as long as it sets precedence for what the Refs will allow then I’ll have to accept it (that’s just not the case)

  • 11 JDdubai // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:43 AM


    If you mean McManaman’s tackle on Haidara he didnt even get a yellow card. I dont know which Thauvin tackle on Coquelin you mean also.

  • 12 Toon fm Exeter // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:45 AM

    In this day and age where they are trying to make football a non contact sport the ref got most things right, what we need to get now is the refs to be consistent. The defence have surprised me last season going down to 10 would have meant a hammering, just got to sort mitros head out and things may begin to take shape

  • 13 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:57 AM

    Toon fm Exeter …I think you might confuse rugger with assoccer 😉

    …football as far as I remember was never a contact sport! Maybe that’s the part that confuses some!

    But I agree we need consistency and transparency!

  • 14 Santon03 // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:05 AM


    yes, mccmanaman. thx for correcting.

    the one that Thauvin got yellow for it.

  • 15 Santon03 // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:12 AM


    ??? physical contact?
    football not a physical contact sport? contact sport category you mean like boxing, then no it’s not contact sport. it’s 22 players fighting over 1 ball, yes it’s confusing.
    if not a contact sport then there is no foul, only fault like tennis or volley ball.

  • 16 cyprus // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:20 AM

    Someone suggested Shearer should work with Mitro as he too was hard and on the borderline with refs but didn’t see too many reds.

    That’s the point, exactly, though not the one you make 🙂

    Some players get away with more than others. Had it been Rooney or Gerard (or Shearer), this would probably not even be a yellow. A ‘severe’ talking to would’ve sufficed, sometimes.

    Shearer would bully defenders, when he jumped defenders would almost expect an elbow in the face. He’s our hero and we loved it.

    Mitro is a loose cannon, he needs to stifle his aggressiveness, true, but let’s not ‘sell’ him already, like some people have done.

  • 17 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:21 AM

    Santon03…No, football is a non contact sport mate!

  • 18 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:22 AM

    We are in the same category as Basketball!

  • 19 Santon03 // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:27 AM

    I’m confused. so.. every contact should be a foul?

    what category for Volleyball? net sport?

  • 20 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:58 AM

    Santon…that’s why we have categories! To make it easier to distinguish contact sports from non contact sports and so on.

    Refs are there to make sure the are minimum contact and to penalize if needed (with in the rules)

  • 21 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:09 AM

    Santon…do you have contact in volleyball?

    I don’t know why this confuses so many!

  • 22 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:14 AM

    Football is a contact sport mate. There are four generally accepted categories; Collision, Contact, limited contact and non contact. Football falls in to the contact category.

  • 23 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:18 AM

    Volleyball is a limited contact sport

  • 24 toonbrother // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:20 AM

    2nd bottom omg
    This is bad

  • 25 Ron Knee // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:24 AM

    Good morning, Lilongwe
    After four matches we’ve obviously become more organised in defence but we seem to lack any attacking intent. This is worrying. Did you watch the match on Saturday?

  • 26 catchy in norway // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:32 AM

    I think the red at the weekend has something against our team , IMO it was only a yellow and some of the other cards weren’t even yellows , but what does not help the refs is the play acting by the players, it’s worse than fouling in my book ,

    Arsenal are a good footballing team, but are possibly the most light weight team in the league , and for this reason alone they will not win the league , teams like Stoke and wba will just bully them out of points, let’s face it, it took an own goal to beat us.

    I’m still positive about this season,

  • 27 Ian Toon // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:33 AM

    Last but not least:
    After the Mitrovic sending off overall I was happy with the Newcastle performance. A valid point was made no out ball provision but this would have been at the expense of maintaining a solid defence. We defended well with 10 men and were a bit unlucky to only concede with a deflection . Defensively this season we look far more solid and resolute as a unit. Last season we would have lost heavily. Mbemba looks a great addition and was arguably our best player.
    We’ve played four of last seasons top eight sides so it was never going to be easy what with changes to transform our style of play and to bed in a number of new players. I am generally encouraged that the quality of the football will be far better than last season and that we will have a good season. Matches against West Ham and Watford will be better indicators of what we can reasonably expect.

  • 28 sparky55 // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:36 AM

    Ian toon

    how many points do you seeing us getting from the watford and west ham games?

  • 29 sparky55 // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:39 AM

    I would still sell Cisse…Perez with SDJ tucked in just behind will be fine

  • 30 Ian Toon // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:43 AM

    Sparky – 4 . I am going to the WHU game to lend my support . They have not played well at home being jeered off against Bournemouthbut they won away at Arsenal and Pool. I would like to think we can win there but we might have to wait to beat Watford at SJP.

  • 31 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:47 AM

    Selling Cisse this window – The club must be F***in mad – he’s the only goalscorer we have.
    For F’s sake we haven’t scored a goal in over 300 minutes of Premiership Football


  • 32 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:52 AM

    Lilongwe…no mate, it’s in the same category as basketball!

  • 33 Mag52 // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:53 AM

    Big test coming up in the short term, for the ‘new regime’ to see whether they will allow Cisse to go without getting in a replacement, and for the longer term, to see whether our new manager can rein in the over enthusiasm of Mitro to the extent that he stays on the pitch for 90 minutes, without taking away his passion for the game.

  • 34 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    I watched on Saturday, thought we looked organised and compact, but after the sending off we were always going to be up against it, and I can’t really fault them.

    The red was borderline, a bit on the harsh side, but you see them given occasionally. Not just Mitro though, there were a few daft and needless tackles that went in which players were booked for.

    Yeah, we have lacked attacking intent, but we have played against 4 teams who, based on last season, would expect to have the lions share of possession and dominate us. It isn’t great, but I think the next 2 games will tell us a lot more. If we don’t show an intent to go and attack against Watford and West Ham then I think we should be taking a long hard look at what is happening.

    I had hoped for 3 points from our first 4, and a further 6 from our next 4. Not a great start, but reasonable based on who we played. I still wouldn’t rule out us getting the 9 joints from 8.

  • 35 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    Lilongwe…I’ll assume it depends on your definition of contact then?

  • 36 Munster Mag // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:59 AM

    I only saw motd so am not in a great position to comment but Ian and Co why so optimistic? We may have lost a player but we didn’t create a chance v arsenal? At home. Even 10 men usually do more. Mitro is a loon. Steve stereotyping of Serbian and Northern English….if carver said that we’d have said he was an idiot.

  • 37 Munster Mag // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    Lil West ham could murder us. If we lose badly there we need to start wondering if mclaren peaked as a manager years ago and we have got the weaker version.

  • 38 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:07 AM

    Basketball is classed as a contact sport….

  • 39 sparky55 // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:10 AM

    Ian toon

    Can’t see us getting 4 like…west ham will be cock a hoop after the liverpool result and Watford have only lost one game and are playing well.

    not looking good.

    I had us with 5 points after 8 games…not sure we’ll even get that TBH

  • 40 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:11 AM

    We could lose against West Ham, I doubt they will murder us though. Equally we could beat them as Bournemouth and Leicester did.

  • 41 Ian Toon // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:14 AM

    Munster – every passing week we will have worked on team cohesion and gelling as a unit. The emphasis in last two games with ten men has to be solid defensively to deprive opposition of space. With a full complement we will set up differently and play more openly. We will play a higher line and with more creativity from the likes of Wiji who will not be played so deep adding support to back four but in more of an attacking midfield role. In building any side/ formation you start from the back and based on last season we should be more difficult to beat going forward.
    You can’t seriously look at the last two games and believe that will mirror our offensive
    Intentions going forward. We have in Sissoko, Wiji and Thauvin with Cisse up top.

  • 42 Lilongwe Geordie // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:15 AM

    Football is officially classified as a contact sport. There is no need to reference actual definitions unless you disagree that shoulder charges, midfield battles, aerial challenges and tackles have zero contact between players. There is contact in the sport on a regular basis as part of the game, and therefore it is classified as a contact sport.

  • 43 Ian Toon // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:16 AM

    Sparky- I am an optimist by nature. Let’s talk after the Watford game.

  • 44 sparky55 // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:21 AM

    Who gives a fcuk if it’s classed as a contact sport or not…Hopefully he’s learnt his lesson now.

    We were OK against Southampton…we were 10 boys against Swansea, we were lucky against MAN U and 10 boys against arsenal….we’ve not had a chance to play the football SM has tried to instill into the team yet.

    SM is probably right…we will need 12 games to get into our stride…so hopefully it won’t be too late by then.

  • 45 Mag52 // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:32 AM


    Interesting point you make about McClaren possibly having peaked as a manager some time ago.
    Do managers peak and then decline in ability as they get older, or do they improve with age as they acquire more and more experience ?
    Providing their health remains good, I’d have said they should get better as they get older.
    As far as club management goes, this present job has to be probably the biggest he will ever have. It’d be a great shame if his powers are, in fact, on the decline.

  • 46 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:33 AM

    Despite our spending, I think we still look fragile. We lack height in defence, we look weak in a midfield anchored by Anita and Colback, and we don’t appear to be a team that’s going to score freely. I think McClaren is going to have to change the recipe if we want to be secure in a tenth to fifteenth place finish, which is realistically what we should be aspiring to, given what we have on our plate – ie a fundamentally tasteless meal that’s had a bit of salt and pepper added.

  • 47 sparky55 // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:46 AM

    ian toon

    me too…that’s why i’m worried! 🙂 🙂

  • 48 Bobbybee // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:54 AM

    I’m not sure it’s been possible to properly assess the team yet, with difficult games being made harder due to red cards. Saturday’s card was harsh and under normal circumstances would have been yellow. A lot of Mitrovic’s fouls appear to be due to his foot arriving a split second after the ball has gone, which points to him not being up to pace in the PL rather than malicious. No doubt he had more time in Belgium, but this needs to be addressed by the staff by working on reaction times with the lad. It can be improved and I expect it will. We’ve seen many many times where a player gets his foot stood on, but not many red cards dished out for the same offence. Marriner wanting to be centre of attention is hardly anything new.

  • 49 Ian Toon // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:59 AM

    Sparky- Ha ha – now you tell me. New managers often have to make big calls which often look questionable at the time but ultimately have paid off. Ditching certain players from your thinking and adopting changing formations and mentalities. All of which will evolve. No real judgement can be made at this time but I take. Comfort from how we performed against Southampton. You could see shape in our play and blossoming confidence with terrific crowd support. No reason why we shouldn’t win the bulk of our home.

  • 50 posada // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:23 AM

    Discipline at Newcastle is crap.
    Why – because too many players know they will be picked even if they do something daft. Its been like that for years.
    We had a great result at Man U. I would have kept the same team and left out Janmaat to think about his stupidity and Sissoko, who could have been sent off as well.
    The Liverpool side of the 70/80s. No one wanted to be out injured or suspended as you might not get back in the team.
    Sorry but WWTB might be a good coach. Good manager ?

  • 51 Jib // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:53 AM

    In collision sports (eg, boxing, ice hockey, [American] football, lacrosse, and rodeo), athletes purposely hit or collide with each other or with inanimate objects (including the ground) with great force. In contact sports (eg, basketball and soccer), athletes routinely make contact with each other or inanimate objects but usually with less force than in collision sports. In limited-contact sports (eg, softball and squash), contact with other athletes or with inanimate objects is infrequent or inadvertent.

  • 52 chuck // Aug 31, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    Need more than fire in their belly’s ?
    If this is the best McClaren can come up with, some old worn cliche, then I guess we are in trouble and instead of fighting off relegation from a long string of losses during last season, we are at the bottom already fighting that battle.

    That’s what you get by hiring cheap yes men, instead of people with track records or the likes of Bornemouths young manager, who has brought a group of second tier players up and continues to surprise and get wins, not some retread that was recently fired from the same second tier FFS.

    Who’s only reply is that above, yep it’s one after another, of poor hirings coaches who are no more than retreads, but have an additional problem in having little knowledge of who they will end up managing, being the head scout picks the players whom he decides upon, I mean what’s that about ?

    If this is Ashley’s plan for a top six to eighth place team, then it just ain’t gonna happen, unless he decides he’s not the footballing genius he thinks he is and hands over a, certain amount of control and planning to a professional management team like most successful clubs.

previous post: Newcastle Star Opens The Door To Leaving Before Tuesday

next post: No Change – Newcastle Will Always Show Spirit And Fight