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Steve McClaren Explains The Team He Wants At Newcastle

2:10 pm, Monday, August 31st, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 150 Comments

We have seen over the last two league games that Newcastle have become very strong in defense, so it looks like Steve McClaren and his coaching staff are turning what was a negative over the last three seasons into a positive.

And Newcastle have looked very well organized and we keep a good shape on the field and that’s all good to see after four league games, and it shows the team are well coached by the new team.

But we don’t have many points on the board, but the head coach today has said we’ll look at how we are doing after 10 league games – hopefully we will be in the top half of the table by then.

steve mcclaren dancing on the touchline northampton

Steve McClaren – judge us after 10 games

Newcastle were applauded off the field on Saturday for the second league game running, and to hold Arsenal to only one goal after playing 75 minutes with 10 men, was some feat by our lads – it’s just a pity we couldn’t get a point out of that gutsy effort.

The players also looked fitter near the end of the end the game – after they had run their socks off for the cause.

This is what Steve McClaren has said today:

“The first 10 games are always key.”

“We are not looking at the Premier League table until after 10 games.”  “We now have a breather and we will come back after the internationals, hope everybody is fit and we will go again.”

“We have to be hard to play against.” “People have to know it will not be an easy game against Newcastle.” “We have to build that reputation.”  “That means being hard to beat, solid, strong and organised.”

“We have been like that in the four games – even at Swansea with 10 men for over an hour – at Old Trafford and we nearly did it against Arsenal with 10 men.”

“It is something to build on.” “You have seen the quality of players, we can go forward and improve.”

“What a fantastic crowd.” “When we have 11 players and keep people on the field and start playing they will be our 12th man.”

With only two draws in our first four league games,  it means we have only one win in the last 15 league games – so there’s an incentive to beat West Ham at Upton Park two weeks tonight.

In our last 11 league games last season under John Carver, we had just one win in the very last game against West Ham, and one draw and nine defeats – so in 15 league games we have one win and three draws.

So that’s 6 points out of 45 points played for.

Our last win was against West Ham,  so hopefully we can beat them again in a couple of weeks and start getting some wins under our belt.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Newcastle News · Premier League · Press Conference

150 responses so far ↓

  • 1 eaststandgeordie1982 // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    In the last 2 games we have looked organised and hard to beat against 2 of the best teams in the league shame a deflection won them the game on sat.

  • 2 Graeme // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    We wil struggle to beat WHU at their place, thats for sure – but it’s not impossible if we keep 11 on the pitch for the full game!!!

  • 3 Shaker Shakrah // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:20 PM


  • 4 NezzaNUFC // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    To be honest I expected us to lose all 4 games but after current display if we remove Swansea I’d say we could be in with a treat on our up coming games.

    We had the toughest fixtures out of all other teams and we were solid in defence against Manure away and Arsenal home.

    Pardew only managed this sort of solid defence and that was against Spurs even then it was Krull who saved the day and not the defenders, it takes McClaren 2-3 months to sort out the defence it had taken Pardew 4-5 years to learn the hard way.

  • 5 Bambams // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:21 PM

    Still only two points but I don’t think many of us thought we would have had many more than this.
    I still want to see the attacks down the wings and get to the byline before crossing.
    Mitro/Cisse/Perez/SDJ will all get on crosses to score.
    I said weeks ago we are missing THAT player who spots that pass, a Beardsley type ( SDJ? )
    Effort is needed to win games but flair and skill is a big part of football and winning games

  • 6 NezzaNUFC // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:23 PM

    I think against WHU we should use Aarons and Thuavin on the wings but have Aarons as an inside forward or vice versa

  • 7 NezzaNUFC // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:27 PM

    Shaker what makes you think that?

  • 8 Blofal // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:27 PM

    Nezza you’re right.

    Under Pardew we were shocking defensively. No way could we have obtained the results we have under Pardew. And it’s not just Mbemba. We look organised for the first time in years.

    One positive of playing 2 games with 10 men is we have definitely had a lot of practice defending. Now if we can just keep 11 men on the pitch we can see what we are like going forward.

    I actually think we will win at West Ham.

  • 9 eaststandgeordie1982 // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    Next 2 games are winnable, then 2 hard games but lets not forget jose’s record up here.

  • 10 reilly // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:30 PM


  • 11 Reyantoon // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:30 PM

    Lassoga is just a standby alternative incase Cisse leaves.Nothing concrete yet.Well atleast not mentioned on “The Mirror ” 🙂

  • 12 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:30 PM

  • 13 SUTTY1978 // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:31 PM

    Usually when a new manager comes in it has a positive effect on performances and results.
    We have played 4 games
    We have scored 2 goals
    We have no wins
    We have 2 defeats
    We have not had a shot on target in any of the last 3 games (must be a record).

    The “spirit” of the team looks decent but if we keep on like this then that will soon disappear as will the backing of the crowd.

    West Ham and Watford both have physical strikers, I cant see a victory in either of those games, draws at best.

  • 14 NezzaNUFC // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:32 PM


    It’s very possible mate, and with other results with other teams anything can happen.

    Chelsea, Manure, Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs seem weaker than usual and shown they can be beaten at there own ground.

    Man City though is a different story ( unless it’s a cup game lol )

  • 15 Bobbybee // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:34 PM

    Don’t agree with continuing last seasons stats with this. There’s been a complete overhaul and with that should come a fresh start. Simply put, we’re nothing like we were last season. Most of us accept that it will take a bit of time for the team to settle in, but the defence is looking good already and the first win won’t be far away. The run of games following the City game gives us a great chance to pick up plenty of points. That run includes the first derby and it doesn’t look like we’ll be short of fighting spirit this season! We’ve just started to build a new team and we are what we are. Did we really expect any points from Swansea and Manure away and Arsenal at home? Probably not, but we did get one. Swansea beat manure this weekend after all, so they’re far from being a pushover! I believe we will steadily improve as the season progresses and expect us to climb the table accordingly. No panic at all.

  • 16 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    Perez is most definitely not an Aguerro type player either. Aguerro highlights the point I’m trying to make about Perez.Aguerro is an out and out goal machine. Feed him, he gets goals. Perez is not that. He gets a few goals but he’s not a goal scorer. It’s the difference between Alan Shearer and Robert Lee. Perez won’t even get you as many goals as Robert Lee. We’re highly unlikely to get another Shearer but we’ve never come close. Talk of losing Cisse and asking Perez to step up takes us even further away.

  • 17 NezzaNUFC // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:37 PM

    Sutty I think we can beat WHU away, most people will judge there performance against Liverpool but that game Liverpool had a high line same with Chelsea against Palace and both teams lost because of ignorance and got hit on the counter.

    But we don’t play with a high line away so we could come out with a win

  • 18 eaststandgeordie1982 // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:39 PM


    Totally agree with you mate we have good runs of games coming up theres no need to be impatient we have been horrendous last few seasons.

  • 19 banjax // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:40 PM

    A poor start but understandable with five new players to integrate into the team. That said, we need to add at least one more centre back before the transfer window shuts. We look very vulnerable if we have an injury at the back with Taylor and Williamson as replacements. With Swansea and Crystal Palace and other teams above us we really should be doing better, even Bournemouth have won a game, so my patience won’t last too much longer.

  • 20 Nufc-83 // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:42 PM

    B&B totally disagree with your view of Perez. He is actually very alike aguero in that he has good finishing movement and close control (obv aguero on another level). We haven’t ever created the chances as you say feed him to say he can’t put them away.

  • 21 Nufc-83 // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:43 PM

    Comparing him to rob lee or any midfield player is a bit silly IMO

  • 22 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:45 PM

    Looks like Mackems are buying Borini from the dippers

  • 23 eaststandgeordie1982 // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:46 PM


    Hes already knocked them back once i think he will do it again

  • 24 Rotonda heights // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:48 PM

    a team that keeps 11 players on the pitch for a full 90 mins and has more than 30% possession would be a start.

  • 25 Munster Mag // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:54 PM

    I don’t buy into the theory that mitro’s timing is off in the tackle. If that was the case most foreign players would be in a similar boat because of the speed of premium football. Put simply the boy is a filthy nutter and needs to cope himself on big time.

  • 26 Bobbybee // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:58 PM

    B&B, it’s all about opinions. You’d have to be stupid to play Perez the same way you play Cisse, it’s horses for courses. Look at Arma at Coventry. We played him long balls and wasted his talents. They play to his strengths and he bangs the goals in. I have every belief Arma will score goals at any level if you play to his strengths because he’s a natural goalscorer, but you can’t play him as a target man, just like you couldn’t play Owen as a target man. Goals come in different types. How many headers do Barca score, when they play to their strengths? Perez has shown he can be a fox in the box, but AGAIN – ffs – my point is, I would sooner play Perez up front than somebody who doesn’t want to fight for his place. If Cisse wants to go, let him – that’s my main point. Perez can cover if required, it just means a change of tactics. Come to think of it, I’d rather play anybody than someone who wants away. Perez with 100% commitment or a player that wants to leave? Just a simple matter of opinion and one we don’t share obviously. That’s fine. It’s football. If you remember, we bought Perez because of his goal scoring at Tenerife. Better in a 442, but either way, he doesn’t miss sitters. Agree to disagree eh, coz I’m getting bored now 🙂

  • 27 geniusofthelamps // Aug 31, 2015 at 2:59 PM

    I think we should forget this out and out winger crossing from the byeline. thats very 1980’s football
    we need to play much higher up the pitch in numbers and play more passing football through the middle and get in bwhind teams as we have the players to do that. SDJ, Aarons, wijnaldum, perez, cisse

    firstly we arent getting the above names on the pitch at the same time and when we have a few of them we are penned back in our own half. we cant keep sitting back like this and colback and anita are the problem

  • 28 Bobbybee // Aug 31, 2015 at 3:07 PM

    Munster, every player is an individual and you can’t say that because one player fails to adapt quickly, they all can’t. The other three have perfectly, but they’re different in so many ways. Is that not why people scream for proven PL players, rather than ones who might take time to adjust? Some do, it’s a fact of life. Obviously he had so much more time in Belgium and he’s one of those players who do need time to adjust. Look how long it took Collo to adjust, before he became first choice centre back. Give the lad a break and see how he progresses.

  • 29 gonufc (Newcastle United Sports Direct Advertising Club) // Aug 31, 2015 at 3:12 PM

    I completely agree with NUFC-83 on this. Last year Perez showed he is a poacher. I think he’s best as a CF and is definitely in the mould of an Afuero type.

    He’s agile and twists and turns in the same way, he just doesn’t have the strength of Aguero (In terms of a scaled down version of him).

    Looking back, the goals he scored saved us last year- how many times did he just sniff out a goal from nowhere when we were desperate?! Things like the back heeled goal and the way he stayed onside- just- for so many was not a “Rob Lee” type player’s movement.

    But, like so many forwards in this country, if you have good control and are nippy but not big you get played out wide.

    Pulis is playing Berahino out wide for god’s sake?! If there’s ever been out of position that’s it. If I was Berahino I’d have wanted to get out as soon as he was appointed. What use does Pulis have for a quick, penalty area, poacher type?

    Pulis’ first game he was used as a defensive winger! And has stayed that way for almost every other game for West Brom. His main job now is to track their full backs! What a waste.

    “Hi, Cristiano? Yeah, Tony here. Yeah, that’s right. So you’ve heard the game plan? Good. They’ve got Paul Koncheskey at left back, he likes getting forward, so your main job’s going to be tracking his runs. No, just stay out wide and neutralise him. Box? No, that’s Victor Anichebe’s job, we’re gonna need to be solid.”

  • 30 JackButler // Aug 31, 2015 at 3:13 PM

    We’ve always been a soft touch, very easy to play against and therefor easy to beat but it’s easy to see the amount of work SM and his coaches have put in on the training ground and things will tie together sooner rather than later and the points will come

  • 31 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 31, 2015 at 3:43 PM

    You need look no further than the Northampton game to see what Perez is like in front of goal. You don’t have to be a big, lumbering oaf like Mitrovic to be a target man. In fact, Aguerro is much more a target man than Mitro. A target man to me is your natural goalscorer, the man that your whole attacking game plan revolves around, the man whom you look to feed in the way he wants to be fed. I look at Mitro and think he looks like a guy who gets headers. As yet, I can’t see any other aspect to his game. It will be fascinating to see how this pans out. Unless we get a top striker, we’re destined for lower half mediocrity or worse. And BobbyBee, Cisse’s attitude has always been spot on. It’s good that he’s not happy about playing second fiddle to Mitro. I would be pretty p1ssed off as well.

  • 32 martoon // Aug 31, 2015 at 3:44 PM

    I really can’t believe all the negativity on here. We all knew we had a tough set of fixtures to start with and it would take time for the new players to gel and the new coaching team to get their ideas across.
    I am quite encouraged by our organisation, patterns of play (when we have 11 players) and the quality of the new players. McClaren is right let’s judge after the first 10 games.

  • 33 BeeGuy // Aug 31, 2015 at 3:51 PM

    Every team seems to know they can knock down and tug down Perez and the refs will not punish them. If he is a diver, he does it not convincing the ref, but not earning a yellow card for simulation. He needs to get much more upper body strength and shrug opponents off or learn how to die when he goes to the turf if someone looks at him cross-eyed. He should watch Arsenal videos to learn the latter.

  • 34 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 31, 2015 at 3:52 PM

    It’s not negativity. It’s just saying what you see without the black and white specs. I’m sure a poll of the whole country would have Mitro’s tackle as a sending off, but not a poll of this blog. We will also judge after 10 games and 20 games and 30 games. We judge as we go along and say what we see.

  • 35 reilly // Aug 31, 2015 at 3:54 PM

    you carnt judge a striker who has hardly had any sevice,judge him when he has.noone can make a judgement call on mitro till he has been giving proper sevice.

  • 36 SUTTY1978 // Aug 31, 2015 at 4:04 PM

    If Anita and Colback are tasked with turning defence into attack the they are the failing part of the team. I cant remember us under any manager with any three fixtures (no matter how difficult) not managing a shot on target. I cant remember Derby or the Mackems even managing that feat when they were respectively the worst teams there ever had been in the league.
    Also anyone saying we have new players to integrate, well so does everyone else! Do you think we would be doing better if we hadnt bought anyone?
    Change of formation and/or personnel required for the middle of the park. C’mon Steve, you have two weeks to work it out. Look forward to seeing a new attacking NUFC against WH

  • 37 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 31, 2015 at 4:05 PM

    Does anyone think Makro and Costco aren’t doing what we’re doing? Analysing games, highlighting weaknesses, looking at player performances, considering dropping some players and promoting others, the need for fitness or the need for ball skills, working out systems to win games …? It’s not negativity. It’s positivity.

    My view to date is the same as before the season started. We need a quality striker, a natural goalscorer, the nearest thing to a Shearer replacement as is possible to get. Perez is not that. Mitro looks nothing like it. Nowhere near.

    We need two good full backs. We need to get rid of our mute captain who leads by flinching from shots. There’s no indication that Carr sees this. I am encouraged by his signings of Mbemba, Wijn and Thauvin but we need so much more. Three ain’t enough.

  • 38 martoon // Aug 31, 2015 at 4:10 PM

    Blackley and Brownlie – Of course we look through black and white specs and the Mitrovic red card is 50 50 sometimes you get away with it and sometimes not. However I’m really talking about what I see in our play and it is much improved from last season and surely even you must see the quality in Mbemba, Wjinaldum & Thauvin (the jury is still out on Mitrovic). It gives me hope for this season and I’m saying that after we’ve played a few teams at our level and below we will get a better idea.

  • 39 reilly // Aug 31, 2015 at 4:14 PM

    exactly sutty,macca has us set up to defend and hit the oppo on the break,if falls apart in the middle as colback and anita will play the ball sideways or back,which in turn cuts off the supply to the forward.

  • 40 Sazzer // Aug 31, 2015 at 4:22 PM

    Lee Ryder ?@lee_ryder
    Olivier Kemen having medical with #lyon ahead of French transfer deadline #nufc (via @jseverin11 )

  • 41 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 31, 2015 at 4:24 PM

    I’ve said from the very off I like what I see in Mbemba, Wijn and Thauvin. It’s early days for Mitrovic. I’m disappointed at how slow and unfit he looks. He’s not been injured as far as I’m aware so should be flying over the ground, even if he needs a few games to get used to things. It looks like he thinks he can have a lazy summer and just turn up. I’m not writing the lad off on the basis of a few games. Give him a season or more. Play to his strengths whatever they are. Hopefully he will come good. But he just looks like a lumbering oaf at the moment.

  • 42 Nufc-83 // Aug 31, 2015 at 4:27 PM

    I would say our biggest priority is a ball playing cm who can turn defence into attack with one pass. Anita and coldback are limited to 5 yard passes and both to similar. Need to replace one ASAP

  • 43 why oh why // Aug 31, 2015 at 4:31 PM

    Watch mitrovic playing for his country midweek then u will have an idea of how good this young man is.
    He will come good as he IS quality

  • 44 martoon // Aug 31, 2015 at 4:33 PM

    Blackley and Brownlie – I agree about Mitrovic but I think we are forgetting he is only 20 – plenty of time to come good. Maybe being away on international duty will give him a chance to sort his head out?

  • 45 JamesToon // Aug 31, 2015 at 4:36 PM


    you faking joking me??!!

  • 46 Nufc-83 // Aug 31, 2015 at 4:45 PM

    Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 31, 2015 at 3:43 PM

    You need look no further than the Northampton game to see what Perez is like in front of goal.

    That is a stupid comment everytime Perez has been in front of goal for us last season he was clinical and rarely missed good oppurtunites. If you ever watch Cisse go through on goal he cant score at all as he is totally instinctive and has missed countless 1v1s (even though our team rarely provides these oppurtunites for the striker).

  • 47 scout // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:00 PM

    Whoever you are who said well be bottom after 10 games. I would wager you live alone and drink alone.

  • 48 Sazzer // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:00 PM

    It’s not confirmed yet but Olivier Kemen on the verge of joining Lyon.

  • 49 Sazzer // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:02 PM

    The German transfer window has now slammed shut.

  • 50 scout // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:02 PM

    I reckon well be flying soon. Just need to bed in.

  • 51 BandB // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:03 PM

    Mitrovic is likely to cut a peripheral figure no matter what he does.
    Ours is a pacific a Pacific Rim team…disconnected and volcanic.
    Separated by the tractless, empty, ocean that fills the space where our midfield should be.

  • 52 Munster Mag // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:06 PM

    Bobby you might be misinterpreting me. I know foreign players take time to settle. Colo a good example. But timing in the tackle is a different issue. England football isn’t ice hockey or hurling! I think mitro is stressed and a bit of a thug. U won’t see the level of support among non nufc fans. I asked two mates. Both said guilty. I am also a little concerned re his mobility and touch but hoping for best. He is a bit of a thug I’m. Our thug though! 🙂

  • 53 Munster Mag // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:08 PM

    Good point why oh why.but he needs to relax and focus

  • 54 toon kk // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:08 PM

    Teams will probably find us hard to play against, but we also find other teams hard to play against, they usually dominate the game and we’re lucky to get a shot on target. But we can always hold ou for a point with clean sheets.

  • 55 sparky55 // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:09 PM

    At the minute Mitrovic looks as cumbersome as Billy Whitehirst.

    I think it took 10 games for wor Billy to score…I was there when he did…it was a 2 yard tap in 🙂

    He gave everything for the toon but was just as nutty…Mitrovic needs to calm down and show some class…you can dominate without being a thug.

  • 56 sparky55 // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:13 PM

    Although Mitrovic is good in the air he’s very good on the ground as well…lot’s of 10 yard strikes in his already significant goal tally…but we shouldn’t be going wide and bang in loads of crosses as that just doesn’t work anymore…we need a clever No 10 slotting in defence splitting passes and Mitrovic will bring home the bacon…

    …So we need to change the way we’re playing!!!!!!!!

  • 57 Rotonda heights // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:14 PM

    Just don’t understand getting rid of abeid and now kemen. both could have been anita’s partner in the middle as colback offers very little.

    What was the point of having them for 3/4 years then getting rid for peanuts. Plenty of others should have left before them.

  • 58 Rotonda heights // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:16 PM


    yes we do, as this brave new world isn’t working at the minute. step forward de jong but can he stay fit?

  • 59 sparky55 // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:17 PM

    Rotunda…it’s no co-incidence the pre xmas run we had last year which kept us up was because the midfield was marshalled by Abeid….it was dumbest thing we’ve ever not putting back in the team after he recovered from his injury…he must have fallen out with Pardew and Carver because he should’ve been put straight back in the team

  • 60 Sazzer // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:17 PM

    Kemen is NOT at the press conference presenting Tousart and Darder. Details remain to he hashed out between clubs.

  • 61 Rotonda heights // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:18 PM

    bandb at 51.

    I like that, very good.

  • 62 SUTTY1978 // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:24 PM

    Bear in mind that Mitro hasn’t had a preseason, he sat on the bench for all of Anderlecht’s games because of his upcoming move. He needs games, which is why i found it strange that he didn’t start in the cup, especially as his back up Cisse was ill so once agian we played with no recognised CF.
    We have actually played more time in the 5 games so far with no striker on the pitch than we have with one (50 mins against swans, 70 mins against Northampton, 70 mins against Arsenal).
    Makes me think back to Ian Toon and his waffle posting about McClarens mantra being to put two forwards on if you’re losing with 20 to go. Might be nice if we had one recognised striker at all times first!

  • 63 SUTTY1978 // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:26 PM

    sparky55 // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:13 PM

    Although Mitrovic is good in the air he’s very good on the ground as well…lot’s of 10 yard strikes in his already significant goal tally…but we shouldn’t be going wide and bang in loads of crosses as that just doesn’t work anymore…

    Works a treat if you’re playing against us!

  • 64 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:31 PM

    He doesn’t get in many goalscoring positions. He’s always played deeper. When he does get in them, he’s far from clinical. I really like him but he’s never a No.9. More a 10. I’d be surprised if he gets into double figures this season.

    You say, “That is a stupid comment everytime Perez has been in front of goal for us last season he was clinical and rarely missed good oppurtunites.” How many goals did he get last season? As I recall, he didn’t even get a good return for a midfielder. Perhaps the stats will prove me wrong? I haven’t looked.

  • 65 Bambams // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:32 PM

    I am unsure exactly how mac is going to have us play other than he likes wingers on both sides. He was interviewed recently re Aarons and he mentioned he spoke to Pardew begging to take him on loan. I think his quote was something along the lines of ‘Two skillful attackers on both wings’ or similar.

    Mitro feeds off crosses, he has a hell of a leap and time will tell if he will score goals, I am sure he will.

    I know there are loads on here baying for him to be sold and that he is a thug. He is 20 years old, new to the country and is just trying too hard. I recall a certain Toon legend trying to kick Neil Lennons head off many years ago…He didn’t do too bad here.


  • 66 gonufc (Newcastle United Sports Direct Advertising Club) // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:37 PM

    @Sparky – Crossing doesn’t work anymore?!?!

    That’s gotta be the football hipster quote of the day!

    That’s right, everyone has to play the same way now, Barcelona have decided it. All CBs have to split wide and a ‘holding’ midfielder has to drop deep. He then plays it to the CBs 10 times before through to the other midfielders who knock it to the false 9 and back before playing it out ‘wide’ before cutting back inside and back to the holding midfielder…..

    Football isn’t just long ball or conservative Tiki- Taka. There’s innumerable amounts of ways to play.

    “Crossing doesn’t work anymore”- practically 50% of goals are scored from a ball being played laterally.

    Resident poseur?

  • 67 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:37 PM

    We haven’t got time to give to players to come good. It suits Ashley to develop a top talent but it does nothing for our league position. Mitro needs to come good quick. The fans’patience won’t last. They need to see improvement week by week.

  • 68 sparky55 // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:38 PM

    Sutty…No-one else in the premiership but us has a 2 foot tall poncy centre half with a dodgy perm…so yes…it works against us but not anywhere else!

  • 69 Nufc-83 // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:42 PM

    B&B we were dire last year and created nothing for our strikers perez played deeper and out wide as he was asked to not because he can’t lead the line. Please give me examples of easy chances he has missed.

  • 70 beermonkey // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:43 PM

    mitrovic a thug
    its a bid strong for one bad tackle

    no1 refers to cabaye as a thug yet he pushed over a ball boy
    hazard kicked a ball boy I find those actions more thuggish than what mitrovic did

  • 71 sparky55 // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:43 PM

    gonufc…that’s a different argument altogether…you go count how many headed goals are scored from lateral crosses and you’ll then understand what I’m saying. The game is played differently now…it’s played much more on the ground now and most of the incisive passes put in behind the defence are played on the ground now and are much shorter.

  • 72 Bobbybee // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:43 PM

    Munster, I’m going with the mistimed tackle. 🙂 whether right or wrong. Half his problem is he’s trying too hard to impress. I’d be happy if he was allowed to challenge, but told not to tackle in their half. Harry them and time interceptions, but just don’t tackle. He’s a marked man already, so don’t give them an excuse. He doesn’t need to tackle up front, unless it can lead to a direct chance. We need him to score goals more than tackle. Are you getting my point? If he doesn’t need to tackle, leave it, as clearly it’s not his strong point. Obviously if he’s defending a corner he might need to tackle, but his cards have come from tackles he could have just left. I hope I’m making sense, coz I know what I mean 🙂

  • 73 Our Toon // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:45 PM

    Some over the top reactions from the weekend then, mitrovic deserved the red but his challange wasn’t anywhere near as bad as sissoko’s a few mins early. Mitrovic has got a rep and a rep he gained through 2 quick bookings in 2 games. He’s young he’ll learn though.

    Perez on the other hand is nothing like Aguero, Perez isn’t a goal scorer. Did he score 5 goals last season? I remember the Stoke game when he cut inside and blazed over when it was easier to score. He still young as well and will hopefully progress but he’s by no means a 15 goal a season player or even 10 at the minute

  • 74 Vask // Aug 31, 2015 at 5:53 PM


    Probly have Perez instead of Sissoko in 4-3-3, Colback or an in form Tiote instead of Anita sometimes but I favour the Dutch midfield. I think Mitrovic will link well with SDJ, Thauvin and Perez in time. Not bothered if we sign anyone or not but that may be subject to change. Currently in the ‘Too early to tell’ club.
    Still not convinced by Sissoko but haven’t seen enough of our football this season to validate a change of opinion on him, so I’ll hold off criticising him too much.

  • 75 Nufc-83 // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:01 PM

    Totally disagree our toon he can be a quality striker and has looked extremely cool in front of goal. He scored 7 last season considering he was played out wide or deep it’s not as bad as you make out.

  • 76 Bambams // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:03 PM

    Wonder if there is any scope in Mac approaching Shearer re him doing a bit of coaching with Mitro…
    I suppose Shearer and Ash didn’t end on good terms.
    Possibly if we offered to name a club bar after Shearer that might sway him.
    When you think about it, it’s a no brainer. The highest goal scorer in prem history would do excellent for the lad

  • 77 Nufc-83 // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:08 PM

    For me the best comparison for Perez (again another level I know) in terms of play style is Suarez. Runs for days and works so hard with decent enough turn if pace but great feet and good finisher.

  • 78 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:14 PM

    You reckon he can lead the line. I can’t see any time when he’s shown he can do that. It seems you’re basing it on what you imagine he can do, not on anything he has ever done. Did you see him against Northampton? That is what he’s like. Height pop up with the odd goal here and there. Even as a midfield player, he hasn’t scored enough. I don’t know where you get the idea he’s clinical? I’ll have to check the stats but I need to find Talk Sport first.

  • 79 hibbit // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:16 PM

    we still have the same problems we had when we ended the season we need a LB we need cover for RB we are crying out for a commanding CB we need a quality MF general we need a CF who can stay on the pitch and score the goals we need……. these are the same problems we ended last season on and still have not been addressed …..MITROVIC sending from my seat it was nailed on when i got home and watched it again i still think its a sending off if for no other reason then studs up he needs to calm down adjust to the pace and style of the prem he is young and i think he will come good ..i dont think he looks fit looks a bit off the pace gets caught to easy and this makes him look clumsy hopefully this will come in time

  • 80 SUTTY1978 // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:19 PM

    Nufc-83, i’d say more like Ings, works extremely hard, runs the channels well but wont ever score that many because his hard work means he’s not in the box often enough. If you play Perez then another striker needs to be on the pitch or the team wont score enough goals and his hard work is wasted. Perhaps if De Jong played with him as no.10 then it could lead to more goals for him as he has the instincts to get in the box.

  • 81 Bobbybee // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:20 PM

    Perhaps a word with Wijnaldum and ask him to revert to his old position and play alongside Anita or Colback. I know he wants to play in the No10 slot, but right now I feel he would be better off further back, with De Jong playing the No10. He can bring the ball out better than we are now and start attacks from much deeper.

  • 82 SUTTY1978 // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:25 PM

    Hibbit. I don’t think we need a LB, Haidara has been the most consistently good player for us this season (Mbemba a close second). His passing has been very good and his tackling is improving game by game. Remember he is only young and hasn’t had too many long runs in the team due to injuries etc. lets hope this is the restart of his Toon career, give him a chance and he will prove to be a cracking player.

  • 83 toonking // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    we might not be getting the goals or attacking football we use to like but mac has stilll shown the signs of a manager who knows what he’s doing. based on the overall stats of league wins since the league began, football is becoming a much more defensive and counter attacking game now. This season itself has seen more than twice as many away wins than it has home wins. foreign players are softies who can’t cope with crowded boxes they do better in empty boxes and this is done best with the counter, they also don’t see the entertaining side of football like a local player does.

    This might not relate back to mac that much but it’s where this improvement in our defence has come in so good, now we need to see more of the wide men have that speed to reach the forward line before the opposition gets back.

  • 84 Nufc-83 // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    I don’t think Perez could lead the line although he would be 10x better than cisse is at it. He would be great next to mitro or a big player.

  • 85 beefman13 // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    Why do we have to judge after 10 games, we have been caught well short in 3 of our 4 games, all teams have new players, i hate this sort of statement, our defense is still just about the same mbemba for Mbiwa is the only difference, it’s a worry, an over cautious central midfield, meaning a jewel of a player in Aarons can’t even make the squad, i would be truly amazed if we finish to 8, maybe we could but Mclaren to me has already proved too cautious, the points and our prem place mean too much to field attacking line ups an less cautious central midfield, i do feel we will go for the cups though, Mclaren is a win loose n draw type of manager max 55 points, hope I’m wrong but that’s my opinion.

  • 86 toonking // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:28 PM

    *home leaague wins since the PL began

  • 87 SUTTY1978 // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:31 PM

    Bobby, as Sissoko has dropped his lazy sod act from last year I would have him in the holding role alongside Wijnaldum with De Jong in front. This would also allow two proper wingers to play and a better transition into 433.
    Wijnaldum spoke of McClaren luring him with the promise of playing in a similar system to being at PSV, Wijnaldum went on to explain that he played as one of a pair of no.10’s there. The conversation was related to how he and De Jong could play in the team together.
    Hope McClaren backs up his promises because it would beat the crappy formation/selection we have at the minute for the middle of the park.

  • 88 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:33 PM

    I largely agree with that. However, the priotity for me is someone to bring home the bacon. There’s no telling when or if Mitro will do it. Sunderland have just signed Borini. A good move by them.

    Haidara had a good second half defensively on Saturday but full back needs strengthening. We don’t need an understudy for Janmaat; we need someone better. Janmaat needs to up his game. His final ball is awful and he’s only average defensively.

  • 89 SUTTY1978 // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:33 PM

    Beef, I’m hoping we hit 40!

  • 90 mindshaft // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:34 PM

    If we carry on like this we have to wonder where the goals are going to come from, it’s one thing lying deep but we need to be able to tuen that into attack and Colback and Anita arent the players to link to midfield ( alr=though the midfield are as far back as them defending – 2 goals in 4 games is a poor return, we had no shots on target against Arsenal, and very few against Manure and Swansea – if we dont start scoring we’ll be relegated – simple

  • 91 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:35 PM

    What about de Jong’s lazy sod act?

  • 92 Bobbybee // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:36 PM

    The line up on Saturday was attacking, until we lost one! Aarons had a disappointing game against Northampton, which hasn’t helped his cause any.

  • 93 Bobbybee // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:42 PM

    Sutty, I thought it was the other way round! 🙂 I thought he played further back, in the double six role, but Macca promised him a role further forward.

  • 94 toonking // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:43 PM

    De Gea looks to have moved over to Madrid in what is the spanish transfer deadline day, masses and masses of rumors early on folowed by the occassional piece of talk during the final week of transfer window. Hmmm are we going the same way for Austin, wait until the final day when QPR are bound to accept a cheaper deal if they really need to get rid of him.

  • 95 Our Toon // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:43 PM

    Nufc 83

    The only thing I care about when talking of strikers is goals mate. Perez has a better all round game but Cisse is a goalscorer. Last one I checked goals win games!!

  • 96 toonking // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:44 PM

    plus we now seem to have high risk of losing cisse and know he seems disinterested in remaining here.

  • 97 Nufc-83 // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:49 PM

    Feed Perez he will score

  • 98 SUTTY1978 // Aug 31, 2015 at 6:56 PM

    Bobby, I’ll leave the googling of quotes to JIB, moght be that youre right. Either way i’d like a midfield three of Sissoko, Wijnaldum & De Jong.

    Blackley, you’re right in a way about De Jong, he’s lazy in the same way as Lampard, lets the play develop around him and then gets on the end of it. Give me talent over endeavour any day of the week, i don’t want a team full of Colbacks!

    Whoever we play in there we still have zero creativity. De Jong and Wijnaldum although very different are both scorers rather than creators, however you don’t get goals without assists!

  • 99 Bobbybee // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:04 PM

    Toon king, looks like Cisse is staying now after all. He got upset that he had competition apparently. With him missing ten games due to ill discipline last season and Mitro already missing three, between them we should be able to manage field a team every game – just unlikely they’ll both be available at the same time! 😉

  • 100 Our Toon // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:06 PM

    Nufc 83

    I’m not a big fan of stats but Perez played 36 games last season, 25 starts and 11 sub apps. He scored 7 as you rightly pointed but had 61 shots

    Cisse 11 starts 11 sub apps 11 goals 45 shots

  • 101 Jail for Ashley // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:08 PM

    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.

    Copied and pasted straight from wikipedia, just can’t understand why the hypocrisy of somebody who sneers at and dismisses other peoples views when he cleary doesn’t have any of his own.

  • 102 Geremi's Prosthetic Leg Fund // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:09 PM

    Our biggest issue now is without doubt creativity and stability from central midfield. We are screaming out for a Cabaye type who can dictate tempo, create play and provide a reliable marshal of the midfield.

    We always look toothless in attack and we create very few clear cut opportunities. We’ve played solidly at the back this season so far but people are mistaking well organised backs against the wall defending and sitting deep as good footballing displays. Simply put (as many have pointed out) If we don’t improve drastically in the centre of the park, particularly converting our possession into creating chances, we will be fighting at the bottom all season.

    For me, the only way we can shortcut that without buying the player we need desperately, is to play Perez in a free CM role. He is our only player who can hold possession and move with the ball, he’s excellent at it. As has rightly been said he’s not a natural goal scorer (although I think he could be) at this moment, he offers so much more in linking up play and coming deep and giving us a possession outlet.

    Saying that we still need Cisse and Mitrovic to step up and score them.

  • 103 Geremi's Prosthetic Leg Fund // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:12 PM

    Haha Wikipedia is well renowned for being an extremely poor source of information as well. For non – academia it can be used as a decent support though.

  • 104 Blackley and Brownlie // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:23 PM

    I would never have said Lampard was lazy. I’m not saying De Jong hasn’t got some of Lampard’s traits but he hides them well; and he’s no Lampard. He strolls around like Pirlo but he’s no Pirlo.

  • 105 Jail for Ashley // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:30 PM

    I wonder if it would have made a difference in the bigger picture if we had of brought in a quality caretaker manager to see us through the second half of last season, was it set in stone that Mclaren was coming or did we have to rely on Derby sacking him ?

  • 106 cyprus // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:32 PM

    I’ll agree that Perez is key. If we do well he will have contributed big time.

  • 107 cyprus // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:36 PM

    If SDJ is a Lampard I would love to see that. The thing is, when I think of the latter, I think of someone constantly moving, constantly running. That’s why he was so hard to mark.

    Can SDJ do that? I’m worried that he doesn’t have the engine for the PL, but maybe he needs time too.

    I guess all of them need time! Steve, Obertan, SDJ, the newbies, me, the young coach etc. etc.

  • 108 Sazzer // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:44 PM

    Bournemouth have agreed a deal with Crystal Palace for Glenn Murray.

    No Austin for them if true.

  • 109 Sazzer // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:48 PM


  • 110 colwell // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:50 PM

    Yes we have been better defensively so far although we still have a huge weakness of height at the back and will continue to get found out on this.

    Our main problem now is we seem to have forgotten where the other teams goal is. Regardless of opposition or even 10 men you should still be able to have a shot on target. We haven’t had a shot on target in 2 games, we’ve had a tough start but Swansea/Southampton the teams we want to be competeing with have shown we are still miles behind. The Saints point was lucky that Mane can’t finish. We are playing a bit better but still conceding and not scoring is not ideal.

  • 111 maskedmagicians // Aug 31, 2015 at 7:57 PM

    should have put a bid in for Dante from Bayern…

    imagine him and colo in defence, both with huge hair doo’s and even get fellaini in midfield too… that would be unbeatable, all that hair to get through , one can dream

  • 112 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:03 PM

    Evening lads…I was called away earlier today so didnt catch up on the football talk…

    …I have to admit I didnt know of the termonology collision sports…for me that would be contact sports. Contact sports had another meaning in my vocabulary. Football and basketball was non contact (beside the shoulder against shoulder)

    It seems its still classed as contact (and then you have collision sports it seems)

    Ignorance is a bliss …my apologies!

  • 113 Jail for Ashley // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:12 PM

    29M for a keeper !

  • 114 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:15 PM

    I can see Charlie Austin being in black and white tomorrow

  • 115 Thump // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:18 PM

    If we go for Austin, it’ll be in the January window. Ashley’s shown he can spend, now he needs to prove he can not sell.

  • 116 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:34 PM

    Think we missed a trick with Javier Hernandez, £12 million is a snip for a player of his quality

  • 117 welshgeordie9 // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:34 PM

    Take a Chancel on me

    I bet you we won’t sign Austin tomorrow.

  • 118 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:36 PM

    Sorry £7.3 million even cheaper

  • 119 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:37 PM

    I can, I just have the feeling Welshie

  • 120 JackButler // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:50 PM

    Expect us to put in a cheeky bid for Austin sometime tomorrow, doubt it will come off but Ashley does love a knock down deal

  • 121 beermonkey // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:51 PM


    I had a feeling earlier turned out it was the mother inlaws roast

  • 122 Jail for Ashley // Aug 31, 2015 at 8:51 PM

    I’d rather have had Austin than Mitrovich !

  • 123 WWSBRD // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:04 PM

    Only business we will do is in the out section

  • 124 JackButler // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:06 PM


    Come on mate Ashley’s new leaf and all that 🙂

  • 125 Jail for Ashley // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:07 PM

    They could not possibly even think of selling Cisse, but the fact that has it as a leading story shows that there must be something on the table, I think I could be placated if he was sold an Austin brought in otherwise it would be complete madness.

  • 126 toon kk // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:07 PM

    You heard it here first, we’ll be in a relegation battle all season. We neither have the pace or cutting edge in front of goal to compete in the premier league.

  • 127 JackButler // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:09 PM

    Toon kk

    Sorry but a few already beat to the punch on that one and they were 100% wrong as well

  • 128 WWSBRD // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:20 PM

    New leaf my backside

    History tells me the club are quite happy to run without a replacement plus they can stick Perez up top while Mitrovic is suspended for how ever many games this season…plus Rivi is coming back to fitness

    I reckon if the club can shift Cisse then he is gone regardless of replacement

  • 129 Sazzer // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:21 PM

    Spurs rumoured interested in spending 15m£ on Ayoze Perez.

  • 130 IrishMagpie // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:26 PM

    Is Perez worth £15m?

  • 131 JackButler // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:27 PM



  • 132 JackButler // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:30 PM


    I’d sell half the squad before I’d leave Perez leave

  • 133 lochinvar // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:32 PM

    Sazzer – are you bored ?
    Might as well confirm the rumour that Spurs are resigned to loosing Harry Kane to Newcastle as our surprise signing for £20m.

  • 134 toon kk // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:34 PM

    Jack b
    lets hope I/we are 100% wrong. We are definitely working harder as a team but as for possession, passing ability and pace not to mention getting a shot on target we have a long way to go to catch up with the majority of clubs.

  • 135 geordie157 // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:35 PM

    Borini to Sunderland for 10 mill
    Hernandez to leverkusen for 7.3 mill
    Easy to see who got the better deal there!

    Kemen to be unveiled by Lyon tomorrow. Wonder if the gouffran leaving stories are true.

  • 136 WWSBRD // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:35 PM

    15 mill for Perez? Howay Spurs love overpaying I say 30-30 and hes urs Levy

  • 137 Sazzer // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:37 PM

    And Leicester is negotiating with our January target Andre Carrillo for a fee similar to what we bid in January.

  • 138 JackButler // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:38 PM

    Toon kk

    SM has made us hard to break down and hard to beat, any decent coach coming would have identified the back as a serious issue, it will take time to marry defence with attack we will be inconsistent for a while but there’s already an improvement in approach and desire

  • 139 WWSBRD // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:38 PM

    30-40 more like WWSBRD jesus ur such a helmet u! Get ur numbers right

  • 140 Take a Chancel on me // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:41 PM

  • 141 JamesToon // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:45 PM

    Please Ashley do not sell Pérez love the kid so much he can be worth so much more than £15m in the future

  • 142 toon kk // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:46 PM

    Jack b
    I can’t argue with you there, I do think it will take time, there’s definitely a more togetherness at the club, but maybe we’ve just been unlucky but our possession and not getting any shots on target is a concern. I think Mitrovic has goals in him but he needs more help.

  • 143 JackButler // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:50 PM

    Toon kk

    To be fair we have played four of the top seven teams in the EPL so I don’t think there’s anything to worry about just yet and I’d be really worried if we were conceded stupid goals like we have done for the past God knows how many years but we are not.

    Baby steps

  • 144 Sazzer // Aug 31, 2015 at 9:51 PM

    It’s now confirmed Kemen joins Lyon.

  • 145 beermonkey // Aug 31, 2015 at 10:01 PM


    is that onloan or perm

  • 146 Sazzer // Aug 31, 2015 at 10:06 PM


  • 147 welshgeordie9 // Aug 31, 2015 at 10:09 PM

    Us signing someone tomorrow is about the same odds as me running around Newcastle naked.

    It’s just not going to happen.

  • 148 welshgeordie9 // Aug 31, 2015 at 10:10 PM

    I would actually bet anyone, how much do you want to bet.

  • 149 Toon-Prodigy // Aug 31, 2015 at 10:14 PM

    I hope there is nout in these Perez stories!

    Bad news that if it’s true.

  • 150 headtheball // Aug 31, 2015 at 10:44 PM

    B and B @51
    If our midfield could use a football as you use prose, we would light up the league.
    Always worth a read.
    ( Haway The Literate )

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