Steve McClaren Explains The Team He Wants At Newcastle

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.

150 comments so far

  • eaststandgeordie1982

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #1

    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.

  • Graeme

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #2

    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!!!

  • Shaker Shakrah

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #3


  • NezzaNUFC

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #4

    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.

  • Bambams

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #5

    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

  • NezzaNUFC

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #6

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

  • NezzaNUFC

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #7

    Shaker what makes you think that?

  • Blofal

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #8

    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.

  • eaststandgeordie1982

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #9

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

  • Reyantoon

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #11

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

  • SUTTY1978

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #13

    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.

  • NezzaNUFC

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #14


    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 )

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #15

    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.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #16

    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.

  • NezzaNUFC

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #17

    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

  • eaststandgeordie1982

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #18


    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.

  • banjax

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #19

    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.

  • Nufc-83

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #20

    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.

  • Nufc-83

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #21

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

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #22

    Looks like Mackems are buying Borini from the dippers

  • eaststandgeordie1982

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #23


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

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #24

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

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #25

    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.

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #26

    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 🙂

  • geniusofthelamps

    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #27

    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

  • Bobbybee

    Aug 31, 2015 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #28

    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.

  • gonufc (Newcastle United Sports Direct Advertising Club)

    Aug 31, 2015 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #29

    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.”

  • JackButler

    Aug 31, 2015 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #30

    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

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Aug 31, 2015 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #31

    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.

  • martoon

    Aug 31, 2015 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #32

    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.

  • BeeGuy

    Aug 31, 2015 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #33

    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.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Aug 31, 2015 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #34

    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.

  • reilly

    Aug 31, 2015 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #35

    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.

  • SUTTY1978

    Aug 31, 2015 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #36

    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

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Aug 31, 2015 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #37

    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.

  • martoon

    Aug 31, 2015 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #38

    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.

  • reilly

    Aug 31, 2015 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #39

    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.

  • Sazzer

    Aug 31, 2015 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #40

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


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