Ian Cathro arrived as part of Newcastle’s new coaching team under Steve McClaren in June, and he came with a big reputation for somebody who was only 28 years old.
While he’s getting on a bit now – he turned 29 in early July – he is still young for a coach who was the assistant manager at both Rio Ave and Valencia – his two former clubs – before Steve McClaren persuaded him to join Newcastle, for what would be a new and big challenge for him.
Ian Cathro – making his mark already at Newcastle
The biggest problem we’ve had over the last three years has been our defense, so Steve McClaren put the 29 year-old in charge of our biggest weakness – the Newcastle defense.
What’s that about Steve being a savvy coach?
What we have seen with the last two Newcastle league performances, is a terrific backs-to-the-wall fight from the lads.
We got a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford, and were beaten 1-0 by Arsenal, but only after we had played for 75 minutes with 10 men, after Aleksandar Mitrovic got himself sent off after only 16 minutes.
Newcastle have only played four league games, so it’s far too soon to come to any hard and fast conclusions.
But Ian came with a big reputation as a top young coach with new ideas, and if the Scot can get Newcastle playing consistently as a strong defensive unit, like we’ve seen in the last two league games, he will have done a simply terrific job for the team.
Especially when we have one new player in defense – Chancel Mbemba.
And it’s not just the back four and the goalkeeper, but all the players have looked organized and worked together to close down spaces as the opposition attacked.
One thing that upset Newcastle fans under John Carver was that many of our players didn’t seem to care less.
You cannot accuse this season’s team of that, as the lads give everything they have in every game – something we are sure Steve McClaren is drumming into them, as the number one requirement of any game – give 100%.
Ian Cathro came to Tyneside with a big reputation as a top young coach, and it could be getting bigger if the Newcastle defense can keep up their excellent defensive play that we’ve seen from them so far this season.