When Aleksandar Mitrovic was sent off after only 16 minutes a week ago, it looked like the game was over for Newcastle, but we were impressed with the way the remaining 10 played,
No heads dropped, and 29 minutes later we were still level 0-0 at half time, and maybe like at Old Trafford the week before, we could get something out of the game.
Steve Black – consultant at Newcastle
We conceded after 52 minutes and it was a little bit of a fortunate goal for Arsenal, as the ball went off Coloccini and in off a post, and the lads went down only 1-0.
It was another strong performance from the team and they looked mentally strong.
We will never know how we would have done if we had 11 against 11 – but we could have had a famous result.
One of the jobs Steve Black is doing at Newcastle is improving the mental approach of our players, and in any sport that’s very important.
Steve was the personal coach of England rugby star Jonny Wilkinson, and one of our top young players – 19 year-old Rolando Aarons – has been singing his praises today in the Chronicle.
This is what Rolando has said about the new Newcastle coach:
“Steve is the happiest man alive.” “He is always smiling, and personally I have a great relationship with him.”
“He helps me a lot. I like him.” “The mental side of sport is very important.” “People don’t know what goes on in our lives away from football, and it is hard to focus all the time.”
“Steve is important for us in that, and he is doing a great job.” “With missing a lot of games last season I am just buzzing to be fit enough to be in contention.”
“Everything is different this year.” “You can tell that by the way we play, and gel together.” “We play a bit more football now, and are a bit more patient.”
“We pick the right times to attack, and it is good.”
Those are good words from Rolando, and McClaren seems to have brought the team together, after the trials and tribulations under John Carver earlier in the year.
Rolando Aarons in action at Portland
This is Black’s second stint at his home town club, having previously been part of Kevin Keegan’s team in the 1990s, and his official title in Steve’s McClaren’s coaching squad is a consultant.
And Rolando is in the news today, with a report in the Mirror that he was offered in part exchange for QPR striker Charlie Austin on the last day of the transfer window last Tuesday.
It’s difficult to know if that report has any truth in it, but we’d like to see Rolando get a new improved deal to stay at Newcastle.