It’s a fact that Newcastle have conceded 190 goals in the last three Premier League seasons, and that’s an average of over 63 goals a season, which is just far too many goals conceded.
When Steve McClaren came into the job as Newcastle’s head coach in June, he had a good idea of the priorities of what he had to do with the team.
The biggest one was to tighten Newcastle’s defense, which is why he was so pleased that captain Fabricio Coloccini stayed and signed a one year extension to his contract.
Steve McClaren – defense must be better
Newcastle play at West Ham tonight, and we must start picking up some point because a defeat by two goals or more will see us propping up the league table tonight.
That would not be good, especially after our very poor start to last season.
This is what Steve has said about Newcastle’s defense:
“We have tried to establish a tighter defense.” “We kind of did that at Middlesbrough when we went in.”
“I try to do that wherever I go – you have got to be organised and disciplined. Players have got to do the work, and I am delighted with how they have been working.”
“It was something I looked at. It was about 62 goals they conceded last season, and that is going to get you into trouble.
“So there were two things we needed to address. Like a jigsaw puzzle, you try and address one thing and you get a problem, you have to take the pieces out and try again.
“We need to find a balance. We want to be a team that is hard to beat, that works and has the spirit, but also a team that on the other side with the ball, can cause teams problems.”
Newcastle have started quite well – we have conceded five goals in our first four games, but we have only scored two goals, the fewest goals any PL club has scored this season.
That’s what Steve means by finding a balance.
It seems the impressive Ian Cathro has been the one to concentrate on Newcastle’s defense and we have seen an early improvement in the way Newcastle defend.
We do have tonight’s game in hand to alter that record of course, but we haven’t scored in the last three league games.
Our next three games are going to be very important, starting tonight at West Ham.
A win would be tremendous.