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What We Learned Last Night – What McClaren Can Do

10:03 am, Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 51 Comments

It was not a good performance last night and the 2-0 defeat at WEst Ham was just enough to see us go rock bottom of the league table below Stoke City and Sunderland.

Newcastle now have one less point this season than we had last season at this point.

We have only two points – two draws and three defeats from the five league games played.

ayoze perez at west ham 2-0

Ayoze Perez last night – good sub appearance

Here are five things we learned from what we saw last night, and some of the things maybe Steve McClaren and the coaching staff can do for Saturday’s home game against Watford.

  • Newcastle’s defense is still gelling and the two goals we conceded last night were poor ones – especially the second goal, when we were caught short at the back.
    That happened too many times last season, and it was poor especially when their fast breakaway came from a set play – a Florian Thauvin free kick into their penalty box.
  • It will take some time to gel – and that’s a worry, but that happens when you bring in players from the continent who have never played in the Premier League before.
    Newcastle brought in four good players – but it will take them time to adjust to football in England – and that’s a concern with the example last season that Remy Cabella couldn’t adjust to football in England.
  • Papiss Cisse is not a good striker when he has to play up front on his own, He is not big and physical and tends to get lost in games when he is the lone striker.
    What may work is a Mitrovic Cisse partnership once the Serbian is back.
  • We haven’t seemed to solve our inability to score goals and be a threat in the final third of the field even though we now have Mitrovic, Wijnaldum, de Jong and Aarons available.
    Newcastle did attack on the second half and with a more cutting edge may have been able to get back into the game. But we weren’t good enough.
  • Other players deserve a chance to start against Watford on Saturday and there were decent performances last night from subs Siem de Jong and Ayoze Perez.
    Siem almost scored but the Hammers goalkeeper tipped his shot over the bar. Ayoze Perez looked what he is – a good up and coming striker for the club.
    Perez deserves a chance on Saturday.
    Rolando Aarons is another who has shown he can both create and score goals for Newcastle when given his chance.
    Those are two things we need desperately at the moment.

Steve McClaren is an experienced coach and he has faced adversity many times before in football – we hope he can make the necessary changes that will get us the win on Saturday afternoon.

That’s what we need.

What do you think McClaren should do for Saturday’s game at home to Watford.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Ayoze Perez · Match Reports · Newcastle News · Papiss Cisse · Premier League · Rolando Aarons · Siem de Jong

51 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ibizatoon // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:04 AM

    Morning all,

    Well, definitely not the result, nor performance many were hoping / expecting.

    On Sunday I was asking about Steve’s long term plan for the team and whether people would be more willing to give him time, if it looked like he was trying to do something different.

    For me, once the subs were made, and despite us still being fairly toothless in the final third, I saw great improvement once Perez and Siem came on. Actually gave me some hope.

    I’m sure it’s been well covered, but Cisse….wtf. I’d have had him off at HT. It might not be his fault, he’s a certain type of striker and isn’t getting the service, but he cannot play within this current team. He’s completely wasted, it was almost the same as another red card.

    Thought Perez was really lively. Needs to playing more without a doubt.

    As for Taylor – Who’d have thought it? Expect Yo of course, spectacular prediction there. Long live the King!

    Morning all,

    Well, definitely not the result, nor performance many were hoping / expecting.

    On Sunday I was asking about Steve’s long term plan for the team and whether people would be more willing to give him time, if it looked like he was trying to do something different.

    For me, once the subs were made, and despite us still being fairly toothless in the final third, I saw great improvement once Perez and Siem came on. Actually gave me some hope.

    I’m sure it’s been well covered, but Cisse….wtf. I’d have had him off at HT. It might not be his fault, he’s a certain type of striker and isn’t getting the service, but he cannot play within this current team. He’s completely wasted, it was almost the same as another red card.

    Thought Perez was really lively. Needs to playing more without a doubt.

    As for Taylor – Who’d have thought it? Expect Yo of course, spectacular prediction there. Long live the King!

  • 2 Ibizatoon // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:05 AM

    What, only twice?


  • 3 Tinman // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:06 AM


    Perez could be fantastic. If the end product starts coming consistently then he will be one hell of a player. He reminds me of Solano in the way it looks like the ball is stuck to his foot with glue, his close control is fantastic. That moment where he turned 3 West Ham midfielders inside out is just the kind of skill in the side we have been lacking.

  • 4 Tinman // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:07 AM

    @Ibiza, very thorough post 😉

  • 5 toonbrother // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:09 AM

    if McLaren follows your advice we will have ZERO wins in 6 games and STILL be bottom come saturday

  • 6 Ibizatoon // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:09 AM

    Tinman…Time and time again he occupied several West Ham players at a time. If only the rest of the team could utilise the free space better.

    The lad is still young and I hope he continues to progress. An exciting talent and a great attitude.

  • 7 Ibizatoon // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    On a seperate matter, anyone else impressed by Colo?

    Never seen him play better….

  • 8 Slank // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:19 AM

    Ed, your second point is not really valid. Virtually all clubs have brought in foreign players not least West Ham.

    If the players are not gelling it’s possibly because the role they are told to play by the coaches is confusing or alien or not suitable for their skills.

  • 9 Jib // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:20 AM

    Worryingly 8-(

    I agree with every word Ibiza says

    Did I read toonbrother aright is the idiot blaming Colo for West Hams goals ?

  • 10 Jib // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    🙁 Worryingly

  • 11 Tinman // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:22 AM


    Yeah, he really could turn into a star. He needs to be getting games in this team.

    I think Collo has been playing well, still looks weak but I thought he looks slightly faster than he has done the last couple of seasons. I think him and Mbemba will do ‘ok’ this season.

  • 12 Tinman // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:25 AM

    I see that most people voted Janmaat for Man of Match last night. For me very misguided. He was on the ball a lot, but what did he actually do?

    – Missed a sitter at 1-0. And before someone says it, he could have let it run to his right foot.
    – Tried to shoot through 5 West Ham players with his left, from outside of the box, instead of chipping it into the back post where we had 3 men. It was after a corner.
    – Can’t remember a cross which caused any danger.

    Yes he was decent, but he was far from great. Lots of room for improvement.

  • 13 DaraghL // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:27 AM

    Jail for Ashley / Toonbrother –

    Just saw Toonbrother’s post.

    Under no circumstances should JFA a) be paying anything yet or b) be paying to a charity of Toonbrother’s choice.

    The bet, which I had also offered to meet; however was not called upon, still happy to sign up to it, was “Newcastle will not win another match with Colocinni in the side”.

    JFA agreed to that bet and proposed that the loser pays the sum of £100 to the SBR foundation.

    After JFA offered this you reneged on your previous ludicrous statement and stated it should only be the first 5 games.

  • 14 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    I don’t think it is the players not Gelling. Looked like last night they did not care no passion no leader on the pitch – As long as we get paid – oh we will turn up run around.
    Did you see anyone encouraging the players shouting – Nothing
    There seems to be some kind of malaise in the club – just turn up and play – need a Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan, Alan Smith type of player to give them a kick.

    Got to change tactics team 1 up front – does not work for the TOON.

    lowest scorers in the four divisions – well on the way to be the last team to win a game at the start of a season.

    Been here before – last season

  • 15 yorkymag // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    We learned that McClaren is no better than Pardew
    In fact he is identical just a more acceptable style without the arrogance of Mr P
    However he is tactically just as bad
    Wrong formation ,wrong players and players out of position sound familiar

  • 16 Jib // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:30 AM

    Tinman you may not remember a decent cross but there was some really sweet long through balls from young (if he is 20) Chancel

  • 17 DaraghL // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:30 AM

    Tinman –

    I think he got the vote not neccessarily on merit but on best of the worst. He looked to have a bit of endeavour about him. I can’t think of anyone else who deserved it ahead of him, can you?

    Really think a performance like that does not warrant a MOTM award unless we can vote for Payet. Considering how much time/money we have pumped into France, how have we not signed him?

  • 18 Ibizatoon // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:31 AM

    Tinman…Ignore my Colo comment, it was more of a blog grenade 🙂

    I’d have no problem seeing Colo go. Never been a big critic of his, but without doubt, his best days are behind him (really goes without saying).

    On Janmaat, over the 90, he was our best player (imo). Thought Perez was really good (obviously, we’ve covered that), but wasn’t on very long.

    Jib…Nothing to fear. It turns out, that you may not like someone, or agree with a lot of what they say, but that doesn’t mean that you wont agree on anything or that the person is an idiot.

    Who knows, in time, you may start trying to be reasonable with people. But one step at a time.

    Out of interest, and this isn’t a dig, how on Earth did you find that comment from WWSBRD? Credit where it’s due, a decent find.

  • 19 Tinman // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:33 AM


    Actually I remember one ball from Mbemba which was curled to left corner of their box, was sublime. I thought he had a good game. Except for his little foray at the end, but the team had all given up by then.

    Yep, I understand that too pal. I thought Payet looked a class above last night. I voted for Perez as my MoM personally, but it’s true there wasn’t much choice.

  • 20 Slank // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:34 AM


    I believe Perez would make a wonderful central midfield player.

    He has, as you rightly say, fantastic close ball control together with sufficient pace to elude opponents but is not afraid to hound, harris and tackle. He also has an excellent eye for goal. He is the nearest thing we have to Cabaye.

    I believe a midfield of Tiote, Gini, De Jong and Perez would work. Gini is always going to bomb forward and join the attack. De Jong is a clever player who will vary the play. Perez can take the ball in midfield and with his close ball control create space for himself and others. Tiote would be the enforcer.

    I would play a 4-4-2 with Mitrovic and either Thauvin or Aarons on the wing.

  • 21 Ibizatoon // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:34 AM

    I see what you mean Jib, it is a little uneasy.

    Some lovely balls in from the old man Chancel. A few rallying calls too from the lad.

    Charlie…I’m finding it hard to be optimistic as it does appear that we’re simply still trying to make work what didn’t work before.

    Where are these new ideas? Pass and move? We saw Pardew attempt this in patches too. I’m far from convinced, even if it is just 5 games in.

  • 22 Jib // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:35 AM

    In my other life they call me Colombo

  • 23 Fostino // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:36 AM

    neville is spot on about newcastle last night. colback and anita are too definsive and simply not good enough for creating chances. ive been thinking this a very long time. de jong..perez..rolando must be fitted in

    krul, janmaat, mbemba, colo, haidira (why did we sell snaton, we need dummett back), thauvin, sisooko, wini, rolando, de jong, perez

  • 24 Jib // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:36 AM


  • 25 Tinman // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    I can never understand people trawling through this blog to find somebodies older post to make a point. Opinions change and teams change, that’s life.

    I for one used to say Cisse will start scoring given the service and that Tiote will recapture his form.

  • 26 Ibizatoon // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    Jib…It’s a shame what they call you in this one.

  • 27 Tinman // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:40 AM


    I thought Perez was our best player v United for similar reasons. I honestly feel without him in the team we would have lost that day. He was always available, never lost the ball and won loads of free kicks for us.

    With him in the team we probably gained an extra 5% possession that day (theoretical of course). Saw much of the same from him last night. If you don’t have the ball you can’t score

  • 28 Ibizatoon // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:40 AM

    Fostino…I think Hairara is getting better and better. Still young and defensively he’s no worse than Santon. Not sure he’s any worse going forward either.

    However, I don’t know why we sold Santon either. Not like we got much for him.

  • 29 optimistic prime // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    Morning chaps

    Haven’t bothered posting much lately, didn’t see the point as I was bored with reading how great Ashley and the Window was.

    I don’t think the window was that great and a few from last season are dragging the new players down. We may have spent more money but as was said on sky more than once lady night NUFC lack quality.

    We have no urgency and no playmaker, our midfield couldn’t find space if they where on the moon. Personally id drop Sissoko and get SDJ in the no10.

    Hopefully Schteeve can find another 20% out the players otherwise my prediction of twelfth could end up being eighteenth

    Ashley out!

  • 30 Jib // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:47 AM

    I’ve heard of Ladies day at Ascot


    Ladies of the night

    but lady night is new one for me

  • 31 Ibizatoon // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:47 AM

    Hi OP,

    What we did in the window was good. As people keep saying, they got in good quality, but it wasn’t enough.

    Buying extra quality is good for that little push on, but we were in a terrible situation, and so far, it doesn’t appear we’ve done enough.

  • 32 yorkymag // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    What we learnt was that Mcca is no better than pardew
    Just a slightly more acceptable less arrogant version
    But with the same lack of tactical ability
    Wrong selection ,wrong tactics, players in the wrong position sound familiar
    It’s probably worse than last year in many ways but a team that can’t score goals is in deep trouble

  • 33 Jib // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    here you go

  • 34 the broons // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:52 AM

    How the hell did janmaat get man of the match! you deluded bunch of idiots.

    Ahh what because he was the closest we came to a goal he must have been our best player, NO! He’s a defender for christ sake needs to know how to defend not get skinned 24/7.

    If that was Willamson out there who put that performance in people would be riping him to shreds, but yous are so blinkered that yous actually think he was our best player!? unbelievable, I must not know how football works anymore.

    By the way our best player by an abseloute mile was mbemba yet again.

  • 35 toon kk // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:52 AM

    Or ffs need time to gel! Can no one see, we haven’t got a top striker not one, we have very little pace, mainly light weights used to the French style. Lack quality all over the pitch, I’ve said it for a long time we are poor.
    Our scouting just looks for little trickster players with no pace. Talk about wasting money.

  • 36 the broons // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:54 AM


    he put all his eggs in one basket with Mitrovic who by the way will score a lot more than Cisse but we will struggle the games without him.

    Simple thing to do is put wiijnaldum deeper instead of colback and Dejong in the second striker role and Perez in for Cisse.

  • 37 yorkymag // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:55 AM

    toon ok

    Spot on

  • 38 yorkymag // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:57 AM

    Agree but you and I can see it why not a supposed top coaching team ffs

  • 39 the broons // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:57 AM

    toon kk

    I refuse to believe that Carr watched Marsielle and thought the player we should buy was Thauvin. Payet is miles better and I don’t care about this need time to gel. A young lad with the ego he apparently has, everytime he picked up the ball he looked petrified. He is by far the biggest flop of our signings.

    Can’t wait for when Mitrovic proves all the doubters wrong.

  • 40 solano // Sep 15, 2015 at 10:59 AM

    I note quite a few are targeting Cisse as the latest scapoat (yes, he was poo lastnight, as were 7 or 8 others btw) which feeds into the accepted media cliche (always some element of truth in those!) that NUFC fans are an ungrateful bunch of morons.
    Be thankful that the Senegalese forward has kept us up for the past 2 seasons when we deserved to be relegated. It is well known, he doesn’t want to be here, nor do the powers that be want to reatin him. The fact is he has so many faults to his game, he cannot play upfront alone. But he does score goals as his record shows.
    His probable exit in January will herald the arrival of Austin and no doubt we will be on the crest of yet another new era and writing this campaign off by looking forward to the next two seasons of rebuilding (whilst renewing overpriced season tickets).
    It’s laughable how so many refuse to see tyhe reality of a sham of a club and realise that what they support is nothing but a shell. Don’t be thankful for Big Mike spending ome of YOUR cash and lining his own pockets in the process.

  • 41 yorkymag // Sep 15, 2015 at 11:01 AM

    I am sure mitrovic will do well but how on earth have we finished with on one forward option of quality
    Everyone knew we needed two or three new forward options we got one
    Simply incompetent

  • 42 the broons // Sep 15, 2015 at 11:02 AM


    Because he is a football coach and thinks if the team doesn’t look right on paper then the balance of our team is gone. Little does he know that players like Colback are good little grafters but give you not much else, Him and Anita together just give us a disadvantage in midfield.

    He is also blinkered by Cisse’s goal record, he literally gives you nothing, ahh and one last rant, Thauvin was brought in presumably to supply Mitrovic and I heard so much about his crossing ability on here too. He hit every single ball either first man or floated in keepers hands seriously this kid is all reputation nothing else.

  • 43 the broons // Sep 15, 2015 at 11:03 AM


    By no means am i targetting all my wrath on Cisse, even though he was the worst, Thauvin, Colback and Janmaat give him a run for his money which is why i find it so laughable that Janmaat got top vote for our best player.

  • 44 Ibizatoon // Sep 15, 2015 at 11:04 AM

    Solano…Long time no see.

    Not making Cisse the scapegoat, just commenting that he shouldn’t be starting within this team setup as it doesn’t play to his strengths and he is therefore, useless.

    I don’t think you’re wrong though. A new era is just around the corner, then perhaps another one after that, and so on.

    As for not thanking Ashley, oh come on, he could have kept it all longer 🙂

  • 45 Toon-Prodigy // Sep 15, 2015 at 11:05 AM

    It will look brighter when we turn Watford and Chelsea over at home!

    Last night was poor but it’s still early days for me to be bashing coaches like.

    I think the performances will get better over time, there is quality in that squad no doubt about it. I’d like to see a change though, Im not a fan of two defensive mids and a lone striker.

  • 46 geniusofthelamps // Sep 15, 2015 at 11:12 AM

    The one constant at the club over the past 3 managers is Graham Carr. Cabbaye apart (and we sold him) who else has been a success story?
    Sissoko cant be arsed half the time
    HBA had attitude problems
    Cabella was useless
    Thauvin looks useless
    Mitrovitch – who knows at the minute???
    Perez – Exciting prospect signed for very little money
    Riviere – Not good enough
    Wijnaldum – Doesn’t look anything special
    Anita – Very average
    Colback – Very average
    I think we need a new scout as we seem to be paying decent fees for people who are decidedly average. 52m spent and only Mbemba looks the part

  • 47 The overrated Frenchman // Sep 15, 2015 at 11:27 AM

    Here’s a question that I’ll just ask, with no particular right or wrong answer. Do any of our players really look better under the McClaren regime?

  • 48 solano // Sep 15, 2015 at 11:30 AM

    Lads,I was making a general ob on Cisse after looking at several pages and sites, not pin pointing you,Ibiza and Broons, especially.
    The fact is that Cisse has scored goals and can’t play alone. Perez has promise and can’t play alone. Unfortunately the two aforementioned (imo) can’t play together!!!
    It’s a mess and as ever I maintain the blame lies at the very top BUT also with the fans themselves for their complicity in the charade.
    My temporary comeback is only indicative of a slight change in my perspective. I think the majority of fans/whingers who complain about players and formations get exactly what they deserve served up by Ashley and Charnley! I have nothing but scorn and contempt for those ( and they know who they are) who stood by and did nothing when others spoke up and tried to fight.
    I’m not so much bitter as indifferent to the suffering.
    I have become …Comfortably Numb

  • 49 optimistic prime // Sep 15, 2015 at 11:42 AM


    I’ll admit we did some decent buisness but no where near enough or in the right positions.

    I can only hope we buy in jan, if we don’t we could be in big trouble.

    We need proven players not potentially good players, was Colback the last EPL proven player we signed? He was free.

    Even though we spent money the supposed rebuild was done with cheap product once again.

    It will take time for Steve to get his ideas across, all the more reason to have signed players who could hit the ground running.

    Ashley out!

  • 50 ToonInPlym // Sep 15, 2015 at 12:40 PM

    I literally knew we would lose playing cisse upfront on his own. Should have started Perez Instead as he actually works off the ball , puts the effort in, unlike that lazy useless piece of shit. Everytime I see him laugh after he does something wrong I feel like pissing on the tv. Janmaat, my star player of the night if I had to pick one, Moses did him in too many times though, needed someone quicker than sissoko on right hand side to track back, but who? Thauvin was a disappointment. Hope that’s a blip because I rate him.
    If that performance doesn’t scream out the fact we need another striker in January , I don’t know what does.
    Did I mention Cisse sucks?

  • 51 Patoon // Sep 15, 2015 at 9:21 PM

    Anybody else like to c this v Watford

    Janmaat Colo Mbemba Haidara
    ______De Jong______________

    Really don’t rate sissoko, def not as a winger anyway, at least obertan is direct, the only place I c for sissoko is in place of Anita, Perez looks our best player

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