McClaren – It Will Not Be Rosy – It Will Be Painful

Steve McClaren has been clear in his press conference and interviews leading up to the game today at home to Watford,  that this season could be painful for Newcastle fans, well at least at the beginning – until the team settles down.

And Steve still doesn’t know his best team yet and the players are still getting to know the coaching staff and vice versa.

stve mcclaren tlaking to players opne day

Steve McClaren – coaching his players at Benton

McClaren said he was expecting a game like last Monday night at Upton Park, when we looked really poor and the former England manager likened it to a car crash.

McClaren has been in this position a few times – trying to build a team and at least he has some good experience to draw on.

At Middlesbrough back in 2001 he lost his first four league games, including a 4-1 home defeat to Newcastle in the fourth game.

After 10 games, he had three wins and two draws for 11 points, so we will do well if Newcastle can get 11 points after 10 games.

Asked if there was more pain coming this is how Steve answered that question:

“Absolutely.” “Don’t think it is going to be rosy all the way. We didn’t expect that.”

“We don’t want to talk about last season.” “But we have to learn about the team. The new signings have to come in and learn about the Premier League.”

“And it has been sometimes two steps forward, one back, one forward, two back, in the first five games.”

“We expected this. It is painful.”

We were hoping for a more benign season this time around and that at least we wouldn´t be fighting relegation once again.

It´s very early in the season – so it´s still possible to have a good season.

We hope that´s the case.

Comments welcome.

68 comments so far

  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #1

    Inspirational words Macca. Not sure I like your attempts to come across as the anti-Pardew by telling the truth…

  • toon kk

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #2

    Macca is really beginning to realise what a bunch of lazy flops he’s inherited.

  • AncientC

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #3

    “We look overall at five games, in four of them we have shown fantastic spirit in them for 95 minutes.”

    “They sensationalise everything.”

    Yes, only 4 wins in more than the last 30 Premier League games, what is all the fuss about.

    McClaren cannot come into the club and act like we came into existence 5 games ago. He may be a new manager, but he has no wins in any of his games, and the record that precedes him is little better. The amount of delusional rhetoric flying around is amazing. What is being spun as good performances from our side is a bottoming out of standards. I doubt even Blackpool in their short stint in the Premier League would boast about performances similar to ours.

    I think we will beat Watford today, and I also don’t believe it will have any great significance as to where our season is going. Some of the sides that get relegated at the end of this season will have beaten Watford, with Watford possibly being one of the other sides that goes down.

    Anyways, back to pouring sunshine on the first 4 games. (Watford beat Swansea with 10 men & managed 17 shots on target)

  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #4

    Yo from previous thread

    Can’t say I’m all too familiar with Wijnaldum either, I’ve heard his name tossed around for a few seasons, and my brother tends to watch football from around the world and reckoned he was a very good player but aside from that my knowledge is lacking.

    In CM, I don’t rate Sissoko given that he hasn’t played more than 5 decent games per season since joining us and as such should play DM or not at all. Anita is just not good enough or physical enough. Colback…is just uninspiring and has literally no, what’s the word…ability. That’s it.

  • jayphoto

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #5

    Im a mcClaren fan, and I think he’ll get it right and obviously it’ll take time but he’s wrong when he says we had fantastic spirit in 4 out of 5 games….
    We were woeful against Swansea
    We flat out didn’t have a go against Arsenal
    We were dire against west ham.
    Team played well against Southampton and Man utd and I can see small changes in the way they are setting up that suggest improvement. More shape and structure, playing It out etc but we haven’t been at the races in 60% of the games so far

  • jayphoto

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #6

    @Ruddy – Wijnaldum is probably the closest thing to a top level (champions league level) player we have. Obviously he’s got to adapt to the premier league which might take a while. Was genuinely surprised he didn’t sign for a champions league side. Think its been mentioned, he got the dutch player of the year ahead of Depay last year. I think if Man utd were smart they would have taken him along with depay.
    Not sure if he was given guarantees about his position at Newcastle though? Played centre mid for PSV and Holland and looked great. Macca seems to like him as #10, might be wrong but I don’t remember seeing him play there before.

  • sing in the corner

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #7

    Wow…howay lads, hope springs eternal eh? Errr hopefully anyway.
    Right, off to the match later. Nice day for it. ‘Hopefully’ our Gallic / Netherlands imports will fancy it in the sunshine?
    I’ll be singing in the corner 🙂 or at least from the seats superimposed on top of where it used to be.
    ‘Hopefully’ there’ll be lavish praise showering everywhere on the blog later on.
    Perez plays, with a partner….or else SM. 4-4-2 ish. Its a simple game really.

  • jayphoto

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #8

    my team for today would be
    Janmaat Colo Mbemba Haidara
    Gini Colback
    Sissoko De Jong Thauvin
    Cisse or perez

    Think cisse’s performance versus west ham was a disgrace. But playing infront of de jong would help him a lot as he links midfield to attack much better.
    If de jong doesn’t play I would start Perez as his work rate gets him more involved

  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #9


    Yeah admittedly I can’t really comment much on his preferred position or where he’s better because I must admit I am fairly ignorant in that regard. I’m totally open to seeing him play in CAM role, but if he can play CM then I think the obvious choice is to play him CM given how screwed we are in this position – Colback, Anita and Sissoko are not doing enough to ensure we control possession.

  • BandB

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #10

    It seems fairly clear from the things McClaren has been saying that he is working under pretty much the same restrictions as Pardew and Carver were.
    He says (see press conference reports) that the club will not change it’s policy of signing young and (financially?) promising players.
    It follows then that if he has a say on who we bring in, it will be on a limited pool.
    It reminds me of the early motto of car maker Henry Ford: “You can have any colour you like…as long as it’s black.”

  • BandB

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #11

    The other the that strikes me is that after seeing posts showing that we have two full teams to select from, the alternatives available to MClaren today are not huge.

  • Wandering Geordie

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #12

    I don’t buy this guff McLaren is spouting about the players needing time to gel and getting used to the only have to look at Watford and the likes who have bought 15 players.
    As for the passing game.surely passing is the basics a pro has instilled them.

  • jayphoto

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #13

    @ruddy – he kind of dropped to centre mid against Arsenal, was actually surprised how strong he was in the tackle, good engine etc
    Personally think from watching Ajax that DeJong is probably our most intelligent player. Has great link up play etc He’s pretty good at goals from nothing too, decent shooter from range. Personally if he is fit I would build the team around him at #10.
    Gini I would play at #8. Alongside him I would play which ever out of Colback, Sissoko or Anita that can fit the best with De Jong and Gini. (it’d probably be anita)
    Really wish we’d start picking a line up that is best suited for how they play on the ball in attack than off the ball in defence.

  • bladeuser

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #14

    Steve Mac is better than carver but no better than pardew in fact he could turn out to b worse
    Welsh out

  • AncientC

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #15

    I would have. 4-4-1-1 with a diamond. Colback protecing Aaarons on the left. Haidara gets too far forward and that should be Aarons’ job if he plays. Cisse was effective coming from the bench last season, so give him a run out for the last 20 minutes.



    —————-< De Jong—–


    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #16

    It seems to be a thing to look down on those who admit ignorance over a player. Personally I knew little about Gini before he came here (saw him in a few Holland games but that means little but I think he played CM for them? )

    Same with Mitrovic and Mbemba, am not a weekly fan of Belgian football haha

    I’ve seen a bit of Thauvin that’s about it for our summer recruits

  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #17


    Well the alternative is to pretend to be an expert in them and spout crap about them based on nothing at all. I’ve seen a bit of Thauvin in French football; watched a few games on BT Sport last season and think he’s an exciting talent. However, I see similarities between him and Cabella – what I want to see from him is a bit of grit and a willingness to go by players.

    I was impressed with Wijnaldum’s debut and he has looked good on the ball (whenever we bloody get it to him!) which is why (on this early basis) I’d play him in CM because we need someone assured with a ball at their feet to pull the strings.

    As for Mbema – I know nowt about him and Mitrovic has annoyed me with his first few performances but of course this could just be youthful exuberance. He’s clearly a big strong lad who can hold up the ball – we’ve been in need of that since AC.

  • jimmysmith

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #18

    He doesn’t have too many alternatives at the back, but he does elsewhere. I think one or both of Colback or Anita should sacrificed, but that’s a tough call, because they’d surely be pissed having toiled through that tough start, and then left out of the one most obviously winnable..McClaren might figure he’ll stick with the set up to see how it fairs against lesser odds. Hope not, it hasn’t been great to watch, although both players do have qualities, among them ernest endeavour. We might see some misplaced loyalty and still win, leaving us none the wiser.

  • toon kk

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #19

    We only have two maybe three real quality player’s including Wijnaldum, perez who has real potential to be a excellent player and who knows Mitrovic could surprise us but has alot to proove although I don’t know if he’ll ever get enough service.
    The rest vary from good down to shouldn’t be playing in the premier league.
    Why the transfer money wasn’t spent wisely I’m not sure, we should have brought real impact players with pace and power but no.

  • jayphoto

    Sep 19, 2015 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #20

    Im quite lucky as my job sees me work in Amsterdam and Paris a fair few times a year with a fair bit of free time so probably go to the same amount of Ajax games as I do toon. (Bout 4/5 a season). BT sport helps as covers both leagues too.
    Only saw Mitrovic/mbemba in champions league but he terrorised Arsenal.
    Didn’t really rate Thauvin at Marseille, seemed lost but at Bastia he was immense. Hopefully he’s young enough to pick back up.

  • Mag52

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #21

    It’s still early days and last season started very much as this one has. Macca is, rightly, pointing out the restrictions he is working under. Some things have changed, but clearly nothing major.
    Can we go on a five game winning run once the first eight games are out of the way as we did last season ? We might well need to.

  • Munster Mag

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #22

    Fair play to steve. Bit of honesty there. I expect a big reaction today. If we dont see it, take it from me, we can start getting very very concerned

  • anthc

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #23

    Mclaren needs to win this today it’s as simple as that. Chelsea and man city coming up so no points there. We could be bottom 3 at Xmas if we don’t start winning games against the teams around us. I believe mclaren would make a great politician but as a coach he needs to start cutting the mustard. If we’re still near the bottom ten games in the doubt will creep in with the players. We must win this game and the fans are right to expect a win today.

  • toon kk

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #24

    There simply isn’t enough pace, intent and quality in key areas. Pards has that now with players like Zaha and Puncheon, the type of players that would have instant impact here.

  • Jib

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #25

    It is clear from this

    That Watford are a pretty ruthless outfit
    The guys that fought tooth and nail to bring them up to the EPL have mainly been shipped out and lot of seasoned Euro journeymen brought in to replace them.
    Giampoalo Pozzo owns Udinese and Granada and his son Gino owns Watford and they still have to face awkward questions from UEFA some time.
    I’m not sure I could be arsed supporting an off the peg club like Watford , I much prefer made to measure NUFC with all its faults.

  • expatmag

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #26

    Hello people

    Just flew into Newcastle yesterday from Melbourne Australia and looking forward to going to the game today. Hopefully I can be a lucky omen as I think a good win is on the carda

  • Bambams

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #27

    Six pointer already….

    Must get three points today.

  • hibbit

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #28

    Mc know’s how important this game is and how much rides on it but do the the players……Expat we need all the help we can get hope you enjoy the game at lest you brought the sunshine

  • beefman13

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #29

    How often do we get it rosy anyway, stop making excuses Mr, how have other teams settled with new players? Pardew mk2.

  • BandB

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #30

    Nice day for it expat.
    Hope they score a hatful and you see a worldy.
    Welcome hurm.

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #31

    Can’t stay long as I need to get ready for the match, but I think Macca now realises the difficulties he faces in the job – that we were actually as bad as last season suggested. Years of under investment and shoddy coaching have left its mark. That said, it’s not insurmountable – it just makes his job harder. We need to attack today and the crowd definitely needs to play its part – as it does in every home game this season. Make it hostile – that’s our
    job. The more we upset the pundits with it, the better. Let’s be honest, they don’t like us anyway and most would love to see us go down after the way we apparently dissed the next England boss elect – which is bizarrely Pardew at the mo. No time for infighting – they love that too – it’s time to remember what we are firstly and foremost – The Toon Army. Supporters of NUFC. And for 90 mins that’s all that matters. Howay the lads!!!!!!

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #32

    Expat…enjoy the game mate!

    Hope the sun is shining in the North East?

  • SUTTY1978

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #33

    In the words of one of my US colleagues “it’s time to shit or get off the can” for McClaren, needs to go all out for the win, none of this two defensive midfielders malarky.
    Unfortunately he has his undroppable favourites and Colback is definitely one of those. This is the same Colback who couldnt nail down a regular position at Sunderland and was basically a utility player. How the hell is he first name on the teamsheet?

  • Jib

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #34

    Mainz are hammering Hoffenheim
    Younus Malli hat trick

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #35

    Expat, welcome home bonny lad! When was your last game and did we win? If we did, I hope you’re wearing the same boxers! 😉

  • Slank

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #36

    Against West Ham, Cisse and Thauvin were anonymous. Anita and Colback didn’t protect the defence and didn’t support the forwards. When Perez and De Jong came on the dynamics of the team changed for the better.

    So McClaren has a choice. Stick with the same team and give them a second chance or say you have had your chance others must have theirs.

    I and probably everybody else will be truly gobsmacked if he doesn’t play Perez and De Jong from the start.

    I’m not convinced that playing two defensive minded players (Colback and Anita) at home is right. I expect Watford to defend and attack on the break. We must break them down and it will be through individual skill that will do it.

    My team

    Janmaat – Mbemba – Colo – Haidara
    Tiote (or Colback)
    De Jong – Gini
    Sissoko – Perez – Aarons


    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #37


  • expatmag

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #38

    Thanks everyone…looking forward to a couple of pints in the 5 Swans on Ridley Place before the game. I have brought some sun over with me and think 3-0 today.

    Bobby…..I was last at SJP on Boxing Day 2010 and we lost to Man City 1-3. It was just a month before we sold a certain Andy Carroll

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #39

    Slank, we definitely don’t need two holders at home to Watford, I couldn’t agree more. I’d personally go with the usual back five, then


    Thauvin. Sissoko. Aarons

    De Jong. Perez

    Totally attack minded and Sissoko and Gini could interact, with Sissoko dropping back if Gini breaks out quickly.

  • beefman13

    Sep 19, 2015 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #40

    Slank, gud team on paper, colback is runnin out of chances for me though, Tiote injured, surely not colback n Anita again, we best not bet against it, he like Pardew has his favs.


You must log in to post a comment.