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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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McClaren´s BIg Gamble Is Not Paying Off

8:38 am, Monday, September 21st, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 13 Comments

Steve McClaren had made a big thing of it in the week before our first game at home to Southampton when he signed Fab Coloccini to a year extension on his contract and he is now at the club until the summer of 2017.

And Steve at the same time announced Colo would continue as captain and at the time the new Newcastle head coach seemed relieved.

Fabricio Coloccini West+Ham+United+v+Newcastle+PEIDveRfM1Cl

Fabricio Coloccini – in action at West Ham

Coloccini played quite well in the first four games of the season and he had a terrific game at Old Trafford.

But at West Ham a week ago and against Watford on Saturday he had two poor games and our defense once again looked weak and vulnerable and we basically lost both games by poor first half performances.

After the game on Saturday and our third league defeat on the trot, Steve was asked by the local journalists to comment on Colo´s form and he avoided answering the question.

This is what he said:

“You lose football matches, individuals are settling in.” “Some players have been magnificent in games, and others aren’t playing up to their level – to their unusual standard.”

“So you are always going to get indifference.” “When you lose matches, not everyone is going to play well.”

“It’s a team and not about individuals – and we lost because we conceded two goals. It could have been more. We fought back in the second half, and could have got something out of it.”

Newcastle fans wanted another center-back and another striker brought in over the summer, and while we were pleased with the four players the Board brought in, our defense has still looked vulnerable.

We do have Steven Taylor and Mike Williamson available to partner Chancel Mbemba – who generally has looked the part for Newcastle since he arrived.

If Colo´s form does not improve then McClaren may be forced to drop the captain – for the good of the team – and if he has to do that that will be a blow for the new head coach.

And his gamble of relying on the Argentine this season will look like it will not pay off.

If we continue to lose and Colo´s form doesn´t improve we should see Taylor or Williamson come in.

Unfortunately both are injured at the moment and of the two, Steven Taylor seems to play well for McClaren, but he has done his hamstring in again.

Jamaal Lascelles needs more time before he can start playing in the Newcastle first team.

If we continue to struggle at the bottom of the table through the end of the year look for the club to try to bring in another central defender in January.

It´s a (very) worrying time for the Magpies after what happened last season – there´s no doubt about that.

Surely we don´t have to go through yet another season fighting relegation?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Interview · Newcastle News · Premier League · Press · Press Conference

13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 toonbrother // Sep 21, 2015 at 8:39 AM

    it beggars belief mclaren has taken this long to see what a destructive influence colo is on the pitch
    Lascelles is a 100 times better
    mclaren needs to be bold and admit he got it wrong given a new contract to a player well past his expiry date

  • 2 toonbrother // Sep 21, 2015 at 8:40 AM


  • 3 Klam3r // Sep 21, 2015 at 8:41 AM

    Boot him out of the starting 11 together with Cisse and Sissoko. Let’s shake it up!

  • 4 toonbrother // Sep 21, 2015 at 8:48 AM

    its quite frankly ridiculous to say colo had a “magnificent” first 4 games
    We conceded two cheap goals v southampton and another pair of cheap goals v swansea. At least 3 of those goals were his fault
    Then we parked the bus v Arsenal and ManU which meant he was never tested and thus never exposed in either of those games.

    EVERY TIME we have attempted to come forward with the intent of scoring goals, we’ve ended up conceding because we have the worst central defender in the league playing for us at the back

    This is why i boldly predicted after the southampton game we would not win a single match in which colocinni starts in defence

    fast forward six games and still no win
    I genuinely hate to say i told you so but the facts are there for us to see

  • 5 Klam3r // Sep 21, 2015 at 8:48 AM


    I agree 100% with you. I think the masses are begginning to see what you have said for a long time now.
    Coloccini plays football and forgets to defend. Closing down when he shouldn’t and poor in the air. Physical attributes are below average.

    Some see him as a captain. I see him as a backstabbing traitor.

  • 6 nut meg // Sep 21, 2015 at 9:04 AM

    Regarding the captain,I agree. We don’t need or want a silent Harpo Marx type.We do need & badly want a vocal leader to drive this team, to bully them if necessary,to organize,someone for them to look up to,to respect. Someone who gets the players to carry out SM instructions on the field, a REAL LEADER of men is a must not a harp playing pantomime artist.Until that happens I fear for our future.

  • 7 toon-to-win // Sep 21, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    im happy to see a reporter put that question to mclaren! Ive never rated colo to be honest, hes had phases where he strings a couple of games together but if you look back, even when we finished 5, we won and drew games due to oppositions inability to hit the back of the net and not because colo defended well! Yet he very rarely gets singled out by fans or pundits for criticism! id deffo start with saylor when fit and in the cup id start lascelles with mbemba to see how they work together. Ps i think mbemba is by far the closest the club has got to replacing woodgate!

  • 8 The overrated Frenchman // Sep 21, 2015 at 10:15 AM

    Coloccini and Mbemba together was never going to work. At the centre of defence, size does matter. You need one big bloke. Oh, yeah, we have Williamson, Taylor and Lascelles. Forgive me if I don’t get excited by that….

  • 9 Sav // Sep 21, 2015 at 10:32 AM

    Already talk of a January replacement begins with looking down the list of players who will be out of contract in summer. There’s usually a reason why players are on that list. For once, just pay the money and buy the best we can afford.
    But a centrehalf needs a decent defensive midfielder playing in front of him. The acres to the side and in front of Colo and Mbemba seem to be open territory from which to launch attacks with Haidara amd Anita/Colback failing to patrol their ground properly..

  • 10 The overrated Frenchman // Sep 21, 2015 at 10:51 AM

    Agree about our midfield. Basically hopeless. Early days still for Gini but thus far he has disappointed. Sissoko continues to frustrate to the point where I think you can write him off as a lost cause. Pity. Anita has rarely looked like a Premiership player. The odd good performance aside, he struggles to compete at this level. Despite the plaudits that came his way last season, I think Colback is dead ordinary. Too lightweight for a holding role. No vision or passing range. Needs to get into a time capsule and go back thirty years when running around all day and passing the ball sideways was considered acceptable.

  • 11 nufc 11 // Sep 21, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    Perez is not a left winger team should be built around him, thauvin should have been slowley introduced 10/15min cameos, buying players to sell again or that are more sellable than others is whats the problem, Plenty of established players were availbe over the summer and we put or nose up at them. The team needs PL quality to do well not PL potential not enough british players in the squad, Aarons should be starting ahead of thauvin what has he done to justify a start? Price tag? Sorry Steve look around the PL most teams have had lots of new players needing time to gel is bullshit down the AP route not gona wash players getting sent off, not showing up, not trying or giving a shit all lays at your front door get your fcuking house in order man.

  • 12 nufc 11 // Sep 21, 2015 at 11:25 AM

    Colback had his best season at Sunderland at LB sadio needs to be benched.

  • 13 Lynxie // Sep 21, 2015 at 12:04 PM

    I am extremely surprised that Haidara hasn’t come in for loads of stick on here, as he is so poor defensively, and even the things he used to do well ( getting to the by-line and whipping crosses over) is a thing of the distant past. A decent left back is desperately required in January.
    Haidara and Thauvin need a kick right up the hoop for the shambolic crosses which hit the first defender every single time on Saturday.
    Finally, Memo to Schteeve:
    Do not reward mediocre performances with automatic starts in the following game (hoping that a return to blistering form will occur). that is just a wild throw of the dice – NOT management.
    Seccondly, the players that you do select, should be played in their most effective positions. Perez is NOT a winger. Wijnaldum is NOT a defensive midfielder. Thauvin is NOT a central midfielder (even though that’s where most of his wandering took him on Saturday).

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