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

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Things Must Improve (Very) Quickly At Newcastle

10:58 pm, Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 60 Comments

It was another very poor performance tonight – this time against a middle of the table Championship side – and with almost the strongest team we could field tonight – we were still second best and deservedly lost  1-0 to Sheffield Wednesday and it could have been worse.

We were again powder puff in the final third and although it may be a big risk on Saturday,  McClaren may be forced to start Mitrovic up front against Chelsea and hope he can make a difference.

Steve McClaren Beaten by Owls

Another bad result and another pathetic performance

This bad start – worse than last year at this time – seems to suggest the nightmare of last season is still continuing.

That´s unless we are dreaming about this or I´ve died and gone to hell – hang on – let´s stick this pin in my arm.

Ouch – that hurt – no this must be real – I seem to still be in the world of the living.

And while it’s a new team with a new coach at Newcastle,  other teams aren’t struggling like we are, and they have new coaches and new players too.

Newcastle cannot fall too far behind in the Premier League table and we have the daunting prospect of playing Chelsea and Manchester City in our next two games, before the two week International break.

You can bet your life both teams will start each game like the proverbial steam train and try to score goals early so both games could be over fairly quickly.

If we happen to lose both those games then those two weeks of International football are going to be shrouded in negativity at Newcastle – it may be a good time to take a vacation and get away from it all.

The again maybe England will win both their games.

Newcastle are finding it hard to win a game and now have five defeats and one win (against a League Two club) in our first eight games of the season.

And in five  of those games we haven’t scored and our top scorer is Daryl Janmaat our right-back.

That´s not good.

Sounds just like last season under John Carver,  and Mike Ashley will be just a little worried that we may be in for yet another relegation fighting season, and that´s after spending £52M in the summer transfer market.

Oh my – and we were expecting a decent season this time around.

Tells you how much we know.

Who Was Newcastle´s Best Player Against Sheffield Wednesday

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Tags: Capital One Cup · Coaching · League Cup · Newcastle News · Poll

60 responses so far ↓

  • 1 firebug666 // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:00 PM

    I really cannot vote for any of them and so the little old tea lady gets it.

  • 2 Transfer Sage // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:01 PM

    It’s very simple…if you continue to by unproven players and sell the best ones, keeping the tripe then you obviously will have a lot of players who can’t make the grade.

    The few who have ability will struggle with weaker lads around them and become disillusioned.

    Regardless of whether you pay a person £6 an hour or £40,000 a week you still need to have people who enjoy the job, take pride and want to show their best.

    Money is not the only motivating factor, in fact it’s usually not as big as job satisfaction and working with good colleagues/management to improve yourself.

  • 3 Jail for Ashley // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:02 PM

    Just read that two of my favourite posters feel sorry for Mclaren, simply can’t agree, he is on the board, he has signed up to what they do and his best signing let the at out of the bag that Watford was more our league, he must be in on that !

  • 4 Transfer Sage // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:02 PM

    Also, I know it’s far from this one players fault but Mitrovic needs to look at himself. His stupid cards could have cost us these past few games.

    Although I must say, the problem is loads bigger than him.

  • 5 toon kk // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:04 PM

    very true.

  • 6 Jail for Ashley // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:04 PM

    Something is wrong !

  • 7 manxpie // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:05 PM

    Tads are Anita or collo better?
    Williams or alderwielrd would be better
    Both with prem experience not even thought of!
    The huge problem is we buy FROM abroad not that there foreign

  • 8 Shot Bru // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:06 PM

    Brolly for the Wally

  • 9 Transfer Sage // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:06 PM


    It’s simple to say people should try as on 40k a week but as much as that is to us it’s just a standard wage at that level. They can go anywhere and get around that money.

    I think the policy of survival only and not winning anything is ingrained in these lads now, built into the culture at the club.

    It’s the opposite of how Alex Ferguson built a winning mentality where he teams never felt beaten.

  • 10 Bri // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:06 PM

    It really is infuriating when the team struggle to create chances never mind sticking the ball in the net.
    Where Mc and the team go from here god knows.

  • 11 firebug666 // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:08 PM


    I agree on Mitrovic, he needs to calm down and get back to playing football. He is the kind of player that can change a game for us but only if he can stay on the pitch.

    However I’m not sure anyone can do anything playing in this team. we have no pride or passion, the players lack belief in themselves and their team mates.

    This will be a very tough season and I fear we already know the end result.

  • 12 Belfast // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:08 PM

    If I ain’t one of them I’ll be deeply disappointed Jail. 🙂

  • 13 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:08 PM

    I gave Mbabu my vote. Slipped in well at right back and supplied a lovely cross that De Jong blasted over when really he should’ve scored. Less to worry about if Jamaat gets hurt/suspended. And that, even from an optimist like myself, is about it. Insipid.

  • 14 Transfer Sage // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:09 PM


    Exactly. You need those with leage experience, can get away with a few but not all signings from abroad.

    Nationality isn’t the issue as you says, it’s experience in the league, the culture, the nature of play, knowing opposition players, etc.

    The only experience we have is bad experience in sub par players for the most part.

  • 15 Transfer Sage // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:11 PM

    Fire bugg

    I really can’t put my finger on it. The same problems are at sunderland too. Decent players on paper but for whatever reason just aren’t up for games and can’t deliver like they can at other clubs.

    I don’t know if there is a drinking culture with players up here or something else but it’s the two big teams.

  • 16 manxpie // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:12 PM

    I.e go for wnyama and move on tiote
    Sell cisse buy austin
    no we don’t do that we buy players that look good for a season in shitter leagues
    And that don’t suit the league by the looks of it

  • 17 Transfer Sage // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:13 PM

    These last few years have put me off football. I still care about my team and look out for results but watch a lot less games, even miss highlights and never go to games now.

    It’s horrible really, dunno how many others feel the same.

  • 18 firebug666 // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:16 PM


    Sunderland are at least scoring goals. we can’t even buy a goal at the moment.

    The night life may have something to do with it, but I would have thought that McClaren would keep them off the booze at least a day before a match.

    Not all of our players are bad, just the one that are, are dragging the good ones down with them.

  • 19 Shot Bru // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:17 PM

    There’s no leadership, on or off the pitch.
    Players don’t play as a team.
    No balance of experience, younger players or players at the peak of their game.
    Too many players who are ok with losing.
    Shocking transfer policy, why we only bought 1 defender is mental.
    Another British Manager who is lost somewhere in the 90’s

  • 20 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:18 PM

    In the 50 years I’ve been going to SJP I’ve seen some sh*t and that dished out tonight was SH*T!!!!!!
    Beaten by a better team
    humiliated by the Sheff Wed Supporters who out sung us from begining to end
    McLaren what the F••k are you playing at playing – One up front
    One shot if you can call it on target.

    My we started well the first 5 minutes strung a hundred passes together Sheff Wed never got a touch mind you with those 100 pases we never crossed the half way line sideways backwards backwards sideways Wednes day just sat backed and watch us fart about.

    I don’t think a good stuffing at home to Chelsea and away at City will wake that lot from their slumbers.

    Relegation nailed on

    Onl;y one who looked like he cared was Tomey when he came on

  • 21 BeeGuy // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:19 PM

    Can a they be relegated to league 1 at the first call?

  • 22 manxpie // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:19 PM

    Sage as i say they don’t suit our league
    wenger gets loads of stick for not buying but i feel he knows the players that not only fit his system but the league and that is why!
    He really doesn’t have many duffers does he unlike many managers including fergie and every Newcastle manager in the last 20 years

  • 23 manxpie // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:21 PM

    Go on jail name your favourite posters?

  • 24 jimmysmith // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:21 PM

    Yeah, it’s a bitter pill to swallow. We’ve been given precious little to enjoy for far, far too long. I’m going to take Newcastle one game at a time for little while, try and disassociate for the time being, like a recovering drunk.

  • 25 firebug666 // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:21 PM

    NEWCASTLE’S shambolic start to the season plumbed new depths as they were dumped out of the Capital One Cup by Championship opposition, with Steve McClaren admitting his players are struggling to find a way to turn things around.

    Lewis McGugan’s second-half strike enabled a Sheffield Wednesday side featuring ten changes to claim a 1-0 win at St James’ Park, and ensured Newcastle exited the League Cup at the third-round stage despite this summer’s pledge to “take the cup competitions seriously”.

    The Magpies have now claimed just four wins in all competitions since the start of the calendar year, with Wednesday night’s dreadful display marking a new low in terms of their struggles.

    Their fortunes are unlikely to improve quickly given that their next two league games pit them against Chelsea and Manchester United, but McClaren admits his players cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves despite their latest embarrassment.

    They were booed off at both the half-time and full-time whistles, with McClaren coming in for particular criticism as he left the field.

    “I’ve been in football too long to be embarrassed,” said the Newcastle head coach. “But I am angry and disappointed. Things like that can happen in football, we said that beforehand.

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    “It is a very disappointing result and evening for everyone. We had enough possession and enough of the ball and created enough chances. But if you don’t score, you don’t win.

    “The longer the game went on there was a nervousness, around the stadium and on the field. You can sense that and you can sense this kind of thing coming.

    “I have said to the players, ‘You can’t feel sorry for yourselves, you have to come out on Saturday and be a fighter or a victim’. It is one or the other, and we can only have fighters on there now.

    “We have the quality, but we are not producing it. It is hard to put your finger on why, but we have to find it.”

    McClaren’s team selection was flawed, with Siem de Jong appearing unsuited to the lone striker role he was handed at kick-off and Georginio Wijnaldum lost in a no-man’s land between attack and midfield.

    However, it was the complete lack of confidence and spirit within the Newcastle squad that was the most alarming aspect of the display, with McClaren admitting his players’ mental attitude has to change.

    “It is a mentality thing,” he said. “You can go into those games and feel sorry for yourself, but we can’t have that and we can’t make excuses.

    “I am not here to criticise individuals. Whatever I say will never be enough to vindicate the performance and the result. The only thing we can do is get in, in the morning, and prepare for Chelsea.”

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    Aleksandar Mitrovic’s return from suspension should at least help bolster the attack on Saturday, with Wednesday night’s attacking problems underlined by the fact that it was the 85th minute before Newcastle recorded a shot on target, and even then Wijnaldum’s strike was a tame effort that failed to trouble Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith.

    “We had plenty of the ball in the final third and shots, but we didn’t hit the target enough,” said McClaren. “We are missing strikers, with two injured (Papiss Cisse and Emmanuel Riviere). We are trying things to alleviate that, but at the present moment, results dictate it is not working.”

  • 26 toonking // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:25 PM


    that’s excactly it, the only reason some might use the word british is most foreign players are usually already a key part it’s other team so will be expectsive and not very common in the first place, what doesn’t make it much easier is our last 2 great leaders were themselves british in nolan and barton.

  • 27 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:27 PM

    McClaren says we had plenty of the ball – I but Sheff Wed knew they could give us much of the ball as they wanted and we would not be able to score.
    One pathetic shot on target in 90 minutes against a Championship Teram shows our ambition.

  • 28 weg // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:30 PM

    Everyone knew in the summer we needed a total overhaul of the squad, and it didn’t happen. 5 players brought in – 4 from other leagues and 1 from lower league football. The rest of the squad are players embedded in the mediocrity that runs right through the club.(for years).
    We have only 3 fullbacks ffs, 1 new CB, Why the hell do we still have Willo, STayler and Collo? We needed at least 2 strikers because Cisse doesn’t seem to be interested. The rest of the squad are like luke-warm bath water! (except for Aarons, Perez and Janmaat!)
    The new signings need time to bed in – into this league as well as this team!
    MacLaren is pretty good with the press and trying to be open with the fans – which is good – but his management record is still average.
    Until Charmless is replaced by someone qualified for the job, and Carr is ordered to be a scout – and just a scout – I cannot see things improving much!

  • 29 toonking // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:33 PM

    might as well leave it there

    We’re relegated.

  • 30 Mister Tuff // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:34 PM

    We can only hope that Mitrovic lives up to promise and starts getting a few goals -otherwise we are probably going down.
    Definitely no eigth place finishes or cups this season.
    If we continue as we are -even reinforcements in January won’t save us.

  • 31 manxpie // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:38 PM

    Well tbh British top flight player’s are Wat we need but guess Wat i aitnt racist or xenophobic that seems to he thrown about a lot lately but a core of English players that are great and that know Wat this league is like and what the fans are like already save millions on transfers fees
    btw I wasn’t be in racist or xenophobic just to make it clear to the people who are all to quick to make judgement (and btw tell everyone how shit the English are!!!)
    But to have 3 or mor front players more worried about how they look in a tux than in a game is shocking!!!!

  • 32 Tsunki // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:48 PM

    ” Lee – exactly what did you blow £50 m on?”

  • 33 Bobbybee // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:52 PM

    As blog otimist I feel obliged to try and find something positive to say. Boy, am I struggling. As that was the worst I can remember for a long time, I shall grasp onto the notion that we are at rock bottom. Therefore, the only way is up from here. Sorry, but that’s the best I can manage. 🙂

  • 34 manxpie // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:52 PM

    Tsunki xenophobic if ever i seen a post!

  • 35 Tsunki // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:57 PM

    Like many posters I was underwhelmed by SM’s appointment. It only seemed constructive in the wake of Pardews disastrous reign and the Carver shambles. I remember pointing out how much lower our expectations had become because of years of incompetent brinkmanship by Ashley. But we got him and Average Steve and his coaching crew seemed to be a step forward again. But in the meantime the players have cottoned on that this is not the team he wants, or asked for. It is an oddball selection, and they know it. They are tired of Mike’s game, and they are tired of this club, always struggling, being held back by business at the cost of sporting achievement. Steve may have signed into something but I doubt he was pointed to the small print. I think he realises he made a big mistake. So long, optimism. So long, brave new era, and so long Mike’s Horse.

  • 36 lesh // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:57 PM

    Toon Prodigy (from previous thread.

    You’ve hit the nail on the head when you say that the money-driven transfer policy’s coming home to roost.

    I agree that McClaren’s naively walked into a mess of a club yet he is paid to get results. Is it the players that aren’t good enough, ot maybe there isn’t enough quality in an imbalanced squad, is it McClaren, Cathro? Something else.

    If results show no sign of improvement for Christmas at mid-table, then McClaren’ll have to think about the options – maybe let Cathro loose with the first team? Maybe stick things out? Walk?

    What a mess

  • 37 Tsunki // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:58 PM

    Manx pie – xenophobic? Eh?

  • 38 international // Sep 23, 2015 at 11:58 PM

    Are we loosing faith already in the McClarren era? Looking at the fixture list the games after the international break looks more favorable, but with setbacks like today he has bought himself less time. We have to show big improvements on the pitch the next two matches. Even if its probly gonna be two losses, the team must act more together.

  • 39 manxpie // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:00 AM

    Jail so you are forgetting that when said player said such was after arsenal and man u? Or are you listening to Wat journalists want you to lol? Just wondering coz I thought ya were better than that?

  • 40 SPRINGY // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:04 AM

    i like you have had the give it time and dont panic approach…..but cant see any improvement at all…infact seem to be getting worse….was expecting improvement in play or defensive tightening even if the results were’nt there……but nothing….losing faith and beginning to believe my first thought that macca was’nt good enough for the job is the thought….disappointing doe’snt come close

  • 41 manxpie // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:04 AM

    Sorry Tsunki i thought xenophobic was the word of the season and you could use it against every opinion if they didn’t fit with a there own ( it was in jest btw to my point)

  • 42 Bobbybee // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:05 AM

    Inter, i think you’re right. We are what we are and that’s it until January, so regardless of the next two results we have to be looking for players taking resposibility and showing some pride. The run following those two can be made easier if the players get a grip in the next two. There are games to come where we can genuinely take points – but only if players find some self belief. Win, lose or draw the next two, if we can show some bottle, the following games look winnable. If we fold miserably, those games look harder. It’s in their own hands.

  • 43 Tsunki // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:10 AM

    So let’s recap. Pardew leaves and there was no plan b, because no matter what happened they were safe for another year and it didn’t matter how bad a run in they had. But Carver – how bad can he be? Well they found out and had such a scare, staring relegation, loss loss TV money and catastrophic PR and serious threats to ticket sales meant Ashley had to be wheeled in front of the cameras to lie about ambition. Nugget sacked, McLaren and coaching staff, cheap and available, show intent – PR machine winds up to overload with personal messages from all and sundry to get the fans on board and buy tickets again. Meanwhile, aggressive pursuit of old transfer targets results in finally purchasing long time targets. Unfortunately by now they don’t fit into the new coaches team ideas. Players realise this is the team Lee and his Scout built, and not Steves. The rot sets in.

  • 44 Bobbybee // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:10 AM

    Springy, I don’t know where to start mate! It’s not often I leave SJP thinking I’ve wasted my money, but tonight was one of those. Shocking. Mbabu was the only bright spot for me, but you expect more from a home game against a Championship second eleven. The team look bereft of any confidence and don’t want the ball when they should. I’m numb mate.

  • 45 Tsunki // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:12 AM

    Manxpie – I see. Yes it is a good word 🙂

  • 46 manxpie // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:12 AM

    As i said earlier we’ll get plenty of foreign coaches put forward with a good season under there belt and then say how shit the English coaches are but there’s no word for that is there lol!!!!? Is there rotunda! ? 🙂

  • 47 Bobbybee // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:14 AM

    Tsunki, this reiterates my point about letting the manager/head coach decide who he wants, not expect him to make do with what he’s given.

  • 48 SPRINGY // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:17 AM

    only listened to it mate but mick lowes and ando were as shocked as you and as bewildered as me!…..the question they left us with is where does this club go from here?…..totally directionless… can a head coach justify that performance against a side from a lower league that came knowing they were probs goin to get beat so saved there best players for the league game the weekend coming!!!!……how did lascelle do mate ?….did’nt seem to bad from what i heard

  • 49 Tsunki // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:18 AM

    SD has always forced it’s business ideas on nufc to it’s long term detriment. They don’t translate to a successful PL club. I see no changes unless we become unprofitable

  • 50 solano // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:20 AM

    Wrong Mong Hooey for the CarToon Army Smackheads :
    Who is the NUFC Super Villain?
    [ Fat Cat Mike sits on top of Filing Cabinet]
    Is it Schteve?……NO!
    Is it Lee, the prematurely ageing bean counter? ….NO!
    Is it Graham, the mild mannered father of Chatty man?….COULD BE!

  • 51 solano // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:25 AM

    Or it could bne Betty the Tea Lady whose been there all along? All predecessors in the hotseat have mentioned the old baglady poisoning the staff? We need some one to blame for the last 8 years…someone that links it all together…

  • 52 Toonacious T // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:26 AM

    We will win nothing under Ashley. That must surely be clear now ffs. Btw, even though I was never a huge fan of Pardew, I always said the biggest problem at the club was the transfer policy of the owner and the psychological affect that had on the top players and the fact that most of the players we bought were substandard. Pardew and McClaren are not great coaches but they are nowhere near bad enough to explain the performances we have all been witnessing for the past few years. We are sponsored by Wonga and have Sports Direct adverts defacing our great stadium. The match going fans are rightly booing the players now but is it too little too late?

  • 53 Bobbybee // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:28 AM

    Springy, yeah, lascelles did a good job. To be fair, the defence was hardly troubled and I couldn’t see them scoring – but they did. The defence – goal apart – wasn’t the problem, it was up front. Sissoko will never be a CL player. Wijnaldum looked unsure where he was playing. Perez when he came on looked sulky, although he might’ve got a knock. Obertan flattered to deceive and DeJong looked better when he dropped back. The forward’s lacked any cohesion and lacked movement into space as well. Mitrovic will make a big difference if he can behave – and he must now – just by holding the ball up and providing something different. A lot will depend on him this season, he needs to grow up quick.

  • 54 Toonacious T // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:31 AM

    I thought the tea lady was an Irish woman named Kathy or did she retire? Lol

  • 55 Toonacious T // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:33 AM

    watched the highlights and Wednesday hit one off the bar from six yards as well as having other chances so to say the defence was untroubled aside from the goal is inaccurate bud.

  • 56 SPRINGY // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:35 AM

    someone mentioned on this blog about playing mbemba as def mid u think he could do a job there?…..we lack strength , pace and class there and may actually help take the pressure of the cb’s,….i said we need him in defence but grasping at straws to try and make something happen tbo…and thinkin it may be worth a look coz he ‘s played there for his country

  • 57 solano // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:40 AM

    If Jail for Ashley (from previous thread) can’t pinpoint the cause of our decline..I’m buggered if I can!
    Wow! We need Columbo on the case…

  • 58 SPRINGY // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:41 AM

    those shouting for gini to play the def cm role might want a rethink…..been described as lost between def and attack and thats against second string lower league side….his best position is the one he played for psv..wide right of a midfield 3 in a 4-3-3

  • 59 Bobbybee // Sep 24, 2015 at 12:42 AM

    Untroubled until the goal tenacious. Until then it was crap at both ends. How he hit the bar from there i have no idea. 😉

  • 60 Dal // Sep 24, 2015 at 1:49 PM

    I struggle to watch the games but will support the club.
    The problem is simple, its the poor management skills of Mike Ashley and his disasters strategy of prioritising finances over success on the pitch; ironically he now knows his strategy is impossible as selling the good players and keeping the bad ones means relegation and financial disaster.
    Ashley will not sell a depreciating asset but has probably realised his strategy has been a disaster.
    The solution is to replace Charnley and Carr asap and change the transfer policy to but players which have already succeeded in the premier league in our core wea positions: centre backs, Cabaye look alike, winger that can cross and goal scorer.
    The manager has to stay but he needs support from a mentor who has worked with him in the past, knows his weaknesses, is a successful former premier league manager and retired recently so has the time to get involved.
    That will take two more transfer windows. It may involve relegation. That would allow us to support our team at a level where it is competent and as it is rebuilt and comes back!
    I am not sure what Bob Moncurs role is but he is taing up a seat at the board table; we need a strong person at that table representing a combination of football, finance and local loyalty.
    The solution

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