McClaren May Have Some Surprises In Store Against Stoke

Newcastle will have Fabricio Coloccini available for the game today at home to Stoke City after his red card against Sunderland was rescinded by the FA, but we will be without Jack Colback for up to six weeks with the knee injury he picked up after a tackle from Lee Cattermole.

Jack Colback +Sunderland+v+Newcastle+United+Ae6VlyYpMoHl

Jack Colback out for up to six weeks

Steve McClaren is thinking long and hard on how to utilise the players he has available in the absence of Colback and he may alter the formation today against Stoke City.

McClaren has said he has only two (central) midfield players available in Cheick Tiote and Vurnon Anita – so let´s hope neither of them gets injured.

This is what Steve McClaren said yesterday:

“We have to either reshape or play Vurnon to deal with the absence of Colback and that is a decision for Stoke.” “We do not have that many alternatives.”

“But we certainly adapted last week against Sunderland with Anita at left-back, Florian on and Wijnaldum and Sissoko in the middle with 10 men and we still got in the game.”

“In the end we got punished but I think our positive attitude in terms of during the game, hopefully will bear fruit.”

“We’ve got two midfield players now, so there’s a big responsibility on their shoulders.”

“Jack is one of our leaders and a very good midfield player, but this gives other people an opportunity to come in and establish themselves.

We hope that Cheick will step up to the plate today and in the five or six games we could see Jack miss with his knee injury.

Certainly he´s experienced enough and this is a big chance for the 29 year-old to get back into the side on a regular basis and make a big contribution to the side.

We could simply see Vurnon Anita come in and play the role of Colback, but it appears that McClaren has been thinking of a few alternatives in training this week – so he may surprise us today.

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Comments welcome.

20 comments so far

  • Dennis Twice

    Oct 31, 2015 at 7:43 AM

    Comment #1

    Attack Toon attack, attack!

  • Ron Knee

    Oct 31, 2015 at 7:45 AM

    Comment #2

    Have you seen our fixtures in December? God help us!

  • sparky55

    Oct 31, 2015 at 7:46 AM

    Comment #3

    yadda yadda yadda…can’t see him not starting Tiote and Anita in the middle

    …but everything crossed he won’t.

    Love to see Sissoko in the CDM role next to a holder (Tiote or Anita) and SDJ or Thauvin involved (much prefer SDJ out of the two!)

  • hibbitt

    Oct 31, 2015 at 7:47 AM

    Comment #4

    6 point 10 games says it all…..yes some of the games have been better to watch but we are not winning some fool said on here yesterday were to to good to go down…..we all know that’s not true

  • sparky55

    Oct 31, 2015 at 7:48 AM

    Comment #5

    Ron Knee

    We’ll be playing our finest football by then so it’ll them that’ll be worried in december!!!!

    Joking aside that’s why November is massive for us…we have to pick up at least 6 points in November or we’ll be on the greasy pole

  • Ron Knee

    Oct 31, 2015 at 7:50 AM

    Comment #6

    The mythical SDJ – a bit like the Yeti, with one or two rare sightings. Hibbitt reckons he won’t be “fit” til next year.

  • Ron Knee

    Oct 31, 2015 at 7:52 AM

    Comment #7

    I forgot we were due to gel in December!

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Oct 31, 2015 at 7:54 AM

    Comment #8

    When you are bemoaning the lack of a Jack Colback it really highlights how thin this squad is. I know people will say that he is a grafter, puts in a shift, etc etc but in truth he is just an average player at best. It beggars belief that we went into this season with basically Colback, Anita and Tiote as the only holding midfielders available. Unless you include the mighty Yoan Gouffran of course. None of them really up to scratch, and this is to shore up the worst defence in the league. But we sign Thauvin. Go figure.

  • Munster Mag

    Oct 31, 2015 at 7:54 AM

    Comment #9

    I doubt it. Smc tends to limit changes in personnel and shape. 442 with anita and tiote. A red herring for hughes i think….

  • sparky55

    Oct 31, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    Comment #10

    Ron…Hibbit may well be right…hes a man of few words but often very insightful.

    it’s the principle I’m on about though…if we can’t play SDJ then Aarons or Thauvin should be involved or maybe Mitrovic and Cisse up front with Perez in the hole…it’s the attacking threat that’s important but with more defensive cover to protect Colo is key…or we could of course could just go down the uba sensible route and drop Colo altogether which means we might only have to score 1 or 2 to win instead of having to score three to win when he plays.

    The team needs a good reshuffle…it ain’t working for sure

  • Ron Knee

    Oct 31, 2015 at 7:59 AM

    Comment #11

    It was the usual half-baked performance from our mighty Board: three good buys, then Thauvin, the bizarre decision to extend Coloccini’s contract, the failure to address some of our most glaring problems, etc., etc.

  • Ron Knee

    Oct 31, 2015 at 8:01 AM

    Comment #12

    I see you’re a massive fan of our illustrious captain!

  • sparky55

    Oct 31, 2015 at 8:05 AM

    Comment #13

    I would go with…


    Anita Mbemba Dummett Mbabu if fit or Hiadara

    Janmaat Sissoko Tiote Wingy



    Thauvin and Aarons and Perez as impact subs

  • sparky55

    Oct 31, 2015 at 8:06 AM

    Comment #14

    Ron @ 12

    …you could say that! 🙂

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 31, 2015 at 8:09 AM

    Comment #15

    That’s terrible news about your Dad hope he beats it.
    For a man that doesn’t like Mike Ashley yo seem very passionate about defending him, I’m not sure that having to cite people who behead and stone women to show he’s not that bad after all is really painting him out to be that good mind. Well run club ??? It is absolutely criminal the way we are being run, relegation, near relegations and every unwanted record broken in his tenure. The fact that he is mentioned in the same breath as Venky, Oyston and Tan tells you everything about the way we’re being run.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Oct 31, 2015 at 8:11 AM

    Comment #16
  • banjax

    Oct 31, 2015 at 8:13 AM

    Comment #17

    A pleasant surprise today would be a win and if they play as well as last Sunday, we should win. Let’s not forget however, we are deep in the relegation mire and another loss will be dire. Should that happen, the McLaren formula for turning things around is in serious doubt and the sack race will be very real as will relegation. Here’s hoping !

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Oct 31, 2015 at 8:14 AM

    Comment #18

    How can you not start Perez Sparky? I think he is maybe the most talented and hard-working player we have if I’m honest.

  • SA Toon

    Oct 31, 2015 at 8:37 AM

    Comment #19

    Does anyone know where we can catch a live broadcast of the game today. Supersport is only rebroadcasting at 02h00 tomorrow morning. That’s the problem with playing at prime time on a Saturday.

  • AndyMac

    Oct 31, 2015 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #20

    Nope no surprises just same old same old ! I’m guessing he’ll go just after Christmas ?


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