There Was A Game Plan And It Worked Perfectly For 15 Minutes

Alan Shearer questioned last night on BBC Match of the Day whether Steve McClaren had a game plan for yesterday’s game at Selhurst Park and how they were going to stop their two top wingers Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha.

And Steve McClaren in his interviews after the game yesterday said there was also  a reaction from the Newcastle players after the embarrassment against Leicester City – and you may have missed it – but it was in the first 15 minutes – according to the Newcastle manager.

jack colback wifired saha

Jack Colback challenges Wilfried Zaha

And Jack Colback has come out today and said that in fact Newcastle did have a game plan and it worked perfectly for 15-20 minutes – but it probably worked for maybe only 13 minutes.

Newcastle went ahead with a well-worked goal after 10 minutes from Cisse that was brilliantly set up by Daryl Janmaat and things were looking up.

But then Crystal Palace scored after 14 minutes and three minutes later we let in a comical goal as a number of Newcastle defenders should have easily cleared the ball when it came across the box – but didn’t.

So after 17 minutes we were 2-1 down.

So maybe we can say the game plan worked for 13 minutes – while we were ahead?

After that we collapsed again and ended up losing 5-1 and Palace looked like world-beaters – well at least compared to another abject Newcastle performance.

We just cannot seem to stop the goals going in – that’s out biggest problem so we need a top center-back and a top left back drafted in during the January transfer window.

If we can steady things up at the back we could have something to build on.

This is what Jack Colback had to say on Sky Sports:

“We had a game plan and in the first 15-20 minutes it worked perfectly. We got the goal and you could see they were rattled.”

“But we let them straight back in, then I made a mistake for the second goal and that put us on the back foot again. After that it was pretty embarrassing, really.”

“Maybe we’re not strong enough character-wise. It seems as if as soon as things go bad, it goes really bad.”

“We had that last year and probably the year before as well. It’s something that’s hanging over the team that we need to get rid of.”

“We had shown signs of improvement but the Leicester game and this one have really set us back quite a lot.”

Jack was dispossessed for their second goal and we were exposed at the back, and yes it was a bad mistake – but it’s good that Jack owns up to it – probably rustiness with being out since the Sunderland game.


Kevin Nolan – very good captain and leader

What’s lacking with the team is character – character as a team and also individual characters – and we don’t have enough leaders in the side.

For an example of a very good captain and leader think of former Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan – shown above urging on his team-mates.

Leaders are the ones who get busy and go after other players to smarten up and sharpen up when things go wrong.

You cannot accuse many of our players in the last two games of getting busy and trying to rectify the situation once we went behind and easily lost both games.

It has to change very quickly because otherwise we will be in serious danger of relegation come May.

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Comments welcome.

43 comments so far

  • Ibizatoon

    Nov 29, 2015 at 7:22 PM

    Comment #1

    Well, Steve has already declared we have a shorter season than the rest of the PL, why not shorter games?

    Give us 20 odd, 15 minute games a season and all will be fine.

    It’s also good to see Jack back in the team. People were right, he was a huge miss and much more than an okay player.

  • LGFUAD21

    Nov 29, 2015 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #2

    I thought we needed a proper coach last season to sort out our tactical game and develop these raw players.

    But the team looks unmanageable. Maybe we need a fergie (who himself admitted to limited understanding tactically) who can manage the crap out of anything.

    Seedorf is interesting but a risk.

    He was arguably wrongful lampooned at Milan.

    In general I’ve always found the Dutch along with the Italians to have an unrivalled understanding of the game.

    That said. Seedorf may be a great coach (so is mcclaren by all accounts) does he plug the need for a manager to drill the players.

    Moyes would do that but at the expense of good football.

  • Thump

    Nov 29, 2015 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #3

    @Ibiza: Colback is enthusiastic if nothing else, and he will put in a shift. The difference between him and Sissoko was fairly amazing. Sissoko who wanted to run forward all the time, and Colback who was actually trying to look for a pass. After the 2nd goal, Colback immediately dropped deeper to try and help out Anita and the defence.

    There again, if he could get a bit of consistency into his game, the Ginger Pirlo could be a decent player.

  • GeordieTwo

    Nov 29, 2015 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #4

    Looking at our next 8 games I only see more trouble coming. The new year starts with Arsenal and ManU. We could be at 14 points or less after 21 games. McLaren should walk away now. Otherwise he only risks more damage to his reputation. Of course then he would be called a quitter as well. It’s lose lose for McLaren unless by a miracle we turn it around. The coming games against Pool and Spurs are huge.

  • toonking

    Nov 29, 2015 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #5

    jesperfuglsang – capt’n awesome of the lemon crew // Nov 29, 2015 at 7:11 PM

    It’s vey delusional to say Pardew is world class!

    …it’s very difficult to take that statement serious!

    jt’s only delusional when you comparing him to the overall footballing world, when i call him world class i call him WORLD CLASS PUPPET manager.

    he’s sh1t in comparison to FDB guidola, klopp and morineo.

    he’s world class in comparison the JFK, shearer, charver and mac in other words world class PUPPET

  • GeordieTwo

    Nov 29, 2015 at 7:35 PM

    Comment #6

    Very impressive post @2 LGFUAD. Can we hire you as a consultant to the club? Ashley needs all the help he can get mate.

  • Ibizatoon

    Nov 29, 2015 at 7:36 PM

    Comment #7

    Thump…A bit of a hang up from the other day really. I’ve nothing against Colback, I was saying the other day that he’s an okay player.

    The point that just because he’s one of our better midfielders, doesn’t make him a great one seemed lost.

    He’s fine to have around the squad, but to rely on him as the midfield maestro?

    Sums the state of things up for me.

  • GeordieTwo

    Nov 29, 2015 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #8

    Can we get a point against West Brom? A win possibly against Villa? From 7 more games 4 points. That’s all I see unless we get an outstanding performance somewhere from the entire starting eleven.

  • GeordieTwo

    Nov 29, 2015 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #9

    This seems like the time to put pressure on the owner to me unless people want more of the same. Boycott now or watch the rot continue. If Villa pass us would people actually protest? Would 20th place bring protest? I’m not sure anymore. 50K at every home game to watch dross. Incredible.

  • hibbitt

    Nov 29, 2015 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #10

    its not just henry winter that made a unfortunate choice of words……………but you know what i mean any body heard anything

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Nov 29, 2015 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #11

    Liverpool were not that impressive today if you can defend deep and work for 90 minutes you have a chance but whether we can do this is another matter

  • GeordieTwo

    Nov 29, 2015 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #12

    We don’t do anything well for 90 minutes Lee Charnley mate. It’s a shocking mess now. It’s what I feared from the start of the season. Actually it’s worse than I imagined it could be.

  • martoon

    Nov 29, 2015 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #13

    As always I like to wait for the dust to settle before commenting. What disappointed me the most was our defending – no organisation and ‘Goals on Sunday’ showed that at least 2 of the goals were directly from players turning their backs. If you are a defender you should be prepared to get hit in the face.

  • GeordieTwo

    Nov 29, 2015 at 7:52 PM

    Comment #14

    This bollocks wouldn’t be tolerated anywhere else. Surely the Villa fans are the only ones with the right to complain louder than us? Never take a season ticket again with Ashley as owner lads. Once it expires leave it. If you want to go to the occasional game there should be plenty of seats available for Championship football.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Nov 29, 2015 at 7:59 PM

    Comment #15


    I honestly thought we would be sitting mid table this season but we have been terrible in a lot of games we still look way off premiership match fitness compared to other teams

    Thing that worries me about Mclaren the most is his inability to change a game quickly the last 3 games he has started with 2 up top and within 10 minutes we have been out numbered in the middle he never changes it till its too late

  • GeordieTwo

    Nov 29, 2015 at 8:01 PM

    Comment #16

    It’s not surprising martoon mate. We have the worst defense in the Prem by far. Thirty goals conceded already. How can any professional manager look at that defense and not change it? What is McLaren thinking? He should be screaming at Charnley every minute of the day.

  • GeordieTwo

    Nov 29, 2015 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #17

    Everything about this smacks of disaster Lee Charnley mate. McLaren isn’t the type of manager we need. He will walk away soon. The next 2 matches may humiliate him enough to do the trick. Then our buffoon Ashley will go to work getting us another idiot to run things.

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Nov 29, 2015 at 8:10 PM

    Comment #18

    Oh please Colbacks sh1te
    3 seasons ago he’d barely make the bench in that team, standards really have been lowered

  • toon kk

    Nov 29, 2015 at 8:29 PM

    Comment #19

    why did you think we’d be mid take this season?
    Our main problems weren’t addressed in the summer (defence) Thauvin was hardly going to set the premier league alight. Mitro is a decent player for the future,but who supposed to supply him? That leaves us with the rest of our squad who have struggled for a long time. Most aren’t premierleague quality, never were and never will be. We have very little pace in the squad either.
    This season has been coming for some time.
    Ask Pardew.

  • usmagpie

    Nov 29, 2015 at 8:33 PM

    Comment #20

    Ok so here is a list on paper the best managers available without a club. Giovanni Trapattoni World Cup manager. Frank Rijkaad Barcelona’s old coach. Laudrup who was amazing in the Prem. Di Matteo yes I know but does have Prem Exp. Villa Boas yes I know again but still has Prem Exp, David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers both with Prem Exp. Hiddink I know Hiddink not one to come to mind. Here are two more, Tito Vilanova ex Real Madrid Manager and one you may not have heard of Mercelo Bielsa who many have said can do this ” The former Argentina and Chile coach is an extremely demanding manager who could sort out any under-performing team and eventually get them playing some scintillating football” So if I can look at this list sitting at home what the hell is Charney doing. Yes I know it takes some work to get these managers through the front door but honestly its harder work getting them though the front door when your in the championship.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 29, 2015 at 8:34 PM

    Comment #21

    toonking…Pardew is average at best and so is McClaren!

    …Pardew is probably the better manager and McClaren the better coach, but non of them should be here in the first place!

  • BeeGuy

    Nov 29, 2015 at 8:37 PM

    Comment #22

    SM walks and we can have Joe Kinnear back. He will bring in undiscovered star Nile Ranger.

  • Bri

    Nov 29, 2015 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #23

    Joe might bring back Kebab,Ben Afri,Ameboobi etc.

  • toonking

    Nov 29, 2015 at 8:54 PM

    Comment #24


    whilst managers like these should not generally be here in the first place, they are basically here because they are cheap and act like puppets and unfortunately this is a club owned by cashley who consistantly is happy enough to have them.

    pardew himself would have been sacked that europa league season if ashley wanted great improvements, charver wouldn’t have had the chance to break the 7 match losing streak if cashley was intent on change and mac himself would have been sacked by now if cashley was intent on appointing a decent one.

    JFK, shearer, hughton, pardew, carver now mac.

    wise, lambsarse, JFK (again), charnley.

    all in all that is 10 stupid appointment now made by ashley.

    basicallyh you’ve got a general world of appointments then you’ve got a cashley or puppet group of appointments and it’s why i sometimes say pardew was world class as he was as far as your cashley puppets are concerned.

    the term “world class” itself is a term generally use to describe those who are top of a list and pardew is the one i’d describe being top of the cashley puppet list.

  • lesh

    Nov 29, 2015 at 8:54 PM

    Comment #25


    From previous thread and Les Miserables…..

    Very droll, but apt!


    And, Nolan’s still doing nowt, he’d be a great signing – if he’d even agree to come back.

    And we know how much Ashley and his crew don’t like criticisms so there’s no chance of Nolan getting some players by the throat.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Nov 29, 2015 at 8:57 PM

    Comment #26

    @toon KK

    I honestly thought Mclaren could coax enough improvement out of this group to have secured another couple of wins which would have us mid table as there is not that much of a gap

    Quite a few games where Mclaren got it wrong tactically or we have blown a lead which should have meant a healthier total

    But yeah its not looking good I cant see how we can get another 30 points unless we have a major influx of players who can hit the ground running or totally change tactics

  • jimiley

    Nov 29, 2015 at 8:57 PM

    Comment #27

    We need stability and continuity to get out of this mess. Not the knee jerk reaction like sacking Sir Bobby. Steve must be given time and space to bring in his own players and develop them. Lets judge the manager in May.

  • jimmysmith

    Nov 29, 2015 at 8:58 PM

    Comment #28

    Pardew is an above average EPL manager on current achievement and that makes him an elite manager, not of the highest calibre, but comfortably among the next group.

    His stock is high, and it is unlikely to be by accident. He clearly can get players to believe in themselves and each other, and he is a proper figurehead. It’s starting to look as though he actually overachieved at Newcastle considering the transfer policy he worked under, and that the experience has helped him become a much better manager again.

    Really, when he had the chance, he couldn’t get away quickly enough, and now we have this, to remind us how he took the heat, for others who deserved it far more.

  • OneAlanShearer

    Nov 29, 2015 at 9:10 PM

    Comment #29

    Heard some insane rumours started by some calling himself Elswick Mag on another site that mini mike I think he’s referring to charnley but I can’t be sure is near to a breakdown or something like that. Apparently folk inside the club think he’s a puppet for Ashley and he’s hoping or possibly expecting to be sacked. Thinks people inside the club think he’s s joke. I have absolutely no idea if true.

  • toon22

    Nov 29, 2015 at 9:16 PM

    Comment #30

    Maybe SMC could be moved upstairs and take on a director of football role.
    He wouldnt be a threat to any new manager after the current fun.
    It might sound bat shit crazy but maybe KK is coming back,but this time is going to be given some say without the likes of that cockney little shit to muddy the waters.

  • toon22

    Nov 29, 2015 at 9:18 PM

    Comment #31

    If you listen to what he has had to say about his recent time and AP he is clear that he says its things that happen behind the scenes and maybe not MAs fault,just sayin.

  • JamesToon

    Nov 29, 2015 at 9:30 PM

    Comment #32

    analysis of recruitment

    Since 11/12 these are the players we have bought and who were hit/misses:
    Demba Ba-hit
    Rob Elliot-Hit
    Cabaye, Ba, Cisse were all hits, why? Because Cabaye was a champions league player had very good technical qualities, Ba had a good record with West Ham (proven) and Cisse was able to slot straight in and score for fun with the likes of HBA/Cabaye feeding him

    Sissoko-hit (just)
    Gouffran-miss (pardewed)
    Mbiwa-miss (pardewed arguably)
    Why was only debuchy and Sissoko hits? Sissoko physically suited to prem. Debuchy was capped with France and had champions league experience. Why were the others misses? No experience and weren’t suited to the prem apart from Gouffran.

    Kemen-miss (had potential)

    Remy was a hit because he was a proven prem goal scorer, had pace to cause havoc with defences

    Lascelles-can’t judge
    Darlow-can’t judge
    De Jong-miss (injuries)
    Colback-hit (just)
    Janmaat-hit (starting to drop off)

    Why were only colback Janmaat and Pérez hits? It was clear that Pérez had potential with the likes of Real Madrid, Porto chasing him. Colback premier league experienced, cares about the club and Janmaat was excellent in the World Cup. Once again the other signings had no premier league experience, too lightweight, and therefore couldn’t cut it.

    Wijnaldum – hit
    Toney-can’t judge
    Mbemba-hit (starting to drop off)
    Wijnaldum was a hit because he has champions league/World Cup experience, therefore wasn’t a risky purchase. Mitrovic had a good record in Belgium and was physically suited to the prem and is a very determined character. Mbemba also came from Belgium league and is physically strong and quick and is strong in the tackle. Thauvin is a miss because he had a terrible 14/15 season and for whatever reason we persisted with buying him. too lightweight and looks even worse than Cabella.

    The evidence is clear to see that buying premier league/champions league experienced players is so much less of a risk and have more of a chance of proving to be a good player.

    Crystal palace’s team vs NUFC:

    Of that XI, only soure and Cabaye were purchased from abroad, and even Cabaye had previously played for us. And crystal palace are in the top 8 of the prem at the moment.

    It’s so obvious that buying domestic based players (or at least champions league experience players) is the way to go forward with us, they have a better mentality, and are more suited to the league, and are quicker at adapting. You can only buy foreign players that “might be good” when you have the premier league experience and quality to complement them. For example lamela is finally settling in at Spurs, payet has immediately fired West Ham up the table and is now one of their key players.

    Ashley/charnley/Carr the evidence is staring you in the face that the recruitment system just isn’t working

  • jane

    Nov 29, 2015 at 10:00 PM

    Comment #33

    “Steve must be given time”

    he may not be given time because if it looks as if we are in danger of getting too far adrift at the bottom I’m sure action will be taken and that might not be far away.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 29, 2015 at 10:01 PM

    Comment #34

    toonking…the lesson here is we as a community should not accept personal coming here just because they cannot get employment elsewhere and we should definitely not accept them saying here because it’s convenient or because they are waiting until something else presents itself!

    …regardless of who the owner is!

  • JamesToon

    Nov 29, 2015 at 10:03 PM

    Comment #35

    Remember when Cardiff were in the prem and Solskjaer was their manager, there was an influx of foreigners in January, and none of them proved to be decent. Ended up in them getting relegated.

    Our policy is a recipe for disaster and it needs to change

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 29, 2015 at 10:04 PM

    Comment #36

    *saying = staying

  • OneAlanShearer

    Nov 29, 2015 at 10:11 PM

    Comment #37

    Is there any truth in that charnley may be sacked or walked?

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 29, 2015 at 10:16 PM

    Comment #38

    OAS…we should be so lucky!

  • Toon-Prodigy

    Nov 29, 2015 at 10:18 PM

    Comment #39


    Great post.

  • Belfast

    Nov 29, 2015 at 10:19 PM

    Comment #40

    Can just imagine Jesper owning his own business. Probably spend most of his weeks at employment tribunals.


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