The Newcastle United Blog

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

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Banner created by Reilly - one of our readers
Howay The Lads!!

McClaren Makes Bizarre Claim About Whether Players Are Trying

4:06 pm, Friday, December 4th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 77 Comments

Steve McClaren tried to keep as positive as possible in his press conference yesterday, but with two big defeats in the last two games and only 10 points from 14 games played and second bottom of the league beneath even Sunderland – things are not good at the club.

There seem to be multiple problems with the way  the club is being run and there doesn’t seem to be one silver bullet that will fix things quickly.

Steve McClaren Press Conference Newcastle United

Steve McClaren – at his press conference

It was put to Steve that some former players are questioning the will to play and the guts of the current players and Steve was asked yesterday if the players have enough passion to play for a huge club like Newcastle United.

This is what he said:

“You cross that white line and play in front of 50,000 people and believe you me – you have got to try.”

“And that’s the thing when you are lacking in confidence and lacking in belief and not getting the results and the performance is not there not there – and young players are coming to new situations or an old one –  that’s always there.”

“It’s very difficult to turn that around – very difficult.” “And it looks like from the outside they are not trying – they are not running and they are not working.”

“I thought that and we looked at the stats and it’s exactly the same amount of stats and sprinting, but it looks like they are not working – but they are.”

“We see that and try to build on it every week in training and we need to transfer that confidence and belief we have in training during the week to a Saturday.”

Perception is reality and if the fans perceive the players are not trying – then the Newcastle players are not trying – whatever Steve says and whatever the stats say.

We need a win very soon as Steve continued to say yesterday, but with Liverpool and Tottenham the next two clubs up – it will be very difficult to win one of those games.

But we have been wrong before.

Let’s hope we are wrong again.

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Liverpool?

  • Lose (90%, 5,410 Votes)
  • Win (6%, 355 Votes)
  • Draw (4%, 214 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,979

Loading ... Loading ...

Howay The Lads!!

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

77 responses so far ↓

  • 1 firebug666 // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:10 PM


    Ashley’s intentions for our club are simple, he spelt it out himself.

    Newcastle exist to benefit SD, under Ashley there is no other reason.

    The club that has existed for over a 100 years is being run into the ground to benefit a cheap tat shop that exploits children, abuses it’s workforce with zero hour contracts, and couldn’t give a fcuk about the clubs long suffering fan base.

    This is Mike Ashley’s Club not ours.

    Onwards and Downwards!

  • 2 SPRINGY // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:15 PM

    they dont look fit…they dont look technically good….they are shite…..i understand your game suffers when your low in confidence…..but bloody hell stop molly coddling…last week it was fighting to get a result this week its the arm round the shoulder…….man he looks desperate

  • 3 Ron Knee // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:16 PM


    This reflects what you said, only it takes a bit longer to say it!

  • 4 Average_Contents // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:17 PM


    He did indeed.

    Some on here still question the benefits to SD in their association to us, the free worldwide advertising for one but no. It’s not beneficial at all lol.

    He said it himself ffs. What more do they need.

    Small potatoes apparently.


  • 5 firebug666 // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:17 PM


    Macca is lost mate, he really doesn’t know what to do to get thing back on track.

  • 6 toonking // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:18 PM

    read through the last few pages and again the main subject appears to be that beloved pardew we all hated.

    we miss you pardew, please comeback we like them bad runs we like talking about your game.

    lots of love JFA

  • 7 SPRINGY // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:20 PM

    ron knee
    good article…..bad to read how right it is!

  • 8 firebug666 // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:23 PM

    Ron / AC

    Facts speak for themselves, and eliminate the need for blind faith, blind hope and rose tinted glasses.

    We know where we stand with Ashley, and we know it will not get any better, This should leave us with one united solution to the problem, get rid of Ashley.

    Besides that being a rather large obstacle (in more ways than one) the fans will never be united.

  • 9 SPRINGY // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:23 PM

    lost!!…..bloody clueless,and desperate….dont hate the bloke just dont think he was ever big/strong enough to cope with the job…..gave him his games tho to see how he got on but in all honesty we look worse for him being here

  • 10 jon.c // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:27 PM

    S Mc is a joke how many games does he want to turn things around he has had his chance

  • 11 firebug666 // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:32 PM


    The other day I said that when he was touted to join us I didn’t want him anywhere near the club, but when he was signed I accepted it and gave him a chance to see what he could do.

    That has been answered now, it’s time for him to move on I think, and sooner rather than later.

  • 12 AncientC // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:36 PM

    When the Head Coach starts speaking in tongues, it does not inspire much confidence. The Villa game could be one of the most important in our history.

  • 13 firebug666 // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:38 PM


    I don’t know that Villa will be anymore promising for us, were not just getting beat of the other teams in this league we are being humiliated.

  • 14 SPRINGY // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:44 PM

    tbh im half expecting a turn around by villa….coz they have’nt had the ‘new manager syndrome’ yet which always seems to happen for a while….sods law it’ll happen against us

  • 15 bladeuser // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:44 PM

    Never wanted him he needs to go now nothing is going to change apart from we will be stuck in the bottom three miles away from fourth bottom and safety grow some balls u slug owner and sack him even then I am afraid a new manager will struggle with these pathetic players I don’t want nufc relegated as there is only one place to be and I have a lot of respect for our away fans the home fans I couldn’t give to hoots about as they r part of the problem they sit there like zombies and accept shit so if we do go down tough shit
    SHEEP Out

  • 16 AncientC // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:46 PM

    firebug666 – Villa has 65% possession against Watford, they could be well tuned up by the time we face them.

  • 17 toonking // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:46 PM

    “It’s very difficult to turn that around – very difficult.”

    Have a bad run of form will put a dent into a players performance and confidence but we’ve had chances this season to build our confidence back up again. The 6-2 victory over norwich was a great chance itself get confidence running again but instead we go to sunderland consistantly fail to get those chances scored and get a player sent off. That defeat was upsetting in points but fans still had the confidence in thinking things were about to change and even though the stoke game was just a draw we still saw some belief in that things were changing but you ruin it yourself with an awful tactic at bournmoth gettinng us a win which was extremely lucky followed by two horrid losses against leister and palace.

    they are not running and they are not working.”

    you are consistantly persisting with those who are the worst examples of this, rather than sissoko being dropped it’s mitrcovic you drop. colo the worst of PL captains is allowed to remain as captain rather than getting dropped and replaced by lascelles.

    why not get in ashley’s face and demand some XP and passionate players rather than ones playing for individual purposes.

  • 18 jimiley // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:46 PM

    Schteeeve will bash Klopp with his brolly. Thank God we did not get Klopp. Or Gary Neville. We need Remi Garde who did not come even though we were desperate to get him. It takes a certain skill for Penfold to get it horribly wrong all the time. The more you get it wrong at the Toon, the more the owner likes you. It infuriated the fans you see.

  • 19 hibbitt // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    jiniley……….penfold only had one name on his list and he got him

  • 20 firebug666 // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:53 PM


    Well as our favourite pastime on the pitch seems to be find the ball; Villa should manage 80% – 85% possession.

    We are that terrible at the moment.

    But this is Christmas time, a time for miracles, and we could do with a few of them right now, although we normally do badly over Christmas, so I’ll just say…

    God help us!

  • 21 Ron Knee // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:54 PM


    The Fat F**k thought that by spending £50 million in the summer he would be ensuring mid-table mediocrity.

    Now that things aren’t going to plan, what will he do in January? If he allows Perez to be sold, for example, it’ll probably signal that he’s given up on the season.

  • 22 SPRINGY // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:55 PM

    they might not be able to replace macca..thats why he has’nt already been panned….its a huge job to take on….as well as maybe having to dance to ashley,charnley,carrs tunes…..would take a big man to take on this poison chalice the way its looking at the minute

  • 23 toonking // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:56 PM

    the only PL team with anywhere near as bad a situation as ours is villa but even they now made more decent manager appointments.

    god help us.

  • 24 Ron Knee // Dec 4, 2015 at 4:59 PM

    Don’t worry, toonking. Keith Bishop will get us out of this!

  • 25 SPRINGY // Dec 4, 2015 at 5:00 PM

    ron knee
    thats a fear…he may well accept going down…cash in on the parachute payment…and sell any player worth a bit money….then get the money from bein on tv all next season…which will probs happen….coz we’ll be the so called big club in the lower division either hammering teams or gettin beat by so called smaller teams……january will tell all

  • 26 toonking // Dec 4, 2015 at 5:09 PM

    We ourselves might be doing awful and feel in desperation about getting players in who are decent and more commited but one player I might prefer to remain away from newcastle is Adam Armstong!

    Although he’s doing great at coventry that is a league one team and one of the concerns about a return is he’ll be playing against harder teams and worst of all he’ll have a collection of miserable players around him who appear disinterested. Why risk giving armstrong a gigantic amount of pressure of performing well when we can just leave him at conventry for the full season and get him back next season when we’re already in the championship?

  • 27 toonking // Dec 4, 2015 at 5:09 PM

  • 28 Jail for Ashley // Dec 4, 2015 at 5:09 PM

    Can uou explain why you put my name at the end of your post

  • 29 toonking // Dec 4, 2015 at 5:22 PM


    simple really you seem to miss his bad runs, you like them so much that you can’t resist putting them up onto this blog and begin yet another arguement which will lead to abuse.

  • 30 hibbitt // Dec 4, 2015 at 5:30 PM

    toonking were are you based you have some odd ideas on nufc

  • 31 toonking // Dec 4, 2015 at 5:32 PM

    I live at blackhall mill

  • 32 toonking // Dec 4, 2015 at 5:34 PM

    I don’t get what you mean by odd ideas of NUFC

  • 33 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Dec 4, 2015 at 5:34 PM

    Wish we were playing Chelsea this weekend this is usually about the time of the season we get a win against them live on Sky !!

    Would be typical Newcastle to put in a performance and get a result when it looks lost !!

    Personally cant see it thought I think Liverpool look dead certs for Champions League qualification already this season under Klopp

  • 34 hibbitt // Dec 4, 2015 at 5:39 PM

    toonking my apologies got you mixed up with another blogger post not meant for you

  • 35 toonking // Dec 4, 2015 at 5:41 PM

    no prob anyway you know where i live

  • 36 Tsunki // Dec 4, 2015 at 5:44 PM

    Actually the Pardew arguments usually start with something like ” Pardew wasn’t so bad…Look at how well he’s doing with Crystal Palace…” . That’s always a crowd pleaser. Tbh, if nobody else mentioned the King, I wouldn’ t either.

  • 37 Tsunki // Dec 4, 2015 at 5:45 PM

    Hibbit nobody’s immune I can’t sort my jimmysmith from my jimiley atm. Sad state of affairs. 🙂

  • 38 Mag52 // Dec 4, 2015 at 5:51 PM


    Exactly. When the team consisted of those you mentioned, we finished fifth in the division. The problem for AP was that his best players were sold on, and each season he was more or less back to square one.
    As for Clough, now there’s the perfect example of a manager being allowed to manage, buy players, sell players, exactly as he wished. Can you imagine him working under the restrictions imposed on Pardew or McClaren ?
    The success he had was down both to his total control of all aspects of the management of the team, plus the fact that he was a top class manager, a disciplinarian and a supreme motivator. A powerful combination.

  • 39 hibbitt // Dec 4, 2015 at 5:53 PM

    toonking ……..just pulled the old hart string there used to go out with a girl from blackhall mill in the 60/70s lovely girl lost touch with her when i joined the merchant navy …..happy days

  • 40 Jail for Ashley // Dec 4, 2015 at 6:14 PM

    I miss his poor runs ??? And this morning on returning to work people were ribbing me about how well he seemed to be doing at Palace and making us look pretty foolish for wanting rid of him, if we were doing well under a manager who refused these ridiculous restriction then people wouldn’t be mentioning him at all

  • 41 Jail for Ashley // Dec 4, 2015 at 6:15 PM

    Pardew was publicly happy with his lot until it was time to jump ship !

  • 42 lochinvar // Dec 4, 2015 at 6:21 PM

    McLaren , “And it looks like from the outside they are not trying – they are not running and they are not working.”

    If an Officer of the Law stopped you in your car and you said that you would be blowing into a little bag.

    I know individuals can lose the plot but 20 odd all at the same time – it’s like some bizarre sect led by David Ike and makes as much sense.

    Next the team will have purple tracksuits then we will really know that’s the end.

  • 43 GeordieTwo // Dec 4, 2015 at 6:24 PM

    More comments from Steve:
    Say it now!
    I’m back!
    I’m back!
    I’m back!
    I’m back!
    Get up offa that thing,
    and dance ’till you feel better,
    Get up offa that thing,
    and dance ’till you, sing it now!
    Get up offa that thing,
    and dance ’till you feel better,
    Get up offa that thing,
    and try to release that pressure!
    Get up offa that thing,
    and shake ’till you feel better,
    Get up offa that thing,
    and shake it, say it now!
    Get up offa that thing,
    and shake ’till you feel better,
    Get up offa that thing,
    and try to release that pressure!
    Get up off!
    Good God!
    So good!
    Thank you Steve. We’re all feeling much better now. 😯

  • 44 toon kk // Dec 4, 2015 at 6:25 PM

    Its Macca’s time to go, he’s tried his best (what ever that is) but it’s time for change. However tbf any management will struggle, pace and quality isn’t there, end of!
    As for us playing Liverpool or should I say getting a footballing lesson combined with a good thumping will no doubt be watched by 50’000 disappointed fans, although they shouldn’t be they know the score before they set off..

  • 45 toonking // Dec 4, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    never heard anything worse.

    “confidence is lost by conceding a goal.

  • 46 GeordieTwo // Dec 4, 2015 at 6:30 PM

    Is everyone feeling better now? Mike and Steve love us all. Please keep giving them you money mates. It’s all they ask of you….No really that’s all they want.

  • 47 GeordieTwo // Dec 4, 2015 at 6:34 PM

    Let’s be fair about this lads. Let’s give Steve another 14 games before judging him. That would be 28 games total. Leaving 10 games to sort things out. Should be plenty considering the type of squad we have. Yes…..10 games to prepare for the Championship under a new manager. Or Mike could sack Steve after the Liverpool game and give the new manager 23 games and a transfer window to turn things round. Which seems more useful to you lot? Harrumph.

  • 48 GeordieTwo // Dec 4, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    Does Mike even notice when we lose another game? Does he read his paper, give a big sigh and then move on to counting some nice fresh cash? Or is he busy pretending this isn’t happening at the club? Is he still sure the cart is bolted to the horse? What kind of horse do we have anyway? Is it a bit old and ill? Does it have fleas? And the cart. Is that something Mike borrowed from an old bone man?

  • 49 toonking // Dec 4, 2015 at 6:43 PM


    well that’s history now and as far as newcastle is concerned we’re now in an even more discraceful state than we were then and generally speaking if your saying things like that you might as well go all the way back to 1996 because had kevin keegan put more attention into defence in games like liverpool 4-3 newcastle then we might have been won the premier league and become dominating top 4 team by now.
    If fans themselves were not as impatient and desperate for sir bobby robson to leave we might have seen a decent manager arrive in as his replacement once the man himself retired.
    biggest thing of all
    Had freddy shepard not been such a greedy man taking all that cash out of newcastle, those debts wouldn’t have been so big and he wouldn’t have needed to sell it to ashley.

  • 50 andrew84 // Dec 4, 2015 at 6:48 PM

    McClaren’s latest excuse for the club being in the state that it is, is that old ‘confidence’ chestnut. It’s almost like he found the word during a Eureka moment. So much so that he can’t say the word less than 30 times in a press conference.

    Mind it would be a perfectly good excuse to use as well… if it weren’t for the case that it doesn’t seem to apply to the other clubs in the division.

    Going a goal behind is a minor irritation to the other clubs. To our bunch, it’s absolutely terrifying.

    I don’t think Steve has anywhere left to run now. By admitting that there is a problem, despite all the soundbites in the press conferences, he is admitting that he cannot deal with the job in hand.

    Like many other posters on here I did not want McClaren here, in fact I was gutted when he got the job, but I was happy to give him a few months to see how he took to it.

    It’s been a few months and he has been abysmal. It’s time to go Steve.

  • 51 sparky55 // Dec 4, 2015 at 6:53 PM

    hopefully not long now!

  • 52 sparky55 // Dec 4, 2015 at 6:56 PM

    …and if you want to get somewhere close to winning any fantasy football leagues this year just fill your team with Liverpool players tomorrow

  • 53 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 4, 2015 at 6:58 PM

    the guy’s lost the plot

    Soon as game over get rid of and hopefully someone in for the Spuds game to work with before that game to take the new manager bounce – hopefully – into the Villa game.

    If not sadly I cannot see us picking up a point this December.

    If I was a player in the changing room and heard what McLaren was saying I would think he has lost it!!!

  • 54 toonking // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:00 PM


    i’d do it sunday morning, get lots of points from saturday first.

  • 55 sparky55 // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:00 PM

    it wouldn’t surprise me if we let in 8 tomorrow because we’re definitely more than 2 goals worse than southampton.

  • 56 Jail for Ashley // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:00 PM

    That’s what would have been discussed at the PR meeting, ”keep saying confidence”. It was like when Carver was saying everything twice last year, ”everything’s long term long term” ”
    thinking about the future the future” .
    They must think we’re stupid !

  • 57 Jail for Ashley // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:02 PM

    Charlie, as silly as it seems, I knew he was doomed to failure when he was carted out wearing that cheap and nasty w@nga to do his first presser, anyone refusing to wear such an ugly looking top to address the nations cameras has got no say at all !

  • 58 Jail for Ashley // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:03 PM

    *training top

  • 59 sparky55 // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:03 PM


    Cunning 🙂

  • 60 toon kk // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:07 PM

    Time to get the f out of the premier league and try and secure a place in the championship, mind you fans don’t mind packing SJP to watch dross so maybe dropping down to league1 would be more appropriate.
    will Mikey still care what the fans think? I don’t think so. Just the loss of income and advertising.

  • 61 sparky55 // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:10 PM


    I knew it when he gave Colo an extended contract.

    If it was the management that made him do that he should have threatened to walk to show the rest of the squad he won’t reward failure, …and if they sacked him straight away he could explain to the fans why he walked and everyone would have understood and appreciated the position he took and everyone would have forgiven him in a flash

    Instead he showed weakness from the very beginning and he will forever be remembered as the man who gave the worst defender in the premiership an extended contract without having even see him play…unless of course he saw video tape of all the clangers he dropped in the previous campaign.

    Even worse than Carver

  • 62 andrew84 // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:11 PM


    From now on everytime I watch Goodfellas and I hear “I’m just gonna go get the papers get the papers” I’m going to think of Charva! Cheers for that mate! :p

  • 63 firebug666 // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:13 PM

    Two more sleeps until another battering, then five more restless nights.

    Gotta love the Toon!

  • 64 andrew84 // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:14 PM

    McClaren’s latest words of wisdom sound like they came from the same bloke who used to sell cars down the road from me.

    “It might look rusty but it isn’t really…”

  • 65 sparky55 // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:17 PM

    I was talking to some leeds fans a couple of weeks ago and one of them said “only two more managers til xmas”

    Very funny… but “only two more mangers to relegation” immediately sprang to mind

  • 66 andrew84 // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:18 PM

    I’ve now just re-read those quotes from SM and I have to say he is talking utter bollox. “Stats and sprinting” and “but it looks like they are not working…but they are…” are two of the highlights for me.

  • 67 GeordieTwo // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:20 PM

    Surely if Ashley actually does want a successful club (and here I don’t even define success) then he will want to have someone from outside with deep knowledge of football take a look at how we run things. Let the person do his/her job and make a report (this has to be done quickly now unfortunately. It should have been done last summer). Once that is done Ashley has to decide whether to accept the recommendations but at this point does he really have a choice? Surely the current executive staff have to be closely scrutinized. Once it’s decided that changes have to be made, they should be made by the expert brought in. Then hirings are made quickly with the January window in mind. Or possibly Ashley does nothing again except sit and pray that a miracle happens and we escape relegation. I know which choice I would make.

  • 68 sparky55 // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:21 PM

    one day Maclaren will understand ‘less is more”

    Babbling on like a clueless idiot doesn’t help.

    Listen to Klopp speak and you see the difference.

    He’s so far out of his depth it’s embarrassing

  • 69 sparky55 // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:23 PM

    for the avoidance of doubt I was suggesting Maclaren is out of his depth!

  • 70 firebug666 // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:30 PM

    With Pardew it was the players temperament that had to be right.

    With Carver it was the players DNA that had to be right.

    With McClaren It the statistics, the players may look like they are not trying, but the statistics say they are so everything is fine, nothing to see here.

    I would honestly give my right arm for a decent manager.

  • 71 firebug666 // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:45 PM

    Newcastle United have given Steve McClaren two games to save his job. This comes after high level discussions according to the Daily Mirror.

  • 72 firebug666 // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:49 PM

    Forgot to post the link to the story @71. Here it is.

  • 73 firebug666 // Dec 4, 2015 at 7:59 PM

    This is a very good read.

    It isn’t talent that Newcastle United are desperately missing

  • 74 toon kk // Dec 4, 2015 at 8:02 PM

    Yes we could do with a better manager, but the squad is weak ,lacks pace and experience, Macca can’t wave a magic wand especially if the player’s can’t be arsed ffs.

  • 75 Mag52 // Dec 4, 2015 at 8:12 PM


    Publicly happy maybe.

  • 76 Tsunki // Dec 4, 2015 at 8:26 PM

    So, you know how occasionally, for the odd special game, there’s a freebie issue like seat cards, scarves and the like? I wonder if there’s going to be a special freebie issue to mark our biggest battering by the Scousers in a long while? I was thinking it might be nufc-crested rubber pants, Monty and Maggie blinkers, or black and white elastic bands for the trouser ankles. Just a few ideas thrown out there for the PR lads.

  • 77 Sav // Dec 4, 2015 at 11:13 PM

    Let’s hope they haven’t been trying because if they have actually been doing their best, we are in a worse state than we knew. Time to unfurl that ‘We demand a team that tries’ banner again.

previous post: Newcastle Midfielder – I May Leave In January

next post: Is This Newcastle’s Best Team For Liverpool?