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

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Howay The Lads!!

McClaren Explains It All – What Worked Against Liverpool

10:22 am, Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 29 Comments

The performance and result on Sunday is what most Newcastle fans live for – and you get a new perspective when you are away from home base and see all the great things said about the team when we perform like we did on Sunday against Liverpool.

People love the underdog to come through especially given Newcastle´s precarious position in the Premier League for such an iconic club.

Liverpool are a truly great club and with American owners there is a lot of interest in the club over here stateside.

And with the game being the only Premier League game on Sunday it must have had a huge worldwide live audience on TV.

steve mcclaren liverpool 2-0

Steve McClaren and Jurgen Klopp on Sunday

And make no mistake Newcastle on the day looked a good team with their gutsy performance and even Jurgen Klopp was brutally honest after the game saying he thought Newcastle were the better side and deserved to win.

You don’t hear that brutal honesty from too many managers when they lose a game.

We like him even more now.


Can you imagine what Tyneside would be like if this man was managing Newcastle – close your eyes and think about it.

A man as daft on football as Newcastle fans are – what more could you want?

It would be unbelievable – a word I used a lot after Sunday´s completely unexpected great performance.

Steve McClaren has talked about what went right on Sunday:

“It is all right putting a plan into place but it is all about the players’ desire, discipline, concentration and focus to do the work.”

“So there is always a plan. Always when you lose, the plan goes wrong.”

“We talked about the work rate and we pressed from the front, worked as a team and kept compact.”

“When you keep your focus, win your duels, put the work in and compete, then you get results.”

OK – that game on Sunday is starting to fade a bit in the old memory – so now we need another equally committed performance at Spurs on Sunday – starting with a little less nervousness and with more belief when the game kicks off.

If we can do that then who knows we nay get our second win in a row for the first time this year.

Wouldn’t that be something!!!

Howay The Lads!!

Tags: Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Premier League

29 responses so far ↓

  • 1 optimistic prime // Dec 8, 2015 at 10:32 AM

    Whilst reading about Townsend I couldn’t help thinking, what about Aaron’s?
    Where’s young Roberts?

    As usual we are linked with players in positions we aren’t in need of.

    Berihino ain’t coming here unless it’s with the visiting team.

  • 2 cyprus // Dec 8, 2015 at 10:45 AM

    Sorry disagree OP.
    We haven’t had a proper winger for donkeys. Aarons plays one sits ten, he don’t count. HBA could do it like a magician but he didn’t want to, he was more an 8 or 10.

    Our best winger now is really (really?) a FB. Siss, who can glide past opponents AND cross, prefers a more central position.

    Thauvin, well I don’t know what he is.

    Conclusion: we need real wily wingers – for a change.

  • 3 cyprus // Dec 8, 2015 at 10:47 AM

    PS. I’ve been very critical of both FB’s. Both had excellent games. Hats off gentlemen.

  • 4 cyprus // Dec 8, 2015 at 10:52 AM

    PS2. Is HBA a 9 now? Anyone know?

  • 5 optimistic prime // Dec 8, 2015 at 10:54 AM


    We play Sissoko and Gini there already, who we gonna drop?

    Add to those, Obertron Thauvin Aaron’s Roberts and Perez is a winger.

    We’re desperate for RB cover another decent CB that’s fit for more than a week and our CM needs looking at before we look at more luxury players.

    IMO Townsend is a perfect Sunderland signing except he’s to young.

    I wouldn’t take him personally

  • 6 jayphoto // Dec 8, 2015 at 11:02 AM

    @cyprus – HBA is kind of a false 9. Fromwhat i’ve seen Nice just let me do what he wants with the rest o the team built around that. Hes not a target man striker or poacher. He seems to just float between the halfway line and penalty area. Has almost no defence responsibility either. He’s definitely playing central but its kind of a pure free role.
    He’s playing well but definitely lacks the tactical nouse and professionalism to make it at a top club. Needs to be shark in the pond

  • 7 jayphoto // Dec 8, 2015 at 11:11 AM

    Townsend and Berahino is such lazy journalism. The club haven’t signed established english players for years, haven’t even tried under Ashley.
    Austin is a possibility if hes cheap or free in the summer but no way they fork out for berahino at 25m or Townsend. The values not there.
    If anything the club will look at Gini and janmaat, possibly mbemba , possibly Tiote and anita and decide the belgian and dutch leagues represent best value for money with chance to adapt and sign from there.
    Some decent centrebacks in that league and the ajax and Feyenoord and anderlecht academies seem to really prepare young players well for their careers.

  • 8 cyprus // Dec 8, 2015 at 11:19 AM

    your priorities make sense. Still, those players you mention on the wings don’t inspire. Perez is great but I see him as a 10, also.

  • 9 cyprus // Dec 8, 2015 at 11:59 AM

    Jay, thanks for the info mate

  • 10 SPRINGY // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:01 PM

    afternoon all
    personally cant see aarons making it at newcastle to injured all the time so that makes him unreliable….goofy has lost his work rate which was his major attribute,obertan altho he has pace has’nt developed since he came…thauvin has only been here a few month so hard to judge….have’nt seen much of roberts but what i have seen he looks to weak at the momentso thats another wait and see like thauvin….would be interesting to see if marveaux could regain some form as i believe he’s a decent player with a bit vision…not sure that will happen…..townsend will just keep the physio busier if his recent history is anything to go by…and would be quite a bit of coin

  • 11 cyprus // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:03 PM

    Both those players were hot hot property, for some reason (unknown to me) fell from grace. I think they could both make a difference. I think we’re maybe still looking for a ‘deadly’ CF.

  • 12 Lilongwe Geordie // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:10 PM

    Wouldn’t want Townsend anywhere near the club, but I do think we are in need of wingers. Either that, or the the formation needs to change so we aren’t paying with wingers. The fact that we play 2 guys who aren’t wingers on the wings surely highlights a need there?

    Would like Berahino, he offers something different to what we have already. Very quick, can play as a wide forward as well. If we got a player like him (or Aarons could stay fit or Arma come back from loan next season) I’d like to see us scrap wingers and play with two inside wider forwards in a 433, playing off either Cisse or Mitro.

  • 13 jayphoto // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:15 PM

    Reckon the club will be heavily looking at El Ghazi. Looks a real player!
    Theres a young striker in holland called Sebastien Haller who looks the part too! Luuk de jong also free scoring again. Always felt he got a raw deal in his time here!

  • 14 nightfa11 // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:15 PM

    as for townsend.. he reminds me too much of obertan.. id prefer to go after berahino..


    janmaat mbemba matip? jetro


    winjaldum de jong

    berahino mitro perez

    that would be some team..

    as for our current squad..we can challenge big teams, yet we lose to team we should win.. that shows the squad is good enough.. its just about keeping them motivated, disciplined and hungry..

  • 15 optimistic prime // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:16 PM


    I’m looking foward to seeing what happens in January. Not sure if we’ll even sign anyone, if we do will it be Mcs picks or Carrs long term targets?

  • 16 SPRINGY // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:16 PM

    unsure of perez’s best position tbh….as a striker..lacks strength at and pace at the moment but has quality and skill,number 10 role…lacks vision and passing range at the moment but has great technique and his movements good….as a winger(never likely to be his position)….lacks pace and final ball at the moment but works tirelessly and intelligence…..he’s young so will get better and not knocking the lad he’s one of our better.. if not best player we have.. just gets me thinking thats all!lol

  • 17 BeeGuy // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:20 PM

    For me, SDJ works best as an attacking midfielder. In that role he needs a first class DM to sit behind him. Don’t know that NUFC have that, which may be why they play 2 in front of the back line. Upgrade from Colo, and find a great DM, and this team can stay up.

  • 18 Blofal // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:26 PM

    Janmaat – Mbemba – Coloccini – Haidara
    —————Anita – Colback
    Sissoko———-De Jong———Wijnaldum

    That is how we lined up against Liverpool (It wasn’t 4-4-2 as the official line up said!). Same again?

  • 19 hibbitt // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:26 PM

    townsend…… thank you waste of money

  • 20 hibbitt // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:29 PM

    springy…….spurs must think they know his best position as the rumour wont go away

  • 21 martoon // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:31 PM

    nightfa11 @14 – I’ve always believed our squad is better than our current position – in my opinion we should be about mid-table possibly just squeezing into the top ten. I’m not entirely sure the reason why we aren’t higher whether it be the coaching or player attitudes?

  • 22 optimistic prime // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:35 PM

    Id play Windi in CM with Anita.

    He ends up in middle anyway, it gets SDJ in front and get Perez/Thauvin on left.

    We’d keep the ball better have some creativity through the middle and Windi would get goals arriving late.

    I’m sure I read Anita/Windi played there for Dutch youth sides.

    We’d need to press and work hard but that’s the name of the game now.

  • 23 AncientC // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:37 PM

    Blofal, the official formation was announced as a 4-4-1-1.

    Twitter showed the midfield similar to your lineup, De Jong is also pictured deeper than Cisse but it is very subtle.

  • 24 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:45 PM

    Interesting set ups McLaren used not used

    The way I looked at it when at the game on Saturday was:

    Janmaat – Mbemba – Coloccini – Haidara
    Sissoko Anita Wijnaldum
    De Jong

    Colback: became defensive midfielder
    Anita: became central midfielder
    and De Jong became link-up player for midfield/attack

    but what do I know about football formations

  • 25 Lindisfarne // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:49 PM

    Just taking a glimpse at the blog and I don’t know why wingers are being discussed but IMO the club should go for Sporting Lisbons Andre Carrillo. He is sitting out the end of his contract is tall quick and strong S.American who could prove to be a great transfer.

  • 26 hibbitt // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:51 PM

    martoon ………..its easy the squad is not good enough to many hangers on i think 6/8 aren;t worth there place

  • 27 mindshaft // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:52 PM

    Berahino will go to Spurs, not sure why people think he would leave to join us…

  • 28 Lindisfarne // Dec 8, 2015 at 12:53 PM

    Haidara = Dummett

    – you dummists!!

  • 29 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 8, 2015 at 1:02 PM

    DOH!!!well spotted

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