During the last International break Serbia were beaten 4-1 by the Czech Republic and they didn’t play well.
That was the time Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic even talked about whether he would continue his International career and our own Aleksandar Mitrovic was at the center of a controversy that Matic had brought up after the game – that too many Serbian players didn’t seem to care enough.
Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring against Norwich
In the next Premier League game Newcastle were beaten 3-0 at Leicester and after a decent enough performance in the first half too many players gave up in the second half.
For the next game at Crystal Palace Mitrovic was dropped and we were taken apart 5-1 although Mitrovic’ replacement Cisse did score first after 10 minutes.
After that defeat Ayoze Perez seemed very unlucky to be the only one dropped for the game last Sunday against Liverpool at home that we amazingly won – and he was replaced by Siem de Jong.
So McClaren has replaced a 21 year-old and 22 year-old with a 30 year-old and 26 year-old up front and both have massive experience and seemed to have calmed things down a bit in the Newcastle side.
Certainly last Sunday was a massively improved performance all around and it seems to have made a difference although Siem was still off the pace.
McClaren has explained today why Mitrovic was left out of the side for the Palace game:
“It was generally viewed that during the international break he kind of had a bad time with Serbia.”
“It looked as if he needed to come out of it a little bit, which he will do and recharge those batteries. He’s doing that.”
“One of the reasons why we probably got the result was that the team was a little bit more experienced with the likes of Siem de Jong and Papiss up front.”
“I think our average age must have shot right up.” “And Cisse and de Jong, leading from the front, actually made a big difference to us in terms of that mentality and experience of these big occasions.”
Those two changes would have increased the average age of that starting eleven by just over a year – 13/11 to be exact.
McClaren could well field an unchanged side tomorrow at White Hart Lane where we really need to pick up something in the game.
Certainly we cannot have another relapse where we are heavily defeated again.
That wouldn’t be good.
Can you help 3 year-old Kian?
On 31st October 2013 then 18 month old Kian from Prudhoe was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma cancer – and it was high risk stage 4 plus MYCN – which is the most aggressive form of this rare cancer.
The parents were told he had a 50/50 chance of survival during treatment and if successful an 80% chance of a relapse, and while the initial treatment seemed to be successful a relapse has taken place.
Advanced treatment for Kian is only available in Germany or the USA and the cost of treatment is £550K.
His parents are trying desperately to raise the money after an agonizing last couple of years – please take a look on this web-site where there is a lot more information – and see if you can help out.