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
Howay The Lads!!

McClaren Hopes This Weakness Will Spur Players On Against Villa

8:55 am, Saturday, December 19th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 34 Comments

We aren’t the only ones saying this game against Aston Villa today is a potential banana skin for us – because Newcastle are playing the bottom of the league side at home and therefore will be expected to win.

Which is one reason we could lose this game because our players may not bother turning up for the game – and that’s happened too many times in the past against the weaker sides in the league.

steve mcclaren on training ground

Steve McClaren on the training pitch

Oh yes, the lads turn up for the big games against clubs like Liverpool and Tottenham and play well and as we’ve seen in the last two games we won both of those for a terrific 6 points.

But now it’s a lesser team in Aston Villa and at home too – a certain win one may think.

But this is Newcastle and nothing is ever certain with the Magpies.

But the good news is that Steve McClaren has talked about exactly this weakness with the players this week in training and that should certainly help.

This is what Steve McClaren said yesterday:

People are already saying, “Same old Newcastle, this Villa game they’ll lose”,’ ‘The players have heard it and I think we got the message loud and clear. We will do everything to try to avoid that.

It is a challenge for the players to say, “That is not going to happen”. This is a different pressure now.

‘They were hurt by the criticism but they have responded in the right way, in the way that we would like and the fans would like.

You’re going to lose games and you have to accept criticism. Then you have to do something about it and that’s what we’ve done. Now we have to keep that going.

You don’t know you have a problem until you know what the problem is.

So hopefully by McClaren pointing out clearly to the players that some expect Newcastle to lose this game – then that alone will spur our players on to a third win on the trot.

That would be simply great.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Match Preview · Newcastle News · Premier League · Press Conference

34 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mag52 // Dec 19, 2015 at 9:09 AM

    Stuff ’em lads.

  • 2 AncientC // Dec 19, 2015 at 9:39 AM

    Today would be a good day for Aston Villa fans to be wearing black attire. What a pathetic club, miserable strip, and all round mediocre inclusion to English football.

    Eyes down as they get their marching orders from the PL, whilst Boro go the other direction.

  • 3 John Tudor // Dec 19, 2015 at 9:45 AM

    euro cup winners bye bye
    all beered up and ready to go
    hasta la vista villa

  • 4 firebug666 // Dec 19, 2015 at 10:02 AM

    All quiet on the western front, Lets hope the lads are up for it today, and Villa don’t know what hits them.

    Attack them from the start and give then no quarter.

    2-0 Toon

  • 5 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Dec 19, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    firebug…lets hope McClaren is up to it

  • 6 firebug666 // Dec 19, 2015 at 10:09 AM


    Well once the players take the field of battle he’s done his bit, all he can do is shout instructions at them it is up to them to listen.

    I think we will get a good game today, expecting high energy end to end football, just hope are players can keep it up and match theirs.

  • 7 Rotonda heights // Dec 19, 2015 at 10:29 AM


    from a previous thread. not to harp on, but are the CP of today more expensive and better than the team AP had here. Wouldn’t have thought so.

    Was it really so tough and unfair on a manager who had cabaye, tiote, colo, cisse, ben arfa, ba. guti, sissoko etc all in their prime.

  • 8 ArtyH // Dec 19, 2015 at 10:31 AM

    Good game to get payback for when their fans taunted us last game of the season when we went down. We need to stuff them 8-0 or more.

  • 9 SPRINGY // Dec 19, 2015 at 10:35 AM

    seems to be alot of confidence today…or maybe just hatred of villa!lol…..which is fair enough after there last day bollicks a few year back…..the term “karmas a bitch!”comes to mind so lets see what happens at the end of the season…..just hope we are not eating our words and looking like plums at the end of this match today….total professionalism required by the players….having said that would really like to see us twonk these today….for our confidence….and an early christmas present for the fans!lol

  • 10 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Dec 19, 2015 at 10:36 AM

    firebug…I disagree about that.

    First and foremost it’s the manager’s responsibility to make sure the players are ready mentally and it’s his task to do the research and field the right team…

    …not just the team that won the game prior 😉 that’s just lazy irresponsible.

    Thereafter it’s the manager’s task to make changes if and when needed…

    …to give instructions to the players during the game!

    His job my friend is far from done. It’s just beginning.

    When a team like Leicester are doing so well this season it’s not just because players are turning up and in Chelsea’s case players are not turning up.

  • 11 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Dec 19, 2015 at 10:38 AM

    I would rather have a proper manager than a new CB this Christmas 😉

  • 12 Charlietoon // Dec 19, 2015 at 10:39 AM

    Ancient C thats a pretty arrogant stance considering two matches ago we were just as shit as them. It’s exactly that attitude that has seen us lose this sort of match consistently.

  • 13 mindshaft // Dec 19, 2015 at 10:46 AM

    let’s hope we can make it 3 in a row today – we’re on TV so that probably gives us a chance 🙂
    today’s game will be a truer reflection of where we are
    Didn’t expect to pick up any points from previous games but if we don’t get a win today they’ll count for nothing

  • 14 toon kk // Dec 19, 2015 at 10:48 AM

    Three wins on the trott is a aughful lot to ask from our squad, we’ll have to be up for the game because Villa will be.

  • 15 Jib // Dec 19, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    There’s a very remote chance Aarons could be on the bench , he’s defo with the squad which is a step in the right direction.

  • 16 toontaff2 // Dec 19, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    Jonjo Shelvey has had his commitment to Swansea questioned by the chairman Huw Jenkins – he would be the ideal fit for our central midfield.
    Meanwhile I will never forget the Villa fans who pelted us with stones etc in the coach park after the game and the young numpties who attacked a group of us in a pub before the game, though the end result was a free round, because the landlord pulled shutters down at the bar, having already served us but not taken payment! There were some decent older Villa fans in there, but for the scum villains that day, payback and them getting relegated with a new record low PL points total would be karma.
    With my knack of getting the scores very wrong I will predict 0-3 to Villa! Please let me be very wrong, as usual!

  • 17 jimmysmith // Dec 19, 2015 at 10:55 AM

    Yeah, I don’t want too harp on either, so I’ll make this my last post on Pardew. Newcastle have had plenty of good players under Ashley, just not enough of them. Even the season we finished fifth, Willo, Simpson, Ryan Taylor, and Obertan were regulars, and Loverman, the Ameobi’s and Leon Best all figured prominently. We over achieved and had our fair share of luck. Other seasons we’ve had a core of good players, but a consistently thin squad and predictably been undone by injuries. The “purples” policy was found wanting season after season, and this was the one Pardew had to work within in his time for us. I think this squad is at least as strong as any he ever had at his disposal, and we all agree we remain weak in key areas.

  • 18 JamesToon // Dec 19, 2015 at 11:09 AM

    If it’s true about Shelvey, then he has to be one of our top targets

  • 19 martoon // Dec 19, 2015 at 11:28 AM

    Hi Guys – I’ve been away from the blog for a while because I’ve been in hospital having an op but I’m out now. Mind you I’m starting to think I should have stayed in if this is the way we play 🙂

  • 20 JamesToon // Dec 19, 2015 at 11:34 AM


    Hope your op went well mate! Let’s hope the lads can get us 3 wins in a row today!

  • 21 nut meg // Dec 19, 2015 at 11:35 AM

    Swansea make move for Remy.

  • 22 Hail Wor Ashley // Dec 19, 2015 at 11:44 AM

    McClaren seems a lot more in tune with fan opinion week-to-week and comes across much more genuine than his predecessor. It’s good, because the fans can be the best motivators and disciplinarians, so if Steve is aware and the players are getting the message then we might not see a typical flat NUFC display after 2 great, unexpected wins.

  • 23 Tsunki // Dec 19, 2015 at 11:46 AM

    Perhaps they will bring their ‘Sob on the Tyne’ banner with them? It’ll make good use of it. And I wonder if Wor Al will be looking on from on high at the ensuing devastation and remembering the song they sang to him ha ha.

    Just remember kids, last away game is at Villa, they may be long gone by then, could be a strange day for the away support.

  • 24 AncientC // Dec 19, 2015 at 11:47 AM

    Charlietoon // Dec 19, 2015 at 10:39 AM

    “Ancient C thats a pretty arrogant stance considering two matches ago we were just as shit as them. It’s exactly that attitude that has seen us lose this sort of match consistently.”

    Have you studied our form guide against Aston Villa recently? Fear the worst team in the league all you wish, forgive me if I don’t partake.

  • 25 Tsunki // Dec 19, 2015 at 11:47 AM

    Ah martoon! Do you still have the prediction list or did that get deleted after the losing streak 🙂

  • 26 welshgeordie9 // Dec 19, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    According to my local newspaper, shelvey is not going anywhere.

  • 27 welshgeordie9 // Dec 19, 2015 at 12:01 PM

    Don’t get to surprised if we don’t win this evening, remember the mackems before playing us they Hadn’t one a game.

  • 28 welshgeordie9 // Dec 19, 2015 at 12:01 PM


  • 29 Hail Wor Ashley // Dec 19, 2015 at 12:02 PM

    I don’t understand all the animosity towards Villa fans, so a few dipsticks goaded us with banners, hardly a reason to tar their entire fanbase is it? I’m sure many Villa fans offered words of consolation on that day, too, but they aren’t remembered of course. Should know there are idiots that attend every football match nationwide with the main purpose to attention seek, cause trouble, get in to conflict of varying degrees, with watching football been far down on their list of priorities. I wouldn’t mind seeing them go down, they’ve been crap for years and it’s always interesting to see how a relatively big club copes when they’re relegated. I imagine lots of their fans are of the mind it’s probably for the best anyway, to press the reset button and clean up the place, although it’s always risky, as I don’t see them having a core of good honest pros and the right mix around them to come straight back up like we did.

  • 30 Jamesnufc94 // Dec 19, 2015 at 12:12 PM

    Jimmy Smith stops talking shit? did you just mention Simpson who is now with top of he league Leicester?half there team is shite but just because the players are so full confidence like we were when we finished 5th

  • 31 Tsunki // Dec 19, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    Nice bit of devil’s advocate, Hail – maybe if you YouTube their ” cheer up Alan shearer” song you can have a rough guess at how few they were.

    Welshies right about the mackem effect though. They could surprise us with a gritty 1-0 turnover. Be afraid…

  • 32 jimmysmith // Dec 19, 2015 at 12:25 PM

    No need to be rude. Simpson may be playing well now, although his form is hardly instrumental in Leicester remarkable season so far. Back then he was a run of the mill right back. That’s not doing him a disservice. Is he much improved.

  • 33 Tsunki // Dec 19, 2015 at 12:26 PM

    I think it’s time we reopened the “Pardew – awful Manager or love of my life?” debate again.

  • 34 Tsunki // Dec 19, 2015 at 12:28 PM

    I think simmo is being mentioned less now than ever. I think his most notable publicity was being flattened in Manchester wasn’t it?

previous post: This Player Becoming A Real Leader At Newcastle

next post: Newcastle Not Safe And McClaren Not Safe