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!!

Newcastle Make Strange Transfer Move For French International

9:58 am, Sunday, December 27th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 111 Comments

There had been news last week that Marseilles´s 30 year-old French International goalkeeper Steve Mandanda wants a move to the Premier League, but there are reports today in France that Newcastle would like to sign him next month.

The report is in L´Equipe and it says that Newcastle have approached his agent to try to make the deal for next month with the transfer fee listed as £4M.


French International goalkeeper Steve Mandanda

The 21 times capped French International has made it known when his contract runs out in June he would like a move to the Premier League – and if this report is true it looks like Newcastle want him in next month.

Other clubs said to be interested are two other relegation candidates – Aston Villa and Norwich City.

But we would be very surprised if there´s any truth in this L´Equipe report – and only last week Steve McClaren said the club would have to review the goalkeeper situation, but that it could wait until the summer.

Steve joined Marseille from Le Havre back in 2007 initially on loan, before signing for them permanently the next year – and he has played a mammoth 412 times for the south of France club.

Mandanda was born in Kinshasa, Zaire and he made his full international debut for France back in May 2008 in a 2–0 win against Ecuador coming on as a half-time substitute for Sebastien Frey.

He had previously played 17 times for the French U21 side and twice for the French B side.

But we would be very surprised if Newcastle bring in any goalkeeper next month.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Newcastle News · Recruitment · Transfer News and Rumours · Transfer Target

111 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Laurent Robert 32 // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    It was an odd game in that I thought that if we lost, Everton deserved to win, and if we got a draw, we kind of deserved the draw with the amount of last ditch blocks we got.

    Sitting back and waiting for Everton to attack us did not work. We were hardly in the Gallowgate when attacking it. It started to become a bit more end-to-end in the second half because of a slight mental and physical fatigue compared to the first half, and both realised they needed to win.

    The pressing we were doing against Liverpool is what I think we should be doing each game, as a minimum – right on the defenders, who are usually the worst in possession on the pitch; get them to make an error by forcing them to hit it early and panic in possession.

    I’m not a fan of just sitting back. It looks lethargic, you’re not building on in-game routine of maintaining possession from game to game, and in the short-term, passes can become slack in-game from lack of volume of touches, and this was at home!!

  • 2 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    Beer…ling time no see 🙂

    I think that feeling is natural, but it’s only because we lasted that long.

    Everton should have been up 2-0 at halftime. This bitter taste comes from almost riding it out. But what kind of stand is that anyway?

    Turn it around and put on a blue shirt and ask the exact same question.

    Morning Ron…funding 3 teams worse than us are going to be a close one I think

  • 3 Ron Knee // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:07 AM


    The trick is to find three teams who not only play worse than us but also have worse luck than us!

  • 4 JamesToon // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:10 AM

    Major problem with the squad is that there is way too much quantity and not quality. Too much “French potential” it’s BS doesbt work unless you have quality players like Arsenal do to complement them

    Not enough British heart who have the stomach to get us out of this mess. I’d rather have 11 championship quality English players than this lot at the moment.

    The likes of West Ham, Leicester Swansea, Watford now, and even Bournemouth have overtaken us. Why? Because they have a plan, a good policy of buying players and good coaching and management. Take Bournemouth for example, they are on the verge of completing a loan for Juan Iturbe with a £16,2m permanent fee! When they were losing a lot of the time at the start of the season and we’re getting very unlucky (our game against them was a prime example) pundits were saying Eddie Howe would have to change his philosophy, but they didn’t and carried on and now they are getting results. At the start of the season, it was clear that SM and Cathro had a possession based attacking philosophy set out, it looked like we had a plan etc however we weren’t getting results and what do we do? We changed again ffs, especially yesterday, it just looked like the same old Pardew hoof ball. The bottom line is is that there is no philosophy, consistency or plan, at least any more now

  • 5 JamesToon // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:12 AM


    I completely agree, there’s no consistency with our style at the moment, and this sitting back only works against top 4/5 teams. It’s not enjoyable to watch just feels like Pardew is back here

  • 6 Jib // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:15 AM

    I can see why the pressing game was abandoned on such a heavy pitch.

    It was noticeable how Everton ran out of steam.

    It was a strategy that nearly came off except for an unbelievable piece of bad luck with the last kick of the game.

  • 7 beermonkey // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:15 AM

    hope u had a decent xmas
    yeah not about much the blog can be pretty toxic and personal and I cant be bothered

    if I was a blue I would have felt 2 points lost if we had drew

    ron knee
    are there 3teams worse

  • 8 Geremi's Prosthetic Leg Fund // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    Bad luck or not, we’re losing games whilst playing to our best. That will see us relegated.

  • 9 Geremi's Prosthetic Leg Fund // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:17 AM

    I don’t understand this, if it is true they must have zero faith in Darlow.

  • 10 lochinvar // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:18 AM

    Approaching the TV series called ” The Transfer Window ” and we’re talking about another keeper ?
    We’re 12 points behind Watford as a measure of our position and need another 23 points to reach 40. Eight wins should do it – but loosing the opportunity to get 3 maybe 5 points out of the last two games puts a perspective on what needs to be done. Some more clinical final passes would help -not easy on the last two sodden pitches – I suspect that on dry pitches our improving style of play ( there were some classy moves last night albeit only a few ) might produce the results . Bring Shearer in to buddy Mitro might help – his muscle tone at the moment is quite tense and that takes the edge off his performances – a couple of goals and he will relax and become a more fluid player – the Fitness Coaches should know that and help him play with more fun less tension and the goals will flow . Either that or pay £30million for Vardy .

  • 11 Blofal // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:19 AM


    I think McClaren realised that we don’t have players that are comfotable in possession and had no choice.

  • 12 Average_Contents // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    Expat in response to Dubai.

    Definitely worth a repost.

    Post of the week. Well said Sir.


    A blind nan can see where the problems lie in this club yet we continue to make the same mistakes, year after year.

    The policy of buying young and foreign is fundementally flawed because it has resulted in continuous struggles against relegation each season and a lack of success in producing good players.

    Whilst the likes of Cabaye, Debuchy and Ba can be termed as successes with reasonable profit generated from their sales, the likes of Marveaux, Obertan, Gouffran, Mbiwa, Cabella, Haidara, HBA, Riviere have proven to be expensive flops for one reason or another. The jury is still out on the likes of Mitrovic, Sissoko and Thauvin but I see little to get enthusiastic about.

    Thats a lot if flops and a huge waste of money. The powers to be state they want to be top 8 and win a cup but it is clear that this current policy will not achieve those aims. The likes of Watford, Bournemouth and Leicester are buying lower cheaper experienced level players eg Huth, Distin and Morgan and with decent coaching, they are achieving good success.

    What do we do?

    I cannot see a plan. Pre season was a joke. The main season started early but we started buying late and packed on a stupid overseas trip which surely impacted and contributed to a bad start.

    Top of the injury league table yet again. It cannot all be down to bad luck. It is more than likely bad choices in injury prone players like Marveaux Obertan Taylor etc.

    The youth system seems flawed too. How many decent kids gave we produced??????? Carroll Krul Armstrong in 7 or 8 years????? Dummett perhaps…..not many, is it? Why is this? An in depth independent analysis of the entire academy set up should be conducted from top to bottom and ruthless changes should be effected.

    A full review of the scouting system especially the leadership and decision making process at top level should be conducted with a view to incorporating more domestic based scouts looking at players with premiership/Championship players of good quality and stop looking continually at the cheapest options available.

    Finally, appoint a Chief Executive with a good knowledge of not only the game but a decent business acumen to take this club forward again.

    Get these points right and we might just be proud of our club again. Alas, I think all I am doing is wishful thinking and shoveling shit uphill. Maybe things will change once the fatman pisses off.

  • 13 Ron Knee // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:23 AM


    That’s the $64,000 question!

  • 14 LGFUAD21 // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:25 AM


    On possession football.

    True but I have 2 counter arguments

    1) Bournemouth came j to this league with no expectations. Their fans are far more patient. Newcastle fans were vocal in not wanting to wait around for a philosophy to develop and the pressure mounted on steve to change. Sadly that is footbAll these days. As a manager you are forced to think short term because of the lack of job security.

    2) I think to an extent Steve’s decision to change it up has been proven correct. We took 7 points from 9 and could have very nearly made that 8 from 12. It’s not always pretty and its tense to watch but right now we need points and confidence and grinding these results out is doing the job. Sadly it just didn’t work yesterday.

    It’s Interesting that In this country we see a grafting by defensive display as a negative thing because it means we are on the back foot. However in Italy a great defensive performance is admired as much as an attacking one. The more we keep teams our. The more confidence our forward players will have to express themselves and take risks.

  • 15 catchy in norway // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    i kind of get why Steve did what he did yesterday, and i think he nearly got away with it.

    i think the plan was to just sit and let everton run themselves into the ground in the first half on the pitch that has seen a lot of water over the last week or so.

    what did i see yesterday, firstly , heart, wow we are defending miles better than we have in a long time, and the fact that it took them 93 mins to score is testament to the work being done on the training pitch and the team moral, they fight for each other much than they ever have in recent years, secondly, whilst i agree everton had more chances, they most certanly didnt create the better chances, NUFC created far better chances just they failed to take them just like last week, the good thing in all of this is we are creating good chances against good teams, soon we will start to take them

  • 16 nufconceandfuturekings // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:31 AM

    A belated Merry Christmas to all, and a happy new year to all.
    Whilst this is likely a non-story, nothing would surprise me, considering how our great club is in the hands of the keystone cops.
    I think it’s going to get a whole let worse before it gets better. What I’m holding onto is the ‘better’ bit, the day when NUFC is free of the bargain basement culture of MA and the Penfold incompetency of Charnley.
    On the positive side, we’ve still got committed and hard working players, like Elliott, and ultimately, it’s football. To that end, we’re praying for you, Pavel.

  • 17 Rotonda heights // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:35 AM


    I really think it’s a total myth this english heart thing. look at the top 4 – 6 teams, all largely predominantly foreigh player and coaches.

    What gets me is that carr has so much autonomy and sometimes goes and buys total duds from France, whereas whoever is doing Leicester’s scouting is getting Mahrez for 400M and Kante for peanuts from the same league.

    In essence we are sponsored by Wonga and playing at the sports dirext arena or as fans put it more succinctly ” we are s–t and we’re sick of it”

  • 18 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:35 AM

    Possession football
    we have not got the players to play possession football – we just go sideways and backwards – so SM changed it to letting the opposition having the ball and counter attacking with speed when we get it – thus we have had more chances but sadly lack the finishing to put the chances away

  • 19 JamesToon // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:36 AM


    I get your points but every professional footballer in the prem should be able to close down high up the pitch and work hard for 90 mins. Saw that in the liverpool game but it appears to have gone. We have 7/12 points from the last four games. However six of those have come from beating Spurs and Liverpool, where we can afford to sit back and try and counter, that’s where the gameplan is flawed, I’d rather the players be coached on possession based attacking game trying to break down teams create chances and press high up the pitch even if we haven’t got the right set of players, than watching them get dominated every week because we have Paul Dummett aimlessly hoofing it to no one. Plus if we keep playing the philosophy they set out to do then if we bring in the right players in January like Shelvey etc. Then the style and results will only get better

  • 20 Rotonda heights // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:37 AM


    isn’t that just what AP did every match and then give us the hilarious ” we always play on the front foot routine”

  • 21 JamesToon // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:39 AM


    It also results in the opposition camping in our half for 45 mins like Everton did. It felt like I was watching in a Pardew nufc team yesterday

  • 22 Ron Knee // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    Cabaye wasn’t replaced so we lack anyone with vision in midfield. McClaren doesn’t have many options given the current squad.

  • 23 Ian Toon // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:55 AM

    Statistics from, which collates information about rehabilitation, show the total number of injuries suffered by Premier League players was below 1,000 in the seven seasons from 2004-5, but reached four figures in 2011-12. For the past three seasons it has exceeded 1,200, with this season’s tally also projected to do so.

    Richard Heys, of, says: “The standard of fitness preparation has improved and is continuing to improve but the intensity of the matches has increased. They are much faster so fatigue does occur.” Whereas 50 years ago, players would run about three miles in a match, now it is often well over six.

    Ben Dinnery, an injury data analyst, says: “There are two types of injuries. The first are soft-tissue ones, the strains which, as Roberto Martinez [the Everton manager] has said, are usually avoidable. Then there are impact injuries, which are part of the game because football is a contact sport. The statistics conflate both of them and we don’t know which type is increasing.

    “Many players are pushing their bodies to the limit with explosive movements and so are susceptible to injuries, particularly to the hamstrings, which account for 40% of all soft-tissue injuries.”

    Dinnery, of Premier Injuries, says there are two periods when players will often break down. One is at the start of the season in August and September, when their bodies are not used to coping with the sudden demands. Sometimes players will not have had sufficient time to recover from international tournaments. The other spike in injuries is the Christmas period, when there is a series of games with little recovery.

    Certain clubs seem to suffer problems more often than their rivals. Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle were particularly affected last season. Chelsea had the third fewest number of days missed, a factor in them winning the title.

  • 24 nut meg // Dec 27, 2015 at 10:58 AM

    Until we buy to build a team instead of for future profit I don’t really expect things to change much.Will Carr / Charnley bring in the right players to improve the weakest positions? We will soon find out.

  • 25 Jail for Ashley // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:01 AM

    Do you actually realise that you’re praising Mclaren for what you slated Pardew for

  • 26 John Tudor // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:06 AM

    hands up if you think we will stay up
    not with this lot sorry

  • 27 Jail for Ashley // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:08 AM

    Less points than our relegation season, not sure

  • 28 catchy in norway // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:09 AM


    Not really, defending yes , but the football and creating chances definitely not.

    As you well know his problem was playing one up front with no support , and wait for a wonder goal to appear like magic, where as I can see we now work the ball to the wing and put balls into the box and get bodies in there.

    So while you could kind of see p45 trained 4 days on defence, you can see that we now train in all aspects of the game.

    I watched palace in the last 2 games , and they don’t look like scoring from open play , and once someone buys one of his 4 best players who were at the club before he came , they will be relegated

  • 29 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:12 AM

    But what can SM do when we don’t have the class/mentallity of players to play possession football.
    You need confidence on the ball and the patience to build and movement off the ball and a player like Cabaye who can open defences

  • 30 John Tudor // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:14 AM

    no replacement of any positions better than what we have, a pardew clone and a totally ruthless businessman hellbent on bleeding us to death slowly

  • 31 John Tudor // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:15 AM

    and the followers saying it’ll be alright on the night

  • 32 JamesToon // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:16 AM


    Because then we can build towards that philosophy now so that it is engrained into the current players so that in January if we can buy a player like Shelvey or in the Cabaye mould, they can slot straight in and immediately improve our team. If the ball is going to constantly bypass our midfield then there’s not much point on having a creative midfielder imo

  • 33 John Tudor // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:17 AM

    never has been never will be
    with this lot in charge

  • 34 John Tudor // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:18 AM

    and before i get shot at …….
    please supply the proof all is well at the mill

  • 35 Belfast // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:21 AM

    Click click click click….

  • 36 Ron Knee // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:22 AM


    Do you think Ashley will try to sell up if we get relegated?

  • 37 John Tudor // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:24 AM

    nope still plenty for him to snaffle away
    parachute payments …..
    perez krul and the rest of those worth a penny leaving us the dross and mucca

  • 38 John Tudor // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:25 AM

    he will go when the best bits are gone and he has made his bit back and the rest

  • 39 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:31 AM

    Yeah – but in the position we are the fans will not give the manager time to mould a passing/possession team we want results. Patience is very thin in the football/fan world

  • 40 John Tudor // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:34 AM

    i see derby are back to their best without mucca there
    says a lot to me

  • 41 Ron Knee // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:35 AM


    But where’s the evidence that patience is wearing thin at (dysfunctional) board level? A manager can get away with murder at SJP!

  • 42 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:37 AM

    Possession ticka tacka or whatever you call it football bores the ass of me especially Newcastle’s slow sideways crap. Rather see them playing counter attacking football like the second half of yesterday’s game which despite the result I enjoyed

  • 43 Ian Toon // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:42 AM

    Catchy- I was at the Palace game. They play to their strengths of pace, power and being well drilled. Pardew’s getting the maximum out of his squad by playing a counterattacking game. Even at home against the better sides they do what we did against Everton.
    Who are the four players ? Pardew signed Cabaye who is generally accepted as their best player!

  • 44 Rotonda heights // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:47 AM


    ticki tacca is brilliant when done properly. spain and barcelona don’t win everything for nothing
    and barcelona are brilliant to watch because they execute it with a killer cutting edge.

    No wonder we chased shadows for so long. Nothing more knackering for a team to counter than tikki tacca done well and Martinez is great to watch and always tries to win games.

    Much rather that than endless hit and hope high balls just because it looks like we are getting up the field quicker when in reality we are just constantly surrendering possession to set it up for another 50/50.

  • 45 BandB // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:50 AM

    Alex from Gosforth.

    I was catching up on the blog this morning.
    It seems just a few months since Jib was sitting in your morning circle, nice as ninepence, doffing his cap to your football insight and credentials.
    He didn’t mind you declining his invitations to sing Ashley’s praises, because by and large club politics weren’t your bag and you didn’t want to get dragged down to the level of the squabbling evening sessions.
    Over Christmas you’ve started posting in the evenings, and the evenings are not so deferential. Alcohol is flowing and the sun has set over the graveyard.
    I hope you aren’t surprised you are now attracting the full nine yards. You should have come out for Ashley when you were offered the chance, as anyone who isn’t is a contemptible leftie barrack room lawyer in the eyes of those who support Ashley first and the club as an afterthought.
    I hope you won’t be put off. Remember, you are only arguing with two people and all their invisible made-up friends.

  • 46 Transfer Sage // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:54 AM

    Well decided to come back after a short break from here….seems a good discussion today.

    I have no problem with McClaren wanting to play a more defensive based game and go a bit more direct. You need to play to your strengths, we don’t have players capable of playing intricate passes…well not enough who can do it consistently, they are all capable of the odd one or two.

    On this article a keeper is a pointless signing, stick with Elliot and we have Darlow/Woodman as back up. You can’t have 5 keepers in the squad, total waste.

    I think we need three players in January to make sure we survive. A solid centre back who can hit the ground running and a striker who knows where the goal is.

    I’d be tempted to test Swansea’s resolve for Ashley Williams although I can see him moving or us bidding as he is over 30 but he would have a good 3/4 years in him I think.

    For forwards there are three I’d be tempted with. One of either Berahino (doubt he’s come), Austin (a good shout with QPR off the pace in the championship) or Jordan Rhodes (the lad just scores goals).

    If we can’t buy any striker I’d say get Armstrong back and try him, if it doesn’t work he can always have another year on loan in the championship next season. As long as we give him game time he will be learning.

    The final player we need is an energetic midfielder, like Barkley or Deli Ali….somebody of that type who does a bit of everything but is better at the forward aspect of the game.

  • 47 Transfer Sage // Dec 27, 2015 at 11:56 AM


    Tika Taka is a slower build up but you’re right, when done with top quality players the excitement in the final third makes up for the duller stuff in the build up.

    I don’t mind going direct, it’s still entertaining when done properly but you need a proper target man to link play and really pacey, goal scoring wide men either side.

    Or be a bit like Leicester or Watford and go 2 up top and work it between them.

  • 48 Lindisfarne // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:00 PM

    There was an admission early on from Schtevie that he had instructed the players to make 6 passes before really looking to try an effort on goal. This certainly highlighted the limited ability of the players but has led to an improvement to the interchange and use of the ball. Results are of more importance, but a balance between the two styles is required and with a tilt to one or the other depending on the opposition, the time in the game and the score line.

    Yesterday Schtevie delayed a like for like substitution because we were getting a grip of the game and unfortunately persisted with playing on the counter through out the match. Changing the attacking dynamic or crowding out the midfield may have been more effective than just moving Sissoko and Gini around with the introduction of Thauvin.

  • 49 hibbitt // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:01 PM

    so many of the playing staff/squad are just not good enough we buy players we dont need but not the players we need this system is never going to work and that is the main reason were in the position were in m carr and charnley doing there masters work

  • 50 Jail for Ashley // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:04 PM

    I just can’t understand why people can agree with Mclarens shite counter attacking football while slating Pardew for the same thing.

  • 51 Jib // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:04 PM

    I don’t think we will be relegated.

    McClaren has realized that the team he inherited was much worse than he thought.

    Until safety is secured in Spring that will be his focus.

    Anyone he thinks the club will sign anything other than loanees and short termers is living in a fools paradise.

  • 52 Jail for Ashley // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:06 PM

    You wouldn’t tell that to bobbybee though because he’s a real fan !

  • 53 Transfer Sage // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:08 PM


    I agree, I don’t understand that either…..there are subtle differences so maybe people are reading more into that and giving him the benefit of the doubt. That’s all I can think.

    I personally don’t rate the guy, I think he is a poor manager. I know he won a league with Twente but I have no idea how they played and the circumstances around it (for example were other teams off the pace of were Twente just exceptional).

    Overall I think we will struggle to avoid the drop this year as I don’t think we will buy proven players in January to get us out of it.

    Under Pardew we always had a Ba, inform Cisse or Remy who were consistent goal scorers….also players like cabaye and ben arfa who chipped in too with goals. Now we don’t have a striker who scores and only really Gini from midfield scoring.

  • 54 John Tudor // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:08 PM

    best place your bet then with your massive unswerving confidence

  • 55 Transfer Sage // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:09 PM


    I doubt we’ll sign the required players to save us this year and I don’t think this team has the ability to stay up.

    A key ability they lack is consistency…that’s where we fall down.

  • 56 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:11 PM

    We don’t have the players to play ticka tacka so we have got to play to our strengths which at the moment is counter attacking with Sissoko and Winji the ball carriers from deep

  • 57 Ian Toon // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    I agree with the earlier comment about the need to get on the front foot at home. This requires getting the balance of the side right. Playing two DM’s at home merely exacerbates this possibility.. Anita in an advanced CM role( if you prefer) takes too many touches and is frequently too deep; often amongst the back four . He lacks the range of passing to get the ball forward quickly and has little influence in an attacking sense. He just over elaborates what would be forward momentum and increases the possibility of moves breaking down.
    Can you imagine the likely improvement with a Cabaye type figure in his place. Someone with the capability to move the ball forward and looking constantly to hit players making space by moving away from opposition defenders. This is a principle reason for the lack of pass and move in our play that others have highlighted. Formation is all about balance but it is formost playing to your strengths which is what Palace and Leicester are doing. Whilst ManU are guilty of playing at static game designed to nullify the opposition rather than taking the initiative and getting on the front foot.
    I wrote a few days ago of the lost opportunity over Cabaye and how a lack of ambition had cost us over two seasons . We desperately need creativity in our midfield . This has been blatantly obvious for some time. This is our priority in the window.

  • 58 John Tudor // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:20 PM

    we dont have the players to play football period and i cant see us catching many more teams on a bad day especially as we get less and less games to play

  • 59 Jib // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:20 PM

    I agree we need a playmaker but would be worried about bringing one in before Summer and sickening him with a relegation dogfight.

    There are loads out there Koke , Januzaj , Veratti , Isco but I bet Carr is going to bring one in from left field we have never heard of like Cabaye.

  • 60 Jail for Ashley // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:23 PM

    Mclaren has just realised how poor we are??? Really, is that why he turned us down last January and then tried desperately to cling on to his old job, don’t tell me he’s short of a few quid

  • 61 Transfer Sage // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:23 PM


    I think those you mention have higher ambitions than playing for us under McClaren.

    It will have to be left field I imagine.

  • 62 Lindisfarne // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:26 PM

    Unfortunately playing defensively and on the counter is proving to be the best tactic for the team and in general for most PL teams. Rather than wholeheartedly trying to employ a certain tactic that attempts to compensate for weaknesses, I would like to see the development of a strategy that employs the strengths of the squad and gives time for players to make positions their own.

    In my opinion the strength of the squad is Gini-de Jong-Sissoko and the number of Central Defenders we have; whereas the weaknesses are the lack of width in the final third and players in the box to score. I would hope with three CD n the pitch there would be less need for defensive midfielders and the three players mentioned could control the central channel of the field. The full backs could then exploit their more favoured ability to get up the flanks and deliver crosses, with two forwards to aim at / interchange with.

    ie. The following formation offers the opportunity to change the alternate certain players in certain positions.

    ___________de Jong

  • 63 Ian Toon // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:31 PM

    Carr’s name and reputation was built on the Cabaye signing. It fitted the Ashley blueprint perfectly. Where I would and have argued is that for the right player we should speculate to accumulate. Cabaye was on around £ 45,000 pw when he left for PSG (£ 23m) and went to Palace for £13.5 million and £85,000 pw allegedly.
    We should have offered him a new contract with massive pay rise or bought him from PSG rather than say buying Thauvin.

  • 64 AncientC // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:35 PM

    Everton are a much further developed than our side are – it should come as no shock that Everton dominate possession and the efforts on goal statistic.

    Martinez has been at Everton since early 2013, in all that time he has been implementing a possession/attacking strategy, also whilst being supported by the club owner who has knocked back offers for their best players, and, backing Martinez in the transfer market with proven players like Lukaku.

    We on the other hand, have a coaching set up 6 months in, still attempting to undue mistakes from the previous coaching set up, and at the same time attempting to develop youthful players with no Premier League experience.

    Lindisfarne made a good point a few articles back, stating that McClaren started out with more of an attacking/keep ball game in mind, but following poor results, has allowed the side to regress back into it’s natural position of being dominated and trying to get something on the break. I do believe we are more of a threat on the break now however, using 2 strikers instead of 1. I would rather be let down by poor finishing, than let down by not creating chances.

  • 65 DJM TOON // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:36 PM

    its crazy some of the OTT views are on yesterdays game, everton are a better football playing side but we stood up well against them. as the game progressed we got more and more into it and both teams had chances to win the match, and everyone agrees that the best of these chances fell to us. i saw some amazing passages of play from our boys and loved the ball to feet football we’re playing. several times we had players trying to thread the needle and it just wasn’t coming off which is frustrating but we also opened everton up well and created a lot of chances, with a bit more composure int front of goal we could of put half of those chances away, thats how football goes, even the best teams/players miss sitters as this season is easily proving.

    personally i see a lot of positives. even at 80 minutes none of our players looked tired, they were going for it and they were playing their hearts out. it was a great game to watch.

    we’ve sat here as armchair managers and all demanded that as long as we see 100% commitment to the shirt (like yesterday) then we can’t ask for anything more… and now most of you are coming out and just finding anything to moan about.

    when people slate the toon army its always because of one thing, we expect to be winning everything every time. “deluded” is a common one too

    the players were amazing yesterday they worked tirelessly and created several gold edged chances, as so did everton, but we defended with real heart and passion and that is all you can ask.

    yes, some of the players might not be good enough and we need to invest in the more wijnaldum esque quality/price range to really step up, but you can’t say there’s a lack of trying, the last 4 games have all shown amazing commitment to the cause and each other.

    the beginning of our season was bloody awful, the team created the mess they’re in, but on the last few performances you would be a fool to bet against them staying up.

    if we go down, but play like we have the last four games, then it will because of lack of skill and so investment in the playing squad, not because the players aren’t committed or have heart


  • 66 John Tudor // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:49 PM

    must have been a different game to the one i watched

  • 67 John Tudor // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:50 PM

    and its gilt edged

  • 68 Tsunki // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:50 PM

    I agree. If we play like we have in the last four games we should prevail.



  • 69 Jib // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:52 PM

    You cannot tell some players they just have to find out for themselves (don’t forget at bottom they are just headstrong young men – think what you were like at 25).No amount of improved contract offers would have kept him at the Toon.

    Cabaye was warned by all and sundry (even the national French manager) he would just be a bench-warmer at PSG.

    When he returned to Blighty he was always going to pick a club near his mate Debuchy (their wives are best pals)

  • 70 toonbrother // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:52 PM

    “What we need is a striker who can immediately produce for us and not somebody like the Serbian or the players Graham Carr usually brings in – who tend to be cheaper than British players but who need…..”

    5 important POINTS I need to make

    1. The best strikers in the world MISS more chances than they put away! Thats because their primary skill is getting into scoring positions using their intelligence and strikers instnct. Take Ighalo for instance. He has scored 13 goals this season but he misses 50% of the chances he gets!

    2. Its daft(maybe even insane) to lay blame on Mitrovic for missing one opportunity he got to score rather than blame the strategy that restricted him to just one opportunity in 90 minutes.

    3. If anything Mitrovic should be praised
    along with Sissoko, Perez and WIjnaldum all of whom are BRILLIANT players. That we were able to create marvellous chances to score despite a park-the-bus strategy that confines our 11 men to their own half of the pitch for 75 mins is a testament to amazing abilities of people like sissoko , mitrovic and wijnaldum!

    4. Not only are comments like yours ignorant and unfair they put undue pressure on the player which is the last thing he needs

    5. the reason this club is in such dire straits is xenophobic uneducated posts like this from alleged NUFC fans like you Dr Ed

  • 71 WWSBRD // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:52 PM

    If we play like we have played in 2015 how will we do?

  • 72 Tsunki // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:54 PM

    Wow. I am going to say it. I agree with toonbrother.

    Wow. I’ll stick this on the calendar.

  • 73 JamesToon // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:54 PM

    people saying that counter attacking is better than possession football because we don’t have the players for tiki taka however I’d argue that the only way to get the very best out of Wijnaldum/Pérez/de Jong etc is to get the ball on the deck and to their feet. I don’t mind the occasional long ball when the opposition are pressuring us and when it is aimed at mitrovic

  • 74 Tsunki // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:55 PM

    Yo- er..not so well.


  • 75 Ian Toon // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:55 PM

    DJM – Good post. I wrote earlier this morning of our spirit and determination. The Spurs performance personified the passage of the game point you make. We did after all come from behind to win.
    I guess the reaction from the toon fans is as much about the timing and the way we lost. We are in a relegation dogfight and I agree with Macca that we’ll have a better second half of the season. This can be helped by not having so many ordinary players in our line-up which I commented on earlier.

  • 76 Munster Mag // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:56 PM

    Steve beginning to annoy me. If anyone deserved to win that game, it was Everton. Either way, we were not “magnificant” . What a tool.

  • 77 Tsunki // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:56 PM

    We did not miss an opportunity for Cabaye. He was given an offer way bigger than our piggy bank holds, and we couldn’t move Newcastle to London in time.

  • 78 Belfast // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:57 PM

    I thought we looked absolutely knackered in that last half hour to be honest. You could tell the sucker punch was coming. Still a sickner to lose it though.

  • 79 WWSBRD // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:58 PM

    …my calculations draw a similar conclusion…could our math be wrong?

  • 80 Ian Toon // Dec 27, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    DJM – Mind I thought the referee was a homer. Coloccini got away with nigh murder – manhandling.

  • 81 Ian Toon // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:01 PM

    Belfast – Your point yesterday on lack of substations was spot on. Mitrovic and Anita were running on empty.

  • 82 AncientC // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:02 PM

    toonbrother – Welbeck had a conversion rate of 10% the last time I checked, and he gets to play an attacking role for England and Arsenal when he is fit.

    Mitrovic is going to need a lot more chances before we truly get an indication of his finishing ability. Not forgetting that he has not been in the team recently either.

  • 83 Goofy // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:02 PM

    I found the game really entertaining. Yeah we lost and Everton were arguably the better team but we did show grit.
    I think Colback needs dropped for a couple of games, he lacks any kind of creativity, yeah that’s not his job, it’s the fact he kills any kind of excitement when he has the ball.
    Sissoko should be thrown into the centre alongside Anita who is showing a lot more determination and Colback lately.put Perez on the Right for go, he seems really versatile and throw Thauvin on the Left and hopefully Aarons will be back soon.
    Mbabu looks good enough to give Dummett a rest who has heart but no skill.

  • 84 Ian Toon // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:03 PM

    Or even substitutions – my best ones are always unintentional .

  • 85 Jib // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:04 PM

    Next week we need to beat WBA
    Then Palace to beat Swansea
    Man U to draw with or beat Chelsea
    Mackems to lose to Lpool at home (a draw would be OK )
    Norwich to draw with Villa

  • 86 Transfer Sage // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:06 PM

    Toon Brother

    I agree. We don’t need British players as a few keep saying. We need players who are capable of playing in the premier league and hitting the ground running….that usually means players who have league experience, whether they are British, Spanish, French, German or from anywhere else in the wold.

  • 87 Transfer Sage // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:08 PM

    I don’t blame Mitrovic for losing the game yesterday but he did miss a sitter. A striker really needs to convert a chance that easy.

    It doesn’t mean we write the lad off but he needs to improve.

  • 88 welshgeordie9 // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:13 PM

    Of course we will be safe, what negative question.

  • 89 JamesToon // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:15 PM


    We need players who understand the club, the league and always put in 100%. Players who are gonna fight for the shirt every week no matter what nationality. In my opinion your more likely to find British or at least domestic based players who tick those boxes, then a player in ligue 1 who’s 20 years old and has made very few appearances, as you don’t know as much about them mentally.

  • 90 welshgeordie9 // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    Yes mitrovic missed a sitter, that happens to all forwards doesn’t mean they are crap, look at benteke yesterday, Torres have missed easy ones, Suarez when he was with Liverpool.

  • 91 Essex Geordie Bill // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    We don’t need a GK.

    I feel really sorry for Elliot, he did his bit with spades but was badly let down by his fellow players.

    Steve needs to explain to them that the space inside the white posts is where the ball has to be placed on the opposition side. I’m not sure if they quite understand that concept.

    I only watched the highlights after getting in late but was so gutted as the Everton goal went. Lost for further words!!!!

  • 92 Transfer Sage // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:20 PM


    There are plenty of British lads happy to just pick up a wage for minimal effort as well.

    Like you say though, players who play in the premier league already are easier to judge as you can see what they do against the same opposition you will be facing.

    In January we can’t afford to buy players who will take months to adapt.

    Sometimes you can get lads from abroad who hit the ground running, like Cisse did, but in general it’s much harder as they need to get to grips with the style of the league.

    We’d be much better off buying a berahino or austin who can find the net as that is something we seriously lack…I can’t see us signing either of those two though.

  • 93 John Tudor // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:21 PM

    troll on im off

  • 94 Transfer Sage // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:21 PM


    Exactly what I am saying….but it was a big miss so it’s natural he will be criticised or it.

    As I’ve said, he needs to make sure more often than not he puts away chances that easy as we don’t create many.

  • 95 JamesToon // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:24 PM


    I agree but Cisse came in and settled straight away because he had the quality and experience around him to complement him e.g ba, Cabaye, Ben arfa, and players we had that always put in a shift like perch, Simpson etc

  • 96 welshgeordie9 // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:27 PM

    Ok John I’m a troll just because I don’t agree some of yours and others comments.

    Grow up

    Can’t anyone have an opinion.

  • 97 Ian Toon // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:29 PM

    Welsh – I see it took a Welsh goalkeeper to ensure that Swansea got the three points. This is a Christmas quiz question!

  • 98 Nufc-83 // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:31 PM

    Need a st and lb desperately and also to get Aaron’s on the pitch. Elliot has proved to be the far better gk than krul (said this for a long time when fans where slagging him for no reason at all). Also I have never seen a better post on the blog than that of rotonda heights:

    December 27, 2015
    Yes it was cruel yesterday but let’s be honest have we improved at all under SM?

    The answer has to be an overwhelming no.
    Compared to AP and JC have any of the following gone away:-

    1) Long balls – check
    2) No pass and move – check
    3) Player in possession left isolated – check
    4) Players played out of possession – check
    5) Huge percentage of games surrendering possession, even when playing at home. – check
    6) favourites still played – check

    etc etc.

    We are as far away now from playing free flowing, exciting attacking pass and move football as we ever were.

    Selling Abeid and Kemen, alienating Aarons and to some degree Perez, appointing Colo as captain, playing Wijni (especially) out of position, not rescuing Janmatt from a red car at Swansea, the list of SM’s cock ups goes on and on.

    We are sleepwalking towards relegation. Nothing new is being tried like a 343 or 352. Our only tactic seems to be hit and hope to Mitro who right now couldn’t hit a barn door.

    The only plus I can find for SM is that he is not as vile a character as AP or JC, but even that is looking suspect with his endless judge me after 10 games, then 15, then end of the season comments!!

  • 99 Ian Toon // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:31 PM

    Clue I hope he does the same for us.

  • 100 Nufc-83 // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:32 PM

    Also bit gutted that cisse injury not more long term was hoping he would be out all season at least 🙁

  • 101 toonking // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:34 PM

    Playing a counter attacking style of football was the very thing everyone hated about pardew and his game, everybody wanted attacking football games where we’d be the one with more chances and the opposition would be counter attacking.

    Take off those mac glasses because they taking control of you brain. Throughout pardew’s time at newcastle he’d be sitting back and allow the opposition to come in and just continue draining there energy whilst hoping no goal is scored.

  • 102 Rotonda heights // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:35 PM

    Many thanks 83

  • 103 optimistic prime // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:36 PM

    Some decent football banter on here today.

    I don’t see much difference in Pardew or Mclaren NUFC at the moment, Mclaren hasn’t started to get on my tits like Pardew did. However if he continues with “we wa magnificent” when we weren’t he may get my hackles up soon.

    I see the arguments for squad not being big enough or good enough, yet Mc is the same as Pardew. Some players are never getting dropped and others never get a sniff.

    It’s hard to give players a chance when it’s a results based issue, at the same time if you don’t try something different you’re always stuck in the same rut with the same problem.

    Looking foward to Jan to see what influence Mc actually has, nervously looking foward I should say.

  • 104 welshgeordie9 // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:41 PM


    I didn’t know fabianski was Welsh, there’s me thinking he was from Poland.

  • 105 OneAlanShearer // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:43 PM

    We need an experienced keeper as if elliot gets injured we don’t have one plus I suspect elliot has been carrying an injury despite his improved performances.

    We need 4 to 6 players I’m hoping the local rags have deliberately been misinformed and we are after that many. We need a new spine gk, cb, dm x 2, lb, lw and an experienced quality striker.

  • 106 Rotonda heights // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:44 PM

    munster at 76

    spot on. calling us magnificent was ridiculous given we were the home team and lost. think it was more a case of misdirection, given that we are again bottom 3

  • 107 JamesToon // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:46 PM


    And people saying the players fought for it yesterday, I didn’t see that until the second half at least. Point is, we lost at home to Everton and we are now back to square one

  • 108 John Tudor // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:47 PM

    charlie and pards in eh

  • 109 JamesToon // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:49 PM

    January wish list:

    CB: Shawcross/Williams/Tomkins/Keane/Matip
    LB: Robertson/Willems/Taylor
    DM: Cork/Thorne
    CM: Shelvey/Xhaka
    RW/LW: Redmond/Townsend/Ritchie
    ST: Berahino/Austin

  • 110 welshgeordie9 // Dec 27, 2015 at 1:56 PM

    Might as well, Charlie can bang them in and pardew is a much better manager, next question.

  • 111 toonincheek // Dec 27, 2015 at 2:38 PM

    Rotunda at 17

    That’s the second time you have mentioned Mahrez as an example to justify criticism of Carr.

    Are you aware that Mahrez had all last season with Leicester without impressing?
    Had that happened with us, he would have been written off a long time ago, with the resulting destruction of his confidence.

    Your ‘logic’, though that’s not the right term, is flawed.

previous post: Newcastle Suffer Another Injury Blow

next post: A Class Act – Everton Manager Roberto Martinez