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!!

Newcastle’s New Team For West Ham

1:35 pm, Friday, January 15th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 51 Comments

With Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Saivet both very likely to make their debut tomorrow against West Hame it will be very interesting what side Steve McClaren put out especially since the lads played well against Manchester United on Tuesday night – but we will assume both will start the game.

And with Cheick Tiote being sold for £8M to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua we don’t suppose he will be part of the 18 man squad for tomorrow.

jonjo shelvey - smike lad

Jonjo Shelvey – debut tomorrow

It will be good to have Jonjo Shelvey and Georginio Wijnaldum both in the center of the park with Gini playing in the withdrawn striker role – the number 10 role.

So this could be the side Steve starts tomorrow in a really important game for Newcastle – one we must win if we are to move out of the bottom three.

Janmaat Mbemba Coloccini (c) Dummett
Sissoko Colback Shelvey Saivet
Subs: Darlow Mbabu Lascelles Gouffran de Jong Perez Aarons

We don’t know the injury situation until Steve McClaren’s press conference today but Rolando Aarons is back in training and maybe he will make the bench tomorrow.

We are also assuming Kevin Mbabu is fit again.

What would your team be for tomorrow.

This could be a dangerous game for us because about three in five fans think we will win this game – and when that happens we don’t usually win the game.

Hopefully we will change all that tomorrow?

How Will Newcastle Fare Against West Ham?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Update – sorry I missed Perez out of the subs list and in his press conference today Henri Saivet says he expects to play in central midfield – so it could be a new central midfield of Shelvey and Saivet tomorrow?

Howay The Lads!!

Tags: Cheick Tiote · Henri Saivet · Match Preview · Newcastle News · Poll · Premier League · Transfer News and Rumours

51 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Jan 15, 2016 at 1:37 PM

    Why don’t the TOON put in a bid for Benteke – looks like Liverpool want rid of – might get him for a decent price

  • 2 Brian Pinas // Jan 15, 2016 at 1:38 PM

    A bit harsh to drop Perez out of the squad Ed!

  • 3 bmw__55 // Jan 15, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    Where is Perez?? Sold? :p

  • 4 WWSBRD // Jan 15, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    Why would Saivet play on the wing? Hasnt it already been stated that he will be a CM (which by all accounts is his best position)

  • 5 LGFUAD21 // Jan 15, 2016 at 1:47 PM

    Links with all these unknowns are worrying me now.

    We need a Tiote replacement or we are gone.

    Striker lets go for Remy. Austin is a similar player to Mitro who we are not playing the right way to get the best out of. It would be similar with Austin up top.

    Remy offers something different. He’s more agile than Mitro, got a few more tricks and can finish. Chelsea clearly want rid so lets get him in even if for a loan.

    But we are doomed with a Tiote replacement. We need someone breaking up play. he’s the only one that can.

  • 6 LGFUAD21 // Jan 15, 2016 at 1:48 PM

    Charlie in the Gallowgate

    He’s too similar to Mitro. Wouldnt add anything and he’s missing chances too at Liverpool.

  • 7 Polarboy // Jan 15, 2016 at 1:50 PM

    @WWSBRD. Yeah Saviet has already clearly stated that he will be playing in the centre. Ed hasn’t got a clue I’m afraid. He was trying to put Colback at left back the other day because apparently he has some magical experience that we can’t do without, even though left back is barely a secondary position for him, more like third after CM. I mean Dummett isn’t really a natural fit at LB in my opinion but he’s certainly better there than Colback.

  • 8 Hail Wor Ashley // Jan 15, 2016 at 1:51 PM

    I expect the same team as last time out except Shelvey in for Tiote.

    Aarons and Saivet to come off the bench. Pressure on Perez to perform with Aarons coming back and Townsend on the horizon.

  • 9 Toon_Barmy // Jan 15, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    Shelvey will likely start with Saivet on the bench I think. It will be same line up as vs Man Utd but with Colback sitting deeper and Shelvey replacing Tiote

  • 10 Polarboy // Jan 15, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    @LGFUAD21. Saviet was brought in to replace Tiote in that department. Tiote’s best years are behind him, he played decent against manure but barely lasted an hour before he was out of puff. By all accounts Saviet has a bit of everything, is strong, quick and athletic, and knows how to tackle.

  • 11 Our Toon // Jan 15, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    I see line up as

    Jan, Mbemba, Colo, Dummett
    Saivet, Colback
    Sissoko, Shelvey, Gini

  • 12 LGFUAD21 // Jan 15, 2016 at 1:55 PM

    Very interesting article that shouldve been developed more I think.

    The main point hits the nail on the head.

    Nothing wrong with these astute signings but we need to bolster them with some proven quality and experience.

    I reckon a 1 or 2 key proven signings would propel us up the league no just this season but for next season.

  • 13 Hail Wor Ashley // Jan 15, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    Saivet and Shelvey only trained for their first time today, this is what I think rules out Saivet for this one. Shelvey in a better position to be thrown straight in.

  • 14 croftus5678 // Jan 15, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    i’d go



  • 15 Toonfan8 // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    Saivet won´t be on the wing, he will be holding midfielder, Shelvey will be next to him as a playmaker and Wijnaldum must play as a number 10, because he isn´t winger and has best influence when played as a number 10, Sissoko on the right side and on the left will be Colback I think…but I would prefer there Aarons…I think this will be our team tomorrow
    bench:Darlow,Lascelles,Mbabu,Gouffran,Aarons,De Jong,Riviere…..

  • 16 Goldmbemba // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:01 PM

    On Gouffrans move breaking down because he has high wages, this I dont understand.

    As a footballer, you’re drive is to play football. Goufran is what, 29? Why not take a pay cut to play in your native country, week in week out, and enjoy the last few years of your career, rather than play once a season (as a sub).

  • 17 Goofy // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:03 PM

    Why dors Mclaren insist on the 4-2-3-1 formation? It doesn’t work. The goals concede alone show that, basically 6 defenders and we have the worst defencw in the league.

    3-5-2 is the way to go. 2 wing backs with 1 tough guy in CM and 2 attacking minded midfielders, and giving Mitro a partner. Everybody can see the guy needs someone up front with him. There’s always a 20 yard gap between him and the nearest CM. The guy gets slated but has no back up/service to feed off.

    The 4-2-3-1 thing strangles our game play, it works with bigger clubs who have the best defensive mid’s but definitely not with us. I’m no coach, manager, it just seems obvious what we need to be playing and what we should be avoiding.

  • 18 LGFUAD21 // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:05 PM


    My point exactly. He’s been brought in to replace him but he’s not the same type of player.

    He’s compared to matuidi. He’s an attack minded cm that can tackle a bit.

    We need an enforcer whose focus is breaking up play.

    Tiote and colo have been our best players in recent weeks and we may not have got the results but overall performances have increased. We have looked less fragile and like we’re gonna concede 3 goals. We’ve dominated play. We can’t finish but that’s not their responsibility.

    We need a like for like replacement

  • 19 LGFUAD21 // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:07 PM


    It’s not 6 defenders though is it. It’s an undisciplined right back. And 2 players that can’t tackle playing DM.

    It’s not the formation thAts letting us down. It’s the mix of players

  • 20 Hail Wor Ashley // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:09 PM


    Many lose that drive once their pockets are lined and their future is secured. They lose touch with their younger selves and lose perspective on what a privileged position they’re in, even when asked to take a 10-15k pw pay-cut.

  • 21 Jamesnufc94 // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:13 PM

    I doubt both will start tomorrow,shelvy will but the other won’t, why would he play saviet as a winger when he clearly stated he’s going to be used in midfield you tool

  • 22 croftus5678 // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:21 PM

    @16 gold

    goofy was rubbing his hands together when he came here as we pay him far greater wages than he would have got through all his career !

    in france he’s prob worth half his wage max so from his point of view so late in his career if he played his contract out with us he could prob retire a year or 2 earlier or wait till a club that does not have to pay any fee for him thinks the extra wage is worth the no fee.

  • 23 Goofy // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:22 PM


    Janmaat does leave holes, he has no competition for that spot. I do like Janmaat, he runs his heart out but yeah his discipline could be worked on.

    Anita is no hard man but Mclaren insists on playing him in that role. He doesn’t shy out of a tackle and harasses just as good as Colback. He should be encouraged to play a more link up attacking role. He has great vision and is quick thinker.

    Colback hasn’t really impressed that much and if he didn’t pass sideways all the time maybe our goals for would be a good bit higher. Hopefully Saivet hits the ground running.

    Dummett is no LB he should be kept as a back up CB only. Mbabu should get a proper run, really looks like he’s going to impress.

  • 24 SPRINGY // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:23 PM

    saivet has stated that he has been signed as dm and thats where he’s been playing and making a decent name for himself……dont think he’ll start sat but that will become his position

  • 25 SPRINGY // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    i think it will be…
    or goofy for aarons then saivet to come on later

  • 26 geordie157 // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:28 PM

    Something like…

    Janmaat, mbemba, colo, dummett
    Sissoko, shelvey, colback, aarons

    Darlow, mbabu, lascelles, saivet, de jong, perez, riviere

  • 27 SPRINGY // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    that may change if mbabu fit as he may go to a 3-5-2

  • 28 geordie157 // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    Or maybe wijnaldum back on the left, de jong playing the no.10

  • 29 Polarboy // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    @LGFUAD21. As others have said he has been playing as more or less a DM for a while now and excelled, one of his main strengths is his tackling, he’ also good in the air. A player who can break up play, but also get forward when the occasion arises, and can play a bit is exactly what we need.

  • 30 Polarboy // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    @LGFUAD21. Also Matudi can play both DM and CM and does so equally well, that’s why he’s so highly rated.

  • 31 SPRINGY // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    geordie 157
    gini out left was a waste last time he was there so some else there for me

  • 32 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:50 PM

    Hope Mclaren is not thinking of putting Wijnaldum back on the left wing after this !!!

    I would like a 352 as well with Mbabu and Janmaat providing the width and then have Shelvey , Colback and Sissoko as the middle 3 with Wijnaldum in a free role beside Mitrovic

    It means when we dont have the ball Wijnaldum and Sissoko can drop back to provide cover as well

  • 33 hibbitt // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:51 PM

    very interesting run down on the lad have you seen a lot of his games got to admit i had never heard of him nice to know you have a lot of confidence in him a lot on here have there doubts which is a bit worrying with tiote going

  • 34 magscar // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:53 PM

    Mister Tuff

    on an earlier thread whilst I was out for the day you posted

    “A bonus for the week would be that Ian Tool (now posing a Magscar)”

    I am not him nor any other poster. I have posted on here as Magscar periodically since Nolan left as the mood takes me. I have no connection on or off blog with any other poster

    Your guff I can take and ignore but I am taking exception to your claim that I am another poster. So much so that despite my reservations on taking matters too seriously I am considering going to Ed to stop what i perceive as malicious behavior on your part.

    You bleat on about mischief but between the 2 of us only you are guilty of such.

    I am now asking you to withdraw the claim and apologise for the misdirection that I am Ian Toon or he me. I make serious posts in the main on here and take exception to this lie which leads to others believing the same.

    For the sake of any doubt this is not some of your faux outrage but a post from a man of 65 who is very annoyed at the constant misrepresentation of other posters’ genuine attempts to make valid points however much you disagree with them. You know that is not the intention of Ed in setting up this blog.

    I will give you until tomorrow to respond to me seriously otherwise I feel I have no alternative but to contact Ed much as it pains me. You needed to be stopped from spreading your ridiculous and malicious assertions about innocent fellow posters.

    You are not a kid stop behaving like one!

  • 35 SPRINGY // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:54 PM

    i would prefer if they set up as a 3-5-2 tbh….but i expect 4-2-3-1

  • 36 ROSHAN MAGPIE // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:55 PM

    De Jong out for two weeks with an eye injury#nufc

  • 37 ROSHAN MAGPIE // Jan 15, 2016 at 2:59 PM

    Kevin Mbabu injury blow: Newcastle United defender ruled out for weeks

  • 38 Polarboy // Jan 15, 2016 at 3:04 PM

    @hibbitt. Have I seen him play much, no, but all the various blogs, websites, his previous manager, and French based pundits have painted a very favourable picture of him. Of course we won’t know how he’ll do until he’s settled, but the same could be said for most players. who analyse players strengths and weaknesses have his strengths as Aerial Duels
    Strong, Holding on to the ball Strong, Defensive contribution Strong, Tackling strong, and say that he has no notable weaknesses which is quite rare in their assessments. He’s also very versatile being able to play anywhere across the midfield and even in attack. Of course defensive mid is where we need him and encouragingly out of all the positions he’s played he has the highest average rating for DM at 7.54.

  • 39 La Fée Verte // Jan 15, 2016 at 3:07 PM

    Charlie in the Gallowgate // Jan 15, 2016 at 1:37 PM

    I think Benteke is a good shout and would score goals in our team.

  • 40 hibbitt // Jan 15, 2016 at 3:08 PM

    thanks polarboy
    i just hope your right because that’s just the kind of player we need

  • 41 Rotonda heights // Jan 15, 2016 at 3:10 PM


  • 42 John Tudor // Jan 15, 2016 at 3:11 PM

    senor tuff

  • 43 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Jan 15, 2016 at 3:11 PM

    Must be something that happens at youth team training as all of our young players always seem to get injured Mbabu , Dummett , Aarons , Sammy etc

    Still need a left back bought in this window as well!!!

  • 44 Rotonda heights // Jan 15, 2016 at 3:11 PM

    benteke another lumbering target man with his hand in the air.

  • 45 AncientC // Jan 15, 2016 at 3:13 PM

    Benteke is on somewhere between £120k to £140k per week. Liverpool would struggle to give him away at this point.

  • 46 Jib // Jan 15, 2016 at 3:20 PM


    I clearly remember you posting last year.

    You live in N.Yorks I think (hence the name from Ravenscar).

    Anyone who doesn’t conform to the blog bullies perception of NUFC gets pounced on straightaway.

    I get the impression that Mr Tuff is a relative internet novice and is unaware of how really stupid he comes across.

  • 47 TacoFlavoredKisses ForMyBen-arfa // Jan 15, 2016 at 3:22 PM

    am i the only one that think 1 lucky goal from dummet does not mask his defensive liabilities???

    Dummy OUT
    Mbabu IN

  • 48 TacoFlavoredKisses ForMyBen-arfa // Jan 15, 2016 at 3:26 PM

    BTW, i know its been said before, but woth repeating… selling TIOTE for 8M??? deal of the window, hands down!

  • 49 hibbitt // Jan 15, 2016 at 3:27 PM

    roshan magpie posted that Mbabu is out injured and it could be for weeks……….not sure were he got the information from

  • 50 Faddj // Jan 15, 2016 at 5:13 PM

    I’m sorry but our fans are absolutely clueless man…

    Firstly, you all think just because we’ve signed two players, they’re gunna both get put straight into the two central roles of midfield? Wake up. I don’t rate Colback in the slightest, but I can assure you, he will be in the center of the park tomorrow.

    Secondly, Saivet… I’m well away in his interview, he states “I’ll be playing in the middle”, but everyone of our fans are assuming by that, that means he’s a central defensive midfielder!? Anyone who has seen him play, will tell you he is most definitely 100% not a defensive midfielder. He’s an attacking minded player, played both on the wings and in a central attacking position. He looks a similar kind of player to Sadio Mane to me. Yes, I’m confused as to why we need another CAM as we already have the likes of Gini, Sissoko, De Jong who all in my opinion are best playing through the middle, which takes me to my next point…

    Thirdly, Gini, and Sissoko are not wingers!!!!!! It frustrates the life out of me when I see everyone post their line ups and have them both on the wings, they just simply aren’t wingers, I don’t even need to explain why, but they’re just not, end of.

    Fourthly, anyone who rates either Colback, or Dummet, need their brains examined, I’ve had many of arguments with many fellow Geordies about this subject, and everytime I get the same response… “ah but they put a shift in though” I’m well aware, they run, they put in the effort, but for me, effort means absolutely bot all if you’re s**t at football! Stop being so “Geordie proud” and praising them for being a Geordie and putting a shift in. We need talented footballers, these two aren’t that, they’re a pair of talentless try-hards.

    Fifthly, everyone keeps harping on about “GET A NEW CENTERBACK!”…. We have one, sat on our bench every bleeding week, a big, strong, young kid dying for a chance to prove himself, with many of years ahead of him, his name is Jamal Lascelles. Stop crying out for a “marquee signing” and just give what we have a chance. I keep hearing “ah he’s not experienced enough”, blah blah blah, but what about Mbemba? He’s the exact same age, and has never played in England before, yet he’s showing to me to genuinely be one of the best centerbacks I’ve seen at Newcastle in a long long time. So why not put Lascelles in there alongside Mbemba, two strong, tall young blokes, I think given the chance they’d grow into a phenomenal partnership. I can’t accept this” I know but he’s got no experience at the top level”…. Neither did Wayne Rooney when he was 16 and banged a screamer in against Arsenal! I’m not by any means comparing the two, my point is that he never will get “experience” sat on the bench every week! Throw him in at the deep end, and keep Colo on the bench for back up, I know he done well against Man U, but his best years are behind him, Lascelles best years are ahead of him!

    My last point is also referring to another couple of young kids, Aarons and Mbabu, I’m my opinion, they look like the most gifted youngsters we’ve had in years, when fit, get them on the pitch!

    Finally, given a fully fit squad, I’d like to give me opinion on what I think would be our strongest line up with our current roster….


    —————– Krul —————–

    Jaanmat — Mbemba — Lascelles — Mbabu


    Elliot, Colo, Saivet, Anita, De Jong, Obertan, Toney.

    Get rid of Colback, Dummet, Taylor, Willo, Gouffran, Thauvin, Cisse.

    I’m personally sad to see Tiote go, as he gave me the best rush I’ve ever had in my entire life with that corker against Arsenal, but it seems inevitable that he’s off.

    Sign Berahino and Townsend this month and I’ll be more than happy with our squad, just providing Steve picks the right starting 11.

    I couldn’t give a monkeys chuff with anyone who disagrees with any of my views, because I know for a fine fact my Newcastle team lining up the way I’d like them to, would win alot more games than they have done this season.

    Mike Ashley, if you’re reading this, I’ll take Steve’s job in a heartbeat, and I’ll except as little as 2 grand a month, and I bet you’d see a more entertaining team than we’ve seen in recent months.

    Thank you, and good night.

  • 51 james589 // Jan 15, 2016 at 10:45 PM

    Faddj… Sissoko and Wijnaldum may not be wingers, but neither is Perez yet there he is in your formation?

    Perez is awful out on the wing compared to playing off striker.

    Don’t quit the day job just yet.

previous post: Newcastle Reported After Paraguay International Striker

next post: Jonjo Shelvey Takes Good Advice From Alan Shearer