New Arrival Has OK Debut – Talks About Dressing Room Unity

Ciaran Clark came in for his debut on Wednesday night in the 4-1 win against Reading and in his words he did OK on his debut.

Ciaran can be a very accomplished player at his best but he has tended to be inconsistent in his time at Aston Villa, but maybe Rafa Benitez can help with that.

At times he looked good at the back but other times he looked clumsy, like when he gave away that first half penalty just before the break.

ciaran clark debut reading

Ciaran Clark in action against Reading

But Ciaran is a good player and he had this to say on the Newcastle web-site following his debut:

“The win was the most important thing but it was an amazing feeling to get out there and make my debut.”

“It was a good win. Overall, I think we were the better team.”

“My performance was OK. I probably should have done better with a header in the first half.”

“I had control of it and should have kept it down, but hopefully next time I get the opportunity I will make better use of it.”

“As for the penalty, I don’t know if it was. I felt it was quite a soft one, and it was at an important time of the game – just before half-time.”

“We should have been going in with the lead, so to be going in drawing was obviously very disappointing.”

“But we showed great character in the second half and came out just as quick as we did at the start of the first half.”

“There were some great goals out there, some great performances, and the team did really well.”

“We created plenty of chances, and if you’re doing that and looking dangerous in the final third, then with the lads we have in the squad we are always going to score goals.”

“There’s been three different pairings there (center-back) already, so there’s good competition.”

“But that’s the same all over the squad. We have quality players and with the amount of games there are in this league it’s a good thing for us.”

“We all go out there in training and push each other to try and get the best out of each other.”

“No matter who plays, the rest of the boys give them full support, and it’s a dressing room that has a real unity about it.”

It’s good to hear there is unity in the dressing room, because it hasn’t always been that way in recent seasons.

Clark will be pushing for a place in the Newcastle team this season at both center-back and left-back – and maybe his better chance of starting for Newcastle would be at left-back?

We have Paul Dummett there at the moment, although Brendan Galloway is expected to come in on a season-long loan – and he would be strong competition at left-back.

Rafa wants competition in all of the positions at Newcastle and he certainly has that at center-back and left-back, but we’re sure Clark will get his fair share of games in this long tough season ahead.

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33 comments so far

  • sing in the corner

    Aug 19, 2016 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #1

    I thought at the time he was clumsy but a little unlucky with the pen. The Reading guy was smart and just stuck himself between Clark and the ball to get create the foul. Our man had mis controlled the ball and made an instinctive lunge to atone. Hard lines, but hope he learns from it!

  • swemag

    Aug 19, 2016 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #2

    @Ian Toon- talking about poor training facilities and poor academy as a reason why we went down? Hmm…I don’t buy it.
    We screwed up last season and the main reason for that for me was the coach and nothing else. We had enough quality in that squad to stay in the premiership.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 19, 2016 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #3

    Aye, let’s not demonise him over a poor first touch.

  • sing in the corner

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #4

    Not sure reading.. Is that sarcasm?
    It was a poor touch looking at it on the telly, penalty box pinball. Didn’t see the whole game, by all accounts it was a patchy debut in a team largely new and unfamiliar with each other..

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #5

    sing in the corner

    Thought the Gallowgate corner was quite Wednesday night…!!!

    Anyway here was my summing up of the game players….

    Just got in
    Don’t be fooled by the score 4 – 1 flattered the TOON
    Like a roll of wallpaper tonight appeared over a lot of cracks.
    a game of penalties we got one they got one they should of had another straight after we scored our penalty when they were the better team.

    still playing at a slow pace with to many cross field passes and backward football. attack to slow and ponderous with little movement off the ball

    My merit marks
    Sels 4 poor – got lucky when they hit the bar – distribution poor
    Dummett – 5 OK – just
    Clark – 4 – started well then went to the dogs
    Mbemba – 6 – pick of our defenders.
    Anita – 5 -OK at best
    Shelley 7 – one of his better games for the TOON – still lazy
    Ritchie 8 – Man of the Match – ball of energy – got attitude
    Hayden 6 – did OK scored a decent goal
    Goufran 6 – did a job linked up with attack
    Perez 4 – tried but ha lost the plot – lightweight
    Gayle 7- worked his socks off scored a good free kick and opportunist goal = but needs help up front.

    subs: not really on long enough to give a merit

    Crowd 48,000 – don’t think so but better atmosphere than Saturday

    This morning:
    Good result – signs of improvement but need to move the ball faster and keep it on the deck more.
    Ritchie – signing of the season – will struggle without him the catalyst for pushing us forward.
    Goufran – thought he had a very good game covered miles – ran himself into the ground – maybe Sissoko should take a leaf out of his book

    On Reading I did think they played the more controlled quicker tempo football should of had a pen but when it was turned down there was only one team in it – the TOON

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #6

    Not at all, the knives came out for him the other night when all it was was a bad touch and a silly lunge, I think it is well documented he has mistakes in him but hopefully they can be coached out of him.

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #7

    Was Games signed as a right back or left back? I thought he would have real pedigree coming from Simeone’s club. Injured?

  • Budge123

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #8

    It was a poor debut. Mbemba got him out of trouble a couple of times. But can’t judge him on one game and in a new back 4 at that. Give him the benefit of doubt. He can offer the experience and hopefully calmness that we need.
    It’s left wing that we need to sort the most. If we could replicate the threat we have on the right then we would be able to pick most teams apart home and away

  • Budge123

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #9

    Only saw him in the pre season friendly at home munster but he looked very poor. Odd that he hasn’t featured at all since.

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #10

    Jail, I don’t think mistakes can be coached out, only at a much younger age. That said, when I have seen him for Ireland at centre back he was strong and competitive.

  • sing in the corner

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #11

    ah right! Yeah he sounds keen and up for the cause so hope he beds in and progresses. At least a useful back up, which we’re not used to having much of in any position. Love the way Rafa is sending the message to the players that they’ll have to give their all to stay in the team on a regular basis. Competition for places, always works!

  • Ron Knee

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #12

    Siem De Jong is set for a medical with PSV Eindhoven according to sources in Holland. #nufc

  • sing in the corner

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #13

    Aye, thanks for the review. I was wondering wether how the midfield looked when the much maligned Colback was dropped, which seemed universally popular among this blog at least.
    I think along with Dummett he is unfairly blamed for most things but there you go. Did dropping him result in more creativity in your opinion?
    I’m hoping to get to the Brighton and Wolves games so I can see things first hand 🙂

  • sing in the corner

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #14

    Ritchie for me looks nailed on for the next CaptIncy rotation..? Looking and sounding good..

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #15


    can’t agree, clark in my opinion is not a good player.

    yes from last thread charnley cocked up getting serious money for Tiote too.

  • sing in the corner

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #16

    * captaincy!

  • Ian Toon

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #17

    Swemag- Football clubs that preach self sufficiency! You can look at Villa as another example of how to breed failure.

    You deteriorate as a football club over a period of time. It took place at the toon for the reasons I mentioned over probably a 5 year period. The system of producing through the academy PL players- incompetent coaches/ coaching and a lack of forward planning in terms af age structure, balance of squad . The root and branch long term task being undertaken by Benitez should have been undertaken when Ashley first bought the club. Shepherd had run the club Into the ground and mishandled SBR but that’s another story.

    Failure in a business- football club, can be traced back to when the rot first set in. Quite rightly Benitez recognises this hence the fully comprehensive project from the grass roots.

  • hibbitt

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #18

    Ron Knee
    has he any chance of passing a medical hope they catch him on a good !!!


  • Budge123

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #19

    Sing – yes we looked more creative and positive but that might be due as much to the opposition as our midfield. Ritchie also was so positive and buzzing about that I think he inspired others. So we might have been just as positive if Collback had started.
    For me the team were carrying Gouff and perez on Wednesday so plenty of room to improve

  • Belfast

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #20

    Both Hanley and Clark had very little game time in pre season. So it’s a bit unfair to be critical at this stage imo

  • toontaff2

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #21

    Villa bought James Chester from WBA for a bit more than they sold Clark – would have been a better option to buy Chester and add to the Welsh contingent!

  • Belfast

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #22

    Aye Ron he’s arriving in the air ambulance. I would be astounded if he passes a medical.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #23

    I think our midfielders are much of a muchness they same do a job.
    Colback i don’t think he is – or a holding midfielder is needed at home.
    What seemed to work better on wed night was bringing in Goufran as the link-up/closer down/chase everything midfielder in the centre which allowed Ritchie a more free-er role and Shelvey who could strut his stuff.

    Worked at home – but I can see RAFA playing Colback as the holding midfield player away from home especially when playing Anita at full-back and no Tiote

  • Ian Toon

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #24

    I see Martinez’s last signing at Everton, Niasse costing £13.5 million has been told to find another club by Ronald Koeman.

  • Belfast

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #25

    Any previous medical problems ?

    Well not really apart from the two collapsed lungs and nearly losing my eye I’ve been pretty healthy.

  • Ian Toon

    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #26

    Belfast – I haven’t seen Clark play. Is he the disaster waiting to happen portrayed by many.
    I know you won’t hedge your bets!


    Aug 19, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #27

    i agree with you about clark,that was his first game under pressure to win after a woeful start to the season….him and hanley have barely had any playing time with these players…..people need to give them a chance before tearing a strip off them.

  • Belfast

    Aug 19, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #28

    He’s looked like a headless chicken the last couple of seasons Ian. I don’t think he’s as bad as some say though. If he could improve his decision making at times he’d be much better. Decent enough back up at the moment.

  • Belfast

    Aug 19, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #29

    He was pretty highly rated a few seasons ago like. I think playing in a relegation fodder team hasn’t really helped his cause. He seems to dive in at times when he shouldn’t, but that can be easily ironed out.


    Aug 19, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #30

    not so sure we should be letting de jong go out on loan…..yes he’s barely played but he’s as close as he’s ever been to being match fit/available to play and could be a help in this league….this just weakens our squad and creative chances unless he’s replaced.

  • Ian Toon

    Aug 19, 2016 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #31

    A hot headed Irishman – know! I saw Hanley briefly at Southend and he’s just the sort of no nonsense CB ideal for Championship. He was unfit clearly.
    I loved Roy Keane’s reason why he had problems signing players at S’lnd it was because its dark and cold in the North.
    Catchya later.

  • Veltman

    Aug 19, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #32

    Rotonda – agree with you regarding Clark.Not a good player.Was baffled when we signed him.
    Seen him couple of times before doing blunders,
    lack awareness and scoring own goals.Other than being a back up,his contributions are limited and erroneous.
    Which is why I called some of the signings are dross and won’t fill me with confidence in match days,making me nervous not to see or hear mistakes,own goals, and blunders…
    We can only hope most of them to come good as the season goes & hopefully back to back wins.

  • jimmysmith

    Aug 19, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #33

    Clark is ok, he’s been stifled and diminished at a sick club. He can do a job for us this season and next. Sensible signing.


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