We don’t carry player ratings as part of our match report but after putting it to the editorial team I was officially appointed as The Mag jury and here are my marks (out of 10) for the Manchester City match;

Krul (7)
Perch (6)
Coloccini (8)
Williamson (6)
Santon (8)
Gutierrez (7)
Tiote (8)
Cabaye (7)
Ben Arfa (7)
Ba (7)
Cissé (7)

Shola(7) (For Ben Arfa 74mins) 
Ryan Taylor (For Tiote 82mins)
Ferguson (7) (For Perch 74mins) 

A tough match against the team with certainly the best squad in the division, looking at the respective benches tells you all you need to know.

Manchester City brought people off the bench to find a different way of getting that killer first goal, any changes we could make effectively mean that we are replacing somebody with a weaker player.

All fourteen players couldn’t be faulted for effort though and if Ba or Ben Arfa had taken one of the half decent chances then who knows.

Against the very best maybe it was no surprise that our weaker areas were exploited in the end, Williamson looking shaky while City repeatedly targeted our right-back area.

On the other hand Santon showed how much he has now settled in and was my man of the match as he linked well with Jonas going forward and the two of them also looking comfortable when defending.

Tiote put in another massive effort in the middle and Coloccini held it together at the back as the visitors repeatedly probed.

27 comments
TonnekToon
TonnekToon

The biggest problem is the Owner and the M.D.  All we get are false promises  . The hierarchy's Lies are set permanently on default .

LeazesEnder
LeazesEnder

Is your head made of wood Pinocchio?

Chemical Dave
Chemical Dave

Stopped reading at the suggestion that he'd have a say in outgoing and incoming transfers....eight years on and the penny still won't drop.

Paul Patterson
Paul Patterson

I draw similarities with Ruud Gullit leaving and Sir Bobby coming in.


A side with decent potential, with good players (Given/Krul, Dabizas/Colo, Speed/Colback, Dyer/Perez) Shearer/Cisse) that was underperforming, needed a shot in the arm and got one. Signings were made and the club was boosted as a result.


This time round, we only need four or five players and the good players that are there already to buck their ideas up like in 1999.


However, I had more faith in the negotiating skills of the club in 1999 than now . .

Hez
Hez

@Paul Patterson  Hope you aren't suggesting McLaren can be compared to Bobby Robson, Cisse to Shearer and Colback to Speed, that would be ridiculous as they are worlds apart

desree
desree

I draw similarities with that team too. Cisse/big Dunc either injured or banned, Collo/marcelino, Perez/dyer collback/nowhere near gary speed but miles better than maric.

Paul Patterson
Paul Patterson

@Hez @Paul Patterson  No, just a similarity. Although, if Cisse was in a good side he'd get 20 goals a season and Colback should be played as a Speed-type player.

Alsteads
Alsteads

Some of those players you mention actually completely gave up in games last season and for me they need bouncing out the club ASAP. The fact we have a new coach and set up and they might just fancy it this season isn't my idea of a TEAM. In fact you struggle to put together a lot of those players in any definition of the word team. Alongside limited capabilities we DO need half a dozen players in

desree
desree

wtf are we all arguing about- have the coaching staff even been confirmed?

DownUnderMag
DownUnderMag

Good coaching is a must, but even the best coaches need the players to back them up.  Pardew was bailed out by occasionally stumbling onto the right tactics and the good players at his disposal saw him win more games than he probably should have, now they are all gone there was a huge gap in quality at the end of last season.  New players are a must.

Also @Shipcote Willy - his last three jobs were not very successful, but Forrest were not exactly a powerhouse, returning to Twente brought too high an expectation, and Derby were a struggling outfit when he took over, so missing out on promotion via the playoff final and then leading the league for most of the following season until we came in and clouded the affair isn't exactly a bad turnaround.  Sometimes, like Forrest and Wolfsburg, the move just doesn't work out, be it expectations or whatever...if he comes here, steadies the ship and tries in the cups with a top half finish THAT is success for us under the finances we currently run.  That is sad but it's not McClarens fault.

It still astounds me how many fans are writing McClaren off before a ball has even been kicked.  It's almost as if they WANT the club to fail just so they have something else to bitch about!

Duke Fame
Duke Fame

very good article, exactly right in that the coaching staff and board look like a step in the right direction.


we do need players and I think we will see two in the next week. most of the rumours are pretty encouraging, even the Ashley Cole whisper makes a lot of sense considering we are bringing through a good left back if a little injury prone. as long as the incoming come and the outgoing are replaced, I'm quite excited.

Shipcote Willy
Shipcote Willy

Sorry cant agree. McClaren failed in his last three jobs one of which was Championship level. He is in the last chance saloon. Mourhino couldn't turn these players into winners and only five or six are are good enough for the squad and even fewer for the top eight we allegedly aspire to. Without huge investment its anorher battle at the bottom.

Duke Fame
Duke Fame

@Shipcote Willy  he took Derby from a struggling championship side to the best footballing side in the division. my question mark is against his ability to deal with pressure, he's struggled where pressure has built up and nufc can create pressure often out of nowhere.

1957
1957

The previous incumbents were simply poor coaches with players at the club who didn't fit the limited long ball tactics they preferred, it's why Pardew loves Shola. Despite what some people say the players are better than they looked last year, yes there is a lot of deadwood but there is a core there to work with. The new players need to be of quality, I'd rather have 4 good players than 6 or 7 average ones, I would go for 2 defenders, Colo is finished at the top level, and two forwards. I'd then add 2 or 3 ones for the future on top to have some forward planning.

There needs to be a real push over the next season to bring through some young players, if we don't play them we'll never know if they can make it.

An observation on a comment below, you can't compare Aaron Hughes to Colback, Aaron was esentially a defender who had a good career domestically an internationally so he couldn't be that bad. I accept the comparison with Speed but Batty was never a player I enjoyed watching, he was far too negative.

desree
desree

Whilst position wise you can't in terms of quality I think Collback is a similr player to aaron hughes, a decent pro and good squad player - no more.. a good lad but when i think back to clarkie and watson he isn't even in their class.

desree
desree

agree 1957, it shows how bad the rest of the team are if Collback has made such a significant contribution.

1957
1957

I accept your point about Colback but I don't think anyone thought he would be anything else when he signed, but with 4 goals and 6 assists (equal top with Janmaat) he made a useful contribution in a poorly performing side.

You can't really compare footballers from 20 years ago to today, the game has changed that much. Of their time Clark was only ever a good squad player playing in a very good team, Keegan saw this and bought Batty. Watson could have been a really good player if he had been given a settled position and left there rather than moved from position to position to fill for that weeks injury like Paul Madely did at Leeds in the 70's.. Not developing him was a failure of Keegan's time at NUFC.

desree
desree

Phil, you are one season away from giving up hope like me. Last season I was trying to see the positives, I've realised that we are led by a bunch of incompetent fools.

We have 4 decent players at best in janmaat, perez - krull and sissoko when they turn up. Based on what I have seen of the rest - shammy is interesting cardiff, collback is comparable to aaron hughes when we had Batty and speed in previous years - he is no comparison.

Cisse, Collo, taylor, de jong are all ready for the knackers yard.

We could blame Pardew for anita, obertan, HBA, marveaux, cabella, m mbiwa etc etc, put their failure down to coaching. Or we could also look that our recruitment is wrong given that everyone of these players except marveaux had no other club in for them.

No fan of pards by the way and Mbiwa I think was never given a fair crack.But to suggest that a good coach will turn a bunch of donkeys into thoroughbreds is wildly optimistic mate.

Conman
Conman

Wow

Really. He's a decent coach by all accounts. He isn't Harry bloody potter.

Kev82
Kev82

Sorry but no good coaching can turn our average to poor players into good players. We need at least 2xCB a left back, 2 wingers and a striker to get us back in the top 10.

Andgeo
Andgeo

This guys definitely renewed his season ticket!

GToon
GToon

Colo is too slow now, Willo is always going to be average at best. Decent coaching might make some difference but some of the players just aren't that good. A really good centre half, a really good central midfielder and a really good forward to give the spine of the team much needed strength is required. I fear Ashley is thinking along the lines of your title hence the inactivity in the transfer market. By the time he has finished counting his money there'll be nobody left.

ncncnc
ncncnc

hopefully an end to playing players out of position, that would be a start. i agree good coaching can make a huge impact, still need some areas like a new forward and a couple of wingers (cabella isnt one - he's one that was played out of position apart from in the 2 games he actually looked decent in) and another centre half to start would be good

Shipcote Willy
Shipcote Willy

McClaren played Bamford, a centre forward, on the wing, thats why he chose Boro last year

radgiegadgie
radgiegadgie

Probably need a whole new back 4 either as starting players or cover for the likes of Janmaat.


Also need a decent striker.  I am sure the coaching team can work with the rest if they are worth their salt.

ChrisHosking
ChrisHosking

Have they seen our sqaud its full of has been and players who couldent break into the first team if we had decent players