Like many other fans of this once great club, Newcastle United, I am sick and tired of hearing our players say the following;

“We apologise…..”

“We are angry too…..”

“We will hit the training ground hard this week……”

“We need to stick together and fight…..”

Change is required, otherwise we will be hearing this a lot this season, until we are relegated.

Firstly, let me start with a bit of a moan about some players, then let’s get into some selection possibilities.

We, as fans, just want to see the players play as hard as any of us would if we had the shirt on. I know representing a football club isn’t like it used to be, mainly because so few local players get through any club ranks these days (obvious exception being Southampton, but even they seem to be buying more and trying out the youngsters less).

However, the management should be instilling some pride in the players from the moment they arrive at the club. Any sign of slacking should immediately be punished, by fines or dropping the player. It is a privilege to represent ours, and any club, so they should play like it.

As most Newcastle fans will agree, Daryl Janmaat is by far one of the best players this season. He has been one of our best threats going forward (which says a lot about the team), however, he needs to remember his primary job. Too many times Janmaat is caught out of position, with the opposition breaking forward down their left/our right.

I know Daryl doesn’t get much help from Sissoko in defending but that may be because Sissoko isn’t really a winger.

Colo’s form is so up and down it’s beyond ridiculous. Having seen the news about a training ground bust-up between Colo and Steve, I do hope it will bring out a positive reaction in the player(s), however, knowing how strong a backbone these guys usually have, they will sulk and play worse (if possible).

A new centre-back is needed in January, without doubt. If the board cannot see that, then maybe we should ask the FA to do a fit and proper persons test on them all!

Mitrovic made me seethe at the weekend. I know the guy is young, and therefore can be petulant, but that lackadaisical performance was nothing short of diabolical. We may not have played great balls to him, asking him to work very hard to even just hold up the ball let alone have a scoring chance, but just because your team is sh*t doesn’t mean you stop trying and start waving your arms about like a little brat. You run hard and fast for your team, you push yourself harder to try and create anything or help the rest of them, try and relieve some pressure.

Well, that’s enough moaning, how about some solutions? I really do feel that some new blood is required to freshen things up. I know Colo is our captain, but seeing as he is very poor at being a captain AND his performances have not been good enough overall this season (not just last weekend), then I think it would be best to drop him altogether. Hopefully it would give him the kick up the backside that’s required.

I would rather see Lascelles play at the minute (as what I have seen of him I like so far), at least you know he will give everything for 90 mins as he looks to establish himself in the team. Another option is to play Dummett at CB with Mbemba.

Dummett looks way better in the centre rather than left-back, where he is frequently exposed. If Dummett moves into the middle, then Lascelles or Mbabu could fill in at left back and both probably would do a better job. Haidara (who I initially held so much promise for) just doesn’t seem to be cut out for the job. Definitely need a new left back in the transfer window, unless we allow Mbabu to make that spot his own.

Obviously, we have some issues in the centre midfield area. Tiote is injured, Colback just coming back into the squad and possibly only able to make the bench, so we need to find a CM partnership that won’t leave us horribly exposed.

Anita cannot tackle/isn’t strong enough/passing is not good enough. What does he even bring to the team apart from weakness. I couldn’t believe it when I read that Steve thought that Anita was one of the only players at the weekend who did their job properly. Did my eyes deceive me, or did Anita (on several occasions) let Vardy (and others) run right past him without attempting to stick a foot in because he was on a yellow. Frankly, I would prefer he did and maybe get sent off.

newcastle united

How about we try something different? Forget Gouffran in the middle, the clown doesn’t know which way is up. Maybe we should take a leaf out of Pochettino’s hand book and try someone who is defensively minded and can tackle in the DM role.

Maybe try Lascelles or Mbabu in the middle of the park, breaking up the play and getting stuck in.

Both of them have the ability to pass the ball and make tackles. Why wouldn’t they do well in the DM role? At least those guys will run and run and won’t be scared to stick a leg in.

These guys would play for the shirt and the fans, as they are playing for their careers.

I know Steve would need to be very brave, as it is a bit out there, but look what’s happened to Eric Dier. Poch has moved him into that DM role and he is flourishing, for both Spurs and England. Like I said, Steve McClaren would need to be brave…so I doubt this would ever happen.

Below are some team selections for the game this weekend that I would like to see.

(4-4-2): Elliot, Janmaat, Mbemba, Dummett, Mbabu, Lascelles, Sissoko, Wijnaldum, de Jong, Mitrovic, Perez

(4-4-2): Elliot, Janmaat, Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett, Mbabu, Sissoko, de Jong, Wijnaldum, Mitrovic, Perez

I know, in this very article, I have said that Sissoko is not a proper winger, and I do believe he is better suited to the centre of the field, however, our options are limited. What I would give to have a fully fit Rolando Aarons available, or a Thauvin who lived up to all the promise.

Up front, against Leicester, the sulky Mitrovic was very exposed and alone for much of the game. Maybe we should go all out and play 2 up top. I know Perez can play anywhere, and worm his way through defences and break down the wide areas. However, I do like to see him playing at the top like Vardy does, on the last man. Get the defenders turning and running towards goal. Perez has that ability to break the lines so let’s bloody utilise it!

Come on Steve. You have had a training ground bust-up this week to try and stir the team on, now be brave and make some big decisions. Give someone else (Janmaat, Wij, De Jong) the captain’s armband and lets go to Palace and make a statement.

If we lose, we lose, but let’s at least try to make a change!

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