You have to laugh, Steve McClaren has been talking about the contribution of Ayoze Perez in recent matches.
The Newcastle Head Coach bizarrely talking about the Spanish striker as though he’d just discovered him, or at least massively improved him, saying that Perez ‘has came out of his shell’ this season.
All very strange considering that along with Daryl Janmaat, Ayoze Perez was easily Newcastle’s best player(s) last season and was involved in 36 of United’s 38 Premier League matches.
The supporters overwhelmingly would have chosen to play Ayoze Perez from the start of the season and yet it was only desperation that forced Steve McClaren to actually give him a chance.
Ignored for the Southampton and Swansea games, Perez was then given a game against Manchester United after Moussa Sissoko got injured.
Despite being one of Newcastle’s best players at Old Trafford in the goalless draw, McClaren instantly dropped Ayoze Perez.
It was then three PL games later when Perez got another start, this time when McClaren was again desperate after Florian Thauvin’s shocking display at West Ham.
Despite defeat to Watford, the former Tenerife forward was yet again one of United’s best performers and then at last kept his place in the team.
It isn’t that I dislike Steve McClaren, I think he’s ok in a kind of mediocre, Middlesbrough-type, way.
However, to seemingly be claiming that he’s somehow made Ayoze Perez into some kind of much better player is laughable.
He also talks of Perez’ hard work ethic as though it is something recently instilled, the Spaniard showed throughout last season that this was one of his great attributes and which endeared him to supporters.
I would say that McClaren not only got it totally wrong on Ayoze Perez but Florian Thauvin as well.
Why on earth was Thauvin thrown straight in when there was somebody like Ayoze Perez being ignored? Remember as well that McClaren played Gabriel Obertan ahead of Perez in the early games.
You have to wonder that if Thauvin had been given time to adapt and introduced as a sub over a period of time, would that have prevented him crasing and burning so quickly.
With a seriously bad scenario now where the Head Coach feels it is impossible to pick him, due to both the condition of the winger and the no doubt negative reaction of supporters.
You also worry that Ayoze Perez will have in the back of his mind a doubt as to just how highly Steve McClaren rates him, especially considering the repeated speculation that the likes of Spurs and Man Utd may make offers in January.
“One of the players that has come out is Ayoze Perez. We have found a good little position and he’s thriving in it. He has came out of his shell.
“You go into any club and they will want a player who fans will want their name on the back of their shirt, they are heroes to the young fans. If we can get that it’s great.
“You look at Wijnaldum too, he’s another great example to follow. Ayo is similar.
“What Ayo has done is, he’s been good on the ball but he’s been good off it. He has been terrific off the ball. He loses the ball in training but he gets it back.
“He doesn’t get it back in a normal way, he’s a bit of a pest. And he wraps his leg around you and takes the ball.”
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