Sam Allardyce claims that Sunderland beating Newcastle in the ‘friendly derby’ didn’t mean anything and he wouldn’t have cared if ut had been Sudnerland on the receiving end of a 6-0 defeat.
Hmm, I think I believe the mackem manager about as much as I did when he was unfortunately at St James Park for his calamitous six or seven months in charge.
Of course getting beat in a friendly isn’t the end of the world and yes I’m sure the main aim was to give some pitch time to certain players (as well as potentially helping to put some of both teams’ players in the shop window for the last few days of transfer window trading…) but…
It surely defies common sense if the respective managers didn’t see it as a plus if their players played decent football, if the defenders looked solid and confident, whilst the strikers and attacking players created chances and finished them.
Considering Newcastle had Rolando Aarons, Emmanuel Riviere, Steven Taylor, Yoan Gouffan, Jamaal Lascelles, Sylvain Marveaux and Karl Darlow out on the pitch, to be 4-0 down at half-time and go on to lose 6-0, with claims of next to no action at the other end of the pitch – how could Steve McClaren fail to see it as anything but a negative.
At the very least I think it is yet another indicator of how low the quality is once you go beyond the obvious small group of good/very good players currently at Newcastle United.
If it had been 6-0 to Newcastle then I think McClaren would have said similar stuff in public about the result being meaningless but I bet he would be using it (result and especially the performance) behind the scenes to help build up the players. Also, if it had been Riviere scoring a hat-trick as Watmore did, do you honestly think Steve McClaren wouldn’t have said something to the media about how sharp he is looking, great touch and eye for goal blah blah blah?
Likewise, surely the United Head Coach will be speaking to the team and especially individuals who played yesterday, chatting about the game and asking why Newcastle/individuals didn’t do better.
If you kid yourself that the likes of Riviere and Aarons are going to be of use in the coming weeks then they should be shining in this type fo friendly where no doubt players were under orders not to put the boot in, like they would in a first team match.
“The result was nothing and if we had lost 6-0 it wouldn’t have mattered to me whatsoever.
“All that mattered was how the players played and that they got through 90 minutes of a quality, high-tempo game at the Stadium of Light.
“That is very difficult to achieve with our geographical position. In this area, there is only Middlesbrough and Newcastle who can provide a game of that level.
“That is why me and Steve (McClaren) were very grateful to put the game on.
“With no game this weekend, playing these players and giving them a feel with who they will play with and getting some match practice was very important to us.”