Mike Pejic has torn Newcastle United apart after watching them play on Wednesday night.
The Stoke legend couldn’t believe how poor Newcastle were and picked up in particular on how negative the visiting team were.
Something that would be no surprise to any United fans who have had the misfortune to regularly travel away this season.
For the benefit of younger readers, Mike Pejic was an excellent left-back in the 1970s, who played most of his career for Stoke before moving on to Everton and Villa. He also played four times for England and there is every chance he might know what he is talking about…
(As an aside, if you collected football cards/stickers in the 70s, Mike Pejic was one you always wanted to get with him having an exotic sounding name which stood out – unlike today’s world of nations in the Premier League, though in actual fact he was born in England but his father was from Yugoslavia).
Pejic is scathing of the Newcastle players but even though he doesn’t name him, I think his comments are particularly damaging for Steve McClaren. The former Stoke player turned pundit, spelling out just how woeful McClaren’s tactics are, especially away from home.
Mike Pejic talking to the Stoke Sentinel:
“Looking at Newcastle, a very poor side, very negative.
“After 21 minutes I noticed there were 21 players (except being Butland) in their defending half. That was typical of their performance .
“That is very disappointing when you have attacking players like Newcastle have...the negative thinking, the lack of movement – absolutely static.
“Their players were woeful, every time they had a chance to play the pass forward, they didn’t – they passed it back.
“Then when they did pass it forward it was the wrong decision and they should have passed it short – the decision making was so poor.
“Not one Newcastle player was prepared to go behind the Stoke back four on a run to receive the ball which is hard work…and they don’t like hard work.
“That is a problem I see in the Premier League nowadays, particularly with poor sides, they are not prepared to work hard, to roll their sleeves up and make runs beyond defenders.
“Everything was in front of the Stoke back four which was really comfortable for them.”