BBC pundit Garth Crooks says he still doubts Steve McClaren’s managerial credentials but has praised the ‘courage’ of the Newcastle Head Coach in playing Kevin Mbabu against Chelsea.
Crooks has named Kevin Mbabu (also made Harry Redknapp’s) is his Premier League team of the week (see below) after the way he handled his top tier debut.
As for courage..even Steve McClaren himself has admitted that he only played Kevin Mbabu because he had no other options and needed to keep Chancel Mbemba in the middle alongside Coloccini.
Rather bizarrely, Crooks also includes Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma, despite the defender gifting Newcastle the first goal.
Garth Crooks team of the week:
Mata (Man Utd)
Garth Crooks talking to BBC Sport:
‘As far as Premier League debuts go, I don’t think Kevin Mbabu could have done any better.
The 20-year-old was playing against Spain international Pedro, who for much of the game got nothing out of the youngster, which tells you all you need to know about the quality of this performance.
Last week on Final Score I questioned whether Newcastle boss Steve McClaren could manage as effectively as he could coach.
The jury is still out for me but if he has the courage to play youngsters such as Kevin Mbabu, who are keen to prove themselves against the champions, at the expense of players who have been tried but are comfortable, then I may have misjudged him.’