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I thought the Newcastle team picked itself but Steve McClaren says something different

6 years ago

Steve McClaren has been talking about his team selections and paints a slightly different picture to what I have been seeing.

According to the Head Coach, he has been ‘looking to give everybody opportunities and chopping and changing with the line-up’.

This actually goes against what even he and Paul Simpson have said very recently, when they have talked of wanting to bring stability to the team and get a steady starting eleven.

In actual fact, any changes that have been made in the United team have been almost exclusively down to injuries and suspensions, experimenting has been pretty much non-existent.

Not that I necessarily blame Steve McClaren too much for that.

The only real bits of testing something different out have been the likes of the bizarre playing Yoan Gouffran against Man City in the centre of midfield experiment, which was abandoned after 66 minutes and conceding 6 goals.

Ayoze Perez was finally given his chance v Man Utd only because of Sissoko’s suspension but then instantly dropped, only for McClaren to be forced to give him another chance when it became clear Florian Thauvin was nowhere near ready to start in the Premier League.

Other than that there has been next to nothing – no starts for Siem de Jong despite the poor start to the season and lack of creativity, the same with Rolando Aarons in that limited period he was fit.

Sadly, I see the same happening with Kevin Mbabu, he showed more quality and ambition in a game and a half than I have seen in total from Haidara and Dummett, but it looks like it will be the last we see of Mbabu unless injury strikes again, with McClaren going for the ‘safe’ option of Paul Dummett.

The truth of course overall is that as has been the case in recent years, the team pretty much picks itself every week, and sadly you know the likes of Anita and Tiote will play against Leicester because we haven’t got anybody else, not because they are the best people for the job.

The squad is still far too small when it comes to players who are good enough but after the lucky Bournemouth debacle, Steve McClaren sees telepathy rather than the chaos the rest of us saw.

Steve McClaren:

“They have made a good combination, haven’t they, you can see it with Mitrovic and Perez…you can see that team cohesion.

“That is what we have been doing – looking to give everybody opportunities and chopping and changing with the line-up.

“You can see a bit of telepathy between Mitro and Ayoze, Mitro’s come in and he has been a bit of a target for us – he can get better though, without a shadow of a doubt.

“At the moment I think he just lacks maturity, which I think will come in time.

“We are looking at who matches who, who can play with who, which combinations work, we have got that with Daryl Janmaat and Moussa Sissoko down the right.

“We kind of had that with Vurnon Anita and Jack Colback a little bit in the middle, now Cheick Tiote has come in which he has had to do – he is growing and developing there.

“Then you have got Gini Wijnaldum as well with Ayoze, they like each other as well.”

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