He has appointed Steve McClaren as the new Manager, and has put his hands in his pockets and forked out for some pretty good players in the form of Wijnaldum, Mitrovic and Mbemba to strengthen the squad.
Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren was satisfied with Sunday’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Southampton, labelling the scoreline an accurate reflection of the game.
“But you know the Premier League“.
This league has progressed since he was in charge at Middlesbrough, but he discovered yesterday that one thing remains the same: It is still a harsh, unforgiving world where mistakes are punished.
Southampton’s Shane Long, right, scores his goal past Newcastle…
The visitors had already exploited Newcastle’s aerial weakness when Graziano Pelle headed Southampton into 24th minute lead, a goal cancelled out by Papiss Cisse’s equaliser just before half-time.
It was McClaren who persuaded the club to offer a contract extension to Fabricio Coloccini, who will be 34 in January. “It’s given us something to work on, but then we always thought there would be”.
Another new signing, Aleksandar Mitrovic, may be more problematic. He crossed to the back post for Coloccini, who chested it down, flicked it past Matt Targett and then knocked the ball against Maya Yoshida’s elbow from close range.
McClaren has failed in all four of his previous jobs at Wolfsburg, FC Twente, Nottingham Forest and Derby, but was still Newcastle’s first choice as a permanent replacement for Alan Pardew.
Yet the signs were certainly positive in attack for Newcastle – even if the same old problems keep coming back to haunt them, as all Toon fans so desperately feared they would.
“We were a bit fortunate with that and I think he knows he has got to be a bit smarter than that”.
Southampton assistant Erwin Koeman, deputising for injured brother Ronald, had mixed feelings after seeing winger Sadio Mane miss two good chances to claim an injury-time victor. I don’t have a team to leave to. “It was risky. It was unnecessary to do that in the corner, but Mitrovic is a player like that”.
“Ten minutes before the end, I would have been happy with a point, but we are now disappointed”, said Southampton’s stand-in manager.
“You want to score in every game and to fight hard”, the 20 year-old said. Manchester United eagerly await Newcastle United at Old Trafford, and if Newcastle is prepared to show the league what they’re truly made of, a victory against Manchester United would be glorious.
Reflecting on his up and down career McClaren said: “I have had lots of highs and lots of peaks and lots of troughs, and I want to make this another peak”.