Steve McClaren Should Stop Worrying And Embrace The Madness
Perpetually wearing the look of a man who wonders just what he’s wandered into, Steve McClaren is finally able to celebrate a Premier League win as the manager of Newcastle United – and it was achieved in a very Newcastle United way.
Because whilst much of it might be clichéd nonsense with a view towards the Kevin Keegan team of 20 seasons ago which just missed out on the title (and who only conceded two more goals than champions Manchester United over the campaign), things really are a lot more functional on Tyneside when they are fun.
That doesn’t mean that McClaren should instruct his team to defend as badly as they did for large periods of this game, but instead that the manager should focus on doing what his team did in the first half – getting as many of their gifted players flying forward as possible and whipping the crowd into a frenzy. It was a day Newcastle remembered how to be fun.
Plenty of managers more gifted than the man currently in the St James’s Park hotseat have failed to ‘get’ Newcastle, but if McClaren loosens the leash a little more then he might find he’ll get more and more of the fans onside.
Moussa Sissoko Sets The Newcastle Tone
Given the amount of rumours linking him with a move away both during last season and in the summer – rumours that weren’t exactly refuted by the man himself – it is something of a surprise to still see Moussa Sissoko in a Newcastle shirt. A surprise and a delight.
The Frenchman was brilliant here.
He registered three assists for those who like to keep track of such things, but more crucial was his play from deep as he helped launch wave after wave of black and white shirted attacks.
If he keeps playing like this then he might not be around on Tyneside for much longer.
Whilst Georginio Wijnaldum Is The Poster Boy
Whilst Sissoko does his best work from deep, Georginio Wijnaldum comes alive when the when the ball is in the penalty area, as he showed to devastating effect here.
The first Newcastle player to score a Premier League hat-trick since Demba Ba registered a treble at Stoke four years ago, the Dutchman really shouldn’t be playing for a team which started Sunday at the bottom of the Premier League table.
Although they have their obvious problems, the Dutch international side have come to rely on his eye for goal as their more experienced striking options decline with age, and the former PSV Eindhoven man has wasted no time in taking on a similar mantle for his new club.
In him and Sissoko Newcastle fans see hope, and every football supporter needs that.
Dieumerci Mbokani Is No Ricky van Wolfswinkel
The previous time they were in the Premier League it was a lack of goals which ultimately did for Norwich, whilst this time around it looks as though their defence – now the worst in the league along with Sunderland – which looks as though it’ll be their downfall.
They’re alright in attack, though.
Dieumerci Mbokani, an experienced forward who has scored goals for Standard Liege, Anderlecht and Dynamo Kiev, is a real presence upfront and certainly looks the part.
If he can keep scoring, Norwich will at least have one area of their team in order.
It Turns Out Sky Picked The Right Game
As phones were checked and Sunday afternoon shopping trips regretted, we were treated to a fantastic spectacle which few saw coming.
What’s that about not judging a book by its cover?
(Snipped from 101GreatGoals)
Read more from Mark Jones