Why Steve McClaren must add defensive reinforcements on Tyneside


Newcastle finally completed a deal for highly rated Anderlecht defender Chancel Mbemba this week and after the jokes about the 20-year-old’s penchant for a birthday die down, it becomes clear that he is nowhere near enough to repair a creaky defence.

The Toon conceded 63 goals last season, only relegated Queens Park Rangers were breached more, a harrowing stat for Geordies everywhere.

It’s the issues at the centre of defence that are cause for concern. Look to the flanks and in Daryl Janmaat they have a superb right back that shouldn’t have found himself fighting relegation, and to the left Massadio Haidara looks to have bags of potential

It’s in the middle where it all gets a bit flimsy at St James’ Park. Fabricio Coloccini had been a model of consistency up until last term when he seemed to suffer from the toxic attitude around the club as his performances took a nosedive.

Mike Williamson is a constant stream of annoyance for the Newcastle faithful and a constant provider of hilarity for the opposition. Simply put, the 31-year-old has struggled ever since the team’s re-emergence back into the top flight and he is not good enough to form the spine of an outfit that will be gunning for at least the top 10, a feat they are 5/2 to achieve.

Paul Dummett is a local boy but the chances of him going on to be revered in years to come look slim, he is a steady deputy but little more, while Steven Taylor has struggled massively with injuries and form in recent seasons.

A man McClaren may look to in order to sure up his backline is Jonny Evans. The Northern Irishman’s experience would be a valuable asset, while it is clear that he will be well down the pecking order at Old Trafford. The Newcastle boss has obvious links to Manchester United and if a deal can be done he could do a lot worse.

The Geordie faithful have been appeased by attacking additions so far this summer but it would be sheer ignorance to ignore the other end of the pitch.

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