Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Glenn Hoddle believes that Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren proved his worth as his side held Manchester United to a draw at Old Trafford, he wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
McClaren’s arrival as Newcastle head coach in the summer was met with scepticism from a number of supporters, owing to past struggles at Nottingham Forest and of course the England national team.
His stint at Derby County, though, showed that he is still an excellent coach and Newcastle’s decision to opt for youthful signings this summer can only be a good ingredient for the future.
The Magpies headed into Saturday’s clash with United as clear second favourites, but after a rocky start, the visitors put on an admirable display and showed real tactical discipline.
“Newcastle were very open in the first 20 minutes, which I’m sure wasn’t the game plan. So Steve came down from his place in the stand and was going berserk on the line,” Hoddle explained in the Daily Mail..
“His instructions worked because the three in the middle of the park got tighter and their centre halves showed a lot of quality.
“The balance might be more difficult to achieve at home when the crowd will urge them to go forward. But I don’t see them as a team fighting down the bottom, more mid-table.”
Not only is McClaren a good coach from a technical standpoint, the former Middlesbrough boss is also switched on tactically and he will set up his team for those tough away games accordingly.
As demonstrated during their opening game against Southampton, Newcastle have plenty of firepower in order to hurt teams at St James’ Park but it’s away from home where McClaren will really earn his money.
At Old Trafford, they were compact and hard to play through in midfield – important signs and features which are commonly associated with the Premier League’s more astute teams.