Steve McClaren’s reign as Newcastle boss so far hasn’t been one of particular joy. His side have just one win in 11 and recently suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of North-East rivals Sunderland.
However, performances on the whole haven’t exactly painted the picture of a struggling team, and full-back Janmaat is adamant they have played better football this term than what they managed last year.
“The manager wants us to play from the back. We have tried it a lot. Sometimes it was good, sometimes not so good. I think we have played a lot better football than last season,” he explained.
“Everyone is on the same wavelength. Not only 11 players but the 22. Everyone is focused. We all want better results and we all work hard in training.”
Do Newcastle United deserve more?
While performances have been on the whole of a pretty good standard, there are certain aspects such as team shape and defending which has let down McClaren’s side this season.
The Magpies have shipped 22 Premier League goals this season, an average of two per game.
That figure has to drop if they are to climb the table this season, although it’s not a case of the back four improving but the team as a whole needs to defend much better.
Georginio Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko have bags of ability from an attacking point of view, but these are the types of players which make Newcastle vulnerable out of possession.
Balance is a key word in football, and it is something Newcastle must attain in order to progress.