Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Toon Attackers Excite Me - Defence Is a Different Story

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Toon Attackers Excite Me - Defence Is a Different Story

Article excerpt

Byline: FOOTBALL Like us on Facebook SUPERMAC Malcolm Macdonald shoots from the lip

WHEN I look at Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ayoze Perez and Gini Wijnaldum my derby hopes soar.

Then my gaze turns further back and I'm mortified at what might be.

That's the hugely conflicting feeling I have - along with many Newcastle fans I guess - as I look towards tomorrow's massive match at the Stadium of Light.

Let's deal with the positives first because that's a much better feeling.

I believe that United have a proper centre-forward in Mitrovic.

He is a line leader, good in the air, has the shot of a cannon, and can hold his own muscle for muscle.

He scored a cracking No 9 goal against Norwich taking the ball down on his chest to hammer home an unstoppable shot.

When he was subbed he came off with his chest puffed out and the biggest smile I've ever seen on his face. He was delighted that Newcastle had won at long last. Good for him.

Perez is Mitrovic's perfect partner - nippy with good feet and a maker of intelligent runs.

They go together so well and because they are really young will develop as a pair as long as United hang onto them.

I'm certain Steve McClaren didn't realise what he had at first because he didn't select the young Spaniard. But, boy, he knows now.

Add Wijnaldum who scores goals from midfield and offensively thing are suddenly looking good.

A couple of his four to down the Canaries were crackers.

However it is a different tale defensively. Norwich were awful, a rag tag of a team on the day, but they scored twice and hit the woodwork twice.

The back four were all over the place right from the first Norwich goal. They were close together along the six-yard line but when a left-wing cross was put in behind them no one reacted bar the yellow striker.

For me the bulk of the problems stem from Fabricio Colocinni who is not playing as a captain or a central defender of vast experience. …

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