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Toon ambitions scuppered by defensive injuries?

Posted on December 5th, 2011 | 88 Comments |

Injuries to Taylor and Coloccini will force a rethink at Newcastle United.
Who will replace them?
Newcastle United’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea pales into insignificance compared to the prospect of playing without Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor.

I’m not particularly worried about the 0-3 scoreline on Saturday. Things didn’t go our way with the sending off that didn’t happen, the loss of Coloccini early on then Taylor near the end of the game and the infernal woodwork that saved Chelsea on a number of occasions.

That’s not to say that Chelsea weren’t threatening – they were – but on another day I could have seen us get a draw from that game, or at least only lose to a scoreline that was more reflective of the game than 0-3. I think what I’m trying to say is that we certainly weren’t completely outclassed or anything like that.

Looking ahead, though, what is worrying is our extensive injury list, particularly in the defensive region.

The injured players – as far as I can gather from press reports – are as follows:

Steven Taylor has apparently torn his Achilles tendon and could be out for the rest of the season.

Fabricio Coloccini could be out for anything from 1 game to the rest of 2011 with a thigh strain (depending upon which press report you believe).

Mike Williamson, who I thought was now off the injury list, is apparently still troubled by his long-term ankle injury and wasn’t even on the subs bench on Saturday.

Sylvain Marveaux has Gilmore’s groin and is likely to be out for 3 or 4 months with it (Gilmore can have his groin back as far as I’m concerned).

Cheick Tiote still allegedly has a knee injury that seems to have dragged on far longer than the original estimates of it would suggest. Either that or he’s being ‘coddled’ in preparation to be sold on in January.

The injuries to Taylor and Coloccini are, I think, the most significant as the two centre-backs have been the bedrock upon which our decent start to this season has been built. Pardew now needs to do some radical rethinking and I’m presuming that Santon and Perch are going to have to take over the roles in the centre of defence for at least one match, maybe more.

Hopefully Coloccini will return fairly soon but Steven Taylor’s injury is definitely long-term, which means that Pardew will have to nominate a long-term replacement and I tend to think that will be James Perch initially, although hopefully Williamson will be back in contention soon. I get the impression that Santon is lower down the pecking order than both Perch and Williamson in Pardew’s eyes, although I have no idea why. Granted, Santon is considered to be more of a full-back than a centre-back but I thought he was supposed to be versatile enough to play either role.

I think we all knew that we were only ever a few injuries away from being a ‘mediocre’ team instead of a ‘decent’ team and it seems that injury has struck at the most vulnerable part of the team: i.e. the defence.

A few weeks ago I was dreading the January transfer window as I feared the likes of Tiote, Coloccini, Simpson and possibly even Krul would be sold on – and that may still be the case – but now I think we need it in order to shore up our defensive deficiencies in the light of injury.

It will be interesting – if somewhat stressful – to see how we hobble on through in the interim.

Woe is me and all that.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen

I’m a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called ‘scrumpy’. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he’s not worth 10).

Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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88 Responses

  1. Team v Norwich:

    __________BA

    Guti______Cabaye______HBA

    _____Tiote_____Guthrie

    Raylor_Perch_Simpson_Santon

    ___________Krul

    I think if we can get away with only a few games without Colo we should be OK but we need a replacement in Jan… Alex from Chelsea would be perfect.

  2. We need a defender badly, but i have faith that Pardew will get us through this. I agree with the defensive back five above. But HBA is not in my preferred lineup with no real central defenders. The way he gave away possession time after time against chelsea with his dribling straight into a wall of chelsea players put our defense under allot of stress. How are we supposed to handle that without Colo and Saylor? No he is a luxury we cant afford and my lineup would be

    ____________Best
    ____________BA
    Jonas__Tiote__Cabaye__Obertan
    Raylor__Perch__Simpson__Santon
    ____________Krul

    Thats a team that puts some work in when the oposition have the ball, and we will need that more than ever now imo.

    Regarding Alex, that aint gonna happen, we didnt panic for an attacker in the summer and we wont panic now. He dosnt fit our strategy being to old and to expensive. I wouldnt be suprised if we tried for Cahill though, it will be a long shot and we will need other options, but we have been rumored to be after him and with his contract out in the summer, we might steal him.

  3. Hugh

    Whilst no comfort to Steven Taylor it’s probably better that he is out injured long term than Colo. Colo’s attributes and influence on the team and squad far exceed his ability as a top class defender. All the indications are that Colo’s injury is short term unlike Taylor who looks like he has had it now for the rest of the season, sadly.

    It looks like Perch may have to play alongside Colo until Williamson or ANO arrives in January. Pardew seems to have a lot of faith in Perch, well somebody has too I suppose. Given that Pardew does all the defensive coaching, and todate I have little to complain about, then whoever he plays in central defence at Norwich will have been thoroughly prepared for the role.

    Roscoe,

    I would be surprised if Ben Arfa starts against Norwich and even gobsmacked if he is on the right wing. I think Pardew will go with a 4-4-2 formation with Ba and Best/Shola upfront. Jonas and Obertan on the wings. Cabaye and Guthrie (unless Tiote is fit) in the middle and the same defence as you suggest. This will be a tough match. Norwich will obviously try and attack our percieved weakness in central defence. BTW, I don’t think Alex is what we want, possibly even afford.

  4. Hugh,

    alreet mate.

    i was under the impression that he could play along the back four.
    He must be on his way to being ensconced by now, hey?
    Now we’ve lost a couple too, we won’t be changing a none losing back four, not that we have much choice.

  5. Clint & Hugh

    Whilst Santon, I think, has played in central defence in Italy he is not ‘premiership match fit’ unlike Perch and Simpson.

    It is probably a safer option to have Santon at right back. At least he will have Obertan ahead of him to help out. Also, Santon is good going forward which he can do at right back but less so at centre half.

    It is arguable that the second and third goals were a direct result of Saylor not being in the box. Salomon Kalou would never have had so much room from Torres’ pass if Saylor was in the box.

  6. Kamar,

    aye.

    But Perch was there stopping torres, but torres got a lucky bounce that gave him the ball back for his pass to kalou.
    But Saylor was missed, no doubt.

  7. Derek

    I agree that Obertan was terrible. Was it anything to do with facing Ashley Cole who is no slouch.

    I think Obertan is better away where his pace has a greater impact as we are defending more than when we are at home.

  8. Derek L says:

    “Obertan to help him out ?! Did anyone see him at the weekend ? He was TERRIBLE!!”

    Not one cross managed throughout the entire game. I’ve said it before but I think Pardwho plays him because he asked Fatman for £3m and doesnt want to look like he bought a pig in a poke :)

    At the heart of our problem is a definite lack of quailty in depth in key areas and RM and LB are glaring examples and of course CH right now.

    The other key issue is the continual selection of Raylor in a LB role when we have supposedly a world class defender waiting in the wings. I’m not knocking Raylor as I think he’s a good lad but how much did he miss Jonas’s helping hand on Saturday ?

    If Pardwho selects Raylor, expecting Jonas to help him out all the time, it becomes a double whammy. Mainly because it stifles Jonas’ natural game but there’s also pressure on Raylor almost from the outset to bomb forward yet look after a raiding right winger ?

    Now that the shite has hit the fan Pardwho will have to bring in Santon and immediately the guys also under pressure and in the limelight instead of being gradually introduced to the team over a number of games.

    As for team selection I’d almost agree with Roscoe’s 4-2-3-1. Offensively we need to get at teams a lot more than we do – especially the likes of Norwich and Swansea. A front three of HBA (left), Ba and Jonas wouldnt be far of Chelski’s line up on Saturday and I didnt see Sturridge doing that much tracking back !

  9. AndyMac – i agree with ur attacking option, and also that Raylor can belt a free kick, but half the trouble on sat was his inability to track Sturridge, as far as spacially aware defenders go – he’s not top flight.

    It’s a real tricky situation this one, and interesting to see how Pards handles it, but one thing’s for sure: starting a prem season with only 2 CBs was always a VERY risky plan (esp when Taylor has a bit of a history).

    The other thing i’d like to see action on, is the removal of Obertan. Week in week out, I’ve been pulling my hair out – it’s that classic pace without delivery, memories of Routledge flood back – that’s sooo frustrating to watch….he can’t even lay off a simple ball to feet!

  10. -________Krul___________
    Simmo Perch Santon Raylor
    _____Gosling Guthrie_____
    Obertan__Cabaye__Jonas
    ___________BA___________

    The sooner Williamson gets back the better but we cannot rush him either and take the chance that he could be out even longer. Simpson is too short to play at CB so Santon comes in with Perch with explicit instructions not to go forward often and with Raylor and Guthrie to help he’ll do fine.

  11. Would we even have Def subs?

    We also have Tomas Kadar, but the young Hungarian appears to have no future at the club….and James Tavernian, who’s out on loan, and theres no talk of returning the youngster in this crisis.

    How about Jan Transfers, here’s a round up:

    Alain Tarore — Tiote Replacement??

    The 22 year-old …. talksport about two weeks ago, that Newcastle were keenly interested in signing the player in January and negotiations were even at an advanced stage.
    The 5’10″ midfielder made his first team debut for Auxerre back in 2006, and he came through the French side’s youth academy and is a tough tackling youngster who fits perfectly the type of young player Mike Ashley wants to bring to Tyneside.

    ….. news is that he may struggle to get a work permit to play in England…..Auxerre are struggling this season and are currently 5th bottom of the French League
    Alain has now played a total of 56 times for Auxerre with 18 goals, since joining them six years ago from his local club Planete Champion, and this season he has 7 goals in 14 total appearances for the French side.

    Wilfried Zaha — Crystal Palace winger/striker

    The young England U19 player, who was born in the Ivory Coast, is also interesting Stoke City and the transfer fee is said to be £3M.
    Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman turned down an approach in the summer from Stoke City for the player, and the offer at that time was said to be £1.5M.

    The news in the People is that Newcastle have been so impressed with this youngster, that they plan to go in with a £3M offer in January, and that could tempt Palace to sell.
    But Zaha will be key to Crystal Palace’s semi-final game against Cardiff City, and that will happen in January.

    The youngster has so far played 68 times with 6 goals for Palace, and this season has 24 appearances for the London club with 5 goals.

    Last season he was a regular at just 18 years old and made 43 appearances with a single goal, and Newcastle were linked with this player back in October, so the story may even be true

    Liam Ridgewell — experienced Premier League CB
    And Newcastle tried to sign Birmingham’s Liam Ridgewell on the last day of the transfer window in August and were said to have bid around £2M, but were unsuccessful.

    And since then the local press in Newcastle have said Liam is no longer a Newcastle target.

    But with the Magpies now short of experienced center-backs at the club , Mike Williamson is still out with his ankle injury, it seems to us he would be a good acquisition.

    Liam is not young at 27 years-old, but he has a lot of Premier League exp…….We don’t know what the situation is with him at Birmingham, but maybe even a loan deal through the end of the season would be good.

    The 6’2″ center-back, who started his career at West Ham before moving to Aston Villa back in 2001, can also play at left back.

    And of course Erik Pieters the dutch LB who can also play CB, and Modibo Maiga – unless his acquistion is cancelled in place of an extra defender.

  12. My Formation for next fixture:

    …………..KRUL…………….
    SIMMO…SANTON…PERCH….RAYLOR
    GOSLING..GUTHERIE..CABAYE..JONAS
    ……..HBA………………….
    ……………BA……………

    obertan can go f**k himself.

  13. Silence over Tiote is undeniably ominous. I appreciate the immediate reports about our CBs, really I do. But how about Cheick? He’s been out for over a month with an injury which, it was reported, he was near to coming back from for the Stoke match. WTF?

    I’ve never heard of Davide Santon playing CB. I have looked for references. I think the other CB is going to be Simpson and Kadar will probably be on the bench. Tavernier absolutely should be brought back, he certainly has played CB and from what I hear, pretty well.

    BTW, what has become of Ferguson?

  14. Also irritated over Tiote because, especailly with Guthrie playing well, he’d be my pick to fill in at CB.

  15. well a lot of fans were concerned during the summer, about this transfer policy the club has.
    mmm… do the ashleyites, still think the policy is worth it’s salt?.
    bearing in mind, what happened to marveux…

  16. Willo says:

    December 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    “The sooner Williamson gets back the better”

    Is your real name Mike Williamson by any chance Willo?

    Milner says:

    December 5, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    “Liam Ridgewell — experienced Premier League CB
    And Newcastle tried to sign Birmingham’s Liam Ridgewell on the last day of the transfer window in August and were said to have bid around £2M, but were unsuccessful.”

    Well if that’s true, it’s about half what he is worth Milner.

    tunyc says:

    December 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    “I’ve never heard of Davide Santon playing CB. I have looked for references.”

    He has claimed that he can play in any position tunyc, but you’re right, he’s only really played on either flank, initially as a winger, then as a full back.

  17. If we can get Willo & more especially Colo back soon, our back line should be ok again.
    They know each other & have done well together before now.
    Remember, Willo was keeping Saylor out of the team, it took an injury to budge him.
    It’s looking like that’s not gonna be for a couple of games though.

  18. Not another chalkboard site CF :)

    “Chelsea target exposed Ryan Taylor

    It was a slightly surprising selection on the left wing, as Peter Lovenkrands was given the nod to replace Jonas Gutierrez and one that would have adverse effects in terms of Newcastle’s defensive capabilities. It is no secret that Gutierrez offers vital cover to Ryan Taylor and unfortunately, Lovenkrands played in a more attacking role that left Taylor exposed.

    As seen below from the left chalkboard, Lovenkrands didn’t strictly play on the left wing, often drifting inside (red square box) and in Chelsea’s penalty area. Whenever Chelsea regained possession, play was shifted to Sturridge very quickly, where Sturridge had time and space to use his pace against Taylor”

    Bliddy L a blind man on a galloping horse on a dark night etc etc could tell that was going to happen so wtf didnt Pardwho ?

    http://www.nufcblog.org/2011/12/avb-looking-to-avoid-early-ko-at-sjp-newcastle-vs-chelsea-preview/

    “However the Blues are a good passing side and have some very skilful and talented players who can inflict damage on unsuspecting opponents. Their main threats will come from out wide with both Sturridge and Mata capable of scoring from individual pieces of brilliance, so both Toon full backs will need support from their midfield colleagues.”

  19. Andy,
    aye
    :)
    Although, i put it up more for the stats, which i found interesting. Not so much the write up.

  20. Agreed CF. Amazing how much stats generated nowadays must be a nightmare for those lazy players who hide during a game :)

    Guthrie’s pass completion ratio stands out as does Cabaye’s tackling.

  21. worky,

    Aye,

    RIP Socrates.
    Smart guy too.

    He said he wanted to die on a sunday with Corinthians clinching the title. He did & they did.
    Woah!

  22. Classic quote from Fulham’s Stephen Kelly:

    “We have been playing well but not getting the rub of the green. As soon as their player got sent off, we created chances and got at them.” :)

    Presumably they didnt bother beforehand ?

  23. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    December 5, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    “worky,

    Aye,

    RIP Socrates.
    Smart guy too.”

    Aye, he was a Docta Clint but he liked a drink. That Zico / Socrates goal about 30 seconds in to the video I linked to is a pure work of art. That’s the Italian 1982 World Cup defence with Zoff in goal and Baresi only making the bench. Paulo Rossi had the game of his life though and scored a hat-trick. Hence that Brazil ’82 team are up there with the Netherlands ’74 team as the greatest teams that didn’t win the World Cup.

  24. worky,

    that brazil/italy game was amazing, wasn’t just after most of italy’s team was decimated by the ‘match fixing’ debacle?

    Those italians!
    :)

  25. Read a good article in The Times today (ohhh), about a South American manager called Jorge Sampaoli, doing exceptional work with University of Chile team, “La U”.

    With 20 years experience in youth coaching, he’s spent plenty of time experimenting formations, and takes with him a lethal 3-3-1-3, that’s working wonders.

    His teams favor an offensive approach mainly playing with 3 backs, 2 full-backs, 1 defensive midfielder, 1 offensive midfielder, 2 wingers and 1 center forward.

    Worth a try?…come on Pards, take a gamble till Colo and Willo can establish a wintery hold on the back 4.

    Sampaoli’s South American Toon might look like this:

    …………Krul…………..
    …Simmo….Perch…….Raylor
    Santon……Tiote……..Gutherie
    …………Cabaye…………..
    HBA…………………..Jonas
    …………..Ba……………

    (an unfit tiote would require retinkering, with Gosling somewhere)

  26. Milner says:

    “Read a good article in The Times today (ohhh), about a South American manager called Jorge Sampaoli, doing exceptional work with University of Chile team, “La U”.

    With 20 years experience in youth coaching, he’s spent plenty of time experimenting formations, and takes with him a lethal 3-3-1-3, that’s working wonders.

    His teams favor an offensive approach mainly playing with 3 backs, 2 full-backs, 1 defensive midfielder, 1 offensive midfielder, 2 wingers and 1 center forward.

    Worth a try?…come on Pards, take a gamble till Colo and Willo can establish a wintery hold on the back 4”

    God loves a trier Milner but we all know it’ll be 4-4-2 :(

  27. haha, yeh i know, but i’d imagine some element of this formation could/will be used, namely: bolstering numbers in defence.

    With this crazy Chilean style, you’d potentially have Tiote dropping back in as CB, and Santon plus Guth/Jonas adding the def numbers up to a possible 6…..

    with Cabaye as an oulet for our attackers.

    ah……4-4-2 it is then!

  28. Andy,

    did ya’ see the fulham/liverpool game mate?

    There wasn’t a lot of running going on in that game before the red card like.
    :)

  29. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    December 5, 2011 at 10:22 pm(Edit)

    “worky,

    that brazil/italy game was amazing, wasn’t just after most of italy’s team was decimated by the ‘match fixing’ debacle?”

    ONE of Italy’s match fixing scandals Clint. That one was the “Totonero” affair. It was two years before the ’82 World Cup but the thing was that Rossi, who scored a hat-trick in that game, and had a great World Cup overall, had been banned for three years for his role. However they then reduced it to one year just so he could play in the World Cup.

  30. Milner says:

    December 5, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    “With this crazy Chilean style, you’d potentially have Tiote dropping back in as CB, and Santon plus Guth/Jonas adding the def numbers up to a possible 6…..”

    Crashzy Dutch style Milner.

    3-3-1-3 started as a Van Gaal modification of Cruyff’s 3-4-3 formation. Bielsa adopted it later with the Argies and Chile.

  31. spot on there Worky, as a newly quailified FA Coach, and the ‘ah-hem, saviour of English football’, i’ll be looking to practice this formation over the next few years, god willing, and bring it to the Toon – about the same time Sammy is an established/ageing Toon Striker Legend….maybe with Ameobie Jnr, or Grandson playing for us.

    It’ll be worth the wait…

  32. cheers CLiNT, i’ll be adopting the Toon method of running a kids club: scouting abroad (booze cruises), fractous contact with the Parents of Children (and fans in general), only accepting players with a long and exotic medical history (aesthma suffers, Great Ormond st kids etc), renaming the village green, renaming their children, and hopefully stealing money out the subsciptions and opponents dressing rooms!

    But as long as we remain in the top 6 – I’ll be a local feckin hero!

  33. Milner says:

    December 5, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    “spot on there Worky, as a newly quailified FA Coach, and the ‘ah-hem, saviour of English football’,”

    Nice one Milner! Someone else I know who went through all that did some of his training under Hughton.

    When you need some inspiration, the great Dutch masters are always a good place to start, especially Michels and the zen master of football, Cruyff. It didn’t do Guardiola much harm. ;-)

    Have you ever read “Teambuilding: The Road to Success” and “Ajax, Barcelona, Cruyff”?

  34. I think when saturday showed our need for a centre half and a left back! Yea jonas tracks back but surely he should be used as an attacking force not

  35. nicky says:

    December 5, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    “I think when saturday showed our need for a centre half and a left back!”

    A Centre Half, aye nicky. We supposedly bought a good left back / right back though, and he’s still on benchwarming duties.

  36. Cheers worky, i’ll stick those books on the xmas list – already asked my dad for the NBA coach’s book, the one with the amazing record – i read somewhere that Pards gave it to John Carver at the beg of season as inspiration in all walks of sport….

    gotta be better than ill sized garments and perfume crafted in the style of a liquid ‘Fisherman’s Friends’.

  37. given that we’ll prob start with a back 4 – i’d actually have the most faith in Alan Smith. Bags of experience and not afraid to get stuck in….might as well start earning that 60k.

  38. Milner says:

    December 6, 2011 at 12:00 am

    “Cheers worky,”

    Milner, if you want to get all philosophical, quite a few of the great managers, including Glenn Roeder, have read Sun Tzu’s ancient Taoist treatise, “The Art of War”, which is the seminal text on strategy.

    There are massive chunks of Michels’ Teambuilding available to read at the link below. BTW, there is a section in there on Van Gaal’s development of the 3-4-3 formation we mentioned above.

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=1t-2_APjyp4C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false

  39. Glenn Roeder studied the Art of War? …u truly do learn something everyday.

    It’s a lot about learning your enemy’s weakness, i believe, so i can see how it might adapt.

    Right, now i’m going to study the art of sleep….until exactly 6.30am.

  40. Milner says:

    December 6, 2011 at 12:38 am

    “Glenn Roeder studied the Art of War?”

    I saw a photo of the great master with it once Milner. They all read it, and business leaders too. They think it will give them magical powers, but there’s no point in reading it unless you can understand it.

  41. worky – “the zen master of football, Cruyff” – don’t forget his great disciple & son in law – the great “sexy football ” “this is a relegation team” “Shearer is past it” supercoach Ruud Guilett
    – or on second thoughts, yeh, let’s forget him

  42. Supermac, Glenn Roeder was the last manager who got us into European competition. Despite being devasted by injuries in the latter part his spell as manager, he had the best win percentage (45.83%) of any full manager since Bobby Robson until Chris Hughton came along, and of course, his was so high because most of his games were played in the Championship. Alan Pardew’s is currently 38.46%. So why do we deride Roeder so much?

  43. worky – true, Glen was a good servant of the club in several capacities – I didn’t mean to be anti, it was just a poor attempt at wit – sorry Glen

  44. Supermac says:

    December 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    “worky – true, Glen was a good servant of the club in several capacities – I didn’t mean to be anti, it was just a poor attempt at wit – sorry Glen”

    Sorry Supermac, I just meant in general, because we do.

  45. What appeared as solid as a rock in the 50’s, the old 2-3-5 lineup, was actually a 3-2-2-3 where the centre half was actually more of a CD, the wing halfs DM’s, the inside forwards playing a fetch and carry role, dropping back and while in possession joining the attack, with the wingers and CF up front.
    There’s certainly more to football than the 4-4-2
    In fact the 50’s line up sounds quite radical, probably work even in to-day’s game.
    But then we will never know, radical for this guy is 4-4-1-1.
    Ah well !

  46. chuck says:

    December 6, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    “Glen was OK, at least he knew when to keep his gob shut !”

    There was Kenny Dalglish too Chuck. Even when he did open his gob, no one could understand a word of what he was saying anyway! :-)

    Sorry about the lack of blogs if anybody cares. I’ve been wrestling with my ISP to get some problems fixed instead and the customer service line was broken. First of all it was off completely for a while the other day, and since then I’ve it’s been running at 1/30th of it’s usual speed. Think it’s fixed now (fingers crossed).

  47. Supermac says:

    December 6, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    “Andy Carroll heading back to Newcastle – for a court case I presume !”

    Oh Supermac, you’re very cutting today. Poor Andy Carroll.

    ps What about Bassong heading back to Newcastle?

  48. Bassong? take him in a New York second and i believe he would be more than happy to return, as he aint exactly Arry’s first choice.
    Take him on loan, if the price is right take him ahead of Ridgewell on a regular transfer.
    Tick’s all the boxes, but gotta say Arry’s tough to do business with.
    But i said it early in the season, injuries will happen and we just dont have adequate cover.
    Santon was a last minute buy, probably not a fully thought out deal and besides it was obvious we needed backup for the back four.
    Hey the EPL is’nt a gambling casino, what you see is what you get and looks like we are scraping the barrel.

  49. Chuck – the 4-4-2 was a revolution & worked if you had the players – eg Sir Alf who had no decent wingers in any case.
    Since then it has become the solution of ordinary unimaginative managers – if they had the players it would work, if not it would fail – no great tactical nouce required.
    The classic 4-4-2 is now rarely played – it had over-lapping full backs but no wingers. Then when fan apathy set in & crowds fell (35,000 was considered a decent crowd at SJP in early 70s) a winger (usually only 1) was introduced, with sometimes a midfielder playing wide (eg Tommy Doc’s Hill & Coppell).
    Elsewhere a sweeper was introduced either behind the back 4 (typically Italy) or in front (eg w.Germany) – resulting in success but total boredom from 1-0s 0r 0-0s. We never had any success this this formation.
    To say Pardew plays a 4-4-2 is realy only a shorthand description not a tactical plan – the fullbacks don’t realy overlap, but we have wingers who are expected to cover the full backs (as Dalgleish said to Ginola to his disgust).
    So what we in effect have is a back 6 = 2 overlapping full backs Jose & Obertan, 2 full backs, & 2 CBs
    so we play 6-2-2 when they have the ball and 4-4-2 only when we have it.
    Result, we never dominate midfield to dictate play but we give away few goals and score few goals!
    So far this has worked well – if we meet a strong midfield we loose – a weak one we win.
    And it’s not very pretty to watch.

  50. Bassong? Yes, why not – I don’t see anything wrong in the way he left, but I doubt he would fancy returning.
    same for Habid Beye – he’s on loan at Doncaster but I think he would be available in Jan – def an idea for emergancy cover !

  51. Very good analysis, Supermac. You a coach?

    Note what you say about “a good midfield.” Chelsea got the result because Romeu stayed put and won his tackles and Mata created more chances than any other player.

  52. workyticket says:

    “So why do we deride Roeder so much?”

    Good question WT. The only reason I can think of is we (I mean the royal “We” as in the Toon Army) wanted someone with a better CV and a bucket load more personality.

    Mind you I dont think 1-5 at home to Championship Birmingham did him any favours :)

  53. Yeah Supermac that is a good analysis. Did you nick it from somewhere ? :)

    As I have said many times Pardwho tries to fit a square peg into a roundish sort of hole as the players he selects arent necessarily the best for 4-4-2 yet the formation he should adopt 4-3-3/4-5-1 he doesnt like.

  54. chuck says:

    “What appeared as solid as a rock in the 50′s, the old 2-3-5 lineup, was actually a 3-2-2-3 where the centre half was actually more of a CD”

    Didnt know they had crossdressers in those days Chuck ?

  55. Vis a vis Roeder WT I found this on .com at the end of 2005/6 season when Roeder was eventually put out of his misery.

    “Nicky Butt tends not to say a great deal, but when he does speak publicly, it’s worth far more than the cloying tosh and doublespeak that some of his colleagues indulge in.

    Butt said “It needs to be put out that not every player playing in Newcastle colours this season has played for the shirt or played for everybody connected with the club”

    This came after the final game of the season at Watford when Martins fecked off, pretending to be injured and Zoggy was caught texting during a team meeeting :(

    I’m guessing here but maybe dear old Glen had “lost the dressing room” by then :)

  56. Supermac says:

    December 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Supermac,

    Some very interesting points there in comment 66, though I’m not sure I would agree with all of them. I may be getting you a bit wrong here, but I wouldn’t say that our fullbacks don’t overlap with wingers, or that 4-4-2 has been the choice of “ordinary unimaginative managers” since the days of Ramsey’s “wingless wonders” of the sixties. Firstly I would think of Sacchi’s (later Capello’s) Milan 4-4-2 of the late 80s / early 90s, which was revolutionary in it’s day, and still thought of as one of the great teams. Having written that, it probably wouldn’t be so effective nowadays with the more recent offside rules and all that.

    I do agree with the rest generally, as I wrote, some excellent points well made there. On the subject of crowds at SJP, never mind the seventies, I remember the dark days of the eighties when sometimes, 20,000 would be a decent turnout!

    “but we have wingers who are expected to cover the full backs (as Dalgleish said to Ginola to his disgust).”

    There’s probably an element of that in Pardew’s reluctance to put Ben Arfa on the flank too.

  57. Andy Mac says:
    December 6, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    “I’m guessing here but maybe dear old Glen had “lost the dressing room” by then”

    Bobby Robson and Greame Souness also allegedly had problems in the dressing room before Roeder too, so he wasn’t alone there.

    Andy Mac says:

    December 6, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    “Good question WT. The only reason I can think of is we (I mean the royal “We” as in the Toon Army) wanted someone with a better CV and a bucket load more personality.”

    This “personality” thing really get’s my goat Andy. Most people are ****ing stupid about leadership whether it’s football or anything else. Clement Attlee was our greatest postwar Prime Minister, but if he was the leader of the Labour Party nowadays he’d be dismissed as unelectable because he was a little bald gadgie with no “charisma”. Of course, I’m not trying to say that Roeder was our greatest postwar mananger, I’m just making a general point about the stupid, vacuous world we live in nowadays. :-)

  58. worky “I remember the dark days of the eighties when sometimes, 20,000 would be a decent turnout!”
    I remember a terrible cold rainy night when we played Southend (yes!) in Ardiles’ later days – bottom of the league (D2 then) 3-0 up at half time 3-3 at the end and lucky to hang on.
    11,000 of us braved the sleet & cold in uttery misery! Most had left by the end.
    5 weeks later KK arrived & the rest is history as they say.

  59. Ha ha. You whinging saps. Come and live over hear for a while and you’ll know the true meaning of stupid, vacuous world.

  60. Supermac says:

    December 7, 2011 at 11:11 am

    ” I remember a terrible cold rainy night when we played Southend (yes!) in Ardiles’ later days – bottom of the league (D2 then) 3-0 up at half time 3-3 at the end and lucky to hang on.
    11,000 of us braved the sleet & cold in uttery misery! Most had left by the end.
    5 weeks later KK arrived & the rest is history as they say.”

    Aye Supermac, the Charlton / McFaul / Smith years leading up to that depressed me because it was so predictable. There was Keegan’s first coming (and leaving), we were back up in the top division, players like Waddle, Pedro and Gazza coming off the Geordie conveyor belt. Then the heartbreak as they were all sold one by one until the inevitable happened, we slumped right to the bottom of the old Division 1 and got relegated. Jim “Bald eagle” Smith described the club as “unmanagable”.

  61. WT says:

    “Aye Supermac, the Charlton / McFaul / Smith years leading up to that depressed me because it was so predictable”

    Not as depressing as the following year which ended in that abysmal performance at home to the unwashed in the 2nd leg playoff :(

    Darkest day for me by a long way only marginally improved by Swindon beating them at Wembley !!!

  62. BBC Sport :

    “Incredible… Stunning… Bemusing? Manchester United and Manchester City – the current top dogs of the Premier League both crash out of the Champions League at the group stages and will contest the Europa League in early 2012. Get your heads round that, people”

    How does that work then ?

  63. Andy Mac – it means that the money men of manchester will have to do their sums again
    – possibly not getting a mega signing or two
    – possibly prompting transfer requests out in jan
    – and doesn’t it make the Carling Cup draw sudenly more important !
    – and one more step towards a euro super league where the big pay days won’t be left to chance ?

  64. Andy Mac says:

    December 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    “WT got an email with nowt in it ? Was that a yes or no ?”

    What is gannin’ on with your e.mail Andy? I sent a full one and I’ve just resent it. I also sent a longer one before that too, did you get it?

    It was a “yes” BTW. ;-)