The left-back conunudrum.

Ferguson is flying!
With news of the full extent of Jose Enrique’s injury yet to be confirmed, the whole left-back conundrum is kind of up in the air at the moment.

Or is it?

I would suggest that it’s still a conundrum at the moment, both for this season and beyond. The fact is that Jose’s injury, if severe enough to keep him out of action for the first team, highlights yet another area of weakness within our squad.

Right now as backup for Jose we have the option of playing Danny Simpson out of position on the left, playing James Perch out on the left, or playing young Shane Ferguson at left-back, although to be honest that would be my preferred choice of the three.

It’s been said before and it will no doubt be said again, but we need another left-back, and if Jose does end up leaving the club then I would suggest that we need two. Ferguson may be a cracking prospect, but could you really rely on him for a run of ten games if injury was to set in? He’s only a young lad, would he handle it? What if he then got injured?

I guess the ultimate aim is to have two first-team players for every position, but at this stage in the rebuilding process it is perhaps too much to ask. Thing is though, we’ve been saying this for years and it still hasn’t been addressed, certainly not at left-back anyway. When was the last time you could say that we had a reliable back-up option?

An injury to one player has left us with this conundrum, and if we want to improve and be able to compete on more that just one front then we’ll need to make sure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen in the future. We could always try and get rid of some of the 53 central midfielder’s that we seem to have collected which will hopefully allow us to balance the squad a little bit better, but this is Newcastle and we’ll probably sign another couple for some unknown reason.

I don’t know who to suggest that we could grab as a backup as, being honest, a half-decent left-back will probably not want to play second fiddle to anyone as they will know that they could probably get a game elsewhere, although if Jose does leave it will of course be less of a problem. Emilio Izaguirre has been mentioned, as has Cheikh M’Bengue, but they will come as starters and won’t play second fiddle.

Young Ferguson’s time will come, and whilst he has impressed in his limited appearances and claims to be ready, it would really show just how weak the squad was if we had to throw him in at the deep end.

Moan over!

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

51 thoughts on “The left-back conunudrum.

  1. I’d rather play myself left back than Perch. πŸ˜†

    I like Ferguson, every time he’s come on he has done really well. Going forward he looks class. Needs to build himself up though – he’s like a twig.

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  2. Wow toonsy, I was gonna suggest doing a thread about LB and then I came on and saw this.

    My point is, would we really be that worse off, if…….. We sold Enrique to AC Milan for Β£10M or so and got Taiwo or M’Benque. Both are by all accounts very good if not brilliant LB’s and Taiwo is out of contract and can leave for nothing it seems. Giving us even more money to spend in other areas. If we have to spend some the the money it’s not the end of the world. My point is if Enrique has his mind set on leaving, it’s good to know there are replacements out there and Pardew could be out sniffing around already.

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  3. Where has it ever been said that Enrique has his mind set on leaving?!?

    And ye Andrew, I’d rather play you left back than Perch too…

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  4. He said himself to the Spanish press that promises had been broken and that he was flattered by interest of ‘big’ clubs and he was not closing the door on anyone. He also said that he had ambition to win things.

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  5. I think he wants to try and break into the Spain squad and to be fair to him why not. If he goes to Milan and plays in the champions league you have to admit he has a much better chance of getting in the next world cup squad.

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  6. DJG

    He had an interview and his words got twisted, Jose never said he wants to leave – he said he wants to talk about his contract when we are safe.

    Toonsy apparently M’Bengue has been suspended twice for horror tackles…

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  7. I fear that if the club feel they have a ready made replacement for Enrique (Ferguson) they will let him leave.

    I would have my doubts about whether the lad is ready yet, but he has the potential, there’s no doubt about it.

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  8. I’ve done some digging and he is 22, about 6ft. Highly rated in France, quick strong and attacking. He’s is like a bigger better Bernard. Could be as good or better than Enrique to be fair, we’re not the only club scouting him either. Taiwo is 25, same height, quite similar really, strong, quick attacking LB, both left footed. Don’t know what they are like compared to Enrique but I certainly wouldn’t be concerned about whether they were good enough.

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  9. Im not saying I want Enrique to leave by the way I’m just saying if he wants to go we need somebody else obviously.

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  10. DJG

    Taiwo is excellent going forward but not anywhere near as good in defense.
    Never heard of the other guy!

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  11. AndrewNUFC
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    I like Ferguson, every time he’s come on he has done really well. Going forward he looks class. Needs to build himself up though – he’s like a twig.

    Aye Pardew has highlighted that in a recent interview, they have got him on the steak and milk diet. Also think his inclusion might be a wake up call to Ranger. Ferguson has the right attitude to break in the first team and will get his chance if he works hard, Nile’s chances will be taken away if he doesn’t work hard.

    On the left back situation, Jose going would have a huge impact on Jonas and Colo, absolutely no doubt about it and we are all talking about people coming in for him due to his form….what about Colo? It would be absolutely mental to think that there aren’t clubs out there having a close look at him, yet there is no talk of him leaving and why? because he hasn’t spoken to the media. Colo hasn’t given the media a chance to jump on the bandwagon and start the rumour mill into over drive. We have just as much chance of losing any of our players if the right club comes in for them with the right offer, not just Jose is what I am trying to say.

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  12. With Ben Arfa being fully fit next season we won’t miss Jose’s attacking qualities much with Benny on the left, obviously I would rather have them both there.

    If Jose left I would move for Taiwo, who is a free in the summer, people have mentioned that Celtic full back but it is only the SPL. It does not take much at all to do well in that league.

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  13. Lads,double check something,did kadar went out on loan to other club? The best choice back-up to enrique? πŸ˜•

    I always thought shane is Left winger.

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  14. He went to Huddersfield on loan AngelOfDeath but then injured his hamstring, dunno if he’s with us or them though.

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  15. True Andrew, but does that mean he isn’t very good? He came from a Honduran club so you really don’t have anything to base that on.

    Sure there is a long list of players who came from the SPL and didn’t do well…….you also have players like Gascoigne, Laudrup, Gattuso, Larsson, Van Hoojdonk were all magnificent players and plied their trade in the SPL. Recently McCarthy and Charlie Adam have come from the SPL and they have ability

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  16. Yeah Taiwo is better going forward, M’Bengue is more Enrique like. but he wouldn’t be a free transfer like Taiwo.

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  17. DJG – My concern about that M’Bengue is his temperament. I mean getting banned twice for a total of six months for seriously injuring opponents….. Is it not slightly worrying?

    I think it is. Read more about him here> http://www.nufcblog.co.uk/?p=1635

    And Taiwo would require a decent wage and is being courted by bigger teams than us. Teams that cn offer Europe for example…

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  18. He is still young though and that may be a personal falling out with another team/player who knows. Coming to England and not speaking the language to argue with opponents usually helps like. It’s similar to Ben Arfa isn’t it. He used to fall out with other french players aswell.

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  19. Aye, but I mean there is falling out with people, and then there is seriously injuring people. Slight different πŸ˜•

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  20. It’s getting back to the point that there’s not many good LB’s around either is there. If it gets to the summer and Enrique doesn’t sign a contract and has his agent looking for champions league club for him then what do we do. Like you say with the money and non-europe football we’ve got we may have to settle for somebody with a questionable attitude that would stop them going to a top-4 club for example. Graham Carr will sort it don’t worry. πŸ˜‰

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  21. Did you actually see what happened though toonsy? I mean there’s a lot of players in the prem that get injured, not saying it’s right but ‘accidents’ do happen.

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  22. DJG – Well no, but the fact he got banned for 13 games for one and for three months for the other would suggest that it was pretty bad.

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  23. Also as we have discovered with Tiote, players from the continent are better suited to the prem if they are more physical. Remember what is a ‘normal’ player in France and Holland can look a bit lightweight in the prem.

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  24. Irrelevant. These were bans handed out after the event and after M’Bengue got punished during the game for it, so they were clearly dangerous.

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  25. Not saying that he hasn’t changed or anything, just that it isn’t that good a thing to hear about….

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  26. Yeah but we don’t actually know what happened we are only speculating. In France they are more punishing. It could be that he went in hard, similar to a prem De Jong or Carl Henry tackle and the player got injured. The Fa in france are different to our waste of space one, they actually ban players if someone gets injured.

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  27. True, which kind of makes a mockery of the Premier League saying that FIFA say they can’t take retrospective action if a ref has seen the incident. Quite clearly it is possible as M’Bengue got a red for one serious injury inflicted plus a 13 game ban, and then got another three month ban for the other serious injury inflicted after being booked by the ref…..

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  28. Pardew said it would be hard to find lots of cheikhs, i bet that’s what we’re looking for. the motto of if his first name is cheikh sign him up πŸ˜‰

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  29. On a serious note: i’ve looked up them tackles but cannot find videos or any more info, wiki said the bans were given out due to the length of injury the tackles caused. He seems to be an alright player but if he’s a little fecker i’d rather look elsewhere

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  30. yeah yeah, ashley said he was renegotiating Hughtons contract, they’ll just be lying, if they lose the next 2 he’s gone

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  31. I personally would pick Izaguirre. He has been top class the entire season. I would also go for Beram Kayal as competition/back up for Tiote.

    Also, off topic but just a note – Lovenkrands has a goal record of one goal every three games. This is a guy we signed twice on a free transfer. Can we really say he isn’t good enough with that goal ratio?

    Also – he has been more prolific for us than he was at Rangers and Schalke and Rangers worship him.

    He is a great signing. Just defending him.

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  32. True. It’s just a weird situation at Blackburn to be honest. Can’t quite get my head around it. Hope they go down πŸ™‚

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  33. yeah same, Big Sam was sacked because a top agent is helping the guys at Bburn run the club, that same agent has Steve Kean as a client, that got him the job

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  34. Personally, if Enrique goes, I’d love to see Taiwo. Would be poetic justice for me too. My best mate is Nigerian and a bindippers supporter. He got to gloat over them gettin’ Carroll, so for us to get Taiwo would be mint πŸ˜€

    FunkyJ- Lovenkrands is good when he wants to be. Kinda like Kevin Nolan. Disappears for a few minutes then pops up with a goal lol.

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  35. Dog-

    Yeah probably not lol! Right now, I’m givin a cockney friend shit for liking the hammers lol. She’s an east ender and an ex hammerette. hehe

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  36. HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!!!! Without Girls,my world would be less beautiful to my eyes. 😳 😳

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  37. And on topic: I reckon newcastle WILL BE IN RELEGATION BATTLE.

    Just LOOk at hammers. 5 more points to be on par with us. 😯

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  38. AoD- lol mate, yeah no doubt!

    Toonsy- yeah, mornin’. How are things 6 hours in the future? πŸ˜€

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  39. O!HURLEY ex east-ender eh shame,well we all have our cross to bear,be kind to her,tell her you hope they come back up next year,even if you dont mean it 😈

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  40. AoD-

    Mate, we’ve been in a relegation battle from the start of the season. Nowt new there πŸ™

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  41. AoD. Do you not think we will get points in the next 2 games tho, it must be impossible to play as bad as that again surely.

    If Barton, Ireland and Ameobi are back we should not be as toothless.

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  42. Dog-

    I really don’t want them to go down. They’re about my fav club from London (which ain’t really sayin’ much). Besides, They’d be in the same league as Millwall if they get the drop 😯

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  43. Anyone feel Williamson needs a rest, he’s been out of position and responsible for a fair few errors lately although collo has normally helped him out – not sure if it’s Pardews attack minded insistence but we need to learn how to hold onto a lead

    Afraid loven can go for me, stats of 1 goal in 3 also count his championship goals, take them away and it’s quite different
    Reckon we need a striker to play with Best, a left back, a CB and a proper RW as well as backup for tiote/barton

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  44. Yeah, take a way championship goals and Carroll is hardly a top talent either – he’s no better than Leon Best if you count Carroll purely on Premiership.

    Stats are stats – they are facts. You cherry pick bits of them and you lose credibility and look bitter and prejudice against one player for no real reason.

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