Tactic talk: Does wing play really matter?

We need a modern day Ginola.

To me there is no better sight than seeing a winger burn up the wing, get to the byline, and put a pinpoint cross into the box.

Possibly the best two players I’ve seen capable of this in a black and white shirt both happened to be playing for Newcastle at the same time – David Ginola and Keith Gillespie. Granted Ginola had more strings to his bow and could do more than just beat his man and cross, but for Gillespie that was his forte. The pair of them set up endless goals for the likes of Alan Shearer and Les Ferdinand directly as a result of their wing play.

Times move on though and things change. Not only has the personnel changed, but football has changed. Is there still a place for a conventional winger like a Keith Gillespie in the modern day game? Or must they have more strings to their bow like a David Ginola to succeed and thrive in the modern day Premier League?

It’s fair to say that a lot of people want to see our wings strengthened. Rumours of Charles N’Zogbia and a return to Newcastle continue to circulate, along with fresh names like Tranquillo Barnetta in the last article, and you can tell by the reactions that there is an urgency to see our flanks improved.

Now I’m going to be a bit radical here and suggest that there is no place for a player of the likes of Keith Gillespie these days, unless you have a pair of strikers who can take advantage of the service of course. It’s unlikely we’ll find those strikers over the summer, so for the good of NUFC I’m going to suggest that our wing play, in terms of crossing at least, isn’t really that important.

That is not to say that we should completely ignore it, but in my opinion we need wingers who are more than just wingers if we are to see some success coming from our wings next season. We don’t really have a need for someone who can get to the byline and whip a ball in. If they can do that then great, but for me we need wingers with that little bit extra, with Charles N’Zogbia or someone of that ilk fitting the bill nicely.

What we need are players who can cut in and do something different. N’Zogbia is one of those, as is Hatem Ben Arfa although it’s been said that he is our new playmaker in the hole. Look back at some videos of Hatem Ben Arfa at his previous clubs and you will see that most of his damage is done when he cuts in from the right, not from him putting balls into the box. That is the kind of thing I mean.

It adds more value to the team in my opinion, and with so many teams like Wolves, Blackburn and Stoke, who will just eat up crosses all day, in the Premier League these days it’s my opinion that you need to have a different angle of attack. If you have two wingers who can cut in effectively then you can almost have four strikers on the pitch in certain phases of attack as the two wingers occupy more defenders allowing more room for others to attack. Simple really.

So that’s my two-penneth on conventional wing play and why I don’t think it’s that important. Now let’s have yours!

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.

368 thoughts on “Tactic talk: Does wing play really matter?

  1. You and batty last night? You were telling me to tear into him and lot. And you we’re calling him a back stabber and stuff. πŸ˜†

    Think I may have wrong end of the stick πŸ˜†

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  2. EUREKA!!

    BSn9 IS Steve Wraith. It all makes sense now!! The only other alternative is that BSn9 is just some fan who thinks he’s smarter than everyone else and actually fails to realize that that Steve Wraith has an *agenda* to wind up as many people as possible because by doing so, he gets noticed by more people and becomes more and more popular thus eventually increasing his chances of earning more revenue.

    Divent take a genius like to figure that oot…

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  3. TGS-some one asked this the other night, in her 40’s πŸ˜†

    And aye dave, been using the same sock since a started tugging a few years back πŸ˜†

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  4. I wouldn’t right Leeds off for next season either, or Blackpool, who actually played some decent football.
    I’d fuggin luv it if WHam do a boro next season.
    Its a tough lge, and unless you get off to a flyer, its easy to get left behind.

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  5. For those talkin about us having more heart than man city……our fans do of course, i dont doubt that for a milisecond!
    but as a club we most definitely do not! we have an owner who is ripping the heart out of the club at every opportunity! what player/staff member adored by the fans is still standing?? very few.
    out with shearer/hughton/carroll/nolan/given etc! some rightly and some wrongly but he seems to enjoy gettin rid of everything the fans hold enjoy and hold dear! the name of the stadium/the singing section/certain staff&players…even the announcement of signings is played down to the point where there is little fanfare about it. i have now gotten to the point where im sick to my teeth of this man

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  6. Buddy perhaps using your theory of Ashley gettin rid of everything the fans enjoy etc, we should form an owlheed apreciation society.
    Should work a trick :mrgreen:

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  7. Night TGS πŸ˜‰

    Beardsley-we want them to do a leeds/southampton and crash down to league one, not just hang in the Championship πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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  8. Evening lads or who ever is left πŸ™„

    Looks like I missed the main part of Bobby’s debate, shame πŸ™

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  9. TGS take it easy mate im going mesel im wrecked
    Spence we were only having a laugh mate πŸ˜‰ Batty loves it when you abuse him πŸ˜‰

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  10. Just seen some twonk on a west ham board say they ‘I need new pants no’ Reffuring to the Nolan signing. Hardly a jizz in your pants signing πŸ˜†

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  11. Beardsleys Boots,

    Haven’t Sunderland and Nottingham Forest gone from bottom 3 at Christmas to either winning the division or finishing third over the past few years?

    The Championship is so random, you can be bottom of the table and then in the play-offs a fortnight later.

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  12. Dan, the debate is over… so now its bullying me πŸ˜†

    Ohh Big Dave- seemd serious πŸ˜†

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  13. Buddy @ 306 but what can we do ? he wont beat me mate. I see it as being the way to get his money faster and get da fuk outta here πŸ˜‰

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  14. aye FJ but last season I think qpr dominated from early on.
    I’d sooner have Southampton in the prem than Wet Spam. 😯

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  15. dave,no we cant do anything unfortunately but i just feel like he continually rips it outta us fans. every time i begin to have a little bit of confidence in him, it gets thrown in our faces! i no longer feel he is defendable really

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  16. Dan come on between 10:30 and 12:00 at night and you should be able to throw some abuse at me πŸ˜†

    Of course if Jobey is on, I will be getting bullied anyway πŸ˜†

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  17. There was no debate, just Bobby’s usual nonesense and then him ignoring people when they made a legit point πŸ˜†

    Spencer’s right though its after the watershed so we can all start complimenting his mum, I think she’s on sky channel 909 tonight? Right spence? πŸ˜‰

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  18. Our only real competition came from West Brom and Forest. Now there is Forest, Leeds, Cardiff, Reading, Leicster, Blackpool. The league is stronger now. There are more teams on the cusp of premier league football.

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  19. Spencer…what a poncy little video, and Liverpool must have the weirdest looking squad as well, Carroll, Suarez and Kuyt? Bunch of freaks, and that’s not even including their skinhead mob πŸ˜†

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  20. Spence-You’re not wrong mate, gay channel for the porn, I just like to chit chat with your mum about dresses that’s all πŸ˜›

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  21. In respect of that Liverpool kit video – has Andy Carroll always looked that feminine?

    I am not talking about the long hair, I have longer hair than him – but his face is almost androgynous. Like the guy out of Placebo.

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  22. DJG-Agreed, and the teams like Swansea and Norwich which many saw as weaker managed to get themselves promoted which hopefully gives us some easier points this year but it also makes the Championship a lot tougher.

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  23. @Moreno – I see your point and it is a risk but they will be losing a lot of high earners, the likes of Parker, Green etc. It to me seems a larger risk not investing in their team and being less likely to get promoted. They will be getting someone that is proven at that level (and higher levels) Remember that that money is spread accross five years and if West Ham don’t get promoted, and Nolan doesn’t have an awful season, I could see a premier league club being willing to take Nolan off west ham’s hands. (Although relying on that would be a big risk).

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  24. Nekiwe- only got sky down stairs πŸ˜₯ Could have done with a tug aswell πŸ˜†

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  25. This headline on nesnow made me chuckle “Pies must overcome Nolan exit “…..aye it was a sad day for pies when Nolan left πŸ˜†

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  26. Dan…yesterday you said you wanted to have a conversation about something…wasn’t sure exactly what…perhaps my “hopeful” feelings…
    You had to turn in for the night though so it never happened. Still up for it…or is it moot? πŸ™‚

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  27. Aye richie…depends on the pie’s desire…I suppose if the pie’s desire it to be eaten…then yes…otherwise could be a sigh of relief.

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  28. Richie, you reminded me of this poem:

    Oh how I once loved tuna salad
    Pork and lobsters, lamb chops too
    ‘Til I stopped and looked at dinner
    From the dinner’s point of view.

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  29. Dan:

    I guess I am not totally surprised that Nolan is going. I think I am ok with it, a bit upset only because of his apparent leadership quality. However, I have to admit that I would love to see either Barton or Colo made captain next season. I do hope that we can keep Barton.

    I missed the chance to add in my thoughts all day. I liked JerseyGeordie’s idea of Jozy coming in…been saying that since last year actually.

    Also, I don’t think we can judge the outcome of this window until perhaps December, or rather the opening of the next. If this window is a success then we will have no need for a lot of activity in January and will likely be sitting in a comfortable position in the league (top 10 perhaps). If it was a failure, then expect desperate actions, and that won’t be any fun at all.

    I still remain hopeful that good contributors will be brought in.

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  30. I’m sure every fecker gangs up on me on MW Black Ops….or maybe I’m just sh!t πŸ˜₯

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  31. Richie, have you tried dodging bullets or hiding…I hear things that generally allow you to keep from getting shot work pretty well. But, I’ve not played the game, so I can’t verify that.

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  32. Norcal, ah πŸ™‚

    Colo would be good but I think it will go to Saylor as he will be here long term I would imagine.

    I agree we can’t judge on the transfers straight away although if we get the likes of Matuidi etc we will have a really good team πŸ˜€

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  33. Dan,

    You may be right. Now that I think on it more, I would love for it to be Colo. But in reality, as the Captain will likely have to give many interviews, it’ll likely have to be someone who has great command of the English language…well…fair command anyway. No slight against Colo, but as it’s not his first language, it may make more sense to go with an Englishman. Still, I am not sure I’d want Steven Taylor to be the captain. He doesn’t strike me as someone who commands respect from the other players…perhaps I am wrong there. And you also bring up a good point about the likely longevity of his stay.
    But, I still go back to Barton being made captain, unless of course he’s not here come next season.
    Then, if all that fails, put em on the pitch and start shooting paint balls at them…whoever is the one that can survive the longest without getting hit wins the armband.

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  34. NorCal…..no thats how wimps play

    Newkie….I concur πŸ˜† …..at least my team won this time tho :mrgreen:

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  35. Richie, its all about the free for all…aww yeah πŸ˜€

    As for Colo I’m pretty sure he can speak English pretty well, he’s given a couple of interviews in his time and he seems to have done it well. Theres plenty of foreign captains in top teams, tevez, vidic, fabregas, I don’t think language is a problem for him, its a lot more on the character of the player himself. Presumably Pardew will know if he’s the character for the armband, I’d plum for Barton myself, even if he leaves after next season he’s the obvious choice for this season. After that maybe another player can step up, but its much too early for Staylor in my opinion.

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  36. Newkie, I think it should be Coloccini but I think Saylor will get it because Pardew seems to really like him and he will be here a lot longer than Colo, I would think.

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  37. Whey thats me, there’s only so much death and destruction I can wreak in one night 😈

    Colo’s English will be fine, he only needs the swear words and a few football phrases and I’m sure he’ll know all them πŸ˜‰

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  38. Yeah..I just think Staylor’s still a bit too much of a clown. I dunno, maybe he’s grown up a bit, but the only player I know who actually likes him is Ryan Taylor, and hopefully he won’t be around for too much longer. But I suppose your right, he might be Pardew’s choice. If Harper’s no.1 next season I’d even pick him over Staylor probably…but I’m not a fan of keeper’s as captains.

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  39. I like this article. I’ve disagreed with people saying they love to watch barca. I’d rather watch our side from the 90s, nothing more exciting then seeing a man beat a man then deliver a perfect cross. Though like you say the modern game seems to be developing players who are no longer in this mold. A shame.

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