Whilst looking at the make up of our squad, it struck me that an area where we have limited competition is at right-back. Danny Simpson is a very good option in that position for us, but what happens if he gets injured? Who do we rely on?
In truth we aren’t exactly blessed with right-backs. We have a number of players who could ‘do a job’ for us, but in the eyes of some Danny Simpson is very much the best of a bad bunch and it’s fair to say that the rest are viewed even worse than Simpson is. So with that in mind I guess it’s time to take have a look at the contenders.
Ryan Taylor is a potential candidate for playing in that position. He has played there on a number of occasions for the club, but with Joey Barton out of the US tour I imagine that Taylor will want to stake a claim for that right-midfield role that is vacant within the tour.
Towards the end of last season he found himself involved within the team after Alan Pardew earmarked him as a different option to Joey Barton on the right-side of midfield and he did play against Chelsea away at the tail end of last season and managed to set up the goal that enabled us to draw level.
Ryan Taylor could play at right-back if we need him too but I don’t think that will be the case. I can see him trying to prove to Pardew that he is capable of playing right-midfield. If he does show that then he may find himself involved in the team a lot more this forthcoming season.
Need I say anything on James Perch? I know most fans don’t approve of him and his record of getting five yellow cards in five games is not a statistic to be proud of. I don’t think he is an option to play at right back as he does not look happy there at all. I don’t think we should let him anywhere near that RB slot, he obviously doesn’t play there and it shows whenever he does play in that position. On a personal note I for one would not like to see him play there at all.
The next contender is Dan Gosling. Gosling is another one like Ryan Taylor; he can play at right back if he needs to. He deputised at right back for Everton in order to accommodate substitutions. I’m not sure what he’s like at right-back but I get the feeling that he does not want to play there and sees himself as a box-to-box midfielder.
Steven Taylor is another one who can play at right-back but with him making a very strong claim to partner Fabricio Coloccini in central defence that may not be an option. With the fact that he had a renaissance at the end of the season and showed his ability at centre-back and the prowess that he presents in front of goal I don’t think we will see him playing right-back anytime soon.
The last option within the club is our young right-back James Tavernier. He has played right-back on occasion for Newcastle and also at centre-back for the Toon. Although I have not seen him play that much for the club I know he has been present in Carling Cup games for the club. Tavernier is one for the future in my opinion, playing him in games such as the Carling Cup will develop his ability. No doubt we will see more of this young lad in the future.
That’s all the options I can see who can play at right-back. Some of them can do the job for us but with them seemingly wanting to play in their favoured position then it leaves me very concerned. Simmo has been improving throughout the last two seasons he has been with us but there are times when his play is not that great. Simpson is still developing but if he gets injured anytime in the near future then I think Pardew has a problem on his hands.
There could be an alternative option to this though and that would be identifying a right-back in the transfer market. If Alan Pardew did that then that would provide competition for the right-back slot which would be no bad thing at all.
It is only a suggestion but with the fact that some of the players don’t want to play at right-back it may be the answer to our right-back dilemma. One name that has been mentioned is Crystal Palace’s right-back Nathanial Clyne. I haven’t seen anything of him but several people have indicated that he is a good player. Certainly I feel that the right-back situation needs to be addressed one way or another before the season starts.
What do you think?