Speaking to the Chronicle today ahead of the clash with Wigan, Alan Pardew admitted that our Italian U21 international Davide Santon is pushing for a start tomorrow.
Pardew has also spoken of how he has given his backing to Danny Simpson after rumours developed surrounding his future and personal problems of the pitch.
The headache for Pardew perhaps is whether to leave Danny Simpson in the starting line-up or allow Davide Santon to take up the mantle at right-back. Of course there is another option of moving Ryan Taylor to the right to accommodate Santon in the left-back position he was signed for.
This is what Pardew had to say on the uncertain future of Danny Simpson:
“I just felt that Danny got some bad advice, and things that came out shouldn’t have come out. I think he’s disappointed with that. It doesn’t affect me in any shape or form – he has my full backing. I’ll still look at him as a good person looking to play his football here for the forseeable future, and that contract being looked at by us and his side. The harder and better he plays, the easier that situation will get.”
Is it just me or does that last sentence say something about what Alan Pardew may think of the lad’s performances so far this season? Maybe he feels that if Simpson can step up his performances the contract situation will resolve itself in the immediate future. I know the lad has been going through a tough time at the moment but it seems clear to me that Pardew feels there is room for improvement in his defending game.
Commenting on Santon’s debut Pardew said: “Davide came into a good situation. We rescued a point, and he got off to a good start. All our new players have had a great start to the season, and that’s good news. The injury’s forgotten now, and that’s good news, as it could have come back. He’s pushing for a start.”
It sounds as if Santon is working very hard in order to make his way into the starting line-up of the current side. I know he may need time to integrate with the rest of the players during the game but if Pardew feels that he is ready to be included then why not give him a chance?
I really liked the look of Santon when he came on during the Spurs match, although he didn’t get many touches he did venture forward at times and certainly seems to have a burst of pace within him. Simpson seemed to be very annoyed that he was subbed off and maybe that has become evident to Santon.
I think it is healthy for there to be competition for the places at the moment as we have many players who can compete for roles that players are already playing in, however only tomorrow’s teamsheet will be the indication of who Pardew has given the nod to.
Would you prefer to see Santon or Simpson at RB?