Despite such a great start to the season we still have fans trying to jump on the back of our players as quickly as possible.
Gabriel Obertan is the one taking the hit at the minute, but he’s not the only one, James Perch got blamed for plenty on Wednesday when it wasn’t his fault and Danny Guthrie was getting stick throughout the game, until he silenced the abuse with a 25 yard screamer.
I don’t like to call players that play for us, but I will say if they’ve played poorly or not. My main qualm with players is if they don’t try. That’s a reason to slag them off constantly, not just because they don’t play brilliantly every game.
Right, back to Obertan, when Pardew spoke on the radio this quote really stuck about Obertan, when such absolute imbecile rang up to slag him off to his manager on the radio.
“If you asked Gabby whether he was in the top 5 right sided midfielders in the Premier League, he’d tell you he wasn’t even in the top 20”
That’s right there clearly shows his problem, confidence. I’m not a rocket scientist but do you think that people getting on his back so early in his Newcastle career is a good way to help him improve.
He’s been stuck behind some brilliant players at Old Trafford and their fans were they same, any time he came on the pitch they’d moan. “why’s he playing?” “he’s useless” “get so and so on”. But why? He gives 100% every game, he defends, he links up play, he attacks the full back when he’s got space, fair enough he doesn’t always go at the full back, but when he does he’s often effective.
Why does he get the stick? Well, I’ll round it up. Some people have a dig at his crossing, but there’s not many quick wingers who are great at crossing, you usually get one or the other. Obertan’s crossing isn’t awful, he managed to pick out Demba Ba on Wednesday for the pen, but little credit was given.
Other people have a dig and say he doesn’t beat his man or attack his full back enough. Pardew said on the radio that he’d love to have Gabby run at the full back all game, but sometimes you just need to keep the ball.
I’ve seen some people write Obertan off so far, sometimes even to the point of embarrassment. I’ve read comments of “I never want to see Obertan in a Newcastle shirt again” that was the one that really made me laugh. Writing off a 22 year old, 6 foot 1 pacey winger after 9 league games, the lad has everything in his locker to be a top class player; it just needs to shine through.
I still remember the first time I saw him play against England Under 21’s at the City Ground. He was the best player on the pitch, by a “country mile”. He scored the winning goal and got man of the match, despite not lasting the full 90.
The summer after that game he was snapped up by Fergie, some say Fergie doesn’t let good players go. He lets the older players go when they’re finished, but sometimes he lets a gem of youngster go, Gerard Pique and Giuseppe Rossi being the prime examples.
Yes, Marveaux is knocking on the door, and looking good, but that’s in the reserves, even Ranger looks good in the reserves. I’m not knocking Marveaux as he’s looking good, but giving Obertan the hook right now would just dent his confidence even more, as if the moans and groans from 50 thousand and sarcastic applause at his replacement weren’t enough.
Obertan has the pace which changes games; it can get you out of tight spots and take you the length of the field in seconds. Although I didn’t attend the training session today I’ve heard he looked on a good form with some great touches and some good finishing. If the fans get behind him and give the lad some confidence we could see that on the pitch.
He needs to be given time on the pitch so he can gain confidence and perform to the level which he threatens to perform at on a more consistent basis. He also needs the fans behind him, he needs to feel like he’s loved by the fans, something he didn’t feel at Manchester United. The fans could play a big part in Gabby’s development, he needs 50,000 fans behind him, not on his back.
He’s only 9 league games into his NUFC career, give him a break!