When is it the right time to introduce Santon?

Santon could come in handy against City
When Davide Santon signed for the club we were all desperate for him to get fit so he could take Ryan Taylor’s place in the team, but the calls for him in the team have died down lately.

That wasn’t me being smug, not at all, because I was one of the people calling for change at the first suitable moment.

The thing is, the first suitable moment has not happened yet in my opinion, both Ryan Taylor and Danny Simpson have been involved in the best defence in the league and they’re both giving 100% and playing well, especially Ryan Taylor who has made a decent fist of playing on his ‘wrong’ side.

Personally I was unsure on Ryan Taylor. We all knew he could produce going forward for Wigan, but he never really showed his class for Newcastle. But this season he’s been outstanding, he’s really surprised me, especially the defensive side of his game. Ryan Taylor has now become a real mainstay in our team, due to his dead ball and crossing prowess. Something which we’ve not really had since Nolberto Solano.

The real good thing about having Ryan at left-back is that in modern football teams seem to play their wingers on the opposite side so that they can cut in onto their stronger foot. With Ryan being right footed he can cover that very well and he’s also on Coloccini’s shoulder to help him. That’s made possible because of the excellent work rate of Jonas Gutierrez on the other side of Ryan Taylor.

Danny Simpson is also a player who could be replaced by Davide Santon. Simpson had a shaky start to the season and he looked like he was going to be the man who made way for Santon, but he seems to have turned it around in recent weeks. He’s had a very hard time with his ill child over the last few months, but his performances have started to return to his usual steadiness.

Anyway, now back to Santon. The reason I wrote this article is because I feel that Santon may get a change against Manchester City at the weekend. With Sylvain Marveaux out until the new year and Gabriel Obertan struggling to be fit for the City game it may be an option to play Davide Santon
on the right of midfield.

Davide Santon is usually played at right or left back, but whenever I’ve seen him play he’s looked very good going forward as well as being tidy in defence. Playing him right midfield against City would be a good way to ease him in and it would give us extra defensive abilities in a game where we will spend long periods without the ball.

Obviously it’s just an option and it may be something that Pardew hasn’t even considered but I’d rather see Santon starting that game than Ben Arfa or Sammy Ameobi, purely because we’d get a lot more from Santon going back towards our own goal, which will be very important on Saturday.

Cheik Tiote and Gabriel Obertan are ruled out of the game although Yohan Cabaye is fit so I’d be inclined to play Jonas, Guthrie, Cabaye and Santon across the midfield. Also if Leon Best misses out after pulling out of the Ireland squad I would definitely play Hatem Ben Arfa off Demba Ba in an attempt to pack the midfield.

Ben Arfa would be given freedom to create chances for us, while the more defensive midfielder of either Cabaye of Guthrie tracks David Silva wherever he goes on the pitch. Santon would really
help Simpson tracking back with either Aleksander Kolarov or Gael Clichy who both like to get forward. I’m not saying it’ll happen, but it’s definitely an option.

What do you think to that idea?

47 thoughts on “When is it the right time to introduce Santon?

  1. Planned to have this up earlier but it missed it schedule for some reason 😕

    Good read jobey. I agree that the form of our defence has meant its not been a rush job with Santon. It hasn’t had to be and like you I was expecting him to slot straight in either fir Simpson or Raylor.

    Starting to think people are looking for fault with Simpson, like he is becoming a scapegoat kind of thing. The stats back him up though. Is he the fourth best defender in the league still or whatever?

    I can see the merits for including Santon tomorrow. He knows how to attack and defend which will help. If he foes play it will be like for like with Obertan or Marv in the last game and not in defence.

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  2. got some good players city,but silva is on fire and is makeing them tick at the mo great player imo,somebody needs to sit on his ass

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  3. I still think Sammi will start. He’s been picked to sub on in the last game where all these options were available.

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  4. Agree, he’s the logical choice, can only see it being either Sammy or Santon and like you say, Santon’s defensive capabilities and Sammy’s impact from the bench swings it in Santon’s direction for me.

    Unless Pardew deceives everyone and plays Gosling out there 🙁

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  5. Also… That twat who paints himself black and white has just had the piss taken out of him on Russell Howards Good News! 😆 😆

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  6. Prem – But so was Santon. Sammy got on at home where the impetus was on us to attack. At City it might be a bit more cautious.

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  7. He is Toonsy, if he is in the mood! Unplayable on his day. Just like Silva. Or Aguero. Or Yaya Toure. Or Balotelli. 😯 🙁

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  8. Prem – There is that, but different horses require different courses and id prefer us to have a defensive presence on both sides. Close down the wings and then try and close down the middle.

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  9. Shamrock i could name another 5 players from City who are unplayable 😀

    I hope Santon get his chance soon. He has the potential to be one of the best full backs in the world. He just needs to settle in and get a grasp of the language.

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  10. Ya gotta figure Gosling gets the start at R Wing unless Santon has surpassed him in training. AP goes with the “devil you know” when making his line-up card, and he won’t shift out Simmo or Raylor until they play themselves out of a job. Sammi might work, but he has had 2 extra games this week, so he is on the bench for me, but would not come on before HBa makes an appearance.

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  11. agree the middle of the park is where the game will be won or lost city with silva and toure are tough to crack think we have to try to keep the ball in wide areas imo as much as poss

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  12. anyone know if the full commentary of the match will be on any of the radio chanels (i.e. bbc5live)?

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  13. It’s a tough call – we’ll be under the cosh a lot if we pick defensive minded players as their inclination is naturally to drop back and defend – we aren’t going to get a result by putting 9 men behind the ball so personally would pick a more attack minded player I.e ameobi – I’m expecting to lose my tenner for the win but would prefer to have a go

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  14. They ain’t all that – man u result flattered em – they were lucky to beat qpr and wolves ……… We need to believe

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  15. Steve I alway do and I can’t understand why fans can expect the players to be up for it if they arn’t 😕
    Steve meant to ask you before did you know sgt Thrower or cpl Kerr

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  16. Silly head on if we get anything tomorrow,
    Good article and very much agree i can see Santon on right wing tomorrow to support Simpson in defense and push on when we are in possetion .
    Long term i can see Santon staying on the right and replacing Simpson at right back who in my opinion is our weakest fullback by a mile .
    Long may R Taylor keep his position in the team he defends well links into play well his dead balls are exellent he gives 100% and he will get you approximately five goals a season from full back what more could we ask .

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  17. The trouble is Keith, we effectively lose Guti covering Raylor as soon as we play anybody half decent. If we had a proper natural left back in that position, Guti would be free to get forward and our goal return would potentially be a lot higher than 5 from that side…. I think the lad is doing a good job, but he would not look so good if Guti was out of the side for a few games.

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  18. We need to do a De Jong on their best attacking players . In other words fuck them with bone crunching tackle’s , its a shame Tiote is out , but our lads are strong and can handle themselves . Not expecting a positive result and would be over the moon with a draw , just hope they don’t put more than 2 past us . What ever happens Pardew will have them up for it and we will be proud of the team , just like we have all season up till now .
    HWTL

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  19. Yep, look at Everton and Stoke. He was very good defensively at Stoke especially, but Everton was anonymous. When he first signed he played a blinder against Man Utd in a 1-1 draw because he did not have to worry about covering the full back – and he was very effective. Would be nice to see more of that.

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  20. Lots of people saying Santon on the right wing which I understand as he’s played there before and gives extra defense for us. How about R Taylor on the right wing and Santon at left back with Sammi as the impact sub?

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  21. Can see Sammi starting tbh. Don’t think Pards likes Ben Arfa on the wing so why not? Either him or Gisling for me and I’d go with Sammi, he’s different and they won’t know anything about him.

    I would also play Arfa behind Ba, we need to give them something to think about at the back so it doesn’t give them carte Blanche to attack.

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  22. Got a feeling it’s going to be Guthrie on the right and Gosling in the middle. In which case, we are going to get murdered.

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  23. Also, can someone please tell me what Gosling’s main strengths are? I am a bit baffled as to what he brings to the table. That is not meant as an insult, I just want to know what position he is suited to and when he will be needed.

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  24. i’m not sure about taylor. each team we’ve played has focused all their attacks down his wing and he is reasonable but more than a few times in most games jonas has done his work for him when he’s been caught ball watching. our defence is good because we have three of the hardest working midfielders in the game as well as an amazing keeper and colocinni, not to mention strikers who get back and help out

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  25. my team against SHIT
    KRUL
    SIMPSON
    SAYLOR
    COLO
    RAYLOR
    GOSLING
    GUTHRE
    CABAYE
    GUTI
    BEST(BEN ARFA)
    BA
    SUBS
    ELLIOT
    SANTON
    SAMMY
    BEN ARFA
    SHOLA
    LOVENKRANDS

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  26. Kid, Gosling is full of energy, loves attacking the goal, and isn’t afraid to take a long shot or three. Decent pace, passing is average, and fairly solid defensively.
    Not a winger though. Crossing is so-so, and isn’t full of tricks & pace like Sameobi. Makes a good center mid

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  27. Gosling thinks he is a right sided CM, however he was played at Right Back by Everton which he hated and was a major factor in him wanting to leave. So presumably he is a defensive CM. More parker than Nolan I would argue.

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  28. @bigdave – Kerr rings a bell, ask him if he remembers the Patrick brothers, we were the first brothers to ever pass selection together 🙂

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  29. When is the right time to introduce Santon? 😯

    When the manager believes he will do a better job than Raylor. 😯

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  30. Good article. Feel a bit for Gosling missing out on talk of a chance, but either way I will be back here later to see if anyone has found a way of watching it!

    Off to work now, roll on 3 oclock!

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  31. What Pardew has done brilliantly is make players realize that nobody has automatic selection to the team.
    The must play their way into it. Ben Arfa has done nothing to merit a start, but when he gets his chance he must take it.
    Competition for places and team spirit is the reason we are where we are now.

    Having said that, I’m very nervous about today. I just hope we can give them a scare and do ourselves proud.
    Think if we can control Silva that’ll be a great start.

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