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?