What would you say was our best team?

The spine of our team!
With a lot of options in our squad at the current time it lead me to have a think about what would actually be our best side if everyone was to be fit.

Last year this was a lot easier for me to do, but this year we have a lot of options going forward which will be causing Alan Pardew a positive headache.

I’d say the goalkeeper pretty much picks itself with Tim Krul having a brilliant last year or so between the sticks for Newcastle. Steve Harper and Rob Elliot are way behind Krul, who in my opinion is one of the best goalkeepers in the league.

The right back spot is the next position up for grabs and it’s a real difficult choice for me. I’m not Danny Simpson’s biggest fan, but he’s not a bad player to have at right back and he’s not really let us down this season. But I’m going to go against Simpson on this one and go for Davide Santon. The Italian international just has a little more class for and I feel he could really stake his claim for the right back spot in the coming weeks. He’s right footed so it would make sense to play on his stronger side. It would also give us a bit more class going forward and he could link up well with Gabriel Obertan.

The centre backs pick themselves in my opinion, Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini are by far and away the best two central defenders that we have at the club. Mike Williamson and James Perch are well behind them in class, and I don’t think any of them will be threatening the first team in the near future. Them two are one of the best central defensive partnerships in the Premier League at this current time, and they’re the rock of our defence.

At left back I’d controversially go with Ryan Taylor, I’m sure a lot will be wondering why after his performance at the weekend, but everyone has a bad game and I feel he was very unlucky. Ryan Taylor gives us too much going forward to drop him, his free kicks plus his crossing ability let us cut in from the left hand side and deliver dangerous crosses for our strikers. People say that Jonas Gutierrez covers him too much, I’m not so sure, Jonas does lots of work but he did the same for Jose Enrique, and Enrique still got the credit. Ryan Taylor helps Fabricio Coloccini a lot more than people think too, he covers his left hand side which goes unnoticed.

The right hand side would be completed with Gabriel Obertan, that’s another one which may surprise a few as he’s often the recipient of some unfair criticism. Obertan’s raw pace and trickery is something that gives us an added dimension going forward. Nobody else in our team gives us this, he also works hard going backwards. When he gets a bit of confidence behind him he could really become a top Premier League winger.

The central midfield also picks itself, and as you can imagine the two players that I think should play are Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote. That’s no disrespect to Danny Guthrie, because I really rate him as a great stand in but he’s not quite the class level of Cabaye and Tiote. Cabaye and Tiote would get in a lot of Premier League teams and they’ve really started to form a great partnership with a balance of class, creativity and defence. These are two players we need to keep for a long time.

The left hand side would be completed with the ever present Jonas Gutierrez, sometimes he can be frustrating, but my god he works hard. The Argentinian left winger does his fair share of both attacking and defensive work and wins us countless amounts of free kicks which really takes the pressure of us when we’re under the cosh. Gutierrez gets plenty of stick for his lack of end product, but this season he’s been good in my opinion and he doesn’t deserve to lose his place.

Now it’s the two forwards, our one forward and one floating midfielder in this case. I’ll start of with praise for Leon Best who’s been a brilliant player for us in the last year or so, but I think his time has come to make way for Hatem Ben Arfa. Leon Best will still get games when Demba Ba is away with Senegal and if we were playing a physical team, but at home and against the better teams I feel we should play Hatem Ben Arfa.

Ben Arfa gives us a bit of flair and class which we’ve lacked in some of the games since our promotion from the Championship. He played very well against Man City if you take away the penalty and he’s beginning to show that he’s returning to his best. He hit the post at the weekend and created a great chance for Demba Ba in a game where they showed that they can link up effectively.

That leads me to the final player in my team, unsurprisingly it’s going to be our Senegalese centre forward Demba Ba who’s had a great start to the season. He’s looked very good and has filled his boots picking up the match ball twice already this season. He gives us a bit more than Leon Best as he’s much better positionally and he has a bit more pace. But I definitely wouldn’t be gutted to see Leon Best come in to give Demba a rest.

Just to let you know, this isn’t the team I want to see right now at this time, but I think it will be our best team over time. Recapping over that my team would be;

[4-5-1] – Tim Krul, Davide Santon, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Ryan Taylor, Gabriel Obertan, Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez, Hatem Ben Arfa, Demba Ba.

What would your first team line up be?

47 thoughts on “What would you say was our best team?

  1. My team would be in a 4411

    Krul, Simpson, Taylor, Colo, Santon, Obertan (Marveaux when fit, Tiote, Cabaye, Jonas, Benny, Ba.


  2. I would say Pardew is picking the best team anyway but if you mean theoretically with everyone fit you are probably right.

    Spurs seem to be pulling away from the chasing pack into third. I really hope we can get points in the next two games to keep ahead of the floundering Chelski. Would be sad if we start to slip down to 7th or 8th now, although after Chelsea we can get points.


  3. That would be an interesting article… where do you think we will be at christmas? Then then people can put all of their points predictions.


  4. Jobey07 great article. I’ve gone through this particular question time and time in my head.

    I’m going to have a go at selecting my best NUFC Team based on your article.

    GK – Krul is doing a fantastic job, and feel bad for Harper, but have to go with Krul.
    RB – I’d stay with Danny Simpson. He isn’t flash or anything but gets the job done and always tries his heart out.
    CBs – I’d have to agree with you and stick with Taylor and Coloccini here. I’d offload Perch in January if I could, not a fan.
    LB – Ahh Pardew does my head in here. Why is he persisting with Ryan Taylor here? Ryan Taylor is not a defender, let alone a Left back. I thought we bought Santon in as a replacement for Enrique, a LB. Play him there. I’d go Santon. Taylor would not be in the team if not for his free kicks. I believe he is a midfielder, and he would not start in this newcastle midfield. I reckon Taylor’s place is on the bench, sorry. Jonas has been doing a lot more defending this year, and Taylor must have something to do with that.
    RM – Ben Arfa/Marvaux. Not a fan of Obertan. Yes he’s got pace, but thats about it. He doesn’t know what to do with the ball once he gets into decent positions. A waste of money I reckon. Also offers nothing defensively.
    CM & DM – Cabaye and Tiote are rock solid. First 2 in my team sheet. Lets hope all this talk about Chelsea making Tiote top target this January is just a heep load of bs!
    LM – Jonas Gutierrez! Been great this year. His work rate is second to none. Love watching this guy. Would be great to see him and Ben Arfa flying down the flanks.
    AM – Leon Best. He may be going through a barren patch at the moment, but his hold up and linkage play with Demba Ba is amazing. Definatly missed him against Man City.
    CF – Demba Ba. Is there any other option?

    I do think we could do with a couple of players in January. Need more cover in defence, we may be ok in central defence with Guthrie and Gosling, but may be in trouble is Tiote is sold. Need another forward for sure though.


  5. I’m not sure that we have seen enough to rate Santon above Simpson yet. Also I think that AP thinks in terms of three players for each of the paired positions and will stick with whichever of the two have the shirt. Which is why I think guthrie will start against Utd.


  6. dansportzblog
    disagree with you on the RM/CAM roles as benny did well to part city’s defence and set up Ba in areas best wouldn’t get near of. Also ben arfa CANNOT play RM as he won’t support simpson enough. Not seen enough of marvaeuw, so would stick with the infuriating obertan who although makes simple mistakes that make you want to rip your hair out (must have already happened to him) he provides a counter-attacking threat and he with simpson managed to prevent bale from doing anything against spurs. :mrgreen:


  7. ———————-Krul———————–
    ———————-Ben Arfa—————–


  8. if we’re being honest, i think none of us actually know whether or not Santon is better than Simpson/Raylor yet. I certainly f’ing hope so tho

    for now –
    Simpson Colo Saylor Raylor
    Obertan Tiote Cabaye Jonas
    Ben A


  9. Think we need to see Ben Arfa play a few more full games before he completely replaces Leon Best as he has set quite a few of Ba’s goals up, think Jonas has been our best player (well my fave) this season so far, he just don’t stop does he?
    Ryan Taylor is the confusing one, I’d keep him in the squad: being responsible for letting two goals in, in a game we looked likely to lose anyway, against scoring two goals in games that could’ve ended draws gives him my backing.


  10. Most of the above are pretty close. Pleased to see people having Best sit out with Arfa back. Best scores goals in little clusters, and if he aint scoring – you may as well have the technical wizzardry of Arfa off Ba.

    I would stick with the same back 5.. Raylor may be out of position but it seems to be working. Tiote/Cabaye/Jonas are no-brainers.

    The main problem with our team is lack of goals. We don’t score enough across the park- narrow margins of victory could end up slipping into draws against other mid-table sides. I’m therefore going to go with Sammi on the right as another much needed goalscorer on the pitch. When judging him against Oba it’s worth noting the massive gulf in terms of opposition of his one league start.



  11. ———————-Krul———————–
    ———————-Ben Arfa—————–

    If we’re winning after 60 minutes – bring leon best on for ben arfa to hold the ball.

    If we haven’t scored… bring leon best on for ba.


  12. Hopefully we can get a striker and center midfielder in jan , ive heard leon osman and maiga is a poss!! Pardue has said we are only goin for 2 players unless we sell , lets hope we just buy 2 players eh!!!


  13. army

    i think we’ll only buy maiga… unless tiote is shipped out… let’s face it, we’re not exactly week in centre mid are we? 🙂


  14. I know this may sound like a cop out, but I think the answer really depends on who we are playing when. Also we dont really know what Marveua/Obertan or even HBA can offer consistently.

    I would agree with Jobey, except for at fullback. Simpson RB and at LB Id have to have Santon. Surely Dreamboat can provide dead ball supply? Obertan has done very well when he has played, vs Stoke esp I think he was great. Partly, it has to be said, down to the way Pardew used him.

    Essentially the game is a squad game now. Id probably play two up some home games and 4-5-1 away from home more often. Plus we have a lot of unknowns in there atm. A squad is starting to grow and its a squad game. I really hope the Chelski bid for Tiote is nonsense, I cant see it myself, and Id like to see more Gosling too…role on Man U!


  15. Army 69-I thought about Taylor RB and think that could work too….nice idea..and again nice to have options of some kind!


  16. Army – why would you want to sign a centre mid? We have aboot 29 already.

    And why wouldn’t you want to get shot of anyone – surely if we could offload Smith or Xisco and bring someone else in place it would be buzzin!!??


  17. KRUL SIMPSON SAYLOR COLO SANTON SAMMY TIOTE CABAYE GUTI BEN ARFA BA SUBS harper raylor gosling guthre obertan best


  18. Wheels falling off for the ressies last couple of games. Hope it’s not a sign of things to come for the first team! 😐


  19. I don’t see why people think Santon is better than Simmo/Raylor. Clearly the kid (and he is still a kid) has talent, but we’ve seen nowt of him, he’s new to prem football and clearly he just ain’t cutting it in training yet. We’ve been there with Jose and Xisco, and between those two we know that things can go either way.

    We’ve still got (I think) the best defence in the league, so why change it? Our fullbacks may not be the most spectacular, but both Simmo and Raylor have been fantastic going forward, overlapping well with the wingers and causing defences a lot of problems.

    I’d stick until Santon proves he’s better. Jesus – you don’t keep goals down to 1 per game with any bad defenders in there!


  20. id like to see abeid come in and make an impact soon a bit like sammi he looks a good player and pedro has raved about him, he may get chances when the african lads go in jan


  21. As Jobey points out, this is for the long term. So I think I would take Raylor out for Santon. The Italian has pace, height, and great ability. Once his English improves and he gets accustomed to English football, he will improve us immensely by the plain fact of Jonas being able to push up more than he is and not have to double-team people with Ryan Taylor.

    Everything else is bang on for me


  22. The list of ‘almost’ players is reassuring – those players that you’ve love to start with if only there was room. Last year that was quite a short list, but this year, for me, that’s:


    Two more windows as good as the last, and we’ll reach the point where we can still put out a decent BENCH when we have injuries. That’s when you can start to compete for silverware. :mrgreen:


  23. Excellent article, I personally think that the best team is:
    Simpson Colo Saylor Raylor (poss Santon)
    Cabaye Tiote
    Obertan Jonas
    Ben Arfa

    If this is the team against MU this weekend I say we have more than a chance of 3 points as they’re lost without Cleverley, who hopefully won’t be back any time soon!


  24. Am I right in thinking the reserves haven’t won since the departure/role change of Monsieur Beardsley? Come on Willie son!


  25. RE team selection. We actually look more of a force with 2 big ‘uns up front but on the other hand we’ve struggle with 2 up top (Wigan (h) ) and Benny looked very very good on Saturday in my opinion, but we really need to be able to give him the ball more in the Opp half


  26. I agree that I’m more hopeful about Saturday than I have been in years for this fixture…

    Best not get too hopeful, eh. This is Manure and Ferguson we’re talking about, and if there’s one team who can grab points out of nowhere, it’s them. Teh buggers.


  27. I think “BEST” team really depends on the opposition and their strengths against what we can put out against theirs either defensively , balanced or offensively.
    For instance , against a team that offers only sporadic attacking against us when we are at home, means we can pick a more attacking option to break down their obvious stubborn backs to the wall tactics.

    Against tougher more attacking opposition , we have to set our stall out a bit more astutely to deal with that, so in that case, we can’t really say the best 11 for a season, it would have to be the best 11 to cope with the type of game we are up against.

    For instance, our 4.4.2. with the usual norm of krul , simpson, taylor, colo, raylor, obertan, tiote ,cabaye, jonas, best and Ba is basically a balanced unit but a tad more predictable than say same back 4 and midfield but with ben arfa playing the role behind Ba but with jonas utilizing his attacking prowess more, over his defensive duties against a less threatening side.

    Then you have Santon who is an unknown to us pedigree but clearly has the pedigree to add to the team.

    Then we have a new lease of life guthrie who has looked class.
    Also Marveaux who looks class and gives us more attacking options.

    It’s hard to say what is the best team but horses for courses, the best team is certainly made up out of that lot.


  28. RE Whumpie :
    “Our fullbacks may not be the most spectacular, but both Simmo and Raylor have been fantastic going forward, overlapping well with the wingers and causing defences a lot of problems.
    I’d stick until Santon proves he’s better. Jesus – you don’t keep goals down to 1 per game with any bad defenders in there!”

    Fantastic going forward, causing defences problems? Are you watching the toon this season? How is Santon meant to prove he’s better if he doesn’t get premier league games? Training means not much to see if you can handle the prem you need a run of games, I think if Santon had 12 games like Raylor we’d know where he was at and it’s not a risk to me because I don’t think the Gut can really help out his left back more than he is? Nothing against Raylor but the sooner Santon comes in the sooner he gets used to the premiership.


  29. The current team virtually picks itself.

    Fast forward to 21 January and Fulham away;

    1) S Taylor suspended

    2) Tiote away at ACON

    3) Best injured

    4) Ba away at ACON

    5)We wont buy anyone in January window

    Now pick a team to win the game!


  30. Great article. This goes back to the fullback argument right away. I think we bought Santon in to be a starting fullback eventually but the way things are going it will take a very long time indeed. No minutes of playing in the Prem isn’t going to work. So I say start Raylor in games and then Santon goes in for at least 15 minutes most of the time (those that think Santon should replace Simpson instead the same applies). It has to be Saylor and Colo in the middle, there isn’t even another option right now but they are by far our best centre backs anyway. I think until proven otherwise Jonas and Obertan are our best wingers. Marveaux will be out for quite a while now and he was just beginning to get a feel for the Prem. Who can argue with Tiote and Cabaye in central midfield? That leaves the 2 forward positions when playing 4-4-2 and for me that has to be Ben Arfa and Ba. Of course Krul in net. That gives us a fairly strong bench with Marveaux (when fit), Guthrie, Best, Williamson (when fit), Harper (loan spell over), Sammy, and I suppose Shola. Peter will leave in the summer at the latest, along with Perch and Smith. Bring in a striker, an attacking center midfielder, a centre back and another full back and we are set.


  31. Noo-Carstle – yes, I’ve been watching; and the number of attacking moves that would have failed without the interaction between our FBs and wingers is huge.

    As for giving Santon a dozen games – that’s 36 points you’re putting at risk to test out a young, new player. Why take the risk then what we have is producing waayyyy better results than any of us could have hoped for? Just give it time, use reserve games, cup games and when (inevitably) Simmo or Raylor are unavailable. Don’t risk points unless you have to – surely that’s obvious?


  32. GeordieTwo – spot on IMO. On all points.

    Damn. Where’s the argument in that??

    I suppose I could stretch a bit and argue the contraversial point that Guthrie, against certain opposition, is a better option than Tiote…?

    (Waits for the backlash….)


  33. sidekick @ 36 – think this squad could do the job:
    Simpson, Williamson, Colo, Raylor/Santon
    Guthrie, Cabaye, Jonas, Obertan
    HBA, Strolla

    subs: Vuckic, Abeid, Sameobi, Marveaux, Lovenkrants, Gosling, Elliott/Harper


  34. Fantastic though? Seriously? Are you related to Raylor or Simpson?
    And if it’s a risk what were you thinking putting a RM in at left back start of the season?


  35. Forgot to add Gosling is fine on the bench as well. Can be a very decent player eventually. Not sure about the other youngsters but if they progress ie. Vuckic, Abeid, Sammy, just to name a few then I fear we will be selling anyone who wants a pay raise, and anyone who we are offered a lot of money for (Tiote seems the obvious target for big clubs if he can sustain his level of play). How much longer will we have Colo? I’m hoping he gets a good offer of a 2-3 year extension from us unless we bring in someone brilliant. He has been a horse for us, not just his play but his durability and his never quit attitude. Not likely to bring in his equal with our wages. If we play a good defensive game against ManU and Chelsea and take any good goal scoring opportunities (esp. Ba and Ben Arfa) then points can be had.


  36. TC@21…would love to get rid of Xisco but I don’t think there’s a cat in hell’s chance of that happening in Jan and more likely than not won’t happen in the Summer either, imo we’re stuck with him until his contract runs down. 😕 🙁


  37. krul
    r taylor s taylor colo santon
    spidey cabaye tiote obertan
    ben arfa d ba
    This is the most talented football side we have by far and the side i would like to watch week in and week out but as people have pointed out santon and ben arfa are not tried and tested in the prem yet so i can understant why people want to stick with simpson and best .
    I totally agree with what you said about r talor one bad game is nothing to worry about he is having a great season .


  38. I was thinking last night who have been the main factors in our success so far this season. The names of Pardew,Carr, Colo,Taylor,Ba etc all went through my head but heres one Kenny Dalglish if he hadnt give us 35 mill for Carroll and 6 mill for the Bull we wouldnt of being able to buy the players we have ie Cabaye etc. So all Hail King Kenny !!!!!! Tongue in Cheek of course hahaha


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