Look to the future – Part Two: Right Back

Santon, sooner rather than later?
Following on from my original article on this topic I would like to take a look at the defence and what the future may hold for our squad in this regard.

Despite our strength in the first choice back four this season, some see this department as the one we are lightweight in squad-wise and I would have to agree.

The good news is that we will more than likely sign a defender if not a couple come the summer but with that comes apprehension surrounding a few currently on the books, an apprehension that is boosted further with our recent spate of injuries in the defensive positions.

On that note we`ll start at right back, enter Danny Simpson. Although he has his critics I have to give credit where it is due. Ever since being substituted at Blackburn, Simpson has been playing an absolute blinder for us by his own standards and hopefully he keeps it up.

His strongest asset is definitely his ability to support wingers in attack but statistically he is also rated as one of the best defenders in the league this season, doing a good job on the flank not as well aided by the defensive work of our winger given Gabriel Obertan who likes to stay a bit further up the pitch for counter attacks.

It`s a tricky one to be honest. He is still only 24 and can at times look a very good player but in terms of a future, I’m not convinced. The main reason for this would be the still unsigned new contract. I guess we will see soon enough as Alan Pardew has made it very clear that it is sign or be sold in January.

Next up Ryan Taylor, who has to be given respect for the job he has done out of position. As frustrated as I was after Manchester City I thought he came in for some unwarranted abuse given he has probably won us at least two games this season and been part of one of the best defences in the league.

No doubt Jonas Gutierrez has helped a lot in a defensive sense but fair play to Ryan, he has given us everything and not complained once, even when he was the forgotten man on the sidelines. That said, I think when it comes to a long term future at Newcastle he is another player with an uncertain one.

At 27 he has probably peaked in terms of ability. Granted he is not one on big wages or the type who seems to be motivated by money rather than football, but based on his age and the fact he will want to be playing first team football now I can’t see him having a long term future with Newcastle.

That brings us to Davide Santon. Yet to get his opportunity but a definite first-teamer of the future, Santon is an extremely talented young player with a bright future, hopefully on Tyneside. Questions have been asked as regards his absence from the first team but it is hard to change a winning side.

Some would argue he should have come on as a sub in a couple of recent games and I agree, but I would put that more down to Pardew not wanting to take the risk with an attacking full back while we were on the back foot rather than Santon not being good enough yet.

The lads potential is clear as day in my opinion and it is only a matter of time before he forces his way into the first team. Whether that be on the right or left remains to be seen but I would expect him to break into the side over the coming months and be here for the foreseeable future.

As far as youth prospects go in this position there are only a couple showing promise to my knowledge, James Tavernier and Patrick Nzuzi. From what I can tell though Pardew probably sees them as either too inexperienced or simply not good enough to make the step up. In Tavernier’s case I think he has a future but may be earmarked for a future back up at centre back.

The reason I think this, we have been linked with a couple of young right backs in Cyrus Christie and Nathaniel Clyne, two rumours which do have substance to them. Both have been scouted on numerous occasions and I would fully expect a bid for one come the summer.

This could also be a contingency plan for even sooner than that though given that Danny Simpson may be sold in January, leaving the door wide open for Santon to slot in at right back and a promising young talent such as the two above to become understudy to him.

To be honest I like the sound of that even though Simpson has impressed me lately. It is a tricky business keeping a squad happy and with both Santon and Simpson at the club it’s only a matter of time before whoever is getting left out becomes a problem.

Given Simpson’s stall and the boards unwillingness to budge I think his days are numbered and the future of right back is definitely Davide Santon with a promising young talent such as the two mentioned above as back up. I really can’t see Ryan Taylor going back to being a bench warmer.

What do you reckon?

37 thoughts on “Look to the future – Part Two: Right Back

  1. Personally think Raylor and Simpson are average at best, reason we have such a good goals against has been because we have been defending as a team and Jonas and Obertan have been helping spending more time helping out in defence than going forward.

    Would prefer Kyle Walker to Simpson and just about anyone to Raylor


  2. Personally I would like this defender who can actually play across all back 4 at any position,But somehow he seems to be happy at Olympiakos.

    His name is Vasilis Torosidis.



  3. @toonsy

    Hows your lass doing m8? hope al is well..

    I remember about the same stage wor lasses chebs grew like 2 pumpkins πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ

    then the bairn sucked the life out of them, like two wet ankle socks nu πŸ˜†


  4. How about we look further offield for an RB – MaranhΓ£o

    Plays for Santos FC, 25, pacey and they keep loaning him out so he could be out of favour.

    I’d love another brazilian at the club, we’ve not had one in donkeys!!! πŸ˜‰


  5. Mark – Yep, I agree he is the best in the league at the minute which means we don;t have a chance of

    1 – Getting him

    2 – Affording him

    The lass is doing well enough mate. Halfway through now so nearly there πŸ™‚


  6. I liked the look of the Clyne of Crystal Palace. Not that I can say Ive seem him regular but saw a good bit of their carling cup win against Man Utd and he impressed me.


  7. johno – loads of people are raving about this ‘clyne’, i’ve honestly not seen him but the way people keep sucking his hoop he must be decent. πŸ˜‰


  8. Forget Waler – I read an article on him being linked with Real!! Not a prayer.

    I think the idea above of putting Santoon in at RB and bringing in Clyne is a good one, but dont forget we are playing Raylor at LB and he is a RB/RW This obviously means we need a LBin Jan, and probably an additional CB/LB in Jan/Summer when/if Simmo does go. I think Raylor would rightly feel agreived to not have a chance at RB should Simmo go as he has been first choice for LB. I think Santoon is more likely to go to LB in the short term until Pieters/A.N.Other is brought in.


  9. if we got him we could sing:

    “Nathaniel Clyne’s all mine all mine” (to fog on the tyne)

    there’s a bit too many syllables so maybe he just gets ‘nate’ πŸ˜†


  10. Georgio – No probs. I took it as intended.

    It was actually more having a dig at fans opinion of Leon Best if anything.


  11. Pressed submit too soon πŸ™„

    Forgot to say it was about fans opinion of Best and completely disregarding him in favour of Ben Arfa when Best has shown his worth to the team.

    The fact is that Ba scores goals when Best is the target man. When Ba is the target man we lose his goalscoring etc etc. Its about the strength of the team and not of the individual πŸ™‚


  12. That’s a really good point about Ba and Best together. It seems to work but I’m not fully convinced. Luck has a lot to do with it and Ba creates a lot himself. I prefer Shola to Best and Benny to both.


  13. Ill just copy and paste what I wrote on the prvious thread re Best / Ben Arfa.

    In regards to Ben Arfa / Best. I dont think if we had played Best in the last 3 games anyone could hand on heart say we would of gotten more than the 1 point we did get. But I wouldnt write off Best just yet. Has played very well since Pardew came in and is more than able to hold his own and brings loads to the team. However I think Ben Arfa will get the nod ahead of him and will have greater influences against teams outside top 4 , esp clubs who like to pass the ball and are little less physical compared to Stoke etc etc


  14. Toonsy, I said that the other day and just got passed off as ‘stating the obvious’ yet people were still asking the question why Ba isn’t scoring as many latley πŸ˜†


  15. @toonsy, glad things are sweet at home m8 πŸ˜› .

    Aye, Best deserves a chance to be back in the team, he score goals, but more improtantly he holds up play well.

    In my eyes its as vital as having a defender back, especially when we’re short in numbers at the back.

    Unfortunately, for all I rate Barfa, I havent a clue where I’d put him πŸ˜₯


  16. Seen Lee Clark in Newcastle today, I went for my theory test but somehow ended up in the wrong building…Anyways he was canny, said theres a good chance Huddersfield will be playing Sunderland next season πŸ˜†


  17. That seems to be the problem Mark – Pardew doesn’t know what to do with him either. As someone else says it is a conundrum. He hasn’t got a good fullback so to strengthen the whole team he has to have wingers dropping back and a fighter like Best up top. It’s all very lop sided and playing to hide our weaknesses. If Benny was playing in an attacking side he’d (like Ginola said) be sensational.


  18. @georgio

    aye, I think Pards has a major decision to make, espcially when we buy another forward.

    Difference with Ginola is ginola was a great winger with a superb cross. Barfa doesnt seem to like it out wide. I would say we’re an attacking team tho. perhaps not in the mould as ‘the entertainers’ but we’re more attacking then defensive.


  19. This depends upon ambition. Looking to secure top 10 only then 3 established plaers with 2 backups, either Utility or youth was fine. But with potential for Euope I think that buying an extra established player is reasonable.

    On that basis CBs Colo, & Willo with a New established player. With Perch & Kadar as the back-up. If AP does not rate either then new young frees could come in. Saylor back next season.

    FBs simpson, if he stays with Santon, & a new playere, eg Pieters. With Raylor, Tavernier & Ferguson and back up. If Simpson does not sign by end of December, then he needs replacing in January.


  20. Rod,

    Just seen your comments about the articles, really appreciate your feeback. Yeah I was thinking that I still have time to write more and consider them for use in the competition.

    Thanks for the link for word count, that’s really helpful.

    Cheers πŸ™‚


  21. Very difficult to predict what Ashley and Llambias might do now. Clearly there aren’t enough good experienced defenders in the side. Simpson won’t sign a contract and neither will Colo from what I have heard. Saylor is out for the season and Raylor was only meant to be a temporary sub at left back. I would say we will probably need to bring in 2 centre backs and at least 1 full back. Most are assuming Santon will be one of the 2 long term full backs, and Saylor one of the two long term centre backs. That’s about all we know. Personally I think the plans of management will have to change with Simpson now or they are going to have to spend quite a bit of money in January which we know Ashley won’t do. I think they will sweeten the pot slightly to keep Simpson, bring in a cheap centre back (such as Ridgewell) in January and play Santon somewhere in the back 4 right away. That leaves a lot of problems still to solve especially the Colo situation.


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