Look To The Future – Part Three: Left Back

Fergie fit for the future?

Fergie fit for the future?
It’s been a while since the last one in the series but this next instalment, as you may have guessed, is a look at the left back spot and what the future holds for a position most see as the weakest in our squad.

The reason for the individual articles for every position is not an attempt to drag it out but rather an interest in what people have to say about specific positions rather than having a general view on the squad and certain players futures.

As well as opinion on who is here in the now and who may go in the future I think it will open up some debate on targets for specific positions as the rumour mill has been starting to kick into gear over the last couple of weeks. Anyway, mini-rant over, lets get back to it.

The left back spot has been one filled to date by Ryan Taylor with many people seeing Davide Santon as the man to eventually take the spot full time. As you can probably tell from the last instalment, I don`t believe that to be the case.

I can see Ryan Taylor moving on in the next couple of years along with Danny Simpson going even sooner than that, leaving Santon as the undisputed number one choice for right back, but where does this leave us at left back?

Slim pickings to say the least in terms of proven players. In fact we currently do not have any recognisable left back at the club. This would pass the baton to emerging talent and with Paul Dummett still with a lot to learn that leaves former left winger Shane Ferguson as the only choice.

Personally I have a lot of faith in Ferguson but it is based on the little I have seen of him and his performances for the reserves which in truth is a completely different level. There is no doubt however if he keeps progressing as he is he will be a real talent in the future.

As mentioned Paul Dummett is another promising left sided defender, able to play at full back or in the centre. The fact that Pardew gave him the opportunity to go to America when we got injuries says enough about the lad to suggest he has the potential to make the step up some day, but not just yet.

The only other option worth mentioning for the immediate future is Tamas Kadar. Strangely left without a squad number at the start of the season but since staying fit and becoming Captain of the reserves it is obvious Tamas seems to be turning it around although you have to wonder why he couldn’t break into the team during our recent defensive injury crisis. After all he is seen as a centre back more than a left full back.

So where does this leave us? Go with Shane Ferguson? I think it is a bit too soon. The transition from left winger to defender takes time and chances are he would be left wanting defensively until he gains more experience. That leaves only one option as far as I can see, go into the transfer market.

I think all in sundry will agree that we fully expected a left back in the summer and Eric Pieters seemed to be the prime candidate to fill the void left by Jose Enrique. Obviously that deal didn’t materialize before deadline day much to our, and I think his, dismay.

Logic dictates with Pieters coming into the last six months of a contract if we go back in January we could get him on a cut price deal and worst case scenario agree a pre-agreed contract to take him to Tyneside for free in the summer.

Pieters seems to be the most probable but there have been one or two others linked whose names we may see crop up over the coming month or so. Liam Ridgewell has already been linked and with Birmingham in a financial mess despite good form chances are he will leave by the summer.

The fee being banded about for Ridgewell is in the region of only Β£1 million, which definitely sounds like a bargain, but does he fit the bill for Newcastle? Able to play at both left back and centre, a definite plus but at 27 I can`t see him being bought as any more than a back up in defence to be honest.

To my knowledge only two more links of substance came from the summer regarding left backs, those being promising French talents in Cheikh M’Bengue and Aly Cissokho. To my knowledge both are playing relatively well this season and definitely fit the bill of what we look for in a player. Whether they are still being looked at or open to a move I don’t know.

I haven’t had the chance to watch much French football or keep up with the contract situations on either since the summer. Maybe someone more in the know could fill me in on the latest. One thing is for certain, I would expect a left back in January and if not most definitely by the summer. It all depends what kindof defender we are looking at? A versatile one or specialised ones.

What that will mean for the future? Further improvement to our defence and very promising back up in Shane Ferguson and Paul Dummett.

Next instalment, the one I have been dreading, a look at our options at centre back!

26 thoughts on “Look To The Future – Part Three: Left Back

  1. dummet struggles in reserve games and has been out a bit with injuries i feel we will see a lot more of tavernier ,fergy,vuckic….once the young players get a loan place for a few month they should be ready for the fringes(loan spells are the best for young players and thats the way nufc are doing things).happy new year all!


  2. For sum reason I have a feeling pieters has signed a new extended contract with psv bt am nt totally sure?can sum1 clarify if he is a free this summer?if so surely a Β£2m bit for him wil be enuf?also cb douglas frm twente is a free in summer so am thinking Β£6m in jan would get them both?agreed tho fergys going to be a class player


  3. Na, not for me sorry.

    Ferguson should not be our future left-back. He’s very talented and a great prospect but he’s too small by far.

    Any decent sized forward would run straight over the top of him.

    Why discount Santon on so early on anyway just because he’s right-footed. He’s looked very capable since he came here.

    Who am I or you to argue with the “Special One” himself either? Jose Mourino himself recognised the talent he has.

    Fergie is a left-winger and a great prospect there. Santon is our left-back and we should keep faith with him until its prove otherwise.


  4. RON, anything is possible and it puts our result against Liverpool into proper perspective as well.
    We weren’t expected to really get owt from Liverpool buy Man Utd were expected not to just get a result , but most would have had them score another 5 or so.
    Football’s a funny old game. πŸ˜†


  5. sheff wed won 2 nil tavernier had another good game…i hope fergy does blossom with us been a great prospect when ive watched him.hope sammy a gets a loan spell soon he will only benefit from it.


  6. @wolfie I thought you expected the toon to win every game πŸ˜‰

    With a bit of quality last night there was no reason we couldnt win.

    Thats the difference..quality.

    Hopefully in Jan we’ll sign some quality and let some of the fringe players go


  7. Oh, Mark. Don’t put yourself through it. If you hope that we’ll bring in some good players (paying peanuts) you’ll just be disappointed.

    Better off accepting the status quo, that way you avoid dissapoitment.


  8. MARK, never have I said I expect the Toon to win every game. I said , every game that we play I always think we can win it.
    If you look at my above post you will see that I said, WE weren’t expected, meaning most had us down to get nothing.
    I didn’t say …I… expected. πŸ˜€

    Just thought I’d clear that up for you mate. πŸ˜€


  9. @stu..

    not just bringing in players its the retaining of players that worries me..

    Fair enough Barton for example, was a cock, had no sell on value but if he was there last night instead of Obertan I think we would of faired better.

    If Barton was offered 70k per week over 4yrs it would of cost us 13mil
    Obertan 30k per week over 4 yrs +3mill signing on fee costs us upto 9mill with probably no sell on fee πŸ™‚ then you have Marv to back-up Obertan. another freebie but still earning

    so for the sake of 4 mill we could of retained Barton with his decent crosses, never say die attitude etc etc

    btw this is just an example, It will probably happen with Colo too, similar age, high wages etc.. some players are worth keeping for the sake of quality in the team


  10. I think the problem with the signings on big salaries is also the length of contracts players expect to get.

    Managers in the Bundesliga invariably sign up for 2 years, and many don’t last that long. Players in the EPL expect to get big bucks AND 4-5 year contracts. It’s the name of the game these days. Not only that, but you also end up with a bunch of high profile loanees earning mega bucks doing the rounds (Bellamy, Adebayor, Sturridge etc) who aint gonna leave there clubs. However we aren’t gonna pay there salaries either, so we have to rely on picking up unknowns from abroad or the lower leagues in England.

    A frustrating startegy for a club with expectant and loyal fans like NUFC.
    It aint gonna change either.

    We will really see what Alan Pardew is made of over the next 2 months. He had his blaze of publicity, and talked the talk. Now he needs to get his team rolling again. It’s gonna be a REALLY HARD period, and we need all hands to the pumps, the fans backing is crucial, but the team will only get that if they see everyone putting in a full shift and pulling together, and that includes the manager and owners.


  11. If players don’t want to play for us due to us having a ceiling on salaries then I don’t want them.
    If we can bring in players like Cabaye and quality like that who are prepared to play for the wages, then that’s the type of players I want to see.

    If the club is in a position to up the wages a bit in future then fair enough but until then I’m happy to see the quality we have on wages that are decent without being held to ransom.


  12. If we can bring in players like Cabaye and quality like that who are prepared to play for the wages, then that’s the type of players I want to see

    aye until he shows his quality to attract the likes of L’pool who can offer him 45k per week, then he’s off and we start again πŸ˜•


  13. Wolfie…it stands to reason that a player will go to a club who pays him the highest salary. You and I would do the same.

    Expecting to pull Cabaye’s out of the hat every year is a tall order, but is obviously the way the club are going. There is no way we’ll pay crazy money to hold onto Collo…sad but true.


  14. so we end up losing gems like Ba, tiote, Cabaye because crazy offers or higher wage offers come in but we’re in profit every yr πŸ˜€ and can ask Carr if he can unearth another gem we can sell in 1-2yrs time.. sounds like fun πŸ˜₯


  15. Our wage structure isn’t as paltry as people think it is. Only the top clubs can better us and the rest are on par or offer less, pound for pound and the big clubs will always come hunting anyway.
    It would make no difference if we paid someone like Cabaye 120 grand a week if a club like ManCity come in and offer him 150 grand or more a week.

    In effect , having a wage structure that’s more than generous is better for us because buying players in and offering higher wages , just creates a domino effect onto the other players and before long we are back to square one with mercenaries.

    At least with a wage structure we have, yea we lose a player here and there but we keep the nucleus who want to play for us.


  16. Wolfie – You really lack vision and ambition for our football club don’t you?

    Wages shouldn’t matter a fck! If a club wants one of our better players they can fck off, whether they offer more money to him or not. Spurs have set the standard in respect of keeping the bigger clubs off their players.

    We should be in a position to do exactly the same but we won’t becuase it’s all about money with this fat twat!

    Happy new year


  17. STUART, have a think about a few factors.
    We are a north east club, the bigger clubs will always have the upper hand in terms of prizing players away from us.
    Tottenham can hang on to a lot of their players because they are a London club.

    Now what I’m saying is very simple.

    If Ashley offered all players from now on…..say 100 grand a week and Man City or Man Utd e.t.c wanted that player, then they will offer 110,000 a week or more if that players desire is to play for them.

    So having a wage ceiling or not isn’t going to make any difference if one of those clubs come in.


  18. As others have said Fergie is too small to be our permanent left back. Would like to get Raylor out of there permanently and not too concerned if Simpson leaves as well. Santon and Pieters sounds like the way to go to me. Bring in another CB as well. At least then we can fight to stay in the top 8. Won’t happen but it would be nice to see us show some real ambition for a change. One in and one out sounds about right for Ashley with a net gain of 15M for himself in January.


  19. Wolfie you haven’t got a clue.
    “Only the top clubs can better us and the rest are on par or offer less”
    How much are QPR allegedly paying Barton?

    There’s just one example and plenty of other clubs pay more than us but it’s not the point in higher wages, we need more players of decent quality on our current wages it’s obvious we have weaker squad compared to most teams and a chance to really kick on here in january that’s where you and the owner lacks ambition, even though you reckon 25 million will be spunked


  20. Wolfie – You’re missing my point (whether purposely I don’t know) if we don’t want to let our better players go we don’t have to – simple. Spurs use to let their better players go like Berbatov, Carrick and Keane etc… But that allowed them to be where they are today because they reinvested all the money in building a new squad. We don’t do that so we’ll never improve.


  21. unless of course you’re wrong stuart.
    Time will tell.
    Its ok basing your speculation on previous windows, you cant fail, but things change, circumstances change, club finances change.
    We should really just wait and see, as, what will be will be.
    Its out of our hands anyhoo.


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