Strength in numbers

Guthrie a more than able deputy
Newcastle’s squad size has been questioned a number of times, but there was sufficient evidence present in the match against Aston Vila that they are more than able to cope without their biggest stars in the fold.

Danny Guthrie has been an able deputy for Yohan Cabaye whilst he has been banned and this was further consolidated with displays in the last two Premier League matches. He has taken his opportunity by the scruff of the neck and had a standout performance against Villa.

The ex-Liverpool player demonstrated brilliant crosses with the right amount of pace for Newcastle players to attack. Guthrie looked very comfortable whenever he was on the ball and was not afraid to push forward into the opposition’s half in order to form an attack on their goal. The fact that Newcastle are able to call on a player such as Guthrie, who has certainly shown that he is capable of holding a squad place down on match days, surely points towards at lest some squad depth?

Another player who has come into the fold recently due to the absence of Cheik Tiote is that of James Perch. Many questioned why he was even part of Alan Pardew’s squad and several fans have wanted him to not be involved in the squad. Perch has found himself play in a number of positions for Newcastle; but has had the chance to play in his natural position of central midfield. Against Blackburn and Aston Villa, Perch has put in decent performances and won over many Newcastle fans. In the match Villa, he stuck to his job set by Pardew and was not afraid to put tackles in and to play the ball in the middle of the pitch. Perch is capable of being able to play for us if we ever face injuries or bans.

Along with this, there are many other players in several positions who are capable of putting a shift in for the Magpies. Leon Best has shown that he can link well with Demba Ba but will now find his chances limited due to the fact that Papiss Cisse has now staked a place to be Demba Ba’s partner.

Gabriel Obertan has also found his chances limited since his return from injury, with Ryan Taylor slotting in at right-midfield. Taylor has shown that he can play there and is very good at tracking back to help out the defence, but with Ryan out with injury this affords Obertan another chance the side, when Raylor returns we will have someone the bench who will be able to offer us a different option if a game is not going our way.

If we take a look at the players on the bench for the Aston Villa game, it consisted of: Hatem Ben Arfa, Shola Ameobi, Shane Ferguson, Rob Elliot, Papiss Demba Cisse, Dan Gosling and Gabriel Obertan. The bench is one that is very strong and there are players on there who are able to provide a shift for us.

Now our strongest team lineup would be: Krul, Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, Santon, Obertan, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez, Ba and Cisse. The bench would consist of: Elliot, Raylor, Guthrie, Best, Perch, Ben Arfa and Shola Ameobi. That would be if every player on the bench was fit.

It highlights how there are a number of players in the Newcastle camp who are unable to find their way into the side, take Haris Vuckic for example. He found himself involved against Liverpool but has now found it hard to make his way into the matchday squad. Without FA Cup games his chances will be limited.

There are indications that Newcastle are able to cope without some of the biggest stars, this has been shown with the displays of the likes of James Perch and Danny Guthrie. However the one area where cover looks weak is that of central defence but in general the depth of the squad seems to be one of strength.

So are we really as light as has been made out?

About Zoë Vicarage

A lifelong Newcastle fan. Currently exiled in Sunderland studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland Follow me on Twitter: @ZoeVicarage

89 thoughts on “Strength in numbers

    I thought your nana died and left you her money and your bro a condom? 😀
    Om guessing she figured with your personality you’d never have any use for a condom 😀 😉


  2. Well Zoe did any of the ‘realists’ get on your case as Gary predicted @ 23 ❓
    But I think you’ll be alright because most regular bloggers have respect for you 😉


  3. Dave: Nope they didn’t, I think they know that I can fight my corner pretty well! Yeah I can count on you guys to guard my back! 😆


  4. Nice article Zoe

    I think if you look at the players Pardew has to choose from he could count his blessings that at the moment, whoever he brings in has the same work ethic as the player they are replacing.
    I don’t read may negative comments on here I just read comments from supporters who want their club to do the best it can. Nobody from what I read, is saying that they are unhappy with what Newcastle have done or are doing!
    Some may say that they are disappointed at what we haven’t done – ie sign a CB in Jan, but surely there is nothing wrong with a fan wanting there club to be the best it can – and in fairness, it was Pardew himself who said he wanted a CB.
    I think we have a strong team but to compete with the top teams now we need a strong squad. I my opinion we are still light in certain areas – particularly in defence but I think 3-4 players in in the summer would give us the strength in depth to compete with the top teams season after season


  5. I’ll try and give my 2 penneth on Realism, dreaming, positive and negativeas far as NUFC is concerned.

    Realism is knowing that the club is working within a budget.
    Realism is knowing we are not going to win the title this season.
    Realism is knowing we cannot compete with Man City and Chelsea e.t.c in terms of spending.
    Realism is knowing we can’t afford bad injuries to our centre halves without struggling.

    Dreaming is simply wishing for everything successful happening to the club.

    Positive is seeing what is happening at the club both on the field and off it and seeing that everything is is good order.
    Positive is viewing your next fixture as winnable no matter who it’s against.
    Positive is having faith in the players brought in from the cold to do a job when better quality isn’t available.
    Positive is believing the team can finish the season on a high and get into Europe.

    Negative is not believing we can win a certain game or games.
    Negative is panicking over a fringe player messing up as a back up.
    Negative is waiting for Ashley to make his next mistake.
    Negative is crucifying a player before he’s had a chance to prove himself.
    Negative is crucifying a player who is an ever present in a team that’s 5th.
    Negative is waiting for a loss then dissecting all the players as if they’ve suddenly turned shit overnight.
    Negative is wanting an owner out for pathetic reasons.
    Negative is having our best players sold every time a transfer window approaches.

    So you decide which categories you fit into.


  6. Wolfie – people shouldn’t have to pigeon hole themselves dreams don’t automatically go hand in hand with positivity and likewise realism with negativity!!
    I would class myself as a positive realist but it would seem that between this article and Garys that being a positive realist is somehow all of a sudden a negative thing?!


  7. [email protected]
    There is nothing wrong with being a realist and positive at the same time but with some posters it isn’t about that.

    For instance, the so called realists said we would sell Tiote and Ba this window and some said that’s why we got Cisse.
    So that realism hasn’t happened which makes them pessimists.

    Yet I said we would spend 25 million because I’m a fluffy cloud dreamer and we spent 9 million, yet I’m challenged on that prediction and it’s “well Wolfie, I bet you feel stupid” yet no mention of how stupid they are for predicting team DEMISE.

    I know where I’m at and it’s comfortable being in these fluffy clouds. 😀


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green