One of the most divisive topics among supporters this season seems to be who deserves the right wing spot at Newcastle, and for how long?
Everyone has their own opinion or personal preference as to what they want from a winger, and all hold merit when other factors come into play such as defensive cover, but based on stats alone, who is the strongest performer this season? The four players taken into account are Ryan Taylor, Jonas Gutierrez, Gabriel Obertan and Hatem Ben Arfa.
It is difficult to base a decision on stats alone due to a number of factors including the fact Taylor played in defence for over half his appearances, Hatem Ben Arfa played in the hole behind a striker and has much less game time than the other three, and finally that Jonas and Obertan have been required to cover full backs more than attack in a lot of games this season.
All things considered, check out the stats anyway, see what you make of them.
So based on the above, decide for yourself. Personally I can see why Alan Pardew picks Jonas Gutierrez every week based on the need for defensive cover and think that it’s fairly obvious Ryan Taylor should play right wing if those are the tactics.
As I said in the article the other day though, long term, we need to get in a position where our wingers main priority is to attack and create chances for Demba Ba and especially Cissè rather than being required to protect our full backs constantly.
If we can get in that position by next season and don’t bring in any more wingers, my personal preference would be Ryan Taylor and Hatem Ben Arfa if we were to go standard 4-4-2.
In the ideal scenario I would probably even play Sylvain Marveaux above Taylor and let Ryan be our ultimate utility man, but although he looks a really clever player, the jury has to be out on Marveaux until he shows the fitness to warrant first team selection.
Who would you choose? Both for the remainder of this season, and next.