The success of the squad players

James Perch - Quality in reserve?

James Perch - Quality in reserve?
A lot has been made of squad depth this season, with the perception being that we have a small squad with limited quality beyond our first eleven or so players.

Yet we’ve had to do without some of those key players for large parts of the season, and yet with seven games to go we are still level on points with fifth placed Chelsea.

One of the reasons for this is that I feel that Alan Pardew is getting to grips with how his players operate in certain positions and is basically getting the best out of some by using them as utility players, basically making what looks like a sparse squad into a solid squad/unit that actually belies the supposed lack of quality throughout the squad.

Out of this, he seems to have enough back up in most positions to effect a game offensively and defensively depending on the match at hand. I feel that he’s now got a grip of bringing in players that can see off a game in our favour and having full faith in those players to do just that.

James Perch is a classic example of a player that has been used in a variety of positions and has been used as a very good impact sub when closing out a difficult game, knowing that he gives 100% and isn’t afraid to mix it against any opposition and I think NOW, people are seeing that he’s really a very decent squad addition and that’s what we need, a sort of unsung hero if you like.

To some fans that probably sounds laughable and a few fans will no doubt stand by the fact that they called him crap, so he’s crap, end of story.

Basically there are a number of unfashionable players at Newcastle United these days, players that have been written off or have been viewed as not good enough, but each and every one of them has played a part in where we are this season.

First there is Ryan Taylor who has played in a number of positions and has done better than many (yes you Toonsy!) expected. From left-back to right-back to right-midfield he’s given no less that 100% when called upon and has earned us vital points with his goals.

James Perch and Mike Williamson are another two who have contributed this season, a particularly strong point in light of the victory over Liverpool at the weekend. Danny Guthrie is another who has performed well when called upon. Shola Ameobi is another.

The more Alan Pardew uses these players in certain positions, the more he sees what they’re capable of, obviously, but the benefit to the team and to the player himself is worth it’s weight in gold because players find out a lot about themselves and their abilities, plus Pardew is gaining the confidence in using them in games where his options are limited.

What are your thoughts on this? Are our squad player surpassing expectations? Have they been lucky? Or has the effect these squad players have had on our season been underestimated?

117 thoughts on “The success of the squad players

  1. CF? Really? Blimey, knew he was on the wings but up front is surprising, still I guess its where most people want to play when they start eh πŸ˜›

    That formation would be pretty good….i’d be tempted with maybe playing Vuckic in place of Guthrie and having him push up with Cabaye and Tiote holding. A point would probably be a good result for us in light of these injuries.


  2. Nobby-agreed. Benfica playing all the football…we look such a better team than Chelsea as well, we deserve CL :mrgreen:


  3. It’ll more than likely Perch and Willo centre again, it’s only a “slight knock” he has, if he can take a full force head butt off Reina then a wee knock isn’t gonna bother him πŸ˜‰


  4. Wouldn’t you have Guthrie?


  5. Nobby – I’ve turned it over – piss poor ξ„Ό

    Newkie – my thinking is, with our weaken defence I’d ask 2 of the 3 midfielders to sit back while the other got forward to attack. The only reason being is that Swansea play brilliant fast flowing, counter attacking football. I think they have only been beaten twice at home or something like that. I just don’t want us to get caught out on the break because like you say, even a point would be a good result in the position were in at the moment.


  6. Richie-Ah if its just a knock then yeah wouldn’t surprise me if he’s played from the start…if it gets worse though will Colo be back for monday I wonder..

    @80-Guthrie is out for Swansea I think mate, if not then yeah I wouldn’t change a thing.

    Sharpy-Exactly, keep Cisse up top but let the rest track back when necessary-we’ve seen now with Ba and Benny that we can counter attack effectively as well so pulling back isn’t such a danger for us nowadays. Before we could never score without a fair old build up…


  7. What about:
    Tavernier Williamson Simpson Santon
    Cabaye Tiote Jonas
    Hatem Cisse Ba


  8. Sharpy@65- Lucky you ,I can’t see game of thrones as i’ve got Virgin cable ex large package but you don’t get Sky atlantic πŸ™ Would also liked to have watched Broadwalk empire if I could of.

    Toonsy -Has your little one arrived yet ?


  9. The problem with these so branded squad players is are they happy at playing a bit part. Guthrie and Perch are both at a age when they now should be wanting regular football so may decide to move on. As loyal Toon fans we find it impossible to understand why somebody would want to play for anybody other than NUFC. But the lads are footballers and just want to play.Shola is a different age altogether and will be going nowhere. Don’t forget Sammy and Marvellous will be like two new signings and numerically in midfield our squad isn’t that weak providing their is no exodus.
    The ACON will bite us in the bum as I think Besty will also look for regular football. Loverman will also leave i think which will leave us short of back up strikers. Worth a Β£5 million bid for Carroll


  10. MDS @ 71 yeah mate it seems a winning run of 3 games cancels out the OG’s, red card and the fouls etc, I have always liked the guy from we got him but he is only good for a back up for a few games, he isn’t a longterm fix.
    As for the stats I suppose he has a big advantage playing with Ba, Benny and Cisse compared to the strikers Taylor was counting on, so I really can’t see how the 2 can be compared πŸ˜•


  11. MDS- I haven’t criticised anyone for criticising Willo…

    Big Dave-To me it seems that the three or four games where he’s been actively bad this season have overwashed most of last season where many felt he was still Taylor’s superior. It wasn’t until the last three games of last season and Taylor’s three goals in them that people started changing their mind again-I know you always preferred him and I myself was pretty undecided, but many just seem to have jumped on Willo because he isn’t a superstar like half of our team..

    Technically Staylor did have Benny and Ba and he had much more defensive wingers in Jonas and Obertan doing more defensive duties-basically my point earlier in the season was that we placed more emphasis on defending-that’s just my opinion-whether because we were confident in our defenders like Staylor or not so confident in our strikers like Ba i’m not too sure…


  12. been thinking about the papa reina’s stitch on Perchy, and I actually think going down like he did makes a bit of sense.
    If it was you or I in Perch’s shoes, what would we have done. I’ll tell ya, in a flash we would have lamped the fooker. Cheeky twat, who the fook does he think he his. Yes?
    Well going down to the floor eliminates that reaction, which would have seen Perch getting red carded also.
    Every player knows that attempting to head butt an oponent will get you sent off. Simples.
    The fact that Pap Reina couldn’t stitch a blanket, and missed Perch’s nose by millimeters is quite frankly irrelevant.
    All Perch did was highlight what Reina did, to the ref.
    ok he obviously needs better acting lessons, lol, but I would still rather he went down than flatten the stupid kunt.


  13. Beardsley-exactly right…no matter how unfortunate it is.

    Its nothing on Carrolls antics quite frankly. Reina deserved a red, Carroll tried to give a completely innocent player a red and earn himself a penalty.


  14. Newkie I honestly don’t think Willo holds a candle to Saylor I think there was a lot of Saylor hate because of leaked stories last season, which I touched on in the only time that I stated what a source told me that Saylor was too close and supportive of KK. So we got all the stories he was trying to screw the club, he wasn’t loyal and wanted away, the Carroll fight etc etc.
    So I think that was why many fans turned on him because the believed the shit that was designed to force him out.

    BB I understand and said at the time why he done it but it doesn’t change the fact that he was cheating and got a player rightfully sent of, but the bin dippers will say that he started it by dripping Reina then made it worse because he went down like he was hit by Iron Mike Tyson.
    I know im embarrassed by it and believe he should be too, and I know I would be raging if it happened to us.


  15. HBA39 – I was in favour of Benny being dropped when he was and thought Pardew has handled what must have been a really tough decision very well. I always knew what he was capable of but my main criticism was his decision making, but I have to say that against WBA and the bin dippers his decision making has been fantastic.
    Top top player


  16. Dave-Aye I know, personally I’d just kind of forgotten how crucial Taylor could be because it seemed like we’d been two years or so without him, he’s the better defender and hopefully we’ll get an even better one-both to take/challenge his place and take over from Colo if/when the time comes. The running contracts and the Carroll fight also definitely put some fans against him for sure.

    For me the diving thing was kind of shown up-When Gervy slapped Barton earlier this year it showed Barton had “learnt his lesson” in that he didn’t smack him and he also used the trick Pedersen taught him a year previously when he collapsed after a poke in the middle.

    I hated pedersen for that-but I can see why he did it. Barton looked like a prat and destroyed his honest hard man image-but I can see why he did it. Perch? He looked foolish-but again, I can see why he did it. Carroll? No idea why he did it…through on goal man.

    Also I’m not being funny, but how many times has Jonas flung himself or feigned injury more than was neccessary after a free kick was awarded? Its essentially the same thing, just an extreme case. Yet Jonas had the captaincy and is praised completely? I just feel some people are overreacting. Especially the liverpool fans…dunno if that’s put pressure on our own.


  17. @85 (can’t be bothered with your name soz)
    Aye agree with that team maybe swapping tav with simpson as tav has had more experience at CB than simpson.


  18. ok so what exactly should Perch have done then? Just stand and laugh at the fooker I guess. πŸ˜†
    Moral of the story is, if you’re gonna get a red card for head-butting an oponent, at least get full value for it by at least making contact . 😳


  19. Ultimately we need players who are prepared to sit on bench or at least think we have squad rotation – at the moment we’re a long way from that and players like Guthrie, Perch, Williamson know that as soon as 1st teamers are fit they are back on the bench – what happens to players like santon who’s place has gone to makeshift lb’s


  20. STEVEP-I imagine that both Williamson and Perch are happy to be squad players,especially Perch. Neither of them really have the experienced needed to become a first teamer in any other prem side-the only ones who would take them would be promotion/relegation teams for first team action-and we’re close to the champions league so…..

    As for Santon? Think he’ll be happy with the experience he’s had so far. Fair few appearances, potential is recognised, he’s only 20 and only just learning to speak English. Won’t be ideal for him if a top class left back is brought in though….but then he may get a shot at the right….


  21. I would be tempted to play Santoon at CB with Willo and keep Jonas at LB. I would then bring either Abeid or Vuckic in for Guthrie. Try and have as little disruption as possible. Mind you, along with Streete, who are the CB’s for the Reserves? Surely one of those should be brought in as thats what they are for surely? I am sick of square pegs in round holes. Give Kadar a go at CB.


  22. don’t be daft

    Simpson-Perch-Willo-Raylor (fit?)

    If Perch is out, Tav plays. Only question is who goes CB – him or Simpson


  23. apologies if this is a tad early, but just found some interesting pre match stats :
    Swansea didn’t manage a single shot on target in their 0-0 draw with Newcastle at St James’ Park.

    Newcastle have kept just two clean sheets in their last 13 Premier League away games.

    Swansea have only won two of their last seven home games and kept just one clean sheet in that run (W2 D3 L2).

    Only Manchester United and Manchester City have picked up more points in 2012 than Newcastle.

    The Magpies have cleared more shots off their own goal line than any other Premier League team this season, 10.

    Swansea have completed 85% of their passes this season, only Man City (86%) have a better rate.

    Newcastle haven’t won four Premier League games in a row since April 2006.

    None of Gylfi Sigurdsson’s six Premier League goals have been scored at the Liberty Stadium.
    Should be a good match tomorrow, really looking forwards to it and bringing home another 3 points :mrgreen:
    I honestly dont think we have anything to be afraid of. Yes they are having a good season, but I think we should destroy them easily enough.


  24. Would we seriously rather be playing Simpson at centre back than Kadar or one of the reserve CENTRE BACKS?! like Jeff Henderson.


  25. BB…Here’s another one, Pardew(and the team) has got more points already this season than Sir Bobby got in his first full season. Also in Pards’ first 2 seasons he has equalled Sir Bobby’s points total for his first 2 seasons with games to spare, obviously both manager’s 1st seasons weren’t full ones and this is a completely irrelevant stat…..but surprised me a little πŸ˜‰


  26. JJ…Alot are assuming Perch won’t be playing, the only thing I’ve read was that he had picked up a knock it training, I reckon he’ll be fine.


  27. BB – I know the point was made last night, just catching up with the postings now.
    Regarding your point about how Perch reacted. Personally I was disgusted by both his reactions and Tiotes against Sunderland. I get your point about emphasising what happened so the ref does not miss it or have any doubts about what happened, but they both went down as if they had been shot by a sniper!!
    These are professional footballers and role models to kids watching the game. Any contact was minimal, I didn’t think he was actually hit which makes it no different to Carrolls blatant dive. What Perch and Tiote should have done is walk away holding there faces and make their point that way, rather than going down quicker than a pink lane pro.


  28. Great stats Rich. I’ll be pinching them πŸ˜‰

    I know a site where they will go down like a lead balloon πŸ˜‰


  29. @AndrewT
    I’m sticking to the “if it isn’t on it isn’t true” dream!

    You certainly wouldn’t guess that if you’d been coming purely on here in that time, i mean there’s moaning and then there’s moaning! And that is with a Colo apart “Championship defence”, without Ba/Cisse for a month, without Tiote for a month and Cabaye “playing terribly”, imagine if we actually had a good team, we’d be chasing Champions League! Oh wait… L O L

    Seriously though, I’m not against criticism of the team, but people need to stop being so hormonal with their opinions, just as one good game doesn’t make Willo a world beater, a few bad games doesn’t change the fact that he was a decent, perfectly able centre back for us in the prem last year.
    And having been lauded by G Nev maybe people will lay off Simmo a bit, the premiership isn’t exactly blessed with an abundance of world class right backs, the grass isn’t greener on the otherside.


  30. Toonsy….which site would that be I wonder..mmmmm πŸ˜†
    I’d check them first since they’re my own stats……because another interesting stat is that I balls up 83.2% of my own stats, which in turn means I could have ballsed up my 83.2% bit but I’m not sure what the percentage is for me having possibly ballsed that bit up is……ooww me heed πŸ˜†


  31. Thanks for that reply Sharpy.
    And you are spot on too. The amateur dramatics is way over the top and needs to be cut out now.
    Hold your face and turn away is exactly the right reaction.


  32. Solano

    You know how small the margins are that we arn’t clear in a champions league position.

    But for:
    – a missed penalty against Sunderland
    – throwing away a two goal lead against Wolves
    – conceding in the fifth minute of injury time against Arsenal

    We could easily have six points more which would have put us on 59 points and Arsenal on 57, we would have been in third position well clear of Chelsea.

    We must have a better team that anyone gave us credit for at the start of the season.


  33. BB – The biggest disappointment is that he had a really good game filling in for Colo, yet most of the talk is about the way he reacted in that one incident. Then you get numptys like Stan Collymore calling for Perch to get a 3 match ban. It’s ridiculous, I thought the ref handled the situation very well. It would be wrong for the FA to get involved now (not that they have suggested they would) but i would like to hope Pardew addresses the matter with the whole team this week because I don’t want our team to be known as a bunch of divers … not after all their hard work this season.


  34. JJ what annoys me most about the season: Luiz challenge on Ba, most clear cut ever πŸ‘Ώ


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