A Case For The Defence

Adding strength but still more required
Adding strength but still more required
The need for another centre-back has been a topic of debate for some time at Newcastle.

Even with the signing of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and news that Fabricio Coloccini looks like staying one more season at least, some supporters still see the need for more quality.

James Perch looks like he’s being moved on and Mike Williamson may well follow, which does put us in position where one more is needed, but the names most people seem to be hell bent on don’t make that much sense in terms of really strengthening.

Yanga-Mbiwa and Coloccini would be my first choice partnership at centre back. Steven Taylor, while he has his critics, is in my opinion a more than adequate third option once he has quality beside him to take instruction from.

That makes signing another quality centre back difficult, especially if we’re looking for a clear step up in quality from likes of Williamson or Perch. There’s not many genuinely good centre backs who will be content as fourth, or even third, choice.

Add to that the fact that squad-wise, another right-footed centre back who can only play in that position doesn’t really help us out all that much, unless of course we are absoloutely plagued by injuries in that specific position.

With Massadio Haidara being the only naturally left-footed defender in our first team squad, surely it would make more sense to sign another left-footed player? At this stage of my argument, many will point to Davide Santon as our first choice left back. Fair point.

However, while I personally rate Santon, it’s no secret that his attacking strengths drastically outweigh his defensive ones. In the long-term, I would actually like to see Santon become a midfield option, at worst one of our main versatile utility players.

Would it not be a much better option in terms of both first team and squad strengthening to sign a quality first team left back who is naturally left-footed, strong defensively, and has the ability to, as well as experience of, playing at centre back?

This would solve a number of issues in my opinion. The signing can be genuine quality as he will get proper game time and not be looked at as simply fourth choice centre back, and will strengthen us defensively at left back going forward.

As well as that, it will provide an existing squad option to fill the void if and when Coloccini does leave, until such time as a top quality replacement is signed, rather than simply losing Coloccini and being left stuck if we don’t fork out for top quality replacement.

In terms of Santon, as mentioned previously, with Perch being moved on, Danny Simpson too, leaving no natural full back backup at right back, as well as needing more potent attacking threat on the wings, even if that be from the bench, Santon can fill all roles.

People will also point to Yanga-Mbiwa as an option for left back, which he filled well in fairness, but at the end of the day, it’s taking one of your first choice centre backs out of a partnership to fill a role he isn’t natural too, a right-footed option too.

Vurnon Anita also falls into this category. More than capable and a great option to have to step in when plagued by injuries, but he’s a midfielder and one which we’ll have to rely on more in that area of the pitch if Yohan Cabaye does end up heading out the exit.

All things considered, I think it would be a naive move that serves only one purpose, fourth choice backup centre back, to sign the likes of a Douglas, James Tomkins, or any other rigid player, who probably wouldn’t come to be fourth choice anyway.

Sign real quality for left back, make the most of Santon’s strengths, and have that adequate cover for centre-back if we do happen to get hit with injuries. Worst case scenario, sign another young Haidara or Bigirimana standard talent as backup to groom for future too.

Simply signing a fourth choice centre back who is happy to be just that and too rigid to play anywhere else to a decent level seems token rather than thoughtful, to me anyway. The only player we’re going to sign who agrees to be that will be another Williamson or Perch at best and isn’t that the trap we’re trying to avoid?

About KeithR

we want pride. we want pace. we want power. we want a team of bad ass mothas who won't take no crap off of nobody. https://twitter.com/vurnonmarveaux

92 thoughts on “A Case For The Defence

  1. wow – JFK interview. Cherry Knowles must be missing an inmate, to give him the benefit of the doubt he might have early on set Alzheimers, or more probably he’s just a bare faced liar who can’t tell the difference any more between fact and fiction.
    Either way, this can’t continue. Hopefully the players when they meet him just grin and bear it, like a mad old uncle you have to be polite to before he shuffles away again.
    Where the hell is Pardew? Everyone else back at their desks. When do the players report back?


  2. So another NUFC fallacy. It’s kind of a joke in itself that we were even in for PEA. Why bother?

    We’ll end up with Bent this summer and that will probably be it.

    Even West ham are flying past us at the speed of light, first signing Carroll then bidding for Bony.

    Pardew has the impossible job. Top 8? Don’t make me laugh!


  3. Keith R good article by the way . Sorry I went off track there a bit . Re -the defence ,I’m not too worried about personal more about our injury jinx tbh . Part of me thinks we should strengthen but then I think nah ,just use the cash for a striker and winger who can actually cross 🙄 .


  4. Right ,I’m fed up waiting on anything remotely positive coming out of Toon so I’m off to paint the ceiling in my daughters loo 😉 laters .


  5. Kim – I agree we are the laughing stock of football once again.

    It’s a fecking crying shame we are getting left behind clubs like Saints, Swansea, The M*ckems, West Ham and Cardiff. No disrespect to clubs intended but their ambition into our club and I believe we could be top 4/5 again.


  6. Thanks Kim. Good luck with the painting. Certainly watching paint dry will be more enteratining than watching us do anything in the bloody transfer market


  7. Keith good read mate, I guess only time will tell how strong the defence is, up to now we have lost Simmo who IMO was a good RB that was very under rated so we need to replace him. I wouldnt be surprised if we lose anymore players


  8. Now we’re being linked with 31 yr old Taylor from WHU. Laughing stock again.
    I’m not too unhappy with our present squad and first team barring the string of injuries of course. Another two very good players and i’d be happy. Then I remember the main problem at the club. He returns apparently on Friday.


  9. KeithR – sorry mate, it’s another good article, I was just in such a hurry to post my discontent I forgot to thank ya 😉

    Newkie – congrats on the new missus mate. I knew MATCH.com who eventually find ya someone buddy 😉

    I see the mackems are closing in on Jozy Altidore as well 😆

    Carlton Cole, Matt Taylor and Titus Bramble it is then folks 😥 😆


  10. 😆 no worries sharpy.. assumed everyone would be spitting feathers over other issues

    cheers for comments all. article not based on thinking we desperately need centre-back, more so the talk that pardew thinks we do and being consequently linked to likes of tomkins/douglas/pearce/etc. strong left-footer who could also play centre-back made a lot more sense to me.

    re:transfers – think we’ll be seeing a few more go out the door before any come in, free up wages, positions, funds.. think any major spend will be based on whether cabaye goes or not. know it shouldn’t matter, but it will, lets not kid ourselves into thinking mikes going to suddenly chuck 20m+ of his own cash at us.

    perch going not too big a deal. gives anita more playing time and brings bigirimana up the pecking order. more we can do to get rid of pardews favorites and force him into playing technical or more attacking style of play, i’m all for it!


  11. KIMTOON says:
    July 2, 2013 at 15:42
    G. Deb @78 ,The players come back in two stages starting on this Wednesday apparently.
    Shame they won’t get to meet their new boss considering he’ll be off on another holiday by then 🙄


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