Don’t be fooled by our defence

Is the Colo/Taylor partnership as good as the stats suggest?
A lot of people have been quick to congratulate our defence for the part that they’ve played in what has been a pretty damn good start to the new season.

On the surface of it some may feel that the compliments are warranted. I mean here we are, four games in, having only conceded one goal in the league. Can you really ask for more?

There is such a thing as being blinded by statistics. Many people will quickly point out to me that we have the join best defensive record in the Premier League. I will of course counter that by suggesting that an awful lot of luck has come into the equation, and that it’s that luck which has played more of a part than our supposedly rock solid defence.

Not that I’m complaining of course. To a certain extent you need a bit of luck on the football pitch, and God knows how many times we’ve had luck go against us in the past. In fact I remember at one time last season where we every shot against us seemed to end up being deflected past Tim Krul in goal.

I guess it all boils down how you define a decent defensive display. A clean sheet can cover up a whole host of issues, and to me that is what is happening right now. Even our players, namely Steven Taylor and Danny Simpson, are in the press lauding our defensive solidarity which some may say they are quite within their rights to do.

Not me.

Whilst keeping these clean sheets should be praised, it should also be recognised that we’ve been lucky, very lucky, at times. It’s not as if we’ve snuffed out the opposition attacks and limited their chances to perhaps one or two in each game.

In quite a lot of games we’ve had our backs against the wall. Against Arsenal we probably just about deserved a clean sheet, but against Sunderland we were lucky not concede from a succession of chances for the home side. Fulham was much the same and obviously we all know what happened at QPR the other night. Against any one of those teams it could have been so different.

To me a solid defensive display means that we restrict the chances created against us. The reality is that we just haven’t done that. We’ve made a decent fist of last ditch tackles and clearances off the line, but if we were really solid defensively then we wouldn’t have had to be doing those last ditch tackles and clearances so often.

In conclusion, and please don’t think that I’m looking to pick fault with things, I’m really happy that we’ve made the start we have, and that we’ve somehow ended up with a very very good defensive record to show for it. I just don’t think that our defence is playing as well as it’s being made out to be.

Does anyone else agree? Or am I just being a grumpy old Hector?

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

157 thoughts on “Don’t be fooled by our defence

  1. I wish all of you would give your head a shake….If we were Barcelona most of you would find something to moan about…
    Yes, we have been lucky, but aren’t most teams at some point of the season? and yes we need an out and out striker but we haven’t so let’s get behind what we have got and stop thinking what could have been…!!
    4th in the league…i’m not complaining and am in the real world to say that by Xmas we’ll be about 6 – 10th…
    I think Pard’s has done well since he came with the restrictions he has come across but looking forward to seeing all our new players on the field….
    And if they gel, who knows we might have that much creativity that our strikers will bang the goals in!!
    My Team (now):
    Simmo Saylot Collo Santos

    Obertan/Marveaux Gosling Cabaye Tiote Sammy/Ben Arfa


    Howay the Lads



    I’m about 10 mins away too, on Gao An Lu. Yeay, I’ll be there for the Blackburn game. I was there for the 5under1and match and Fulham matches too. Just ask any of the staff and they will point me out, They know me well. Name’s Roy and I have long hair! LOL C U there mate… Small World indeed!



    I’m about 10 mins away too, on Gao An Lu. Yeah, I’ll be there for the Blackburn game. I was there for the 5under1and match and Fulham matches too. Just ask any of the staff and they will point me out, They know me well. Name’s Roy and I have long hair! LOL C U there mate… Small World indeed!


  4. I remember many years ago when I think Jack Charlton was in charge…we had a similar start to the season (2 wins and a draw) and everyone got carried away.

    Big Jack turned round and said “we’ll need those points at the end of the year”

    We just survived.

    Be very careful what we wish for lads…staying up is all about how we play as a team…we have a decent left back coming in but we still have a weak right back that needs protecting so we have to work very hard to ensure we don’t let the opposition in behind us which unfortunately has been the case far too often this season so far.

    We will not score as many goals as we scored last season so we will end up playing 451 more often than not…but the key to our relative success will be the defensive qualities of the middle 3


  5. I was at QPR and they rang rings round us particularly in the first 45 mins. We could have let in at least four. The fullbacks both lack pace, R Taylor lost his man regularly and the reality is with no strikers there is going to be game after game of one way traffic. Like it or not we are going to struggle. Team morale may be good now, but just wait ’til we have been stuffed on three or four consecutive occasions. Furhtermoe unless fatty buys us a top class striker for Xmas you can put money on a relegation scrap..


  6. Defending starts with keeping possession, and the whole team has at times been guilty of surrendering possession too easily. So perhaps singling out the defense might be a touch harsh. Any defense will struggle to cope if they become overrun or are forced into action too often. Ours has had to cope with a lot and has coped well thus far. I agree some things need to be sorted but perhaps it’s further up the field.


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