Do we stick with Ryan or gamble on Santon?

Everyone makes mistakes...
Ryan Taylor attracted a bit of stick yesterday for his performance at Manchester City.

Put simply, it wasn’t his finest hour and he was responsible for two of the three goals Manchester City scored.

The first error was one that led to the first penalty. If you put your arm that high in the penalty box then you are asking for trouble. Trouble duly arrived. The second one was a misjudgement on his part as he attempted to intercept the ball from Micah Richards. His attempted clearance never got past Richards and the Manchester City full-back went on to score from it.

Naturally this had led to questions being asked about his role in the team. Should the makeshift left-back carry on in his role as makeshift left-back? Or should the man who was originally signed for that role, Davide Santon, be given his long-awaited chance?

I’m not so sure. I’ve been one of Ryan Taylor’s harshest critics at times but I’ve had to cool my pipes on him recently. You just have to look at his role in one of the meanest defences in the league and admit that he’s played a part in it.

Then there are his offensive qualities. He’s won us six points with his goals so far this season which is more than Jose Enrique managed in his three years at Newcastle. For that he should be commended and his contribution should not be ignored.

It’s the defensive side of his game that I worry about more than anything else though. Yes he has been a part of a rock solid unit, but how much of it has been down to him? And has it cost us in other ways?

I think so. You see I feel Jonas Gutierrez is being compromised to accommodate Ryan Taylor. We are all aware just how hard the Argentinian will work for the team. He’ll track back and help out defensively which is great, but it doesn’t help us out in attack. We’re losing an attacking outlet due to having Ryan Taylor in the team.

Did you know that 37% of attacks this season have come from our left? Did you know that last season that number was 65% so you can see that there has been some effect.

However is that enough to warrant dropping Taylor? I’m not so sure. Surely we can’t expect all players not to make any mistakes? And do we know enough about Davide Santon to include him?

Sure he has this highly-rated tag and comes with a wealth of commendations from some of the games greatest names, plus he’s been scouted by Graham Carr and Co so you’d assume they can see something in him.

The debate will rage on and I don’t really know an answer. On one hand it would be tough to drop Taylor as he’s done well. On the other hand is there a point in having competition for places if there is no comeback from a bad performance?

Personally I’d persevere with Taylor against Manchester United next week. If he makes more mistakes then perhaps his role in the team should start to come into question. Not on one performance though, no matter how emotional we get about the game.

Stay calm and think of Newcastle!

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.

112 thoughts on “Do we stick with Ryan or gamble on Santon?

  1. DAVE when you going to put your hand up and say you were wrong aboot the result,toonsy doesnt have to,he was right 😀

    the **** 😀 😀


  2. Does no one else think Nedum Onuoha would be a tidy signing? Not too expenise, versatile and should be available. Would be nice to sign some English talent as well.


  3. Ice I was wrong mate, but if the truth be told I had already prepared DeDe for a defeat as with the results we have been getting this season I didn’t want him getting to down hearted thinking we we’re going to be moving into 2nd 😀


  4. Troy thats the thing we the Fans go on about why this player or that player isnt getting a game but the Manager and coach’s see them everyday. 😉


  5. DAVE your allowed mate, first one you have got wrong in the lge,even the experts cannot get two in a row right so your well in front 😉


  6. DAVE aye your right some fans were wanting ranger in for weeks a while back but some of us k new what was ganning on long before the press got wind 😉 😉


  7. DAVE aye hes gone there,paperwork wasnt done in time for him to play sat,
    “think its until jan 14th so the rags say


  8. Ice thank **** for that mate, maybe he will get playing and maybe wise up a bit.
    As for Santon I can’t help but wonder why he never got on yesterday, maybe he just isn’t putting enough work in in training, or Pards just doesn’t think he is ready yet 😕


  9. DAVE got me beat too,surely hes up to scrach for 20min,looks bad to me when perch is getting on in front of him 🙄


  10. I agree 100%, everybody is entitled to a bad game. His set piece ability add something more to the team and earn him some leniency. I don’t think the mistakes were typical of his game and if there was a time to make a error, its better against teams you are not expected to take points off. Now we have the loss out the way and can push on.


  11. btw we saw that cabaye can take free kicks just as well against blackburn. we also have hatem ben arfa whos reasonably competent too.

    i think perch should definitely come in


  12. i think we should drop Danny Simpson to be a sub and play Ryan taylor at right back which will leave an opening for Santon to play at left back, however if looks like that playing santon is not work well the manger can just changed it back during the match.

    my reason for said this is because i believe Danny Simpson will sold along with alan smith,Nile Ranger,Xisco,Fraser Forster,Steve Harper in january window.


  13. To be fair to Santon though what message will it send to him if we don’t put him in the first team when Raylor has had a poor game? If I was Santon I would feel a bit hard done by if I wasn’t given the opportunity. But there is also the dilema if we drop Raylor what will it do to his confidence?


  14. Benched players need to know that they’re going to get their chance if a like-for-like player has a shocker otherwise they will lose interest. Likewise, players need to know that they will be dropped if their performances are below par. That’s what competition for places is all about.
    There’s no room for sentimentality. An ability to make the tough decisions is what seperates good managers from great managers.


  15. Good article Toons, pretty much agree with everything said

    I’d add one thing – Pardew has some man-management work to do this week to make sure Raylor has put his manC howler (2nd goal) behind him mentally. For me, he allowed it to effect him for the remainder of Sat’s encounter – misplacing many passes, being indecisive in the tackle and looking generally miserable

    If so, he should definitely start at LB at Old trafford


  16. Raylor has exceeded everyone’s expectations and has deservedly kept his place

    He made a couple of mistakes against the best team in the country by a country mile and loads of people are on his back.

    Let the manager who works with both players daily decide whether Santon deserves his place.

    Who knows whats going on behind closed doors. 😯

    For me, Raylor deserves to keep his place at the moment due to his 10 previous impressive performances. UNLESS Santon is showing he is a class above in training.


  17. To add to the above, Raylor has been ever present this season and played his part in the Toon having the best defensive record in the league. He must be doing something right. 😯


  18. @toonsy

    Btw your article is spot on and the right way to analyse the situation. Totally agree. 😉


  19. Bad mistakes from Raylor and deserves the criticism, but hey it happens to every player so deserves another shot. Pardew will play Santon when/if he thinks he’ll do better than the player he’ll replace, not before 😉


  20. Anyhooo. There will only be a couple of articles today. Tried to get a few written but I’m on long shifts for a few days so run out of time.


  21. Taylor has played out of position from the start of the season and improved game on game, he’s worked his ******* off every game and to drop him coz he struggled against the forward line of Man City would be ridiculous – and what’s to say Santon would have dealt with it any better??
    No, for me Taylor has waited long enough for his chance in the 1st team which was out of his natural position, but he never spat his dummy, he just rolled his sleeves up and got on with it.
    Leave him in, don’t make a fuss, players have off days, get ya head down and be mint next week.
    These 3 games were always going to test our solid defence but don’t go breaking that unit up now… your time will come Santon.


  22. Right. First things first, nice article Toonsy, shame I missed it when it first went up. You’ve highlighted exactly what I was pondering, Raylorgate.

    The two main issues you’ve highlighted in the current form of our defence are both valid, but the simple fact that he’s not a left back is the main one for me.

    I understand we’ve got the meanest defence at the moment, but your comment about Gutierrez’s play being hindered by a lesser quality left back (well that’s how I read it) just sums it up.

    Other people have brought up the old ‘what he does in training chestnut’, on bringing in Santon to replace him – we obviously don’t know that, but to be honest I’m starting to wonder why we even bothered to buy Santon in the first place. If he’s not very good in training, then wtf did we buy him for? Surely Carr had been monitoring him for quite some time (?)

    Why not drop Ryan Taylor for two defensive (as I saw them) howlers?! You don’t stand in your own penalty box doing aeroplane impressions when there’s an attacker approaching you.

    We all know it’s ‘healthy’ to have competition for places, so why not get Santon in now!? That’s good competition in my book. Besides, anyone remember earlier in the season against QPR? Shaun Wright-Phillips ran rings around him, Nani will tear him apart, so we might as well forget about Gutierrez attacking.

    Anyway, to answer the question of this thread. Yes, bring Santon on, why the fk did we buy him in the first place if he’s not good enough?! He’s had two cracking games for Italy U21s since his injury set back, surely that indicates good match fitness?


  23. I have mates who continually tell me Ryan Taylor is at best a Championship player and is believing his own publicity..
    I have defended him mainly on his set piece ability but keep getting reminded that he cannot continue to live on that even though he has gained us points with his goals.
    Having watched him on Saturday though he has to definitely be blamed for two goals (at a time when it looked like we would get to half time 0-0) both basic errors. The second one he knew Richards was there and had two chances to put his foot “through” the ball to clear.
    Shudder to think what Nani will do to him next week.
    I think the media are going overboard about the result which to me was given to Man City on a plate.
    I am pleased to hear Mancini say that they were lucky at times – which they certainly were


  24. I was a bit perplexed to see Perch come on at the weekend…. Ryan had a bad day at the office and the game was gone, should that not be the time to bring Santon in to give him some time on the pitch???

    Or Ryan should have started on the right hand side of midfield with Santon at left back, Young sammy did ok but he was out of position and didnt help out the defence as Ryan would have done…


  25. cant drop taylor after one bad game against best team in the land.Santon will be treat the same way as benarfa,he will get his game eventually,but for now ,i think we have to be loyal to the current back four,who have done us so proud,this season


  26. Boater @ 65, a large percentage of our goals last season came from attacks down the left wing. This season that percentage is far lower, partly because we have improved elsewhere in the team, partly because we are using two players to do the job it normally takes 1 player to do. Primarily a defender is supposed to defend, a winger is supposed to attack.

    We are looking at areas we can improve and left back is certainly area #1.

    Your argument makes no sense at all.


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