Why do we look so flat?

Last season Newcastle United continually defied the critics and gained a 5th place finish in the Premiership as well as qualifying for the Europa League. Our squad established a reputation for being industrious and tenacious with a never-say-die attitude mixed with individual moments of brilliance.

Granted there were many games in which we looked unconvincing, but the lads did not know what a lost cause was. They would chase every ball and somehow find the net. That attitude resulted in a couple of fantastic unbeaten runs that would see our side keep the heat on the likes of Spurs and Chelsea until the very end of the season, even sparking a debate amongst some on the possibility of Newcastle qualifying for the Champion’s League.

Despite the lack of incoming transfers over the course of the summer break, the main fear amongst the Toon Nation was losing any of our key components from that wonderful season and seeing our team ethic, our drive, the very fabric of our relative success simply dissipate into mid-table mediocrity. Well, we kept every single one of our 1st teamers on board but our performances have not looked the same. Why though?

This term we are competing in European competition. More fixtures, less down time, more travelling, less ‘resources’ to cope with the season’s calendar. By resources I mean playing staff. There has been a lot of debate on the lack of incomings over the summer window and I have been a defender of the Regime – however having thought about the overall picture in some detail I’m leaning towards the right a little bit here. Despite the promising youths coming in, we are clearly unbalanced in certain positions.

That leads me onto the 3 main reasons things do not look right:

1) Lack of cover in certain positions.
2)) Pardew’s insistence on setting out with a 4-4-2 formation.
3) Player’s heads dropping.

Lets have a look at number 1 then. I’ve thought about this a lot now. Nobody knows how much money the club has to spend on players, so it’s unrealistic to expect a certain amount being invested in playing staff during each window – however it’s been apparent for a year and a half now that we have needed a central defender. Why that has not happened is anybody’s guess, but it should have been addressed. I like Mike Williamson, but people make a valid point when they say we cannot expect to progress with him being protecting us for such long periods of time. With Pardew having gone on record stating his intentions to break the top 4, we will need a better calibre than Willo to do that. Steven Taylor is injury prone and besides Coloccini we have no other dedicated centre halves. That’s not good enough and Pardew knows it. He has told the press that we need one and even mentioned that Mike Ashley had given him clearance to add one. So where is this player?!

I think midfield is OK. On the face of it, we could do with more crossing ability and goalscoring prowess but with the emergence of young Shane Ferguson on the left flank I think half that problem has been addressed. For now. The other half I’ll look at in the 4-4-2 section… Meanwhile our striking department is lacking. We have no genuine competition up front for the two Demba’s. Cisse and Ba do not work together in this system and if one of them get injured then what?! If we had another good striker providing competition for places up front perhaps it would keep them on their toes?

Moving onto Alan Pardew then. The Silver Fox has his fans, particularly the young blonde German kind it would seem! However I’m beginnig to question his decisions. For long periods of our games this season we have been flat, unconvincing and mediocre. Benny stuck out on the right, central midfielders offering nothing offensively and a striking ‘partnership’ that is seeing Cisse repeatedly fail to find the net or influence the game. Now I know it’s not that simple. Cisse has had plenty of opportunities to score this season, but has fluffed his chances. That’s a confidence thing and he will come good – but whilst he is short of confidence he offers little to the side.

Our wingers have not been providing much ammunition and our central midfielders have not been getting into the opposition box enough. The last point is in part to blame on our lack of cover at centre half, meaning we need a dedicated defending midfielder to sit tight and ensure opposition strikers don’t run riot around our box. That has a knock on effect on what we do further up the pitch – a direct result of not getting a decent defender in during the summer. However, a different formation could see the likes of Ben Arfa and Cabaye play in more advanced positions and perhaps increase the pressure we apply further up the field, meaning we don’t need to defend as often and have more chance of scoring.

Last term we did pretty well with only 1 striker up front. Lets use it more often Pards?! I know the Man Utd win was a 4-4-2, but the same coat does not fit everyone. Why cant he see that? Why does he not change to last season’s formations during games where 4-4-2 is clearly not working? His record with us is good, however it’s not exceptional. Kevin Keegan (1st stint 54.98%), Bobby Robson (46.66%), even Graham Souness (44.82) and Glen Roeder (45.83%) all had a better win ratio than Pardew currently holds (42.42%) whilst at the Toon helm. I know his hand has been weakened by lack of spending, but he’s not as fantastic as some make out. The Souness stat underlines that for me.

Finally something Big Dave flagged up. Jonas Gutierrez is unhappy at missing European games this season, with the gaffer preferring to give experience to our youngsters. He has a point too, he and the rest of the lads worked hard last term to get into the competition. It stands to reason that they would want to feature in it?

We cannot argue that fielding the youngsters is anything other than a good thing. I’m all for it. But why all at once? Are the players looking flat because they are not getting their ‘rewards’, i.e European footy? If I were Guti, I’d be pretty annoyed too to be honest, wouldn’t you? Is there not some happy medium we can reach here that would see the youngsters get regular game time, but in a more structured way? The aim should be for those that have the talent, drive and physique to get into the 1st team. So why not integrate them a couple at a time with the 1st team? That way we can see how they handle the pace of the game when it’s being played properly. In the meantime, if Cabaye gets a bit fatigued after playing Europe and Premier League footy in one week it does not matter – because Abeid or Bigi have been itching for a chance to play next to Tiote!

Personally I reckon it’s a combination of all 3 of the above factors. It will not take a lot to set it right and it does not have to be expensive – but it needs sorting out otherwise I can’t see this problem going away. Pardew’s 8-year-deal is a signal of intent, but it means nothing if they don’t start fixing what is clearly wrong – before it’s too late.

About Shamrock

Like everyone here, support Newcastle United. Not the easiest side to feel good about at times, but it's our side!

37 thoughts on “Why do we look so flat?

  1. I think Pardew is the most important factor. He keeps saying “trust me” – Obertan is a very good player with nothing to prove – trust me. On that one I don’t. 442? Why? We were at our best with 433 last year and never convincing at 442. Has he done a deal with Ba that guarantees he plays through the middle which means 442? Gosling gets games, Abeid doesn’t?
    3 DMs on Saturday against a very weak team?
    All very odd.


  2. Im with Georgio here.

    Some players have been out of form, but Pardew’s tactics have been baffling.
    To be so defensive against weak teams. So negative. Its absurd and shows a complete lack of faith in the defence.


  3. What I see game after game is a lack of homework done of our opponents prior the game. We don’t seem to know what we are up against and only learn our opponents during a game but not before.

    If we played a team of dwarf defenders Pardew will play dwarf strikers rather than trying exploit their height disadvantage.

    In short Pardew attacks their strengths rather than their weaknesses. He is very illogical e.g. he plays a high line when we play against fast strikers.

    Also he is trying to please Cisse and Ba. Ba has been great so justifies his selection but Cisse has been bollocks and Pardew still starts him with more hope rather than confidence that he will score when Shola is really performing well. Unless Cisse scores he makes no contribution and is invisible in the game so we play with 10 men until he scores.


  4. I think part of them problem is we havent really got our starting 11 out this season for various reasons. I think add in the mix we missed out on our main target in Debuchy as I feel we were gonna try a different formation.


    Debuchy Taylor Colo Santon

    Tiote Anita


    Ben Arfa

    Ba Cisse

    I think we would of used the full backs to bomb forward to provide our width , leave tiote and Anita to protect the back four and give to Cabaye to set up our attacks. Ben arfa with a free role. And ba and cisse up front to score. I am a fan of Simpson but I dont think he is attack minded enough for this.


  5. Maybe too early to tell if he’s really that good, but Fergie impressed in these two recent games and he looked very good in some cup games last season. His delivery highlights the lack of supply our golden strikers have from our current midfield.

    The supply lines are not working properly and that seems like our main problem: lack of creativity. Many of us have been saying that for a good long while too, but obviously finding or creating that midfield magic is easier said than done.


  6. Sham vert good read mate and lots of good points mate.
    It’s also a pleasure to welcome you to our side of the team where it’s not all rosey and we can see faults and not afraid to say what we see. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    On Cisse I would worry if he was getting lots of chances and couldn’t put them away, but he’s only getting a couple of chances a game, so imo with a striker you have to play him because it will come right for him.


  7. There is a slight difference to the scenario when Souness and Pardew arrived at SJP, Souness took over a side that had finished 3rd, 4th and 5th in the previous seasons, Pardew picked up a side in midtable that were consolidating after promotion.

    Souness was given the ยฃ50m champions league money which Bobby should have been given two years previous adn wasted it on flops, Pardew is working with an owner determined to spend the bare minimum and has to pick up bargains for peanuts.

    The fact that they are close in win ratio is more of an indictment on Souness laughable management of the club than Pardews efforts.

    Anyhoo on topic: The formation hasnt helped, We struggle to get a grip on games by playing 4-4-2. I would go with 4-3-3 but instead of shunting Ba wide play him and Cisse up top and Ben Arfa playing behind them, Like KK played with Martins, Viduka and Owen. A Midfield three of Tiote, Cabaye and Anita/Jonas would boss games and take less pressure off the back four by retaining the ball better.

    Also injuries have been a fecking pain. We can get away without the odd player but to lose Colo, Tiote, Krul, and Cabaye and even lads like Simpson and Raylor hasnt helped us at all. When we get everyone back and tweak the system a bit we will be fine, The results have been solid even if the performances are sketchy…


  8. Dave I have written plenty of stuff in the past slamming certain things that have not looked right, but granted this season I have swung too far to the left. Perhaps hoping it was just a blip, but we look aweful and there is more to it than just a couple of injuries! on subject, Pards’ tactics worry me. He talks about the Top 4 and playing to win but never sets us out that way or even changes sufficiently during games. I know he must have his reasons and he’s not stupid, but it’s time to change tact otherwise people will begin to lose patience.


  9. CC re: Souness I know all that, but this is a results business and his ratio stands up to Pards. My point is his ratio will go downhill if we continue playing this badly. There is no crisis, but some things need changing if we are going to progress like Pards keeps claiming…


  10. Sorry but anyone blaming the manager is in dreamland. The players quite rightly have every reason to be disheartened after the transfer dealings this summer. They have been led a merry dance like everyone else. They probably feel let down. They are entitled to.

    It will take a bit of time to get it out of their systems but they will.


  11. “Why does he not change to last seasonโ€™s formations during games where 4-4-2 is clearly not working?”

    I have to say Shamrock-we have changed formation, several times in matches if I’m not mistaken. Against Spurs we went back to last years 4-3-3 with Ba on the “left” from where he got his goal actually and Benny troubling the right.

    We’ve also switched to having Benny play behind both strikers-I believe that was against Chelsea? And another match I think…it made little effect.

    I do agree we need to change formations, but it’s not the be all and end all, and when some elements of the team aren’t operating at 100% then we’ll get fucked over regardless of our formation. Remember Wigan, Everton and Man City at the end of last year when we were blowing teams away….

    Why so defensive, why 4-4-2? I’d suggest that because we’ve had so many different people defending and changes of personnel that Pards’ doesn’t want to rush people into a role that may be new to them. Does he want Anita to shoulder the DM role alongside Tiote when, in a 4man midfield with defensive wingers he is already being deemed “shit” by some because he “can’t tackle.” I don’t watch Coventry much either but I highly doubt they played free flowing football with a 3 man midfield when Gael was playing, 4-4-2 is the solid formation of the English league, for better or for worse, and some players will need to get used to it because even if we do/should switch back to 4-3-3 I can guarantee we’ll be using 4-4-2 again at another point, and players-like Cisse-will need to be ready for that…

    Why not more youngsters in the league? We only drew with Reading and some fans were hysterical. Why not more first teamers in Europe? Well if we’d lost some more of them and it affected our league performances-and we lost at Reading for example, people would be calling for the sack.

    Sometimes you can’t win as a manager ๐Ÿ˜


  12. Newkie, nowt wrong with 442 but it needs to be more flexible. As for European games, its a valid point. Guti said it. They worked hard to qualify but are not being involved. They could get injured in training just as easily…. We have looked aweful in every game this season bar Spurs. How long you can blame that solely on players I dint know. Patds has to take his fair share of the flack when things dont go well? Or is he bullet proof? If he is, then I give up.


  13. All, please remmember last season was a massive over achivement, we have been lucky in last 2 away games and we are still in a phase of now we are the team to beat. Untill we get the 1st team all fit we won’t see us at our natural best, if Pards plays a 2nd string against Bordeaux we will know where his priority fully lies. BRING ON MAN U!!!!!!!!


  14. Why more youngsters in the League? Because likes if Marveaux, Obertan , Cisse and Cabaye to some extent have been crap for a long time. You talk about risks bearing in mind we only just scraped a draw against Reading. I think the fact that we were lucky to get anything out of that game should set alarm bells ringing. Why protect the exusting set up when it got outplayed by Reading ffs? Are we not entitled to question things after performances like that, or the Villa game, or Everton? It is Pardew himself talking about the Top 4. If he wants ti create that sort of expectation then he needs to take account when we go out there looking like dog shite!


  15. Well if Jonas is sulking that he hasn’t been able to enjoy the sunny weather in Greece or Madeira then he’ll need to take a look at himself I’m afraid, it’s a team game and other players deserve game time-Jonas is only just warranting himself a start on the left currently so it’s a bit rich for him to want to start in Europe when, if you look at it from an offensive angle-Fergie has caused far more problems when he has featured…

    However i’ve said all along we should go out to win the EL-and play a strong team in the home matches, whilst experimenting away. Win all your home games, draw the away and you’re through.

    Of course Pards has to take some flack, I’m just not going to get on his back when we’ve not even been playing for two months. I’m also waiting for the response from Pards anger management on the team-I expect the players to shape up, if they do then all is well, if they don’t then perhaps Pards has more issues with motivation than I thought.

    I guess i’m just surprised by the expectation that we’d be blowing all these “shite” teams away. Everyone is picking on Reading yet we lost 4-2 to Norwich, a newly promoted team? So Norwich did better, but I expect Reading to pick it up a bit too to be honest. Our play last year was generally “awful looking” 4-4-2 as well…as it was the year before. And years before that ๐Ÿ˜†


  16. Shamrock-just how long has Marveux been awful? All of last season while he was injured? Or the two or three cameos he’s had? Being his first bits of game time in some two years…. ๐Ÿ˜•

    I’ve actually already talked about Cisse. Youngsters in place of him though? Sammeobi or Campbell coming on in his place? People would be slating him for not going for the win by trying untested youngsters, and they’d be right…we’ve only really got Shola.

    Obertan-yup he’s shite.

    Cabaye-I agree he also needs to up his effort levels because he’s been sulking around a fair bit, although is imrpoving.

    I think “long time” in regards to about, three matches, is a bit of a stretch though…


  17. And actually, ferguson WAS used in place of Obertan and Marveux….so Pards is playing the youth in the league? ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜€


  18. And i’m only protecting the set up because of the injury crisis and the bedding in of new players…when thats sorted I expect Pards to switch to a 4-3-1-2 or 4-2-1-1-2 ish formation-that being all our best players in all their best positions…imo..


  19. two gig games coming up if we do not turn up for the first 45 minutes on thursday we will get beat and on sunday give manure 45 minutes head start and the game could be over come half time after the reading game the players need to stand up a be counted get there act together and for pardew to get his tactics right roll on sunday how way the lads


  20. Shamrock ,Really good article . Good question ,why do we look so flat -Like you I’m inclined to think it’s a combination of things really . Lack of incoming first team back up means the players have to soldier on regardless when those positions are decimated by injuries .This can be seen as the owner having scant regard to all the effort the players put in the previous season to get us to our lofty position .Likewise I have no problem with Jonas having a moan about lack of European action after all it’s his and others hard graft that got us there. Our formation of 442 could work with decent wingers ,sadly we only have a promising left winger in Fergie. If we are to persist with 442 perhaps Santon could be moved to the right wing as he used to play right attacking MF at inter and we could stick Jonas at LB ๐Ÿ˜• worth a try ,could always change it if it didn’t work out. Otherwise we need to go with Ba out wide and Cisse up front regardless of what Ba’s been promised as it worked fine last season and I don’t like to see our number 9 being sidelined . For me one of Pards biggest mistakes is promising Ba a front start 90% of the time ,I understand he needed a confidence boost but what about Cisse did he get the same promise ,I somehow doubt it. We have to strengthen in January no two ways about it , fail to do so and I predict the knifes will well and truly be out.


  21. โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€“harper


    i recon this could just get us by tomorow a canny mix i feel although id rather tavernier leftback and santoon rb but dont think the silver supremo would do that


  22. Newkie, lets see Fergie actually start a game ir two then? I’m not suggesting playing uoungsters ahead of Cisse in a 442, i’m suggesting a change of tactics meaning either Cisse ir Ba up front with one dropped, then whoever is good enough at the time to fill a 5 man midfield for certain games – from the start. I know the wheels have not exactly come off, but we look shite and we all know it. Its not a question of blowing teams away, its a question of at least looking like we can get a goid result against them. The Norwich example is a poor one. We had no central defenders that day and you can pin point that game as the realisation that we needed a central defender in asap… 2 windows ago! Marveaux has played 7 games this season and looks poor. Yes he is rusty but that is not helping us create chances. He needs a loan spell to grt his sharpness back.


  23. Well, fergie himself is only really returning to fitness, I think starting a game may be a bit of a push for him right now given that his milk and steak diet doesn’t seem to have done much for his size either ๐Ÿ˜† Pard’s wouldn’t start him at Reading because he wanted Jonas. I guess you’ll say Jonas should then have been in the centre but I thought Bigi did very well to be honest, and he probably isn’t too far from Jonas in the centre of the park. Surely, as an even younger player than Fergie, Pards showed some faith by starting him? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Again, I agree re the tactics, my main point is i’m listing a few reasons why we might be slow in implementing them and i’m willing to give pards some time/leeway.

    Re Norwich- I thought it was a decent one, you listen to here then Willo isn’t a CB either ๐Ÿ˜† and given that Perch was playing CB for a fair time and young Tav had to come on I still think it’s a decent comparison-a very mixed bunch.

    We also played pretty shite at Norwich, even without the back four, again Ba basically scoring out of nothing and Cabaye showing possibly for the first time a real sense of creativity…

    7 games alright, I guess including the Europa matches yeah and he has looked poor but nobody pulled up any trees in those matches, hardly a very long time imo. Agree he needs loan time, unless his problem is that he wants first team, in which case he needs a dressing down.

    And before launching into disagreeing with you I meant to say-good article, certainly sparked some debate…. ๐Ÿ˜†


  24. I think we have been flat for three reasons:

    1- Ba and Cisse have not shown they can play togther up top;
    2- Cabaye is out of sorts, probbaly due to a long summer which he has admitted to npot being used to.
    3- Injuries to Collo and Tiote- they are the two thta can play the ball calmly form the back and not resort to hoofball.

    Regarding Fergie, I think he might be the spark we need as he is a complete ball of energy that can waken folks up a bit. Plus he’s got a great cross in him that makes us more dangerous inthe box and could be the key to unlocking Ba/Cisse


  25. I just hope if Fergie does play he doesn’t get stuck defending and is allowed to get high up the pitch, just as Ben Arfa stays high on the right.

    The cover defending can be done by our two defensive midfielders.


  26. Well thought out article Shamrock. You have hit on many of the key points I would think.I have to say MDS @24 is spot on as well. We don’t have any defensive depth at all. Let’s stop kidding ourselves. We absolutely should have bought a CB either last January or at the latest in the summer. No more whining and excuses from Llambias please! Other clubs find ways to improve without breaking the bank. This is utterly ridiculous for a club with the third highest attendances and a very solid income base which will improve drastically next season (if not earlier depending who has the new kit contract and potential naming rights). We used to hear all the players are overpriced in the January window (that certainly applied to Carroll!), now we really need to buy in that window as we did with Cisse. So is it all bollocks coming out of Llambias’s mouth? Or maybe he needs a few drinks before he puts us in our places again?


  27. MDS-Agreed. If we had that extra bit of confidence in CB then I think many of our problems would have been resolved…as it is, no Colo=hoofball ๐Ÿ˜•


  28. Have you change your name to newie or is it still newkie? ๐Ÿ˜€ Watching Willo try to use his height for our attacking set pieces is hilarious. He couldn’t score on an empty net. Same old thing time after time. The ball comes to him and he heads it wildly over or away from net. Is this Pardew’s new goal scoring CB we heard we needed? I hope not. Surely Pardew understands by now it’s not going to work and just puts our defense under extra risk with Willo caught out of position. Man U will kill us on the break if we try that bollocks against them.


  29. Newkie @ 15 “Well if Jonas is sulking that he hasnโ€™t been able to enjoy the sunny weather in Greece or Madeira then heโ€™ll need to take a look at himself Iโ€™m afraid,”
    ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Newkie as being one of the players that got us there I think he has every right to be “Sulking” and I don’t think it’s owt to do with sunning himself, more to do with reaping the rewards of his hard work last season and an ambition to play in Europe. I really cant understand your stance on that one ? maybe step back and see it from his point.

    JJ @ 25 spot on the defenders we have should be able to do the job and to add to that we have 2 MF that are there to help them out I don’t think we need anymore help in the defence so maybe the other 2 MF could try to help the strikers out for a change


  30. Dave-I’m all for Jonas playing. However, I do find it a little ironic that people calling for fergie to play/get subbed on earlier and even start also want Jonas to play ๐Ÿ˜• we can’t have everything.

    Answer me dave-
    1-should the team, and Fergie’s promising start now be put on hold because Jonas wants a match?
    2-Has Jonas shown enough to you so far to start every match? He hasn’t for me, and his competition-like Fergie have been very promising. Or should we show Fergie that despite his good work in getting us the equaliser, he won’t be more than a bit part player for us ๐Ÿ˜• โ“

    I’ve said before we should play our topish side at home. I’m not quite sure Jonas is even in that anymore…And this isn’t a slight on his character or anything, he’s one of my favourite players ๐Ÿ˜‰


  31. Sham @ 8 nice to have you back again as you were starting to see things through the rose tinted glasses ๐Ÿ˜† I also agree with your views on Marv he has been real poor and doesn’t look as if his head is in it ๐Ÿ˜ฅ which is a bit of a worry


  32. If we say that Ben Arfa isn’t really a winger (and I don’t think he is to get the best out of him) who do we really have that is a true winger with ability to cross well or beat a defender and have a shot? Certainly not Obertan as far as I can tell. Jonas to me has lost a little pace and never was a good crosser of the ball. Ferguson looks like the best bet by far, although Sammy might still come along well. But no proven talented winger unless Amalfitano can do it (he seems more like an ACM to me). Is this good enough to keep us in the top 5? I wouldn’t think so at all. I agree with Shamrock about our striking options as well. With Cisse completely out of form all we have is Ba (who has been fantastic). Shola can be decent as a sub for 15 or 20 minutes but who else do we have in case of injuries to Ba or Cisse. That worlld beater Xisco? The incredibly honest, hard working and decent bloke Ranger? Why on earth did we sell Best? I realize he’s not a world beater but what depth do we have now?


  33. I forgot to mention Marveaux as a potential winger but he has been so poor he slipped my mind (not hard to do I admit). Very disappointed in what I have seen of him this season. Seems to have lost confidence and what happened to his supposed blazing pace? He definitely doesn’t deserve a place in the starting 11 and needs to come on quickly.


  34. Newkie Fergie is a young lad with lots of potential but he isn’t ready yet IMO. as for Jonas I think our team would be lost without him, a lot of his graft go’s un noticed but take him out of the team and you’ll see how much we miss him.

    My point had nowt to do with Fergie just the point that you said Jonas needs to take a look at himself for sulking and making it out that it has something to do with sunning himself, well I didn’t know he was sulking I thought he was just saying that he wanted to play. but as I said he gave his all to get us into Europe so should he be denied that chance ?? because if that was the case him and the other players could think to themselves well whats the point of scrapping and fighting to get to Europe if we don’t get the chance to play there, and the fringe players and younguns are reaping the rewards of there hard work


  35. GEORDIETWO we all know we were short and that we would have more games, but we had plenty of time to get the players in to strengthen the team but we decided to get shot of more players than we brought in so we know who is to blame. But it seems some people would rather make excuses for the regime than blame them ๐Ÿ˜ฏ
    Reet back to do a bit catch you’s later


  36. Bordeaux are unbeaten in 17! I wonder how we will do against them in our current form? I’m not sure who will even get to play but surely a 4-3-3 is worth trying or 4-3-1-2 if we feel up to it. Put Cisse in the middle with Fergie on his left and Marveaux on the right and put Ben Arfa, Cabaye, and Jonas across the midfield. The back 4 is going to be shaky but I would go with Simpson, Perch (a horrible choice but who else is there?), Willo and Santon.Anita can come in if anyone is struggling.


  37. Dave-Ferguson is 21, he’s not that young when you consider he’s only a year younger than Gosling who many have already written off. Considering he had made starts two seasons ago against tough PL opposition, I can’t see much wrong in him being given the opportunity in Europe. Bordeux are a tough side though, and it’ll take a while for Fergie to get back into the swing of things but I think he can do a job.

    I’m not taking anything away from Jonas, I’m not saying he shouldn’t play in Europe. Again, I said play our top side at home, make sure we progress and try and win this thing…….All our players from last season deserve to play in Europe and attempt to help us win this thing. What Jonas says “but whatever game you are playing in the shirt of Newcastle, you want to win.” is actually very good news-show’s great positivity within the squad and I’m very happy with that. However if he was implying he should start and play all the games, which I may be mistaken in assuming, then I think he is wrong to deny the chance for youngsters to play-it’s an amazing experience for them and helps them to become true pros and fulfill their potential-as I’m sure a certain Timmy Krul would attest to ๐Ÿ˜‰


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