A Discussion On Tactics, Styles And The Qualities Our Players Have

Firstly, rest in peace to Graham Taylor, man who I had the pleasure of meeting when I was a child and even then he had the time and patience to talk football with me.

Although some people may not know, Graham Taylor was very found of our club and could often be found in the crowd at St James’, according to reports.

The man who currently occupies the post of Newcastle manager, is of course, Rafa Benitez. Benitez is a man who commands respect worldwide, within the sport, having won almost everything that he could possibly have.

However, this has not stopped him from being questioned from Newcastle fans in recent weeks.

Many fans have already written off his summer signing, Matz Sels, due to a number of errors, while many feel that another of his signings, DeAndre Yedlin, is one of the sides most crucial player.

As always, I am here to offer an alternate view.

I think Sels has great potential, he has some great qualities and in my opinion he is just taking time to adapt to the physicality of the English league.

He is excellent at time-wasting, having an ability to kill the game when needed, as we saw away to Bristol City. He is also comfortable receiving the ball.

There is no denying that he must improve, but David De Gea and Edwin Van Der Sar took up to two years to reach their potential, so to write Sels off after a few games seems very premature to me. Instead, I think we should be patient, accept that there will be errors along the way, and encourage him to reach his undoubted potential.

Speaking of potential, not many in our squad have more of it than DeAndre Yedlin, but it seems that the American will be forgiven for any mistakes that he makes by the fans, very unlike Sels.

Many feel that Yedlin is crucial if Newcastle are to be promotion, because of his pace, energy and aggression. The one problem with this, is that if Yedlin plays, Vurnon Anita does not.

Yedlin may have the potential to be better than his Dutch competitor, but currently, I feel that Anita has a better positional sense and possesses more calmness and composure.

Rotating them appears to be the best option, which is something that Benitez is doing fantastically well.

One player who is rotated very rarely, is the captain Jamaal Lascelles.

If Lascelles is to continue his run in the side, without a challenge, then he also has some things that he must improve.

In South America, defenders are very comfortable defending one against one and are extremely happy in possession of the ball.

The central defenders who do this, often play outside of the traditional defensive structure and alternating between pressing high up the pitch and sweep up behind their defensive partner, David Luiz is probably the best example of this in England.

This is something that I think would improve Lascelles’ game. The Newcastle captain is strong, quick and great in the air, but if he could learn to be more comfortable on the ball and happier to be one against one with attackers, he could reach the very top of the game.

37 thoughts on “A Discussion On Tactics, Styles And The Qualities Our Players Have

  1. I don’t agree about Sels, for me it’s more than adapting to our league, I’m just not sure he’s got what it takes. He is not good at catching, often punching away and sadly it often falls to an on coming opposition player. Sorry Jake but that is the action of a keeper who hasn’t the confidence to command his box. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing more I would like than a big slice of humble pie here but I just don’t think he has it and feel he’ll get murdered by premier league attackers. For me Darlow is far more commanding and has a good understanding with Lascelles too. Elliot is even better going off past form.
    As for Anita, his best spot is by far RB, I think he is very intelligent and calm in his passing, yes he doesn’t get forward as much as Yedlin but his defensive work is better. I’m not so happy seeing Anita in MF where I think he is much weaker against better opposition. I don’t feel too worried about Lascelles, he’s young and this season has the added burden of captaincy too which may be effecting him a wee bit. Rafa will nurture him and he will improve over time . A very committed player, always puts a shift in and apparently not afraid to call out players in the dressing room when they don’t pull their weight, that’s what I expect from a captain.

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  2. Well said Kim. I agree about Sels too. For me he’s a liability. Whoever scouted him and convinced Rafa to buy made a big mistake.
    Lascelles form has dipped and I worry about him long term. Both him and Clark seem to ball watch when it’s bouncing around our area. Still think Mbemba is better than both.
    I like Yedlin but agree that defensively Anita is better. We might see both against Brentford with Anita replacing Colback in midfield. Wishful thinking maybe.
    Finally – well done qpr! We’ve just had our poor patch and the chasers will have theirs too.

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  3. Jake – I’m with Kim on this one mate.
    Just because I question Rafa doesn’t mean I don’t disrespect or lack loyalty – far from it.

    As for Sels, he may come good in the long term, but the fact you say he’s a good time waster I think just shows how poorly he’s performing at the moment. He’s young and could develop well – but he shouldn’t be in the first team, and that’s what people are saying.

    As for Lascelles, there are different types of CBs and I’m more than happy with how he’s doing – likewise Clark. I think too much is put on ball playing CKs and CBs, but personally I’d rather see a player master the discipline of their position.

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  4. I would say this about Sels, he is making the same sort of mistakes that De Gea and Van Der Sar were making when they first came. Van Der Sar made some howlers in his early days at Fulham but went on to be arguably the best ‘keeper in PL history, while De Gea was less commanding of his box than Sels is now. Sels still shows some great attributes I think. I prefer Anita to Yedlin at the moment but think Yedlin has huge potential, he is still very young for a defender. I like Lascelles as well, just think in recent weeks the opposition have allowed him to have the ball knowing that he is uncomfortable in possession.

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  5. Cheers Jake.

    Selz; I see where you are going. He is a good shot stopper and is new to the Country, but this is the second tier and he is consistently putting the team in danger with awful decision making when he has a second to plan as opposed to just reflex save. He keeps making the same mistakes and this is the second tier. I have to agree with Kim and say he’s a write off for me. Darlow has surprised me. He has really grown in stature and looks like he can make the step up. Then there is Elliott. Fingers crossed his bad injury has not taken reflexes away. If he is the same player then Selz has no chance of getting ahead of those two imo.

    Yedlin; Not seen anybody claim he is key, so don’t really think it’s a debate. Most fans would agree he should be rotated with Anita depending g in opposition.

    Lascelles; Most top defenders do not have the full package like you are asking for. It’s normally a footballer paired with a beast. Yes Lascelles can improve his passing etc but I think he is the best CB and leader we have had in a long while so no complaints here. He has plenty of time to add to his game and tellingly, he did well in the PL under Rafa last season – so no concerns about him not handling it next season if we get promoted.

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  6. Re; Rafa.

    Like Sharpy I won’t sick.up to Rafa just because he is Rafa. If he makes an obvious mistake then I’ll point it out in frustration. However, that does not mean that I don’t respect his ability, integrity or history and I have faith that he will be the best thing to happen to this club in 10 years. He is just a human being at the end of the day and will make mistakes from time to time. As a fan I am entitled to call a spade a spade without being accused of writing a manager off!

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  7. i agree most points with KIM/GEORGIO i like Mbemba but storey goes he wont do what Rafa wants in defence and plays it his way,dont know how true that is but something isnt right as imo he is the best of the three defenders,but none of us sees what going on in training so we have to rely on Rafa and his coachs

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  8. I agree Mbemba is the best passer of the ball and creates the link between CB and midfield, but I would not say he is as good as Clarke or Lascelles at tackling, communicating or heading. Definitely a great option for us though to keep the other two on their toes and it’s nice that we have that depth at CB for a change.

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  9. icedog:
    i agree most points with KIM/GEORGIO i like Mbemba but storey goes he wont do what Rafa wants in defence and plays it his way,dont know how true that is but something isnt right as imo he is the best of the three defenders,but none of us sees what going on in training so we have to rely on Rafa and his coachs

    Yeah he showed a lot of promise didn’t he, though he too has had some howlers here and there. There could well be a problem that Rafa has seen with him, training or not following instructions/tactics properly, who knows.

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  10. Shamrock:
    I agree Mbemba is the best passer of the ball and creates the link between CB and midfield, but I would not say he is as good as Clarke or Lascelles at tackling, communicating or heading. Definitely a great option for us though to keep the other two on their toes and it’s nice that we have that depth at CB for a change.

    Agree Sham, waited long enough haven’t we.

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  11. Jake for me the best keeper in PL history was the great Dane peter schmeichel. Total beast and it has to be said part of a great team at his peak. Wasn’t he also voted worlds best keeper at one time too?

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  12. I was watching the QPR game last night & they discussed our game coming up. David Prutton articulated the Shelvey absence really well I thought. He said we haven’t just been missing one of our key players, his absence has effected the game of our other key players. Gayle & Ritchie both play better with Shelvey and his passing abilities in the team – and he’s totally right.
    But Jake also makes a valid point there too. Our CBs aren’t offensively minded, and would usually get it to Shelvey asap. He would then move the ball forward quickly which then brings Ritchie & Gayle in. Just shows how key Shelvey is to Rafas A game.

    I agree about Mbemba being a better passer of the ball at CB.
    Maybe a 3 at the back could have been tried with Mbemba being a bit of a ball playing sweeper and use some wingbacks.

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  13. kimtoon:
    Jake for me the best keeper in PL history was the great Dane peter schmeichel. Total beast and it has to be said part of a great team at his peak. Wasn’t he also voted worlds best keeper at one time too?

    he won the PL title on his own,lost count how many games they won one nil

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  14. kimtoon:
    Jake for me the best keeper in PL history was the great Dane peter schmeichel. Total beast and it has to be said part of a great team at his peak. Wasn’t he also voted worlds best keeper at one time too?

    He did, yes. Van Der Sar would be up there though, even if you don’t see him as the best

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  15. I know there is still a lot of the window left, but do we need to start getting concerns at what seems to be a lack of activity on the incomings front.
    Rafa said he wanted someone in by the end of this week – that doesn’t look like happening now.

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  16. Sharpy17:
    I know there is still a lot of the window left, but do we need to start getting concerns at what seems to be a lack of activity on the incomings front.
    Rafa said he wanted someone in by the end of this week – that doesn’t look like happening now.

    my money is still on Wilson

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  17. icedog: my money is still on Wilson

    Ice – I don’t see that being straight forward at all. If Bmouth are ready to let him go I could see someone like WH hijacking that one.

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  18. kimtoon:
    could be a case of they can’t get who they want in and so are now looking at other choices.

    Kim – more than likely, but stuff like that should be ironed out before now I reckon. I mean the window is just for signing players, but asking clubs about players and rough negotiations can be done anytime really.

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  19. Colback is taking his life in his hands,he said Rafa training is boring going over the same points until they get it right but maybe they need to,he said the players prefer to play 5 a side

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  20. icedog:
    Colback is taking his life in his hands,he said Rafa training is boring going over the same points until they get it right but maybe they need to,he said the players prefer to play 5 a side

    Daft sod, needs to realise how lucky he is to get a regular start given his poor displays at times 🙄 Aye and the fact Rafa has them going over and over stuff should tell them that they aren’t getting it right.

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  21. kimtoon: Daft sod, needs to realise how lucky he is to get a regular start given his poor displays at times Aye and the fact Rafa has them going over and over stuff should tell them that they aren’t getting it right.

    aye to bloody true mate

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  22. icedog:
    Colback is taking his life in his hands,he said Rafa training is boring going over the same points until they get it right but maybe they need to,he said the players prefer to play 5 a side

    To be fair Ice, maybe he prefers 5 a side coz he plays better on a smaller pitch – coz he’s certainly dog**** on a full sided one!!!.
    Rafa must have the patience of a saint if he works with Colback til he gets it right!!! ??

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  23. I heard somewhere that it’s a language issue with Mbemba. His english is still crap apparently and communication at the back is difficult.

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  24. I hope the Reading defeat has calmed a few nerves on here? It really does go to show that it’s a tough league and 6 points (might as well be 7) is a lot in this league.

    Fancy a draw tomorrow to be honest, although if we play like we did against Blackburn we will win.

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  25. Cheers Jake.

    For me big Karl Darlow is the future. Thought he got too much stick last season when we had to recall him following our year goalkeeper injury crisis.

    I’ve got a thread going up today at 5pm which covers tomorrow’s game as well as how we’ll expect to cope without Shelvey in the centre of the park for one last game.

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  26. Stuart79:
    I hope the Reading defeat has calmed a few nerves on here? It really does go to show that it’s a tough league and 6 points (might as well be 7) is a lot in this league.

    Fancy a draw tomorrow to be honest, although if we play like we did against Blackburn we will win.

    I wouldn’t say I’m nervous as such mate, but our run of form lately concerns me. That concern won’t go away by another team loosing though. It will go away when WE start winning games again and put a bit of a run of wins together.

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  27. Sharpy17: I wouldn’t say I’m nervous as such mate, but our run of form lately concerns me.That concern won’t go away by another team loosing though.It will go away when WE start winning games again and put a bit of a run of wins together.

    Have to agree mate, it’s us we need to think about not rely on others.

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  28. We’ll maybe if the player’s started getting the basic’s right Rafa wouldn’t have to go on at them so much. Last season before Rafa came along was depressing as ****, so **** off Jack Colback!!!

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  29. I got a great deal of respect for Chris Hughton. He know’s the championship inside and out. If they lose their game in hand and we win against them I’ll think otherwise.

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  30. It was only last season that the players were full of praise for Rafa’s training methods and saying how much better it was under him. Can only think Jack has a cob on because he knows or Rafa makes him feel he’s a weak link.

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  31. kimtoon:
    It was only last season that the players were full of praise for Rafa’s training methods and saying how much better it was under him. Can only think Jack has a cob on because he knows or Rafa makes him feel he’s a weak link.

    I agree mate,but that could cause un-rest among a small group of players which I hope Rafa will nip in the bud

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