Here we are once again, on a Monday morning moaning about the state Newcastle United is in and once again, it’s all self-inflicted.
We can go on and on about the merits (or lack of them) in attack and moan about which Manager (Sorry- Head Coach) should be in the dugout. However, surely this whole squad needs ripping up in the summer and starting again, minus exceptions like Krul, Janmaat, Colback, Sissoko and Perez.
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The seeds were sown long ago in terms of how bad we are in defence.
Forget last summer, when nothing was done to improve a centre-back pairing that wasn’t good enough last season. Retaining the status quo of Taylor, Williamson and Coloccini (Championship defenders of 2009) was an admission of failure before a ball was kicked in August 2014 and to not even start blooding in Jamaal Lascelles into the side from day one, was out and out negligence.
Daryl Janmaat is a quality right-back, one that can handle the Premier League and even contribute going forward, personally I think an improvement on Debuchy, a good bit of business all round. However, everything else across the back four is utterly atrocious, highlighted at Everton more so than anywhere this season.
Take Ryan Taylor at left-back. A great lad, but NOT a left-back, not even strictly left footed. He was turned inside out before the second goal, assisted by Gouffran (I assume he was played to help Taylor defend?) before Gouffran himself then failed to clear and then clattered Lennon for the penalty award.
Not getting in a RECOGNISED left-back is criminal and we haven’t done so for years now. It’s the hardest position to get right as there are so few good ones about, but surely predominantly right footed Davide Santon, would have been more useful played there than swanning around the streets of Milan? Where’s Haidara?
None of which would be my first choice, but in the absence of forward planning (or even planning) surely letting Santon (who can cover at right-back,making him quite versatile) go in January was once again negligent.
Moving on, Mike Williamson. A steady Championship defender, no fuss, probably happy to be at a Premier League club to be honest. But sadly we can’t allow a Championship defender to consistently keep making the side because he’s a nice guy and it would be easier than forking out a chunk to get someone who can actually defend properly. This isn’t a game for niceties. I’ve defended him in the past, based primarily on the fact that he gets more stick than his colleague Steven Taylor, who IS a Premier League defender, unfortunately an average one.
Onto the biggest problems in the back four. Captain Colo. My word, if ever a problem stood out more. People can defend him as much as they like, but he’s living off long, long past reputations.
The 2011/12 season seems a lifetime ago and people still hark back to that campaign as why Colo should be in the team. Not for me. Unfortunately a bit like Williamson, he is in the side by default, not ability, and to top it all off, he is the Captain.
The one person I definitely wouldn’t have as Captain, is someone that doesn’t even want to be at the club and gets himself sent off with rash challenges (Not the first time he’s done it by the way). He doesn’t conduct interviews, he wants to be away, he’s not a Captain and his discipline and ability is now questionable. First one out the door in the Summer for me.
Looking at Tim Krul, his aura is currently slipping. He’s making mistakes that he wasn’t doing a season or two ago and that’s a worry as he was worth 10 points a season not so long ago, but he isn’t the problem.
The problem lies in front of him. A good defence can make a good goalkeeper look invincible (Think David Seaman and Peter Schmeichel in the 90s), an average defence can make a good goalkeeper look poor.
Our defence isn’t even average at present . .