What became patently obvious against Liverpool and the consequences to the team overall, is the inescapable fact that we cannot afford to carry passengers against the better teams.

Aside from the display of complete stupidity from Simpson for their 2nd goal (Bellamy was never going to threaten from that distance, just not him) the negativity which our lack of half decent full-backs brought to our play, was instrumental in us having only two decent attacks in the entire game.

Clearly the instructions to Jonas and Obertan were to cover the full-backs at all time and only lend support up front as a secondary role – the result being that both our wingers achieved absolutely nothing going forward. This has been the case in so many games this season (not just against the better teams either) and although I accept neither are dynamic at attacking, they are, or should be, more than adequate.

If in any doubt look to the Liverpool flanks and how much further forward Bellamy and the woeful Downing were (and therefore threatening) – the direct consequence of having a decent pair of full-backs.

Part of the solution is Santon (left or right?) who looks canny from what we have seen but the other full back position still lies vacant.

Am I the only one who hopes Simpson does not sign his contract and forces Ashley to buy a proper player.

Finally, I hope Pardew’s misplaced loyalty to R Taylor is not a sign of things to come.


In his other life, Jonnie runs a walking and guiding company in the north of England. Visit his excellent website at Where2walk to find out more

  • Ramshawc

    Thought Santon did well when he came on. In the first half Downing caused havoc down our left hand side. Pardew could do well to sit Obertan down and watch the way Downing consistently pushed the ball into space beyond Taylor and used his pace to go past him none of these daft step overs. Mindyou his crossing was crap. Santon then stopped the threat

  • Anonymous

    Agree with Jonnie S, Santon has now set the standard as to what we should expect from full-backs, just like Jose did. Needing our wingers to play as full-back assistants isn’t the answer like we have to do when Raylor plays there.

  • Anonymous

    Think the writer is a bit harsh on Simpson but what we should be looking for is to bring in somebody better than Simpson but keep him (Danny) for the squad. 

  • Anonymous

    If a full-back can’t take care of his winger then you are in trouble, Enrique hardly broke sweat doing that part of the job and Santon is looking the same. Reckon there will be loads of players on continent who can do a similar job to Santon on right, would be a massive bonus for team.

  • Big Al

    Another one who thinks being a bit harsh on Danny. Whoever plays left back (hopefully Santon ) always gets exellent protection from Jonas. However watch any game recently and especially the Liverpool one Obertan brings nothing defensivly or in the final third for that matter, and this exposes Danny to no protection(watch the first and third goals again and concentrate on Obertan to see how awful his positioning is