Despite getting through a potentially tricky game against Atromitos on Thursday night, I was largely disappointed by the day’s events. However, during the game, we certainly saw some positives. Gabriel Obertan ran at his opponents and looked dangerous throughout, testing the goalkeeper with a good effort late on. Haris Vuckic scored with a decent strike and, of course, more experience for the younger/fringe players.
However, the lack of quality coming from set-pieces and crosses is rather embarrassing. It is no secret that Newcastle’s lack of goals on the aerial front last season was below par, with Alan Pardew claiming one of his top priorities was to sign a defender who could also get some goals from corners. This obviously hasn’t comes to pass, and against Atromitos, our sole bit of quality in these situations was taken off early on.
Ryan Taylor’s injury is hopefully not too bad but it’s imperative something is done. Corners are hitting the first man, whether it be Yohan Cabaye (see Chelsea), Sylvain Marveaux or even young Gael Bigirimana.
Taking all this into account, we have a few problems. Danny Simpson was apparently on his way out earlier in the summer. I am glad he hasn’t gone. Simpson performed competently last year, saving us with some goal-line clearances and in general looking an improvement on the previous season. But if we were willing to let him go, you’d think there is always a lingering doubt.
Behind him we have the likes of James Perch (also substituted on Thursday with a neck problem), Taylor (see above) and James Tavernier. No offence to Tavernier but we shouldn’t be having him as second choice just now. He is young and still learning as seen in the first leg in Greece.
Back on to the aerial side of things, Andy Carroll left Liverpool to join West Ham. Don’t get me wrong, his valuation was high for someone who hasn’t set the world alight with such a big fee. His quality, in my opinion though, is not in question. He could have solved our problems in the air. As for crossing/set-pieces…a few lads need to spend some training time concentrating on delivering better service in the area. Stay back half an hour lads. It’s as simple as that.
The transfer deadline closes at 11PM. I have trust in Ashley, Pardew etc. but I really hope we manage to get someone in. Not a desperate panic-buy but maybe someone we have been linked with who would genuinely improve our situation (I liked the look of that Mathieu Debuchy…so did Mourinho apparently!).
I hate transfer deadline day. I have never felt as low as I did after January 31st 2011. Let’s hope this one is a little better and we see someone ‘get over the line’. Good luck everyone.
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