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Simpson Better For Newcastle Than Debuchy

9 years ago

Danny Simpson signed for Newcastle on 14th August 2009 and the trajectory of Newcastle United’s fortunes on and off the pitch have only gone one way since. Massively up. I’m not saying he’s the only reason, far from it, yet he has been a cornerstone of the revolution on the pitch that has taken our club back to the top of the English game & into Europe.

Now in his 4th season at the club, I can recall on the fingers of one hand the major errors he has made. The worst ‘mistake’ in many fans’ eyes was the one at The Emirates when he gave the ball away to Arsenal at 1-1, allowing a counter-attack and an RVP winner. The day after, Simpson left Twitter, disgusted at the abuse that he got having given his all to the club during what was a difficult personal time in his life. His contract situation goes on (and on) and I for one will be gutted if he was to leave the club, representing like no other player in my eyes, the change from the bad old days to the very good new ones.

There’s a lot of talk of replacing him with different names being mentioned, Debuchy being the no. 1 choice, yet I don’t think defensively we can sign a better right-back. Watching the Goal Alert highlights during the Champions League games on SKY, there’s an awful lot of Lille’s conceded goals coming down his side.

Whatever he offers going forward, a defender’s job is to defend first and foremost and with Hatem Ben Arfa in front of you, thank God we’ve got a proper defender in that role. When he’s fit that is, as Newcastle’s mini-dip in form and leaking goals came when Simpson was out and now he’s back, we instantly look a more solid, experienced outfit. Give him a bumper new contract now.

Fans of Davide Santon, whom I admit to underestimating defensively last season, point to his roving qualities going forward. What most people fail to point out is that he has got the best defensive left ‘winger’ that Argentina has ever produced, in front of him for cover. Not so Danny Simpson who is constantly exposed, yet as the don Gary Neville pointed out on SKY in an enlightening defence of his former Man U teammate, does a fantastic job, notably saying that full-backs at Man U are taught to back off wingers rather than sell themselves by diving in. And Simpson is no mug going forward either as he proved again on Thursday night against Bordeaux, assisting yet another goal with a wicked ball in. It’s been a while since he’s floated a cross into the back of the net yet with Man U on Sunday, he’ll be itching to score.

Finally, Simpson gets his saviour tag because, statistically, last season he led the Premier League record in goal-line clearances with 7. Now for people who don’t understand football very well and say this doesn’t make him a good player etc., understand this. This means SEVEN times he stopped a certain goal from going into our net, most notably at Old Trafford where we won a magnificent point. So he, not Coloccini, Taylor, Williamson, Krul, Santon or Perch stopped the opposition getting a lead or further momentum on an existing lead in seven games. By way of comparison, no other League player made more than three clearances.

These are massively important game-saving actions, the same as Tim Krul, hero of the terraces and rightly so, making a match-winning save. So get behind a man who has given his heart and soul to this club from day one and if his presence in the 3-0 win at Man U last time, the 3-0 win at Bordeaux and every other significant result we’ve had in the last three years is anything to go by, he might just be a ‘lucky’ part of this club’s best defence in years.

Can you live with that description of the best right-back in The Premier League?

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