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Cabaye And Taylor Leading The Team Out Of Trouble

8 years ago
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Over the last few months I’ve written several articles on the state of play by Newcastle United, mostly negative but with constructive observations.

In the main, my message was simple, if you have players who give 100% every game, work hard off the ball, close down and play for their teammates. Then when we have the ball, keep it simple and pass to a teammate, make runs into space to get the ball back, make intelligent runs forward, play with pace and determination…if we had that then we’d be in a good position.

So looking back at the last couple of matches, against Aston Villa – 1st half…we played with purpose, on the front foot, closing down when we didn’t have the ball, supporting each other and squeezing the play.

When we did have the ball, we kept it simple, kept the ball moving, looked to get on the ball and most importantly, moved forward as a unit, pulling the defence forward with us, and yes – we had overlaps.  2nd half,  we thought we’d won the game and sat back 15yds, letting them have the ball and playing flat, there was a lack of urgency, we held on..just!

Against Chelsea, again like the first half v Villa, we pressed the space, played higher up the pitch, everyone battled and closed down on their opponent.

More importantly though, we didn’t waste the ball when we had it, we were patient, passed it simple, made ourselves available for the return ball, and then we had runners, not only giving an outlet, but also dragging their marking defender away too, creating pockets of space for our midfielders to manoeuvre in.

I know Sissoko is getting the headlines, and rightly so, but the 2 players who have made the most difference for me are Taylor and Cabaye. Taylor leads ours defence, make no mistake about that, Taylor is the one who calls the line, talks to the fullbacks and communicates with Krul.

Coloccini is half the player without Taylor by his side. It’s Taylor who drives the defence forward and doesn’t let them sit deep.

Cabaye for me is the all round ultimate professional.  He’d be my captain in a heartbeat.  He’s a leader on the pitch and off it.  When Sissoko scored that winner, everyone is jumping on Sissoko – watch Cabaye…he’s congratulating Santon first and then is the last with Sissoko.  He leads on the pitch with his movement, vision, and keeps the ball moving in the right areas, AND there’s an end product from him!!

So, it’s a move in the right direction, let’s hope we keep it simple, keep the ball to feet, pass and move, play on the front foot and drive forward, give 100% when we don’t have the ball, oh and miss the 1st defender on crosses and try a shot every now and again…who knows we could start winning a little more!!

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