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The Vurnon Anita Question

8 years ago
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When Derek Llambias declared that Vurnon Anita was one of Newcastle United’s eleven ‘Purples’ after his arrival, there were expectations, especially when the Dutchman was the only first team squad signing of last summer.

After a slow to middling start, Anita was one of the few players who appeared to be actually improving as the season progressed, despite the team struggling.

In January he was arguably our best player and then the French signings landed and Anita was instantly dropped out of sight. Or at least onto the bench, which is much the same thing.

Not only that but apart from the odd glimpse as a substitute, the only league match he started was against Manchester City, a match where the team looked set out to avoid a hammering and maybe why Anita was for once included.

Apart from that his only appearances have been in the secondary importance (to the club, Ashley, Pardew etc. – if not the fans) European matches.

The final straw coming when in the vital match at West Ham, the woeful Dan Gosling brought on ahead of the Dutchman. Newcastle dropping to the brink of the relegation zone after that mediocre draw.

A puzzle to most fans and a wonder as to what was going on and now the manager, speaking to the Hartelpool Mail, has had this to say about Vurnon Anita;

“He is a great technician with the ball and he will be better next year.

I think it has been a year where Vurnon had to adapt in a team that has not done well and wasn’t playing its best football.

He has suffered because of the injuries we have had as much as everybody else, we will be looking to him to push on next year.”

Some fans’ explanation for Anita’s surprising omission in the second half of the season have centred around a possible conflict on transfer policy with Alan Pardew wanting more say on player recruitment and so making it clear Anita wasn’t one of his signings by totally freezing him out of the vital league struggle.

That all sounds far-fetched but I’d love to know the reason why even Gosling found his way onto the pitch ahead of him, especially with Anita showing against Arsenal that he isn’t a bad player.

The argument that the manager was in some way protecting Anita due to his age/inexperience would appear to go out of the window when twenty year old Haidara ends up thrown in the deep end just off the plane, when others such as Perch and Simpson could have filled in on the left.

Despite Alan Pardew’s words, it will be interesting to see what part Anita plays in his plans next year, if at all.

Maybe that will all depend on how much Pardew is listened to in terms of the players he feels Newcastle need to bring in?


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