Nine Sure Starters For Newcastle – Only Two Places Up For Grabs
One benefit of not buying a single player all summer is that when it comes to weighing up who should be in the starting eleven, you can’t say any of the players are unknown quantities.
The one player who did come in, on a year long loan, is Loic Remy and I think he is nailed on to be in the first eleven when fit but what about the rest of them?
Well Saturday at Villa rubber stamped for me eight other sure starters – unless Alan Pardew went for a radically different formation.
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The eight who I think are sure to start if fit are;
Krul, Debuchy, Coloccini, Santon, Sissoko, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Cisse
That is not to say that Mapou and Anita did anything wrong on Saturday but I do think their cases are different.
If the two play as they did at Villa then they deserve to start and I have no doubt that all things being equal, Alan Pardew will go with an unchanged team against Hull.
I think though it is excellent news though with Mapou and Anita’s positions because at very long last we have a bit of competition in the team.
I know both players have frustrated in recent times but I do think both Cheick Tiote and Steven Taylor are first team players and it is a good situation all round to have these four players kept on their toes, whichever two of them are playing at any one time.
For too long the team has picked itself and undoubtedly there was a lot of complacency last season, a big factor in United ending up in a relegation struggle.
I know Papiss Cisse hasn’t looked the same player but I think he’ll play himself back into form and goals, while the alternatives to playing the Senegal striker are thin on the ground.
Please don’t mention Shola and as for Yoan Gouffran, I think he can do a decent job wide left and/or as a supersub but the manager has already said he doesn’t think playing through the middle in the Premier League is for Gouffran and he had a dreadful game when playing that role against lowly Morecambe.
The bench did look stronger on Saturday and arguably was a massive factor in winning the match, being able to bring the likes of Tiote and Gouffran on.
Personally, the two or three signings that should have come in the summer would have just about put us where we need to be, having those signings on the bench (or the pitch) instead of Sammy Ameobi, Marveaux and Dummett would make United look a really strong outfit.
I’m not saying that those three can’t offer something but hand on heart, if we’d brought any of the 3 onto the pitch at Villa (yes I know Sammy came on but only the last couple of minutes) I’d have seen it as weakening the team, which wasn’t the case with Gouffran and Tiote – simply a case of offering something different to who they replaced (Anita & Remy).
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