Alan Pardew says some pretty strange things (and does them as well…) and after the Hull match he went down the line of seemingly suggesting that in future it was a decision of Mapou or Coloccini for the left side of his centre-back pairing.
Now I have no problems with the manager praising his team after a 4-1 away victory but you still have to keep some grasp on reality.
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Even ignoring the Coloccini/Mapou comment for a second, anybody who saw the full ninety minutes will know that as well as the poor goal the defence (Krul) conceded, Hull hit the bar and missed two back post headers that were easier to score than miss, plus having concentrated periods of pressure that had United pinned back.
This though is what Alan Pardew had to say about his centre-back situation;
“I took Mapou over Steven (Taylor) because I think Steven is a little uncomfortable on the left – he prefers Willo’s channel.
“I made the decision after that Spurs match – Mapou and Colo on the left side and Willo & Tayls on the right.”
I thought Williamson and Mapou did ok but for the manager to suggest, that if all four were fit then it comes down to anything other than Coloccini playing and then picking any one of the three others, then you are kidding yourself.
At the moment on form it would clearly be Williamson getting the position alongside Coloccini if everyone is available but I don’t think that has particularly anything to do with whether Willo is comfortable going left or right, particularly as he is much more comfortable with the ball in the air than actually kicking it!
Our real quality players such as Coloccini, Tiote and Remy just pick themselves and can play any number of positions and shine. You simply then fit your lesser players around them and hope that a bit of their class and assurance pays off.
Colo or Mapou indeed…next Alan Pardew will be claiming that it will always be a choice of Remy or Cisse and De Jong or Shola!