Alan Pardew ‘Davide Santon Could Be Newcastle United’s Phil Neville’
I must have missed this at the time but towards the end of last season I’ve just seen Alan Pardew was quoted as saying that Davide Santon could be Newcastle’s answer to what Phil Neville did at Manchester United.
The Newcastle manager says a lot of puzzling things and this is another to add to the ever growing list.
“Important thing is Davide Santon has got a long-term future at this club because he is still young.
“I look at someone like Phil Neville and Santon could be the Phil Neville of this football club, a kind of unsung hero like Phil was at Manchester United.”
Last season, due to the shockingly small size of the squad and lack of options, Alan Pardew had the brainwave of playing Santon in centre midfield at Stamford Bridge. Despite the Italian looking like a fish out of water and losing his man totally for one of the goals, plus Newcastle losing 3-0, Pardew claimed the tactical change had been a great success.
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However, it was that much of a success that Pardew returned Santon straight over to left-back again for the home match with Spurs, where he then proceeded to drag him off at half-time and the Italian stormed out of the club without watching the second half.
Talking of Santon as some kind of Phil Neville is ludicrous and sums up how out of touch the manager is with the players at his disposal.
Phil Neville was a steady Eddie type of player who went on to have a great career as a holding midfield player who was very tidy and did all the basics with little fuss,then passed the ball on to those who with more natural skill.
Santon, just like Debuchy on the other side of the pitch, is clearly at his best when he is bursting forward, having the skill and pace to go past people. That is how he made his reputation in Italy and if Pardew had the nous and the guts, he’d be playing the two of them as real attacking wing-backs/full-backs and juggle his team around them.
Indeed recent days have seen the Chronicle report that Santon is looking to play a more forward role hopefully.
Instead we have seen both players stifled going forward and the younger Davide Santon seeing his form dropping way off last season as like the rest of the team he didn’t have a clue as to what Pardew was doing.
Santon is a player with loads of natural ability and if Alan Pardew can’t utilise those skills then he will be another player who has lost his way under the Newcastle manager, just like Papiss Cisse, Hatem Ben Arfa and others.
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