Viduka, Taylor Need To Wait For Starting Chance

Joe Kinnear has some selection decisions to make for Saturday’s visit of Stoke City to St. James’ Park, but there’s not much likelihood he will change the team that started against Middlesbrough last Saturday.

Mark Viduka – will bide his time waiting for starting opportunity

Joe Kinnear talked to the Evening Chronicle today:

“Obviously after two clean sheets in a row there has to be a great chance that it will be the same again at the back for us.” “We do have Steven Taylor fit again and I have spoken to him about the situation and he fully understands.”“One thing we could do is to play Fabricio Coloccini as a holding midfielder to accommodate Tails, but it would be wrong to do that.” “As far as Seba Bassong is concerned, in my opinion he was probably our best player in our last two games with Chelsea and Middlesbrough.”

It’s likely that Joe Kinnear will filed an unchanged team, and it shows he is willing to give time for Owen and martins to play well together, at least until Mark Viduka is fully match fit, which will take a few weeks.

Steven Taylor – fit again after groin strain

Steven Taylor will not expect to get his place back either, with Seb Bassong having played so well in the last two games, and that’s good because it’s showing that we do indeed have increased competition for places in the side, which can only be good.

But we have to get over this run of three draws in a row, and get another win under our belts, ebcasue are 3 times as good as draws, and we must start pulling away form the relegation zobe.

Stoke are currently in 14th place on 18 points, and we are still fourth from bottom, with 15 points.  If we can beat Stoke on Saturday, we’ll go above them in the league on goal difference.

Comments welcome.

36 comments so far


    Dec 4, 2008 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #1

    Simply a MUST win game.

  • Ben

    Dec 4, 2008 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #2

    I would like to see the same team fielded against Stoke other than Taylor in at Left Back to replace Enrique to help deal with Delaps throws as Taylor is very good in the air. If it goes pear shaped get Viduka on 4-3-3

  • ObaFan2

    Dec 4, 2008 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #3

    Bassong has been great the last 2 games, Taylor should have to wait for an opportunity, it’s only fair.

  • Tore Torell

    Dec 4, 2008 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #4

    Bassong has to stay in the side, he’s been amazing since being moved to the centre of defence. Taylor is too clumsy, nice to see him out of the 1st XI.

    I’d like to see Butt dropped soon too, even Geremi would be a better option. Let’s hope for a central midfielder in January, we need better legs than what Butt can offer in the heart of midfield.

  • NotAGhostToon

    Dec 4, 2008 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #5

    We love seb


    Dec 4, 2008 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #6

    No coincidence that as soon as Taylor is replaced by someone decent to compliment the excellent Collo we stop conceeding stupid goals. Bassong is a real find. He must retain his place. If he does and Joe had the guts to play Owen Martins and Viduka the I would fancy us to wallop Stoke. Can’t see it happening though…

  • DanToon

    Dec 4, 2008 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #7


    Baye Coloccini Bassong Enrique

    …Jonas Butt Guthrie Nzogbia

    ……….Viduka Martins

    Take Viduka off after 70 mins for Owen,

  • Toon Olly

    Dec 4, 2008 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #8

    vidukas not gonna last 70minutes mate, bring him on way nearer the end, maybe swap enrique for tayls at left bak cosve the throws, if hes shite bring on jose for some familiarity at the back..
    here i am saying it AGAIN, but its a must-win/
    score, 2-1 the lads

  • Xisco Is A Pirate

    Dec 4, 2008 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #9

    Guys – the difference between NUFCBlog and that gooner one is nearly in single digits: if you haven’t already vote at

  • Xisco Is A Pirate

    Dec 4, 2008 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #10

    And I’d keep the back 4 as it is because whilst Jose may have some distribution problems he CAN defend.Viduka on for the last 20-25 minutes.

  • paddyq

    Dec 4, 2008 at 6:02 PM

    Comment #11

    if anyone should go its butt, swap him for coloccini and put taylor back. otherwise taylor can wait, bassong has shown some real class at centre back.
    if we could get butt out and have him as back up, and somebody akin to emre with some real attacking ability, we have the makings of a decent side. lets see if joe can address this in january! also, enriques distribution confidence appears shattered, if he can sort that he might just turn out ok.

  • DanToon

    Dec 4, 2008 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #12

    I bet ya he could last 70 mins, just that he wont get the chance too. Footballers wraped up in cotton wool, When i was a YTS at Notts County i had 2 month out with broken ribs, my first game back v Leeds n’ i playedthe full 90 mins, can be done!

  • John

    Dec 4, 2008 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #13

    Bassong and Coloccini are solid at the back so it would be a strange move to break up that partnership. Taylor is not a full back and talk of him replacing Enrique would in my opinion be totally wrong. Enrique is getting better every week and I wish people would get off his back. The lad has snuffed out wingers in his last 3 games and deserves more credit. The strike force is the interesting area and it will take some careful man management by Joe to keep his strikers happy. For me it’s a big one and a little one. Try Viduka and Owen first and if nothing is doing then send on Shola and Martins

  • Whitt

    Dec 4, 2008 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #14

    we need Viduka, Owen, and Martins on together as much as possible, as they are our best players. the rest of the lineup should accomodate them:

    Beye Colo Seb Enrique
    Geremi Butt Guthrie
    Viduka Owen Martins

  • tripp

    Dec 4, 2008 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #15

    swap Jonas for Geremi. He’s shown that he can track back and help the defense. He’s got more pace and can cause Stoke problems.

    That said, Geremi did fit well into the 4-3-3 last season. However, he’s not played in a while and I think Jonas would be sharper. Perhaps Geremi as a sub if Jonas doesn’t “get ‘er done”.

  • Whitt

    Dec 4, 2008 at 7:28 PM

    Comment #16

    i agree w/ you tripp, but i feel Geremi and Beye had a great understanding down the right side last year, where Geremi’s role was more to sit and protect Beye on overlapping runs. Beye and Jonas haven’t come up w/ that level of understanding, and i don’t believe Jonas has produced as much a threat as Geremi and Beye were able to last year. the player Jonas is better than Geremi, but in the concept of a team, i want to see Geremi and Beye working together again. Jonas would make quite an impact sub.

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 4, 2008 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #17

    Jonas is better and prefer the left anyway, he can speak Spanish too which is good for Enrique.


    Dec 4, 2008 at 7:41 PM

    Comment #18

    do not change a back-four that’s kept you clean sheets…start strikers who scored you the last goal. it’s football, not rocket science.

  • Dom

    Dec 4, 2008 at 7:44 PM

    Comment #19

    Beye Colo Bassong N’Zogbia
    Guthrie Butt Jonas
    Viduka Martins

  • Darling27

    Dec 4, 2008 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #20

    Same line up as against the boro please jfk

  • It Could Be Worse, We Could Be Spurs! (DC)

    Dec 4, 2008 at 8:16 PM

    Comment #21

    what on earth were Metz thinking? Wise swindled the heck out of them!

  • tripp

    Dec 4, 2008 at 8:17 PM

    Comment #22

    Good points, Whitt. One of the things Beye mentioned last season is that he and Geremi could speak french to each other. Tom pointed out the Spanish left side that we could have. Perhaps have Jonas – Gutherie – Geremi in the middle then. Butt is the enigma. Sometimes he’s solid and quite often he’s not. Pace is his issue. If the Stoke midfield isn’t particularly quick then I’d expect Butt to do well. It would be a good match for Gutherie to have a go in that role, but on the other hand, we really need a win.

  • It Could Be Worse, We Could Be Spurs! (DC)

    Dec 4, 2008 at 8:17 PM

    Comment #23

    Geremi is completely immobile, he might work with 3 up top but with a 4-4-2 Jonas has to get the nod.

  • tripp

    Dec 4, 2008 at 8:23 PM

    Comment #24

    oh yeah, I think we’re strictly talking 4-3-3 here.

    Perhaps Metz needed the money? 1.5M quid was very good business. Whoever sniffed that one out had a keen eye.

  • tripp

    Dec 4, 2008 at 8:27 PM

    Comment #25

    I’m sure we’ll start 4-4-2, though perhaps we ought to press ’em early with a 4-3-3 and then remove the Duke as he tires and switch back to the more familiar 4-4-2. Viduka look pretty good when he came on against Boro so I’d like to see him figure in at some point. However, not at Martin’s expense if he’s menacing. He sorta got the shaft in Smogland. I wonder what JFK’s reasoning was there. I hope it wasn’t just to keep Owen happy.

  • ru ennis

    Dec 4, 2008 at 8:37 PM

    Comment #26

    I hope that he starts with the same team as Boro

  • Partizan

    Dec 4, 2008 at 9:20 PM

    Comment #27

    The thing that actually makes the clubs BIG is the fact they don’t need to worry if they have someone like Taylor benched even when fit.I believe they never would have discovered the real Bassong if Taylor didn’t get injured.
    Now he’s coming back and i allready feel that there will be trouble on Bassong’s expense.

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 4, 2008 at 9:26 PM

    Comment #28

  • tripp

    Dec 4, 2008 at 9:35 PM

    Comment #29

    We’ll see. JK had some pretty glowing words for SB. I think as long as he and Colo perform in the middle he’ll keep his spot. Taylor should be groomed (for the short term, anyways) as cover across the back four. He did an OK job defensively as RB at Everton. Granted, just one match, but hints at what might be possible. No reason he should displace SB ATM.

  • Partizan

    Dec 4, 2008 at 9:39 PM

    Comment #30

    TT…..Sorry for asking,but what’s the meaning of the 3 fullstops you always put?

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 4, 2008 at 9:52 PM

    Comment #31

    Hadji – A lot of the time It says for example the article has 28 comments on the page but when I click the article link there are only 25 and my username and email have disappeared so I just put a few dots to get the rest of the comments up.

    Some kind of glitch on the site I think, it happens on most pages.

  • Ausgeordie

    Dec 4, 2008 at 10:31 PM

    Comment #32

    I thing we have to start with 442 and then hopefully being a goal or two up switch to a 433 and blow them away. If we have 433 at the start and then take off one of the strikers for a midfielder it will take the pressure off stoke a bit and psycologically boost them.

    I dont think Joe needs so much to stick with current attack as they have not scored in two games. I’d like to see a more attacking midfield though.

    …………Owen …….Martins

    Geremi has proven he can give decent service to owen and Jonas has done his best work on the left. With Zog and butt in the midfield we have decent defence and someone for Butt to lay the ball off too who can have a run and push the opp back. Both the boys on the left are also capable of producing good through balls for Martins and crosses for Owen.

    Possible second half team to switch it up

    Same back 5

    If its not working at half time take geremi off put dukes on and move Owen back into his slightly deeper role and switch Zog to the right wing. Jonas will track back better in defence with Enrique and still create and help butt when owen goes forward. With Beye and Zog on the right they can wreak havock as the attackers would have full confidence in Beye.

    Second half


    Dec 4, 2008 at 10:38 PM

    Comment #33

    geremi can play at right back for beye to come off. he’s not good at going forward but can put in a decent cross most of the time (all the owen headers seem to be from him). as for the left back i don’t know any more…we tried everything except duff so i don’t know…edgar maybe? up front we can play jonas owen martins, or owen and martins with xisco behind right them; he is 6-2 so he can win win some headers and knock them down heskey style. midfield picks itself; whoever is not hurt plays.

  • milkatoon

    Dec 4, 2008 at 10:39 PM

    Comment #34

    I reckon Bassong has been the purchase of the season hands down i mean he was cheap as chips and look at where he has taken our defence way better than taylor and can only improve fantastic player

  • BT9MAG

    Dec 5, 2008 at 4:29 AM

    Comment #35

    I’m just back from the Bot, a scum fan haven in Belfast – I reckonised so many lads who tried to shout us down over the past couple of weeks and you’ve never seen so many people look as sheepish in your life!

    I’m pleased to hear Kinear finally praise Seb without putting pressure on him, he’s been a rock at centre back and next to him Collocini has finally started to settle (he always compensated for Taylors mistakes making himself look bad)…I’m not expecting miracles – we’re gunna have the odd shocker at the back (we’re not a top 4 team) but at least we’re not gunna leak goals like blackburn or pompey! let’s just hope we start scoring them!

  • african-kenyan-ronniezog

    Dec 5, 2008 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #36

    line up for stoke,NB if he puts up this line-up we will batter stoke and taylor should play coz he’s good in the air that any other player


    beye taylor collocini bassong

    gutierezz butt guthrie

    owen viduka martins



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