Bobby Moncur Impressed With New Newcastle Defense

Newcastle legend and former Newcastle captain and center-back Bobby Moncur knows a little about defending, especially in central defense.

Steven Taylor – with captain Michael Owen

Bobby Moncur talked today in his regular Newcastle Evening Chronicle weekly gig, and he has been very impressed with the Newcastle United defense recently:

Bobby told the Evening Chronicle today:

“Not so long ago we were saying that United were crying out for central defenders.” “Now they have three very decent ones in Bassong, Coloccini and young Taylor.”

“Taylor is a player I rate, but he now finds himself sitting on the bench and he will have to fight his way back in.”

“The back four is looking really settled these days and I must single out Jose Enrique, who did very well at Portsmouth, including playing the biggest part in making the second goal for Obafemi Martins.”

“I have always felt Habib Beye was a class player, and when I first clapped eyes on Bassong I thought he was not a bad player at all.”

“What was particularly pleasing was that Joe Kinnear quickly realized Portsmouth were not looking so clever and the three points were there for the taking.”

“Sometimes teams sit back away from home, but there was none of that from United on Sunday and they gained their reward.”

“As a result, United have now picked up five points from their last three away games at Chelsea, Middlesbrough and Portsmouth.”

“Looking at the substitutes’ bench at Portsmouth with the likes of Mark Viduka, Taylor, Cacapa, Damien Duff, Shola Ameobi and Geremi, as well as Steve Harper, things can only get better.”

“Not that I am going to predict anything. Apart from when you go in against any of the so-called top four, it is almost impossible to predict any results these days.”

“When the fixtures came out Spurs at home would have been considered a tough game, but after Sunday you have to fancy Newcastle’s chances.”

Bobby’s right not to try to predict anything, especially about Newcastle.

Unfortunately if Newcastle keep with their pattern, then a great performance like the one they gave last Sunday at Portsmouth will be followed by a disappointing one at home to the improving Spurs side, under new manager Harry Redknapp.

That’s one thing Joe Kinnear will know all about, and that’s his big challenge at the club, through the end of the season.

Joe needs to get Newcastle to give consistent performances, and have our defense remain resilient which we have never been for years and years.  That’s what good teams like the top four in England do week in, week out.

It’s a very tough task for Joe, but if he can become successful, we’ll have a really good side on Tyneside once again, and we just love the way Joe wants to win every single game – just like Kevin Keegan before him.

We can only hope for the very best, and keep giving Joe and his players our 100% support, that’s the very least we can do in these difficult times for our club.

Comments welcome.

42 comments so far

  • Jack

    Dec 17, 2008 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #1

    I still don’t rate Taylor, I think he makes too many mistakes but maybe being on the bench will make him work harder and improve to try and get back into the team.

  • Whumpie

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #2

    Jack – he’s 22. And once Basso’s played a few we’ll no doubt see that he makes mistakes too. Bottom line: we’ve got two very talented young centre-backs competing. Result!

    Anyway, Moncur’s right on all of it really – if only we can continue this gradual improvement and keep up that go-to-win mentality, we should be fine. As for next year – who the hell knows?

  • HeronMag

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #3

    You never know, if JK can get another left back in January the defence could be even stronger 🙂

  • neeraj

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #4
  • Thelongshanks

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #5

    Defence best we have had in 5 years and with two tough midfielders in front of them we will be hard to beat.Hope we get 3 pts this weekend then we have wigan and the liverscum.up tha toon!

  • clinta

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #6

    Blackburn make a move for Allardyce, lol!!!!!!!!

  • Toon1978

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #7

    Might sound daft but i think NUFC should try Enrique on the left wing at some point. He seems to make good runs and has a shot on goal on occasions.

  • Daniel

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #8

    This competition will be great for Taylor, he might realise that mistakes will cost him his place in the team, and he isn’t a guaranteed start. He has great potential, like Bassong and I genuinely feel they could form a great partnership, with strength and pace.

    Enrique desperately needs some competition with him, maybe even an experienced player he could learn from. Beye is one of the best RBs in the league, and we have some decent young defenders in our reserves.

    Not too bad at the back really.

  • chuck

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #9

    Best defence,
    Beye-Colo.-Taylor- Bassong.
    Jonas- Moutinho- McGeady-Duff,
    Bent- Martins.
    Sorted !

  • Spyro

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #10

    3 clean sheets in 4 games speaks for itself really. The only reason it is not 4 in 4 is because the back was tampered with against Stoke.

  • Spyro

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #11


    Our best defence would have taylor nowhere near CB

  • Spyro

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #12

    I also think that midfield is poor

  • Stardust

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #13

    Taylor to be sent out on loan to learn his trade – pleeeassseeee – I’d be very interested to see Cacapa with either Bassong or Collo – I bet he would look 5 times the player he has been – just as Colo looks nervous as hell when taylors on – playing his own line and his own game.

  • Spyro

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #14

    That sounded a bit rude. What i meant to say is, why would we want Duff back with Zoggy on form? Why McGeady in the middle when he is so weak and we have Barton? Why Moutinho when for how much he is worth you could get someone better? Moutinho is way overrated imo.

  • Spyro

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #15

    We need height in midfield to replace Butt because we don’t win enough headers in midfield.

  • Ross

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #16

    Chuck-Mcgeady is average in the SPL, he’d get found out in the premiership without doubt. He’s like Milner, just not as good. Decent footwork but never looks up, never plays the right pass.

  • neeraj

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #17


    taylor was not even on the bench….. in the fulham game….

    yes i agree he should be sent out on loan….
    but please he is a better defender not world class….

    he was very good in the villa game if i remember and we kept a clean sheet

  • bscott

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #18

    I’ve told you before “Defence” not “Defense”

  • Stardust

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #19

    neeraj – i would say the few clean sheets we have had with taylor in the back line are in spite of him, although everyone has a good game once in a while – thats simply not good enough in the premier league

  • nightfall

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #20

    chuck – taylor, duff, bent?

  • neeraj

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #21

    all i am saying is stop putting failures of other experienced defenders such as boumsong, bramble, cacapa, rohzenal on taylor who has been thrown in matches at 19 when these players should have been developing him….

  • RobbyBobson

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #22

    Chuck owen is 10 times better than bent and Bassong is wasted at left back. What about any midfielders to defend as well.

    Surely cant be long until Bassong is in the French national squad as they have Boumsong in there.

    Taylor is good, yeh, but Bassong is better. Bassong just gets on with the game, whereas Taylor things he is better than he is and is all up for the extravagent blocks and tackles. Although his tackle against Stoke was top class.

  • Stardust

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #23

    Neeraj – you miss my point.

    Cacapa (and Rozenhal) play well in every other team theyve played in UNTIL they play with taylor. The the fans get on their backs.

    I am saying when playing with him – as his positioning is so far out – good players make adjustments int heir back line in relation to the current positions, thats why we are always at 6’s and 7’s when he is in the team. Need we say more – in the last 4 games apart from the 45 minutes when taylor wasnt on the pitch when we conceded 2 goals – we havent conceded a single goal.

    I never mentioned Bramble or Boumsong – you did that to change the argument.

  • neeraj

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #24


    remember rohzenal saying ” prem is too fast for him”

    after his loan to lazio
    and ya he doesnt even start for lazio

  • neeraj

    Dec 17, 2008 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #25

    and i said bramle and boumsong

    coz i read ppl in the blog sayin that we should never had let bramble go after he scored at sjp for wigan and him being better than taylor….

  • liquid ice

    Dec 17, 2008 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #26

    sorry chuck,

    but you dont have a clue!

  • Stardust

    Dec 17, 2008 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #27


    he didnt start for lazio when he first arrived – here a quote from a few weeeks abck he is playing once he found his confidence Taylor stole:

    17/11/2008 11:12
    Rozenhal: We Are Better Than Roma
    Lazio defender David Rozehnal believes that his side showed their superiority last night and deserved more out of the Derby della Capitale.

  • Stardust

    Dec 17, 2008 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #28

    Loads more articles saying he is great form? why do people fire off misinformed rubbish or even worse lies to win arguments? neeraj?

  • O'Hurley

    Dec 17, 2008 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #29

    Yeah, why would we ever want Taylor in when we have a quality cb in Bassong? Why would we want Duff as LB when we’ve got N’Zogbia? Why would we want Bent as a striker when we’ve got Owen? Why would we want Moutinho when we could better quality for less price? Especially with Barton in the squad. Call me crazy, but I’ve always liked wor Joey. I say for Jan, if we can get a top quality CAM and another good young LB, we’re good to go. Once again, call me crazy, but I like Ashley’s plan to proceed with building the squad in an Arsenal-esque way with quality youth players. Total investment in the future, like. Get a world class CAM, but leave it at that.

  • neeraj

    Dec 17, 2008 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #30

    he made this statement
    during his loan period around may…….

    i remember it correctly
    he played 7 times during his loan period and hasnt started for them this season…..

    i follow bit of lazio’s games too

  • O'Hurley

    Dec 17, 2008 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #31

    Edit that last comment- Duff as LM. Sorry.

    Also, not saying all we need one CAM, optimally we could use a quality left back, a CAM, and probably another pacey striker (maybe?). I was saying it would be nice to have a world class CAM, but that’s the only “big name” player I think we’d need. LB looks good with Enrique, but he could use some competition. I’m thinking another young player. So yeah. That’s my story.

  • O'Hurley

    Dec 17, 2008 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #32

    Also, if possible, I’d like to see us get two CMs. Preferably both attacking, as I can see Barton filling the role of DM. He’s also great on attack. Reminds me of Jonas in that respect.

  • Stardust

    Dec 17, 2008 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #33

    Neeraj – he played 10 times last year during his loan – when he was low on confidence and out of form post Newcastle – check lazios site if you dont believe me – anyway back to the thread…………………………..

  • neeraj

    Dec 17, 2008 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #34

    in jan we require a back up left back……
    a back up central def to replace cacapa
    and a def mid wh would take over from butt next summer, jan max
    and a striker

    viduka smith caroll(loan) ameobi(the guy needs 1st team football, he is good not to be wasted again)
    cacapa edgar

    thats around 10-11 mill

    we will buy 2 and loan 3
    thats the count i think

  • Don

    Dec 17, 2008 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #35

    the defense has looked sound so why does Kinnear keep trying to sabotage it, like the stoke game and the comments about Enrique

  • irish_al

    Dec 17, 2008 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #36

    premier league clubs can only have two loans in at the same time, four in the whole season

  • O'Hurley

    Dec 17, 2008 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #37


    Good call. Completely agree. I’d like to see us loan out Shola to a Championship club. Get him some experience playing 1st team football. He’d probably be pretty good for them too and it would build confidence. Then we could get him back and hopefully have a better player.

  • Stardust

    Dec 17, 2008 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #38

    Not sure why we would want to loan Shola out, he is playing with bags more confidence now and starting to play well.

  • Punk Skunk

    Dec 17, 2008 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #39

    Aye stardust,
    players in is what we should be thinkin’…
    …Like you say: no point in loanin’ him out when he’s just got back on track, why give another team that?..
    …The only player i would consider sellin’ would be smith & even then, who knows if JK can resurrect him like he seems to have with Shola etc?..

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 17, 2008 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #40

    Bassong is infinitely better than Taylor.


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