Newcastle Defense Is Achilles Heel – Again

It seems that Alan Shearer has been more than pleased with the attitude of the Newcastle players, in the 10 days he has been in charge of his home-town club.


Alan Shearer – delighted with response from his players

Alan Shearer talked today about the attitude he has seen from the Newcastle playing squad:

“They’ve been great.” They’ve taken to the ideas, the little things really well,” “I think they’ve wanted to do that. They’ve wanted to be told where to be, at what time to be there – to be together.”

“They’ve wanted to be pointed in that direction. You can use a million excuses.” “But what we’ve had from the players is that the tempo of training needed to be a bit quicker, a bit more intense.”

“You can’t train for three hours every day, you can’t run them into the ground. But you have to gauge from the experienced players we have as to how long to train for.”

“The players’ response to that has been fantastic.” “They’ve shown a real attitude to say that this is the way they want to go.”

Newcastle seemed to be on the way to a good result against Chelsea last week and we did great until Coloccini made that mistake, and once you are a goal down against a side the caliber of Chelsea, it’s hard to come back,.

But that Michael Owen “goal” that was wrongly disallowed after 72 minutes that would have made the score 2-1, could well have been the trigger – if only it had been given. That’s where some luck is important in our games, and we haven’t had too much of that lately.

Of course Coloccini’s error was just the latest in a long list of mistakes made by Newcastle defenders this season, and the defense had been our Achilles heel this season, and also in the last 16 seasons at least, come to think of it.

Alan continued:

“For 60 minutes we did OK against Chelsea and I was reasonably happy, but we’ve got to turn that to 92, 93 minutes.”

“We have to eradicate errors in our game, because the longer you keep making errors, the more you’ll get punished.”

Alan’s right and that’s the first thing we will look for in today’s game, a very solid performance from our defense, and we are hoping that both Bassong and Beye will have top games for the club in central defense.

If Newcastle can hold the Stoke side, and maybe even get a clean sheet, we then have every chance of winning the game, and wouldn’t that be something!

It would be a big change, that’s for sure.  😀

Comments welcome.

15 comments so far

  • Toon_Factor

    Apr 11, 2009 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #1

    Has S.Taylor and Bassong played together at Centre Back yet?

  • AndyNUFC

    Apr 11, 2009 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #2

    An £11million Argentinian international does not become terrible overnight, however, he can be excused for not adjusting instantly to a new country and completely different league. On top of that, he’s playing in a team with zero confidence and probably tired of all the rubbish around him. So what do we do when Michael Owen misses sitters each week? We play him the next and give him time and support. What do we do when our record signing centre back has a bad game? We shoot him down in flames, drop him, call him this and that and kill his confidence. It’s just the Newcastle United way, has been for a while now… And we wonder why our defense struggles?

  • jimiley

    Apr 11, 2009 at 8:58 AM

    Comment #3

    The defence is not the achilles heel. We have an average defence which gets the blame for everything. Indeed, Bassong and Beye are two of the best defencders in the league. The achilles heel is the MIDFIELD which is slow and old. It does not shield the defence, it creates very little for the forwards and the whole midfield has hardly scored a league goal between them all season. Butt, Smith, geremi, Nolan, Jonas, Duff, Barton: how many goals between the lot of them. Hopeless midfield.

  • AndyNUFC

    Apr 11, 2009 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #4

    Jimiley that is spot on my friend. Last season when our defense was being exposed so badly until Keegan came in, what changed after to make it not so bad? After Keegan came, the defense tightened up very tidily. What do we count this for then? ATTACK!!! We concentrated so much more on attack with 4-3-3 (notice less crappy midfielders) so then relieved the pressure on the defense and it tightened up. The best way to defend is to attack.

  • sirjasontoon

    Apr 11, 2009 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #5

    Win or Bust as they say…3 points today or I am going to punch my neighbours windows out.

  • ronaldeano

    Apr 11, 2009 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #6


    I couldent agree more mate

    The midfield is the Achilles heel

  • AndyNUFC

    Apr 11, 2009 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #7

    sjt hahaha

  • Sav

    Apr 11, 2009 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #8

    Well Colo is supposed to be a defensive midfielder by trade, althgough we paid 10mil for him only to play him at centre-half.
    – Not sure he’s a 10mil midfielder either though?
    Which begs the question, just what did they think they were buying? If he is a midfielder, lets play him there.

  • Toon_Factor

    Apr 11, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #9


    Agreed play him Defensive mid and I mean a proper DM that sits infront of the Centre backs not where Nicky Butt plays because he play as a central midfielder not a Defensive one.

  • davichc

    Apr 11, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #10

    The defence is partly to blame, how many times have we seen defenfders backing off and backing off as opposition players run towards the goal with the ball.

    Instead of giving strikers time on the ball in front of our goal they should be closed down as soon as possible and this has not been happening.

    It is basic stuff IMO but the Newcastle defence have not been doing this, why? Manager after manager have come in and not addressed this, why?

    We all know we do have some decent defenders, they are just not playing the way a good defender should, why? because they are not being coached to do this.

  • Toon Graeme

    Apr 11, 2009 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #11

    SJT – you not like your neighbour – carefull fella and dont end up in casualty and miss MOTD 🙂

    Today its crunch time. No excuses. I watched Pulis on SSN saying they will give us the respect we deserve – you what? Are you taking the piste? If we were as good a team as people make out we wouldnt be where we are – simple as.

    Its not gonna be pretty by any means.


  • Chris G

    Apr 11, 2009 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #12

    I’m with AndyNUFC and jimiley on this one.

    We are always too quick to blame our defenders for the occasional mistake or lapse of concentration (Stevie Taylor, Titus Bramble etc.) and we tend to overlook the continual poor performance by our midfield, which causes the defence to be exposed.

  • Chris G

    Apr 11, 2009 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #13

    It’s gone a bit quiet on this thread, so here’s one I prepared earlier 🙂

    Chris G // Apr 11, 2009 at 9:19 AM

    bennymoob // Apr 10, 2009 at 9:37 AM

    Anyone know where I can get my moobs taken away?

    Yes, you could try your local Psychiatric Hospital, but they may need to keep you in for observation.

  • AngerOfTheNorth

    Apr 11, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #14

    Totally agree about the midfield. We have needed a decent, strong defensive midfelder whose legs haven’t gone for a lot longer than we’ve needed a leftback etc. Having someone sitting back and protecting the defence tightens things up and allows the fulbacks to get forwards. Every successful team has had a good holding midfielder – Dunga, Viera (to some extrent although he did get forward at times), Keane, Ince, Lee etc…

  • buddy

    Apr 11, 2009 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #15

    completely agree, while the defence has made too many mistakes,they seem to have 0 protection from midfield. its crazy,they are constantly exposed by the midfield and then lambasted for it. i am not sayin the likes of colocini are performing but please lay off him. its pathetic the treatment he is getting,he is a quality player but is seriously low on confidence and is playing in a shocking team lacking in any form of coaching. judge him in his 2nd season, t least he isnt constantly injured like the rest of our squad.
    anyway,the midfield is somewhere that needs serious strengthening regardless of wat division we are in. its because of there lack of creativity and attacking ability that our defence is so exposed.


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