Keep Playing Danny Guthrie In Central Midfield

Danny Guthrie had a very poor game last Saturday at Swansea, and yet he looked a very good player on Wednesday night – in fact he had a stellar game.

Danny Guthrie – a central midfielder – not a winger

Why was that?

It’s because whenever Danny plays on the wing, he looks a shadow of the player he is in central midfield.  That’s because he’s not a winger, it’s really as simple as that.

We remember well when Gary Speed came to Newcastle and Kenny Dalglish played him out wide, and he looked half the player he was.

Gary started to play great for Newcastle when he was switched to his natural central midfield position.

And it’s the same with Danny – play him in central midfield when we are going to attack, even if it means resting captain Alan Smith, as Chris did on Wednesday.

Danny talked today to the Newcastle Journal:

“Newcastle have had entertaining sides in the past, but I don’t think we feel under pressure because of that,”

“First and foremost it’s about the results. I’m sure the fans would love us to go out there and play like that every week, but in all honesty it’s not going to happen. If we get the three points that is the main thing.”

“It helps being at home. Our pitch is good and it’s big, we’ve also got our fans behind us and that helps us play a more expansive game.”

“It proved that we can go out and ‘Total Football’ teams, but there are still going to be games, especially away from home against the so called lesser teams, when we are going to have to grind it out and win whatever way we can.”

“Performances like that (Cardiff and Coventry) give you a massive confidence boost, but the flip side of it is that Nottingham Forest and West Brom are capable of grinding victories out. That’s what it is like in this division.”

We have to expect we can get all 3 points against Preston on Saturday at home, but after that the lads have a week to prepare for the away trip to Watford.

And since Newcastle have not won any of their last 7 away games, it’s about time we picked up a win on the road.

But if Chris picks Danny on the wing at Watford, watch out, because the team selection will be all wrong.

Let’s play our players in their natural positions and give them a chance, and not try to play the best 11 players with some of them out of position – that never works.

And Shrewsbury-born Guthrie has shown that he’s a good central midfielder and when played there will progress well, and we still think Danny can be an excellent player for Newcastle United long term.

After all the lad is still only 22.

Comments welcome.

7 comments so far

  • Toon Sweden77

    Feb 19, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #1

    .. and why play Danny as a winger when we have Routledge and Gutierrez playing well there?

  • bri_2k4

    Feb 19, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #2

    no matter what game i always have the feeling theyll play guthrie over any of our other central midfielders but he isnt that good but we could do with his atacking mind for now 🙂

  • greekgeordie

    Feb 19, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #3

    Guthrie playing at home in the middle is ok as all teams come to SJP primerly to defend. Away from home is another story and Smith or Butt are more likely to get the nod from Houghton.
    Where do you fit Guthrie if you are to use your two wingers Jonas and Routledge? my opinion is in the present form that Guthrie is in use him as a provider for the wingers and ask Lovenkrats or Nolan if he is fit enough to support Carrol.
    Of course you still have Best Ranger Pancrate and Taylor to come in as required and change formation if needed.
    If we get the three points on Saturday, and I am sure we will, and in the event of any of the other two behind us slip up over the weekend, CH having a 4-6 points advantage should go all out at Watford and treat the game as a home fixture, and Enrique back could give us another advantage which should be too much for Watford to cope with.

  • Mags

    Feb 19, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #4

    I agree Ed.

    bri_2k4 – you are wrong, Guthrie has not been chosen to play over any of our other central midfielders, in fact the opposite. He very rarely gets to play in that position, instead Hughton has regularly played the lad ot of position out wide where he is ineffective as he continually drifts inside, which then led to him being dropped for the following matches.

    I know a lot of fellow bloggers do not rate young Danny, but I have great hopes for him; played in his central midfield position he can do a good job for us and provides much more energy than with any combination of Butt/Nolan/Smith.

    Give the lad a chance. Keegan could see something in the lad, nuff said.

  • bri_2k4

    Feb 19, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #5

    its right to say he provides a fair bit of energy but can you see him getting a game at teams in the prem? its not that i dont rate him because i no in myself as i said that hell get picked i do like him just think we need to rethink our central midfield area for next year

  • Robby Bobson

    Feb 19, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #6

    I have always rated Guthrie and against Swansea the game changed when he came inside in the last 15 minutes and started getting on the ball.

    I think it should be Smith and Guthrie in the next away game as Nolan doesnt track players at all and Guthrie has abit more creativity. His pass to Nolan for Carrols goal was top class.

    He always wants the ball and always looks to do something with it when sometimes with Nolan it seems he just hasnt got that extra bit of vision with the pass.

    However, Guthrie seems to want to turn about 5 times each time before he passes, which dont get me wrong he is good on the ball under pressure but release it abit sooner!!!!!!

  • Captain Beefheart

    Feb 19, 2010 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #7

    As I have previously banged on about, it’s all about pace in the middle of the park, you know ‘getting up and getting down’ and all that. Guthrie has it, where neither Smith, Nolan nor Butt has. Consequently Smith has created his own safe niche in defensive midfield and rarely ventures past the half way line, and his lack of mobility affects the shape of midfield and with it the shape of the whole team. Butt is even worse because he is even slower.

    When Nolan shackles up with Smith or Butt, there’s no creative movement at all or support for the forwards, so instead we sit back, defend too deep and allow teams to come onto us. Guthrie’s pace will force his midfield partner to link up and become that mobile unit. In doing so ensuring we are dominating the middle of the park.

    Ideally I think the best central pairing will end up being Guthrie and Jonas (bought as a central midfielder / wing back), with Routledge and Lovendkrands playing wide.

    Nolan is clearly liked by Hughton, but he really needs to do more after a purple patch last year to prove his worth. I cannot see him cutting the mustard in the Prem unless we revert to Big Sam’s dreary model – and isn’t that where things started really going pear shaped at the Toon?


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