Battle For Central Defense Positions About To Start At Newcastle

Chris Hughton says that former Arsenal great, Sol Campbell, has a chance of being fit for Sunday afternoon’s game with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Sol Campbell – looks like he’ll be fit for Sunday

We all thought Sol would be playing in last week’s Carling Cup 4th round tie against his former club Arsenal, but a thigh injury kept the former England International on the sidelines.

The last time Sol played was when he came on for the injured Fabricio Coloccini at Manchester City, on 3rd October, and he played very well in that game, as well as starring in the fantastic 4-3 win at Stamford Bridge last month.

We have to think a fully fit Sol Campbell, at or near his best,  would become a Newcastle starter, but a lack of fitness at the start of the season, following the return from honeymoon, coupled with a few niggling injuries have restricted his playing time at Newcastle, at least so far this season.

Hughton told the Evening Chronicle today:

“Sol worked hard last week, and has trained this week.” “He’ll get a week’s training under his belt, and a decision will have to be made, but I always pick the team on the merits of the game.”

And our other injured center-back, 24 year old local lad, Steven Taylor, had a good work-out for the Reserves yesterday afternoon at Wigan, when he played just over an hour in Newcastle’s 2-1 loss.

It was Steven’s first game for over three months after injuring his shoulder at Carlisle, and that was his come-back gam,e after injuring his knee last January.  We hope the lad has better luck from now on this season, but Steven is raring to go, and it will be a difficult choice for Chris Hughton, as to which are the two best center-backs at the club  –  between Coloccini, Campbell, Williamson and Steven Taylor.

And of course we also have the up and coming Tamas Kadar, who will only get better this season, and who today was called up for the full Hungary squad, for the second time, and has so far made 18 appearances for Newcastle at both center-back and left-back.

Those are good problems for Chris to have of course, and whichever two get the start on Sunday, the other two will in all likelihood be on the bench, just ready and willing to take over. Chris will be taking a close look at all four of our center-backs (five with Tamas), and depending how they train this week and how they look, will presumably make his decision on that.

Steven Taylor could also be used at right back, where he has played before, and indeed made his starting debut for Newcastle in that position under Bobby Robson, although we have to say that Danny Simpson has looked very solid these last couple of games in that position, since he himself  has  returned from his ankle injury.

Comments welcome.

20 comments so far

  • JP...from The Rock

    Nov 3, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #1

    Imagine what a defense this will be. RB- Steve Taylor, CB- Coloccini, CB- Campell, LB- Jose Enrique. On the bench Williamson and Kadar. Now that’s impressive for a side that was always ridiculed for it’s woeful defending. That has changed under Chris Hughton and for the first time since the old KK days I haven’t seen a stronger defense. All the credit must go to Hughton for developing the brilliant squad we have now, with players dying to get on the pitch and play hard for Newcastle’s colours.

    I want Chris Hughton to be manager of Newcastle until he retires!! he deserves at least a gold medal not to mention a longer contract.

  • Moreno

    Nov 3, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    Comment #2

    Would love to see Kadar turn into something special.

    On an unrelated note: anyone who has FIFA 11 on PS3, add me: LordBrownstone and join my club STRICTLY for NUFC fans : Toon Loons

  • JP...from The Rock

    Nov 3, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    Comment #3

    I can’t wait to see that defense playing together. Imagine how strong we will be in corners when big Stevie T bombs forward and gets his dangerous headers at the far post. Or when Campbell gets his match fitness and sharpness back and starts scoring headers. Or when The Bull zooms down the left flank and crosses another beauty for any of our many tall players to get their head at the end of. And if any get injured we have more than capable replacements in, Williamson, Simpson, R Taylor, Kadar and even impressive young star Shane Fergurson.

    What a team and what a great NUFC future to look forward to.

    The future’s bright, the future is Black n White !!!

    Howay The Lads!!

  • Obafan

    Nov 3, 2010 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #4

    When all fit; this is the best defense IMO:
    RB: Simpson (really impressive first 2 games)
    CB: Campbell and Collo
    LB: Enrique

    I really do not rate S. Taylor so it’s nothing special that he is fit again. In the past lots of players (Bramble, Boumsong, Cacapa, Faye, Collo) were all having lots of negative comments, but they all played along S. Taylor and he is average.

    Example: How many were positive about Collo 2 seasons ago? And look at this season; he has got more confidencen and the same goes for Williamson who really convinced me so far.

  • umermaliknz

    Nov 3, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    Comment #5

    I know we shouldn’t change a winning formulae but how about playing 3 cbs against arsenal to shore up the defense and playing simpson/jonas and enrique as wing backs. it would look some thing like this :

    —————–Carroll —Ameorbi—-
    —— ——Tiote —-Nolan — Barton

    only negative is that the enrique and guti partnership down the left is sacrificed

  • chuck

    Nov 3, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    Comment #6

    Bit of a reality check here folks !
    Campbell, a true pro., may not be as good as he was a few years back but an asset to the side, that other defenders can learn from.
    can still play in this league.
    Taylor, possibly the best CD on the side, with the added bonus of being able to fill in at RB.
    give him a contract.
    Colo, a decent CD, that can play with Taylor.
    Williamson, questionable, slow, not great in the air and a liability on set pieces at both ends, plus his distribution is awfull.
    Simpson, decent backup RB.
    Perch, not great, however can play both sides of the defence and played decently in his last outing.
    Good backup, nothing more.
    El Toro, Got pace, can defend, has a good understanding with Jonas and works well with him on the offense.
    Kadar ?not seen much of him, but would`nt place much value on him playing for Hungary (not exactly the Hungary of the early fifties) but hopefully one for the future.
    Ferguson ?appears to have the ability to eventually play in this league, but still raw, needs
    coaching and game time, one for the future.
    We are still missing a quality RB and a right winger as niether Routledge or Simpson have shown consistency, perhaps the Belgian kid can fill the RW role in the next window ? and we can poach S`lands Scot`s RB ?

  • GeordieGerman

    Nov 3, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #7

    umermaliknz, How did you do that two goalies and Krul as striker?

  • BeeGuy

    Nov 3, 2010 at 7:42 PM

    Comment #8

    10 games into the season and we should really be learning about Willo and Danny S now. Willo has been caught a few times & got away with pulling shirts to save his bacon. That must stop if he is to continue as a starter (or he needs to refine it so we don’t notice it). Danny S played injured last year so we now will see if he can carry the mail for NUFC. I think this is a fine group and I hope it keeps developing. Colo & the Bull are a powerful one-two punch.

  • William

    Nov 3, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    Comment #9
  • Frank The London Mag

    Nov 3, 2010 at 8:48 PM

    Comment #10

    Someone should ban William, Ed, sort this out, he’s trying to get members to click on his brute – DON’T CLICK ON IT. ^

    On topic: Williamson is superior to Campbell and I don’t think Stevie Tayls could provide a good attacking option at RB.

  • Rowan Milsted

    Nov 3, 2010 at 9:27 PM

    Comment #11

    Thank you Chuck- I was beginning to fear that I was the only S Taylor fan here.

    For me Taylor has to start before Willo. No disrespect to Willo but he’s a little unsteady and unreliable. S Taylor has always been a strong, reliable and solid defender.

    I’d start Taylor and Colo at CB, stick with Simpson at RB. He’s improving every game, he’s still a little raw but he’s showing signs of being a really good RB. I know Taylor can play there but he’s not fast enough and is much better in the middle. If Simpson gets a knock or, for whatever reason, isn’t performing to a satisfactory level then we also have the underused R Taylor to play out wide.

    I know we have Big Sol to fill in, and if he can get his fitness then he’s a strong and experienced CB but I’d rather have Taylor. I can’t wait for him to be fit again. I think he’s class.

  • Frank The London Mag

    Nov 3, 2010 at 10:02 PM

    Comment #12

    Rowan, you’re typing that out with NUFC tinted spectacles there – just because he’s a local lad doesn’t make S. Taylor “strong” and “solid”. On the contrary, I think that he’s not been the best.

    Take a look at the 08/09 season when we got relegated – some attrocious defending there. Admittedly 4 men make up the defence but he’s certainly not as good as you make him out to be. What I see in Williamson is potential England cap material and granted he is not perfect, he has put in several solid performances at the back so far.

    He tripped up at Arsenal but the understanding that Coloccini and Williamson have gained at the back make them my ideal first-choices.

    Putting Steven right back in it would only unsettle the defence.

  • Brutooon

    Nov 3, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    Comment #13

    People argue who should start, colo over saylor bla bla bla. The reason for this is that:

    For years, finally we got several good defenders which create competition over places. I dont care who play, but i can quarantee our defence do improve this season. We are finally playing as a unit.

  • ganiyu

    Nov 3, 2010 at 10:32 PM

    Comment #14

    Dont touch any thing except the goalie

  • Howay The Lads

    Nov 3, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    Comment #15

    ganiyu, 5-1! 😆

    Sunderland are awful

  • tjshawsey

    Nov 3, 2010 at 11:03 PM

    Comment #16

    I’m happy with the defence and attack at the moment. Of course the game is not played through stats nor is the table really affected by them, But we are fourth in the Goal Difference stakes with +5. HTL!

  • Nick 69

    Nov 3, 2010 at 11:26 PM

    Comment #17

    i dont see the point in putting s.taylor into the team at all, unless we are planning on signing him up to a new contract. theres no point creating a partnership of hes gonna be on his way, far better build a partnership for the longer term

  • John Tudor

    Nov 4, 2010 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #18

    any link for the ad in the chronicle about maken tracksuits for sale

  • Davies

    Nov 4, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #19

    Chuck – I know that these things are all about opinions, but WHAT? Taylor our best central defender?? Are you having a f*****g laugh???

    He’s really not that great. Don’t get me wrong, I think in the next couple of years he’ll improve and become a pretty decent CB, but he makes way too many mistakes at the moment (handling in particular). To say that he is better than Sol and Colo is ridiculous. Truthfully, for me, he’s below Williamson in the pecking order.

    Based on current form, there’s no way the Colo/Willo partnership should be broken up. Taylor may be worth a pop at RB, but remember, there are three other players fighting over that spot.

    As far as I’m concerned, both Taylor and Cambell must be ready to wait for their chance, which should only become available in the case that Colo or Willo are either injured, suspended or have a dip in form.

  • chuck

    Nov 5, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #20

    To the S.Taylor knockers !
    Thats why Taylor is rated @ six million +,
    and Williams @ around one mill+.
    Being Sol will be here for probably at the most two seasons, I did`nt include him in regard to who`s the best CD, which i believe he still is.
    For those who think Williamson is decent, perhaps you should watch him closely, instead of listening to other opinions.
    If you have, then you kna nowt aboot the game.


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