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Alan Pardew Has To Create New Back Four This Week

Things may not look too good at the moment but I just watched the Fulham – Liverpool game and Liverpool managed to lose it 1-0 at Craven Cottage to a poor Fulham side.

Alan Pardew – still smiling after all these problems
 So Liverpool are still 3 points behind Newcastle who are joint 5th top with Arsenal on 26 points, and just 14 points from safety.

That’s not too bad at all, as long as we can overcome our central defense difficulties before January rolls around and we can strengthen the defense with new players.

But there are points to be picked up before the end of the year and hopefully keep us up there near the top of the league.

Alan Pardew will face a tough week trying to sort out who can play at center-half alongside James Perch who will definitely start on Saturday.

And we still don’t know how bad Colo’s injury is,  and we have to hope he will miss at most just one game, as the Argentine is usually a quick healer.

We’re not sure how Alan will solve his defensive problems this week, and whether he will even consider using Tamas Kadar or Davide Santon in the back four.

In our still active poll for the two best center-backs available – James Perch is on 63%, Tamas Kadar is at 52% and Davide Santon is on 40%.

This is what Alan said today:

“The injuries are our biggest concern now,”  “We’ve had a brilliant season so far, but injuries are going to come our way and you have to cope with it.”

“We’re coming into games now that we know are winnable, and could let us back into that top four.”  “But at some point in the season you’re going to get into difficult situations and it looks like we’re in a difficult one .”

“But the spirit of the group will remain strong as we go to the next game.”   “We’ve been a bit unlucky in these three games, we’ve not had our best squad to pick from, yet my team are competitive.”

The game at Norwich is shaping up to be a bit of a water-shed game,  but the Norwich defense is not particularly  solid, and goalkeeper John Ruddy is prone to be weak on crosses.

But it’s not all doom and gloom at Newcastle,  and a win would give everybody a lift after the last three tough games.

But it will be interesting as news filters through this week from the Benton training grounds, as to who Alan is thinking of playing alongside James Perch on Saturday.

Did we say we are still three points above Liverpool after 14 games played. 😀

Comments welcome.

53 comments so far

  • Milner

    Dec 5, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    Comment #1

    Read a good article in The Times today (ohhh), about a South American manager called Jorge Sampaoli, doing exceptional work with University of Chile team, “La U”.

    With 20 years experience in youth coaching, he’s spent plenty of time experimenting formations, and takes with him a lethal 3-3-1-3, that’s working wonders.

    His teams favor an offensive approach mainly playing with 3 backs, 2 full-backs, 1 defensive midfielder, 1 offensive midfielder, 2 wingers and 1 center forward.

    Worth a try?…come on Pards, take a gamble till Colo and Willo can establish a wintery hold on the back 4.

    Sampaoli’s South American Toon might look like this:


    (an unfit tiote would require retinkering, with Gosling somewhere)

  • beddersmag

    Dec 5, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    Comment #2

    Not wanting to be too negative but im really worried we could start to slide now. Centre half was the one position we had no decent cover and what a cruel blow to lose them both. Just pray perch finds it in him to hold it together for a few weeks until we can bring in someone in jan. Not ridgewell please

  • Milner

    Dec 5, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    Comment #3

    Failing a crazy dutch/south american 3-3-1-3…..a back 4 with…..

    ……..one name i’ve not heard at all yet, and i’m happy to suggest it: Alan Smith!

  • JP...from The Rock

    Dec 5, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    Comment #4

    First? 😛 We desperately need to buy good defenders in January but I think Pietres is still injured. I am dreading the fact we have to rely on Perch and Raylor at the back. Raylor has done very well but when Gutierrez is not around to help him out he usually gives away loads of space, perfect example Chelsea. Sturridge terrorized him all game.

    It will be interesting how we cope with this but I seriously hope Ashley dips his fat greaasy hand in his pocket. Not only do we still need a striker but now defensive cover more than ever especially with Willo still recovering.

  • beddersmag

    Dec 5, 2011 at 11:59 PM

    Comment #5

    Well at least scuffer smith would earn his pay check this month but his wild tackling would lead to pens no doubt. Pardew tends to play players in there preferred positions though. Unlike bruce. Think hel go for kadar- or simpson and bring santon in

  • Null

    Dec 6, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    Comment #6

    btw where is Alan Smith? I can’t even remember his face.

  • JackButler

    Dec 6, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    Comment #7

    Said this before but I’d put Strolla at CB as he seems to specialise in keeping the ball out of the net 😉

  • beefman13

    Dec 6, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    Comment #8

    We have done well even without tiote but we have been under the cosh in the second half of a lot of the games we have played, everyone seems to think guthrie is the answer when tiote is not playing but for me he flags badly second half and we are getting run through, last 3 games especially, yea he can spray a pass but has no physical pressance for me they musnt fancy gosling but for me young vucic would be better he has the better engine and can create he is the now and future of our club, easily good enough for me as i have seen him on quite a few occasions, pardews call of course but he very rarely puts a youngin in over a senior, he or fergie when fit will definatly not let us down. regarding the back 4 i would play kadar simpson and santon but pardew has stated perch will start instead of kadar i suppose a back 3 would free us up to have ben arfa just behind for me leon and demba up front with cabaye vucic jonas and obertan in the middle, forward thinking vucic has the lungs to do it all match!!!!

  • chrisbx1

    Dec 6, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    Comment #9

    ed , were you watching the same game as me ?, poor fulham side? they battled against a multi million pound team and created quite a fewchances.

  • alext109

    Dec 6, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    Comment #10

    Team for Norwich


    One last chance I feel for Ryan to put in a good performance after these last three games. If tiote is fit then obviously have him with Cabaye in midfield. No point in Simmo playing as CB he’s too short and won’t win any balls in the air. Least Kadar is 6ft 2 and has played as CB and is comfortable in that position, need someone comfortable in defence when we have perch as the other CB.

  • Willo

    Dec 6, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    Comment #11

    HBA doesn’t look up to speed and he does tend to give the ball away cheaply and we cannot have that at Norwich. I may be in a minority but I think that like Sammy, Ben Arfa may be better used as an impact sub rather than a starter so I’d start like this

    ————Cabaye(Gosling)——-Guthrie– ————
    Obertan______Gosling(Cabaye) _______Jonas

    I’m not too sure where Cabaye figures into this, more attacking or more defensively but for me it has to be Santon with his height at the back to help Perch. Thoughts?


    Dec 6, 2011 at 2:17 AM

    Comment #12

    I would move Raylor inside. Have some seasoned defense inside, not having two new CBs.


    Tiote possible, Gosling an option. Guthrie would drop off to help the CB’s.

  • roshan MAGPIE

    Dec 6, 2011 at 2:46 AM

    Comment #13

    MNTOONARMY9 thats the team i would like to see


    Dec 6, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    Comment #14

    Jonas at LB? Move Raylor inside, Jonas at LB (plays there for Argentina, I think) and put HBA at L wing with a striker up with Ba or keep HBA recessed with Gosling/Vuckic/Sammy on the left.

  • shamsoftabriz

    Dec 6, 2011 at 2:53 AM

    Comment #15


    Jonas at left back? That’s creative—I like it. We certainly have a bit more depth and quality at midfield, so it makes good sense. I think Jonas is versatile enough to handle that.

  • Willo

    Dec 6, 2011 at 4:34 AM

    Comment #16

    Jonas is definitely capable of playing left back and now that I think about it I like it. It provides us solid defence while giving us options going forward. The only problem comes when you think about who the winger will be because we’ll still need to track back and help Jonas out seeing that Left Back is not his natural position in the Prem.

  • Willo

    Dec 6, 2011 at 4:35 AM

    Comment #17

    Jonas is definitely capable of playing LB and now that I think about it I like it. It provides us solid defence while giving us options going forward. The only problem comes when you think about who the winger will be because we’ll still need to track back and help Jonas out seeing that LB is not his natural position in the Prem.

  • FootballPsycho

    Dec 6, 2011 at 5:32 AM

    Comment #18

    Willo I like your idea; as an answer to your question of who could play LW, how about Demba Ba? Then have HBA and Best up front. I know it sounds crazy but I know Ba has played LW in the past for West Ham i think it was and he tracks back AND can score with either foot so can cut inside; however that also seems to be the problem as he seems to be like a Lovenkrands-style LW who will think he is playing CF and stay there; or mayb even try Obertan LW and Ba RW with Gutierrez LB? possibilities…

  • FootballPsycho

    Dec 6, 2011 at 5:33 AM

    Comment #19

    Obertan cannot cross so why not use his pace to cut inside and take on players and have shots as he has a good shot on him iirc and having looked at Ba’s stats Ba seems more right footed anyway

  • Kris

    Dec 6, 2011 at 6:30 AM

    Comment #20

    People have to stop saying that Raylor can play CB. Thats just rediculous! He is smal, not strong, not fast… Shola should either play CB!

  • Scottishmag1

    Dec 6, 2011 at 7:19 AM

    Comment #21

    here is a thought for Saturdays team



    Obertan (Abied)…..Cabaye………Tiote (Guthrie)……..Ferguson



    Those in Brackets if he doesnt start them


  • LGFUAD21

    Dec 6, 2011 at 7:20 AM

    Comment #22

    From a friend “Got it on good authority that Perch and Santon will play CB”

    not sure ho good authority. Propbably as good as Cwarr’s

  • Scottishmag1

    Dec 6, 2011 at 7:20 AM

    Comment #23

    Forgot Simpson in Brackets next to Perch or Santon.

  • dmac

    Dec 6, 2011 at 7:35 AM

    Comment #24

    Raylor is like 4ft nowt there is absolutely no chance of him playing CB. Would be a recipe for disaster!

  • Scottishmag1

    Dec 6, 2011 at 7:39 AM

    Comment #25

    dont disagree with the rest DMAC?

  • beddersmag

    Dec 6, 2011 at 7:39 AM

    Comment #26

    Totaly agree with kris. Raylor as centre half is ridiculous

  • Scottishmag1

    Dec 6, 2011 at 7:42 AM

    Comment #27

    SWAP Santon for Raylor and you have a decent starting team

  • dmac

    Dec 6, 2011 at 7:53 AM

    Comment #28

    I dont understand whether that is supposed to be ironic there scotty, either way my point was valid. Why dont we put shane ferguson out of position at cb next to him he is also weak and 4ft tall. Sounds like a deadly cb partnership …….

  • Klatoon

    Dec 6, 2011 at 8:02 AM

    Comment #29

    Playing Santon at cb is a huge risk because there would be communication issues. I doubt his English has improved much and remember,a good cb partnership hinges on good communication. I have a feeling Colo might be fit to play with Perch.

  • Dannyo

    Dec 6, 2011 at 8:17 AM

    Comment #30

    playing even more players out of position isn’t a good thing imo.
    Personally i’d prefer
    Kadar won’t have trouble communicating, but we have no clue how good he is really. Santon knows the LB, as opposed Raylor, who’s been so undressed the last three games, i’m surprised he’s not running naked out on the field.
    Otherwise, Perch and Simmo are a given. And Kadar has the build for for CB, as opposed to everyone else.

  • Dannyo

    Dec 6, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    Comment #31

    Collo is havng a scan, they’re not sure if its a tear or a strain in his thigh. He’s been ruled out 100% for Norwich, and is currently doubtful for Swansea.
    Sorry to burst the bubble mate, i want him fit too :/

  • Klatoon

    Dec 6, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #32

    Then i would prefer Perch-Kadar. kadar might surprise us just like Guthrie has and besides he’s a natural CB,got the physique and being naturally left footed enables him to help/cover whoever will be playing LB.
    Id go with Simmo-Perch-Kadar-Santon

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM

    Comment #33


    Raylor had Guttierez when he got murdered at QPR by SWP, got left for dead by Defoe v Spurs and also for the horror show at city.
    Raylor has scored 3 fantastic goals but the failure by Pardew to address an accident waiting to and now has happened.at left back is extraordinary.

    The Montpellier guy and Pieters would be great. Why go for own goal specialist and mediocrity like Ridgwell. Percha nd raylor at the back is like shooting fish in a bucket. Tav (loan situation ?,) , Simmo, Kadar, Santon could get us through to January.

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 6, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #34


    I keep forgetting about Fergie, I guess he must be injured.

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 6, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #35


    Good point, you don’t see the good teams putting in hopeful crosses all the time. I love to see wide players either pass cutbacks on the deck for an onrushing player or cut inside as you suggest.

  • davybtoon

    Dec 6, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #36

    It’s crazy to go with anything other than perch n kadar

  • Dannyo

    Dec 6, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #37

    yup, i’m also hoping would step it up an shine. He might just be demotivated due to injuries and constant reserve teamfooty.

    tav can’t be recalled before 28 days has passed, and he started his loan at SW just over a week ago, so that can’t happen. And Dummet and Folan are crocked… There’s Streete tho, and Henderson can be recalled.

  • 2 AMEOBI'S

    Dec 6, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #38

    Have a feeling that Pardew will go with this:

    Santon Simo Perch Raylor

  • 2 AMEOBI'S

    Dec 6, 2011 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #39

    That wouldnt be my choice btw. No height CB we would get murdered by the long ball, juts get a feeling pardew wants to play santon on the right so he may move Simo inside to help cover.

  • solano

    Dec 6, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #40

    People can bandy any assortment of names and combinations about but the undisputable fact is that those of us who were worried about our squad depth – and pilloried as “neggars” – have unfortunately been proven correct again! Gambling never pays in the end and anyone who has ever played even at Sunday League level will know that you need specialist players for specialist positions and the numbers to cover the inevitable injuries.
    A potential back four that includes players like Perch, Raylor and Santon all playing out of position is bordering on the embarrassing and wouldn’t inspire confidence at Championship level.
    I take no pleasure from our predicament looking at a busy Crimbo period, but for the deluded “sunshine boys” who buy into Ashley’s shoestring plans……I told you so!
    Nevermind though, we have a transfer window coming up to put it all right 😉


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