It was obvious from the kick-off last Saturday that Chelsea were attacking down their right wing, as they had picked out Ryan Taylor as the weak link in Newcastle’s defense.
Jonas Gutierrez – a big miss last Saturday
And Daniel Sturridge gave Taylor a terrible time of it in that first half, and it’s lucky that the 21 year-old England International missed a lot of the chances he carved out for himself.
And then of course there was always a certain Tim Krul, who has simply been magnificent in the Newcastle goal all season.
Usually Jonas Gutierrez helps out big time when Ryan is under pressure, but of course he was serving a one match ban for being sent off at Old Trafford the previous Saturday, and Peter Lovenkrands could not help out Ryan as much.
But some good news, among all the injury concerns this week, Jonas will be back out on the left wing tomorrow, and he’s been a big player for Newcastle this season.
In fact the 22 times capped Argentine International is playing the best football of his career on Tyneside, after signing a new deal that keeps him at Newcastle until the summer of 2015.
Pardew has no doubt that Gutierrez missing from the starting line-up last week, was a big problem for Newcastle:
“That was a big blow to us last week.” “He’s a big part of looking after that left side.”
“I think we got exposed a little bit against Chelsea, and he would have shored it up on that side.”
“There’s also what he offers us going forward. So I’m very pleased to have him back.”
The fact that Ryan Taylor has a tough job against fast and skillful wingers, tells us he is not the long term solution to the left-back position vacated by Jose Enrique, when he left for Liverpool in August.
But Ryan is a top professional and we expect him to have a solid game tomorrow at Carrow Road, especially since Jonas will be helping out as usual.
It’s anybody’s guess what the starting line-up will be tomorrow, but assuming that Coloccini is fit (we’ll keep our fingers crossed), here’s a possible starting eleven:
Simpson Coloccini (c) Perch Taylor (R)
Obertan Gosling Cabaye Gutierrez
Ameobi (Sh) Ba
That’s not a bad side at all, and we have a feeling that Alan Pardew may bring Shola Ameobi into the starting line-up in place of Ben Arfa, to give Newcastle more power up front, especially since Shola looked so good in the second half last Saturday.
What is your starting eleven for tomorrow?