It’s quite obvious that the absence of Newcastle three first choice center-backs on Saturday was why we conceded four goals, the most this season in the league, and why we looked hopeless at the back at Norwich City.
Alan Pardew – three center-backs missing last Saturday
It does show that Newcastle do not have the usual four top class center-backs and we hope that is rectified next month with at least one coming in to replace Steven Taylor.
And it’s going to be very interesting at least, to see how Mike Ashley helps out Alan Pardew in January and to see how much money he is willing to spend next month – we certainly have plenty of it available from the Andy Carroll sale.
Alan Pardew lamented losing three center-backs for Saturday’s game:
“It’s just disappointing to go into the game with so many key players missing. We’ve had some serious injuries this year.”
“Steven Taylor and Sylvain Marveaux are out for the season: two first-team players, so that’s been disappointing. It’s just knocked us off our heels a little bit.”
“You’re going to be under pressure and you’re going to concede set plays. I think we just had to do better, and we certainly should have been more competitive when that ball was delivered regardless of not having a centre-half.”
“Of course when a team is missing centre-halves you’re going to encourage your team to put in deliveries and attack it as Norwich did, and there was perhaps a little bit more venom from them at set-plays.”
That’s all true what Alan Pardew says but some would say Newcastle paid the piper for their lack of planning, and after all Mike Williamson has been out injured since last August and another center-back was not brought in as cover.
But the main thing now is whether Fab Coloccini will be fit for the Saturday game at home to Swansea.
That’s a very winnable game, but only if we have at least one established center-back in the middle for Newcastle, because it was too painful to watch the soft center that was Newcastle United last Saturday at Carrow Road.
Since Colo was close to making the game last Saturday, and he’s a quick healer, we are expecting he will be fit for the game – fingers crossed.
And before last Saturday’s game Alan Pardew intimated he thought Mike Williamson would be ready as well, so we have to think Mike will get some playing time in games behind closed doors this week to get some match practice.
There’s a Reserve team game at home to Bolton on Tuesday, so we would expect Mike to play some time in that game, and depending on how he looks could determine if he starts on Saturday against Swansea.
If Mike cannot make it, he could possibly start on the bench, and presumably Danny Simpson could partner Colo in the middle, with Davide Santon and Ryan Taylor again being the two full backs – at least Colo will be able to head the ball clear.
That’s at least better than the disastrous central defense partnership of Simpson and Perch last Saturday afternoon, and what’s wrong with Tamas Kadar – at least the Hungarian can head the ball.
In our article when the team was announced before the game on Saturday, we had this to say on the team selection:
“And it’s a big surprise to us that Danny Simpson and James Perch will be the central defensive partnership this afternoon at Carrow Road.”
“Where the height or heading ability there?”
Yes – exactly.
We hope to get positive news on Coloccini early in the week, and if at least he is fit it will be a huge relief for Newcastle fans , and we’ll then have a decent chance of getting all three points against Swansea.
Howay The Lads