Newcastle Will Continue To Struggle If New Center-Back Not Signed


If you just imagine that Steven Taylor had been playing on Wednesday evening,  do you think Newcastle would have conceded those goals?

Fab Coloccini – didn’t have his usual good game on Wednesday night

Maybe one,  but you have to think Newcastle would have been a  a lot stronger at the back,  but Steven wasn’t available of course, and we let in three very poor goals – again.

Fabricio Coloccini did not have a good game and was exposed by the speed of Shane Long.

Why didn’t we buy Shane in the summer, as he would have given us something different up front?

James Perch is getting a lot of criticism these days,  but on Wednesday he was fairly solid at the back, but maybe it’s just that he’s not used to playing at center-back positionally.

But James has come in for unfair criticism for sure, and he’s played well with Colo in the last two games, and he’s only doing his best and is after all playing out of position.

We have to hope the Newcastle captain comes back with a decent game on Monday afternoon at Bolton, and also Cheick Tiote gets back to his old form, as he was only mediocre on Wedneday.

But Cheick is like he was  in the first few games of the season, and trying to get back in the groove again.

The January window is coming up and Newcastle must bring in at least a center-back, but with the great Demba Ba away at the African Cup of Nations and Ba scoring 13 of Newcastle’s 23 league goals, we need another striker to help him out.

Be has 13 goals and Peter Lovenkrands, Ryan Taylor and Leon Best are next in line with 3 goals each, so we should still try to replace Andy Carroll, although the Senegal striker  has been simply magnificent this season  and again looked red hot on Wednesday.

He’s also such a good lad and so modest about everything,  but the 51,000 fans there a couple of days ago applauded his great performance and two goal, s in what in the end was a lost cause.

But Alan Pardew has said it may be hard to bring in replacements in mid-season, because the January transfer window is so difficult:

“I think we’re having to look at our squad, because we’re stretched – especially defensively,” 

“We have made some calls to try and find out who is available. It’s a difficult window; we want to try and get a good player in a window when teams don’t want to lose their good players, so it’s difficult for us and difficult for every team.”

“You locate a player but then they’ve got to get a replacement, and is another first-team going to let a replacement go? So there’s a knock-on effect.”

“It’s a difficult window and we’ll have to see how it pans out.”

It’s true that clubs don’t want to lose their best players half way through the season, and want to ensure they have an adequate replacement before they sell.

Is it only Newcastle who don’t seem to do that, and are willing to sell their best player on the very last day of the window, to ensure even if they wanted to get a replacement in,  there’s not time.

That’s what Newcastle did last January and were a striker short for the rest of the season, and it was good that players like Best and Shola Ameobi and others stepped up to the plate.

In fact we still haven’t replaced Andy, since Be came on a free transfer and wasn’t supposed to be the replacement  for Carroll, but he’s a better goalscorer than Andy Carroll will ever be.

We’re in a similar position now with center-back,  and if we don’t bring one in we could be in some difficulty for the second half of the season.

Of course if Mike Williamson and Colo can form a good partnership again and stay  fit,  we’ll be okay.

One the center-backs we’ve been linked with is  23 year-old 6’4″ Douglas of FC Twente, and he would be a decent choice, and his contract runs out in the summer.

We think if  Newcastle cannot get him through the door in January, they could go for him in the summer along with Ajax’s Belgium International Jan Vertonghen.

But it’s unthinkable that Newcastle will not bring in another center-back in January, but they’ve surprised us before, and of course Modibo Maiga will not be arriving, after failing his medical exam last week.

If Newcastle don’t bring in defensive replacement(s) in January, we will continue to fall in the league, although with 27 points on the board we just need 13 in the last 21 games to make sure we are safe this season.

That’s one way to look at it, but it would be great to start winning  again and putting another good run together to surprise everybody.

We hope Newcastle can somehow get a top center-back through the door next month.

Comments welcome.



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17 comments so far

  • Klatoon

    Dec 23, 2011 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #1

    Earlier in the season teams targeted our left side because of Raylor,i say we do the same to Bolton and exploit their weaknesses;
    Jaskelainen has got to be one of the most error prone keepers in the EPL,play Vuckic behind Ba and instruct him to shoot on sight,Demba will have a field day with rebounds and spills. Paul Robinson is one of the slowest LB’s instruct Obertan to run at him all game,even cut inside him to win cheap fouls and FK’s. Nigel reocoker and muamba offer little attacking threat so tell Cabaye to play abit higher up the pitch.

    PS: the orange change kit should instigate a change in luck and Bolton wont recognise who they are playing 🙂

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  • GoalsBringSmiles

    Dec 23, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #2

    …and at least one centre forward, and a left back and a right winger and replacements for those we will inevitably sell, joy I can’t wait until january

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  • LewSpi

    Dec 23, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #3

    It’s time for Coloccini to pull through as captain now, he needs to step up to the plate and rally the troops. We absolutely need 3 points at Bolton, with the scouse and the mancs after that.

    Drongo was talking a lot of sense on the last thread, people are too old fashioned in their perception of formations, the top teams have begun to almost play ‘total football’, in the final third at least. A rock solid core (CM & CB) and full backs who don’t need protection allows the front 4 to do what they like, it works when the players are intelligent enough to know where the key positions are that need to be filled. Barcelona and more recently Man City do very well with this approach.

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  • GoalsBringSmiles

    Dec 23, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #4

    Lewspi

    hahaha your attemtps at football terminology are laughable. What is a front four? this isn’t rugby…Also, we do not have anywhere near the quality to play Man City/Barca formations, our full backs need protection precisely because they aren’t good enough.

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  • GoalsBringSmiles

    Dec 23, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #5

    ‘James Perch is getting a lot of criticism these days, but on Wednesday he was fairly solid at the back, but maybe it’s just that he’s not used to playing at center-back positionally.’

    Maybe it’s because he’s actually a full back and at that a championship one at best. If I remember correctly and I know I do, Perch only become a ‘centre back’ following Campbell’s exit in the summer when Pardew realised he wasn’t going to get a replacement and so started drip feeding the fans with the bs that Perch’s best position is actua;;y centre half, absolute rubbish, he was a fullback up until this point, he’s weak, very poor and to top it off an ugly cretin.

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  • liam85

    Dec 23, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #6

    Ba for Number 9. he’s really looking the part!!

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  • GoalsBringSmiles

    Dec 23, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #7

    “You locate a player but then they’ve got to get a replacement, and is another first-team going to let a replacement go? So there’s a knock-on effect.”

    Just like we found a replacement before selling Carroll mid-season eh Pardew? Utter tosh. Also, this will be nearly 12 months after selling AC and not finding a replacement not only this but we were well aware before signing BA that he would need to be covered for come the African cup of Nations so the rubbish about ‘difficulties’ doesn’t count for sh1t with such scales of time in which to prepare.

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  • Lee Dodd

    Dec 23, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #8

    We always said Once we Get Injurys and Bans we would be in Trouble – Mike Ashley Needs to Open The Safe and Get The cash Out and Not Mess about until 11.45pm on the last day of January and say the players are to Expencive as we cant go through that again !!! He needs to Spend £40 million on Forwards and Defenders – He has the Money Already !!!! Or are we only after Championship Players Again !!!!!

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  • aussietoonfan

    Dec 23, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #9

    sorry, but I’ve got to ask……
    What exactly are the fair play rules and how do they work?

    I’ve heard that the top teams are losing millions in their pursuit of silverware. And if I’m not wrong, some of them are in debt for hundreds of millions?

    How are these teams still operating while “in the red”?

    Will the fair play rules change this?

    It doesn’t seem fair to me, but I may be missing some facts.

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  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 23, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #10

    kadar must have done something really bad for pardew to keep playing and exposing Perch

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  • Graeme

    Dec 23, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #11

    Klatoon – we have to go at them and your way is as good as any lol. Vuckic has a hell of a shot and he aint frightened to let it go from anywhere.

    We have known since the summer that Ba and Tiote would be at ACN for at least a month. At the moment that looks like a month without us being able to score a goal as the rest of our so-called strikers have managed no more than 3 all season.

    We took £35 million off the bin-dippers so there IS money available to bring in a striker, not necessarily an No9 and a CB/ FB – someone like Pieters who can play both positions would be ideal and with Williamson due back we would be ok till the summer.

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  • jesperfuglsang

    Dec 23, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #12

    @GoalsBringSmiles

    LewSpi’s football terminology may be a bit wrong, but he’s perception is really not questionable.

    We have no problem adapting the same approach to the game as the likes of Man Utd, Citeh, Barcelona or for that matter Ajax. And that is exactly what we should do.

    We need to be playing to our own advantaged and and that is a 4-2-3-1 and in order for this to work fullbacks have to go forward and there is no room for much protection from the two wide med, because their job is to go forward and cut in between the oppositions defense and midfield – you cannot be two places at ones; that’s common physics and in football terminology that means you’ll weaken you’re goalscoring capability if you’re wide men have to track all the time.

    In a 4-2-3-1 formation the two central midfielder takers on the classic role of a #6 and #8 and they protect the central defenders.

    Ba is a false #9 whom tracks back in order to either get the ball or having one of the oppositions defender following him leaving room for our #10 HBA or our wide men.

    This is really quite simple and highly effective. Currently we’re playing a 4-4-2 formation with two wide men where as we should be playing with a LM and a RM in order to be solid in midfield. Best adds nothing to the midfield and we should be scoring more goals in order to justify having two strikers when we could have a stronger midfield.

    There is nothing with a 4-4-2 if you apply it correctly and if you have the right players for it, which we don’t.

    This is basic football knowledge 101.

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  • jesperfuglsang

    Dec 23, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #13

    Without all the type errors 🙂

    @GoalsBringSmiles

    LewSpi’s football terminology may be a bit wrong, but his perception is really not questionable.

    We have no problem adapting the same approach to the game as the likes of Man Utd, Citeh, Barcelona or for that matter Ajax. And that is exactly what we should be doing.

    We need to be playing to our own advantaged and that is a 4-2-3-1 formation and in order for this to work fullbacks have to go forward and there is no room for much protection from the two wide men, because their job is to go forward and cut in between the oppositions defense and midfield – you cannot be two places at ones; that’s common physics and in football terminology that means you’ll weaken your goalscoring capability if your wide men have to track back all the time.

    In a 4-2-3-1 formation the two central midfielder takes on the classic role of a #6 and #8 and they protect the central defenders.

    Ba is a false #9 whom tracks back in order to either get the ball or having one of the oppositions defender following him leaving room for our #10 HBA or our wide men.

    This is really quite simple and highly effective. Currently we’re playing a 4-4-2 formation with two wide men where as we should be playing with a LM and a RM in order to be solid in midfield. Best adds nothing to the midfield and we should be scoring more goals in order to justify having two strikers when we could have a stronger midfield.

    There is nothing wrong with a 4-4-2 formation if you apply it correctly and if you have the right players for it, which we don’t.

    This is basic football knowledge 101.

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  • unclepauly

    Dec 23, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #14

    i cant understand that ed says perch has a solid game ? am i missing something ? if you look at the goals we conceded against west brom:

    the 1st was colo for being too slow but then again is it just because owndemwigie is very quick ?

    the 2nd was perch’s fault. he was marking the west brom player then he just stopped moving and the west brom player moved away a couple of yards, perch did not follow him, he was therefore unmarked and scored with a free header.

    the 3rd was a great west brom goal but who should have been marking sharner ? perch. he slid in at the last minute but its not good enough, sharner was unmarked again and scrored.

    i hate slating my own players but perch is championship level at best and whilst he is in defnese we will continue to slide down the league.

    jus tmy opinion – anyone think im talking sh!te ?

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  • unclepauly

    Dec 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #15

    oh and also :

    @GoalsBringSmile – im from nottm, and my mates support forest. they all say perch was signed for forest as a centre back and that this is his ‘proper’ position. he ended up played full back for forest because their main full back was injured for ages, he became a bit of a utility player for them. so then calderwood ‘helped’ us get him in as a full back when simpson was injured but i think he is actually centre back…

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  • theleckworthbird

    Dec 23, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #16

    Look we are as weak as water in the striker dept. Weaker when Ba departs for ACN How can Pardew state that we won’t sign a striker in the Jan window.

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  • Sav

    Dec 23, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    Comment #17

    You are right about us failing to sign Shane Long. That was a major mistake. He is a constant menace like Bellamy and can play anywhere across the front line. he was also cheap as chips.

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