Anita To Challenge Tiote And Cabaye For Starting Position

With the news yesterday that Vurnon Anita was brought in to fortify the central midfield for Newcastle, there were question about who he would challenge for a first team spot, since both Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote are already two of Newcastle’s very best players.

Vurnon Anita – will play in central midfield

Alan had also said yesterday in one of his interviews that a top club needed three top class central midfielders and they now have them with Anita arriving, and if nothing else it will keep Tiote and Cabaye on their toes, because Anita can play in either the defensive role or as a play-maker.

And as we have seen in pre-season, a certain 18 year-old Gael Bigirimana is also very competent already in defensive midfield, and he’s shown that in the Newcastle first team, when he’s replaced Cheick Tiote.

Alan has compared Anita with Yohan and Cheick today, in an interview in the Newcastle Journal:

“He’s a little bit different to Tiote and a little bit different to Cabaye and that was one of the reasons I thought he would be perfect for us.” “I think his game knowledge is good and this year, if we can, we want to build on what we did last year and control games.”

“If we are going to control games, we need to have the ball and he is going to help us on that side.” “Character is the top ingredient for a top player and he has that.”  “His ability is, well you know when you come through the Ajax system, you have to have technical ability, trust me.”

“Even his passing on Thursday morning, you can tell he is at the level of our top players.”  “We have a number of players we’re going to sleep on because we’ve had the top players missing for crucial parts of the pre-season because of the Euros and little niggles.”

“I’ve the other guys really up to speed, so I’m going to have to be really careful with my team selection.”

It will be very interesting to guess what team Alan will start tomorrow, and we’ll take a shot at that in our Match Preview later today.

Alan Pardew told reporters yesterday that Anita would be registered today, and would be available for the Tottenham game at home tomorrow, and the 23 year-old is very likely to make his debut in that game, in front of what we hope will be a sold out St. James’ Park.

And Anita came across so well yesterday in his interviews, and Alan commented what a first class character he is, and hoped he would be as good on the pitch as he is off it. There’s no doubt Vurnon will quickly become a big favorite with the Geordie fans.

Bringing in Anita to challenge for a central midfield place, is what Newcastle need to do in the other parts of the field too, and  especially at full back,  so there is adequate competition for places all over the pitch, and that’s always what the top clubs have.

Newcastle are getting there slowly but surely, and we hope we can make another excellent start to the season, as we did last year.

Comments welcome.

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35 comments so far

  • cyprus

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #1

    Has anybody out there watched Anita excepting youtube?
    What does he mean he wants to be a plymaker? Is he ball-winner ‘Makelele-style’? Is he a creative midfielder who can spread the game? Will this guy be a creative defender -flying winger like Cole used to be? Thanks to anyone who responds and knows what he’s talking about. Otherwise, we’ll soon find out.

  • santonthenewmaldini

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #2

    Going to be a right tool and go 1st!!

  • toon1707

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #3

    He won’t be challenging either for a place in the team all 3 will play together tiote and anita behing cabaye so he can push on

  • cyprus

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #4

    Does AP ‘sleep on a number of players’?

  • toon1707

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #5

    Tiote and anita behind cabaye

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #6

    you said it – how embarrassing was that!!

    We must play Anita alongside Tiote and Cabaye and maybe tempoorarily shift Jonas to full back

  • cestriasteve

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #7

    Surely he is going to play all 3 in a 5 man midfield and 1 up front, cabaye is left to play more of a playmaker roll of the 3. Just a thought

  • geordie157

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #8

    If we can get a right or left back, then he’ll play with tiote and cabaye. I don’t like pards one more player comment, but reading between the lines we’ll sign five more

  • GeordieToon89

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #9

    Cabayes doubtful tomorrow so a reckon we’ll be 442

    Thats the team i think he’ll go with although i’d rather Marveaux or Amalfitano than Obertan

  • Tommyy

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #10

    If we’re 442 I expect an extremely static performance. It just doesn’t suit our Players.

  • Jarra Magpie

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #11

    Major upset in our house yesterday. The young ‘un got his A level results. Regrettably he got the required grades and is now going to Sunderland University. Thankfully, he’s staying at home so will have to make sure he is de-loused upon return each day. Shite. He was definitley more excited about his season ticket arriving than his grades though.

  • cyprus

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #12

    I’m guessing he’ll throw Anita on in the 60′, and Obertan will warm the bench with the two you mention both playing a half

  • jesperfuglsang

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #13

    I don’t nessesarily think both Anita, Tiote and Cabaye are going to together in a 3 man midfield.

    Last season Tiote almost missed half of our games and when Cabaye went missing we looked woofull in midfield.

    I still think Jonas has a part to play and this is going to be Gosling’s season…I hope 😀

  • cyprus

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #14

    Jarra, congats on season ticket and … Sunderland!

  • Tom

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #15

    I find it far more likely that all three will play together as part of a 4-2-3-1 formation. Something like (when everyone is fit):

    Simpson, Saylor, Colo, Santon
    Ben Arfa—Cabaye—Ba

    Basically the formation we played last season, but with Anita replacing Jonas (who is unfortunate to miss out). On a number of occasions, Tiote was caught pressing high up field which meant space was created behind him. Anita will prevent this, as a deep lying defensive midfielder he will be there to plug the gaps and allow Tiote to press upfield, He is also a talented playmaker, who can create space with his passing and instigate attacks from deep.

  • jayphoto

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #16

    @cyprus – I’ve seen him 4 or 5 times for Ajax live! He plays very deep, usually takes the ball off his own centre half and starts play up, everything on the ground, rarely passes further than 10 yards! Defensively hes a lot quicker on the ground than tiote or cabaye, wins alot of loose halls and makes a lot of interceptions! He’s surprisingly not that lightweight either for his height! He’s a little bit Clarence acuna in style!

  • Beattie25

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #17


    If Tiote is the muscle and Cabaye is the brain then Anita is the heartbeat.

    We will have 3 ball winners in the middle now. Each with their own individuality!

    Anita is like an Italian DM. Bread up play and starts attacks. Controls the pace, dictates the tempo and plays smartly.

    I watched him a few times and can’t really compare him to anyone other than to say he is a mix of Edgar Davids and Clarence Seedorf IMO.

  • Klatoon

    Aug 17, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #18

    whats the latest on the injury/fitness front for tomorrow?

  • BigKirky

    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #19

    Been watching this. He gives off a Seedorf type vibe to me. Small, retains possession well great with short and medium range passing. Very neat and tidy like Marveaux as well. Really liking how Pardew is into the technical style of player.

    What we do know, is that if we want to kill a game off, just let Anita and Marveaux pass it around between themselves until the final whistle blows. We’ll hardly lose the ball 🙂

  • pardews plan B

    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #20

    @tom been said a million times though and pawl will get on your back lol.
    I think we’ll be very adaptable and play lots of formations

  • Elfy_Toon

    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #21

    Beattie, I would compare him to Alonso at Madrid. Although nowhere near him on terms of ability and such, he is a deep-lying playmaker. I can see him connecting Tiote and Cabaye better than last year, he’ll be the one to dictate the defence and attack.

  • geordiesteve520

    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #22

    Two things: this is a good article, paints the club in the right light

    And secondly Southampton are about to shock the Premier League and perhaps European football as a whole by signing Gaston Ramirez ahead of a list of huge clubs, wow!

  • BigKirky

    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #23

    Tom, that line up seems the one which fits. Although i do think we may see Jonas come in at full back like Pardew was playing him last year as he’s one of the team’s most valuable players he said.

    If anyone is going to the games this year, please bring your scalves and give, ’em a twirl and get your mates to do the same. It makes for a good visual atmosphere as well as audible.

  • markmac

    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #24

    if wereonly going to sign 1 more player then a decent FB is what id choose, and go with what we have already up front, cisse,ba,ameobi[s] and even young campbell….[why not rooney was only 16 when he scored ‘that’ goal v arsenal]

  • markmac

    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #25
  • BigKirky

    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #26

    A variation of fornations will occur though. You can’t fail to marvel at the flowing, easy on the eye play which 433 did for a period before we got a good beating.

    Really looking forward to Saturday. Hope we get off to a great start.

  • Beattie25

    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #27

    Last season we showed glimpses of technical brilliance in individual busts during games.

    We didn’t have control during many of those games and it took that one moment of brilliance to win matches at times.

    Now consider the technical brilliance of our team when we are controlling the game and you should all be getting excited.

    Tiote won’t be the singular lynch pin of midfield and he will be able to do what he does best, smash.

    Cabs will become the creative influence he was born to be supplying the front line with multiple opportunities.

    Marveaux will gift is with his technique.

    Ben Arfa will get more time in the ball.

    Cisse and Ba will lap up all the opportunities presented to them.

    I said weeks ago that this signing would he the best the club could make and I am certain we will all see a new and exciting nufc at times next season.

    Hard to break down and scoring holds for fun.

  • GeordieToon89

    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #28

    I really hope all this Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Cisse, Ba all potentially not playing tomorrow is just mind games! But Spurs have problems aswell.. no Parker/Modric/Adebayor.. And Bale needs to do a fitness test

  • GeordieToon89

    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #29

    Jonas could be our new rb ha

  • Tom

    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #30

    Re Jonas, I wonder if signing Anita will make the management reconsider a move for a striker. I imagine we will see rotation this year, and in a 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 we can often get away with one main striker and other supporting players. So Ba and Cisse might not always be starting together, which means that the wider spots in an attacking formation might be taken up by the likes fo Ben Arfa/Jonas/Marveaux/Amalfitano/Ferguson.

    (N.B. I do still think we need a striker personally, I’m just speculating 🙂 )

  • BigKirky

    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #31

    Good post that last review Beattie. I very much agree.

  • aussietooner

    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #32

    Great signing in Anita. But I don’t see why its the end of any one player, its about the squad as a whole and how they all fit into APs preferred system, hopefully 4231. Can’t wait for spuds whoever plays!!!

  • sholasupporter

    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #33

    Beattie…excellent post mate, couldnt agree more. The system we played at the end of last season got the best out of cabaye, HBA, cisse and to an extent jonas when played as a DM. Replace the ineffective Ba with the potential of marveaux and we could play some dam good football! Leaves loads of options open to change the game too.
    Cant wait till kick off now!

  • Made a ma beed

    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #34

    Regarding Anita, he may just be to challenge Tiote and Cabaye, Last season Guthrie got quite a few games when they were out. This lad is different though, in that he can play various positions. He may be part of a midfield three, they could be selling Cabs or Tiote. Who knows, certainly nobody on this blog.

  • NUFCWill1986

    Aug 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #35

    433 would be great with Cabaye, Tiote and Anita I reckon


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