Alan Pardew has surprisingly said that the reason that Newcastle decided not to bring in a new center-back to the club in the summer, was that Newcastle have two top youngsters coming through, and he didn’t want to put a damper on their development.
James Tavernier – top defender coming through
The two youngsters he mentioned are 20 year-old James Tavernier and Remi Streete, the 17 year-old South Shields born 6’2″ defender, who has been recovering from an injury picked up earlier in the year.
However, James is just short of 5’10” tall and may be struggling as a center-back with the high crosses coming in, but Remi Streete is a top youngster coming through at the center-back position, but has been recovering from an injury he picked up earlier in the year.
And of course we also brought in 19 year-old Australian center-back Curtis Good in the summer.
Newcastle now have three of their five starting defenders out through injury for the game at Everton on Monday night – Tim Krul, Danny Simpson and Fab Coloccini – and we suppose Steve Harper, Vurnon Anita and Mike Williamson will come in to fill those gaps at Goodison Park.
This is what the Newcastle manager said yesterday:
“I felt at the start of the year, when we looked at the centre-half situation, that bringing someone in would stand in the way of two players with great futures at the club – James Tavernier and Remi Streete.”
“We won’t be calling on those guys just yet but we will somewhere down the line.” “You have to look at a club as a whole and there has to be a route to the first team otherwise you’re not going to progress as a club.”
And in addition we have Ryan Taylor out at least six months with a cruciate knee injury, and Ryan may even be out for the season.
Newcastle’s squad is being hit by injury and it’s all well and good to have an excellent youth policy, but on the other hand it’s always dangerous if you have to play the youngsters too much or too early in their development.
And surely we should not be relying too heavily on youth this season, but it seems that’s exactly what has happened and the Newcastle Board, presumably with Alan’s approval, have elected to bring in just one experienced player over the summer in Vurnon Anita from Ajax.
That could turn out to be a massive tactical error, and we’re already seeing the results of not having a big enough squad – when we are also back in Europe again – and the squad is already being stretched in the first month of the season, after only five games have been played.
You can also reach Ed at email@example.com