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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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These New Players Are Starting To Blossom

10:46 am, Friday, September 20th, 2013 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 34 Comments

Buying five Frenchmen in January seemed a bit of a panic move by Newcastle owner Mike Ashley,  but it was done to keep Newcastle’s place in the Premier League intact, and it worked, although only just.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa  987

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa - started the season well

But the trials and tribulations the new Frenchmen went through last season,  seems to be playing dividends this season with Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Moussa Sissoko all first team starters, and Yoan Gouffran is pushing strongly for a first team starting position, and of course Yoan hit the winner last Saturday at Villa Park, his fourth goal for the club.

And the manager started in an attacking 4-3-3 formation at Villa Park last Saturday, and it was obvious from the first whistle the goal was to win the game, and even after Aston Villa equalized in the second half,  we still came back  to get a great 3 points.

Alan Pardew has talked today in the local press, and it’s  about how some of the new players are starting to blossom:

“We were under pressure last year and it did affect us, especially our new boys like Sissoko, Mapou and Mathieu.” “Now that has all gone we are seeing the best of them.” “We are starting to see those players blossom a bit.”

“It is certainly contributing to the better look to the team we have.” “I think this year – more so than when we finished fifth – it is going to be difficult in the next four or five weeks for our fans to decide what our best team is.”

“There are really close lines this year.” “For example, Cheick Tiote and Anita are closer in terms of competition.” “Dummett and Davide Santon are, Jonas and Sammy Ameobi are, and Gouffran, Remy and Papiss Cisse too.”

“At the minute we might be comfortable with the team but it can evolve still.” “I know it will make for a good debate for our fans in the pub.” “Hopefully, it is a debate where people can think we can improve the team rather than change things in order for us to get out of trouble.”

“That is how it was last year.” “It was, how we going to get out of this or how will we score goals?” “Now it is about what will get us the win or the draw.”

Pardew is hoping for a good turn-out tomorrow as the mood on Tyneside has improved with two league wins on the trot, and it looks as though there will be over 50,000 at the game, to roar on the lads to another victory – hopefully.

And there should be some good performances from those who start the game tomorrow, because they are all under pressure to keep their places, as our squad is definitiely stronger than it was last year at this time.

What do you think?

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Tags: Coaching · Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa · Mathieu Debuchy · Moussa Sissoko · Newcastle News · Yoan Gouffran



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34 responses so far ↓

  • 1 roy // Sep 20, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    The new players have benefited from a good preseason and we have decent quality in all positions. So its a good hiding for the Hull Tigers, 4-0 to the Mags and Cisse to open his account.

  • 2 Hatem's better than Messi // Sep 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    It seems a lot more fragile to me than Pardew or Roy thinks?

  • 3 Rotonda heights // Sep 20, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    First lesson of a NUFC fan -don’t tempt fate!!!

  • 4 ToonDarnSarf // Sep 20, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    I’ve read some stupid articles and some stupid comments saying that we’re doing well because Pardew can’t pick his favourite 4 of Saylor, Jonas, Ameobi and Tiote recently. I hardly think that Pardew actually WANTS to pick these players over better ones, it’s just that quite often last season they were the best available.

    I don’t think many people will disagree that the team that started last week is the best 11? Saylor, Willo, Haidara Dummett, Tiote, Marv, Shola, Sammy, Jonas and the rest need to be pushing the first 11 though.

  • 5 Lilongwe Geordie // Sep 20, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    TDS,
    I disagree. We had players available but Pardew didn’t pick them out of choice. I don’t think it is down to them being his favourites though. We were having a tough season, and Pardew thought that the more experienced players were better able to cope and dig in int tough times. I think he is wrong on that, but I can understand the logic behind it. (If that were the case)

  • 6 Coach // Sep 20, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    I don’t think Tiote and Anita are so close, I know it’s a personal opinion but I think Anita is a large part of our improvement in form. He moves into space and gives our defense an outlet to play it on the ground. He plays simple passes but always looks to move the ball forward, he may not have Cabaye’s vision but his tackling is at times quite superb. Look at the way he stole the ball to start the move for the first goal at Villa. Everyone talks about Remy and HBA but it was Anita that started it.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the way the others are playing, I expect Cabaye to get back to his best and I pray Cisse starts to score for fun again. I just think Anita gets ignored a bit.

  • 7 ToonDarnSarf // Sep 20, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Lilongwe

    Who did we have available? Marv? Campbell? Vuckic? Our best centre back partnership at the beginning of last season was Colo and MYM, Ameobi was out only first-team back-up striker until Goofy was signed and the only striker with physical presence (hence we needed an upgrade), Marv created lots of chances but often “went missing” and like you said, we couldn’t afford that when we were not exactly firing on all cylinders and just needed to grind out the wins and draws.

    Anita wasn’t bedded in either, he would have one decent game and then one anonymous game.

    I would have liked to have seen more invention last season but the player availability and form didn’t help.

  • 8 ToonDarnSarf // Sep 20, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Anita has looked good, but I think he works best when Cabaye and Sissoko can also fill in with that role. It’s quite interesting that while Anita tends to be more withdrawn, either Sissoko or Cabaye can drop back sometimes too and Anita can also spray some nice passes to start an attack (something Tiote rarely does). It’s a nice dynamic really.

    I still think Tiote has a part to play, especially against teams that are strong in central midfield and we may need a terrier there.

  • 9 Lilongwe Geordie // Sep 20, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Coach,
    I completley agree on that. Without Anita in the side we couldn’t play the system we used at Villa. Anita is a supremely intelligent player. In his passing, his movement but key to our system, in his knowledge of when to cover a team mate. When Santon Debuchy and Colo bomb on, you will see Anita dropping in to fill the space. Tiote doesn’t have the nous to do that, which is why Jonas has to play in front of Santon to use his energy to get back and cover. Anita allows much more freedom to play an attacking style.

  • 10 Lilongwe Geordie // Sep 20, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    TDS,
    You seem to forget we had Ba before Goofy joined. Also, MYM wasn’t at the club, I guess you mean Taylor? He could have easily played Anita, he was MoM in more than half the games when he got a mini run at Christmas. Marv/Obertan would offer more threat than Jonas (Although I agree Marv doesn’t have what it takes for 90 minutes). He had options. The favourites thing revolves around Jonas and Tiote mainly, and he certainly had the option to play people ahead of those 2.

    As I said he could easily have selected different players but hoped the experience and graft would pull him through.

  • 11 Rotonda heights // Sep 20, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    TDS

    Tiote and Jonas got games no matter what despite some really dismal and indifferent form when Anita and Marveaux could hardly have done much worse, so badly and consistently poorly did the former 2 play.

    Pardew may arguably be getting it right now, whether by default or the light finally went on about his favourites, players in right positions, correct formation and going for a second goal mentality.

    Who knows? but let’s not make excuses for some rank management and generally abysmal decision making previously.

  • 12 Coach // Sep 20, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Lilongwe
    I agree, I didn’t mention that part of his game but I noticed it too. We have two superb attacking full backs, Anita may be the key to getting the best out of them.

    TDS – you may be right about Tiote, he’s more physical than Anita but Anita’s timing and judgement make up for a lot of that physicality. I definitely like that fact that they bring different strengths, I just hope Pardew is capable of judging when to play them.

  • 13 IPToon // Sep 20, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    I think that Pardew still prefers Tiote over Anita. When he mentions top players he always says Ben Arfa, Cabaye and Tiote. He couldnt really drop Anita after we picked up our first win with Anita in the team. He wont be dropped this weekend for the same reason. The first sign of a poor performance / defeat i fear will mean Tiote back in for Anita and irrelevant of how bad Tiote peforms he will keep his place until he gets injured, as this is what has happened previously.

    I like Anita though, he offers more movement and just keeps things ticking over without anything fancy. Tiote sometimes thinks he has a skill or two and loses possession trying to turn players

  • 14 ToonDarnSarf // Sep 20, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    I think Marv and Anita look like the kind of players that thrive when a team is playing well, passing well and moving well. Whereas Jonas and Tiote are grinders a lot more. I don’t think we need those kinds of players with the way we’re playing at the moment so long may it continue!

  • 15 wolfshead@toon // Sep 20, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    tds@4

    true pards has inferred a few times he didnt play the favoured 4 3 3 last season so much as he didnt think the players he had available were good enough for that formation

  • 16 danuneek // Sep 20, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Agree with everyone’s thoughts on Anita. His contribution always seems to be overlooked by Pardew and for me, he’s one of the first players on the team sheet.

  • 17 low fell mag // Sep 20, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Great to see the French lads settling in well.
    They and the team have been getting a bit stick off the national media, saying there is too many French lads in the team and it wont work.
    Absolute bollocks, these lads can play football, and play well.
    The next signing ,hopefully will be another French man ,called Remy.

  • 18 Jail for Ashley // Sep 20, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    It’s a shame the French lads weren’t brought in and given a full pre season before a Europa campaign rather than thrown into a relegation scrap.

  • 19 niafron // Sep 20, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Bonjour messieurs.

    Someone said french lad?

  • 20 Rake // Sep 20, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Nice to see people praising Anita personally love him and as regards to him and tiote fighting for a place. I think there is no comparisons really a technical player who can tackle and start attacks. ( He can also score as he showed against Malmo). Tiote gives you a bit of bite but other than that he nearly tunrs into trouble 1 to twice a game in front of the defense he almost always get’s a yellow and his passing isn’t as good as Anita’s.

    For me there is no comparison but perhaps its mind games to keep our top players fighting hard on the pitch. Which is only a good thing.

  • 21 PUMMELLER // Sep 20, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    TOONDARNSARF@4

    Could not have put it better myself.
    Spot on mate

  • 22 niafron // Sep 20, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Well this team is in pretty good shape. Only 2 problems remaining:

    -the striker
    -the side defensors

  • 23 Coach // Sep 20, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    I’m a little scared of being too optimistic after one OK game against Fulham and one good game against Villa but I’m looking forward to seeing Anita/Sissoko and Cabaye continue to develop their partnership in midfield.

    Only the real top teams can better that trio in my humble opinion, especially when Cabaye starts to hit form.

  • 24 count // Sep 20, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Ed weren’t you bemoaning a lack of any “new players” at the end of the transfer window and saying it was nothing short of a disaster…?

    Now you are praising “new players”………

    Any excuse to be as dramatic as possible…?

  • 25 niafron // Sep 20, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    But is really Cab concerned?

  • 26 Mackems are from MORDOR! // Sep 20, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    One thing stands out – he seems to have left wing as a choice between Sammy or Jonas. Really? What’s wrong with the set up now with Remy coming off left.
    Lest’s hope this current formation and pick keeps performing showing that there are options that deliver (crosses, assists, goals)

  • 27 niafron // Sep 20, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Mordor? So Dicanio is… the witch King? Sauron? (I guess Morgoth is Benito Mussolini).

  • 28 niafron // Sep 20, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Well, if we have to play with GOuffy or Rémy on the left, will say it one more time, could be fine to have a left footed guy teaming up with them (got nothing against Santon, would see him challenging Debuchy on the right).

  • 29 toonking // Sep 20, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    all the post saying pardew has been forced to play the likes of remy and anita is total BS.

    all that mess last season was caused by 1 player and a stupid quote from a certain rednapp.
    BA HAS A RELEASE CLAUSE.
    now every team knew ba himself took the chance to force himself ito getting his own way it’s called player power ask AVB at Chelsea.

    as the saying goes you should never change a winning side which was at the time
    krul
    simmo colo saylor santon
    tiote cabaye Jonas
    HBA cisse ba

    so the problem for pardew are he had Europa league no backing last summer a player now able to get what he wants because pardew himself knows the difficulty we have most windows with buying players.

    so first he tried HBA ba cisse which didn’t seem to good

    next he reverted to 4-2-3-1 and things just got worst
    then ba left who was brought in to replace him NO ONE also cisse was very poor with offside the defense was leaking goals constantly the midfield was so deep the signings we did make were just pushed in the squad as a whole was chopping and changing through injuries suspentions Europe it was just a nightmare.

    now pardew has got to know the players very well.
    he knows what the best formation is for them, he doesn’t have Europe to deal with, even the players themselves are starting to realise just how stressful times can be when you have an owner who is so tight.

    Q what will be the next thing you will blame if tiote doesn’t start on Saturday because he is a so called pardew favourite?

    Q what makes the time it took colo and Enrique to adapt to this league any different to the time it took sissoko goufran anita and debuchy to adapt to this league?
    in my opinion anita was new to the league pardew knew so he decided to start with him as a cup player also tiote was a world class player to most bloggers and Chelsea did put a bid in for him that we rejected so why would he be dropped. as for joas well the answer is ovious goufran was the forward for ba obatan is rubbish and marvo does nothing but stand and wait for the ball and when a team is in danger of relegation you can’t afford a team which has players that don’t have decent work rate.

    pardew did do some stupid things such as change to 4-2-3-1 but a human being always makes mistakes and learns from them FACT.

  • 30 toonincheek // Sep 20, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Whats going on with this Blog today?
    Sensible comments!

    The “neggers” will be on the Blog later – they always like to have the last word!

    I too like Anita.
    Tiote can be very good but he’s been off his best form for a long time and suffers even more when he gets picked regardless.

    Guti is a bit under-rated – he does a lot of hard work and always tries to make himself available and hold up the ball but he seems to be judged only on his attacking contribution.
    When he plays, his role is to be more withdrawn with Santon being expected to provide the attacking threat.

  • 31 niafron // Sep 20, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    @Toonking

    Ba’s situation last season do not explain all our injuries, and also the fact we were the team in the league who made the greatest number of long air pass.

    So i really think Pard (probably consulting the senior players) reconsidered many things and made alot of changes for this season.

  • 32 toonking // Sep 20, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    toonincheek
    they still at school
    it’s 2pm in Britain the blog is fairly relaxed with just the likes of JFA and rud who are two very regular posts even if they are lot of neg.

    but overall it just shows that most of these neggers are just the teenagers who have nothing else to do so will use the internet as a way to be a wind up.

  • 33 MrMojoRisin76 // Sep 20, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Cabaye 1st goalscorer tomorrow.You heard it here first.

  • 34 toonking // Sep 20, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    niafron
    injuries them selves were another bad thing but pardew can’t do much about that.

    when a team is very low with confinence and has a defence that is leaking loads of goals, the long balls become very common. Its part of human nature when we panic we don’t think about thinks we just do the first thing that come into our head.
    most of those long balls were just done by a defence panicing about not wanting to concede and in their mind a short pass will be dangerous.




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