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Who Comes In For Debuchy Against Norwich City?

11:11 am, Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 130 Comments

Mathieu Debuchy picked up is 5th yellow card on Saturday at Tottenham and so will be forced to miss his first game of the season, but it also  gives a chance for a defender to come into the back for the Norwich City game.

Mathieu Debuchy France

Mathieu Debuchy – misses Norwich game

Yanga-Mbiwa has been in outstanding form in the last three games, and doesn’t deserve to be left out, so we could see the Frenchman move to right back with captain Fab Coloccini returning at center-back to partner Mike Williamson.

An alternative to that would be to switch Santon to right back and bring in local lad Paul Dummett at left back.

And if Haidara is fit, he could even figure at left back with Santon again moving over to the right hand side.

But the first two formations seem to be the most likely, but we cannot see Pardew leaving his captain on the bench against Norwich – can you?

Let is know which of these two formations you would start against Norwich, and what other back four formations are possible?

What Will Newcastle's Back Four Be Against Norwich?

View Results

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And by the way that’s our 500th poll on the site.

Comments welcome.

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Tags: Mathieu Debuchy · Newcastle News · Poll · Premier League · Suspensions


130 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ben3arfa // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Mbiwa played real well at right back in the Europa last season but I dont think it would be a good idea to break up the centre backs just yet.

    Give Dummett or Haidara a go at left back and switch Santon over I say

  • 2 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Some things I really don’t get…

    1 – why all the stress and pressure about Remy? We’ve got him on loan for a year, can’t we just enjoy his performances rather than turn it into a negative because he hasn’t signed permanently? It’s pretty obvious that with a potential rape case hanging over his head that a loan deal was the way to go.
    2 – I saw a laughable comment on an earlier page that we have a squad as good as Liverpool’s or Spurs’ and that it’s Pardew’s fault for us not pushing the top 4! That’s ridiculous! Try comparing our squad with theirs man for man and they are significantly better! That’s not to say we can’t beat them (obviously) and it’s not to say we can’t finish above them either, but they have better squads.

  • 3 Graeme // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Ed, option 2.

    We know Santon is good, but he cant play both full-back role’s – thats stretching him a bit thin lol

  • 4 Ibizatoon // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Have we cloned Santon Ed?

  • 5 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    I’d be reluctant to break up the centre backs, but if Colo is raring to go, I would be ok with Colo and Willo and move MYM to the left

    I don’t have a strong opinion on it though, we should be ok either way.

  • 6 Ibizatoon // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    TDSarf…The Remy issue is only really an issue as the fans have little to no faith that the club will be proactive and have a replacement for when or if he does leave at the end of the season.

    It’s simply a case of seeing the problem coming down the road.

  • 7 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:21 AM


    Agreed it is a modern day issue and its all mental rather then physical!! I remember when the youngsters didnt perform well in the U20′s or U21′s ENG they got slated by one of the coaches, a particular coach said the some of these per-madonnas think they have made and don’t need to perform, they are more interested in the cars they drive than playing for the national team!! Believe Ince was one of the lads in the firing line

    Santon Right back and Haidara at left back for me, but very concerned with the chances being created even in Chelsea game (debuchy’s block) and Mbiwa constantly putting his body in the way

  • 8 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:22 AM
    have only three players on injury list for the TOON and comeback dates:
    P Dummett Hamstring Injury 23rd Nov 13
    S Taylor Hamstring Injury 23rd Nov 13
    R Taylor ACL Knee Injury no return date

    Does this mean that Hiadara is fit/back in training – if so bring him in for Debuchy and if need be switch Santon from left back to right back and put Hiadara in at left back

  • 9 irish_mag // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    What about keep MYM and Willo in the centre, and bringing Colo in at right back? He’s played a bit there in the past.

    Also, the Norwich game is going to be my first trip to SJP for a NUFC game, so as long as we win, I don’t even mind if Shola plays right back!

  • 10 Levi // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Anita for me. i know he is best in midfield but he is a class rightback

  • 11 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:25 AM


    It’s that negativity that really gets me down.

    Some of the fans are making out that our transfer situation is somehow unique. That Arsenal fans didn’t spend ages crying out for a striker, that Liverpool fans complained about not having wingers, that Man City appear to be light a centre back.

    Fans are slating the club even when it’s undeserved. IF Remy goes then I will be disappointed and very disappointed if we don’t sign a replacement, it could wipe out the next season. But I also expect us to sign another striker in Jan, so that striker + a young and creative attacking midfielder/winger would be better than 1 Remy in my opinion. All 3 would be even better! :-)

  • 12 LEROI // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Pardew is kind of old school in a way and he will be reluctant to mess to much with a winning back 4. he will change 1 player for another if he can, so we may even see him pick out of our zone of reasonable tolerance and go with the actual substite right back Tavernier or he may have Steven Taylor in his lug begging to be given a shot at a position he played a few years ago.

  • 13 Ibizatoon // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    OurToon…It wasn’t that long ago that we were leaking goals for fun. I didn’t expect it to be a miraculous turnaround, so the fact that they’re battling as they are and coming out with clean sheets is a step in the right direction for me.

    Seem to remember reading that about the England unders. I’m not sure how the problem is dealt with now. It’s all well and good getting tough on them, but will you keep them at the club as there is always another option for them.

    A tough balancing act.

  • 14 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    For me leave the CB’s be, for colo to come back in you have to drop yanga, yanga is colo’s replacement so needs to play so for me they should stay, I’d simply put haidara/dummett LB and switch santoon

    With debuchy missing the game for me it’s key that sissoko has to retain his place and not start benny though

  • 15 south coast toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    id leave it as it is willo yang together its working so dont touch,maybe bring collo on for 20 mins at end of game, as for right back , can we not just put anita in there that way santon is left were he is with minimal disturbance to the defence, like to see dumment and harida on but cant help but think its to many changes at the back… yes id put anita there and he would get forward well at times…. we must try to keep everyone on the field in the positions they,ve been playin in lately to keep form going

  • 16 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Our toon
    I get what your saying but we were playing Chelsea and spurs, spurs have one of highest stats for chance creation this season and Chelsea are simply Chelsea, they will always find a way through
    The back four have been phenomenal lately and are throwing everything at the opposition and putting there bodies on the line

    Willo made some great blocks vs spurs and some brilliant interceptions vs chelski
    Teams will always carve out chances but the pressure coming from the CB’s at the moment mean there resorting to pot shots from distance and rushed efforts if they do break through

  • 17 Mint // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    I reckon Cisse could do a good job at the back. He stops us scoring every week at least.

  • 18 wynsleap // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Isn’t it amazing that we are all accepting Williamson back in the team now after all the stick he’s been given in the last season or two?
    Like Levi I’d like to see Anita at right back as I think it would be wrong to break up Willo and Yanga as they are doing so well at the moment. Colo will get back in when the time is right but not at the moment.
    Good to see we have good defensive options though with Dummett as well.
    Have to say that I am really impressed with Gouffran at present. His skill, running and tireless defensive covering were fantastic against Spurs on Sunday.
    Sissoko too seems to be getting his act together – it’s looking good.
    Just think where we’d be with an owner who cares.

  • 19 Ibizatoon // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    TDSarf…That is why I am so angry with Ashley. Granted there has always been some that have always been negative towards him, but for me and many others, it’s been a slow process of beating us down.

    For me, there is simply no need.

    I understand transfers aren’t always easy, especially when looking in the deal bin (that isn’t to say we don’t get good players, but there is usually a financial angle involved…which is fine if done right).

    I for one, don’t think wanting new players is unique to our club, of course it’s not. However, those clubs you mention didn’t spend nothing last summer, nor did they leave their squads grossly exposed when entering in to European football.

    I like the fact you’re positive about the January window. I don’t know how to call it tbh and thus find it hard to have any excitement. It’s not an arbitrary choice to have no faith, it’s a result of the clubs actions.

    That for me is one of the saddest aspects of this whole mess. Whether intentionally or not, the club has beaten the belief out of a lot of fans.

  • 20 G // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    With Santon covering both full back positions Ed (option 2 on the vote) we will be able to play an extra midfielder and completely dominate the game from begining to end. Genius.

  • 21 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Norwich game will be tough as I think they will come to defend and hit us on the counter attack. Don’t think it will be pretty and the fans will have to be patient as hopefully the TOON will have to grind out a win.

    West Brom will I think be a lot more open as they like to attack too!

  • 22 G // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    The idea above about playing Anita as RB has it’s merits. I haven’t seen him play there before, but his inteligent movement suggests he could cope there, plus its always nice to see an overlapping full back link up with a Winger (Prefferably in a movement that doesn’t leave us exposed at the back for a counter attack)

  • 23 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:03 PM


    I get that, I really do. I’m clearly in a very similar situation to you. I too was very disappointed we didn’t strengthen after we finished 5th and it’s very disappointing being 1 (and sometimes even 2) players short in a particular position.

    However, thinking about the 5th place finish a little more, I really think that we significantly overachieved then so to even maintain that position, we would have needed massive investment. From a fan’s perspective we all wanted that, but from the business’ perspective, it wasn’t in the plan so they didn’t do it.

    I think what they should have done was to use the enhanced status of the club to sign some really promising youngsters. Even if we’d finished in 10th place that season with those players, it would have been fine for me as we were then building for the future.

  • 24 DokToon // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    gmorning all..

    i had to vote for santon, mbiwa, willo and santon… heck of a back 3 plus one, lol…

  • 25 toonincheek // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Ibiza – spot on.
    “Tiredness is in the head”
    Not exclusively, but mental state is so important.

    That’s why AVB wanted to play it down as a factor – he didn’t want it to get into players minds to expect to be tired.
    That was a mistake that AP made.

    I recall in the SBR days, we had an excellent record in the weekend games following a mid-week European game.


  • 26 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    I would make 2 changes, obviously Debuchy being out is a hindrance….I’d put Haidara at left back and Santon RB, take Shola out of the team and play Benny or Cisse. Benny because Norwich should not dominate us like the last 2 teams have in previous 2 games, they will defend and we will need invention to break through. Although I believe Remy is not effective being up top by himself

    Cisse as a possibility because Haidara at LB and Santon at RB should mean he gets earlier crosses especially from LB rather than the player cutting back to use right foot it will be a natural left footer crossing, also Remy will benefit from either Cisse or Shola (prefer not) starting up top with him, that 2nd half the lad was so ineffective at retaining possession by being up top by himself!! We seem to have things going for us as they did when we finished 5th, dare I say we seem to have stumbled on a formation and tactics against bigger teams but the big question is how do we change things against the likes of Norwich, playing the same way won’t work!!

  • 27 Ibizatoon // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    TDSarf…I agree and disagree :) I don’t think it would have taken massive investment at all, just some forward planning like they had done the summer before.

    I think your point about it wasn’t in the plans is probably fairly accurate. It’s the inability to adapt that is so frustrating. Having a “plan” is all well and good, but there job / responsibility is to stay on top of it.

    I agree on the bringing in some younger players. Truth is, if we don’t want to pay over the odds, we’re going to need to take some more risks before their prices inflate.

    There just doesn’t seem to be too much care taken really, which simply leads me to think that they don’t care. Which is how we get on to the mid-table mediocrity discussion (no…not again!).

    A lot can change in football, so I’ll never say never, but I really struggle to see how Ashley is still taking the club forwards. In the meantime, whilst not all, I do believe a lot of the criticism the club is facing is more than justified. We can’t claim they handle things well, especially not criticism.

  • 28 Ibizatoon // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    toonincheek…Oh stop, you’re making me blush :)

  • 29 daztoon // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:15 PM


    Did Ashley replace your fence with a Sports Direct hoarding.

  • 30 kt97toonarmy // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Did anybody hear that we signed santons brother LOL

  • 31 Ibizatoon // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    daztoon… :)

  • 32 toonincheek // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Ibiza – Nah – you’ve just been out in the sun!

  • 33 Yohan Kebab // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    anita willo mbiwa santon
    sissoko tiote cabs gouff
    remy shola

    as least change as possible for me

  • 34 Ibizatoon // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    toonincheek…Quite possible, it has been delightful over here.

  • 35 kt97toonarmy // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    This is a weird season already we get beat off awful teams like hull nd scumberland nd beating chelsea nd Tottenham without conceding a goal. With this season being so unpredictable I can see us only getting a draw off Norwich I’m afraid. But I hope I’m wrong

    I’m gutted about debuchy he’s been outstanding for us last few games but I hope the team against Norwich is the following

    Ben arfa

    A 4-3-1-2 formation I think it wud work for us juventus use it to great effect.

  • 36 Blofal // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Haidara. And who knows… if Santon may even play well in his correct position!

  • 37 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:36 PM


    Don’t forget that our squad is actually a lot stronger than it was when we finished 5th. We just managed that because key players were on top form AND barely got injured.

    I think we would have a chance of top 6 with just about 3 key players mind you. But I think we will have gradual progression to avoid going into more debt.

    I think we can look at things optimistically now though, certainly as far as the playing squad goes. I just think we need to have realistic expectations. 8th would be decent.

  • 38 ilovetoon8788 // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Mbiwa and Williamson are the best partnership pairing as of now. No reason to disrupt the spine at the back. We should instead bring Haidara or Dummett or play Anita at left back.

  • 39 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Not being harsh on Anita but he shouldn’t be anywhere near the full back positions, especially when we have full backs at the club that can cover. Anita at left back made a huge error in trying a drag back trick against Zabaleta in cup game….got tackled and cost us the first goal (game)!! Bottom line the lad does well filling in these positions when we have injuries but natural players for natural positions please!! We tinker enough with the starting 11, Sissoko coming out and saying he’s never played so offensively in his career, that’s his reason for inconsistency!!

  • 40 martoon // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    wynsleap @18 – It is also amazing after Pardew was hammered on here for playing Sissoko on the wing with everybody insisting he is a CM everybody’s team lineups now have him on the wing!

  • 41 Yohan Kebab // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    our toon

    anita was a lb for the whole of his career up until the january before he joined us,as far as im aware

    all fullbacks make mistakes

  • 42 Jail for Ashley // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    @23 and 37,
    Same old tired arguments, you keep insisting that it would have taken massive investment that summer, when how about paying the going rate for Douglas and Debuchy instead of buying Anita, a cracking player who couldn’t get a game, the difference between getting those two would have made Simpsons, Rtaylor and Wilo and Collos injuries not so devastating, it would have given Cabaye a huge lift hVing his best pal here as well, and the only bloody reason the squad appears stronger now than when we finished fifth is because we were almost relegated and the money that should have been spent in the summer was spent six months too late.

  • 43 DokToon // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    dummett would be good there, i agree, get him some play.

  • 44 Jail for Ashley // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Back on topic, Anita had a cracking game at RB against QPR last season, never mind all fhis breaking up parnterships and putting the lightning quick Collo in at RB, we have little Vurn ready to wirk his socks off no matter where he’s asked to play.

  • 45 toon4me // Nov 12, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    Couldn’t it be Anita (RB) Yanga (CB) Williamson (CB) Santon (LB)
    or Colo instead of Yanga

  • 46 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Yohan Kebab

    In the 2009–10 season Anita became a first team regular under new head coach Martin Jol. Because of a suspension of Urby Emanuelson and a long-time injury of Thimothée Atouba, Anita was posted as a left back. Jol was satisfied with his performance and continued to let him play as a left back for most of the season. His good performances also led to his debut at the Dutch national team but as a Defensive Midfielder.

    The 2010–11 season started as the previous season ended with Anita playing most matches as a left back. Jol left Ajax in December 2010 and was replaced by Frank de Boer. He believed Anita should play as a defensive midfielder rather than left back. As a consequence, Anita had to compete with other midfielders for his place in the starting line-up. He successfully did so and managed to play most matches. Anita only filled in at left back initially because of injuries but throughout the youth set-up and for national team he has played as a Defensive Midfielder, Jol left Ajax because they were awful…first thing De Boer did was revert Anita back to his normal position

  • 47 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:05 PM


    Yes, we could and should have signed players like Douglas and Debuchy. I still don’t think we would have got top 6 though, but I do think we’d have got 7th or 8th with a chance of top 6 if any of those teams slipped up.

  • 48 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    What would it say to the likes of Dummett and Haidara if we start playing makeshift fullbacks instead of natural ones? If Vernon was a natural full back then I’d say throw him in, the isnt a natural full back, remember this is a lad who wanted assurances as to what his position should be before joining us!! He didnt want to play full back unless it was absolutely necessary

  • 49 Ibizatoon // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    TDSarf…Just highlights my problem with our transfer policy. It’s not the players that we do get in, just the timing of them.

    If we didn’t have all of the other misdirections and lies (yes, the club have lied to us) then we wouldn’t have such a great barrier between the board and fans and it’d make the task of waiting to see a plan come together more manageable.

    It all boils down to our tied discussion, of which we both agree on, that the clubs communication is pathetic. Sort out that issue and we may me able to move forward. Granted it’s going to be difficult now.

  • 50 Ibizatoon // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:19 PM


  • 51 Maladoni 69 // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Santon Santon Santon Santon
    Santon Santon Santon
    Santon Santon

    None of your false no 9 rubbish there.

  • 52 martoon // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    I seem to remember when Anita signed there were rumours that he didn’t want to play at left back and Pardew had promised to play him in midfield. I would worry about Anita at left back because the opposition will target him by pulling the strikers out wide and playing high balls – I know I would if I was an opposition manager.

  • 53 geordie157 // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Santon right back haidara left back if fit.

    has Obertan moved ahead of Marveaux? Marvs not injured from what I can tell, wonder if its for tactical reasons as Obertan offers us a threat on the break in the last ten mins of games, although Sammy could surely do that role.

    When’s Jonas back, would strengthen the bench further.

  • 54 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:29 PM


    Completely agree. Regardless of the decisions made by the club, some of the fans seem to find a reason to take a negative view. That’s because those responsible at the club have failed to cultivate that crucial relationship with the fans, which is very sad.

    So, our most passionate and vocal fans used to be shouting about unrealistic expectations, now they’re shouting about how terrible everything is. Neither helps really!

    I don’t even think the club has lied any more than any other club to be honest. The only significant lie I can think of is when the club backed KK’s assertion that he had the final say on transfers. Yet some fans also blame the club for saying Carroll wouldn’t be sold, when every club will have said that before the player is sold.

    Like you said, it’s really sad that we’re in this position due to pathetic communication with the fans.

  • 55 cyprus // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    I voted option 2 as well. Yes, Santon is that good! And he will be attacking as well, from both flanks.

  • 56 pottsclock // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    A leg on each side of the pitch at the back from Santon should cover things nicely, though I don’t envy the CBs in that formation !

  • 57 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    We overachieved when we finished 5th and it would have taken massive investment to maintain that position, so the sensible thing for Ashley to do at that time was to make little to no investment?

    I’ve heard it all now.

  • 58 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    Think people are failing to consider Gouffran’s influence on Santon’s flank. Santon cannot defend, simple as.

    Without Debuchy on the right, I think we will be a lot looser defensively if Santon is switched over.

  • 59 CramlingtonMag // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    For me, definitely switch Santon to right back and bring in Haidara or Dummett (whoever is fit). I believe whenever possible we should play people in their natural position.
    Also I would really like to see Ben Arfa back in the side for Ameobi for the next game. Obviously we have won our last two games but the mentality will be very different against Norwich. We should switch to 433, dominate possession and look to win comfortably. Too often we stick to whichever tactics did well last, rather than what is appropriate for the game ahead.

  • 60 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:51 PM


    I think Santon is better defensively than Debuchy, although both full backs arent great, last season Santon scored from Right back against Wigan but defensively he looks more comfortable at right back

  • 61 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    Cramlington Mag!!

    Exactly what I said mate. Completely agree with you

  • 62 Ibizatoon // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    TDSarf…At the end of the day, it’s kind of the fans job to have unrealistic expectations for their team. They should always want it to be the best.

    What other clubs do, shouldn’t be too much of a concern for us, other than to gauge where we are and perhaps what we could be doing better.

    In the past, the club and fans alike have used the Arsenal model…and it’s a good one tbh.

    People will say that they haven’t spent well and that their fans were up in arms for years, which is true.

    They did however put a lot of time, money and effort in to their youth program which has managed to keep them competitive.

    We seem to be skipping that part of the process, although once again, I realise this will take time. The effort does seem lacking though.

    I am really at the stage where I don’t think Ashley has any long term plans for the club. I’m not sure If I’m reading too much in to small details due to hope, but I feel we’re starting to see the Ashley exit strategy.

    My call would be that in either January or next summer we see some cheaper, but promising imports arrive. A couple of purples moving on. A chunk of Ashleys debt to be repaid and then maybe, the club being put back up for sale when it is a little more affordable.

    We shall see though, I would imagine it may take a year or two to get the debt sorted, but the SKY money will help.

  • 63 Ted Bundy // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Anita RB Haidara LB.

    Santon is a cack fullback. Hesitant, doesn’t get stuck into tackles, weak in the air, often caught flat-footed which means he hardly ever stops crosses coming in, because the winger always gets a comfortable yard to whip their ball in, positionally poor and too casual in possession. Yeah, he can dribble a bit, but so what, doesn’t ever produce anything at the end of them, then is a slouch recovering his position.

  • 64 Ted Bundy // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Our Toon

    You’re either blind or a football illiterate.

  • 65 Ted Bundy // Nov 12, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Our Toon

    You’re either blind or a football illiterate..

  • 66 Black and White with an army lol // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    simple really

    Santon, Willo, MYM, haidara/Dummet

  • 67 pottsclock // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Brownlie left back. Blackley right back. Those were the days.
    Where is he? Not seen any comments from him for ages..

  • 68 G // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    There seems to be an awful lot of confusion about who is and isn’t injured. If he’s fit Haidara plays LB, and Santon plays RB. If Haidara is knackered, then Santon at LB, plug the gap at RB with somebody else, possibly Anita, possibly somebody else, who knows. Shame to shift Willo and Yanga about for no reason. Whilst they still look uncomfortable together, it seems to have worked in the last two games. Don’t mess with it, I’m supersticious.

  • 69 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Santon is not defensively better than Debuchy. Even when Debuchy was struggling to find his feet he was still better defensively than Santon.

    When Haidara gets fit again I would slot him straight in for Santon. Dummett has only played in a few PL games and he looks a better shout at LB than Santon. What does Santon offer? Nothing as far as I can see.

  • 70 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Thanks Ted,

    Guess Mourinho and other managers are as well when it comes to Santon, You state one of your reasons for Santon not being at full back is because you think he is weak in the air. You want Anita at full back (Not his natural position) smallest player we have and will get dominated in the air, your calling me blind or football illiterate? Haha

    Yes let’s play someone who “can do a job” at fullback instead of actual fullbacks brilliant, throw into the mix that the lad doesn’t want to play at full back and you have a genius plan. Sure you’re not pards in disguise? Anita is someone who likes to play probing passes, is all about ball retention…his defensive and offensive side of full back play will never be as good as the fullback we have nor will he be positionally. I suggest you look at yourself and educate yourself first before calling others my friend!!

  • 71 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    I think Santon is better at RB then LB, Debuchy will always dive into a tackle and cannot player against a pacey winger, Santon isnt much better but doesnt dive in needlessly

  • 72 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Our Toon

    Giving reasons why Anita shouldn’t play at full back is not the same as justifying Santon’s place there. Santon is a tidy footballer, but a terrible defender. Offers no protection, does not know how to retain position, close down the crosser, put in a tackle. In short, he possesses none of the skills required of a defender.

  • 73 catchy in norway // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:14 PM


    we have had santon as a RW a few times, and when he has played there he has done well,

    I don’t think he is a bad LB, I think he is an athlete that gets up and down,

    but as with many of our player , there not in there best positions, so they wont shine

  • 74 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Our Toon

    I suggest you take a look at the first goal we conceded against Everton. It was directly a result of Santon diving in needlessly. In fact Santon always dives in needlessly, it’s one of his major flaws.

  • 75 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:17 PM


    Santon does not provide enough defensively to warrant playing at LB, nor does he provide enough offensively to warrant playing on the wing.

    In short, I don’t think his performances warrant his place in the team.

  • 76 lesh // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Off topic, a repost from Ed’s article about the possibility if signing Incs……

    C’mon Ed, get a grip on reality man!

    Of course we’d all like to think that this deal and others are already ‘signed’ and set for formalising on January 1st. Now Remy’d be a real scoop but…

    Let’s not run away with dreams of our DoF being in charge of well-of machine that’s been working quietly behind the scenes, after all friend Kinnear won’t be working much more than half days – by the time he pulls himself out of his unconsciousness and focuses his eyes!

    ‘Judge me by my signings’ said the great man. Well, this window’s his chance to prove himself and justify his own bullschidt!

  • 77 lesh // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Option two in the poll suggests we’ve git two Santons on the books. When did Joe slip the other one in?

  • 78 G // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Nicely put Lesh. I bet JK is kicking himself for not getting that Fergusson bloke in from Birmingham, as he could have probs played LB, and we could have moved Santon to RB? lol

  • 79 catchy in norway // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:29 PM


    if we went down that road, there are many in our squad in the same boat,

  • 80 Robin // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    definitely option 2, 2 santons are great.

  • 81 G // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Perhaps it’s just Ed’s sensative way of pointing out that Santon has a dual personality dissorder?

  • 82 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:37 PM


    Trouble is, Santon does a good job in tricking people into thinking he is a good defender. He is a good footballer but a hapless defender. Williamson has more natural defensive instinct than Santon, and I really do not rate Williamson.

  • 83 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    Maybe I’m the only one who shuddered at the prospect of 2 Santons…

  • 84 catchy in norway // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:38 PM


    I could also argue that Santon is out of position to often trying to do the job of a winger and a defender, and really not doing well at both,

    to play wing backs ,( which is what we do) you need 3 CB we play with 2, both debuchy and santon are always up and down, mainly looking out of position

    we could ccould talk about sissoko as a right winger, IMO he will never be one, but pardew puts him there, we get nothing out of him there

  • 85 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:39 PM


    We tried Anita at full back last yr and that wasn’t a success!! Based on what you have stated my friend none of the players warrant being in the first team!! Santon was the only bright spark in last seasons debacle!! Debuchy has had a couple of decent games and we all get carried away!! It’s what they do over a season that’s more important rather than what they do over a couple of games!!

  • 86 catchy in norway // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:41 PM


    i agree in a way

    i agree 100% about Williamson, not good, against Chelsea, he had 5 ariel duals, and lost 3, tallest man on the pitch :(

  • 87 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Our Toon

    Santon was a bright spark? I suggest you look at the vast majority of games in the 2nd half of last season where Santon was abysmal.

    I am not suggesting playing Anita at RB, I’m suggesting dropping Santon as he is dreadful.

    Not to be pedantic, but my name is spelt Ciaran.

  • 88 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Only brazil allow both fullback to attack together, look at the way we set up, logic is that when one full back attacks the other should sit….balance which is important, when our fullbacks attack they do it together hence both getting caught out on numerous occasions!! All fingers point back at management!! We have fullbacks that attack can’t defend and wingers that are more defensive minded than attack minded!! Says it all really

  • 89 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:44 PM


    Santon does not play the job of winger. Gouffran was left wing against Spurs and he was doing the job of defending Townsend as well as attacking, a job he did superbly. In the 2nd half, the only time Spurs looked threatening was when they focused in on Santon at LB.

    He is a liability, I would drop Santon before I would drop Williamson at this rate.

    NB – I do not think Williamson is good, merely a reference to how bad I think Santon is.

  • 90 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Gouffran got an assist on Sunday, and defended and attacked in equal measure. Debuchy managed to get up and down the wing really well. It’s a case of Santon not being able to defend.

    Let’s not complicate things.

  • 91 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Yes 2nd half of season he was awful but please tell me who was really good? Or even average? 1st half of last season the lad was really good!! Everyone on here was raving about him!! Playing players out of position is a big issue for me, Anita is not a full back and never will be a full back!!

    Apologies for spelling your name incorrectly, typing on my mobile

  • 92 G // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Just out of interest Ciaran, who would you play as regular LB instead of Santon? I agree that Santon is limited, however, I also feel you are being a little bit harsh on him. I see him as the best of a bad bunch, rather than the cream that floats on top of the jar of p**s.

  • 93 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Well it’s strange how you asked us to assess a player based on an entire season, and having done that I still feel able to say he was terrible.

    I was never raving about Santon because Santon has never been able to defend. He has always been a defensive liability, but people look at his skill on the ball and assume he’s brilliant. Football is a simple game, but some people are too easily hoodwinked. A full back is judged on a number of things – positioning, ability to get up and down the wing, ability to close down the crosser. Santon fails in all these categories.

  • 94 Ciaran // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Haidara and Dummett both deserve an extended run in the team to see if they are better options. From what little I have seen of both of them, I think they would be better, more balanced full backs than Santon has ever been.

    It’s not hard to improve upon rubbish.

  • 95 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Yes Gouffran had a really good game!! The lad also got an assist!! An assist which came from? The centre of the pitch!! In a central position!! Not from the wing, gouffran doesn’t stay out wide though, when we attack he moves around away from the left often which means the full back has to attack!! Defensively he stays in his posiiton

  • 96 catchy in norway // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:55 PM


    its not about complicating things, football is simple really, score more than the other team,

    I don’t think we get the best out of our players, santon being only one of many,

    I think it is unfair to single him out, I think he has something to offer the team, unlike someone like obertan, who has nothing both you and me couldn’t offer
    well he is faster, but not with the ball, hmmm is he even a footballer

    for parts of last year he was man of the match, many times, and rightly so,
    for me he needs a regular winger in front of him, to learn when to help him, other than that stay back,

  • 97 Yohan Kebab // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    colo willo mbiwa
    debuchy cabaye sissoko tiote santon
    gouffran remy

    we could try doing a liverpool…

  • 98 Ted Bundy // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Being unable to win headers because you’re 5’7″ and unable to win headers because you’re a 6′+ wuss are two completely different things. Anita would be more effective in aerial duels, purely because he has bottle, will use his body and won’t yield as easily as flimsy Santon.

    That’s without taking the rest of my points into consideration. When Gouffran was slipped by a pass against Tootenham, Santon was as much use as a chocolate fireguard and in the last 15 just conceded that he was useless and tucked in, allowing them free reign to ping balls into our box.

    Overrated in the extreme, based on his performances.

    I’m sorry if I base my assessments on what I see, and not what Mourinho saw in a different league some years ago – like he’s an infallible oracle anyway.

  • 99 Belfast // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Haidara left back and Santon right back. Just keep the same centre back pairing. I still think Mbiwa looks far more solid alongside Williamson.

  • 100 G // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Dummet is too inexperienced, and should only be deployed in a subs role to aid his development. Look what happened after the Liverpool game, he looked great there, put away a great goal, then in the next game he was responsible for at least one clear shot which led to a goal, deffo not a regular LB, or indeed a regular starter… yet. As for Haidara, I agree that he looks like a class LB, however, he’s been unlucky with injuries so we cant get a regular run of games out of him. From what I have seen, he looks the part, but I still wouldn’t drop Santon for him just yet.

  • 101 Tsunki // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    Might be having Mbiwa and colo together is like having two drivers in one car. Doesn’t matter though as I am sure colo is back in and mbiwa goes right.

    So sayeth the Turkey People.

  • 102 lesh // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Artnoon Ibiza, you well and hopefully vigilantly looking out for stray bikinis. You must have a hard life being at it 24/7.

    Your point @6 and it simply being a case of seeing the [Remy replacement] problem coming down the road.

    In principle yes but given that Kinnear hardly awake ’til midday at least, let alone know where he is and what day it is, he’s hardly going to be able see a road let alone what’s on it!

    Given your always on-the-job dedication, Kinnear needs a lesson or two from you ir someone like you. Then you can fail him on his assessment and recommend him for a post that requires his aptitude and abilities. That’ll be a tricky but give it your best shot between bikinis!

  • 103 DokToon // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    are two santons worth two ameobis is the real question we should be discussing though…

  • 104 G // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    “give it your best shot between bikinis!” Enough of the football chatter, lets talk about that instead!

  • 105 DokToon // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:30 PM


    i dont knwo about when you drive, but when the wife is in the car, she is always right seat drivign lol

  • 106 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Agreed Catchy and G

    Dummett was at fault for the 2nd goal In Liverpool game don’t know where debuchy was when Suarez ran onto the ball to cross from the right and if dummett had followed Sturridge instead of stopping and hold ing his hand up for offside he would have been in front of there goalscorer!! Couple of errors there

  • 107 Belfast // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    I’d have to agree Skunki. Williamson and Mbiwa look a good fit. Willamson actually looks like he’s improved a bit.

  • 108 MNTOONARMY9 // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Why not Anita at RB? If no one else mentioned can go, it would get him on the field and I think he has always been a servicable outside back.

    Of course it limits your ability to use him at as a sub at 60 minutes…but the way that Tiote and Cabaye are playing centrally, maybe we could spare him there.

    Mbiwa would be my best option, with Colo returning to CB.

  • 109 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Dok…in Britain the wife is left seat driving isn’t she? ;)

  • 110 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Ibiza lives in Bikini Bottom so he is always in between bikinies ;)

  • 111 Belfast // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    I’ve a funny feeling Ibiza is a bus driver from Leeds who’s never even been to Ibiza.

  • 112 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    …and who drives the venga bus right ;)

  • 113 Klatoon // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Haidara LB, much needed balance down our left that we have not had since Enrique. Might even improve Goof’s offensive play having a willing outside runner behind him for a change.

  • 114 Belfast // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    Nope Jesper.
    Just the normal public transport bus drinking yorkshire tea.

  • 115 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    and here I thought that might be why he called himself Ibiza :(

    …is he eating yorkshire pudding as well?

  • 116 Belfast // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Only on Sundays Jesper.

  • 117 catchy in norway // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    who else thinks Liverpool and spurs have Better squads than us ,

    we played them both , and I think they have one or 2 great players for sure , Suarez would walk into most teams around the world, but the rest arnt top draw players

  • 118 John Tudor // Nov 12, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    pardew be a devil and play 3@ the back, collo,willo, mbiwa

  • 119 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Catchy…most people who are not bias ;)

  • 120 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    Belfast… Did you hear about the dog up north who blew himself up?

  • 121 catchy in norway // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:05 PM


    who would you swap from there teams ?

  • 122 catchy in norway // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    spurs without bale are just average

  • 123 John Tudor // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    collo willo mbiwa
    anita sissoko tiote santon
    remy cisse goofy
    subs cabeye sammi etc etc

  • 124 tequilamag // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    Catchy on the contrary Spurs have a great team, just a poor manager. Now where have I heard that before.

  • 125 John Tudor // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    krul left out to recharge same with cabeye

  • 126 lesh // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    G @103

    Best be careful not to step on Ibiza’s toes – he’s the world’s number one on bikinis!

  • 127 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    Catchy…I think both their teams are more balanced and they both switch players when playing different teams, we only seem to that when someone plays bad!

    …plus we don’t know what to do with flair players so no point taking any of their players ;)

  • 128 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:51 PM

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

    home page

    The Newcastle United Blog header image 2 StatCounter – Free Web Tracker and Counter
    Howay The Lads!!

    ? Who Comes In For Debuchy Against Norwich City?
    At Top Clubs – Players Work Their Socks Off For The Team
    4:38 pm, Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 by Ed Harrison · 5 Comments

    When you see the best club teams in the world, what is very apparent rather quickly is that the players work their socks off for the side, and even more so when they don’t have the ball, and a great example of that is the world’s best player – Argentine Lionel Messi, who has world-class skills, but that doesn’t stop him from working like hell for both Barcelona and Argentina.

    ben arfa runs wirth ball

    Hatem Ben Arfa – Newcastle’s Lionel Messi

    And one criticism of Hatem Ben Arfa when he plays for Newcastle, is that he doesn’t work hard enough, especially in tracking back for the side.

    Alan Shearer has been interviewed on talkSport today, and he talked about Ben Arfa currently being out of the Newcastle side, that has done so well in the last couple of games:

    “I understand because he is not going to give you 100% work-rate and when you go to Tottenham and play Chelsea, you understand you are not going to have as much possession as those guys, and you have got to have 11 guys who are going to work very, very hard for you.”

    “He won’t work hard for you.” “He will give you other things when you are playing the lesser teams, and he will produce fantastic finishes and goals and passes, but work-rate is not what you can associate with him.”

    “You should never praise anyone for hard work because it should be a given.” “He doesn’t work as hard as others but he has got other skills that others haven’t.”

    Alan is spot on about Ben Arfa, and certainly with the best European sides, working hard is a given – otherwise your are not in the team – it’s as simple as that.

    And all you can do with Ben Arfa is to get him to work harder than he used to – and Alan Pardew has already done that – but as Alan Shearer says – in very tough games, he can be a bit of a liability.

    But we are not writing Ben Arfa off at all, don’t get us wrong, and he still has a big part to play for Newcastle, and he can score those amazing goals, when class is the difference in a close game.

    So we do expect Ben Arfa to get a run out in our next home game against Norwich City, because he could be the difference in say the second half.

    What you have to do is use the ability that players already possess, and to an extent turn a blind eye to some of their deficiencies.

    For instance you don’t want to tell Gareth Bale (or Ben Arfa for that matter) he cannot touch the ball with his left foot from now on, because his right foot is the weak one, and the goal is to make him better with his right foot. :(

    Use the skills the players have naturally – and with Ben Arfa we’ve already seen some magnificent individual goals from this lad, and he’s the type of player who can get fans to the games and then get them out of their seats.

    And he’s a Newcastle player too. :D

    What do you think?

    Ian Begg is a reader who recently found out that his Mom was very ill, and he has to return to Australia. Ian has a Platinum Club season ticket that has £700 left on it, and he is willing to sell it for £650 or a best offer.

    Please see if you can help Ian out, and you can contact him by email at – thanks.

    Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and +1 on us on Google+

    Tags: Coaching · Hatem Ben Arfa · Newcastle News · Premier League

    5 responses so far ?

    1 G // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    HBA isn’t the first Frenchman to be guilty of this. To be fair though, based purely on skill and ability HBA is still in a league of his own at the toon.

    2 MosesNUFC // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    My team for norwich:

    M’Biwa Williamson_____Coloccini Santon

    Sissoko Cabaye___________Tiote Gouffran

    __________Ben Arfa_________________


    I’d play ben arfa in a free role because i think thats his best position. But remember, norwich is just as hard as spurs, they will come here and look to get a result for hughton, we need to be strong, smart and not get complacent.

    Transferwise in january, we need a centre back, a winger, remy on a perm and another striker and possibly a playmaker (as cabaye may leave) Kurt Zouma, Tom Ince, Jay Rodriguez, Adam Lallana and Loic Remy would do me. But sadly, only with Damien Comolli and Mansour will we be able to get those players. JFK will probably sell cabaye, krul and benny and buy no one because no one will want to do business with him, plus he’s a crap businessmen anyway.

    3 G // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    @Moses, in fairness JFK said we should judge him on his signings. Can you honestly say that he made any bad signings? Seriously speaking though, from that list of players you put there, I would take your hand off for Lallana.

    4 p // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Don’t know what you do with this guy? Undoubted rare talent but, is a luxury and to be honest tries to do too much.

    High quality coaching is probably what he needs to realise his true potential. He won’t find that at Newcastle any time soon.

    On balance, they are doing the right thing with him, making him earn his place in the squad and dropped when he does not deliver. Plus, they would sell him at a drop of a hat if a good offer came in. There are unfortunately other clubs and managers that could extract more value from him.

    5 Our Toon // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:49 PM


    Sorry mate but Liverpool and Spurs defo have better squads than us, Spurs first: let these new signings settle for spurs they will start getting results. AVB isn’t a poor manager but he certainly wants the team to play in certain ways, Townsend, Dawson, Vertonghen, Sandro, Dembele, Defoe are just a few of there players who I think would walk into our team I haven’t included the new lads they’ve bought as they need to settle for them but have no doubt Lamela who is highly rated in Argentina, Eriksson who will come good and Soldado who will eventually come good (Like Giroud) Paulinho is the only one who has settled in straight away and looks class

  • 129 Abbott // Nov 12, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    Do not break the center backs.

    I would rather see either Anita or Steven Taylor as RB

  • 130 tbpierrot // Nov 12, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Of the formations listed, Mbiwa-Colo-Willo-Santon seems best to me, but alternatively we have arguably our most in form non-starter ideally placed to fill the gap. A back four of Anita-Mbiwa-Willo-Santon could be interesting, with Sissoko covering Anita should be fine and it would give him 90 minutes to continue his good form. Either way works for me, but we should really not even consider switching Santon to right-back when the alternatives are bringing in either Colo or Anita.

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