Things Are Changing At Newcastle – For The Better

Steven Taylor has not played since that first half at Manchester  City on Monday, August 19th, when he was sent off, and at least in the first half our defense just couldn’t hold the City attack, and Mathieu Debuchy had an awful game.

Steven Taylor wonga +C7Aj2wXICAsm

Steven Taylor in action this season

Of course with Yohan Cabaye refusing to play because of the Arsenal interest, we have to think some of the Newcastle players, like Debuchy, were affected by that.

But in the last few games the defense seems to have gained a new found resilience and strength,  with Mike Williamson and Yanga-Mbiwa   both playing very well indeed, and at the start of the season were second choice to Fab Coloccini and Steven Taylor in central defense.

Mike wasn’t even in some of the initial match day squads, and Mapou had some poor games – like that first half at Everton.

But both players are excellent professionals, and Mike Williamson stuck in and kept his head down in training, and Mapou learned from the mistakes he had made – and both have come back as better players, and that’s to their credit.

And Mathieu Debuchy in the last few games has looked like one of the best right backs in the Premier League.

In fact Alan Pardew can play two different sets of back four and both are strong:

Debuchy Coloccini Taylor Santon

Dummett Williamson  Yanga-Mbiwa Haidara

What the best four is these days at Newcastle is anybody’s guess, but it’s hard to see Williamson or Yanga-Mbiwa not playing,  given the form they are in at the moment.

This is all very good for Newcastle, because as we’ve seen in the last few games, that competition for places makes out players play at their very best – since they want to keep their starting positions.

This all sounds very good to us.

Comments welcome.

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 £550 or a best offer.

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

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27 comments so far

  • Ciaran

    Nov 13, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #1

    For God sake Ed. Nonsense.

  • IPToon

    Nov 13, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #2

    Ever since Mike Williamson came in !!!
    who would have thought Mike would have such an impact. Coloccini and Mbiwa have both got there fans but the truth is they both play best alongside Williamson. Why? because he wins a lot in the air and he doesnt do anything stupid, he just gets in position and stays there. He knows he isnt quick so tries not to get caught out and if he is in trouble he will just hoof it. No nonsense. Unfortunately Mbiwa, Coloccini and Taylor all do some strange things at times so they just need a steady ship alongside them. Mbiwa’s pace alongside Williamson is good. It should really be Taylor doing what Williamson is doing but unfortunately he is prone to a stupid mistake.
    Thank you Mike Williamson

  • martoon

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #3

    Ed as much as I love your Blog you really do have to drag up some non-stories when there is an international break. What about a poll which Newcastle player has the best fashion sense 😉

  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #4

    Our season is over if France get knocked out of the WC.

    Les Sulks will take some motivating if they lose.

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #5

    There’s no one more dapper dressed than Monsieur Kebab
    No poll needed 😉

  • pottsclock

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #6

    A poll on best WAG would be good?

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #7

    That ones easy, surely it’s Ibiza? 😉

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #8

    So Mike Williamson has gone 4 games without playing terrible and Shola has participated in two unlikely victories. I don’t think either are linked with our good form.

    For one, if it wasn’t for Krul, we would have been beaten 5-1 by Spurs so I don’t think you can heap praise on MW for being on the same pitch as Krul.

    I think if Taylor or Colo had been playing results would be identical.


    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #9

    why is this nonsense exactly? what points do you disagree with?

    im guessing you are just looking for a reaction rather than actually commenting on whats written as Ed is right. Things do look better and the team looks more settled. Our players are settling in and looking better game by game (Sissoko / Yanga / Gouffran / Debuchy) Ben Arfa being benched plays a big part in us looking tighter defensively as Gouffran and Sissoko, for all they add going forward, dont half work hard when we dont have the ball.
    I actually question whether Ben Arfa has the motivation to be as good as he could be. Talks like he does but fails to show it too often for me.

  • Ibizatoon

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #10

    Tads…Do you care to explain yourself good sir? 🙂

  • croftus5678

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #11

    apart from the first few games when he first joined us i have always thought williamson is championship lvl at best !
    this season however i’ve completely changed my mind “atm” as he’s by far our best cb and is bringing the best out of mbiwa now by the looks of it.

    keep the lad in play mbiwa along side him (as we dont know how much longer collo will be with us) and if mbiwa has a bad game change him for 3rd choice collo.

  • RonVanDam

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #12

    Ed stop making things up before you get banned for spamming lol

    Maybe review our season so far in your next article.

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #13

    We both know it! You and obertan look great together!

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #14

    Bit late maybe’s
    Ed –
    Back four vote for Norwich game –
    didn’t know we had two Santon’s at the club

  • Ciaran

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #15


    It’s a non-story. He has effectively reviewed 2 games and claiming that our season is now looking up on the back of it?

    Does that mean that the other 9 games of the season did not happen? Does it mean that the off-field circus that Mike Ashley has concocted has not happened?

    It’s nonsense, and that is all that needed saying.

  • Ibizatoon

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #16

    I’ll write up our season review so far.

    Inconsistency. Some great battles, some poor battles. Win the games we expect to lose, lose the games we expect to win. Done.

    Tads…You’re dead to me.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #17

    Seasons write up – spot on – ecstatic, depressed, happy, sad, frustrated, brilliant.
    Been a roller coaster – Thats why I have enjoyed this season along with the team playing better football

  • Ibizatoon

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #18

    Charlie…The roller coaster that is Newcastle United. Who would have it any other way? 🙂

  • IPToon

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #19

    Mbiwa & Coloccini together – both get beaten in the air a lot and arent the strongest, we look under pressure from any ball in the box or long ball. Both often wonder a bit as well. They cant play alongside each other in our team / tactics! We dont dominate games, we often come under a lot of pressure so cant afford to have these two alongside each other. They both need a no nonsense steady player alongside them who doesnt do anything stupid and will win headers. Our only defender who does that is Mike Williamson. Im not saying Mike is amazing as to be honest he isnt, far from it. He is an honest pro who knows his weaknesses and doesnt get caught out. Change the tacticts to play a high line and press the other team more and coloccini and mbiwa would be the better option, but this isnt what we do so steady Mike it is for the minute.

  • croftus5678

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #20

    luuk de jong is being forced out by the looks of it and we are apparently looking at loaning with a view !!!

    but would he be any good for the prem if he’s no good in germany ??? wouldnt mind a swap with cisse though (even though i know it would never happen.

  • low fell mag

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #21

    Ciatan, what about Newcastle lie 9th in the Premier.
    You sad negative ,miserable little slug.

  • Ciaran

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #22

    What is it about my name that people struggle with? It’s spelt Ciaran.

    Since when is 9th a good start to the season? It’s distinctly average.

  • cyprus

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #23

    I guess someone must tell it to you straight: There’s only one Santon in the team, good though he is.

    I’m going to agree here in this article with you. Our back 5 (including goalie, given our last game!) is not too bad and if one player has a stinker, then others can take over. For instance, Taylor was a given starter before and I really think he should only be retained as a token Geordie. He was ok to begin with but he hasn’t improved. It’s probably down to his injuries. Which is the main reason he should only be a squad member. Pity, but true.


    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #24


    I can spell you name mate!

    Fair play, non story but some agreeable points.

    I also agree that 9th is an average start and that if we spent on the few players i was suggesting all last year / summer we could easily be sat in Southamptons shoes.
    They also work so f***ing hard, something i think we are looking to adopt. Quite why we need to lose to a terrible Sunderland team before deciding more effort is needed is beyond me! Too many lazy performances this year, tactically from Pardew and from the players on the pitch.

  • croftus5678

    Nov 13, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #25

    @22 Ciaran

    your right it is avg.

    the reason i’m glad about the start is that (with the addition of remy only) we have the same team that almost got relegated last season yet we look completely different from the stay back for 90 mins team we was and that i’m no longer looking at the bottom 3 and thinking we need X team to lose ! its more like “if manu lose and we win” ect ect

    no excuses though if we had made or even make in jan the right signings i’m sure it would win a lot more fans over.

  • toonincheek

    Nov 13, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #26

    Hey you Guys,

    We’ve won two games we really should have lost (on paper) and lost two games (ditto) we should have won.

    So, overall, our start is really pretty much par, making no mistakes.

    Ciaran – do you really want to start the spelling game?
    Can you not see that the ‘t’ and ‘r’ on the keyboard can lead to a typo?

  • AmericanGeordie

    Nov 13, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #27

    I understand the logic of not wanting to break up a central defensive pairing coming off two straight clean sheets.

    But c’mon, can anyone tell me with a straight face that a Colo-M’Biwa pairing wouldn’t be far better than Williamson-M’Biwa? Please? Enough already. If Colo is fit he comes straight into the squad for me over big Mike.


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