Round Pegs In Square Holes Again At Newcastle


At his press conference yesterday, Alan Pardew said a rather stage thing when he intimated he would try some players in  different positions through the end of the season, and see how they performed.

Davide Santon Ndewcastle

Davide Santon – could get a game on right wing?

We suppose one example of that was when he used Davide Santon in defensive midfield at Stamford Bridge,  and we thought the 23 year-old Italian had a decent game at Stamford Bridge.

But then in the next game at home to Tottenham, Davide was simply a disaster in that first half, as he kept giving the ball away, and was beaten time and again by the Spurs’  speedy wingers.

He was replaced at half-time by Paul Dummett, and the local lad from Kenton has looked good,  and taken over the corner kicks from Davide, and should get an extended run in the side.

This is some what Alan Pardew had to say yesterday:

“I’ll certainly take the opportunity to look at one or two and sometimes the formations we play too.” “We’ll see if someone can do a different role, and we’ve had good success with that over the years I’ve been here.”

“We’ll maybe look for one or two to play in unusual positions.”  “There are some players we’re looking to for next year who are going to get a bit more time. Luuk de Jong, for sure. Adam Armstrong, we’ll maybe have to pitch him in at some point.”

“Others might get a shout, it depends on results. Our focus with our academy this year has been about being local and we’re starting to get some through.”

Maybe it’s a way of giving Davide a game once he’s fit again, but of course Cheick Tiote is back now, although Alan Pardew could try Davide down the right wing.

That’s where he started his career, before Jose Mourinho switched him to left back for Inter-Milan almost five years ago.

Maybe he will try Paul Dummett down the left wing, since he’s an attacking kind of player, and can put ion some great crosses with that left foot of his, and he also has an eye for goal, and hit a beautiful shot just over the bar on Sunday in the second half against Aston Villa.

But it’s very rare that a player playing out of position is as good as in his normal position,. so we’re not sure if  it will work too well through the end of the season.

What would work well is to give some youngsters like Adam Armstrong a game, and we’re not sure why young Sammy Ameobi wasn’t even a substitute on Sunday afternoon – because he deserves his chance too.

Comments welcome.

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124 comments so far

  • Ciaran

    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #1

    Santon playing at left back is a round peg in a square hole.

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  • Laurent Robert 32

    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #2

    A nice little cover up for him to use as an excuse for more poor performances.

    Include the youngsters a few times, yes.

    Santon at defensive midfield?

    Sissoko is a ready made midfielder playing wide with a very limited final cross. Tiote is the DM.

    Round pegs in round holes please and having them do what they’re good at.

    Campbell played as a defensive winger when Pardew brought him on, which was wrong to start with.

    He can’t get us playing well his way to start with, so trying out other flamboyant positions is just a waste of time and is more proof that he can’t get the same players to be effective by working with them.

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  • cyprus

    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #3

    So Lawro predicting a 2-1 and the comedian a draw 1-1. I think we’ll beat them.

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  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #4

    have no problem with trying people in different positions if you think they will do well there, how else do you know.

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  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #5

    However, formations and personnel are unimportant if the playing style and overall set up isn’t up to scratch.

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  • the truth will out

    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #6

    T S i think you need to be absolutely sure before they are let loose on the field in a real game

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  • Laurent Robert 32

    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #7

    Transfer, I don’t have a problem with it…. as you say, as long as we know what we’re doing to start with. We don’t.

    Ciaran, Santon has said his favourite position is on the left side. If the team would cover him and not leave him isolated, I’m sure he would look a lot better. I like him, although he does have faults.

    Going past players is a great asset and one which should be used to better effect. He cuts in, but players still don’t manage to stop him too often. He can then lay it off to the players with product…. in the right system.

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  • the truth will out

    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #8
  • Sliema

    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #9

    Santon was not transformed to a LB. He is a a RB. It’s Pardew who has played him there, possibly his worst position possible, he’s shocking and every opposing manager tells their RWs to go at him cause he is a weak link.

    If not Right back then either wing would do, looks decent cutting in from the left with quite powerful shots.

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  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #10

    Truth

    Yeh I don’t mean just trying to something out for the sake of it, got to have a reason…ie the lad has certain attributes and then work on that in training games too.

    But I’m not against it, if it fails it fails, if there are no better options then go for it.

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  • Ciaran

    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #11

    Really long article but poses some excellent questions, in my opinion at least.

    http://www.thejournal.co.uk/sport/mark-douglas-could-newcastle-city-6757825

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  • Howay50

    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #12

    Pardew is tactically inept, would trust him with my washing. Probelm is that you just can’t polish a turd and that’s what he is.

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  • Ancientcoptic

    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #13

    “I’ll certainly take the opportunity to look at one or two and sometimes the formations we play too.”

    Pardew has been doing the same thing since he has arrived. His style of football is the long direct ball, when that does not work, he experiments, when his experiments fail, he reverts back to the long direct ball again.

    This system is repeated over and over.

    My preference would be for the team to play an attacking style of football; then perfect this system.

    We are not going to see a possession style game any time soon, we simply do not have the players for it. Players like Sissoko and Tiote could never work in a possession themed team.

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  • mag

    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #14

    Shola in goal sounds about Pardew for the course.

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  • Ciaran

    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #15

    LR32

    Santon isn’t left isolated, he leaves others isolated. His tracking back is appalling, defensive positioning is non-existent, never closes down the cross and is defensive mist when faced with a runner cutting in.

    As a full-back the man is an unmitigated disaster. With Dummett and Haidara, Santon should never get a single minute at left back again.

    Does that mean he cannot find form somewhere else? Maybe he will, but his days at full-back should be consigned to the chapter of NUFC history labelled ‘Cack Defending’

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  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #16

    ancient

    why not? they can both pass quite well/

    Also poyet has some donkeys passing it around nicely at sunderland

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  • mag

    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #17

    Pardew has some donkeys that can’t pass.

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  • toon kk

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #18

    At least half of our squad are championship players at best, so once they’re out of their usual position they’ll be shown for what they are.

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  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #19

    for all I’m not Pardew fan we have still had some good times and games under him, he’s not all bad.

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  • Shadow_Shearer

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #20

    Theres nothin wrong with putting players in different positions, but there’s only so much a player can do in certain positions.

    Santon is versatile, can play multiple positions, but he’s naturally a wide player, which means anywhere on the wings. Playing Santon in defensive midfield is round pegs in square holes. Cause he did well in 1 game doesn’t make him a defensive mid.

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  • 70TWO

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #21

    the truth will out

    A well considered article you posted

    http://www.thejournal.co.uk/sport/mark-douglas-could-newcastle-city-6757825

    Extremism exists at both ends of the scale, the majority of fans are happy to support a team in the Premier League and not be apathetic or against Ashley making the club a profitable business. However, I believe there is a lack of positivity due to his inability to form a professional relationship between the club and its supporters.

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  • mag

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #22

    To go with the league one manager.

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  • Ancientcoptic

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #23

    Transfer Sage, Tiote & Sissoko can pass okay, but okay isn’t good enough for possession football. Players need to be naturally composed and intelligent for that style of game.

    Tiote plays from deep, so his passing ratio is quite good, but put him under pressure and he starts to wobble and gives the ball away.

    Sissoko does not have the composure to take the ball into his feet, use crafty body language, then thread a pass. Sissoko is more likely to pick the ball up and run with the ball in a panic… at times shooting from silly distances which is another form of anti-possession football. I have seen Sissoko play some beautiful passes, but they do not happen often enough.

    I do rate Sissoko for his power and pace, but if we are talking possession football, he is not that style of player.

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  • Shadow_Shearer

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #24

    Also playin demba Ba on left wing was round peg in square holes. The season after it was cisse on the right wing which was another example.

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  • toon kk

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #25

    I wouldn’t be surprised if shola gets offered a new short term contract will save Mash money on a new player.

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  • the truth will out

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #26

    I posted the article that tiote could fill cabeyes boots if only as a sold player to manciteh
    it was in fact ciaran

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  • mag

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #27

    He played MYM, as centre mid against Villa.

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  • the truth will out

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #28

    What next willo as a bean pole cf

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  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #29

    ancient

    Fair enough I guess, but I don’t like possession football in the barca model anyway.

    I prefer the arsenal approach to keep possession but also attack quickly. Much more interesting to watch.

    Same with Dortmund, the season they won the league they had an average of 47% possession in their matches, they used to just get forward as quick as possible when they won the ball…either through quick passing, long stuff to lewondowski or somebody bursting through with the ball.

    i’m not saying we have the same level of player, but we certainly could adopt that style with better management.

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  • Ancientcoptic

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #30

    Sunderland possession in some of their last games.

    35% against Arsenal. (It is Arsenal to to be expected)

    48% at home again Saints.

    44% at home against Hull.

    49% when they beat us, when we were woeful.

    48% against Stoke.

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  • Ancientcoptic

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #31

    Sage, I do not mind a more direct approach, so long as it is effective.

    Pardew could be on the right tracks, for the squad he has. I just wish he would figure out which style of football it is that he wants to play, the team needs a philosophy/model that can worked on and improved over time.

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  • mag

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #32

    Hello! Pardews had four years to sort a system out!

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  • Laurent Robert 32

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #33

    Ciaran, he has played very well for large stretches of games too though. Man of the match a good number of times.

    He does get caught out a lot, but I also see Real and Barca full-backs not sprinting back as well. They have the full team pressing the opposition to hold off a counter attack and someone will cover their full backs going forward. We don’t do that. Rarely will the midfield shift across to fill in the gap until he gets back.

    If the team was based on attacking, we would automatically be defending. It gets highlighted more with Santon, because due to lack of bodies going forward, we lose possession and they counter with a big void to be filled on the left.

    I would like to see Santon in a more forward thinking team where the players knew how to interchange around the pitch.

    His final ball needs to improve a lot. That should be drilled into him.

    He has a lot to improve on, but the team doesn’t do what it should to compensate for his movement.

    It’s impossible to sprint forward and back all game at full pace. This is when the team needs to help. Even with all our containing, it still doesn’t occur properly.

    Bez used to get forward all the time with Ginola doing nothing at all to help. The team would help more than they do now.

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  • 70TWO

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #34

    Ancientcoptic

    I was wondering about Sissoko in the midst of this discussion on Santon and your right he has plenty of positives but lacking in the skills needed to be an excellent central midfileder. Hence why he is used ‘out of harms way’ on the wing, where he does not exactly fit either.

    Mister Tuff posted an article yesterday which mentioned Klopps training, to paraphrase it was something about being able to teach skills that were perhaps deficient if their was desire and natural ability. Santon and Sissoko have both and appear to be being let down in training.

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  • 70TWO

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #35

    I only want to prove I am not wrong:

    the truth will out // Feb 28, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    A good read?
    http://www.thejournal.co.uk/sport/mark-douglas-could-newcastle-city-6757825?
    well i thought so

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  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #36

    ancient

    i guess they play a passing game, not a possession game, my apologies.

    I do agree, you need a style that is set then mix and match to suit the game but with that basic style.

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  • the truth will out

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #37

    ciaran posted that not me

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  • Laurent Robert 32

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #38

    Oh to have Klopp as manager…

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  • toon kk

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #39

    To be honest if a new manager came in he may get a little more out of our players but apart from a handful of players they simply aren’t good enough.
    We are 8th at the moment which is good for the squad we have no other manager is going to get us much higher without investment in the squad and we all know that is a great place to be as far as Mash is concerned.

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  • catchy in norway

    Feb 28, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #40

    Transfer Sage

    I think lots have got it all wrong about HBA, they chose to believe what pardew has said, rather than look at what he offers the team

    decision making, I think you said that he is poor at it,

    HBA has a 84% completion rate he is the 6th best in our squad only tiote is higher from our current MF selection
    goofy 83 %
    cabaye 82%
    sissoko 80%
    also

    when it comes to goals and assists

    goofy has a goal or assist every 113 minutes of play
    HBA is second with every 135 minutes
    cabaye third with 183 minutes
    and sissoko has a goal or an assist every 371 minuts

    pardew should be sacked for not playing his best players in there best positions

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