French intelligence helped Hughton find right hand man.

Posted on November 24th, 2009 | 41 Comments |

Hughton: Gagging for a real Outside-Right.
Hughton: Gagging for a real Outside-Right.
Newcastle United manager, Chris Hughton has revealed some of the thinking behind his signing of French wing man, Fabrice Pancrate. Acknowledging a problem on the right hand side of Toon, he observed:

“If I look at one area in which we wanted to bring someone in, it was wide right.

“Jonas Gutierrez and Peter Lovenkrands can play up the middle or on the left, and what we have on the right-hand side is Ryan Taylor, Danny Guthrie and Geremi, but they’re more right sided midfield players.

“I wanted to get what I regarded as an outside right, and the timing was very good.”

Try before you buy.

Speaking of the opportunity Pancrate provided just at the right time, along with the opportunity to assess him closely for two weeks and the absence of a fee, he continued:

“We had the opportunity to look at him. He’s played at a good level, and he was out of contract.

“We had the opportunity to take him on trial. We’ve got a couple of options on the left, or what I call high left, but not too many at high right. I wanted that option.

“Not too many become available, and he did well enough for us to want to take him. He’s not a kid, he’s a lad who has played at a good level, and it’s a nice opportunity for him.”

Finally, on the subject of his versatility as a winger and striker, he revealed that he received advice from French contacts who had observed over the long term that Pancrate’s greatest strengths lay on the flank, he said:

“He’s played part of his career up front. I spoke to people in France about him, and they felt, although he played up front for a period, they felt he was a better wide right player. I think he can excite the fans.

“He’s a good size, he works hard, and he keeps possession of the ball. He’s got a good energy.”

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41 Responses

  1. Why sign a winger when cover at left back is the priority and has been for as long as i can remember or is this a case of Hughton being given a player rather than him hunting him down and signing him?
    His tactics last night were baffling, Harewood cocked the whole thing up so why keep him on for the full game, thank god he failed to trap the ball as Nolan wouldnt have scored.
    And taking Danny Guthrie off and replacing him with a forward when we were defending was just stupidity. Nile Ranger came on and didnt disappoint with another solid game so why leave him out at the expense of stiff arse Harewood?
    I keep hearing we are winning ugly, Preston were crap and there for the taking but with a poorly selected and set out team with no game plan, no wonder.

  2. I agree Hughton needs to start playing Ranger ahead of Harewood. Ranger creates more of a problem up front and never stops running, however his final ball is none existing, but that will come in time given the chance.
    Why is everyone so negative about the Pancrate deal? I don’t inderstand, he will fill that void on the far right. Our strikers aren’t scoring goals because they are not getting the service, and haven’t done since Milner left. I’ve seen Pancrate play, and he not a bad player and can definitely put in good crosses. Lets hope Hughton can get get extra defensive cover in January.

  3. @bigbadbob

    Left back is certainly a priority, but the simple answer to your question is that a left back wasn’t available – Pancrate was. Hughton’s explanation of why we signed him is perfectly adequate in my eyes. I very much doubt any player would be forced on Hughton at the moment – especially as Pancrate is not a famous player, nor is he a promising young player. Also, Pancrate won’t be playing for free and Mike Ashley isn’t exactly desperate to put more money into the club is he?

    Anyhoo, agree with your comment RE Harewood last night, I was screaming for him to come off before the first half was even up. Complete and utter waste of space. Another game of “Thank God They Couldn’t Score”.

  4. If Pancrate is anywhere near the quality of that other signing by Pinocchio – Harewood – I’m sure we can all rest easy in our beds…….

  5. UTD111 – Personally, I think you’ll be far more impressed with Pancrate than Harewood mate. But time will tell, he didn’t exactly have the stiffest test against the Pools left-back.

    What I’m interested in, is what sort of formation we might start playing if he’s a “high-right” sort of player and he’s getting his game? Old school 4-2-4?

  6. Can only assume Hughton wanted to give Harewood one last chance to prove he can be arsed to play football anymore last night and that’s why he got the nod ahead of Ranger.
    Ironic really that he looked as shockingly complacent as ever until Ranger actually came on in place of the ill Carroll and he tried slightly harder-probably coz he knew he would be in direct comparison with the young lad that outshines him time and again.
    Harewood had his last chance last night for me and I hope that spectacular non-performance did the same to Hughton.
    Bye Bye Harewood. Enjoy life on a bench in Birmingham coz your never going to play for Villa again and we don’t want a lazy has been either.

  7. Bowburn – I hope so!!  What a block of wood that Harewood is – how he’s keeping Ranger out of the team is one of life’s mysteries……

    As for formation – it may be back to the real old school – the “W” formation LOL

    Naw I can’t see the puppet plumping for attack – I’m not sure he knows what it means…..

  8. There’s got to be more to the Harewood situation. I remember hearing the Legends talking about him a few weeks back and they thought that there may be something in the loan deal that says he has to play… shocking if true.

  9. i think it’s two-fold, harewood did the usual “I just want to play” routine so CH is giving him chance to prove it, and, we’ve still got a long season ahead, currently we sit atop the pile and are looking likely, if harewood adds to it brilliant, if not, as long as he doesn’t cost us it’s not a disaster, lets not forget hes here till january currently, so thats just over a month left where the crunches are hitting him not ranger, with a small squad I think we are going to need as many fit bodies as poss as it rolls on

  10. Yeah I agree with that assessment – We don’t have that many options at the moment. Ranger defo deserves to be in the team ahead of Harewood but CH must have his reasons for putting him on the bench. He might have hoped for an impact substitution or he could be protecting Ranger before the busy period coming up… who knows. Hopefully Ameobi will be back before long (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write).

  11. I don’t normally do a hit and run, but I’ve got to be somewhere now, so to sum up last night.
    Harewood – utter toilet.  Why does he get a game?
    Nolan – Excellent take for the goal.
    Guti – Flatters to deceive.
    Smith – My MOTM.  Just needs to calm down if he is going to be skipper.
    Enrique – Solid.
    Fair result was a draw, from a mostly uneventful match.

  12. just 1 thought on this, so far, we’ve been doing pretty well without a proper “outside right”, both R Taylor & Guthrie have been doing a pretty good job of it, if they both want to be “inside right” how is it going to affect Nolan’s forward drives? currently, if he moves through the middle, he’s always got them to step inside a little & provide cover, is Pancrate’s introduction going to alter that dynamic drastically? after adding another Nolan is still our top scorer
    not doom & gloom just wondering

  13. Did anyone actually bother to listen to Hughton’s interview after last nights game?
    Carroll came off because he has been ill and actually only just made the game. I thought Harewood did ok last night, worked hard on pretty limited service. Personally Id play Ranger ahead of him but the manager quite clearly doesnt want to burn the young lad out.
    As for Pancrate, can only be a good signing. Yes we maybe need cover at left back but we do also need cover wide right because if Ryan Taylor is injured Guthrie and Geremi on the right wing is not something I look forward to watching – Guthrie was yet again shocking last night.

  14. For once, I agree 100% with CH, I have been saying all season that we are desperate for a wide right player.  Hopefully if Pancrate is any good this will balance the team and we can be a threat going forward from both flanks. 

  15. Well it’s a long season so maybe he is playing Hardwood now as we have a lot of games around Christmas and will be sending him back.

    We have a small squad and Im sure he is saving Ranger for the end of the season to make sure we dont run out of steam with injuries

    I cant see him keeping Harewood!

    Having Pancake will allow Guthrie into the middle and also allow Nolan up to Support Nile

    So the team could be

    Simpson Taylor Colo Jose
    Pancrate Smith Guthrie Jonas/McLoven

  16. Also well done Nolan for the goal last night.  I was stood behind the goal (3 rows from the front and wet through); from the angle he was, I did not think it was possible for him to score.

  17. hmmmm, thats 14 players brownrob, can’t see the ref liking that lineup…..j/k :P
    still don’t like the lone striker setup, Nolan has scored plenty but is still a very effective midfielder in his own right, both going forward and in the centre

  18. Our biggest problem last season and this one has been lack of creativity and pace in midfield, yet when we sign a speedy winger for nothing people still complain….

  19. Macas says:
    November 24, 2009 at 10:31 am
    Our biggest problem last season and this one has been lack of creativity and pace in midfield, yet when we sign a speedy winger for nothing people still complain….

    you mistake concern for complaint macas, I reserve judgement till I’ve seen him play, and what impact his inclusion has on the current shape of the team, being a threat from both flanks is good, but it limits youre options in the centre, unless you want to push all 4 midfielders up and leave a gaping hole in the middle of the park, or just leave butt/smith (main 2 def mids) to contend with 3/4/5 opposition midfielders – lets be honest, there’ll be red cards a planty in that situation
    my point is, as a small squad, we have developed a way of working that has got us results, changing the plan wholesale just raises one or two concerns for me

  20. Another problem the players seem to have is just keeping hold of the ball and stringing a few passes together, we tend to try and do this around our own box under pressure rather than in the oppositions half. Guthrie in particular got caught out last night in the 2nd half messin’ around in the RB position. Also launching long diagonal balls from out wide right towards Carroll an Harewood is horrible to watch and creates nothing, hopefully bringing in Pancrate as a recognised winger who can hit the byeline might remedy the kick and hope tactics.

  21. Yes,
    now now maybe Jonas will get a game or 2 a bit more central,
    which i hope may suit him better & cause the opposition more

  22. I’d go for 4-3-1-2
    Simpson    Taylor          Colo       Enrique
    Pancrate                                            Jonas
    Carroll                Lovenkrands
    Priorities for January is definetly a LB but more important for me i mean would be a good playmaker,someone who knows how to hold the ball for more than 5 seconds and stretch oponents defense.Someone like Modric type of player…I personally would go for Misimovic from Wolfsburg,,that off course is IF we get promoted.His price is around 10-12 mill Euros,but this guy is worth it for sure.

  23. was disappointed with jonas yesterday, mor ethan normally!
    first touch was awful, control was awful final ball was awful. how does he make it into the national side?
    love his enthusiasm and he’s committed as far as i can tell, but its gotta be more speed less haste with that boy, its like he gets a bit excited and then makes a mess of it.
    all in all, another result that we somehow managed to come away with, and i gotta say, these games midweek, away from home are the toughest now two home games lined up, swansea will be tough but hopefully we can walk away with 6 points and cement our position at the top of the table

  24. btw: anyone notice Moyes at the game last night, doubt he was there to watch any of the preston lot –  reckon he’ll be putting in a bid for Smith come January
    Who else will be going out the door?

  25. Want to see the lad Pancate play. None of Guthrie, barton and geremi want to be stuck out on the right and R. taylor prefers full back.  Lets see if he is any good.
    I think we will need more than cover for left back I think we will need a left back as the vultures from the premier league and Spain hovver over Enrique. Ashley will sell

  26. Stevep (30) that is worrying,  could be Enrique or Nolan, not good.  I hope Lardarse is not selling our players come Jan window.

  27. stevep – Moyes and Alan Irvine are bessie mates, Moyes is also a Preston legend and (so my mates who are Everton fans tell me) goes regularly when he has the time. Probably the best game for him to watch tbh, i cant imagine how any of our players would improve his squad currently!

  28. Lesh “civil” engineer, I take a little offence at that I try to be civil and polite to ereryone.

  29. Just my luck Waldo that there’d be a Civil who subscribes to this blog! 

    No offence meant and I’m sure you adopt the behaviours of a member of  ICE. 

    My use of that tongue in cheek term’s a throwback from my days dealing with some of the Chartered Institutes (IEE, IMechE etc)

  30. Little head, big forehead harewood has in his contract he will play a number of games – hence him playing

  31. Any truth to the rumour that Martin O’Neill was at the game???  That might have contributed to the decision to put him out ahead of Ranger…  and the way the squad has been dealt injuries I’m not surprised that CH is holding some talent in reserve while we’re still at the top of the table…  Any takers on whether we can hold position for another 15 games– and the next 15 after that?  I’m bloody proud of the team and CH for getting us to the top, particularly after all the bloody arrogant smug prognosticating from the press at the start; but to stay top is going to take every bloody drop of intelligence, tactics, strategy, will, determination and sheer bloody-minded “refuse to lose” stubbornness that the team and CH have in them… probably even more since we’re also handicapped by bloody fat-mike riding the whole lot piggyback all the way to the market!