Newcastle United player review 09/10 – Defenders.

Posted on May 6th, 2010 | 44 Comments |

Has been Fab-ulous this season!
Has been Fab-ulous this season!
Here I continue with the second of four installments of my player reviews for the title winning season just gone.

Last time out we had at look at how our goalkeepers had been getting on throughout the season, which was pretty easy by all accounts as there isn’t that many of them. Now we step up the difficulty and broaden our review to feature our whole defence and look at how they have performed this season. The back four has been a very strong area for us this season, a strange thing for a Newcastle fan to say following year after year of shabby backlines that nobody really seemed to be able to sort out. Granted we may have been playing against weaker opposition, but we have come out on top of them, miles on top in fact and we head to the Premier League with best defensive record in The Championship safely in the bag. I know we have had loan players in the shape of Patrick van Aanholt, Fitz Hall and Zhurab Khizanishvilli but I am going to discount them for this as they aren’t technically our players and only really played a handful of games for us.

Danny Simpson – Has attracted some criticism from some quarters but is still probably the best right back we have at the club right now. Made 41 appearances this term and had his initial loan from Manchester United made permanent in January. Started off really well but tailed off towards the end of the campaign amid rumours that he has been carrying a niggling hip injury. In my opinion he needs to learn to make the right decision when choosing whether to close opposing attackers down or not. Question marks remain over whether he can step up to the level of performance the Premier League requires.

Ryan Taylor – Hard to decide whether Ryan is best fitted into the defender or midfielder category, so in the interest of balance I have him down as a right back. Has made 33 appearances this season but has done reasonably well when called upon. Has scored goals and his set piece deliveries can be excellent, although I still have doubts about him and his lack of pace and awareness. Could be worth keeping hold of as he can cover in a number of positions and is reortedly attracting interest from Bolton Wanderers.

Steven Taylor – A constant subject of rumour and many will have an eye on whether or not Steven Taylor signs a new contract at his home town club over the summer. His season was cut short through an injury suffered back in January and as a result only managed to make 21 appearances this term. Was very solid and dependable in those appearances and his Premier League experience will be needed next season.

Fabricio Coloccini – Arrived with a big price tag and even bigger hair at the start of the 08/09 season but struggled to adapt in his first season in the Premier League. He has turned into a bit of a cult hero this time around and has looked much more solid and composed in his 37 appearances this season. Some might say that a season in The Championship could be just what the Argentine needed to help him adjust to the English game, let’s see if he can keep it up against better opposition next season.

Mike Williamson – Who? That is what a lot of people were saying when he arrived from Portsmouth in January. Mike has been excellent in the 16 appearances since his arrival and is the no-nonense kind of defender we need. Has a point to prove in the Premier League after not getting his chance at Portsmouth due to a clause involving more money which they couldn’t afford to pay to Watford.

Tamas Kadar – A young player with what looks like a bright future ahead and has always stepped up to the plate in the 13 appearances he managed this season. Can play at left back aswell and he can hopefully continue to develop his undoubted potential in the Premier League next year.

Jose Enrique – Jose has been brilliant in his 34 appearances this season and has really looked like a Premier League left back playing in The Championship. A firm fan favourite who clearly does love the club and is responsible for what I deem to be one of the defing images of the season – the scenes of the whole team celebrating his goal against Nottigham Forest. No wories about him for next season in my opinion.

Part two done, look out for part three where I will review our midfield. In the meantime, feel free to agree or disagree with what I have wrote and offer your own reviews if you wish.

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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44 Responses

  1. Enrique was awesome. As you say, clearly a firm fan favorite. When the new kits come about (sometime next decade I assume at this point), his name will be the one I have printed on it. I’ve liked the guy since he arrived, and watching him this year (in the handful of games online and on Setanta US), he was impressive to know end. And, I am only too happy to be able to say I at least WATCHED the goal online against Forest.

    I know people are critical and say he’s not good enough, but I am also a Simpson fan. I think with more training and some healing, he’s going to amount to a solid defender.

    Between the midfield and backline, it’s hard to say which group i’ve liked more this year. The striker core was good, but honestly didn’t do much for me, even with AC’s 19?? goals. The defense routinely made the opposition look hopeless and even won a couple of our games at the other end of the field. My vote for the best section of the team is defense…unless I can be otherwisse convinced.

    Looking forward to WC and next season…

    Nice review

  2. I was thinking of potential players we could sign to help with our current crop of players,
    For defence I think if we lose taylor next year then we should immediately rule out loaning Kadar otherwise let the kid join a championship club on loan to play week in week out, preferabley at a team up north (Blackpool if not promoted) so he can train with newcastle like fraser forster did.
    I think Ryan Taylor will be off to Bolton which means a right back(cover or better) would be needed, I have said man city defender Onucha would fit our bill. Would Chris Houghton agree who knows.
    Cover at the left back would be great an if we could loan or even sign Van Aanholt i’d be over the moon. he is an impact player that could come on to push the game, i’d even play him at right back and get him to cut in while attacking. glen johnson did it well at liverpool against Athletic Madrid till extra time.

    Overall in defence if we lose a defender in the summer we will need to sign 3, if not 2 utility players would be good.

  3. Still think Beye would be a good aquisition for next season, would come cheap,a good pro. can defend or bring the ball upfield, could platoon him with Simpson.
    In the EPL you never have enough players, nor can you put out the same side every week.
    The physical demands plus injuries take a toll, making a system of platooning a necessity and having seen how Hughton applyed that system this season, horses for courses, i have every confidence he will do(given the dosh to strengthen) an excellent job in the coming season.

  4. beye can run and jump, o wait thats what he did. too old for Ashley’s policy. And team morale would suffer as he was one of the players who put his hand up saying i want out.

  5. Chuck – Regarding Beye, I seem to remember your dismay when people say they don’t want him back, he showed his true colours etc.

    Your counter claim to that is that professionals mover for money, they don’t love the club etc etc, right?

    On that basis, would we pay him more than Villa do now? I think the answer would be no, which would rule him out as players mover for money, right?

    Ob top of that, what effect would it have on the rest of the players? The ones that have fought to get us back up to the PL, how would they feel knowing that someone who didn’t want to know them less that 12 months ago was coming back?

    Fresh players are needed, not treading over old ground.

  6. Darren ambrose would cost how much, and for a back up he is still a player who gives his all. I’d take him back any day, not many players that Sir Bobby Robson signed that were cr**. Good ratio of good to poor.

  7. Beye can rot the bullshitting knobhead, I’d rather have louise taylor sat on my face than have that prick back at our club.

  8. like it jay jay. Would have aaron hughes return to our side, Fulhams best defender this year, hangerland gets the plaudits for last year but this season you see why he played so well last year with Hughes steadying the ship

  9. please no ambrose was not up to the job before hes at his level ccc just about,epl never

  10. JAY JAY with you on beye,often wonder if he was one of “i love me club”some of our players wont talk about m8

  11. TOONSY hope your lass likes a laugh,well she must have look who she ended up with lol :)

  12. icedog, he would be a player that would step up to the mark, and i was thinking as a back up. Butt gone we need to fill the his slot and a more attacking player would be great. I could name alot of players for the CM position but i like ambrose’s consistancy this year. shame the players around him werent better. Palace wouldn’t of been in the dog fight (i know the 10 point deduction didnt help). If they got relegate Ambrose would of been a freeby.

  13. I would like to see who the first player we buy is before I start saying who we could and should sign.

    After the first we’ll know which shop were shopping at? Harrods? Waitrose? Tesco? Adds? Co-Op? Or even Aldi.

    First signing will reveal alot.

  14. RICHARDJ,know what your saying mate,dont rate him like, plus i would rather see one of kids as cover we have a 17yr old internationl,that need games,getting ambrose in would just knock him down the ladder again not good imo

  15. Think it will be Lidl. Foreign, a cheaper brand and the new comer on the street.

    Wonder which country Graham Carr was in when the Volcano popped its ash. Extra watching of a certain player/s. I really hope he was in scandanavia as some of the players linked with the club over there look quite good

  16. richard – How about Vuckic taking Butts place in the squad? Hughton has already said that he will be getting his chance in the PL, and he is infinately more attcking than Nicky Butt. In fact Thrush is more attacking than Nicky Butt :)

    That will leave us with Nolan, Guthrie, Smith, Barton and Vuckic in the middle.

    Right back and a striker are the key areas for me. We need more than that, but I think those are the 2 positions that we need to focus on first.

  17. Looks like Stephen Ireland could be on his way out of City.

    Now he is a good player. Just the type we need.


  18. icedog, the only concern is Injuries/Bookings, Barton, Jonas, Smith.
    The reason i say Jonas as i think he will come back from the world cup knackered and wont play till late september.

    I see Vuckic as a 5th midfielder in a 4-5-1. Would love to see us loan a Man City sub, Look at the talent in midfield. SWP, Ireland, Johnson.

  19. TOONSY,imo r/b and cover at l/b,striker a must,but sorry dont agree on m/f,we need one badly,we need a bit of class there for epl

  20. toonsy prefer a cover left back. Kadar is a centre back…

    how much would srna cost, seen him play a few times on the net. quality playing for Shakhtar Donetsk would the prem league appeal. Now theres a right back

  21. icedog – I just look at Bolton, Stoke, Wigan, Blackburn midfield and see no class there to be fair. Maybe David Dunn, but you have to arrange his performances around doctors appointments.

  22. RICHARDJ,its left side of m/f where i worry m8 we are lop-sided barton,smith,guthrie are all right sided players even nolan when in there is right sided we will get caught there in epl o”hare for me would just put us on right track imo

  23. Agree Ice – we need a left footed MF, though thats easier said than done. I want to see Vuckic more involved. I would love to see Ireland at the toon but I just cant see him coming to us, I read Liverpool were looking at him

  24. mate i’d love O’hara, shame he wasnt owned by portsmouth as he’d be cheap. but i would play routledge on the left. just ask the soon to be manager of the season, he plays duff on the right. Athletic Madrid play reyes on the right. N’zogbia plays on the right side and cut in.

    I understand everyone want balance but i am looking at the left sided CM for Man Utd, dont say Giggs. he is there winger.

  25. TOONSY,in bolton case they have a great young player in there on loan from ars/l,i would be happy to finish where they have,but we are one sided (right) and will get found out in epl imo

  26. icedog, make that two great young players weiss although inconsistant when he plays well he looked so much better than his teamates.

    Do you think we should do a stoke and make our pitch smaller

  27. RICHARDJ,yes duff does did do that at the toon (poorly),n”zog is a winger, ime talking about a central midfielder some one in the mould of g.speed,emre at times etc we have no one left footed m8,plus some players can play both sides a lot just cannot

  28. icedog, for some reason all the wingers who left us did really well this season in positions not used as regular for the toon. N’zog is more central this year, yes he start on the wing but dimps inside alot more (freedom and involvement).
    Milner is like he was when at leeds, central and demanding of the ball. he was great for us and can see why keegan left once he was sold. if we sold duff rather than milner last year we wouldnt have been relegated. But thats life.

  29. RICHARDJ was good to debate with you and hope to catch you again,got to go later m8

    i enjoyed

  30. I’ll echo what Icedog said, great debate :)

    Not noticed you on here before Richard, so welcome if your new and sorry if your not and I’ve not seen you lol

    Catch you all later.

  31. toonsy, i read it alot trust me, however when working i can’t comment.

    What would you do with the GK situation

  32. richard, keep harper, krul his understudy and keep loaning out young frasier.

    i dont think krul can argue or expect first team football anywhere else unless the lower leagues… he knows he’s next in line… and the life span of keepers… they start later (first team wise) and their career lasts longer… he shouldnt feel rushed

  33. rich – I would do as eastend says. See if norwich want forster back on loan and keep krul as number 2.

    Forster seems gets games at championship level which keeps him happy and lets him develop for us for a year or two.

  34. Its a decent article except for the inclusion of Ryan Taylor. He is a right winger….we bought him because he scored against us twice from free kicks. As you say he has some goals and assists but there are worries over his defence….thats because he is not a defender. We are doing the same thing to Rtaylor as we did to Nzogbia and that is forcing him out of position and then criticizing the makeshift job he does. Let him compete with Wayne and get another RB to show we have him as a winger.

  35. Charlie

    Ryan Taylor has stated before his best position is right back. Thats where he wants to play…

  36. Taylor might want to play right back but he is much more effective in midfield, and far better on the right side than Guthrie

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