Is it time to make some changes?

Posted on November 12th, 2010 | 101 Comments |

Routledge could have a chance to shine tomorrow.
Routledge could have a chance to shine tomorrow.
Defeat to Blackburn on Wednesday night brought us back down to earth with a bump, but another home game pretty much straight away gives us a chance to put things right against Fulham.

It also gives Chris Hughton a chance to give some other players a run-out.

Now I’m not talking wholesale changes, although obviously Joey Barton and Shola Ameobi are going to need replaced because of their respective suspension and injury, but the problem is who to replace those two players with. Much of that depends on whether or not Hughton decides to stick with the 4-4-2 formation that has served us so well in recent weeks. If we do stick with that system then I would personally like to see Nile Ranger and Wayne Routledge brought into the line-up.

Routledge will end up facing his former club, and we all know what happens when one of our former players faces us. Inevitably they usually end up having a stormer, so hopefully we can finally do it to another team and Routledge can show us glimpses of what he was doing last season.

Then there is Nile Ranger, who is like Shola but faster, so I guess that would be the natural replacement for the injured Ameobi. I feel a bit for Ameobi as he was playing well and was proving to be a real handful for opposition defences, plus there was also his regular goals against the Mackems to throw into the mix aswell.

My main concern is Danny Guthrie. What I don’t want to see is Guthrie slung out on the right just becasue it was working with Joey Barton playing out there.

However, there is another option. If we change formation and switch back to the 4-5-1 system that we started off the season with it will close the door for Nile Ranger but open it up for Danny Guthrie to slip into the middle of the park, a role that I personally prefer him in to be honest.

Of course, I’ve only covered the two players that we know will definately need replacing. Perhaps there could be more changes? Who knows? I certainly don’t, but it would interesting to see what you guys would do with the team.

Decisions need to be made, and that is what Chris Hughton is paid to do. It will be interesting to see what actually happens as the team of late has pretty much been picking itself after good results away at West Ham and Arsenal and at home to Sunderland.

What would you do?

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

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101 Responses

  1. Change is good, when needed!!
    its needed now – for Barton, Ameobi and possibly Willo
    so big Sol for Willo
    and ???????? for Barton
    Ranger for Ameobi
    we have a squad so lets use it, hard game tomorrow, but lets hope we can make alot of noise and get the 3 points!!
    Dempsey and Murphy the men to keep quiet!!

  2. yea, had rtaylor been fit i think he’d deserve a chance on the wing, but gotta be wayne and ranger. i think loven needs some pitch time as well so maybe a late sub appearance?

    jett – why take willo out?

  3. Nice to see the landan gangstaz appreciating Carroll “haz qualitiezs”… :roll:

    W@nkers should grow up and understand that the NOTW spouts bollocks and is about as authentic as michael jacksons nose.

    Anyhoo Routledge definately should start Fulham had a young lad playing left back the other day with Salcido injured and we should test him, I would rather play Guthrie than Ranger and push Nolan off andy, Create from the middle as well as wide and keep them on the back foot and get them chasing the ball, We also wont miss Barton as he’s as good if not better on set pieces.

  4. I still think Routledge is miles better than Ryan Taylor, who by all accounts is shit!

    If it was American Football and we could bring him on for set-plays then fair enough. But it isn’t, and we can’t, and his all-round play is far far worse than Routledge’s…

  5. is mcloven injured? I’m not his staunchest fan at this level, but if fit, he deserves a crack. Routledge for barton and 442. Anyone know how long goala’s out for like?

  6. Toonsy

    Ryan Taylor is not sh!t at least he can cross a fcuking ball unlike routledge who has done f all this season, When Taylor has played he looked good and we need a good crosser for big andy so shut up!

  7. yea, i’m with TF on this one. rtaylor’s final ball and crossing is much better than routledge and his free kicks can be just nasty. routledge can run and beat defenders better, but his end product is inconsistant. too bad we couldn’t combine the two…guess it’s irrelevant really as taylor is injured anyway.

  8. I dunno toon factor e looked fairly poor at times last season , i do think he is a good squad player but id ty sell him if i was in charge

  9. This is assuming Nolan is undroppable. Well he seems to be doesn’t he. I would say Guthrie and Routledge in. Guthrie should be well up the pecking order to Ranger IMO. Ranger is getting better but still some way off this level, whereas Guthrie don’t forget has 53 premier league games under his belt. It is also my personal opinion that we have missed him at home this season and results are suffering although you might not agree. So ive changed my mind, Ranger is still a bit fresh whereas if Fulham drop off Nolan I think they do so at their peril.


  10. Toonsy

    I think your being a bit short sighted there. To be fair R.Taylor played as a left and right winger for Wigan with some success. He is not a RB I know, but still C.H has hardly given him a chance on the wing at all. I don’t think he has done his case any good by insisting he is a RB though and that is his fault. Say what you like about him but at least he can cross a ball at this level unlike Routledge.

  11. Johno Toon

    Some games nolan does yet little, which is disguised by when he does well, he still closes down and grafts but by god he isn’t exactly benny like going forward is he and if the team isn’t producing, there’s nothing to ‘poach’ or get on the end of. In those situations I would bring Ranger on, where we have to have some individual forward play. Im suprised that he seems undropable, Shearer was undropable but he held the ball up and did other things, and it took him years to earn it.

  12. I think Guthrie will definitely start because we dont have any decent set piece takers on the team.

  13. Richie

    He dosent get a chance though, didn’t he score in about three games last season, coming off the bench with hardly any time left. Plus when he has played in the cup games he always sees to curl a beckham in like. Depends whether he is too much of a passenger the rest of the time but I wouldn’t exactly call him lazy, just poor positionally.

    Are you going tomorow m8?

  14. Aye mate going and I’m more confident about this one than Rovers tho think it’ll be tough, he can put in a good ball but for me thats all he has.I just think it’ll be Routs playing on the wing but if he gets the game he really needs to sort his crossing out…when he scored tho was it not linking up with Pancake providing the assists ;-)

  15. sol for willo – he’s a better defender
    Guthrie for Barton and ranger on the right in a 4-5-1

  16. Anyway its irrelevant because Guthrie and Routledge will start tomorrow. ;)

    Hoots won’t start Ranger, R.Taylor is ”injured”

    He won’t drop Nolan, Smith won’t play because Tiote has one yellow to go and I think Smiths chances have been squashed with a sledgehammer since he arrived. So Guthrie will drop in CM, Rout recalled right because Barton is suspended and Nolan Carroll upfront with Nolan dropping in behind Carroll upfront. I would be very suprised if that doesn’t happen barring injuries, C.H is totally predictable as Big Sam will vouch for.

  17. True :-)
    Nolan doesnt deserve dropping and hasnt’t he already been dropped/rested this season as have 3 other “captains” under Hughton.I think Ranger may start in place of Shola, tho only 50/50 on that thought tho ;-)

  18. That is the thing. I’m not denying that Raylor isn’t good at set pieces, but his overall play doesn’t warrant him being in the team IMO, which is why I made the remark about bringing him on as a kicker…….

  19. I just dont get where all this ch is predictable stuff is coming from.granted that he started the same team for 4 matches straight but they were winning matches.and if he had changed the team against blackburn and lost or even drawn against them,all these same people would have been on his back saying that he is clueless and mad to change a winning team.

  20. I’m not really looking forward to tomorrow to be honest. Our home form is not what you would call inviting for supporters but I’ll be there anyway.

    I’m going for a 1-1 draw.

  21. I doubt Ranger will start, sorry toonsy, it goes against C.H way of thinking and general decision making. The ‘Shola’ role ony started away at West Ham and it took Shola that long to earn it in training or whatever, now that he has broken down, as he always does, C.H will go back to 4-5-1

  22. DJG – And you’d know about CH’s way of thinking because……….?

    HINT – Think really carefully about your answer….

  23. I hope the crowd will play their part tomorrow. They have been wank, apart from one game, and maybe another one when we were winning 6-0….

    Bollocks to this “I’m here to be entertained” notion. It works both ways…. Sometimes the lads need a boost. It worked in the Sunderland game…

  24. deepak

    Thats not the point, at least what I am trying to make, no-one is blaming him for keeping a winning side together, but over the course of his reign in charge it is the same sort of tactics he starts games with, irrespective of the opposition, (route-one, passing, offensive, defensive, ect.) and his general reluctance to change tactics and players in games where nothing is happening ect that I think people are worried about. Put it this way could you see C.H making a Sir Bobby match winning, triple substitution?

    I may be being a little harsh on him considering how well he has done full stop. but there is always ways to improve if you know what I mean.

  25. Toonsy-

    In American football, you don’t call them “set pieces”. They’re “field goals”, “punts”, and “kick-offs”, or collectively known as “Special Teams”. :D

  26. Toonsy, another way to look at it though, were the crowd not good against Villa and Sunderland because at half time we were 3-0 up?? hmmm…

  27. OHurley – But you can have a kicker that come on to take whatever they are called right?

    Raylor would be good at that… ;)

  28. DJG – So what you are saying is that our fans only sing when we are winning?

    Which is why I love away days……

    I feel sorry for people like Rich, or the level 7 lads, who go and sing and get behind the lads every game.

    Unfortunately the likes of them, him, me, are getting outnumbered by pompous cunts who sit there like Julias Ceaser giving the thumbs up or thumbs down waiting to be entertained before backing the team. Aye, ‘cos that is the definition of support :roll:

    No doubt it will be the 800 or so Fulham that are heard, until the team can build up a suitable lead of course :roll:

  29. DJG-

    Will do, mate! HAHA!


    Ryan Taylor could make MILLIONS ower here like. He’d be bangin’ the field goals in from MILES (Kilometers) away like!

  30. Yes Toonsy, they are called field goals.

    Interesting enough , many American football kickers are former football/soccer players, often from overseas. up until the 1960s, American kickers were “straight-on” style- meaning they kicked straight ahead with their toes. Teams then started using what became known oas “socer-style” kickers, meaning you came at the ball from an angle and kicked it with the inside of your foot. it revolutionized the saport as kicking became more accurate and field goals couldbe made form longer distances…

    Anyway, I digree….

    Agree wth Toonsy- RTaylor is a basically a single skilled plaer who will rarely get a match now with Simpson back

  31. Lads-

    I gotta say, I was a bit disappointed in the crowd at SJP for the Blackburn game. Did NOT turn up like I hoped. I wish the crowd was in full voice at EVERY home game like. Y’all sound so damn good on the tele, and to me, it’s a source of pride like. That’s half the reason I chose to support Newcastle a few years back. 1) Broon Ale is my favorite beer around, and 2) Geordies have more heart and pride than anyone else in England.

  32. Yes Toonsy, I am saying atm they only sing like that when we’re 3-0 up.

    Are you disagreeing with that out of your moral obligations or sense of reality.

    HINT – Think really carefully about your answer…. :)

  33. Toonsy-

    Really? Haha, I thought y’all only used metrics… nice to be wrong about that! I prefer miles. 5,280 is just such a nice round number :lol:

  34. OHurley

    In France I think they only use Metrics, not in UK.

    And also.. is a country mile longer than a normal mile. :)

  35. OHurley says:
    November 12, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    I gotta say, I was a bit disappointed in the crowd at SJP for the Blackburn game. Did NOT turn up like I hoped

    Aye mate. 41,000 or something wasn’t it. Don’t worry me and Stu are going tomorow, it’ll be LOUD alright. ;)

  36. I see the Fans are getting stick for not being loud enough, Though I do understand the point that is being made . But the Fans turn up and PAY to support the team so there is no obligation on them to vocally support, (even though I think they should be vocal). But the players get PAYED to play and as it is about entertainment and results, So they have the obligation to turn up and Play and give the fans some entertainment and something to shout about ;)
    I just dont think it is fair to try to blame the Fans for poor performance from the players

  37. DJG – Of course I’m not disagrreing that our crowd are mainly made up of glory hunters who only sing when we are winning.

    That was, and has been, my point for quite some time.

    The fact os that the majority of this current crop are living off the “best fans in the land” tag that was built up years ago and has fuck all to do with them.

    Johnny come lately’s if you like….

  38. Dave – Whi is blaming the fans for poor performances like? Sorry, but I haven’t seen that written.

    What I am saying is that support the team through thick and thin. There times when the players lift the crowd, but on the flipside there are other times when the reverse needs to happen and the crowd need to play their part and try to lift the lads.

    That doesn’t happen.

  39. Dave

    I agree with that.

    Possibly we are not getting behind them as much as we could, but I always think if the players turn up and show REAL effort even if we are 2-0 down I think the fans will get vocal and support them. It is up to the players IMO, we aren’t mugs and if the players point blank don’t turn up, Im sorry but I won’t be blamed for their non performance toonsy. I know I would give 100% if I was lucky and talented enough to play for the toon as I think Carroll does. :)

  40. toonsy says:
    November 12, 2010 at 6:08 pm
    ‘DJG – Of course I’m not disagrreing that our crowd are mainly made up of glory hunters who only sing when we are winning.’

    That is wrong mate and you know it, we are both from Gateshead and we support the toon coz they are the nearest big football team, you are yourself a ‘glory hunter’ then for not supporting crawcrook albion. If we were glory supporters we would support Man U or Chelsea like my lass, so im sorry but don’t talk bollix mate.

  41. Toonsy I’m not talking about any one comment on here i’m talking in general over the last few home games the Fans are getting slated for not getting behind the team. IMO it works both ways but as I said the Fans Pay to turn up, but the Players get Paid to Turn up so if the dont Turn up they cant expect the Fans to be Vocal.
    As I said I think being Vocal is the best way to lift the players but it’s not a given

  42. Dave… imo theres a difference between paying to support(which for me means vocally backing your team) and paying to watch a match which you can do in silence but wheres the “supporting the team” in that?

  43. Richie I agree 100% that if you turn up you should Vocally support them, but even if they arn’t vocal they are still financially supporting the team and its money that pays for the Players not voices. But as I said the players should be putting a full shift in with or without the Vocal Fans as they get paid to perform.

  44. richie

    It is never the fans fault full stop. Its like blaming the audience for a bad panto ffs!

    IMO the fans are an extra 10% / 12th man, WHEN the team are playing their hearts out, and in that case they can win football matches. What they are not is mugs. Just my opinion.

  45. DJG – But the fans are also a -20% when they get on the players back.

    As for the glory-hunting bit, there was no glory for the toon when I started supported them. We hadn’t been in Europe for years. Our ground was a shit-tip, and our team was much worse than what it is now. Add to that the fact that club was battling with going out of business aswell…

    Yet the fans still turned up and got behind the team.

    In this season, more than anoy other in recent history, the players need the fans to get behind the team, but it isn’t happening. Well it is, but only away from SJP.

  46. I mean FFS, I moved my regular seat because some miserable tosser moaned at me for trying to get a song started when we were losing 1-0 to Sheffield United

    “What do you want to sing for you prick, we;re fecking losing”

    I beleive his words were :roll:

  47. so its nowt like a panto then ffs….if the crowd can give an extra 10% then is it?

    For the vast majority of the players its a job no more no less, they have no affinity with this club, we have, we love it if we want it to do well we should be doing or bit and not just financially.Like I said there’s a big difference between going to watch and going to support.
    Do you do better at work when someone is running you down all the time or do you do better when you get support and praise?..its not hard to work out FFS!

    Dave, I agree they should put in a shift but you know yourself from ya army days that a bit of vocal encouragement goes along way.The team needs to lift the crowd when they’re quiet and the fans should lift the team when they’re going through a sticky patch.It doesn’t matter how good the players are and how hard they try sometimes things don’t go to plan then our 3rd rate fans get on their backs and from there it’ll only get worse imo.

  48. Dave….I do get a bit irate when talking about me team :-)
    most the lads in the army used to avoid arguing with me,I once put me roomates blood on 3 out of the 4 walls over who had the better fans :-) …ah happy days, young and impetous :lol:

  49. Toonsy.. cheers, I just get a little carried away sometimes, I need to keep some venom in for Duff :-)

  50. Richie I dont think there is any excuse for booing or abuseing players, and you are spot on about a bit of encouragement it can go along way.

  51. Dave – I wanted to more than give him a Joey dig mate. I was fu(kin fuming :)

    Rich – I’m just the same mate. It’s because we are different breed mate. Old Skool if you will ;)

  52. Toonsy

    To be fair its quite easy to criticise from a distance people are paying a hell of a lot of money in a recession to watch the lads.

    Not saying the supports great and i cannot do with the booing but i suppose these lads (or lasses) think if their paying for something they have a right to complain.

    When i first started going win lose or draw it was a giggle, Maybe since the clubs profile has rocketed these guys do actually have an inflated opinion of the club that we dont…

  53. CC says:
    November 12, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    “When i first started going win lose or draw it was a giggle, Maybe since the clubs profile has rocketed these guys do actually have an inflated opinion of the club that we dont…”

    I think you have hit the nail on the head with the “inflated opinion” part right there.

  54. Toonsy I think there is a lot of difference now from the (old Skool) days, there used to be fuk all else really to entertain you at the weekend except for the game and a few dogs. but whether we like it or not things have changed and the money needed to go to games is a lot harder to account for as there is so many other things to do with the money ;)

  55. RICHIETOON mate i agree with you things seem to have changed with the fans at times,do you think the “seating”of fans/stewards have oot to do with it?used to look forward to ganning just for the singing,used to have “song masters”standing on the old concrete barriers they decided what song depending on score it was,but we sang either way,still sing me-sel but often wonder what happened to them lads.
    no quips thank you :)

  56. CC….I agree people have the right to complain when they’ve spent their hard earned I’ve been known to hurl the odd expletive in the direction of the pitch ;-) but which game would you enjoy more a 2 nil win with no atmosphere just moaning and groaning or a 2 nil win with a great atmosphere, bit of a sing song and a cuddle of Toonsy’s “special friend”…I know which I prefer….apart from the cuddle like :-)
    It wasn’t much better last season when we romped the league and when the players did their bit but the fans still didn’t do theirs imo…..oh well maybe times have just changed, like ya say Toonsy, old School.
    …However, if you normally don’t sing and support but you were come KO time v the scum, how does that work then? ;-) Whey time to do me hair and gan for a pint :-)

  57. toonsy says:
    November 12, 2010 at 6:55 pm
    DJG – But the fans are also a -20% when they get on the players back

    Well thats up to them, it’s never been me when I’ve turned up.

  58. Ice….I used to think that but then how come they can raise the noise when the “big teams” come to town..and 5under1and…although it is a bit more difficult when ya can’t sit with a large group of mates.

  59. Toonsy…ya welcome to him,I’m surprised jay jay never introduced himself to me like :lol:
    Reet later and good luck wi ya bet again DJG(apart from the toon one ;-) )

  60. Rich

    As i think i said a week or two back 2-0 defeats were better atmosphere wise then than 2-0 wins are now, When i started watching.

    Im just making the point maybe this is a different generation of football fan.

    You wouldnt go for a meal get snubbed by the waitress and still leave a tip, Maybe they see football the same way and if they arent happy with what theyve paid for they spit the dummy…

  61. icedog says:
    November 12, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    “no quips thank you”

    Did ye used to gan and see Geordie Ridley at the Music Hall after the game, Ice? :lol:

  62. BIG DAVE ime good mate,but my brother is v.sick like.
    you have hit it on the head a bit (more from life)at times we had nowt but always got to the game we only had footy, couple of n/clubs,didnt need them if you picked up birds at local :).
    off topic do you still get cage/aviry paper?owr there

  63. WORKY lol,kna it was the little waster or a guy called irwin i think, had some great nights in there,hope you graced the place mind :)always ended with the b/races,and they say things are better now,i dont bloody think so

  64. Ice you still get it owr here but I havent got them in years I have box’s in the loft with owr 11yrs of them, dont know why I kept them but I keep thinking of doing the loft out and binning them. Its the same with the P Society ones I have all them aswell :lol:

  65. icedog says:
    “RICHIETOON mate i agree with you things seem to have changed with the fans at times,do you think the “seating”of fans/stewards have oot to do with it?used to look forward to ganning just for the singing,used to have “song masters”standing on the old concrete barriers they decided what song depending on score it was,but we sang either way”

    Good point ID. The idea of a singing section didnt work but maybe “Song Masters” in each relevant section might ? God knows I’ve tried to rouse the “Prawn Sandwich” brigade in the PC but its hard work.

  66. The seats have helped to spoil the atmosphere too.
    Far too civilised. Plus many fans have been split up from their mates etc. Like Toonsy says its hard to start singing on yer own, especially when the old geezers in the morgue, whoops I mean the Gallowgate start giving you the eye.
    I have stood in the gallowgate and sat in the gallowgate, but now I prefer level 7 corner. But the damned stairs knack my knees. lol

  67. AndyMac says:
    November 12, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    “God knows I’ve tried to rouse the “Prawn Sandwich” brigade in the PC but its hard work.”

    It’s the “Prawn Stottie Brigade” at SJP, Andy.

  68. icedog says:
    November 12, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    “WORKY lol,kna it was the little waster or a guy called irwin i think,”

    Ice, did you ever see that comedian from Gatesheed, Alan Snell I think it was? He was another “waster” and the original model for “Rab C. Nesbitt” with the string vest and the tatty old jacket etc.

  69. WORKY have i seen snell,ive drank with him,used to drink every friday night at gosforth dogs with the little waster and whoever was “on”with bob in the “bobby thomson show”that was doing the rounds them days,think it was because i had a few dogs running/training then.never telt them owt like,to heavy a gamblers,spoilt the odds for me lol.
    really dis-liked that ginger git from the dark-side bobby knocksall or some-it big headed sod

  70. Bearing in mind this thread is about Changes. I’d advocate we meet a winless (away from home) Fulham side head on.

    Most of this season Hughes has tried to use a formation that fits his available players particularly away from home. Fulham have mainly used a 4-2-3-1 formation away from Craven Cottage but that’s when they have a leading front man. Zamora is out for a while so Dembele or Dempsey will become the front man.

    Assuming they’ll stick with 1 up front we should try 3-5-2 for the first half with three CB’s defending, Taylor, Colo and Campbell. Give Williamson a break after he got roughed up against Blackbum.

    The five in midfield would allow Routledge a reasonable opportunity to go forward without having to worry too much about defending, mainly because he doesn’t.

    Guthrie, in JB’s absence, will cover the central midfield role, in front of Cheikh, alongside Nolan and Jose takes the left hand berth. Leaving Jonas to play up front alongside AC. Thats the ideal world but we’ll end up 4-4-2 :(

  71. batty says:
    November 12, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    “worky didnt he star in super gran”

    AYE! I knew he was in something, and it was nagging me. That was it!

    batty, Ice,

  72. icedog says:
    November 12, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    “really dis-liked that ginger git from the dark-side”

    The Little Waster was from “the Dark Side” like.

  73. WORKY kna m8 the ginger git was from dark-side sure it was bobby knoxall aboot 6ft 3in and a gob as big had a few vids oot a while back,sat in wor company,little bobby used to say give that git a kick under the table or spill your pint on him lol