Archive for tag: Newcastle United midfield.

Harry’s greatest compliment to the Magpies?

October 18th, 2011 | 33 Comments |

Alan Pardew and Harry Redknapp.
Was Droopy intimidated by Magpie midfield?
In the absence of one of my usual match reports this week, for what was possibly the finest and most interesting game in our season so far, I thought I would take a more abstract view, looking at just one aspect of our midfueld battle with Tottenham on Sunday.

It was certainly an important game for both sides in terms of keeping up momentum, and a good test of the Newcastle’s credentials against a strong side.

One of the first things that struck me was that from the start of the game, Newcastle United were outnumbered in midfield with Tottenham manager, Harry Redknapp, fielding five in the centre against Pardew’s we’re unbeaten, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it 4-4-2 same team as last time approach. With Tottenham possesing midfielders of the quality of Van der Vaart, Modric, Bale and Parker with Emanuel Adebayor alone upfront, this seemed like something of a daunting prospect to start with.

Now I don’t profess to be the greatest expert on Tottenham, but Redknapp. like Pardew, seems to have been playing a 4-4-2 formation usually this season, and with some success having four straight League victories in the run up to the game. So why the change? (more…)

Do Newcastle United have a better midfield this season?

October 10th, 2011 | 73 Comments |

Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye.
New look midfield: Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye in action
After the comings and goings of the ‘off season’, some of them obvious,, predictable, profitable and manufactured, it’s safe to say we now have a far more fluid midfield.

On top of the fluidity, we have also aquired a hell of a lot more pace. We seem very midfield focused at the moment, what with the possibilty of Yohan Cabaye being missing for the upcoming Spurs game. We also will lose the services of one Cheik Tiote when the African Cup of Nations swings around in January. No doubt losing his services a week or so before, as he meets up with his Cote d’Ivore team mates.

Both players will definitely be missed whenever they don’t play, whether by injury or suspension, but can we fill the sizeable gaps left? We have midfielders like Hatem Ben Arfa, Sylvain Marveaux, Dan Gosling, Haris Vučkić, Danny Guthrie to come in, not bad stand-ins, if you ask me. We also have versatile players like Ryan Taylor, James Perch and Shane Ferguson to come and ‘do a job’ if we get Davide Santon, Mike Williamson back into the defensive fold. So, as I was saying: We have a much more fluid arrangement from midfield to defence. (more…)

Newcastle midfielders and the ‘wafer-thin mint’

June 26th, 2011 | 32 Comments |

How many midfielders can Newcastle United cope with?
A bellyful of midfielders
Newcastle United seems to have been accumulating more midfielders recently, but does this give us a problem when it comes to keeping them all happy?

We seem to be on a mission to sign a fair few midfielders this transfer window. We already have Cabaye and Marveaux to add to the existing tribe of Ben Arfa, Jonas, Tiote, Barton, Guthrie, Gosling, Raylor and Ferguson. Not to mention Smith (and please don’t). And if speculation is anything to be believed we’re not done yet.

There’s still the possibility of signing someone like Sissoko, N’Zogbia, Matuidi, Barnetta or some as yet unknown midfield target. Adding just one more presents us with a problem. A nice problem in some ways, but a problem nevertheless.

The problem I’m talking about is who we leave out. (more…)