Newcastle’s Defensive Woes Adding To Problems

October 1, 2013 in Premier League by Daniel Lloyd

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“Football is a simple game really. You have to tackle, you have to put your head in, you have to run forward, you have to pass forward and you have to show an ambition to win the game, which we didn’t show in the first half - for whatever reason.”

Who said it? Alan Pardew. Congratulations on pointing out the obvious Alan, you also have to shoot as well. But that isn’t Newcastle’s problem at the moment. Newcastle have managed to score seven goals in six games, and while that’s not an impressive feat, it is more than you’d expect when you have a misfiring Papiss Cisse to deal with. Newcastle have managed to claw some of their dignity back basically through Loïc Rémy and Hatem Ben Arfa, who have scored three and two goals respectively. As I’ve said before, Newcastle’s problem isn’t their goalscoring. It’s their defending.

Newcastle’s defensive abilities this season have been woeful; somewhat reminiscent of the glory days of Titus Bramble and Jean Alain Boumsong. Mathieu Debuchy is an international right back who has played for France on 14 separate occasions and apparently has no idea how to defend; he is in the same vein as Davide Santon who has played for Italy (widely regarded for their brilliant defenders) a total of eight times. For Newcastle, neither of these players have an idea how to defend. They both tend to run up the wing before getting the ball taken off them before struggling immensely to get back. But while they are terrible, one man shined through yesterday with his lack of defensive ability: Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. This guy was caught out for the first goal by standing and watching the ball instead of getting on Lukaku. This guy was at fault for the second goal due to not tracking Ross Barkley’s run. This guy was nowhere to be seen for the third goal, oh no, wait, he was seen. Seen running the wrong way!

You know stuff has gone wrong for your team when you were wishing for the days of Mike Williamson and his own goal tekkers to come back. It got so bad yesterday he shored up the defence when he entered the fray. Mike Williamson! I have never been impressed with him, but compared to MYM he seems like a breath of fresh air right now. In all seriousness Pardew, bring back Steven Taylor. Coloccini right now is the only one I trust in that defence, which means my trust of the defence is at 25%.

As is the norm at Newcastle United they didn’t buy during the summer, presumably because they would have to pay full retail price; whereas in January they can poach people for a little bit less. But as we saw last season it can take a little while for players to mesh together which Newcastle definitely struggled with.

Most teams who score two goals in two different games would feel hard done by if they didn’t get a single point, which I’m sure Newcastle United do. But they shouldn’t. Hull outworked them, while Everton dominated the first half with such power that Newcastle would have had to pull off a miracle to get back into it.Everton-v-Newcastle-Ross-Barkley-celeb_3012203

If Newcastle can stop the defensive rot they could start to climb the table, but at the moment that doesn’t seem anywhere near possible. They need to focus on that more than anything, or risk becoming Sunderland.