Newcastle’s Defensive Conundrum

October 22, 2013 in Premier League by Daniel Lloyd

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For as long as I can remember, Newcastle have always had one main problem with their line up - the defence. From the rock bottom days of Titus Bramble and Jean-Alain Boumsong to the newer times of Mike Williamson and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, the defence has always been Newcastle’s main problem. For example, back in the mid 90s, Newcastle leaked so many goals but had such a strong attacking force that their motto was “We’re gonna score one more than you!”.

NewcastlePoor

As I’m sure everyone saw on Saturday, Newcastle played in-form Liverpool in a match that last season ended in a 6-0 loss for the Magpies, with people liked Jordan Henderson and Fabio Borini getting on the scoresheet. But this time looked a lot better from the home team, with controlled passing, the team pressing Liverpool high up the pitch, and 23 minutes in, Yohan Cabaye scored an absolute cracker from 30 yards to put the home side 1-0 up, deservedly so as well.

But then disaster struck. Yanga-Mbiwa found Luis Suarez on the wrong side of him, and hauled him down in the penalty area, causing Liverpool to equalise and getting himself sent off in the process. With Newcastle down to 10 men and level with the Reds, things were looking ominous for Newcastle. Moussa Sissoko was taken off and replaced by Paul Dummett, a young academy defender who had previously come on for Steven Taylor when he got sent off against Manchester City. And what a substitution it was. Dummett and Williamson played the best games of their lives, only conceding one further goal when facing SaS, which is a feat in itself. But the real headline came when Dummett snuck past Mamadou Sakho and Aly Cissokho to tidily volley the ball into the back of the net.

Dummett

And Dummett has shown that he is no longer an academy player who should be shoved out on loan with the likes of Shane Ferguson et al. He is here to compete for a first team place.

And it couldn’t have come at a better time. Newcastle are without club captain Fabricio Coloccini through injury and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa will obviously miss the next game through suspension - and the next game is one of the biggest on the calendar for the Toon Army: Sunderland away. Seeing at how poor Sunderland have been all season, if they were able to pull off a result against the Geordies, it would set their momentum back a hell of a lot. Either way, Newcastle are going to have Mike Williamson in the squad, but it will either be the returning Steven Taylor or Paul Dummett who partners him. Both will have a lot of passion heading in to this game as both are hometown lads.

Steven Taylor Newcastle

But back to the initial point - Newcastle really have to sort out their defensive issues. I know it can take a long time for players to settle, but most others who have come from France already have; remember MYM was a player who captained a side to the Ligue 1 title. But he has seemed very shaky for Newcastle. I’ve seen numerous occasions where he has been shirt pulling and holding players in the area, but no penalty was given. Right now, he seems on liability par with Boumsong, and believe me when I say that is the absolute worst reputation you can have in the North East.

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