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The international break - a moment to take stock


The Prophet
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So far, so bloody good. In terms of points on the board fifteen is a staggering total, I don't think any fan will dispute that (although I did hear some wolly in the boozer today describing our start to the season as 'alright'). However it hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows, there are still some issues to iron out and it's better to address them while morale is high and the results are flowing rather than waiting until a downturn in form.

 

The first few games were a concern. While we were getting results and dominating games in parts we weren't playing well. However I feel there's been a marked improvement throughout the Villa and Blackburn matches and the first half of the Wolves game today. The new signings are beginning to settle and Cabaye and Ba in particular look to be absolute bargains. I do however have reservations about Obertan. He has little intelligence as a player and an unreliable end product. As well as this he tends to bottle the challenge, no matter how hard he may get clattered. For me Pardew would be better served switching Jonas to the right and playing Marveaux wide left. Marv has looked absolute class in his limited playing time here, and Pardew would certainly be justified in giving him the nod over Obertan.

 

The defence also boasts some impressive stats conceding a meager four goals in seven, again though improvement could be made. I've been massively impressed with Steven Taylor so far, he looks to of come on an absolute ton following his rightful omission from the side under Hughton. The full back on the other hand have looked far from convincing. Ryan has looked shakey in parts in a position he quite clearly can't play and while I don't buy into the Simpson criticism following just about every game, he has had his fair share of poor performances this season. For me his problem isn't his backing off as some like to claim, but his positioning. The amount of times the opponent picks it up on the left wing and he is no where to be seen is frightening. Obviously in time Santon will come to fill the left back roll but the right back position has become a problem. Perhaps it is time to give Ryan Taylor the position, if for no other purpose than to give Simpson a kick up the arse.

 

The other selection dilema is what to do with Ben Arfa now he is back in contention. It would be incredibly harsh to drop one of the front two given their recent performance but it's frustrating knowing we have such a talented player sat on the bench. It's for Pardew to be ruthless in his selection but personally I'd leave things alone in the forward department while both Best and Ba continue to perform at a a high level.

 

If we continue to play the way we are and avoid any performances ala Wolves second half I see no reason why we can't take four points from our upcoming home games. However some valuable lessons should have been learnt today, namely: We shouldn't sit so deep, keep-ball is always more effective than hoof-ball and that Lovenkrands is a waste of space. Anyway, it's nice to get some early points on the board if nothing else. Onwards and upwards.

 

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We're mint. Two quality strikers, a very good midfield, a solid defence and a brilliant young keeper. Also have some amazing subs. Still got Santon to come in and rape the left side.

 

If Carlsberg made a Newcastle United Football Club.

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Pleasingly the season has went the way you would hope (and surpassed in many ways) as in when you go through the fixtures and with a mixture of heart and head predict how many points you'd have at this stage... We've not had "a Blackpool" result yet if you get what i mean...

 

Looking at late October and November it's not going to get any easier for a while mind...

 

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We've had a string of good results, and go into the break with some momentum and confidence. Key players that haven't been called up (Colo?) get some recovery time.

 

Can't find anything to be mad about. Loving this season.

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I would be very tempted to switch Ryan Taylor out to the right, allowing Santon into the side and also giving Simpson the kick up the arse, as you suggested Prophet. I also agree Obertan should be dropped, can Marv be effective on the right, perhaps cutting in? I don't know as I haven't seen any of him before he came here. Finally I would drop Best for Ben Arfa. For me, you simply have to play Ben Arfa if he's available and I believe out of the two strikers of Best and Ba, it is the latter who will give us more, especially with Ben Arfa pulling the strings just behind. It also gives us the added benefit of having a decent striker to come off the bench, not someone like Shola or Loven, but someone who can actually offer us a like for like replacement.

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I know Pardew has already hinted he might make changes for Spurs, in my opinion it's the right thing to do.

 

The first change I'd make is putting Santon on for Ryan Taylor. The time has come despite a couple of decent performances. His last ditch tackles and brave clearances have suprised me, but up against a good winger he's clueless when it comes to one-on-one. I don't want him to cost us points, and Spurs will be the best side we've played so far. Get Santon in the team.

 

The second change would be Jonas to right midfield and Marveaux coming on at left wing. Not necessarily permanently, but Jonas will be important for Simpson when he comes up against Bale. I'm not a massive fan of Bale and I do think he's massivley overrated, but Simpson will struggle with his pace and with Bale's sheer belief that he can beat him time and time again. Also, Marveaux deserves his chance now. Obertan didn't impress at all today.

 

The third one is harsh on Best, but I'd consider getting Ben Arfa on instead of him. The partnership we have upfront is working very well indeed, but it might be a bit to static against Tottenham. Also, I think Ba och Best might be outmuscled by Kaboul and King, so playing one of them will be enough while letting Hatem offer something else in attack.

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Not going to lie, this start has totally surpassed my expectations. So much so I was raging after today's game with the way we seemingly tried our hardest to throw it away.

 

Agree with most proposed changes however Jonas, even thought he's right footed, much prefers to play on the left. So for that reason I would try Marveaux on the right. Obertan has to be dropped, his end product is woeful and his workrate leaves a lot to be desired also. The limited amount of times I've seen Marveaux he seems so much more committed.

 

Santon in for Raylor is a no-brainer if fully fit. A specialist player in the LB position would be so much better against Spurs. Just hope Lennon doesn't switch to the left and rape Simpson again.

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Fuck the international break, we always lose our momentum wheneve we have one.

Since the last international break we have won 2 games which last season corresponding fixtures resulted in a loss and a draw for us, draw 2 games, one of which was a defeat for us in last years corresponding fixture and draw against a team who have just rebuilt themselves and you would now expect would be able to hold their own in the Premiership.

 

Because we won today I'd like to go ahead and face Spurs ASAP, but if the international break was after the Spurs game instead and we lost it then we would have 2 weeks with that defeat in mind and I don't think that would be a good thing.

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Guest magpie99

Changes have to be made for the Spurs game. I am prettyy sure the central midfield battle of Tiote/Cabaye against Modric/Parker will be brilliant but my concern is if they played Lennon against Ryan Taylor, he may get raped. Likewise, Bale against Simpson.

 

So, Santon has to come in against Lennon and we will prob ably have to play Simpson up against Bale because he is quicker than Raylor. Centre of the defence picks itself and I think should handle Adebeyor and Defoe.

 

I agree with most. Marveaux and BenArfa have to start because against Spurs, we are going to need ball retention, pace and trickery. I dont think they are that good at the back.

 

It also gives a rest to some of the players who may be feeling the pace so out would go Obertan, Best and Raylor, in would come Ben Arfa, Marveaux and Santon. The onus would be on them to keep the shirt.

 

Also, Man Utd never have a prob lem rotating winning teams. I dont see why we should either.

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We're mint. Two quality strikers, a very good midfield, a solid defence and a brilliant young keeper. Also have some amazing subs. Still got Santon to come in and rape the left side.

 

If Carlsberg made a Newcastle United Football Club.

 

:lol: :smitten:

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I'd feel very harsh dropping Best out of the team and i really don't think Pardew will have any intention of swapping Jonas to the right, nor should he.

 

Marveaux is a very clever footballer who likes to drift anyway, so i suggest sticking him on the right and let him roam when we attack.

 

Some very tough choices for Pardew, do you change a winning side whilst you have obvious talent on the bench? On the other hand, Spurs are a different animal to anything we have played so far.

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Despite the results I still don't think we've hit top gear yet. The two front lads are doing a great job but when we get Ben Arfa and Marveaux into that team I think we'll go up another level. The only area which I'm not happy with is full backs. Santon will sort the LB side but we need the right side taken care of as well to look the complete team. I hope we go for another full back in the transfer window.

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A start that probably exceeds all expectations. Superb stuff.

 

Cliche, but the real test is how you respond to a couple of losses.

 

 

Not that you will be beaten at all this year, of course. Silly me.

 

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