We failed to get hardly any crosses into the box v Swansea and failed to get in behind them at any stage of the match. The reason for this is quite simple:
a) Jonas just doesnt have a left foot and has cut back onto his right. Very, very annoying after 3 years.
b) Obertan must be a little retarded to have all his pace and a little bit of skill...but chooses not to use it. Instead he likes to cut inside into a cul-de-sac and either lay it off to Cabaye or just lose the ball. Very annoying.
c) Simpson got forward once. That is all. Not once did he ever, ever overlap Obertan. Anyone who thinks he is a marauding full back is wrong. He just doesn't do it.
d) Santon like Jonas, doesnt have a left foot. He played well, but it seems obvious to me he will be our right back for years to come. Hopefully.
So what can we do about it? Here's an idea. Is it totally insane?
Hatem Ben Arfa on the left wing and Jonas on the right wing.
What this will give us before we have even kicked a ball is a better balance to our midfield. It will also allow us to stretch teams as both wingers will naturally go on the outside of full backs and 'get chalk on their boots'.
We will also get a hell of a load of whipped in crosses into the box alternative to the diagonal floated balls our front 2 have to make the best out of, due to our wingers insisitance on cutting back onto their favoured foot. It just doesn't work.
If we are insisting on playing with 2 big lads up front then only a total mad man would not take advantage of this by playing with 2 wingers with the strategy of whipping crosses into the box on a constant basis.
No? Is this totally mad?
People will no doubt argue, Ben Arfa cant play on the wing.....our full backs will be exposed....Jonas doesnt like the right wing....etc.
But where's the harm in at least trying it? What is their to lose? What we did against Swansea in the wide areas was quite honestly pathetic. Its the only reason we didn't win.
Do you all remember the days of Sellars flying down the left? Ginola guile? Robert's dangerous delivery? Gillespie marauding down the right at will? Solano's class service from the right?
I certainly do.
So I don't understand why we cant have Ben Arfa's pace, skill, delivery, class coming from the left wing as he stretches defences and makes a mockery of right backs up and down the league. Added to Jonas's work rate, doggedness, enthusiasm, and an actual 'final ball' to go with it as he is allowed to use his right foot without having to cut back.
The fact we haven't even tried this is insane. The fact Ben Arfa cant even get off the bench is illogical and ridiculous.
Sort it out Pardew, your in danger of throwing away our great start to the season.
Norwich play direct. Score from 3 headers. Score from 3 set pieces. Grant Holt is the focus of their attack. He bullies the small Perch and Simmo.
We show spirit as we always do. First team players put in a hard shift. We struggle against Norwich playing direct up to Holt.
Norwich win by a couple of goals and Newcastle play well but just couldn't handle the aerial threat.
Did we even need to watch that game?
What has pissed me off watching it is why do we insist on being our own worst enemy?! Why?! Dan Gosling pass was horrendous and gets sent off! And what the f*ck was James Perch doing giving away a totally needless free kick after we all witnessed Norwich scoring off 2 set pieces?!!! Why?! He played well otherwise. Why doesnt he just grab a gun and shoot himself in the foot along with his teammates. Ridiculous.
If we had Colo and Saylor we would easily have won that game.
On the positive: Shola was class. Ba was efficient. Cabaye was immense. Santon was solid. Simmo was faultless. Krul was unlucky. We are a true team. Spirit is their to be seen, we never say die and if we cut out stupid individual errors we should beat Swansea and West Brom at home.
On the negative: Obertan is possibly the most annoying player we have ever had. Raylor was abysmal in that first half, does he enjoy getting caught out in behind time and time again? Dan Gosling will now be out for 3 matches, who will play midfield now? (in fairness to him, if had more game time he might not have gave away a lazy pass and put in a tired tackle to get sent off). We gave away 2 goals which were totally avoidable. It was hard enough with half a team and the linesman gifting them a corner which was never a corner in a million years!!!
Swansea is a must win now to get back on track.
Seeing as we are going into a tough-ish Premier league game with no centre backs; the best chance we have is to go all out attack. Keegan-esque.
Norwich will no doubt stick 2 up front including Big Grant Holt in the view to bully our make shift full backs. Let them. Norwich aren't the greatest team in the world defensively, so I want to see us hit them on the break as many times as possible and get in behind them whenever we can.
I'm looking forward to a 3-2/4-3 thriller in our favour...I dont want to see a 2-0, 3-1 submissive defeat like the bad old days.
Howay the lads. Could be a classic.
There's talk that Tamas Kadar could be called into the first team for the Norwich game due to our injury crisis. This seems a bit desperate and embarrassing for Pardew to totally alienate a player to the point he doesn't have a squad number (Rob Lee anyone); to throwing him straight into the first team and expect a performance from him.
Why Pardew has chosen to alienate him when we quite clearly needed a 4th CB as cover for the first team is baffling. Not to mention the kid is a highly rated youngster and full international.
Pardew has been awesome with the first team this season, but I seriously question his handling of a [B]squad[/B]. Santon hasn't had a sniff this season. HBA is still not fully match fit which is ridiculous seeing as we are in December. Marveaux had next to no Premier League game time but then got thrown in from the start and broke down, now out for 3 month. Dan Gosling hasn't had any game time to be proud of this season, anyone know why? Its a miracle Guthrie has been as impressive as he has, but even he has a niggling groin injury. Cabaye has a niggling groin injury also. Tiote's injury is unfortunate.
Pardew has been asking for trouble with the number of players in specific positions before the transfer window closed (Full back, Centre back) and with not giving fringe players any game time to gain fitness and confidence; and now he has got it.
There's more to managing a football team then picking the best XI every week.