The great final product debate

By Lee Ryder on Sep 13, 10 06:01 PM

Now you see it - now you don't, has Newcastle United's tremendous display of cutting edge against Aston Villa evaporated already?

On the evidence of the defeat by Blackpool you would have thought so.

Attention will now turn to Chris Hughton's selection at Goodison Park already for Saturday with first team starts for Jonas Gutierrez and Wayne Routledge is possible doubt.

As the excellent fan website View From The Seats put it for Routledge "Where was the rampant wing play of the last two weeks?" and as far as Jonas was concerned "He just wasn't there this time."

The big fear is that Routledge has reverted to type to the player that disappointed at Spurs, Villa and Fulham but that could be a little farfetched at such an early stage even if he has yet to produce a single assist in four games thus far.

No matter, on to Merseyside we march on Saturday and whether Hatem Ben Arfa starts the game is the biggest question of all.

Fans on nominated him man of the match on his 20 minute cameo alone whole Ben Arfa himself has promised much more after thanking the fans.

Whether Hughton opts to start with either Peter Lovenkrands on the other flank in his other position as winger remains to be seen - but certainly Scouser and Liverpool fan Ryan Taylor would surely jump at the chance of a stint on the right wing at Goodison if Hughton wanted to try something different.

Talk of Cheik Tiote coming into the engine room is also rife but the big concerns are surely the service and not the men in the middle or even who should partner Andy Carroll, as away from home Kevin Nolan could be deemed the best partner for the big Geordie lad as they can be the two battering rams in attack and defences don't like them when they're on top of their game.

Final product was one of the vital missing components against Blackpool and against an Everton side who leak goals it's time to expose it.

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Alex Turley said:

They both had poor games, though I'd take Jonas over Routledge. Personally, I'd stick on Ben Arfa instead of the painfully slow and often underwhelming Nolan. So let's not even dicuss the dreadful central midfield, the abject Perch...

Geordie Lee said:

I fear for us against Everton - they're the type of side who can suddenly click and put 4 or 5 past you, and it would be typical for them to do that against us. Still, Goodison is always a favourite ground to visit, so fingers crossed!

Terry Tibbs said:

Look Everton was always going to be a hard game regardless of what happened on Saturday so nothing has changed there.
Granted we lost to Blackpool but I can't agree on some views of our performance, we weren't that bad in fact we created enough chances to have won 2 or 3 games & didn't play much better against Villa (if at all)!!
I see we're now getting the usual "Nolan's to slow" comments but I didn't see many after both the Villa & Wolves games. Like it or not Nolan will play on Saturday at Everton coz we'll go 4-5-1 & he always looks the most likely to score alongside Carroll, he did last season & has this season as well.
If CH decides to change things then for me Smith & one of the wingers has to miss out but sorry I just wouldn't entertain Ryan Taylor at full back he can't defend for toffee (See what I've done there) he's shown that over the past couple of years without Simpson Perch is our only real option & has to be given a chance, granted he's struggled so far but let the kid have a fair run at it!

Mike said:

I agree that the Carroll / Nolan partnership may be the best bet away from home, so Nolan can drop back into a 5 man midfield when we don't have the ball, but if CH continues to only play one out and out striker for home games, my view is that the "link striker" needs to be someone with pace, flair and invention. Nolan isn't that type of player. Therefore, I'd like to see them play Ben Arfa just behind Carroll at the very least for our home games. Its been a long old while since we had genuine creativity in the middle of the field and the current formation of 1 man up top gives us the perfect opportunity to have a playmaker in behind.

Similar to when Allardyce named Geremi captain, I'm a little concerned that by naming Nolan as captain, CH has made him undroppable, and in the lineup I propose, I don't see a space for him as Barton has more mobility and a better passing range.

Ginola said:

I'd stick with our back 4 still. I know Perch hasn't had a great start but he'll improve. He is the weak area of our starting 11 - if Steve Taylor was fit i'd play him at right back.

I'd go 4-3-3/4-5-1 (much of the same in my opinion.
Routledge can't get the ball past the first man and is really frustrating me! So i'd be tempted to play either Smith or Tiote as a holding midfielder. Nolan and Barton in centre mid.
I'd have Jonas pushed up on the right and Ben Arfa pushed up on the left with Carroll up front.

We wont need our central midfielders to be fast if they play quick touch football and get the ball out to the flanks. Nolan and Barton can push on and compliment each other.

I'd stick with that for the season and not be afraid to attack everyone. You win some you lose some - but playing for a draw isn't the way to do it in my opinion.

Lovenkrands can come on on either flank or up front for an impact sub (rather than shola!!)


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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