clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Newcastle's center defensive issues

New, comment

In the wake of conceding three goals at the weekend, Callum Kane takes a very critical look at the center back position.

Prolific goal scoring defender Mike Williamson celebrates his first Newcastle goal.
Prolific goal scoring defender Mike Williamson celebrates his first Newcastle goal.
Nigel Roddis

In a dystopian future (approximately 12 days from now) Newcastle United have just churned out another gut-wrenchingly bad performance in which they concede another four goals away to Southampton. Coloccini stands on the St Mary's turf, disillusioned at the fact he and Mike Williamson managed to lose their men for three of the four goals conceded. Whereas Paul Dummett, recalled to the first XI after Massadio Haidara gave a frankly acceptable performance at left back against Crystal Palace, something which infuriated Alan Pardew and his coaching staff, laments the way in which he allowed Jack Cork to drift past him before sliding the ball past Tim Krul for Saint's fourth of the day. Toby Alderweireld, who Newcastle recently rejected, revels in his solid, if unspectacular debut, all while Alan Pardew trudges down back into the dressing room unable to understand how Southampton managed to keep a clean sheet all while their home support were willing them to score goals. It is something that not even his brilliant footballing mind can comprehend.

Unless Newcastle sign a defender this deadline day, this version of events is something that wouldn't surprise even the most optimistic of Newcastle fans. An ageing Coloccini continues to wilt away with every passing game. A bumbling Mike Williamson carries on being a positionally unaware, slow, immobile center back who even the worst of Premier League strikers would fancy their chances against. For the past few years center back has been a real problem position for Newcastle United, the club had previously hoped that Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa could be the long term solution to all of their problems here. Unfortunately, Alan Pardew's frankly amazing effort to allow mediocrity to be showcased on a worldwide stage every week has limited MYM's chance to a cup game here and there. Long time banter merchant Steven Taylor even finds himself ahead of him in the pecking order.

This window should have been the window in which a capable center back for the present season was bought, instead, at the time of writing it is something that has once again eluded them. The full back positions are more than adequately filled but all four center backs are much criticized by a fan base that is becoming increasingly frustrated at the constant leaking of goals. Lascelles has been bought by the club, but he remains one for the future and is being allowed to develop at Nottingham Forest, which with Alan Pardew's record of nurturing young talent could be a very shrewd move by the club, but it still leaves the question 'who is going to command an entire back four for the rest of a season?'. At this point a number of targets are being touted by media outlets. Virgil Van Dijk of Celtic has been mentioned numerous times, although the fact he plays in the SPL is something that is making many fans skeptical of his ability. In my opinion, however, he would be a solid addition to the roster, and may finally allow Yanga-Mbiwa to end his Newcastle nightmare. It would also allow Alan Pardew to drop Mike Williamson and make the center of the defense a more pacey area, because at the minute it has little-to-no-pace.

In an ideal world Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Coloccini could strike up a solid partnership and at least sure-up the defense for another season. However with the former being seemingly forced out of the club and the latter aging at an accelerated rate this is a merely a pipe dream from yesteryear. No doubt the club will be targeting a center back on deadline day, but the way in which we deal in transfers is something that will have us fans worrying until the window is slammed shut. Alderweireld looks to have got away, and this is a transfer that would have lifted spirits on Tyneside ten fold. Virgil Van Dijk looks to be a last resort and at the moment we'd take any defender right now, so he would have a more than warm welcome to Tyneside.

Stick with Coming Home Newcastle on Deadline Day to stay up to date with all developments on what will hopefully be a fruitful day with everyone hoping for an incoming defender.