Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Let's Get Basics Right First, Chris; SUPER MAC SHOOTING FORM THE LIP in an Interview with JOHN GIBSON

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Let's Get Basics Right First, Chris; SUPER MAC SHOOTING FORM THE LIP in an Interview with JOHN GIBSON

Article excerpt

Byline: SUPER MAC

CHRIS HUGHTON arrived as first-team coach at Newcastle United this week - and his immediate job is obvious.

For goodness sake, Hughton must get a grip of the kids in United's defence and give them a refresher course on the basics of defending.

Because Charles N'Zogbia and Steven Taylor are repeatedly making the same mistakes, which leads me to think nothing is being put right on the training ground.

Take the Manchester United shambles. N'Zogbia was caught out ball-watching on the back post for the opening goal, and allowed Wayne Rooney to run past him and connect with the cross.

The kid committed the cardinal sin. He should never have had his body opened up to look across the pitch.

He should have been playing with his back to goal so that by turning his head he could see everything including Rooney.

Then there's Taylor, who has been responsible for a few goals recently.

On Manchester United's crucial second just before half-time, Taylor turned a full circle as Michael Carrick played the pass to Cristiano Ronaldo, which meant he had his back to the action at a critical time.

Then Taylor decided to be macho man and dive in on Ronaldo to body check him, and presumably get a roar of approval from the fans who didn't like the Portuguese superstar.

However, Ronaldo had far too much guile for Taylor, slipped him, and left him looking foolish lying on the ground while he strode on to score. Game over.

Both N'Zogbia and Taylor were naive - and it showed. If Taylor has aspirations to play for England then he had better go back to basics on the training ground and sort out his game.

Relying a lot on strong-arm tactics to win over the fans doesn't work in the Premier League, where top strikers are far too clever.

The whole of United's back four need looking at, of course.

Individually and, just as important, as a unit, but Hughton must help the kids and quickly.

We're attaching a lot of hope to the arrival of Hughton, a top-class defender in his time at Spurs, and that's the way it should be. …

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