Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Problem Position Now Looks Whole Lot Worse

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Problem Position Now Looks Whole Lot Worse

Article excerpt

THERE was a great hue and cry when United didn't buy a quality centre-forward and propel him immediately into a side crying out for goals.

Well, another problem position DID bring about a key signing in transfer deadline week.

Yet for some unknown reason manager Alan Pardew decided against playing Davide Santon at QPR.

Why I will never know because Ryan Taylor is never, never a left-back and was tortured by Shaun Wright-Phillips at Loftus Road.

Santon, on the other hand, was good enough to play for Inter Milan under Jose Mourinho when only 18 and, now aged 20, had just days before skippered Italy's Under-21 side to a great victory on foreign soil.

The whole thing simply didn't make sense - if Pardew wanted to reward Taylor for two free-kick goals, and his tenacity in taking on a role foreign to him by keeping him in the team, he should have switched him to right-back and played Santon left.

The right side is where Ryan Taylor is most comfortable and Danny Simpson has, frankly, been all over the place this season.

Now we learn that Santon needs an operation after breaking down in training and won't play for some significant time.

Oh dear, what is it with United signing 'crocks'? There has been precious little return from the deals for Dan Gosling and Hatem Ben Arthur so far and now we learn that Santon's debut is way off. Bad luck or what? Such has been United's frailty at full-back that central defenders Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini have been admirably covering them as well as doing their own job.

That Newcastle have conceded but one goal in four Premier League matches has much to do with the form of Steven Taylor and Coloccini as well as keeper Tim Krul.

Mind you, Rangers could have had a hatful but for woeful finishing on Monday night.

I'm really pleased with the consistency of Steven Taylor this season. He has cut out the rushes of blood that scarred his game in the past and has been a controlled, measured performer, which has enabled Coloccini to look a much better player.

Certainly Taylor has put himself way ahead of Mike Williamson in the pecking order. …

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