Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Can't Help but Think That Santon Will Play on Right

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Can't Help but Think That Santon Will Play on Right

Article excerpt

Byline: OLIVIER BERNARD

WE lefties never enjoy playing on the right wing.

Those of us employed as defenders are particularly averse to the idea of being on the side of the pitch that doesn't favour our 'good' foot.

I was a soldier to that on a couple of occasions.

Managers told me to fill on the other side of the back four for a game or so, which I did and played okay.

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But it never felt comfortable. This transition is much easier for a midfielder or out-and-out winger.

They have more of the pitch to play with and, indeed, these days managers like the idea of their attacking players cutting back inside.

But it's different for us full-backs. At left-back, I needed only one touch to get the ball under total control.

Switch my position and most of the time I had to take two touches to get the ball back on my left, and you rarely get time to do that.

It was more difficult to attack as well. A lot of my game was running or passing down the channel.

Out of position, I tended to switch back infield to get off a pass, which wastes a second.

And that is how long it takes for an opposition striker to close you down.

Everything has to be done that much quicker. The first touch must be spot-on.

I spent a lot of my time switching the ball from right to left.

All of this makes me think that Davide Santon's long-term future at Newcastle United is at rightback.

He will start on the left against Manchester City next Monday, with I imagine Mathieu Debuchy on the other side. Santon is two-footed and has played left-back so often that I'd imagine it has become second nature to him.

The young Italian is also a fine player. He was probably our best performer in the first half of last season.

But I see him on the right, with maybe Paul Dummett eventually coming in as left-back.

Santon is an attacking full-back and you can't get away from the fact that while he's playing on the left, much of what he tries to do is easy to defend. …

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