Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Magpies Are Spoilt for Choice in Defence as Aces Fight for Places; NEWCASTLE HAVE SIX OF THE BEST AT THE BACK

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Magpies Are Spoilt for Choice in Defence as Aces Fight for Places; NEWCASTLE HAVE SIX OF THE BEST AT THE BACK

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK DOUGLAS Regional football editor mark.douglas@reachplc.com @MsiDouglas

NEWCASTLE United's heavyweight centre-backs are muscling in at both ends of the pitch this season.

Goals for Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez on Saturday took the tally for central defenders this season to five, with Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar also contributing a goal apiece to the shot-shy Magpies' cause.

Three clean sheets in 11 is something to work on but Newcastle, who remain most certainly a work-inprogress in other departments, have real strength in depth in the centre of defence - as has been proved by Fernandez and Clark stepping into the back five to great effect. The crop assembled by former boss Rafa Benitez but utilised effectively by the current incumbent Steve Bruce includes two internationals in Clark and the injured Schar (and a third with Paul Dummett now playing on the left of a back three), as well as Fernandez, Lascelles and Florian Lejeune, who is arguably the best of the six in terms of technique and the way he's able to read a game.

After Saturday's game, some observers even suggested it might be a high water mark in terms of overall quality of Newcastle's centre-back options.

It's a compelling argument. Newcastle's best teams of the modern era possessed outstanding players - think of the talismanic Philippe Albert, the dependable Steve Howey or Jonathan Woodgate in his prime - but there was not the comprehensive roll call that United have now.

Bruce is have excellent foundation on and next move interesting This collection of defenders are comfortable on the ball, can score, in Schar's case they can set up attacks with forward passes and are capable of defending too.

Since United returned to the Premier League in 2017, central defenders have scored a fifth - 18 - of Newcastle's 90 goals.

They tick the mentality box too: Lascelles is an excellent skipper who leads by example while fortunate to such an defensive to build Newcastle's will be an one model professional Clark's patience while out of the side explains why he is so valued by successive managers and his teammates. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.