Back line In Need Of Back Up?
By Steve
Thursday 23 Jun 2011 10:16:00
Browse all Louis Tiplady articles

Newcastle United have certainly came back to the Premier League with a boom, some could say a BOOM BOOM! But in a season where questions have been asked of our front line, since the sale of Andy Carroll, the defence have seemed to escape the media.
Now the likes of Coloccini and Enrique have been quality this season, and the young Danny Simpson has been a surprise performer, and the forever switching Williamson and S. Taylor have played well at times, but have they all been worthy of the praise they have recieved?
Well they are definately worthy of praise, but as much as they have received? Anyway that's not the only point i'm trying to make. The  other point I am trying to make is, were Newcastle's front line, which starred in the second stage of the season, worth their criticism? 
It was the 1st February, a miserable day without the news that, our local number 9, and current top scorer, Andy Carroll had left the Toon for Liverpool on deadline day (after revealing that he wanted to stay with the club and be a successful number 9). We were left virtually bare in the position of centre-forward, the only hope was an unproven forward who signed for the club a year ago. This man went, and goes by the name of Leon Best.
Leon had been very dissappointing since he had joined the club, but when injuries to others around him allowed him to to feature against Wigan in the Premier League for Newcastle United, he grasped the opportunity and didn't fail to take it. He may not have scored a goal, but he ran his heart out and played very well.
This game provided a ticket for him to start regularly, and after 10 games, Leon ended up with a six goal tally scoring against: West Ham (3), Arsenal (1), Birmingham (1) and Everton (1). I will never forget how happy and surprised I was when Leon hit 3 against West Ham! But his season then ended with a foot injury.
Shola Ameobi also ended the season with six goals, including two against the mackems! And then Peter Lovenkrands managed seven.
So by not including Carroll's eleven goals for Newcastle this season, our strike force gave us nineteen goals anyway. Not too bad, dont you think?
However our strong defence did collapse under pressure at times. For example, we were one nil up against Sunderland with about half a minute to go, then the whole back line went 'chasing' and allowed Gyan to score an open goal.
The following week, while in the lead against current Champions League side Tottenham, Danny Simpson fell asleep to allow Aaron Lennon to cut inside and equalise in added time... Again! And let us all just forget about Bolton away.
So all in all, we may need a few more forwards, but never lose hope in the strike force of NUFC! And lets not forget about our back line, with Jose Enrique being linked to clubs here, there and everywhere, we may need to be alert in the transfer market sooner than we think. I have confidence in our new signings, Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Sylvain Marveaux, I just hope Alan Pardew can see the lack of consistency we have at the back, and take action to provide a better defensive game to our side.

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