Alan Pardew defends Davide Santon with real gusto, but the Italian has yet to win over a lot of the Newcastle fans, because he eats up the space down the flank and creates . but the lad CANNOT defend!
And isn't that his true job?
The full-back used to be the guy who stopped the winger putting in crosses; and that is something someone should have a word with Santon about, because the kid does not do it.
It's all very well flying down the wing with the greatest of ease - but not much good when the top sides in the Premiership exploit the space he leaves behind - and many have it top of their "to do list".
Then we have Steven Taylor. A good Premiership defender . if you can get him onto the pitch.
His injury record has been reproduced on this website many, many times, so we won't even go there.
As for Mike Williamson, I don't want to delve too deep because the player has the heart of lion and no-one can doubt that he always gives 100%.
Whether is best is good enough, is another story.
Fabricio Coloccini is world class - when you have him in the right frame of mind. Sadly, this season his mind has been back in Argentina more often than not, and when Alan Pardew had a dig at him in public, that didn't help either party.
Then we have Danny Simpson, who knows he is on borrowed time at St James' Park, because the club say they are willing to listen to offers.
Finally - James Perch. I think Pardew had a brainwave when he tried the former Forest defender in midfield as a ball-winner, because I have NEVER seen him as a defender. Finally, he has found his true position - and it sure as hell isn't central defender.
Yet, on Thursday evening in the Ukraine, Pardew threw together - Danny Simpson; Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa; Fabricio Coloccini; and Massadio Haidara . and it looked the most accomplished system I have seen this campaign!
Colo was back to his best, beside a player (in Yanga-Mbiwa) who looked like he knew what was expected of him.
Haidara played like a full-back should play, and the four looked the best partnership I have seen for sometime.
Source: Newcastle United Mad