Santon - Newcastle's Achilles Heel!
Alan Pardew has warned Davide Santon he needs to "re-focus" after admitting the Italian's performances have tailed off sharply of late.
The Newcastle boss was far from happy when Santon gifted Swansea three points yesterday, with a bizarre mistake that allowed the Swans to break the deadlock with five minutes remaining.
The left-back has been one of the stars of Newcastle United’s first half of the season, with his emergence acknowledged with an Italy call-up at the turn of the year.
But Pardew has noted a waning in his displays of late, and has worked hard with the defender this week in an effort to return him to form.
Some have said that his propensity to attack is undermining his efforts but Pardew won’t restrict his left-back’s attacking instincts, just remind him of his defensive responsibilities.
We have made comments on this website (NU-Mad) many times this season pointing out that Santon fails to do what a full-back should have has his number one priority - stop crosses going into the box.
And many managers know Newcastle's Achilles Heel is Santon's charges down the flank with no cover behind him.
Notice how many goals have gone against Newcastle this season when Santon has gone searching for goals ... leaving a gap that the opposition exploits.
Is it Santon's fault - or is it bad tactics - because all it takes is the left-midfield player to drop back to cover?
Personally I don't think he is a good defender - far from it. And if Pardew wants to use him, perhaps he should use him in midfield.
Alan Pardew: “I think he has had a couple of games when he has been disappointing for me. And it has actually coincided with his call-up (to the Italy full squad).
“You know sometimes that can happen to a young player.
"You have achieved your goal so to speak, he starts for Italy and then just comes off it a little bit.
“Trust me, I have worked hard with him this week to refocus him about how he got into the Italian team because first half of the season, he was probably our best player.
“But I won’t restrict his attacking forays. In fact, I will be encourage him more. But defensively, he definitely needs to concentrate a bit more.”
Source: Newcastle United Mad
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