There have been many positives that Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew can take from the start of the season. Not only do Newcastle lie 4th in the Premier League table, but they’re also unbeaten and have only conceded three goals – less than any other team in the division. New players have come in and done well, while those already there have built on last season’s form. An illustration of both comes in the shape of Newcastle’s new partnership down the right between Danny Simpson and Gabriel Obertan.
Danny Simpson is going from strength to strength for Newcastle. Now the Magpies’ number five, which means he might have to change his Twitter name: @dannysimpson12, Simpson has become a regular fixture in Newcastle’s backline. The good form of Ryan Taylor and the arrival of Davide Santon might put his place under threat, but his performances this season more than justify his place in the team. He is the definition of a solid player and even managed to grab a goal in the Carling Cup in the week, albeit a fortunate one.
Ahead of him, Gabriel Obertan has started to become more comfortable in his black and white shirt. Simpson had formed a good understanding with Joey Barton, but it doesn’t seem to have taken him long to link up well with Obertan. That was in evidence at St James’ Park on Saturday against Blackburn, and hopefully as the Frenchman settles in his surroundings he can play in the overlapping Simpson with more regularity. Simpson will also be looking for Obertan to help him out at the back; something the winger doesn’t seem adverse to doing.
Not only are Simpson and Obertan both youngsters, but they have also both plied their trade at Old Trafford. You could argue that neither Simpson nor Obertan were given a fair chance at Manchester United. Simpson was forced to go out on loan as Gary Neville held down the right back slot, with a temporary move finally becoming permanent as Newcastle signed Simmo in 2010. Obertan only managed 14 appearances in 2 seasons with Man United, a number he’s likely to beat before Christmas at St James’ Park.
Despite a lack of first team action, both are sure to have benefitted from the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson in training. That will have given them a sound football upbringing, which Pardew now has the opportunity to build on. While this blossoming partnership may be in its infancy, hopefully it can become an exciting one and in some part Pardew and Newcastle might have Manchester United to thank for that.
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