Would a new role benefit Newcastle’s weak link?

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First off: let me offer my hearty congratulations to Newcastle for another good result and a great start to the season. Whilst I recognise that things are going well at the moment, there’s always room for improvement and there’s one area in particular where I’d like to see Alan Pardew make a slight change.

When I look at Gabriel Obertan and how he has been playing in recent weeks I can’t help but feel that he’d be better utilised as an impact sub rather than a player who starts each and every game. If you watch him closely he always seems to grow into games as other players grow more tired. Wouldn’t it make more sense then, to chuck him on near the end of the game, so that he can attack full-backs with fresh legs?

I’m sure Newcastle fans will remember his impact against Arsenal when he came off the bench. Could Alan Pardew maximise Obertan’s output by limiting his exposure?

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Against Tottenham he got into good positions and tracked back well throughout the entire game. Despite this I was conscious that he was growing in confidence and effectiveness as time ticked on.

He’s been given chances to prove himself at Newcastle and has yet to let himself or the club down. But with Ben Arfa and Marveaux both fit, I expect he’ll find himself on the bench. He might feel a little hard done by as a result, but it might not actually be a bad thing for his career.

It’s easy to forget that Obertan is a young player who didn’t really get a real look in at Manchester United. During his brief stay with Newcastle he has proved that he’s the real deal but that doesn’t necessarily make him a nailed on starter.

His age will stand him in good stead given that he has plenty of time to learn and develop and it will help that he’s involved in a squad full of quality players.

So do you agree that the time is right for Obertan to drop to the bench? Do you also agree that it might not be such a bad thing for the youngster? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Written by Harry Cloke

NothingButNewcastle.com is looking for writers. If you love the Toon get in touch at nothingbutnewcastle@snack-media.com

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  • BeeGuy says:

    No disrespect to Joey Barton, but Obertan has brought the entire pitch into play for NUFC this season. By Obertan using all of the rectangle, Jonas has a bit less of defenders overloading on him and his goals and assists are on the up. Obertan has shown good defensive positioning as well. I’m not sure how well others may do on the defensive side of the ball (I attribute this to his learning SAF’s tightly disciplined defensive play) IMHO. to get Obertan out of the line-up, someone has to show themselves to be a better all-around player than Obertan. No disrespect to the other wingers, just reasons what they have to do to take over on the right.

  • DougieToon says:

    Beeguy: never a truer word spoken. Gabby will come good on his final ball soon enough. If he works on that I don’t see what else he needs to improve on. Especially if Raylor goes over to the right and santon on the left. With Raylor’s ability to deliver the ride side could become a massive threat!! HWTL

  • PeterASchubert says:

    Both the article author and the earlier responders have valid points. What a wonderful dilemma for Pardew?!
    At the end, though, its not about what Obertan, or those waiting on the bench, have “earned”, its about what benefits the team – taking each game on its merits, maintaining stability and morale, etc. To be fair to all players, you play your best when ever you can. Now, while Obers is very good, he’s probably our second best right winger, IMO. From an armchair-spectator’s perspective, I cannot wait to see Ben Arfa play a good long string of games. Having said that, note that history suggests that that is a rare commodity. It’s lucky we have Obers. It takes some pressure off of having to rush Ben Arfa or take risks with him. So, all in all, I don’t much mind who starts or the order in which they play, provided we get the creative skill of Ben Arfa and the dependable work rate from Obers, each at the right time according to how the game is going. What a delightful poser for the manager to have.

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