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
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