Should We Be Worried About the Left?

It’s not often I worry about getting things right on the left, as readers of my political blog will know. But with the news that Kyel Reid has gone on loan to Wolves for the rest of the season, and with Boa Morte hopefully off to Hull, and with Etherington already gone to Stoke, we look painfully weak down the left hand side. Walter Lopez, despite impressing on the left hand side of midfield in the reserves hasn’t even made the bench in recent months. Our first choice midfield now seems to be Jack Collison, Valon Behrami, Scott Parker and Mark Noble. Behrami is the only one of the four who you could say is used to playing a wide role, but his best position seems to be in one of the central slots.

I have always thought the main drawback of Zola’s teams so far has been the lack of width, but without a new face, it doesn’t look like that is going to be rectified this season.

UPDATE: The Newcastle Evening Chronicle is reporting that Newcastle have bid £4 million for Lucas Neill. The words off, bite, their and hands come to mind. But not necessarily in that order.


22 Responses to Should We Be Worried About the Left?

  1. colney says:

    acording to reports were looking at one or 2 players so maybe a new recruit for the left is on the cards? ilunga at left back worries me if he buggers off to the mickey mousers,not much cover there unless hes thinking spector there? i am more worried about lbm making decisions?hes crap at them on the pitch so why is he being aloud to make them off the pitch?

  2. Iron Lung says:

    Four million for Lucas Neill? There IS a club in a worse state than ours! A club that stupid might give us N’Zogbia in return.

  3. Stuart says:


    We were weak on the left with those players.

    Lopez could be the answer imo.

  4. Stuart says:

    until Stanislas is ready to step up.

  5. bazza hammer says:

    iin my opinion we need to go after charles n’zogbia. he wants to leave newcastle, we need a left sided player desperately and imo he is the best left sided player in the league! yes we could offer him our useless captain but who are we gonna replace him with? spector? who is as injury prone as dyer and as useless as john o’shea in defence! do not get rid of lbm, he is starting to show form and we need him as an emergency winger any who.

  6. delmo says:

    Seeing all the fringe players go is good (how long have people been saying about LBM, ethers hopefully dav’s and Faubert. But the only worry (and this a big one knowing our luck)……we will go along all nicely till feb 3rd, then all of a sudden 2 centre back get crocked and we lose a midfielder or 2. I know it is long odds it happening, but it has happened before and we all know the lighting can hit wets ham twice!!!!

    It’s ok saying we have a good reserve and youth team to step up, but Zola & Clarke seem they want to hold Sears, Payne et all back for a while longer.

    And from what seen and heard Tristan and Lopez have been playing very well, but Di Michelle has always been the option late on in games, when we have seen that he takes ages to just do up his laces!!!

  7. Big Casino says:

    Haven’t seen anything of Lopez – but even if he is a decent player, he is a defender, or at least defensive minded… what we need is an offensive wide left player…..

    Reckon Mr. Behrami will be filling that slot until the summer (at least)… or maybe Mr. Dyer…. but I’d bring Stanislas back as cover….

    One of the young Paraguayian guys we have on trial (which we’re meant to be signing this week) is a ‘midfielder’ – hasn’t specified what side of midfield he plays.

  8. Liam says:

    I’m sure he’s probably thinking that Dyer can play anywhere across the midfield, so not a problem really. Have the starting four then Mullins, and Dyer offering good quality replacements.

  9. Kim says:

    Agree Stuart, Stanislas looked great last night against Chelsea. I think Zola must consider him ready for the bench otherwise no point in ending his loan at Southend.

    I have no idea what Lopez is like as a player. I have only ever seen him running up and down near the dugout!

    I am keener on getting rid of Neill and Faubert than LBM. Although I am not a fan of LBM he does seem to have improved a bit. Neill is too slow and has scored two own goals this season (though only one counted), gives away penalties and is not worth the wage bill. Faubert just seems like a spoilt, overrated brat. How dare he have a go at our little manager. Bet Clarkey got him doing one legged pitch circuits for that!

    So far we seem to be keeping our best players – long may it continue. Can’t wait for Feb so this hideous transfer window is over.


  10. IronMick says:

    As I said on the previous post, I would bring back Junior from Southend ( if only as cover / to stick on with 20 mins to go to inject a bit of pace and creativity)
    It’s my personal opinion that Zola is thinking Dyer on the left and both littleZ and S. Clarke have been working with him on the mentality of that position while he has been injured. (Prob completely wrong)
    Other than that we do need a players whose natural position is Left Mid – it’s all well and good having players that CAN play there if there are injurys/suspentions/ets but we need a player of prem class who DOES play there!

  11. Eddie Chappers says:

    I had heard that Zola wanted to model his approach on that of Wenger at Arsenal, quick intricate passing through the midfield would therefore be the order of the day with no traditional wingers/ wide players. Arguably the only real 1st team wide player they have at Arsenal is Walcott, this may be why Zola is getting rid of our obvious wide players- Ethers, LBM, Faubert…..whilst Dyer can play anywhere across the middle and Reidy is being offered more experience but this time with a title contender outfit in wolves???

  12. IronMick says:

    £4 million for lucas…..have they got their decimal point in the wrong place?

  13. djclipz says:

    Eddie, then that surely brings the idea of using wing backs, and although i can see illunga maybe doing this, as he pretty much does this already to a certain degree… Neill isn’t cut out for it and nor is faubert, so then tht leaves the gap of us finding a good attacking full back. Unless maybe behrami will go there and then dyer, parker, collison/noble through the middle????

  14. mike says:

    Can’t believe the £4m for Neill Do they mean his pay packet? Noone’s mentioned Keiran Dyer he used to play left sided and adds another midfield width option?

  15. E1 says:

    Dyer can do it for now, Lopaz got injured in reserve match aginst villa. not sure how bad, so it looks as if we will stay as we are at the moment, not a bad thing we have done ok last few weeks, So what ya worrying about. Davenport looks more like he is going to Brum rather than stoke and if neil does go then I think someone will come in for the Left mid slot. Lbm can’t agree terms so we might still be lumbered and quassie still not gone,all these players have got to go before zola will be allowed any money. THE most worrying thing is that Illunga still has not been offered a contract and IF liverpool are interested we could end up loosing him at the end of the season, having 1st option don’t mean much if HE don’t want to sign.

  16. Big Casino says:

    I agree with Eddie about formation… in fact if people remember, when zola first came in, we were playing 433/451 week in week out… and it did work well to start with…. but it is a formation that only works well when you have the right personnel…. and with everyone now back or coming back from injury, I’m sure he will revert to this formation.

    We have an excellent set of central midfielders to make up the 3 midfield berths in a 433/451 formation, in Behrami, Parker, Noble and Collison…. and Mullins is also solid cover… I personally would start always start with Behrami and Parker and then either Collison or Noble alongside those two….

    Then, when fit, I’d have Deano spearheading the attack, with Dyer flanking on the left and Bellamy the right… though both players are so good and equally as capable as playing right and left they can cross over throughout the match…. imagine the mayhem those two could cause working around Deano… but for now, Cole will have to do the Deano job…

    At the back I’d stick with the tried and tested Green, Neill, Upson, Collins and Illunga!




    Collison (or Noble)

    Ashton (or Cole)

  17. delmo says:

    LBM Rejects deal to join Hull on SPN, oh well we try again.

  18. Basildon Bob says:

    Watching the Southend game last night, Stanislas gave a good account of himself against Chelski, although comments that he should replace Noble are a bit wide of the mark. Lets remember Junior is playing in a league below premiership standard, remember when Defoe was at Bournemouth, his scoring record. A player with the potential as no doubt Stanislas has will do well at that level, but it does not necessarily mean he will cut the mustard in the Premier League Noble may not be playing his best football at the moment, but lets not get on his back. Against Stoke he was taken off and looked dejected but Clarkey was straight there with an arm round him giving him encouragement, that’s what we as fans of the club and the player should be doing giving the players encouragement not having a go.

  19. E1 says:

    Brooking was not much good his first couple of seasons and nearly went to southampton, give the lad(NOBLE) a chance he has ability and time will tell just how good he will be. How many more of our home grown talent do we want to admire playing for other clubs !!!!!

  20. Matt says:

    plus with reid joining wolves on loan today we have no left footers in our team apart from ilunga and lopez, but zola doesnt like lopez by the looks of things. he played well against watford i thought and kind of disappeared in recent months.

    or with boa morte rejecting move to hull maybe he fancies him to play 2nd half of season against most of the fans will!!!

  21. Upton Spark says:

    I’m sorrybut I know he is no youngster,but Lucas Neil has to be worth more than £4 million.

  22. D&G says:

    erm are you forgetting about the huge salary he is on? Forget about the transfer fee it’s the bloody salary that’s costing us!

    2 million get rid I’d say!

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