Friday, September 02, 2011

A fragile "phenomenon"

This article by Guardian writer Paolo Bandini on our new signing Davide Santon is interesting for a number of reasons:

* It paints a portrait of a mentally fragile player who was initially lauded by opponent Cristiano Ronaldo and manager Jose Mourinho upon breaking into the Inter side, but who has suffered from a lack of self-belief since his form has dipped. Clearly we've got ourselves a very promising young footballer, but here's hoping he makes a good start to his Newcastle career - if not, he might find life in the "goldfish bowl" too much to cope with.

* Bandini notes that Mourinho's approach - build Santon up as a "phenomenon" when he played well and then knock him down when he turned in a poor performance - didn't work. He comes across as a player who needs to feel valued and wanted. Alan Pardew is reputed to be a good man-manager (though ASBO was possibly more than even he could chew), and it sounds as though he'll need to wrap his new signing up in protective cotton wool. High maintenance, then, but, with any luck, helping Santon to settle and feel comfortable at the club will reap handsome rewards in the not-too-distant future.

* There's a cautionary tale in there for us. While Santon was only converted to a left-back under Mourinho, he quickly established that as his best role. However, his versatility apparently caused problems; asked to fill in wherever necessary, "the lack of certainty undermined him." So, while he might be able to fill in at right-back (or elsewhere) for us if absolutely essential, we should be wary of asking him to do so. In truth, it's a left-back we so desperately needed, and so I can't really see us deploying him in any other capacity.




Post a Comment

<< Home