Squad Appraisal - Defenders

Last updated : 20 April 2005 By Craig Hope (website editor)

SHAY GIVEN – A good goalkeeper, but has conceded eight goals in two games yet, once again, appears to be above any notion of blame. It is my opinion that he very rarely saves Newcastle in the face of adversity – he has had two glorious opportunities to do just that this week.

STEVE HARPER – He is a more than able deputy to Given and if the Irishman does move on in the summer I would be happy to see Harper become our first choice goalkeeper next season.

STEPHEN CARR – His commitment is his strongest asset. He has a reputation as an attacking full-back - the fact that he can’t cross, dribble or shoot is certainly lost on most people.

STEVEN TAYLOR – Must, and will, stay at St.James’ Park for a long time yet.

CELESTINE BABAYARO – A ‘playboy’ who would be better off in London or Largos – anywhere but Newcastle. A decent player when he plays. But, we have seen enough of his desire (or lack of it) to put our hands up, admit making a mistake, and get rid in the summer.

TITUS BRAMBLE – Fantastic form prior to his injury and a player who will be at St.James’ next season. He is strong, quick, composed and able to pick a pass with either foot. A big year ahead of him.

ANDY O’BRIEN – If he continues to play in the same manner in the remaining Premiership fixtures as in the previous six weeks then we won't be able to find a buyer. Not good enough, he causes chaos and confusion.

AARON HUGHES – Should remain given his ability to play anywhere across the back four but is a substitute at best.

JEAN-ALAIN BOUMSONG – Yet to justify his £8million price tag. He is a ball-watcher and will ultimately be proved to be somewhat of a liability. I’m sorry, I know most will disagree, but I just don’t fancy him one little bit.

ROBBIE ELLIOT – Keep him in the reserves, they need some experience to perhaps aid the development of the younger players. He’s also reliable in an injury crisis – something that will surely occur at some point next season.