Newcastle United was involved in one of the saga’s of last summer’s transfer window, when they attempted to sign the ,then Lille, full-back Mathieu Debuchy. Following his impressive displays for France in the 2012 European Championships, many Newcastle United fans were eagerly awaiting the arrival of a signing that would not materialise until the following January transfer window. It had been a long wait, but Newcastle United had finally got their man, and were looking forward to seeing what he could deliver.
So, needless to say, the utter tripe that Debuchy was passing off as his performances from his arrival in January, until the end of the season, was a massive disappointment – specifically his pathetic and petulant showing in the 6-0 home drubbing to Liverpool. Many Newcastle fans were left wondering why the club had been so desperate to sign him, and what, if anything, Debuchy provided that was better than our previous right full back Danny Simpson, at least from a defensive stand-point.
Away to Manchester City, we were always going to struggle, and Debuchy was no exception. He wasn’t alone with a horrid display in a game where only Tim Krul came out with any sort of credit. At home to West Ham he had struggled to cope with the pace of Matt Jarvis, but he slowly grew into the game, and had him in his back pocket by the end of the game. A solid display against Fulham was followed up by a very assured performance at the weekend in our victory at Villa Park and it seems that Debuchy is slowly coming to terms with what exactly is required of a Premier League full-back.
Debuchy, like Santon, has bags of ability when it comes to going forward, but, like Santon, there have been serious question marks over his defensive ability. In recent games it would appear that Debuchy has sacrificed a little of his offensive game to focus more on defending – something I would like to see Santon do as well, at least for a little while. In due course I would love to see both full-backs freely bombing up and down the wings like Zabaleta, Evra, Cole, Johnson, Baines et al and if they can manage to strike a balance between attacking and defending, they could both well turn out to be very accomplished Premier League full-backs indeed.
With regards to Debuchy, I think he simply needed, and may still need, some time to settle. He was thrown into the deep end playing in an unsettled back four in a team low in confidence. With more Premier League games under his belt, as well as having captain Coloccini marshalling the defence, my hope would be that not only will Debuchy put in more displays like we’ve witnessed on Saturday, but that he proves himself to be a key player in this Newcastle United team this season.
What do you think? Is Debuchy getting to grips with life in the Premier League? Or does he still have a long way to go before we can really give him credit? I’d love to hear your views.