Anita option worth consideration for Pardew

Posted by Lee Ryder

Serena Taylor/Newcastle United/Getty ImagesNewcastle midfielder Vurnon Anita assisted on Loic Remy's goal last Saturday versus Chelsea.

After enduring plenty of doom and gloom in the build-up to Newcastle United's win over Chelsea, Alan Pardew will probably welcome some nicer problems this week ahead of the long journey down to White Hart Lane.

There's never any shortage of topics to debate in the pubs and clubs of Newcastle. And this week, Pardew must decide whether Vurnon Anita has done enough to earn a start in the Toon team for the clash with Tottenham Hotspur.

Anita has waited patiently for his first team chances since signing from Ajax back in the summer of 2012. But now it seems he's grasping that opportunity -- and the fans are starting to see what a good player he really is.

It took him a while to settle in the Premier League, but game by game he is looking more like the man who caught Newcastle's eye to begin with. The Dutch international came on as sub for the injured Cheick Tiote in the fantastic victory over the Blues last week.

United's captain has been a bit of rock in the last few games and many Toon supporters might have feared the worst when he came off with a thigh knock. But they needn't have worried as the super cool Dutch midfielder slotted in fantastically. During his second half run-out he helped change the game and offered the Magpies plenty of mobility going forward with some telling passes into the final third -- something that United have lacked at times this season.

Pardew's big selection poser though is whether Anita comes into the side at the expense of either Tiote or Yohan Cabaye. Given that Tiote and Cabaye are both established senior stars and influential members of the dressing room, that's unlikely as far as the ex-Ajax man is concerned.

- Duffy: Credit Yohan Cabaye

It's worth noting that Anita has been the fall guy before. Anita is one of the genuine nice guys of the Toon dressing room. He's polite and rarely snubs any reporter eager to get some quotes from the technically minded midfielder.

If he was selected against Spurs then you have to say it would be on merit after his performance against Chelsea. Pardew's other option would be to include Anita, Cabaye and Tiote on the same team sheet in a more compact midfield unit that would lack width, but offer plenty of creativity going forward if the Ivory Coast midfielder was to sit back.

Anita capped his sparkling display with a fine assist against Chelsea when he cut the ball back for Loic Remy to ram home his sixth of the campaign. And you just get the feeling against a solid unit like Spurs, Anita could fit the bill on Sunday lunchtime in a game we're all looking forward to on Tyneside this weekend.

Pardew must also ponder who drops down to the bench in the heart of his back four: Fabricio Coloccini could return for the capital battle with Spurs but Mike Williamson and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa are beginning to forge a good understanding.

Williamson was part of a Toon team that kept another shutout against Chelsea and eagle eyed fans noticed that this was indeed his 21st clean sheet from United's 31 since they won promotion in 2010. Given the Magpies defender has endured plenty stick in past years, it was a stat that raised plenty of eyebrows.

So Pardew has what you'd say was a nice poser to mull over ahead of the game with Spurs. Certainly, after enduring the doom and gloom of a derby defeat just last week, the Londoner won't be complaining too much.


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.