It’s difficult to know what to make of ex-Manchester United star Gabriel Obertan. Sometimes he reminds me of Wayne Routledge who had a torrid time with Newcastle and other times he looks like a world-beater. This inconsistency seems to have left fans uncertain of Obertan’s role within this Newcastle side and unsure as to whether he has a real future with the club.
When he’s running full speed at an opposition full-back, he’s a frightening sight. He’s got the technique to beat players and the pace to leave them for dead – all he seems to be missing is the confidence to use these skills in the right way. If he was charged with really taking on full-backs, with always looking to beat his man and drive play forward Obertan could be given a chance to prove his worth.
At just 22-years old, he still has plenty of time to work on his weaknesses and figure out his role within this Newcastle team. There are very few players in world-football who have managed to really impress at such a young age in the Premier League. The trouble for him is that Alan Pardew seems to view him as more of an impact player than a regular starter and Obertan’s willingness to play this role has meant has meant fewer starts for the Magpies.
Some questions remain as to his crossing ability, but this is something that’s likely to improve over time. Alan Pardew will be taking note of his weaknesses and looking to remedy them over the course of this season and the coming summer. Once he’s getting that kind of thing right, he’ll surely have more motivation to drive play forward and beat his man, safe in the knowledge that he can put in a killer ball if he does so.
It’s all a part of his development and as he works on his weaknesses we’re sure to see every area of his game improve. It’s clear that he’s not the most confident man in the world but if Alan Pardew can get him believing in himself and if the fans get behind him, there’s every chance he’ll prove to be a real asset for Newcastle. In terms of strength and speed, there are very few in the Magpie’s squad to challenge Obertan – whether Alan Pardew will be able to make the most of these attributes, however, remains to be seen.
Follow @ThePerfectPass on Twitter for details on all the latest updates and various football-related musings.
Introducing the neat little app that’ll pay you to view content tailored to your interests:
ThisisFutbol.com are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “email@example.com” to learn more.