Often Partisan

Don’t close the N’Daw on Guirane

There’s been a bit of talk online about the supposed three players to leave in January, and who they might be but one player I’ve not seen mentioned is Guirane N’Daw. Our Senegalese central midfielder is on loan from Saint-Etienne until January only – and although Blues have the option to keep him for the remainder of the season I wonder if they will.

The man from Senegal has only made four appearances in a Blues shirt, and none of them have been made in the league; something that has mystified me somewhat as I think he would offer us a good heavyweight option in the middle as opposed to Jonathan Spector or Keith Fahey, with Morgaro Gomis being currently injured. If N’Daw isn’t rated as good enough for the Championship by Chris Hughton, what reason would there be to keep him post-January, especially with the return of Jordon Mutch soon from injury?

It’s well documented that Blues are having to be prudent fiscally – the evidence being there for all to see with the lack of movement in the loan window by Blues, and the whole Stuart Parnaby affair. I should imagine that Blues are having to pay at the very least a proportion of N’Daw’s wages – if not all of them – and to keep someone on the books who’s probably on a decentish whack doesn’t seem financially worthwhile if he’s not going to get played.

However, I’d like to see N’Daw’s contract extended in January if at all possible, and I’d like to see him given a game or two as well – I thought the home game against Brugge showcased some of what he could do for us and pointed to a player that gives us a new option in the middle. Keeping N’Daw would also ensure we have cover for right back as being able to play the Senegalese man in the middle frees up Spector for other roles within the team, so whilst we have plenty of midfielders it would help us out with defensive cover. This cover is doubled as N’Daw himself is capable of playing at centre back and left back – which would give us cover should Liam Ridgewell move on.

With Blues having to have a smaller squad this year because of finances, there is a greater need for versatile players who can slot into a variety of positions and I think Chris Hughton has built the squad based on this. If players have to leave in January, I think we’ll see players move on who are either set in one position only or who can only play in one style of play – fluidity seems to be very important to Chris Hughton and unlike previous times at St Andrews we seem to be able to shift from a plan A to a plan B. Being able to change tactically means we become unpredictable to other teams, and it’s harder to defend against because an opposing manager may become unsure which way to go with his own team.

I will confess my admiration for N’Daw; like Tebily before him I could see the Senegalese becoming a bit of a cult hero at St Andrews and I hope he’s given the chance to impress.

Edit: Yes, I’ve realised he’s Senegalese. Sorry. I’ve got Tebs on the brain. I will immediately smack my hand.

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27 Responses to “Don’t close the N’Daw on Guirane”

  • chris says:

    thought he played fairly well on Thursday, better than Fahey anyway.
    unless Elliot was injured i would have put him in the middle and subbed Fahey instead.

  • BeeGeeBlueBoy says:

    We would be a weaker team without Fahey. N’Daw like Rooney looks out of his depth

  • Ralf Ramone says:

    Maybe the loan deal for N’Daw is written so that payments are triggered if he plays in the league, hence only used in Europa League.

    Just a thought.

  • Mezz says:

    I would like to see him stay, as a holding mid I thought he did really well, I didn’t agree with Tom Dross and Mooney saying it was a terrible performance. I thought Fahey who is meant to be a forward thinking midfielder was terrible and hasn’t played one decent game in the middle for us, just hope Mutch and Gomis are not far away from return

  • stokeblue says:

    I agree, Fahey is woeful!!! I can’t believe he is still starting games for us. As to N’Daw, I think he deserves a chance because he looked decent in the Brugge game in my opinion, however his pace worries me a little.

    Does anyone know when Jordan Mutch is expected back?

  • Roy Smith says:

    I thought N’Daw was really good on Thursday. I admit he took time to settle but that’s inevitable if you are not getting any playing time.
    I have yet to see what Fahey brings to the team, his one or two positive contributions to each match are not sufficient for him to keep his place in my opinion.
    Then again who am I to say CH is wrong

  • skareggae72 says:

    Im not a great fan of Fahey,but he did have a starring display the last time we played at Reading(promotion)and maybe he can reproduce that tomorrow at the same venue (although that was a long time ago!)
    Im sure Chris is monitoring peoples performance and hopefully it will be him that has a mini-clearout in January,without influence from boardroom…….

  • AR says:

    I like N’Daw & will be sorry if we don’t have him all the season. He’s strong in the tackle, tries decent forward passes & obviously has a shot.I think he is the best we’ve got in central midfield. Fahey is a big disappointment. He’s not even playing as well as he did last season. Remember he did have a decent game in the Final. What planet is JC on? He forgot to mention Drogba & Van Persie for us in January!

    • JC says:

      Fahey and N’daw keep passing the ball to the opposition. Did you see the homes games against Leicester and Brugges

  • John says:

    I think that N’Daw should start tomorrow against Reading, I think he could be that missing link in the middle of the park, I thought he had very good all round game in the week, As for Tom Clown Ross any Tommy has’nt got a clue Mooney, well ! what game was they watching ? ok he had a few passes go astray, but lets be honest even Messi would struggle with his passing if he had only played 2 or 3 games, I thought his tacking was secound to none. Play him and watch the improvement in Blues. I would play every time in front of Spector and Fahey, KRO

  • blueshark says:

    Fahey is a far better player than many give hime credit for. McLeish played him out of poisition on the left flank. Currently he has been moved to centre mid but seems reluctant to get too far forward – poor holding cover from Spector/Gomis or especially NDaw, I suspect.

    Fahey rarely gives the ball away – see OPTA stats – and was immense at Wembley, a post’s width away from winning for us.

  • rayray says:

    Fahey not great to watch at the minute. However I do feel he is doing exactly what CH is asking of him. When he gets a game for Ireland its pretty much the same that Trapatoni has him doing. But ya, I would love to see him get a chance to get forward more. Don’t think there will be any takers for him, and if Ridgewell does leave don’t think it’ll be Toon. Their defense is flying.
    As long as CH is making the decisions on who goes, that’s matters most.

  • alexjhurley says:

    Ndaw defo deserves his chance. Fahey will do a job and will do it better if he’s got a good worker next to him. He’ll never be mark ward, but ndaw could well be peter shearer (thatll make sense to about a third of your readers)

  • viperblue says:

    N’daw got as big a cheer for that storming tackle int he 1st half on Thursday
    as for either of the goals
    I personally think he would be strong in middle for us.
    Maybe payment trigger for league games is reason for not playing as suggested previously

  • Masaccio says:

    Give the fella some games and see how he goes. He can strike a ball well and can tackle hard.

  • Rich says:

    I thought N’daw was appalling. He has a touch like a hippo and in the first half couldnt pass water. I’m not biased in anyway, I say what I see and on Thursdays performance I didn’t like what I saw. And how ironic would it have been if that 35 yarder had not been brilliantly saved? It would have been probably the best goal seen at St Andrews in god knows how many years! Get rid.

  • Carl says:

    Apart from the first 25mins on his debut, I think N’daw has shown promise in central midfielder – he deserves a run in the team to play into some form. I also like his passion, obvious to see in the last two games he’s played for us.

    “the evidence being there for all to see with the lack of movement in the loan window by Blues, and the whole Stuart Parnaby affair.”

    Is this really true that there’s not even a little finance to play with? There was movement in the transfer window for permanent deals in the final week and why get a fringe loan player in now for the sake of it? Any ‘quality’ loan player wouldn’t be allowed to play in Europe for us until we get to the next round so let’s see who we can attract then.

    As for Parnaby, I don’t think that would have been a good use of club money if things are tight: he’s not better than Carr – and Spector can play across the back, like it or not.

  • Denis Thwaites says:

    The theory that Blues might have to fork out if N’Daw plays in the Championship might be valid as otherwise I can’t see why he can’t get in ahead of Spector. I agree he is slow but if given a sitting role in midfiels I think he would be effective given he can break up the play and pass it simple. Finding someone to play alongside him might be more of a problem. Spector who in fairness is reallly a defender is for me a makeshift player in midfield and that wouldn’t work so then there is Fahey. The more I watch Fahey the more convinced I am that he is trying to play some kind of a poor man’s Barry Ferguson role and is struggling to do it. His game now seems to consist of turning away from goal and then passing the ball backwards and sideways and when he delivers it forward he more often than not gives it away. When he was effective he used to run with the ball and attack opposition defences but he doesn’t seem to have that in his locker anymore. Getting the balance right in central midfield is key to any team and that is the conundrum right now. Perhaps Beau who has some nouse might fit the bill as the other central midfielder and basically let him pull the strings. I would then play either Elliott or Redmond wide left. Perhaps given there is a chance that N’Daw and Beau might be gone come February might explain why that combination hasn’t been given a go?

  • jazzzy786 says:

    N’Daw was pretty average versus Brugge especially first half but so was the majority of the Blues team. His passing and tackling was awful and he ran like he needed to go to the toilet and any sudden movement meant soiled underwear. Like everybody else he improved second half though some of his decision making regarding playing the simple ball or the Beckhamesque throughball beyond his capabilities did frustrate. He looks like a player who hasn’t played much and to get the best out of him we need to play him more. Our midfield is very lightweight and in the absence of Gomis/Mutch he does provide us with the presence that Fahey/Spector/Elliot do not. Also has a great shot on him which we are sadly missing from midfield since Gardner went.


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