Midterm Report: The realisation of Vurnon Anita’s potential

Words by Kevin Doocey on .

Vurnon Anita in action for Newcastle United against Fulham in the Premier League

As many of you will know and are probably tired of me pointing out (!) I am a big fan of <Vurnon Anita and his style of play. Many Newcastle fans were quick to play down his potential when he arrived from Ajax in 2012 for £7m, but from the few performances he put in it was clear - to me at least - that this guy is a technically astute player. I remember the day we landed him; Ajax manager Frank de Boer lamented at losing on their top prospects, a testament to the true potential of the little man. As the Ajax philosophy goes, the club tries to produce at least 3 players from their academy and fit them in the first team every two years. Vurnon happened to be one of these players. A short, but tenacious midfielder with a good passing range, and more importantly — a vision which makes him one of the best players at the club currently.

Thankfully Alan Pardew has realised what important player he can be, and has involved Vurnon in a large chunk of the season in a very competitive Newcastle United midfield. Anyway, here are my thoughts on his form so far this season.

Story so far: In my opinion a large portion of Newcastle's good form this season has come down to a certain Vurnon Anita. Playing in front of the back four, the Dutchman collects possession and moves it on without anything fancy or risky. He spots smart passes and then moves in positions where he can receive the ball to relieve a teammate of pressure. His ability to track the opposition and collect the ‘scraps’ makes him so effective. However, his holding role is not the only aspect to his game. He can push forward when needed and can spot a through ball to set the likes of Loic Rémy free. All in all, he has been sublime this season and is proving yet again what a fine judge of a player head-scout Graham Carr really is.

Moment of the Season: I am very tempted to single-out his performance against Chelsea in Newcastle's fine 2-0 victory over Jose Mourinho's men in which he showed a touch of class to settle the affair with an excellent assist for Rémy. Despite that, he did only play 40 minutes, so his moment of the season goes to his showing away at Old Trafford against Manchester United. He absolutely conquered the midfield alongside Cheick Tioté and didn't give Phil Jones or Tom Cleverley a touch in the centre of the park in turn helping secure a big result. With an average pass accuracy of 86% so far this season, Vurnon is doing a sterling job.

So… there is my quick review of Vurnon Anita so far this season. This ‘Midterm Report’ series will continue tomorrow when I take a look at Cheick Tioté and Moussa Sissoko so stay tuned!

Do you have anything to say about Anita's form so far this season? Well if you do, leave a comment below and also make sure you give me a follow on Twitter@KevinDoocey & like Tyne Time’s Facebook page!

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