It isn’t very often that I venture off the highway of football to enter the arena of art criticism here on NUFC Blog, but this is one of those occaisions and I am actually more qualified. Having been a figurative artist, a designer and also an art dealer in a very modest sense, I hope I can give a reasonably informed opinion without getting too carried away.
As you might have guessed from the photo accompanying thus piece, my current musing has been inspired by the recent unveiling of the Alan Shearer sculpture. Named ‘Local Hero,’ it is the second by local self-taught sculptor, Tom Maley for Newcastle United. It follows Maley’s Bobby Robson tribute of 2012, though it was actually commissioned by former NUFC Chairman, Freddie Shepherd before that in 2007 at an alleged cost of around £250,000. There is almost certainly some kind of club politics behind the nine year delay in its unveiling but that is not what this story is about. (more…)
Whilst searching for inspiration yesterday, this piece by Jackie Smithfield in Newcastle United blog The Mag caught my eye. Entitled ‘Newcastle fans help Mick Harford to decide Millwall is better bet’, it bragged of fan power scaring away Harford from his former club before he’d even started, claiming:
‘With an overwhelmingly negative reaction, no doubt Mick Harford has also got on the ‘blower’ to friends and family in the North East to gauge which way the wind is blowing:
‘On this basis, it would be no surprise to see Harford saying thanks but no thanks. Shame his mentor JFK is slightly thicker skinned when it comes to the reaction he produced on his appointment.’
And to put it mildly, I just couldn’t see the wisdom of that. Joe Kinnear might well be thick skinned, but the writer of the above is just thick if he or she thinks a policy of fans attempting to force out anyone Joe Kinnear tries to appoint to enhance the Newcastle United’s scouting before they’ve even started won’t be damaging to the club. (more…)
Below is a table comparing the main statistics of all of Newcastle United’s main strikers who have played in the Hughton / Pardew years. There are six, Shola Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands, Andy Carroll, Leon Best, Demba Ba and most recently of course, Papiss Cisse.
Please note that this is for Premier League games only. Championship stats have been excluded as they would obviously give the players who played a full season in the lower division an unfair advantage. As well as that, cup games have also been escluded too to make as level a playing field as possible (if you’ll pardon the pun). I think you might find one or two surprises in there, which was partly the reason I did this post in the first place.
I suppose I could have included Kevin Nolan too, as his goalscoring and assist figures would also stand up with the names below after Chris Hughton moved him further forward into the “hole” as they say, however this one’s for strikers and Nolan has always been a midfielder, albeit a highly attacking one in recent seasons. (more…)
Below you can see two Newcastle United “teams of the season,” which I have assembled based on player statistics from whoscored.com, OPTA and transfermarkt.co.uk.
The first (and most important) is based on performances in the Premier League, with the second based on performances in the Europa League. The figures below the player’s names are their ratings from whoscored.com, which are based on a range of performance metrics based on OPTA stats. To put these into some kind of perspective, whoscored’s most highly rated Premier League goalkeeper last season was Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet with an average of 7.0. In defence it was Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen with 7.6 and in midfield the honours were shared between Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, both with 7.9. Finally, up front, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez narrowly pipped Manchester United’s Robin van Persie (7.8) with his 7.9 rating.
Getting back to Newcastle United though, although the goalkeepers, defenders and strikers were pretty straightforward overall, things became more complicated when it came to midfielders who had been played in several different positions during the season, gaining different ratings in different positions. However, after some work, I have finally managed to sort it out. (more…)
However, rumours have (re)surfaced that despite receiving an absurd fee of £35 million for Andy Carroll when he was sold to Liverpool in January 2011, Newcastle United would still be due to receive 25% of the agreed £15 million fee if he completes a move to West Ham.
This is not true.
The truth is that Newcastle United will only receive a sell on bonus in the highly unlikely event that Liverpool sold him on a higher sum than the ridiculous £35 million they paid for the player. Of course, there is more chance of hell freezing over than this happening, especially now that Liverpool finally seem to be on the verge of putting the Carroll saga behind them.
There was also no substantiation whatsoever for the media stories that Andy Carroll has been “stalling” on the West Ham move in the vain hope that he could make a glorious return to St James’ Park either. (more…)