Archive for category: Player Reviews / player ratings.

This ridiculous Cisse farce has been going on for too long now

November 26th, 2013 | 114 Comments |

Papiss Cisse scoring against Leeds United in the League Cup.
The last Toon goal scored by Cisse which wasn’t ruled out
In case you missed it, Papiss Cisse had yet another perfectly good goal ruled out as offside against Norwich on Saturday, yet another linesman seemingly judging Cisse on his reputation, rather than what he could actually see.

Luckily for Newcastle United, they still won 2-1 and got the three points so all was well that ended well. Even so, that hasn’t always the case and it is getting absolutely ridiculous now, to the point where lazy linesmen are just saying “oh it’s Papiss Cisse, it must be offside.”

I use the word “reputation” above, though it might come as a surprise to some so called fans (and Sports Direct News rent a quote, Malcolm MacDonald) that Cisse is not the most ‘offside’ striker in the Premier League by any means. Romelu Lukaku, Christian Benteke and several others were caught offside more often last season.

However, when it comes to having perfectly good goals wrongly ruled out as offside, Cisse in in a league of his own. He had seven wrongly ruled out last season, including two in one game against Metalist Kharkiv, and one which robbed us of a derby win against Sunderland. This means that he would have scored at least twenty goals last season had those seven goals stood. (more…)


Newcastle United with and without Williamson

November 12th, 2013 | 184 Comments |

Mike Williamson vs Liverpool.
‘Iron’ Mike: A defensive colossus?
Despite the heroics of Tim Krul on Saturday, as well as those of other more ‘glamorous’ Newcastle United players such as Loic Remy, Yohan Cabaye etc throughout the season, if we look at the results both before and after he came into the team, it could be argued that Newcastle United’s most important player this season so far has been Mike Williamson.

After a couple of outings in the League Cup against Morecambe and Leeds, ‘Iron’ Mike was finally introduced to the club’s Premier League campaign as a half time substitute (for Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa) against Everton. This was after another disastrous first half display by the Magpie defence against Everton, with the club already 3-0 down. That was 5 1/2 games into the season and as Newcastle United have now played 11, with Williamson on the pitch for exactly the same time as he has been off it in Premier League games, I thought it would be a good time to look at the staistics for Newcastle United with and without Williamson.

The difference has been obvious watching the games with a transformed back four. Even in that Everton game alone, the bleeding was staunched immediately with Newcastle keeping a clean sheet in the second half, giving them a platform to go on and stage a comeback with two goals, though, alas, it wasn’t quite enough on that occasion. (more…)


Krul’s record-breaking performance against Tottenham [video]

November 11th, 2013 | 7 Comments |

NUFC Blog on metro.co.uk
NUFC Blog on metro.co.uk
My latest piece on metro.co.uk was published earlier today.

Called ‘Tim Krul – the best performance by any goalkeeper this season?,’ it is my usual look back over the week-end’s game on my other Newcastle United blog. As the title suggests, it is mostly about Tim Krul’s performance in goal on Sunday, which pretty much overshdowed everything else.

Krul’s fourteen saves in one saw the Flying Dutchman breaking the OPTA’s record since they began collecting Premier League stats back in the 2006-7 season.

You can read the story by following the link below.

Tim Krul – the best performance by any goalkeeper this season?

(more…)


Will Pardew find the right way to rescue Cisse?

October 24th, 2013 | 77 Comments |

NUFC Blog on metro.co.uk
NUFC Blog on metro.co.uk
My latest blog on metro.co.uk is now published.

In my last piece on there I looked at Yohan Cabaye and Mike Williamson, and specifically, their perfomance against Liverpool in our last game. In this one however, I take a look at a player who was relegated to the bench in that game, Papiss Cisse. In the wake of his recent struggle for goals, I take a look at what Alan Pardew can do to help the Senegalese hitman get back on the scoresheet as often as he used to for Newcastle United.

Originally, it had the same title as this piece, however it is now called:

Can Alan Pardew rescue Papiss Cisse’s Newcastle United career?(more…)


Newcastle United vs Liverpool: The two key Toon performances

October 21st, 2013 | 29 Comments |

Yohan Cabaye vs Liverpool.
Yohan Cabaye: A man of the match performance.
My latest blog on metro.co.uk was published yesterday.

Usually I would just write a few words about it and post a link. However, I am getting so sick of them being hacked to pieces by trainee Metro sub-eds that I have now decided to publish the original version on here, complete with the original title.

If you like, you can see the butchered version on the metro here.

Key performance #1: Yohan Cabaye.

The fleet-footed Frenchman was the fulcrum of Newcastle United’s midfield on Saturday, and was at the heart of most things for Newcastle United in attack.

Besides scoring a brilliant goal in the 23rd minute, he also provided the great set piece which led to Paul Dummett’s goal in the 56th. Of course, the Magpies’ set pieces have been the focus of much criticism in recent times and rightly so when you look at the amount of goals scored by this method over the last season or two. Although it could be said that Aly Sissokho made things slightly easier than he could have for the second goal, Cabaye’s free kick was excellent, and the way Dummett exploited this with a true poacher’s instinct was superb, remarkably so for such a young, inexperienced player who is supposed to be a defender rather than a striker. But I digress… (more…)


Cisse gets a real winger to break his scoring duck at last

September 26th, 2013 | 71 Comments |

Papiss Cisse scoring against Leeds United in the League Cup.
Cisse – Back in the goals against Leeds.
My latest blog at metro.co.uk is now up!

Now entitled “Left-field selection Sammy Ameobi helps Papiss Cisse break his Newcastle scoring duck,” it orignally had the same title as this piece until a sub-editor got his or her hands on it. Thankfully though, they seem to have left the story intact this time, apart from taking my correct spelling of ‘Yoan Gouffran’ and changing it to ‘Yoann Gouffran’ like another French player, Yoann Gourcuff.

Enough of my petty griping though, the piece itself takes a look at the return of Papiss Cisse to the score sheet in Wednesday evening’s League Cup game against Leeds United. It also takes a look at the role of two of the best players in that particular game, Sammy Ameobi and Yoan Gouffran. In particular I look at how, for a change, Alan Pardew actually had a left footed player, Ameobi the younger, playing on the left hand side rather than a right footer who would constantly cut in. This resulted in a superb left footed cross by the big lad for Cisse’s goal, with Ameobi also playing a role in Gouffran’s spectacular second goal in what was an excellent performance overall on the wing from the youngster. (more…)


Ben Arfa vs Aston Villa and Fulham kick by kick (HD video).

September 15th, 2013 | 17 Comments |

Benny crucifying the Villans on 14th September 2013.

Two nine minute videos courtesy of “BenArfa10x.”. The one above shows every kick of Hatem Ben Arfa’s excellent performances against Aston Villa last Saturday. The second (below) highlights his similarly excellent performance aginst Fulham two weeks before. (more…)


And the NUFC Blog player of the season is…

July 9th, 2013 | 95 Comments |

Fabricio Coloccini - NUFC Blog's "player of the year."
What, me again?
Well, 1732 of you voted at the time of writing, and for the second time in a row NUFC Blog’s player of the season is (drumroll):

Fabricio Coloccini!

He beat off Tim Krul into second for the second time in a row too, with Davide Santon replacing Yohan Cabaye on the bottom siep of the podium. However, a poor season for the team seemed to make it much harder for all of you who voted to pick a decisive winner. Last year Captain Colo recieved received a mighty 34% of the entire vote, or 525 votes out if 1522. This year however it was only 17%, or 287 votes out of the aforementioned 1732.

You can see the full results in the poll at the bottom of this piece.

Though not a perfect defender, many are better in the air including central defensive teammates such as Mike Williamson and Steven Taylor, his abilty with the ball on the floor and the way he can build play from the back have marked him out in Newcastle United’s heart of defence. Unfortunately though, this quality has hardly been a feature of Newcastle United’s play in general under the old fashioned “kick and rush” style of Alan Pardew. (more…)


Who have been Newcastle United’s most lethal Premiership strikers? Here’s the answer…

June 27th, 2013 | 51 Comments |

Demba Ba - Newcastle United.
Demba Ba: Newcastle United’s hottest hitman in recent times.
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…)


Probing Graham Carr’s scouting targets – Christopher Jullien (AJ Auxerre)

June 13th, 2013 | 40 Comments |

Christopher Jullien (Auxerre).
Christopher Jullien – He’s a very big lad.
Well, I hadn’t seen a great deal of the previous subject of my little mini series of players being followed by Graham Carr, EA Guingamp’s Gilbert Imbula Wanga, but I have seen even less of this tall (6’5″) Centre Back from another Ligue 2 side, AJ Auxerre.

I have only seen the compilation below and a few very small bits on the Ligue 2 highlights I picked up on YouTube, plus a very brief glance of him in a film on Carr himself. Hence, I can write even less from personal experience, and am pretty much totally reliant on a few snippets about the player online. In other words, not alot!

As you will see from the highlights video below, at the start at least it looks more like a collection of “bloopers” than “highlights,” with the defender being shown in the worst possible light. In many of the better bits, he is mostly at the other end of the pitch using his height as a target man heading crosses at goal. The player can’t really be assessed to any degree from that though. (more…)