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Archive for category: Player Reviews / player ratings.

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…)


Probing Graham Carr’s scouting targets – Gilbert Imbula Wanga (EA Guingamp)

June 12th, 2013 | 35 Comments |

Gilbert Imbula Wanga.
Imbula: A midfield General of the future?
The first in my mini series on players being followed by Newcastle United’s chief scout Graham Carr is the much fancied 20 year old, Gilbert Imbula from French Ligue 2 side, Guingamp.

Though Imbula is yet another central midfielder, and yet another player from France, he does look like a very talented central midfielder who could well be a top player in the fullness of time, the downside being that Carr isn’t the only scout to realise this, as he has also being watched by Carr’s collegues from the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and probably several others too.

Before I proceed further, I must issue a warning that I usually like to watch players in several full matches before I write about them. However, when it comes to the lower leagues overseas, obviously this is much more difficult. Hence, I must admit that I have not seen much more of this player than the videos you can see below, so please bear this in mind! (more…)


Mike Williamson the star of Newcastle United’s “team of the season”

June 1st, 2013 | 130 Comments |

Model Newcastle United players.
Who made it? And who didn’t?
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…)


Sissoko was great, but let’s hear it for Gouffran too

February 4th, 2013 | 40 Comments |

NUFC Blog's latest piece on metro.co.uk is out now!
NUFC Blog’s latest piece on metro.co.uk is out now!
This is just a quick ‘blog to let you all know that my latest piece for Metro.co.uk was published earlier today.

Entitled “Sissoko was great, but let’s hear it for Gouffran too” it takes a look at Yoan Gouffran’s excellent performance against Chelsea on Saturday, a performance which might be overlooked in the midst of “Moussa mania.”

To read it, just click on the link above or on the Metro image.

Hope you like it! (more…)