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):
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…)
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…)
All you Magpies fans out there out there may have noticed that their has been a distinct upswing in Newcastle United’s form since the end of January, with the club rising from 16th to 13th in the Premiership table.
Our last six Premiership games since that time, starting with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa at St James’ Park on 29th January has seen a return of 12 points from four victories and two defeats. As you can see from the images above and below, this now places Newcastle United at fourth in the Premier League’s club form table, measured on Premier League clubs’ performances over their last six games.
To put this into context, the side’s previous six games before that resulted in only one single victory with a draw and four defeats, bringing in a total of only four points. Hence, we have been exactly three times as good in our last six Premiership games as we were in the six games before that! (more…)
It seems a lifetime since signings like Michael Owen and Mark Viduka wore the black and white. Declining, injury prone and nearly always overpriced; these marquee players from the Shepherd era were one of the main reasons we were relegated at the beginning of Ashley’s reign.
On massive wages and having already achieved something notable in their careers, they didn’t seem like they were hungry enough to care about the current club’s situation enough to save us from the drop. Going down to the championship a few years ago turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to the club in years as we found out who was there for the team and who was just there for the money and prestige.
The new policy of signing hungry players with lower reputations and wage demands started with the signings of players such as Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez, who were the first of many similar players to come through the door with similar ambitions and experience. These were followed in subsequent seasons by the likes of Cheick Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye, plus the five recent additions to the squad last month, making this transfer policy clearly the most important reason for our fledgling success in the last three / four seasons. (more…)
In an interview with Fox Sports conducted in Spanish when he was on duty with the Argentinian national side in Sweden, Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini gave more insight into his plan to escape from Newcastle United and return to his home country.
Carefully selected excerpts of his thoughts have been translated and published on English sites here and there. However, as there didn’t seem to be a transcript of the whole part relating to his current Toon – San Lorenzo imbroglio, I thought I’d have a bash myself, and the results are below. I also translated his previous Coloccini’s open letter to San Lorenzo on the same issue some time ago.
Interviewer: “What happened? Why didn’t you play in San Lorenzo and why did you stay in Newcastle?”
Coloccini:“Let me be clear that there are many versions, some of which were lies and some which were right to some extent. At the moment you know that I had spoken with people from Newcastle to go back to Argentina for personal motives, all San Lorenzo did was open their doors and give me all the support I could get, beyond playing or not playing for San Lorenzo. Of course I said that if I could dissociate myself from Newcastle they wanted me to play there, and the illusion was mine too because I’m a fan. But hey, I was not going to untie myself from Newcastle because I wanted to go to San Lorenzo. There was nothing I could do … The issue was that I wanted to return to Argentina for “x” reasons and well, after San Lorenzo emerged it became part of the story of San Lorenzo.”(more…)
There has been much talk amongst fans in the past few weeks on the situation with Newcastle United’s captain, Fabricio Coloccini.
While there is no doubt that the player is having personal problems at the moment, that he made a request to go back and join his family in Argentina, and that one of his previous clubs, San Lorenzo (where Coloccini’s father Osvaldo works as a youth coach) tried to take advantage of the player’s personal problems by making an audacious attempt to sign the player for free, and finally that the situation has now been resolved until the end of this season at least, there have been other things have been repeated as facts in the media which were completely unsubstantiated.
Is this just the usual dishonest media tripe? Or was a “deep throat” who was party to the negotiations leaking information?
Dear Reader, below is my own personal translation of the letter Fabricio Coloccini allegedly sent to his old Argentinian club San Lorenzo, who have of course been trying to exploit Coloccini’s personal problems to their own ends over the last few weeks.
There is another English translation floating around on the Interweb, however they can be somewhat misleading sometimes so I thought I would check for myself and do my own translation of el Capitano’s original Spanish missive just to be sure.
So, here’s what I came up with, but please bear in mind that my Spanish has become rather rusty in recent years!
Many thanks to “ToonBano” from the Toon blog www.toonbano.com for his second guest blog here – wt.
Today is the two year anniversary of Alan Pardew’s very first game as NUFC manager, when we defeated Liverpool 3-1 thanks to goals from Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and Andy Carroll. Just looking at the goal scorers that evening and the impressive overall performance, compared to who we have in our team now after another defeat at the hands of Fulham Monday Night, it’s safe to say things have changed a lot over that period of time.
Most people were confused and concerned as to why Alan Pardew was even in the dugout that night two years ago as Chris Hughton was doing a sterling job in our first season back in the Premier League after the ultimate humiliation of relegation. Which of course was thanks to him for rescuing this club from certain doom by getting us promoted at the first time of asking, even though he had no previous managerial experience at that point of his life. Most fans thought he was unfairly sacked and I was one of them. (more…)
Venue: Jan Breydel Stadium, Bruges. Date: Thursday, 8th November. Kick off: 6:00pm Referee: L. Banti. UK TV: ESPN.
Well, alot has happened in the world of Club Brugge since since our 1-0 victory against them at St James’ Park two weeks ago.
Back in those dim and distant days, their manager was Georges “Mack the Knife” Leekens (that’s his nickname, honest!) and they were top of the league, having just suffered their first league defeat of the season (1-4 against Zulte-Waregem). Since then however, they have suffered a further three defeats (not counting the one at St James’ Park), and Mack the Knife has been given the order of the boot!
So, will all of this Belgian bedlam be a good thing for our quest to preceed to the next stage of the Europa League ASAP? Or will this make the planning for this game more complex for Alan Pardew? Leekens was sacked following their last game (another defeat to Zulte-Waregem), so our Silver Supremo will be facing a team which will be far more of an unknown quantity under caretaker, Philippe Clement, who is the club’s reserve team coach. Will it be a case of “business as usual” for the team under Clement, or will he strike out with his own tactical ideas to try and arrest the team’s slump in both the Belgian Jupiler League and the Europa League? Of course, there is always the old cliche about the “wounded animal.” Altogether, this will add a bit unpredictabilty to preceedings this evening, both for Pardew and myself in preparing this humble preview. I did as much homework as I could on Brugge in my previous preview, but who knows now?