Date: Saturday 22nd March 2014. Time: 15:00. Venue: St James’ Park. Referee: Lee Probert. UK TV: None.
Hot on the heels of defeat at Craven Cottage, we face lower table opposition again this week as we host Crystal Palace, which is of course where Alan Pardew played his football between 1987 and 1991.
Back in December we beat Crystal Palace 3-0 at Selhurst Park thanks to goals from Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa (penalty) and Danny Gabbidon (own goal), so we’ll be looking to do the double over them on Saturday.
The league form for both teams from the last eight games looks like this:
As the above table shows, Palace’s form in the last eight is similar to ours, although they’ve conceded far fewer goals. We can’t really argue that we’ve had tougher games either. In the last eight games we’ve faced three top half sides (Spurs, Chelsea and Villa) and so have Crystal Palace (Arsenal, Man Utd and Southampton).
With so many France internationals in the Newcastle United team nowadays, I just thought I’d post a live stream for this evening’s crucial World Cup Qualifier between France and the Ukraine so you can see how the likes of Cabaye, Remy and Sissoko get on. Alas, there will be no Ben Arfa as he is about as popular as Eichmann at a Bar Mitzvah with current France manager Didier Deschamps, who was Benny’s manager when he went on strike at Marseilles.
The kick-off will be at 8.00pm UK time and the show should start around 7.45pm. (more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)