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Archive for category: Mathieu Debuchy.

Dressing room rift or merely a population shift?

October 11th, 2013 | 99 Comments |

Mathieu Debuchy.
Debuchy: Rift? What rift?
What is it with Newcastle? First there is the Cabaye debacle and then there are constant mutterings about a rift in the dressing room. One of the French contingent, Mathieu Debuchy denied any rift of course, saying:

“It’s true that in the dressing room we talk a lot in French. We have a big group of French players. But we avoid always staying together, and we aim to speak in English with the other foreign players and the English ones. But it’s good. There are no issues.

“We have a big group of French players. But we avoid always staying together, and we aim to speak in English with the other foreign players and the English ones. But it’s good. There are no issues.

Besides thinking that Pardew had put a stop to that sort of thing, this strikes me as odd. It is normal to want to speak to people with whom you’re fluent. If I went to a party that consisted of 11 Mandarin-speakers and Alan Pardew, I’m afraid I’d have to speak to Pardew. I don’t think I’d enjoy that party very much.

This would not mean I had a rift with the Mandarin speakers, merely that I can’t get to the finer points of conversation with them. If fact, I couldn’t even get to “hello.” (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…)


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…)


Pardew defends “inexperienced” and “overmotivated” players

May 4th, 2013 | 12 Comments |

Alan Pardew in the dugout.
Pardew: Blaming inexperience now Europe is over
In his latest defence of his French players, this time against alleged criticism in the media, Alan Pardew’s continued with his latest “inexperience” offensive, which seems to have replaced injuries and Europa League fixtures as his main explaination for Newcastle United’s poor form, which now has the club in a relegation dogfight.

Seemingly relishing the chance to shift the the cold finger of blame from himself to the players in the guise of defending them, the silver one reacted to Luke Edwards’ Observer story which alleged a rift in the dressing room and earned the former Journal hack a ban from Press access to the club. On this he began:

“Some of the criticism of the French group has been so unfair on them.”

He then went on to explain that the latest reason for the club’s recent hammerings has been the Premier League inexperience of his January signings (Debuchy, Gouffran, Sissoko and Haidara), along with Cheick Tiote’s “overmotivation” apparently. On this, Pardew continued: (more…)