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Archive for category: Poll.

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, OPTA and

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, 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…)

Newcastle United are still the biggest long ball side in the Premiership

April 17th, 2013 | 189 Comments |

NUFC - Route One.
NUFC: More ‘hoof’ than a Tesco economy burger.
“We were tighter as a team. We kicked the ball longer. We tried to get as many bodies around the ball as we possibly could to make it difficult for their passing game.” – Newcastle United first team coach Steve Stone praising a route one performance against Swansea City (which we lost).

“Alan Pardew will tell you that he tries to play good football – That’s rubbish, he plays long ball football. It’s very direct, there is no creativity in midfield, he just wants to play route one football. Every time I’ve seen his teams play, they play that way but he’ll say in the Press ‘we play good football.’ At times he can be a conman.” – ex player and pundit Stewart Robson when Pardew was appointed as Newcastle United’s manager.

Although Newcastle United have never been what could be described as a “pass and move” side, in their early season games I noticed Alan Pardew’s sharply increasing reliance on the long ball as a tactic in early season games against teams such as Aston Villa, Everton, Norwich and Reading. Because of this, and also because of Alan Pardew’s previous reputation as an old school “hoofball merchant” before he joined the club in December 2010, I decided to track Newcastle United’s performances in this respect. (more…)

Probing Pardew’s four French fancies: 1. Yoan Gouffran

January 28th, 2013 | 29 Comments |

Newcastle signings - M'biwa, Gouffran Haidara, Sissoko.
Bienvenue à Toon Yoan Gouffran! (second left).
Hello and welcome to the first in my series where I shall be probing the latest batch of French fancies picked up on Graham Carr’s Eurostar shopping trips to Lille.

I will be looking at the latest four signings in no particular order, who were Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran, Massadio Haïdara and Moussa Sissoko. There was of course a fifth who came before them, Mathieu Debuchy, but the pursuit of him went on for so long that I have already written several pieces about him, including this one where I looked at Debuchy in comparison with Newcastle United’s existing first choice right back, Danny Simpson, when Debuchy was still a Lille player. Hence, I will leave him on the backburner for now.

So without further ado I will move on to the first of our French foursome, Yoan Gouffran, purchased from our Group D Europa League opponents, Girondins de Bordeaux for a highly cut price fee of €2.5 million, which converts to around £2.1 million at current exchange rates. This was because Gouffran’s contract at Bordeaux was due to expire in the Summer anyway and he was already free to reach a pre contract agreement with another club which could have seen him leave Bordeaux for nothing in the Summer. Let’s start by getting his statistics out the way!

Vital Statistics. (more…)

Guest Blog: Evening Chronicle Misrepresented 56% of Fans New Survey Reveals

December 19th, 2012 | 63 Comments |

Alan Pardew smiling.
Pardew: 95% backing according to Lee Ryder.
Many thanks to “ToonBano” from the Toon blog for his third guest blog here – wt.

A couple of weeks ago, the Evening Chronicle asked fans to take part in what they called ‘The Big Toon Survey’ on how they felt about Newcastle United’s season thus far.

Many fans did as they saw it as a perfect opportunity to have their opinion heard and expressed. As the results of which were counted up and shown in a pie chart form of percentages, what followed the survey was not what they were expecting.

Chief Sports Writer of the Evening Chronicle, Lee Ryder, took it upon himself to write a follow up article regarding the survey’s findings and ran the story some of you may have already seen, ‘Alan Pardew backed by 95% of fans Chronicle Poll reveals‘. If you need reminding or are yet to see it then if can be found by following the link above.

Now as you read on from the highly suggestive headline you will see he goes on to write ‘And it has emerged that 95% of fans see Pardew as the man to lead Newcastle to the next level – with a tiny minority seeing the need for a change in management.’ (more…)

Is Alan Pardew really backed by 95% of Newcastle United fans? [Poll]

December 13th, 2012 | 53 Comments |

The big Toon survey.
What a load of old cobblers!
“Alan Pardew backed by 95% of fans Chronicle poll reveals” wrote the Chronicle.

This staggering revelation would give Toon’s Silver Supremo the same kind of popularity as Kevin Keegan in the heyday of his “Entertainers” side, or Bobby Robson when Newcastle United were once again a top four side who were competing in the Champions League. Yet Pardew’s Newcastle United are currently 14th in the table and sliding downwards, with only one win in our last ten games.

So how can this be?

Let’s look at it another way. If you look at the image below displaying the results in the form of a bar chart, you may also observe that the story linked above could also have had the title “Over 50% of Newcastle United fans are less than content with Pardew Chronicle poll reveals.” (more…)