Do Newcastle United have a better midfield this season?

Posted on October 10th, 2011 | 73 Comments |

Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye.
New look midfield: Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye in action
After the comings and goings of the ‘off season’, some of them obvious,, predictable, profitable and manufactured, it’s safe to say we now have a far more fluid midfield.

On top of the fluidity, we have also aquired a hell of a lot more pace. We seem very midfield focused at the moment, what with the possibilty of Yohan Cabaye being missing for the upcoming Spurs game. We also will lose the services of one Cheik Tiote when the African Cup of Nations swings around in January. No doubt losing his services a week or so before, as he meets up with his Cote d’Ivore team mates.

Both players will definitely be missed whenever they don’t play, whether by injury or suspension, but can we fill the sizeable gaps left? We have midfielders like Hatem Ben Arfa, Sylvain Marveaux, Dan Gosling, Haris Vučkić, Danny Guthrie to come in, not bad stand-ins, if you ask me. We also have versatile players like Ryan Taylor, James Perch and Shane Ferguson to come and ‘do a job’ if we get Davide Santon, Mike Williamson back into the defensive fold. So, as I was saying: We have a much more fluid arrangement from midfield to defence.

It seems that we now have much more pace since Barton and Nolan left for pastures new and although Joey had a good line in crosses/deliveries and Nolan was great at ‘popping up in the box’ there’s a new level of interchangeability within the squad. I felt we were a bit chained to our formation with those guys, where as now, we have players that can get forward but also bomb back to help out in defence.

Of course, it still remains to be seen how some of our new lads cope with life in the fast lane of the Premier League. But with old hands like Jonas showing the way recently, I think we can still function even with the loss of Tiote come January. We’ll also be losing Demba Ba to ACN duty, so again, it could have an effect on the team’s shape. Last season we had a paucity of forms we could apply, this term we seem to have more options. In that sense, surely, our midfield options are better and therefore it gives us way more scope.

The lads who have come in are, you would like to think, being ensconsed into the team ethic that we’ve been building for a while now and under the new style of captaincy that Fabricio Coloccini brings to the locker room, it seems that they are ready to wait for the call to arms rather than moan in the back ground
via the press about lack of opportunity.

There’s still a long way to go, we still have big games to face, big players to come in and show what they’ve got, but I can’t wait to see players like Hatem Ben Arfa, Marveaux, Gosling, Abeid (who could also be going to the ACN) and some of the other younger lads get some game time.

It’s also great to see that the reserve team is being used to get some of the lads fitness up to speed and also not rush players back into full-on Premier League games when coming back from injury. They should also be getting used to playing with each other and hopefully allowing us to employ some of the other forms we’ll need when the obligitory injuries, suspensions and international duties come around.

That’s probably the one good thing to come out of an international break.

Well, do we have a better midfield?

Howay the Lads!

NUFCBlog Author: CLiNT FLiCK Cut me in half & it'll say Newcastle United F.C. just like a stick of Black 'n' White rock! CLiNT FLiCK has written 42 articles on this blog.

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73 Responses

  1. UTD111,
    go out on a limb mate, guesstimate!

    Aye, it’s too early, but based on what you’ve witnessed…

  2. Is it a trick question?
    Or do you mean in ‘A man called horse’ kinda way suspended?

  3. Loonytoon1987 says:
    October 10, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    “Does anyone know why Toontastic is ‘suspended’?”

    It doesn’t look suspended to me Loonytoon. Give it another go.

  4. Yes it great to see the reserve squad being used. New players not being put in at the deep end, a few games to ease them in, and keep others in match form. It was always done this way and can only help the young lads as well to play with more experienced players in the reserves

  5. toonup,
    it does seem like we’ve started to ‘use’ the reserve system properly, as in the old days, again.
    It’s almost like we’ve reactivated it.

    A good move i reckon. It adds continuity to the overall squad rotation.

  6. Does anybody read the Q & A that Lee Ryder does on a Monday? The format seems to make him more open about the goings on than he is in the regular Chron columns.

    He is close to the team on a daily basis so he must know more than he usually lets on.

    The funny thing is that Ryder writes in exactly the same style as John Gibson (who seems to have become bitter and twisted about NUFC, by the way).

  7. I definitely think we have a more technically-minded midfield, especially in Cabaye. If they can match the character of Barton and Nolan, then they will far surpass them in terms of their overall performances!
    I just wrote this about Cabaye for our site –

    “I must confess to having a major man-crush on Yoann, already dubbed ‘Dreamboat’ by the Toon Army. The new man had a big shirt to fill in taking Kevin Nolan’s number 4, but he has already proved that he adds more than Nolan did. Nolan, with his strong personality, was superb for Newcastle. We needed him on relegation, and he hauled the club back to where it belonged. But Cabaye’s mobility, superb range of passing, long-range shooting and creativity has already captivated the Geordie public. He has also shown he isn’t afraid to put his foot in either. One of those players who craves the ball then uses it intelligently, it isn’t fluke that he is quickly becoming first-choice for his country too.”

    Do you agree?
    Feedback appreciated, sorry for posting links on your site CLiNT, hope you don’t mind.

  8. In answer to the question, Yes. We now have a quality midfield that is flush with skill, youth, fluidity, and a passion to play for the team. Last season I think Barton and Nolan were the head-honchos who thought they ruled the roost and that NUFC revoled around them. Well, now they are gone and it is not by chance that we are 4th in the table. If we continue to build on this squad we will be an awesome side and the envy of many.

  9. Greg,
    no problem mate.
    i think that’s excellently put man.
    & thanx for the feedback , i’ll check your site out.

  10. Paul,
    you make some good points there mate.
    We’re on a more even keel now & i really do think that Colo’s captaincy is helping that.

  11. Paul in Hollywood says:
    October 10, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    “Last season I think Barton and Nolan were the head-honchos who thought they ruled the roost and that NUFC revoled around them. Well, now they are gone and it is not by chance that we are 4th in the table.”

    Paul, Clint, I know it’s quite common, but I don’t really understand this idea that our top goalscorer and top goalmaker from last season are suddenly lousy players and negative influences that were holding the club back in the league etc.

    What’s it all about? Is it like when teenagers have silly arguments, split up with their boyfriends or girlfriends, then throw silly accusations at each other which they know deep down are untrue? ;-)

  12. worky,
    i think it’s a question of both attitude & perceived effect of the players mentioned.
    It’s pretty common knowledge how much JB has to say on certain subjects, well any subject really. That in itself can account for many peoples view of what effect it may have had in the locker room. Nolan was also no shrinking violet & bolstered by JB’s ‘bravado’, both being lovable scousers, is probably lost on no one mate.
    I don’t think anyone’s saying that they’ve ‘become bad players’ or that they aren’t grateful for their ‘input’, especially on the field of play. But, i reckon some can feel that there could quite easily have been a vociferous clique going on in the club.
    Towards the end of Joey’s stay here, it could be seen as a ‘off putting’ influence on proceedings, couldn’t it?

  13. I particularly mentioned the possible ‘benefits’ of Colo’s ‘new style’ of Captaincy in the article for those reasons.

    AP has now, more or less, got his team. The lads who were here under different managers have ‘got their heads round’ that change of power/boss. It was obvious that Joey & Jose,
    to mention 2, were of a different way of thinking & made it plain on (anti)social network sites.

  14. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    October 10, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    “Nolan was also no shrinking violet & bolstered by JB’s ‘bravado’, both being lovable scousers, is probably lost on no one mate.
    I don’t think anyone’s saying that they’ve ‘become bad players’ or that they aren’t grateful for their ‘input’, especially on the field of play. But, i reckon some can feel that there could quite easily have been a vociferous clique going on in the club.”

    Ah, I see.

    Scouseism and a firm belief of any old tosh that’s put out by the media about affairs in the dressing room. ;-)

    I think this goes way back to the times when some people didn’t believe that Hughton could run the team for some strange reason, and that a clique of players like Barton and Nolan were running it for him. The media tried ro do that angle to death, and some people were actually daft enough to believe it.

  15. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    October 10, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    “I particularly mentioned the possible ‘benefits’ of Colo’s ‘new style’ of Captaincy in the article for those reasons.”

    What is Coloccini’s style of captaincy, and how does it differ from that of his predecessor Clint? You didn’t really explain that.

  16. worky,
    JB put his own stuff out there, with or without the media.
    As for them being scousers & elder members of the team, capt. & vice capt. it doesn’t take rocket surgery to work out that they may well have held some sway, somewhere down the line.
    I don’t think they ruled CH at all, he is a very astute man imv.

  17. No,
    i suggested it as a possibility.
    Colo is a much more , shall we say ‘reserved’ capt. & with less ‘command’ of the lingo.
    That in itself is a departure.
    Therefore, i reckon it’s safe to assume he has a different approach to the position.

  18. The midfield is well and truly sorted (and much more talented especially when Benny returns) but we still need to buy a decent back-up centre half (don’t rate Williamson as a No. 1 replacement for Steve or Colo).
    We also need, as a MAJOR priority, a top class goal scoring striker like Cisse.
    Only Ba fills me with any confidence up front and when he goes off to the ANC in January we could be extremely limited without him.
    If some sensible money was spent in January, and we have some better luck with injuries and suspensions, we could be a real force and surprise package this season.

  19. But,
    tbh, i was leaving it open for others to put there opinions forward.
    Maybe like Colo might?

  20. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    October 10, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    “As for them being scousers & elder members of the team, capt. & vice capt. it doesn’t take rocket surgery to work out that they may well have held some sway, somewhere down the line.”

    Clint, I don’t understand what being from the Liverpool area has to do with it, and Coloccini is an elder member of the team and Captain too, just like Nolan was. So what’s the difference? Should we suspect him of being in some kind of sinister controlling clique with Gutierrez because they are both from Argentina?

  21. would love to see us go for eden hazard, he’ll not be cheap but he’s going to be quality, would also like the young dutch cf, good scoring and creativity record, also need quality young cb, job complete….. Toon, Toon Black and White Army

  22. worky,
    howay mate, it’s nowt to do with ‘where’ they are from, other than they are from the same place. Therefore it’s normal that they would potentially gel, especially since they are capt & vice capt.
    Colo & Jonas will/could well be ‘thick as thieves cos they are both Argentinean. Nowt wrong in that per se.
    Not quite the same ‘type’ of characters though, are they?

  23. Dazzler says:
    October 10, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    “would love to see us go for eden hazard”

    Aye Dazzler, the club’s cryong out for a French speaking attacking midfielder who can play on the wing now!

    Only joking, he is good but he’s out of Ashley’s league -£20+ million, possibly even more with hype. He’s looking for players he can sell on for that kind of money.

    CLiNT FLiCK says:
    October 10, 2011 at 11:55 pm (Edit)

    “Not quite the same ‘type’ of characters though, are they?”

    I wouldn’t know Clint, what’s been the problem with Nolan’s character in the past?

    As for Barton, reformed characters can sometimes be the best ones of all.

  24. They are different types of characters though, that’s the point.
    Both Nolan & Barton are big characters, no doubt on & off the pitch. The real point is that they are characters that were FSA, JFK, AS & CH’s, not AP’s. He’s got his team now. I’m not suggesting AP wanted shot of ’em, more that maybe they maybe didn’t feel as ‘at home’ with the changes. Nolan was pretty quick to split the scene & Joey was making it hard for the club to stick by him, after all, they allowed him to go for free.

  25. Worky, we’re all working off heresay and our own gut feelings about what goes on in the dressing room and so, on that basis alone, I agree with Clint that Colo is showing signs of being an excellent captain who just wants to give 100% on the pitch and lead by that example without needing to grab tabloid headlines. By the same token (gut feeling etc.) I think that the likes of Nolan and Barton were more likely to be outspoken and critical of the Board behind the scenes and to express their frustrations, knowing that they could always count on the fans to support them on that. In other words, I think they had more tendency to cause unrest within the squad when most players, especially the young ones and the newer crop, just want to get on with playing football and who were also quite happy with their weekly wage.
    Lastly, nothing brings about good team spirit more than positive results. Who knows, if things go pear-shaped, maybe Colo will not be the man to turn things around. But, to go back to Clint’s original question: I think we have a better midfield than last year and hopefully (gut feeling etc. etc.) we will continue to get good results and will not find ourselves in a relegation dog-fight.
    All in all, this is a long conversation that would be much better held over a pint or two…

  26. Cheers CLiNT, definitely think a piece on Coloccini would be worthwhile.

    No doubt that his troubled 1st season will have taught him a lot, and he can pass that on to the new lads and make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to them.

  27. I’m personaly looking forward to injuries and suspensions. This is a good time for nufc. I can’t wait until Jonas is out for a game or two and watch a promising young lad called Ferguson bomb down the wing. Personaly I think what we have in midfield is the same situation as willo and saylor when one is out it will be difficult to get back in. With marvaux, abeid, Ferguson, samiobi and Vuckic this calls for some very exciting times. Is are midfield stronger than last season? Not questions about it, miles stronger. The midfield doesn’t just stretch as far as the first 11 it goes right across the club. And with the 5 names mentioned above I can’t wait for the day they run the length on the green green grass of home. How long have we waited for a queue in midfield? How long have we waited for players to be proud to be sat on the bench at sjp. This makes for some exciting times. And I for one am not worried about the ACN. WE have a multitude of talent all individual in there own right but but with the potential of controlling their predecessors return. I for one would love to see Jonas struggling to get back. Tiote trying to pup Vuckic to a spot in a strong midfield. Not because I don’t rate Jonas and tiote but because I rate their possible replacements just as much. I can not wait to see this team work like something we haven’t had in a while. A TEAM. A GENUINE HARD WORKING ALL FOR ONE TEAM. Something agents and egos have been to easy to erode in the past. Long live the toon.HOWAY THE LADDDDDDSSSSSS.

  28. Can anyone tell me how many goals shola has scored in all competitions with us goals to game ratio. Thanxs

  29. It’s something like 1 goal every 150 games. Other stats are, he runs 8 feet every game. His Sprint over 100 metres is 0-100 metres in an estimated 3 weeks. This is ofcourse hypothetical as shola hasn’t ran anymore than 10 metres in his entire life. Although apparently he is quick at handing out bibles during church group on Sunday. And makes a cracking cup of tea for the parishioners . Apparently he is tipped to be one of the worlds best scouts as he has scouted some amazing nice biscuits from Spain whilst warming the bench for his part time employers Newcastle united. Great guy though. Nice god fearing citizen. Has a unfortunate phobia for sweat and doesn’t Luke being touched, the slightest touch often makes him feel uneasy and unbalanced leaving him having to fall to the floor. There unfortunately is only one cure this problem but unfortunately due to his strict religious beliefs the “rocket up the arse” technique can not be used on shola as it may be deemed as sodomy and shunned the Christian wild over. I hope this answers your question tooneye.

  30. Personally I don’t think Nolan is a big loss to the team and won’t be missed. Joey, don’t know, when he was good he was very good but he did have a tendancy to go missing in games. Overall though I think he would have contributed this season, be a pity for him if he is back in the championship next year.

    So yes I think we have a better midfield this year and I think we could cope with the loss of key players due to the inevitable injuries so long as there aren’t a lot at once.

    Lets not forget Kadar who is a defensive player, surely his hand (it was that wasn’t it?) isn’t going to keep him out all season, don’t see him on the injured list!

    As for a new striker I would go for the quick skillfull fox in the box type player, we nearly have one in Lovenkrands, but not quite. Otherwise Gomis of Lyon is worth another look, don’t suppose we have any chance of getting Hulk!!

  31. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    October 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    “Lets not forget Kadar who is a defensive player, surely his hand (it was that wasn’t it?) isn’t going to keep him out all season, don’t see him on the injured list!”

    Vuckic is the one with the knacked hand Grumpy. Didn’t know there was anything wrong with Kadar ATM.

  32. Aye,
    Kadar played some international ‘excuse for’ football the other day.
    He just needs some game time, just like Tavernier.

  33. There was a piece the other day saying that Ba was left on the bench, the press have probably just put 2&2 together & got 5, he must be injured & it ‘must’ be his knee. We will have a story about Newcastle’s idiotic move of getting him for ‘free’.

  34. They are running a ‘story’ that rooney his written his own letter to get his int. ban reduced…Now that is an obvious lie, surely, no one believes rooney can write?


  35. Far better central midfield-and I like and appreciate Nolan. We now have one of the best pairings in the league there and I’m only worried about keeping them, which seems impossible in the long run.

    Out wide, Obertan has yet to influence games like Barton did. I’m not sure he can, as he seems to be more about running than doing anything with the ball.

    I’d call it an upgrade. We could really make strides if we get Marveaux & HBA in as regular starters, drop a forward and use GO as an impact sub. That midfield can attempt 250 passes in a game and complete 80-90% of them.

  36. ToonArmyPaul says:
    October 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    “Do you write articles for NU Mad Worky?”

    Paul, if I did, I able to write alot more stories as some of theirs are more like ‘Tweets’ than blogs.

    Aye, I wasn’t the first to use that expression, and I certainly won’t be the last.

    I divven’t understand this thing about Demba Ba and Ramadan though. I’ve read the Qur’an, and I have spoken to a couple of my observant Islamic consultants, and they all seemed to say that as Ba was in a job that was highly physically demanding, ie a top footballer, he could have claimed a special dispensation for the fasting. There was someone on here from KSA who wrote that as well, that’s what inspired me to check.

  37. worky,

    maybe it’s just a case of ‘just cos ya’ can, doesn’t mean ya’ have to’ with regard to Ba & ramadan?
    Some are all consumed by their sect, just look at us lot.

  38. I’m of two minds about the Ramadan thing. What’s that celebration-is he facing Mecca and bowing as I watched my Saudi roommate do several times a day in college? If so, it indicates he’s very devout and as Clint suggests maybe wouldn’t seek a dispensation even he were eligible.

    On the other hand, I’m as tolerant as anyone but if you’ve got a job to do that’s your top responsibility. I guess that’s the German in me. If you’re going to observe a religious fast, get on with it but keep doing your job. To be fair, I never heard a peep from Ba himself about it.

  39. tunyc,
    aye mate,
    but i would suggest that if Ba was ‘really devout’, when he’s scored he shoulda been facing the east stand as he went to his knees to kiss the ground, surely? Just an observation.

  40. The question was i believe, do we have a better midfield this season ?
    Ermm… certainly a different one, whether any of them will score twelve goals, is doubtful.
    And i feel we have lost a certain amount of backbone and leadership, provided by both scousers.
    Well we done done it n’there aint no changin it !
    Fact is both guys did ok for themselves, getting both the wages and contracts they were looking for.
    Yea folks, surprise! it’s all about the money !
    We now have a younger, cheaper and better midfield, hmmm!
    seem to have heard that one before ?
    Hopefully we can remain injury free as some of our additions arrived with questionable physical histories.
    We certainly have more pace and technical skills available.
    Guys essential to the side, as a DM undoubtedly one of the leagues best.
    Cabaye, in this guy we have finally found the key we were looking for, the engine room/play-maker, we have missed since Parker.
    Both HBA & Marveaux could be the wingers that compliment the other two, if used.
    Of course we will as usual have our injuries ,except we now have decent backup’s.
    With Ferguson on left wing, Obertan on the right and Jonas filling either spot.
    There’s both Gosling and Guthrie to cover for Cabaye and Tiote, (lets hope it does’nt have to happen)
    Not a bad midfield, but one that could be improved over time.
    We also have a decent back four, with Simpson coming along, of course we have yet to see our new LB in action, but his reputation precedes him.
    Unfortunately that’s it, we need help as far as backups are concerned.
    A couple of versatile defenders and eventually as we seem bound and determined to sign a big time Striker, then ok !
    That should give us a good shot at a possible top six next season.
    But then, what do I know ?

  41. Good call about Cabaye and Parker, Chuck. Losing Parker was a big blow. I’d say that’s when our midfield lost it’s way. Emre fizzling out didn’t help either.

  42. tunyc says:
    October 11, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    “I’m of two minds about the Ramadan thing. What’s that celebration-is he facing Mecca and bowing as I watched my Saudi roommate do several times a day in college? If so, it indicates he’s very devout and as Clint suggests maybe wouldn’t seek a dispensation even he were eligible.”

    It’s called “Sajdah” or “Sujud” tunyc (prostration before God), and he isn’t so much facing toward Mecca (the place, not the Bingo) but the “Ka’aba” which is situated in Mecca. This is the most holy site of the Islamic world, freed from pagan idolatary and retored to montheistic worship by the Holy Prophet in the seventh century. All Muslims must go there at least once in their lifetime as one the the five pillars of Islam. This is called the “Haj”. As part of the Haj they must also walk around the Ka’aba seven times in an anti clockwise direction if they can.

    Your friend from the KSA would have had to pray five times a day every day too whether it was Ramadan or not, this is “Salat”. Each of these five prayers has it’s own name (Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha’a) and strict observance of this is also one of the five pillars of Islam.

    Ramadan itself is part of another pillar of Islam which is called “Sawm” (fasting). There are three kinds of fasting, ritual, ascetic and repentant, and Ramadan, observed in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar comes under the category of ritual fasting. It is to cultivate patience and self discipline, and also remember the poor and needy who may have to fast through necessity rather than religious observance.

    The other two pillars of Islam are “Zakat” (charity / giving alms to the poor) and “Shahada” (there is only one God).

    Islam is a truly fascinating religion, and much misunderstood, even by some of those who claim to be it’s most devout practitioners. Then again, you could say that about Christianity too.

  43. Don’t see HBA as a winger like, & he himself says he prefers a more ‘free role’.
    AP has also, more than suggested that he’ll employ him as a ‘in the hole’ no.10, & that’s the no. he now dons.
    Parker had the odd good game but was nowt special, for me.
    Santon is the capt. for the Italian U21’s & completed his 2nd 90 mins in 6 days tonight, so it looks like he’s pretty fit & rated by the Italians, not too shabby.

  44. All religion is separatist & divisive, but more importantly, a means of oppression.
    Out of date, behind the times, cultish, repressive, regressive & the perfect excuse for misogynist & misanthropic behaviour the world over.

    Rant over & out!


  45. Clint, he has very decent pace, he can dribble like @*&%, he can pass (including crosses) beautifully, perhaps his workrate is a little short of perfection but it certainly isn’t shabby. So why don’t you think that he isn’t a winger?

    As for Religion, like Bolshevists, we shouldn’t overgeneralise and adopt the same dismissive attitude as those we seek to condemn; in this case those who corrupt religion to their own ends by using it as a tool of divisiveness and oppression. That’s just humanity for you no matter which side of the fence you are sitting on.

    Good-oh on the old Cabaye front.

  46. worky@55….many thanks for your enlightenment regarding Islam and fasting at Ramadan…

    I recall working with a young Egyptian guy a few years ago, and when he was respecting Ramadam the bloke was totally fettled, white as a sheet and good for nowt. I suppose it did hime good spiritually, but physical performance wise he was a total wreck and particularly unconcentrated (even more so than normal !)….

  47. Good crack that Cabaye made it without picking up another injury. Fully expect to see him and Demba Ba lined up against the spuds at the weekend…

  48. worky,
    i’m not saying HBA ‘can’t’ work the wing, course he can. I qualified why in that post ^^^^^^^. He’s a roamer & i reckon he’d be more effective in that role. It will/would be easier to nullify him in games if he’s pinned to a wing. He could be the player (a la Pedro) to unlock tight defences, cause havoc & win free kicks & pens.

    On the religion thing, there’s only maybe Buddhism that has a relatively clean bill of health.
    If some use religion to claim power & do things to others under that banner it’s still attributed to that religion. ie: religion is an excuse for separatist & divisive behaviour.
    The fact that none of it is proven makes it difficult to think of any of it as anything other than a fairy story that has been manipulated to manipulate with.

    You’re dead right that it’s a human thing & we (humans) would just create some other pap to oppress & kill in the name of if it didn’t exist. Cults, tribes, nationalism, politics & the like, forever & a day.

    Most unrest has been perpetrated in the name of religion. It must be right up there with bacteria, virus’ & mosquitos as one of the biggest killers on the planet.

    I respect all peoples religions & treat people i meet as equals, i don’t go in for hatred. But it does bemuse me that so many are taken in by it, just cos they were indoctrinated as kids.
    I’d just see that as a point of rebellion!

  49. On the religion thing – perhaps Shameobi is a Jedi Knight and can only play well blindfolded?

    Cabaye is picked to play again for France – great news, but I hope he’s rested.

  50. Tottenham match – their blog is treating us with due respect, a clear sign of progress –

    “Newcastle are a lofty 4th in the league table, three points ahead of Tottenham having played a game more. A lot has been said about the dynamism of both teams and their stronger-than-expected performances this season but on evidence of the past few seasons, Tottenham have been consistently improving and have players with more experience and know-how to win such games than Newcastle.

    Having said that, there are no clear favourites here. If Tottenham win this, they go 5th (or 4th if Liverpool don’t beat United on Saturday). More importantly, a win here will go some way towards cementing their position as the better team in North London this season.”

  51. Just a thought – what do you do with the results of your Polls? Do any papers publish the results? Do you send any papers press releases?
    Say for the approval of giving the cup priority – was the club or Pardew asked to comment?
    These are genuine feelings from grass roots supporters – it would be a pity not to get their feedback.

  52. Current form would suggest that we have got a better midfield than last season. At the end of the season, or even at Christmas I think we will see if we have a better midfield than we did last season.

    Cabaye is one of a kind, brilliant player. Tiote is finding his feet at last and I know we had him here last season also, he is a class player. Gutierrez we had last season and is no better than he was then, and Obertan is something new. Not as creative as Barton, but he has got pace and can create chances with the right ball.

    The only difference I think, is the right-wing and in the middle. Cabaye and Obertan are the two players who have changed the way we play in midfield. Cabaye can play long-balls, short passes and even have a good crack at goal. Cabaye is also quick and can play attacking and defensive. Not much different than Nolan but I think Cabaye is better than Nolan in that department.

    Obertan is very quick and when on the break he can be a force, but he is not as creative as Barton. Barton seeks out the most impossible at times and that can be important and compared to Obertan, they are both different players with different qualities and they both play in a different way.

    Current form suggests yes, but at the moment you can not tell for sure.

  53. supermac says:
    October 12, 2011 at 10:55 am

    “Cabaye is picked to play again for France – great news, but I hope he’s rested.”

    Well I think that they have qualified now supermac, but on the other hand, they have had alot of injuries to the squad.

    On the other thing about the polls and so on, we haven’t try to get reactions from the club, and there’s certainly some food for thought there. We have lots of ideas for ways to develop the site, but ATM it usually just boils down to the time thing really.


    On Ramadan, I have a Somalian friend who was piling on the pounds eating lots of junk food in his shop, and this last Ramadan certainly seems to have sorted him out.